Front Page

February 24, 2000

Do-It-Best investigation recovers four weapons

By Karl Isberg

Four of eight weapons stolen in the Jan. 21 burglary of a Pagosa Springs store were recovered in Cortez and an effort to locate and recover the remaining weapons continues.

At approximately 2 a.m. on Jan. 21, intruders entered the back door of the Ponderosa Do-It-Best store, located at the top of Put Hill near the intersection of Piedra Road and U.S. 160. Burglars stole four handguns and four shotguns and made their escape despite a prompt response by a town officer and a deputy from the Archuleta County Sheriff's Department.

A Pagosa Springs Police investigation headed by Captain Chuck Allen developed information that led to the arrest of one suspect - Charles Christopher Martinez, 18, of Pagosa Springs - and to the identification of a 17-year-old Pagosa juvenile as a suspect in the burglary. Martinez was charged with first-degree burglary. He was released, with curfew restrictions, after posting a $2,500 bond.

Further investigation alerted Allen to the possibility some of the weapons were taken to Cortez. The captain contacted the Cortez Police Department and efforts by members of that department led to the discovery of the four handguns taken in the burglary.

Allen said Wednesday he was scheduled to meet a member of the Cortez department today (Feb. 24) in Durango to take custody of the evidence.

"Our investigation continues to find the four shotguns," said Allen. "So far, we are very happy with the way things are going. The Cortez Detective Division spent a ton of hours on this case and they've done a great job."


PAWS sells $2.9 million in revenue bonds

By John M. Motter

About $2.9 million in revenue bonds will be offered for sale next week by the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District. Proceeds of the sale will be used to finance renovation of the district's sewage treatment plant.

Plant renovation should begin during April or May, according to Carrie Campbell, the district general manager.

One result of renovating the plant will be expanding its capacity from 1.2 million gallons per day to almost 2 million gallons per day. The plant discharges into the Martinez Creek drainage. The maximum discharge permit parameters are 30-30 which translates into 30 parts per million of total suspended solids and 30 parts per million of biological oxygen demand.

Revenue bonds do not require prior voter approval. They are repaid from revenues generated by the entity issuing the bonds.

"The amount of money we have from availability fees will handle debt service on the bonds," said Campbell.

The current wastewater treatment plant was constructed in 1973 at a cost of $500,000. The plant served 22 homes. Starting in 1985, the plant was expanded from its original capacity of 250,000 gallons per day to a capacity of 1.2 million gallons per day.

During the middle of next week the PAWS board meets to affirm the final details of the bond sale, being handled by Don Diones of Bigelow and Co. Investments.

In other business Tuesday, a public hearing was conducted concerning an increase in the water-availability charge approved last fall. PAWS's water-availability fee is levied against owners of empty lots when PAWS water is available for the lots. The increase, from $6.75 to $7.25, starts April 1.

A sewer availability fee of $7.25 is also levied. Owners of empty lots with water and sewer services available will pay a monthly availability fee of $14.50.

The monthly rate for residential water service increased Jan. 1 from $13 a month to $13.50 a month for the first 10,000 gallons of water used.

A third levy called the facilities upgrade fee increased Jan. 1 to $2,300 per equivalent unit. This is a onetime charge.

Action concerning a proposal from Timber Canyon LLC to route a water supply line across Chris Mountain Village Unit II was postponed pending an analysis of the proposal by the District engineers, Davis Engineering Service Inc.


Medical services want visible addresses

By Karl Isberg

There is a medical emergency at your house.

Someone needs help.

You dial 9-1-1, you provide the dispatcher with your address and an ambulance is sent.

Time is of the essence. The faster the emergency medical responders arrive at your residence, the more effective their assistance. In many emergencies - heart attacks, strokes, severe trauma - several minutes can make a major difference in the outcome of the case.

Often that outcome is life, or death.

Knowing this, don't you think it is a good idea to have a clearly visible number address posted at your house?

The staff at Emergency Medical Services and the Upper San Juan Hospital District think so, as do the members of the local EMT Association. As a result, the organizations are supporting a new public awareness program highlighting the need for proper and visible addresses at local residences, and the EMT Association is ready to provide residence number signs for the low cost of $15 per sign.

Many homes within the boundaries of the Upper San Juan Hospital District (which includes Archuleta County) have number signs. Emergency responders, however, indicate many of these signs are too small to be readily visible. While some property owners' associations in the county require new construction to include number signs, those signs are often too small to be seen easily and clearly.

"There are other programs in the county working to put number signs on homes," said hospital district executive Director Bill Bright. "But, the requirements usually provide for a relatively small sign and numbers. Often the signs are hard to see when EMTs are driving down a street, looking for an address at two in the morning."

Signs available from the EMT Association are made of aluminum and coated with a reflective blue vinyl. Reflective white numbers on the sign are easy to see in dark conditions. Signs are 6-inches-by-18-inches and designed to attach to mail boxes or posts.

The signs cost $15. Order forms for the signs can be obtained at the EMS building at 189 North Pagosa Boulevard or can be requested by phone at 731-5811. Completed order forms should be turned in accompanied by a check for $15. Order forms will also be included with all ambulance subscription renewal forms mailed to subscribers.

"This program is being managed by the EMT Association," said Bright. "To a certain extent, it is a fundraising effort in which the association will make a few dollars for each sign ordered. That money will be used for tuition and books and to send local EMTs to special training courses."


Sales tax collections down in January '99; lack of snow blamed

By John M. Motter

Sales tax collections in Archuleta County for January are 2.56 percent lower than last year at this time, according to a report released by the county.

"You will remember that I predicted that January collections might be down because of the effect of no snow on tourism," said Dennis Hunt, the county manager. "Apparently, that is what has happened."

This year's January collections amount to $375,106, down $9,844 from last year's January collections of $384,950.

Since sales taxes are collected on the sale of most retail items and are directly proportional to the sale, many economists consider sales tax receipts as one indicator of the health of an economy. Higher sales tax collections mean higher retail sales, normally proof of a healthy and expanding economy. Falling sales tax collections mean the economy may be moving in the opposite direction.

Last year was a record for sales tax collections in Archuleta County. The total collected was $4,193,256, 12.75 percent more than the amount collected during 1998. In its turn, 1998 was a record year.

Sales taxes are collected by retail merchants at the time of sale. On a monthly or quarterly basis, the tax is forwarded to the Colorado Department of Revenue. That organization retains the state portion, 3 percent, and returns 4 percent to the county.

In its turn, the county retains one-half of the 4 percent rebate and the city receives the other half. The county's portion is divided among the general fund, road and bridge fund, and road improvement fund. The town's portion is devoted to capital improvements projects.

For January, the county placed $75,021 in the general fund, $18,755 in the road and bridge fund, and $93,777 in the road improvement fund.

Last year sales taxes added $838,651 to the general fund, $209,663 to the road and bridge fund, and $1,048,314 to the road improvement fund.


Series of snow showers headed our way

By John M. Motter

Snow and more snow, a series of snow showers, are on tap for Pagosa Country this coming week. The latest front should have started dropping snow late last night, a series of showers that should last through today.

A slight chance of rain or snow showers lingers tomorrow, but Saturday and Sunday should be dry, according to Ellen Heffernan, a National Weather Service forecaster from Grand Junction.

Late Sunday another moisture-laden system should move into the area and remain through Monday, dropping snow or rain in abundance. Tuesday should see some clearing, but by Wednesday yet another system may pummel the area.

"We're in a very progressive weather pattern," Heffernan said. "That means the systems coming in off of the Pacific are moving very fast. That makes it hard to predict the timing for any particular area."

The series of fronts will continue to move through about every other day for the next week, according to Heffernan. Because temperatures are unusually warm for this time of year, there is a good chance for the snow to change to rain at elevations such as Pagosa Springs. Pagosa Springs is slightly higher than 7,000 feet above sea level.

During the past week, 1.25 inches of snow were recorded at the official National Weather Service Station at Stevens Field. For February, 7.51 inches of snow have been reported by that source. Over the past 51 years, February snowfall has averaged 18.8 inches in town. The maximum February snowfall of record is the 61 inches measured in 1969. In February of 1945, no snowfall was recorded.

Temperatures last week ranged from a high of 54 degrees Monday down to 12 degrees Friday night. The average high temperature was 46 degrees, the average low 17 degrees.

The monthly mean temperature for February averages 25.2 degrees, but ranges between a high of 33.6 degrees and a low of 15.3 degrees. On Feb. 26, 1986, 70 degrees was recorded, the warmest temperature ever recorded during February. On Feb. 1, 1951, minus 46 degrees was recorded, the coldest February reading of record and the coldest temperature ever officially recorded in Pagosa Springs.

Meanwhile, 29 inches of new snow fell on the Wolf Creek Ski Area during the past week. Snow depth at the summit is 68 inches, at midway 64 inches. All trails on the mountain are open.


County considers demolition derby for fair

By John M. Motter

A proposal that this year's Archuleta County Fair include a demolition derby is being considered by the county commissioners.

The proposal was presented at the regular weekly meeting of the commissioners by Carrie Toth, a member of the fair board.

Officials of the La Plata County Fair Board speak highly of a demolition derby as a good revenue-generating venture, Toth said.

Commissioners expressed concern about liability issues and questioned if a demolition derby fits within the heritage parameters adopted by Pagosa Springs Enterprises, the private organization which oversees the Red Ryder Roundup facilities.

Resolution of the questions concerning the proposal may be reached at a joint meeting of the commissioners, Pagosa Springs Enterprises, and a representative from the Durango fair.

In other business Tuesday the commissioners authorized the county Solid Waste Division to spend $5,950 for computer software and $1,839 to train employees to use the software. The county is in the process of assuming operational control of the county landfill and two transfer stations from Waste Management Inc. The county has budgeted $291,207 for solid waste revenues and $280,227 for solid waste expenditures in the 2000 solid waste budget.

The commissioners are expecting to meet with Sheriff Tom Richards this afternoon in an executive session concerning personnel and 9-1-1 matters.

A workshop scheduled Wednesday to discuss private management of the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association Public Safety Office was canceled.

Community forum features Rep. Mark Larson Feb. 26

Colorado State Rep. Mark Larson, R-Cortez, will be the guest speaker at a Community Forum in the Mt. Allison Grange Hall in Allison on Saturday, Feb. 26.

Community citizens and all county organizations are invited and encouraged to attend.

The forum will begin with a potluck lunch at noon. The program will follow at approximately 1 p.m.

For more information contact Greg Gummersall at 883-5481.

Inside The Sun

42 percent of building permits from Fairfield

By John M. Motter

The Fairfield Pagosa subdivisions west of town accounted for 42 percent of the 536 building permits issued in Archuleta County during 1999, according to a report released by the county building department.

That percentage decreased slightly compared to 1998 when 47 percent of the 510 building permits were issued for the Fairfield Pagosa subdivisions.

About 86 percent of all building permits issued in the county last year were for building activity within subdivisions, as opposed to the 14 percent of permits issued for building activity outside of subdivisions.

Aspen Springs, with 75 building permits, ranked second to the 215 permits issued for the Fairfield Pagosa subdivisions. The area of Arboles trailed Aspen Springs with 16 permits. The "other" subdivisions are listed together and accounted for 139 building permits, 27 percent of the total.

Five years earlier, in 1994, 50 percent of the 372 permits issued were for Fairfield Pagosa subdivisions. Numbers for Aspen Springs and Arboles are not available for 1994, but during 1995 Aspen Springs accounted for 64 permits, 13 percent of the total, and Arboles accounted for 35 permits, 7 percent of the total.

Fairfield Pagosa subdivisions represented by the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association had a population estimated at 3,038 as of July 1, 1997, according to information released by that entity's Department of Property and Environment. The same report shows the following population estimates: 1992 - 1,822, 1993 - 2,010, 1994 - 2,138, 1995 - 2,475, 1996 - 2,727, and 3,038 for 1997.

The estimated dollar value of new construction permitted in Archuleta County for 1999 was $63,771,740, up slightly from the $63,000,100 of 1998, and up significantly from the $25,055,096 estimate of 1994.

Building permits are issued for a number of construction activities including single-family residences, mobile homes (modular homes are included with single-family residences), duplexes, tri-plexes, other-plexes, townhouses, condominiums, apartments, commercial, timeshares, churches, public utilities, and "other." "Other" includes porches and significant remodeling.

Last year, in addition to 233 single-family residence permits, the following permits were issued: 98 mobile home, four duplex, one tri-plex, one six-plex, one townhouse, one apartment, 13 commercial, 12 timeshares, two public utilities, and 151 others.


