Front Page

April 20, 2000

Loma Linda group seeks road maintenance district

By John M. Motter

The first steps toward forming a road maintenance district were taken by the Loma Linda Homeowners Association. Tuesday, representatives of the association presented a proposed Loma Linda Metropolitan District service plan to the commissioners.

Following review of the proposal by the county commissioners, a public hearing will be held May 30 at 1:30 p.m. in the commissioners meeting room to sample public response to the proposal. The Loma Linda group was represented by attorney Bud Smith of Bayfield.

"A special district has to have two functions," said Smith. "The functions proposed for this district are road maintenance and parks and recreation."

Fueling the desire to form a special district at this time is the concern by some Loma Linda residents that if road maintenance is not accomplished soon, the roads will deteriorate to such an extent that serious, expensive maintenance will be required.

The group hoping to form the district has to jump through several hoops before the task can be accomplished. Prime among those requirements is obtaining the approving signatures of 51 percent of the property owners living in Colorado or persons living within the proposed district boundaries for a specified time who are registered voters. The county planning commission, various utilities, and other entities affected by the proposal also have the opportunity to comment. Ultimately, the issue passes through District Court for a final decision.

A road maintenance district is allowed to levy property taxes approved by voters in the district. Because of the time required to form the district, the new district, if approved, is not likely to receive tax income until the Year 2002, according to Smith.

In the interim, the Loma Linda homeowners asked for their proper portion of the state Highway Users Trust Fund, and any other help the county might give.

Smith said that other homeowners associations could opt to join with the Loma Linda Homeowners to form a larger district and take advantage of the economies of scale.

"Two or more districts do not have to be touching each other in order to unite," Smith said.

Loma Linda contains five units with a total of 204 lots. The ownership consists of 77 Colorado residents, 114 out-of-state residents, and six developer lots. The financial plan anticipates a 10 mill property tax during the first year, which should generate $24,731.

In other business concerning the Loma Linda development, the commissioners and developer Fred Schmidt discussed plans for implementing Loma Linda's improvements agreements. An earlier agreement with Schmidt calling for the commitment of the proceeds from the sale of certain escrowed lots for improvements expired Dec. 31, according to County Attorney Mary Weiss. Of the lots previously committed, only one remains in escrow.

Schmidt said no more lots will be placed in escrow, but the developer will perform the improvements. A portion of the improvements will be completed this year, and "I hope they will all be completed next year" Schmidt said.

The commissioners are consulting with Weiss before deciding whether to continue to negotiate with Schmidt, or to file an action in court.

In other business Tuesday, the commissioners:

- Conducted a public hearing concerning the acquisition of 40 acres of land near Stevens Field from the Bureau of Land Management. The commissioners are acquiring title to 30 acres for a nominal fee, perhaps less than $100. The Pagosa Springs Humane Society is acquiring 10 acres at a cost approximating 50 percent of fair market value for the property. The title conveyance to the county will contain language requiring the county to use the land in accordance with a sketch plan submitted to the BLM. The land transfer could be completed this summer. Earlier plans to include a quarter-midget racing facility on the county land were omitted from the document submitted to the BLM. Discussion is underway to include the race track. The county plans to use the property for recreation purposes.

- Approved a proposal by County Assessor Keren Prior to raise the limit on property tax appeals Prior can hear without going to the commissioners. The limit was raised from $500 to $1,000. In the future, tax appeals of more than $1,000 will advance to the commissioners, appeals for less will be handled by the treasurer. Appeals of more $1,000 also go the state board of appeals.

- Agreed to place a transfer station in Chromo. The station will be fenced and manned, probably only on Saturday to prevent out-of-staters from using the bins. A nominal fee may be charged. The service should start June 1.

- Set May 20 through May 26 as a county-wide cleanup week. Dumpsters will be placed in at least seven sites.

- Heard Sheriff Tom Richards' request for $27,087 to purchase a vehicle to replace a vehicle that currently has 184,789 miles on the speedometer. "This vehicle isn't safe for our purposes," Richards said. The commissioners postponed action on the request.


PSO pact draws criticism

By Richard Walter

Acting without ethics, autocratic action, covering their own mistakes, giving away the store, failing to consult constituents and calls for resignations.

These were some of the audience reactions Thursday to the contract for law enforcement services signed last month by Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association and Archuleta County commissioners.

It was a fairly routine meeting of the association board of directors until the "public comment" portion when Dick Akin asked, "Why did you act without ethics?" on the law enforcement contract; "Why are we giving away $160,000 in law enforcement vehicles for a $1-per-year lease fee?"; "Why are we paying $1,000 in range fees for four officers to take target practice? That averages out, at the current cost of ammo, to a thousand rounds per man."

With reference to questions about the vehicles, Director Fred Ebeling told Akin, "One way or the other, we will have to pay. We could lease the autos and equipment to the sheriff for $1 or we could have put the fleet in mothballs, had the sheriff buy similar equipment and charge it back to us.

"Keep in mind," he continued, "that this runs only until the end of the year. If we're not satisfied and there's no new contract, we want and will get all the equipment back."

When asked why PLPOA should have to pay $4,000 per year for a supervisor for the sheriff's deputies assigned to Pagosa Lakes when they are Level 1 officers, Director Judy Esterly put it succinctly: "Unfortunately, the sheriff must follow the law and the law requires a supervisor with direct access to the sheriff."

Akin pursued the costs of ammunition, $2,000 per year for uniforms for four officers and $1,500 per year for cell phone on-line time. "If you would have taken this up with the members before you took this autocratic action signing the contract, we wouldn't be here tonight, because we would have said 'No!'"

Esterly replied, "There is a 60-day cancellation clause which gives us time to weigh responses to the survey we sent out." Director Dave Bohl added, "I'll vote on what the property owners say they want." Ebeling contended, "We had to vote on a contract that was acceptable to both parties."

That brought still more opposition from the audience. John Lackey charged, "Giving everything to the sheriff is ridiculous. It was wrong and badly mishandled. Those responsible should resign from this board right now for their irresponsibility."

Neva Akins told the board she was highly concerned about the legality of its actions and noted, "The survey you distributed came as an afterthought to cover your (backsides). Why were the people not consulted before you gave away the store. We've been paying $2 per month per homeowner for all these years for this service and you just gave it all away. We all feel cheated!"

Director Bohl answered, "We need to know what the property owners really want. The survey went to 100 percent of the property owners, not just the full-time residents." And, he noted, "Earlier boards had refused to survey residents on the question."

Finally, Director Dick Hillyer said, "I resent the implication that this board acted without conscience. I was in on the negotiations throughout the process. We had an investment in this. Two years ago 400 people sat here and said they wanted 24-hour service. We negotiated for six months with the county commissioners, and they continually delayed. We did our homework and made concessions and nothing was done. We made the decision to give you the service you indicated you wanted and that is what this contract does."

Later, board President Rod Preston moved to appoint PLPOA General Manager Walt Lukasik as the board's liaison between it and the county and the sheriff's office.

Hillyer, however, said he felt Lukasik already has almost too much to do in his new job and volunteered to take on the liaison role until expiration of the contract. His fellow directors agreed to accept Hillyer's offer.

Field trip nets a Presidential handshake

By Richard Walter

Students in Pagosa Springs Alternative School don't often get to take unexpected field trips. Even less often do they get to see the President of the United States in person.

They did both on Monday.

It began as any other Monday, students straggling in, grumbling about having to go to class on a beautiful day. The decision was spontaneous. Principal Mark DeVoti polled the kids on whether they wanted to go to Shiprock, N.M., where President Bill Clinton was to address the Navajo Tribe.

And while they had no hope they'd even get close the president, it was, after all, a way to get out of class for the day.

DeVoti and 10 youngsters set out for the Navajo Reservation. On the way down, DeVoti said, student Felicia Gomez announced she was going to shake Clinton's hand.

"They'll never let you close enough," the others told her. "We'll be so far away we probably won't even be able to see him."

On arrival, the Pagosa youths were surprised with the extent of security details, seeing helicopters overhead, Secret Service agents on patrol and snipers on the rooftops. All had to go through metal detectors, video cameras were checked to make sure they really were cameras, and even water bottles were checked to be sure they weren't Molotov cocktails.

As the presidential motorcade approached, Felicia and three others left the main group, crossed to the other side of the street and found themselves in the right place at the right time.

President Clinton was riding in a limousine and reaching out to shake hands of those in the crowd who could get close enough. Felicia just happened to be one of them. It was a moment when she could tell her fellow students, "I told you so."

For Felicia and the others, DeVoti said, it could be a defining moment in their lives, a moment of realization that they can be in the presence of world leaders and not be awed.

As for Felicia, she proved that if you have a goal (shaking the president's hand) and have a plan and stick to it, the goal is reachable.

"It was an electric moment for all of us," DeVoti said, "when the 13-year-old Navajo girl who introduced him told the crowd 'he's here for you'."

The overall reaction of the Pagosa group, DeVoti said, was more to the president's presence in such an unlikely location than to what he said. In fact, DeVoti said, he heard one girl, unaware of Felicia's personal contact, exclaiming joyously, "He waved to me!"


Taxing districts seek Tabor relief at polls

B By John M. Motter

Three special districts and the San Juan Soil Conservation District are asking voter permission to retain revenues in excess of TABOR and Gallagher limits. The election date is May 2 from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m.

The three special districts are the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District, the Pagosa Fire Protection District, and the Upper San Juan Hospital District. Voters in the three districts will cast ballots in the Emergency Medical Services office building at 189 North Pagosa Boulevard. Those voting in the Soil Conservation District election will cast their ballots in the County Extension Building at 334 U.S. 84.

In order to vote in any of the elections, the voter must be qualified to vote in Colorado and own property or live within the boundaries of the district where the vote is being cast.

The taxing entities seeking to de-Bruce hope to join the local school district, town, county, and library, entities which have already de-Bruced. In all cases, a yes vote favors de-Brucing.

All of the ballot proposals ask voters to allow the districts to retain and spend tax revenues in excess of TABOR and the 5.5 percent Gallagher limits. All promise not to increase the property tax mill levy in effect for the Year 2000 budget..

In general, TABOR limits income and expenditure increases for public entities. In years when the assessed value of property increases, the mill levy against the assessed value must decrease in order to hold income and expenditures below the TABOR and the 5.5 percent Gallagher income limits.

The result is a racheting down effect on the tax rate. For example, the Upper San Juan Hospital District's tax rate in 1997 was 3.402 mills levied against an assessed valuation of $108,916,617. The 1999 mill levy was 2.402 mills applied to an assessed valuation of $145,874,030.

In order to offset the income increase above TABOR and Gallagher limits caused by assessed valuation increases, taxing entities have applied a credit on tax statements sent to property owners, temporarily lowering the tax rate.

Pagosa Area Water & Sanitation District - The situation at PAWS is a little more complicated than other special districts because PAWS contains two districts. The ballot issue for PAWS reads: "Shall Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District be authorized to collect, retain, and spend all revenues and other funds received from any source, including the district's existing property tax rate of 6.090 mills for the water and wastewater service area of the district, and 1.949 mills for the water service area only of the district, which rates shall not be increased without voter approval, commencing Jan. 1, 2000, and continuing thereafter until repealed, as a voter-approved revenue change, offset, and exception to the limits which would otherwise apply."

PAWS officials argue that de-Brucing will not increase the tax rate, but will allow the district to keep revenues that increase in proportion to the increased cost of operating the district. They say funds freed by de-Brucing will allow the district more flexibility by not forcing the directors to raise fees as much as would be necessary without de-Brucing.

