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October 5, 2000
N. Pagosa paving pact approved
By John M. Motter

Acceptance of a bid for repaving portions of North Pagosa Boulevard and the closure of four Fairfield Pagosa roads to truck traffic were among the actions taken by the Archuleta County commissioners while meeting in regular session Tuesday.

The bid of Strohecker Excavation Inc. was accepted for the North Pagosa Boulevard paving project. Strohecker's bid of $156,799 was lower than the bid of $180,489 submitted by Asphalt Construction Inc. of Alamosa. No other bids were received. Work on the project will begin when a contract between the county and Strohecker is signed.

County road and bridge crews have rebuilt the rock base supporting the asphalt on the portions of North Pagosa Boulevard being resurfaced, about 20 percent of the portion paved last year under the Fairfield Communities Inc. bankruptcy settlement agreement.

An argument continued Tuesday concerning identification of the parties responsible for the need to repave portions of North Pagosa Boulevard so soon after the bankruptcy paving was accomplished.

On one side of the argument is County Manager Dennis Hunt. On the other side are members of the joint road advisory committee appointed by the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association and the county.

At the Sept. 19 commissioner meeting, Hunt said that agreement was reached by the commissioners, PLPOA, and road advisory committee that since the road had been used for years and they were stretching funds in order to pave as many miles as possible, that North Pagosa Boulevard be paved without prior testing or engineering. Hunt said that only 20 percent of the repaved portion failed and that further deterioration is unlikely.

County Road Supervisor Kevin Walters suggested that, since Mission Drive and other roads in the area have been paved, an increasing number of concrete trucks have been using North Pagosa Boulevard. The implication was that North Pagosa Boulevard is not designed to sustain the weight of continued use by the concrete trucks and as a consequence, suffered premature failure.

Gene Cortright, a member of the road advisory committee, at first denied that that committee had anything to do with the decision to repave North Pagosa Boulevard without first testing the base.

At Tuesday's meeting, Cortright supported by fellow advisory committee member Fred Ebeling, reiterated that statement and contended that the road advisory committee went along with the county under duress, that the road advisory committee had no idea the county would repave North Pagosa without first ascertaining that the base was adequate, and that the county had sole administrative responsibility for the paving of North Pagosa Boulevard. Ebeling said the road advisory committee acted only in an advisory capacity and had no administrative authority.

Hunt responded by reading from the May 10, 2000, road advisory committee minutes; April 9, 1998, road advisory committee report; and an April 15, 1999, road advisory committee letter, all approving the paving of North Pagosa Boulevard by the road advisory committee. Commissioner Ken Fox, who was a commissioner during the times in question, agreed with Hunt and said he thinks it is clear that the road advisory committee agreed to pave North Pagosa Boulevard without prior testing of the road base.

In an action related to the North Pagosa Boulevard issue, the commissioners closed Mission Drive, Laurel Drive, Aspenglow Drive, and Handicap Avenue to through commercial traffic in excess of 15,000 pounds. The action was taken to lessen truck traffic on North Pagosa Boulevard, as well as the streets on which heavy truck traffic is restricted.

Restructuring the makeup of the county's 11-member planning commission received consideration Tuesday. Mike Mollica, director of county development, asked the commissioners to reduce the number of people serving on the Upper San Juan Regional Planning Commission. The board and its work will be more manageable with reduced numbers, according to Mollica. Mollica timed his request to coincide with the end of September expiration of the terms of two members. Terms are for three years.

Currently the planning board has seven members appointed by the county commissioners, one member appointed by the town of Pagosa Springs, one member representing the Southern Ute Tribe, one member representing Hinsdale County, and one member representing Mineral County. The Southern Ute, Hinsdale County, and Mineral County members seldom attend meetings.

The commissioners took no action and asked Mollica to contact the Southern Utes and officials of the two counties to learn if they are interested in retaining membership. When Mollica reports back, the commissioners will reconsider the issue.

In other business Tuesday the commissioners dissolved the Vision Committee appointed to help the county develop land management policies. "They've done an excellent job," said Commissioner Gene Crabtree. "It's time for us as a board to take this from here. We need to thank them. They've put in long, strenuous hours."

"We agree with the disbandment," said John Applegate, current chairman of the Vision Committee. "If you need our services in the future, we'll be ready," Applegate said.

Also Tuesday, the commissioners:

- Renewed an annual agreement with Hinsdale County for treating noxious weeds. Archuleta County does the work and is reimbursed by Hinsdale County

- Declined to act on a citizen request to name the road between Piedra Road and subdivisions in the Pagosa Peaks, Teyuakan area O'Neal Road instead of Jack's Pasture Road. According to the commissioners, the road belongs to the Forest Service. Consequently, the Forest Service is responsible for the road's name, not the county commissioners

- Affirmed that no widening is contemplated for the extreme end of the Lower Blanco Road, despite such requests now that the school district has extended school bus service into that area. Residents there say the road is not wide enough to allow passage when an automobile meets the bus. The county maintains that widening the road requires more money than is available. The commissioners said they will study the issue for future budget consideration

- Granted a conditional-use permit for the San Marcial Grill in Arboles

- Under an agenda heading of unfinished business, the commissioners appropriated $11,000 for the purchase of a vehicle from the PLPOA for use by the county sheriff.

Anonymous donation covers hospital district shortage
By Karl Isberg

An anonymous donation of $125,000 to the Upper San Juan Hospital District has allowed the district to begin the process of bringing two paramedic employees back to full-time status and improving the district's ability to respond to medical emergencies.

The donation was received Sept. 7.

Two paramedics were taken from full-time to part-time status in mid-August following discovery of a $230,000 shortfall in the district's annual budget.

The budget shortfall was discovered in July by the district's auditor. It resulted from internal accounting errors on the revenue and expenditure sides of the ledger. The auditor found no evidence of misappropriation of funds, of missing funds, or of wrongdoing; but the new budget picture required cost-cutting measures and safeguards, including regular review of district bookkeeping practices were put into effect to avoid similar budget problems in the future.

Hospital district officials deleted one part-time office position and reduced the two paramedics to part-time status for a projected annual savings of $100,000. Capital expenditures were eliminated saving another $60,000, and billing for district services rendered to other agencies helped recoup nearly $210,000 of the $230,000 absent from the budget.

At the time the paramedics were moved to part-time status, district executive director Bill Bright worried the absence of manpower could affect the way in which district ambulance crews would be able to respond to "second call-outs" from the Emergency Medical Services ambulance garage. A second call-out occurs when the primary ambulance crew stationed at the EMS building is busy with an earlier call and a second crew must be mustered.

