Front Page
September 7, 2000
Town Hall construction projected at $2,088,990
By Karl Isberg

The bidding process for work on the new Town Hall on Hot Springs Boulevard is complete except for the landscaping portion of the project, and a sizable amount of the work will go to local suppliers and subcontractors.

While a value engineering review remains to be completed, cost estimates for the project - set at $2,052,396 during the design development phase - stand at $2,088,990 if town officials approve all design extras and alternatives.

The construction management firm Colorado Jaynes of Durango, completed the second phase of the project bid package in late August in conformance with the desire expressed by town officials that local participation in the project be a goal in the bidding process.

Completed earlier in the summer the first bid phase involved earth work, site work and foundation concrete work. The recently completed bid package includes the remainder of the work on the new building, with the exception of landscaping.

Colorado Jaynes announced a total of $1,317,517 in major subcontracts and purchase orders recommended for the project. Of that amount, $888,462 of the major subcontracts and recommended purchase orders were offered to local bidders.

Specific dollar amounts on bids cannot be released until subcontractors and suppliers sign contracts. However, it is known that, while 67 percent of the dollar volume involved in the construction of the new Town Hall will go to local subcontractors and vendors, those subcontractors and vendors comprise 56 percent of the companies involved with the project.

Pagosa Springs Town Administrator Jay Harrington told town trustees Tuesday that work on the building concrete, including stem walls, is nearly complete with framing for the new structure set to begin soon.

Harrington also reported the town is requesting a second payment from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs on a $225,000 Energy Impact Grant awarded to the Town Hall project. The state sent the town $25,000 of the grant amount last December and with town expenses on the Town Hall project currently at $230,674, the request for remainder of the grant was prepared.

Amendment 24 opt-out proposals barred from ballot By John M. Motter

The Colorado attorney general has thwarted counties hoping to achieve an early escape from the impacts of Referendum 24, the no growth initiative.

Amendment 24, already cleared for the Nov. 7 general election ballot, contains a provision allowing counties with a population of less than 25,000 residents to place a question on the ballot allowing voters the option of having the county submit to the proposal, should it pass in the Nov. 7 election, or to release the county from the proposal's provisions.

At least two counties in Colorado have placed the "opt out" item on their Nov. 7, 2000, ballot, the same ballot containing Amendment 24.

Approximately 50 Archuleta County citizens lobbied the county commissioners Tuesday to do the same. The commissioners refused to take formal action, but scheduled a special meeting tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. to consider the issue.

Subsequent to the Tuesday meeting, June Madrid, the Archuleta County election official, has been in touch with Colorado Attorney General Ken Salazar.

"The attorney general is saying that both items cannot be on the same ballot," Madrid said. "Since Referendum 24 has not been voted on and is not a law, the attorney general is saying counties cannot take an action avoiding a law which has not been passed."

Tomorrow's meeting will be conducted anyway, according to Kathy Wendt, administrative assistant in the commissioners' office.

Discussion also will be held concerning a second agenda item, adoption of a county-wide use tax. Such a tax could be imposed against building materials purchased elsewhere and brought into the county, thereby avoiding the payment of county sales taxes.

Concerning the no-growth initiative, those persons at the commissioners meeting Tuesday largely represented real estate sales and the building industry. They expressed fear that approval of Amendment 24 by voters across the state will kill real estate sales and building in Archuleta County bringing the local economy to a standstill.

Mary Weiss, the Archuleta County attorney, advised the commissioners that, in her opinion, the county does not have the authority to place the "opt out" provision on the Nov. 7, 2000, ballot. Two of the commissioners, Ken Fox and Bill Downey, said they will follow Weiss' advice. The third commissioner, Gene Crabtree, after saying "I've always been a gambler," said he favors putting the issue on the coming ballot. No vote was taken by the commissioners, who chose to wait for Friday's meeting before taking formal action.

Also urging action now by agreeing with Crabtree that the item should be placed on the coming ballot was Alden Ecker, a Republican Commissioner District 2 candidate on the Nov. 7 ballot.

The gamble Crabtree referred to concerns advice by Weiss that, even if the item is placed on the Nov. 7 ballot and approved by county voters, the attorney general or a subsequent law suit might find the amendment unconstitutional, wreaking havoc with actions taken during the interim.

Weiss argued that the county can and will continue to issue building permits through the coming year effectively guaranteeing the continuation of building in the county.

If Amendment 24 passes, the vote allowing counties with a population under 25,000 to opt out could be held during November of 2001. During the interim, according to Weiss, the time could be used to assess the affects of legal tests.

Amendment 24 proposes adoption of a constitutional amendment concerning the management of development and specifying that local governments, unless otherwise excepted, shall approve development only in areas committed to development or within future growth areas in accordance with voter-approved growth area maps.

The measure applies only to local governments and defines local governments as all statutory, charter, and home rule cities and towns, home rule and statutory counties, and cities and counties.

The measure specifies that its terms shall apply to all counties with a population in excess of 10,000 residents according to the most recent population surveys. The governing body of any county whose population is less than 25,000 residents may submit a referred question to the voters exempting for a period of four years the entire county and all local governments within it from the requirements of the measure.

Local governments will be required to delineate areas committed to development and describe the kinds and extent of growth and development allowed.

Certain exceptions are allowed including:

- Development that does not require any further local government approvals or requires only the issuance of a building permit

- Development or subdivision of land consistent with a valid development application in conformity with the provisions of the measure

- The creation of no more than three lots of no more than two acres each to accommodate residences of immediate family members of an agricultural property owner

- A division of land that is not subject to control as a subdivision of land based upon statutes in effect at the time such land is subdivided

- Publicly owned facilities necessary for public health, safety, or welfare

- A division of land that is permitted by statute as a rural cluster development as of the effective date of the measure

- Non-residential development of less than 10,000 square feet to permit retail or service use where no other retail or service uses are located within one mile of the site

- Commercial and industrial development, other than confined animal feeding operations or related facilities, that provides only goods and services to support nearby agricultural operations in an area where there are no other commercial or industrial sites within one mile.

1,610 attend first day of classes By Richard Walter

Except for a surge in Pagosa Springs Intermediate School's enrollment, things ran smoothly Tuesday on the first day of classes for students in Archuleta County District 50 Joint.

Overall, according to preliminary figures, enrollment in the district is up 106 students over last year, standing at 1,610 after the first day.

The breakdown shows the elementary school's enrollment at 561 this year compared to 551 on the first day last year; intermediate school first day attendance at 253 compared to 223 on opening day last year, with the major portion of that increase in the sixth grade; junior high opening day enrollment at 242, down 10 from last year; and high school first day attendance at 524, up from 458 at the end of last school year (figures for opening day last year were not available but preliminary estimates had put the high school population at "just under 500" for last September).

In each school, officials said few opening day problems were encountered, save the traffic and parking woes at the elementary school. Even there, the school's staff was pleased with how orderly things went with that many youngsters on hand, along many with parents for first day arrival.

"We're proud that every one of them got home safely," one school official said. "We didn't lose one getting off at the wrong bus stop or wandering onto the wrong bus."

At the intermediate school, staff said, the biggest problem was dealing with the influx of sixth graders and trying to place them in classes.

At the junior high, where enrollment was down 10, only four new students were registered on opening day and one of them was a local home-schooled pupil returning to the public school venue.

"In reality," said one secretary, "we had only three students on the first day that we had not anticipated. Enrollment in seventh grade was down two from 1999 and the drop was eight in the eighth grade."

The key enrollment figure for the school district will be that determined in October when the level at which state funding per capita is determined. One official said the district generally gains and loses about the same number of students during the first month of classes.

N. Pagosa Boulevard repair OK'd By John M. Motter

Road repairs and road maintenance designation were major topics of discussion at the regular meeting of Archuleta County commissioners Tuesday.

About $283,000 will be spent to repair portions of North Pagosa Boulevard that are deteriorating after receiving maintenance last year through the Fairfield Pagosa bankruptcy settlement agreement.

Included as a source of funds for the North Pagosa Boulevard work is about $48,000 left over from the bankruptcy settlement funds and about $235,306 from the county's road capital improvement fund.

"Last year we paved a portion of North Pagosa Boulevard as part of the bankruptcy agreement," said Kevin Walters, county road superintendent. "We paved without testing the subgrade based on a list of work given us by the county commissioners. It is now obvious that some of that paving isn't standing up because the subgrade is inferior. I recommend we go in there, repair the base, and resurface those portions of the road."

Adding to the problems with that stretch of road, according to Walters, is the growth of concrete truck traffic which has taken place since Mission Boulevard was paved. Mission Boulevard connects Piedra Road with North Pagosa Boulevard. The concrete trucks are using Mission Boulevard to reach North Pagosa Boulevard.

Fred Ebeling, from the audience and a member of the joint Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association and county road advisory committee, objected to using bankruptcy settlement funds on the project.

"You shouldn't use bankruptcy funds to cover up a county mistake," Ebeling said. "The county should have repaired those roads properly the first time."

Despite Ebeling's protest, County Commissioners Gene Crabtree, Bill Downey and Ken Fox voted unanimously to support Walters' suggestion as to the scope of work and source of funding.

Crabtree then asked what the commissioners want to do about providing maintenance or no maintenance tags on county road signs.

After some discussion, Walters was instructed to gather information as to how many signs will be needed and how much the signs will cost. Walters was instructed to report back to the commissioners at which time a decision on ordering new signs will be made. Only red signs denoting "not maintained" will be attached to the road signs.

Crabtree apparently became confused while pointing out that some non-maintained streets receive some maintenance. Crabtree asserted that all roads, whether maintained or not, are bladed for snow removal. He then asserted that non-maintained roads may be bladed at other times as well.

Walters assured Crabtree and others in the meeting room that the county does, indeed, remove snow from roads whether or not those roads are on the county maintenance schedule. Contrary to Crabtree's contention, Walters said the county does not blade any non-county maintained roads at any time except during snow removal.

During a public hearing they conducted Tuesday at 7 p.m., the commissioners unanimously adopted changes to county land-use regulations.

"The changes basically bring county regulations into compliance with state regulations and streamline the process," said Mike Mollica, director of county development. "The changes are not substantive, but should make our regulations more user friendly. For example, one change allows planning staff to permit the combination of lots instead of requiring a vote of the commissioners."

In other business Tuesday the commissioners:

- Approved a contract with Pagosa Springs Enterprises allowing the county to acquire 3.57 acres housing the county extension agent building and adjacent land at the rodeo grounds from Pagosa Springs Enterprises. The contract is in agreement with an earlier agreement between the two entities, but does not include the documents for final transfer of title to the land.

By acquiring the property, the county hopes to qualify for a Colorado Department of Local Affairs grant as a money source to add buildings for use during the county fair and other local activities.

- Adopted a resolution to approve Cloman Industrial Park Phase 2 including lots 11, 12, 16, 17, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, and 31. Cloman Industrial Park is being developed near Stevens Field by the Archuleta County Economic Development Association.

- Postponed action on a proposal to raise fees for senior citizen transportation. The proposal calls for the following changes: Senior bus fees (10 tickets) - from $2 to $5; Durango shopping trips - from $6 to $10 for senior members, $15 for non-member seniors, $20 for non-seniors, and $12.50 for persons under 16. Farmington shopping trips - from $10 to $15 for senior members, $20 for non-member seniors, $25 for non-seniors, and $12.50 for persons under 16. Local medical shuttles remain at $2 each, or $4 for non-seniors. Medical shuttles to Durango remain at $40 for a round trip. Fees for other trips will be $12.50 per hour for bus operation time and $12.50 per hour for driver's time.

Services scheduled Friday for Gilbert Art Garcia

Gilbert Art Garcia of Pagosa Springs passed away Monday, Aug. 28, 2000, in Douglas, Wyo., at the Oglalla Ranch.

Rosary will be held at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 8, 2000, at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 9, 2000. Father John Bowe will officiate with burial to follow in Aztec Cemetery.

Mr. Garcia was born Nov. 1, 1954 in Montrose, and graduated from Montrose High School in 1973. He was a rancher and true-life cowboy. He broke horses, branded cattle and rode a horse every day. The ranch was his life.

He was preceded in death by his father, Mr. Arthur Garcia, brother Jake Garcia, and sisters Ernestina and Teresita Garcia.

Mr. Garcia is survived by his mother, Mrs. Andreita Garcia Ulibarri and his stepfather, Mr. Alfredo Ulibarri of Bloomfield, N.M.; a daughter, Paula Garcia and her husband, Ray, of Monte Vista; daughter Jade Garcia of Pagosa Springs; son Jake Garcia of Pagosa Springs; grandson Ryen Garcia-Medina of Monte Vista; sisters Mary Anne Ulibarri and husband, Joe, of Aztec, N.M., Rosalie Kearney and husband, Paul, of Federal Way, Mass., Annie Archuleta and husband, Paul, of Cebolla, N.M.; brothers Jim Garcia and wife Cindy of Bloomfield, John Garcia and wife Becky of Aztec and Michael Garcia and wife Melissa of Aztec; and numerous nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles and cousins.

Two die in flurry of holiday accidents By Karl Isberg

Labor Day Holiday highway traffic was heavy in Archuleta County and was made worse by a legion of motorcyclists on their way to and from the Iron Horse Motorcycle Rally at Ignacio.

Local law enforcement and Emergency Medical Services personnel responded to numerous accidents during the holiday period, including four crashes involving motorcycle riders.

Two Dacono, Colo., cyclists were killed Sept. 2 when they collided with a vehicle being driven by a Pagosa Springs resident.

Corporal Randy Talbot of the Colorado State Patrol reported Gerald Conover, 58, and Judith Conover, 57, were riding motorcycles northbound on Colorado 151 at approximately 3:30 p.m. when the accident occurred.

Talbot said Barbara Lee Distler, 55, of Pagosa Springs was southbound on the highway in a 1993 Honda Civic when she steered into the northbound lane preparing to turn east onto County Road 500, north of Arboles. The motorcycles driven by the Conovers hit the Distler vehicle head-on.

According to Talbot, the two motorcyclists were killed by the impact.

Though the airbags in Distler's 1993 Honda Civic deployed, she was injured and flown to San Juan Regional Medical Center at Farmington, N.M., by Air Care helicopter where she was treated then released the next day. A passenger in her vehicle, an 8-year-old Pagosa boy, was not injured.

Talbot said Wednesday an investigation of the accident is still underway and that a citation is probable.

Another motorcyclist was injured Aug. 1 when he lost control of his cycle, careened through the riverside parking lot in downtown Pagosa Springs and was thrown down a steep embankment.