Pulling together

Dear Editor,

I was away from Pagosa when Terri Lynn Smith died and thus contributed nothing to the plans for the memorial service or the lunch following. I am still amazed and thrilled at how our 30-member fellowship managed to pull together such a major feat in three days. Joan and Jerry Rohwer and Gail Hershey worked closely with Terrence, relatives, Terri Lynn's friends, Town Hall, the SUN, the Mounted Rangers and many, many volunteers who worked on traffic control, the shuttle and preparation of the site. It was a memorial service Terri would have loved.

Ilene Haykus, Sandy and Casey Caves and the rest of the fellowship took over the food department, preparing main dishes for 300 people and making the extension building look like a festive place. Here again the community kicked in (as it always does) with side dishes so that no one went hungry. Hopefully, everyone saw the thoughtful "memory table" containing Terri's favorite things.

And last, but not least, what would we do without our own John Graves who so beautifully led the memorial service?


Phyl Daleske

Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

Steering Committee Chair


Dear David,

It has come to my attention that in a local church a few Sundays ago, one of the most loving and popular teens in this community was publicly declared an "atheist" and the request was put out to the congregation to save this young girl's soul.

Following is a brief statement that I just happened to run across: "A disciple came to his Master inquiring 'Is it not the case that everything in the world has a purpose?' The Master agreed.

'Then what' the disciple demanded 'is the purpose of atheism?'

The Master answered 'When a poor person comes to you asking for help, be an atheist! Don't tell that person that God will help! Act as though no one existed to help except you!' " - Author unknown

Anyone who knows this young lady should be aware that although she may not attend church on Sunday, she lives her faith and spirituality in each and everything she does. For all the "self-proclaimed saviors" out there I have a few questions.

Do you live your love of God and spirituality at all times, in all situations or is it just the one hour a week you spend in church? How well do you understand that all is for a reason and provides an opportunity for self-growth and expansion of possibilities? Are you willing to look for the reason behind each event or do you judge a situation as inappropriate because it does not comfortably fit in your limited little box of beliefs? I have nothing against your beliefs as I realize you are doing "that which you feel is right." However, did it ever occur to you that what is right for you may not feel right for someone else? Did God not create all who are in this world? Did he not give us all free will? Do we as mere humans have the right to try to take away the freedom of choice that God has given? Are any of us so great that we really believe we can save another's soul? Let us all attempt to be more like God and "assist" all we can; but save another's soul? I think not. I think we had each best start with our own.

Oh, by the way . . . if you don't feel comfortable with any of this and still feel you are able to save, I'm sure you feel my soul also needs saving. Please, feel free to "pray for me" as I can use all the "help" I can get as I work to save my own.

Love and peace to all of you,

Kathryn Strom Davis


Dear Editor,

I'd like to make a plea to residents living in the Pagosa Lakes area. Now that spring is fast approaching with its warm weather.

Sunday afternoon, Feb. 20, some very unfortunate people experienced a traumatic day on Village Lake. Their sweet four-month old puppy fell through the ice and despite heroic efforts on their part, EMS personnel, Public Safety officers and Debbie Shaw, DVM, were unable to save him. It was a sad day for all involved.

I cannot emphasize enough how dangerous the lakes can be to our children and our pets. The aerators that create a wonderful environment for our fishing pleasures can also create a hazard. Public Safety officers try their best to warn people of thin ice but it is ultimately up to the individual. So we are urging you to please warn your children and do not let your pets run at large. I enjoy my job but this is one area I can definitely do without.

Helena Granquist,

PLPOA Special Services Officer

Animal Control

Don't be bullied

Dear Editor,

I wish to commend Diana Luppi for her very well written letter posted in your "letters" column of Feb. 17 and for her refusal to be bullied by a government agency apparently attempting to confiscate as much private property as they can. Her warnings of "dark day coming" should be taken seriously by all of us. Her situation is not an isolated one and is being duplicated throughout the U.S.

There is an organization named Mountain States Legal Foundation, located in Denver, which is non-profit and is financed solely by totally deductible private contributions. This is a group of dedicated, brilliant attorneys, committed to the vision of the Founding Fathers: individual liberty, the right to own and use property, limited government and the free enterprise system. Their track record is excellent in doing only one thing: going to court in defense of the Constitution, strict adherence to the laws of the land and for those who cannot afford to hire legal counsel. Their president, William Perry Pendley, is constantly in demand for giving speeches on this subject and has written two excellent books, which should be available through our public library: "War On The West" and "It Takes a Hero."

Sincerely yours,

Robert A. Horstman, MD (ret)

Rich abundance

Dear Editor,

Coloradans in the small and rural towns seem to be awakening to the fact that we are becoming inundated with "city dwellers" who can't leave the big city behind, and developers with dollar signs in their eyes. Ouray had an article in last summer's "Summer Guide" about this - "Ouray County needs visitors to sustain its tourism-based economy and welcomes new residents, but most don't want to see Mesa Mountain houses (or high rises) spoiling the natural beauty." The mayor of Ouray "also welcomes newcomers, but reminds them that this is a small rural county, so former 'city dwellers' should expect the nearest shopping malls and movie theaters at least half an hour away. What makes this place special is partly what isn't here."

In the Lake City area there is growing concern about all the people coming in and buying up mass quantities of land for dude ranches, which ruins the ability of locals to wander freely around the countryside.

The dude ranches haven't added to the local economy, but have driven real estate prices mountain high.

Pagosa is already on the list of places most desirable, to retire in, and yet it is on the verge of becoming like the other three towns who got out of control - Aspen, Vail and Telluride. The biggest losses besides the closeness of beautiful land, to developers, is the closeness of community. If these other towns like Ouray and Lake City are waking up to these facts, it's time Pagosa did, or we will lose our community as well as some beautiful open spaces, such as East Fork.

The only ones reaping any rewards for the East Fork development will be the "get rich quick" schemers of this planned "high-end/not high-end" dude ranch. Helicopter pad, indeed - noise pollution scaring the bejeasus out of the wildlife and driving out the old-timers, and the new-timers who came here for the beauty, serenity and closeness to Mother Earth - the true abundance. Abundance isn't only dollars and cents, but it seems the "Piano Creek Ranch" people don't seem to have much sense to see the real abundance.

Cyndi Mitchell

Health care

Dear David,

Health care in the United States has been drawing criticism for years. Since the initiation of public health services, we have been continuously faced with the lack of accountability that, under better circumstances, would allow our entire society to release one of our greatest fears. In spite of constitutional rights, none of us knows if illness (especially chronic illness) will be responsible for life threatening neglect.

As the insurance industry has resorted to wholesale bailouts, from prenatal care and adequate child health, through indigent and elderly support, we are sending the direct message to all our citizens that there is no stable hope for assistance with the basic necessities required for productivity.

Not only is the impact staggering on individuals and families, but as a society we eliminate dignity before it can be recognized, neglecting the nurturing role model shared by advanced cultures.

We must serve and educate everyone, starting at an early age, as to personal care and appropriate lifestyle, with health education and mutual consideration on-going throughout life, so all "social diseases," including apathetic denial, become a thing of the past.

With awareness, confidence and compassion as a foundation, no one need be concerned about quality of life.

Not only are home health care and mental health services mandatory, they are manifestations of our national security at its most personal and developmental level.

After all, if you don't have your health, what do you have?


Tricia Pantzer


Dear Editor,

Are any of our presidential candidates dealing with reality? If the U.S. is to compete with countries that pay about 5 dollars a day we are going to have to produce food, housing, etc. at greatly reduced costs. I don't see that happening.

With the coming dramatic increases in energy, what is going to happen to a tourist-based economy? What do you think? You don't have to have a degree in economics to know.

We allowed Clinton to export factory jobs like clothing, etc. High tech jobs can also be exported.

We have a president who can remember how much money the Chinese gave him.

Those bribes (campaign donations) the Chinese gave both political parties sure have paid off.

This country is in for some hard times. But forewarned is forearmed. All of the candidates will tell you they are looking out for the people of the U.S.

Don Reid



Magnum Opus

Dear Editor,

We recently read a letter (Feb. 3, LCPL Taro R. Hill) written home in your last issue. Being inspired by this person's patriotism and fond memories of Pagosa, we decided to follow suit and send one of our own. Now, although we may not be valiantly serving our country in the services, and do not plan to any time soon, we wish our families and fellow Pagosans to know that we are divinely inspired. At this moment, we five brave young lads find ourselves in California trying to fix our 1971 Volkswagon bus so we can continue on our journey to Baja where deserted beaches and perfect point-breaks abound. We may be, as some people say, stretching the buck. We may be a burden to the economy. However, know this . . . we will return to this sorrowful nation with something you cannot estimate with a dollar sign or measure in a bank account. The culmination of our hopes and dreams. A vision. Our Magnum Opus. We will wade deep into the sea of capitalism and embrace our inevitable destiny: to be assimilated into the working class. To become functioning members of society. "What then," you ask, "Is this letter about?" Nothing of consequence, only this: the debt we owe will be repaid with a far bigger slice of the corporate American pie than we could ever have taken. For after all, time flows like a river, and history repeats itself. . . .

Jerome Nobles

Ricky Souza

Jeremy Stark

Brad Schmidt

Brandon Thompson

New day gang

Dear Editor,

Regarding the letter to editor from PLPOA property owner Paul D. Doray ("Nary a Word," SUN, Feb. 17). He was so very right - the only news he gets from the PLPOA is from the SUN. Since the "There's Going to be a New Day" gang took over on July 28, 1998, they discontinued the WEB site which contained the Declaration of Restrictions for the subdivisions; bylaws; and other pertinent information that was very important to the property owners. This discontinuance of the Web site meant that the tidy sum of $5,000 was "flushed right down the sewer" - a waste of PLPOA funds. Additionally, the "gang" decided that the newsletter was going to be published twice per year in lieu of the previous quarterly publication.

And, to make matters worse, the current newsletters, when they have been published, have contained limited committee reports, which were previously covered in depth in the newsletters to keep the membership informed of the actions and progress of projects. All of the above have been in direct contradiction of the results of a communication survey of the property owners, concluded in June 1997, which told the board of directors that the membership wanted to continue the newsletter on a quarterly timetable and needed a Web site. So, now after almost two years of cutting a wide swath of destruction, the "New Day" gang is finally authorizing the development of another new Web site. Yes, communications with the property owners have been lax.

I guess some individuals are just slow learners.

Mojie Adler

Check validity

Dear Editor,

I enjoyed George Reiger's article in the March 2000 issue with this heading, particularly the section, "Welfare Cowboys."

The argument is often made that ranchers are being subsidized with grazing permits on public land. The usual argument is made that ranchers pay a good deal more when grazing on private land. It is never noted that the owner provides many services that are not provided by the government, and that this is not a big money maker for the land owner, or the owner of the cattle. Quite often the private land was once used by the rancher to raise hay to feed his brood stock, and young calves through the winter. The work required of the rancher on public land is considerably more than that of the owner of a former hay meadow which is usually within a mile or so of his house, corrals, and other facilities. Roping and treating a sick cow on the range is a lot more work than driving her to a corral and squeeze gate. I have worked with ranchers renting their land to a cattle owner, and ranchers who have a year round cow-calf operation. It is only the latter that can come close to making a living at ranching. However, both are preserving our rural areas, and our heritage.

It is not realized that when ranching is not viable, ranchers often sell land to developers, who, in Colorado, sell 35-acre parcels in the range of $150,000 to $250,000. Has the anti-ranching faction considered this fact, or the urban sprawl around our cities and towns that are destroying our rural areas?

No doubt ranching has some effect on the land, but what about the effect of the forest roads, the shopping malls, houses, and highways in the rest of the country? Aren't they more damaging than cattle grazing in a forest?

I also believe that a great deal of spurious ideas are given as "scientific," where in fact, they are merely personal beliefs used to promote their anti-grazing agenda. I hope that you examine any arguments (both pro and con) for scientific validity.

Thank you,

Breck Glascock

Los Alamos, N.M.

Private property

Dear Editor,

In regards to your front page item on private property Feb.10. In the sixth paragraph you stated in essence that the Forest Service had roads that belonged to the Forest Service, and I quote in part, "other roads in the county on Forest Service property belong to the Forest Service" when in fact, as you stated the Forest Service acts as "stewards for the people." Now then, "steward" means "one who acts as a supervisor or administrator," then to go one further, supervisors and administrators are in the employ of the owner. In that respect supervisors or administrators have a "boss" and as stated in your article "the people of the United States."

The group of citizens are "the people of the United States" and do have a duty to tell the "stewards" what to do. It appears to me that the Forest Service wants to turn the table and be the master instead of the "steward." And prey on the peoples feelings "because of safety concerns."

The "right of way" laws were in place long before the Forest Service was established via usage and "old archaic" Act and Acts of the people and congress. If the Forest Service has forgotten I will refresh: The Lode Act - Under the "Lode Act" (U.S. Statutes at Large, XIV, pp. 251-253,) "An Act Granting the Right of Way to Ditch and Canal Owners over the Public Lands and for other Purposes," Congress recognized: "That whenever, by priority of possession, rights to the use of water for mining, agricultural, manufacturing, or other purposes, have vested and accrued, and the same are recognized and acknowledged by the local customs, laws and decisions of the courts, the possessors and owners of such vested rights shall be maintained and protected in the same. . . ."

