Front Page

March 30, 2000

More lynx on the way

By John M. Motter

Convinced that their lynx re-introduction program is a success, the Colorado Division of Wildlife plans to release about 50 more lynx into the San Juan Mountains during April and May, according to Todd Malmsbury, DOW chief of information.

Last year, during a storm of protests from stock raisers and other groups, the DOW released 41 lynx in the San Juans between Creede, Wagon Wheel Gap, and Pagosa Springs. A second year of releases was predicated on the success of those first 41 lynx.

Adding to a perceived uneasiness about the state's lynx program is a decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service declaring the lynx a threatened species. The designation carries with it the implication that federal lands must be managed in a way beneficial to the survival of lynx. The reverse side of that implication is that practices considered harmful to lynx will be stopped.

Of the first 41 lynx released, 17 have died, the whereabouts of eight are unknown, and 16 are alive. One of the most recent lynx events was the capture of one of the furry felines at Navajo Lake and its return to feeding pens in the San Luis Valley north of Monte Vista.

"We'll release it with the other releases during the next two months," Malmsbury said.

Four of the first five lynx released during February of last year died of starvation. The DOW changed its process by holding the remaining lynx long enough to feed them and improve their body condition. By releasing them later in the year, the lynx had a chance for a larger prey population expected to be moving about and producing young at the later date. The changed process has been successful, according to Malmsbury.

A summary of the 17 deaths reveals that six starved to death, two were run over by vehicles, three were shot, and the remainder died of unknown causes but "not from starvation," Malmsbury said. Bobcats may have caused two of the deaths.

"We have been able to examine the bodies of the unknowns and through bone marrow and other tests, we know they did not starve," Malmsbury said.

"Some out-of-state biologists who have looked at our results say they are much better than should have been expected," Malmsbury said.

This year's release will begin the first week of April, according to Malmsbury, using lynx trapped in British Columbia. Later releases will include lynx trapped in the Yukon and in Alaska. The procedure followed this year will be the same as the modified procedure used during 1999, with the releases made later in the season based on the idea that more food would be available. Snowshoe hares make up a preponderance of the lynx diet, but those released in the San Juans have eaten a variety of wild animals.

So far, there has been no reproduction from last year's lynx. While the DOW is not telling exactly where this year's releases will be made, the plan is to make the new drops near existing lynx so mating pairs will develop. Lynx normally kit during June, Malmsbury said.

Collars attached to the lynx for tracking purposes this year have been changed. The new collars are slightly larger than the model used last year and will communicate with those tracking the lynx by means of the Argos satellite.

"Because of its wider range, the satellite system is a big improvement," Malmsbury said. "Last year when we monitored with airplanes, we flew a tremendous number of miles. Even so, some of the lynx moved out of range. We think that is what happened to at least some of those we can't locate. With the satellite, the planes will know where they are going when they take off."

Meanwhile, the Forest Service has 30 days from March 24 to comply with U.S. Fish and Wildlife requirements attached to identifying lynx as threatened.

"We haven't read what is written in the Congressional Record where the federal requirements are listed," said Thurman Wilson, forest planner for the San Juan National Forest. "I've heard the listing contains 194 pages. It means we'll be going through a consultation process with U.S. Fish and Wildlife. Our actions on Forest Service land and the actions of the Bureau of Land Management on their land will obviously affect lynx. A new forest procedure might take some time to develop. In the meantime, functions such as timber sales, thinnings and burnings in lynx habit areas may be postponed until we identify how those functions will affect lynx."

The first task facing the Forest Service is mapping lynx habitat, according to Wilson.

Some preliminary exchanges have already taken place between the Forest Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife, according to Wilson.

"In general, we know we're going to have to evaluate activities which compact snow, activities which thin or alter forest density, and activities which affect the food supply required by lynx prey," Wilson said.

Because of their large feet, lynx move about freely on soft snow. Coyotes and bobcats prey on lynx and on the animals lynx eat. Coyote and lynx cannot move about easily on soft snow. It is thought they could move easily on snow compacted by snowmobiles or cross country skis, thus endangering lynx.


Resuscitation efforts fail on local man

By David C. Mitchell

Efforts by neighbors and emergency medical personnel failed to revive a man who was found unconscious in his bed at his residence on North 5th Street Sunday.

A lifelong resident of Pagosa Springs, Antonio "Tony" E. Herrera, 49, apparently had declined his girlfriend's repeated offers to call for medical assistance after he experienced breathing problems earlier that morning, according to a report by town police officer George Daniel. (A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10 a.m. today, March 30, at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church.)

Officer Daniel's report stated that Herrera's girlfriend, Sandra Martinez, said she had first offered to seek assistance after Herrera had "placed his hand on his upper chest and had said he felt funny." Martinez reported that later that morning when Herrera again "started choking and said he was having difficulty breathing, she again asked if he wanted her to call anyone" for help. Herrera again declined Martinez's suggestion, but "then he quit breathing," according to Daniel's report.

Bill Bright, Upper San Juan Emergency Services director, said paramedics Mike Ferrell and Terri Clifford along with EMT basics Judy Gentry, Shannon Bright, Gary Liescheidt, Kea Cundiff and Brandi Power arrived at the scene at 12:18 p.m., shortly after an emergency call from Central Dispatch.

When the EMS teams arrived at the Herrera residence, some of Herrera's neighbors were administering CPR by following an emergency medical dispatcher's verbal instructions over the telephone, Bright said.

According to Bright, the EMS report stated that Herrera showed "no pulse and he was not breathing" when the paramedics arrived. "He was in full cardiac arrest" when the paramedics took over the CPR procedures, Bright said.

The paramedics continued their resuscitation efforts while Herrera was being transported by ambulance to the Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Center.

Dr. Bob Brown joined the EMS personnel at the clinic and pronounced Herrera dead, Bright said. Coroner Carl Macht made a preliminary ruling that choking was the cause of death, according to Bright.


Disturbance in bar leads to drug charge

By David C. Mitchell

A disturbance that occurred late Friday night at a downtown bar resulted in two men being arrested and a drug charge subsequently being filed against one of them.

Responding to a call from Central Dispatch, officers Tony Kop and Bill Rockensock went to Pagosa Bar at about 11:45 p.m. because of an alleged fight involving Jesus Ventura, 31, and Ronny William Nelson, 43. The officers placed the two men under arrest and escorted them to police headquarters at Town Hall.

Whereas Ventura was searched and booked on charges of disorderly conduct - a Class 2 misdemeanor - the standard search procedure revealed that Nelson apparently was in possession of a controlled substance. When a field test indicated the substance apparently was methamphetamine, Nelson was booked on unlawful possession - a Class 4 felony.

Nelson was released from jail Saturday morning after having his $10,000 bond posted. Ventura was released later that morning on a $250 bond.


PAWS sells $2.95 million in revenue bonds

By John M. Motter

The sale of $2.95 million in revenue bonds by the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District was closed March 23.

Proceeds from the sale will be used to renovate and enlarge the Vista sewage treatment plant which serves most of the Fairfield Pagosa subdivisions.

"I believe the 5.45 percent interest rate we received on the bonds is very favorable," said Carrie S. Campbell, general manager of the water and sewer utility.

Engineering for the project is expected to require most of the coming summer, Campbell said. Consequently, construction is not likely to begin before fall. Even though it is the subject of the renovation, the existing plant will continue to serve as before.

The proposed scope of work will update the existing plant, replace worn parts, and enlarge the plant's ability to cope with demands for several years to come.

At the same time, construction of the all-new Vista water treatment plant is underway, according to Campbell, and should be completed by fall. The new plant will treat water taken from the San Juan River below town.

Need for the new diversion point and treatment plant was discovered during a pair of back-to-back dry years that affected the area a few years ago. The PAWS long-range plan had called for increasing the district's water delivery capability by enlarging Stevens Reservoir. It was thought that water stored in Hatcher Reservoir during the Stevens enlargement would be sufficient to supply district users. When water levels at Hatcher dropped drastically during the drought, the long-range plan changed. At that time, the decision was made to obtain the new diversion point below town and build the new treatment plant at Vista.

When the Vista plant comes on line, plans to enlarge Stevens Reservoir will be revived. Enlargement of Stevens may take it out of service for a couple of years or more. During that time, it is expected that Hatcher Reservoir plus the new diversion source will meet district water needs.

Even with the new source of water being developed, Campbell urges PAWS water users to practice water conservation.

"Who knows when we might get a drought lasting two or even more years?" Campbell asked. "If that happens, we could all be in trouble."

Campbell urges water users to use water in the yard and for washing cars sparingly, to use the smaller toilet tanks now available, to repair dripping faucets, to use water-saving shower heads, and to be water conscious at all times.

"Another thing to think about during the spring planting season is xeroscape landscaping," Campbell said. "By using native plants and grasses already adapted to the water available in our area," she said, "much water can be saved, plus a lot of work. We invite anybody interested in this fascinating landscaping approach to visit our xeroscape garden or to stop in our Vista office and talk with us."

In other business last week the PAWS directors:

- Discussed the route for a water line supplying water to Elk Park Ranches, a proposed subdivision located between the Fairfield Pagosa subdivisions and Aspen Springs and north of U.S. 160. Elk Park Ranches was included in the PAWS service district some months ago. The development contains single family residence lots and 35-acre parcels.

PAWS is supplying 119 equivalent units of water to the development, two for each 35-acre parcel and one for each of the residential lots.

The line supplying Elk Park Ranches is likely to cross Chris Mountain II.

"We generally figure 2.65 people and 243 gallons of water per day for each equivalent unit," Campbell said.

- Bids will be opened at the next board meeting April 18 for a contractor to install water and sewer lines for PAWS. Sutherland Construction has held the contract for the past five or six years.

- No new candidates have filed to run for the PAWS board of directors during the May 2 special district election. A question on the May 2 ballot will ask voters to allow PAWS to de-Bruce by removing TABOR restrictions and also to remove the state-mandated 6.5 percent per income increase.


Extension sought for Blanco project

By John M. Motter

Extension of the Blanco River restoration project is being sought by board members of the San Juan Water Conservancy District.

"The original plan called for restoring 2.2 miles of the Blanco," said Carrie S. Campbell, who serves as secretary for the San Juan Water Conservancy District board of directors. "By the time we did the work last fall, there was only enough money for about half of that."

Referring to the proposed new work as Phase 2, Campbell said the intention is to stay within the original parameters of the U.S. Corps of Engineers 404 permit and complete the work originally contemplated.

To accomplish the work, the district is applying through the state water board for an Environmental Protection Agency grant amounting to from $300,000 to $350,000.

"We should know within 30 days if we'll get the money," Campbell said.

The portion of the project already completed cost about $154,000, $95,000 of that in the form of a grant from the EPA.

The completed project started in the river at the bridge providing access to Blanco River RV Park and moved about 1.1 miles downstream. Phase 12 anticipates starting where the first project ended and moving downstream another 1.1 miles. Hydrologist Dave Rosgen planned the project. The construction work was performed by Elk River Construction Company.

Advocates of the project say it is needed in order to restore the Blanco River as a viable habitat for native fish. They say the San Juan-Chama Water Diversion Project reduced the amount of water flowing down the river, slowing the flow, increasing the silt content, and causing the water to warm up above temperature levels liked by trout.

The project narrows the channel and adds riffles and other features designed to balance the ratio of stream-bed surface to the amount of water running down the river according to formulas developed by Rosgen. The result should be colder, clearer water and a larger native trout population.

Considerable opposition mounted against the original plan by residents who felt the changes might negatively affect water tables in the valley, that the likelihood for damaging floods might increase, and for other reasons.

Since the original project has been completed, no complaints have been received, Campbell said.


Ballet returns to Pagosa

By John Graves

The Aspen Ballet Company will present an exciting mixture of five totally different ballets in its performance at the Pagosa Springs High School auditorium on Wednesday, April 5, at 7:30 p.m.

According to the creative directors of the company, Jean-Phillippe Malaty and Tom Mossbrucker, "A savvy repertory of distinctive and highly acclaimed ballets by the world's greatest choreographers, and an energetic troupe of talented dancers brimming with athleticism, personality and an unrestrained joy of dance, are just two of the reasons why the Aspen Ballet Company has become so popular in such a short time."

Wednesday evening's presentation will include works by the renowned Paul Taylor, the Joffrey Ballet's co-founder Gerald Arpino, two of the pioneers of modern dance - Danial Shapiro and Joanie Smith - and the classic master George Balanchine. Performances will range from a solo and a pas de deux to the two ensemble pieces.

Persons interested in experiencing "an unrestrained joy of dance" right here in Pagosa Springs, can get their tickets at Moonlight Books for the Aspen Ballet Company concert. Reserved seat tickets for this one-time-only performance are available for $18 and $26.


Inside The Sun
Southwest Mental Health director resigns

By Dale R. Smith

Southwest Mental Health Center officials in Durango announced on March 22 that Darrel Parmenter has resigned as the executive director of Southwest Mental Health Center to pursue other career interests.

Parmenter joined the Southwest Mental Health Center 13 years ago as a clinical supervisor. On Jan. 1, 1991, he was appointed as executive director. During his tenure as the executive director he was instrumental in developing the Western Slope CASA. He also assisted in the development of the partnership with San Juan Basin Health, Community Connections Inc., and Southwest Mental Health Center. The three agencies, in a collaborative effort, designed and built the existing Columbine building in Bodo Park where all three agencies are housed.

The Southwest Mental Health Center directors have appointed Ken Stein as the interim executive director until a new director can be hired. Stein currently serves as the executive of Colorado West Regional Mental Health Center in Glenwood Springs, which he will continue doing in conjunction with overseeing Southwest Mental Health. Stein is also the president of the Western Slope CASA.

The board of directors is forming a search committee, which will be responsible for recruiting and making a recommendation for a new executive director.

Southwest Colorado Mental Health Center works to ensure the accessibility of mental health treatment and prevention services for residents of Archuleta, Dolores, La Plata, Montezuma and San Juan counties from offices in Cortez, Durango and Pagosa Springs.

For more information, please contact Southwest Mental Health Center board of directors member Dale Smith at 385-2910.


Listing of precinct boundaries

By David C. Mitchell

The following election precinct boundaries were approved by the county commissioners (Bob Formwalt, Ken Fox and Bill Tallon) during their regular meeting on Jan. 28, 1997. Established by County Clerk June Madrid, the boundaries were based on the numbers of eligible voters residing within each precinct. Except when approved by the county commissioners, no precinct has more than 1,200 active eligible voters residing within its boundaries.

Due to the number of current registered voters who have moved to Archuleta County since 1997, the SUN is running a complete listing of the precinct boundaries. The same boundaries are used to determine the voter alliance for the caucuses that will be held in the corresponding precincts Tuesday, April 2:

Precinct 1: Beginning at a point where U.S. 160 and South 8th Street intersect; thence southerly along South 8th Street to where it intersects with County Road 500 (Trujillo Road), thence southerly along County Road 500 to the junction of County Road 542, thence southeasterly along County Road 542 to the intersection of Forest Service Road 653 (Valle Seco Road); thence northeasterly along Forest Service Road 653 to the junction of U.S. 84; thence northerly along U.S. 84 to the junction of U.S. 160; thence west along U.S. 160 to the junction of South 8th Street.

