Two sentenced in shooting incident
By Karl Isberg
Two men involved in a Dec. 4, 1999, shooting incident in downtown Pagosa Springs have been sentenced in Sixth District Court and are awaiting deportation to their home countries.
Miguel Dominguez, 20, and Anthony Chavez, 24, were sentenced on March 10 and 13 respectively, after entering guilty pleas in Sixth District Court in Durango before Judge Greg Lyman. Both men entered pleas of guilty to the charge of menacing with a deadly weapon, a Class 5 felony offense. Dominguez is a native of Mexico. Chavez is a native of Guatemala.
Each man was sentenced to two years probation. Dominguez was sentenced to 90 days in the Archuleta County Jail with credit for time served. Chavez was sentenced to 60 days in the jail, with credit for time served. In the case of Dominguez, the minute order from the District Court stipulated that, in the event of the man's deportation to Mexico, the probation will be terminated.
Dominguez and Chavez were arrested following the Dec. 4, 1999, incident where four shots were fired in the downtown area. The two men were involved in an altercation with a third man near the intersection of 5th and Lewis streets. Chavez fired a shot at the victim, but did missed him.
The victim then ran to the Bear Creek Saloon in the 400 block of Lewis Street and Dominguez and Chavez followed. Subsequently the men were ejected from the bar and Dominguez fired a shot through a window of the establishment, narrowly missing the bar's owner who stood inside. A fourth shot was fired from a nearby hill without hitting persons or properties.
The two suspects were originally charged with attempted second-degree murder and have been incarcerated at the Archuleta County Jail since their arrests.
Both men are currently subjects of an Immigration and Naturalization Service hold order and INS agents are in the process of preparing to deport the men to their homelands. When a person convicted of a violent crime is deported, he or she faces severe federal penalties upon return to the United States.
Firefighters fight 3 downtown blazes
By Karl Isberg
Local firefighters were kept busy fighting structure fires in downtown Pagosa Springs on March 9, 10 and 12.
Pagosa Fire Protection District Chief Warren Grams said firefighters responded on March 9 to a blaze at a truck repair shop in the 200 block of 14th Street. A PFPD crew of 35 firefighters was summoned at 7:26 p.m. and arrived at the scene with six district trucks.
Grams said materials inside the quonset hut facility had ignited and said the fire damaged some contents of the shop. He said the structure was saved and firefighters left the scene at 10 p.m. The chief indicated there was nothing suspicious about the fire and said no investigation was forthcoming.
On March 10, an alarm at 10 a.m. sent firefighters to a residence at 202 North 8th Street in Pagosa Springs. The house, owned by William Martinez, sits atop a high knoll and the 24-person fire crew was unable to negotiate a steep, muddy road with pumpers or tanker trucks.
"We had four pieces of equipment," said Grams, "but we couldn't make it up that hill. We got our big four-wheel drive pumper halfway up the road. We ran a line from a hydrant to a pumper and ran a line from that pumper to the one parked on the hill, then hand-pulled all the hoses from that truck 300 to 400 feet up the hill to the house."
Grams said firefighters discovered a smoldering fire in a cluttered garage space beneath the house. "We put out the fire and removed the burning materials from the garage," said the chief. "We left the scene at 11:30 a.m."
Only to return at 8:49 p.m. on March 12, to find the house engulfed by flames.
A drier road surface allowed the firefighters to move a pumper to the top of the hill. The crew set up a relay from a hydrant to a pumper parked on the road halfway up the hill, then to the pumper next to the residence. "We had 23 people fighting the fire," said Grams, "but the structure was totally involved. The house was a total loss."
Grams said district arson investigator Diane Fryar is conducting an investigation to determine the cause of the second blaze at the house. No results of the investigation were available on March 15.
Teens injured in rollover accident on U.S. 84
By Karl Isberg
Two local youngsters were injured in a one-car rollover accident March 13 and were transported by helicopter to San Juan Regional Medical Center at Farmington, N.M.
The accident occurred at 2 p.m. and involved a 1993 Ford Ranger pickup driven by Carlos Martinez, 17, of Pagosa Springs. Daniel Valdez, 17, of Pagosa Springs was a passenger in the vehicle.
According to Trooper Randy Talbot of the Colorado State Patrol, the pickup was southbound on U.S. 84, approximately 10 miles south of Pagosa Springs, when the vehicle drifted off the west side of the road, its wheels hitting soft dirt on the shoulder of the highway. That section of highway, said Talbot, has a 50 mph speed limit.
Talbot said the driver overcorrected, sending the truck back on the roadway and into the northbound lane. Another overcorrection, said Talbot, caused the truck to roll twice on the highway, then a third time as it left the highway and went over an embankment on the east side of the asphalt.
Martinez and Valdez were not restrained by seat belts and were ejected on the third roll of the vehicle. They were thrown clear of the truck, which came to rest on its wheels.
Emergency Medical Services crews responded to the scene with two quick response vehicles, the department's rescue truck and an ambulance. The victims were transported to Stevens Field where they were taken by Air Care helicopter to Farmington.
Talbot said he determined excessive speed was a factor in the accident, but said no citation was issued.
On March 15, a San Juan Regional Medical Center spokesperson reported Martinez in serious but stable condition, and Valdez in good condition. No details concerning injuries to the two youngsters were made available by the hospital.
District puts out bids for stadium lighting
By Roy Starling
The School District 50 Joint board of directors agreed at their regular monthly meeting Tuesday night to put out bids for the lighting of Golden Peaks Stadium. Superintendent Terry Alley said the bid date would be closed before the board's April meeting in order to give the directors time to make a decision before next year's budget is finalized.
In a presentation to the board, Pagosa Springs High School athletic director Kahle Charles said the district would probably have to come up with "about $15,000 to install the lights." That figure, he said, represented a "high end" estimate.
Four poles, at approximately $3,750 per pole, would be required for the lighting, but Charles suggested "putting the poles up for sale in the community, then putting a plaque on the poles to recognize their 'owners.' "
Local companies, Charles said, have volunteered to donate a crane and an auger, representing a savings of about $2,500 in installation costs. The costs of actually purchasing the lights should be about $43,000, while the operating cost for a season has been estimated at no more than $200.
Alley said that should the board approve the project, it would be paid for out of the district's capital reserves.
In other business, the board:
- Accepted the resignation of third-grade teacher Gayle Broadbent
- Approved the appointment of Mike Sexton and Drew Ricker as volunteer baseball coaches.
Lumley service today
Daniel "Dano" M. Lumley died at his home in Pagosa Springs on Sunday, March 12, 2000.
A memorial service will be held today, March 16, at 2 p.m. in Community United Methodist Church of Pagosa Springs. A reception in honor of Mr. Lumley will be held at the Bear Creek Saloon directly following the services.
Mr. Lumley was born in 1951 in Flint, Mich., to Donald and Kathleen Lumley. He was one of four children.
Mr. Lumley moved to Pagosa Springs with Shirley Lumley, his wife of 19 years in 1996. He most recently worked as a cook at the Bear Creek Saloon. He had also worked as a cowboy, a wrangler and a landscaper. He enjoyed horses, golf (he was a member of the Breckenridge Golf Club), fishing, camping and Judge Judy. He also enjoyed his close friend, "Mr. Hutton."
He is proceeded in death by his mother, Mrs. Kathleen Lumley. He is survived by his wife, Shirley Lumley of Pagosa Spring; his father, Mr. Donald Lumley of Gladwin, Mich.; his brothers, Dick Lumley and David Lumley, both of Michigan; and his sister, Debbie Lumley of Florida. He was loved by many and will be greatly missed by both friends and family.
Memorial contributions may be directed to Helene Koelsch, Box 4930, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.
Term limits put on ballot
By John M. Motter
Archuleta County voters will be asked to decide if state mandated term limits for county elected officials shall be removed, excepting the commissioners. The proposal has been approved by the county commissioners for the Nov. 7 ballot.
If this item were not placed on the ballot, newly-elected county officials would be limited to two terms in office. If voters approve, the same officials will be allowed to serve as long as voters continue to re-elect them.
Each county office is listed individually on the ballot, allowing voters to approve term limits for one office, some offices and not others, or all offices on the ballot. The commissioners have specifically excluded themselves from consideration.
In November 1994, Colorado voters approved Article 18, Section 11, of the Colorado Constitution limiting the terms of county elected officials to two terms and also allowing county voters to eliminate the term limits.
The question on the November ballot asks, shall the (respective county office) be allowed to serve more than two consecutive terms in office if the voters approve?
Offices being considered are those of assessor, coroner, county clerk and recorder, sheriff, surveyor and treasurer.
LWV holds forum
The League of Women Voters of Archuleta County will hold a Pre-Caucus Information and Candidates Forum on Monday, March 20, in the Archuleta County Fair Building. The Meet the Candidates portion of the forum will start at 6:30 p.m. The Information Forum will start at 7 p.m.
Also, the Pagosa Springs trustees who will take office in April will be introduced, and the sales tax issue on the town ballot will be presented.
The Pre-Caucus Forum is intended to provide information for citizens who are not familiar with the caucus system in Colorado, and to offer an opportunity for voters to listen to the county commissioner candidates. Questions relevant to the candidates' presentations will be accepted from the audience.
The League of Women Voters Public Forum is for information dissemination only; it is not a public debate. The forum is open to all county residents. Its format encourages citizens to meet and talk with the candidates for office, and to gain caucus and ballot issue knowledge.
By John M. Motter
Hansen R.V. Campground, a proposed recreation vehicle campground with 301 campsites, 90 tent camping sites, and 15 camper cabins, is attracting more opposition than any recent submission to the Archuleta County Planning Office, according to Mike Mollica, the county director of development. Capacity if full occupancy is reached is projected at 977 people.
A sketch plan for the 81.84-acre campground was submitted to the county Feb. 25. The Upper San Juan Regional Planning Commission, its members appointed by the county commissioners, is scheduled to review the submission April 12 in a public meeting.
Planning commission review at the sketch plan stage does not lead to decision making on behalf of the county. The intent of the process is to provide information and guidance to developers concerning county subdivision and planned unit development regulations and to make sure the county and developer are "on the same page."
At some time following the sketch plan review, the developer, if project development continues, returns to the planning commission with a preliminary plan. At the preliminary-plan stage, the planning commission can approve the plan, table the plan, or give conditional approval.
Before the developer can sell property within a proposed subdivision or PUD, final plat approval must be obtained from the county commissioners. The entire process requires from four to six weeks at a minimum, often longer, according to Mollica.
"People need to understand the constraints we work under here in the planning office," Mollica said. "We are getting a lot of calls and letters opposing the Hansen R.V. Campground proposal, mostly from people who live in that vicinity. Most of the objectors say 'this use is not compatible with our neighborhood.' This project is being considered under the old regulations. The regulations existing at the time this was submitted do not allow us to address compatibility."
It is a general maxim of the subdivision permitting process that if a developer meets all of the conditions specified by law, the subdivision must be approved, Mollica said.
New PUD regulations approved by the county Tuesday allow consideration of compatibility when reviewing a PUD proposal, Mollica said, but the new regulations do not apply to the Hansen proposal.
Before the preliminary hearing concerning the Hansen R.V. Campground is conducted, the planning office will invite comments from various agencies who might be involved. These agencies may include the Colorado Department of Transportation (highway access and impacts), San Juan Basin Health (sewage treatment), the Colorado Division of Wildlife (wild game issues), Colorado Geological Survey, the Colorado Department of Natural Resources (water engineer), Pagosa Area Fire Protection District, San Juan Soil Conservation Service and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
These agencies may prepare written concerns to be aired at the preliminary stage in front of the planning commission. Concerns of the county planning staff and planning commission are also aired at this time.
The proposed project is located in Squaw Valley near the former Wolf Creek Industries lumber mill site. It is on the east side of U.S. 84 approximately 8 miles south of town.
In addition to the campsites, the project anticipates development of a restaurant, office, office building, commercial building, convenience store, laundry, swimming pool, play area, and a combination check-in area and private room.
Local voters choose Bush, Gore in primary
By John M. Motter
Archuleta County voters agreed with the rest of the nation during the March 10 primary election by backing Texas Governor George W. Bush and Vice President Al Gore as presidential candidates.
Bush is the Republican Party presidential hopeful, Gore the same for the Democratic Party.
With all nine county precincts reporting, 748 votes were cast, according to June Madrid, the county election official. Casting those votes were 627 Republicans and 121 Democrats. Registered with the county are 3,683 Republican voters and 1,489 Democrat voters. Friday's turnout represents 10.02 percent of the total possible vote for Republicans and 8.13 percent of the total possible vote.
This year's turnout is lighter than was the last presidential primary election in 1996 when 809 voters turned out, 19 percent of the possible vote at that time. Archuleta County has 2,000 more registered voters this year than it had in 1996.
Bush received 406 of the 748 Republican votes, almost 65 percent. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., received 168 votes, Alan Keyes 49 votes, and Steve Forbes and Gary Bauer one vote each.
For the Democrats, Gore received 85 of the 121 votes, Bill Bradley 21 votes, Lindon H. LaRouche Jr. 2 votes, and 12 votes were noncommitted.