The Placer Act - The "Placer Act" or, (vol. 16 Statutes at Large p. 217; U.S.C. vol 30, section 35,) certified the intent of Congress that the water rights and rights of way to which the 1866 legislation related were effective not only against the United States but also against its grantees; that anyone who took title to public lands took such title burdened with any easement for water rights or rights of way that had been previously acquired against such lands while they were in public ownership. Eventually, the system was given recognition on public lands throughout the arid west.

Desert Land Act - Under the "Desert Land Act" of 1877, (19 Stat. 377; 43 U.S.C. 321 et seq.,) Congress declared that all surplus water of lakes, rivers and other nonnavigable water on public land is free for appropriation by the public, subject to existing rights. (Applicable to California - See California Oregon Power Co. v. Beaver Portland Cement Co. 295 U.S. 142, 154-155, 160-163, (1935.) and the Forest Service took stewardship of the "Public land" (for want of a better word) pursuant to all of the above.

James Robert Milton




Vora A. Calfee

Vora A. Calfee, 88, died Thursday, Feb. 10, 2000.

Mrs. Calfee was born on Jan. 3, 1912, in Sweetwater, Texas. She married Marion R. Calfee on July 10, 1938, in Abilene, Texas. She was a homemaker, and a member of the First Christian Church. She graduated from Stamford High School in 1929, and was past president of the Blue Bonnett Club. She had lived in Sweetwater since 1973. Mrs. Calfee and her husband vacationed in Pagosa Springs at their cabin on the Lower Blanco for many years.

Survivors include a nephew, Grady Morris Sloan of Colorado City, Texas; and several great nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her husband on Sept. 24, 1998, and a brother C.B. Sloan.

Allen D. Trujillo

Allen Dwight Trujillo, 59, a resident of Silver City, N.M., entered eternal rest on Friday, Feb. 18, 2000, at the family home after a battle with lung cancer.

Mr. Trujillo was born on April 24, 1940, in Pagosa Springs to Willie and Pauline Gallegos Trujillo.

He is survived by his loving wife, Delores; two sons, Marc Trujillo of Sioux Falls, S.D., and Christopher Trujillo of Silver City; two daughters Jill Trujillo of Albuquerque, N.M., and Heather Trujillo of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; his father, Willie Trujillo of Pagosa Springs; and his brother, William Trujillo of Chicago, Ill.

Mr. Trujillo's family considers the constant support, visits and prayers from all of his friends and acquaintances both here and all over the world during the last two and one half years even more meaningful than his career and life's achievements. He lived his life with faith, hard work, honesty and integrity - a true measure of a good man. He will be missed.

A grave side memorial service was held Feb. 23, 2000, at Hilltop Cemetery with Father John Bowe, of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church, presiding.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial donations be made to the New Mexico Christians Children's Home, at 1356 MN Hwy. 236, Portales, N.M. 88130-9411.

Theodore Gurule

The following is in memory of my father, Theodore B. Gurule, Dec. 8, 1921 to Feb. 12, 1994.

Dad, although it's been so long ago that you passed on, the thoughts of you still live on.

The memories of you are still fresh in my mind. Even though we all go our separate ways, each one of us will always say, "Do you remember those days when so and so . . . ?," and each memory would include you. You will never be forgotten.

Miss you.

Your daughter, Rubieda





Mr. Bob Moody, Mrs. Terri Clifford and Mrs. Phyllis Haning are pleased to announce the upcoming marriage of their children Kerri R. Walker to Stephen L. Haning. A June 10 marriage is planned for friends and family. Kerri is currently employed at H&R Block and Steve with LPEA. The couple will continue to reside in Pagosa Springs following their marriage.



Sports Page

Second-quarter run propels Ladies past Ignacio

By Roy Starling

The early portion of the Pagosa-Ignacio game last Thursday night, won 37-30 by Pagosa, was something like a dream.

For the Ladycats, playing in front of their adoring fans, it was like a dream come true. Jumping out to a 10-2 lead in the first quarter, they appeared to be on the way to beating their old nemesis for the first time since Lady Pirate sophomores Ashley Gronewoller and Katie Lancing were in the fourth grade.

For the Lady Pirates, it was a regular nightmare as they could see their No. 1 seeding for this weekend's Intermountain League District 1 tournament slowly dissolving in the Ladycats' hostile lair.

So the Ladies snapped out of it. Down 13-4 with 6 minutes and 40 seconds remaining in the first half, Pagosa went on a tear, outscoring its hosts 13-2 in the next 3:30 to take a 17-15 lead at the 3:02 mark.

According to Lady Pirate coach Karen Wells, there was nothing really spectacular about that game-saving run in the second quarter. "No, they just settled down and played their game," she said of her girls. "At first they weren't playing well. It seems like they always have to get over their first-quarter jitters, and then they're okay."

Lately, Wells said, those jitters seem to make a return appearance during half time, causing the Ladies to look a little out of sync in the third quarter. "By the fourth quarter," she said, "they're ready to go again."

Against Ignacio, the Ladies took a slim 19-15 lead into the third but couldn't make it grow. The girls managed only three field goals in the period, all of them courtesy of Mandy Forrest, who had been shut down in the first half while picking up three personal fouls. Luckily, the Ladycats could only manage six points as well, and the quarter ended at 25-21, Pagosa.

A basket in the lane by Gronewoller early in the fourth gave the Ladies a 6-point lead, and they wouldn't lead by more than that until the game's closing seconds. A deuce by Ignacio freshman Regena Thompson brought the Ladycats to within three at 31-28 with about two and a half minutes left, but a free throw by Bonnie O'Brien and a field goal from Gronewoller pushed the lead back to six with 1:22 remaining.

The Lady Pirates sealed the win in the final 43 seconds when Gronewoller hit 1 of 2 from the line and then O'Brien converted both ends of a 1-and-1.

The Ladies' performance at the line might have made all the difference. They took eight free throws and cashed in on six of them. The Ladycats, on the other hand, made only 1 of 8. Obviously, neither team exactly camped out at the line, not because it was a finesse game - Pagosa-Ignacio games never are - but because "the officials just weren't calling anything," Wells said.

The Lady Pirates also had an advantage on the board, out rebounding Ignacio 28 to 23.

Top scorer for Pagosa was Gronewoller with 15 points. Lancing had 10, Forrest eight and Janae Esterbrook five. Lancing did most of the board work, grabbing 10 rebounds, five on each end of the floor. Forrest and Gronewoller had seven each.

The Lady Pirates shot 44.4 percent from the floor on 2-point attempts (16 of 36) but only 12.5 percent (1 of 8) from beyond the arc.

On the defensive end, Gronewoller hurt the Ladycats' shooting percentage by sending four of their shots back to the floor. Forrest added two blocks and Lancing one.


Lady Pirates try for four straight

By Roy Starling

The Lady Pirates (15-4) will try to make it four Intermountain League District 1 titles in a row this weekend in the unfriendly confines of Centauri Gymnasium in La Jara. Winning this tournament would allow the Ladies to host a regional game next weekend; finishing second would send them on the road to face a higher-seeded opponent.

As the IML tournament's No. 1 seed, the Ladies drew an opening-round bye while Monte Vista (No. 4) and Bayfield (No. 5) tangled last night for the opportunity to play them at 4 p.m. tomorrow.

In the tournament's other bracket, No. 3 Ignacio hosted No. 6 Del Norte, with the winner earning the dubious honor of taking on Centauri at 7 tomorrow night.

Despite their lofty seeding, the Ladies can't expect a cakewalk to the crown. Monte Vista played doormat to Pagosa earlier this season, losing 49-20 on its home court. The next time they met, however, they put up more of a fight, especially in the second half. Down 26-10 at intermission, the San Luis Valley Lady Pirates pretty much matched Pagosa basket for basket down the stretch, finally falling 44-26.

The night after that game, Monte upset Ignacio. Last week, however, they lost a road game to a rapidly improving Bayfield squad.

Does Lady Pirate coach Karen Wells have a preference for an opening-round opponent? "It doesn't matter to me," she said. "Either one is fine. Either way, it's a game we have to win."

On paper, it looks like Centauri's Lady Falcons should take care of business against the Ignacio Ladycats tomorrow night. But Centauri coach Brian Loch well remembers that it looked the same way last year when Ignacio, insisting that the game be played on hardwood rather than on paper, upset the Falcons 51-45.

That loss sent Centauri home without a regional berth and sent Ignacio on the road to Rangely where Ignacio was waxed by the Lady Panthers 46-24 in the regional playoffs. This season, Centauri has warmed up for a district tourney rematch by beating Ignacio twice, and neither game was very close.

So if the Ladies can get past the opening round, they will probably have to deal with the Lady Falcons on their home floor Saturday at 5 p.m. This would be the rubber match between the two rivals: Centauri won in La Jara 54-53 in overtime; Pagosa won at home 42-38.

Wells welcomes a rematch with the high flying Falcons. "I really think we can beat them again," she said. "In fact, I'd be shocked if we didn't."

Just the possibility of playing for a fourth consecutive district title seems like something of a victory for Wells. "This team has come farther than anyone thought it would," she said. "We're very happy to be 15-4, but the girls aren't satisfied with that. They're not ready to stop just yet."

If the Lady Pirates are to keep their season alive this weekend, they'll need continued offensive production from the girls in the middle. Senior Mandy Forrest, a 6-foot post player, was the team's leading scorer with 12.3 points per game and the top rebounder with a 10.3 average. Sophomore Katie Lancing was second in both departments, scoring 11.4 points a game and snagging 8.6 rebounds.

Ashley Gronewoller, a 6-foot-3 sophomore post, has been Pagosa's go-to girl in the last two games, totaling 30 points. For the season, she averaged 10.5 points and 7.7 rebounds.

Senior shooting guard Janae Esterbrook has been the team's biggest threat from the perimeter, scoring 9.5 points per game


Unbeaten Pirates favorite in IML District Tourney

By John M. Motter

Excitement mounts this week for local high school basketball fans as the focus shifts to Centauri and the Intermountain League Tournament. Four teams hoping to qualify for the state tournament will be "hooping it up" in the Centauri gym. When the last buzzer sounds, only two teams will advance to the regional round of action. The tournament makes it possible for any team, even one with a losing record, to become Cinderella and advance to the next round of play.

Everyone will be shooting at Pagosa Springs, the favorite going into the tournament. After topping Ignacio 67-56 last Thursday, Pagosa finished on top of the IML with a perfect 10-0 record. By winning the IML title outright, the Pirates automatically qualify as one of the final 16 teams advancing into Class 3A regional playoff action.

In the IML tournament, Pagosa is playing for pride and seeding. The winner of the tournament is seeded first from the IML when regional play begins March 4. If the Pirates win the tournament, they will be seeded first. If they do not win the tournament, they will be seeded second and the team winning the tournament will be seeded first.

The first-seeded team from the IML plays a second-seeded team from some other district in the state in regional action. The second-seeded team plays a team seeded first from some other district. Obviously, the team seeded first has a better chance of winning its regional game and advancing to the final eight and the state tournament which starts March 9 at the Air Force Academy.

Only Pagosa Springs and second-place Monte Vista were guaranteed a spot in the district tournament at Centauri when the week started. Monte Vista finished IML play with an 8-2 record, losing only to Pagosa Springs. Monte is not a guarantee to advance to regional play. It must finish first or second in the district tournament. In the district tournament, Pagosa Springs, because it finished first during the IML season, plays the team ranked fourth. Monte Vista, because it finished second in the IML, plays the team ranked third.

Third- and fourth-place seedings for the IML tournament are determined by pigtail games played among the third- through sixth-place finishers. The pigtail games were played Tuesday.

Confusing the issue this year, Bayfield, Centauri, and Del Norte finished the IML season with 4-6 records. Ignacio is a certain sixth place with its 0-10 IML record. In order to establish ranking for the pigtail games, a coin toss was held in Centauri Sunday. Centauri won the coin toss and was given a third-place seeding. Consequently, Centauri hosted Ignacio in one pigtail game and walked away with a 78-37 victory. Therefore, Monte Vista plays Centauri Friday in the first round of the IML tournament. Game time is 8:30 p.m.

Del Norte was seeded fourth and Bayfield fifth through the coin toss. Consequently, Del Norte defeated Bayfield 62-45 in the second pigtail game.

Friday night in Centauri, Pagosa Springs plays Del Norte in the first round of the IML tournament. Game time is 5:30 p.m.

Winners of Friday night's games meet Saturday at 7 p.m. to determine the tournament champion.

