Front Page

May 11, 2000

Alley plans to leave school superintendent's post

By Richard Walter

Shock was evident Tuesday night when, after a 14-minute executive session requested by Superintendent Terry Alley, members of the board of Archuleta School District 50 Joint filed back to their chairs.

Alley then told the gathered spectators he had requested the executive session to inform the board of his intention to retire from the superintendent's position on July 1, 2001.

"Taking the action now will give the board a year to find a replacement," he said, adding, "I will be available to work with them in selecting candidates for the job."

Board member Russell Lee, serving as president pro tem in the absence of Director Randall Davis, said, "This is a sad day for the district and the staff. You have served the community and the school very well, indeed."

Alley, whose family has long been an integral part of the Pagosa community, has served the district for 30 years, the last 20 as superintendent during the biggest growth spurt in the district's history. He had previously served the district for six years as middle school principal and four years as a teacher and coach.

Specifically, at his request, the board agreed to amend his contract to add two 110-day segments, one running from June 1 this year to the end of the year and the other from Jan. 1 to the date of intended retirement.

The motion to approve his request was made "reluctantly" by Director Carol Feazel and seconded by Director John Forrest.

High school Principal Bill Esterbrook asked permission to speak and told the board and Alley, "This is indeed a bad day for the district. If he changes his mind, please let him. We may get a new leader but we won't be able to replace him."

Alley, whose grandfather, George Sr., was a business leader in the community for decades and whose father, George Jr., carried on that tradition, is a product of the school system he has served so long.

He said he will not be leaving the community and will be available to consult on educational needs and problems. "I just want a chance to be a human being for a while," he said.

Attempting to blunt the impact of his announcement in the newspaper, the board directed all building principals to announce it to their individual staffs Wednesday morning.

Elementary school Principal Cyndy Secrist generated a laugh from the board when she told them, "We told him that when he goes we (referring to the four principals present) all go."

The bombshell of Alley's announcement came after the board had swiftly gone through a lengthy agenda in record time. It was listed on the agenda for action as an innocuous entry reading simply "Superintendent's Contract." Most observers had assumed there was to be a new financial commitment.

Alley has been working tirelessly, one board member remarked after the meeting, to keep the district at the forefront in understanding and complying with new state education mandates and specifically the state's plan to grade schools on progress of their students.

Alley said his decision was not "spur of the moment, nor was it easy."

"It was based on dozens of hours - even days - of contemplation and consideration of the district's needs and those of my family," he said.

Football stadium lighting approved

By Richard Walter

Acting in the wake of what was apparently considered mounting evidence of community support, a school board vote Tuesday night set in motion the lighting of football facilities at the Pagosa Springs High School sports complex.

The action by directors of Archuleta School District 50 Joint came after discussion of independent fund raising activities, potential operational costs, specific means of combating rock conditions at the pole sites and letters of commitment to the project from three local businesses.

The unanimous vote (board president Randall Davis was absent) came on a motion by Director Carol Feazel, seconded by Director Clifford Lucero.

While voting to proceed with the lighting program, the board also ordered development of an overall master plan for the sports complex to include both a usable track facility and public restroom facilities. While there had been specific discussion prior to the vote on completion of soccer field construction, that element was not included in Feazel's motion.

In preliminary remarks Kahle Charles, athletic director, outlined the rock substrata problems discovered when core drillings were made.

He said the low bidder on the project, Pro-Circuit of Conroe, Texas, prefers 10-foot holes for its poles. Three test holes were drilled, he said, and only one reached the desired depth. The others hit what appeared to be compacted river rock at about six feet.

Charles also explained the lights, as planned, would not interfere with expansion of the track area if it were limited to six lanes. Light poles, he said, would be located on opposite sides of the field at the 15-yard lines and would be 145 feet from the center of the field.

"If we went to a 7-lane track, he said, "it would require moving the visitor stands back toward the east parking lot. If an 8-lane track were desired, it would necessitate the same seating move and relocation of the scoreboard," Charles said.

Charles presented the board letters of commitment to the project from Jim Esenmyer of Exclusive Electric Inc., Troy Ross Construction Co., and Dennis Kleckner. He then asked Tim Sanford and Tracy Bunning - in the audience - for a report on individual contributions.

They told the board they have raised $7,600 from 11 individuals. Charles said the planners have a $15,000 goal for equipment other than the lights, themselves. After the board vote, the two fund-raisers said they feel the vote will make it easier to raise the desired funds.

"Many potential donors were holding back, unsure of what the board's position would be," Bunning said. "With this action, we feel confident of substantial additional donations."

Charles had come prepared with specific cost of operation data provided by the Texas firm which estimated use fees at $25.61 per hour for the first 40 hours of operation per month. Charles estimated annual cost of operation at $1,165.25 including five football games, two night varsity soccer games, junior varsity and junior high games that run overtime and for practice sessions.

He also told the board that Davis Engineering of Pagosa is preparing alternate installation plans and said they the company believes the rock problem can be overcome with an additional cost of $500 per hole.

Director Russell Lee, serving as president pro tem, said several members of the community had approached him after initial discussion of the lighting proposal indicating their desire to see a long-term plan for the complex before funding was committed to lights.

Fellow Director John Forrest said he, too, had heard from constituents who were not opposed to lighting but wanted to see a firm master plan in hand for the area. One, he said, "preferred that we use the money for restrooms, instead."

Lee asked Charles: "Will we have trouble getting other teams to play there? Will we have problems drawing crowds? It gets pretty cold down there by the river after dark, even in summer time."

Before Charles could answer, Troy Ross replied from the audience: "Just wear an extra coat. This is Pagosa, after all. People know how to dress for the weather we have here."

Feazel agreed with the need for a master plan but added, "I like the idea of having a school function available for kids on Friday or Saturday night. It will help keep them out of trouble by providing a place for them to go."

Lee suggested, "If you hit the community's businesses for money for lights, they may not want to give to the Booster Club."

Sanford said the solicitors are working in concert with the club and it is a common belief that having night games available will draw larger crowds which, in turn, will benefit Booster Club sales in concession stands.

Forrest asked Charles for comparisons of numbers of participants in various varsity sports offered in Pagosa. With the exception of golf, which had 18 participants in the past year, all of the (nine) other sports had turnouts of 28 or more, with a high of 39 for football, Charles said.

Asked by Forrest if the administration would consider increasing admission prices for a lighted field, Charles said, "I hope not," and Bill Esterbrook, high school principal, urged that prices be kept at $2 per adult at the gate. "It's the best entertainment value in town," he said

Esterbrook told the board representatives of other schools have remarked "about our fan affection and wondered how we get by with charging so little when most of the others in the conference (Intermountain League) are higher."

Feazel said, "I like the idea of a venue of family entertainment that doesn't cost an arm and a leg." Sanford and Bunning each urged the board to keep the prices at the current level.

Charles pointed out a district family pass - which will get all members of a family into any school activity - costs only $35 per year. "A great bargain," said Ross, adding, "It's the only way for any family to go."

Superintendent Terry Alley told the board the purchasing agent for LaPlata Electric Association voluntarily reviewed the bids received for the lighting project and he presented a letter from the agent recommending Pro-Circuit get the contract if the project were approved.

From the audience, Windsor Chacey agreed with Feazel that there is a need for a "focal point for families and a place to go for outdoor sports at night. I would support that. My concern would be about a long-range plan. I wonder if we could tie this into the country's ongoing planning process as one of the good things the area can offer. I am concerned about having something for the young people of the community to do."

Asked about costs for expanding the track, Charles said experts have estimated a 6-lane track would cost about $136,000; an 8-lane track about $150,000.

Forrest said, "I find it hard to get excited about track if there is no proper place for the players to perform in front of their families and a home crowd.

"How do we tell track team members that lights for football are more important than an adequate track for them to perform on?" he asked.

"We need a plan," Forrest said, "that will assure them we have their athletic skills and ambitions in mind, too. They need to know the same lights can be used for a new track facility."

The unanimous vote followed accepting Pro-Circuit's bid of $27,127 for the project involving installation of four 70-foot galvanized-steel posts, each carrying nine light fixtures on curved supports to provide a wide-angle degree of illumination from each location.

 

Intersection should reopen Saturday

By Karl Isberg

Construction work at the intersection of U.S. 160 and Lewis Street in downtown Pagosa Springs is scheduled to be complete by Saturday. Installation of traffic signals at the intersection will wait until mid-summer.

Crews have worked on the intersection project for nearly a month, relocating the intersection of Lewis and 5th streets, installing conduits to carry utility lines beneath the highway, installing curb and gutter and brickwork, and reconstructing Lewis Street at the highway intersection.

Paving of a section of Lewis Street and the change of phone lines from above-ground to below-ground locations were the only major work that remained Wednesday in the first phase of the project. The intersection was closed Wednesday, with asphalt work well underway.

"Most of the site work will be complete on Friday," said Pagosa Springs Town Administrator Jay Harrington. "We'll need to finish pulling the phone lines through the conduit, do the striping on the new asphalt, and there is a little bit of curb and gutter work to be finished. If everything goes well, the street will reopen by Saturday."

Traffic lights are part of the project, with poles and standards to be installed on the southeast and northwest corners of the intersection. Bases for poles were poured last week and conduit for electrical lines was put in place. Due to a shortage of poles and mast arms, the signals will not be installed until late July or early August.

"We appreciate everyone's patience and cooperation during the construction process," said Harrington.

A project to install traffic signals at the junction of Piedra Road and U.S. 160 is still floating on the horizon, with no definite start date from the Colorado Department of Transportation.

The project was budgeted at $1.1 million for the 2001 CDOT budget year which begins on July 1, 2000, and includes construction of a raised island to demarcate a right-turn-only lane on westbound U.S. 160.

Archuleta County and the town of Pagosa Springs are relocating the intersection of Eagle Drive and Piedra Road as part of the project to improve traffic flow through and near the junction. Eagle Drive, an access road parallel to the north side of U.S. 160, will be moved north to intersect with Piedra Road 300 feet from the highway. Archuleta County is currently working on engineering estimates for the relocation of the Eagle Drive junction with Piedra Road.

"We represented to CDOT that our improvements will be complete within 18 months of installation of the traffic signal," said Harrington. "As of Wednesday, there was no word from CDOT on when they intend to bid their work."

Myrtle Hopper dies; lived here 79 years

Many longtime residents of Pagosa Springs were saddened Tuesday to learn that Myrtle McCoy Hopper, 91, had passed away at Pine Ridge Nursing Home.

Mrs. Hopper was born March 12, 1909, in Lakin, Kan., the daughter of James and Alice Woodard McCoy.

When Mrs. Hopper was an infant her family moved to Rocky Ford. When she was 12 years old, her family came to the Allison-Arboles area by covered wagon. The trip took them several months because her father stopped along the way and worked to buy supplies. She never tired of telling stories of the adventures of this trip. She attended school and graduated from Allison. Following her graduation, she married Lewis Hopper.

Mrs. Hopper enjoyed a variety of positions of employment including working as a nurse in Dulce, N.M.; delivering mail; plowing snow for Archuleta County; and working as a clerk and delivering appliances for Gamble's store. She likewise enjoyed playing the piano at the community dances. In her later life, she was very involved in the Archuleta County Senior Citizens.

Although Mrs. Hopper had no children of her own, she cared for many of the local children while their parents worked. She was fondly known as "Aunt Myrt" by many of these children. She was well known in the area as a person that was always willing to help. She always had something nice to say about everyone and was known for having a great sense of humor. Having the rare gift of always seeing the bright side of everything, she always had wonderful stories to tell about her life in this area.

In 1975, Mrs. Hopper was preceded in death by her husband. She was also preceded in death by her parents, Jim and Alice McCoy, and her brothers, Ed McCoy and Charles McCoy.

A memorial service for Mrs. Hopper will be held at Mountain Heights Baptist Church at 10 a.m., Saturday.

Memorial contributions to benefit the Archuleta County Senior Citizens may be made at Bank of the San Juans.

Lynx foes charge release is a ploy

By John M. Motter

Those cute little Canadian lynx released in the San Juan Mountains by Colorado Division of Wildlife are a ploy to enable closing or curtailing public use of the forest, according to Franklin Anderson and other locals who have opposed the introduction from its inception.

Over the past two years, 91 lynx trapped in the wilds of Canada and Alaska have been planted in the San Juans. Of that number, 17 were planted last week on the eastern slopes of the San Juans.

In a related move, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has identified the Canadian lynx as a threatened species in the continental United States. Consequently, under provisions of Endangered Species Act, the U.S. Forest Service is busy reworking its forest operation plan to maximize conditions for lynx survival.

Anderson and others oppose the lynx introduction on two counts. First, they say reproducing populations of lynx never existed in the first place because the habitat isn't right. Second, they say introduction of the lynx will force the Forest Service to alter forest management plans in a way that will end traditional uses such as logging, stock grazing, trapping and hunting, mechanized access on snowmobiles, and possibly cross country skiing, hiking, and other uses.

"I don't think that statement is true," said Rick Jewell of the Pagosa Ranger District office. "I am not aware of any plans that will significantly alter existing uses of the forest, except, possibly the roadless efforts. If those succeed, new regulations governing roads on Forest Service lands will change the way logging is conducted."

Today is the last day for public comments concerning alterations to the Forest Management Plan relevant to supporting lynx reintroduction. The Forest Service is gathering information preparatory to drafting an environmental impact statement covering the issue. Additional public comment periods will be allowed before final regulations are adopted.

"We're complying with federal regulations concerning the lynx and its designation as a threatened species," Jewell said. "Our biologist has been working with biologists from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to develop guidelines for lynx habitat management."

The first step was to develop maps identifying lynx habitat, according to Jewell. Two sets of maps have been made, one from the foraging perspective, the other from the perspective of lynx denning. These maps are available in the Pagosa Ranger District office.

Anderson approaches the lynx question from his position as the third generation of a long line of trappers in the San Juan Mountains. Retired from the Navy where he formerly commanded the SEALS, Anderson is a member of the San Juan Basin Wool Growers Association, and was formerly an officer of the National Animal Damage Control Association. Lloyd Anderson, Franklin's father, was government trapper in the San Juans dating from the 1930s. Before that Anderson's ancestors were professional hunters and trappers.

A suit designed to stop reintroduction of the lynx was filed during 1998 by the Mountain States Legal Foundation on behalf of the Colorado Wool Growers Association, the Colorado Farm Bureau, and the Colorado Outfitters Association. U.S. District Court Judge Wiley Danielson subsequently approved the reintroduction. The case is currently under appeal.

"According to (my) family tradition, there have never been reproducing lynx in the San Juans," Franklin said. "According to dad, they rarely took a lynx and when they did it was a male, probably looking for a home after being driven out by a younger, stronger male. They never captured a female lynx in the San Juans."

"This is not lynx country," Anderson continued. "We don't have enough snowshoe rabbits, traditionally 90 percent of a lynx's diet. That is why these lynx are wandering all over the place. They found one almost dead at Sambrito Creek near Navajo Reservoir. They found another one above Vallecito Reservoir that was so starved it almost couldn't move. There is another one over near Shiprock and one on the (Southern) Ute Reservation."

Because the lynx reintroduction doesn't make sense from an environmental standpoint, according to Anderson, he believes lynx are being used to facilitate closing the national forest to traditional uses, such as logging, grazing and winter recreation.

Preliminary information concerning the Forest Service's coming draft EIS indicates the plan will involve encouragement of the growth of foods eaten by snowshoe hares, avoidance of human-lynx contacts in denning areas, and elimination of activities that might compact snow thereby providing access to lynx habitat for predators such as coyotes.

"The fact that they have to do things to help the snowshoe rabbits is proof of our assertion that there aren't enough snowshoes," Anderson said. "In fact, everything we said from the beginning has been true. If this hadn't been a mild winter, all of the lynx introduced last year would have starved."

Another thing the DOW has refused to recognize, according to Anderson, is the great increase in predators in this area, specifically coyotes, mountain lions and bears.

"They all prey on lynx and they compete with lynx for food," Anderson said. "Lynx will never successfully compete with these predators in this environment."