Across the county, 40 voters voted from Precinct 1, the county courthouse; 66 voters from Precint 2, Community United Methodist Church; 48 voters from Precinct 3, the county fair building; 36 voters from Precinct 4, St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Arboles; 52 voters from Precinct 5, VFW Post in Aspen Springs; 82 voters from Precinct 6, the Pagosa Lakes Community Center; 89 voters from Precinct 7, Community Bible Church; 93 voters from Precinct 8, El Centro; and Precinct 9, absentee, 242 votes.
The proportion of Democrats to Republicans was consistent throughout the eight precincts, as was the victory margin won by Bush and Gore.
Law announces re-election bid
By Karl Isberg
Sara Law, district attorney of the Sixth Judicial District, made a trip to Pagosa Springs on March 14 to announce her candidacy for the office in the upcoming November general election.
Law's first four-year term will be complete on Dec. 31, 2000, and she is hoping to continue what she believes has been a successful tenure in office. The district served by her office includes Archuleta, La Plata and San Juan counties.
Law has held the office of district attorney since May, 1996, when she was appointed by then-Governor Roy Romer to fill a vacancy left by Greg Lyman after he moved to the Sixth District Court bench. Law then ran a successful campaign in 1996, taking office on Jan. 1, 1997.
With law enforcement efforts continuing to expand in the area of drug enforcement, Law said she wants to continue to keep pace with "vertical prosecution" of drug cases, working with local law enforcement to build the types of cases that allow for maximum mandatory sentences upon conviction. The DA emphasized the need for improved collaboration and communication with law enforcement and other agencies.
Law vowed to continue to deal with domestic violence, making use of federal funding sources.
While Law stated she believes juveniles who commit violent crimes should be tried as adults, she encourages alternatives in many other juvenile cases through the use of diversion programs and "restorative justice options."
Law said, "As far as Archuleta County is concerned, I think we've built a lot of good relations in the community and have worked to maintain them. As far as services go, I think they are better than ever. We worked on more than 500 cases in Archuleta County last year."
During her term in office, Law opened an office for a district attorney's investigator in Archuleta County. She thinks the office has served the county well, first with investigator Dick Cole and currently with investigator Pete Gonzalez. The investigator's office is located at the Pagosa Springs Town Hall.
"Pete helps me with communication," said Law of her full-time representative in the county. "People feel they can go to Pete, and he will come to me. The arrangement has worked very well." The local investigator works in cooperation with the Pagosa Springs Police Department and with members of the Archuleta County Sheriff's office to develop information and to prepare cases for presentation to prosecutors. The investigator also works to provide additional information to prosecutors once cases are underway.
The DA noted her office has increased its overall staff and said that fact is reflected in the number of attorneys from her office who handle cases in Archuleta County. "On any given week," said Law, "we have as many as four attorneys in Archuleta County. Archuleta County has indicated it has needs for services and we've tried to meet them. I have great attorneys working in this office now. They're dedicated, committed, and they work hard. It's helped. I've been able to increase the office staff over the past four years. There used to be four attorneys, counting the district attorney. Now, we have seven attorneys and a total staff of 22 people. This makes a big difference in our ability to spend more time with each case and to be more effective in our work, in Archuleta County and throughout the district."
Letters Simple decision
I'm sorry you didn't attend the commissioners meeting on March 7, it was an incredible display of our commissioner's ability, or lack thereof, to make what should be a simple decision. I'm referring, of course, to the request by the sheriff and PLPOA board to finally resolve the Public Safety Office fiasco which has been in limbo since last October.
The question which has been asked since last November is: will the county, through the sheriff, contract with PLPOA for law enforcement service in the Pagosa Lakes subdivisions? One commissioner has taken the position that it may be illegal because there is no statute to the effect that it can be done. Is there a law which says you can drive through town at 25 mph, of course not, the law says you will not exceed 25 mph. Another commissioner will not take a position and wants to study it a little longer and another is tired of hearing about it and wants to get rid of it.
Now, after months of working on this situation, the commissioners finally were basically embarrassed into instructing the county attorney to do what she should have done the day she began working for the county: find out if it is legal to do it. How long will that take asks the PLPOA, probably two week; two weeks?
Here's where it gets interesting because she will find that there is no statute preventing a county from contracting for these services. The commissioners will then be faced with a dilemma, how can they continue to procrastinate and avoid making a decision. Well they can't. So if the commissioners, two of whom are running for election, turn down the request they incur the ire of PSO supporters. If they approve the contract, they in effect double law enforcement services in the county at no cost to the county, but they incur the ire of those opponents of the PSO. The commissioners have no clue which is the largest group of voters but one could draw a safe conclusion that supporters outnumber opponents for a good many reasons, one of which is the PSO costs a property owner roughly 10 cents a day for police protection. No board has ever taken the position of wanting to do away with the PSO so it must have been deemed by boards over the last 25 years to be a service which the owners support. No board, that is, until now. Four of the seven members have voted to disband the PSO if the contract is not approved by March 31. I'm surprised they didn't make it April 1, it would have fit the wisdom of the decision more appropriately.
I know our commissioners have the ability to make decisions but I don't know why they have not done so in this instance. It's very interesting.
Tune in again when the PLPOA is on the agenda, it's really great entertainment.
Two different views
I overheard this conversation in a restaurant recently: He: "But, here's the reason total gun control doesn't make sense - you don't hear a public outcry demanding that all of America's cars be confiscated because of the fatalities caused by drunk drivers. Instead the drunk drivers are required to go through programs addressing their drinking problem. Their license to drive is suspended or revoked. I know this gun control issue is political because I don't hear Congress or the media calling for intense programs to reform gun-crime offenders, or for America to rethink the way we're raising our kids."
She: "No, we put gun-crime offenders in jail. Murders are not the same as drunk drivers. Guns are much easier to conceal than cars, you know, and that's why we need to get rid of handguns altogether. And don't tell me that the criminals are the only ones who'll have guns when that happens."
He: "Responsible gun owners and responsible drivers have a sense of responsibility in common. That's why we don't take away everyone's cars, and we don't need to take away everyone's guns. They've done that in Great Britain and Australia, and their gun crimes have soared. Now that the average citizen is disarmed, armed robberies and home break-ins have skyrocketed. Look at Washington, D.C., for Pete's sake. They've got the toughest gun laws in the nation and the highest gun crime rate."
She: "We're talking apples and oranges here. Society doesn't need more guns. Actually, we don't need more motor vehicles, either, polluting the air. But, we do need to outlaw gun manufacturing altogether. We need to make it a crime to even produce a gun. We've got to do something to stop all the gun carnage."
He: "Guns and cars are incapable of operating themselves. It takes people to abuse gun ownership and car ownership. And those people are a minority, not the majority of the population. They need to have their mind changed. But if they don't, then taking away their car or their gun won't stop the carnage. They'll find another way, or another weapon. Our focus needs to be on the offender, not the guns they're using."
She: "People are going to use guns for the wrong reasons any time they have easy access to them. Sure we need to focus on the offender, but first we've got to completely eliminate all access to guns because they can't commit the crime without the gun. Some people are never going to change, you know."
David, I'm still a conservative when it comes to the gun issue, as I've always been, even after eavesdropping on that conservation. But at our table at that restaurant, none of my friends or my husband changed their dearly held convictions. Some are in favor of gun control, and some are against it - two different world views, I guess.
Recent writings by State Senator Jim Dyer indicate a hostility toward the people's right of initiative and petition. Apparently he would like to see such draconian restrictions placed on the petition process as to make the right of initiative worthless. The present requirements make the process rather laborious and expensive just to place a measure on the ballot for voter consideration. It is a long way from either simple or easy. Sen. Dyer wants to make it even more difficult or impossible. Why? The Legislature can place a measure on the ballot with relative ease. Why shouldn't the citizens be accorded some reasonable degree of fairness? After all the authority and power to govern flows from the sovereign people, through a voter-approved constitution, to the representatives selected by the people to conduct a government on their behalf.
The Constitution reserves, to the people, the right to alter the Constitution through the initiative and petition process. Sen. Dyer also seems extremely distressed by the "TABOR" amendment, the Taxpayers Bill of Rights. This measure was placed on the ballot by exercise of the above people's rights and was approved by a majority of voters statewide, not just on the Front Range. TABOR was designed to slow the rate of government growth. Most of the restrictions on taxing and spending and the requirements for voter approval of new or increased taxes were already contained in various laws. TABOR placed it all in the Constitution to prevent "at will" changes by the Legislature. The prime restriction was placed on spending, limiting spending to the amount spent in the previous fiscal year, plus an increase equal to inflation and growth, plus any voter-approved new or increased taxes. There is no limit on voter-approved taxes. However, if existing and any new or increased taxes result in collection of funds beyond the spending limits the excess must be refunded to the taxpayers unless the vote to allow the excess to be retained and spent.
The Legislature is currently wrestling with something like two hundred million dollars of excess collections that must be refunded. It also is in the process of permanently reducing the sales tax and income tax rates so that future excess collection will be smaller. Without TABOR this would not be happening. How sweet it is.
I suspect this situation is the burr under the saddles of a majority of our legislators. How galling and frustrating it must be to have all that money at hand and being able to do no more than return it from whence it came. How sad.
Do planning well
I attended one of the county planning meetings in February. Planning seemed a good idea with no particular urgency. Then I learned of the 300-unit RV park being proposed for just across the ridge from where I live. Now planning and zoning is an immediate issue for me personally. Among other things, it seems there are no RV regulations in Archuleta County. The process to have some was begun at one time and never completed.
There is a precedent for having a moratorium on development once a planning process is complete in order to put in place whatever new regulations are mandated by the planning results. We need a moratorium now on major commercial development. What is required to do this?
I am hoping to see our county zoned for specific use areas. West U.S. 160 is already a commercial corridor with utilities in place and could potentially handle the proposed RV park. The project is possible but less fitting to the character of east U.S, 160. However, south of the county maintenance department, U.S. 84 has no commercial development directly on the highway other than a bed-and-breakfast inn.
Without a temporary moratorium on major development for this year, we might find ourselves with a good plan six months too late. The rural/agricultural character of the U.S. 84 corridor should be preserved while we still can. We have a whole new century and a new millennium. Let's take our time and do our planning well. Our grandchildren will thank us.
Editor's note: RV parks and other commercial-type developments already exist on U.S. 84, but evidently they are not in your back yard. Thank you for volunteering the back yards of the folks who live on U.S. 160.
I must agree with President Clinton and Vice President Gore. The world would be a safer place if we passed a law requiring all drug dealers to install trigger locks on their stolen handguns. The problem might be finding some law-abiding drug dealers.
Thomas Jefferson once said, "God who gave us life gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are a gift of God? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, and that His justice cannot sleep forever."
Wake up call
The Property Owners in Pagosa Lakes had better wake up and get involved to stop the efforts of four appointed board members to terminate the Public Safety Office (including the officers) effective March 31 unless the county approves the so-called contract with the sheriff's department.
Most of the PLPOA property owners chose the area because of the Public Safety Office's services. This service costs each unit the "enormous" sum of $2.70 per month or $0.09 per day. Where else can you begin to get first responders, house and business checks, animal control, motorist assistance, construction checks, environmental checks, and law enforcement for this pittance?
Our area has been lucky to have had a real progressive, proactive PSO with well-trained officers until the decimation of the department started in the last half of 1998 when the "Search and Destroy" board of directors began their path of destruction.
We need to keep and build our PSO up to the former level of excellence we once were so fortunate to support. Call the seven board members and let them know your preference of: (1) Maintain a PSO just as a security force without law enforcement commissions; (2) Contract with the sheriff/county commissioners for law enforcement - includes giving them our equipment after a certain period; (3) Vote to form a law enforcement authority; (4) or contribute your suggestions. Get involved.
As concerns Dianna Luppi's ordeal with the USFS concerning access to her property (inholding). Archuleta County commissioners should listen to Ms. Luppi. The commission should call on the District Forest Ranger to hold local hearings explaining any ramifications posed their county by the above rule proposal as concerns 36 CFR Parts 212, 261 and 295. It would be interesting to see what might become of Pagosa Springs over the next 20 years with the word "development" excluded from the above rules (and also from administrative policy as set forth by the Forest Service Manual Title 7700 - National Forest System Transportation System, and FSM Chapter 1920-Land and Resource Management Planning (otherwise known as Federal Zoning)).
It is understood that Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell has signed onto SB-25 (Senate version of HR-701) as a co-sponsor. Take heart Ms. Luppi, the billions of dollars may be available to buy you out whether you want to sell or not. Although without access, the only buyer will be the USFS which ultimately makes you a "willing seller." Hopefully, the commissioners will not abrogate their respective authority to the USFS by their inaction on behalf of the local citizenry.
Rock Springs, Wyo.
Lloyd Marvin Brewer, 75, died of a stroke Friday, Feb. 11, 2000 in Durango.
Mr. Brewer lived in Pagosa Springs for nine years. He will be laid to rest in Susanville, Calif., beside his parents.