Pagosa Springs Police Chief Don Volger said Raymond P. Gomez, 32, of Santa Fe was driving his 1976 Harley Davidson eastbound on U.S. 160 into downtown Pagosa Springs at "an excessive rate of speed," at approximately 6:30 p.m.

Unable to make the turn at the front of the Archuleta County Courthouse, Gomez drove his speeding motorcycle through the parking lot next to the Riverside Restaurant, skidding 60 feet across the asphalt. The front wheel of the motorcycle hit a sidewalk, throwing Gomez clear of the bike. The motorcycle crashed through a wooden rail fence at the back edge of the parking lot; Gomez continued through the air, over the edge of the lot and down the steep hill, landing near the Riverwalk next to the San Juan River.

Gomez was flown to San Juan Regional Medical Center by Air Care helicopter. After treatment in the intensive care unit Gomez was transferred from the unit and later released.

An investigation of the accident is continuing and Volger said he anticipates a citation will be issued to Gomez.

A motorcycle-vehicle accident Aug. 1 occupied the attention of local law enforcement and EMS responders.

Pagosa Springs Police Captain Chuck Allen said James Purvis, 46, of Waynesboro, Ga., was westbound on U.S. 160 with his wife Denise, 48, riding as a passenger on the back of his motorcycle. A pickup truck driven by Shonden Yazzie, 20, of Kirtland, N.M., pulled away from the intersection of the highway and Talisman Drive and was struck broadside by the cycle.

All three individuals involved in the accident were transported to the Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Center where they were treated for minor injuries and released.

Allen said Yazzie was issued a citation for failure to yield at a stop sign.

EMS personnel responded Aug. 2 to a motorcycle accident near Chromo. Johnny Serrano, 40, of San Pedro, Calif., was injured in the accident and transported by Air Care helicopter to Mercy Medical Medical Center. No details of the accident were available.

A Mercy spokesman said Serrano was in good condition Wednesday with a compression spinal fracture and fractures of the knee and ankle.

Inside The Sun
Downtown repaving setBy Karl Isberg

According to Pagosa Springs Town Administrator Jay Harring-ton, state crews will be busy next week paving U.S. 160 in the downtown Pagosa Springs area.

Harrington said Wednesday he received a call from regional officials of the Colorado Department of Transportation, indicating CDOT will start the paving work Sept. 11. The work to put an inch-and-a-half asphalt overlay on the downtown section of the highway is expected to take three to four days. Harrington said he was not told whether or not the work would include any part of the highway on Put Hill.

"Motorists will see variable message signs put up soon," said Harrington, "and we will mark the highway for no parking during the project. We asked CDOT not to do the paving during the Labor Day holiday period or during the first week of school. Now that the traffic flow has diminished, we don't anticipate many problems while the work is being completed."

Class of '50 celebrates 50 years of memories By Richard Walter

Slightly more than 50 years ago they marked the mid-point in the 20th century with the most momentous date in their young lives - graduation from Pagosa Springs High School.

Members of that class convened earlier this summer for the 50th celebration of that date, a three-day class reunion which saw 13 of the 18 class members return for reminiscence, nostalgia and some old stories enhanced with time.

On hand for the reunion were Lonnie Lantz, Andy Padilla, Blaine Thomson, Nadine (DeFoe) Burton, Janice (Martinez) Birdsong, Mary (Lattin) Thomson, Irene (Lemming) Menkhoff, Jacquelyn (Eaklor) Baxstrom, Charlotte Ethel Johnson, Myrtle (Anderson) Snow, Eva (Espinosa) Martinez, R.D. Hott and Joe Cordova. Unable to attend were Galen Mullins and Edward Mitchell. Three members of the class, Charlotte (Lewis) Frienmuth, Jack Eaklor and Walter Perkins are deceased.

Their graduation came in a big year for America. It marked her entrance into the Korean Conflict, a growing home county economy based on cattle and timber production and - within months of their graduation - introduction of what was to become one of the most famous comic strips ever, the adventures of the Peanuts gang featuring Charlie Brown and friends.

The introductory page to the senior class listing in the 1950 PSHS Yearbook carried this prophetic phrase: "The end . . . and the beginning. We leave our worthy ship and take to paddling our own canoes."

The class motto recorded in that yearbook said: "The elevator to success is not running. Take the stairs."

Selected as class favorites were Joe Cordova and Janice Martinez. Charlotte Johnson was the class valedictorian and Edward Mitchell the salutatorian.

In addition to the program for the Class of 1950's commencement exercises, the front page of The Pagosa Springs SUN on May 12, 1950, carried stories on an auction to raise funds for development of the new Red Ryder rodeo grounds, sports reports on baseball, swimming, fishing and golf, the deadline for purchasing dog tags, a photo of the interior of a newly remodeled Pagosa Hardware store, a baptism announcement and schedules of services for two protestant churches.

A half century later the news sources have changed but the memories recorded by these graduates will never be altered.

Sanitary District proposal explained By Karl Isberg

Whether or not the Pagosa Springs Sanitation District is officially dissolved, with wastewater and sewer facilities and services taken over by the town of Pagosa Springs will depend on the success of a recent petition drive, the assent of voters allowing creation of a general improvement district, and an educated electorate knowing which governmental entities are involved in the activity.

Petitions were circulated recently to registered voters living within the town of Pagosa Springs, in support of placing a question on the Nov. 7 ballot.

If the petition process is successful, town residents will be asked to allow formation of a general improvement district to manage the debt of the Pagosa Springs Sanitation District, allowing for dissolution of the district and the incorporation of former district sewer and wastewater treatment facilities and services by the town.

If this happens, it will not involve a major transition for town staff. For several years now, the town of Pagosa Springs has managed day-to-day operations of the Pagosa Springs Sanitation District under terms of an agreement with the district board of directors.

Last spring, residents living within the sanitation district's boundaries (which differ slightly from town boundaries) voted to dissolve the district, contingent on formation of a general improvement district to receive the district mill levy and fees and to use the revenues to pay off district debt.

Petitions seeking a vote in November are being checked by town officials to determine the legitimacy of signatures. If the petitions are valid, town residents will vote Nov. 7 on creation of the general improvement district.

If voters go to the polls, town officials want to be sure misconceptions and rumors are not factors in the vote.

"People circulating petitions have heard opinions expressed that are not accurate," said Town Administrator Jay Harrington. "A number of town residents have the idea that the ballot issue will involve Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District (which manages water service within town boundaries). This is not true. Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District has nothing to do with the dissolution of the Pagosa Springs Sanitation District or with the management of wastewater treatment facilities by the town of Pagosa Springs."

Mayor Ross Aragon said he experienced "some resistance on the part of several people asked to sign petitions. It hasn't been easy convincing some people to sign; they are worried that Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation is going to take over the service, and we have to correct that idea. If we create a general improvement district and take over the old sanitation district, it will be a town project."

Harrington said a November election will be the culmination of a lengthy process. "For several years," he said, "it has been the goal of the Pagosa Springs Sanitation District board and the town board to dissolve the district and have the town take over the service. If this happens, the debt of three district notes will be transferred to the town and the current revenue flow going to the district will be sufficient to handle the debt. A general improvement district is the means used to deal with the revenues and the debt payment. People need to understand the town already manages the district. This vote, if successful, would eliminate an unnecessary layer of government with no additional tax cost to the residents."

First snow sighted, temps still high By John M. Motter

Days and nights are a little cooler in Pagosa Country as the local weather pattern shifts from monsoon season to fall. Late last week, a sheet of snow blanketed near 14,000-foot-high Rio Grande Pyramid visible on the horizon north of Williams Creek Lake. It was the first snow of the new season.

Today and through the coming weekend, Pagosans can expect a 20 percent chance of thunderstorms and rain showers through the afternoon and evening, according to Gary Chancey, a National Weather Service forecaster in the Grand Junction office.

Some changes could occur early next week depending upon the movement of high and low areas connected with our local weather pattern, Chancey said.

Currently, a high-pressure area rests over West Texas and a low-pressure area over Idaho, Chancey said. The combination of clockwise air flow around the high-pressure area and counterclockwise air flow around the low-pressure area is bringing high level moisture to western Colorado, Chancey said.

The system doesn't contain much moisture and is not the same pattern which occurs during the monsoon season. One characteristic of the present pattern is upper-level winds in the neighborhood of 100 miles per hour, Chancey said.

"I expect the monsoon season is over with, but we're not fully into the fall pattern with westerly winds," Chancey said. "Look for daytime high temperatures near 80 degrees with nighttime lows ranging from 45 to 50 degrees."

Pagosa Country received 0.14 inches of precipitation Monday, its first precipitation for September. August ended after receiving 2.78 inches of rain, well above average. The average rainfall for September is 1.89 inches. Thirty inches of snow were measured in town during September 1959, the only time more than a trace of snow has fallen in town during September.

Expect freezing temperatures during September. The extreme September minimum temperature has been 32 degrees or colder every year since record keeping on local weather started in 1938. The extreme September cold temperature is 18 degrees recorded Sept. 20, 1971. Readings of 19 degrees were recorded during 1941 and 1978.

Last week's high temperatures ranged from 82 degrees Tuesday to 75 degrees Aug. 31. The average high reading was 79 degrees. Low temperatures ranged from 49 degrees Aug. 31 to 53 degrees Tuesday. The average low temperature was 51 degrees.


Gas ripoff

Dear Editor,

Deja vu all over again - a repeat of the 1996 gasoline price ripoff in the local area. Again, I made a trip to the Kansas/Missouri area a few weeks ago and was once again reminded of the greed existing in our retail gasoline pricing.

Currently, Durango gasoline prices are $1.479. A maximum hauling charge of three cents per gallon from Bloomfield doesn't excuse a local price per gallon of $1.699. Collusion and greed - "get the tourists and to heck with the locals" once again seems to be the mantra of the season.

While on the above-mentioned recent trip, I observed that Del Norte and Monte Vista's gasoline prices were $1.59, while our local prices were $1.699. With a state tax of 20 cents per gallon in Kansas ( Colorado state tax is 22 cents per gallon), fuel was $1.25 - $1.29 per gallon.

I know, I'll probably get another response from United Oil Company - just like in '95 and '96 - but, those kinds of excuses just don't fly. We locals didn't just "fall off a turnip truck" and can see clearly that we are being ripped off - since we are a captive clientele.

In 1996, while our gasoline prices were $1.399 to $1.429, prices in Denver and Alamosa were in the $1.27 range while Kansas and Missouri had prices ranging from $1.079 to $1.11. So, the only conclusion that I can see is there is really "something wrong in River City."

Shame on the greedy,

Mojie Adler


Dear Editor,

Yes, the destruction of the corridor along U.S. 160 in Aspen Springs and east of Pagosa is a shame. It breaks my heart to see beautiful woodland property turned into a rock wasteland for profit by destruction companies.

It makes me think twice about the heart and spirit of people that make a living doing such atrocities and what is going on in their minds.

Stollstiemer Creek is polluted and being obliterated until a flood comes. It is a shame that people were ever allowed to live along Stollstiemer Creek at all. Twenty years ago it was a delight to drive to town, but now the drive is full of unnecessary eye sores due to poor county planning and a general social philosophy that really values very little.

As they say, people will do anything for money.

Ron Alexander

Impressive sight

Dear Dave,

Once again hordes of junior and senior high school students descended upon Pagosa Springs to run, sweat, cry and cheer their way through another cross country meet. Thirteen teams, over 220 participants and scores of volunteers packed behind Pagosa Lodge made for an impressive sight.

This being my rookie season at coaching and putting on this event, I am extremely thankful and indebted to all who actually run the race. The following is a list that hopefully does not omit many: Steve and Ellen Rolig, Phyllis Haning, Laurie Riley, Duwane and Sue Ramey, Jennifer and Terry Alley, Barbara and Jody Martinez, Bill Esterbrook, Larry Lister, Kahle Charles, Sandy and Casey Caves, Pete Peterson, Richard Anderson, Vernon Kimble, Lois and Matt Mees, Don Volger, Richie Valdez, Renee Thompson, Ellen and Ryan Beavers, Tobé Gunzinger, The Pagosa Lodge and especially Melinda Volger.

Thanks also to Carol, Kelsea and Keanan for sharing me.

Scott Anderson

Last chance

Dear David,

It's almost time for the third and last round of county planning meetings, which are coming up in September. This is the last chance to influence the planning direction for the county at this stage. The meetings will all be from 7 to 9 p.m. for the following dates and locations: Area 6, Monday, Sept. 11, Arboles Catholic Church; Area 3, Tuesday, Sept. 12, county fair building; Area 5, Wednesday, Sept. 13, county fair building; Area 4, Thursday, Sept. 14, Catholic Parish Hall, Lewis Street; Area 2, Monday, Sept. 18, Pagosa Lakes Area, Pagosa Lakes Community Center; Area 1, Tuesday, Sept.19, Aspen Springs Area, Pagosa Lakes Community Center; and Area 5, Wednesday, Sept. 20, Old Chromo School on U.S. 84.

For those of you who have come out for the previous rounds, you are not through. For those of you who haven't come out, it is time for you to make your preferences known. For Round 3, Four Corners Planning will have a draft of the proposed action items, for each issue from the previous meetings. Will these proposals represent what you want? Don't just come, get your friends and neighbors to come with you.

After Round 3, Four Corners Planning will prepare the action items for the Town, the Planning Commission and the County Commissioners. Ultimately these issues will have to be dealt with by them in one of three ways: "Not at all," "with education," or "with varying levels of regulation."

Not too many decades ago Archuleta County included the small compact town of Pagosa Springs, the lumber mill, the uninhabited national forest, the sparsely populated Indian reservation and dispersed ranching and farming. As many new people pile into the county, and as your neighbors are close by, new methods must be developed to ensure that Archuleta County and the town of Pagosa Springs provide all of us an attractive and pleasant place to live.

I hope to see you at the meetings.

John L. Applegate

Not the right place

Dear Editor,

I am against the location of the proposed batch plant. But I'm not against a batch plant in a more appropriate location. One that is compatible with other businesses.

I'd be interested in knowing how this project got this far and who authorized it without any permit in the first place.

A great concern I have is that this building is going to change from an agricultural building to a commercial building (a mechanic's shop) and all that needs to be done is to obtain a conditional-use permit. As far as I know, no inspection of this building has ever been made. Let's say that if this building were built on the other side of town, as a mechanic's shop, they would need to submit an engineering set of drawings for all footings, plus the drawings from the building manufacturer to the building department for approval, before starting construction. Then they would have to meet all the building codes, plus inspections. Also, they would have to have an electrical inspection, a plumbing inspection and possibly a safety inspection before obtaining a certificate of occupancy.