Precinct 2: Beginning at a point where U.S. 160 intersects with County Road 600 (Piedra Road); thence northeasterly along U.S. 160, through the Town of Pagosa Springs; thence continuing northeasterly on U.S. 160 to the intersection of the Mineral-Archuleta county line; thence west and north along the county line to the intersection of the Hinsdale-Archuleta county line; thence west along the Hinsdale-Archuleta county line to the intersection of County Road 600 (Piedra Road); thence southerly along County Road 600 (Piedra Road) to the intersection of U.S. 160.

Precinct 3: Beginning at a point where U.S. 160 intersects the Mineral-Archuleta county line; thence easterly along the county line to the Conejos-Archuleta county line; thence southerly along the Conejos-Archuleta county line to the Colorado-New Mexico state line; thence westerly along the state line to Coyote Creek; thence northerly along Coyote Creek to the junction of County Road 359 (Coyote Park Road); thence along County Road 359 to the junction of County Road 542 (Montezuma Road); thence northwesterly along County Road 542 to the junction of Forest Service Road 653 (Valle Seco Road); thence northeasterly along Forest Service Road 653 to the junction of U.S. 84; thence northerly along U.S. 160 to the intersection of the Mineral-Archuleta county line.

Precinct 4: Beginning at a point on the Colorado-New Mexico state line where County Road 551 (Juanita Road) intersects the state line; thence northwesterly along County Road 551 to the junction of County Road 500 (Trujillo Road); thence west along County Road 500 to the junction of County Road 700 (Cat Creek Road); thence north along County Road 700 to the junction of County Road 773 (LaVega Redonda Road); thence northwesterly along County Road 773 to the intersection of Forest Service Road 842; thence northerly to the intersection of U.S. 151; thence south along U.S. 151 to the intersection of County Road 193 (Fosset Gulch Road); thence north along County Road 193 to Ignacio Creek; thence northwesterly along Ignacio Creek to its source; thence south on jeep trail to Spring Creek; thence southwest along Spring Creek to the La Plata-Archuleta county line; thence south along the county line to the Colorado-New Mexico state line; thence east along the state line to the intersection of County Road 551.

Precinct 5: Beginning at a point where Martinez Creek intersects U.S. 160; thence northeasterly along Martinez Creek to a point where Martinez Creek intersects the U.S. Forest Service fence; thence north and west along the fence to where the fence intersects with Forest Service Road 923; thence north along Forest Service Road 923 to Forest Service Road 629 (County Road 146); thence southwesterly along Forest Service Road 629 (County Road 146) to the intersection of Forest Service Road 630; thence westerly along Forest Service Road 630 to the junction of Forest Service Trail 583 (Piedra Stock Trail); thence northerly along the Piedra Stock Trail to the intersection of the Hinsdale-Archuleta county line; thence west along the Hinsdale-Archuleta county line to the LaPlata-Archuleta county line; thence south along the LaPlata-Archuleta county line to the intersection of Spring Creek; thence northeasterly along Spring Creek to a jeep trail; thence north along the jeep trail to the source of Ignacio Creek; thence southeasterly along Ignacio Creek to County Road 193 (Fosset Gulch Road); thence south along County Road 193 to the junction of U.S. 151; thence north along U.S. 151 to the intersection of Forest Service Road 842; thence southeasterly along Forest Service Road 842 to the junction of County Road 773 (LaVega Redonda Road); thence southeasterly along County Road 773 to the junction of County Road 700 (Cat Creek Road); thence northerly along County Road 700 to its eastern intersection with U.S. 160; thence easterly along U.S. 160 to the intersection of Martinez Creek .

Precinct 6: Beginning at a point where U.S. 160 intersects Martinez Creek; thence northeasterly along Martinez Creek to a point where Martinez Creek intersects the U.S. Forest Service fence; thence north and west along the fence to where the fence intersects with Forest Service Road 923; thence north along Forest Service Road 923 to Forest Service Road 629 (County Road 146); thence southwesterly along Forest Service Road 629 (County Road 146) to the intersection with Forest Service Road 630; thence westerly along Forest Service Road 630 to the junction of Forest Service Trail 583 (Piedra Stock Trail); thence northerly along the Piedra Stock Trail to the intersection of the Hinsdale-Archuleta county line; thence easterly along the Hinsdale-Archuleta county line to the intersection of County Road 600 (Piedra Road); thence southerly along County Road 600 to the intersection of Dutton Creek; thence southwesterly along Dutton Creek to the intersection of North Pagosa Boulevard; thence southerly along North Pagosa Boulevard to the intersection of U.S. 160; thence westerly along U.S. 160 to the intersection of Martinez Creek.

Precinct 7: Beginning at a point where U.S. 160 intersects County Road 600 (Piedra Road); thence northerly along County Road 600 to Dutton Creek; southwesterly along Dutton Creek to the intersection of North Pagosa Boulevard; thence southerly along North Pagosa Boulevard to the intersection of U.S. 160; thence easterly along U.S. 160 to the intersection with County Road 600 (Piedra Road).

Precinct 8: Beginning at a point on U.S. 160 where the east loop of County Road 700 (Cat Creek Road) intersects U.S. 160; thence south along County Road 700 to the junction of County Road 500 (Trujillo Road); thence east along County Road 500 to the intersection of County Road 551; thence southerly along County Road 551 to the Colorado-New Mexico state line; thence east along the Colorado-New Mexico state line to Coyote Creek; thence northerly along Coyote Park Creek to the intersection of County Road 359 (Coyote Park Road); thence northerly along County Road 359 to the intersection of County Road 542 (Montezuma Road); thence northerly along County Road 500 to the junction of South 8th Street; thence northerly along South 8th Street to the intersection of U.S. 160; thence westerly along U.S. 160 to the intersection of the east loop of County Road 700.


Conservation Fund targets Shahan ranch

By John M. Motter

The Archuleta County commissioners endorsed a Great Outdoors Colorado grant application last week being submitted by The Conservation Fund in connection with preliminary negotiations for open-space grants on the Shahan family's properties in the Navajo River Basin.

The Conservation Fund is a national organization based in Boulder and dedicated to the preservation of open spaces and their associated agricultural and wildlife qualities. Typically, The Conservation Fund purchases the development, or subdivision, rights of a particular piece of property. The land owner retains title to the property and certain other rights as specified in the particular contract relating to that property. In many instances, the land owner can continue ranching, farming or some other land use, and reserve certain rights necessary for the conduct of that business.

At the same time, the land owner sells certain development rights ensuring the property will retain the nature it possessed at the time the contract was forged.

In the case of the Shahan property, negotiations are very preliminary and no agreement has been reached. The county merely endorsed a GOCO grant application which, if granted, would enable The Conservation Fund to purchase development rights within the Navajo River Basin.

"This is a concept the county would endorse if it meets the goals of the individual land owner," said Mike Mollica, director of planning and development for Archuleta County. "It's a win-win situation. The landowner is paid for the development value of his property. At the same time he retains the property and preserves the agricultural and open space values. It's good for the land owner and good for the community."

Recently, Archuleta County has conducted a number of meetings hoping to learn what residents would like to see happen regarding future land use and development in the county.

"In each of the seven meetings we held, retention of our agricultural heritage and preservation of open space were given top priority," said Mollica. "We have to believe these two issues are important to everyone in the county."

The Conservation Fund has purchased a number of conservation easements in Colorado and New Mexico, according to Jenny Kane, western assistant for The Conservation Fund. Purchase monies come from a variety of sources including grants, private donations, foundations and donations made by land owners.

According to information supplied by The Conservation Fund, in a conservation easement the landowner gives up the right to use the land for purposes that might harm its natural features. The landowner spells out the use restrictions that are necessary to protect the land, what must not be done to the land. Those rights the landowner does not want to see exercised are conveyed to a qualified conservation recipient, such as a public agency or conservation organization that is legally bound never to use them.

Easements can be forever or for specific time periods. Generally, only the forever easements, also known as perpetual easements, result in income and estate tax benefits for the property's owner. Easements generally remain with the land; they go with the transfer of title and apply equally to new title holders.


Public interest grows in caucuses

By John M. Motter

With nine candidate hopefuls in the race for two Archuleta County commissioner positions, interest in the precinct caucuses is greater than usual.

That's because the road to the November ballot normally starts with the spring caucuses. Archuleta County is divided into nine voting precincts. Each precinct except the absentee precinct will conduct a caucus. The Republican party process is separate from the Democrat party process. Each party has its own caucuses.

On April 11, voters living within each of the voting precincts gather to elect two committeemen. The committeemen take office immediately and conduct the caucuses. During the meeting, delegates and alternates are elected. The delegates and alternates will attend the party's county general assembly at 10 a.m. April 29 where they will nominate and choose candidates for county office. The names chosen will appear on the August primary election ballot. The delegates or alternates chosen at the caucus also attend general assemblies for state and county offices and nominate candidates for those offices during the primary election. Election judges are also selected at the caucus.

The only county offices open in this year's election are those of commissioners from District 1 and District 2. In order to have their names placed on the August primary ballot through the caucus process, the candidates must secure at least 30 percent of the voting precinct delegates attending the county general assembly.

A second path county office candidate hopefuls may use to get their names on the primary ballot is through a petition process. Although this procedure has not been used in recent years, two of the commissioner candidates have indicated an interest in this procedure this year. The number of signatures required on a petition this year if this process is used is 52 in either District 1 or District 2.

So far, only Republican candidates have gone through the necessary paper work with the county clerk and chief election official to have their names considered for the commissioner offices.

Caucus places in each voting precinct may be the same as the polling place, but they may also be different. The nine voting precincts in Archuleta County are Precinct 1 - county commissioners meeting room in the county courthouse; Precinct 2 - Community United Methodist Church; Precinct 3 - Archuleta County Fair Building; Precinct 4 - St. Rosa and St. Peter's Catholic Church in Arboles; Precinct 5 - the VFW Building in Aspen Springs; Precinct 6 - the Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse at Fairfield Pagosa; Precinct 7 - Community Bible Church in Fairfield Pagosa; Precinct 8 - El Centro Senior Center in Pagosa Springs; Precinct 9 - the absentee voting precinct. Absentee voting is conducted in the county clerk's office in the county courthouse. Polling precinct locations are used by all voters, irrespective of party, during the primary and general election.

The Archuleta County Republican Party caucus locations are Precinct 1- the commissioners meeting room in the courthouse; Precinct 2 - Community United Methodist Church in Pagosa Springs; Precinct 3 - Archuleta County Fair Building; Precinct 4 - St. Rosa and St. Peter's Catholic Church in Arboles; Precinct 5 - Chimney Rock Restaurant at Chimney Rock; Precinct 6 - the Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse at Fairfield Pagosa; Precinct 7 - Community Bible Church at Fairfield Pagosa; and Precinct 8 - Our Savior Lutheran Church at Fairfield Pagosa.

Current Republican Party committeemen by voting precincts are: Precinct 1 - Ross Aragon and Jon Ross; Precinct 2 - Rhonda Ward and Darrell Cotton; Precinct 3 - Fitzhugh Havens; Precinct 4 - Bud Guffey and Charles Stanfill; Precinct 5 - Mason Carpenter and Louis Day; Precinct 6 - Charles Hubbard and Gordon McIver; Precinct 7 - James Hanson and George Muirhead; and Precinct 8 - Pat Ullrich and Roy Vega.

The Archuleta County Republican Party Central Committee is made up of the voting precinct committeemen plus Republican county elected officials. Aragon is the party's county chairman, Mason Carpenter the vice-chairman, Joanne Hanson the secretary, and Linda Delyria the treasurer.

To participate in a precinct caucus, a person must have lived in that precinct for at least 30 days prior to the caucus and be on the caucus list published by the county election official March 10. The election official is also the county clerk, June Madrid. To learn which voting precinct they live in and the status of their voting eligibility, interested parties should call the county clerk's office. A written description of the precinct boundaries appears elsewhere in this edition.


Support for recycling

By Patti J. Exster

"People are really doing their share," said Cliff Lucero, director of the Archuleta County Solid Waste Department when asked about community support for the renewed countywide recycling program. According to Lucero, his department is hauling away approximately 40 cubic yards of recyclable materials a week. This translates into more than four gravel trucks full of recyclables that are not getting dumped in the county landfill. Lucero expects this amount to reach 60 yards in the near future. He credits the community for its enthusiastic support for the program since its renewal March 1, and Lester Rivas who runs the recycling center for keeping the center well-maintained and organized.

Taking recyclables to the recycling center costs nothing and is possible six days a week: Tuesday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Local citizens can also recycle on Mondays by special appointment. (Call the Solid Waste Department at 264-0193 for more information.)

The recycling center accepts the following recyclables, aluminum beverage and food cans (rinsed out), steel or tin food and beverage cans (rinsed - please mash the open end together), paint and aerosol cans (empty and dry with lids off), metal lids, newspaper, white and pastel copy paper, magazines and catalogs, envelopes (light colored), cards, notebook paper, advertisements printed on light colored paper and cardboard.

For more information about the recycling program, call 264-6329.


Chance of rain showers remains

By John M. Motter

Rain and more rain is expected to dampen the Pagosa Country horizon this coming week. The question is, will the wet be from rain or from snow?

"Look for a 30 percent chance of showers today," said Gina Loss of the National Weather Service office in Grand Junction. "The chance for showers remains tonight and through Friday," Loss said.

By Saturday, the possibility for showers, either snow or rain, shrinks to slight, according to Loss.

Temperatures should range from the low 60s for highs down into the 20s at night. A cooling trend should move in with a new storm front Monday, Loss said.

"We have a broad, low-pressure trough covering the Rocky Mountain states," Loss said. "There is a split with the system flow, part of the system moving north across Wyoming and Montana and a southern flow across Arizona and New Mexico. There is generally not a lot of movement within the system, but the showers coming to Colorado are dropping down from the northern flow."

Measurable precipitation amounted to 0.06 inches last week at the official U.S. Weather Service station at Stevens Field.

A high of 62 degrees was recorded Monday, while a low of 34 degrees was recorded Tuesday. For the first time during the Year 2000, no freezing temperatures were recorded during the week. The average high temperature was 51 degrees during the past week, the average low temperature 36 degrees.

At the Wolf Creek Ski Area, 6 inches of snow fell during the week. The snow depth at Wolf Creek is 84 inches at the summit, 76 inches at midway. The ski area's temperature at 6 a.m. Wednesday was 17 degrees, the high temperature Tuesday was 29 degrees.

In town, 22.25 inches of snow have fallen, well above the historic average March snowfall of 16.8 inches.