Prior to the adjustments made in August, a second crew was available at the EMS building for a second call-out.

Not so on Sept. 12, reported Bright, when neither of the paramedics had been moved back to full-time employment.

"We got a call about an unresponsive patient," he said. "It was in the mid-afternoon and our first ambulance crew was transporting a patient to Durango when the second call went out. We normally would have had a crew ready at the EMS building; this was a shift where a paramedic had been moved to part time and wasn't on duty. In this case, our ambulance took 10 minutes to roll (by law, each ambulance must be staffed by two EMTs or paramedics before it can respond to an emergency) instead of our normal two minutes."

Fortunately for the victim in the incident, EMS was able to dispatch a paramedic to the scene in a Quick Response Vehicle and the paramedic tended the patient while waiting for two EMTs to bring the ambulance.

On Sept. 29, with only one of the two paramedics returned to full-time duty, another incident occurred that Bright says illustrates the potential problem with second call-outs.

"We had a call on a seizure patient in the mid-afternoon," said Bright, "and our first crew was transporting the victim of an auto accident. Our ambulance rolled 8 minutes after the call came in. We had an EMT on the scene quickly, but no rig arrived for 10 to 12 minutes."

Because of funds provided by the donation, the district now has one paramedic back to full-time work and the second will be on the job full time in the near future, said Bright.

"We are extra-grateful for this donation," said the director. "Our board is tremendously grateful for the gift. Both the board and I believe what we have learned during this entire experience will allow the hospital district to gain strength in the future."

Sanitary transfer vote complications explained
By Karl Isberg

For several years, the town of Pagosa Springs has managed the Pagosa Springs Sanitation District, with the district retaining a board of directors, conducting a yearly audit and assessing a mill levy from property owners living within district boundaries.

Last spring, in an attempt to streamline the operation of the sewage treatment service provider, the sanitation district board of directors expressed the desire to dissolve the district, eliminate unnecessary costs, and turn the system totally over to the town.

Voters living within district boundaries, and owners of property within the district, went to the polls May 2 and agreed to dissolve the district contingent upon the formation of a general improvement district by the town of Pagosa Springs. The purpose of a general improvement district would be to take on the existing Pagosa Springs Sanitation District debt and to receive the revenues from the existing sanitation district mill levy to repay the debt, fund operations and maintain facilities.

As conceived, such a general improvement district does not entail any increase in taxes to property owners living within the old Pagosa Springs Sanitation District boundaries.

Pagosa Springs trustees met Oct. 3, held a public hearing and learned petitions circulated to put the general improvement district question on the Nov. 7 General Election ballot had been certified. Two hundred signatures were required on the petitions (not less than 30 percent of the voters living within sanitation district boundaries) and there were 238 certified signatures submitted.

Trustees then passed an ordinance calling for the election. Ballots have already been delivered to Archuleta County Clerk June Madrid along with pro and con statements on the issue.

"We need a way to clear the way to deliver the sanitation district debt to the GID," Town Administrator Jay Harrington told the trustees. "And the ballot situation we have now is more complicated than we anticipated."

Harrington said that registered voters living within the Pagosa Springs Sanitation District boundaries (and the proposed general improvement district's boundaries), and all owners of property within those boundaries, will vote on four ballot issues concerning formation of the new district.

"The first ballot question is easy," said Harrington.

Issue 2A reads: "Shall the Town of Pagosa Springs Sanitation General Improvement District be organized?"

Due to requirements of the TABOR amendment, said Harrington, the other three questions are worded in such a way they give the impression the creation of the new district could entail a tax increase.

The second issue - Ballot Issue 2B - begins: "Shall the town of Pagosa Springs Sanitation General Improvement District taxes be increased $11,500 annually in the first full fiscal year, or by such lesser amount as may be necessary for the operation and maintenance of the district's services and facilities, by the imposition of a mill levy of .5 mills on all taxable property within the boundaries of the district. . . ."

While it might seem a new tax is being imposed and new debt created, the issue simply asks that the existing cost of operations and facilities and .5 mills of the total sanitation district 3.4 mill levy be transferred to the general improvement district for the purpose of funding operational costs.

Ballot Issue 2C asks that an existing debt of $51,000 with a repayment cost of up to $70,000 be transferred to the proposed district, and that part of the remaining 2.9 mill levy be used for repayment. The issue also includes a $25,000 debt to be transferred to the general improvement district - a debt now being paid by select private property owners living with district boundaries.

Ballot Issue 2D asks voters to approve transfer of a Pagosa Springs Sanitation District debt of $575,000, (with a repayment cost of up to $820,000) to the proposed district. The remainder of the existing sanitation district mill levy would be used, as it currently is by the Pagosa Springs Sanitation District, to repay the debt.

"We were hoping there would be only two questions on the ballot," said Harrington, "the first to establish the new district and the second to allow the GID to assume the existing debt and mill levy. When the situation was reviewed, we were advised the second question should be split into three different debt issues called out on the same ballot. It made this extremely more complicated than we anticipated.

"We have no latitude on the way these issues are written," said Harrington. "TABOR was devised to make sure similar measures fail, but we need to continually inform our voters that these issues do not involve any tax increase. It just puts the existing debt burden over to a different entity which doesn't require a separate board and a separate audit with expenses we don't need to pay. If these issues are approved, sanitation services will be run by the town, with the same debt and the same tax."

Community leaders urge 'no' vote on Amendment 21
By John M. Motter

Archuleta County community leaders gathered Sept. 27 to urge voters to vote against Amendment 21 on the Nov. 7 general election ballot.

Amendment 21 proposes a tax cut that, if approved, will destroy many local entities such as the Pagosa Fire Protection District and seriously curtail government services in every sector, according to leaders who spoke at the Sept. 27 meeting.

According to information presented at the meeting, Amendment 21 calls for a $25 tax cut for each taxpayer on the tax amount due from each taxing entity. That amount increases $25 each year forever on utility customer and occupation taxes and franchise charges; vehicle sales; use and ownership taxes; income taxes; income taxes equal to yearly revenue from the sales tax on food and drink; property taxes and property taxes equal to yearly revenue from sales tax on food and drink.

"Should Amendment 21 pass," County Commissioner Bill Downey said afterward, "Archuleta County revenues will be cut by $385,729. This would mean a 14.2 percent decrease in property tax revenue the first year and a total county projected budget revenue decrease of 5 percent. This would mean that if the mill levy was not increased, there would have to be a 5 percent decrease in county services the first year of implementation and additional decreases in future years."