Why are the majority required to meet all the necessary building requirements while the "agricultural building" only has to have a "conditional-use permit?" I don't understand this.

Another important issue is the safety of the people on this two-lane highway. The leapfrogging that put this site so far out of town, which is against the Archuleta Master Plan, makes me afraid that those travelers on this highway will not expect slow-moving trucks to be entering at this location regardless of signs that may be placed indicating so.

If an accident should occur, it will be a catastrophe, not only for Archuleta County, but also for the Weber family.

This is just not the appropriate place.

Don Blaine

Friends split apart

Dear David,

It makes me sad to know that a community has been split apart by one family's controversy to want to begin a business on the San Juan River, next door to a campground and a residential area. We have friends on both sides of this issue and it would have, at least been courteous of that family to make their intentions known to their surrounding neighbors and get their input as to how this new business would impact their lives. This of course, is the issue of the proposed batch plant on U.S 160 east.

Possibly, we could have all worked together and put forth our views and listened to each other's concerns about this proposed plant. Instead, we found ourselves fighting to keep our area from harm of such a controversial business moving in.

Also, the manner in which this happened is just not acceptable. By law, everyone needs to obtain the necessary permits to put anything in motion, but this was not done in regards to this project, and now the permits are trying to be obtained after the fact. There are procedures that everyone must follow and it states so in the Archuleta County Master Plan.

I'm very saddened over how this has turned good friends against good friends.

Nancy Blaine

Dogs running wild

Dear David,

This letter addresses the problem of dogs running wild. Do the newcomers not know the wildlife is protected?

To the owners of two huge, shaggy black dogs who invaded my property I want to state:

I have never had any dogs here for 23 years. I live on Cameron Place off South Pagosa Boulevard. Last Friday your dogs ruined my whole day.

We moved here because of the beauty. One of the extra benefits is this is the home of the wildlife too. It took about five years before we saw any deer. I have two bird baths, one in the open and one in the brush below the trees. I fill these everyday, not for the birds only. You see, one day about 18 years ago, we were so excited. A doe with two very young fawns found the bird bath that was hidden. Every year since I have had does. Last Friday I looked out the window and saw a turkey. Finally there were 10 of them. Two does came to join them. I spent, before breakfast, about 30 minutes enjoying them. All of a sudden your two dogs came barging in, chasing everything.

The does haven't returned. I pray they will.

Perhaps you do not know the dogs are not to be let run loose. Please keep them home. Don't destroy my peace and the wildlife that I enjoy.

E. Bowers

Make a difference

Dear David,

It has been a very long process of public meetings, but the community is about to have its third and final round of Archuleta County Community Plan public meetings. A lot of time and hard work by all has gone into this process of discovering how the people of the county would like land use management to be handled. The community is now ready to reap the rewards of everyone's input into how they would like our community to plan for the future.

The consolidated draft of the Community Plan will be presented at the up-coming set of meetings. Citizens will be able to give their last comments before the final document is written and presented to the county commissioners. We hope that everyone will join us in making sure that the planners have written precisely what the people of Archuleta County want for their community's future.

This is our last chance to let the planners know what we want to be in the Community Plan. Come to the meetings, so that the county commissioners will be sure to receive your input. All the meetings have been valuable, but this is the most important set of meetings, as the plan will be completed.

The meetings will take place, starting next Monday, from 7 to 9 p.m. on Sept. 11, 12, 13, 14, 18, 19 and 20. Everyone should be able to find one of those evenings to attend. The locations will be the same as before, but not in the same order. There will be listings of the dates and locations in the SUN, including Kate Terry's column and calendar. Please call Mike Mollica for further information, at the county planning department, 264-5851.

Everyone's voice and input is wanted, and can make a difference.


Ron Chacey

I'm appalled

Dear Editor,

I am appalled that the matter of the proposed Weber Batch Plant has been allowed to progress to the current state. As owner of the property adjacent on the south I had thought there would be a safety in good judgment of the area planners.

If such a plant is allowed to operate, it would degrade the air, sound quality and general ambience to such a degree as to render it useless for the development I have in mind and so devalue the property it would make for my great loss. But I am concerned not only for myself and my investment but the effect such an operation would have for miles and miles around.

There just should not be such a plant in that location. You must protect the integrity of the land and the air as well as the sights of the injured and affected parties which are many. There are places for such a business as a cement batch plant but this is not it.

You must remember what a special spot Pagosa Springs area is and be very careful how you let it be changed. Do not let this project proceed. I beg of you.


Grant Davis

Grant Davis Land Co. Inc.

Denton, Texas

Greed in Pagosa?

Dear Editor,

Regarding High Gas Prices by Mr. Fisher (Letter, Aug. 31) - I say, "Phooey."

OPEC, U.S. refineries, tankers, are not responsible for the high gas prices in Pagosa Springs.

Greed is. Some of us actually do get out of town, Mr. Fisher, and guess what? They get their tanks filled much cheaper; for example, I gassed up in Pueblo for $1.33 per gallon. Colorado Springs' gas prices ranged from $1.39 to $1.49 per gallon.

If we could operate our vehicles on local B.S. instead of gasoline, the savings would be phenomenal.


C. Lyn Frank

Reviewing ad

Dear Editor,

After attending the Planning Commission hearing on the proposed batch plant and listening to how members voted, I took the opportunity to review Ms. Julia Donoho's ad campaign while running for commissioner. In reflecting on her emphasis on "quality of life" her "efforts in getting the Community Plan off the ground," and most significant, her statement that a candidate needs an "understanding of county codes and comprehensive plan" I find some irony in reconciling these statements with her vote in favor of the cement batch plant.

What happened to the issue of "mitigation" with respect to the actual proximity of the campground or the voice of the majority of the people in the Community Plan and the attainment of a long-range plan that would implement those desires? A vote for Julia was supposed to be a vote for "Quality of Life and for Intelligence and Action." It appears it would have been a vote for vested commercial interests over those of the future of the county.

Ralph Goulds

Against Tabor 205

Dear David,

On Nov. 7, the citizens of Colorado will be electing the leaders of our state and our nation. We will also be voting on several state issues, which are of extreme importance to the community of Pagosa Springs and Archuleta County.

Douglas Bruce was able to get Amendment 21 on the November ballot. This measure is also known as "TABOR 205" and "Tax Refund 2000." If passed it will have a devastating effect not only on our community and personal lifestyle, but financially as well. Let me explain.

In theory, Amendment 21 will reduce your tax assessment by $25, per service, per person in the first year, and continue to reduce by $25 each year until you are no longer taxed for that particular service. For example, if you are taxed $100 per year for fire protection, you could be tax free for that service in less than four years. Sounds pretty good doesn't it- until you think about what you would do if your house was on fire, and there was no fire district, or if you were injured in an accident, and there was no emergency medical assistance or ambulance?

Can you imagine what fire insurance would cost - if you could get it? How many lending institutions would be willing to lend money to build a home or business where the local services are at a minimum or non-existent? What classes or services would the schools have to cut first - music, athletics, transportation? I don't know about you, but the consequences of this amendment scare the devil out of me.

Bruce's Amendment 21 would abolish and destroy many of the local government services. In Archuleta County that means all special districts. It will impact emergency medical services, fire protection, roads and transportation, water and sanitation, the school district, road and bridge, law enforcement, parks and recreation, and your library. These will be drastically cut back or cease to exist.

Bruce implies that the state will assist, but his amendment specifically forbids the state from using surplus funds to replace lost local revenue. And he has worded this amendment so that if these services are lost, we cannot vote locally to replace them.

This is not a political party issue. Every person who is eligible to vote has an opportunity to preserve the things, which make our community the wonderful place that it is. We must see that the citizens of Archuleta County are well informed regarding this issue, and that they vote. If they don't, this issue could well be decided in the metropolitan areas of the state, where Amendment 21 would have minimal consequences. We must defeat this amendment. Please beat the drum, talk to everyone you know, and vote.

Dahrl Henley

Treasurer, S.O.S.

Save Our Services

Who's responsible?

Dear Editor,

Bill Nobles, in his Aug. 31 column in the SUN's Preview section, quotes an article originally from the Seattle Times as saying environmentalists are wrong to blame polluted waterways for the deformation of various species of frogs around the world. The article states that "parasitic flatworms called trematodes" are responsible for "boring into the sprouting legs of tadpoles, causing these deformities." The article also states that "researchers also believe that cannibalism among frogs may be another reason for the abnormalities."

That's all fine and dandy for the person who wants easy answers and quick absolution for the wrongs done the planet by humans, and the person like Mr. Nobles who doesn't see the need to question further.

But those of us who do question wonder: What caused the proliferation of the trematode flatworm? What caused the behavioral changes that would make frogs attack and eat their own kind? It couldn't be chemical changes in the ecosystem caused by pollution, could it? Nah. That would mean we are responsible, after all.


Maggie Valentine Inskeep

New subdivision

Dear Editor

The purpose of this letter is to make Pagosa citizens aware of a developing situation in our county that most folks know nothing about. In a time when our county resources are stretched to the limit, developers are trying to start another subdivision.

Land Properties Inc. is proposing to develop the Meeks Ranch property into a subdivision consisting of 155 single-family lots. Meeks Ranch is the last property on the east side of Piedra Road before the end of the paved road at the cattle guard. There are many reasons why this should not be done.

We hope that anyone wishing to oppose this development will contact us for more information. We will be meeting in the Parish Hall on Lewis Street from 7 to 9 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 15, to discuss this situation. In the meantime, we are collecting names on a petition stating our opposition. It would also be a good idea to attend the public workshop on Tuesday, Sept. 12, at the county fair building. This workshop is to address the area from Piedra Road to Mill Creek Road, and it is important for us to give our views. If you would like to sign the petition or help us with this issue, please contact Bill Jaeger at 731-0230 or Sally White at 731-6261.

Bill Jaeger,

Sally White

One-sided article

Dear David,

As a person who has been a target of Piano Creek Ranch accusations and exaggerations, I feel I must comment on the front page article, "Foes harass campers at Piano Creek," and PCR's chairman Jerry Sander's letter to the editor (Aug. 21). Although I do not question whether or not a protest took place, in fact the group involved has admitted that it did, I seriously question Sander's sensationalized claims that protesters "stormed and surrounded a sleeping tent," and threatened to "burn their (the campers) home down."

Beating drums and shouting "You're destroying our land" whether in the day or night is freedom of speech when conducted from a public road, which the road across the ranch is. Albeit many may consider that form of protest disrespectful and self defeating. However, stating that protesters surrounded a tent and yelled that they were going to burn them out is quite another thing. Do I except such claims in an opinion piece or one-sided article as fact? For example, what might Sanders have to gain by spreading rumors and exaggerations to discredit opponents? Perhaps a multi-million dollar resort?

As I stated earlier, I question the credibility of PCR's claims because they have made past accusations directed toward myself and others which were outright lies. For example, in July a letter from PCR was forwarded to me from Friends of the East Fork. The letter accused a group of campers with the banner "Keep the East Fork Wild!", with leaving a smoldering fire and garbage at a campsite. Piano Creek Ranch stated that they were going to forward this information to the press. Well, I was one of those campers. We did not have a fire, there was a fire ban. Secondly, the campsites in the East Fork Valley are trashed. We have always hauled out our garbage and several loads of other people's garbage. Either PCR went to the wrong campsite or they are blatantly trying to discredit opponents as poor stewards of the land. I wonder, do they check to make sure everyone in the valley leaves a clean campsite or only opponents?

The problem with all of these accusations and rumors are that they take the focus away from the real issue which is development of the East Fork Valley. This valley provides critical habitat for wildlife, is near the headwaters of the East Fork River, and is one of the last large valleys that I know of in southwestern Colorado that is relatively free of major development.

A few protesters in the night are nothing compared to the disturbance caused by a golf course, a trap/skeet range, a lodge, ski runs, 60 plus cabins, and houses. I can guarantee that if this resort is built, the serenity and peace that I seek in the East Fork will be gone as concrete trucks, workers, and visitors rumble down the road at all hours of the night and day past the places where I camp.

Dan Johnson

Bayfield, CO

In response

Dear Editor,

In response to your note and the end of my letter two weeks ago. We have had rain almost every afternoon and evening now for some time so that should take care of the drought excuse. It's easy to make excuses for not doing a job and more effort to do the job and do it right.

Now in regards to E. Bowers' response. When I finally get one, it's of ignorance. She has determined that I never travel South Pagosa Boulevard or Meadows Drive and she couldn't be farther from the truth. For the past seven years 365 days a year I have been on those and other roads in the Meadows division, which adds up to more road time than she ever thought of. In comparison to the roads in the Pagosa Lakes area, in town, east of town and south U.S. 84 yours are the best without having to black top. Try driving the roads in the Pagosa Lakes area north of U.S. 160 and lets see who has the last laugh. And if the black top in Meadows is as good as the ones just done on North Pagosa Boulevard, then you will have roads worse than when they were gravel.

Here is another example of how the land in and around Pagosa Springs has been raped and pillaged in the name of the all mighty dollar. B.J. Meeks has sold his ranch 6 miles north on Piedra Road to a developer who plans to put at least 155 homes on the 239 acres. It seems that they will not be happy until they have turned this area into the concrete cities they wanted to get away from.

Anyone interested in fighting this proposed development please show up at the meeting at the Parish Hall, 451 Lewis St. 7 to 9 p.m., Fri., Sept. 15.

Now as for the gas prices. I'm tired of hearing it's the production shortage or the refiners or the OPEC that is the blame for the high prices. It's clear that when regular unleaded can be sold for $1.44 in Durango and as much as $1.69 in Pagosa Springs we are being taken advantage of. I submit it's the retailers who are responsible. If I'm wrong then why not publish what they pay for it in the paper?

Randall Mettscher

Shop Pagosa?

Dear David,

One more reason why low-income seniors, and permanent full-time residents, cannot afford to "shop Pagosa" for everything.

A short while back I took our "Sharp Convection Microwave" to our lonely authorized dealer for repair of the convection part that had stopped working. It cost me $30 to carry it in for them to look at it.

Two weeks later they had not looked at it yet.

Another week later, they called and said they had ordered a $15 switch they hoped would fix it. Two more weeks later, they called to tell me it "the part did not work, and they could not fix it, because Sharp wasn't making the board it needed" and for us to come and get it.

I went after it and they hit me with another bill for $50, which was for the switch which suddenly cost $33 (instead of the $15 I was told in the beginning) and $15 to install it. Even though this did not work, I had to pay anyway.