Regional opponents for the IML representatives will not be determined until after the district tournament. Regional seeding is directed by the Colorado High School Athletic Association. Normally, teams seeded first in one league play teams seeded second in another league.

The last time the Pagosa boys advanced to regional play was during the 1992-1993 season under coach Bunk Preuitt. That year the Pirates wound up the season with consecutive wins over Monte Vista, Buena Vista and Salida to capture the IML title, a 68-45 regional victory over Hotchkiss, and a 59-34 loss to the University Bulldogs in the state tournament.

Pagosa's current coach Kyle Canty and his family are no strangers to the basketball playoffs. Canty attended Sanford High School. Sanford is located in the San Luis Valley south of Alamosa. Canty's Sanford squad played in the regionals during the 1975-1976 seasons and won the state championship during the 1976-1977 season. Canty was a 5-foot-10 center. John Canty, Kyle's father, played for a Sanford team that won the state title during 1948-49 and 1949-50. All of Canty's six brothers played in a state tournament game and all of his grandfather's children and grandchildren played in a state tournament game.

In answer to the question, "Since you have already played every team in the league twice, what can happen that is new in the district tournament?" Canty replied, "Every team is willing to try anything to win. This is a sudden death tournament; one loss and you're out, one upset and you advance. Anything can happen."


Pirates end season with win over Ignacio

By John M. Motter

Pagosa Springs' Intermountain League season ended the way it started, with a victory over Ignacio. Pagosa finished the IML season with a perfect 10-0 record. The Pirates overall record is 16-3.

Thursday's game started off as a romp for the Pirates. With Micah Maberry, Clinton Lister, and Charles Rand threading the hemp almost at will, Pagosa built a double-digit, 11-0 lead before the Bobcats managed a bucket.

Ignacio scratched and clawed desperately, trying to get back in the game. Every time they got tantalizingly close, Pagosa pulled away.

"I still think Ignacio is a very good team," said Pagosa coach Kyle Canty. "I think losing has destroyed their confidence. They played well. We let down on defense, let them back in the game. We let them drive the middle too much."

Canty approved of the Pagosa effort against Ignacio, even with the defensive let-down. But, "we haven't played our best game yet."

"We probably played our best offensive game of the year," Canty said. "The kids are starting to get comfortable with each other and with the offense. They didn't take any bad shots. Lister shot especially well."

Clinton Lister, a senior, successfully converted 2 for 3 from field goal range, and 3 for 3 from 3-point range. Eight of Lister's points came during the first period Pirate surge. By the end of the period, Pagosa led 21-12.

Pagosa stretched the lead during the second period when Rand's seven points and Lister's five points paced the Pirates. The black and gold left the floor at half time leading 38-25.

The third period was a standoff with both squads racking up 18 points. Maberry's six points and Daniel Crenshaw's five points helped Pagosa maintain its lead, 56-43 by the end of the period.

Ignacio continued the attack and, with 3:31 left in the game, chopped the Pagosa lead to five points, 61-56. Pagosa turned on the juice once again. Down the stretch Lucero and Rand canned layups, then Lucero ended scoring for the game with a pair of free throws that put Pagosa on top 67-56.

The leading scorer for Pagosa was Rand with 15 points based on four field goals, a trey, and a pair of free throws. Clinton Lister was next in line with 13 points based on three treys and a pair of field goals. Maberry's six field goals placed him close behind with 12 points, followed by Crenshaw with 10 points, Tyrel Ross with 8 points, Lucero with 7 points, and David Goodenberger with 2 points. As a team, Pagosa successfully converted 18 of 46 field goal attempts for 39 percent, nine of 13 three-point attempts for 69 percent, and four for four from the free throw line.

Goodenberger gathered nine rebounds for the lead in that department. He also blocked a shot, as did Lister. Rand's three assists topped Pagosa in that area, while Goodenberger and Crenshaw each had three steals. Pagosa committed nine turnovers.

Rand is leading scorer for the 10-game IML season with 158 points and an average of 15.8 points per game. Next is Maberry with 113 points, an average of 11.3 points per game. Other leading scorers are Ross with 84 points and an average of 8.4 points per game, Goodenberger with 80 points and an average of 8 points per game, Crenshaw with 79 points and an average of 7.9 points a game, Lister with 42 points and an average of 4.2 points a game, and Lucero with 41 points and an average of 4.1 points a game.


Pagosa wrestlers take two medals at state tourney

By Karl Isberg

Pagosa wrestlers returned from Denver's Pepsi Center and the Colorado High School State Wrestling Tournament with two medals and a 20th-place finish in the Class 3A team standings.

Seven Pirates qualified for the state tournament and while five of the Pagosans finished out of medal contention, each wrestled well against difficult opponents. Of those five, three of the athletes - Daniel Martinez, Kraig Candelaria and George Kyriacou - wrestled their final matches as Pirates at the Pepsi Center.

Senior wrestlers

Martinez qualified to wrestle at 140 pounds at the final meet of the year.

In his first match, Martinez faced Bryan Cortez of Manitou Springs. Martinez fell behind early, trailing 7-1 at the end of the first period, then dominated Cortez, scoring the only three points put on the board in the second period. Martinez rode Cortez throughout the third period but was unable to turn his opponent and score the back points needed to tie the match. With the 7-4 loss, Martinez went to the consolation round.

In his first consolation match, Martinez fought Matt Laminger of Paonia. The Pirate gave up the first takedown of the match then fought back with an escape and a takedown to lead 3-2. Laminger went ahead 4-3 with a reversal at the start of the second period and Martinez tied the score with an escape. The wrestlers were neck-and-neck throughout the third period. Martinez scored with a reversal, then the Paonia athlete executed a reversal of his own. Martinez reversed Laminger then scored two points with a near fall. Laminger escaped at the end of the period but was unable to close the gap on the Pirate. Martinez advanced with the 10-9 decision.

In his final match of the tournament, Martinez wrestled Dan Roelsch of Del Norte. Roelsch got a first-period takedown and two back points to lead 4-0. Martinez came back strong in the second period, scoring with an escape and a takedown. Roelsch then scored three points in the third period to win the match 7-3 and eliminate Martinez from the tournament.

"I think Daniel is a case of running out of time," said Pirates coach Dan Janowsky, referring to the fact his team was unable to wrestle a full schedule this season when a tournament and a dual meet were canceled due to inclement weather. "Daniel was wrestling his best tournament of the year at Denver. He fell behind too early in a couple of his matches. But, his defense was very good. We've worked on his defense for four years and Daniel was difficult to score on at state when he was on his feet. If a match was longer, nobody at Denver could have beaten Daniel. Almost everyone who beat him was saved by the bell."

Candelaria competed at 160 pounds, finishing a season highlighted by a regional championship.

The Pirate senior fought an opponent from close to home in the first round of the tournament - Jerrid Bran, of Ignacio.

Candelaria lost a 5-4 decision to Brann at the Intermountain League tournament on Feb. 5. At state, the score again was close, and the result was the same. After a scoreless first period, Brann went ahead 3-0 in the second period with an escape and a takedown. Candelaria began the third period in the down position and escaped to score a point. The Pirate tied the score with a takedown just before the buzzer sounded. In overtime, Brann got a takedown with 52 seconds remaining to secure the 5-3 decision.

Candelaria went to the consolation round and proceeded to beat Cory Ernst of Middle Park. The Pirate won with a 10-2 major decision, helped by a takedown and three back points in the first period.

Next up for Candelaria was Kevin Smotherman, of Lamar - a wrestler the Pirate defeated 13-7 to win the regional championship on Feb. 12. Smotherman managed one less point against Candelaria at state, losing a 13-6 decision as Candelaria nailed four points in the first period, four points in the second period and finished with a five-point third period.

Brandon Gorr of Wray was Candelaria's final opponent, ending the Pirate's tourney with a second-period fall.

"Kraig got a lot out of what he had this season," said Janowsky. "At state, he was one match away from medaling, and he pulled off an upset. Ernst, from Middle Park, was one of the favorites at the tournament, and Kraig beat him soundly. Kraig got himself into the top eight in the state at his weight and had a great season."

Kyriacou had a successful first-round match at 215 pounds. The veteran Pirate scored a 9-1 major decision over Sean Cummings of St. Mary's. Kyriacou dominated the Colorado Springs wrestler throughout the match. Kyriacou got the initial takedown in the match and followed it with a three-point near fall, nearly pinning Cummings as the period ended. Following an escape by Cummings at the start of the second period, Kyriacou extended his lead to 5-1 with a takedown. A reversal in the third period gave the Pirate two more points and the win.

In his second match, Kyriacou faced Rick Nelson of Weld Central, the eventual runner-up in the weight class. A loss to Nelson put the Pirate on the mat against Eric Bernhardt of Platte Valley, and a loss to Bernhardt in the first period eliminated Kyriacou from competition.

Janowsky commented on Kyriacou's tourney appearance - the Pirate's third in a notable career.

A broken arm suffered during football season kept Kyriacou out of early-season competition and dramatically affected his ability to practice at the beginning of the wrestling year.

"George just didn't have the tools he had last year," said the coach. "He had a cast on his arm starting in September and during the wrestling season, he was not able to use his strength to full capacity. And his strength is his best attribute. Given the problem, George did an exceptional job for us."

Other competitors

Junior Josh Richardson fought three matches at 171 pounds. It was Richardson's second appearance at the state tourney.

Richardson's first match of the tournament was against Josh Robinson of Roosevelt, who went on to finish second at the event. Richardson had a tough go of it, dropping a 12-2 major decision to the Roughrider.

Moving to the consolation bracket, Richardson faced Logan McDonald of Manitou Springs. The Pirate scored two points with a first-period takedown and then neither wrestler was able to score in the second period. Richardson put six points on the scoreboard in the third period with a takedown and two reversals to secure the 8-4 win.

Richardson's final match resulted in a 10-2 loss to Andy Slaby of Buena Vista.

"Josh lost to two placers - one finished second and the other finished sixth," said Janowsky. "You figure if Josh makes the same kind of progress next year that he made this year, he should be in the fight for medals at the next state tournament."

Clint Shaw gave up 20 pounds to his competitors at 189 pounds and the extra weight and strength proved a formidable obstacle for the Pirate. Shaw, a junior, fought two matches at the tournament, losing to Chase Mullen of Lyons and Andy Wise of Lutheran.

"This was Clint's first time around at this tournament," said the coach. "A lot of first-timers panic at this event, but I didn't sense that from Clint. He was real competitive and he acquitted himself well."

A tough year

It was the kind of season for the Pirates where a coaching staff, and the athletes on a team, could easily succumb to a series of obstacles - cancellations, illness and injuries - that make a frankly tough sport more difficult yet.

That didn't happen with the 1999-2000 Pirates, and a state tournament where the overall results were less spectacular than in recent years, was not a sour note ending a disappointing season.

The tournament was, in fact, a reassuring event, highlighting the character of a team that did as well as possible under the circumstances and that maintained a tradition that will benefit teams to come.

"I'll remember our guys, at the tournament and the other members of this team, for their persistence and their refusal to give up," said Janowsky. "They never lost sight of their goals and the belief they could accomplish those goals. These guys never accepted the notion that this was not their year. They are a very special group. They battled in extreme circumstances but they never stopped believing in themselves. They never turned on each other or on their coaches and that is really commendable. This year serves as a great example to the younger wrestlers on our team who will be back in upcoming seasons."


Trujillo, Prunty finish careers with medals

By Karl Isberg

Two members of the Pirates wrestling team returned from the 65th Annual Colorado High School State Wrestling Championships with medals in the Class 3A competition.

Seniors Josh Trujillo and Shane Prunty were successful in their quests for medals at the season-ending tournament, with Trujillo taking fourth place at 145 pounds and Prunty capturing fifth place at 275 pounds.

Many, if not most, Pagosa wrestlers begin competing in the sport when they are in grade school. For 10 years or longer, most of those athletes labor to perfect their skills and strength, with the hope of someday fighting their way to the state tournament, to a spot in a field of 16 wrestlers in their weight class - 16 wrestlers from other 3A schools who rose from the ranks of more than 55 athletes at the same weight.

In other words, to end up at the Big Show is worthy of praise.

To finish with a medal signifying you are one of the top six wrestlers in a weight class at the tournament is a major accomplishment.

Josh Trujillo

This was the second trip to the state tournament for Trujillo, and the appearance paid off for the Pirate.

The journey to fourth place was not going to be easy for Trujillo. Travis Ward of Eagle Valley finished second in the weight class and Trujillo was his first victim. The Pirate was pinned by Ward with one minute and 16 seconds gone in the first period.

What the first-round loss meant to Trujillo was a test requiring three consecutive wins to reach medal contention, and four straight wins to advance to the battle for third place.

Trujillo passed the test and got the four wins.