"The mill levies we are talking about are for operations and not debt service," said Carrie Campbell, PAWS general manager. "The debt service mill levy is not affected by TABOR limits. Last year, we gave a temporary credit of 0.856 mills on the District 1 mill levy and 0.33 mills on the District 2 mill levy."

Pagosa Fire Protection District - The ballot question posed by the Pagosa Fire Protection District reads: "Shall Pagosa Fire Protection District be authorized to collect, retain and spend all revenues and other funds received from any source, including the district's existing property tax rate of 4.067 mills, which rate shall not be increased without voter approval, commencing Jan. 1, 2000, and continuing thereafter, until repealed, as a voter approved revenue change, offset and exception to the limits which would otherwise apply."

Officials of the fire district argue that revenues from tax sources have not kept pace with the increased cost of operating the district. They say the 5.5 percent limitation has forced the fire district to drop its mill levy from 4.684 mills in 1996 to 3.575 mills for the Year 2000. The 3.575 reflects a temporary tax credit. The district has met the increased demand for services by increasing indebtedness by 81 percent.

Upper San Juan Hospital District - The ballot question for the hospital district reads: "Without increasing the mill levy rate, shall the Upper San Juan Hospital District be authorized to collect, retain and spend all revenues and other funds collected from any source, effective Jan. 1, 1999, and continuing thereafter; provided that the district's operating property tax rate shall not be increased above the current rate of 1.854 mills without voter approval; and shall the revenues be collected and spent by the district without regard to any expenditure, revenue raising, or other limitation of Colorado law; and shall the district be authorized to continue to levy at the rate of 1.854 mills each year hereafter regardless of revenue limitation contained in state law?"

"We live in a high-growth area," said Bill Bright, the hospital district's manager. "Our income limit has been 5.5 percent, but our cost of providing service has gone up 18 percent over the last three years. We need to be able to retain the tax money we've refunded in order to continue to provide the level of service our community expects."

The provision of urgent-care services and of 24-hour, 7-day-a-week paramedic services are two areas particularly impacted by the TABOR issue, according to Bright.

"We provide 24-hour, 7-day-a-week paramedic service through a two-year private grant," Bright said. "That grant ends this year. If we are to continue that service, it is important that we be allowed to keep the money we've been refunding. We would also like to expand our urgent care service so that patients won't have to go by ambulance to Durango for treatment they could otherwise receive here."

San Juan Soil Conservation Service - The ballot question for this entity reads: "Shall the San Juan Soil Conservation district, located in Archuleta and portions of Hinsdale and Mineral counties, without increasing or adding any taxes, be permitted to collect, retain, and expend all revenues and other funds received from any source from the date of Jan. 1. 1992, and thereafter, not standing state limitations?"

Arguments favoring passage of this question are the same as for the other questions.

The Soil Conservation Service has a second ballot question which reads: "Shall the limitations on terms of office be eliminated as applied to the San Juan Soil Conservation District?" The terms of persons nominated and terms of office for which nominated are Randy Eoff - 4 years, Bob Haag - 4 years, and Ronald D. Hott - 4 years.


County Republicans aim for April 29 assembly

By John M. Motter

With their precinct caucuses finished and assembly delegates elected, Archuleta County Republicans are looking ahead to the April 29 county assembly. The party's county commissioner candidates for the Aug. 10 primary election will be chosen at the county assembly.

Two of the three county commissioner offices are subject to election this year. They are the office filled by Commissioner Bill Downey in Precinct 1, and the office filled by Commissioner Ken Fox in Precinct 2. Both are Republicans and both are seeking re-election. Fox is running for a second four-year term. Downey was appointed to fill the unexpired term of former Commissioner Bill Tallon, who moved out of the county. Downey is, therefore, seeking his first elected term.

Delegates and alternates named at the April 11 precinct caucuses will vote at the county assembly for the commissioner candidate of their choice. Delegates to the assembly were elected based on their commitment to a commissioner candidate, but the law does not prevent them from changing their vote at the assembly.

The names of only four candidates were in evidence at the caucuses, according to Joanne Hanson, the party secretary. Those names are Downey, Nan Rowe and Pat Horning in District 1 and Alden Ecker in District 2.

In order to win a place on the primary ballot, a candidate must receive 30 percent of the vote at the county assembly. A candidate at the county assembly who receives less than 30 percent of the vote, but more than 10 percent of the vote, may subsequently attempt to be placed on the primary ballot by a petition process. At least 52 signatures are required on the petition. A candidate who receives less than 10 percent of the vote at the assembly may not run by petition. That candidate is finished for this particular election year.

Six additional commissioner candidates have picked the petition process instead of the caucus route as a way to have their names placed on the party's primary ballot. The candidates who have picked up petition packets from County Clerk June Madrid, the county's election official, are: District 1 - Mike Branch and Julia Donoho; District 2 - Commissioner Fox, John Feazel, Ralph Goulds and Jim Willingham.

Feazel is the only candidate who already has obtained the needed 52 signatures and returned the necessary paper work to Madrid.

Petition candidates from both District 1 and District 2 must have 52 signatures on their petitions. Petitions must be filed with the county election official by May 30.

Members of the Archuleta County Republican Central Committee are Mayor Ross Aragon, chairman and Precinct 1 committeeman and Jon Ross, Precinct 1 committeeman; Mason Carpenter, vice chairman and Precinct 5 committeeman and Louis Day, Precinct 5 committeeman; Joanne Hanson, secretary; Town Trustee Linda Delyria, treasurer; Town Trustee Darrell Cotton and Rhonda Ward, Precinct 2 committeemen; Jerry Fields and Steve Orr, Precinct 3 committeemen; Steve Theys and Charles W. Stanfill, Precinct 4 committeemen; Richard Hillyer and Gordon McIver, Precinct 6 committeemen; George Muirhead and Mary Ann Stewart, Precinct 7 committeemen; Jerry Smith and Pat Ullrich, Precinct 8 committeemen; County Commissioner Gene Crabtree, Commissioner Downey, Commissioner Fox, County Coroner Carl Macht, County Surveyor Dave Maley, County Assessor Keren Prior and County Sheriff Tom Richards.

Delegates elected at the caucuses are:

- Precinct 1 - Shelly Hogue, Paul Hogue, Dick Cole, Jake Montroy, Leslie Montroy, Allan Bunch, Marilyn Bunch, Bill Samples and Mayor Aragon

- Precinct 2 - Bob Goodman, Warren Grams, Trustee Cotton, Rocky Day, Kay Grams, Paul Nobles, Ken Smith, Peggy Cotton, Clyde Ketchum, Diana Smith, Dale Hockett, Commissioner Downey, Clay Fultz and Linda Delyria

- Precinct 3 - Susan Crabtree, Bob Formwalt, Jessie Formwalt, Harold Walter, Steve Orr, Charles Formwalt and Cynthia Peironnet

- Precinct 4 - Pete Tackett, Steve Jaramillo, Steve Theys, Shirley Tackett and Larry Rivera

- Precinct 5 - Gary Scoggins, Terri Scoggins, Debra Ford, David Gallegos, John Brungard and Mason Carpenter

- Precinct 6 - Susan King, Joan Hebert, Bob Kaiser, Tom Wellborn, Angela Atkinson, Steve Lynch, Dick Akin, Bridget McKee and Jean Kaiser

- Precinct 7 - Dave Pearson, Earle Beasley, James Hanson, Peggy Shipman, Bill Bright, Eugene Copeland, Robert Baumgardner, Charlene Baumgardner, Janet Copeland, Betty Beasley, Harold Morrison, Robert Frye and Joanne Hanson

- Precinct 8 - Andy Donlon, Elsa Joann Ecker, Roy Vega, Gary Waples, Don Early, Alden Ecker, Bruce Jones, Stephen Michael Kend, Lee Sterling, Susan Walan and Dick Babillis.

Windy Tuesday peaked at 54 mph

By John M. Motter

Gusty winds assaulted the area Tuesday starting about 11 a.m. and lasting until about 7 in the evening. The peak velocity of 54-miles-per-hour was recorded at 11:30 a.m. by a computerized anemometer at the Fred Harman Art Museum located at the top of Put Hill west of downtown.

The winds resulted from a low pressure trough which passed from west to east generally north of Colorado, according to Gary Chancy, a National Weather Service forecaster from Grand Junction.

"We get these kinds of winds during April," Chancy said. "They were more severe because the storm front passed to the north. On the south side of the fronts, we generally get dry, southwesterly winds, often of considerable magnitude."

The Pagosa Country forecast for today is mostly sunny with a high of 60 and a low ranging from the upper 20s to the mid-30s, according to Chancy. Tomorrow should remain dry and sunny with highs climbing to the upper 60s or even the low 70s.

By Saturday, the thermometer should start falling as a storm front moves into the area from the Pacific Coast. Saturday presents a chance for showers that should last through the evening and into Sunday morning. By Sunday afternoon, the storm should have moved on, Chancy said, but temperatures should remain in the 50s.

"We're in a progressive pattern," Chancy said, "which means a series of storms on 72-hour, or three-day, intervals moving in from the west coast."

Temperatures last week ranged from a high of 70.4 degrees Monday to a low of 22.8 degrees Sunday.

Wolf Creek Ski Area received eight inches of new snow during the week. The snow depth at midway is 76 inches, at the summit 86 inches.


Three win state science fair honors

By Roy Starling

Three Pagosa Springs students won honors at the 45th Annual Colorado Science and Engineering Fair held last week at Colorado State University in Fort Collins.

In the senior division, Pagosa High senior Caleb Creel won three cash awards totaling $225. Winning the American Chemical Society Award earned him $100, the ASM International Award was worth another $75 and the America Vacuum Society Award netted an additional $50. Creel's project was "The Fabrication, Testing, and Analysis of a YBCO High Temperature Ceramic Superconductor."

Intermediate school sixth-grader Matt Nobles took second place in Mathematics and Computer Sciences in the junior division with his project entitled "Knotty Math: How Can Knots Be Used as Mathematical Models?"

Jessica Harms, a seventh-grader, earned honorable mention in the junior Botany competition. Her project was "Why Does Grass Grow So Sparsely in Pine Forests?"

The Colorado Science and Engineering Fair is the state-level event in a year-long process of local and regional science fairs. More than 2,000 students from all over the state participate in the program. State finalists are chosen from over 250 finalists from 12 regions within the state.



Inside The Sun

Ross basketball tourney a success

By Roy Starling

The Dirk and Colt Ross Memorial Basketball Tournament was a big success for the fifth consecutive year, according to the event's organizers, and the big winners were the fans who came to enjoy the action and the students from Pagosa and Ignacio who will benefit from the tournament's scholarship fund.

In the Open Division, Alamosa's Point of View, spearheaded by 6-foot-4 Ed Ash, defeated Gunnison for the championship. Durango's jaw-dropping guard Ponch Garcia led Bear Creek over J.R.'s Concrete in the 6-foot-and-under title game. Los Amigos took first in the Ben-Gay Division, knocking off Coors for the title. Los Amigos featured the Forrests (Bay, Jon and Truett) and the Listers (Les and Junior), as well as Larry Ash, Cliff Lucero, Randy McClure, Freddie Martinez and Charles Rand.

Ed Ash was named Most Valuable Player in the Open Division. Garcia earned this honor in the 6-foot-and-under bracket and Truett Forrest in the Ben-Gay bunch. Earning Mr. Defense awards were Jon Forrest, Jeff Storm and Wes Lewis. Mr. Hustle honors went to Jeff Linder and Paul Edwards, the latter winning it in two divisions.