All of this cost was for nothing since they could not fix the microwave. This cost plus the price of gasoline . . . I could have driven to another town and, spent less . . . Shop Pagosa?

Charles Pelton

Where's the bell?

Dear Editor,

The Juanita church looks sad without the bell tower. Please put it back were it belongs.

Josie Snow

Felt at home

Dear Editor,

I recently came from Pagosa where your Archuleta County Fair was going on. My family and I have been going to the Pagosa area for the past 25 years, and only since 1994 we were lucky enough to join the celebration of your county fair where the people are very hospitable.

Needless to say, in 1994 I entered Mark Bergon's horseshoe tournament where I met a whole slew of local rowdy Pagosa guys which made me feel at ease and at home. Mark is a real genuine person who goes out of his way to make you feel at ease along with all your horseshoe champs in Pagosa Springs. To name a few, I hope I remember all their names, Mike Halverson and his wife, Seth, Bear, Steve Butler and his wife, Richard Love, Fermin Viarrial and his son, can't recall his name and a guy named Jaramillo from around Chromo, a couple of guys from Ignacio, and a pretty lady from Durango with her boyfriend.

This year, 2000, was a very different year for me and my boys. As I write this tears come to my eyes since my beautiful wife Trish, who is not with us anymore, loved Pagosa and all of Colorado and the beautiful people in the area. She died in November 1999 in a car crash.

I want to say thank you to Mark and all the guys and ladies who dedicated the horseshoe tournament to Trish. It was a moment to cherish. I felt so at home, but never the same.

By the way, with Trisha's help, I was able to win doubles with my friend top-seed Seth and first in singles with by best friend Trish.

Thank you for your hospitality and friendship Mark and guys.

Larry Ulibarri and boys

and Nadine

Pojoaque, N.M.

Don Anglin

Don Anglin of Pagosa Springs passed away Monday, Sept. 4, 2000.

Mr. Anglin was born March 21, 1908, in Vinson, Okla. He married Minnie Jo Hix on Nov. 4, 1934 in Shamrock, Texas. The couple moved to Pagosa Springs from San Angelo, Texas, in 1999.

A retired electrician and 49-year member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, he was also a member of the Methodist Church and belonged to the Masonic Lodge for 52 years. He enjoyed team roping, hunting and fishing.

Mr. Anglin was preceded in death by his parents, Joseph and Maude Anglin, four sisters and one brother.

His survivors include his wife, Mrs. Minnie Jo Anglin of Pagosa Springs; sons Chester and Gary Anglin of Pagosa Springs; a daughter, Pamela Kitsmiller of San Angelo; a grandson, James Anglin of Phoenix, Ariz.; and granddaughters, Berniece Smith of Phoenix, Jo Wright of Brady, Texas, Joy Anne Wood of San Angelo, and Erin Anglin of Durango; six great grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.

A graveside service was held in Hilltop Cemetery in Pagosa Springs at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2000.

Gilbert Art Garcia

Gilbert Art Garcia of Pagosa Springs passed away Monday, Aug. 28, 2000, in Douglas, Wyo., at the Oglalla Ranch.

Rosary will be held at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 8, 2000, at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 9, 2000. Father John Bowe will officiate with burial to follow in Aztec Cemetery.

Mr. Garcia was born Nov. 1, 1954 in Montrose, and graduated from Montrose High School in 1973. He was a rancher and true-life cowboy. He broke horses, branded cattle and rode a horse every day. The ranch was his life.

He was preceded in death by his father, Mr. Arthur Garcia, brother Jake Garcia, and sisters Ernestina and Teresita Garcia.

Mr. Garcia is survived by his mother, Mrs. Andreita Garcia Ulibarri and his stepfather, Mr. Alfredo Ulibarri of Bloomfield, N.M.; a daughter, Paula Garcia and her husband, Ray, of Monte Vista; daughter Jade Garcia of Pagosa Springs; son Jake Garcia of Pagosa Springs; grandson Ryen Garcia-Medina of Monte Vista; sisters Mary Anne Ulibarri and husband, Joe, of Aztec, N.M., Rosalie Kearney and husband, Paul, of Federal Way, Mass., Annie Archuleta and husband, Paul, of Cebolla, N.M.; brothers Jim Garcia and wife Cindy of Bloomfield, John Garcia and wife Becky of Aztec and Michael Garcia and wife Melissa of Aztec; and numerous nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles and cousins.


Jared Mees

Jared Mees of Pagosa Springs made the academic Deans' List at Azusa Pacific University for a spring semester 2000 academic standing of 3.5 or better grade-point average. A graduate of Pagosa Springs High School and the son of Matthew and Lois Mees, Jared is an art major at Azusa Pacific (Calif.).

Sports Page
Volger's third place paces cross country team
By Karl Isberg

Coach Scott Anderson called the Sept. 2 Pagosa Springs Invitational "a training meet," and he meant it.

Anderson is determined to have his athletes hit peak performances when it counts - at the Oct. 21 regional qualifying meet and the Oct. 28 Colorado Class 3A meet at Denver. The pace of his training schedule, and the manner in which he is crafting competition schedules for his athletes reflects this desire.

Runners from 10 programs gathered on a beautiful morning for the varsity girls race on a 3.1-mile course with start and finish lines behind Pagosa Lodge. The Lady Pirates took sixth place in a field topped by Farmington (N.M.) High School. Bayfield finished second, Monticello, Utah, was third, Centauri fourth and Shiprock, N.M., fifth.

Anderson held Amber Mesker out of the invitational, not wanting to risk injury to the senior at this early date. Freshman Genevieve Gilbert was out of the competition with an injury.

The coach told junior Aubrey Volger to try to stay in the top five in the race. Volger did better than that when she finished in third place, with a time of 21 minutes, 35 seconds. Volger was in seventh place approaching the last section of the course and overtook runners from Farmington, Bayfield, Aztec, N.M., and Monticello to capture third place. The race was won by Farmington's Timmie Murphey, with a time of 20:02.

Tiffany Thompson was the next Lady Pirate across the finish line. Thompson ran the course in 23:29, good for 17th place in the 72-runner field.

Makina Gill took 36th place with a time of 25:18.

Annah Rolig was 47th, at 26:12.

Joetta Martinez finished the race in 50th place, at 26:21.

Lauren Caves posted a time of 26:34 in the first race of her high school career. She finished in 52nd place.

Pirate runners ended up in eighth place in the 11-team varsity boys field. The boys meet was won by Shiprock. Clint Sowards of Centauri won the varsity boys event with a time of 17:36.

Travis Laverty was the Pirates' top runner, with a time of 19 minutes. He placed 12th in the pack of 59 competitors.

Todd Mees crossed the line next for Pagosa, in 27th position, at 19:53.

Patrick Riley managed a time of 20:48, good for 38th place.

Trevor Peterson was 41st, with a time of 21:19.

"The meet went well," said Anderson. "On paper, our results might not look that good, but we are right where I expect everyone to be at this point. This meet followed several weeks of hard training and I looked at this meet as an opportunity to continue training and to provide our kids with a dose of reality. They got the training, and they got the reality."

Anderson noted he held out one of the Lady Pirates' better runners (Mesker), "and in light of that," he said, "we did pretty much what I expected. Mesker will run at the next meet and the girls need to work on getting the pack time down. Aubrey will run at the front all year and Tiffany Thompson had a good race this week. She lowered her personal best time by two and a half minutes. If everyone continues to improve, they will be fine."

Though none of the Pirates broke into the top 10 at the Invitational, Anderson said "they are doing better than I originally expected. They are responding to the training program very well."

That program will allow the runners to taper off the difficult regimen of the last three weeks and be more rested for a meet Saturday at Leadville. Then, it will be back to the hard labor as part of the second of three work-taper cycles planned for the season.

Saturday's Lake County Invitational at Leadville is one of the larger regular-season meets in Colorado, featuring some of the state's top athletes, with teams competing in various divisions.

Pagosa runners will leave town at 4:30 a.m. to be at Leadville in time for the first races at 9:30 a.m.

Pirates skin Bears but coach is disappointed By John M. Motter

Pagosa's gridders face a menu switch this week, going from Bears to Broncos.

After skinning the Dolores Bears 27-7 Saturday in their season opener, the Pirates cross the border into New Mexico for a 7:30 game tomorrow night with the Kirtland Broncos.

Head Coach Myron Stretton hopes to have more of his walking wounded in the starting lineup against Kirtland than was the case against Dolores. Stretton complained about the number of Pagosa mistakes against Dolores, but he had several untested replacements filling key positions because of injuries.

"The game was disappointing," Stretton said. "So far through practice this season, we've been relatively free from mistakes. Then against Dolores, our game was full of mistakes."

A glance at the Pirates' lineup against Dolores provides some clues which seem to indicate that mistakes were almost predictable. For starters, veteran center Matt Ford remained in street clothes while nursing an injured quadruceps. Ethan Sanford played in Ford's place. Pablo Martinez has been missing from the offensive line all season. Against Dolores Cord Ross and Jason Schutz moved around from position to position as Stretton attempted to plug the gaps. Cord Ross played both line and backfield positions.

Except for an opening drive by Dolores through the air, the Pirates stopped the Dolores offense cold. And except when the Bears learned they could successfully blitz, Pagosa moved the ball almost at will. The Bears' blitz was a thorn in the Pirates' side through the second and third periods.

Pirate fans were introduced to two new names Saturday, senior Justin Kerns who played at Pueblo West last year, and junior Caleb Mettlette, who played Texas high school football before transferring to Pagosa Springs. Kerns wields his 5-foot-10, 150-pound frame from a defensive back position on defense and a running back position on offense. Mettlette is a little bigger at 6 foot, 180 pounds. He plays defensive end and offensive back.

Two injuries could affect the Pirates' chances against Kirtland tomorrow night. Senior running back Clint Shaw hurt an ankle against Dolores. Shaw will play against Kirtland unless the ankle is still making trouble, Stretton said. Garrett Tomforde broke a hand and probably won't play Saturday. Tomforde is a senior who has been playing full time, at tight end on offense and at defensive back.

Stretton's tentative starting defensive lineup at Kirtland includes Cord Ross and Mettlette at defensive end; Josh Richardson, Ford, Garret Paul, and Sanford in the defensive line; Shaw, Tyrel Ross, and Martinez at linebacker; Nathan Stretton and Kerns as cornerbacks; and Anthony Maestas and Darin Lister as twin safeties.

On offense, Stretton is looking at starting Martinez, and Sanford on the left side of the line; Ford at center; and Richardson and Paul on the right side of the line; Tyrel Ross and Schutz at offensive ends. In the backfield, Stretton is likely to start Ron Janowsky at quarterback, Shaw at fullback, and Nathan Stretton and Lister as running backs.

"Our starting lineup is not a lock for the season," Stretton said. "We're still experimenting with some of the positions and we're not sure how fast some of these injuries heal."

Pagosa Springs won the opening coin toss of the season and chose to kickoff against Dolores. After holding the Bears for three downs, the Pirates dumped Dolores punter Casey Garvin on the Bear 25-yard line before he could get the punt away.

Unable to take advantage of the field position, Pagosa turned the ball over on downs on the Dolores 16-yard line. Pagosa's defense held again, but this time Garvin got off a short punt.

Kerns reeled off a 21-yard return to put the Pirates on the Dolores 34-yard line. From there Nathan Stretton ran for 13 yards and Lister for one yard, before Shaw crossed the goal line for the first score of the game and the season. Lister's extra point kick was good and Pagosa led 7-0 with about five minutes remaining in the first quarter.

On their next possession, the Bears managed to move the ball down the field by passing. With 1:42 left in the first period, the Bears scored, then kicked the extra point to tie the game. The period ended with a 7-7 tie.

Early in the second period behind the running of Nathan Stretton and Shaw, Pagosa marched down the field for the go-ahead touchdown. Again Lister booted the PAT to put Pagosa on top 14-7 with almost 11 minutes remaining in the half. During the remainder of the second period, the Pirates' defense bottled up the Dolores attack. At the same time, the Bears learned they could jam Pagosa's offense by blitzing past the center. Consequently, the half ended with Pagosa on top 14-7.

"We play a 'man' blocking scheme," Stretton said. "There is always somebody assigned to everybody on the defense, even if the intention of the defender is not obvious. One of our blockers was missing an assignment allowing the blitz to work. We'll be working on correcting that this week."

Pagosa Springs received the second half kickoff but was unable to move the ball. The third quarter was a repetition of the second quarter and ended with Pagosa Springs still leading 14-7.

The Pirates finally solved the blitz and mounted an offense early in the final period. Starting on their own 30-yard line, with Nathan Stretton, Janowsky, and Maestas alternating at carrying the ball, the Pirates drove for a touchdown. Lister kicked the extra point as the Pirates finally put the game out of reach with a 21-7 lead with eight minutes remaining.

Pagosa held the Bears following the kickoff, then scored on a 30-yard Janowsky-to-Lister pass with less than two minutes remaining in the game. Lister remained perfect on the day by kicking a fourth PAT to make the final score for the Pirates' opening game of the year 2000 season Pagosa Springs 28, Dolores 7.

Starting with Kirtland tomorrow night, Pagosa plays four preseason games against New Mexico schools, all of them with larger enrollments than Pagosa Springs. Kirtland is 1-1 on the season.

"They always field a big team with speed in the backfield," said Stretton. "We're looking for what we always see, a strong running attack and a good defense. It will be a good test for us."

Following the Kirtland game, in successive weeks Pagosa plays Piedra Vista of Farmington, Bloomfield, N.M., and Taos.

Kickers topple La Veta, drop 2 non-league tilts By Richard Walter

A plantar blister as a badge of honor.

A victory in their first league tilt of the season.

A scheduling mix-up that caused Pagosa Springs fans to miss most of a varsity game after a long trip to Farmington.

Two losses on the road to teams from much larger schools.

An exhortation from their coach who told the players "there's no reason why we can't do better if you'll just listen to me."

Those are some of the highlights of a grueling week of scrimmages, conference and non-conference action for the Pagosa Springs High School boys soccer team.

The Pirates opened their 2000 league season with a sometimes impressive, sometimes worrisome 6-3 victory over La Veta on a neutral field Friday in Center.

The fact La Veta suited only 11 players for the game and two of them were female, had Pagosa looking for scores early, building up a 5-0 halftime lead, and looking every bit as good in their new Dutch style offense as coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason had expected them to.