"The amendment would eliminate fire protection services," according to fire Chief Warren Grams.

Leaders of other local service providers, such as the library and medical services agreed with Grams.

"It is important for residents of Archuleta County to know the truth about Amendment 21 before they vote in November," said Commissioner Ken Fox. "Should this amendment pass, it could have important impacts on the services and lifestyles we enjoy in this county."

The meeting at the Pagosa Springs Chamber of Commerce building was attended by education leaders, local business leaders, firefighters, librarians, elected officials and members of the public.

Yamaguchi graveside service Saturday

Graveside services for Mrs. Millie Jean Yamaguchi will be held in Hilltop Cemetery at 11 a.m. Saturday with Father John Bowe officiating. Immediately following the services, Mrs. Yamaguchi's life will be remembered by her friends and family at a luncheon prepared and served by the Ladies of Guadalupe at the Parish Hall.

Mrs. Yamaguchi, 64, passed away at her home in Yuma, Ariz., last month.

Millie Jean Astin was born on Aug. 6, 1936 in Marietta, Texas, to Lara Edith and Alton Charles Astin. Millie Jean was known as "Mac" or "Macco" by those who knew and loved her. She moved to Pagosa Springs in the early 1950s and eventually captured the heart of the decorated World War II veteran, Ralph "Hoppo" Yamaguchi. She became his teenage bride on April 14, 1954, in a marriage ceremony in Tierra Amarilla, N.M. Joined in matrimony, life partners, Mac and Hoppo were "joined at the hip" until his death in 1997.

Though Mac had no children of her own, countless young people were taken into her heart and home, and over the years became the recipients of her kind and giving nature. Her family remembers that she wasn't one to indulge much in sentimentality but that those around her always knew she cared by what she did and the way she did it. These fortunate individuals included the young amateur boxers, the basketball players, the baseball players, the budding fishermen, the expectant arrowhead hunters, a family member, a friend in need, or a neighbor. They knew that she called a spade a spade and they knew better than to go to her looking for undeserved sympathy. But they also knew they could always count on her to come through for them when they needed that helping hand or that word of encouragement.

Macco loved a good joke, a good laugh. She panned for gold, she hiked, she took her trips and visited an occasional casino. She gardened, she picnicked and played volleyball with friends and family. Mostly, she enjoyed her life and the things she did.

Mrs. Yamaguchi was preceded in death by husband, Hoppo Yamaguchi, her parents, Al and Edith Astin, and her brother, Robert Astin. She is survived by her brother, Charles William Astin; nieces, Patty Donnelly, Shirley Smith, Natalie Yamaguchi, Marilyn Yeager and her children, Drex and Laria; nephews Jimmy Astin, Ryan Astin, Shawn Astin, Randy Astin, Larry Cotton and Darrel Cotton, brother-in-law, Ernest "Guchi" Yamaguchi and "adopted" children, Freddie and Pauline Rivas and their children, Freddie, Cindy, Joey, Susie and Linda.

In lieu of flowers the family suggests donations be made to the Special Olympics account at the Bank of the San Juans.

County mourns the death of Ernest Schutz

Longtime Chromo resident Ernest W. Schutz, 83, died unexpectedly at his home on Sunday, Sept. 24, 2000.

In partnership with his brother Harold, Mr. Schutz was a fixture in the Chromo Valley, running cattle and breeding quarterhorses at their Chromo Ranches Inc., property.

Mr. Schutz was born Aug. 19, 1917, in Flora Vista, N.M. He graduated from Aztec (N.M.) High School.

He married Dorothy Graves Schutz in June 1941. Shortly after the Pearl Harbor attack in December of that year, Mr. Schutz enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard. He served in the South Pacific Theater during World War II until his discharge in 1945, after which he returned to his life with Dorothy in California.

Mr. Schutz worked as a baker in California until job-related allergies forced him to find work as a chemical salesman. Mr. and Mrs. Schutz began their family there with the birth of their eldest son. The family then moved to the Santa Fe-Los Alamos, N.M., area in 1948 where Mr. Schutz managed a grocery story. His second and third sons were born there.

Subsequent moves took the family to Chama, N.M., and to Chromo in the early 1950s. Until his death, he remained in the home where he and his wife raised their three boys.

Always active in the Pagosa Springs-Chromo community, Mr. Schutz served on the Red Ryder Roundup Committee and volunteered as a Mounted Ranger, doing both for many years. He was also a member of the Southwest Water Board until his death.

A member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows since age 18, Mr. Schutz was chairman on all local levels and was grand master for Colorado. That achievement gave he and his wife opportunity to travel to Odd Fellows' events across the country.

Mr. Schutz was a member of the Pagosa Golf Association and a scratch player, taking home the Men's Club championship in 1976 and again in 1984.

His love of the ranching lifestyle and his commitment to his family will be missed by all who knew Mr. Schutz.

He was preceded in death by his wife Dorothy in 1998 and by his mother, Lena Schutz Morgan in 1997. He is survived by his sons, Don Schutz and wife Mary of Wagon Mound, N.M., Dennis Schutz and wife Michelle Tate of Chromo and Dick Schutz and wife Sherry of Chromo; his brother, Harold Schutz and wife Ruth of Chromo; his seven grandsons, Steve and Mike of Seattle, Wash., Adam of Chromo, Alan of Pagosa Springs, and Jason, Craig and Casey of Chromo.

Cremation was held.

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 15, at the old Chromo School on U.S. 84 in Chromo. In lieu of flowers, the family asks donations be made in his name to the Ruby M. Sisson Memorial Library in Pagosa Springs.

Inside The Sun
Snow blankets mountains; good omen for hunters
By John M. Motter

Arrival of daylight Wednesday morning revealed a mantle of snow blanketing the San Juan Mountains north and east of Pagosa Springs. The wintry precipitation, generally above 8,000 feet, may or may not last throughout the coming season, but it is a reminder that winter is on its way.

Heavy snow in the mountains is a good omen for big game hunters, but not so good for the game. As snow builds up in the high country, big game moves to lower elevations in search of food. At lower elevations, the deer and elk tend to bunch in areas where they are more accessible for hunting.

Lovers of fall were treated to a display of every shade of red and yellow this past weekend as oak brush exploded with a more than usual intensity and range of colors. The aspen color change has not reached its peak, but may do so this coming weekend.