Tourney director Troy Ross said he would like to extend thanks to "the referees, players, volunteers, fans and bystanders, and to all of those who donated money for door prizes."



Community saluted for child abuse prevention

By Sally Pajak

The Archuleta County Department of Social Services wants to recognize the Pagosa Springs community for doing an outstanding job of preventing child abuse during April's Child Abuse Prevention Month campaign.

In 1999 the community reported 66 cases of child abuse. The Child Protection Team, a volunteer advisory council made up of various community representatives, helped to ensure that the Department of Social Services investigated cases in a timely and adequate manner and in compliance with applicable statutes. Team members also made recommendations for the provision of support services to the children and families. The team members who made this possible include Marcia Vining, foster parent; Kathy Allen, therapist in private practice; Karyn Brughelli, school counselor; Susie Kleckner, health department; Margie Lucero, Headstart; Carol Young, medical; Don Volger, law enforcement; Ruth Marquez, lay person; Father John Bowe, clergy, Candace Dzielak, juvenile probation; Carmen Hubbs, victim assistance, and Nancy Miquelon, mental health.

The Department of Social Services also said the Archuleta County schools, County Judge James Denvir and Town Magistrate William Anderson, Seeds of Learning, Headstart and the San Juan Basin Health Department should be commended for their major contribution in encouraging families to seek voluntary support services through the department.

Currently the Department of Social Services is serving 69 children and their families through local child welfare programs.

The contract providers who are deserving of a tremendous thanks include: Barbara Jetley and Greg Winsell, Home Based Therapy and Behavior Coach Program; Karol Novak, Life Skills Program; Kathy Allen and Julie Greenly, county design therapy program; Seeds of Learning, Headstart and Pagosa Springs Elementary School; Nancy Miquelon, Southwest Colorado Mental Health Center mental health services program and the Pagosa Springs Intermediate, Junior High and High schools; Gigi Thomson, Brian Seavey, and Don Weller's Day Treatment Program in collaboration with the Mental Halth Center and School District 50 Joint; Angelika Kalem and Terrina Beatty, Substance Abuse Treatment Program, Pathfinder Clinic; Michael Wray, youth coach; and Rita Strickland and Marcia Vining, Respite Care Program. Also, special recognition goes to Isabel Willis, Family Advocate Program, who served 144 families in 1999.

Anyone who knows of a child who is being abused or neglected should report it by calling the Department of Social Services at 264-2182. Likewise, anyone who knows a family that could use resource help, or who would want to help families in need, should call the Family Advocate at 264-6012.


Parking lot approved near Lake Forest dam

By Richard Walter

Fishermen got some good news from PLPOA directors last Thursday night when they approved a plan submitted by Larry Lynch, PLPOA environmental technician, for construction of a small parking lot near the Lake Forest dam.

Lynch said the county, at the request of PLPOA, has posted no parking signs in the area. "That makes one of the favorite fishing spots inaccessible for small children and the elderly because they would have to walk more than a quarter mile from the nearest legal parking," he said.

Three local contractors submitted bids for the 36- by 100-foot parking lot, the lowest being $4,870 by U-Can-Afford Landscaping. Lynch said the expense was not budgeted but that $1,500 in contingency funds are available in his departmental budget.

Director Judy Esterly, who chairs the finance committee, said she believes funds for the project can be made available and will meet with Walt Lukasik, general manager, to determine exactly where the money will come from.

With Esterly's assurance, the board directed Lynch to accept the low bid and contract the work as soon as he is notified the money is available.

There will be an entrance to the lot off Lyn Avenue and a crosswalk will be provided to give access to the dam and pier area.

In other action at their April 13 meeting, directors:

-Denied a recommendation from the Environmental Control Committee that a resolution be adopted barring developers, realtors and builders from membership on the committee. It is empowered to control building placement on lots, exterior appearance and handle variances. The vote came after Director Dick Hillyer argued it would be discriminatory to exclude any specific class of resident from the committee.

-Agreed, at Lynch's request, to hold a public meeting (date yet to be determined) on development of a long-range parks and open space plan.

-Saluted Lynch's five years of "outstanding service to the Pagosa Lakes Community" with a plaque, gift and round of applause. "I can't tell you how much we appreciate the services this man offers," Lukasik said.

-Accepted, pending receipt of a written agreement for maintenance from the Outdoor Club, a trail easement through private property to national forest land. Director Dave Bohl said this easement, offered by Dr. Robert and Penelope Turk, will be a valuable part of the trail system the association is establishing for the community.


Donors, volunteers make home field playable

By Roy Starling

Remember that line from the movie "Field of Dreams," "If you build it, they will come"?

In Pagosa Springs, it would be more accurate to say, "If you build it, the rain and snow will come." In Pagosa Springs, the baseball field has typically been more like a Field of Streams.

But thanks to the generosity and hard work of several members of the community, that may no longer be true. Neither rain nor sleet nor snow could stop the Pagosa Pirates from playing a rare home game last Saturday.

How did they manage to win one against the elements? High school athletic director Kahle Charles says local baseball fans can thank Aldon Ecker, Sue Jones, Patrick Candelaria and baseball coach Tony Scarpa.

"La Farge, a concrete company in Bayfield, donated sand for the field," Charles said, "and Aldon Ecker donated the trucking to get the sand here."

Charles said Sue Jones donated $1,200 to buy infield conditioner. That money came from Jones' last softball tournament. Earlier, Jones contributed $600 for a radar gun.

"We're very grateful for Ecker's and Jones's support," Charles said. "There's no way that field would have been playable Saturday without that sand and conditioner. There would have been puddles everywhere."

Patrick Candelaria, Charles said, donated the "flag part of the foul poles, and with his sons Keith and Kraig, he also helped assemble the poles."

As for Scarpa, Charles said, "he's the real story behind that field looking like it does. He's put in countless hours on his own, painting dugouts, building cubby holes for bats and helmets, helping dig up the field and put sand on it. He rolled it with an asphalt roller, applied the infield conditioner and got the bullpens ready for use. He also put up the black windscreen on the outfield fence. For the past two seasons, he's worked on his own time with Phil Martinez to try to get the field ready for games."

Charles said the Pirates' baseball team also got a boost from La Plata Electric employees who "came down and dug holes for the foul poles" without charging for their services.

This Saturday, local fans will have another opportunity to see Pagosa's own Field of Dreams when the Pirates host a doubleheader with the Ignacio Bobcats. The first game begins at 11 a.m.



Positions open

Dear Editor,

The PLPOA board will have two positions open for election this year. According to the association's bylaws, there needs to be at least one more candidate for the positions than there are openings. Last year, there were only two candidates for the two open positions. In essence, the election was in violation of the bylaws and the candidates ran unopposed.

For the last three years, the PLPOA has been in a constant state of turmoil, to the detriment of the property owners. Many individuals complain about the number of appointed directors, yet they fail to run for election. A petition is being circulated requiring appointed members to run in the next election. Even though I am an appointed member, I support that petition.

I am asking for at least three qualified, business-oriented persons who have the interest of the property owners in mind to submit their application for election this year. If elected, I ask them to serve out the term that they are elected for. There are many people in the community who talk about throwing out the appointed members. This was tried at the last annual meeting. Yet these complainers fail to run for election when vacancies exist.

Normal board business requires only one board meeting a month. Day-to-day business is the responsibility of the general manager. The number of excess meetings and committee meetings is only brought about by the lack of coordination during normal meetings. What I call the "Chicken Little" syndrome.

Help bring stability to Pagosa Lakes. Serve your community instead of just complaining. Submit your name as a candidate for election.

David E. Bohl

Vote 'Yes'

Dear Editor,

Despite the letter titled "Misinformation" in last week's (April 13) paper, complete accurate information has been provided in the Pagosa Fire Protection District through the required mailing to all registered voters. The included "Comment for the Proposal" states the mill levy is "3.575 (a figure which reflects a temporary tax credit) in 2000." A figure of 0.023 mills for abatements has been added for collection in 2000 only.

The "Comment" goes on to point out clearly: "Your 'Yes' vote at the polls will permit stabilizing the Pagosa Fire Protection District mill levy at 4.067 mills, the figure utilized by the District in 1998 and 1999 tax collections." I urge all registered voters to study carefully this mailing from the county clerk. You will find facts presented fairly and honestly concerning the district ballot issue.

Full disclosure of real estate property taxes also extends to your "Tax Notice for 1999" mailed by the county treasurer on Jan. 2. This form shows an asterisk after the 3.575 mills designation for PFPD. The legend below indicates that the asterisk reflects a temporary credit.

The success of the Fire District in minimizing taxes to our constituents was highlighted recently during our application process for an impact assistance grant to aid in expenses incurred in activating the new northern inclusion. A Feb. 24 memorandum from Sue Schneider of the Department of Local Affairs criticized the district for low local support with this statement: "The mill levy of 4.067 is low compared with the state average for fire districts of 6.093."

We are proud of our ability to protect life and property while utilizing a mill levy only two-thirds that of the average in Colorado. Despite that, restoration of our mill levy to the level collected in 1998 and 1999 is vital to our continued operation in the face of extremely rapid growth and increasing demands upon both our loyal volunteers and our competent professional staff. You are urged to vote "Yes" on the Pagosa Fire Protection District Ballot Issue No. 5A on May 2.


Bill Clark

Chairman, Board of Directors

Pagosa Fire Protection District

Much in need

Dear Editor,

I want to call attention to what is going on with the Pagosa Country Food Care Program. We are much in need of more orders for the food boxes. I had a call from the office in Phoenix, Ariz., which sends the food via truck up here to our area. I was told that we need at least 50 boxes in order to have the boxes delivered to Pagosa. If we have fewer than 50 boxes, they could bring them to Bayfield, then someone from Pagosa would have to volunteer to go to Bayfield to pick up the food.

In case people don't know what Food Care is, it is a very economical way of buying food. People can pay $16 for a box of food which is supposed to be at least twice the value. People are to volunteer two hours of time per box helping someone or some place that needs volunteer help. You can even purchase more than one box at $16 each, providing you volunteer two hours of volunteer time per each box. In addition to the food box you can also purchase a meat box for an additional $10.

The items of food included in the boxes vary from month to month. We often get frozen chicken, hamburger and other kinds of frozen meats, a variety of packaged foods such as rice, pasta, pinto beans, breakfast cereal, canned green beans, tomatoes, fruit, etc. Then there is a good selection of fresh fruits and vegetables such as potatoes, onions, celery, cabbage, apples, oranges, etc.

The meat boxes usually contain frozen chicken, ground beef, ground turkey, bologna, hot dogs, smoked sausage, fish sticks, etc.

It's really a good deal.

Two or three years ago we had as many as between 60 or 70 orders for boxes. Now it has dwindled down to between 12 and 20 boxes. The food has been delivered to the Assembly of God Church and volunteers help sort and distribute it to the individual boxes. This can count as your volunteer time.

Food will be delivered this one more time on April 22. The delivery Saturdays are usually the third or fourth Saturday of the month.

If you are interested, come on the 22nd to the Assembly of God Church at around 10:30 a.m., ask questions, pay your money and sign up.

There are some elderly people who order this food and I feel that they depend on it as they can't get out much to go the the grocery store. They live out of town.

I've been taking orders and calling them in since last June, but since my car accident I've taken orders at the Senior Center the first part of each month or I call people and remind them and they send me their money. I'm still in my neck brace and don't drive myself around yet so if anyone would like to volunteer for this job, I just might turn it over to them.