Mr. Brewer was born Jan. 15, 1925, in Cañon City, the son of Lloyd and Leatha Brewer. He graduated from Cañon City High School in 1943 where he was a three-sport athlete and the head boy (class president). He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. Afterwards he did his under graduate studies at the University of Washington. He attended dentistry school at Washington University in St. Louis, Mo., and graduated in the top of his class in 1957. Mr. Brewer was licensed to practice dentistry in Missouri, Colorado and California. He practiced in Susanville for 25 years before retiring to Pagosa Springs in 1991. Mr. Brewer enjoyed golfing, hunting and fishing.
He is survived by his sons Michael Brewer of Boulder and Mark Brewer of Littleton; and his granddaughters Allegra Brewer of Boulder, and Kori Brewer and Keeli Brewer of Littleton.
Memorial contributions may be sent to Our Savior Lutheran Church, 56 Meadows Drive, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147 or the American Heart Association, La Plata County Heart Fund, Box 1777, Durango, CO 81302.
Clara P. Martinez
Clara P. Martinez passed away Sunday, March 12, 2000, in Salt Lake City, Utah, after fighting a miraculously long and courageous battle against cancer.
Mrs. Martinez was born Jan. 27, 1932, to Lucas and Maria Archuleta Martinez in Trujillo south of Pagosa Springs.
She married Bennie E. Martinez on June 2, 1947, and was a loving wife for over 52 years. Together they raised seven children, Della Colonna, Theresa Austill, Frances Dee, Raymond Martinez, Diane Morrell, Monica Higgins, and Christopher Martinez. Her family remembers her as being a beloved wife, mother, grandmother, and sister who loved praying while the birds were singing, and loved sewing, dancing and children.
She is survived by her husband, children, 21 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren; sisters, Juanita, Corina, and Dolores; brothers, Amadeo, Rupert, Moises, Wilfred and Lucas. She was preceded in death by a brother, Manual and grandson, Adrian Garcia.
A funeral mass was to be celebrated Thursday, March 16, at 10 a.m. at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Salt Lake City. A vigil service was held March 15 also at Sacred Heart Catholic Church. Internment was at Mount Calvary Catholic Cemetery in Salt Lake City.
Capt. Kevin M. Stone, United States Air Force, was recently reassigned from Ramstein Air Base, Germany, to the Pentagon.
As command intelligence briefer, Capt. Stone provides daily intelligence updates to General Michael D. Ryan, Chief of Staff, United States Air Force, as well as the Secretary of the Air Force and his staff. He also analyzes and produces substantive intelligence products for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Congress, and visiting foreign dignitaries. Capt. Stone, his wife Jennifer, and their 10-month-old son Ethan, live in Alexandria, Va.
Lisa Mitchum, a junior business major from Pagosa Springs has been nominated for Student Employee of the Year at West Texas A&M University in Canyon, Texas.
Mitchum is a student clerical assistant for medical services at the university. She has been with the office for seven months.
This year, for the first time, the WTAMU Student Employee of the Year winner will be entered in regional and national competitions, according to Elise Copeland, coordinator of student employment services.
All nominees will be recognized and the winner will be announced at a reception at 1:30 p.m. Friday, April 7 in Room 107 of the Jack B. Kelly Student Center on the WTAMU campus.
Jancy Savage, daughter of Frank and Carol Savage of Pagosa Springs, has made the 1999 fall semester Dean's List for the University of Southern Colorado in Pueblo. Jancy is a 1999 graduate of Pagosa Springs High School.
Riki Speer of Pagosa Springs has been named to the Dean's Honor Roll at Friends University of Wichita, Kan. Speer maintained a grade point average between 3.6 to 3.899 during the fall semester in order to be named to the honor roll.
Pirates make it to the consolation finals at state
By John M. Motter
Pagosa's varsity basketball boys completed their most successful season in several years by playing for the consolation championship at the state tournament last weekend at the Air Force Academy.
Playing in the state Class 3A tournament were eight teams, the cream of the crop in the state. Pagosa finished among the elite eight, as did Monte Vista, the runner-up for the Intermountain League title captured by Pagosa Springs. Each game at the state tournament is winner take all with the loser dropping into another bracket.
Teams in the state tournament are ranked from one through eight. On opening day, the team ranked first played the eighth-ranked team, the team ranked second played the seventh-ranked team, the team ranked third played the sixth-ranked team, and the fourth and fifth-ranked teams played. Pagosa was ranked eighth, Monte Vista sixth. Consequently, Pagosa opened Thursday by playing Weld Central, the top ranked team in the state.
Both Pagosa and Monte Vista lost their first round games, sending them into the consolation bracket. Each won a consolation semifinal game Friday, thereby advancing to the consolation championship game Saturday against each other. The season for both teams ended when Monte Vista captured a narrow 52-47 victory.
"I was pleased with our effort and our play during the tournament," said Kyle Canty, the Pirates coach. "We played a good game against Weld County in the first game. It was close well into the second half. Our defense did a good job against them. We had to expend a lot of effort.
"Against La Junta (second game), our guys took care of business," Canty said.
"By the time we played Monte Vista (third game), the guys were tired, just tired of playing Monte Vista," Canty said.
This was the fourth confrontation between Pagosa and Monte this season. Pagosa beat Monte Vista twice during the regular IML season, lost to Monte during the IML District Tournament, and dropped the final encounter at the Air Force Academy Saturday.
Weld 47, Pagosa 33
The Pirates walked on the court Thursday in the feature time slot surrounded by bleachers full of rabid basketball fans from all over the state. Their task was to beat the Number 1 Class 3A school in the state, Weld Central. Nicknamed the Rebels, Weld Central entered the game with a 22-1 record and lots of confidence. The Rebels had been in the state finals the year before with virtually the same players. Leading the way was 6-foot-7 Derek Baumgartner.
As the game progressed, the Rebels learned to respect the Pirates from Pagosa Springs. Pagosa matched the Rebels bucket for bucket until the closing minutes of the third period when a Tyrel Ross 3-pointer closed the gap to 32-29. Pagosa had trouble finding the bucket during the final period. They only picked up four points while Weld Central stretched their lead with 13 points, six of them from the free-throw stripe.
Pagosa fans saw a style of play they have not seen all season. Weld Central took the air out of the ball with a deliberate offense and smothering defense. Pagosa's 33 points was the least scored by the Pirates all season. Officiating was also different, with almost unlimited body contact allowed under the basket. Pagosa's boys handled the differences well, limited Baumgartner to 15 points, and appeared to take control of the game with a third-quarter rally during which they outscored their opponents 14-13.
The Pirates' scoring was well balanced with Ross, Charles Rand and David Goodenberger each racking up 8 points. Daniel Crenshaw added 5 points and Micah Maberry and Lonnie Lucero each scored 2 points. Fifteen of the Pirates' point total came from beyond the 3-point arc.
Goodenberger contributed eight rebounds, Ross four steals, and Clinton Lister four assists. Pagosa committed 14 turnovers.
Pagosa 51, La Junta 45
The loss to Weld Central dropped the Pirates into the consolation bracket where they faced La Junta. Known as the Tigers, La Junta came into the tournament with a 17-5 record. The Tigers lost to Eaton 52-31 on opening day. Friday they faced Pagosa Springs at 1:15 p.m. Pagosa already knew Monte Vista had lost to Kent Denver 54-39 in the first round, and had beaten Buena Vista 67-61 Friday morning.
La Junta grabbed an early first-quarter lead against Pagosa, but the Pirates kept it close behind nine points by Maberry. To open the second quarter, Lister buried a trey and Goodenberger a deuce from the top of the key to give Pagosa a 21-18 lead. At that point the Pirates' guns went off target. Maberry's free throw with about six minutes left in the second period was the last Pagosa score of the first half. When the teams wiped the sweat off of their faces on the way to the locker room at halftime, Pagosa trailed 30-22.
The Pirates came back during the third period, rallying for 14 points while squeezing the Tigers down to three points. A trey from Rand tied the score at 32-32 and, with 1:45 left in the quarter, Goodenberger's field goal gave Pagosa a 34-32 lead. The Pirates never trailed again. Pacing the Pagosa comeback were Rand with a pair of treys, Goodenberger with a put-back and jumper from the top of the key, and solo buckets by Crenshaw and Maberry.
Pagosa upped the pace in the final period by outscoring La Junta 16-12. Crenshaw's five points topped Pagosa during the period, but Lister, Maberry, Lucero, Rand and Goodenberger all added to the Pirates total.
Maberry was the top Pagosa point getter for the game with 13 points, followed by Rand with 12 points, Goodenberger with 9 points, Crenshaw and Lister with 7 points each, Ross with 2 points, and Lucero with 1 point.
Goodenberger hauled in a whopping 16 rebounds, Lucero chipped in with nine assists. The Pirates committed 17 turnovers.
Monte 52, Pagosa 47
There is no love lost between Pagosa Springs and Monte Vista, the Pirates' Saturday opponent in the consolation championship game. Saturday's game was typical of that bitter rivalry. This was a Monte team playing better than it had against Pagosa earlier in the season, especially Brandon Carlucci and Trevor Stewart.
Pagosa took an early lead behind two field goals by Goodenberger and one by Maberry, all in the first two minutes of play. Goodenberger was whistled for a pair of fouls, Carlucci drove to the hoop a couple of times, Steward buried a trey, and by the end of the period Monte edged out to a 13-10 lead.
Goodenberger's three second-quarter field goals were not enough to keep Pagosa in the game and at the half Monte led 29-20.
Rand opened the second half with a trey, the only Pirate bucket for the first two minutes of the third period. Maberry added five points during the period which ended with Monte on top 40-30. Pagosa Springs was down but not out.
With about 5 minutes remaining in the game, Pagosa trailed 43-33. Lucero sandwiched a pair of treys around a Ross field goal and Monte's lead suddenly shrunk to 44-41 with two and a half minutes remaining. Were the Pagosa Pirates coming back?
Stewart hit for two for Monte, Lucero sank 2 of 3 free throws when he was fouled attempting a three, and Goodenberger scored off of an offensive rebound. Pagosa trailed 46-45 with 1:29 remaining in the game. Down the stretch, Monte converted 6 of 8 free throws during the final minute, locking up the 52-47 victory.
The leading scorer for Pagosa Springs during the game was Goodenberger with 16 points. Maberry was next with 12 points followed by Lucero with 8 points, Crenshaw and Ross with 4 points each, and Rand with 3 points.
Goodenberger led in rebounds with eight, Rand in assists with four, and Lucero in steals with three. Pagosa committed 11 turnovers.
Playing their last basketball game for Pagosa were seniors Clinton Lister, Lonnie Lucero, Charles Rand, Brandon Thames and Carlos Martinez.
32 Pagosans wrestle in Ignacio
The Pagosa Club took 32 wrestlers to the Ignacio Tournament on March 4. Competing in Division 1 were Lane Chavez, Christopher Mannara, Levi Wilkins, and Zachary Brinkmann; with Brinkmann placing first in the 35-pound weight bracket, and Wilkins placing second at 50 pounds.
Competing in Division 2 were Isaiah Rivas, Juan Pablo Espinosa, Cody Snow, Jeremy Smith, Danny Shahan, Michael Rivas, Andy Sterner, and E.J. Romero; with Romero placing third at 45 pounds, and Espinosa placing first in the 40-pounds weight bracket. Shahan placed first at 50 pounds, and Smith and Rivas both placed third at 50 pounds.
Competing in Division 3 were Victoria Espinosa, Joey Noriega, Shelby Chavez, Bradley Rivas and Timothy Medina. Also wrestling in division three were Steven Smith, who placed third at 50 pounds; Antonio Espinosa, who placed first at 50 pounds; Trista Chavez, who placed fourth at 55 pounds; Andy Abresch, who placed first at 60 pounds; Waylon Lucero, who placed second at 60 pounds; Thayne Sanford, who placed fourth at 65 pounds; Mike Smith, who placed second at 70 pounds; Myron Voorhis,who placed third at 80 pounds; and Jordan Valdez, who placed fourth at 65 pounds.
Competing in Division 4 were Chris Betrix and Quinn Finney, as well as Joseph Stoddard, who placed first at 70 pounds; and Julian Caler, who placed fourth at 105 pounds.
The Division 5 wrestlers competing from Pagosa were Derrick Radar and Michael Martinez, who took third in his bracket of 105 pounds.
Pagosa will host its own local tournament on April 1. Volunteers are needed to help work scoring and bout tables for the tournament. Volunteers also are needed to help work in the concession stand. Donations to the Pagosa Springs Wrestling Foundation in the form of food or refreshment items to be sold at the concession stand, items to be raffled, and cash to help buy more uniforms and to fund junior high and high school wrestlers to go to wrestling camps are being accepted at the following address: BOX 1462, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.
Canty, Rand earn highest IML honors
By John M. Motter
The Intermountain League champion Pagosa Pirates basketball team, home from a trip to the state tournament, learned that its coach and several players have been chosen for all-league honors.
All-league selections are made by league coaches at the end of the regular season schedule, but before the district tournament is played. The names selected are not made public until all teams have ended post-season play.
The all-league selections were announced when league champion Pagosa Springs and runner-up Monte Vista returned from the state tournament. The two rivals met in the consolation championship round Saturday in Colorado Springs. Monte Vista won 52-47. The all-league selections were subsequently released Monday.