Second half scare

But undermanned La Veta came storming back in the second half - as the Pirates seemed to take victory for granted - cutting the lead to 5-3 and threatening to score again - until Zeb Gill stole an errant La Veta pass at 39:12 and dropped a perfect lead pass to Brian Hart.

Hart's rifle shot into the net past a diving La Veta goaltender returned the 3-goal margin and the Pirates hung on for the victory.

Afterward, Kurt-Mason told his players, "You met a team which was a lot better than you expected and saw firsthand what happens when an opponent refuses to quit."

"No lead is safe enough for you to sit back on your heels and become observers," he said. "The idea of this offense is to attack, attack, and then attack some more."

Early scoring spurt

The varsity scoring seemed destined to go unchallenged against La Veta.

At 3:25, Jordan Kurt-Mason's free kick sailed wide right. Twenty-seven seconds later, Sanders made a header interception of an outlet pass by the La Veta goalkeeper, captured the ball himself, dribbling to the right and then on a crossover move drilled a left-foot shot just outside the left goal post.

Six minutes and two seconds into the game, the Pirates opened the scoring on a brilliant cross from offensive midfielder Daniel Crenshaw to left side striker Hart who faked out a defender and then ripped a scoring drive past the goalie.

Gill's header off a corner kick by Mike Pierce six minutes later soared over the net and a 20:15 Jordan Kurt-Mason's shot off a drop feed from Crenshaw caromed off the left corner post. Two minutes and six seconds later, Hart's drive from the left corner of the box was snared by the goal keeper.

Pierce broke free at 38:24 after an indirect kick by Jordan Kurt-Mason was blocked but intercepted by Hart. With Pierce racing the left side and Sanders blocking out a middle defender, Hart put the ball right on Pierce's stride and he drove right at the goalie who came out to cut down the angle.

Pierce stopped in his tracks as the goalie leaped out, then cut in behind him for the score and a 2-0 Pagosa lead.

Thirty-eight seconds later the Pirates scored again, this time on a drive by Hart off a leading cross from Gill on the left wing. And, at 39:29, Jordan Kurt-Mason's corner shot was headed in by Hart and the Pirates closed out the half with a 5-0 lead.

La Veta had only two legitimate shots on goal in the half and they came 10 minutes apart against a swarming Pirates offense which served as its own defense.

La Veta got on the scoreboard at 2:25 of the second half on a breakaway by the left striker who fed a perfect cross to the advancing right wing for a shot which sailed past Josh Soniat who had replaced Matt Mesker in goal for Pagosa.

At 9:03, Pierce's shot from the left went wide right where it was headed out by a La Veta defender and taken by the left wing unimpeded for a shot which sailed just over the crossbar as Soniat leaped for the stop. A minute and four seconds later, La Veta's goaltender stopped a drive by Pierce and Jordan Kurt-Mason's header attempt off the rebound.

La Veta rebounds

At 17:17, La Veta cut the lead to 5-2 as three offensive players swarmed the net in front of Soniat whose block of the initial shot sailed to the right wing whose shot went over the sprawled keeper. Just over a minute later Soniat came out of the net to stop a new advance by the same three attackers.

But at 18:22, with the Pirates' defense totally out of position, a lone La Veta attacker outraced the field, veered to his right, cut back into the middle and left-footed a drive past Soniat to narrow the Pagosa lead to two goals.

That set the stage for the Gill-to-Hart score. Each team had four final scoring opportunities as the defenses took over for the remainder of the game and each goaltender was errorless in net during that time.

The Pirates had tuned up for the game at Center with a late afternoon scrimmage the previous day in Aztec with both schools playing varsity against varsity and then jayvee against jayvee in a four-period match.

The Pirates varsity outscored Aztec 4-2 with Kyle Sanders turning in a three-goal effort. The jayvee squads tied at two goals each.

Crunched at Cortez

When the Pirates traveled to Class 4A Cortez for a Saturday afternoon appointment, it became obvious early that a bunch of tired Buccaneers were trying their best but this time they were the team outmanned.

The first shot of the game - after a series of midfield takeaways by both sides - came at 6:38 when a Cortez drive from 40 yards out sailed high over the net. A minute and 43 seconds later, however, Cortez' speedy left wing Cody Beaver took a center drop pass, broke to his right all alone and left-footed the ball past Mesker for a 1-0 Panther lead.

Four minutes later, on an almost identical move, Beaver again caught the Pirates' defense napping but this time Mesker deflected the shot wide left and the score held.

The Pirates' first shot of the game did not come until 8:09 when Pierce's cannon shot from the right corner was barely tipped by the Cortez keeper and clipped off the left goal post. A Cortez defender rebounded and fired a long cross to midfield. That lead was dropped back to the seemingly ever present Beaver advancing on the right.

He attempted to fake Mesker with a double cross-step move but the Pirates' keeper came out and stopped the shot cold.

Shooting drought

The Pirates second shot of the game did not come until 17:17 but it may have been the play that took any remaining steam out of the Pagosa attack.

After Hart took a lead from Gill at midfield, he spotted Pierce racing from the left, led him to the net and closed in for a return. Pierce crossed up the defense when he drove in for the shot, faked a drop to Gill and fired a point-blank boomer that was stopped. Gill was atop the rebound and ripped a vicious shot that also was stopped and kicked out of the zone by Cortez.

Hart immediately returned to the attack with a breakaway dribble the length of the field, but his blast from the middle was stopped and the Pirates' offense seemed at that point to be done for the day.

Mesker under siege

The balance of the half was basically a series of Cortez attacks with the Pirates repeatedly playing themselves out of position on defense and leaving Mesker alone to confront two, three and four attackers with sometimes a lone defender to assist.

Mesker stopped six shots during that time and two others sailed over the goal.

At 36:15, Mesker met a shot he couldn't stop as Cortez' John Cullington chipped a high arching shot just out of the keeper's leap and it fell behind him to give the home team a 2-0 halftime lead.

At 1:23 of the second half, the Pirates made a valiant attempt to battle back into the game when Jordan Kurt-Mason dribbled through and around three defenders and dropped a pass to Gill on the left wing. However Gill's shot was snared by the keeper.

Two minutes and 45 seconds later, Cortez padded the lead to 3-0 on a slow-developing play on the right side which suddenly evolved into a wide-open lane down the middle of the field for a pair of attackers. They exchanged lead kicks before Omar Rena ripped a drive past Mesker for the final goal in a 4-0 whitewash.

The Pirates had only four shots on goal the rest of the game but did manage to keep the Panthers' attackers from scoring again.

Coach Kurt-Mason was unhappy with his team's performance - though he could cite "some moments of brilliance" - but acknowledged his players might have been tired from the multiple efforts with games at 5 p.m. Thursday, 4 p.m. Friday and 1 p.m. Saturday.

He was also discouraged by the obvious forgetfulness shown by some Pirates on defense, mistakes which led Cortez to open attacks on Mesker in goal.

Game time change

The Pirates were scheduled to play Piedra Vista High School in Farmington at 5 p.m. Tuesday. Late Tuesday morning the press was informed that there also would be a jayvee game which would start at 4 p.m. with the varsity game moved back to 5:30 p.m.

As a result, several fans delayed their departure in order to arrive in time for the varsity game.

On arrival in Farmington, however, they learned that the sequence of games had been changed by the host school and that the varsity played first.

Down 2-0 after the first half, the Pirates cut the lead shortly into the second period when Pierce's corner lead was fired in by Kyle Sanders.

Then came a four-goal Piedra Vista barrage which widened the margin to 6-1 before Gill scored on a left-foot drive from the right side on a set play that had Piedra Vista players and game officials confused.

Gill and Pierce lined up side by side for the corner kick. Pierce touched the ball, then seemed to ask Gill to make the kick. Since he had touched it, it already was in play and Gill dribbled down the end line toward the goal, cut out in front and kicked for the Pirates' second goal.

Fort Lewis play

Coach Kurt-Mason said afterward it is a play he's seen national contender Fort Lewis College use on several occasions.

That play was the highlight for the game except for the marathon performance of Crenshaw, a non-stop runner who refused to come out of the game even when the outcome was decided.

Kurt-Mason called to the player asking "do you want to take a break?"

"No, I'm fine," replied Crenshaw.

"Like a million bucks?" asked Kurt-Mason.

"No! Two million," Crenshaw called back.

When the game was over it was learned the fleet midfielder had a severe plantar blister and Kurt-Mason was even more amazed at his performance.

"You deserve a medal," he told Crenshaw. "You were a constant, non-stop factor out there." Turning to the rest of the team, Kurt-Mason said, "You all can learn something from his performance. Forget about yourselves and leave your bodies on the field.

The only other Pagosa highlight of the game was when Jordan Kurt-Mason refrained from getting into a tiff with a Piedra Vista defenseman trying repeatedly to goad him into a misconduct call.

That defender was frustrated by three consecutive failures to steal the ball from Jordan. And by the sophomore's intense concentration on the game situation rather than getting involved in a personal skirmish.

The Pirates will make their first home appearance of the season Saturday when they host league foe Crested Butte in a 10 a.m. contest at Golden Peaks stadium.

Inconsistent Ladies drop volleyball debut to Cortez By Karl Isberg

Last year, the Lady Pirates traveled to Cortez for their first volleyball match of the season. The highly-touted Panthers were ready for a banner season and, in fact, made a trip to the Colorado Class 4A tournament at year's end.

Cortez lost only one regular season match in 1999.

To Pagosa.

This year, Cortez came to Pagosa Springs as the second-ranked team in a preseason Class 4A poll. Pagosa was ranked as high as fourth in a Class 3A poll.

When the action was complete, Cortez had its revenge, 15-11, 9-15, 15-5.

Pagosa was plagued by inconsistency in most aspects of the game, and mistakes were the Lady Pirates' undoing.

"We beat ourselves," said Lady Pirate Coach Penné Hamilton.

In the first match of the day, Cortez scored only two clean points on the way to victory.

Early on the Lady Pirates took the serve from Cortez and went ahead 3-0. Cortez took a brief 4-3 lead before the teams tied at 4-4. Three Pagosa hitting errors gave Cortez a 7-4 lead and the visitors stayed ahead to the finish line. The Lady Pirates gained some momentum at game's end; with Cortez leading 14-7, the Ladies put together a four-point run led by Ashley Gronewoller's play at the net.

The second game of the match started badly for Pagosa. With the teams tied 2-2, the Ladies gave away five consecutive points with hitting and receiving mistakes. At that point, though, fans got a glimpse of a potent Pagosa offense as the Ladies ran off eight unanswered points. Gronewoller and Katie Lancing nailed stuff blocks for points. Gronewoller nailed a kill from the middle, Lancing scored with two ace serves, then put up a perfect quick set for Gronewoller. A Cortez hitting error put Pagosa in front 11-8.

Andrea Ash killed from the outside to give Pagosa the serve. Senior middle hitter Tiffanie Hamilton drilled the ball for a point; Meigan Canty hit an ace serve; Lancing and Hamilton stuffed a Panther hitter for a point and a Cortez ball was hit out of bounds. Pagosa had the 15-9 win.

Up for grabs

Both teams struggled at the beginning of the third game. Cortez went in front 2-0 but Lancing scored a point on a tip over the blockers. Cortez nailed an ace, then surrendered two points with errors.

With the score tied 3-3 the game was up for grabs. And Cortez grabbed it. The Panthers built an insurmountable 13-4 advantage, largely on the basis of Pagosa mistakes. Pagosa managed a final point when Lancing hit successfully off a Panther block, but two Lady Pirate hitting errors surrendered the point needed for the Cortez win.

Lancing topped the Lady Pirates in hitting percentage, nailing a .583 average with seven successful kills in 12 attempts. Hamilton had 10 kills on 24 attempts for a .417 average. Gronewoller was 12 for 33 (.363); Canty was 3 for 8 (.375); and Ash hit three kills in 15 attempts (.200).

Gronewoller led the way on defense at the net. The junior had six stuff blocks during the match. Hamilton recorded four stuffs.

Nicole Buckley had 12 digs go to the setter during two games. Hamilton managed nine successful digs and Ash recorded six good digs during the three-game match.

Lancing hit three ace serves against Cortez. Canty, Hamilton and Buckley each hit an ace.

Too much inconsistency

"We made a minor adjustment," said coach Hamilton, "bringing our two best blockers to the net against the best Cortez hitter, with our better defensive players in the back row at the same time. This worked well, but we were inconsistent in every other aspect of the game - passing, setting, serving and hitting."

The Ladies watched film of the match and worked hard at Monday's practice. "We know what we need to improve," said the coach, "and we expect to see big changes by tonight's games with Durango."

The match tonight at Durango will be used first and foremost to meet fundamental goals. "We need to correct some of the problems we had against Cortez," said the coach. "I want to see better serving; we need to get to our blocks quicker and more effectively and we need consistency in all aspects of our game."

Durango lost the veteran nucleus of last year's team and coach Michelle Brown calls the current season a "rebuilding year." With two 6-foot-3 middle hitters, that construction should take place very quickly.

"They'll be big," said Hamilton of the Demons. "I'm sure they'll feature the typical Durango attack - always dumping the ball where you're not, and catching you off guard. We'll be ready for them."

Action at the Durango High School gym begins with a 5 p.m. C-team match. Junior varsity competition precedes the varsity games.

Tough Durango courses stymie Pirate linksmen By Richard Walter

It was a rare comment in Pagosa Springs, but coach Kathy Carter made it.

"I'm glad we're going to be in Monte Vista next week," she said late Friday after her Pagosa Springs Pirates golf team completed a pre-season set of tournaments against bigger schools and with more experienced players.

The Pirates finished the grueling schedule placing 13th of 16 teams in a Durango tournament Thursday on the tough Dalton Ranch course and then finishing 15th in a 20-team field Friday on Durango's Hillcrest course.

Josh Postolese provided the good news for Carter and his teammates by shaking off the slump that had hit him the previous week in contests at Montrose and Cortez. He shot consecutive rounds of 78 on the Durango courses.

"He's just shooting so much better this year than last," said Carter. "And he's learning that he can compete with any of the other top golfers in the area on a given day."

Luke Boilini shot a 99 on the troubling Dalton course but rebounded with a 90 on Hillcrest. "He's still not shooting like he should," said Carter. "He played all these courses last year so it's not like they're new to him. I think he's been frustrated with his own play but I see him starting to come out of it."

Carter was also pleased with the scores of returning letterman Chris White in the Durango appearances. He carded a 93 on Dalton and an 86 on Hillcrest. Carter said his Hillcrest score would have been much better had it not been "for several penalty strokes he was assessed."