Driver takes dip in San Juan

By John M. Motter

Rain and more rain is expected to dampen the Pagosa Country horizon this coming week. The question is, will the wet be from rain or from snow?

"Look for a 30 percent chance of showers today," said Gina Loss of the National Weather Service office in Grand Junction. "The chance for showers remains tonight and through Friday," Loss said.

By Saturday, the possibility for showers, either snow or rain, shrinks to slight, according to Loss.

Temperatures should range from the low 60s for highs down into the 20s at night. A cooling trend should move in with a new storm front Monday, Loss said.

"We have a broad, low-pressure trough covering the Rocky Mountain states," Loss said. "There is a split with the system flow, part of the system moving north across Wyoming and Montana and a southern flow across Arizona and New Mexico. There is generally not a lot of movement within the system, but the showers coming to Colorado are dropping down from the northern flow."

Measurable precipitation amounted to 0.06 inches last week at the official U.S. Weather Service station at Stevens Field.

A high of 62 degrees was recorded Monday, while a low of 34 degrees was recorded Tuesday. For the first time during the Year 2000, no freezing temperatures were recorded during the week. The average high temperature was 51 degrees during the past week, the average low temperature 36 degrees.

At the Wolf Creek Ski Area, 6 inches of snow fell during the week. The snow depth at Wolf Creek is 84 inches at the summit, 76 inches at midway. The ski area's temperature at 6 a.m. Wednesday was 17 degrees, the high temperature Tuesday was 29 degrees.

In town, 22.25 inches of snow have fallen, well above the historic average March snowfall of 16.8 inches.


Dear Editor,

As concerning Diana Luppi's ordeal with the U.S. Forest Service concerning access to her property (inholding).

I take the Pagosa SUN and read it thoroughly. This ordeal is outrageous. Ms. Luppi is being treated badly by her own United States Forest Service. Shame. Shame on them. What is to become of this? Will such conduct continue in Archuleta County? Has this woman no rights?

I thank Randy Shipman, Rock Springs, Wyo., for his authoritative letter.

Can she not appeal to the county commissioners? Why aren't they "doing something?"

I have loved Pagosa Springs all my long life. Now I wonder: Is it safe to own property around our county? You may think it's yours, because you buy the property and have a just deed, but can it be taken from you by some government rule you haven't known of?


Frances Rock Coffee

Dallas, Texas

In loving memory

Dear David,

I would like to acknowledge the donation made in honor of Terri Lynn Smith.

The monies were given to Seeds of Learning because the anonymous donor and Terri shared a love of children and a passion for support of parents/families with the immensely difficult, yet important job of child rearing.

Terri volunteered her counseling skills to a mom's support group at a start-up family center about nine years ago. A multi-cultural picture of children will be put up at the center in memory of Terri.

Teddy Adler Finney

Seeds of Learning Family Center Director

Remember when?

Dear Editor,

Remember when the sheriff, one deputy and a couple of state troopers were the only law enforcement people we had around here? Yes, I know that the population has grown, but not nearly enough to warrant the number of law enforcement people that we now have.

Per capita we must have more police officers than any other place this size in the Northern Hemisphere.

Now the PLPOA board and people like Pat Curtis who have apparently brought their insecurities with them from wherever they came from have decided that no matter what the expense to the other property owners they want more law enforcement even though it is not needed.

If a true and honest vote were taken in Pagosa Lakes there would probably be no more PSO with their big shiny cars, bullet-proof vests and expensive high-tech equipment.

Anyway, since the PLPOA board, Commissioners Bill Downey and Ken Fox are going to have more police officers, no matter what. Please do us folks on the other side of the tracks a favor and keep these glorified security guards in Pagosa Lakes patrolling for the people who are paying their big salaries and not all over the community with their radar guns. Sheriff Tom Richards should be able to help us with that.

These new deputies are going to have a hard time finding anything to do out there. As always, let's just hope they remember how it all started and how it should still be. To protect and serve.

Jim Kelley

Worth saving?

Dear Editor,

Some of your readers may not know where the Fort Lyon VA Hospital is located. It is 6 miles east and 1 mile south of Las Animas. It is located on a beautiful, well maintained campus in a peaceful country setting. The Kit Carson Chapel, Veterans Cemetery, and original historic building remain in excellent condition. Fort Lyon has been here since 1857 when it was an outpost on the Santa Fe Trail.

Fort Lyon is an ideal setting for veterans care. As long as I can remember it has been rumored Fort Lyon was closing, so we thought this was just another rumor until a Nov. 24, 1999, headline read "Fort Lyon Is Closing."

Fort Lyon VA Hospital has always been a symbol to our veterans, something everyone could be proud of. It has doctors, nurses, aides, and was like a little city in itself. Fort Lyon played an important role in the westward expansion. For a time it was used as a tuberculosis hospital and later became a full hospital with surgical, dental, pharmacy and mental health services for the veterans.

The Kit Carson Chapel, Veterans Cemetery, and all the historic buildings remain. Isn't this worth saving? My mother remembered President McKinley's horse having the run of the place.

If the officials had worked so very hard to save Fort Lyon, why was the public kept in the dark. It appears to me these meetings were held in secret. They say it costs $8 million to keep it open.

Instead of thinking about giving it to the Department of Corrections, why not use all that time and energy to rebuild Fort Lyon for use by the public and veterans. Don't say it is too late and cannot be done, because it can be done. Fort Lyon has a capacity for 600 beds. There are always going to be veterans. If the current 218 veterans can be moved to other hospitals and nursing homes, why can't other veterans be moved to Fort Lyon? High costs and inefficiency are not the product of old buildings. They are the results of poor management.

I do not believe money is an issue. I think someone had a wild hair and said "let's close Fort Lyon. It's got a lot of space that isn't used, so let's make a prison out of it. If we do it quietly, the veterans and public won't be able to stop the plan."

Fort Lyon is an historic place in Colorado where our children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren will be able to learn about the history of this great country. That will not be possible if it is turned into a prison. With a committed administration and a dedicated, caring staff, Fort Lyon can again be the pride of the VA health care system. So please help keep Fort Lyon open for our veterans and our children.

Virginia Stoker

La Junta

Real concerns

Dear David,

I thought that Piano Creek was some acronym for an asbestos factory or a biological weapons facility. Now I discover that it's actually a plan to build a high-class resort with a ski area and "fancy golf course" with grass and trees and lakes, and they're going to build it on their own property.

We can only thank "Friends of East Fork Valley" for coming over from Durango to save us until the mother ship arrives.

Recently I was provided with the anti-Piano Creek "Public Comment" entitled "Save East Fork Valley" authored by this group, which they are asking our residents to sign and mail to the Forest Service. This is a common tool used by activist groups who think their adherents are either too unmotivated or ignorant to voice their own opinions.

One of their objections is "displacement of winter and summer recreation." Not unless your winter and summer recreation involves trespassing on private property.

Another objection was "loss of access to federal minerals." They should know that surface rights are always subservient to mineral rights. Mineral owners can't be stopped from obtaining what is rightfully theirs, even if it involves use of the surface of your land.

Our "Friends" are from Durango. Surely they know of the great elk herds who calve every spring in the Animas Valley just north of Durango. It's a great tourist attraction. With all the building occurring in the Animas Valley, with all the cars roaring down the highway, they still find it a safe place to bring their young into the world. Why? Because it is private land and no one bothers them.

Let's assume that the developers of Piano Creek are motivated by nothing other than greed. Would you spend millions of dollars on a development that would spoil the very thing that attracted your clients there to begin with? They want all the elk, deer and lynx they can attract. In order to do that, the habitat must be preserved.

I found it very telling that our "Friends" real concerns were of the developers hoping "to sell 295 memberships at over $500,000 each granting exclusive access for golf, tennis, etc. . ." Imagine the people buying into this development having exclusive rights to the property.

Before you sign and mail in this form, ask yourselves: Do you live in a subdivision? Do you believe this "subdivision" has any impact on the environment? Is it OK for you, but not for them? If you don't live in a subdivision, can I use your property for my winter and summer recreation?

If the Friends of East Fork Valley really want to attain their objectives, they should buy all the remaining undeveloped private property in the county and give it to the government.

I find it frustrating observing the actions of any group that has no respect for private property rights, who want us all to feel guilty for having to live on the earth, and whose stated objections are based on ignorance, erroneous information and questionable motives.


Steve Van Horn

Party caucus

Dear Editor,

This letter is to alert all Republicans in Precinct 8, that their precinct committeemen, Pat Ullrich and Roy Vega, are urging them to participate in the Tuesday, April 11, party caucus to be held at Our Savior Lutheran Church at 7 p.m.

You are a Precinct 8 Republican if you reside inside that area of Archuleta County described as follows: from County Road 500 (Trujillo Road) south to Montezuma Road, east to Coyote Park Road south to the state line, west to Juanita Road, west to CR 700 (Cat Creek Road), north to U.S. 160, then east back to CR 500.

Call us if you have any question: Roy 731-5865 or Pat 731-3061.

Roy Vega

Pine cone golf

Dear David,

I am a terrible golfer. The only joy I get from this confession is that when I pay my green fees, I really get my money's worth. However, I have discovered yet another wonderful reason to live in Pagosa. It helps your golf game. Why? Let me explain. Since the weather has turned nicer this week I thought I'd rake my grass and spruce up the place a bit. Of course, the first thing that came to mind was clearing away the pine cones before I get to the raking. Suddenly, it hit like a thunder bolt. Rushing into my garage, grabbing my 4-iron, I proceeded to the front lawn. There I spent a thoroughly enjoyable 30 minutes practicing my chip shots with the Lord's own "Wiffle golf balls." What a hoot.

There are some things to think about before masses of Pagosans begin clearing their yards of each year's abundant crop of cones:

1.) You've really got to do this when your wife isn't home, because she'd be very concerned about the divots and end up discouraging the practice.

2.) You'd be wise to immediately rake the grass when you're done, so those divots won't show.

3.) It really helps if you have a vacant lot on either side of your house, or at least across the street.

4.) By prepared for "unusual" comments from people driving by or jogging by your house when you're clearing the yard.

5.) There's probably not much potential for "league" play in this sport.

6.) When in doubt, be more prone to "top" the cone so as to reduce your divots.

7.) If the cone doesn't travel to far, it's OK because you get to hit it again.

8.) If you have a back yard, you can double your pleasure.

9.) If one pine cone is directly in the path of another, kick it out of the way. No one's keeping score.

10.) Expertise at golf is most certainly not required.

Dave, I am convinced that this could be a real community past time every spring and after every windstorm. Imagine the fun all the tourists will have as CBS, CNN, NBC and ABC all show up every spring to watch the annual "Clearing of the Yards."

Well, I've got to go . . . the back yard's calling.


Rev. Richard A. Bolland


Dear Editor,

A huge thank you to Pagosa Springs resident Mark Tully whose actions made a terrible situation much more comfortable for many travelers.

On Tuesday, March 21, during a bad blizzard on Highway 10 east of Walsenberg, we drove upon a van that had just rolled on slush and black ice. One of the passengers had crawled out of the wreckage and waved us over.

Mark immediately took charge and had that woman and her 3-year-old daughter who were moving about get into our warm vehicle. Next, since the two front-seat passengers were seriously hurt and all the windows and a door of the van were missing from the roll over, Mark started placing objects over the windows, using floor mats and whatever was available. Finally he secured a tarp and tape and stopped the snow from blowing in on these passengers.

While we waited for the ambulances and troopers another vehicle had a serious accident just a few hundred feet from us. Mark's quick actions and soothing encouragement really helped these travelers from Nebraska and Kansas through a bad time.

Thank's Mark. I'm proud to call you my brother.

Leslie Davis


Lucky people

Dear David,

While I'm not overly familiar with the whole Pagosa Lakes Department of Public Safety "Fiasco" that Mr. Pat Curtis was referring to in your last issue (March 16), I do say that I tend to agree with him.

As a former employee of the DPS (as a special services officer) and now being affiliated with several professional public safety departments here in California I can tell you how lucky the people of the Pagosa Lakes area should feel about having the PSO's on patrol. Everyone seems to be taking issue with the fact of "double" law enforcement within the county. Are they forgetting that the DPS is a full-service Public Safety Department, providing first-response emergency medical services and fire response? This type of service increases the chances of saving lives and property, as well as helps integrate the response from other enroute agencies. I also know that a lot of you may think that a private agency law enforcement/rescue department may seem a little strange. Well, let me assure you that it isn't as uncommon as you think. Here in California for example, I am an armed special security officer with a private security agency that contracts with various specific locations. Is this duplication of services within the boundaries of any law enforcement agency that I work with? Certainly not. In fact, most agencies that I work with see it as an enhancement. I also am currently doing my paramedic internship with a private ambulance agency that provides the 9-1-1 system response for almost all of the San Francisco Bay Area, as well as many other northern and southern California counties and municipalities. Does the fact that they are a private agency affect the level of service that the public receives? The answer simply is, yes. Because they are a private agency, they are able to resource their units and personnel in order to maximize coverage within a response area. They are also able to provide a level of service that the public fire departments cannot match in most areas at a much lower cost to the public.

I know that most of this hoopla is The People vs. PLPOA and not DPS specifically, and I imagine that it will always be around as long as PLPOA and The People are around. But, if the folks of Pagosa Lakes would like to keep themselves as safe and protected as they can be, then they should all encourage the county commissioners to get in gear and help the Pagosa Lakes Department of Public Safety get out there and do the job that it was designed to do.


Brian J. Oxley

San Diego, Calif.


Glen Coen

Local resident Glen Clarence Coen, passed away Friday, March 24, 2000, at the age of 92.

Mr. Coen was born in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, on Dec. 11, 1907, to Clarence and Emma Coen. He later married Anna Bostick in Trinidad. To this marriage were born three sons, Neil, Robert and Everett.

Mr. Coen served in the U.S. Army and later worked as a caretaker for the city of Trinidad. He was a member of the Woodmen of the World and the American Legion. He enjoyed knife making.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Anna and his son Neil Coen. He is survived by his son and daughter-in-law, Robert and Bonnie Coen, and his son and daughter-in-law, Everett and Marilyn, all of Pagosa Springs; 12 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Funeral services were held Wednesday, March 29, at 2 p.m. at the Pagosa Springs Funeral Options chapel. Reverend Chris Walls officiated.

Laurence Hayden

Laurence Carl Hayden, 77, of Boise, Idaho, passed away on Sunday, March 26, 2000, at his daughter's home.

Mr. Hayden was born on March 1, 1923, in Pagosa Springs, the son of Carl and Eva Sharp Hayden. He grew up on the family cattle ranch in Pagosa Springs and attended one year of college at Fort Lewis College before entering the U.S. Navy to serve in the hospital corps during World War II. He and Jessie Lee Smith were married in Pagosa Springs on July 28, 1944. After the war, they settled in Temple City, Calif., where he began his long career in the banking industry with Bank of America. Looking for a better place to raise his family, he accepted work with the newly formed Bank of Idaho in 1959 and moved his family to Boise. He worked with the Bank of Idaho until he retired in 1980 as senior vice-president and cashier by which time the bank had merged with First Interstate Bank.