Pagosa coach Kyle Canty was named Coach of the Year, Pagosa senior Charles Rand was named Player of the Year, and juniors David Goodenberger and Micah Maberry were named to the all-league second team.
"It is a great honor to be named Coach of the Year," Canty said, "but all of the credit should go to the players. They worked hard all year and won more games than anyone expected. I think Rand and Goodenberger and Maberry deserve the honors they received. At the same time, everyone on the team should be honored. A player like Lonnie Lucero helped us win with outstanding defensive play, but defensive play never gets votes for all-district. We needed the play of everyone to advance as far as we did."
Canty just completed a third season as head boys' varsity coach at Pagosa Springs. He formerly coached the girls' varsity team.
Rand is a 6-foot senior who just completed his second season at Pagosa Springs. In capturing Player of the Year honors, Rand beat out Del Norte's Jake Evig, the IML player of the year for the past two seasons.
All season long, Rand directed the Pirates attack. Pagosa fans will remember him for unusual accuracy from behind the 3-point arc and an uncanny ability to feed the ball to the open man. Rand led the Pirates in scoring this season and was the man opponents tried to corral in order to control the Pirates attack.
"The thing I like about Charles is his unselfishness," Canty said. "He could have scored more points himself, but he helped the team by dishing off to teammates when they were open."
Goodenberger at 6-foot-5 and Maberry at 6-foot-4 will be back next year. They are not the ordinary high school tall basketball player prototype. Each handles the ball well, dribbling and passing like a guard. Both move around the floor in the Pirates' motion offense, sometimes posting up under the basket and at other times bringing the ball up the court against the press or scoring from 3-point range. Maberry was especially effective with a fade-away jumper while moving laterally across the key. Goodenberger scored equally well from 3-point range, after driving the lane, or while putting back a rebound.
Other members of the IML first team are 6-foot-3 senior from Monte Vista, Trevor Stewart; 6-foot-7 senior from Del Norte, Jake Evig; 6-foot senior from Centauri, Derrick Rogers; and 6-foot-3 junior from Del Norte, Michael Richardson.
Chosen for the second team in addition to Maberry and Goodenberger are 6-foot-4 senior Tony Kimball of Bayfield, 6-foot-2 senior Martin Rivera of Ignacio, and 6-foot-1 senior from Monte Vista, Kevin May.
Honorable mention players are 5-foot-8 junior Aaron Howard of Bayfield, 6-foot-2 junior Kevin McCarroll of Centauri, and 5-foot-11 senior Willy Snyder from Monte Vista.
Three Lady Pirates named to all-IML team
By Roy Starling
Coaches in the Intermountain League picked Lady Pirates Mandy Forrest and Katie Lancing for their first-team all-conference squad and tabbed Ashley Gronewoller for a second-team slot.
These three girls, known in the local press as the "6-foot-and-over club," were among the Ladies' leaders in scoring, rebounding and assists throughout this surprising season.
When the regular season drew to a close, Forrest was the team's top scorer with an average of 12.3 points per game. She also led the Ladies in rebounding with 10.3 per game. Forrest, a 6-foot senior, had a strong inside game with an assortment of baffling moves, but she was just as comfortable beyond the shadow of the goal. She often stretched zone defenses by scoring from the perimeter, occasionally lighting it up from beyond the 3-point arc.
Lancing, a 6-foot sophomore, finished the season with an 11.4 scoring average and grabbed 8.6 boards a game. By the end of the season, Lancing, an excellent ball handler, was a threat from anywhere on the court. She scored almost as many baskets with her left hand as she did with her right, and she developed a wicked reverse layup. Opposing coaches, however, may best remember Lancing for her habit of picking off a pass on one end of the court and taking it all the way back to the other for a basket.
The 6-foot-3 Gronewoller, also a sophomore, gradually worked her way into the starting lineup this season, and by the time the IML games rolled around, she was one of the Lady Pirates' primary "go-to" girls. She scored in double figures in 10 of the Ladies' last 11 games. By the end of the season, she had inside moves she'd never dreamed of back in December and, on the defensive end, was regularly blocking four or five shots a game. She finished with a 10.5 scoring average, while pulling down 7.7 rebounds per game.
Rounding out the league's first team were Holly and Cindy McCarroll from Centauri and Teresa Cox from Ignacio. Holly, a 5-foot-7 senior shooting guard, narrowly edged Forrest for Player of the Year. Cindy is a 5-foot-11 junior post, and Cox is a 5-foot-11 senior post.
Five girls join Gronewoller on the second team: Bayfield's senior shooting guard Ginny Flippen, Ignacio's senior point guard Kira Ross, Monte Vista's 5-foot-10 senior post Kiley Schmeir, and two more Centauri girls: junior point Nicole Espinoza and senior forward Jennifer Bond.
Receiving honorable mention were Del Norte's sophomore guard Kristen Moore and Monte Vista's senior guard Lucia Martinez.
Inexplicably absent from this group was Pagosa's Janae Esterbrook, who found a way to average 9.6 points and 4.5 rebounds a game while playing quite possibly the best defense in the IML. That omission puzzled Lady Pirates' coach Karen Wells.
"Mandy, Katie and Ashley all deserved to make the team, and I'm happy for them," she said. "But I don't understand how Janae could be overlooked. Her stats were better than several of the girls who made the team, and she was a real team leader for us. We couldn't have run an offense without her. I guess sometimes players like her don't get the recognition of the bigger players."
Coach of the Year honors went to Monte Vista's Jim McAuliffe whose team finished fourth in the IML.
Ladies throw a scare into state champion Eagles
By Roy Starling
You gotta love these girls, these Lady Pirates.
There they were, supposedly way out of their element, in the scary confines of Clune Arena in the Air Force Academy field house, taking on the haughty Faith Christian Eagles - those darlings of the Denver dailies and eventual state champions - and they had the Eagles sweating bullets right up to the final minute of the fourth quarter.
When the buzzer sounded, Faith had held on for a 47-39 victory, but the Ladies had scored more points with their large contingency of enthusiastic fans and with their coach.
"Our girls were never intimidated," coach Karen Wells said. "They were never scared. They played with a lot of composure."
Neither team produced highlight footage in the first quarter. While they tried to figure each other out, the Eagles gained a slight 8-5 advantage after one.
The fireworks all came in the second quarter, as did the game's decisive run. The Ladies' opened with a soft 4-footer from Mandy Forrest, and then Faith Christian's Rachael Grove traveled with the ball. With 7 minutes, 15 seconds remaining Ashley Gronewoller took a beautiful feed from Katie Lancing and scored underneath to put Pagosa up 9-8.
Faith got the lead right back when 5-foot-11 sophomore Carrie Mitchell hit two free throws on the other end. But then Lancing danced through the lane and behind the basket for a reverse layup, and the Lady Pirates led 11-10.
The Eagles retaliated when senior guard Wendi Dewey nailed a 3-pointer to put Faith up 13-11 and, following a Pagosa turnover, Corrie Wall connected from the stripe to add to that lead. The Ladies shot blanks on their next possession and Faith Christian went back to work, working the ball into Wall who sank a short jumper. It was 16-11, Faith, with 4:45 remaining in the half.
The Ladies answered quickly with a Bonnie O'Brien 3-pointer from the top of the key. On defense, Pagosa forced a miss, but Wall grabbed the offensive rebound and went back up with it to give the Eagles an 18-14 lead. The Ladies missed their next shot, and pesky Eagle guard Lindsey Satterfield corralled the ball and took it coast to coast to make the score 20-14 with 3:27 remaining.
Faith's hot-shooting guard Jetta Weber, bottled up for the most of the game by defensive whiz Janae Esterbrook, then put a serious hurt on the Ladies by draining a long-distance three and giving her team a 23-14 lead.
Meigan Canty would cut into that lead a bit when she scored on a break, but Grove and Kara Kuntz hit big buckets down the stretch to put the Eagles up 28-17 at halftime.
In the locker room during intermission, the Lady Pirates decided not to give up just yet. They came out firing in the third: Forrest created and sank a 12-footer from the baseline, then, following a Forrest block and rebound, Gronewoller forced one in through a tight web of defenders to cut the lead to 28-21.
Unfortunately, Faith always seemed to have an answer, always found a way to stop the bleeding when the Ladies made a run. In this case, Satterfield rushed a shot from 10 feet and made it with 5:27 remaining in the third. On the other end, O'Brien got the Ladies back in it when she hit another three, this time from an Esterbrook assist, and it was 30-24.
But before the Ladies could mount a serious assault, the Eagles pushed the lead quickly back to 10: Grove scored from the baseline, the Ladies turned it over and Weber snapped off a quick 20-footer. When the third period ended, Faith was up 36-27.
The Ladies found themselves pushed against the wall early in the fourth when Grove and Wall scored to push the lead to 40-27. But then Pagosa went on a run of its own.
Forrest knocked one down from 14 feet and then the Ladies' "D" forced a Faith turnover. Weber fouled Gronewoller in the act of shooting, and Gronewoller hit both from the stripe to cut the lead to 40-31 with 5:44 remaining. On the Eagles' next possession, they misfired and Forrest grabbed the rebound.
The Lady Pirates quickly set up on offense, and Forrest found Gronewoller open six feet from the basket. Gronewoller banked it in, and the score was 40-33. Grove slowed the run by driving the lane for a basket, but at 3:41 Forrest got those two points back by hitting two from the line.
The Eagles, who moments earlier had been giggling and chatting among themselves during Pagosa's free-throw attempts, became a little tense. They turned the ball over on their next possession, and Lancing turned this gift into two more points, hitting a jumper from 10 feet out. It was 42-37, Faith, with 3:10 left in the game.
Faith turned the ball over again, and coach Wells called a time-out. "We were catching up with them, and I called a time-out to switch from a box-and-one (defense) to a man-to-man," she said. "I thought that would make it harder for the Eagles to go into a stall, and I knew they were getting ready to do that."
Unfortunately, the Eagles regrouped during that time-out and regained their composure. When the Ladies returned to the floor, they missed their shot, and Faith quickly got the ball into Grove's hands who drove past Pagosa's posts for two, drawing a foul in the process. Grove made the free throw and the Eagles were up 45-37.
When Pagosa missed its next shot, Faith answered with a mid-range jumper from Satterfield, and the game was suddenly, sadly out of reach for the Lady Pirates. The Eagles basically iced Pagosa for the last two minutes, winning 47-39.
Wells knew coming into the game that she would have to slow down the Eagles' inside-outside attack, the inside portion coming from all-stater Grove, the outside from 3-point specialist Weber.
In an effort to stop Weber, Wells had Esterbrook chase her the entire game, and the results were good. "Janae held Weber to five points and only one 3-pointer," Wells said. "Janae got real tough in both games." Weber did not score in either the first or fourth quarters.
Grove was another matter. "We tried to keep Grove double-teamed," Wells said, "but she kept getting free. She definitely deserved to be the tournament's MVP." Grove, who did in fact win that award, finished with 17 points, seven of those coming in the fourth quarter.
Gronewoller, a sophomore, seemed unrattled by the big event, leading her team in scoring with 14 points. Forrest added eight, while Lancing and O'Brien had six each.
Forrest and Gronewoller did much of the board work for the Ladies, grabbing eight rebounds each. Esterbrook had six and Lancing five. Forrest was the assist leader with four.
The Ladies shot 35.2 percent from the floor (12 of 34) and 50 percent (7 of 14) from the line.
Warriors pull away from Ladies, win 60-55
By Roy Starling
The Lady Pirates' loss to Faith Christian Thursday relegated them to the consolation bracket where they ran into the severely disappointed and highly motivated Frederick Warriors.
The Warriors came into the tournament with a gaudy 22-0 record and a lofty No. 2 seed. They also came in with an attitude, never having won a game in the annual affair at the Air Force Academy.
Against the Lady Pirates, they played inspired basketball. Tabbed as a one-girl team - that girl being Class 3A leading scorer and player of the year Jennifer Tagliente - the Warriors distributed the ball all over everywhere, getting offense from eight different players, en route to a 60-55 win over Pagosa.
While the Warriors' balanced scoring came as a surprise to the fans in Clune Arena, the officiating did not. State basketball fans have come to expect inconsistent, sloppy, exasperating, even dangerous officiating from the men and women in stripes in Colorado Springs, and they weren't disappointed this year.
"We didn't lose because of the refs," Lady Pirates coach Karen Wells said, "but they were punishing our big girls and I told them so." By "punishing," Wells meant that her posts, particularly Ashley Gronewoller, could be beaten severely about the head and shoulders without evoking a warble from the refs, but let one of them graze a shooter, and the arena was filled with the sound of whistling music. Pagosa grew accustomed to this treatment at the 1998 and '99 tournaments when officials allowed opposing posts to use former Lady Pirate Sara Fredrickson as a punching bag.
For all of that, Wells and her tough bunch of Lady Pirates would be the first to admit that even bone-headed officiating couldn't have prevented a Pagosa win had the Ladies not suffered a brief lapse in the third quarter when the Warriors outscored them 19-11.
The game began like the proverbial house on fire. The Ladies unveiled a microwave offense fueled by Janae Esterbrook and Ashley Gronewoller and jumped out to a 16-14 lead after one.