Elaine Nossaman

Great interest

Dear Editor,

Although relatively new to Pagosa Springs I have been watching the race for the two commissioner seats with great interest. I listened to the candidates at the League of Women Voters Forum and heard their qualifications and their promises for the future as well as responses concerning their financial backing.

The results of the Republican caucus indicates that Mr. Pat Horning could not even gather a single delegate from his home precinct. Since he was the only candidate who admitted to financial backing from developers, it seems strange that he should appear to be aligning himself with Mr. Alden Ecker who indicated that he was financing his own campaign. Does this mean that there is some hidden bond that we should be aware of or are we merely seeing an unpopular candidate hanging on the coattails of one who was able to gather the support he needed? Whose interests is this alliance going to represent?

Would it be too much to ask to require all candidates to make public who is providing financial support for their campaign up-dating this information as they receive money from new donors throughout the race?

Thank you,

Loretta Randall

Editor's note: State statutes require political candidates to file a public report on contributions received and expenditures made at least 30 days prior to the applicable election. A similar report must be filed no later than 30 days after an election. The primary election for the county commissioners' race will be held Aug. 30. Pat Horning has filed a disclosure report with the county clerk's office on the contributions he has received and the expenditures he has made thus far in his campaign to be nominated as a candidate for the primary election.

An understanding

Dear Editor,

To have an understanding of the economic and political foundation of a democratic republic and how those foundations are being destroyed, I think all voters should read Democracy in America by Alexis C. De Tocqueville. It was written in the late 1700s.

Don Reid




Black listing

Dear Editor,

Yes, newcomers, black listing has been around Pagosa for the 20 years I have been living here. One church even gives a 20 percent discount to their church members, all others are black listed, yet there is a balance in Pagosa.

Usually, in any given year, you will find as many churches as bars, and although I am not a drinker, I would as soon visit a bar on Sunday as a local church. In a bar you usually know exactly what you are getting for your money, but I have never been sure of that in a church.

The best church I ever attended in this community does not pass the plate and neither did Jesus.

This is my advice to people, just keep your treasured beliefs to yourself in Pagosa or face the consequences.

Ron Alexander


Dear David:

A recent editing of an e-mail letter to the SUN changed a person's name to "myself." I'm bothered by the incorrect use of "myself" in recent years.

To quote from a fascinating book for grammarphobes, Woe Is I, written by Patricia T. O'Conner, an editor of "The New York Times Book Review": "Myself and the rest of the self-ish crew (yourself, himself, herself, itself, ourselves, yourselves, themselves) shouldn't take the place of the ordinary pronouns I and me, she and her, and so on." They are used for only two purposes:

- To emphasize. I made the Shoofly Pie myself.

- To refer back to the subject. And you call yourself a lawyer!


Betty Beasley

Editor's note: I am ashamed of myself.


Dear Editor,

Regarding the April 6 page 1 photo of the beer truck, I probably shouldn't have found this incident so humorous, but it just reminded me of that old song "Wolf Creek Pass" about the chicken truck. Remember that one? I can't remember who sang it.

Boy, I sure love the new camera on the courthouse! My co-workers stop by my desk during the day to see how things are. Glad you installed it for us folks "from California" and other places. I'm not always going to be from here (Tehachapi, Calif.). I hope to be from there in the near future.

Diana Belles

Editor's note: C.W. McCall sang the song in 1975.

Curtis thanks

Dear David,

Please express our gratitude to all our friends and neighbors, and fellow EMT's who have been so kind and thoughtful during my recent surgery and convalescence. The many calls, e-mails, cards, flowers and most especially, the prayers were greatly appreciated during my hospital stay. When I arrived home, several neighbors brought food and checked on me continuously. It is acts of kindness such as these that make Pagosa Springs such a special place to call "home." God Bless you all.

Carol Curtis

Excess revenues

Dear Editor,

On Page 3, Section 2 of the recent SUN (April 6), in the last column of the commissioners' meeting report, Commissioner Ken Fox is quoted as saying, "Last November voters voted to allow us to keep excess revenues so now we are cleared to levy and retain impact fees." In order to get us to vote to nullify the TABOR controls on governmental revenues and spending, we were led to believe that there would be no new increased taxes without prior voter approval. They can call them "impact fees" or "service charges" or some other euphemism but we get stuck with paying them and in reality they are de-facto new taxes.

They've already instituted a fee for taking our trash to the transfer station when for years that was considered to be a county service covered by our taxes.

Now Commissioner Gene Crabtree wants to charge us $20 to check the VIN (vehicle identification number) when we title a car. This takes about 4 or 5 minutes at most. There is a special place to park your car right in front of the courthouse. The sheriff's officer at the front desk walks about 50 feet to your car, looks in the windshield at the VIN plate on the dashboard, and that's it. It's a simple service for the benefit of the county done by county employees who are paid for by our taxes. Why should we get stuck paying twice?

The county has already gotten our approval to keep and spend the very substantial excess revenues they are receiving already. Yet those commissioners seem to want even more and propose to get it by nuisance fees on every little thing that we already pay our taxes for the county to provide.

Elections are coming soon. Carefully consider your vote.

Fred Ebeling

Editor's note: The VIN inspections are conducted on vehicles that are coming into the county from out of state.

Better all the time

Dear David,

I must acknowledge that after observing this paper for nearly a quarter-century, it gets better all the time. Both in appearance and content. Congratulations. You certainly have some first-class scribes. I have particularly enjoyed John Motter's local history.

A couple minor comments on the place names article that appeared in the April 13 issue: I heard a recording of an interview that Justin Reid did with Juan Jose Peña in 1980. Sr. Peña lived in Pagosa Junction and was then in his 90s. He was a curandero, a native healer, who was from one of the Pueblos but who had been married to a Ute and thus was fluent in that language. Justin asked him the meaning of Pagosa. He replied: "`Pa' means water; `Go' means cooks you; `Sa' means heals you." So, another opinion.

The University of Chicago Spanish/English dictionary defines nutria as otter.

Peace be with you.

Peter Marritt

P.S.: I'll bet the mountains and the river were named by the Padres after "the" St. John, the beloved of the Master. I doubt that Juan Rivera was a canonized saint. And I too shall miss Roy Starling. I was particularly moved by his article about Gabe Silva (Dec. 9, 1999). Peter

Hats off

Dear Editor:

Hats off to all those stalwart Republicans who attended the caucuses April 11, especially the 109 who showed up at Precinct 8. We sincerely appreciate Pastor Richard Bolland and the congregation at Our Savior Lutheran Church for the use of the fellowship hall. Special thanks to Don Brinks for helping set up and staying to the end to close up. Special mention is due Rev. Don Strait for his fine invocation and to our tellers, Bobra Schaeper, Bob Henley, Rod Preston and Ron Maez, and to our caucus secretary, Mojie Adler, for yeoman service. We thank Bob and Dahrl Henley, Carolyn Ullrich, Ron Gustafson, Sam Goulds, and Jimmie and Dorothy Kirkham for volunteering to be election judges. Honorable mention goes to Pat Ullrich for serving as permanent chairman of the caucus.

Precinct 8 can be proud of having four of the five Republican county commissioner candidates for District 2 as residents (Alden Ecker, Ken Fox, Ralph Goulds and Jim Willingham), all of whom were present and spoke to the caucus.

It has been my honor to represent Precinct 8 to the Republican Central Committee. I am happy to pass the baton to Jerry Smith who, along with Pat Ullrich, was elected to represent the precinct for the next two years.

Roy Vega



Petrus Sweers

Petrus Maria Sweers, a former resident of Pagosa Springs, died March 15, 2000, after a long illness. Sweers was born in Haarlem, Holland, and lived in Palmdale, Calif.

Sweers, 70, is survived by his wife, Nel Sweers of Palmdale; his daughter, Hildy (Jon) Arnold of Newhall, Calif.; grandson, Eric (Iris) Arnold of Valencia, Calif.; brother, Joop (Miep) Sweers of Holland; sisters, Gerda Van de Berg and An Sweers of Holland; the families of Wil Sweers, Nettie Sweers, the Hofkes, the Goossens and An Thepen of Holland.

His family wrote: "Pete immigrated to the United States in 1957 and lived in Newhall for 30 years. He retired to Pagosa Springs, Colo., and returned to Palmdale where he enjoyed a game of golf and a chat with his friends. His loving sense of humor will be missed by his friends and family."


Sports Page

Lady Pirates kick to conference split

By Richard Walter

Playing as if intent on making their coach look like a prophet, the Lady Pirates soccer team came out of the blocks on the attack Thursday, peppering Ignacio's goal tender with shots from all angles.

Coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason had predicted last week that his team would break out of its "second half only" offensive posture for the Ignacio game at Golden Peaks stadium.

For the first 35 minutes, however, all those shots were blocked by Lady Cats goal tender Wesley Jackson.

The ice-breaker score came on freshman Meagan Hilsabeck's line shot off the diving Jackson's hands after a crossing pass from Ashlee Johnson who had taken a header lead into the attack zone from sophomore mid-fielder Cassie Pfiefle.

Before that score Jackson had twice stopped bombs from Johnson, barely got a hand on and deflected out a head-on drive from sophomore Lori Whitbred and stopped a drive from the left side by sophomore forward Aubrey Volger.

That assault was interrupted at the 15 minute and two second mark by Ignacio's first scoring threat when a corner kick was headed to the Lady Cats' standout scorer Jaime Zoltek. Her drive from the right was stopped by Lady Pirate goal tender Ashley Gronewoller.

One minute later the Pagosans were on the attack again, Johnson advancing a perfect lead pass to Hilsabeck who in turn dropped it to junior striker Jennifer Gross. Her shot was just wide left.

Two minutes later Lady Pirate Tiffany Diller intercepted an Ignacio clearing pass and her quick shot, too, went wide left.

Ferocity was the keynote of the first half Pagosa attack with crisp passes to breaking wings setting up scoring opportunities galore.

Whitbred was stopped on a point-blank drive off a header feed from Volger and freshman Tricia Lucero's drive from the right was tipped out of bounds by a lunging defender.

Immediately prior to the first score, Johnson had again been stopped on a drive from the right side set up by sophomore Carlena Lungstrum's feed from the middle.

At 39 minutes into the half, Zoltek had a breakaway against Gronewoller but was frustrated when Pagosa's goalie tipped her first effort off the right goal post. Zoltek was right on the rebound and drove a shot toward the right corner which rebounded off the crossbar. Gronewoller recovered the ball and the threat was over.

As the second half opened, the Lady Pirates went right back on the attack with Gross' breakaway from near right going just wide to the right. Moments later, however, Johnson intercepted a clearing pass and her line-drive kick ricocheted off the crossbar and fell in behind Jackson giving Pagosa a 2-0 lead.

After another Gronewoller save and outlet kick, Johnson drove the right side wide open but Jackson came at least 20 yards out of goal to cut down the angle and fisted Johnson's kick out of bounds.

At 5:12, Gronewoller stopped another drive from her left but Zoltek intercepted the outlet pass and drove it into the right corner of the net for the Lady Cats' only score of the afternoon.

The hometown ladies were not yet done. At 22:20 Jackson again came way out of goal to stop a drive by Volger. This time, however, she was unable to get back in position in time to stop a laser shot by Johnson high and to her left. Pagosa was up 3-1.

Finally, after two more saves by Gronewoller, Pagosa increased the lead to 4-1 at 34:27. Gross was in perfect position to receive Hilsabeck's corner kick and rifled it past Jackson for the game's final marker.