Meanwhile, the DOW couldn't be happier about the results of the lynx reintroduction. Last weekend, 17 of the furry felines were released bringing the total released this year to 55.

"The satellite collars are working, the monitoring is fantastic," said Chamois Pierson, a Denver spokesman for the DOW. "There are several members of the opposite sex in the same area. Right now is the mating season. We can hope. There hasn't been any starvation in nearly a year."

DOW wildlife biologist Gene Byrne sees the program as very successful.

"We told the public from the beginning that we'd have at least a 50 percent mortality the first year," Byrne said. "That's what we've had. There are 17 left, 17 known dead, and seven missing. The lynx planted this year are staying in the core area.

"Concerning the Forest Service study, some of the public believes that reintroduction of the lynx forced the Forest Service to modify its management plan. That just isn't true. It would have happened anyway. When the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service listed the lynx as threatened, that automatically forced the Forest Service to revise their management plan. That threatened designation would have happened even if DOW hadn't reintroduced the lynx."

Byrne sees the reintroduction as having a beneficial impact on the Forest Service management plan revision because, for the first time, scientific data will be available concerning lynx life in the San Juan Mountains.

The lynx who wandered into the desert and almost starved were an unavoidable part of the process, according to Byrne.

"We were tracking that one at Navajo," Byrne said. "It had been further south and was returning to the mountains. It weighed 26 pounds when released and was down to 13 pounds when we picked it up. The same is true of the Vallecito lynx. When predators get out of their habitat, they have a hard time. We're feeding those two and they'll be released a second time."

The large number of lynx predators and competitors in southwest Colorado is a problem, Byrne said. DOW biologists believe the lynx will succeed at higher elevations where its snowshoe-like foot pads of the lynx give it an advantage.

Nevertheless, the southern Rockies provide some advantages as lynx habitat, according to Byrne, because many alternate prey species exist that do not live in Canada and Alaska.

Finally, concerning lynx impact on Forest Service planning, Thurman Wilson, the planning team leader for the San Juan National Forest doesn't think the impacts will be as great as predicted by Anderson.

"I don't think we are likely to end traditional uses of the forest," Wilson said. "The lynx issue is complicated. We are required to adapt to the lynx reintroduction and I can't say there won't be changes. There undoubtedly will be changes."

Inside The Sun
Clean-up week begins Monday

By Karl Isberg

Mayor Ross Aragon has declared May 14 through 20 as "Clean-up Week 2000" in Pagosa Springs.

This week, Aragon sent a letter to town residents in which he notes that during the past 10 years "the pride in our community has increased dramatically. Improvements in the physical infrastructure and cleaner neighborhoods have been occurring on a yearly basis. This year I would like to personally urge you to participate in Clean-Up Week 2000. Let's start the new millennium with a mighty clean-up effort."

Pride is one factor. Another factor is that efforts to clean up properties during the next week allows town residents to avoid problems down the line.

A section of the town's municipal code defines "junk" and establishes guidelines for the municipal court to abate junk problems.

According to the code, "junk" includes abandoned autos, auto bodies or parts, old tires, old farm machinery, refrigerators and appliances and all other abandoned personal property stored in the open on public or private property.

If a situation that violates the code comes to the attention of town officials, a citation can be issued, the matter can be heard by municipal court, and fines can be assessed.

Such a situation can be averted during Clean-Up Week 2000.

With the assistance of the Upper San Juan Builders Association, the town will provide several services to residents to help with their clean-up efforts.

Large dumpsters will be placed at Town Park and on South 9th Street on Sunday. The dumpsters will be relocated several times during the week. To check on the location of the dumpsters on a given day, call Town Hall at 264-4151.

Junk vehicles will be removed from properties in town during the clean-up effort. A call to the Town Hall number is necessary to arrange towing of junk vehicles. A junk vehicle is one that is not licensed or has not been licensed during the past two years, and not in good operating condition.

Town crews will remove junk from street rights of way, with pickup times scheduled for particular areas of town.

On May 15, crews will remove junk from the rights of way in North Pagosa. That area is the western addition to 3rd Street, including the downtown alley and that portion of Pagosa Hills within town limits.

Junk put on rights of way in that portion of North Pagosa from 3rd Street to the River Center will be collected on May 16.

Collection in the area east of the San Juan River, from San Juan Street to the south town limit will take place on May 17.

Crews will work in Piedra Estates and in South Pagosa, west of the river to South 8th Street, on May 18.

On May 19, junk put in the street rights of way in South Pagosa from South 8th Street to the Garvin Addition will be collected.

Town crews will not pick up regular household trash. Trash must be put in the dumpsters. Larger pieces of refuse, such as lumber and appliances can be set beside a street right of way for removal.

Collection of junk on a property will take place only after a hardship case has been established with officials at Town Hall. In no case will a town crew collect hazardous materials, motors, or refrigerators which still contain freon gas.

Once junk is removed from properties, the town has a residential tree program in place to assist in the planting of trees between the front of houses and a street. The town of Pagosa Springs pays half the cost of the tree to be planted on the property. Information about the tree program is available at the parks and recreation department at Town Hall.

Organizations or individuals wanting to participate in a chamber of commerce project to collect trash along roads in town during Clean-Up Week 2000 should call the chamber office at 264-2360.

 

'Caring for Community' is EMS theme

By Karl Isberg

National EMS Week begins May 14, with "Caring for the Community" as this year's theme.

Terry Clifford, public information officer for Emergency Medical Services, said there are several special events to be held locally, and she reminisced about the history of the local organization in light of the week's theme.

A fun event is scheduled for May 17, when a team from EMS challenges a squad from the Pagosa Fire Protection District in a softball game at the Sports Complex. The game between the "Pacemakers" and the "Hot Shots" starts at 6 p.m. on Field 4. Clifford said an ambulance will be at the site to carry off the wounded.

On the serious side, EMS will sponsor a major exercise on May 20, using a plane crash scenario to train local law enforcement and emergency response personnel.

Also on May 20, local youngsters will be able to experience the "Kids Safety Junglemobile," a Kiwanis Club-sponsored safety education project. The 10-station process is for young people in kindergarten to third grade. It will be set up at Town Park in downtown Pagosa Springs and will open at 9 a.m.

National EMS Week provides an opportunity to ponder the changes in emergency medical treatment over the past three decades, as local emergency responders have cared for their community.

While the residents of Pagosa Springs and Archuleta County have always found a way to respond to medical emergencies, the current service has its roots in the late '60s, said Clifford. The first incarnation of the current organization was manned by members of the Colorado Mounted Rangers and by local law enforcement officers.

According to Clifford, the first class to train local emergency medical technicians was held in 1974 and the Upper San Juan EMT Association was formed that year. A "board of officers" including Bill Downey, Roy Vega, Ron Hendren and Carl Macht oversaw the organization. Macht is still with EMS and serves as one of its professional staff members.

Macht remembers when EMTs were alerted by a red blinking light and siren mounted atop Town Hall in downtown Pagosa Springs. An on-duty law enforcement officer activated the light and siren, then called members of the Mounted Rangers to arrange for ambulance response.

When the Mounted Rangers arrived, the ambulance was an interesting sight. The service's makeshift ambulance was a hearse borrowed from Lynch Mortuary.

Clifford said the first "real" ambulance was purchased in 1976 and is still in use as the Upper San Juan Search and Rescue base unit. With no garage available when it was purchased, the ambulance was stationed at different residences in the area. "The only equipment supplied at that time," said Clifford, "was oxygen, dressings and the speed of the ambulance."

Macht said there were times when he stopped the ambulance on the street in Pagosa Springs to ask a local resident to drive so he could jump into the back of the vehicle and tend the patient.

Finally, in the early 1980s a telephone system was installed at the Fairfield Lodge (now the Pagosa Lodge) providing an emergency number for local calls.

A second EMT class was held in 1976 and members of the first EMT Intermediate class graduated in 1984. Emergency dispatch services had been taken over by the Archuleta County Sheriff Department.

The Upper San Juan Hospital District in 1987, as a parent organization, started providing EMS a separate revenue base. The EMT Association is still in existence, and supplies most of the manpower for the EMS organization.

"Look how far we've come," said Clifford, herself a paramedic on the full-time staff at EMS. "EMS is now staffed by six paramedics, 14 EMT intermediates and 26 EMT basics. And we have a class of new EMTs graduating this month."

School budget readied for board study

By Richard Walter

A preliminary budget for the 2000-01 school year should be ready for school board perusal within two weeks.

That was the word Tuesday from Nancy Schutz, business manager for Archuleta School District 50 Joint.

Schutz said the district must have its operating budget approved by June 30.

Superintendent Terry Alley told the board there will be several key items to watch for, including step increases for staff. He said there will be no funds available for salary hikes and that the staff financial committee understands the situation.

Schutz said teachers she has talked to are "grateful for the steps" and understand that across-the-board increases will not be available.

Alley said the administration is building a budget on a zero-growth factor, noting enrollment is holding within seven students of what it was at the beginning of the school year.

He said the administration will request funding for an additional fifth grade teacher; expand special education by eliminating two aides and adding one full-time teacher; and use Title 1 reading program funding to go to three teachers and one aide in the reading program.

Overall, he said, "we would cut back two and a half aide positions and add two full-time teachers to achieve the goal."

Alley also told the board a special staff technology committee is working on a plan to equalize software and equipment among all school buildings. He said technical teams will be formed in each building with two to five members each, depending on level of enrollment in the building.

At the same time Alley revealed the district has received a $10,000 state grant which will be used to purchase 50 Alpha Smart word processors for third and fourth grade writing instruction programs.

He said the processors will be movable from classroom to classroom and are expected to improve the district's CSAP scores in elementary writing.

In other action Tuesday, the board:

- Approved a renewal application for the Colorado Preschool Program. Alley said the district currently has 25 "at risk" pupils in preschool programs, five in Seeds of Learning and 20 in Headstart. He said, "Our kindergarten program should reap some rewards next year when these students arrive with a full year of full-day programs under their belt.

- Heard Intermediate School Principal Butch Madrid, acting on a board request last month, present an update on the homework load for sixth graders. Madrid said he has surveyed all the teachers and determined no sixth grade homework has been assigned as such. "The work some students are taking home is work they did not complete in allotted class time or in a 45-minute study hall provided for them at the end of each school day; or work necessitated by absence from class or on special projects." Madrid said he has had only three specific complaints this year about homework and all came from parents of honor students. One was attempting to make up all her absentee work in one night when additional time was allowed; one was working on a special project toward honors recognition; and another just wanted more educational challenge.

- Postponed until the June meeting any consideration of a district mission statement.

 

Fun Day Rodeo Series will resume June 4

By Karl Isberg

The annual Pagosa Springs Fun Day Rodeo Series gets underway at the Archuleta County Fairgrounds June 4, with additional rodeo dates set for June 11, July 16, Aug. 27 and Sept. 24.

Fun Day riders compete in seven age groups. A contestant's age on June 4 determines the group for the Series.

Youngsters 5 years old and younger in the lead line group participate in goat tagging, a flag race, a ribbon race and pole bending. Youngsters in this age group can participate in the same events without a lead line.

Contestants 6 to 8 years old compete in goat tagging, a flag race, a ribbon race and pole bending.

In the 9-to-11 age group, the events are a flag race, breakaway roping, a barrel race and pole bending.

Once a participant is 12 to 14 years of age, he or she has the option of a flag race or team roping, then competes in breakaway roping, a barrel race and pole bending. The same events are held for contestants in the 15-to-19 age group and the 20-plus age group.

All Fun Day rodeos begin at 11 a.m. with competitor registration.

Contestants 5 years old and younger pay a $1 fee per event, with participant ribbons awarded to each youngster. Riders in all other age groups pay a fee of $3 per event or $10 for the day.

Buckles are awarded to the series high-point winner in each age group (excluding the lead-line group). Additional series prizes are awarded age group competitors down to sixth place. Ribbons are awarded to the top six age group winners in each event at every rodeo.

In order to be eligible for series prizes, a competitor must participate in three rodeos.

For more information about the Fun Day Rodeo Series, call Randy Talbot at 731-5203.

 

Rain expected but runoff picture is bleak

By John M. Motter

Rain is forecast for today and again Monday by the National Weather Service office in Grand Junction. Even with the added moisture over the weekend, the forecast for water runoff in the San Juan Basin this coming summer presents a bleak picture.

Below average April precipitation added to an unusually low winter snowpack in the San Juan Mountains has local water managers worried. Only 0.54 inches of precipitation were recorded during April, far below the long-time average of 1.29 inches.

"Our problem isn't so much lack of storage as it is lack of ability to treat water fast enough to meet demand," said Carrie Campbell, general manager of the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District. PAWS provides water for Pagosa Springs and the surrounding metropolitan area.

All PAWS storage reservoirs are full. Water consumption increases with warmer weather as people water lawns and plant gardens. That increased consumption is at the root of the problem faced by PAWS.

"We're not rationing water yet," Campbell said, "but we urge people to start conserving water. A small thing such as watering at night or early in the morning instead of during the heat of the day can mean the difference between rationing and not rationing. Watering during the day is a total waste of energy and of water."

The snowpack in the San Juan watershed is only 38 percent of the long-time average. Compounding the problem, lower elevations and valleys of the San Juan Basin received but 51 percent of their annual precipitation during April.

A bright spot for the summer is the amount of water stored in reservoirs, 113 percent of average.

The long-time average May precipitation is 1.21 inches.

A low-pressure trough across the Mountain West is dominating the local weather scene, according to Jeff Colton, a National Weather Service forecaster from Grand Junction. Moving through the trough is a series of low-pressure fronts accompanied by high-level disturbances.

One low-pressure trough with an accompanying 20 percent chance for moisture should move through the area today, Colton said. Friday and Saturday should be dry. Clouds accompanying a second front should move in Sunday night and hang around long enough to produce rain Monday through Wednesday.

High temperatures for the coming week should range between the upper 60s and the lower 70s. Low temperatures should range from the middle to upper 30s.

Blanco restoration delayed; funding cited

By John M. Motter

Plans to restore an additional reach of the Lower Blanco River this year have been put on hold.

Directors of the San Juan Water Conservation District agreed to the delay after learning from Carrie Campbell that a hoped-for grant from the Environmental Protection Agency will not be available this year. Campbell is the board secretary. About $350,000 is needed.

"We can't get the money this year, but there is a good chance we can get the money next year if we apply in a timely fashion," Campbell said.

Last year, about 1.1 miles of the river were restored using funds largely supplied through an EPA grant. When the plan was first conceived several years ago, the planners intended to work about 2.2 miles of the river. By the time work began last fall, only enough money was available to accomplish the 1.1 miles.

No decision has been reached as to where the next phase of work should be done. The planners can choose between working upstream or downstream from the already restored stretch of the river. The restored stretch begins at the bridge reaching Blanco River RV Park and extends downstream 1.1 miles.

Restoration refers to reshaping the river to increase the rate of flow, lower water temperatures, and improve the river as a home for trout and other native species of fish. About one-half of the water flowing down the Blanco River is diverted via Chromo and Chama, N.M., to the Rio Grande River on the east side of the Continental Divide in New Mexico. Since the diversion, stream flow has slowed because the water runs across a river bed tailored by nature for twice as much water. The restoration process centers on reducing the size of the stream bed to match the stream flow.

In other business Tuesday, the Water Conservation District installed four board members into office. Three of those installed are former board members who were unopposed for re-election. The fourth member is new.

Former board members given the oath of office by chairman Fred Schmidt were Cecil Tackett, Fred Ebeling and Karen Wessels. New to the board is Roger August. The other board members are Windsor Chacey, Jack DeLange, Jerry Curtis and Jay Harrington.

The SJWCD budget proposed for 2000 calls for revenues and expenditures of $68,165 and a beginning reserve fund balance of $244,050. The district acted as lead agency for the Blanco River Restoration Project and concerns itself with other water issues relevant to the area.

 

Third graders record area's top reading scores

By Richard Walter

If your child can't read up to state standards, chances are he or she is not in the third grade in Pagosa Springs.