Meanwhile, according to U.S. Weather Service forecaster Gina Loss, an Arctic cold front may or may not reach Pagosa Country today and tomorrow.

"I hate to call it a true Arctic front," Loss said. "A true Arctic front comes from the North Pole or even Siberia. This front originated in the Gulf of Alaska or northwestern Canada. Its effects will be felt more east of the Continental Divide where the temperature may drop 20 degrees or more. If the cold air reaches the Pagosa Springs area, I expect temperatures to drop less, maybe 10 degrees."

Loss' forecast calls for cooler and breezy today with partly cloudy skies and temperatures reaching the mid to upper 60s. Friday should be more of the same with temperatures ranging from highs in the 60s down to lows in the upper 20s or lower 30s.

Saturday and Sunday should be dry with gradual warming. Monday and Tuesday should continue dry with temperatures climbing back into the 70s. Wednesday could be a transition back to cooler temperatures as air movements return to normal fall patterns.

The Arctic, or northern branch, of the upper-level jet stream has been along the Wyoming-Montana border and has been almost joined by the tropical, or southern branch of the jet stream, according to Loss. That pattern has allowed cold air to drift in behind a low-pressure area centered off of the coast of southern California. That low-pressure area will drift eastward as the week progresses, allowing Four Corners weather conditions to return to normal for this time of year, according to Loss. She cautioned that reliability is very low for forecasts covering weather conditions more than two or three days into the future.

Meanwhile, Pagosa Country residents enjoyed Indian Summer conditions last week after suffering freezes the week before. The coldest temperature of the week was 35 degrees recorded Sunday and Monday. The average low temperature for the week was 39 degrees.

High temperatures varied little, ranging from 75 degrees Monday to 71 degrees Sept. 27. The average high temperature was 73 degrees.

No precipitation was reported for the week from the official U.S. Weather Service monitoring station at Stevens Field.

Candidate disclosure statements lagging behind
By John M. Motter

All candidates for public office in Colorado are required to file financial disclosures. Candidates for county office must file financial disclosures with the county clerk who is also the county election official.

The unusually large number of candidates for county office this year has resulted in an unusually large stack of financial disclosures. The stack isn't as large as it might be because some of the candidates have not filed finance disclosures in accordance with state law.

Not all candidates follow the law by filing in a timely fashion. For example, one local candidate for county commissioner, Jim Willingham, has yet to file. Willingham was unsuccessful in the primary election, but is still required to file. Candidates are required to file campaign contribution disclosure forms whether they win or not.

A second candidate, Alden Ecker, whose name will be on the Nov. 7 ballot, has not filed since July 18, even though the law required reports Aug. 4 and Sept. 7.

"The report is done," Ecker said Wednesday morning. "I thought this was taken care of. My campaign secretary will turn it in in the next day or two. She had taken it to the county clerk, but because the clerk was not in she didn't leave it."

Two forms are available. One form is used if the candidate is using personal money and does not accept donations. A second form is used if donations are accepted. Some county commissioner candidates are paying all of their own expenses, others are accepting donations. Since the reports are public record, anyone can view them at the county clerk's office. The reports contain the amount and source of all income, including donations, over $20. They also list the amount of all campaign expenses and who was paid.

Information required on the financial disclosure form includes the amount of money spent campaigning for office, what the money was spent for and to whom paid, the amount of money received and from what source, and contributions received and from whom. When less than $20 is received, the name of the contributor is not required, but the total amount of money received is required.

Also required is the name of the individual or organization acting as financial agent for a candidate.

Organizations formed to support or oppose either a candidate or a ballot issue are also required to file public financial disclosure reports with the county clerk. In this regard, the Save Our Services organization formed to oppose the new TABOR amendment has filed a financial disclosure form.

Another group purchased an advertisement in the Pagosa SUN which ran Aug. 3 and opposed county commissioner candidate Nan Rowe. That group placed its name in the advertisement as "Paid for by the ABN Committee." Lee Vorhies wrote the check for the ad. Colorado campaign disclosure law requires this group to file a disclosure with the county clerk. Its members have not done so.

The ABN Committee is not alone in violating the statutes, according to Madrid. Any "committee to elect" which placed their name in a candidate's advertisement is required to file a disclosure with the county clerk. None of the committees working with local candidates have filed this election year, Madrid said.

Candidates are also required to file a voucher when they notify the county elections official they are running for office. Failure to do so could result in the removal of that candidate's name from the primary ballot. All of these vouchers have been filed.

Deadlines are set for reporting financial information for certain spans of time. For Year 2000, a report was due July 18 covering the period from initial filing through July 13; a report due Aug. 4 covering the period from July 14 through July 30; a report due Sept. 7 covering the period from July 31 through Sept. 2; a report due Oct. 17 covering the period from Sept. 3 through Oct. 12; a report due Nov. 3 covering the period from Oct. 13 through Oct. 29; a report due Dec. 7 covering the period Oct. 30 through Dec. 2; and a report due Nov. 1, 2001, covering the period Dec. 3, 2000, through Oct. 27, 2001.

Candidates who fail to file reports on time are subject to a fine of $10 per day for each day from the due date until the report is filed, Madrid said. Other than sending a letter to the candidates notifying them that reports are past due, Madrid has taken no steps to penalize violations by the candidates, including collecting the $10 per day.

The most recent financial disclosure report due date was Sept. 7 covering the period from July 31 through Sept. 2. This report should contain information relative to the Aug. 8 general election.

A look at local financial disclosures reveals that winning and the amount of money spent campaigning have not necessarily been closely related in this year's county commissioner election process.

The candidate who spent the most money, $10,198, was Nan Rowe. Rowe got her name on the Aug. 8 primary ballot in the race for Commissioner, District 1, but finished second in that race behind winner William Downey. Rowe also filed a personal financial statement, a report required at the state level, but not at the county level. Downey spent $1,193.75. Also in that race were Michael Branch who spent $881.24, Julia Donoho, who spent $1,731, and Patrick Horning, who spent $4,470.

In the primary race for Commissioner, District 2, Alden Ecker was the winning Republican candidate. J.B. Smith won the Democratic race, but was unopposed. Ecker spent $3,023 through July 18, the date of his last report. Losing candidates in that race were Ralph Goulds, who spent $3,633; incumbent Ken Fox, who spent $1,133.69, and John Feazel, who spent $725.59. Smith spent $354.05.

Some of the candidates collected more money than they spent. They have several options for disposing of the surplus money. They can give it to their party, return it to the contributor, donate it to a charity, or return it to their committee which can retain the money for up to nine years. In all cases, they must make public disclosure of what happened to the money.