"We showed great teamwork," Kurt-Mason said, "and our passing game was right on from the outset. We had a well-balanced attack but have to learn to not let down when we have the lead."

For the game Gronewoller had 12 saves and Jackson 16.

Snowy road loss

The momentum Kurt-Mason hoped for did not carry over to Saturday's road game against Ouray-Ridgeway. After a long bus trip which was stopped once to chain up, the team arrived in Ouray to find the field covered with snow and was notified the game was to be played in Ridgeway.

So, it was back on the bus for more snow-covered miles before the game could get underway.

Pagosa got only five shots on goal for the game and Ouray-Ridgeway had only six but three were one-on-one breakaways against Gronewoller and the final score was 3-0.

"On that kind of field the advantage goes to the person with the ball," Kurt -Mason said, "and they had the ball a little more than we did. I think we'll learn from the effort."

He had high praise for the play of Hilsabeck who turned in "marvelous defense coming all the way downfield time after time from her forward position," and for "a stalwart performance from Sara Aupperle."

Also drawing their coach's praise for "all around good efforts," were Alysha Ranson, Pfiefle and Kelli Patterson.

The loss leaves the Lady Pirates with a 4-3-1 record with four games left before tournament time.

Soccer schedule changed

By Richard Walter

Several changes have been made to the Lady Pirates' soccer schedule.

Kahle Charles, athletic director, said the match scheduled for Pagosa's home field this week against Durango has been rescheduled for the same site at 5 p.m. Tuesday, April 25.

Tomorrow's match against Center, originally scheduled as a home game, will instead be played in Center starting at 4 p.m.

And, the home game originally scheduled March 18 against Ouray, will be played here at 11 a.m. Saturday.

The final regular season match prior to tournament play will be at 4 p.m. April 27 in Ignacio.

Kyle 'The K' Keelan silences Tiger bats

By Roy Starling

While snowflakes swirled around the Sports Complex like crazed knuckle balls, the Pagosa Pirates pushed their Intermountain League record to 4-0 Saturday with a 5-2, 22-2 sweep of the Del Norte Tigers.

This Saturday the Pirates will try to keep their conference winning streak alive when they host the Ignacio Bobcats in a doubleheader that begins at 11 a.m.

In game one, senior righthander Kyle Keelan KO'd Del Norte by constantly working out of jams with strikeouts. Troubled by control problems that Pirate coach Tony Scarpa thinks might have been caused by an attempt to work a slider into his repertoire, Keelan stranded runners in scoring position in every inning but the fourth. On four occasions, he nipped Tiger rallies with K's.

Keelan finished the game with 16 strikeouts, giving him 44 in just 25 innings pitched. He gave up seven Tiger hits, walked six and hit two batters with pitches.

"We won that game because of Kyle's 16 strikeouts," Scarpa said. "He'd get in a jam and work out of it with a K."

Keelan's first challenge came in the first inning. After hitting a twisting Trevor Kerr between the shoulder blades to lead off the inning, he fanned Troy Kerr with a low heater just inches above home plate. But while Troy was at the plate, Trevor went to second on a passed ball and to third on a balk.

Jason Naranjo grounded to Darin Lister at short for the second out. Then with Donald Watson at the plate, Keelan sent a wild pitch past catcher Clinton Lister, but, mysteriously, Trevor didn't attempt to come home from third. Keelan wound up walking Watson on four pitches, but when he tried to steal second, Clinton threw him out by about five feet to end the inning.

The Pirates hit Watson hard in the bottom of the first, but only scored one run to show for it. Lonnie Lucero reached first when Del Norte center-fielder Tory Kerr dropped his fly ball, but, for one of the few times this season, he was caught trying to swipe second base. Just as Lucero was returning to the Pirates' dugout, No. 2 hitter Darin Lister sent a 3-1 pitch over the left-field fence, and Pagosa was up 1-0.

Brandon Thames then took Watson to deep center for the second out, Keith Candelaria reached on an error by the right-fielder and Clinton Lister ended the inning with a hard line drive right at the Tigers' left-fielder.

Keelan kept the Tigers from doing any damage in the second and third, and his teammates helped him out with a rally in the bottom of the third. With two outs, the hot- hitting Thames stroked a single to left-center, then Candelaria chased him home with a shot to the same part of the field, only deeper. With Candelaria resting on second with a stand-up double, Clinton Lister was hit by a pitch. Keelan then smacked a hit down the first-base line to drive in Candelaria and give himself a 3-0 lead.

In the fourth, Del Norte took advantage of a walk, a wild pitch and an error to cut the lead to 3-1. The Pirates went quietly in their half of the inning, and then the Tigers crept a little closer by reaching Keelan for another run in the fifth.

The Pirates' batters gave Keelan a little insurance in the sixth. With one out, sophomore Ronnie Janowsky delivered a 3-2 offering over the center-field fence, the first of his three home runs during the doubleheader. After a Pirate strikeout, Lucero worked Watson for a walk and stole second. While another wave of snow flurries hit the field, Darin Lister walked. Thames then brought in Lucero with a rifle shot to right, and Pagosa was up 5-2 heading into the final inning.

That inning began painlessly enough. Trevor Kerr tapped back to Keelan, then Troy Kerr fanned. But Naranjo reached on an error, and Keelan advanced him with a wild pitch. Watson reached on another error and Blake Haynie walked to load the bases.

Undaunted, Keelan reached back, applied a little extra mustard and whiffed Casey Consaul on three pitches for the final out.

Pagosa collected 10 hits against Watson, three of those coming from Janowsky. Candelaria and Thames added two each.

No contest

In the second game, the Del Norte pitches were roughly the size of cantaloupes when they came over the plate, and the Pirates put the contest out of reach in a hurry.

Pagosa picked up a run in the first when Lucero drilled the first pitch into left for a base hit, stole second and came home on Darin Lister's single.

Leading 1-0 in the second, the Pirates exploded for nine runs. Clinton Lister led off with a double down the left-field line and was replaced by courtesy runner Ross Wagle who scurried to third on a wild pitch. Josh Trujillo walked, and while he was stealing second, Wagle scored.

Janowsky then struck again, slugging a clothes-line homer over the fence in left center and pushing the score to 4-0. Kraig Candelaria followed by beating out an infield hit and swiping second. Nathan Stretton walked and Lucero singled, but Candelaria was thrown out at the plate. No problem. Darin Lister kept the rally alive by punching a single to right to drive in Stretton and Lucero.

Lister's hit chased Watson from the hill, and Naranjo came in to try to put out the fire. He was greeted by Thames who sent a grounder snaking through the infield to bring in Gabe Silva, running for Darin. After Keith Candelaria grounded out to first, Clinton Lister singled between short and third to bring home Thames. Janowsky then drove in his third run of the inning with a single, and Trujillo, who had walked, scored on an error by the Del Norte catcher. When the side was finally retired, the Pirates were up 10-0, and many Pagosa fans begin to ponder warmer places to spend the remainder of their Saturday.

Bolstered by the big lead, sophomore Darin Lister struck out the side in the top of the third. The Pirates scored four more runs in their half of the inning, all of them coming from 2-run round-trippers. Thames crunched one out with Darin on first, then Janowsky finished off his big day with a dinger over center, bringing in Keith Candelaria, who had singled.

While Pirate sluggers were punishing a succession of Del Norte hurlers, Darin Lister was pretty much untouchable. He took a 2-hit shutout into the fifth before giving up a meaningless 2-run homer. He finished with 12 strikeouts in five innings, giving up three hits and walking only one. Darin and Keelan combined to whiff 28 Tigers in 12 innings pitched.

The Pirates rang up 23 hits in the game. Lucero, Darin and Clinton Lister, Thames, Janowsky and Stretton all had three each. Sophomore Wagle had two. Janowsky drove in five runs, Stretton four, and Darin Lister three. Keelan, pinch-hitting for Lucero, got into the act by ripping a tape-measure home run over the center-field fence in the bottom of the fourth.

"Ronnie Janowsky had an awesome doubleheader," Scarpa said. "He went 6 for 7 with six RBIs. Our younger guys and older guys are really doing well together." Darin Lister, Janowsky, Stretton and Wagle are sophomores; Lucero, Clinton Lister and Thames are seniors.

The Pirates will go into Saturday's twin bill against Ignacio minus the services of Kyle Keelan, who will be out of town. Scarpa said he would choose his pitchers for the day from a committee of five: Darin and Clinton Lister, Lonnie Lucero, Janowsky and Thames.

Junior Anthony Maestas, despite a 0-for-4 outing against Del Norte, continues to sport the team's top batting average with .545. Darin Lister is hitting .500, and Thames, after going 6 for 7 Saturday boosted his average from .400 to .455. Clinton Lister is up to .407 and Janowsky, who was hitting .222 on Friday, is at an even .400. Lead-off hitter Lucero is hitting at a .395 rate, while clean-up batter Keith Candelaria has a .393 average.



Thinclads in Pine River invitational Friday

By John M. Motter

One of southwest Colorado's premier track events, the Pine River Invitational, will be held tomorrow on the all-weather track at Durango High School. Field events start at 9:30 a.m., running events at 9:45 a.m.

"This is one of only two events in our part of the state at which track athletes can qualify for the state meet by surpassing minimum times or distances," said Kyle Canty, the head Pagosa track coach.

From 18 to 20 schools are expected to field teams for the event, according to Canty. Last year's Pine River Invitational was rained out.

The second event at which high school tracksters can qualify for state is the Alamosa Invitational meet April 29. Any athlete surpassing minimum state requirements on best times, heights or distances at either the Pine River Invitational or the Alamosa Invitational qualifies for the May 19 and 20 state meet regardless of how they might do at the regional meet May 12 at Adams State. The regional meet is the usual vehicle through which track athletes reach the state tournament.

Last Saturday, the Pagosa thinclads returned to Kirtland, N. M., where they competed against the best track athletes in northwest New Mexico.

"We did pretty well," Canty said. "The competition down there is really tough. Our boys finished 10th and I don't know where the girls finished. The Kirtland boys won and I think the Farmington girls won."

Earning points for the Lady Pirates were Chelsea Volger with a sixth-place finish in the 3200-meter run, Anna Rolig with a fifth place in the 400-meter dash, Sarah Huckins with sixth place in the 800-meter dash and fifth place in the triple jump, and Meigan Canty who tied for second in the high jump.

The Pagosa girls captured third place in the 1600-meter relay. Running on the 1600-meter team were Rolig, Huckins, Amanda McCain and Andrea Ash.

For the boys, the 1600-meter relay team captured third place. Running on that team were Clint Shaw, Todd Mees, Daniel Crenshaw and John Postolese. The same boys took fourth place in the 800-meter relay.

Pagosa's field-events team captured second in the "Weightman's Relay." Competing in this event were Shane Prunty, Josh Richardson, Adam Timmerman and Garret Paul. The weight men are shot putters and discus heavers, each required to run 100 yards.

Prunty earned fifth place in the discus throw.



Community News

Local Chatter

By Kate Terry

Mountain Express drawing raves

If you have never had to rely on public transportation, you can't appreciate just how well the new city bus service accommodates our needs.

With so many people needing transportation for one reason or the other, we can say "thank you" to the authority that made this possible. Now, with the cost of gasoline going up and up, possibly (if not probably) a lot more people will be using this means of transportation.

The Mountain Express is the name of the bus company that provides the seniors' bus as well as the city bus. The seniors' bus is a smaller version of the city bus and has a magnetic sign on its side that says "Archuleta County Seniors."