Against a statewide average of 69 percent on reading tests given last February to 54,200 students, 83 percent of Pagosa Springs Elementary School's 122 third graders scored at or above the designated proficiency level.

The third grade reading test is part of the Colorado Student Assessment Program which measures student progress against state standards for what the youngsters should know and be able to do.

State officials pointed out the third grade test is considered easier than the fourth grade test (for which results will be released in July) because it tests students against just one standard - comprehension - while the fourth grade test is based on four elements: comprehension, thinking, inference and literature.

Still, the 83 percent level was an excellent mark for Pagosa Springs and represented an increase of eight points from last year's proficiency level. For comparison purposes, one can note the Durango elementary schools scored 82, up from 79 last year; Bayfield recorded 81, up from 79 last year; Ignacio scored 47, down from 76 last year; and Del Norte scored 63, down from 69 last year.

Principal Cyndy Secrist, obviously elated by the scores, said there are a number of factors involved in the reading performance locally, particularly teacher commitment, "not just to reading but to academic excellence. We watch the scores and we help the kids learn when they are having trouble in any area."

She said she believes a major factor in the proficiency levels here is "a phonics-based approach to reading. I strongly support it, and our teachers make it work."

Secrist also cited the Title 1 program for teachers and aides and the fact there were smaller class sizes this year due to a federal grant that allowed addition of a sixth third grade teacher. "Smaller class sizes result in more individual attention for each student," she said.

Also contributing to success of the Pagosa effort, she said, is the Accelerated Reading Program which is designed to encourage more independent reading, and the use of Independent Learning Plans under which the school, the student and the parent each have a responsibility to fulfill.

"It is critical to the child to achieve success," she said, "and if each of the three responsibilities are met, the goal will be achieved."

Secrist said teachers today communicate more with one another from class to class and from grade level to grade level, making the progression of the student less traumatic.

Asked about the 17 percent of the students who did not achieve the desired proficiency level, Secrist noted, "not a single one had an unsatisfactory level. Most are kids who can be taught, who are amenable to extra work to improve their skills."

There are a few cases, she said, where the pupil has been identified with a learning disability that may affect the ability to learn to read. "We then look at remedial reading programs and for added parent support, telling them the parent role is not something you can just put on the shelf."

Secrist also lauded the elementary school's library and the efforts of its staff to meet the reading needs of the students.

Finally, she said, "I just can't stress enough the staff dedication to meeting the goals of the state's Basic Literacy Act."

Superintendent Terry Alley outlined the scores for the school board Tuesday night and pointed out the ethnic scores recorded locally were substantially higher than the statewide average. For instance, Hispanic students in Pagosa scored 66 percent as compared to a statewide average of 49 percent. That was an increase from 52 percent in 1999 and 47 percent in 1998. Anglo scores were 90 percent locally (up from 83 percent in 1999 and 81 percent in 1998) compared to 78 percent statewide.

First section of 60-mile trail is opened

By Richard Walter

Ribbon-cutting ceremonies are normally anathema to newsmen.

Photographers will do almost anything to snap something other than a group of people standing in a line as two or three officials with scissors cut a ribbon.

There are exceptions to that rule as was learned Saturday.

Sometimes the dime-a-dozen event is symbolic of a major development and that was the case when Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association and county officials officially opened the first 1.1-mile segment of what will someday be a 60-mile pedestrian-bicycle trail linking 24 subdivisions and 20,000 acres.

This first portion of the multi-entity project, completed during the winter but not formally opened until now, was a joint effort of PLPOA and Archuleta County and has been getting heavy use from residents of the area said Larry Lynch, director of parks trails and recreation.

The big news to the 30 or so people gathered for the event - and for Pagosa Lakes residents - was Lynch's announcement that a $65,000 Great Outdoors Colorado grant has been approved for the continuing project which has an estimated cost of $155,000. This is the same type of funding that contributed to the river restoration project, river walk and Riverside Park developments in the town of Pagosa Springs.

(Funding and cooperation for the grant proposal came from the county which sponsored the grant application, PLPOA, town of Pagosa Springs, Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District, Fairfield, Southwest Youth Corps, Pagosa Area Trails Council, donations from area residents and Trails 2000.)

The segment dedicated Saturday starts near the Pagosa Fire Protection District and Emergency Medical Service buildings south of the intersection of North Pagosa Boulevard and Village Drive.

Lynch said the next portion, a 1.3-mile path along Park Avenue is expected to be completed this year and that a half-mile trail along Village Drive will be completed in the same time period by the town of Pagosa Springs. These projects will include 1.9 miles of compacted gravel pathway in the Park Avenue and Village Drive corridors and two miles of natural surface pathway to be constructed by Southwest Youth Corps and volunteers in adjacent areas.

The work is part of a proposed Parks, Trails, Open Space and Recreation master plan that has been under development for two years with assistance of Four Corners Planning and Design Group of Durango.

The PLPOA board of directors will submit the plan at a public hearing scheduled for 7 p.m. June 1 in the Pagosa Lakes Community Center. Formal adoption would come after all public comment has been considered and if applicable, adopted as part of the plan.

 

Letters
Honor the Americans

Dear Editor,

I am dismayed when I read letters comparing America to Nazi Germany, the FBI to the Gestapo and our elected leaders to Hitler.

On the tube every night I see rabble with foreign flags, burning American flags and waving hate America posters. Sights unseen in Nazi Germany. Instead, in Nazi Germany, one could have seen train loads of refugees, concentration camps, gas chambers and cremation ovens. In America, the media treats us to a litany of our leaders' character faults while in Nazi Germany the media portrayed their leaders as saints.

I realize that being in America, I must tolerate the rabble and our flawed leaders. But the alternative, Nazi Germany, is absolutely intolerable. The only time Nazis look good is when they are viewed through the sights of an M1.

I only hope this Memorial Day, that all Americans will take a moment to honor the Americans, now largely gone, who destroyed the most monstrous evil ever created by man, Nazi Germany.

Bob Dungan

Arboles

 

First real candidate

Dear Editor,

I am not a "would be" candidate. This means pretentious and I am certainly not pretending. In fact I am the first real county commissioner candidate in Archuleta County history to petition onto a ballot and in a very prompt manner.

Just so you'd know,

John Feazel

P.S. How would you like it if people started calling you a "would be" editor?

Editor's note: The results of the Archuleta County Republican Party's Aug. 8 primary election will determine the party's candidates for the county commissioner races in District 1 and District 2. Being called a "would be" editor would be an improvement.

Appreciation

Dear David,

Being that it's "Teachers Appreciation Week," I'd like to show my appreciation for my childrens' teachers this year. Mrs. Mary Helen Cammack, Mrs. Kathy Faber and Mrs. Kate Lister are dedicated, thoughtful, excellent teachers. I am extremely thankful for them.

I believe teaching is the second hardest job in the world, and many of these people also "work full-time" on the first hardest job of parenting as well, dealing with all those little minds and hearts with individual needs is difficult at best. They shape the future we all share.

God bless,

Addie Greer

Extremely safe

Dear Editor,

I am responding to a letter (SUN, April 27) from Dhian Lauren concerning the early spay and neuters performed by veterinarians and authorized by the Humane Society of Pagosa Springs.

As a veterinarian, I have had to address this issue frequently. Originally, I was very skeptical about doing these procedures on such young animals. This was in the early 1980s. I read many articles concerning these surgeries and found the procedures were extremely safe and that the physical, emotional and metabolic effects on these young animals were insignificant. Early surgeries were easier on the animals than if one waited until the kittens and puppies were 4-6 months old. These animals recovered faster than animals that were neutered at 4-6 months of age.

Also, studies were done on the effect of these surgeries on male cats' urinary tracts. It was found that it makes no difference as to the size of the urethra in these cats whether they were neutered at eight weeks or six months of age. (For more information on this subject, contact the American Veterinary Medical Association, Association of Veterinarians for Animal Rights, International Society for Animal Rights, or Humane Society of the United States.)

As veterinarians, we cater mainly to pet owners who visit our hospitals with pets ready for their first vaccinations and a series of boosters. It only makes sense to wait until these procedures have been completed before stressing the animals' immune system further by performing an ovariohysterectomy or castration. This has been the main reason for waiting until these animals were 4-6 months of age.

Unfortunately, animals housed in animal shelters aren't lucky enough to have anyone care enough about them to ensure they are vaccinated properly and responsibly spayed or neutered. The responsibility is shifted to the shelter to ensure the animals are properly vaccinated, wormed and neutered.

The Humane Society of Pagosa Springs is run by "ordinary people." The board includes attorneys, accountants, marketing consultants, public relations experts, insurance experts, veterinary technicians. Its advisory board includes a veterinarian, educator, attorneys, etc. The thing that binds this group together is a common love of animals and a strong desire to do what is responsible and best for the animal. Decisions which are made concerning the animals which are in the care of the Humane Society are not made lightly. They are discussed, researched and made with the animals' well being as a top priority.

Early age spay/neuter is a far better solution than putting thousands of animals and their offspring to sleep. Neutering this early or at least before these animals mature sexually has proven to decrease the incidence of mammary cancer, cancer of the reproductive tract, prostate cancer, cancer of the testicles and prostatic hypertrophy or enlargement of the prostate gland. I hope this helps clarify why we do early spays and neuters as well as add validity to the safety and efficacy of the procedures.

Sincerely,

Debbie Shaw, D.V.M.

Advisory Board

Humane Society of Pagosa Springs

 

Not 'ordinary'

Dear Editor,

In reading Dhian Lauren's letter (concerning the Humane Society) on April 27, I'm compelled to respond.

In September 1999, my husband and I moved to Pagosa from Pittsburgh. Immediately I became involved in the "Train the Trainer Program." At the orientation Julie Page greeted me. Julie's been training dogs for longer than I am old. She informed us of the expectations and reassured us she'd teach the necessary skills. We began classes. We learned positive reinforcement training. Some animals had been beaten, neglected, or wounded. Some were everyday, happy dogs whose previous owners didn't have the time. We began to teach these misfits how to sit, lay down, wait, stay, stay off, and leave it.

The scariest part for me was going into the cages to get the animals, after all, there isn't just one animal per cage. However, the staff members helped. They answered questions, and researched if necessary, they helped get dogs from cages and put head-halters on, and when I left, Doug Trowbridge (the shelter manager) and Julie always thanked me. They thanked me. I would often think I should be thanking them. Keep in mind they don't close. There aren't days off. They don't go home smelling pretty. I have seen them nurse animals at their homes. I have seen tears in their eyes when animals they have loved, pass on. I have seen them suppress the rage over some "situations" that arise . . . all in honor of "professionalism." I have rejoiced with them when "a dog learns a trick."

Do not refer to these people as "ordinary." They are caring, trusting, and confident individuals whom I am proud to be associated with. They've taught me about animals, but also about reaching beyond myself. I am now a confident trainer. I do evaluations of dogs I have never met. I am no longer afraid to go into any cage. In fact, I help new trainers get their dogs. I have become attached to the dogs. It upsets me to hear, "I could never work there. . . I'd take them all home." Personally, I think it takes a bigger heart to invest your time and love, and then watch them go.

I fell in love with a dog named Bruno. I worked with him for months. Finally, he was adopted. I raced to meet his new owner and say "goodbye." When I arrived, the trainers and staff were waiting to give me hugs. For weeks they all checked on me. I guess I don't feel as though that kind of empathy, consideration and support comes from those "ordinary people" Ms. Lauren's letter speaks of. I think those qualities make these people pretty extraordinary. I think it is quite narrow-minded to determine that only a certain degree can raise you to the status of exceptional.

Thank you Humane Society staff. Keep being extraordinary.

Kristine Wilkinson

Scope for Pagosa

Dear Editor,

Colorectal cancer is the No. 2 cancer killer in Pagosa Springs (after lung cancer from smoking). Yet colon cancer can be found early, cured and even prevented.

For the last year Dr. James Pruitt, Dr. Mark Wienpahl and I have been trying to find the right flexible sigmoidoscope for Pagosa Springs and where it would best utilized and how it could be purchased. We have selected the Welch Allen video sigmoidoscope which is a top-of-the-line scope and will allow biopsies and digital pictures for the patient's record.

The instrument will be located at Dr. Pruitt's office but will be available for use by Dr. Wienpahl and the other physicians at the Dr. Mary Fisher Clinic.

With the scope located in Pagosa Springs, the 100-mile round-trip to Durango will be saved. Also the cost of performing the exam in Pagosa will cost considerably less than at Mercy Medical Center.

The physicians hope that with the exam available in Pagosa Springs more men and women will take advantage of the exam and colorectal cancers can be found early and cured, or even prevented.

The community drive to pay for the $20,000 instrument has just started. Your tax deductible contribution will be of great help.

Make your check out to: Mary Fisher Clinic Foundation-Sigmoidoscopy Fund

Take it to the Citizens Bank of Pagosa Springs for deposit.

Thank you,

John N. Withers M.D.

 

E-Mail
Round two

Dear Editor,

Four alternative-growth scenarios, eight desired future conditions, over 125 possible development policy options, and our input on all of this solicited from our town/county leadership - it's time for Round 2 of Community Planning Workshops.

I'm really excited about the depth of public input this round invites. Now we'll discuss and attempt to reach consensus on policy options we can comfortably live with to help us survive the inevitable growth.

In the previous workshops we overwhelmingly agreed on our need to preserve the scenic beauty of Archuleta County. The desired future condition we described is to enjoy sweeping vistas of mountains and open space, have clean air, rivers that run free and clear, and wildlife populations that remain healthy through preservation of habitat and migration corridors on public, as well as private lands.

It was practically a "no-brainer" to express our ideal for the county with regard to our incredibly beautiful environment and precious natural resources. How much do we really care about these things? How willing are we to make sacrifices, if needed to ensure this condition in 20 years? The good news is that our leadership will not answer these questions without your input.

At the upcoming workshops, work groups who explore this particular topic area will open the planner's toolbox and discuss the various policy options that the county could pursue to help us achieve this citizen-expressed goal. The task will be to review ranges of options from basically doing nothing (a statement reflecting that the desired condition was more of an ideal and not one of such great importance after all) to restrictive policies that ensure the desired goal is realized and do not compromise our ideals. Options to be addressed under this condition include topics on wildlife, water conservation and landscaping, energy conservation, environmental reviews, gravel pits, and weeds. Sample options under some of these headings include allowing people to irrigate and landscape their property as they desire as long as they can afford it, not allowing any new gravel pits to operate, not preserving wildlife habitat and migration routes if it means interfering with private property rights, and requiring that all trees removed for development be replaced. A lot of effort has been exerted to provide such comprehensive choices. We are really getting serious here.

I am grateful for the community participation we're experiencing; if not for this, citizens might criticize the process and complain that our leaders are working in a void and wasting tax money. No one should miss this critical opportunity to voice opinions on these hot issues that will ultimately affect and shape our future. Unless you are involved in this process, it will be difficult to assign blame should there be any dissatisfaction with the results. So, sacrifice a few hours now and become part of the solution.

Sincere thanks,

Karen Aspin

Thank you

Dear Editor,

I wanted to take a moment to thank you for the on-line version of the newspaper. I am doing genealogy research and found information listed in the April 6 edition about the Dowell family. Thanks.

K. Brady

Poem for Pagosa

Dear Editor,

The writer is unknown, but I would like to include the following: "The greatest pain in life is not to die, but to be ignored. To lose the person you love so much to another who doesn't care at all. To have someone you care so about so much throw a party . . . and not tell you about it. When your favorite person on earth neglects to invite you to his graduation. To have people think that you don't care.

"The greatest pain in life, is not to die, but to be forgotten. To be left in the dust after another's great achievement. To never get a call from a friend, just saying 'hi.' When you show someone your innermost thoughts and they laugh in your face. For friends to always be too busy to console you when you need someone to lift your spirits. When it seems like the only person who cares about you, is you.

"Life is full of pain, but does it ever get better? Will people ever care about each other, and make time for those who are in need? Each of us has a part to play in this great show we call life. Each of us has a duty to mankind to tell our friends we love them. If you do not care about your friends you will not be punished. You will simply be ignored . . . forgotten . . . as you have done to others."