Responsibility for initiating action against those who violate the disclosure laws varies, according to Madrid. If the Colorado Fair Practices Act is violated, complaints are filed with the secretary of state. Any other violations are noted by the county election official and turned over to the district attorney.

Domestic Violence Awareness Month events
By Carmen Hubbs

National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, recognized in October, is a time for collective action - a time when communities throughout the country unite to help end this devastating and deadly crime.

A tradition for over a decade, National Domestic Violence Awareness Month is observed for the purpose of mourning those who have died as a result of the abuse, celebrating those who have survived public consciousness about violence in the home and galvanizing individuals to help eliminate it. The U.S. Congress passed the first domestic violence Awareness Month commemorative legislation in 1989 and has continued to do so every year since.

The effects of this crime are far reaching. A May 2000 report entitled Intimate Partner Violence related by the Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, reported that 1 million incidents of domestic violence were reported in 1998. Last year, Colorado domestic violence agencies answered 30,796 crisis calls, and sheltered 5,455 women and children. Our local victim assistance program answered 70 crisis calls, provided an additional 266 non-crisis and follow-up contacts, and sheltered nine women and children in 1999.

The Archuleta County Victim Assistance Program has been working for over three years to help victims of domestic violence gain access to the support, safety, justice, and resources they desperately need and deserve.

ACVAP has seen a large increase in victims served in the last nine months. Since the beginning of this year, advocates have offered lifesaving services to more than 139 victims of domestic violence and their children, compared to last year's total of 111, and 1998's total of 104 domestic violence clients. These figures clearly point out that the Pagosa community is not exempt from interpersonal violence. Domestic violence has no boundaries - literally.

As part of National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, ACVAP will co-sponsor events that pay tribute to the pain and perseverance of those who are abused and honor those who have lost their lives. Events being held in the community include:

- Statewide Chair Project: Agencies around the state are decorating a chair in honor of those who have died due to domestic violence. Our local women's support group will be decorating our local chair. The chair will be displayed at Wells Fargo Bank, Citizen's Bank of Pagosa Springs, the Ruby Sisson Library, and the Bank of the San Juans throughout the month of October.

- Purple Ribbon Campaign: Show your support for ending violence in our homes by wearing a purple ribbon throughout the month. Free ribbons are available wherever the chair is placed. For more information call Carmen Hubbs at 264-9075.

- Interfaith Prayer Reading: To kick off the month, local faith communities were asked to read an interfaith prayer Oct. 1 at their individual Sunday worship sessions for a day of unity, where all congregations come together, as one voice, to honor and pray for those who suffer from abuse.

These public events will provide an opportunity to learn more about domestic violence and how to end it.

Eliminating domestic violence from our community requires teamwork. Each one of us needs to make a commitment to help eliminate domestic violence. It's time to work together to create a community - a society - that will not tolerate domestic violence.

Editor's note: Carmen Hubbs is director of the Archuleta County Victim Assistance Program.


'Already deserve a gold medal'

Dear Editor,

Since none of the frequent "Dear Editor" writers has taken the initiative to publicly commend Pvt. Robyn A. Miller on her letter ("It can be taken without a fight") published in the SUN, Sept. 21, I decided I must.

Is it much easier and more interesting to read and write the letters that battle back and forth over issues that may not affect the majority of the readers?

Come on folks, if you sit back and do nothing else please acknowledge Pvt. Miller's letter by taking time out to vote. "Your vote does count and enough votes can change the course of a nation."

My first trip to the polling place that I vaguely remember was walking with my mother, dragging my sister and me with her, in order to cast her vote.

Today, if you have not registered or think your name may have been stricken from the registration rolls, all you have to do is call the Archuleta County Clerk's Office 264-5633 or 264-2950. Upon request they will be happy to mail to you a registration form and an absentee ballot. Mail back the registration form to be received in the county clerk's office no later than Oct. 10 (Oct. 9 is a national holiday).

Take time to study the issues and the candidates running for office, vote and mail in the absentee ballot to be received no later than 7 p.m. on Nov. 7.

Pvt. Miller is preparing to defend "the best country to live in" as are several young Archuleta County citizens. Boot camp may be the toughest thing they have to do. Without knowing what may be ahead, they are willing to accept the challenges for the freedom that too many people only accept as their right.

Thanks Pvt. Robyn A. Miller, in my opinion you already deserve a gold medal.


Bernice Brungard

Legislative Chairman

VFW Ladies Auxiliary 9695

Good old boys

Dear Editor,

It was with great sadness, when I read the front page of the SUN last week (Sept. 14) to learn that the Archuleta County commissioners have approved the operation of the Weber's cement batch plant. It is incomprehensible that one family can disrupt the lives and well being of so many of their neighbors. Does anyone remember the Golden Rule? I could go on and on but it wouldn't make a bit of difference to the county commissioners.

Apparently the good old boys still control the politics in Pagosa Springs. We made the right decision when we sold our property in the Meadows in '95. We will come back, from the south side of town, but have cancelled our plans to reinvest near Pagosa Springs. It would be too risky. A bulk cement plant might be built next door, before any one knew it.

John Ahrens

Previous Neighbor

Mesa, Ariz.

Leave plants alone

Dear Editor,

I can't believe the total ignorance expressed at times in the SUN in the letters to the editor. Willows are not a noxious weed. Willows control erosion along the river and I love them. If the complainer doesn't like willows along the river in the park I would suggest he go back to where he came from. First the willows, then what comes next, the noxious chokecherry and wildrose that get in the way of fly fishermen and women? The willows have always been there and they always will be. Leave the wild plants alone.

Ron Alexander

Road concerns

Dear David,

I share the road concerns expressed in the letters of Archie Mac Millan (Maintain Roads, Sept. 28) and Jim Dressler (Red Tag Plan, Sept. 21). But after 25 years of watching every board of county commissioners and their staffs fail to adequately maintain our county roads, I have become very discouraged. I have watched my county-accepted road, and many others, deteriorate from excellent condition when we bought the lot and built the house in 1975-76 to its deplorable condition now.

On the other hand the citizens of the county haven't been responsible either. In 1998 Commissioners Bob Formwalt, Bill Tallon and Ken Fox asked us to approve their proposal to raise the road and bridge mill levy by an additional 6.5 mils. The proposal failed by a margin of more than two to one (30.5 percent "yes" to 69.5 percent "no"), with 3,113 voting. Every precinct voted overwhelmingly "no," ranging from 57.1 percent to 82.6 percent voting against the proposal. The proposal was viewed by many as unfair and flawed, in that the use of the money was limited to certain subdivisions; and it was temporary.