The first match in the series was difficult, and set the stage for what would follow. Marty Unrein of Eaton proved a worthy opponent, and the match went to overtime and a sudden-death situation. Trujillo seemed to have matters under control in the first period of the match, getting two takedowns and allowing Unrein a single escape. In the second period, the Eagle Valley wrestler came back strong, escaping to start the action then taking Trujillo down to tie the score, 4-4. Trujillo escaped at the end of the period and had the slim 5-4 lead. The Pirate extended the lead to 8-4 but Unrein battled back to tie the score with a reversal and two back points. In the overtime, Trujillo managed a takedown and secured the 10-8 victory.

Jeremiah Gardner was next in the bracket for Trujillo and, again, the match was as close as they get. Trujillo eked out a 1-0 decision and advanced to the consolation quarterfinals against one of the pre-tourney favorites at 145 pounds - Skip Ernest, of Yuma.

Trujillo and Ernest went to overtime to decide a winner. It appeared Trujillo had a takedown at the end of the first period, but the referee ruled the buzzer had sounded and the period ended without points on the scoreboard. Ernest got the initial point of the match with an escape at the start of the second period, but Trujillo answered with a takedown. Ernest escaped again, and Trujillo repeated the takedown. Ernest ended the period with an escape and Trujillo led 4-3. At the end of the third period, the wrestlers were deadlocked 7-7. Trujillo got the takedown in overtime and earned a 9-7 decision.

The consolation semifinal against Jesse Eversman of Paonia proved the only breather of the tournament for Trujillo but the pattern was not established until the third period. The wrestlers failed to score in the first two periods. Trujillo opened the scoring with an escape at the start of the final period then put together six points with takedowns and back points and limited Eversman to a single point on an escape. With the 7-1 decision, Trujillo moved to the battle for third place.

The Pirate's opponent was Pat Martinez, of Battle Mountain. Neither athlete scored in the first period. Martinez got an escape and a takedown in the second period. Trujillo narrowed the margin to 3-1 with an escape at the end of the period. In the final period of the match, Trujillo scored with an early escape but the wrestlers remained on their feet, hand-fighting and struggling to complete a move until time ran out and the Battle Mountain wrestler secured the 3-2 win.

"I rate this as his best tournament," Pirates coach Dan Janowsky said of Trujillo. "He got caught in a heck of a trick move in his first match, then he came back.The match versus the kid from Yuma was a key match. With a medal on the line, Josh kept his focus even though he was tired. He came back and took it in overtime, and it was a great win at just the right moment."

Shane Prunty

There has not been a more successful heavyweight in the Pirates' wrestling program than Shane Prunty. He made a trip to the state tournament in each of his four years as a varsity wrestler. Prunty's fifth-place medal can hang next to a sixth-place medal the Pirate won last year.

Prunty ended up on the toughest side of the heavyweight bracket at the tournament, but he demolished his first opponent, Allen Riley of Gunnison. Prunty took Riley down, got two back points then pinned Riley with one minute and 46 seconds elapsed.

Frederick's Cody Himmelreic was a formidable opponent in the championship quarterfinal match. Prunty and the Frederick athlete had a close match, with Himmelreic taking the 3-2 decision. After a scoreless first period, Prunty gave up three back points, earned a point with an escape and was given a penalty point when Himmelreic was called for stalling. Prunty started the final period in the down position and was unable to manage an escape to tie the score.

Dropping to the consolation bracket, Prunty took on Kyle Olvera of Lamar. Neither wrestler could score during the first two periods. Olvera escaped at the beginning of the third period then was called on a stall, giving up a point to the Pirate. A takedown late in the period gave Prunty the 3-2 decision.

Prunty's next match was against Jeremy Everding of Basalt. Everding came to the tournament with an impressive 27-6 record. On the mat, he was no match for Prunty. The Pirate used a second-period escape and a third-period takedown to earn a 5-0 decision.

A match against Seth Kissinger in the consolation semifinal ended in a loss for Prunty - a loss colored by several interesting calls by the referee.

Neither wrestler scored in the first period. Prunty managed an escape at the start of the second period and was awarded a point when Kissinger was called for stalling. The Battle Mountain athlete got a single point with an escape at the top of the third period then the referee called Prunty for a stall and awarded Kissinger a point. Though Prunty appeared to be pressing the action at the end of the period, the referee awarded each wrestler a point for stalls and the match ended in a 3-3 tie.

In the overtime period, Prunty fought off the mat and battled to a position facing his opponent - a stance that many times results in an escape and a point. No such call came and Kissinger caught Prunty in a headlock, took him down and pinned him at 5:51.

The battle for fifth place was against an opponent Prunty faced in the past - Cameron Bachicha of Trinidad. Bachicha was 19-2 coming into the tournament and looked strong advancing through the consolation bracket. After a scoreless first period, Bachicha opened the second period with an escape and took a 1-0 lead. The advantage was short-lived as Prunty took Bachicha down and pinned him to win fifth place, ending his Pirate wrestling career on a high note.

"The way Shane came on at the end of this year is great," said Janowsky. "We ran out of time this season; we were two weeks short. Shane was just starting to get his offense, just starting to use his strength. Shane had a pretty dismal performance at the Intermountain League tournament, and I think that made a big difference to him. He really started to be aggressive after that and he tried to win every match. I think he was the best heavyweight in 3A."

Community News

Local Chatter

By Kate Terry

New occupants in Greenery building

I don't know how many people were there for the opening of Victoria's Parlor last week, but the place was packed. And people were having a wonderful time. This charming restaurant is located in the same building as Victoria's Reign and is an extension of the ambiance of Pat and Gordon Kahn's Victoria's Reign. They, along with J.D. and Nina Pruitt, are the ones who have opened Victoria's Parlor. It will surely be a fine addition to downtown Pagosa Springs.

People who have lived here for some time identify this building, located on Pagosa Street across the street from the First Baptist Church, as "The Old Mountain Greenery" or as "where the Mountain Greenery used to be." Now the Mountain Greenery is at the corner of Lewis and 4th Streets (the old Post Office for you who are new to Pagosa) and Marguerite Seavy is still the proprietor.

Marguerite may have moved her business, but her ties to the old building are still there, for it was her ancestor, a Dr. Allen Judd Nossaman, who built it for a residence. The accompanying photo shows the handsome house as it was.

Over the years there have been occupancy turnovers. To list a few, Dr. Nossaman sold the house to a Mr. Joy. Then Mr. Joy sold it to Ben Lynch (the father of Ben Larry Lynch, the druggist) who had a mortuary business.

Ben Larry says, "The mortuary was in the basement and we lived upstairs."

When the Lynch family moved, the man who moved in had a carpet business. For this he built the addition, (the part of the building that now houses Victoria's Reign). After he left, John and Darrylin Milroy were the occupants. They enclosed the porch, and she started the Mountain Greenery.

The Mountain Greenery occupied what was the main house, and for a few years several small businesses were housed in the addition.

For example (and if I leave out anyone, forgive me): Dave Cordray had a barbershop; Ronnie Maze started Sheer Talk; there was Donna Brook's health food shop; Linda Owen (who came from Mason, Texas) had a monogram shop; Patsy Reyes had a sewing shop; and Carefree Travel opened there.

People come and go in Pagosa Springs and some people who leave are a big loss to the community. That was the way it was when Bill and Clarissa Hudson left. And now they are back. Thank goodness! Bill was the one who started The Pretenders. He is amazing with kids. If you have never attended a Pretenders Family Theatre performance, please treat yourself. They will be doing their version of "Arabian Nights" at the high school auditorium two weekends: March 10 and 11 and March 17 and 18.

Fun on the run

Johnny was at his first day of school. The teacher advised the class to start the day with the pledge of allegiance, and instructed them to put their right hands over their hearts and repeat after him.

He looked around the room as he started the recitation, "I pledge allegiance to the flag." When his eyes fell on Johnny, he noticed Johnny's hand over the right cheek of his buttocks.

"Johnny, I will not continue until you put your hand over your heart."

Johnny replied, "It is over my heart."

After several attempts to get Johnny to put his hand over his heart, the teacher asked, "Why do you think this is your heart?"

"Because every time my Grandma comes to visit us, she picks me up, pats me here, and says, 'Bless your little heart,' and my Grandma wouldn't lie."

Chamber News

By Sally Hameister

First the parade, then casino

Two brand new members to introduce to you this week and three renewals. We continue to be thrilled and gratified by the response of the business community to the Chamber of Commerce. We assure you that we will continue to work very hard to be worthy of your support - thank you all.

B. J. Boucher, Executive Director, brings us the San Juan Mountains Association located at 15 Burnett Court in Durango. The San Juan Mountains Association is a non-profit organization promoting and providing education, conservation and interpretation of cultural and natural resources on public lands in Southwest Colorado. If you would like to learn more about the SJMA, you can reach them at (970) 385-1210.

Our next new member is Lindy Bauer with L. Bauer Construction located at M.S.C. 4414, 63 North Pagosa Boulevard. Lindy offers luxury duplex apartments located on the golf course with long-term leases available. If you would like to talk to Lindy about these apartments, please give him a call at 731-3213. Sandra May at The Source for Pagosa Real Estate earned herself a free SunDowner for recruiting Lindy. Thank you, Sandra.


Our renewals this week include Kathy Koy with the Pagosa Pregnancy Support Center; Stephanie Jones with the San Juan Dance Academy and Cary and Wendy Valentine with the Rocky Mountain Ayurveda Health Retreat. I apologize to Cary and Wendy, two of my favorite people, for "misplacing" their renewal form in a weird file and happening upon it just last week. Thank heavens for an occasional cleaning. Sorry, guys.


Tomorrow, Feb. 25, is the deadline to bring us your inserts for the quarterly newsletter, The Chamber Communiqué. Just bring in 700 flyers and $30, and we will collate and mail them sometime the first week of March. It's a dandy way to get the word out to all chamber members for very little money. If you have questions, please give us a call at 264-2360.

St. Pat's parade

Be sure to pick up your registration form for the upcoming St. Patrick's Day Parade to be held on Friday, March 17, at 4 p.m. This event had an extremely humble birth: a few Chamber board directors danced through the traffic light for about five minutes. From that inauspicious beginning, a real-live parade has grown over the years into a very green, very fun event. We have about 25 entries every year and always have a grand time. We line up on Sixth Street and take it down to Second Street. The fun begins at 4 p.m., and the one and only requirement for entering is that you need to have green somewhere on your body. Cash prizes will be awarded to the Best Float, the Most Green Costume and the Most Bizarre Costume. The entry fee is $3.17, and we begin lining up at 3:17 p.m., so you can see that this is a very serious affair. Just stop by the Visitor Center for an entry form, or call if you have any questions at 264-2360. You will have plenty of time after the parade to go home, change clothes and attend the Rotary Casino Royale. Read on, please.

Casino Royale

The Pagosa Springs Rotary Club is planning the "Grandest Party Ever" and wants to invite you to join them for a fabulous evening at Pagosa Lodge. They will offer just about every form of entertainment you could dream of in true Las Vegas style. The Jeff Solon eight-piece dance band in the Grand Ballroom will represent the big band sounds of the 1940s. John Graves will be featured in the Lake Ballroom/Casino Piano Bar Lounge with a repertoire of over 3000 tunes to sing along or just listen. Comedian Rick Marshall will entertain with impressions and comedy, and Magician Blake Chatfield will dazzle with card tricks and magic. The Walking Stix, a three-piece string combo, will play jazz, Celtic and more in the Fireside Library.

If you are the gaming sort, you will find everything from craps and black jack to bridge, canasta or bingo to play. Your ticket will entitle you to $50,000 "Pagosa Bucks" for all the games, and you will be able to use your winnings to bid on auction items.

This sounds like an unforgettable night to me, certainly not one to be missed. The tickets for this event are $50 in advance and $60 at the door, so you would be wise indeed to buy early. You can pick up those tickets at the Visitor Center or call for information at 264-2360 or 731-4141.


If anyone is under the impression that Pagosa is a sleepy little mountain town with nothing to do, I would like to dispel that myth with great alacrity. This weekend the Pagosa Springs Music Boosters present Pianorama!, an evening offering just about every form of entertainment. You will be treated to singing, dancing, melodrama, comedy and instrumentals featuring some of Pagosa's best talent. You have two nights from which to choose, Friday and Saturday, at 7:30 p.m. both evenings. This is reserved seating only, so you'd best run down to Moonlight Books to purchase the tickets. Adult admission is $10 and students and children will pay $5. Don't miss this gala musical event designed to celebrate and feature the new Yamaha Conservatory Grand Piano recently acquired for the high school by the Music Boosters.