I do not mean to be rude to the people of Pagosa this is simply a poem I feel very powerful about. It talks about how people move on with their lives and sometimes that means leaving others behind you.

People can be so cruel without even knowing what they do to make people so sad. And I pass this poem on to you who read this in hopes of those who know me will forgive me or even think for one moment "does this poem apply to me?" In the time since I have moved away I have also moved away from the people I knew . . . the people who were so dear to me. Some of them have moved away . . . some of them have grown away. The silly, loud things we used to do, that made me love Colorado, every last drop of it; being young and being together was more than I could know within my own mind . . . that things in life can be so, so wonderful.

Put yourself in that poem as I have, in hopes you will come away from your computer, moved, but a little wiser as well . . . "will I ever care for every person, and make time for those who are in need?"

I have a part to play in this great show we call life. I have a duty to mankind to tell my friends I love them. If I do not care about my friends I will not be punished, I will simply be ignored . . . forgotten as I "have done to others."

Sincerely,

Leah Levitan

Asheville, N.C.

P.S. I miss every single one of you.

Keep up your spirit

Dear Editor,

I am so glad the paper is on line. I read it almost every week. At this time I would like to wish the baseball team all the luck in the world. I remember that when we went to the playoffs we had to travel so much. I believe that we rode that bus for about 1,500 miles in that one week in 1985. So make sure that if you have to travel that you get it out of your system fast so you can get some sleep the night before the game. When we went to Rifle to face the best pitcher in the league at that time - Bobby Chick - who still is playing Triple-A ball. I've been told we were too tired and failed badly because we were all awake 'til about four in the morning. Anyway good luck and keep up your spirit. If any of you come to Sterling drop by the J&L Cafe and say "hi." I would entertain some good Pagosa humor.

Sincerely,

John McMahon

P.S. We are only 30 miles away from Cabela's in Sydney, Neb.

Best choice

Dear David,

As a part-time resident of Pagosa Lakes, I find it difficult to understand the never-ending controversy over the Public Safety Office.

Apparently, the number of options available to the board was severely limited by a decision made in the sheriff's office. I happen to believe they made the best choice, but even if they made the wrong choice, I'm willing to assume that they acted in good faith.

Moreover, the amount of money involved for an individual property owner is peanuts. If an officer drives by my house a couple of times a week, or responds promptly to a call for help when I need it, I feel that my payment is worthwhile. If I lived in Pagosa Springs, instead of Pagosa Lakes, I would pay for police protection. While Pagosa Lakes is unincorporated, it has many of the characteristics of an incorporated area, and requires many of the services for which residents of incorporated areas pay additional property taxes. I think we should give the new arrangement a fair trial; if it doesn't work we can change it.

Gene Wissler

Austin, Texas

Obituaries
Myrtle Hopper

Many longtime residents of Pagosa Springs were saddened Tuesday to learn that Myrtle McCoy Hopper, 91, had passed away at Pine Ridge Nursing Home.

Mrs. Hopper was born March 12, 1909, in Lakin, Kan., the daughter of James and Alice Woodard McCoy.

When Mrs. Hopper was an infant her family moved to Rocky Ford. When she was 12 years old, her family came to the Allison-Arboles area by covered wagon. The trip took them several months because her father stopped along the way and worked to buy supplies. She never tired of telling stories of the adventures of this trip. She attended school and graduated from Allison. Following her graduation, she married Lewis Hopper.

Mrs. Hopper enjoyed a variety of positions of employment including working as a nurse in Dulce, N.M.; delivering mail; plowing snow for Archuleta County; and working as a clerk and delivering appliances for Gamble's store. She likewise enjoyed playing the piano at the community dances. In her later life, she was very involved in the Archuleta County Senior Citizens.

Although Mrs. Hopper had no children of her own, she cared for many of the local children while their parents worked. She was fondly known as "Aunt Myrt" by many of these children. She was well known in the area as a person that was always willing to help. She always had something nice to say about everyone and was known for having a great sense of humor. Having the rare gift of always seeing the bright side of everything, she always had wonderful stories to tell about her life in this area.

In 1975, Mrs. Hopper was preceded in death by her husband. She was also preceded in death by her parents, Jim and Alice McCoy, and her brothers, Ed McCoy and Charles McCoy.

A memorial service for Mrs. Hopper will be held at Mountain Heights Baptist Church at 10 a.m., Saturday.

Memorial contributions to benefit the Archuleta County Senior Citizens may be made at Bank of the San Juans.

 

People
Joetta Martinez

Joetta Martinez was selected Saturday to reign as queen of the 2000 Spanish Fiesta.

The daughter of Jody and Barbara Martinez, Joetta is a sophomore at Pagosa Springs High School. She is a member of the National Honor Society and is active in sports and other school activities. Besides running cross-country, playing basketball and running track, she helps out with high school and pee wee wrestling tournaments. She also plays the flute and piccolo in the high school band and has performed in drama and choir. Her community activities have included helping the Boy Scouts pick up trash and collect canned foods during their food drives.

Joetta, 16, has lived in Pagosa Springs all of her life and has very strong ties with this area. She attends Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church. Proud to be Hispanic, Martinez said she tries "to do things that don't put down my culture's heritage."

Her ancestors on her father's' side were some of the first settlers in Archuleta County. Her grandfather Sam Martinez's grandfather settled in Edith. Her grandmother Margie Martinez's grandfather settled near the Blanco River. The Martinezes still own the land that her paternal great-grandfather's family settled.

 

Engagement

Ralph and Teddi Garcia are pleased to announce the upcoming marriage of their daughter, Marlena, to Ron Crandall, son of Ron and Sandy Crandall of Santa Rosa, Calif. A June wedding has been planned.

 

Molly Driesens

Molly Driesens, a 1997 graduate of Pagosa Christian School has been awarded a $500 scholarship by the California Society of Certified Public Accountants. The daughter of Jerry and Joanie Driesens, Molly is a junior at California Baptist University where she was recognized on the Dean's List for the fall and spring semesters.

Nerissa Whittington

Nerissa J. Whittington of Pagosa Springs graduated cum laude this month from George Washington University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in anthropology and a minor in theatre. While at George Washington University Nerissa made the dean's list every semester.

A 1995 graduate of Pagosa Springs High School, Nerissa is currently in the Biosphere in Tuscon, Ariz., graduating today. She plans to study environmental law beginning the fall of 2000.

Gentry Roth

Greg and Sharon Roth, the proud parents of Gentry M. Roth, would like to announce his graduation from Colorado State University College of Natural Sciences, this Saturday, at 5 p.m.

Gentry was on the Dean's Honor Roll the fall semester of 1999, with a 4.0 GPA.

Sports Page
Furious rally too late for Lady Pirate kickers

By Richard Walter

"For the last 20 minutes we played probably our best soccer of the year. Unfortunately it was too little, too late."

That was head coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason's evaluation of the Lady Pirates' 2-1 loss to Ouray in district playoff action Thursday in Pagosa's Golden Peak's stadium.

Kurt-Mason summed up the first hour of the game succinctly: "We stood around and watched Ouray play."

Though the Lady Pirates were too tightly bunched to get off good passes and too timid on the attack, they limited Ouray to a single goal - and the officials are still uncertain which player scored it - in the first half.

That goal came at nine minutes, 30 seconds into the game when Lady Pirate keeper Ashley Gronewoller blocked a shot from her right, and a rebound head-on, but could not stop a second rebound which trickled behind her as she dived to her left. Neither coach was able to determine which of five players swarming the net should get credit for the score.

Two minutes and 18 seconds later Pagosa got its first legitimate scoring chance when freshman Meagan Hilsabeck's left-footer off a header lead from senior Ashlee Johnson eluded the goal keeper but bounced off the left post. Just 40 seconds later, Hilsabeck was thwarted again when her right-foot kick on another lead from Johnson went wide right.

Johnson's free kick with 16:05 gone in the period was stopped by the goalie.

Gronewoller, meanwhile, had stopped two breakaway efforts by Ouray forwards.

At the halfway point in the first half, Johnson faked another pass to Hilsabeck and kicked a line shot off the meeting of net and post at the top left corner. It was Pagosa's last shot on goal for more than six minutes until sophomore Lori Whitbred's drive with 12:02 remaining missed wide right.

Gronewoller made another outstanding save with 9:57 remaining when she came far out of the net and cut down a crossing pass aimed for a forward closing from her left. And she got help 36 seconds later when sophomore Carlena Lungstrum blocked a Ouray shot off a rebound after Gronewoller went down on a diving save.

Johnson became relentless in her attack but was stonewalled by Ouray's keeper on a left-foot drive a with 6:50 remaining and was frustrated 40 seconds later when her blistering drive was over the keeper's head but off the cross bar and bounded back into play.

In the final 3:54 of the half, Ouray turned the attack mode its way but Gronewoller blunted the assault with saves on a shot from her right, a dribbler from the left, and made a spectacular stop with 1:15 left on a breakaway, full-field dribble and shot head-on by a Ouray forward.

One minute and 32 seconds into the second half, Ouray striker Carley Moran drew Gronewoller out of the net from the right side, switched fields toward the left corner flag and then ripped a shot behind the keeper for what was to become the winning goal.

Johnson went back on the attack with six minutes and 51 seconds gone in the half when she headed a pass to sophomore Lindsay Schmidt and took a return drop pass for a shot juggled but held by the tender. With 11:50 gone in the period, her left-foot bazooka shot glanced off the right post.

Finally, with 11 minutes and 41 seconds gone in the half, Johnson cut the lead in half with a free-kick blast over the tender's head and into the upper right corner of the net. It was, unfortunately, the last goal of the match for Pagosa despite the effort Kurt-Mason lauded for the final 20 minutes.

Pagosa was not without scoring chances during that time.

The first, with 15:05 remaining came on a lead from Lungstrum to junior Kelli Patterson whose shot was flagged down by the Ouray goalie. Lungstrum's own shot, off a crossing pass from sophomore Aubrey Volger, was just outside the right post and Volger's pass to a streaking Hilsabeck with 14:47 remaining was blocked. With 11:28 left, Lungstrum's lead to Johnson was too long but on goal and was saved. Thirty seconds later Johnson's header shot was saved as the Lady Pirates swarmed the attack zone. With four minutes left a corner kick from Johnson hit off the goal tender's hands and was trapped by a supporting forward. With 2:48 left, junior Jennifer Gross's header went off the right post and the diving tender was injured when her arm crashed into the post.

The ball did not leave the Pagosa attack zone for the balance of the game, but the Lady Pirates were unable to test the substitute tender, kept from the scoring lanes by a tenacious Ouray defensive effort.

The loss ended the Pagosa season with six wins, five losses and two ties and sent Ouray and No. 1 seed Telluride (which defeated Ignacio 3-0 in the opening game) into the district championship game later in the day. Both teams advance to state quarterfinal competition this week.

Looking forward to next year, Kurt-Mason said the team will miss the determined offense of Johnson, but pointed out she is the only senior on the team and that many of the freshmen and sophomores who played this year were just learning the game in the program's second year.

He had high praise for freshman Hilsabeck: "I wish I could bottle her talent and feed it to all of our players;" and for sophomore Cassie Pfiefle who along with freshman Sara Aupperle was outstanding on defense all year. "Cassie never backed down from anyone," Kurt-Mason said, "and Sara seemed almost always to be in the right place." He also lauded junior Kelli Patterson who "played a new position (stopper) and learned it very quickly."

Juniors Jennifer Gross and Tiffany Diller, he said, should lend senior leadership to next year's squad and sophomores Lori Whitbred, Volger, Schmidt, Alysha Ranson ("who held our defense together all year"), and Amy Moore will all be key elements in what may be an even faster team that this year's entry.

The play of Gronewoller in goal has improved consistently and she will "be ready for anything that comes at her next year," the coach said.

He also expects big things from Lungstrum and freshman Tricia Lucero, both of whom were playing soccer for the first time this year but are "very coachable" and "exhibit talents we'll have to capitalize on."

And, Kurt-Mason said, there are a number of upcoming junior varsity players who can be expected to add to the overall mix, particularly freshman Jamie Lee who he called "a bright spot in our future."

 

Pirates fall to Bayfield in district thriller

By Richard Walter

After watching Monte Vista quickly eliminate Del Norte in district playoffs under sunny skies Saturday, Pagosa Springs' Pirates might have gotten a portent of things to come when heavy clouds rolled in over Monte Vista just in time for their game against Bayfield.

As one fan in the stands put it, "If there's a storm in the air, Pagosa's playing baseball."

Like the ill-fated Joe Blfstk character in the old L'il Abner comic strip, the Pagosa Pirates seem to have a cloud regularly over their heads when baseball time rolls around.

As the scenario developed, Bayfield seemed ready to run away and leave the Pirates in a comic strip wake when their lead-off hitter, second baseman Jon Qualls homered over the left field fence on the third pitch of the game from Darin Lister.

Center fielder Justin Gingrich then reached safely on a throwing error by shortstop Lonnie Lucero and moved to second on a passed ball. When catcher Aaron Howard walked, the stage was set for heroics by Wolverine clean-up hitter Isaac Fleener.

But Pirate second baseman Brandon Charles raced into short right field to snare Fleener's bid for a Texas League single, then whirled and rifled a throw to first to double off the surprised Howard.

Bayfield pitcher Rory Martinez then delivered the first of his three hits of the day with a line shot to center to score Gingrich. First baseman Casey Donohue followed with a double to right scoring Martinez before left fielder Peter Grijalva popped to short to end the first inning uprising with the Wolverines leading 3-0.

The Pirates struck right back with Lucero lining a single to right for the first of his three hits and four times on base. Darin Lister drew a full-count walk from Martinez and first baseman Brandon Thames followed with a clean single driving in Lucero.

Lister went to third and Thames to second on a wild pitch by Martinez. The Pirates' rally seemed stopped when right fielder Keith Candelaria struck out and catcher Clinton Lister popped out to his counterpart, Howard.

Third baseman Ronnie Janowsky picked up his teammates, however, with a single to short left scoring Lister, with Thames holding at third. Center fielder Nate Stretton then singled up the middle scoring Thames before Kraig Candelaria fanned, sending the game to the second inning in a 3-3 tie.

Lister set the Wolverines down in order in the second despite issuing a walk to designated hitter Chris Carroll. Carroll was quickly erased on another spectacular Pirate defensive move when Lucero went far to his left to snag Qualls bid for a hit and flipped the ball back to Charles in time to force Champlin at second. The freshman second sacker's relay to first doubled up Qualls.

The Pirates mounted a mild threat in the second when, after designated hitter Anthony Maestas grounded out to second, Lucero picked up his second consecutive single and the first of his three stolen bases during the day.

Lucero moved up to third but was held there when Lister grounded to third and Thames popped to shortstop.

Lister set the Wolverines down in order again in the third despite an apparent double on a full-count pitch by Howard. Following a Pirates' appeal with a toss back to first, the umpires ruled Howard was out, having failed to touch the bag. Fleener then flied to center to end the inning.

With storm clouds threatening and winds increasing, Keith Candelaria foiled the over-shifted Wolverine defense as he stepped back on a Martinez fast ball and lined a triple off the right field fence. Clinton Lister's single up the middle scored Candelaria and gave Pagosa a 4-3 lead. Josh Trujillo, the courtesy runner for Lister, was cut down on an attempted steal by a cannon shot from catcher Grijalva.

Janowsky started a new rally, ripping a single to right before Stretton popped to the catcher for the second out. The Pirates weren't quite done, however. Kraig Candelaria drove a double down the left field line scoring Janowsky and when Maestas flied to right to end the inning, Pagosa had a 5-3 lead.

Both teams sent only four men to the plate in the fourth. Martinez fanned to lead off for Bayfield. Donohue walked and went to second on a balk before Grijalva popped out to third and third baseman Thomas Romero grounded back to Lister who tossed to Thames for the out at first.

Lucero opened the bottom of the fourth with a walk and followed with his second stolen base. But Darin Lister, Thames and Keith Candelaria all struck out to end the threat.