Mr. Hayden will be remembered for his undying devotion to his family. He was a tremendous influence in his daughter's and granddaughter's lives, who were very important to him. He loved the out-of-doors, the mountains, horses and all animals. He enjoyed flying and maintained a pilot's license from the early 1970s. He had a strong work ethic and took care of those he loved.

He is survived by two daughters and their families, Karen Eileen (Richard) Menz and their daughters, Sara Elizabeth and Ellen Ann and Gayle Marie (Jim) Larson and their daughter, April Jessica, all of Boise; and his sister Dorothy Marie Mullins of Colorado Springs.

He died very courageously with his daughters at his side after a very long struggle with cancer. He was a wonderful father and grandfather and will be deeply missed and remembered always.

At his request, private family services will be held.

Memorials may be made to the Mountain States Tumor Institute, 151 E. Bannock Street, Boise, Idaho 83712; or St. Luke's Hospice, 100 East Idaho, Boise, Idaho 83712.

Antonio Herrera

Lifelong Pagosa Springs resident, Antonio "Tony" Emilo Herrera passed away on Sunday, March 26, 2000.

Mr. Herrera was born April 23, 1950, to Jose and Margaret Herrera. He was one of 14 children.

Mr. Herrera worked in the oil fields as a "rough neck" and also worked as a lumberjack. He enjoyed fishing, working on cars and outdoor grilling.

Mr. Herrera is preceded in death by his father, Jose Emilo Herrera; his mother, Margaret Lesana Benevides Herrera; and two brothers, Moses and Carlos Herrera.

He is survived by his son, Michael Herrera of Houston, Texas; his daughter and son-in-law, Laura and Brad Johnson of Houston; his sons Wesley Herrera and Anthony Herrera and his daughters, Vanessa Herrera and Leanna Herrera, all of El Paso, Texas; his brother Eddie Herrera of Denver; his brother and sister-in-law Frank and Lucinda Herrera of Monte Vista; his brother and sister-in-law, Joe and Connie Herrera and his brother and sister-in-law, Wesley and Twila Herrera, all of Bloomfield, N.M.; his brother and sister-in-law, James Herrera and Anna Romero of Pagosa Springs; his sister Angelina Martinez of Taos; his sister and brother-in-law Sally and Ray Slane of Hooper; his sister and brother-in-law, Ruby and Joe Jaramillo of Pagosa Springs; his sister Georgia Foster of Panhandle, Texas; and his sister and brother-in-law, Lisa and Ernest Rivas of Pagosa Springs; four grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.

A recitation of the Rosary was held at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, March 29. The Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10 a.m. on Thursday, March 30. Both services were held at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church with Father John Bowe presiding.

Daniel Lacy

Daniel Eugene Lacy, 60, a resident of Pagosa Springs, passed away on March 23, 2000, at his home following complications resulting from a brain tumor diagnosed Feb. 1, 2000.

Mr. Lacy was born Feb. 3, 1940, in Lamar, to Lucille and Merle Lacy. He is survived by his loving wife, Margaret; two sons, Kenneth Lacy of Greeley, and Louis Lacy of Jackson, Mo.; two daughters, Lisa Wallace of Lakeside, Calif. and Danelle Sparkman of Santie, Calif.; his mother, Lucille of Lamar; three brothers, Richard Lacy of Monticello, Ill., Bob Lacy of Lafayette, and Marvin Lacy of Moore, Okla.; two sisters Barbara Koehn of Lamar and Anna York of Kingman, Ariz.; six grandchildren and numerous nephews and nieces.

Mr. Lacy's family thanks his friends and acquaintances for the constant support, visits and prayers both here and around the country. His naval and private sector careers were important achievements in his life and sources of great pride. He lived his life with hard work, honesty, integrity and faith, a true measure of a good man. He will be missed.

A memorial service was held Tuesday, March 28, at Our Savior Lutheran Church with Pastor Richard Bolland presiding. Donations to Hospice of Mercy are suggested.



Former residents of Pagosa Springs, Robert and Jacqueline Hand, happily announce the engagement of their son Benjamin David Morpurgo, (PSHS class of '90), to Bridget O'Donnell, MA, daughter of Vicki Marshall and Tim O'Donnell of Los Angeles. Both Benjamin and Bridget reside in Los Angeles where she is a clinical psychologist and he is an information technology coordinator for Virgin Entertainment which includes Virgin Music and Virgin Mega Stores for the U.S. and Canada. Thierry Morpurgo, twin brother, will be best man at the Aug. 26 wedding.

Jennifer Albert

Jennifer R. Albert was named to the dean's list for the fall 1999 semester at Lewis & Clark College. Albert is a junior majoring in art.

According to officials at Lewis & Clark College, full-time students who earn at least a 3.75 grade point average, based on a minimum of 12 graded semester hours, are named for this honor.

Elizabeth Felts

Cadet Elizabeth Felts, a high school junior at New Mexico Military Institute, has been named Distinguished New Cadet in her troop for the month of February. Cadet Felts is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Michael L. Felts of Pagosa Springs.

Under the traditional new cadet/old cadet system, one cadet from each of the 15 troops in the corps of 880 high school and junior college cadets is chosen each month for the honor of Distinguished New Cadet.

The choice is based on demonstrated leadership potential, deportment, athletic ability and performance of military activities, including grooming, bearing and courtesy. The commandant of cadets makes the choice, based on the recommendation of the cadet chain of command.


Sports Page
Charles Rand to play in all-state basketball game

By John M. Motter

Pagosa Pirate point guard Charles Rand has been chosen to play in the Class 3A-4A All-State Basketball Game June 15 in the University of Northern Colorado's Butler Hancock Gym in Greeley. Rand is the only Intermountain League player selected for the boys' team.

Rand is one of 10 Class 3A-4A basketball players selected for a South team by officials from the various Colorado High School Activities Association leagues. Another 10 Class 3A-4A basketball players will play for the North team.

"It is a great honor to be chosen," said All-State Game Director Arnold Torgerson. "To be chosen, a player has to be a senior and be selected as one of the best players from the league he played in. About 100 names are turned in and then narrowed down to the 10 who play on each team."

Sponsored by the Colorado High School Coaches Association, the 3A-4A game will be played at 5 p.m. The Class 1A-2A game will be played at 3 p.m. and a Class 5A game winds up the day at 7 p.m. Other sports are also represented during the event, which lasts from the June 11 reporting date through the June 16 football game.

Joining Rand on the South team are 6-foot-7 Will McConnell of Canon City, 6-foot-5 Jesse Stanley of Colorado Springs Christian School, 6-foot-4 Ty Sterkel of Eagle Valley, 6-foot-2 Jeff Sisson of La Junta, 6-foot-2 Ryan Hayden of Palisade, 6-foot-7 German Romero of Rocky Ford, 6-foot-6 Chad France of Sierra, 5-foot-9 Lamar Long of Sierra, and 5-foot-9 David Marsh of Steamboat Springs.

Coaching the South team is Rick Ince of Lake County.

Rand started for two seasons for Pagosa Springs. During the season just completed, the Pirates captured the Intermountain League championship and advanced among the final eight 3A teams to the state championship tournament held at the Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs. There the Pirates played for the consolation championship, where they lost to Monte Vista.

After leading Pagosa in scoring for the season, Rand was named IML Player of the Year by league coaches.


Weather dampens start of Pirate track season

By John M. Motter

Track season was supposed to start at Pagosa Springs High School March 18, but the start has been slow. Wet weather and Pirate and Lady Pirate basketball teams reaching the state playoffs have caused the slow start.

About 32 hopefuls are working to get into shape for the coming season. One of the hopefuls is head coach Kyle Canty. Joining Canty on the coaching staff are Connie and Sean O'Donnell. All of the coaches are back from last year and hopeful that this year's squad will pick up a bushel of medals before the season ends.

The boys have some strong individuals who medaled last year, while the strength of the girls' squad should be in middle distance relays and longer events.

Senior Shane Prunty has medaled repeatedly in the shot put and discus during the past two seasons. Prunty is expected to duel with Del Norte's Jake Evig for the Intermountain League championship and a state title in both field events.

Junior Clint Shaw is also back. Last year, Shaw was one of the best 100-meter and 200-meter sprinters in this part of the state. Shaw also earned points in the triple jump. This year, Shaw will compete in the difficult 400-meter sprint, the triple jump, and the relays.

Returning for the girls are Amber Mesker, Sara Huckins, Meigan Canty, Chelsea Volger, Makina Gill, Annah Rolig, Andrea Ash, Joetta Martinez and a number of promising freshmen.

All Pagosa track meets are away from home. The first meet scheduled March 18 at Kirtland didn't take place because of a mixup, Canty said. The Pirates competed at Aztec instead. A second meet scheduled March 25 at Bloomfield was canceled.

The next meet is at Shiprock April 8 starting at 9 a.m. Subsequent meets are scheduled for Kirtland April 15, Ignacio April 21, Alamosa April 29, the district meet at Del Norte May 6, the regional meet at Adams State College in Alamosa May 12, and the state meet May 19 and 20.


Pirates' bats still chilling; Keel hot on mound

By Roy Starling

The Pagosa Pirates got some good pitching last week but still weren't able to break into the win column. Their bats, it seems, still haven't fully defrosted from the chill of winter.

In a narrow 3-2 loss to the Piedra Vista Panthers last Thursday in Farmington, the Pirates managed only three hits. When Gunnison trounced them 24-1 in the first half of a twin bill in Alamosa Saturday, they got just two safeties. In losing the second game to Gunnison 6-4, they showed signs of coming to life, rapping out eight hits.

"The bad part so far is definitely the hitting," Pirate coach Tony Scarpa said. "We've had too many strikeouts, and you can't advance runners when you're striking out."

Playing against Piedra Vista in big Ricketts Park, the Pirates got a masterful pitching performance from senior Kyle Keelan. The right-hander went the distance against the Panthers, holding them to five hits and striking out seven. Keelan gave up only three bases on balls and retired the last nine batters he faced.

"Kyle pitched a really good game against Piedra Vista," Scarpa said, "and the team as a whole played awesome. We had no errors, which is exceptional when you consider how little time we've had on the field so far."

Down 1-0 going into the visitors' half of the third inning, the Pirates put together a rally to take the lead. With one out, Kraig Candelaria singled and Lonnie Lucero advanced him with another single. After Darin Lister walked and Brandon Thames fanned, Keith Candelaria smashed a line drive to right-center to drive in his brother and Lucero, and the Pirates were up 2-1.

In the bottom of the third, however, the Panthers put together two base hits, two walks and five stolen bases to go back on top 3-2, and they held that margin for the remainder of the contest.

Scarpa said Panther pitcher Heath Cates kept the Pirates off balance all day with a sluggish fast ball and an assortment of off-speed pitches. "His fast ball was coming in at only 76 to 78 miles per hour, and his curve and change-up were around 60," he said. "Our hitters were getting out in front of the pitches."

Pagosa took on Gunnison in Alamosa without Josh Trujillo, who was ill, and Darin Lister and Ronnie Janowsky, who had previous commitments to a higher authority.

The first game began well enough. Senior center-fielder Lucero drilled an 0-1 pitch 30 feet over the left-center field wall to put the Pirates up 1-0 in the top of the first. But Pagosa wouldn't connect for another hit until the fifth, and by that time they were down 24-1. Needless to say, that game provided little material for the team's Year 2000 highlight reel.

Still, Scarpa found a little silver lining to the day's gloomy cloud. "Lonnie (Lucero) came in and pitched the last two innings and held Gunnison scoreless," he said. "He had really good control."

In the nightcap, the Pirates took an early lead by pushing a run across in the first inning. Lucero struck out to open the frame, but Thames worked the Gunnison hurler for a walk and stole second. After Keith Candelaria whiffed, Clinton Lister lined a single to the outfield to bring in Thames.

The Cowboys retaliated with a run of their own in the bottom half of the inning, but the Pirates struck again in the second. Kraig Candelaria led off by grounding out to the pitcher. Third baseman Anthony Maestas then singled and stole second. Second sacker Brandon Charles fanned for the second out, but sophomore shortstop Ross Wagle came through with a clutch single to drive in Maestas and put the Pirates up 2-1.

In the third, the Cowboys jumped on Lucero for four runs to put the game out of reach. In relief of Lucero, however, Keelan turned in another sterling performance, holding Gunnison at bay for 3 2/3 innings, giving up three hits and one run while striking out four and issuing only one base on balls.

When Keelan needed a rest after the sixth, Scarpa decided it was time to take a look at Lister on the hill. The senior catcher-second baseman-pitcher walked the first batter on a full count, but regrouped to strike out the next man he faced. He then walked the next two batters before settling down to retire the side by fanning the Cowboys' No. 9 hitter and getting the lead-off man to fly out to Lucero in center.

"The Gunnison doubleheader showed us we have two more pitchers in Lonnie and Clinton," Scarpa said.

Against the Cowboys, Thames went 2 for 3 with a run batted in, Keelan had two singles in two trips to the plate, Maestas was 1 for 1 and Lister was 1 for 3 with an RBI.

An early look at averages shows Keith Candelaria leading the way at .357, followed by Thames with .307 and Clinton Lister at .300. In limited duty, Maestas is 3 for 6 (.500) and Darin Lister is 2 for 5 (.400) with three walks.

The Pirates will play at Durango Monday at 3 p.m. They'll open their Intermountain League season Saturday, April 8, with a doubleheader in La Jara against the Centauri Falcons.

On Saturday, April 15, they'll try once more to play on their home diamond, hosting the Del Norte Tigers in a doubleheader that begins at 11 a.m. The following week, the Ignacio Bobcats will be in town for a twin bill.


Community News
Local Chatter
By Kate Terry

You can find craziest mistakes in newspapers

There were some typos in last week's Chatter having to do with the names of whole families who worked on the Pretenders presentation of "Arabian Nights," so I'll start again. There were the Fords, the Schurs, the Sharps, the Greers, and the Garmans. Hope I didn't forget anyone.

The big boo-boo (and entirely my fault) was misspelling Peter Marritt's name. I spelled it Merritt. How could I do that to my old friend? Years ago I misspelled it and so did someone else (in the same issue) and Peter wrote a letter to the editor. Good for him! Peter painted the mural located on the River Walk behind the Riverside Restaurant. This primitive painting features some of Pagosa's historical people.

Newspapers do make mistakes! Saying something and writing the same thing are two different things. For example, a friend called my attention to a couple of items in Sunday's Durango Herald. The first one reads:

A mule was dead in the 1700 block of County Road 328, a man reported at 10:15 a.m. A veterinarian said the mule was old and expected to die.

The other item was:

Two women and a man in a vehicle threw something at a man walking on the street and hit him in the 1800 block of Main Avenue, he reported at 5:42. Now the questions are: How did the mule know that he was going to die? and what part of the body is "1800 block of Main Avenue"?