Freshman Garrett Forrest shot a 99 on Dalton and came back with a 93 on Hillcrest Friday. He has his coach dreaming of the future with his approach to the game and the fact he's fired two hole-in-ones in practice rounds at Pagosa Springs Golf Club.

Other scorers for the Pirates were Ty Faber with a 112 on the Dalton course and Danny Lyon with a 104 on Hillcrest.

"We're not really shooting badly," Carter said. "We need to be in the low 80s to high 70s to stay in contention. "

She said she's glad the Pirates will get to play teams closer to their own caliber this week. They were in Monte Vista yesterday and will go to the John Mall Tournament in Walsenburg Friday.

Carter was not sure who she'd add to the lineup for Monte Vista, but said she will take a number of the younger players to Walsenburg so they can gain competitive experience.

"By the time the regionals come," she said, "we'll be a tougher team because of the experience we've gained and I think the personal storms of doubt will be gone by then."

After the Walsenburg appearance, the Pirates will play in Buena Vista Sept. 14 and to Salida the following day.

Community News
Chamber News
By Sally Hameister

Take advantage of business counseling

Thank you to those who have responded already to our query about summer high school hires, and we are about to ask again. If you hired a high school student over the summer, please give us a call at the Chamber and let us know which business and how many students you employed. We would appreciate it greatly. Call 264-2360. Thank you for your time.

St. Pat's bazaar

I know that I've been accused of being bizarre in the past, but St. Pat's is going all the way on this one and holding one! The Episcopal Church Women at St. Patrick's Episcopal Church are very excited about the prospect of a new sanctuary, and all the proceeds from this event will go toward making that a reality. Any monies garnered from this bazaar have been designated for their Church Building Fund, so let's all help them realize their dream.

The St. Patrick's Episcopal Church Annual Bazaar will be held Sept. 16, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Church located at the corner of 2nd and Lewis streets. You will find some fabulous and eclectic items for sale for you, for your home, for the holidays and for your refrigerator. The arts and crafts area will offer unusual handmade craft items, and you will also be able to purchase homemade bakery items and divine frozen casseroles to save you on those busy days when cooking is out of the question. The white elephant area will offer a terrific assortment of items for home and garden, and the Kids' Corner has something for all the kiddoes in your life.

If you would like to donate items to this worthy cause, please call Lorna Ogden at 731-5124, and someone will be happy to pick them up. Please plan to attend the Annual Bazaar Sept. 16 and support the Episcopal Church Building Fund.

Free counseling

Our friend, Jim Reser, Director of the Small Business Development Center at Fort Lewis College will be here Sept. 26 to offer free business counseling, and we invite you to take advantage of his knowledge and expertise in the business arena. Jim has held this position for a number of years and, subsequently, has his finger on the pulse of business activity in the Four Corners area. Whether you are contemplating opening a new business or need to create a business plan for your existing business, Jim can help you out. Please give Morna a call at 264-2360 to schedule your appointment with Jim, any time after 9 a.m. Sept. 26.


Three new members to introduce to you this week and 14 renewals. We appreciate your business and encourage you to keep those cards and letters coming in.

Rebecca A. Cortez brings us the New Spirit Healing Arts Center located at 422 Pagosa Street No. 18, in the Pagosa Mall Offices. The New Spirit Healing Arts Center provides massages, facials, cranial sacral therapy, reflexology, raindrop therapy, ear candling and aromatherapy. They also offer a number of products to include Sence facial products, essential oils, microhydrin supplements and bath salts. If you would like to call Rebecca for more information, please do so at 264-6586.

Margaret Gray joins us with Big Brothers, Big Sisters of LaPlata County located at 701 Camino Del Rio, Suite 318, in Durango. This organization offers one-on-one mentoring for young people. To learn more about Big Brothers, Big Sisters, please call Margaret at 264-5077.

Our third new member this week is longtime Pagosa resident and business man, Thomas E. Craig, D.C., who brings us the Craig Chiropractic Center located at 190 Talisman, C-4. At the Craig Chiropractic Center, you will find diversified chiropractic treatment, contact reflex analysis, muscle testing, and therapeutic nutritional care. If you would like to learn more about these chiropractic services, please call 731-3344.

Our renewals this week include Roger Horton with Fairfield Pagosa Realty, at 63 North Pagosa Boulevard, Suite B-4; Tammy McDowell with San Juan Timberwrights, 60 Barton Circle in Arboles; Wayne Walls with Wilderness Journeys/Pagosa Rafting Outfitters, Inc. with offices in the Fairfield Pagosa Activity Center; Kathey Fitz with High Country Lodge, at 3821 Highway 160 East; Sharon Robinson with Cool Pines RV Park, 1501 West Highway 160; Marsh Preuit with The Spa at Pagosa Springs located at 317 Hot Springs Boulevard and Exodus Shipping at the same location; Lynda Brown with Hodge Podge, 124 East Pagosa Street in the River Center; Richard Hampton with Black Bear Custom Homes; Darlene Danko with Riverbend Resort, at 33846 West Colo. 10 in South Fork; Sally Bish with Cruise Planners; Connie Giffin with The Serenity Trail and Mountain Home Classics, Inc. both located at 190 Talisman Drive, Suite C-6.

Pagosa Lakes
By Ming Steen

Future of recreation topic for Sept. 13 meeting

Pagosa Springs Parks and Recreation will host an introductory meeting for board members and interested community members to look at the future of recreation here in our town. In attendance at this introductory meeting will be a representative from Fort Lewis College. The meeting is scheduled for 10 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 13, at the Town Hall. For more information call Parks and Recreation director Doug Call at 264-4151.

Up With People is coming to Pagosa Springs and our community has been asked to provide lodging and food for 150 international students. The cast will arrive in Pagosa on Thursday, Sept. 21, at 7 p.m. and leave the morning of Monday, Sept. 25. Families willing to host a student or two will be asked to provide breakfast and dinner, as well as transportation in the mornings and evenings. More information will be provided at a host family meeting in mid September. If you are interested in finding out more information about being a host family, please contact Heike Hartmann or Vicki Kopechek at 264-1818 extension 17 - that's at The Bank of the San Juans where a room has been donated for the use of Up With People staff.

Most of us know someone who has performed with Up With People. In fact Pagosa, right here in our midst, we have Patti Renner, Julie Gustafson and Dennise O'Hare (the latter of Forever Plaid fame). Cheryl Alspach, daughter of Dick and Phyllis Alspach, is on staff at the headquarters of Up With People in Broomfield. Cheryl, the consummate master of funding host families, is challenged twice annually when she has to get 300 to 600 students bedded and fed while they are auditioning and or rehearsing for performance tours.

Up With People is an international educational program for college-aged students. They travel the world for one year doing musical performances, giving back to host communities via a variety of community services while staying in host homes. This is as much a people-to-people cultural understanding opportunity as it is a chance to hear a group of talented international students perform.

On Friday, Sept. 22, 100 members of the Up With People cast will be conducting music and dance workshops for our students in the high school, junior high school and middle school. Thrown in with the dance and song will be an opportunity to learn a word or two or a whole phrase if you are linguistically inclined of a new language. To put it simply, our students will get to taste from an international cultural smorgasbord.

"A Common Beat" will be available to Pagosa audience in two showings on Sunday, Sept. 24, at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. These Up With People performances will be held in the Pagosa Springs High School auditorium. Ticket prices are $14 adults, $12 students and senior citizens and for groups of 20 or more there will be a $2 discount per ticket. Each host family will be given two complimentary tickets.

Once again, a group of our local moto-cross riders have brought home trophies galore. On Sunday, Aug. 20, Rory Bissell, Jordan Rea, Kermit Littleton, Justin Dikes and Nick Chavez participated in a moto-cross race in Mancos. Bissell placed second in the 125cc beginner division. Rea, who sustained an injury while competing in Aztec, N.M., in mid-August is back in the saddle and secured a strong third-place finish, also in the 125cc beginner division. Both Bissell and Rea are great buddies who share the same passion for air-borne sports - namely moto-cross racing and freestyle snowboarding. Littleton participated in three different races and finished fifth in the 125c Novice and Open C Novice divisions. In the Schoolboy Division, his third event, Littleton finished fourth. Dikes, a strong and consistent top performer, blasted into first place in the 125c Novice, Open C Novice and Schoolboy Divisions. Chavez finished third in the 125c Novice Division; followed by two second places in the Open C Novice and Schoolboy divisions. Way to go boys.

Senior News
By Janet Copeland

Dinner dance fun and more are expected

It's hard to believe we are already into the month of September. I hope you all had a safe and enjoyable Labor Day and are enjoying the somewhat cooler weather.

Eighteen of our seniors enjoyed a fun potluck supper/dance at the Senior Center last Thursday evening. The food was delicious and we proved that we can still dance, albeit somewhat scaled down from years past. Thanks to Payge and Joe for planning and setting up/taking down everything. Also thanks to LaDonna Radney for helping out. I suspect we will be doing this more often since we had such a good turnout.

We are happy to welcome Sy Kolman back. We hope you and Donna will be able to join us more often. On Friday, Norma and Jamie Estes joined us. Welcome, folks.

Our Senior of the Week is Windell Hildebrant. Congratulations.

We had an e-mail regarding Buddy Bates health problems, he is still very ill and definitely needs everyone's prayers. He and Charlene have had a rough time health-wise this year.

The volunteers who keep our center operating are precious assets and we don't thank them often enough. This week we thank Pat and Hannah Foster, Lydia Martinez, Delpha McFatridge, Helen Girardin, Irene and Jim Dunavant, Lena Bowden, Johnny Martinez and Alice Young for their help.

Also, we send our thanks to Daylight Donuts, who supply us with pastries several times a week. You folks are great. I just wish they would come up with some that are fat- and sugar-free.

Several businesses in town are offering discounts to seniors who present their Archuleta Seniors Citizens Inc. membership cards when they purchase items. We certainly appreciate their generosity, and this week we thank Ski and Bow Rack for helping out.

Cruising with Cruse
By Katherine Cruse

Cruse experiences riding the rails

A couple of weeks ago there was a great train rally in Durango. People brought their restored old wood-burning steam engines, galloping gooses, and all manner of narrow gauge rail travel cars.

I've ridden the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge train a few times, as a tourist and as a hiker.

One year Hotshot and I drove to Silverton to meet friends coming from Boulder, and we all boarded the afternoon train and got off at the Needleton stop to hike into Chicago Basin and camp.

Our friends went back after two nights, but Hotshot and I stayed another night, and then headed on down the trail to catch the morning train.

We'd been briefed. The conductor had showed us the proper way to flag down the train. Swing your arm low across the front of your body, as though you were waving a lantern back and forth.

"If you hold your arm over your head and wave," he said, "the engineer will wave back and say howdy and keep right on going."

Only the day's first train in each direction carried baggage, including backpacks. We left Chicago Basin right after breakfast and hiked the five miles or so at a steady clip, in order to meet the 10:30 arrival from Durango.

The trail is pretty much a downhill trip all the way, except for the last mile, when it turns and parallels the Animas River. Hotshot and I had just reached the bend in the trail and were congratulating ourselves on our timeliness, when we heard that lonesome whistle blow, followed by the growing chugga-chug of the engine.

Hotshot started jogging along the trail, and for a few breathless yards I trotted along too. Heavy packs jolting on our backs, heavy boots weighting down our feet, the train chugging closer up the track. . .

There was no way we were going to outrun a train, for Pete's sake! I quit running and reviewed our options.

We could camp beside the track for 24 hours; there was probably enough leftover food that we wouldn't starve. We could wait for the afternoon train to Durango, and maybe rent a car or hitch a ride or take tomorrow's train to Silverton and get our vehicle.

We could flag down another train and plead sudden acute illness and hope they'd take us along.

Or, we could do what we ultimately did, which was wait another hour and catch the correct train, the one with the baggage car, the one that showed up 45 minutes later, right on schedule. It turned out that the train we'd missed was an extra-early run laid on to accommodate the summer crowds.

At another time, on another hike, Hotshot and I planned to catch the train at the Elk Creek Park stop.

We had been hiking the Continental Divide Trail for 10 days. We were pretty grubby and looking forward to hot showers and full meals and soft beds.

In deference to the tourists, I wore a clean T-shirt and clean socks.

And then it began to rain. Lightning flashed. Thunder rumbled around the tops of the cliffs on either side of the river canyon. We put on rain jackets. It continued to pour. About 1:30 we put on our sweaters under the jackets but still left our rain pants in the pack. Surely this deluge would let up soon!

Water found its way inside our jackets and drenched our shorts below the jacket hems.

It kept raining.

The train finally pulled up, and we waited while an Outward Bound group unloaded a ton of stuff from the baggage car. Then we tossed in our packs and sprinted for the steps, where the conductor stopped us.

"Do you have tickets?" he asked. Uh oh. Panic.

I said, "We were told we could pay you." He thought this over for a minute, then nodded. Whew!

"Do you want to sit inside or in an open car?" he asked. It was only 50 degrees outside. We were wet and cold. It would be a little embarrassing to survive 10 days in the high country, only to develop hypothermia here on the train in front of the day-trippers.

"Inside," we said firmly.

We got the last two inside seats on the entire train. The Outward Bound crew had just vacated them. We paid the conductor and got hot coffee. Our rain jackets dripped from the rack, creating a huge puddle around us. Our shorts and socks were soaked. The necks and cuffs of our sweaters were wet. No one would even see my clean T-shirt.

People stared, but no one commented. I wanted to boast to an admiring audience, but they were all too polite, or perhaps too cold, to speak to us.

Finally a blonde woman with big hair and a bright red smile sashayed up to us from the back of the car.

"I just have to know," she exclaimed in an unmistakable Southern accent, "where y'all have been!" We told her we had spent the last ten days hiking on the Continental Divide. She was positively ecstatic.

"This is the first time I've been out West. I just love this country!" she gushed.

We talked tourist talk for a couple of minutes. Her accent sounded familiar. It sounded like Nashville, Tennessee, which is where Hotshot and I lived at the time.

Finally I asked, "Where are you from?"

And - you can see this coming - our new friend drawled, "I'm from Nashville."

We basked in the warmth of her enthusiasm. The rain stopped. Our clothes dried out. The train rolled into the station. We felt fine.

Library News
By Lenore Bright

Library developing disaster preparedness plan

Because of recent fires in the area, our Southwest Library System put on a workshop to help us prepare for natural or man-made problems that libraries, or for that matter any other business, might face. Fire, flood, wind damage, broken pipes, vandalism - devastation can happen anywhere, and even at home.