Bayfield overcame the two-run deficit in the fifth when, with one out, Qualls singled up the middle. Gingrich then ripped an apparent base hit to right but Charles came from nowhere to stop the shot. His ill-advised throw to first, however, bounced wildly away from Thames and Bayfield had runners on second and third. Qualls scored when Howard sent a sacrifice fly to left. Gingrich followed him across the plate when Fleener singled to right.

The Pirates put three runners on without benefit of a base hit in the bottom half of the inning but failed to score. Clinton Lister opened with a pop-up to the first baseman, Janowsky walked, Stretton walked and Kraig Candelaria was safe on a fielder's choice in which Janowsky was cut down at third on a throw from second. Maestas struck out to end the threat.

The Wolverines took the lead for the first time in the top of the sixth when, after Carroll struck out, Martinez singled. Pagosa coach Tony Scarpa, playing a hunch, brought Thames to the mound, moved Janowsky to first and sent Darin Lister to short.

The obvious intent was to utilize Thames' pick-off move to first but, when the move came after a first pitch ball to Donahue, a balk was called by the first base umpire and Martinez was awarded second. Scarpa protested the call to no avail, and the switch of players was reversed so all returned to their original positions.

After Donohue singled home the lead run, Scarpa went to the mound again, bringing in senior right-hander Kile Keelan to face Grijalva who dropped a bunt toward first. Thames reacted quickly and gunned Donohue down at the plate which was blocked like a wall by Clinton Lister. Grijalva died at first as Romero popped to the catcher and Carroll struck out.

The Pirates appeared to have another rally underway in their half of the sixth when Lucero picked up his third hit and promptly added his third stolen base of the game. That set up perhaps the key moment of the game for the Pirates. With Darin Lister at the plate Scarpa called a set play calling for Lister to move back in the box and Lucero to attempt a steal of third.

Lucero was out on the attempt on a fine throw from Grijalva. When Lister and Thames each followed with singles, Scarpa said, he was second-guessing himself for sending Lucero (the potential tying run) with no outs and the heart of the order due up.

With runners on first and second, Keith Candelaria popped out to the catcher and Romero turned in the defensive play of the day for Bayfield, diving flat out to his left and snaring Clinton Lister's blistering drive for the final out of the inning.

The Wolverines salted the game away with three runs in the top of the seventh. Qualls doubled but was cut down by Lucero who ran him down after snaring Gingrich's ground ball. Gingrich stole second and third before Howard struck out for the second out of the inning. Fleener singled Gingrich home and Thames and Keelan were flopped in defensive positions by Scarpa. On Thames' 1-1 pitch, Martinez homered to center and the game was, for all practical purposes out of reach. Donohue followed with a single, but pinch-hitter Catron struck out batting for Grijalva.

For the Pirates, the seventh inning was short and disappointing. Janowsky flied to center, Stretton grounded to second and Kraig Candelaria struck out to end the season for Pagosa.

And within 15 minutes after the game's end, just before Monte Vista was to defeat Bayfield 18-11, the cloud cover moved off and the field was again bathed in sunlight. Pagosa's Joe Blfstk team had gone home.

 

Lucero steals the show

By Richard Walter

Senior Lonnie Lucero was a jack of all trades for the Pagosa Pirates baseball team this year.

He played center field, pitched and played both shortstop and second base while hitting in the lead-off spot and batting well over .300.

His biggest contribution, however, was his speed on the base paths.

Lucero entered the season with 71 steals in 72 attempts for his three-year varsity career to that time.

And he didn't slow down even though other teams in the Intermountain Conference knew of his theft threat and constantly made attempts to pick him off or hold him close to the bag.

This season Lucero stole 22 bases in 26 attempts, including three in the district playoff loss last Saturday to Bayfield.

Those successful thefts boosted his career total to 93 in 98 attempts in four years of high school baseball.

Pirate thinclads set goals for Regionals

By John M. Motter

A trip to Colorado Springs and the state track meet is the goal of members of the Pagosa Pirates track team Saturday when they compete in the Region 3 meet at Adams State College in Alamosa.

The meet begins at 9 a.m. with weight events. Highlighting the discus competition will be the head-to-head confrontation between Pagosa's Shane Prunty and Del Norte's Jake Evig. Both went to state last year in the discus, Evig with a throw of 157 feet, 1 inch, Prunty with a throw of 145 feet, 8-1/2 inches.

Prunty has already qualified for state by spinning the platter 136-5. He will have to add several feet to his best shotput this season in order to place at state in that event.

"Shane's put the shot far enough in practice to qualify," said Kyle Canty, the Pirates head track coach. "He just needs to get it together Saturday and do as well as he is capable of doing."

Canty sees Prunty as the Pirates' best hope to qualify for state in a single event, although he thinks junior Daniel Crenshaw has an outside chance in the 800-meter run.

"Crenshaw doesn't have to make it on his time," Canty said. "I think he will place high enough to make it."

Additional Pirate opportunities to run at state should come in the 1,600-meter relays for the girls and boys. Running on the girls' 1,600-meter relay team are Andrea Ash, Meigan Canty, Anna Rolig and Sarah Huckins. Running for the boys are Josh Postolese, Hank Wills, Clint Shaw and Crenshaw.

The Intermountain League District Meet was held last Saturday at Del Norte

Winning the boy's side of the meet was Centauri, followed by Bayfield, Monte Vista, Del Norte, Pagosa Springs and Ignacio.

Bayfield won the girls' meet followed by Centauri, Pagosa Springs, Ignacio, Del Norte and Monte Vista.

Pirates earning points for Pagosa at Del Norte last Saturday were:

Discus - Prunty second, Josh Richardson fourth; triple jump - Garrett Tomforde third; Crenshaw sixth; 3,200-meter relay (Trevor Peterson, Zach Rasmussen, Kyle Frye, Jesse Powe) fifth; 110-meter hurdles - Richardson fourth; 100-meter dash - Jason Schutz fourth; 800-meter relay (Schutz, Postolese, Crenshaw, Tyler Kirtley) third; 400-meter relay sixth; 400-meter run - Clint Shaw fourth, Wills sixth; 300-meter hurdles - Tomforde fifth; 800-meter run - Crenshaw second; 200-meter dash - Schutz second, Ryan Wendt fifth; 1,600-meter relay (Postolese, Wills, Shaw, Crenshaw) fourth.

Lady Pirates earning points for Pagosa at Del Norte Saturday were:

High jump - Meigan Canty fifth; Triple jump - Huckins fifth; 3,200-meter relay (Chelsea Volger, Rolig, Ash, Huckins) third; 110-meter hurdles - Joetta Martinez fourth; 800-meter relay (Canty, Ash, Rolig, Amber Mesker) fifth; 1,600-meter run - Huckins fourth, Mesker sixth; 400-meter relay (Alex Rigia, Volger, Amanda McCain, Makina Gill) fifth; 400-meter run - Rolig second, Canty fourth; 300-meter hurdles - Joetta Martinez fifth; 800-meter run - Ash fifth; 3,200-meter run - Ash second, Volger third, Gill sixth; 1,600-meter relay - (Ash, Canty, Rolig, Huckins) second.

The Class 3A schools competing in the Region 3 meet will incude Bayfield, Buena Vista, Centauri, Del Norte, Ignacio, La Junta, Lake County, Lamar, Las Animas, John Mall of Walsenburg, Monte Vista, Pagosa Springs, Pueblo West, Rocky Ford, Rye, Salida and Trinidad.

 

Community News
Local Chatter

By Kate Terry

The party went to the dogs

It was a wonderful party!

Maximus of Squaw Canyon (better known as Max) gives the best ones. Sunday was the day for the fourth birthday celebration for the Golden Nine. For you who are new to the community and don't know who the Goldens are, this is the story.

Five years ago, nine pups were whelped by Caisen, Kitzel and Derek Farrah's golden retriever. Papa dog Elliot, belonged to Sandy Kobruch and Mark Mueller.

When it came time for the first birthday Max's owner, Shirley Mateer, gave a party for the Goldens. It was a most delightful party - a real match for anyone's birthday party - complete with cake, party hats, an exchange of presents, games and graduation diplomas.

Every year since, Max and Shirley have been hosting this social event.

To start with - how they were dressed: Oh, so smartly dressed, they were. Shandy, who belongs to Joan and Bob Arnold, was a beauty, dressed in turquoise and satin, a dress she probably wore at some Cinco de Mayo doings (but a dress that, when it came time for the games, she said "take it off!")

Duchess, whose parents are Norma and Fred Harman, was elegantly attired in a pearl choker.

Saffy (short for Saffron), who belongs to Gerlinda and Sam Snyder, wore a red back pack and sun visor and carried her own food and drink bottle. "Always be prepared" is her motto.

And then there was Cedar, who belongs to Jean and Jim Carson, and was dressed in a clown suit. So colorful!

Ellie, who belongs to Barbara and Don Rosner, wore a gold lamé top and purple boxer shorts. Those are the colors of some big university I just know, but I never could get Ellie settled down to talk about school. She wanted to party!

Caisen was dressed in a big T-shirt decorated with the printed words "Big Dog Mom" (a present from her Grandpa Bill).

And Max, what a lover he's turned out to be, wore a practical navy blue jersey top - just the thing for sailing.

The Goldens missed Atticus, who belongs to Shelley and Steve Marmaduke. They were out of town. And the Golden belonging to Jamie and Clark Sherman has never made a party, having moved to Montana and all.

After the greeting time came the games. Oh boy, what an anxious bunch!

The races came first. The judges were Nita Niece and John Schoenborn. Caisen won the first heat, Saffy the second, and Ellie the third. The dunking contest for pine cones was a draw. The judges declared Saffy as having "the best waggy tail," Max as having "the most horizontal leg" (whatever that means), and Ellie "the modern dance queen."

The birthday cake comes all the way from the Three Dog Bakery in Kansas City. This year something new was added: It had a candle that, when lit, played Happy Birthday. Everyone sang the song with gusto, but I don't believe the Goldens appreciated all the harmony, for they kept straining to get at that cake. You know, age does things to good manners sometimes. The first year they were so polite when served a thin piece of cake, but since then . . . well, they knew that was coming! Oh yes, it has to be told that Max was so exhausted from the games that he ordered room service.

Everyone liked their presents. One little problem had to do with the small live tree Duchess drew. I don't think mama Norma thought the tree should be used as "the giver intended."

Every Golden got a diploma inscribed, "Happy Birthday ----, Certificate of accomplishment on your fourth year."

Now that the San Juan Historical Society is getting so much attention, the history of the Goldens can be added to their files.

"Nine black bears came over the Rocky Mountains and ended up in Golden, Colorado. A beautiful fairy waved her arms and sprinkled gold dust over them, and then they came to Pagosa. This is why they are called the Golden Retrievers."

An interesting thing here. Some of the Goldens have a black dot on their tongues. Probably a hangover from the black bear days!

So it is happy birthday Goldens! We can't wait until next year.

Fun on the run

A 40-year-old hillbilly carried a younger hillbilly into the doctor's office, deposited him on the examining table, and said "See if you can patch him up soon. I shot up his rear end like it was a tail on a possum. Don't hurt him none 'cause he's my son-in-law."

The doctor said, "Why would you shoot your son-in-law?"

The hillbilly said, "He warn't my son-in-law when I shot him!"

Chamber News

By Sally Hameister

Membership draws near the 700 plateau

Five new members and one renewal to share with you this week, bringing us to three shy of 700 members. This is actually quite astonishing for little ol' Pagosa Springs and makes us very happy and proud here at the Chamber. Onward and upward with our introductions, little soldiers.

Stanley G. Maddux joins us with Foam Insulation Specialists, doing business out of his home. The Foam Insulation Specialists spray Icynene Foam, a fully integrated insulation system offering a healthier, quiet, more energy-efficient solution for maximum indoor air quality. If you would like to learn more about this environmentally safe insulation system, please give Stanley a call at 264-4800. Thanks to Barbara Cole for her recruitment efforts. A free SunDowner is on its way to you with our thanks, Barb.

Steve Tothe joins us next with Pagosa Rooter, a business Steve manages from his home. Steve would like to help you out with all your plumbing needs and repairs and drain cleaning jobs. If you would like to learn more about Steve's services, just give him a call at 731-6134.

Pam Templin joins us with Coyote Creek Publishers located at 337 Terry Robinson Road. Pam and Coyote Creek publish high-quality guidebooks, menu guides and business guides. Please give Pam a call at 264-2422 for more information about Coyote Creek Publishers.

Our friend, Lynnzie Mayden, joins us with a second business, "Scents of Well-Being" aromatherapy. Lynnzie offers aromatherapy and essential oils for your physical and emotional well being. Her services include raindrop technique to the spine, first aid for you and your pets, emotional clearings, ear candling and aromatherapy classes. Give Lynnzie a call at 731-2154 to learn more about "Scents of Well-Being."

Margie Hollingsworth, M.Ed., Licensed Professional Counselor, joins us next, offering counseling for women only in both Texas and Colorado with a business location of 12607 35th Street in Lubbock, Texas, and a branch in Pagosa Springs. Her services include: self-esteem; roles/relationships/communication; anger/depression; codependency; grief; parenting; stress; panic/anxiety/PTSD; abuse and miscellaneous. You can call in Texas at (806) 793-7712 or in Pagosa at (970) 946-4716.

Renewals

Our renewal this week is Nancy Guilliams with the Piedra River Resort. We are grateful to Nancy and all the new folks for the membership support.

Our Miss Brooks

Tonight's the night to join the Thursday Night Live group for memorable moments with "Our Miss Brooks" and presentations of original material that promises to "hit real close to home." The ticket price of $15 includes dinner accompanied by live music followed by an evening of performances by the Thursday Night Live crew. Please give John Porter a call at 731-3671 for more information.

Adam and Eve

Don't forget to pick up your tickets as soon as possible for the Mother's Day Dinner Theatre to be held Friday and Saturday at Pagosa Lodge. "The Diaries of Adam and Eve" written by Mark Twain and directed by Zach Nelson will be presented on those evenings following dinner. This production stars Sandy Applegate, Steve Rogan and Sharman Alto and promises laughs a'plenty. Dinner will be served from 6 to 7:15 p.m. and "Diaries" will begin at 8 p.m. Tickets for this fun evening are $24.50 and will be sold in advance at the Plaid Pony, the Chamber of Commerce and WolfTracks. Seating is limited, so we suggest that you purchase your tickets as soon as possible. You can call 731-5262 or 731-6020 for more information.

Wine and cheese

You are invited to join members of the San Juan "Hysterical " (Historical) Society at the Pioneer Museum from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday evening for a wide and wild selection of wines, cheeses and other goodies. You will be asked for a $5 donation at the door, but it comes with a money-back guarantee. If you volunteer at the museum this summer and don't enjoy it, the SJHS will cheerfully refund your money (and you can still keep the wine and cheese - what a deal!). The RSVP deadline was actually May 9, but I think if you called 731-5213 or 264-4522, they would love to have you on Friday evening.

Thanks LPEA

Our thanks once again to the guys at LPEA for tending to our flags. Brent Tanner and Nathan Bryant were our recent heroes, risking life and limb to take down the flags for repair. Thanks guys, we do appreciate you ever so much. Thanks, as well, to our pal Mike Alley for sharing one of LPEA's area maps to display in our Visitor Center. We had been told that LPEA had one of the best maps around, and sure enough they did and were generous enough to supply it to us. Every one of our Diplomats will be eternally grateful for this tool that will allow them to access and share much better area information to our summer guests. LPEA rocks our world!

Local appreciation

Save your pennies for May 18, 19 and 20 so you can take advantage of the Local Appreciation Sidewalk Sale at many local businesses. This is a way for all our local member merchants to thank you, the ever-lovin' loyal local customer, for your support throughout the year. We continually encourage everyone to "Shop Pagosa First" and the Local Appreciation Sidewalk Sale provides the opportunity for all of us to do so and save some big dough at the same time. You can be sure that there will be some dandy bargains on the racks and tables that appear outside the various stores - it's commonly referred to as a win-win situation. We will still have the Saturday Sidewalk Sale during the Four Corners Folk Festival - this one is just a bonus "thank you" for locals. Enjoy.