The Archuleta County Genealogical Society will sponsor a beginners workshop Saturday, April 29, at Community United Methodist Church. The cost of $15 includes a beginner's workbook. Please call Jan O'Hare at 731-4322 for information.

The American Red Cross meetings are now being held at the Chamber of Commerce. The next meeting will be at 7 p.m., Tuesday, April 18. Please call Margaret Flynn at 731-3086 or Muriel Cronkhite at 731-4727 for information.

You are invited to join the San Juan Mountain Association and Southwest Outdoor Volunteers on April 18 for an open house, 9 a.m. till 1 p.m., at the Parish Hall on Lewis Street. The purpose of the event is to acquaint the public with the varied projects and volunteer opportunities with the San Juan National Forest, Chimney Rock Interpretive program, San Juan Mountains Association, Southwest Outdoor Volunteers, and Friends of Native Cultures.

Some projects' volunteer opportunities, which are conducted on public land, include Chimney Rock cabin host, tour guide, special events, trail maintenance, trail head hosts, wilderness information specialists, ghost riders, share the trails teams triathlon, field seminars and pueblan dances.

The San Juan Mountains Association is a non-profit volunteer organization whose mission is to promote and provide public education, conservation and interpretation of the natural and cultural resources on public lands in Southwest Colorado. Southwest Volunteers promotes and enhances volunteer opportunities on public lands throughout the area.

Fun on the run

A man went to see his doctor because he was suffering from a miserable cold. His doctor prescribed some pills, but they did not help.

On his next visit, the doctor gave him a shot, but that didn't do any good.

On his third visit, the doctor told the man to go home and take a hot bath. As soon as he finished bathing, he was to throw open all the windows and stand in the draft.

"But doc," protested the patient, "If I do that, I'll get pneumonia."

"I know," said the physician. "I can cure pneumonia."

Chamber News
By Sally Hameister

Zeroes make Sally's head spin


We welcome three new members this week and one renewal bringing our membership to 691. Who would have dreamed that we would approach 700 members in 2000? All of those zeroes just make my head spin, even though some would say that condition is not the least bit unusual for me. Whatever, I am pleased as punch with our growth and watch it with great pleasure. Thank you all for the remarkable support.

Kathryn Strom Davis brings us the Sapphire Rose Foundation located here in Pagosa. Sapphire Rose is a consultation firm that teaches the "Golden Rule" approach to life. Sessions are conducted in an informal setting where all who attend are "friends." If you would like to learn more about the Sapphire Rose Foundation, please call Kathryn at 731-3786. Thanks to Jane Downey at Headquarters for recruiting this new member - a free SunDowner thank-you pass is on its way to you, Jane, with our gratitude.

Sue Walker is our next new member bringing us Tara Mandala located at 903 San Juan Street. Tara Mandala is a Buddhist retreat center and bookstore with emphasis on innate wisdom traditions. This is a 500-acre retreat facility offering courses and retreats from May through September. To learn more about Tara Mandala, you can call 264-6177. Barbara Parada will receive a free SunDowner pass for her recruiting efforts in our behalf.

Kent Gordon joins us next with MasterWorks in Bronze, some of which can be seen currently at the Arts Council Gallery in Town Park. Kent is exhibiting along with Lori Salisbury until April 12 and beginning April 16 will be there with "Expressions of Faith - Christians in the Arts" with other artists. Kent creates detailed, lifelike bronzes of wildlife, western and inspirational subjects to include miniature maquettes to massive monuments. Commissions are welcomed. Kent's work will be exhibited at the new Lori Salisbury Gallery beginning in late April, and you can call 264-4252 for more specific information. We thank Kent's dad, Paige Gordon, one of our valued Diplomats, for the membership recommendation and will get your reward in the mail promptly.


Our renewal this week is Julia Donoho who renews with Donoho Associates, Architects. Thank, Julia.

Business Directories

Our snappy 2000 Business Directories are in, and we couldn't be more pleased with the new format and size. Suellen took on this project with Xena-like zeal and spent more hours than you can imagine seeing it through to completion. We proofed, proofed and proofed some more to minimize errors and hope our efforts paid off. Suellen is to be commended for this formidable project which will allow us to update the Directory more frequently and benefit both members and consumers alike.

We started distributing the Directories at our recent SunDowner and invite you to come to the Visitor Center to pick up your copy and as many as you need for your office. They are dandy to have around and take all the guesswork out of whether or not the targeted business is a Chamber member. Obviously, if the business is listed in the Directory, you can be sure you are dealing with a member in good standing. We are amazed with the number of people who call and ask if a particular business is a Chamber member - we love it.

Our eternal thanks, once again, to David Mitchell for donating the paper, printing and labor costs to the Chamber for this project. David has for many years made this considerable contribution to us and the entire business community, and we are, as always, both humbled and amazed by his generosity. We are also indebted to Ronnie Willett for the many hours of printing time devoted to these fat little books. Thanks you so much, guys - we do appreciate all you do for us.

PS videos

Sales are clipping right along with our new Pagosa Springs Videos, and we are so pleased with the enthusiastic comments and reception it has received. Jean Poitras of Bacchus Video and TV Production is the man responsible for creating this lovely visual interpretation of Pagosa Springs, and we invite you to stop by the Visitor Center for your own private viewing in our Boardroom. The videos are $20 if you purchase one to five with discounts for volume purchases. They make lovely gifts for family members and friends and just about anyone you know. Jean has done a superb job of capturing the true essence of Pagosa Springs, the people of Pagosa and some of our unique special events. Please stop by and have a look - you'll want to own one, I assure you.

'Comedy of Errors'

The Pagosa Players and The King's Men invite you to join them for a staged "concert reading" of The Globe Theatre's interpretation of William Shakespeare's "Comedy of Errors" at WolfTracks Coffee Company and Book Store located at the far west end of the new City Market Mall. This reading will take place on Saturday evening, April 8, at 7:30 p.m. and will last around an hour. Performance space is donated by WolfTracks and 10 percent of all proceeds from tickets and food will be donated to United People Help Ministries.

Sixteen members of the PPKM Company will be engaged in this reading which offers to all who attend the opportunity to learn more about Shakespeare's work in a fun and friendly casual environment.

The Globe Theatre has reduced several of Shakespeare's plays from their original length to a size that can be enjoyed by the entire family community, to include children, without compromising the plot, thought and diction of the original work. Desserts and coffees, lattes, cappuccinos and expressos will be sold that evening to further enhance your experience.

I encourage you to purchase your tickets soon as only 35 seats will be available for the performance. You can purchase tickets only at WolfTracks for $4 (24 hours or more in advance) and $5 at the door. This is a strictly "get 'em while they last" deal, so don't be disappointed. We'll be happy to answer your questions at 264-2360.

Aspen Ballet

A one-time-only performance by the Aspen Ballet Company will be presented in Pagosa Springs on Wednesday, April 5, at 7:30 p.m. at the Pagosa Springs High School auditorium. This is a fabulous opportunity to enjoy a wide range of offerings designed to please even those who aren't especially wild about the idea of ballet. This particular evening includes everything from a lively dance hall piece to a classical piece designed by Gerald Arpino, founder and artistic director of the Joffrey Ballet. There will be something for everyone, so pick up your tickets at Moonlight Books as quickly as possible. There is reserved seating only and tickets are $18 and $26. Proceeds from this exciting evening will benefit the Pagosa Springs Music Boosters donation and scholarship program.

Food for Friends

This is your last week to donate food items for the Curves for Friends National Food Drive 2000, and April Bergman, owner of the local Curves for Women, encourages you to drop off your non-perishable food items at her place behind the Hogs Breath. It is the goal of the Curves Franchisees to donate 500,000 pounds of food to those in need, and they are asking for your help to accomplish this goal. Please drop off your contribution to Curves for Women or, in town, at Shear Talk, 510 San Juan on or before this Friday. Please call 731-0333 for more information.


Pagosa Lakes
By Ming Steen

Two energy sources for enjoying Pagosa's beauty

Both the Gray Wolf Ski Club and San Juan Outdoor Club are gearing up for a very busy spring and summer of hiking, golfing, 4-wheeling, camping, white-water rafting (the list goes on and on). And all these are in addition to an equally busy winter of skiing (both alpine and nordic) and snowmobiling. Don't these people ever take a break?

Old timers and newcomers who haven't tapped into either one of these two energy-sources are missing a good opportunity to enjoy the outdoors with the companionship of these super active folks. Both groups welcome new members. Enquiries on membership applications can be mailed to the following: Gray Wolf Ski Club, Box 2394, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147; or the San Juan Outdoor Club, Box 3856, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147. The San Juan Outdoor Club holds monthly meetings on the first Thursday of each month at the Parish Hall on Lewis Street. You are welcome to attend their meeting if you wish to do so before joining the club. Requirement for entry into Gray Wolf Ski Club - be 50 and over and in the case of a couple, just one partner needs to meet the minimum age requirement. These good folks from both outdoor clubs are truly special.

A free beginner's racquetball clinic will be offered to Recreation Center members on April 11 from 7 to 9 p.m. Esmerelda Berrich and Cherie Barth, both outstanding racquetball players and supremely patient instructors have donated their services. Thank you ladies.

I have a group of friends who make me laugh, even when nothing seems laughable. Here are some of the thoughts, some original, some adopted from others but all easily doable. Ways to cultivate inner peace include a tendency to think and act spontaneously rather than from fears based on past experiences, ability to enjoy each moment, a loss of interest in judging others, a loss of interest in judging self, a loss of interest in conflict, a loss of ability to worry, frequent overwhelming episodes of appreciation, contented feelings of "connectedness" with others and with nature, frequent attacks of smiling through the heart and an increasing tendency to let things happen rather than to manipulate them and make them happen.

Now how can you tell if it's going to be a rotten day. You put your bra on backwards and it fits better, your birthday cake collapses from the weight of the candles - you can tell these two symptoms are symptomatic of some middle-age women. The list goes on to include your car's horn going off accidentally and remains stuck as you follow a group of "Hell's Angels" on the freeway, the bird singing outside your window is a buzzard, your income tax check bounces and your pet rock snaps at you. Lighten up and enjoy the silliness of April 1; on that day and everyday.

Library News
by Lenore Bright

Check out library's new books

Lots of new Books!

Our entire staff has gone on a wonderful New Book Shopping Spree with some of the funding that came from the passing of last Fall's "Library YES" ballot measure. We've ordered new books based on patrons' requests from their questionnaires and are also getting many picks from what's new and hot in BestsellerLand. You must come in and peruse our "New Books" section, and get on the waiting lists for reading in anticipation of Summer Reading. Here are a few examples:

In nonfiction, we're beefing up the sections that were outdated, and that we've had requests for. They include Travel (we have new guides to Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain, France, Spain, and South Africa so far); Education (with new Peterson's Guides to 2- and 4-Year Colleges, a new Graduate School Guide, and a GED Study Guide); and Personal Law Books, including Nolo's "Represent Yourself in Court," "Dog Law," Neighbor Law," and Mediate your Dispute."

New books in the Health area include "The Asthma Sourcebook," "Body Signals," "Mind/Body Health," "Nutrition and Pregnancy," and "The Art Therapy Sourcebook." In parenting books, some of the new-to-us-titles are, "You Are Your Child's First Teacher," "Toilet Training in Less Than One Day," and "Idiot's Guide to Parenting a Preschooler."

There is a plethora of new fiction books as well, with something to suit every taste, including the popular "Red River of the North" series by Lauraine Snelling. There are even more books to come, so keep an eye peeled on the "new books" shelves. They will be added to weekly.

Summer Reading

We are also stocking up on some fabulous new books for Summer Reading participants to enjoy. Most of these books will be held onto until June 12 when the Summer Reading Program begins, so that there will be a variety of new offerings and kids will have something completely new and different to sink their teeth into. We have received several donations of items already for the Summer Reading Program: from the Stitt Family in honor of Cindy and Ron Gustafson; from the Haning Family in memory of Rick and Sam Martinez; a wonderful set of biographies for children from Richard Hill; and a couple of new mascots for the Children's Room - large stuffed Moma and Papa Berenstain Bears donated by Margaret Christiansen. The Summer Reading Program is just a little more than two months from now, and time is sure to fly! Watch this column for details as we get closer to it.

Daylight Savings Time

Don't forget to set your clocks ahead one hour this Sunday, April 2. This means that it will still be light out even when we close at 6 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays. We're getting lots of early-birds in the mornings between our new 8:30 a.m. opening and 10 a.m. when we used to open, but it's been kind of slow in the evenings. Maybe the later sunset will encourage people to stay out later? We'll see. . . next time you're in the library, ask for a book with our hours on it, and hang it up on your fridge for handy-dandy reference.

Children's books

As mentioned last week, we have a cart full of juvenile books for sale. As you may know, we normally have quite a variety of adult paperbacks on our 50-cent cart, but this is a rare for us to have children's books for sale other than during our July Friends of the Library Book Sale. This is a rare opportunity to pick up some bargain books and encourage your children to read at the same time. Kids love to own books, and at 10 cents apiece, this is a steal!

Health Association

Rocky Mountain Environmental Health Association is an "all-volunteer, nonprofit organization for people whose lifestyle and/or health have been adversely affected by our toxic modern world." What this means in layperson's terms is that this organization will provide information to people who suffer as a result of chemicals, pollution, pollens, fragrances, cigarette smoke, and more. We have more information here at the library. Ask for a copy of the pamphlet at the front desk.

Trails system

"On Nature's Trail: a Guide to the Future of Colorado's Statewide Trails System" is an excellent reminder that we enjoy one of the best-developed and maintained trails systems in the country. Now that outdoor hiking, biking, and horseback riding season is almost upon us, this is a good time to reacquaint yourself with this wonderful source we have available to us and to get an idea just how much is involved: planning, funding, maintenance, and so much more. Please ask to see this pamphlet next time you're in the library, and pick up a copy of trail maps as well (or get an original at the Forest Service!).


We received donations of materials from the following this week: Carol Hakala, Marilyn Copley, Devvie Swenson, Sharon Darr, Donald Mowen, Sevedeo Martinez and Mary Ann David, Janet Spaulding, Clare Skaggs and Paula Woerner of the Second Story, Mary Lou Sprowle, Ann and Dick Van Fossen, Ilene and Aliya Haykkus, Mo Covell, and the Kim and Steve Laverty Family in honor of Kate Terry. Thanks to everyone!

Arts Line
By Pamela Bomkamp

Lots of news from Arts Council

The Pagosa Springs Arts Council Garage Sale is right around the corner. All proceeds benefit the PSAC. We need donations. Please drop off any saleable items you may have at the Arts Center on April 13 between 11 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. If you need help transporting items or if you have any questions do not hesitate to call Phyl Daleske at 731-4589 or the PSAC at 264-5020 and leave a message if they are not available.

Whether you are able to donate items or not, by all means make a point to visit the Garage Sale on April 15. Doors open at 8 a.m. at the Arts Center and Gallery in Town Park, just south of the stoplight.