Event calendar

Please call and let us know about all your events and activities as soon as you learn about them. For those who might not know there is such an animal, the Chamber keeps an updated Calendar of Events so that, hopefully, we won't run into conflicting events. We have recently had a "night of conflicts," and everyone loses when that happens. No one likes to be forced into making a decision about which event to attend because they are presented on the same night. If you are planning an event, please give us a call as soon as you know about it and inquire about any other activities on your date. We will then place your activity on the calendar so there won't be a conflict in the future. Just give us a call at 264-2360 to give us your information. It's hard to imagine, but with our growth, more and more activities are taking place.


Pagosa Lakes

By Ming Steen

Ski area offers Ladies Day workshop today

Wolf Creek Ski Area is offering Ladies Day ski workshops on Thursday: today, March 30, April 6 and 13. Today's clinic will include a presentation by Larry Fischer, former Wolf Creek ski instructor and current owner of the Ski and Bow Rack. Larry will explain the benefits and techniques of using shaped skies. Clinic participants will even get to demo some. Larry will also provide instruction on how to adjust bindings to see what settings work best for each person.

Although the primary emphasis of the Ladies Day ski workshop is on fun, instruction will take participants through many new skills and address hurdles that are common to the female skier to help her break through plateaus. Registration for the clinic begins at 9 a.m. Kim Fairchild and Debbee Tucker, both seasoned ski instructors, have put together a series of excellent clinics that they hope will encourage and provide technical assistance to female skiers. Their focus is to build competent skiers who are able to relax and enjoy the sport safely.

With some of our latest snowfall, ski and snowboard conditions are very good at Wolf Creek Ski Area. The newly opened Alberta quad chair lift has opened up expansive back-country terrain that is putting smiles on faces. As we sail through powder and generally take on the mountain in fine form, we enjoy each and every ski trip and bring home memories to keep us going through the days when we're not skiing. There's just something magical about pure white snow, clean crisp air and clear blue skies.

People that also do enjoy the above mentioned magical combination include a growing group of avid Nordic skiers. Gayle Tuggle, who skies proficiently and who also often volunteers his expertise in free Nordic ski clinics, recently competed in the Senior Winter Games held in Breckenridge (Feb. 6, 7 and 8). Gayle entered in three events and medaled in all. He brought home a gold in the 5K Nordic ski event in his age division (65-70)-geez Gayle, I didn't realize you were that old. However, Gayle held his own and came out third overall, leaving a group of 50-something skiers behind him. In the biathlon, Gayle again out performed all other competitors in his age division. This fascinating event of skiing and shooting starts out with a 150-meter dash on skies, fall on your belly and shoot a rifle, scramble onto your feet and ski for another 1.5 kilometers and then try to slow down your breathing so your pounding heart doesn't rattle your aim as you stand on rubber-weak legs to shoot again. Gayle's overall standing in the biathlon was fifth. The third and last individual event for Gayle was a disappointing short (under 1 kilometer) snowshoe race. Accustomed to longer aerobic challenges, Gayle didn't even manage to elevate his heart rate. But all that aside, he came in first in his age division and fourth overall. Gayle also competed in a mixed relay with two women and two men randomly drawn to create a team. To further ensure full athletic equality in each team, age and ability level were thrown into the team formation equation. Gayle's team finished second. Although Gayle competed exclusively in Nordic events, ice-skating and all alpine ski events were also a part of the Senior Winter Games. Good showing Gayle.


Library News

by Lenore Bright

Friends planning big garage sale

Our most favorite activity is coming up and none too soon.

Mark your calendars for Saturday, March 18, for the annual Friends of the Library Indoor Garage Sale. Booths will go on sale Monday.

This is our chance to clean out the closets, attic and basement and sell the goodies in a jolly congenial atmosphere. You can probably buy more than you sell once you get visiting with your neighbor.

Booths cost $15 for a space. There are a limited number of spaces that will go on a first-come, first-served basis. Bring your $15 and get signed up at the library as your fee must accompany your entry form. Double spaces are available.

The Extension Building staff tell us there is a limited number of tables available so booth space will be in short supply.

You can sell anything legal except food and drink; and you can sell without worrying about weather or parking. Please give a good description of what you wish to sell so we can better plan the space.

This year, the sale will run from 7 a.m. until 11 a.m.

For more information, call 264-2209. The Friends of the Library sponsor this event with the proceeds going to buy books.

If you have items to donate to the Friends to sell, please bring them to the library. We can use anything but clothing.

Planning to plan

We attended one of the county planning meetings last week, and enjoyed listening to the give-and-take in the audience. Change is never benign. One well-spoken young man named Mike reminded us all that water might be the most critical resource to consider when planning future growth. Make your voices heard - attend these meetings.

We also held a planning meeting for future library services based on the information you gave us in the surveys we gathered last fall. Invitations will be going out soon to interested persons who wish to continue being involved in our library planning. If you'd like to participate, give us your name.


Thanks for materials from Elizabeth Mollica, Cathy Reece, Carol Mestas, Mary Ann Davis, Phyllis Decker, Gloria Cook, Paul Matlock, Paulette Mobley and Madeline Bergon.

Arts Line

By Jennifer Galesic

Contest photos move to gallery

Heads up! There's been a change of plans.

The Pagosa Springs Arts Council gallery and gift shop will be extending the presentation of the annual PSAC Photography Contest. The work is currently on display at Moonlight Books. Next Thursday, March 2, the talent-laden array of photos will be gingerly transported to the PSAC gallery at Town Park. Once there, they will continue to grace the walls through Wednesday, March 15. Perhaps some of you have fallen victim to procrastination; if this is the case, now you and I have been granted a second chance to view this picturesque exhibit. Hours are 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.


The Pagosa Pretenders Family Theatre production of "Arabian Nights" will hit the stage at the high school auditorium, March 10, 11, 17 and 18. The curtains rise at 7 p.m. for all performances. With the excitement and drama just around the corner, ticket sales will begin next Wednesday, March 1. The prices for tickets are a very affordable $5 for adults, $3 for children ages 4 to 12, and $3 for seniors over 65. Children under 3 years of age are free. The Pretenders are a non-profit organization, all proceeds will be donated to the school district and community. Tickets may be purchased through Wild Hare, Library, Moonlight Books and the PSAC gallery and gift shop.

Loss of a Friend

The Pagosa Springs Arts Council was saddened to learn of the recent tragic passing of John Cooper. John was 40 years old, and known as a creative, warm and gracious man. One day in the recent past, John walked through the doors of the PSAC gallery office, and generously offered to volunteer in an area of need. He worked on the current issue of "Petroglyphy" newsletter. John wrote a beautiful, and complimentary article on our featured artist Jan Brookshier. He will be missed by all who came to know what a wonderful person he was. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.


The PSAC gallery and gift shop is closed for the month of February and will reopen March 2.

Exhibit applications are now available through Moonlight Books for this year. There are still a few time slots for March and April; if you hurry, you could be showing your artistic abilities within a matter of weeks. Any questions? Call Joanne at 264-5020. If you leave a message, your call will be returned.

Last, but not least, thanks a bunch to Nancy Green for her scrapbooking efforts. Everyone at the PSAC appreciates her hard work.

Senior News

By Janet Copeland

Seniors seeking grants, donations for new bus

Help! The Seniors are trying to raise money for a new bus, which is needed to pick up and transport senior individuals to the Senior Center for meals plus take them around town on various errands (to the post office, drugstore, grocery store, etc.) and to Durango for medical appointments. Our current bus does not have a lift for wheel chairs, which is vital for our wheelchair bound folks, and is getting old enough that it is not always dependable. Our director, Cindy, is applying for grants to help with this need, but donations would also be appreciated. If anyone would care to make a donation toward the purchase of a bus, please contact Cindy or Tina at the Senior Center.

We are so happy to honor Helen LaBello as our Senior of the Week. Helen has been with us such a short but enjoyable time - she is moving to Florida to be with her son. She and her brother, John Acosta (who recently passed away), were such wonderful additions to our Seniors Family and we will miss them.

Once again we want to express our sincere appreciation to some of our most dedicated volunteers at the Senior Center, who keep our organization running. Thank you Mary Archuleta, Lena Bowden, Teresa Diestelkamp, Helen Girardin, Don Hurt, Judy Jacobs, Johnny Martinez, Delpha McFatridge, Kathy Perry and Jo Rose.

Mark April 29 on your calendars - that is the date of this year's Chili Supper. This is our one big find raiser each year for the Seniors - there is always an abundance of delicious food, including homemade pies and cakes, and some really nice donated items auctioned off. Profits from this project are used to help support Center operations.


Herding with Cruse

By Katherine Cruse

Big decision: to brand or not to brand

A sure sign that Pagosa is growing, aside from the real estate prices, is the appearance of those enormous gate structures. You know the ones I mean? Three peeled logs on each side, supporting a cross log 12 feet or more above the driveway entrance. Maybe that driveway is really a ranch road. Who can tell, when it disappears among the pines and firs? 'Course, I allus thought them high gates was so riders could find the entrance to the ranch out there on the prairie, but hey! What do I know?

Hotshot and I don't want to be left out. We're thinkin' we should have a log gate to mark the entrance to our lil ole place. Don't matter that our spread isn't the Ponderosa. At 3 acres, it's too small to be a ranchette or a ranchito. Don't matter that it's in the Meadows, and you can see it from all directions. Heck, from the road you can see down the driveway right into the house. Don't matter that the cabin is 1,700 sq. ft., not 7,000. We NEED a gateway.

And a brand. We need a brand, so we can carve it on a wood panel to hang under the log crossbar of our gate. We're living in ranching country now. We don't own any beeves, but our neighbors have horses. We might git one of those someday. Or a mule. You never can tell. As former Boy Scouts, we want to Be Prepared. We NEED a brand.

We even have a brand picked out: the S Bar S, or S - S, for Slow But Steady. Hotshot says it's the way I hike, which is like the tortoise in the fable. I won't be the first in the group to arrive at the evening's campsite, but I'll be able to set up my tent, cook the dinner, wash up and stay awake while we sit around the campfire afterwards.

And if we're going to have a brand for our spread, I guess we have to register it and Be Official.

Now, if you wanted to register your brand, would you know what to do first? Nope, pardner, me neither. Sandy Bramwell, wife of our local brand inspector Jim Bramwell, suggested I call the Brand Board in Denver. They sent me an application and the "brand inspection requirements." Here are some of the highlights.

First off, a brand is a permanent mark on the hide of an animal. Some people think that brands apply only to horses, mules, donkeys and cattle. The brand inspection regulations brochure kept talking about cattle and horses. But when you apply for a brand you have to specify whether this brand is going to be used on cattle and horses or sheep and goats. Brands aren't required for llamas or alpacas, and a good thing, too; brands would sure mess up that beautiful hair. I had thought that alpaca owners used tattoos to identify their animals. According to the Colorado Board of Stock Inspection Commissioners, "tattoos are not brands." Suzy Belt of Echo Mountain Alpacas tells me that their own alpacas are identified with micro-chips implanted under the skin. They run a scanner over them, just like at the checkout lane.

The brand is like a proof of ownership. You need a brand and a brand inspection every time you buy or sell a horse, cow, mule or donkey in Colorado, or if you transport one more than 75 miles inside the state or every time your critter leaves the state for whatever reason. In Colorado a brand is your personal property, just like the animal you put it on, and you can sell or transfer your brand to someone else.

It really doesn't cost much to get a brand. The "initiation fee" for a new brand is $25. That's probably to cover the cost of searching among the existing 36,000 plus brands already registered, to see if the one you want is already taken. You're asked to submit four variations of a brand so that if your first choice isn't available, you might get one of the others. If your brand is approved, it gets notarized, you then pay an assessment fee of $36 right now, which is good until the end of 2001. Then the Brand Board will send you a new 5 year assessment.

Sandy Bramwell told me that I shouldn't try to get too fancy with my brand. "Some of those mailbox brands don't look so good on the animal's hide," she told me. "They can turn into a big, blurry mess." That must be what the Brand Board has in mind. "We discourage connecting characters in a new brand or using miscellaneous objects in a new brand," says the accompanying letter. A polite way to say, Keep It Simple, Stupid.

I asked Sandy what she thought of my proposed S - S brand, and she said it sounded like a good one. If nobody else already has it and it gets approved by the Brand Board, I think I'll put it on the flank of Ole Paint, my ancient brown and tan Suburban. Until I get a horse.


I wish to correct a statement in my column last week. All of the arrangements for the beautiful memorial service held for Terri Lynn Smith on Reservoir Hill were made by friends of her family. I hope they will accept my sincere apologies for my error.




Beat by the best

An always welcome letter from the Colorado Press

Association did not arrive in December. Thus for

the first time since the 1986 Colorado Press Association Convention, the SUN failed to receive any recognitions during the Association's annual award presentations in Denver Saturday afternoon.

The SUN's continuing growth in subscribers (4,664) has elevated it into the Class 3 category of competition. Class 3 includes weekly newspapers having average annual circulations of 4,000 or more per week.