It is time for everyone to recognize that we are at an impasse. Many citizens believe that the county government is neglecting maintenance and dragging its feet on developing and implementing a plan for our roads, hoping that the citizens of certain areas will form metropolitan districts, tax themselves and relieve the county of responsibility for the roads. That is unlikely to happen. Too many people agree with Archie Mac Millan and Jim Dressler that it is the county's responsibility to maintain roads, or require developers to provide for maintenance before they are built.

It is time for the board of county commissioners to exercise the leadership for which they were elected. And it is time for the citizens to support them, if and when they come up with a fair and workable plan to build and maintain decent roads in Archuleta County. It will surely cost money, but what are our priorities? We all drive on the roads. Let's fix them and keep them fixed.

Earle Beasley

P. S. Perhaps the reason the county government is having such difficulty in distinguishing between "arterial" and "non-arterial" roads is that all roads are arterial to some location.

Class disagrees

Dear Editor,

We would like to respond to the (Arlis Gunzel, Sept. 21) letter "Willows in the Park."

The seventh grade science class at Pagosa Springs Junior High School reflected on ideas expressed in the letter. We particularly disagree with the letter because of several reasons. We do agree that there are spots where the river, one of Pagosa's greater spots, is obstructed by the willows' height. However, we also believe there are many spots where a great view of the river already can be seen by the public. The willows also provide homes to many animals such as birds, insects, mice and snakes, and they provide shade for the fish. All these animals, whether you know it or not, contribute to our river's health.

A rock rip rap might be a good idea, but it would lessen the beauty of the bank.

Not "everyone knows willows are nothing more than noxious weeds." They are in fact a large habitat builder for many creatures. As for fly fishing, we shouldn't be fishing near the willows in the first place. Here's an idea. Go into the river using waders, and fish from there toward the bank.

The willows are also a fun area for kids to play in during the summer. Their shade is critical, especially during hot, dry summers like the one we just had, to keep the river cool. Overall, our class disagrees with your idea due to all the reasons stated above. In the words of Aristotle, "Nature does nothing uselessly."

Emily Buikema and

Logan McLellan

on behalf of the seventh

grade science class

Answer my prayer

Dear Mr. Mitchell,

I am writing this letter to you, the editor, in an effort to seek your assistance in realizing a dream. Before I continue, I must inform you that this is not going to be your typical "letter to the editor" in either content or length (I apologize for the latter).

My story begins some 23 years ago on my seventh birthday. I had just returned from a family vacation to Colorado, started first grade in a Catholic school and reached the age of reason all within the same week. As if that weren't taxing enough, my lovely mother sent me to school on the first day wearing a Winnie the Pooh jacket (that, however, is a completely different story).

I had never seen my father, who also happens to be my best friend, so happy, relaxed and content as I saw him in Colorado. If you couple that knowledge with the new-found knowledge of a 7 year old who had just discovered prayer as a new medium for acquiring things, you may already see where I am going with this.

During my 12 years of Catholic schooling, my family spent every vacation in Colorado. As a matter of fact, It wasn't until high school that I discovered that the United States were more than Missouri and Colorado. For each one of those vacations, I must have said a thousand prayers in an effort to somehow transport me and my family to the mountains.

Needless to say, I am now 30 years old and still praying for the same thing.

We, as a family, have a love for the mountains, and more specifically Pagosa Springs, that I'm sure I needn't explain. I realize that you may not be God (at least not according to Sister Mary Elephant, my first grade teacher who knew absolutely everything) however, you're the next best thing as far as I'm concerned.

Believe it or not, you, sir, have the power to answer a prayer. All I ask is for you to please post my resume in an effort to secure a job and become a contributing member of the Pagosa Springs community. I would love the opportunity to speak to you personally in an effort to further explain my sordid story. If this is possible, please provide a number where you can be reached and I will gladly call you at your convenience.

I have attached a copy of my resume should you decide to prove Sister Mary Elephant wrong and answer my prayer.


Sean Busking

St. Peters, Mo.

Editor's note: Sister Elephant was right, I'm not God and there is no "next best thing". The SUN's phone number is (970) 264-2101. Sean's fax number is (314) 928-7905, his phone number is (636) 477-7751, his e-mail address is

As a carpenter currently operating his own construction company, his resume says he holds both a bachelor of science and master of science degrees, and has held a variety of managerial positions in three different states for Auto Nations Inc., NARG.

Achievement night

Dear Editor,

On Saturday, Sept. 30, we held our annual 4-H Achievement Night. This is the night the 4-H members are awarded for their hard work, dedication and achievement for the past year. We had 130 4-H members and their families in attendance to help us celebrate. This takes tremendous work and a lot of help. I would like to express my appreciation and gratitude to the following people for their unselfish contributions: Cris Powe for not only coordinating the chuck wagon at the fair (a huge undertaking) but also coming through in a pinch to help slice meat for Saturday night. James at J.J.'s Upstream smoked all our meat (500 pounds) for the chuck wagon then another 200 pounds for our Achievement Night, he also used a special rub for the meat that was delicious. Pam Martin is always there to help out any 4-H function we may have. Her tireless dedication is truly commendable.

This year the 4-H members were an integral part of the program. The following 4-H'ers deserve a big round of applause, they did a great job. Alexis Loewen, Lauren Loewen, Jacob Martin, Mitchell Martin, Jeff Johnson, Dylan Caves, Michael Caves, Lauren Caves, Lydia Class-Erickson, Keturah Class Erickson, Henry Espinosa and Jessica Espinosa.

The following is a list of sponsors for the achievement awards: Gloria Macht; Spring Creek Ranch, Donnie and Fern Shahan; King Ranch, Helen Moore; Village Feed & Supply; Basin Co-op; Living Picture Ranch, Cheryl and Rodney Class-Erickson; Ferguson Construction, Mike and Carmen Ferguson; Mary Ann Page; the Archuleta County Fair Board and 4-H Council.

The families involved in 4-H are what make 4-H the successful program that it is. Without their dedication to their children and support we would not have the excellent program that Archuleta County enjoys.

Sandy Caves

4-H Youth Coordinator

Archuleta County

Kids voting

Dear David,

There has been much discussion over the low voter turnout in Archuleta County. Whatever the reasons, the fact remains that unless you vote, someone else votes for you. The result of your not voting affects you and your family.