Art Exhibit

Speaking of the Arts Center and Gallery, have you seen the latest exhibit? Lori Salisbury's wildlife paintings and prints are beautiful, and Kent Gordon's bronze sculptures are true to life. If you have not made it down to the Gallery, you are in luck. On April 5 Lori will be in the Gallery demonstrating her painting from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. If you have already seen the Exhibit, you have to come on back. Both Lori and Kent will be adding new and different items the last week of their exhibit April 5 to April 12.

For those of you visiting the Gallery make sure to check out all the neat items in the Gallery Gift Shop. All arts and crafts are by local Pagosa Springs artists and artisans.

Aspen Ballet

The Pagosa Springs Music Boosters will present the Aspen Ballet Company for one night only - April 5, at the Pagosa Springs High School auditorium. Tickets are available at Moonlight Books and are priced at $18 and $26. Please get your tickets early. I love the Ballet!

Pagosa Players

On Saturday, April 8, The Pagosa Players and the King's Men (a non-profit residential theater and a division of the PSAC) will present the Pagosa Springs Family Dessert Concert Readings Series. This event is being held at WolfTracks Coffee Company and Bookstore. Doors are open at 6:45 p.m. and the performance starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are selling for $4 a day in advance and $5 at the door. Due to limited seating please get your ticket early.

The show will be a staged "concert reading" of "A Comedy of Errors" by William Shakespeare. WolfTracks is donating the space and 10 percent of all proceeds including admission prices and coffee and dessert sales will go to United Peoples Help Ministries.

Angel Box Painters

The Pagosa Angel Box Painters paint "memory boxes." When a box is complete it is sent to a hospital and in turn given to parents who have lost an infant child. The box is designed to keep the child's birth and death certificates, wristband, footprints and any other items the parents wish to keep to remember their child.

The painters meet the third Saturday of each month at the Community Bible Church from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Everyone is welcome. If you would like to join them, you can contact Cathy Magin at 264-5597. This activity benefits those who give as well as those who get.

Other PSAC Business

Anyone interested in exhibiting his or her work in the PSAC Art Gallery in Town Park, please pick up an application. We have only a few openings, so act now.

Last but certainly not least, our Arts Council also needs a computer printer and CD player. So if you or anyone you know is looking to let go of one of these items, call Joanne at 264-5020. And a special thank you to Martin and Gerda Whitkamp, Piano Creek Ranch, and Walter and Doris Green for donating the computer, computer monitor, and fax machine, respectively. We will definitely put these to good use.

Senior News
By Janet Copeland

Bluebirds, crocus usher in arrival of spring time

Spring has arrived, as has the beautiful weather and the many bluebirds setting up housekeeping in the bluebird houses in the area. This is such an exciting time of the year as the crocus begin showing their color and other flowers will soon follow. Springtime in Colorado is truly a blessing to behold!

On March 12, several of our seniors took banners and cards to Myrtle Hopper out at Pine Ridge in celebration of her birthday. She was very appreciative and happy to see everyone. We miss Myrtle's visits to the Center and hope she will be able to return soon.

A big congratulations to Dawnie and Earnest Silva, who celebrated their 38th anniversary this week. You folks are certainly an inspiration to us all. Also, Happy Birthday to Crystal Quintana (who works with Dawnie in the kitchen).

Many thanks to Ron and Cindy Gustafson for the beads they brought back from Mardi Gras and gave to the seniors. We enjoy having our own little celebration, and children who attend the Head Start program at the Center enjoyed receiving the beads that were given to them.

We hope everyone will reserve the evening of April 29 on their calendars for our one big fund raiser of the year, the Chili Supper, here at the Senior Center. Tickets will be $5 for adults and $2 for children and can be purchased from members of the group. Items donated by local merchants and donated cakes/pies will be auctioned off to aid in our fund-raising effort.

This week's Senior of the Week is Clyde Bagby, our newcomer. Congratulations Clyde!

Dawnie wants everyone to know that she will serve fish on Friday during Lent to those who want it. We appreciate her thoughtfulness.

Just a reminder to everyone that Margie Martinez and her family lost all their belongings in the fire that destroyed their home and need our prayers and donations to help rebuild their life. Monetary donations can be made to the special fund at Citizens Bank and household items or clothing donations can be dropped off at Casa De Los Arcos. Margie accompanies Donna Cooper to the Senior Center and we consider her a member of our group even though she is certainly much younger than most of us.

Beginning April 1, meal delivery will begin at 12 p.m. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

We were happy to have Christine Heinrich and Corrina Hermosillo as guests on Monday.


Cruising with Cruse
By Katherine Cruse

Cruses have yet another adventure on slopes

Tuesday morning a week ago we all woke to 10 to 12 inches of snow on the ground. Hotshot, the guy I live with, used the mega-snow blower to clear the driveway, while I shoveled the deck. I don't know which job was harder, but they both took about the same amount of time. Then we worked at the computers for an hour or so, and then we went skiing. Every day I say, "How lucky I am to be living here." This is one of the reasons: we can head up to Wolf Creek Ski Area any time the mood strikes us (and the weather cooperates).

On the way, we stopped at Ski and Bow Rack, where Larry, who has the patience of a couple of saints, has been making me custom insoles, so that my boots will fit better. This is a slow process. First he molded soft forms to support my feet the way they should be. Not the way they usually are, which is flatter than pancakes. Padding around a swimming pool, my wet feet leave prints that look as if a very large duck has walked by.

I put the insoles in my shoes and walked around for a while. (If you tried this walking-around part wearing your ski boots, you'd have all the coordination and grace of RoboCop.)

"There's pressure here and here," I reported. And Larry looked at the bottoms of the insoles and said, "I see it." He ground off a thin layer. We repeated the walking around, the discussion and the grinding.

It's hard to know what these things should feel like. My shoes have never fit well. But slowly we're getting them right. Perfect, maybe. I'm a little bit anxious. Maybe this adjustment process will be like trying to make a table or chair even by cutting a little bit off the leg that seems too long. You take off too much, and then you have to shorten another leg, and so on until the top of the table is only 10 inches off the floor. Larry is confident that won't happen.

At least now, when I tilt my ankles from side to side, which is what you have to do if you want the skis to turn, the boots tilt along with them.

It no longer feels like my toes are holding on to the boots from the inside. And Larry gave me more things to think about, along with "speed is your friend" and "maintain momentum." Imagine that, as you ski down the hill, you're going partway around the bottom of a circle, then turning to go back around the bottom of another circle. Don't do long traverses, because you lose the rhythm. Don't stop; you lose the rhythm. "When you get the rhythm right, it's like dancing," he said. "And the steeper the hill, the faster the dance."

During the first two weeks of March, Hotshot and I were in Phoenix. He really wanted to be skiing. He didn't care if there were thousands of people crowding the slopes. When we got home, he headed up to Wolf Creek three times that first week. I went twice, and here's my report on the infamous, notorious Spring Break.

The local people are not in evidence. They apparently leave town, or at least they don't go skiing. Or they're too busy coping with the needs of the visitors. The license plates in the ski area parking lot are from Texas, Texas, Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma, Texas. There's an occasional Missouri or Arkansas, and I saw one from Iowa.

Inside the Base Camp building, where people bring their own food, the groups haul in enormous coolers and stake out their lunch and gathering areas. Lunchtime smells like warm bodies, wet clothes and popcorn. Teenagers make their sandwiches, white bread and bologna, heavy on the mayo.

A couple of college guys brought in some beer. Personally, I couldn't mix alcohol and skiing. The combination of exercise, altitude, and panting while going down a slope is dehydrating enough. Hotshot and I are still working on remembering to breathe while we ski, especially on the more exciting slopes.

Toddlers wander around, picking pretzels and other flotsam off the floor when no one's looking. Babies stare wide-eyed at all the strangers until they're exhausted and crying. Then comes that peaceful look, when they finally fall asleep in dad's lap and mom can get in some ski time.

Out by the chair lifts, some parents who don't ski wait and watch for their offspring, so they can capture them on videotape.

There are lots of parents teaching their offspring the basics. This was my favorite scene - Mom on her skis, upslope, Dad maybe a hundred feet down the slope. Mom's instructions to the child, who was about as tall as my writing desk, "Now, I want you to make five turns before you get to Dad. Okay? Five turns. I'll count. Ready? Go!" And the kid was off like a rocket, zooming straight down the hill to Dad, with Mom calling in vain, "Turn! Turn!"

The snowboarders, most of whom seem to be teenagers, zoom down the slopes, swooping and diving. I like the way they seem so completely at home in their bodies. I also like the way they stop, just flop down anywhere, apparently oblivious to the uncertain attempts of us not-skillful skiers to go around them.

I saw one injured person last week, almost at the bottom of the run called Powder Puff. A skier lay on the ground. Another skier crouched beside her, cradling her head. "Are you all right?" I asked the standard question when someone falls. "She's dislocated her shoulder," the man said. People have told me that a dislocated shoulder is one of the more painful injuries you can get. Just then someone riding the chair lift overhead called down, "The medics are on the way." Then they shouted instructions. "Stick your skis in the snow, so they make a cross. The rescue team can find you faster." That's a piece of information I hadn't known, and I really hope I don't need to use it.

One friend thinks downhill skiing is basically boring. "You go up and come down, go up and come down. It's the same thing over and over. At least when you ski cross country, you get new and beautiful scenery." Before I started learning to ski, I might have agreed with her. Now - I find every run is different, as I try to figure out what movement feels right and how to improve. At the top of the lift I look across the tops of the mountains, the ones I trudge across with a backpack during the summer, and every time, they're beautiful.

I watch some of the novices. Hunched over their skis, rear ends hanging back, and I know that I started out that way and still assume that position some of the time. But what the heck. We're all out there having fun. And I think again, how lucky I am to be living here.


Voters need to protect town

The outcome of the April 4 election could have a tremendous ef-

fect on the future operation of the town of Pagosa Springs as

well as that of Archuleta County

Pagosa Springs voters are being asked to approve a sales tax proposal. Rather than affecting the overall amount of the sales tax, if approved by a majority of the voters (and I hope they do), the measure would protect the town in the event the existing Archuleta County sales tax is "repealed, repealed and readopted, determined (by the courts) to not be effective, or expires in whole or part in an amount greater than 1 percent." If approved by a majority of voters, the ballot issue would enable the town to "collect, retain and spend all revenues generated from such sales tax rate as a voter approved revenue change. . . ." It would not increase the existing overall 7 percent sales tax.

Currently, the state of Colorado imposes a 3 percent sales tax throughout the state. All of the resulting monies go to the state. With the county voters approval, the county imposes a 4 percent sales tax throughout the county - including the town of Pagosa Springs. The monies resulting from this 4 percent sales tax are split evenly on a 50-50 basis between the town and county.

Together, the state and county create a 7 percent sales tax overall - the maximum percentage allowed by state statutes. Because of this statutory limitation; if the town's ballot issue is approved, there cannot be an increase above the 7 percent sales tax that already exists in the town and county.

Instead, it could change the makeup of the 7 percent sales tax. Should a majority of the voters (and I hope they do) vote "Yes" or "Si" on the ballot issue, the town would be able to impose a 3 percent sales tax on sales collected within the town boundaries. The state would continue to impose its existing 3 percent sales tax. The county would be able to impose a 1 percent county-wide sales tax. It could likewise impose a 3 percent sales tax on all sales that occur in all areas of the county that are located outside of the town's incorporated area.

The total sales tax would continue at its present 7 percent level, whether inside or outside the town.

The 50-50 agreement between the town of Pagosa Springs and Archuleta County on the division of sales tax revenues is for most part unique in the state. The agreement is especially unique since 80 to 90 percent of all of the sales taxes currently being collected within the county are collected by businesses that operate inside the town boundaries.

As reported earlier this month, the town's ballot issue is a response to the ad hoc Archuleta County Road Users Association that wanted an issue put on the 1995 county-wide ballot that asked voters to change the distribution of revenues from the 4 percent sales tax, with the county receiving 75 percent of the revenues and 25 percent of the revenues going to the town. Because the then Archuleta County commissioners rejected the request, representatives of the association took the issue to the Sixth District Court. When the resulting decision went against the association, its representatives appealed to the Colorado Court of Appeals which in turn reversed the District Court's ruling and an ordered the county to hold an election on the group's ballot issue The Appeals Court subsequently stayed its election order when the county and town appealed to the Colorado Supreme Court.

It is hoped the town and county can continue to operate under the existing 50-50 agreement, but the town trustees would be irresponsible if they didn't try to protect the town's best interest should the Road Users Association's lawsuit eventually prove to be harmful to the town.

The names of three candidates also appear on the April 4 ballot. Rick Kiister and incumbents Bill Whitbred and Jeff Jones are unopposed for the three trustee positions.

So the outcome of the three trustee positions is assured. Now it is up to the town's voters to vote "Yes' or "Si" on April 4 to ensure the town can impose a 3 percent sales tax should the current agreement with the county be disrupted. David C. Mitchell


Dear Folks
By David C. Mitchell

Thoughts from a dry news week

Dear Folks,

I didn't need to phone the National Weather Service office in Grand Junction this week to know that a "news drought" had swept Archuleta County.

The fourth Thursday of the month normally carries little news for a weekly newspaper.

The school board, town board and other such bodies of public leadership have concluded their monthly gatherings by the fourth week of the month.

Unless something out of the ordinary comes up with the town police or the sheriff's department, the local action slows to a crawl.

The popular, lovable property owners associations fail to stir up even the slightest breeze. No one files a law suit against anyone or accuses their accusers of any dastardly deeds such as leaving a porch light on long after its bedtime for all of the neighbors.

The only thing that shrinks the news more than the fourth Thursday of the month is a month with five Thursdays. Such as today.

There definitely is no relief in sight when a fifth Thursday of the month darkens the calendar.

Just when it appears the dry conditions can't get any drier, the county commissioners fail to meet during the week of the fifth Thursday.

Then the schools close for spring break during the week of the fifth Thursday. This removes athletic events, music programs, chess tournaments or academic competitions such as science fairs, spelling bees and knowledge bowls. Even the weekly school lunch menus go on a diet.

Talk about drought, it's a veritable dust bowl. Of course nothing breaks a drought better that the local schools going on spring break.

It is a rare occasion for the "phys ed" field across from Town Park to be melted off prior to the spring break, and for it not be dumped on by a snow storm the weekend prior to classes resuming.

It's a little late arriving, but it's interesting to read a foundation has chosen Pagosa as its base for offering consultation on "the 'Golden Rule' approach to life."

Based on the recent ads some of the more prominent developers have been running, the current approach is the popular concept that "the ones with the most gold rule."

Running a close second is the twisted rule of "do unto others as much as you can before they do it unto you."

Folks also are telling that nimbyism's "not in my back yard" mantras are developing throughout the county. Actually they are just working both sides on the major roadways.

One of the newer forms of nimbyism to develop is the "neighbors beware or be buried" approach.