The bus "terminal" is at the corner of First and Pagosa streets between Ampride and the San Juan Historical Society Museum.

Those who ride the bus say this is one of the best things to happen to Pagosa, the drivers are courteous, punctual, and safe, and the 50-cent fee fits into the budget and is fair.

The bus has a wheelchair lift and runs Monday through Friday. It operates in all kinds of weather except very heavy snows and on holidays. There are two drivers and one backup driver.

Subsidizing public transportation is often a debit item in a city's budget, but as a concerned authority knows, it boils down to caring for the public's welfare. Public transportation is a necessity.

Schedules can be picked up at Ampride, City Market, Sisson Library, the Spa Motel, the Senior Center, Pagosa Lodge and several other places. To learn more about the city's bus service, please call the Mountain Express Line, 264-2250.


Sisson Library has new magazine subscriptions that will interest the reading public. They cover a number of subjects. "American Heritage," "Bead and Button," "Click," "Colorado Biz," "Colorado Homes and Lifestyles," "Country Homes," "Country Living," "Country Living Garden," "Popular Mechanics," "Popular Science," "Smart Computing in Plain English," and "Utne Reader." Also for 90 Days, the Library will get "Civilization" and "ESPN."

Fun on the run

Some great things about getting older:

- Finally you can eat dinner at 4 p.m.

- Your investment in health insurance is finally beginning to pay off.

- Kidnappers are not very interested in you.

- If you've never smoked you can start now and it won't have time to hurt you.

- People no longer view you as a hypochondriac.

- Your secrets are safe with your friends because they can't remember them either.

- Your supply of brain cells is finally down to manageable size.

- Your eyes won't get much worse.

- Things you buy now won't wear out.

- No one expects you to run into a burning building.

- You don't need the roof shingles with the 30-year guarantee.

- There is no need to spend money for a psychic to see the future.

- There's nothing left to learn the hard way.

- Your joints are more accurate than the National Weather Service.

- Buying cheap tires and not rotating them makes economic sense.

- You don't have to learn the name of the new UPS man.

- No one thinks you're cheap because you don't buy half a cow to freeze.

- You may never have to vacuum under the bed again.

- Taking the shortest magazine subscription is economically defensible.

- You don't have to bother planting perennials.

- In a hostage situation you are likely to be released first.


Chamber News

By Sally Hameister

Kiosk invoices are legitimate

Three new members to report to you this week and two renewals.

We would like to welcome Christine West with FedEx. Located at 115 Bodo Drive in Durango. FedEx is your premier express shipping company, providing timely, dependable service for your documents and packages worldwide. You can reach them at 385-0879.

Our next two businesses are owned by the same individual and we're happy to have Mara Edwards who brings us D'Mara Resort located at 1213 C.R. 500, Vallecito Lake. For a "touch of luxury in the wilderness", these distinctive vacation homes overlook Grimes Creek at beautiful Vallecito Lake, a leisurely 57-mile drive from Pagosa Springs. You can reach Mara at 884-9806.

Mara's second business is Angler's Wharf, located at 17250 C.R. 501 at Vallecito Lake. Experience the "fishing trip" you'll never forget! A full-service marina is located at the north end of Vallecito Lake. You can reach Angler's Wharf at 884-9477.


We are happy to welcome the following renewals: Alspach's antiques and fine furniture refinishing, and Rocky Mountain Scenics.

Diplomat training

Calling all diplomats, veterans, and new folks interested in volunteering as hosts at the Visitor Center. Our training sessions will take place on April 25, from 9 to 11 a.m.; on May 3, 9 to 11 a.m.; and on May 11, from 1 to 3 p.m.. We will start our full-time schedule at the Center on May 22 and continue through the middle of October.

Kiosk update

We have had a few calls from people who bought advertising space on the Kiosk saying they had received an invoice from Signature Multimedia even though the structure is not yet in place.

I made a phone call and discovered that this is standard operating procedure. Rest assured that you have a full year of advertising on the Kiosk, and that year begins only when the Kiosk is up and running and fully operational. They assured me that every advertiser will enjoy 365 days of advertising. We expect the Kiosk will be operational within the next 30 days, which is pretty much what we anticipated. The important thing is to be ready for the busy summer months.


The Back to Basics Expo kicks off April 28 with a free slide show at the junior high school. "Colorado 1870 to 2000" by John Fielder features a 6 p.m. reception and a show beginning at 7 p.m. Proceeds from sales of Mr. Fielder's book will go to the local 4H Club. Call the CSU Extension office for details at 264-2388.

Enjoy your week.


Pagosa Lakes

By Ming Steen

Pagosa Lakes fishing permits now available

Fishing permits for the 2000-01 season for Lake Hatcher, Village Lake, Lake Pagosa and Lake Forest, are available at the Recreation Center. Spring fishing has been excellent. There have been reports of trophy-sized fish out of all four lakes.

Larry Lynch, PLPOA environmental technician, has stocked all four lakes with a combination of trout, bass and crappie. Hatcher Lake has been stocked with over 3,000 pounds of 12- to 14-inch rainbow trout and with 1,600 large mouth bass. Village Lake has been stocked with over 2,000 pounds of 12- to 14-inch rainbow trout, 1,400 large mouth bass and 1,400 black crappie. Lake Forest has been stocked with 2,500 pounds of rainbow trout, 600 large mouth bass and 1,500 black crappie. Larry is still waiting on the cutbows for Lake Pagosa (they are currently on a weight-gain program at the hatchery). He's expecting 3,500 pounds to arrive some time in mid-May. In addition to 1,450 large mouth bass introduced into Lake Pagosa, there is a lot of nice sized carry-over trout from last year. Time to get that line wet - happy fishing.

A specially formulated fertilizer is now available for PLPOA lake-front owners. The fertilizer is a 25-5-5 slow release formula that is lake friendly. It can be purchased in 50-pound sacks and one sack will treat 14,000 square feet. The price is $10 per sack. Please contact Larry Lynch at the PLPOA office (731-5635) about obtaining this fertilizer.

Wolf Creek Ski Area will be closing this Sunday. To close with its usual fanfare there will be the annual costume contest and the Easter egg hunt. The costume contest will begin at noon on the deck of the main lodge (weather permitting - or inside if it's snowing hard). Local musicians, Debbee Ramey and John Graves, will be performing on the deck. Contestants will need a current lift ticket, a great costume and some pre-contest effort and creativity. The grand prize of a season pass will go to two winners - one adult and one child 12 and under. The Easter egg hunt will start at 1 p.m. for ticketed youngsters (8 and younger) at Wolf Pup Hollow. Easter bunny and many colorfully outfitted folks will be up there. Come join the fun.

Sandy Applegate will appear in the Durango Repertory Theatre's production of the comedy Communicating Doors by Alan Ayckbourne. The theatre is next to the Durango Arts Center at 802 E. 2nd Avenue. Performance dates are April 14, 15, 21, 22, 28 and 29 at 8 p.m. Ticket information is available at 247-0136.

A PLPOA sponsored open duplicate bridge group meets every Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. in the Pagosa Lakes Community Center. Bridge players or wanna-be bridge players are invited to join the group. There is no charge.



Arts Line

By Pamela Blankenship

Garage sale deemed huge success

The Pagosa Springs Arts Council Gallery at Town Park had a wonderful reception marking the opening of the "Expressions of Faith" exhibit. This exhibit consists of six to eight artists coordinated by and including Kent Gordon. I encourage everyone to view this exhibit which runs until May 3.

Do not forget, the gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Spanish Fiesta 2000

The 20th annual Spanish Fiesta is looking for dancers, entertainers, musicians, food vendors, and arts and crafts booth operators. There are three different events this year: a Cinco de Mayo Dance on May 5; Concerto Espanol y Bailables Folklorico on June 16; and Spanish Fiesta - with a parade, festival and dance - on June 17.

If you are interested in participating, please contact the Arts Council at 264-5020.

Upcoming exhibit

I would like to introduce you to Soledad Estrada-Leo's students who will show their talents in an exhibit to be held May 4 to 17. They are Alaina Garman, Amanda Huang, Clare Estrada Barber, Garret Laner, Moe Webb, Brook Galesic, Maddy Bergon, Michael Henderson, Grace Smith, Max Smith, Quinn Smith, Makayla Voorhis and Dakota Miller, who is just 6 years old. I can't wait to see these young children's talent.

Local theatre

Pagosa Pretenders are contributing $1,350 from the profits of "Arabian Nights" to the Pagosa Springs High School Theater Department, the Pagosa Springs Arts Council, the Pagosa Springs Community Center, and the Pagosa Springs Junior High School library.

Pagosa Players and The Kings Men will present "The Diaries of Adam and Eve" by Mark Twain. This will be the group's first Mother's Day Dinner Theatre with performances at the Pagosa Lodge on May 12 and May 13. Dinner will be served between 6 and 7:15 p.m. and the performance starts at 7:45 p.m. both nights. For your enjoyment, music will be provided by Melange. Tickets will not be sold at the door and space is limited. Reservations must be made 24 hours before the performances. Call the Lodge for information.

PSAC business

The Pagosa Springs Arts Council Garage Sale was a huge success. Despite the inclement weather we had on Saturday, the turnout was great and the purchasing was frantic! Thank you goes out to the volunteers at the show: Jim Harnick, Arlene Stiles, Katheline Cruse, Sarajane Meyers, June Carson, Marti Capling, and Phyl Daleske who coordinated this event. A special thanks to all of you who donated those much-needed items.

Due to a cancellation there is a prime-time slot available for exhibiting work in the gallery at Town Park. Please pick up an application or call Joanne at the gallery as soon as possible. Joanne's number is 264-5020. Please leave a message if she is not there.

The Arts Council would like to thank Melissa McDonald for donating the color printer to complement our computer donated by Gerta Witkamp. The Arts Council is in need of a copy machine. If you would like to donate your copier or sell one to the Arts Council, call the gallery at Town Park.

We are also seeking the talents of a writer for an occasional fifth week of the Arts Line column. If you have not yet noticed, there are four different writers for our column. We each take a week during the month. Sometimes a month has five weeks and that is where you come in! If you are interested in this very easy and fun project, give us a call at 264-5020.

Finally, we would like to express our appreciation to Marguerite at Mountain Greenery for the beautiful floral arrangements she donates for each art exhibit opening.



Senior News

By Janet Copeland

Anonymous donor funds New Mexico trip

Happy spring everyone! Hasn't the beautiful weather this past week put us all in spring mode?

We welcomed Marie Owens to our group last week. We hope to see a lot more of Marie. Also, we were happy to have Donna Boughan's daughter, Sandra Proctor, and her little daughter Lindsey, visit with us; as well as to have R.L. "Hoppy" Hopson back with us (we hope his wife, Evelyn, will join us soon). On Friday we enjoyed having Elizabeth Belmear and Leonara and Carlo Carrannante back with us.

A big "thank you" to Louis Day of Pagosa Springs Funeral Options for his informative talk on preparing for your funeral by talking with a funeral home and putting in writing your desires so your family won't have to handle this unpleasant task later on (this is called "pre-planning your funeral.") This is very important and interested parties should contact a funeral director of their choice for information and procedures for getting this done.

Last week, Carolyn Hansen was our Senior of the Week - congratulations! Carolyn is a definite asset to our group and we are happy to honor her.

We hope everyone will keep in mind the upcoming Chili Supper (April 29) - our one big fund-raiser of the year. The donations of local merchants and individuals, and ticket purchases for the chili supper, enable the Archuleta County Senior Citizens Inc. to provide for cleaning expenses and other miscellaneous expenses involved in Senior Center operations.