The Class 3 competition includes the Arvada Jefferson Sentinel, Aurora Sentinel, Cortez Sentinel, Crested Butte Chronicle and Pilot, Delta County Independent, The Denver Business Journal, Denver Catholic Register, (Denver) Intermountain Jewish News, (Denver) La Voz Hispana de Colorado, (Denver) Westword, Southwest Denver Herald-Dispatch, Estes Park Trail Gazette, (Evergreen) Canyon Courier, The Golden Transcript, La Junta Ag Journal, The Jefferson Sentinel, Lakewood Sentinel, Littleton Independent, The Tri-Lakes Tribune, Northglenn/Thornton Sentinel, (Simla) Ranchland News, Steamboat (Springs) Pilot, Telluride Weekly Planet, Vail/Beaver Creek Times and The Vail Trail.

Westword leads the list of Class 3 weekly newspapers with a 99,822 paid circulation. The two papers in Vail make the list because each has a weekly free circulation, or distribution, of more than 12,000 free copies given away per week.

While looking over some of the winning entries that were on display at the convention, I concluded that if you are going to get beat, get beat by the best. There are some good Colorado weekly newspapers in the Class 3 category. There also are some very good ones. It's not enough to be good.

So it's back to the keyboard with a goal of working smarter in hopes that December's mail will contain a letter of congratulations from the Colorado Press Association.

The SUN failed to catch the attention of the contest judges. However, the fact that the SUN's circulation and advertising sales continue to increase is encouraging. So I want to thank those of you who continue to show an interest in the SUN.

David C. Mitchell

Dear Folks

By David C. Mitchell

A 330-hours, 8-days a week man

Dear Folks,

Driving from Pagosa to Denver for the annual Colorado Press Association Convention usually provides some solitary brainstorming sessions.

Last Thursday's drive generated another criteria for determining a Pagosa old-timer - Anyone who thinks of The Pagosa Springs SUN without thinking about Glenn Edmonds, isn't an old-timer.

A copy of the March 1971 Colorado Editor found its way to my desk recently. The front cover features an ink drawing of Mr. Edmonds - "Colorado's Outstanding Newspaper Publisher" for 1970. The accompanying article accurately reported:

"This year's outstanding publisher has proven to be a very effective, outstanding leader in many fields. He truly is a friend to all his associates in the newspaper field . . .

"Perhaps least know is that this man has exerted great and successful efforts to bring journalism to the Indians. Last summer, when Durango hosted a national Indian conference, this publisher was the keynote speaker. Largely through his efforts, an Indian Press Association was established. And he continues to guide its growth.

"As a friend and counselor to Indians, he has worked extensively with the Jicarilla Apache tribe and the Southern Ute tribe. Both tribes not only have welcomed his assistance and counsel, but their members continue to look to him for guidance . . .

"As printer and advisor for newspapers covering both the Apaches and the Southern Utes, our nominee publishes both he Jicarilla Chieftain at Dulce, N.M., and the Southern Ute Drum at Ignacio.

"In addition to these efforts, he has the time to write, edit, sell ads, write editorial, set the type and keep the store at The Pagosa Springs SUN, long one of Colorado's finest weekly newspapers . . .

"A past president of the Colorado Press Association (1958), for the past 13 years, he has chaired the weekly program at the CPA. He is a member of Sigma Delta Chi, a past president of the San Luis Basin Press Association and a winner of awards from the National Newspaper Association, the University of Colorado and Colorado Press competitions . . .

"He is president of the Wolf Creek Ski Area, he also has been chairman of the Red Ryder Roundup for the first 17 years it existed, he has been on the sanitation and town boards in Pagosa Springs, for 20 years he has been a volunteer fireman, he also has been a member of the Governor's judicial selection committee, and for years he has been a delegate to the State Democratic convention . . .

"The publisher whom we honor today was born Aug. 4, 1917, on a ranch north of Lyons. As a youngster he worked with his dad at a stone quarry at Lyons and also worked in a dairy, in factories and then drove a team on a logging contract in the state of Washington. He also sold newspapers as a newsboy in Longmont. He was graduated from Longmont High School and attended Kansas State Teacher's College.

"In 1934, he took to the road as a jockey and then eased into newspapering in Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, and in Meeker, Grand Junction, Julesburg and in several other Colorado towns. He became a reporter and photographer for papers in Texas, Missouri and Massachusetts. He also edited the Midway Mirror and the Central Pacific.

"He published the Sedgwick Independent and has owned the Plateau Valley Voice at Colbran, the Ovid Record and of course, The Pagosa Springs SUN.

"He was in the Navy in World War II and on Dec. 7, 1941, he was at Pearl Harbor. A brother, also in the Navy was killed in 1942 and in his honor, the destroyer escort USS Edmonds was named. Glenn Edmonds continued in continuous combat duty until the war ended.

"In 1946 he married the former Ima W. Ray and they have two sons, Chan and Ted.

"They bought The Pagosa Springs SUN in 1948 and have been newspapering ever since. (Mr. Edmonds sold the SUN Dec. 31, 1980.)

"Perhaps the late Bill Long best said it when he described Glenn Edmonds as working '330 hours a day, 8 days a week' And all of that time is in behalf of truth, justice and service to others."

Pagosa suffered a significant loss when Mr. Edmonds died Dec. 17, 1981.

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


25 years ago

Taken from SUN files

of Feb. 27, 1975

Drug abuse in the community apparently has risen to an all-time high, according to local police officers. The usage of drugs is especially prevalent among school students, with some use reported down as far as the sixth grade. Chief Leonard Gallegos has made 13 arrests of juveniles in the past few months and four arrests of adults on drug charges. Both school officials and law enforcement officials have expressed great concern over the matter.

Barbara Seielstad was named to the all-state high school girls' skiing team for slalom racing. Barbara is a sophomore and this is her first year of racing. She was chosen by the coaches of the teams who competed in the state meet on the basis of performance at the meet and on overall records in all meets this year.

Mrs. Ray Genelle Macht has been selected by the state 4-H office to attend Western States 4-H Leader Forum in Casper, Wyo., March 6 through 10. Mrs. Macht has been a 4-H leader for over 20 years and is the community leader for the local Silver Spruce 4-H Club.

County Judge Bert Hyde last week sentenced a local woman to serve 60 days in jail on charges of welfare fraud. The sentence was suspended, however, on conditions set by the probation department.



By Shari Pierce

Prominent Pagosans remembered

The first member of the Chambers family to arrive in Pagosa Springs was Robert Chambers. He was among Pagosa's pioneers - having come to this area with his wife in 1879.

Chambers was originally from Wisconsin, having been born there in 1845. His family went from Wisconsin to Illinois and then on to Missouri where he married Annie McKinney in 1868.

In 1878, the Robert Chambers family moved to Colorado by wagon train. For two or three years, Robert Chambers had visited Archuleta County on hunting trips. He liked the area so well that he decided to bring his family. On June 20, 1879, the family arrived in Archuleta County and settled in Pagosa Springs while he homesteaded and operated a stock and dairy ranch on the Blanco River 9 miles southeast of town. Chambers received the patent on his land in 1882. He soon had a ranch with 300 head of cattle and several horses.

Robert and Annie had nine children before Annie's passing in 1891. In 1896, Robert married May Helm. One son was born to this couple.

Robert's 1916 obituary said he was "among the oldest and most prominent citizens of Archuleta county, and during his life was conspicuously identified with its business and political history, serving with credit to himself and the county one term on its board of commissioners." During his term on the board of county commissioners, he was the chairman of the board. He ran for office two more times; the first he was defeated by three votes and the second by 30 votes.

After School District No. 5 was organized, Chambers became president of its board of directors and was very interested in promoting education.

One of Robert Chambers' sons was Urban Stair "U.S." Chambers. He arrived in Pagosa at the young age of 4. His life spanned local development from its infancy in 1879 into 1972 when he passed away.

U.S. Chambers was a student in one of Pagosa's earliest schools and his lifetime saw the growth of one room schools throughout the county to the consolidation of the school districts and the building of larger schools to accommodate growing numbers of students.

U.S. grew up on a homestead, and in his lifetime many original homesteads were sold as the county saw the beginnings of developments.

U.S. came to Pagosa via wagon train and his lifetime saw the invention of the car, graveled and paved roads and later highways and travel into space.

What a world of change he experienced in his 96 years.

Back to the story. U.S. was a stockman and rancher and an avid sportsman. He married Carrie Flaugh in 1897 in Pagosa Springs. They had three sons and a daughter. One of these sons was Bay Chambers who, along with his wife Millie, were the subjects of last week's column.



Video Review

By Roy Starling

Clear look at crime and punishment

Two weeks ago, as faithful readers of this column will remember, I reviewed "Lilies of the Field," mainly in an effort to rinse the despair of "Platoon" out of my mouth.

A funny thing happened after that review. The switchboard here at the Preview Film Criticism Department was literally aglow the next morning with calls from nuns in the Pagosa area begging me to review another movie about sisters. In fact, they wanted me to make a habit of reviewing nun films.

Happy to oblige them, I went in search of "The Nun's Story" (1959) starring the tastefully androgynous Audrey Hepburn and directed by Fred Zinnemann, the guy who also directed "High Noon," "From Here to Eternity" and "A Man for All Seasons." Surprisingly, I was unable to find that film in Pagosa.

Luckily, I did finally locate a nun-centered movie, but it certainly isn't black and white. It's called "Dead Man Walking" (1995). How good is this flick? Well, some would say there's nun better.

Based on a nunfiction book written by Sister Helen Prejean, "Dead Man Walking" is written and directed by Tim Robbins (some of you will remember him from "Arlington Road," a film he'd probably rather not be remembered by) who a few years back made his debut as a director with "Bob Roberts," a darkly hilarious send-up of right-wing demagoguery.

"Dead Man Walking" recounts Sister Helen's "real life" experience as she serves as a spiritual advisor for convicted killer and death-row inmate Matthew Poncelet (Sean Penn) in a backwater Louisiana town (the film was shot in Covington, La.). In reel life, Poncelet is a composite character for two men Prejean counseled on death row, neither of whom are named Poncelet. Debbie Morris, one of those guys' surviving victims, has written a memoir called "Forgiving the Dead Man Walking" in which she recounts the terror she suffered at "Poncelet's" hands and how she finally grew to forgive him.

When this film hit the theaters in Orlando, I was initially reluctant to go see it. I was sure Robbins would try to yank around my emotions and lay a heavy-handed guilt trip on me concerning the death penalty. But such is not the case at all. I can't imagine a more fair treatment of both sides of the question.

How does Robbins pull off this difficult task? He does it by employing a technique that perhaps I could get away with calling "realistic cubism." In "real life," we perceive first one thing happening, then another. And because we lack SurroundVision, we see only part of everything that happens. But in cubist art, a painter would show us, for example, a left profile of a face but would go ahead and tack on the right eye and ear, because, what the hey, in art we shouldn't be limited to what we can see in "real life."

Robbins plays a similar trick with time in "Dead Man Walking." He collapses time, so that what happened earlier is still happening now. (Which is actually pretty realistic when you think about it. That insult someone thoughtlessly dished out to you several years ago - aren't you still holding on to it?)

At the beginning of the film, for instance, Sister Helen (Susan Sarandon in an Academy Award winning performance) is on her way to see the convicted killer Poncelet. But through a montage of flashbacks, she is also preparing to take religious orders, i.e., become a nun, and Poncelet and his buddy are busy committing unspeakable crimes in the Louisiana woods.

At various times in the film, we see Helen as a little girl, Poncelet as a little boy, and his two victims, Walter and Hope, as children. As a result, it's difficult for us to pin a person's life to a particular place or time. As Sister Helen tells the parents of one of the victims, "Every person is worth more than their worst act." Robbins' technique forcefully reminds of this fact.

Robbins also avoids the preachy Social Consciousness-Raising genre by moving freely between Poncelet's story and the victims' stories. A vehicle for this pendulum movement is the ministrations of Sister Helen. When she talks to Poncelet and his mother, we get to know this man's sorry background of ignorance and poverty, and we feel for people who are forced to live like that. When she talks to the victims' parents, we feel their sense of indescribable rage and loss, the nasty, irreparable hole Poncelet has cut into the fabric of their lives.

Robbins makes us feel two things at once: Poncelet's upbringing was unbearable; his actions seemingly unforgivable.

One of the fine touches of the film is Sister Helen's admirable efforts to "follow Jesus' example" (her words) and transcend either-or thinking. She goes to help Poncelet in response to a letter he has written her. But then she feels moved also to comfort the families of the victims. She's never done this sort of thing before, so she doesn't know any better.

Her way of comforting Hope's and Walter's parents is to listen to them, silently, and these are nicely filmed scenes. The parents recall fond memories of their children, show Sister Helen pictures of them, then talk around and through the hurt and horror of their disappearance and of the search for their bodies.