It is crucial to have a disaster preparedness plan in place before the calamity hits. The workshop taught us how to develop the plan. We're putting together a comprehensive notebook, and have been given the approval to make copies for interested parties. We will have to charge for the copies. We may consider putting on a workshop locally if there is enough interest. Let us know if you might want to attend such a seminar. I will be touching on some of the highlights of the information in future columns.

New book

The San Juan Historical Society will soon present "Remembrances, Volume 5." This one is subtitled "Living in God's Country," and covers the first churches in Archuleta County.

God and faith played a big part in the early days of Pagosa, providing a cornerstone of hope and community during both hard times and good times. Proceeds benefit the museum to help pay for maintaining the building and the collection. To order a copy of this volume, pick up an order form here at the library or at the museum. There is a $20 pre-publication price. After Sept. 15, the volume will cost $25.

More gifts

Ron, Karla, Taylor and Andie donated 14 children's books in honor of the folks - Ron and Cindy Gustafson. The books are all very popular and will be enjoyed by our young readers. My favorite is, "Summer Reading Is Killing Me!" by Jon Scieszka. It is one of the Time Warp series. There are also a number of the Mary Kate and Ashley Adventures.

Local author

Maggie Valentine Inskeep donated a copy of her latest book, "64 and a half Man Free Activities." It may be checked out. Her book is also available at Moonlight Books.


This six-week course will be held at the Mercy Outpatient Therapy Building at the Mary Fisher Clinic starting Oct. 4. The meetings will be Wednesday evenings 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Cost is $30 for all six weeks. A spouse or family member may attend at no additional cost. Preregistration is required. We have applications here at the library.

Author luncheon

The Colorado Endowment for the Humanities is bringing Studs Terkel to Denver Sept. 22. Individual tickets are $75. Tables are available. This is CEH's sixth annual author luncheon. For more information, see their website:

Vital issue

The Pagosa Woman's Civic Club and the Friends of the Libraries Upper San Juan have started a concerned citizens committee called "SOS - Save our Services." This group is looking for volunteers to help educate the voters on what is at stake if Amendment 21 passes in November. For more information, call Dahrl Henley at 731-9411.


Thanks for materials from Jeanne and Ralph Wiley, Paul Bond, Wilbur Sullivan, Marilyn Pruter, Victoria Landon, the Larry Blue Family, Lavon Roach, Mark Mueller, Kate and John Avery, Marilynette Cox, Rich Harris, Anne Stampfer, Ron Alexander, Valley Lowrance, Jean Dzielak, Pier Madore, Joe Gilbert, Betty Beasley, Marilyn Pruter, Rita Johnson, Carol Hakala and John Egan.

Local Chatter
By Kate Terry

Humane Society nets $35,000 from auction

The rain didn't keep people away from the Auction for the Animals held last Friday night at the Extension Building. This annual benefit to raise money for the Humane Society of Pagosa Springs is always fun - a real social event, and because it is Pagosa, one can wear anything they want to wear.

Over $35,000 was raised. Forty volunteers supplied hors d'oeuvre and a gracious group of kids passed the trays.

The Humane Society appreciates its volunteers and all the people who attended.

Around town

Coming up Sept. 16, St. Patrick's Episcopal Church will be holding its annual bazaar. Featured will be crafts, bake goods, frozen casseroles, a boutique, a white elephant sale, and a kids table. It opens at 9 a.m. and closes at 3 p.m.

Also, St. Patrick's in sponsoring an auction of fine art objects, Oct. 14 at Pagosa Lodge. The monies raised from both of these events will go to the St. Patrick's Church building fund.

The Holiday Bazaar sponsored by the Women's Civic Club of Pagosa Springs is an annual event the first Saturday in November and is held at the Extension Building. The building is full of booths; some of the vendors have been coming for many years.

A part of this bazaar is a raffle. The tickets are $1 each, or 6 for $5. The items are exceptionally good ones. For example, there is a $50 money wreath. Another item is a handsome metal wall hanging of a moose. All the items are contributed. The wreath is from Marietta Gordon and the wall hanging from Gloria Macht. Tickets are available at Sisson Library and from Civic Club members. The drawing is at 5 p.m. on the day of the Bazaar and one does not have to be present.

If one has items to be contributed to the EMTs' garage sale Sept. 12, please call 731-5811. The sale will be at the EMT building, 187 North Pagosa Boulevard.

Fun on the run

Actual reference queries reported by American and Canadian library reference desk workers of various levels show people often talk before thinking.

- "Do you have books here?"

- "Do you have a list of all the books written in English language?"

- "Do you have a list of all the books I've ever read?"

- "I'm looking for Robert James Waller's book. 'Waltzing through Grand Rapids.'" (Actual title wanted: 'Slow Waltz in Cedar Bend')

- "Do you have that book by Rushdie: 'Satanic Nurses?'" (Actual title: 'Satanic Verses')

- "I was here about three weeks ago looking at a cookbook that cost $39.95. Do you know which one it is?"

- Which outlets in the library are appropriate for my hair dryer?"

- "Can you tell me why so many famous Civil War battles were fought on National Park sites?"

- "Do you have any books with photographs of dinosaurs?"

- "I'm looking for information on carpal tunnel syndrome, I think I'm having trouble with it in my neck."

- "Is the basement upstairs?" (Asked at first-floor reference desk)

- "I'm looking for a list of laws that I can break that would send me back to jail for a couple of months."

Education News
By Tom Steen

Alternative school enrolling students

The Archuleta County High School (the Education Center's alternative high school diploma program) is currently enrolling students for the current school year.

This is the fourth year of this highly successful alternative school and it will benefit from the added space of our new building expansion. If you know someone who has dropped out of school or would like an alternative to dropping out, have him or her inquire about this program right away. Many young people move into the community and would like a second chance to get their high school diploma.

The National Dropout Prevention Center has identified 15 strategies that have had the most positive impact on dropout rates. As it turns out, one of the most effective strategies is alternative schooling. Alternative schools today, like the Archuleta County High School, are designed to provide an alternative to dropping out of school, with special attention to the student's individual social needs and the academic requirements for a high school diploma or a GED.

There is a great need for alternative schools in every community. We know every student can learn. Every student should have the opportunity to learn successfully and to achieve a quality of life they desire based on successful educational efforts and achievements. Alternative schooling opportunities will need to expand to accommodate the educational needs of more youth. The traditional school system, and particularly the traditional high school, can no longer serve the needs of all students and the wide range of family life styles common today.

The National Dropout Prevention Center has found that alternative schooling is an effective way to help meet the variety of student and family needs and the social behaviors required for youth in today's world. Alternative schooling also offers school and community leaders the opportunity to fulfill their legal responsibility to provide an equal access to education for all students.

Alternative schooling has many forms including private schools, home schooling, charter schools, and variety of formats for alternative schools. Within the last decade there has been a resurgence of alternative schools like the Archuleta County High School that address the needs of students in at-risk situations. These new schools have truly emphasized the "dropout prevention" aspect. They have been designed to provide an alternative to dropping out of school, with special attention to the student's individual social needs and the academic requirements for a high school diploma. Many districts are now beginning to offer alternative school programs at the middle school level, designed specifically to keep students in school with every opportunity possible to gain an eventual job or an opportunity to enter post-secondary education institutions.

Archuleta County High School also provides special opportunities for teenage mothers desiring to graduate from high school, but who find it difficult to attend the traditional high school.

Recent studies are determining the basic characteristics of alternative schools that are successful with students who do not prosper in traditional schools. These include a low teacher/student ratio; a small student base; a clearly stated mission and discipline code; a caring faculty with continual staff development; a school staff having high expectations for student achievement; a learning program specific to the student's expectations and learning style; a flexible school schedule with community involvement and support; and a total commitment to have each student be a success. It is easy to see why the Education Center's alternative high school program has had such success.

Arts Line
By Katherine Cruse

New Show opens today at gallery

A new show opens today at the Pagosa Springs Arts Council gallery at Town Park - The Work of Clare Burns.

Clare draws on a rich background, from her grandmothers' lives through her own life experiences, to create abstract portraits that convey strength and intimacy. She works in black and white, using alternative process photography and oil paint, among other media, to create her portraits. Clare is particularly fascinated with portraying women because, she says, "To look into the soul of a woman is to look into the soul of humanity. Unfortunately, it's not always what we expect."

Come to the reception at the gallery this evening, 5 to 7 p.m, have some refreshments, and take a long look at Clare's visions of people. This show runs through Sept. 20.

We are so fortunate to have artists in Pagosa Springs who use all kinds of media and all subjects to express their creativity. This exhibition of Clare's work will be followed by Kathryn Kneip's sculptures and graphite drawings, on exhibit Sept. 21 to Oct. 4.

Great opportunity

A two-week exhibition time slot in October at the PSAC Gallery has just become available, due to a cancellation. Maybe you missed reserving an exhibition time last winter, but now you're in luck. Call Joanne at the gallery, 264-5020, if you would like to exhibit.

Creede Theater

Creede Repertory Theater will be coming to Pagosa Springs Sept. 28 and 29. They'll be performing at Pagosa schools. On Sept. 29, the group will present "Love Letters" at a dinner theater performance at Pagosa Lakes Club House. Tickets are on sale at the PSAC gallery at Town Park. Please call PSAC at 265-5020 for additional information, such as the menu - yum! - and other locations to buy tickets.

Annual meeting

The Colorado Arts Consortium annual convention will take place Sept. 22 to 24 in Cortez The Consortium helps direct local arts organizations to benefactors, both companies and individuals, and provides regional assistance for arts organizations as well. We're delighted that their annual convention will be in the Four Corners area this year. All PSAC members and friends are encouraged to attend the convention. For more info, call 1-800-790-0406.

Odds and ends

Chile Mountain Cafe is looking for art on consignment. They're located at 301 North Pagosa Boulevard. Call 731-6550, ask for Carolyn. We volunteer writers apologize for misspelling the name in our previous columns.

Anyone interested in volunteering some time at the gallery, or at Arts Council functions, please call Joanne at 264-5020.

Mountain Greenery continues to provide complimentary flower arrangements at all the open house receptions at the Gallery in Town Park. Thanks, Marguerite!

Thanks also to Nancy Green for keeping up the PSAC scrapbook.

Whistle Pig nights will start up again later this month. Look for the opening date in the Preview.

Remember that your City Market Cares card doesn't net the Arts Council any money if you don't present it to the cashier when you shop, every time you shop! Help support the arts in your community. For more info call Joanne at 264-5020.

New hours

The Arts Center and Gallery is open 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday.


Vision for our future

Monday evening marks the start of the third and final phase of public input into the Archuleta County Community Plan - the supposed "20-20 Vision into Our Future." Residents of the southwest corner of the county are being encouraged to volunteer two hours Monday night - 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. - in order to be at the Arboles Catholic Church and to participate in formulating a final draft of the plan.

The Sept. 11 meeting in Arboles will be the first of seven similar public workshops that are scheduled throughout the county. The second meeting targets residents who live in the area of Piedra Road, Piedra Estates, Pagosa Hill, Cemetery Road, Fourmile Road, Snowball Road, Log Park, San Juan River Village and U.S. 160 east. It will be held Tuesday, Sept. 12, in the county fair building.

The third meeting hopes to attract residents from along U.S. 84 in the Mill Creek, Continental Estates, Holiday Acres, Echo Lake, Echo Canyon, Loma Linda and Blanco Basin areas. It will be held Wednesday, Sept. 13, in the county fair building.

The fourth meeting will be held next Thursday, Sept. 14, in the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church Parish Hall in the center of Pagosa Springs.

Residents of the Pagosa Lakes area are being asked to forgo their Monday night football on Sept. 18 and instead attend the public workshop in the Pagosa Lakes Community Center located on Port Avenue.

The Tuesday, Sept. 16, meeting offers residents of the Aspen Springs, Chimney Rock and Yellow Jacket areas an opportunity to express their concerns and to offer their insight on the Community Plan. The workshop meeting will be held in the Pagosa Lakes Community Center

The seventh and final workshop will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 20, for the residents of Chromo, Edith, Coyote Park and along the county's southern portion of U.S. 84. The meeting will be conducted in the Old Chromo School on the east side of the highway immediately north of the Navajo River bridge.

An encouraging number of Pagosans demonstrated their concern in Archuleta County's future by attending the first two series of public meetings. Now it is time for these same citizens and all others who are interested in providing input in a proposed growth scenario and a future land-use map for Archuleta County to share their ideas and voice their concerns.

Now is not the time to complain about real or perceived mistakes of the county's past. Now is the time to involve yourself in helping establish "policy options and action items" that will direct Archuleta County's future. Rather than writing a letter to the editor after it's years too late, volunteer two of your hours - 7 to 9 p.m - on one of the above dates and express your views while there is some time remaining to do some good.

Whether or how you voted in the Aug. 8 primary election will affect the future of Archuleta County for four years or less, but attending one of the public workshops and expressing your concerns for the future development and growth of Archuleta County will cause a much greater future impact.

David C. Mitchell

Dear Folks
By David C. Mitchell

It's always a time to start to learn

Dear Folks,

Labor Day lived up to its name at the SUN this week.

It's hard for folks who work at a weekly newspaper to derive much enjoyment from a Monday holiday.

Though it might enable us to finish up some of the end-of-the-summer tasks around the yard, it throws us behind on getting a paper onto the press by Wednesday afternoon.

This week, having a shipment of newsprint arrive at 7 Tuesday morning literally added to the load.

Having been fed a somewhat steady diet about his "lifting heavy objects and putting them down," it was time to recruit Karl for paper rolling duty Tuesday morning.

Controlling the 850-pound rolls of newsprint as they rolled down the ramp into the SUN building was no problem for Karl. Waking up in time to be here by 7 was the real strain of the day.

I'm sure Tuesday morning provided a variety of strains for a lot of folks in Pagosa. Whether parent, student or teacher; the first day of school provides a multitude of challenges and demands many adjustments.

Like or not, all of us are life-long students in the classroom of handling challenges and making necessary adjustments in our lives. Unlike those in the classrooms, these lessons offer no vacations, only grade on a pass-fail basis, require repeated attendance when we fail, and are quickly replaced with the latest updated versions once we successfully master any early lessons.

Evidently whoever designed these lessons placed much emphasis on self discipline and showed little regard towards our self esteem. Though differing, yet usually related, the lessons are never ending and graduation comes only after the last heart beat. Rather than a diploma, the graduates receive a headstone.

That's one thing I think I decided this summer. Though I've borne a variety of titles through the years and preformed a multiplicity types of employment, I've decided the only description I feel comfortable with is that of "learner."