Rhythmania

For an evening you won't soon forget, "Rhythmania" will be presented on June 2 and 3 at the Pagosa Springs High School auditorium. This will be as unique as anything you've ever seen right here in River City, so you need to grab up those tickets soon at the Chamber, Moonlight Books, the Plaid Pony, the library and the Wild Hare.

You will hear the music of Brazil, Peru, Bolivia and Native America as well as guest performances by locals Charles Martinez, John Graves and Lee Bartley. Pagosa's own percussionist Cary Valentine of "Nunsense" fame will be featured along with his good pal and extraordinarily talented musician, Tony Osanah. You will discover for yourselves that Cary does much more than play the drums. He is a man of many talents and many instruments, as you will see.

This promises to be an extraordinary evening of music representing many different cultures and lands - something new, different and wonderful for Pagosa Springs. Naturally, this concert is brought to you by the Pagosa Springs Music Boosters in association with the Pagosa Springs Arts Council. Tickets for this festive concert are $12 for adults and $6 for children 12 and under. Don't miss this special performance - "Rhythmania is Gonna Get Ya."

Clean-up week

Our trusty Rotarians are 'way ahead of us because they have already been cleaning their little hearts out on U.S. 160. Yep, the official Clean-Up Week begins Sunday and continues through May 20. This is our annual opportunity to clean up after the winter ends and we discover all the "things" that have hidden under the blanket of snow and winter gunk. It's always astonishing to me to see the accumulation of "stuff" and the dramatic difference after the clean up. Please check with your organization for their clean-up date, or feel free to organize your very own project in your neighborhood or outside your workplace. We have plenty of bags here at the Visitor Center, so please stop by and pick up a few to fill with all the nasties that have been discarded by careless and environmentally clueless individuals.

 

Pagosa Lakes

By Ming Steen

An almost-local middle timer pays attention

Living in the beautiful mountains should be reward enough, but not for many. There is a growing relentless group pushing to create a golden age of mountain living - to prepare wisely for a time in the not-so-distant future when we can all still see the mountains, wide open spaces, the valleys and the canyons. Having moved to Pagosa in 1984, I consider myself an almost-local, a middle timer. Even if I don't always agree with the accelerating change, I pay fairly close attention to how the growth has changed the community. I don't want to become an older grouch always complaining about all the changes taking place. I want to stay upbeat, active, involved and listening.

There are many Pagosans out there like me. Because we can no longer hide behind Pagosa's cherished remoteness, we think it is important to talk to the vanguard. Those who don't want to adapt will become increasingly alienated. Thank goodness a new indigenous group has emerged to tackle the core issues: the changing economy, public lands disputes, environmental degradation, lack of a regional communication structure, and the unrelenting cultural clash.

The Women' Civic Club of Pagosa Springs have invited Commissioner Gene Crabtree to speak at its May 18 monthly meeting. Commissioner Crabtree will address pertinent issues facing Archuleta County, its successes and its setbacks. The meeting, to be held at the Parish Hall, will start at 1:30 p.m. Refreshments will be served. Contact Yvonne Ralston at 731-9324 if you need more information.

An end-of-year party will be hosted by the Pagosa Lakes Recreation Center for seventh graders on Friday, May 19 from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. The facility will remain open to its members. However, the atmosphere will be slightly altered.

A PLPOA-sponsored open duplicate bridge group meets every Tuesday in the Pagosa Lakes Community Center. Bridge players or aspiring bridge players are invited to join the group. There is no charge.

The PLPOA monthly board meeting will be held at 7 p.m. today in the Pagosa Lakes Community Center. Members and observers are encouraged to attend. Public comments are heard at the beginning of the meeting.

The following agenda for tonight's meeting was provided by Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association:

- Call to order

- Approval of agenda

- Approval of March 7, March 29, April 13 board meeting minutes

- General manager's report

- Public comments

- Committee reports

- Treasurer's report - Director Judy Esterly

- Old business

A. Rules and regulations committee decision upon revisiting lot consolidation issue and letter form Director Esterly regarding same

B. Resolution 2000-05, policy for access to association records

- New business

A. Public Safety survey results

B. Bank resolutions 2000-06 - 2000-09

- Executive session

A. Fairfield multiplier

B. Short-term rentals

 

Arts Line

By Jenifer Galesic

May is fabulous for young artists

Currently on display at the Pagosa Springs Arts Council gallery at Town Park are the wondrous works of 13 youngsters, the students of Soledad Estrada-Leo, known as the "lil' angelos." Their art is created using pencils and pastels and was well received at the show's opening last week. With only one week remaining, be sure to stop by the gallery between the hours of 11 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday.

Around the corner

May appears to be a fabulous month for celebrating the young artists in our community.

The annual high school student art show will kick off next Thursday, with an opening reception from 5 to 7 p.m. Participants in the upcoming exhibit at the PSAC gallery will include veterans Seth Kurt-Mason and Amanda Parker, as well as a slew of fresh talent. Seth and Amanda are seniors and enjoy working with a variety of mediums; they have created both realistic, and abstract expressions.

Chelsea Hill, Julie Gurule and Cassey Ray are all seniors, with art that reflects a wide variety of interests including two- and three-dimensional work. Patrick Riley is a junior' who enjoys drawing and painting realistic renderings of people, landscapes and architecture.

Jodie Blankenship, Damian Gruber, Sarah Huckins and Aaron Renner have been working on drawing and painting this year, with an emphasis on light logic.

Don't miss this extremely gifted group of students. And thanks to their proud instructor, Charla Ellis.

This exhibit will run through May 31.

PSAC info

Trisha Blankenship, one of our Artsline columnists, will attend Fort Lewis College this summer. We will miss her creative writings and we thank her. The PSAC needs someone to pick up where Trisha left off and write the column once a month. Please call Joanne at 264-5020.

The PSAC is in need of a small copy machine. If you would like to donate one, call 264-5020.

The PSAC would like to thank the following people for doing such a great job putting together the Petroglyph newsletter: Marti Capling, Sheila Hunkin, Ron Hunkin, Gerda Witkamp, Marguerite Flick, Natalie Koch and Sharon Garmen.

 

Senior News

By Janet Copeland

Senior Center director leaving post

We are sorry to learn that Stella Carter, who works here at the Senior Center, is in intensive care at Mercy Medical Center in Durango. Our prayers are with Stella and we hope she will recover soon.

Also, we are saddened to hear that Myrtle Hopper passed away on Tuesday. Myrtle was loved by all and we will miss her.

One thing is a certainty in life - change. We at the Senior Citizens Center were sad to learn this week that Cindy Schaupp will no longer be our director. Cindy worked very hard for the seniors and was a big help to those in need, as well as to the rest of us. We will miss her untiring efforts and wish her and Jeff the best for the future.

We were treated to piano music by Martha Schijolin Wednesday. Thank you for the beautiful music, Martha. And, speaking of piano music, we owe a big "thank you" to Dorothy O'Harra who plays for us most days. We certainly enjoy listening to you talented folks.

A hearty "congratulations" to Leonara and Carlo Carrannante who celebrated their 49th wedding anniversary on Friday. Carlo treated us and Lee by singing love songs. He has a beautiful voice and it is an honor when he entertains. Lee is this week's Senior of the Week. Congratulations, Lee.

Lena Bowden was the lucky winner of the expense-paid trip to Santa Fe/Albuquerque which takes place May 10 to 12.

Fifteen folks went on the trip to Chimayo, N.M., Friday. According to reports, they enjoyed attending mass and seeing the church, then stopped by a casino for a little entertainment. Apparently a good time was had by all.

On Friday, our guests were Nora and Bob Lunsford, from Farmington, N.M. Nora and Bob are active in the Senior Center there and we were happy to have them visit us. On Monday, we were pleased to welcome Midge Rapp, Iola Shahan, Bernie Smith, Judy Wood and Charley Hubbard. We hope you folks can come again soon. Also, we appreciated having Payge Ferreira volunteering to help out around the Center on Wednesday, and now she has been hired to work with Tina as temporary transportation coordinator. Welcome, Payge.

A reminder to those who were notified that they were high bidders on items at the Silent Auction. We hope you will pick up and pay for your items this week so we can close the books on the Chili Supper. We so appreciate all of you who bid on items.

 

Cruising with Cruse

By Katherine Cruse

Bionic grandma keeps going and going. . .

This is a Mother's Day salute to my mother, who will be 85 years young this month.

Her hair is not as gray as mine. She has an artificial hip and an artificial knee, but all the other parts are original issue. Our kids call her the bionic grandmother.

She lives in California. She tried spending the winter in Sun City, Arizona, a couple of years ago, but quit before her four-month lease was up. She complained there were too many old people there.

Two years ago she bought a new car. She needed new wheels. She drives on California freeways. She zips off to San Francisco, to Monterey, to Napa Valley, across the state. Takes along friends who don't drive any more.

My mother is a traveler. Four years ago she went alone to Churchill, the town in northern Manitoba where the polar bears gather and wait for ice to cover Hudson's Bay. "It was interesting," she reported back, "but I don't have to do that again."

She and I have made several trips together, pilgrimages to places where she used to live. I drive, she directs. She's good at it. She reads the magazines, knows which are the best restaurants and where to get high tea in New Orleans. When we lived in Nashville, she wanted to see the Bluebird Cafe, where aspiring country music songwriters go to be discovered. She'd read about it. Told me it was famous. I didn't know.

Sometimes she knows what's happening in my town before I do. A sort of early warning system. One spring day, back when Hotshot and I lived in San Antonio, she called to ask, "Are you all right? Did that tornado pass near you?" Now, you have to understand that a tornado is a rare thing in San Antonio. It's not like Dallas. I turned on the news to learn that yes indeed, a tornado had passed through town about an hour before, within a few miles of our house.

Here's another example. We moved to Nashville in 1990. That winter some scientists were predicting an earthquake along the New Madrid Fault, which runs near St. Louis. Back in 1813 this fault line spawned the biggest earthquake the U.S. has had. It changed the course of rivers and created a brand new lake.

Hotshot was sitting at the home computer on the morning predicted for the big event, when a little ripple flickered across the screen. Ten minutes later, my mother phoned. "Did you feel it?" she demanded. No, she's not psychic; she was watching the west coast edition of Today or Good Morning America or whichever show it was that told the country the famous New Madrid earthquake had just occurred.

My mother trained as a nurse, back during the Great Depression. Then she went back to her home town in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, where she did various private duty nursing jobs. Opportunity presented itself when a Hollywood film crew came to make a picture there. If she told me the name of the picture, I don't remember it. They needed a nurse on the set; she got the job. When the shooting was over, the director, a German immigrant, asked if she wanted a job in Hollywood, and she said that'd be okay.

She moved to Hollywood to work at MGM, supervising the care of babies on movie sets. In her spare time she helped a friend in the publicity office create publicity blurbs about the stars. They made up stories: so-and-so was seen at such-and-such restaurant with you know who. That sort of thing.

After Hollywood, she worked as an airline hostess for TWA. That's what they used to call flight attendants, when they all had to be nurses. My mother was a hostess in 1938 and 1939, when planes carried more mail than people. Her flights landed in Pittsburgh and Kansas City and Phoenix, and a lot of places in between. They carried the rich and famous: most everyone else was traveling by train. My mother remembers trying on the ladies' fur coats, after the passengers were fed and comfortable. She also remembers flights when ice and clouds meant that the plane kept flying until there was a clear place to descend, sometimes miles past the scheduled airport.

My dad was also a traveler. When I was growing up, we drove across the country every year, just to see things. We visited all the state capitals, the big universities, the famous historic homes. I thought everyone did that on their vacations.

After I entered college, my parents went international. First, Mexico and Central America. Then Europe, Africa, Asia. They crossed the whole of Russia 30 years ago. My mother has managed to travel to every continent but Antarctica. She's not interested in going there now. "Too cold," she says.

That's my mom, 85 and going strong. She's determined, informed, opinionated and on the go. This year she's already traveled on a boat trip down the Mississippi and taken three shorter excursions. Next fall we're cruising the St. Lawrence River. She's arranging the trip. I'm going along as the companion. Hope I can keep up.

 

Education News

By Tom Steen

Sociology, first aid and CPR courses offered

More continuing education opportunities are being offered this summer.

Pueblo Community College, Pagosa Campus, has added an "Introduction to Sociology" class (SOC 101-621) to its summer schedule. This class meets Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from June 12 through July 7. Class time is from 5:30 to 9:15 p.m. Call now for additional information. The new Pueblo Community College phone number at the Education Center is 264-0445.

The Education Center continues to offer a variety of First Aid and CPR classes. The newly revised "Standard First Aid and CPR" course is designed to train anyone to respond quickly and appropriately to any emergency. It offers students the most current emergency response information available and teaches them what to do when help is delayed at an emergency scene.

A Standard First Aid Class is scheduled Saturday at the Bayfield Fire Station. This class, taught by Rod Richardson, is from 8 a.m. to noon. The tuition fee is $32 with a one-time $5 registration fee. Kathy Conway will teach another Standard First Aid class from 6 to 10 p.m. on May 18.

A CPR Re-Certification class will be held at the Pagosa Springs High School on May 16. This class, taught by Pete Peterson, will be held from 6 to 10 p.m. The tuition fee is $19 for recertification and $27 for a new CPR certificate.

Marie Lattin will teach a "First Aid and CPR for Infants and Children" class, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on June 3. The class, held at the Education Center, has a tuition fee of $53 with a one-time $5 registration fee. This unique class will prepare participants to provide care and reduce the risk of preventable injuries to children, toddlers and infants. All components of this ground-breaking course address the unique physiology of infants and children. CPR training for children and infants is a part of this course.

Equestrians, do you ever wonder what talented riders are really doing? Why is it what they tell you they are doing doesn't work for you? The answer is that what they are doing is so natural to them that they can't describe it in words. Imagine trying to describe to someone how to get out of a chair, walk to and open the front door. It seems so obvious to you that the words don't exist to adequately describe the process, and that is also the case with really talented riders.

Fortunately, a number of people including physicists and physiologists have studied what talented riders are really doing. Sue Walan will be teaching a class called "The Classical Seat" at the Education Center from 6 to 9 p.m. on June 6 and 8. This class will be a brief overview of their work. Students will watch videos, study pictures, learn exercises and, weather permitting, organize a class on horseback.

 

Library News

By Lenore Bright

'Women's War Memoirs' opens a hidden corner of history

Billie Riggs brought us an autographed copy of "Women's War Memoirs," by Rosemary Eckroat Bachle. The book is packed with intimate glimpses of a hidden corner of women's history. The author interviewed women who shared their memories of the "good war." Billie Riggs authored one of the vignettes. There is already a waiting list for this book, so get your name on it as soon as possible. Our thanks to Billie for sharing this piece of history. Where were you on that day of infamy?

Weeminuche meaning

A nice lady came in several weeks ago to ask if we could verify the actual meaning and spelling of "Weeminuche, or Weminuche." After much research, we can say that the Weeminuche were one of five bands of Ute Indians. There is no agreement on the spelling. Weeminuche supposedly means, " people who keep to the old ways." If anyone has more information to share, we would appreciate it.

Water display

Do you have questions about water issues? Water in Colorado is treated as private property that is bought, sold and, at times, can be separated from the land on which it is used. Developers of subdivisions do not always sell the rights to the water with the land.

The library is currently hosting an outstanding display on water issues in the Southwest. This display is courtesy of the San Juan Water Conservancy District. Come in and pick up some of the free brochures on water issues.

Clean-up week

Mayor Ross Aragon wanted to remind us all that next week is "Clean-Up Week." Our town is looking great and this cooperative effort just makes it better.

And we also want to encourage you to attend the Local Appreciation Sidewalk Sales sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce. This is our chance to say thank you to our local merchants.

Hyperactivity, ADHD

Tom O'Hare donated a book, "Hyperactivity, ADHD and New Solutions." We have quite a collection of books, pamphlets, and websites for parents struggling with problems related to attention deficit disorder.