They talk and weep and talk, and meanwhile Sarandon is magnificent as Sister Helen sitting quietly, nodding almost imperceptibly, then shaking her head gently in horror and disbelief, her large eyes brimming with tears. She knows there are no words big enough to comfort these people, but the compassion flowing silently from this woman is almost palpable.

But you know what? Once the parents find out she's staying on as Poncelet's spiritual advisor, they chase her out of the house. R. Lee Ermey (the drill sergeant in "Full Metal Jacket") as Hope's father tells her, "Sister, you can't have it both ways."

Director Robbins, though, can have it both ways, and a brief description of two more scenes should convey that to you.

The first takes place during Poncelet's family's last visit with him before he's executed. It starts with some predictable redneck ribbing, just some backwoods "white trash" brothers getting on each other's case, with some occasional interjections from the long-suffering mom. Poncelet, during all of this, sits shackled to a chair, chains draped around him like garlands on a Christmas tree. Finally, it's time to say good-bye. The mother stands, holding her purse, knowing she's seeing her son for the last time, but prohibited by prison regulations from touching him. Her baby has gone bad and is about to be legally killed. Well, this is difficult to watch. This is the opposite of propaganda. Instead of demonizing, it humanizes. If Poncelet is human, he can be loved regardless of what he's done.

The other scene is a montage built around Poncelet's execution. The dead man walking to the death chamber. A minister reading "Do not be afraid. I shall be with you." Images from the dark forest: two young kids being terrorized, beaten, worse. Poncelet being strapped down. Sister Helen and the victims' parents watching from behind a glass barrier. Lethal fluid flowing through tubes into Poncelet. Sister Helen reaching out toward the glass barrier. Poncelet spread-eagled on his back, the fluid doing its work. Two kids lying prostrate, spread eagled, in the Louisiana woods, as seen from high above.

A final haunting image: The victims are whole again, their reflections projected onto the glass barrier and they seem to watch, without relish and without regret, Poncelet breathe his last.

"Dead Man Walking" does what only the best art can do. It jolts you out of your habitual way of seeing things. It clears your vision. It makes all things new. And it never, ever tells you how you should feel. Like Sister Helen, it creates a silence where we're free to ponder these mysteries on our own.

Old Timers

By John M. Motter

Odd Fellows celebrate a century

By John M. Motter

Once upon a time in Pagosa Country and across the nation, men and women joined and supported fraternal organizations with a passion.

Among the fraternal organizations popular in Pagosa Country during 1900 were the Gen. Hatch Post No. 104, Grand Army of the Republic, Department of Colorado and Wyoming. This organization met in Woodmen Hall, located we know not where. Then there were Pagosa Camp No. 412, Woodmen of the World; Pagosa Springs Camp No. 7650, Modern Woodmen of America; Edith Camp No. 7783, Modern Woodmen of America; and Pagosa Lodge No. 122, International Order of Odd Fellows, which met on Saturdays in Phillips Hall.

The latter is the subject of this week's oldtimer article because they are celebrating their 100th anniversary this year. Phillips Hall, by the way, was on the top floor of the building known today as the Hersch Building.

The I.O.O.F. formed in Pagosa Springs Jan. 6, 1900. Charter members were Arnold Reef, printer; Melvin M. Parr, rancher; Levi C. Patrick, county commissioner and manager of the Patrick House, a hotel located near the Great Pagosa Hot Spring; Thomas C. Mahaffey, rancher; Charles T. McSparrin, rancher; Fred Whitcomb, lumberman.

Soon, the membership included nearly every important man in the community and numbered more than 100. Now, 100 years later, the membership roster has dwindled to 24 names. The oldest living member in time of membership is Fitzhugh Havens, who joined the lodge Jan. 6, 1936. Fitz is 84 years old. Close behind in length of membership are Ernie Schutz and George Masco. Dick DeVore has been a member for more than half a century.

The Odd Fellows call themselves the three link fraternity. They have local organizations in many countries throughout the world. Their sister fraternity is Rebekah Lodge No. 134, which started later.

Odd Fellows and Rebekah Lodges are groups of men and women banded together in the world-wide organization for the purpose of helping each other live useful, Christian lives.

A major work of the local lodge is upkeep of the I.O.O.F. Cemetery located adjacent to Hilltop Cemetery.

"The cemetery is fitting because our original mission was to visit the sick, relieve the distressed, bury the dead, and educate the orphan," says Fitz, who is currently secretary. Alvin Fitzhugh is chaplain.

"We are non-political and non-sectarian," said Fitzhugh. "Our tenets are based on the Bible, but we do not teach religion."

In the past, the local lodge has provided help to folks fitting the mission statement.

One can become a member of the local lodge by invitation only, but those who want to join should let a lodge member know of their interest. Perhaps an invitation will be forthcoming. Local members listed in the telephone directory include Havens, Fitzhugh, and DeVore. New members are wanted.

At least two local members have achieved state-wide ranking. Ernest "Ernie" Schutz was Grand Master of the Jurisdiction of Colorado for a full year from 1965 through 1966. As the top I.O.O.F. member in Colorado, one of Schutz's duties during that year was to visit each lodge in the state, a task he almost accomplished.

Dick DeVore served on the Board of Trustees for the Grand Lodge, the statewide organization. With the other board members, he was responsible for making decisions governing the state organization's considerable physical assets.

Those assets are all connected with the fraternity's mission. They include a home in Cañon City for aged members and orphans; Royal Gorge Manor for senior citizens; Odd Fellows Manor, an apartment complex for senior and disabled citizens; an extended care center; an assisted living center; and a campground for campers and family reunions. The above facilities are all in the Cañon City area.

Other assets in Colorado include Big Thompson Manor in Loveland, for senior citizens, and Pikes Peak Towers in Colorado Springs for senior citizens.

The organization also supports visual research chairs at Johns Hopkins University and at the University of Colorado; the Arthritis Foundation; educational loans; the World Disaster and Hunger fund; U.N. Pilgrimage for Youth; a float in the Rose Bowl Parade and International Goodwill Day during which members man roadside parks and rest areas serving free coffee and cookies.

Many benefits are provided for members and non-members.

Historically, the local organization met in a number of places before erecting a building at the corner of 4th and Lewis Street on ground now covered by the junior high gymnasium. That was a two-story, frame building. The upper floor was used for meetings, the lower floor for community dances. Money to construct the building was raised by selling $1,000 bonds to members.

Those bonds were never paid back, according to Fitz. Instead, Joe Macht bought the bonds at a discount from the other members. Following WW II, the building was sold to Emmet Evans by Macht with the approval of the I.O.O. F. membership.

Evans operated the building as a locker plant for a few years, then rented or sold the building to William "Dee" Diestelkamp. Diestelkamp retained the lockers, but added a grocery store. Butchers in his store were Roy Brown senior and junior. Diestelkamp later entered a partnership with William Seielstad in running the Piggly Wiggly market on Pagosa Street in the Hersch Building, according to Fitz.

Following Diestelkamp, a man by the name of Staner operated the grocery store, locker plant at the corner of 4th and Lewis. Later the building was divided and a liquor store business opened in the west end. Finally, in 1970, the building burned. Staner moved to quarters near the old Jan's Cafe where the River Center is today.

Eventually, the school bought all of the property on that corner of 4th and Lewis street. At least that is how Fitz remembers things.

Meanwhile, the Odd Fellows helped the masons erect a meeting hall between 2nd and 3rd streets on the south side of Lewis Street. That is where they meet to this day.

According to "World Book" encyclopedia, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows is one of the largest fraternal and benevolent orders in the United States. The order was founded in England at an uncertain date, probably in the early 1700s. In 1819, the Washington Lodge of Odd Fellows organized in Baltimore under the Manchester Unity Lodge of England. Other American lodges formed under English sponsorship until 1843 when American lodges separated from the parent order in England.


In a class by themselves...

Every teacher's dream

By Roy Starling

Oh, how teachers hunger for a student who is highly motivated and conscientious, who is creative and willing to take risks, who is warm and personable with her classmates and teachers, who works hard and takes initiative and who has a certain generosity of spirit.

And if she happens to be blessed with a keen intellect, so much the better.

One student at Pagosa Springs High School who has all these qualities is junior Marisol Villalobos, a member of the National Honor Society. Her teachers give her an assignment and it comes back with her own personal stamp on it. She does more with it than they could've hoped for. You'd think it was the only assignment she had all year.

Is she just trying to be sure her name shows up on the honor roll? Government teacher Leigh Gozigian doesn't think so.

"Marisol isn't just motivated by good grades," Gozigian said. "She's remarkably self-motivated, so she doesn't need constant prompting. She seems genuinely interested in learning. In my government class, I've definitely come to expect excellent work from her."

"She has a wonderful attitude," Spanish teacher Kathleen Isberg said. "Even though Spanish is her native language, she was willing to learn more grammar and writing skills. I found her to be very bright, very kind and very helpful."

Marisol has taken a long and winding road to Pagosa. "I was born in Durango," she said, "and then I lived in Silverton until the third grade. After that my family moved to Chihuahua, Mexico, for eight years. Two years ago, we moved here."

She has very fond memories of her time in Mexico. "It was the best part of my life," she said. "That's where I made all my friends and where I lived with all of my family."

Although she is performing exceptionally well in all her courses here, she cites history as her favorite and she has developed a fondness for pottery.

"If I had to choose one course I liked the most, it would probably be history," Marisol said. "In history, you learn about other people's errors so you don't have to make them again."

In Gozigian's government class this semester, she enjoyed putting her creativity to work on a "freedom poster." "We were supposed to make a poster explaining how we felt about the five rights Thomas Jefferson stated in the Declaration of Independence," she said.

How did it turn out? "She did such a good job with the poster," Gozigian said. "It was graphically appealing and it absolutely expressed the ideals Jefferson spoke of and how we achieved those ideals."

Those five ideals, in case you've forgotten, are equality, life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness and the belief that a government gets its power from the consent of the governed.

Gozigian thought the poster "might have been a difficult assignment for Marisol since she didn't grow up in the United States." But after seeing the finished product, she had a different opinion. "I think coming from another country actually gave her a fresh perspective," she said.

As for Marisol's work in pottery, she "started it just for fun, just as an elective," but then developed a more serious interest in it. She said she "worked hard" on her pottery projects and was reluctant to leave a piece alone if it didn't meet her standards. "I'd look at it and see that I had to do more with it, so I'd change it. I wanted to make it better each time."

"With each assignment, Marisol would take the extra time to make it really good," her art teacher Charla Ellis said. "She'd add an extra coat of paint, or she'd be willing to redo something if it broke. This can be really frustrating, but she never complained. She would just cheerfully start over."

Marisol, Ellis said, was not afraid to "attempt some things that were very difficult. She took a lot of pride in her work."

One of the secrets of Marisol's success, Ellis believes, is her ability to block out potential distractions and to zero in on the task at hand. "She was incredibly focused, even in a difficult class setting," Ellis said. "She was ready to work every day and in class she was always on task."

Marisol's explanation for her success at Pagosa High is fairly simple: "I do well in school because I really want to have a career, although I'm not yet sure in what field," she said. She also gets a boost from home. "My parents always encourage me to do better." She's not sure where she will continue her education after she graduates from Pagosa next year, but she's leaning toward going to college back in Mexico.

While Marisol's teachers all agreed that her academic work is exemplary, they were just as eager to praise her good character. Each of her teachers described her as "kind and respectful," and some of Isberg's comments suggest another quality, somewhat difficult to sum up in a single word. Maybe it's courage or heart or fortitude or just plain gumption; or maybe it's a combination of all those admirable qualities.

"Basically, here's a young woman who has come into a situation from another culture, a situation where she could be viewed as an outsider," Isberg said. "Yet she's been able to be very successful. She doesn't use her different background as an excuse for not being able to do something. She just does it."

Isberg is glad that Marisol doesn't keep her rich background to herself. "In our class, she gave us cultural perspectives we would've never had otherwise. She shares freely of her culture and her background. She was a great contribution to the class."

So life's journey has taken this young woman, this teacher's dream, from Durango to Silverton to Chihuahua, and, for a time, little Pagosa. Wherever the journey leads from here, it seems certain that Marisol Villalobos will make her presence felt. She has the energy and the courage to leave each place better than she found it.


Business News

Biz Beat

The Best Little Hair House in Town

Dina Zeller owns The Best Little Hair House in Town and brings more than 18 years of experience to her work.

Zeller previously owned three salons in the Albuquerque area and provides a full range of styling and hair care services, including semipermanent and permanent hair coloring, hair weaving, conditioning and waves. Zellers specialty is hair cutting, for women and men. The business also offers Bed Head hair care products, by Tony and Guy.

The Best Little Hair House in Town is located upstairs at 103 Pagosa Street. Business hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. or by appointment. The phone number is 264-9101.