Upcoming activities include an Easter Egg Pull on April 24 - donated items will be used as prizes. This is always fun.

On May 5 there will be a trip to Chimayo, N.M., for holy dirt. Cost will be $5 per person.

Remember to sign up soon for the May 10 to May 12 trip to Santa Fe and Albuquerque. Thanks to the generous donation of an individual who wishes to remain anonymous, transportation will be furnished, but participants must pay for other expenses, to include motel rooms for two nights. For those interested in sharing motel rooms, the lodging cost will be approximately $50. Tickets will be sold at the Senior Center for 50 cents each for a chance to win free lodging expenses for this trip - there will be three winners.

Many of you already take advantage of our local bus service so we want to let you know that the new bus passes are available at the county clerk's office - $5 for 10 or $10 for 20.


Cruising with Cruse

By Katherine Cruse

No fancy casting for novice angler

Ski season is ending. It's time to find a new activity - one that doesn't involve snow.

"How about fly fishing?" said Hotshot. "Let's learn to fly fish."

Why not?

So we signed up to go fishing with Lory Thompson to spend a morning fishing down in New Mexico below Navajo Dam. "You can go other places," we were told, "but the fish there are biting in April. Might as well catch some fish while you learn."

"What do we need to take?" I asked.

The answer: "Dress warm. Bring extra socks, good glasses, preferably polarized ones, lunch and a smile. And $10 for the New Mexico permit. Meet here in Pagosa at 6:30 a.m."

The day before we were to leave, Lory called us up to ask, "Can you meet me at 5:30?"

"In the morning?" I asked, thinking I should get my hearing checked.

He said, "Well, it takes a while to drive there, and we want to be on the water before 8."

"Sure, we can do that," I told him. He reviewed what we should bring and signed off with "see you at 5:15." If we'd kept on talking, he'd probably have moved it up to 5 a.m.. Maybe a quarter to.

This is probably one reason more women don't go fishing. Let the guys go bonding in the predawn. I'd rather wait until a more civilized hour. It's been a while since we've gotten up that early. Hotshot and I had to remember how to set the alarm.

Five a.m. is especially dark in the first weeks after the daylight savings time shift. The predawn constellations look different from the night ones. The two bears were growling around the North Star, but Orion had already chased Taurus over the horizon, and I didn't recognize anything up there.

The next great challenge, after, one, getting up, and, two, driving to New Mexico without hitting any deer, was getting into the waders. Hotshot and I were issued neoprene waders, which are rather like wetsuits, only tighter. Especially over the longjohns and fleece we'd put on to keep warm. We were trussed up like a couple of Thanksgiving turkeys and sweating before we even reached the water.

It's a good thing we started out warm. Standing around in that water for a couple of hours is pretty chilling. I was about ready to holler "frostbite," but then we hiked over to another stretch of the river and feeling came back into the frozen stubs at the ends of my legs.

We didn't have to do that fancy casting, where the line sails out and back and out again, like in the movie, "A River Runs Through It." That was a relief. Nobody fishing below Navajo Dam was doing that kind of casting, and believe me, there were a lot of fishermen (and one fisherwoman) there. There wasn't room to do more than basic casting.

Lory led us to a spot along the water and got us started. He made encouraging noises. He said there were fish in the water. "See that dark spot (or that flash of light) right there? That's a fish."

"Where?" I'd say. And he'd point at it with the tip of the rod. Practically touch it. He could have tickled it. I still couldn't see the darn things, even when they were 'stacking up.'

Fishing has its own lingo, just like any other arcane activity. The fish 'stack up.' I can't tell you what that actually looks like, because I barely saw one fish at a time, but I think it means you have no excuse not to catch one. They "bump" the hook, and your strike indicator, a bit of white fluff floating on the water, twitches. If you even think you have a bump, pull up quickly on your rod to set the hook. But don't pull so quickly that you break the leader.

I'm a little slow. I hike slow, I ski slow, and apparently I fish slow. My strike indicator had to get pulled all the way under the water before I could react and pull up on the rod. I caught five fish that morning, however, four of them before Hotshot, or any of the guys crowding around our spot on the river, caught one. I think they were all a little envious. There were jokes about how I'd have to treat Hotshot to lunch. And then to dinner.

I credit my catch to beginner's luck and our guide. He did what every good guide does, he made us, or at least me, look good.

At one point Lory siphoned out the contents of a fish's stomach with a specialized turkey baster, so that he could see what kind of flies the fish thought were tasty that morning. Conclusion: they were eating everything.

I'm told that fish are about 12 inches long when they're released below the dam, and they grow at the rate of one inch a month until they're 20 inches long, when they slow down. Many of the flies are about 2 millimeters long. Tiny. It's hard to imagine how many a fish has to eat in a day, or in a month, to grow that big.

Since this is a catch-and-release area, it's a good bet that the bigger the fish are, the more experienced they are at avoiding being caught. Or, maybe, since it's catch and release, they don't care. After all, it only hurts for a little while, right?

I caught a fish that had someone else's hook caught in its dorsal fin. Lory spotted that and clipped it free.

When you, the client, catch a fish, your guide wades out with the net and scoops it up. This process takes longer with some fish than others. I caught one that took 15 minutes to bring into the net. It headed for deeper water, and whenever Lory approached, it tried to make an end run around him, and I'd have to clamber along the slippery rocks and move downstream with it. "Give up, fish," I muttered under my breath. "You're just making it harder on yourself."

Once, in Texas, Hotshot and I took the young son of a friend camping. There was a small lake in the state park we camped in, and Zach brought his fishing pole. Nobody thought to check it over before we started out. Next morning, at the lake, he said, "I forgot the reel. And the line. And the hooks. And I don't have any bait."

We improvised. We rummaged around in our packs and found a piece of string and a pin. "You need a bobber," said Hotshot, and he tied a bit of wood onto the string for a bobber. Then, "you need a weight, too." Hotshot tied a stone onto the string.

"What about bait," asked Zach. There were some bushes with red berries growing near the lake; they pushed one of those on the hook.

And you know what? That kid caught a fish! I don't know who was more surprised, Zach or us. The fish was a little perch, about 5 inches long. We admired it, and let it go. A bent pin is definitely a catch and release hook.

The fishermen on the San Juan below Navajo Dam carry a lot of equipment: clamps and clippers, flies and line, hooks and stomach pumps and silicon grease to help the flies float. The fish they catch are a lot more impressive than a little ol' perch.

In that section of the river, you're allowed to keep one fish, but then you have to stop for the day. We released them all. We didn't set any records, but we had a good time.




What was written

Then Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged Him. And the

soldiers wove a crown of thorns and put it on His head, and

arrayed Him in a purple robe; and they began to come up to Him, and say, 'Hail, King of the Jews!' and to give Him blows in the face.

"And Pilate came out again, and said to them, 'Behold, I am bringing Him out to you, that you may know that I have found no guilt in Him.'

"Jesus therefore came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. And Pilate said to them, 'Behold the Man!'

"When therefore the priests and the officers saw Him, they cried out, saying, 'Crucify, crucify!' Pilate said to them, 'Take Him yourselves, and crucify Him, for I find no guilt in Him.'

"The Jews answered him, 'We have a law, and by that law He ought to die because He made Himself out to be the Son of God.'

"When Pilate therefore heard this statement, he was the more afraid; and he entered into the Praetorium again, and said to Jesus, 'Where are You from?' But Jesus gave him no answer.

"Pilate therefore said to Him, 'You do not speak to me? Do You not know that I have authority to release You, and I have authority to crucify You?'

"Jesus answered, 'You would have no authority over Me, unless it has been given to you from above; for this reason he who delivered Me up to you has the greater sin.'

"As a result of this Pilate made efforts to release Him, but the Jews cried out saying, 'If you release this Man, you are no friend of Caesar; everyone who makes himself out to be a king, opposes Caesar.'

"When Pilate therefore heard these words, he brought Jesus out, and sat down on the judgment seat at a place called The Pavement, but in Hebrew, Gabbatha. Now it was the day of preparation for the Passover; it was about the sixth hour. And he said to the Jews, 'Behold, your King!'

They therefore cried out, 'Away with Him, away with Him, crucify Him!' Pilate said to them, 'Shall I crucify your King?' The chief priests answered, 'We have no king but Caesar.' And so then he delivered Him up to them to be crucified.

"They took Jesus therefore; and He went out, bearing His own cross, to the Place of a Skull, which is called in the Hebrew, Golgotha; where they crucified Him, and with Him two other men, one on either side, and Jesus in between.

"And Pilate wrote an inscription also, and put it on the cross. And it was written, 'Jesus the Nazarene, the King of the Jews.'

"Therefore this inscription many of the Jews read, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, Latin, and in Greek.

"And so the chief priests of the Jews were saying to Pilate, 'Do not write, 'The King of the Jews'; but that He said, 'I am the King of the Jews.' Pilate answered, 'What I have written I have written. . . ." (John 19: 1-22)

So it was, "He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believed in His name. . . ." (John 1: 10-12) Happy Easter.


Dear Folks

By David C. Mitchell

Our San Juans remain constant

Dear Folks,

Judy Garland and Toto would have been right at home when the gusting winds blasted through Pagosa Tuesday afternoon.

For a minute there, I thought I was in Alamosa.

It's a reminder that other than the beauty of the neighboring San Juan Mountains, absolutes aren't applicable in Pagosa Springs.

Folks enjoy bragging that in Pagosa, "the wind never . . ." or the seemingly fail-safe, "Wolf Creek always has the most . . ."

Like most everywhere else, Pagosa has no guarantees on the "always" or "nevers." Still, I'd rather be in Pagosa than anywhere else. Even when there's high winds or low snows.

No one likes the "D" word, but drought could become a familiar part of our future conversations.

Tuesday afternoon's gale shouldn't have caught us by surprise. You know it's time to prepare for the unexpected when The Denver Post directs its attention to Wolf Creek Ski Area.

Unfortunately, the article in Tuesday morning's business section focused on Wolf Creek's drop in snowfall and skier visits for the 1999-2000 season.

Still, anytime a business can get its name before the public it's a plus.

With Wolf Creek Ski Area being an efficiently managed family-owned business, the affect of the lack of lines at the ticket windows won't be known until the "bottom line" is finalized.

Whereas Wolf Creek Ski Area aptly holds a trademark on "The Most Snow in Colorado," owner-operator Kingsbury Pitcher holds to a long-standing practice of running a tight ship. He has no control over the weather, but he certainly keeps a firm grip on the area's day-to-day and season-to-season operation.

With Mr. Pitcher and many members of the Pitcher family being personally involved with Wolf Creek's operation, it's natural the ski area excels at being a family-oriented resort.

The fickleness of the weather from mid-November to early January, and my personal struggle with the "crud" during February cut in to my skiing this season.

Fortunately I'd recovered by the time my offspring from southern California arrived for their spring break. My spring was broken following three consecutive afternoons of chasing after the Mitchell's newest snow boarder. But it ended too soon.

I've yet to develop the grandparent mentality that the great thing about grandchildren is that "you can send them back after a few days."

I'm learning that even when they leave, the aren't gone. A loose sock finds its way out the dryer. A ski cap peeks out from beneath the cushion of a rocker. A jacket appears when a backseat in the fan is unfolded. Early departures tend to leave a grab bag of pleasant reminders.