There's also an expanded version of nimbyism that's made its way into downtown Pagosa. It follows the creed of "not in my back yard . . . unless I'm the one making the profit."

Folks are waiting to learn what holds the greater control over the county - resolutions approved by the elected officials or petitions and advertisements developed by the big hammers.

Some folks are considering circulating petitions later this year when the county commissioners pass the resolution that sets the county's mill levy for next year's property taxes. Surely if enough folks affix their signatures to enough petitions, they can get the county officials to ignore the resolutions and regulations they are supposed to follow.

At our present rate of saving ourselves from one another, Pagosa will become another one of those places in paradise that imposes a caste system on private properties. Any and all private lands within the county will be compelled to continue in the condition that they were in when the self-appointed Brahmans and Kshatriyas first set eyes on Pagosa Springs.

The only exceptions to this petition-driven caste system will involve situations in which the more exalted Brahmans or Kshatriyas would profit if a variance was granted to circumvent the system.

It's a great method for stabilizing and strengthening the virtues of Pagosa and for eliminating class hatred or divisions from among the wonderful folks who call it home. Folks also are finding that it develops an interesting environment for county elections.

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


25 years ago

Pagosa Texaco safe robbed

Taken from SUN files

of April 3, 1975

A safe at the Pagosa Texaco Service Station (Poma's Pit Stop) was peeled open and over $1,000 taken last weekend. The safe was moved from the office to the rear of the station where a cutting torch was used to peel back the front of the safe. The inner lining was cut with a welding torch.

Forest Service officials will be here next Monday night to conduct a workshop on the Southern San Juan Mountains unit. The purpose of the workshop is to have public discussion on future plans for the unit under consideration.

It was announced this week that the Moorehead Garage and Little Indian Shop (current site of Classic Stoves Emporium) has been sold to Mr. and Mrs. Ken Buhler. The Moorehead Garage was owned and operated by Aubrey Fowler, one of the long-time businessmen in the community.

The annual Easter Egg Hunt sponsored by Beta Sigma Phi was held Saturday at the high school gym with only a small group of youngsters attending. Due to the snowy conditions, the Easter eggs could not be hidden out doors.


By Shari Pierce

Whitefields' contributions to community

Last week I touched a little on the Whitefield family and some of their commercial contributions to our community. In particular I mentioned that when the Whitefields decided to expand their business and construct a new building, they approached the town board with the prospect of abandoning a small section of 6th Street. Since the street isn't currently there and the building is, I made the assumption last week that some agreement had been reached between the two parties.

The Whitefields' son, Larry, has since filled me in on some of the details I was lacking. It seems his mother, Gay, was a meticulous record keeper so when I mentioned this incident to Larry, he was able to look back in her records and share the following information with me.

The Whitefields asked the town to abandon one-half of 6th Street. They could then move their wooden-frame store building onto that land. This would make the distance from the edge of the cinder block building they intended to construct 35 feet from the property line.

In exchange for the abandoned property, Mr. Whitefield agreed to build a bridge across McCabe Creek on the other half of the street. The bridge would need to be able to accommodate a coal delivery truck with a 10-ton capacity.

Mr. Whitefield designed the bridge. Frank R. Rae of Denver was hired to do a structural analysis to ensure the bridge would meet the requirements. Rae's analysis showed the bridge would be rated to hold 16 tons and with a few minor adjustments would be rated for 20-ton loads. Rae's report was dated Oct. 12, 1959.

Another interesting bit of information that I learned from my visit with the Whitefields and subsequent conversations with other people is Jim and Gay Whitefield were instrumental in the First Baptist Church in Pagosa Springs. During a period of time when the church did not have a building, the Whitefields provided a place for the congregation to meet in a home on San Juan Street. A wall in the home was removed to provide a larger room for the congregation. The Whitefields also worked to help get a building constructed to house the church.

Once again, I'd like to thank Mr. Larry Whitefield for sharing a little bit of information about his parents. They were hard-working people who made significant contributions to our community during the years they called Pagosa Springs home.

Video Review
By Roy Starling

Drivers are most unlikable people

Say, has this ever happened to you?

You're driving along Highway 160 or Fourmile Road or Piedra Road, mellow as a napping infant, unconsciously in love with humankind and all of creation, when all of a sudden you look in your rearview mirror and see a vehicle (usually an SUV, a big rig or a monster 4 X 4 truck) trying to crowd its way into your back seat.

You can't see a trace of anything human, just a face comprised of a mouth-like grill and headlight eyes. The overbearing, bullying impatience of this metal and steel contraption evokes from you a string of salty and colorful epithets you no longer thought you were capable of. Well, there goes your serenity, there goes the lovely day, there goes your appreciation of the rolling hills and snowy peaks.

You remember that the commandment to love your neighbor as yourself was formulated before the invention of the automobile.

Who thinks of a rude, pushy, inconsiderate driver as a human being? The human driver has encased himself in the unfeeling scaly dragon armor of his vehicle, his heart no softer than a carburetor.

Is the driver just a thoughtless dimwit or does he actually intend to do you bodily harm? You fear the latter.

About 30 years ago, a 24-year-old Steven Spielberg, inspired by a Richard Matheson short story, made a film for television that takes this thing we've learned to call "road rage" and extends it to its nightmare extreme. The movie is called "Duel," and it stars Dennis Weaver as an Everyman (his character's name is Dave Mann) from the suburbs on his way to a business meeting.

The film begins in darkness with, appropriately, the sound of an engine starting up. Then, from Mann's perspective, we see him backing out of his garage and driving out of his American Dream neighborhood. Just an ordinary average guy in his ordinary average red Plymouth Valiant.

We hear his car radio with, first, a shallow, mind-numbing stream of idiotic commercials, and then a pathetic bit of dialogue between two mental midgets in a talk show. Just that little bit of inanity alone would have me well on my way to road rage; it made me wonder what role the company we keep in our vehicles plays in our often inhuman behavior behind the wheel.

Mann soon pulls up behind an old diesel semi pulling a tanker marked "Flammable." The rig is spewing exhaust fumes, contaminating the atmosphere almost as badly as the radio station Mann is listening to. He passes the truck. Like many big trucks, this one doesn't like being passed, so he passes Mann, cutting dangerously close to the Valiant as it returns to the right lane. You know, just sending a little message.

Then the truck slows down. Then an arm appears out the driver-side window, waving Mann around, indicating that it's safe to pass. When Mann pulls into the passing lane, he narrowly misses a head-on collision with an approaching car. The duel has begun in earnest.

Spielberg then treats us to a brief flashback, chiefly to flesh out Mann's character. We learn that he had an opportunity to stand up for his wife the night before when a man at a party made rude advances to her. He didn't, and she's not going to let him forget what a wimp he is. We also learn that Mann really needs to get to this meeting, and if he doesn't he'll lose an important account.

Here's a guy who's clearly not in charge of his own life. He's not the King of his Castle, and, like many human beings, he's only a disposable pawn in the hands of his corporate employer. Now, to make matters worse, he's not even the King of the Road. In fact, he runs the danger of becoming just another squashed piece of road kill.

As the film continues, Mann becomes as terrorized as an unlucky buck during hunting season. His humanity, his dignity, his life mean nothing to The Truck. See, we have to call his enemy The Truck, because we never see a human face, just the exhaust-belching, horn-blaring monster, the sinister grill and headlights in the rearview mirror.

Under relentless pressure from The Truck, Mann, too, begins to lose his hu-Mann-ity. He becomes an hysterical pile of quivering jelly, then a sobbing mass of pure throbbing hatred - in the words of James Taylor, "a churning urn of burning funk."

In a voice-over, we hear him sounding for all the world like Alice after she falls through the rabbit hole, trying to reconstruct his "real" life. He remembers waking up in his ordinary average house next to his ordinary average wife. He remembers the shower, the shave, the breakfast, the morning paper, all the things that civilized people like us do. "Then," he says, "there you are, right back in the jungle again": survival of the fittest on this great nation's highways where men and women so often behave with all the civility of those apes at the beginning of "2001: A Space Odyssey."

In fact, when we last see Mann, he's sitting alone, backlit by the setting sun. It is eerily quiet after all the commotion caused by the roaring engines. Cut off from his home, his family and even from what he previously considered his Self, Mann sits and tosses stones into a ravine. Watching him, I couldn't help but think, "We're still in the Stone Age after all."

In addition to warming you up for the road rage coming soon to a highway near you (our illustrious summer guests, you know, are already on their way), "Duel" lets you see a young Spielberg learning his trade. I can assure you this is last time you'll ever see this guy working on a shoestring budget without the benefits of a mega-million-dollar special-effects budget. He has to create his suspense solely with camera placement and timely cutting, and he does it well.

At times, the camera seems to be driving the car; at other times, the truck. Sometimes, it's placed on the floorboard of Mann's Valiant, giving us an odd low-angle shot of the gradually disintegrating driver.

With only two characters (and only one human), Spielberg still manages to avoid monotony, with timely cutting between Mann and what he sees: The Truck behind him, The Truck in front of him.

Hitchcock devotees will also notice two sly, but not so subtle, allusions to the old Master of Suspense. One involves a visual allusion to Hitch's "North by Northwest," the other an aural one to "Psycho."

You should also know that the screenwriter Matheson is no small potatoes. He wrote tons of science-fiction stories and novels in the '50s, '60s and '70s, and wrote the screenplays for "The Incredible Shrinking Man" (1957), "The Pit and the Pendulum" (1961), and two episodes of "Twilight Zone: The Movie" (1983). He also wrote numerous episodes for TV series such as "Twilight Zone," "Star Trek" and "Night Gallery."

Well, I'm going to take a spin on Fourmile Road now, and I promise to try to remember that inside every vehicle, even the ones that don't mind killing me, is a mother's son or daughter.

May there be peace on the road in our time.


Food for Thought
By Karl Isberg

Mining memories from Old Brown

I've been on an archaeological dig.

I didn't unearth the residue of past civilizations, discovering pots and implements of a mysterious people long gone. I1 wasn't cited into a federal court for the desecration of historical sites. Nothing that traditional.

My dig occurred in the front room of my house.

I explored the underside of an old couch.

Call it the archaeology of sentiment.

When we moved to Pagosa, Kathy and I brought a brown couch we purchased in Denver and used for several years before the move.

When we acquired Old Brown, it was a snappy statement, crafted on the peak of Mount Fashion. After a couple of years during which our daughter Aurora and her teenaged friends used it as a landing zone, Old Brown was reduced to ordinary furniture. By the time we moved to Pagosa, youngest daughter Ivy had the afterburners on and the couch degraded to a mere object.

An object I really appreciated.

Not Kathy.

For years, Kathy whined about Old Brown, griping about how tacky the couch looked, moaning about her embarrassment whenever someone came to the house.

I had a solution to her problem: Don't invite anyone over.

My approach worked. For the past four years, the couch and a healthy dose of shame prevented Kathy from organizing any significant social occasions at our house. It was fine with me. A social occasion means I have to change out of my sweatpants and my Pagosa Wrestling sweatshirt. It means I have to spend hours in the kitchen preparing food.

I wasn't embarrassed; I loved the couch. I loved the form-fitted dent at the end of the couch, put there by my ample bulk during years of television viewing. Old Brown was my vessel, the dent my poopdeck during numberless video voyages. The couch was like a tailor-made blue suit, a pair of hand-crafted Italian shoes: It was something you keep for a lifetime. You can be buried in a great suit and great shoes . . . reclining on a great couch.

The couch was my fabric-covered friend. I needed the couch.

Not Kathy.

Tired of endless arguments and finally immune to my cleverly-crafted ploys that played on her inherent fear of spending money, Kathy mustered the good sense to ignore me and found the courage to cough up the cash for a new couch and chair.

After months of pouring over catalogs, after numerous visits to furniture stores, after sleepless nights and teeth-grinding reviews of the savings account, Kathy made up her mind to buy. And when she made up her mind, it spelled the end for Old Brown. For my dent. For a chapter in our family history.

Since the delivery charge for the new couch and chair (plus Ottoman) cost nearly as much as the furniture, Kathy took off for Denver intent on renting a van and transporting the goods home. While she was gone, my assignment was to rid our home of Old Brown, my backside buddy.

I decided to take one last ride, to orchestrate our parting in style.

I stretched out on Old Brown, sipped an Argentine Malbec and watched Roller Derby: the Suns versus the Enforcers. It was a thoroughly satisfying evening, blessed by a simple-minded morality play. I find simple-minded morality the easiest to absorb, don't you? No ambiguities, no shades of gray, everything cut-and-dried. Comforting.

The Suns represent the power of high ideals. They are light-splattered beacons of all that is right about the species - healthy-looking specimens, clad in high-chroma Spandex, blond and tan, with perfect white teeth. The women's outfits are revealing, but in a corn-fed, next-door, roller-derby gal kind of way. The guys have cleft chins and are lean and look like actors in a Bowflex ad. The Suns come from the warm and welcoming shores of the Caribbean, in Florida. Most of the great harbingers of an upright, moral existence hearken from arid or tropical climes. I'm sure it has something to do with the amount of daylight hours in those latitudes, something to do with persistent sunshine and the synthesis of massive amounts of Vitamin D.

The Enforcers, on the other hand, are dark, grim, evil. They are from the North. Nasty people always come from the north: barbarians of all sorts - Scythians, Hyperboreans, Nords, Prussians, the Kennedys and whatnot. The Enforcers are from New York or New Jersey, or somewhere equally as sordid, from cold, cloudy country at the geographic epicenter of relativism. You can see the Enforcers are icky - they wear black uniforms and their shirts are sleeveless, the better to display their garish tattoos. They are covered with tattoos, men and women alike, their limbs and backsides bearing brazen images, inked in alarming primary colors. Like slobbering warriors sweeping off the Steppes to burn cathedrals, they swarm around the track, locusts, the germs of an awful plague. The Enforcer women's outfits are more than revealing - they are windows to an obscene spectacle, opening on chalky flesh jiggling in a provocative and vile display.

They must be stopped!

Old Brown feels perfect. I lie there in the front room, South American grape licking at the amygdala, and I watch the Suns eke out a last-second but marginal victory over the Beast Master's team. I realize the next morning my couch will be gone. Evil will remain, but Old Brown will be gone.

It was then I decided to gut Old Brown. To make a sacrifice.

I tipped the couch on its back - like toppling an ox on the killing floor - and I attacked the innards of the carcass. I dressed out Old Brown, loosening the fabric on the underside of the couch, and the goodies poured out.

Five pairs of scissors - two pairs, the kind used by small children, with goofy dull blades that can't sever a strand of overcooked linguine. These, I figured, were Ivy's. It was never wise to give Ivy a sharp object. Still isn't.

Four spoons, each of a different pattern. I recognize one of the spoons as part of the first complete set of utensils Kathy and I bought 25 years ago. The spoon, no doubt, goes with the ancient yogurt carton caught in a spring of the couch. The girls loved yogurt.