On their first possession, the Ladies scored on a Gronewoller putback. On defense, Esterbrook, still recuperating from an evening of chasing Faith Christian's Jetta Weber into the stands, went to work on the elusive Tagliente, forcing her to miss her first attempt. Gronewoller rebounded and Bonnie O'Brien tried a 3-pointer for the Ladies, but the ball spun in and out of the basket.
Frederick sophomore Danielle Mashburn was more fortunate on her end of the floor, draining a three to put her team up 3-2, but Katie Lancing answered quickly for Pagosa with a self-created shot down low. The Warriors then proceeded to go on a run and led 10-4 with 5:24 remaining in the first.
Esterbrook cut into that lead with a short jumper and then the two teams went into their turnover mode, committing two each. Once the game was back into control, Esterbrook uncorked a 15-foot jumper to make it 10-8, Frederick. Warrior backup Maria Streisova, who would hurt the Ladies down the stretch, hit two free throws to pad the lead, but Gronewoller came back with a bank shot from a Lancing feed to make it 12-10, Frederick at 3:33.
At 3:00, the Warriors stole rebounding position from the Ladies and took some shooting practice, with Mashburn finally connecting on the team's third attempt. Pagosa then scored the last six points of the quarter, getting an offensive putback from Gronewoller, a jumper in the lane from Esterbrook with Warriors hanging all over her and a layup from Meigan Canty on a fast break, courtesy a Lancing pass.
The good news in the second quarter was that Esterbrook shut out the prolific Tagliente and still found the energy to hit a three of her own; more good news was that Forrest ventured out beyond the arc and knocked down two threes. The bad news is that, sparked by Mashburn and Jessica Martinez, the Warriors outscored the Ladies 13-10 to take a 27-26 lead into the locker room at halftime.
There was even more bad news: Both Gronewoller and Lancing had three fouls at intermission.
For the Lady Pirates, the third quarter was, well, just more bad news. Before it was over, Gronewoller would be sitting with four fouls and Canty, a key part of the Ladies' backcourt rotation, would be sitting with a bag of ice pressed against a throbbing ankle injury, the result of a collision the refs failed to notice.
Also, the Ladies' shooting cooled off just long enough for the hot Warriors to build an insurmountable lead. Frederick opened the third quarter with a 7-0 run and had built the lead to 39-29 with 2:25 remaining.
Player of the year Tagliente did not contribute a point to this offensive explosion, but her teammates happily picked up the slack for her. Mashburn, a rugged little sophomore point guard, had six points in the period and Martinez added four. Seldom used post Erin Baynes slopped in a basket at the buzzer to give the Warriors a 46-37 lead going into the final period.
Lancing gave the Ladies some new life early in the fourth when she grabbed a defensive rebound and drove the length of the court for a deuce and followed that up by hitting two free throws amidst the screeching and bellowing of the boorish Warrior fans. This cut the lead to five at 46-41, but Pagosa would never get much closer.
The best the Ladies could do was to come within four, 59-55, with 19 seconds remaining when Gronewoller scored underneath. They still had a slight chance at this point. Tiffany Trujillo missed the front end of a 1-and-1 for the Warriors and Gronewoller rebounded, but when Lancing tried to score in a thicket of defenders on the other end she was mysteriously called for a charge, her fifth foul, and Frederick had its first-ever state tourney win, 60-55.
In addition to Frederick's balanced scoring, Wells thought their girls also hurt Pagosa on the boards. "The Warriors rebounded really well," she said. "They were going around us to get position and then we were over their backs. Also, Meigan's injury really hurt us as did Ashley's being in foul trouble - even though I'm not sure she committed them all. To make matters worse, Mandy's sore knee started hurting her, and that slowed her down."
The Pagosa coach had more kudos for Esterbrook. "She rose to the occasion again," Wells said. "She held the state's leading scorer (at over 20 points per game) to nine points."
Watching and listening to Frederick's fans prompted Wells to make one additional observation: "I think we have the best fans of anyone," she said. "Because of our fans, I'm proud to be from Pagosa. I'd like to thank (athletic director) Mr. (Kahle) Charles and (principal) Mr. (Bill) Esterbrook for the job they do in setting guidelines for our fans. They're enthusiastic and supportive, but never obnoxious. Frederick's fans, on the other hand, were horrible."
Leading the Ladies' offensive charge was Forrest and Lancing with 15 points each, followed by Esterbrook with 12 and Gronewoller with 10. Forrest and Gronewoller had 10 rebounds each, while Lancing added five and contributed four assists, as did O'Brien. Esterbrook and Forrest each had three steals.
Mashburn had 17 for the Warriors, followed by Martinez with 10, Tagliente with nine, Streisova with six and Jo Herman with five.
The Ladies wound up their "rebuilding" year with an 18-6 record.
Lady Pirate soccer team opens with two wins
By Roy Starling
The Lady Pirates soccer players opened their second season of existence last weekend by blanking the Cortez Panthers 2-0 on the road, then coming home, moving the snow off the field at Golden Peaks Stadium, and whipping the Center Vikings 3-1.
If these first two games are any indication, the Ladies' greatest strength this year will be a rugged, stubborn, stingy defense.
"Our defense was awesome in both games," Pagosa coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason said. "We dominated the entire game in Cortez, and they never got by our defense."
Against the Panthers, two defenders in particular caught the coach's eye. "Meagan Hilsabeck played an outstanding game at stopper," Kurt-Mason said. "She's only a freshman, but she's already reading the angles really well."
Kurt-Mason got a sparkling performance from another freshman, goalie Amber Beye. "Amber played the whole game at goalie and had 10 saves," the coach said. "One of those saves was on a penalty kick. She was able to get her hands on it, bat it up in the air and then catch it."
Both Pagosa scores against the Panthers came in the first half. Thirty-four minutes into the period, senior Ashlee Johnson took a chip pass from Heather Beye at the top of the penalty box, "made a nice move and then delivered a real finesse shot," Kurt-Mason said.
Four minutes later, junior center-midfielder Jennifer Gross got loose just outside the 18-yard box and "just blasted it in," her coach said. Gross, who was an all-conference selection and the team's leading scorer last season, is picking up where she left off. "Jen came to practice in shape and ready to play," Kurt-Mason said.
Gross, Johnson and sophomore Aubrey Volger all had seven shots on goal against Cortez.
Saturday against Center, the Ladies continued to play aggressive defense, and the offense got the passing game in gear. "We won that game all because of our defense," Kurt-Mason said. "The only way Center's girls could get by us was through clearing shots or long chip shots. We never allowed them to move the ball into our end of the field in a methodical way. And our passing was great against Center. We distributed the ball to a lot of people."
Spearheading the Lady Pirate "D" were stopper Hilsabeck, sophomore sweeper Alysha Ranson and outside defenders Cassie Pfiefle, a sophomore, and Sara Aupperle, a freshman. "That's a very aggressive back line," Kurt-Mason said. "Cassie was awesome and Sara stuck with it the whole game - she never subbed out."
Gross lit up the scoreboard for Pagosa first when she booted one in unassisted 24:30 into the first half. About a minute and a half later, sophomore Lindsay Schmidt took a feed from Tiffany Diller and rammed it in for a 2-0 lead, and that was the score at halftime.
After a 36-minute drought in the second period, Schmidt used a bit of heads-up, aggressive play to add to the Ladies' lead and put the game away. She kicked the ball into the Center goalie's hands, but when the goalie dropped it, Schmidt was there to send it to the back of the net.
The Vikings got their lone score on a penalty kick.
Against Center, Volger, a star for the Lady Pirates cross-country team, showed that she knows her way around the soccer pitch. "Aubrey was running the whole game," Kurt-Mason said. "She did what a midfielder should do. She'll go all the way to the corner on the offensive end, then go all the way to the corner on the defensive end. Great soccer players need an initial burst of speed - those first five yards are critical. Aubrey has that."
This weekend, the young Lady Pirates will face perhaps the two toughest teams on their schedule: the Telluride Miners and the Ouray Trojans. The Miners, who shut out the Ladies twice last season, will be at Golden Peaks at 4 p.m. Friday; the Trojans, with whom Pagosa split last season, will be in town Saturday for an 11 a.m. game.
After these two tough league games, the Lady Pirates will take a break until Thursday, April 6, when they travel to Durango to take on the junior varsity Demons. The following day they'll take the long drive up to Telluride for a rematch with the Miners.
Kate: ' Arabian Nights' was awesome
The basketball teams were right up there at the state tournament. They didn't win but they were there doing honors for Pagosa Springs High School.
The Pagosa Pretenders Family Theatre's production of the "Arabian Nights" was awesome. You don't have to be a parent or a teacher to appreciate the quality of this show. The 67 kids and 10 adults were involved. The cast filled the stage. Everyone who auditioned is in the show.
There isn't enough space to recognize everyone but (for me) Ali Baba's pet monkey, played by Clara Barber, stole the show. And Del Greer as the palace cat was right in there.
People to be especially singled out are Susan Garman, director; Gwin Lewis, production assistant; Addie Greer, producer; Soledad Estrada-Leo for set designs; Jackie Ford for costumes; and Bill Reardon for construction and engineering.
If you have yet to see the show, then join us who went last week to wonder how they got Cyclops built. Another question is how they built the baskets. So many questions!
That the Pretenders can put together these shows is remarkable. This is the seventh production for them.
For you who don't know about the Pretenders, it's this way. Those in charge select a traditional story and those who audition weave their interpretation around it. These are not your average follow-the-script productions, and they are very creative.
A letter from Marty Lincoln, the granddaughter of Dr. A.J. Nossaman and his wife Emma, who built the house on Pagosa Springs Street now housing Victoria's Parlor, comments on the good picture of the building (SUN Feb. 24, Local Chatter) and tells us that she and her husband will be moving back to Pagosa Springs this summer. Now, they live in Littleton.
The Sisson Library is in the process of getting a bunch of new magazine subscriptions. In the meantime, people should know that now the library gets a variety of magazines. Included are Opera news; Tennis, a magazine written in Spanish; Bead and Button, the ESPN magazine, and a number of craft magazines. A special publication is Well-Connected, considered the best medical newsletter on the market. It is written for the layman and is easy to understand. It is updated quarterly so that the latest information about individual diseases and illnesses is current.
Talking politics. (It's that time!) To find out what is going on politically in Archuleta County, go to the Candidates Forum held at the Extension Building on March 20. Things start at 6:30 p.m. The time will be worth the effort.
The Four Corners Quilt Gathering will be held at the Iron Horse Inn, 5800 N. Main Ave., Durango, from March 31 through April 1. John Flynn is presenting workshops on both Friday and Sunday. Saturday's luncheon is preceded by "The Best Show and Tell on the Western Slope" (bring one or two items to share), followed by John's "Confessions of a non-Traditional Quilter." Registration deadline is March 20. Contact Animas Quilts at 247-2582 for more information.
Fun on the Run
You know you're old if you were born:
- Before television, penicillin, polio shots, frozen foods, Xerox, plastic contact lenses, frisbees and the pill.
- Before radar, credit cards, split atoms, laser beams, ball point pens, panty hose, dishwashers, clothes dryers, electric blankets, air conditioners, drip dry clothes and the men-who-walked-on-the moon.
- If you got married first - and then lived together.
- Bunnies were small rabbits, Rabbits were not Volkswagens.
- Designer jeans were girls named Jean who were flirts.
- Fast food was how you ate and not what you ate every day.
- Outer Space was the back row of the Paramount Theater.
- In the Five-and-Dime you really could buy stuff for 5 and 10 cents.
- For a nickel you could ride the bus, telephone, buy a cola, a gum pack, candy bar, stamps enough to mail one letter and two postcards.
- A new coupe (auto) cost $600. Gas was 11 cents a gallon.
- Grass was mowed, and not smoked. Coke was a soft drink. Pot was what you cooked in. AIDS were helpers in the principles office.
Pagosa's Friday of all Fridays
We have two new members to welcome to the fold this "Wearin' of the Green" week and seven renewals. This is, of course, the week of the St. Patrick's Day Parade and the Rotary Casino Royale, so Friday will be a very busy day for lots of folks - more on these events to follow. Let's get on with rolling out the welcoming mat to our two new members.
Jim Hudson joins us with Arlie's Chimney Sweep located right here in Pagosa. Arlie's Chimney Sweep is nationally certified, fully insured and guarantees cleanliness - certainly a major issue in the area of chimney cleaning. Jim also offers his expertise in the areas of chimney caps, repairs, stove installation and fireplace construction. If you're interested in a "spring clean," please give him a call at 731-2543 or you con contact him on the Internet at HYPERLINK http://websites.pagosa.net/ http://websites.pagosa.net/.
We also welcome new Real Estate Associates, David and Mary Helen Cammack, with Jann Pitcher Real Estate located next to the Citizens Bank branch office on Talisman Drive. You can reach David and Mary Helen at 731-4065.
We are delighted to acknowledge the following renewals: Herman Hageman with the Wolf Creek Trailblazers; Jim Sutton with ECKANKAR-Colorado Satsang Society; John F. and Carol J. Frakes with Eagle Eye Inspection Service; Lisa Flaugh with Holy Smokes Stoves and Fireplaces; Daron Selph with Mesa Propane and Associate Members Rita M. Werner and Joe Harville. Happy to have you all.