That is why the Kids Voting 2000 program is so important, as it not only teaches young people about the responsibility of voting, but through take-home activities, the program involves the whole family. Best of all, Kids Voting students and parents/guardians go together to the polls to cast their votes. Communities with Kids Voting programs see an increase in adult voter turnout.

I encourage all citizens, students and adults, to attend the Candidates' Night and Ballot Issues Forum on Tuesday, Oct. 17, in the county fair building, 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. KWUF Radio will broadcast the Forum: so if you can't make it to the Forum, make it a family night around the radio.

Remember, the last day to register to vote in the Nov. 7 General Election is Tuesday, Oct. 10.


Windsor Chacey

Kids Voting 2000 Chair


Elizabeth Egger

Old-time Pagosa Springs residents were saddened this week to learn of the passing of Elizabeth A. Selby Egger, 92, of Castella, Calif.

Mrs. Egger, widow of one of the former co-owners of The Pagosa Springs SUN, died Sept. 18, 2000, at Mercy Medical Center in Redding, Calif. Burial was in Forest Lawn Cemetery in Glendale, Calif.

Mrs. Egger was born May 13, 1908, in Pagosa Springs to Harold and Lucy Bennett Selby, both from pioneer families of Pagosa Springs.

Survivors include sons Harold of Corning, Calif., and Dale of Castella, a daughter, Joyce Bell of Douglas City, Calif.; a brother, Irwin Selby of Oroville, Calif; sisters Virginia Decker of Pagosa Springs and Goldie Hunt of Kirtland, N.M.; 16 grandchildren, 38 great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren.

Her husband Raymond Egger, who preceded her in death, and his brother, Reef Egger, were early owners of The Pagosa Springs SUN and the Ignacio Chieftain.

Millie Jean Yamaguchi

Graveside services for Mrs. Millie Jean Yamaguchi will be held in Hilltop Cemetery at 11 a.m. Saturday with Father John Bowe officiating. Immediately following the services, Mrs. Yamaguchi's life will be remembered by her friends and family at a luncheon prepared and served by the Ladies of Guadalupe at the Parish Hall.

Mrs. Yamaguchi, 64, passed away at her home in Yuma, Ariz., last month.

Millie Jean Astin was born on Aug. 6, 1936 in Marietta, Texas, to Lara Edith and Alton Charles Astin. Millie Jean was known as "Mac" or "Macco" by those who knew and loved her. She moved to Pagosa Springs in the early 1950s and eventually captured the heart of the decorated World War II veteran, Ralph "Hoppo" Yamaguchi. She became his teenage bride on April 14, 1954, in a marriage ceremony in Tierra Amarilla, N.M. Joined in matrimony, life partners, Mac and Hoppo were "joined at the hip" until his death in 1997.

Though Mac had no children of her own, countless young people were taken into her heart and home, and over the years became the recipients of her kind and giving nature. Her family remembers that she wasn't one to indulge much in sentimentality but that those around her always knew she cared by what she did and the way she did it. These fortunate individuals included the young amateur boxers, the basketball players, the baseball players, the budding fishermen, the expectant arrowhead hunters, a family member, a friend in need, or a neighbor. They knew that she called a spade a spade and they knew better than to go to her looking for undeserved sympathy. But they also knew they could always count on her to come through for them when they needed that helping hand or that word of encouragement.

Macco loved a good joke, a good laugh. She panned for gold, she hiked, she took her trips and visited an occasional casino. She gardened, she picnicked and played volleyball with friends and family. Mostly, she enjoyed her life and the things she did.

Mrs. Yamaguchi was preceded in death by husband, Hoppo Yamaguchi, her parents, Al and Edith Astin, and her brother, Robert Astin. She is survived by her brother, Charles William Astin; nieces, Patty Donnelly, Shirley Smith, Natalie Yamaguchi, Marilyn Yeager and her children, Drex and Laria; nephews Jimmy Astin, Ryan Astin, Shawn Astin, Randy Astin, Larry Cotton and Darrel Cotton, brother-in-law, Ernest "Guchi" Yamaguchi and "adopted" children, Freddie and Pauline Rivas and their children, Freddie, Cindy, Joey, Susie and Linda.

In lieu of flowers the family suggests donations be made to the Special Olympics account at the Bank of the San Juans.

Ernest Schutz

Longtime Chromo resident Ernest W. Schutz, 83, died unexpectedly at his home on Sunday, Sept. 24, 2000.

In partnership with his brother Harold, Mr. Schutz was a fixture in the Chromo Valley, running cattle and breeding quarterhorses at their Chromo Ranches Inc., property.

Mr. Schutz was born Aug. 19, 1917, in Flora Vista, N.M. He graduated from Aztec (N.M.) High School.

He married Dorothy Graves Schutz in June 1941. Shortly after the Pearl Harbor attack in December of that year, Mr. Schutz enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard. He served in the South Pacific Theater during World War II until his discharge in 1945, after which he returned to his life with Dorothy in California.

Mr. Schutz worked as a baker in California until job-related allergies forced him to find work as a chemical salesman. Mr. and Mrs. Schutz began their family there with the birth of their eldest son. The family then moved to the Santa Fe-Los Alamos, N.M., area in 1948 where Mr. Schutz managed a grocery story. His second and third sons were born there.

Subsequent moves took the family to Chama, N.M., and to Chromo in the early 1950s. Until his death, he remained in the home where he and his wife raised their three boys.

Always active in the Pagosa Springs-Chromo community, Mr. Schutz served on the Red Ryder Roundup Committee and volunteered as a Mounted Ranger, doing both for many years. He was also a member of the Southwest Water Board until his death.

A member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows since age 18, Mr. Schutz was chairman on all local levels and was grand master for Colorado. That achievement gave he and his wife opportunity to travel to Odd Fellows' events across the country.

Mr. Schutz was a member of the Pagosa Golf Association and a scratch player, taking home the Men's Club championship in 1976 and again in 1984.

His love of the ranching lifestyle and his commitment to his family will be missed by all who knew Mr. Schutz.

He was preceded in death by his wife Dorothy in 1998 and by his mother, Lena Schutz Morgan in 1997. He is survived by his sons, Don Schutz and wife Mary of Wagon Mound, N.M., Dennis Schutz and wife Michelle Tate of Chromo and Dick Schutz and wife Sherry of Chromo; his brother, Harold Schutz and wife Ruth of Chromo; his seven grandsons, Steve and Mike of Seattle, Wash., Adam of Chromo, Alan of Pagosa Springs, and Jason, Craig and Casey of Chromo.