Rori also loved Fruit Loops. There were plenty of petrified Fruit Loops hidden inside the couch. Rori sat on Old Brown on Saturday mornings, watching Scooby Doo, a bowl of Fruit Loops perched precariously on her lap. Rori liked Scooby. I liked Scrappy.

Nine crayons, including a fragment of the now-taboo Indian Red.

A tube of Wild Rabbit Raspberry Lip Smacker, circa 1980-85. I can see Rori sitting on Old Brown, applying copious amounts of Lip Smacker prior to the Denver North fall dance. Absent a date, Aurora went to the dance with Kimmie Baca.

Three barrettes. Could have been anyone's.

A Prince fan club card. Rori adored that teensy little geek. I sat on Old Brown the first time I heard "Darling Nikki."

Twelve pens and four pencils. Kathy was irate when the girls attempted to do their homework astride Old Brown, watching television. With my short attention span, it made perfect sense to me: a bit of TV, a bit of math, a bit of TV, a bit of math.

A note: "adhesive tape, rubbing alcohol, call a lawyer, cheese, 9 mm ammo, Mentholatum, Cheetos, turkey."

A tube of green-tinted zinc oxide nose cover. Ivy promised she would use sun screen and zinc every time she went snowboarding, or when she worked as a lifeguard at the Spa pool.

A tube of sunscreen.

An elaborately beaded lanyard, bearing a crudely-crafted female figure. Ivy spent a year or two in Brownies fashioning such fetishes. Not really her cup of tea, but it kept her out of the house.

Several parts of unidentifiable plastic devices. I've attempted to repair many plastic devices in my time. But for the loss of key parts, I would have succeeded.

A tube of aloe ointment. Kathy does not cook often, but when she does it is a good idea to have burn ointment on hand. Kathy believes in the healing power of aloe. She also believes in the healing power of chocolate. I find several candy bar wrappers lodged in the underside of the couch.

Numerous cough drop and throat lozenge wrappers. I have a vision of Rori on the couch, stretched out beneath an afghan, pouting and sniffling, coughing and wheezing, begging Kathy to bring her a cup of tea. I have a vision of Ivy on the couch, stretched out beneath an afghan, pouting and sniffling, coughing and wheezing, begging Kathy to bring her a cup of tea. I have a vision of me on the couch, stretched out beneath an afghan, pouting and sniffling, coughing and wheezing, begging my wife to bring me a cup of tea. I have a vision of me dragging myself to the kitchen to make a cup of tea.

A homemade birthday card. On the front of the card is a stick figure drawn with orange and purple markers. It is an image of a girl and she is holding a gigantic flower with a smiley face at the center of the petals. Mom has obviously written "Happy Birthday Ivy!" at the top of the card. Above the stick figure is scrawled "ME" and next to the flower is the name "Tiffany." The bottom of the Y in Tiffany extends, quivering, back beneath the entire name and through the stalk of the flower. On the inside right page mom has written "Thanks for inviting me to your party!" On the inside left page is another stick figure wearing a party hat and holding a gigantic balloon which is emblazoned with a smiling face and topped with a cone-like appendage. The card, I deduce, is from Ivy's 1987 birthday party and was created by Tiffany Wiggers and her mom Lynelle. Tiffany had a dog named Rags.

Three wing nuts. Aha, so that's where they went!

A piece of yellow legal paper on which is scribbled, in unpracticed hand: "Joshua IVY I love YOU." The last I heard, Josh was playing football somewhere in Texas.

Exactly $7.32 in loose change.

A 50-cent chip from the Casablanca Casino in Mesquite, Nevada - a pastel token of a miserable drubbing at the hands of a blackjack dealer named Verna.

A veritable treasure trove spilled from the belly of Old Brown. I stayed up past my normal 9:30 p.m. bedtime sifting through the artifacts that fell from the bottom of that couch. I experienced a bit of sentiment. It was not as satisfying as a well-made White Russian. Thank goodness I was alone.

It was with a heavy heart, and a severely strained back, that I took Old Brown to the thrift shop the next day. The back problem remained after I helped Kathy unload our new furniture.

That evening, I decided to make something for dinner to fortify me, to perk me up and to celebrate Kathy's triumphant return. Something rich to go with the memories and associations inspired by my archaeological dig, to deflect my obsession with the mind-numbing price of the new furniture. A diverse menu - reflecting tastes we developed during the time we owned Old Brown.

I ground four boneless chicken breasts and toasted some sourdough bread crumbs in the oven. I added the crumbs to the ground chicken along with a beaten egg, a splash of heavy cream, some minced garlic and minced onion, salt and pepper and a healthy dose of tarragon.

I sliced red cabbage and onion and sauteed the vegetables in olive oil until limp. I added a measure of chicken broth, a bit of red wine vinegar, salt, pepper, and sugar. I covered the pan and let the mixture steam over low heat.

A simple salad of green leaf lettuce and radicchio would do. With a homemade minimalist bleu cheese dressing: cream, a drizzle of olive oil, crumbled bleu, a tiny bit of lemon juice, salt, pepper, and a tad of finely minced garlic.

I cooked some extra-wide egg noodles, buttered them, added a touch of mushed-up garlic and sprinkled the noodles with freshly-ground Parmesan cheese.

I made large patties with the chicken mixture and sauteed the patties in olive oil and butter until golden brown on both sides. I added some chicken broth to the pan and covered it, letting the patties cook in the broth for a few minutes. I removed the patties to a warm plate and reduced the chicken broth, adding chopped garlic and some tarragon. At the last moment, I threw in a bit of heavy cream and a pat of butter, put the patties back in the pan, put the lid on the pan and turned off the heat. A bit of the sauce on the chicken, a bit of sauce on the pasta, some red cabbage and the salad.

The meal hit the spot.

And after dinner, there was virgin furniture, ready to gobble up the trivia of everyday life, ready to absorb the evidence of our being. I repaired to MY new leather chair and put my feet up on MY new Ottoman. Ahhhh . . . leather.

On to the future.

The Suns were squaring off against the Las Vegas Hot Dice. You know about Las Vegas, don't you? If sin rules any metropolis in our great land . . .

Old Timer
By John Motter

Juanita sawmill provided beans, bread

After the last handshake and with all of the ceremonies finished, the Pagosa Springs graduating class of 1957 headed for Denver and a good time. The graduates felt entitled. After all, they'd successfully completed 12 years of public school. They had a diploma and would soon go to college or get a job.

For graduate Joe Martinez, things were different. Instead of going off to Denver to celebrate his accomplishment, Joe bought a pair of gloves and moseyed down to Juanita where he went to work in a lumbermill.

Nobody seems to know the source of the name Juanita, but old timers all know where Juanita is located, even though there is not much in the way of civilization there today. Juanita reposed along the Navajo River generally where that river joins the San Juan. Birthed in the Banded Peaks above the old Tierra Amarilla Land Grant, the Navajo courses through a historic section of Archuleta County. Some very early maps even identified the San Juan River as the Navajo River. Abundant grass on the upper waters of the Navajo were a favored grazing spot for the Southern Utes.

In any case, the turbulent stream tumbles and winds through a scenic valley south of picturesque Navajo Peaks before dropping into Chromo where it is joined by the Little Navajo, also known as the Rito. Below Chromo, the Navajo slips and slides through a narrow cañon, splashes past almost dead Edith, then dips south into New Mexico. While in New Mexico the wandering stream tip toes past Navajo, a settlement from the past whose location is only guessed at today, then north of Jicarilla tribal headquarters at Dulce, and then through another cañon before reentering Colorado and uniting with the San Juan at Juanita.

In the old days, the Denver and Rio Grande narrow gauge railroad line linking the San Luis Valley and points east with Durango and the San Juan Basin came along side the Navajo at Dulce and followed the wandering stream until it reached Juanita. At that point, the railroad followed the San Juan to Pagosa Junction, Caracas, Arboles, and on to Durango.

No historian has recorded the early days of Juanita. In 1776, the Dominguez-Escalante party noted that the valley where the Navajo and San Juan come together would be a good place for a sizable community. The railroad came through the valley in 1881. Before that, the valley between Juanita and Dulce may have been used for carrying freight between Tierra Amarilla and the Animas country.

A section house and railroad depot once sat beside the tracks on the south side of the river. The mounds supporting the bridge near the depot remain, but the bridge is gone. Also gone are an old store, a cantina, and the people who used to call Juanita home. All that really remains from Juanita's past are the shells of the Catholic Church and the public school house, no longer used. With doors and windows missing, the buildings probably won't stand for many more years. Another old building in the area is the Ortiz house across the road from the school and church. The Ortiz house is an adobe structure.

In 1957, there was a lumber mill in Juanita owned by Clyde Sterner and David Adair, according to Joe, and that's where Joe went to work after investing $40 in a tar paper shanty for a place to live. The shanty boasted a single, naked light bulb in the middle of the room, no running water, and wood heat. Water was carried from the well at the Ortiz place. Old timers would laugh and say, "Yes we have runnin' water. Ya run out to the crick and git some." or "We had hot and cold running water, hot water in the teakettle and cold water in the pump."

"They would give you the lumber so you could build a house on their property, " Joe said of the mill owners, "but I bought one that someone else had built."

Joe lived in the little house during the week while he worked at the mill, then returned home to Pagosa Junction on weekends to hoe the family corn patch. Joe's dad died in a car accident in 1957. His dad had been a worker on the railroad between Alamosa and Durango. The section foreman was Augustin Vilarreal, who lived along the San Juan River at Juanita. Passenger service on the rail line ended in 1951, freight service in 1969.

Owner Clyde Sterner lived in the Pagosa Hotel, as Joe remembers, and drove from Pagosa Springs to Juanita each day in a Cadillac.

"We started work at 7 in the morning and worked a 40-hour week," Joe recalls. "I think I earned about $48 a week."

The mill cut about 40-45,000 board feet of lumber a day, all of it contracted to Ace Box Co. in Denver, according to Joe.

His first job was rolling logs for the turndown man whose job was to get the logs on the carriage. The carriage carried the logs back and forth through the head saw, an arrangement of two circular saws. The ratchet setter rode the carriage and operated levers which rotated the logs according to directions from the sawyer. The sawyer decided what cuts to make from the log.

Next to the sawyer was the off bearer, a man whose job was to direct bark and waste onto a belt which carried the refuse to a burner. The usable wood went to the edgerman who cut the cants into 2x4s, 2x8s, or whatever lumber size was being manufactured. After leaving the edgerman, the lumber went to the trim saw where it was cut for length. After leaving the trim saw, it was graded, tallied, and then went to the green chain. On the green chain, two men pulled the wet - or green - lumber from the chain and stacked it into piles according to grade and size.

The mill was powered by a diesel engine, but the various conveyor belts were powered by electric motors.

Some of the mill workers remembered by Joe are Alfredo Gallegos, the head turndown man; Alfredo's son Santiago, the edgerman; Lloyd Nickerson, the off bearer and Tony Perea's daddy-in-law; and Joe B. Gallegos from Arboles on the fork lift. Pulling green chain, with their big leather aprons, were Mabricio Rivera and Antonio Argello. The trimmerman was uncle to Cedric Gurule.

"I don't remember the sawyer's name," Joe said, "but he was a big man and he had a pretty, red-headed daughter."

The mill had a tallyman employed by Ace Box Co. and a Ute log scaler named Roy Sage. The timber was being cut from Ute land on Archuleta Mesa.

Sticking lumber out in the yard were Juan Valdez and his brother Uncle Buddy. Many Hispanics in earlier times used the word tio, or uncle, as a way of showing respect. Also sticking lumber were Modesto Ortiz, Rudy Garcia, and Uncle Harvey. Sticking meant stacking the pine boards with a separating piece of wood or "stick" between each layer. The purpose of sticking was to prevent the pine from turning blue from a mold, something that would happen if the wet boards were stacked touching each other.

The stickers were gypo workers, gypo being the term used to describe workers paid by the piece or amount of work done instead of by the hour.

After a couple of weeks helping the turn down man, Jim was promoted. The boss taught him to scale logs.

"The foreman was from Arkansas," Joe said. "He was a nice man and served as a boss, millwright, and jack of all trades. He was too busy to do the scaling, too."

Scaling is estimating the amount of lumber in an uncut log. Joe was a scaler for many years.

Joe worked at the Juanita Mill for a couple of years, then, when the mill was purchased by San Juan Lumber, went to work for San Juan Lumber Co. Some folks say San Juan didn't buy the Juanita Mill, that the mill changed hands in a poker game. Maybe so.

Living along the Navajo at Juanita at the time were Don Carlos Ortiz who worked for the railroad before becoming a sheepman, Lloyd and Don Nickerson, Doña Beatrice Valdez, and possibly others.

Joe worked for San Juan Lumber until it closed. Currently, he is employed at Day Lumber where his main job is making deliveries.

"See that boy over there," said Paul Day, one of the Day Lumber owners while pointing at Joe. "That's one of the nicest men you'll ever meet. When I hired him, I wondered why he didn't ask what his wages would be so I asked him. He said, 'If I get a steady salary, I can make it.' You just don't find people like that any more."

Joe Martinez' roots sink deep into Pagosa Country history. His family has lived within a few miles of Pagosa Springs for generations. His grandmother's log house still stands at Caracas, the point where the Dominguez-Escalante party entered Colorado in 1776. Caracas is the subject of a future story.


Morgan Jayne Lewis

Ross and Stacey Lewis would like to announce the birth of their daughter Morgan Jayne Lewis.

Morgan was born on Sunday, Jan. 16, 2000. She weighed 8 pounds, 6 ounces and was 19-inches long.

Morgan was welcomed home by her big sister, Madison, her grandparents Matt and Lynne Bridges, Wayne and T.L. Shumaker, and Dave Wilson of Grants, N.M.

Leonard Rico Montoya

Leonard and Jessica Montoya would like to announce the birth of their son Leonard Rico Montoya born at Mercy Medical Center on Dec. 27, 1999. He weighed 6 pounds, 2 ounces and was 17 1/2-inches long.

His paternal grandparents are Levi and Ruthie Montoya and his maternal grandparents are Johnny and Rejhonna Aguilar.

Business News
Biz Beat

Mised Art Studio and Gallery

Soledad Estrada-Leo is the owner of Mised Art Studio and Gallery, located at 148 Pike Drive, north of the intersection of Pike Drive and U.S. 160 on Put Hill.

The Gallery displays Estrada-Leo's work, which she signs with the name "Mised," and the work of her students. A grand opening and inaugural show on March 25 features the work of Estrada-Leo's young students: "The Little Angelos."

Art instruction is available at the Studio, with classes formed for young and adult students. A beginner's level of instruction includes the development of basic art skills. More advanced instruction includes lessons in the use of pastels, acrylics and watercolor. Estrada-Leo received her degree as a printmaker from the University of Guanajuato and she offers instruction in woodcut techniques.

The Mised Art Studio and Gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and by appointment. For information or appointments, call 264-4287.


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