Grandchildren aren't collectibles, but I'd love to keep them near on a full-time basis. It's pure selfishness on my part, but that's the way I am.

Having so many of his grandchildren nearby probably contributes to Mr. Pitcher's agelessness.

More often than not when skiing at Wolf Creek, I realize how young I am when I watch "Pitch" enjoy his late-afternoon skiing.

It's not a ritual. It's more like a revelry in being able to enjoy the beauty of the San Juans from Wolf Creek's lofty vantage point. Once he's had his fill of scenic solitude he skies towards Prospector Lodge, frees his boots from their bindings, and walks back to the door of his office.

Yes, The Denver Post was accurate, "Wolf Creek sees skier visits drop" this season. But I'd bet most of the ski areas in Colorado would love to show Wolf Creek's year-in-year-out figures.

As for this skier, I'm looking forward to one more "skier visit" at Wolf Creek this weekend. I know I'll enjoy the snow. But even more enjoyable are the memories Wolf Creek has provided during the past 25 seasons.

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


25 years ago

High school is accredited

Taken from SUN files

of April 24, 1975

Pagosa Springs High School has now officially received word that it is officially accredited with the North Central Accrediation of Colleges and Schools. The association is the nation's largest regional accrediting association and its purpose is to establish and identify schools where there is quality education.

The Upper San Juan Planning Commission wrestled with a proposal to recommend a building code for the county Monday night and then rejected it. Archuleta County Building Contractors Association has asked the county commissioners to consider adopting the code.

Cloud seeding in this area has been suspended indefinitely according to EG&G seeding contractor. There had been a total of 28 days suitable for weather experimentation this winter and seeding had been carried out 12 of these days during this past winter.

The Colorado Guides and Outfitters Association met April 17 at the Spring Inn (today's Juan's Mountain Sports). Pagosa Springs outfitters are Bob Hand, Mr. and Mrs. Bob Stovall, and Mr. and Mrs. Floyd Bramwell.



By Shari Pierce

Battling the blaze of 1956

This week we're back to the 1956 fire that was reported to be one of the largest, if not the largest, in the San Juan National Forest's history. Forest Service information provided to me by Peggy Jacobson states the 1956 fire in the Piedra District of the San Juan National Forest was the largest since the naming of the forest in 1905. This fire was listed as lightning caused and 1,200 acres in size.

Newspaper reports of the same fire put the fire at only 551 acres, but still listed it as one of the largest in the local forest's history.

It took 10 days of fighting to bring it under control. Firefighters were under the direction of Ranger Wally Lloyd. For the first week, the fire was fought with only hand tools because of the rough terrain.

The Oct. 4 SUN reported, "Supplies and tools were taken in by helicopter and pack trains and the fire was combated with axes, saws, picks, and shovels. After the fire had spread further south last week it was possible to get some large Caterpillar tractors and bulldozers to the fire line."

At one point over 300 men were battling the blaze. The "famed Indian fire fighters from New Mexico and Arizona" assisted in the efforts. We know over 175 of the firefighters were Indians.

A helicopter was brought in and greatly aided the firefighters. Four-wheel drive trucks were used to shuttle supplies and equipment to Baldy Mountain. It was the helicopter's role to pick up the supplies from Baldy Mountain and shuttle them along the fire line. The newspaper reported this was the "first time such a machine has been used on a large scale in this type of operation and it proved most successful."

Pack trains were also used to shuttle equipment and supplies.

The SUN reported that final control of the fire "was brought about with the aid of two 'cats and with fire lines being established by the Indians in areas too rough for the machines to negotiate. After it was held for two successive days in the face of winds, it was held that it had been controlled."

Estimates placed the cost of fighting this blaze at $75,000, plus the costs of "mopping up."

Many, many thanks to Peggy Jacobson of the Pagosa Ranger District office for all of her assistance with this story.


Video Review

By Roy Starling

'Oh my darling, oh my darling...'

Members of the Pagosa Springs Film Society will be taking another gander at a John Ford Western when they gather Friday at 7 p.m. in the Pagosa Lodge South Face Room.

This month's feature will be "My Darling Clementine" (1946), a slickly made flick about feuding families (the Earps and Clantons trying to kill each other off) and town taming (Marshal Wyatt Earp attempting to make Tombstone safe for women and children).

Henry Fonda stars as Earp, Victor Mature as Doctor John "Doc" Holliday, Cathy Downs as Clementine Carter and Walter Brennan as the malevolent Pa Clanton.

"My Darling Clementine" culminates in the legendary gunfight at the O.K. Corral, but, as usual, Ford is interested in much weightier matters. The film takes a good long look at Tombstone as it teeters on the brink of civilization and at some of the citizens who find themselves there at this pivotal time.

When Earp and his brothers show up, they think they're just passing through. They're weary from running cattle and just want a shave and a glass of beer. But, doggone it, even that is too much to ask this raucous "wide-awake" town, this frontier Sodom and Gomorrah. Some guy named Indian Joe goes on a rampage while Wyatt is in the barber's chair, and Wyatt is the only guy in town with the guts to subdue the unruly drunk. "What kind of town is this?" Wyatt asks, his face half covered with shaving cream.

Wyatt's courage earns him an offer to become the town's marshal but he turns it down ("Nope. Not interested. Just passin' through."). When he and his brothers return to their camp site they find their cattle rustled and their youngest brother, James, murdered. Wyatt quickly returns to Tombstone and accepts the job of marshalin'.

So then you figure he's going to go right out and round up those dirty rotten Clantons, right? Wrong. He waits. He loafs, he chills, he sits, he rocks, he hangs around. He lazily bides his time, delivering the folks of Tombstone from all evil, as he gathers the evidence he needs to call out the Clantons with a legal warrant for their arrest.

In Ford's version (but what does he know?), this is Wyatt's character, a necessary trait for a lawman in the Old West: Let's not get too carried away. Easy does it. No flying off the handle. We have a precarious balance here, so let's go slow.

In contrast to the patient, laconic Wyatt is the impetuous, flamboyant Doc Holliday. This tormented man is all dramatics, histrionics. It's as if he's onstage, speaking in stilted language, a slave to the sweeping gesture. When Wyatt sees a notorious gambler get off a stage, he leans back in his chair, tells the cad to have a plate of flapjacks and get back on the stage. In a similar situation, Doc marches up to a gambler, slaps the guy's hat off and orders him out of town on the spot.

As the Wild Wild West evolves into Anytown, U.S.A., which of these two types will survive? You guessed it.

About as interesting as the Wyatt-Doc contrast is the tension between Holliday's two selves: the respected surgeon from back East, Dr. John Holliday, and the decadent rogue he's become, Doc Holliday. It's clear that, for whatever reason, Doc would like to destroy John, but can he actually do that without destroying Doc?

And here's another contrast to look for, one that shows up in almost every Western: Jezebel vs. the Virgin. In "Clementine," the Jezebel or "wicked" woman is Chihuahua (Linda Darnell), a sultry, saucy "singer," a bar floozy, Doc's girl. Ironically, Darnell, one of the most popular female stars of the '40s, played the Virgin Mary in "The Song of Bernadette."

The Virgin is Clementine, the archetypal fair lady from the East, an angel in a jungle. She was John Holliday's girl back in his respectable days and she's come west to track him down.

By now Western film buffs are probably saying, "Hey, we saw the same sort of contrast in 'Stagecoach' with Dallas the prostitute and Lucy Mallory the lady. Also, there was a similar tension in 'High Noon' between Grace Kelly and Katy Jurado." It doesn't take an attack of political correctness, of course, to see that this contrast carried with it an ugly element of racism.

While these characters play out a Western version of survival of the fittest, Tombstone, like Pagosa Springs, struggles to grow in stature and civility. We first see the town in darkness with a soundtrack of gunfire, saloon music and the cackle of ladies of the evening. A little later on, however, we hear a drunken and beleaguered traveling actor, Granville Thorndike (Alan Mowbray), reciting Hamlet's soliloquy to an unappreciative, uncomprehending audience of Clanton brothers. "Shakespeare in Tombstone," Holliday says with obvious wonder, much the way locals might say "Ballet in Pagosa Springs."

Later, we hear church bells in Tombstone, but the church "ain't got no name yet" and is still unfinished - you can still see the wilderness through its frame. To celebrate the church-in-progress, the Tombstone citizens have some "dad-blasted good dancing" on its foundation and here we see one of the richest scenes Ford ever filmed.

The rustic cow-hand marshal Wyatt awkwardly agrees to take Clementine to the dance ("I'd admire to take you," he says). Ford's camera then watches them proceed slowly, arm in arm, to the celebration as we hear "Shall We Gather at the River" (apparently one of the few Protestant hymns the Catholic Ford knew). Once they arrive at the scene, the nervous, fidgety, self-conscious, love-smitten Wyatt asks Clem to dance, then one of the more vocal locals barks at the other dancers to "make way fer our new marshal and his lady fair." Then the two commence to dance, first tentatively and deliberately then with a kind of joyous abandon.

Could this reflect the marriage of East and West, of wilderness and culture? Could it sound the death knell for Tombstone's rowdy, lawless days? Probably. At any rate, it's a beautiful scene, a moment of harmony in a movie rife with conflict.

Here are some other scenes that mark "Clementine" as a "Fordian" Western, a cut above the usual gunslinging fare:

- Thorndike's eloquent recitation of "To be or not to be" in a shady dive on the wrong side of Tombstone, the snarling Clantons looking on. Part way through, Holliday and Earp show up, and Holliday refuses to interrupt because he wants to hear this. Hamlet's speech resonates with the troubled Holliday, and he knows it by heart - in fact, when Thorndike can't go on, Holliday finishes it for him. Many viewers will find that, after watching this scene, Hamlet's existential waffling makes much more sense.

- Wyatt lazily titling his chair back on the hotel porch, holding his arms out and performing a balancing act. Film critics love to say that this a metaphor for the marshal's balancing between his old frontier self and his evolving civilized self; Ford scoffed at such talk, saying, "I told Henry just to do some business with that chair. He did it, we shot it and that's all there is to it." Of course, Ford's a liar.

- Wyatt at the barber's (pretentiously named "Bon Ton's Tonsorial Parlor"), getting a new "do" and being sprayed with some "sweet smellin' stuff." Watch his troubled look as he peers into the mirror at his more civilized self. And watch him look once more at his reflection, this time in a window, after he leaves the barber; we see the well-coiffed marshal and the stony buttes of Monument Valley simultaneously.

- The wonderfully choreographed gunfight at the O.K. Corral. For me, the rest of "Clementine" is so good, so well done, that I almost forget this scene is coming. But once it gets there, it doesn't disappoint.

- Finally, watch how many times Wyatt is interrupted while trying to enjoy the simple things in life: a shave, a card game, a meal - the poor guy can't finish anything. I think this is probably's Ford's sly humor at work.

So do drop in at the Pagosa Lodge tomorrow night, drop in two bucks for the Friends of the Library and enjoy another dad-blasted good picture show in glorious black and white.

Business News

April 20, 2000

Biz Beat

Dr. John A. Eustis recently purchased the Pagosa Veterinary Clinic and will operate the facility at 101 Cemetery Road.

Eustis is a graduate of the Atlantic Veterinary School of Prince Edward Island, Canada. Since his graduation, Eustis worked in veterinary hospitals in the Portland, Ore., area.

Though he has worked primarily with small animals, Dr. Eustis intends to continue former owner Dr. Dave Baker's practice of providing good medicine for all animals.

Hours at the Pagosa Veterinary Clinic are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday.

For information and appointments, call 264-2148.


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