Of course this raises the difficult question: What have I learned? To tell you the truth I'm not sure how to accurately answer the question.

I'm not sure there is an answer other than the realization that I still have an awful lot to learn about life if I ever hope to be skilled at my job of living and my vocation of learning.

Naturally it is embarrassing to identify yourself as being a learner yet be unable to describe what you have learned. It's hard to explain that a learner is somewhat similar to an undesigned weaving that continues to have endless lengths of warps and wefts on the loom.

It would be an unproductive waste of time to backtrack and unroll the completed portion of things already learned, but it's equally unproductive to explain what might result from what remains waiting to be woven.

Rather than a weaving in progress, it's a shame a learner doesn't resemble a square knot. It would require only a short piece or rope or twine. A quick maneuver of the two loose ends would produce the finished product - in an instant you would have a genuine, easily verifiable square knot.

Yes, while it is rather difficult to explain the title of learner, it is even harder to be one.

I'm sure all of the teachers, instructors, tutors and coaches from my past would gladly bestow me with the title of learner - just as long as my name was not on their class roll.

Of course being a learner has its advantages - it's an ageless profession. And it's an applicable response whenever folks ask the inevitable questions: "What did you do before you moved to Pagosa?", "What sort of business are you in?", "What do you do for a living?", or "What are your plans for the future?"

I can answer: "I was a learner", "I am a learner", or "I hope to be a learner."

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


25 years ago

Curvey bags trophy bighorn

Taken from SUN files of Sept. 11, 1975

Bob Curvey, proprietor to the Springs Inn, bagged a trophy bighorn sheep last week while hunting in the Cimmarona area. He and Lloyd Groves reported seeing plenty of ewes and a few rams. Curvey said he had been trying for a bighorn for several years.

Specialized child care service will be available at the Dr. Mary Fisher Clinic for the next month. Andrea Favret, a child health associate will be assisting Dr. Gary Jansen at the clinic. Favret is on leave from the University of Colorado Medical Center where she is an instructor in pediatrics for the center's physicians associate program.

Highway construction work on Wolf Creek Pass is moving rapidly ahead. A good portion of the new road construction has been seal coated with oil and it looks as if the entire stretch of highway on the west side of the Pass might have some type of coating before winter sets in.

Terry Alley, middle school principal, this week announced the results of the student council election. Aaron Shaw was named president. Chuck Acord was named vice president. Amanda Curtis was elected secretary and Lisa Cooney was named treasurer.


By Shari Pierce

'The old Mesa Verde we knew'

A trip to Durango in late July had me wondering where the smoke was coming from. Inquiries of a shopkeeper there did not reveal any information. Looking back as we drove home, we could see a massive plume of smoke that appeared as though it was west of Durango. The clouds of smoke extended for miles across the sky.

The evening news confirmed the fire was at Mesa Verde. Having seen the amount of smoke coming from the fire, we knew it was big. For the next several days we followed the progress of the fire. In all, over 23,000 acres burned in the Bircher Fire. On some days the fire grew in excess of 5,000 acres in a day. Only days later, the Pony Fire attacked other areas of the park.

The Pirates soccer team played in Cortez last weekend. This gave me the perfect opportunity to visit post-fire Mesa Verde.

Late Saturday afternoon we entered the park and continued on to the Morefield Campground. We got our first close look at damage done by the fire. Several campsites and trails were closed to the public. Charred bushes and trees covered one hillside. The ground on the hillside was brown, black and lifeless. I was hoping the clouds overhead wouldn't bring a heavy rain. It looked as though the hillside could easily wash away. Beautiful new grass covered the ground in some of the burned areas lower down. You could see how close the fire came to some of the structures in this area.

After picking our campsite and pitching a tent, we headed up to the amphitheater. Ranger Smith welcomed us to the park and warned us of the dangers of bears, skunks and mountain lions. A fellow camper had seen the adult lion in the area that afternoon. During the rest of the talk, I kept thinking about that walk back to our campsite - about 20 minutes in the dark.

We enjoyed looking at slides of the fire, learning how it spread and how park employees dealt with it. The fire was discovered in the late morning on Thursday; it spread so rapidly that the order to evacuate was given in the late afternoon of the same day. The ranger talked about how the fire was good for the environment and why it burned so furiously.

Our drive further into the park on Sunday morning took us through acres and acres of burned area. It was sad to see the land looking so gray, brown and black. Occasionally we'd see an area that had been spared. Some guard rails had been burned, but crews were working even on Sunday to get them replaced.

As we neared Cliff Palace and Balcony House, the terrain got back to "the old Mesa Verde we knew." This was the part that was spared by the fire.

The new grass growth and gambel oak sprouts were bright spots in an otherwise gloomy landscape as we made our way back out of the park to head home in the afternoon. I left the park glad that I had had the experience of seeing the aftermath of the fire and the opportunity to learn more about it.

Pacing Pagosa
By Richard Walter

Suprising drug survey results

We've just come through the first Labor Day weekend of the new millennium and there is a feel of economic security in the air.

People are working, the unemployment rate continues to drop and would-be employers are searching for competent help. Summer jobs for youth were at a record high in the state and taxes collected indicate refunds to state workers will be even higher next year.

The workforce isn't comprised of teens alone as evidenced by news last week that Colorado's jobholders are the nation's fourth most educated.

The study reporting that fact in advance of Labor Day noted Colorado has the highest percentage (75%) of its residents employed and the highest percentage of working women (69 %) in the nation.

Those are outstanding figures with reference to economy but do they tell the whole story?

Consider this: Another study released last week indicates the state leads the nation in overall marijuana use and ranks higher than the national average in the percentage of teenage users.

If 75 percent of the state's eligible workers are employed, including 69 percent of its women, who is looking after the children while the parents work? Could that be part of the reason that 10.8 percent of youth between 12 and 17 reported using marijuana within a month of the survey?

Nationwide, the survey said, use of illegal drugs by 12 to 17 year olds declined from 11.4 percent in 1997 to 9 percent in 1999. Nationally, 7.9 percent of the marijuana users were between 12 and 17 while the percentage figure for Colorado was 10.8, tying it for seventh nationwide. The percentage use figure for 18 to 25 year olds also tied for seventh on the national scale.

Thus, it appears, our top educated workers are also our biggest users of illegal drugs. That would seem to be in total contrast to the image of poor and indigent residents being those most addicted to drugs and alcohol.

The study indicated that nearly 6 percent of those 12-17 and over 8 percent of those 18 to 25 had used an illegal drug other than marijuana in the 30 days prior to the poll. Perhaps contributing to that total was the fact nearly 13 percent of the 12-17 group reported binge drinking during the same period, as did 43 percent of those in the 18-25 age bracket.

It has long been believed that drug and alcohol abuse go hand in hand and those figures would seem to support the belief.

Use of contraband items by younger residents might also be suspected in the types of litter seen discarded on or near area school campuses.

Do you think all this indicates a drastic need for youth programs? Denver's Mayor Wellington Webb thinks so.

He has signed a document putting a sales tax increase to finance childrens' programs on the November ballot for the state's capitol city. If approved by voters, it would raise the sales tax in the city 1 cent on every $5 in sales.

Webb says the tax would raise as much as $30 million in its first year and said it would be earmarked for childhood education, youth health care programs and before and after-school activities.

Two city council members voted against the plan as disruptive and damaging for the city's smaller businesses.

Supporters said the booming economy makes this the ideal time to support such programs.

Aren't education and its attendant vices wonderful?

Feel good news

The aim of the annual Blowout Softball Tournament held last month in Pagosa Springs was to raise enough money beyond expenses to provide a portable wrestling scoreboard and a special exercise bicycle for the junior high school athletic department.

The good news is that the necessary money was collected. The better news is that more than enough profit was made and as a result not one, but two, exercise bicycles were purchased and the scoreboard has been ordered.

Sue Jones, who coordinated the tournament Aug. 5 and 6 at Golden Peaks Sports Complex, was "thrilled to be able to contribute to a program which means so much to Pagosa youth." School personnel say she turned over $1,200.

It is just another example of Pagosa people helping Pagosa people.

Old Timer
By John Motter

Railroad Station was important to town

It's hard to imagine today, but for more than 30 years the whistle of a locomotive sounded in Pagosa Country just as regular as clockwork. We newcomers don't hear the train whistle anymore, but a few oldtimers remain who listened to the daily venting of steam as the old Pagosa and Northern narrow gauge engine chugged into town.

When the first train reached Pagosa Springs Oct. 13, 1900, its arrival was heralded by the town fathers as a big event. In the early West, having your own train almost guaranteed success for a community. Having no train was a formula for failure.

From its inception in 1877-1878, Pagosa Springs developers talked and worked to get a rail line through town. Many had hoped the Denver and Rio Grande connection between Alamosa and Durango would include rails through Pagosa Springs. It didn't happen. General Palmer's railroad crossed the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and dropped into Fort Garland on the east side of the San Luis Valley, created Alamosa in the center of the valley, then puffed along to Antonito on the west side of the Valley and the east side of the Conejos Range, more popularly known today as the Southern San Juans.

Many routes across the mountains were surveyed before a pass was chosen. Pagosa folks hoped the chosen route would be Elwood Pass, bringing the railroad through town. That didn't happen. Instead, Cumbres Pass was the chosen crossing. Consequently, the little train that could crossed Cumbres Pass, dropped into Chama on the west side of the mountains, then created a series of communities or stops on its way to Durango. Among those communities or stops were Amargo, Dulce, Juanita, Pagosa Junction, Caracas, Arboles, Allison and so on.

The new train stayed about 35 miles south of Pagosa Springs. Freight and passengers going to and from Pagosa had to endure a jolting, 35-mile stage ride in order to reach the train. And so, for most of the next 19 years, a stage line was the lifeline of town.

Change came starting in the early 1890s. E.M. Biggs had almost exhausted the easy-to-reach timber in northern New Mexico. By the 1890s, Biggs was eyeing Pagosa Country. Soon he put his plans into action and started a railroad from Lumberton north to Edith (named for Biggs' daughter) and into the southern part of Archuleta County. For much of the distance, the new rail line followed the old stage route. When a savings in distance could be realized, passengers and freight journeyed to wherever Biggs' railroad happened to terminate. Biggs' goal, however, was cutting trees and manufacturing lumber, not reaching Pagosa Springs. In fact, his deepest penetration into the county reached about where Echo Lake is today.

During 1899, Pagosa hopes for a railroad received encouragement from another railroad-logging magnate, A.T. Sullenberger. Sullenberger had the support of the influential Newton family. First, "the largest, most modern lumber mill in Colorado" was built at the old Pagosa Junction site. From Pagosa Junction, Sullenberger's crews started laying track for Pagosa Springs. A joyous welcome greeted them when they arrived in Pagosa Springs. Already the town was booming, what with the payrolls being spent by those working for Biggs and the other bunch of men working for Sullenberger. Each mill may have employed as many as 100 men. Then there were logging crews, and millwrights and wheelwrights and the rest of the needed skills and supplies.

The rail line from Pagosa Junction created several new communities along its way including: Talian, Kearns, Lone Tree, Altura, Hall's Landing, Dyke, Nutria, Bayles, and Sunetha, maybe some others. The rail line approached town from due west, maybe a couple of hundred yards south of the Pagosa Lodge. From there it approached the small range of hills just west of town, then veered south and circled the hills on the southern side. As the tracks turned north again, they crossed Trujillo Road just north of the old landfill site. Parts of Trujillo Road approaching town may be on the old rail bed.

As the tracks entered town from the southwest corner, they moved in a northeasterly direction until arriving at the newly constructed depot. That depot still stands at the southwest corner of 7th and Durango streets and is a rental house today. For many years after rail service pulled out of Pagosa Springs during the early 1930s, the depot was remodeled and served as a home for the Worthe Crouse family.

We are indebted to Jerry Martinez, the scion of Emmett Martinez, for the photograph of the depot we've included with this article. As one can see, it was a very fine depot building, its appearance similar to other Denver and Rio Grande depots in this part of the country.

To put the depot into context, we've included a second photo taken from a hill west of the depot and looking east. We don't know the date of the depot photo, but we know the date of the photo of the town including the depot is April 29, 1901. The train had only been in town a few months.

From the photograph, we see a freight train next to the depot, a watering tank, and a storage shed. Soon, the tracks extended beyond the depot and made a loop, circling approximately where west San Juan Street is today. The loop functioned as a turnaround. Later, tracks were laid north of town up what are today Four Mile Road and Snow Ball Road. The extensions were also logging railroads.

Soon the rail depot functioned at the center of town activities. People entering and leaving the community used the train, avoiding the obvious weather bugaboos such as snow and mud that made wagon travel difficult.

Merchandise arrived in town via train, and along with merchandise came drummers, also known as sales people, for wholesale companies. Often, the drummers carried examples of their merchandise in large suitcases. Consequently, a hack, or horse-drawn taxi, greeted arriving trains and transported the vendors to hotels. After a satisfying repast, the vendors opened their suitcases and displayed their wares in hotel lobbies.

Large stock pens and stock loading facilities were built near the depot. Local ranchers who, in the past, herded cattle and sheep 35 miles or more to load them on stock cars at the nearest rail line, now brought them to Pagosa Springs. Often, the drovers and the owners celebrated in town before returning to the ranch.

Always, however, the principal support of the railroad was logging and lumber. Logs were hauled to the lumber mills and lumber shipped from the mills to the outside world. When the volume of lumber being shipped began to fall, the railroad felt the pinch in their pocket books. Even as locals screamed in distress, railroad moguls convinced the controlling governmental agencies that they were losing too much money, they needed to shut down. Shut down they did, in 1932.

Following the demise of the railroad, Pagosa Springs was never the same again, at least not until a new industry was created by the real estate boom that started in the mid-1970s.

A glance at the photo of the town reveals a few buildings still standing including: the railroad depot, the Buckles and Schultz Hall on Lewis Street known today as the Bear Creek Tavern, the Hersch Building on Pagosa Street, Dick Devore's house on Lewis Street, the old Catholic Church building, and possibly other buildings we don't recognize or have a good view of. Spurting up in the right center of the photograph is the town geothermal well located along the west bank of the San Juan near the site of the old town hall.

Joseph Mario Segura

Jennifer and Benji Segura of Pagosa Springs are happy to announce the birth of their son Joseph Mario Segura who was born on August 28, 2000. He weighed 6 pounds, 4 ounces and was 19-inches long.

His maternal grandparents are Tom and Nancy Torrey. His paternal grandparents are Eufilia and Ben Segura.

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