All That Jazz
Here's the thing: I normally don't venture out of my nest on Sundays for anything short of a national disaster - and only if the disaster threatens to be an especially heinous one at that. I made an exception last Sunday because I had a preview of this particular jazz quartet at the recent "Pianorama" and really needed to see them again. I wasn't disappointed, I assure you, and want to thank the gentlemen involved for an exquisite evening of first-class entertainment. I had also vowed going in that I would only stay for an hour or so (since I was already breaking my "Sunday rule" doncha know) but ultimately stayed until the last note was played. My thanks and congratulations go out to John Graves, Lee Bartley, Cary Valentine and Bob Hemenger for providing a perfectly good reason for me to get nuts, go out on a Sunday evening and not regret it for even a minute. I encourage you to pay attention to when they next appear and make it point to be there regardless of the day of the week. They are looking for a name, by the way, and since I forgot to register my suggestion on Sunday, I would like to do so now. "All That Jazz" has a nice ring to it, don't you think?
This is the Friday of all Fridays in Pagosa, and you need to plan your day (and night) very carefully so you don't miss any of the fun. The St. Patrick's Day Parade will enter U.S. 160 at 4 p.m. and entries will start lining up on Sixth Street at 3:17. The one and only requirement for this parade is that you wear green - simple, yes? Prizes will be awarded to the Best Float, the Most Green Costume and Most Bizarre Costume. This one is just for fun, folks, so register your group before 5 p.m. today and show up tomorrow at 3:17. Don't forget to bring your boom box. Will Spears at KWUF has kindly agreed to play Irish tunes during the parade which means we all need a boom box on our floats to provide the appropriate music. The entry fee is a meager $3.17, so there's absolutely no reason not to enter this one.
If you have questions, just give Morna a call at 264-2360.
After the parade winds up at Second Street, you can rush on home, don your fancy duds and head out to Pagosa Lodge for the Rotary Casino Royale, "The Grandest Party in Pagosa Springs." And it does look mighty grand indeed with all the activities and entertainment going on that night. Las Vegas-style entertainment and games a-plenty promise to create a memorable night for all of us. Music will be provided by John Graves in the Casino Piano Bar Lounge, the Jeff Solon 1940's Big Band 8-Piece Dance Band and a three-piece string combo, The Walking Stix, in the Library playing jazz, Celtic and more.
Those who are into games will be in heaven with the craps, black jack, wheel of fortune, bridge, canasta, bingo and dice games. Your $50 ticket will entitle you to $50,000 Pagosa Bucks, which you can use to play all the games and apply your winnings to auction items. It's going to be quite the evening, and I encourage you to find a Rotarian or come to the Visitor Center and buy your ticket before that night. The tickets are $50 in advance and $60 at the door. If you need more information, just give us a call at 264-2360. I hope to see you all at Pagosa Lodge on Friday evening at 6:30.
Our friend, Jim Reser, Director of the Small Business Administration Center at Fort Lewis College in Durango, will be here on Friday, March 24, to spend time with those seeking information and answers about their businesses. Jim can help you out whether you are just considering opening your own business or have owned a business and have questions about the operations. Jim has years of experience and is very knowledgeable about the business climate in the Four Corners area. The best part of this is that you can take advantage of all his expertise for absolutely nothing yep, it's free business counseling. All you need to do is call Morna at 264-2360 to set up an appointment for the 24th. Jim's a great guy and very easy to talk to, so I encourage you to take advantage of the valuable Chamber membership benefit. Give us a call.
It's party time again, and this SunDowner will be three times the fun with three member businesses sharing hosting honors. Bonnie Thrasher of the Dental Hygiene Clinic, Andy Donlon of Buyers Resource Real Estate of Pagosa and Jean Poitras of Bacchus Video and TV Production, Inc. are pooling their resources, so there's sure to be tons of food and fun for everyone. The address is 476 San Juan Street and the date is Wednesday evening, March 22, from 5 to 7 p.m. Invitations will be in the mail by the end of the week, and, as always, we look forward to seeing each and every one of you. Our last one at Piano Creek was a howling success with over 200 Pagosa folks in attendance. Party on, Wayne.
I won't completely spill the beans right now, but I do want to let you know that the new, amazingly improved Pagosa Springs Video will be available for sale at the Chamber within the next couple of weeks. Although I confess that I'm given to hyperbole on occasion and tend to get terribly excited about what some would consider rather inane things, I predict that you're going to go nuts over this new video. Jean Poitras of Bacchus Video and TV Production, Inc. has produced an extremely beautiful, high-quality video interpretation of Pagosa Springs, and we couldn't be more pleased. Jean has worked for months to create this video, and his efforts were well worth it. I promise to let you know when we receive said video so you can see for yourself what a splendid product Jean has created. Jean and I worked with a special Chamber Board of Directors committee, and I would like to thank Lauri Heraty, Ken Harms, Don McKeehan and Robert Soniat for sharing their time and talents on this project. More later, I assure you.
Tickets going fast for Pagosa's 'grandest party'
Pagosa Pretender's presentation of Arabian Nights last Friday and Saturday was fabulous. It was funny, entertaining and just simply enjoyable to see. This clever combination of adults, teens and youngsters in an improvised version of the tales of Sinbad the Sailor, Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves and Aladdin. Much hard work has gone into the costumes, sets and many hours of rehearsals. The play will be presented again this Friday and Saturday evening, at 7 in the Pagosa Springs High School auditorium. Tickets are available from Sisson Library, Moonlight Books, Wild Hare Gifts, Pagosa Springs Arts Council and at the door. Do take the family.
Tickets to the Rotary Casino Royale are going fast. Proudly touted as the "grandest party in Pagosa Springs" by the Rotarian organization, every step is being taken to make it so. There's still time to bring out the dancing shoes, press that fancy evening dress and join in the revelry. Tickets to this grand party tomorrow night can be picked up at the Lodge, Pagosa Springs Visitors Center or from Rotarians. It's all going to be a swell bash, with or without you, at Pagosa Lodge from 6:30 p.m. till midnight.
If you have talent and would like to share with the community, here's a good one for you. The 2000 Community Talent Show, hosted by the Pagosa Springs Student Council, will be showing April 7 and 8 at 7 p.m. in the Pagosa Springs High School auditorium. Can you sing, can you dance, can you play a musical instrument? Or can you say funny things to make people laugh? Maybe you can tell stories and captivate the audience with your voice? If you have any or all of these talents, you need to support this service project to raise money for a number of different projects around Pagosa Springs High School. Please contact Nancy Esterbrook today, either at school (264-2231, ext. 260) or at home (731-5701). Talent show auditions will be held on March 22 (next Wednesday) from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the high school band room. You must make an appointment with Nancy Esterbrook to audition. Last year's Community Talent Show had an impressive showing of local talent and I thank those good folks for sharing with the community.
On March 25, a free yoga clinic will be offered to Recreation Center members. The clinic will go from 9:15 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Glenn Miller Orchestra will perform on March 21, 7:30 p.m. at the Fort Lewis College Community Concert Hall. Seating is reserved and this performance is a popular one. Call for tickets at the box office (247-7657). Discounts apply to senior citizens, Fort Lewis College students and employees and Norwest Bank employees.
Enjoy a free continental breakfast and if you are lucky, even win a gift certificate to a local business of your choice when you come out to the PLPOA spring newsletter social on Monday, March 27 at 9 a.m. in the Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse.
Library honors women writers during March
March is National Women's History Month, and the theme for the year 2000 is "An Extraordinary Century for Women - Now, Imagine the Future." The National Women's History Project is an organization that is involved in a variety of efforts to promote multicultural women's history. Their website, www.nwhp.org, is a rich resource of information about women's history, including a wealth of links to take you to other places to learn about women's history.
In honor of women writers, we have for you a complete list of the Oprah's Book Club selections, of which the majority of authors are women. Although we own all of the "Oprah" books, many are often checked out, but we are glad to place a hold for you. Women authors lend such a wonderful perspective to our reading, it's hard to imagine a world without their words. You may also be interested in "The Beacon Book of Quotations by Women," compiled by Rosalie Maggio, for an assortment of views both amusing and profound on a multitude of topics.
Our resident online newshound, Cathy Dodt-Ellis, found a great article on the Internet about Coloradans' use of libraries. While chain bookstores and the Internet exploded in the '90s, Colorado libraries remained a vital part of their communities, and the average number of items checked out rose from 6.9 per patron per year in 1991 to 8.5 in 1998. Many more people visited the library, too: There were 4.9 visits per resident in 1991 and 6.5 in 1998 - a 33-percent increase. Because of, rather than in spite of, the proliferation of bookstores and the blossoming of the Internet, more people are coming to libraries. . .Why? Well, although they might love to browse a bookstore to see what's the latest, people don't necessarily want to fork out their hard-earned money for a book they can check out at the library. Likewise, many folks may not own a computer, or might have trouble navigating the Internet. That's where Library technicians come to the rescue. So, according to the online article, the options have become friends rather than foes by stimulating interest in reading and books, ideas and information. Come in to see a complete copy of this article, and to see how we can help you in your quest for reading and information.
Wave of the future?
The prolific horror writer Stephen King is blazing another literary trail: e-books. He has previously tried out unique forms of providing his work to rabid readers in other ways. "The Green Mile" was released in six monthly serial installments, and his recent trilogy, "Blood and Smoke" was available only as an audio book. His latest effort, "Riding the Bullet," will only be available online. That means that fans can download the 66-page thriller for $2.50 and then read it on a PC, palm device or dedicated e-book viewer. While very handy and relatively fast (the journey from author to reader is a lot shorter when printing and publishing an actual book is not involved), don't look for it to replace the traditional methods. Even Stephen King doesn't think that e-books will replace the ink-and-paper variety. And it's still way more convenient to carry around a paperback than your computer. A note to our library computer-using patrons: unfortunately, you may not download material from the Internet onto our computers.
Unbelievably, as of this writing there are still five spaces left for sellers for this Saturday's Indoor Garage Sale. Please call 264-2209 to see if we can squeeze you in. Otherwise, bring your wallet to the Fairgrounds Extension Building from 7 a.m. until 11 a.m., and pick up some bargains while helping to support the Library's book fund.
Donations of materials this week came from Teresa Oertel, Victoria Landon, Donald Mowen, Bev Evans, Shirley Snider, Margot Grammer, Bob Formwalt, Margaret Wilson, Harold Thiesen, Barbara Tackett and Janice Klassen. Thanks to all for your constant support.
PSAC has great events lined up
The Pagosa Springs Arts Council has some great events lined up for March and April. Here are the important dates to mark on your calendars:
March 17 and 18 will be the last two evenings to see the outstanding production of "Arabian Nights," presented by the Pagosa Pretenders Family Theater in conjunction with Pagosa Players and the King's Men. The shows will be at 7 p.m. each evening and tickets are available at Sisson Library, Moonlight Books, Wild Hare Gifts, and the PSAC Gallery/Gift Shop. Tickets are $5 adult, $3 kids and seniors. Children under age three are free. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.. This is the last weekend for "Arabian Nights" so don't miss this exciting play.
On March 18 and 25, the Photo Club will present workshops at the PSAC Gallery in Town Park. On March 18 the workshop will be "Photo Methods: Camera - Lens - Light." This class will include an overview of principles of photography that a beginner or an advanced photographer can use to improve picture taking. The March 25 workshop will cover "Photo Methods: Camera - Exposure - Composition." Find out what films can work best for the type of photos you want to do and expand your film usage to give you more creative control of the results. For both classes, bring your camera and lenses along with your owner's manual. Classes are from 1 to 3 p.m. each Saturday and space is limited. Workshop cost is $29 for one session or $40 for both sessions. (Add $10 to each price for non-PSAC members.) Sign up at the PSAC gallery or call 731-3686.
March 21 will be the last day you can view the Encore photography display from the PSAC photography contest held last month. The photos are currently showing at the PSAC Gallery in Town Park. Winter gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
The first PSAC artist exhibit of 2000 will be the oil and acrylic work of Lori Salisbury. Her opening reception will be held on Thursday, March 23 from 5 to 7 p.m.
Lori was born in the Snake River Valley in Eastern Idaho and has lived throughout the western United States. She moved to Pagosa Springs with her husband Ron and son Justin last year and currently has her own studio and gallery located at 117 Navajo Trail Drive in the Silverado City Shopping Center. A self-taught artist, Lori's grandmother bought her first set of oil paints and was the first to encourage Lori to pursue her artistic abilities. She started drawing at the age of seven and sold her first drawings at the age of nine. Lori has shown her work in galleries and shows from New York to Seattle and has sold her work to collectors around the world. You will be able to meet Lori at her opening reception at the PSAC Gallery next Thursday.
The annual PSAC Garage Sale will be held on April 15. If you have any items worthy of reselling, or questions or requests for help in transporting to our gallery, please call Phyl Daleske at 731-4589, or the PSAC Gallery at 264-5020. Drop-off day is April 13. One person's junk is another's treasure, so buyers and donators alike need to mark your calendars for this great fund-raising event.