Kids books

We always love the lists. These are top-ten books that made a lasting impression: "The Wizard of Oz" (1900), "Tales of Peter Rabbit" (1902), "Little House in the Big Woods" (1935), "A Wrinkle in Time" (1962), "Where the Wild Things Are" (1963), "The Book of Three" (1964), "The House Dies Drear" (1968), "Julie of the Wolves" (1972), "Strega Nona" (1975), "Bridge to Terabithia" (1977). The list was developed by the "Journal of Children's Literature." We found the chronological times interesting. There seem to be some pretty wide gaps. What children's book impressed you? Let us know. We'll post our own list. Raggedy Ann was one of my favorites.

Senior resources

May is Older Americans Month. The state sent us a list of selected websites and print publications available free of charge. Ask at the desk for a copy of this publication.

A funny

It seems that one of our patrons borrowed a paperback and went shopping for groceries at City Market. By mistake the book got on the conveyer belt at the checkout stand, and the patron got charged for the book. Beware: everything has bar codes anymore.

Donations

Materials came from Diane Fryar, Victoria Landon, Nita Heitz, Barbara Browne, Robert Sparks, Mr. and Mrs. Phil Heitz, Eric Maedgen, Marty Johnson, Betty and Dick Hillyer, Carole and Bob Howard, and Grace Qualls.

Oprah's newest book, "The Bluest Eye" is in. It is by Toni Morrison, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature.

Editorials
Sound investment

A prominent headline in the center of the Jan. 21,

1971, edition of The Pagosa Springs SUN stated,

"Superintendent of schools resignation." The superintendent's resignation was to become effective June 30.

Midway through the article on the Jan. 19, 1971, school board meeting was a sentence that stated; "Terry Alley was issued a contract as a social science teacher for the remainder of the year at a salary of $3,168 until school is out this spring."

It was one of the soundest investments School District 50 Joint has ever made.

Assigned to teach social studies in both the junior high and high school, Terry's influence on students became effective immediately.

A bright side to Terry's announcement is that his resignation will not become effective until July 1, 2001. District 50 Joint has another 13 months in which to experience his leadership. Even then, his positive influence on the public schools in Pagosa Springs will continue for many years.

The overwhelming passage of the November 1996 school bond issue that enabled construction of the new high school should ensure the district will benefit from Terry's successful tenure as superintendent long after July 1, 2001.

The residual benefits of the 1996 school bond election will not be realized for another 10 years. The new high school opening in September 1998 was just one benefit. With the moving of the fifth and sixth grade students to the often remodeled former junior high building, the class sizes and the teacher-pupil ratio at the elementary school improved significantly . The move likewise benefited the fifth and sixth graders in the newly-formed intermediate school as well as the junior high students who occupied the former high school building.

The 1998-99 school year was the first time in many years that the students were attending school, and the faculty was teaching in uncrowded classrooms and sufficient facilities.

The Pagosa Springs High School graduating class of 2010 should invite Terry to deliver its commencement address. For it was his patient, insightful leadership that laid the foundation for the current and ongoing success of the education system in Pagosa's public schools.

David C. Mitchell

 

Dear Folks

By David C. Mitchell

Teacher plays an important role

Dear Folks,

Another friendly fixture concluded his tenure with Saturday night's performance of "The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail."

After 24 years of student productions at the high school, Jack Ellis, drama coach, play director and English teacher took his final curtain call on the stage at Pagosa Springs High School. It was fitting that when he finally rang the curtain down, Jack received his concluding applause in a genuine auditorium.

Twenty-four years ago the high school productions were performed on the raised area at the south end of the old gym. The audience sat in folding metal chairs that were arranged on the gym floor. The best performance of all was that the students acted as if they were acting on an authentic stage and the audience acted as if they were in an auditorium.

It's debatable whether the mezzanine area - a fancy term for the wrestling team's practice room - in the new gym was an improvement. The floor served as a stage, and with no curtain, the productions featured theater-in-the-round type performances.

Actually, rather than being in the round, the portable aluminum bleacher seats were arranged in the configuration of a three-sided box.

Like many who experience success and satisfaction in Pagosa Springs, for the past 24 years, Jack made the best of what was available rather making a fuss about what was missing.

The main reason the performances he directed always offered enjoyable entertainment is that Jack focused on his student actors rather than their substandard accommodations.

As to whether he saved his best for last, I'm not a drama critic so I can't say.

But I suspect Jack closed with The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail because it delivered a message, no many messages he wanted to convey.

Folks who exercise a skillful command of the English language enjoy an admirable ability. They can curse you to your face with words and terms that are acceptable in the best of company without letting on - or you even being aware - that they have cursed you.

Being the discrete person that Jack is, no one in particular was being cursed at by the performance, even in the most applicable acceptable English. Instead the delivery of the script addressed many of our nation's weaknesses (past, present and seemingly perpetual) such as Pharisaical Protestantism, racism, gun-barrel diplomacy, gender stereotyping, the encroachment of the environment and the profitability of philosophical principles. As the weaknesses, it was a timeless message.

I've never had the privilege of sitting in on any of Jack's classroom presentations, but I'm sure they are comparable to what he and his young cast - Clay Pruitt, Robinson Cortez, Trae Fisher, Stephen Schofield, Nora Fabris, Ian Widmer, Kristen Bishop, Brett Kohn, Hillary Wienpahl, Chris Tautges, Justin Smith, Callie Smock, Adam Timmerman, Joanna Coleman and Melissa Marks - offered Friday and Saturday night.

As I enjoyed Jack's production Saturday night, I wished parts of the play had not been presented to an all-school assembly. There were some worthwhile lessons for students and educators alike.

That's one thing I've admired about Jack, though an English teacher for the past 24 years, he has not taught a subject, he has taught students.

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

David

 

25 years ago

Chamber out of debt

Taken from SUN files

of May 15, 1975

Chamber of Commerce directors met last Friday to discuss business matters and hear reports. The treasurer reported the chamber didn't have much money but that for the first time in a long time, wasn't in debt. Memberships are still down with many business houses not yet paying their dues.

A naval hero of World War II, Admiral Arleigh Burke, was a distinguished visitor in Pagosa Springs last week. He is a personal friend of Fred and Lola Harman. Admiral Burke served as Chief of Naval Operations for three terms, longer than any other admiral in history. During the war, a squadron of destroyers under his command adopted the insignia of Little Beaver.

Latest reports are that the San Juan Lumber Company mill will be sawing some boards no later than next Monday. The mill may not attain full capacity for several days since repairs and adjustments must be made to get the machinery functioning smoothly.

The Archuleta County Cowbelles met Monday to install Sandy Bramwell, president; Jeanette King, vice-president; Gloria Macht, secretary; Fern Shahan, treasurer; and Mary Caywood, historian-reporter, new officers for the coming year.

 

Legacies

By Shari Pierce

Howe family laid to rest at Pioneer Cemetery

Last week, I wrote about some of the pioneers who are buried in the old cemetery on South 10th Street. Three that I did not write about then, I will write about this week. They represent to me the saddest story of those laid to rest there.

In the Sept. 1, 1892 edition of the Pagosa Springs News, B.W. Ritter informed readers of William I. Howe's intent to make final proof of his homestead claim. Ritter, registrar of the Land Office at Durango, reported Howe would appear before the district clerk of the Archuleta County court in Pagosa Springs on Oct. 3, 1892, to "prove his continuous residence and cultivation upon said land. . . ."

Two columns over, on the same page, D.L. Egger, publisher and editor of the News, reported on the Aug. 24, 1892, gun battle which claimed county commissioner Howe's life.

Howe was a respected member of the community and tragedy had come his way several times. Page one of the Aug. 26, 1892, edition of the News reported, "Abraham, the five-month-old son of Wm. I. Howe, died on August 23, 1892 of dysentery, and the remains were buried at Pagosa Springs today (Wednesday). The child's mother died a few days after his birth and there is now none of Mr. Howe's family remaining."

Thus, the stage was set for a final tragedy.

Following the funeral and burial of his infant son on the morning of Aug. 24, Howe returned to his ranch on the West Fork of the San Juan River to mourn his loss. He was joined by his brother, Abe, and their friend, Joe Mann.

That same say, Juan D. Montoya and his brother Donaciano, sons of the prominent Luis Montoya of Del Norte, and Candido Antencio were herding 20,000 sheep along the west bank of the San Juan in hopes of taking the shortest route to the Cat Creek area.

About "one o'clock in the afternoon Wm. and Abe Howe and Joe Mann, all armed and on horses, crossed the river to ask the herders to move on."

As could be expected, "In regards as to who opened fire first, the parties to the affair fail to agree." But, by the time the shooting ended, Juan Montoya was wounded, William Howe was struck by four bullets, and "one bullet passed through Joe's shirts and bruised the skin above his hip."

William Howe was able to ride back across the river where he slumped and fell off his horse. There his brother and Joe Mann found him and took him back to the house where he died.

A little more about this early-day tragedy next week.

 

Features
Video Review

By Roy Starling

Lola runs and it's fun to watch

This is kind of weird, really.

It's a lie, is what it is. The appearance of this column, along with my smiling face in the photo, suggests that I'm still in town. But I'm not! Thanks to the newfangled, high-tech, electronic, information super highway of love (i.e., e-mail), I am able to write this from my empty house in a lovely section of Orlando known as College Park (not because it's near a college, but because all the streets are named after famous academic institutions of higher learning, such as Harvard, Yale, Princeton and Florida State).

Many of you were telling me how hot and humid it would be when I got here. Wrong! The days have been clear, dry, warm and breezy, the nights cool as the proverbial cucumber. I still haven't turned on my air conditioner, and my glasses still haven't started sliding down my nose. So knock it off about the heat and humidity already!

And one other thing. I no longer look anything like my picture. I've put on a whole bunch of weight and I'm practically bald. Still, I'm going to ask that Isberg continue to run the old photo in the Preview as a reminder of the days when I was still mildly attractive, at least by some standards.

And now . . .

The actual review

Just before I left Pagosa Springs, I was delighted to find a copy of "Run, Lola, Run," a 1999 German film that's just a whole lot of fun to watch. I can't tell you where to find it, but trust me, it's in the city, I mean town.

Here's the plot, such as it is. Lola gets a call from her boyfriend in which he tells her he's in grave danger due to his misplacing a huge sum of money he had picked up for the mob. She tells him not to do anything desperate until she gets there - she'll think of something. He gives her until noon. It's 11:40 a.m. She has just 20 minutes, so she starts running.

"Run, Lola, Run" satisfies on a couple of levels. On the one hand, for people who want a visual feast when they watch a movie, this film has it. On the other hand, viewers who like a movie that's as rich and thought provoking as a good work of literature, well, "Lola" is that, too.

This film certainly gives you a lot of different looks, and in the middle of pretty much all of them is an eye-catching young actress named Franka Potente with her fire-truck red hair. She plays Lola, and it sure is fun to watch her run and run and run. She doesn't run with the sleek economy of a cross country star or a mountain lion, but rather with a kind of combination of desperation and gritty determination. This is not a glide - Lola is clearly battling the limits of space and time, struggling against gravity and the baggage of her body.

Thankfully, the camera's all over her, all around her. It leads her, it trails her. It watches from a crane shot above and from low-angle, ground-level shots. It zooms in close to catch the anguish in her face, both in profile and head on. A woman running with her hair on fire. What a sight!

With the thumping of techno music in the background, we get long and short shots, animation, dizzying camera gyrations and still-shot montages. It's all there, everything movies can do to entertain us visually.

And then there are those things to think about. The film begins with a couple of epigraphs, the first from the poet T.S. Eliot's "Little Gidding": "We shall not cease from exploration / And the end of all our exploring / Will be to arrive where we started / And know the place for the first time." The next is from someone named S. Herberger, and I'm sorry to admit I have no idea who s/he is: "After the game is before the game."

Before we've had time to mull over these bits of profundity, we hear a voice-over reminding us that man is "a mystery of unanswered questions. Who are we? Where do we come from? Where are we going? How do we know what we think we know?" Our answers, we are told, will invariably "give rise to new questions."

While some of us are pondering these weighty issues, and others are blowing them off because they already have everything figured out and will never have another new idea the rest of their days, we see a man (who will turn out to have an important role in the movie) holding a soccer ball. "The ball is round," he says. "The game lasts 90 minutes. That's a fact. Everything else is pure theory."

The ball sails into the air, the clock starts ticking, the "game" begins, Lola gets her call and starts running.

What does it all mean? I have no idea, but it sure is a lot of fun. I think it's about love (Lola and her boyfriend are a couple in the truest sense of the word), about the arbitrariness of time (why 20 minutes? why not 19 or 21?), about timing, about the significance of chance events, about luck.

You should know that "Run, Lola, Run" tells the "same" story three different times. In between the first and second version and the second and third version, we see the couple alone, asking each other troublesome questions: "Why do you think you love me? Wouldn't you just love someone else if I weren't here? How do you know you love me? Is it just a feeling? What would you do if I died?"

These interludes are cerebral. They're about questions, speculations, "pure theory." The rest of the film is game, action, that is, Lola makes decisions and acts on them, running like a midfielder gone berserk, doing whatever she must to save the one she loves.

How is this movie, or life, like a soccer game? How does Lola "earn" two extra chances to get it right? How many of us get to revise our lives, our reality, except perhaps through dreams and stories? How thin is the line between tragic loss and abundance? What does that nice quote from Eliot have to do with Lola's exploring and with ours? What must I do to get my hair to be as red as Lola's?

These are questions thoughtful people like to sit around and toy with after seeing "Run, Lola, Run." And I ask another one: "Why aren't there more fun movies like 'Run, Lola, Run'?"

Food for Thought

By Karl Isberg

Mayor's gem of recipe for success

I'm driving on U.S. 160, just west of Bayfield.

I motor down a hill; I see the Kubota dealership, I spot the Billy Goat Saloon.

In a flash, I know what I will do with the rest of my life.

I will be the mayor of Gem Village!

With me at the helm, Gem Village will be transformed into the next great Four Corners destination: the perfect community to visit, to move to - an ideal town in which to raise children, a place to build a garish log home and spend the Golden Years as life's sun begins to set.

Once I realized my destiny, I underwent a change.

No more cynicism.

No more sarcasm.

I started thinking happy, productive thoughts. It was odd. At first, I feared I'd contracted a malevolent virus loosed during the destruction of the rain forests. Was I running a fever or bleeding from significant orifices?

Nope, no fever. No leakage.

I'm not sick, I realized. I'm becoming a better person, with shorter horizons and marginal expectations. I'm happy! I'm satisfied with minimal accomplishments, thrilled by trivial things, "real" things. I grow delirious when I contemplate the prospect of another charity auction. I appreciate cowboy art and simple-minded sentiment.

When I got back to Pagosa, I went to the Education Center (or The Education Center as its administrators call it) and signed up for a class. I learned to speak Boosterese, and I received three credits from A backwater community college.

My vocabulary was studded with words like "wow" and "golly." Every expression was gilded with superlatives. I lost sight of a key maxim: If everything is great, nothing is great.

Everything was great!

I was going to make a difference!

Using Boosterese, I was a paragon of positive thinking, the Dale Carnegie of rural southwest Colorado. To power an empire, you must supply the emotional fuel. You must make people BELIEVE.

I drafted a letter to the citizens of Gem Village, explaining their good fortune and giving them a glimpse of the glories that await them. I am in the process of completing a bulk mailing of my inspirational message.

Here is what I wrote. (Please note the use of exclamation points! An exclamation point means the writer is excited! Clear-headed! Credulous! Assured!)

"Good people of Gem Village, be calm. . . I come in peace.

I bear titillating tidings as the herald of a new day for your quaint village, the harbinger of a profound change in your quality of life!

I bring you a future summed up in one word: Wowzers!

I have learned much in my nearly fifteen years in Pagosa Springs, your heretofore superior neighbor to the east - a community that, until we move Gem Village into the new millennium, is the Greatest Most Fantastic Most Neato Place Anywhere.

Fear not, this situation will not last long with me as your mayor. There will be no second best for Gem Village.

Gee whillikers, I'm excited!

Everything really, really super! When you live in Gem Village, every new day is as magnificent as the last. Maybe more so! Get used to this way of thinking! Gem Village will be just the absolute most terrific place and just the most special town anywhere!