From April 16 through May 3 the gallery will host an all-Christian art show, "Expressions of Faith," and is looking for artists interested in exhibiting their work. The show will be a combination of many talented artists who express their inspiration and faith through art. Whether you have one piece or several you are encouraged to participate. All mediums are welcome. A very special opening reception for this unique exhibit will be held on Palm Sunday, April 16, from noon to 4 p.m.. Refreshments will be provided and picnics are encouraged. Inspirational music performed by local musicians will add blessing to this exciting exhibit. Artists who are interested in showing work, or musicians who would like to participate at the opening reception are invited to contact the exhibit coordinator Kent Gordon, at 264-4252.
Please keep all of these wonderful events in mind when planning your spring fun, and if you're doing that spring cleaning and come across an extra computer printer or CD player/boombox, the PSAC is in need of those items and would love your donation.
Are you looking for adventure, excitement, and glorious recognition? We are looking for a writer for the Artsline column in the Pagosa SUN. This once-a-month job will keep you in immediate contact with the Arts Council, you'll get to see Joanne at the gallery at least once a month, and you'll even get to see your byline in the newspaper! Contact the PSAC gallery at 264-5020 for more information.
Three native Pagosan sisters visit Senior Center
We seniors always are indebted to the many wonderful folks who do nice things for us, and this week we especially want to thank the folks at Daylight Donuts for their generous donations of donuts to the Senior Center. What a treat.
The volunteers who support the Senior Center are so appreciated - this week we acknowledge Teresa Diestelkamp, Kathy Perry, Jo Rose, Helen Girardin, Lilly Gurule, Lydia Martinez, Lena Bowden, June Nelson, Mary Archuleta, Chris McCracken and Betty Thomas.
What a pleasant surprise for me to learn that we have three sisters coming to the Senior Center - Helen Girardin, Inez Seavy and Mary Carpenter - and they are "Real Native Pagosans."
Casa De Los Arcos is currently taking applications for a two-bedroom apartment. You need to be at least 62 years old or disabled. You may apply in person at 503 South 8th Street or call 264-4828.
Spring is almost here and with the new season brings senior activities and trips to warmer climates. There are still openings for the Laughlin trip scheduled to depart March 23 at 8:30 a.m. from the Archuleta County Senior Center, returning March 27 at 6:00 p.m.
Help! We are in need of assistance. One of the seniors needs to have her toilet replaced, if you can help with this please call Cindy at 264-2167.
We would like to thank the Archuleta County Senior Citizens Inc. for the financial assistance with our seniors who were in dire need of eyeglasses. Thank you very, very much.
AARP tax preparation has been moved to Thursday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Don't forget to make your appointment. Please remember that AARP is here to assist those in need, not only seniors. Please call 264-2250 (Mountain Express) to make an appointment.
Stuggling with Pagosa move
March is an anniversary of sorts for Hotshot and me, because one year ago we decided to give up our secure, comfortable life in Nashville and move to the town my cousin in New York calls "The Gulch."
Now, a lot of you know that we've been coming here since 1984, first to backpack with the Explorer Scouts and later, after we moved to Nashville, just to spend time here. We bought our cabin in 1992, thinking we'd be back every summer. We joined the Arts Council and the Humane Society. We met people from our church fellowship. I stuck my hand out and introduced myself to lots of strangers. "Hi, my name is Katherine and I'm a summer person."
We got a check-cashing card at City Market. Remember when there was only one? At the Ruby Sisson Library I told the librarian, "I'm a summer person." For years, when they called up my library account, there it was - Summer Person.
We came here last March for a week of spring break, partly to work out a plan for our future. Rather than a restful vacation, we rode an emotional roller coaster. Monday morning, after two or three hours spent discussing the pros and cons, we concluded that the logical thing was to sell the cabin and not be pulled back and forth between our two houses. Monday afternoon we sat on the deck in a little patch of sunshine and looked at the mountains and said, "There's no way we can walk away from this."
Tuesday morning we reverted back into the logical mode. Tuesday evening we ate with friends, who said, "we're so glad to see you, when are you moving here?" Things like that. And there was another great shift in our emotional ground.
Wednesday we discussed Tom's job options and decided maybe we could live on Tom's consulting work. Maybe he could take a leave of absence from the university. And, since we might be traveling, we decided perhaps we should sell our cabin and buy a condominium, so that we could travel with less hassle. We called a realtor.
Thursday morning we looked at the condos and decided that they weren't for us. First off, they cost as much as our cabin might sell for. Our cabin had charmed us when we bought it years ago and still did. But it was a summer residence, too small for our year-round living. And although the view of Pagosa Peak was incredible from the deck, once indoors you couldn't see the mountains unless you stood at the kitchen sink. Or you could go to the upstairs bathroom and look out that window. More discussion followed. How could we enlarge the cabin? We put two large rocks on he ground in front of the cabin and called Contractor Craig.
He came out to meet us at the cabin. We pointed to the rocks and said, "we want to add a room this big. How much will it cost?" He measured and took notes and said, "I'll work out the numbers and get back to you."
Friday morning we went round and round. Was this the right decision? Or were we incredibly dumb? By 9 a.m. we had just about changed our minds again and decided to sell the cabin after all, go back to Nashville, and "get on with our lives." Suddenly a phone rang - Tom's cell phone. "Who can be calling me?" More to the point, where was the phone? We scrabbled around and dug it out from under books and papers beside the bed. "Hello?"
"Hey, Tom," said the gravelly voice of a man in Florida, a man who was considering hiring Tom as a consultant, "Did you call me?"
"No, Stan," said Tom, "I didn't call you."
"That's funny. My phone log says you called me," said Stan. "Well, while I've got you on the line, can we discuss some details of the proposal?" If I believed in angels, I'd say that was a call from one, affirming that work was waiting out there.
"Here is what we're going to do," we told friends when we got back to Nashville. "Retire from Vanderbilt. Sell our house and move to Pagosa. Live off savings and (we hope) consulting income."
The responses varied. Some people said, "You're joking!"
A lot of them asked hesitantly, "Are you sure?"
"Go for it!" exclaimed the people who weren't risking anything.
I could have kissed the friend who said, "I never try to change someone's mind once she makes a decision. I think there's often a critical window for some choices, and if you pass one by, it just may not open again." Of course, we always like to hear opinions that support our actions.
Between March and July we continued to swing between exhilaration and fear. Moving here meant a change in our spending habits, and lifestyle, but in a small town in the mountains, even one growing this fast, the temptations and opportunities are fewer. It was the backpacking and the outdoors that first brought us to Pagosa, and we still had our health. We were both overweight and a little out of shape, but (we told ourselves) we were young enough to enjoy the mountains and cope with the winters and learn to ski. (At that time I was thinking cross-country, not downhill.) There's still more to learn. And we haven't even put on our packs yet.
I like backpacking because it reduces the complications and makes life, for the duration of the trip, simple. Everything you need is in the pack. Your choices are limited and distractions like the phone and the paper and daily chores and yard work are few. More and more, I'd decried the amount of Stuff that we take into our homes. We seemed to spend greater and greater amounts of time tending to our Stuff - sorting it and caring for it and moving it around. I sorted Stuff for months before we came to live in the cabin. I gave away things to the kids, to friends, to our church, to Good Will and the Salvation Army. We had a big sale, and when there was still Stuff left, we had another sale. Our newspaper ad read, "Good Stuff. Really low prices."
The cabin addition was finished just before we moved in. The Stuff we brought fit with nothing left to be just stored. We made it. We're glad to be here.
Archuleta County voters Friday followed the state-wide trend
by staying away from the polls during Colorado's Presi-
dential Primary balloting. The slight turnout is not an indication of local voters lack interest in the election process. The August 8 county-wide primary election for two county commissioner seats should show that Archuleta County voters are active when they know their votes carry some importance.
Two upcoming events on the local political calendar should also serve as strong indicators that Pagosans are interested in the election process.
The first is the League of Women Voters of Archuleta County's Pre-Caucus Information and Candidates Forum on Monday. (See the page 1 article for details.) The county fair building should get ready for a standing-room-only crowd.
The second is the Democrat and Republican caucuses that will be held April 11 in each of the eight precincts in the county. The leadership of each of the parties will announce the sites and times of each party's caucuses.
With nine would-be-candidates seeking the Republican nomination for two county commissioner seats, the Republican caucuses should be well attended and should feature some active participation.
Likewise, the results of the caucuses are sure to produce a significant turn out for the county-wide August 8 primary election.
Whereas February 11 was the deadline for registering in order to participate in either party's county caucus, July 10 is the deadline for registering to vote in the August 8 county-wide primary election. If you currently are not registered to vote, you should go to the county clerk's office in the county courthouse and complete a registration form.
By November, it should be clear that Archuleta County voters will go to the polls in significant numbers when they know it's time to get serious. David C. Mitchell
I'd be nice to be king for a day
I've been surprised by the somewhat scripted letters that oppose the proposed development of a RV park on U.S. 84.
At first I thought the earlier writers were expressing the long worn out "now that I'm here close the gate" syndrome.
With the arrival of this week's letter, the writer exhibited strong indications that it is a bad case of the NIMBY disease. It's okay to have RV parks on U.S. 160 west or possibly U.S. 160 west, but "Not In My Back Yard."
There are already a number of RV parks and bed and breakfast establishments on U.S. 84 between the Y and Chromo.
No one sent letters during the past few years when a number of new homes were being built in the meadows near Echo Lake, in the pastures of the former Bigsby Ranch, along the ridge lines through the Blanco Basin. No one wrote when someone converted Dave and Anita Kacalik's place into a bed and breakfast. Actually, no one complained years earlier when Dave and Anita converted the three-story A-frame they had purchased into an English Tudor style dwelling.
I was surprised a few years back when someone asked what I thought about the "big blue roof" on a large home some folks had built across the valley. My only thought was that "they must like blue." I also hoped they would enjoy living in Pagosa as much as I do.
I can remember when the first fiberglass or aluminum, whatever, white rail fence went up in our area. Now they are rather common. Not their cost, but their presence throughout the county. They are a bit more noticeable, but it appears they work just as well as barbed wire. And if this drought we're experiencing continues; the white rails should withstand the winter snows.
Within the past few years, I've had a couple of bed and breakfast operations take up residence as my next-door neighbors.
I considered myself fortunate. The Gilbert Davidsons had opened a bed and breakfast - for strangers, not all of the Davidson youngsters - on U.S. 160 about 10 years earlier. So I knew that if my new neighbors were anything like the Davidsons, I was in luck. And I was. I lost some good neighbors, but they were replaced by good neighbors.
There are times everyone would like to wear the crown and robes of King Archuleta.
Possibly it's when folks buy a 10-, 15- or 35-acre ranchette that they start worrying someone else will build a 10-, 15- or 35-story "skyscrapperette" in their sight line.
I'm not sure but what some have already been built in the county, but fortunately they are laying on their sides and have long driveways with large entry signs at the front gate. They make nice starter-castles.
Archuleta County contains more pristine views than some folks could ever imagine. But they aren't along U.S. 160 or U.S. 84. Unless you're very fortunate - with a strong emphasis on fortune - you have to drive to the end of a Forest Service road. Then you have to hike for a while. You have to follow a path or follow a map. After about an hour of hiking and possibly climbing, you'll probably come to an opening that will provide you a pristine view. About the only thing to spoil your view will be the sun reflecting off the roofs of the thousands of homes that occupy some of the private lands in Archuleta County.
The sun's reflections shouldn't bother you. They only remind you that you are looking down on someone. Change your view. Look around at the ridges and peaks of the Continental Divide and enjoy the pristine views. If you're still dissatisfied, write a letter to the editor and share your point of view.
Know you are loved and please keep us in your prayers. David
Courthouse work nears end
Taken from SUN files
of March 20, 1975
Work on the new addition to the county courthouse is nearing completion. Present plans call for the welfare office and the county commissioners office to be moved into by the first of April. Other changes will be made in the courthouse housing once these two offices are settled in their new spaces.
Town crews are patching the jillions of mud holes and pot holes that have developed in the town streets since the snow started melting so rapidly. The streets will need extensive reworking this spring.
Deer and elk are down in large numbers in the town. They can be seen most mornings and evenings north of the San Juan River from the Y at the junction of U.S. 160 and U.S. 84 east of town to a point a mile or two northeast of the Y. They can also be seen in the late evening in other areas.
Mr. and Mrs. H. Ray Macht returned this week from Casper, Wyo., where they attended the Western Regional 4-H Leadership Forum. They were delegates for Archuleta County to participate in the course which included leaders from 13 western states.
Taking a look at Pagosa's first Catholic church
Members of the San Juan Historical Society book committee are busy working on Volume 5 of their book series Remembrances. It has been decided to base this volume on history of some of Pagosa's earliest churches.
A portion of the history is based on work done by Clifford Woolsey as part of a 1936 Works Progress Administration Survey of State and Local Historical Records. I purchased this information from the Colorado State Historical Society several years ago. It provides a lot of interesting information gathered at a time in our history when some of the individuals involved in establishing these churches were still living.
I've spent quite a bit of time over the last few weeks going through this material. So, I thought I would share a tiny bit of the local Catholic Church history.