Whaddya think?

Huh?

Here's how we'll do it. It's worked elsewhere, it'll work for the Gem.

The starting point on the road to greatness is an unverifiable history.

Let's concoct the history of our little town, our gem of a village. It'll be just flat-out incredible! It'll be rich beyond compare!

Some people say Gem Village has little or no history worth mention. They say the few things that really happened here are utterly mundane and average. But, boy howdy, we'll just talk to a few locals, swallow whatever unproven malarky they tell us and call it "history." The fact our cozy haven is only a hundred years old won't deter us. We're unique!

We'll conjure up some tales about Conquistadors or bandits or the mountain men. We'll tell people French noblemen visited the site of present-day Gem Village, burying a cache of lace doilies somewhere in the mountains nearby. And don't forget the Ancient Ones; they were piling up mud brick hovels a mere 2000 years after the Great Pyramid was constructed, and long after the Olmec had faded into dust. That's remarkable, isn't it? When in doubt, use the Ancient Ones!

Once we've cemented our place in the past with a few ambiguous myths, we'll build a museum to display horseshoes and tin cans and get down to the serious business of remaking the modern Gem Village - into the superest best goldanged place anywhere!

First, we need banners, plenty of banners. Nothing makes a town look alive and happening like banners! We need banners that symbolize the unique ambiance of Gem Village - perhaps a phthalo green field on which we emblazon the cadmium red silhouette of a riding lawnmower.

We need banners stretched across the highway touting upcoming events, once we have upcoming events. I anticipate concerts, and local theater groups doing bowdlerized versions of the classics. I envision a music festival or two - perhaps the greatest bagpipe fest in the Four Corners. We'll have an air show! We'll host the milo festival!

To promote our events and our area, we'll create a website and a video. Our theme: Move here, move here, everybody, anybody, come as fast as you can and enjoy this unspoiled ideal place! Hurry! Join us! This is a paradise; why keep it to ourselves?

We need murals, preferably murals with grossly proportioned renderings of fictitious historical characters, images that change color with exposure to ultraviolet rays giving the faces of the crude caricatures a corpse-like pallor. We'll erect signs around town that display inaccurate data about places and events, relating stories about people never associated with Gem Village. Rumor will be our skeleton, fantasy will be our muscle. We'll say Tyrone Power and Mary Pickford had a drink at the Billy Goat Saloon!

Parades? You bet! A great town needs parades!

We'll have a parade on every occasion - including King Freidl of Bohemia Day - and everyone who participates can pretend they're having the time of their lives as they chuck pieces of hard candy at people gathered to watch the spectacle. We'll have one of our Gem Village fire trucks in every parade. Do you think anyone will want to honk the air horn? Is anything more fun than earsplitting noise produced by a microcephalic riding in a fire truck?

What about telecommunications?

Got it covered!

We'll have our own overpriced and substandard cable television system with our very own local channel on which we can view endless reruns of the parades and listen to business owners read clumsily-written commercials in a stultifying monotone voice!

How about a cutting-edge health care system?

We'll be on solid footing in the 21st Century A.D.

Alternative practitioners will abound in our burgeoning community. Gem Village will become the "healing" capital of the nation. We'll prohibit studies and statistics in Gem Village; if everyone is healed, no one will die, and that will be proof enough for us. We will be the site of the first clinic to use tuning forks to cure hemorrhoids, enlarged prostates and congestive heart failure. It will be with great pride that we display a banner reading "Welcome to Gem village - High Colonic Capital of the Great Southwest."

Speaking of colonics, will there be an abundance of good food? Mmmmmm, you betcha!

Gem Village will need to increase the number of restaurants in the immediate vicinity (since there are none at present). I propose giving tax credits to at least 24 restaurateurs to aid the development of their businesses. We will allow two of the restaurants to serve palatable food, thus equaling the ratio in nearby communities.

Modern transportation?

We'll construct an airport at Gem Village! Despite the fact our airport has a dirt runway and we have no lights at the field, we will advertise the facility as capable of handling "commuter aircraft." This should draw big spenders to our beautiful town. With their money, we can build a "mall." Perhaps we'll put windows in our mall!

Growth. . .the key to a desirable world. We'll grow, I promise! If there are goofs out there with a bit of discretionary income, we'll lure them to Gem Village.

Rampant subdivision of all nearby ranch properties is a must if Gem Village is to realize its potential. I'll encourage a developer to redub a local geographic landmark and use it as the name for his subdivision - something like "Rio Trombone." The developer can make up a legend to chum gullible prospective buyers.

"Yep, one day the bus taking the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra to a concert at Salt Lake City stopped here and the first-chair trombone player got out and dropped dead, right here, right next to the Kubota backhoe. Ever since, on moonless nights, people say you can hear the plaintive moan of that trombone. You can hear it for only $250,000."

What about education, Mr. Mayor?

Glad you asked.

I intend to start a school system in Gem Village. It'll be the greatest school system you can imagine and the kids will be the most glorious little people you've ever met! Real go-getters!

I'll guarantee that every single one of our students is on the honor roll! Not just three-quarters of the student body, like in other communities in the area.

When mommie and daddy complain about difficult classes, I'll have the teacher and principal fired and I'll personally raise little Betsy's grade. What do I care if only a small percentage of the kids can read? Why cut into their television time? Who needs high standards when you can guarantee success?

We're going to need money, so I'll encourage visits to our precious hamlet.

Our economy will depend on tourists, and we will attract numerous businesses that deal in adorable kitsch and schlock. We'll have a colony of artists in Gem village, using the Kubota dealership and the Billy Goat as image-fodder for their delightful work. We'll sell their prints and postcards to people from Texas.

Though we'll designate a weed-choked lot on the outskirts of town as an Industrial Park, we won't waste time on productive activities. Aside from sales at the Kubota dealership, the dollars that flow in our economic stream will come from happy visitors.

People will rush to share our beautiful part of the universe with us! Many of them will visit, then decide to move here, to join us in our own Eden, to help us raise our assessed valuation and put a burden on our meager public services. Who can blame them?

For people who don't intend to become permanent residents, we'll provide mind-boggling accommodations - stunning timeshare units that, while they have identical floorplans and are placed in uniform rows, feature some of the most beautiful views known to man! We'll put a slight curve in the streets to avoid the inevitable comparison with a concentration camp.

And finally, we will have the best darned neighbors imaginable!

Every great town must have its doppelganger - a symmetrical, opposite entity existing nearby - and Gem village will be no different!

There is a high plateau located north of Gem Village. Atop that plateau, I will have several subdivisions constructed. A legally enforceable set of covenants and restrictions will require a property owners association that can wedge immense amounts of money out of its constituents! What a great idea! Retired middle management types will flock to the area! They are real get-to-it folks. Angry and frustrated get-to-it folks.

Running on the premise that if you collect a lot of money you must be real, the people will name their subdivisions Gem Puddles - although you won't be able to find Gem Puddles on any map other than the one hand-drawn by the association's general manager.

The Gem Puddles Property Owners Association will become a shelter for befuddled and idle people, and they will use their participation in association activities to convince themselves they are viable and potent. What a great place! What a fab addition to the community!

In order to toy with the feebs at Gem Puddles, I'll initiate an aggressive annexation program, nabbing every commercial parcel between Bayfield and the Durango city limit. I'll engineer it so all the sales tax revenues are put to use redecorating the Billy Goat Saloon, the rock shop and the 24 restaurants located on our quarter mile of highway frontage in downtown Gem Village. The residents of Gem Puddles will periodically storm down to Town Hall, filling the place with irate gals in goofy hats and addled retired guys in cheap knit pants, there to vent their capillary-bursting rage on our town officials.

When the bozos roll into town hall complaining about nonexistent crime waves, loud car sound systems, or dog control, I intend to feed them, compliments of the great town of Gem Village. We are nothing, if not generous.

I'll need a toothsome concoction that can be prepared on a grand scale. When elitist outsiders are upset, they get mighty hungry!

Parking myself in the new community kitchen built with excess sales tax revenues, I'll whip up some shellfish linguine, and serve it with steamed, buttered green beans and warm French bread.

The sauce is simplicity itself. I'll melt a serious hunk of butter in a pan over medium heat and sauté several cloves of minced garlic (for each four servings). Taking care to not let the garlic brown and get bitter. I'll add clam juice and reduce by two-thirds, then salt and pepper the reduction to taste.

With the linguine cooking and a micron this side of al dente, I'll chuck scallops (whole bay scallops or sea scallops cut in quarters) and a batch of shelled shrimp into the sauce. Making haste, I'll throw in a mess of whipping cream, more salt and pepper as needed and a fistful of chopped fresh parsley. I'll be careful not to overcook the mix, since the scallops, in particular, will get tough in a flash. Too much heat, and the shrimp will shrink and get as tight as a Gem Puddles retiree's wallet.

The al dente linguine will be added to the sauce and tossed, allowing for pan time so the pasta can absorb the creamy, clammy goodness, I'll serve the pasta with fresh-grated Parmesan on the side.

After they've eaten, everyone will be happy.

'What a mayor,' they'll say. What a remarkable place to live, to raise a family, to squander those glorious Golden years!

Wowee! Gem Village will be the most extraordinary place in all of human history. Can yuh think of a better place? Huh? Can yuh?

Could there be better people anywhere on the globe? Huh?

Look out the window. See the trees? Feel the energy? It will always be 75 degrees in Gem Village, with 20 percent humidity. You hear the music of the spheres when you open your door. If you're a cash-heavy dimwit with an SUV and an ego-bound sense of the way things work, where would you rather be?

As your mayor, I'm glad to be here to help you, to guide you.

Don't forget: you're the best people in the most wonderful town in the greatest county in the most fantastic state in the most unbelievably stupendous country on the top-of-the-line continent on the undeniably grandest planet in the absolute most consequential solar system in the most esteemed galaxy in the. . ."

Pacing Pagosa

By Richard Walter

Pedestrians can't be too careful

Sometimes, no matter how careful you are, you'll walk right into trouble.

It makes no difference that you've been walking for 10, 20 or 30 years and that you are always cautious about the areas you walk in.

I'm a perfect example.

During the early stages of construction on the new Lewis Street-U.S. 160 intersection I walked right into an excavation.

I was going west on 160 where sidewalks were blocked. An excavation north to south across 160 was being filled with cement. I was watching that action closely and facing directly into a bright sun as I Iooked for a way around the activity.

What I failed to notice was that a trench also had been cut along the south side of 160 to accommodate new utility lines. Orange cones marking the area were in place, though some of them had been blown over.

As a result, I walked directly into the hole. Dennis Ford, from a town public works crew, helped pull me out and though at first in mild shock, I suffered no serious injury - save to my pride.

The point is, pedestrians need to be as careful as do the drivers who should watch out for them.

Too often pedestrians in the downtown area attempt to cross the busiest thoroughfare in town without going to one of the convenient crosswalks. Motorists have been alerted by signs at town limits that pedestrians in crosswalks have the right of way. Generally, my experience has been that if you are in a crosswalk they will stop.

Trying to cross at any other location is taking your life in your hands.

At the same time, I've been surprised at the number of local drivers who block pedestrian progress by stopping across sidewalks as they wait to enter traffic flow. I know the frustration of waiting for long lines of traffic to pass, but blocking the path of pedestrians won't get you out onto the street any more quickly.

Another pet peeve of those of us who walk for both recreational and health reasons is the failure of drivers to observe stop signs.

One of the worst locations I've encountered is the intersection of Eighth and Apache streets. Eighth is signed for traffic to stop; Apache is not. Pedestrians attempting to cross Apache have to watch not only the drivers on that street but those turning off Eighth without stopping.

I know that a plea for traffic control signals at that intersection was rejected, so maintaining proper vigilance is a necessity for all who pass through it - afoot or on wheels.

I've been witness to two near collisions at that intersection caused by drivers who did not stop for the stop sign and on another occasion saw a pedestrian scamper to avoid being hit by a southbound vehicle turning east off Eighth without stopping.

Another bad location for stop-sign violations is at Lewis and Third streets where Lewis is signed for stops but Third (a steep hill at this point) is not. Sometimes it seems drivers misinterpret the word STOP to mean Speed-up to obliterate pedestrian.

A number of senior citizens and handicapped people who regularly walk downtown and to the Post Office, have complained of the short walk time on the controlled intersection of Pagosa and Fourth streets. Maybe the state could set the timers to allow a few more seconds for them.

Walkers, power-walkers, joggers and even casual strollers must attempt to stay out of traffic lanes because they are legally restricted to wheeled traffic. Bicyclists, skateboarders, rollerbladers and motorcyclists, therefore, should keep out of the areas where they are restricted by law and by sign so indicating.

In areas with unpaved roads and no sidewalks, this sometimes becomes a little tricky, but there is plenty of room for all users as long as they obey the law and look out for each other.

While we're talking about obeying the law, I suggest someone watch what happens at the Pagosa Springs Post Office after hours. Not only do people use the wrong entrances and exits, but youngsters on bicycles and skateboards are continually honing their skills in the loading ramp areas directly in front of a sign barring such activity. The bicyclists, at least, are usually wearing helmets.

We all love this beautiful county and we all want to see its various locales without having to fear for our lives.

As I pointed out earlier, you can't be too careful.

Book Review

By John Motter

New Mexico history has local ties

Understanding New Mexico history is a must for anyone who really wants to understand Pagosa Country history. Any history buff reading "Legacy of Honor" by Jacqueline Dorgan Meketa will be taking a giant step toward fulfilling that understanding.

"Legacy of Honor" is the biography of Rafael Chacón (1833-1925), a "nineteenth century New Mexican." Chacón witnessed the New Mexico uprising against mother Mexico in 1837, Manuel Armijo's defeat in 1841 of armed Texans planning to take over New Mexico, the American takeover of New Mexico in 1846, and the Taos uprising of 1847. Much later, while in his seventies, Chacón wrote his memoirs. Much of this book contains his eyewitness view of these events, and many others, told in his own words.

As a member of a New Mexico ruling family, Chacón was educated in Old Mexico and schooled in the use of military arms. Consequently he fought under the United States flag as a member of several New Mexico militia units. Among those campaigns was the 1855 campaign against the Southern Utes and Jicarilla Apaches fought in the San Luis Valley and Huerfano country around Walsenberg. These campaigns, directed by Kit Carson then commanding Fort Garland, cleared the way for settlement in the San Luis Valley.

During the war between the states, Chacón captained a company of native New Mexicans resisting the Confederate invasion of New Mexico. His troops took part in the Battle of Valverde, one of the deadliest battles of the Civil War, considering the number of men involved.

Later, Chacón led sorties against Navajo and Mescalero Apache Indians, rising to the rank of major even though he spoke no English. Finally, at the age of 37, Chacón retired from the military and set about raising his family. Chief among the many factors leading to Chacón's retirement was the prejudice he received from many of the regular army officers.

Upon retirement, Chacón settled in the Trinidad area where he is still honored as one of the founding fathers.

A major value of the biography of Chacón is the insight it provides on the life styles and thinking of native New Mexicans immediately before, during, and following the American takeover of New Mexico. Chacón's viewpoint is admittedly that of a rico, one of the ruling class that controlled the medieval society of New Mexico prior to its Americanization.

Those who think of those early New Mexicans will be surprised to learn of their industry, enterprise, and life quality, even though for 300 years they were hemmed in by Indians better armed and more powerful than the state militia. Every home contained a "good bow and arrow" used for hunting and to fight Indians.

During his lifetime, Chacón was a merchant, trader on the Santa Fe Trail, buffalo hunter, soldier, Indian fighter, state legislator, settler, and family man.

"Legacy of Honor" is available in paperback and contains 439 pages. Published by Yucca Tree Press of Las Cruces, N.M., in February of 2000, the book was first published by University of New Mexico Press. Meketa has also written "Louis Felsenthal, Citizen-Soldier of Territorial New Mexico," "From Martyrs to Murders: The Old Southwest's Saints, Sinners, and Scalawags," and with Charles Maketa, "One Blanket and Ten Days Rations."

Locally, the book can be obtained from Moonlight Books.

 

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