Before there was a Catholic Church in Pagosa Springs, the first Catholic masses were held in a private building near the site of where the first church was built. A group of interested citizens met on July 9, 1893 with the hopes of building a Catholic church in Pagosa Springs.
D.L. Egger, editor of The Pagosa Springs News, reported in his Sept. 29, 1893, edition, "The Catholics at this place have decided to build a church. The intention is to have the church completed by spring. There is a large number of Catholics in and around Pagosa, to whom this will be good news."
According to information gathered by Woolsey the church that was built on the northeast end of Lewis Street was of Gothic architecture with a wood exterior. Interior walls and ceiling were plastered. There was one steeple with two bells. The altar and communion rail were of wood. In 1923, the windows were remodeled and changed from round to square.
The first church was known as the St. Edward's Catholic Church and was in use from 1893 until the early 1950s.
According to Woolsey's research, "All mission churches in southwestern Colorado were served by (priests from) either Conejos, San Luis or Durango. Prior to 1906, either San Luis or Conejos served these churches and all missing records will be found in Antonito, Colorado."
This information was provided to Woolsey by Father Anthony Segura who was the priest at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Durango in 1936. It was Father Segura's responsibility to see that the missions in Archuleta County were served.
The 1906 date is important. It was then that the Theatine Fathers organized the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Durango. From that point, the priests from the Durango church began serving the missions in Archuleta County. Records from the missions for this county during the years 1906 until 1952 are kept in Durango.
Landmark moving to Paogsa
By John M. Motter
Guess who is coming to town? The historic Gomez Store and all of its contents, all of the way from Pagosa Junction to Pagosa Springs, that's who.
Built in Pagosa Junction in 1911 and closed in 1971, the old store has served as a landmark for narrow gauge railroad buffs and history enthusiasts for almost 30 years since the closing.
In Pagosa Springs, that bright beacon from the past will continue to shine so that future generations will know to respect the logging and railroad history of Archuleta County and the Hispanic heritage represented by the pioneering Gomez family.
J. Felix Gomez closed the doors on the family store in 1971, ending 60 years of service to settlers along the San Juan River. All of the store merchandise, display cases, and other appurtenances remained in the store.
Liliosa Padilla, daughter of J. Felix and Ophelia Gomez, retired in Pagosa Junction after completing a career as a school teacher. Mrs. Padilla was born in living quarters at the rear of the old store and grew up at Pagosa Junction. Down through the years since the store closed, Mrs. Padilla has conducted tours of the landmark, tours sprinkled with anecdotes bringing to life the people who frequented the store in old Pagosa Junction.
During the era of the narrow gauge railroad, everyone who ever rode the train into or out of the San Juan Basin passed through Pagosa Junction. In the years before paved highways, Pagosa Country residents caught the train from Pagosa Springs to Pagosa Junction, then shuffled slowly along narrow gauge rails to the outside world. Native Americans from Dulce joined Hispanic and Anglo settlers buying necessaries at the Gomez Store. They often came to town on the railroad.
The products of Archuleta County and of the San Juan Basin - gold, lead, and silver; lumber; cattle, sheep and wool - all reached eager outside markets after first passing through Pagosa Junction on the narrow gauge line.
Residents of Pagosa Junction, including the Gomez family, witnessed this pageant of southern Colorado history. When the D.& R.G. stopped service to the San Juan Basin, the right of way for the line reverted to those who owned the land before the railroad was built. The rail line crossing Archuleta County was built in 1881, much of the right of way located on the Southern Ute Reservation. The right of way through Pagosa Junction reverted to the Southern Utes.
The Gomez buildings rested on that right of way, but the family was allowed to lease the land housing their buildings. Last year, the Southern Utes decided not to renew the lease. In a quandary, the Padilla's searched for a way to preserve the store and the heritage it represents so well. A series of almost chance occurrences converged to make the impossible happen.
Lane Stewart, a railroad buff and former photographer for "Sports Illustrated," entered the picture. Lane writes for the "The Narrow Gauge and Short Line Gazette," a magazine for model railroad enthusiasts. Last summer, Lane visited the Gomez Store and the Padillas for the third or fourth time. He learned of their plight. In the meantime, the Padillas had talked to Fred Harman III about being forced to move.
"I knew if I could find the right people, they would recognize what a great tragedy the loss of this store would be to the people of Archuleta County," Stewart said. "I knew someone would help save the store."
Not one someone, but many stepped forward.
One who recognized the historic value of the store is Fred Harman III, son of the creator of "Red Ryder" and operator of the Fred Harman Art Museum located at the crest of Put Hill.
"When I was a young man, our family visited the Gomez family," Harman said. "I am pleased to have this opportunity to preserve a piece of Pagosa Country History. In one stroke, we've preserved a monument to the great contribution made by Hispanics to our local history. At the same time, people will be reminded of the role logging and the railroad played in our past and of old Pagosa Junction."
The Gomez Store with all of its contents is expected to open for tourists later this summer at its new location at the Fred Harman Art Museum. The Padilla family has packed the store contents and, once the building is in its new location, will replace them just the way they were formerly located in the store.
"I am so happy to see the move," said Mrs. Padilla. "In Pagosa Springs, many more people will get to see a country store the way it was. My family and I thought the store should stay in Archuleta County. We had several offers from other places, but we decided this was best - by far.
"I'm proud of the store, of the history being preserved," Mrs. Padilla said. "It is a wonderful legacy to my parents and my grandparents. A lot of people who visit have happy memories of shopping in the Gomez Store in the old days. All in all, I have a good feeling about the move. When we see the end result, we will all be happy."
At the Fred Harman Art Museum, the Gomez Store joins a collection of historic buildings already in place. Some of the buildings date back to circa 1880 when Fort Lewis still occupied what is now the main business block in Pagosa Springs. Included is the old Smith cabin that used to sit along the Pagosa-Durango stage road west of town, the Fred Harman homestead cabin from northeast of town, the old Cooley cabin from downtown, and the school house from the Upper Blanco where the late Ruby Sisson formerly taught.
Plans are underway to arrange the buildings into a pioneer village museum. In addition to the Gomez Store, a search is underway for a railroad water tank, some sections of rail, and one or two narrow gauge railroad cars. A steering committee to plan the village and secure financing is contemplated.
The Fred Harman Art Museum contains a collection of the paintings and a variety of artifacts from Fred Harman II, plus other historic memorabilia from the area.
"Father tried to capture the history of this area with his paintings," says son Fred Harmon III. "History was important to him. That is why the Gomez Store and a frontier village are a perfect match for the art museum. They are all about the history of Pagosa Country."
The Fred Harman Art Museum is a non-profit, 501-3-C corporation chartered in Colorado. Donations to the museum are tax deductible and may target a designated project, such as the Gomez Store or the frontier village. Donations should be submitted to: The Fred Harman Art Museum, The Gomez Store Fund, P.O. Box 192, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147. The museum receives a limited income from donations made by those touring the art exhibit.
"Some people have the idea that the art museum is a big moneymaker and that I live from the proceeds. Nothing could be further from the truth," said Harman. "The truth is, I have always supported the museum from my own income. The donations at the door hardly cover the electric bills, even though we have visitors from all over the world who admire the work of my dad."
So far, the cost of moving the building from Pagosa Junction to Pagosa Springs is estimated at about $30,000. All of the moving and set up costs are being donated by private citizens. Involved in the project are J.R. Ford with anonymous partners; the town of Pagosa Springs, which contributed $5,000; Pagosa Springs Mayor Ross Aragon, local historian John M. Motter, and Fred Harman and his museum board of directors. Also involved are the Gomez family with Mrs. Padilla, son Ray, and daughters Joan and Angela.
A professional mover has been hired and moving could begin as early as today. The storage shed and living quarters on the west side of the building, along with the roof, are being removed for the move. Costs include transporting the building, moving electrical power lines out of the way, constructing a foundation for the building, and other site preparations. Additional funds will be needed to develop the frontier village concept.
It is expected that the Gomez Store and the developing frontier village will join the Great Pagosa Hot Springs, Wolf Creek Ski Area, Upper San Juan Historical Society Museum, and various scenic features in attracting tourists to Pagosa Country.
Little theater can be hilarious
Let me just begin by saying I have an enormous amount of respect for such local organizations as the Music Boosters and The Pagosa Pretenders' Family Theater. I have been impressed with the quality of local theatrical productions since I got here some four years ago. I am not worthy to apply these folks' greasepaint.
Having said that - and actually meaning it - I'd like to go on to review an extremely funny movie about small town theater. That movie is "Waiting for Guffman" (1997), directed by Christopher Guest, written by Guest and SCTV alum Eugene Levy and starring Guest, Levy, Fred Willard, Catherine O'Hara (also from SCTV) and independent film queen Parker Posey.
The songs for the film were written by Guest, Michael McKean and Harry Shearer. I know that some of your ears just perked up because this is the team of writers, actors and "musicians" responsible for "Spinal Tap," a mockumentary targeting the dullness and pretensions of a heavy metal band.
"Waiting for Guffman," also a mockumentary, is set in little Blaine, Mo., on the occasion of that burg's 150th anniversary. To help celebrate, the town's theater group, led by Corky St. Clair (Guest) is putting on a musical entitled "Red, White and Blaine."
Like the citizens of many small towns, Blaineans are desperate to see themselves as somehow special. According to America's myths, you know, small towns are supposed to be the "heart of the country," a repository of good ol' values, the eternal American verities: hard work, spit and elbow grease, decency, ingenuity, all of that. This desire for specialness will remind two or three readers of David Byrne's '80s film called "True Stories," in which the focus is on a Texas town celebrating its centennial.
Blaine's historian, interviewed early in the film, can only recall three "colorful" Blainean episodes that give the place its distinctive character. You get the feeling this guy would have a hard time coming up with an "Old Timer" column for the town's weekly paper, the Blaine Bugle. Anyway, those three stories concern (1) the town's founding (a dishonest guide, Blaine Flavin, convinces a bunch of settlers that they've reached the Pacific Ocean), (2) the town's becoming the "Stool Capital of the World" following a visit by President McKinley (they provided him a stool on which to rest his weary feet), and (3) the town's being visited by a UFO back in 1945 (several Blaineans were "probed").
These stories then become the material for Corky's "Red, White and Blaine." But we're getting ahead of ourselves. Before we see the actual play, we're treated to the auditions (possibly the funniest part of a very funny movie), the rehearsals and a very tense moment when the town board laughs off Corky's request for $100,000, and the distraught director pitches a tizzy fit and drowns his sorrows in a bubble bath. (The town's mayor tells Corky, "Our entire budget for the year is only $15,000, and that includes swimming - you know, the pool.")
The Guffman from the title is a kind of talent scout from Oppenheimer Productions in New York City. Corky, who came to Blaine from the Big Apple "for a new life," has been in touch with this company and they've agreed to send someone out to see if "Red, White and Blaine" has Broadway potential. So you can imagine the excitement of the play's under-talented, ragtag cast at the prospect of being discovered by Guffman on opening night.
Like many small towners, they're overly proud of their home while being simultaneously desperate to get out of it and into the larger world. And once they've flirted with the possibility of leaving, having to stay in Blaine would be an unspeakable tragedy.
So that's the pretend crisis in this pretend documentary: Will this pathetic little small-town production be good enough to make it to Broadway? I doubt if many viewers will get their hopes up over this one, and I'm sure Guest doesn't expect them to. But I think he does want his audience to come to care for the cast of this play, for their efforts, and for their desperate dreams. If Guest just wanted to ridicule them, well, there's no art in that.
Aging fans of Saturday Night Live might recall the birth of Guest's Corky St. Clair character. Here, I'll help jog your memory: Back in the mid to late '80s, SNL was blessed with a cast comprised of Guest, Shearer and Martin Short, among others. In one skit, a TV sports reporter was doing a bit on the Olympics' first ever men's synchronized swimming team. Short (remember his Ed Grimley?) played one of the swimmers, and he wore water wings and nose plugs because "I'm really not all that great at swimming." The swimmers hired a drama coach to liven up their act, and that coach was Guest in what I assume was the first incarnation of Corky St. Clair.
There are plenty of reasons to see this movie, even if you've never been involved with little theater. Levy, as a dentist who feels he was born to entertain (he says he wasn't the class clown in school, but studied under one), does his best work since his days as Earl Camembert and Bobby Bittman on SCTV. Willard and O'Hara are hilarious as the "old workhorses" of Blaine theater, the untalented couple who manage to get roles in every play. This is an early role for Miss Posey, but she nails the whole small-town thing (in an admittedly exaggerated sort of way), chomping on her gum and telling an interviewer, not without a little pride, that "there'll always be a place for me at the Dairy Queen."
Bob Balaban, who played an NBC executive who developed a major crush on Elaine in "Seinfeld," does a great job as the Blaine High School music teacher who gets brushed aside so Corky can direct the play. He's relegated to "musical director," and you can see him quietly coming apart inside as the "visionary" Corky blunders his way through one rehearsal after another.
In closing, let me just say that very few movies released in the last 20 years have made me laugh as hard as "Waiting for Guffman." I hope it has the same effect on you.