Cremation was held.

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 15, at the old Chromo School on U.S. 84 in Chromo. In lieu of flowers, the family asks donations be made in his name to the Ruby M. Sisson Memorial Library in Pagosa Springs.



Raymond and Paulette Hise along with their son, Daniel of Aztec, N.M., announce the engagement of their daughter and sister Jeanne Marie Hise to Nathan Briar Davis. He is the son of Edwin and Cynthia Davis of Halfway, Ore.

Nathan is employed by Micron Technology in Boise, Idaho, and is seeking a degree in electronic technology.

Jeanne is a 1997 graduate of Aztec High School. She is attending Adams State College in Alamosa, pursuing a degree in music education.

Jeanne is the granddaughter of Paul and Etta Faye Day of Pagosa Springs and Earle and Iola Hise of Burnet, Texas.

The couple is planning a June 16, 2001, wedding at First Baptist Church, Aztec.



Breezy A. McCormick and Paul T. Beckler were married June 3, 2000, at the First Assembly of God Church in Pagosa Springs.

Breezy is the daughter of Larry and Cindy McCormick of Pagosa Springs. She is currently employed with Durango Animas Family Medicine in Durango.

Paul is the son of Jerry and Peggy Beckler of Bayfield, CO. He is currently a full-time student at Fort Lewis College, and will graduate in April 2001 with a B.A. in business administration.

The couple resides in Durango.

Mandy M. McCormick

Larry and Cindy McCormick of Pagosa Springs would like to announce the graduation of their daughter, Mandy M. McCormick, from A Beka Correspondence Christian homeschool. Mandy graduated after four full years of honor roll, 56th in a class of 746, with a final GPA of 3.99. She is currently a full-time student of Foursquare Life Bible College in San Dimas, Calif.

Sports Page
Ignacio puts up tough fight against Pirates
By Karl Isberg

Call it ugly.

Call it a win.

The Lady Pirates' 9-15, 16-14,15-4 win over Ignacio Sept. 28 involved a short bus trip to Ignacio and a seemingly endless voyage to Planet X - the strange extraterrestrial world where good volleyball teams find themselves reduced to rubble by forces beyond their control and comprehension.

If there was anything nice about the Lady Pirates' marginal performance at Ignacio it was that no one player could be singled for having an "off" night. On Planet X, every player has an off night, and there is no vaccine to cure the ill.

Credit must also be given to the Ignacio Bobcats. This was a team prepared to kill giants, to pull off the Intermountain League upset of the new decade. Bobcat players were at their best and the team showed determination in all phases of the game. Bobcat hitters were surprisingly fearless, going up against tall and - usually- effective Lady Pirate blockers, and succeeding as many times as they were thwarted. Bobcat back-row play was nearly flawless during the first two games of the match.

The Bobcats did not land on Planet X until the final and deciding game of the match.

After they watched their hosts reel off a 4-0 lead in the opening game, the Lady Pirates struggled back to lead twice, at 6-4 and 9-8. The team then disassembled at the molecular level, giving the Bobcats five points on mistakes and allowing a Bobcat hitter to send a game-winning kill to the back line.

Ignacio won the first game by confounding the Ladies at the net, often using passes to the weak-side outside hitter. The Bobcats served well, had good back-row digs and took advantage of the fact the Lady Pirates were slow to the blocks, passing and setting poorly, and displaying substandard back-row play when the ball was hit across the net unblocked.

With a 5-0 lead in the second game, it seemed the Lady Pirates had escaped the frightful gravity of Planet X, but Ignacio inched back into contention and tied the score 6-6. The teams tied 10-10, with Pagosa failing to set blocks and Ignacio continuing to execute a smart offense at the net.

Finally, Pagosa blockers moved to their spots and forced the Bobcats to commit three consecutive hitting errors. A stuff block by Ashley Gronewoller gave Pagosa a 14-10 lead.

As quickly as the Pagosa defense materialized, it evaporated and the Bobcats used a lack of Lady Pirate blocks, a Pagosa hitting error and an ace serve to knot the score 14-14.

One of the teams had to win the match by two points, and it was Pagosa. Two Ignacio mistakes handed the victory to the Ladies and forced a third and deciding game.

Gronewoller started the Ladies on the right path in Game 3 with a stuff block; Ignacio committed two errors and Nicole Buckley scored with a kill to give Pagosa a 4-0 lead. Ignacio tied the game 4-4 and that's where the home team's luck ended.

The Lady Pirates ran off 11 straight points with Katie Lancing at the serve and took the game and match. Along the way, Lancing hit two aces, Gronewoller scored with a stuff of a Bobcat overpass and with a kill; Meigan Canty had fortune smile after she hit a ball with her fist and Buckley killed a ball down the line. An Ignacio hitting error capped the lengthy affair.

Gronewoller was the only defensive force at the net for Pagosa, with three solo blocks. The Lady Pirates' middle hitter had eight kills in 28 attempts for a .321 hitting average.

Buckley logged 13 digs in the back court and was 6 of 29 for a .207 hitting average.

Tiffanie Hamilton was 6 of 16 on the attack with the best average of the night at .375. The senior middle hitter had 12 digs in the back row.

Lancing put up 22 setting assists, hit three ace serves and had 11 digs.

"Ignacio came out gunning for us," said Lady Pirates coach Penné Hamilton. "We started slow and I don't think our kids got in the groove until the third game of the match. Finally, when we got rolling, we played decently - but, that's all. We put some blocks up and we were able to get out of town with a win."

Pagosa plays tomorrow night at Rampart High School in Colorado Springs, then travels to Fowler Saturday for the Fowler Tournament.

Ladies make efficiency key to win at Monte
By Karl Isberg

A drive from Pagosa Springs to Monte Vista Sept. 30 provided a gorgeous display of vivid fall colors.

It did not provide an exciting high school volleyball match.

The quality of competition provided by the Monte Vista volleyball team was less than colorful, and the Lady Pirates took an easy 15-2, 15-0 win from the home team. With the victory at Monte, the Ladies boosted their season record to 7-1 and sat atop the Intermountain League standings at 4-0.

One of the top priorities for the Lady Pirates was to rebound from a lackluster performance Sept. 28 at Ignacio. The task was to finish off a lesser opponent in an efficient manner, and the Ladies did just that.

Pagosa had the better of their hosts in terms of height, experience and skill, and this showed in the fact that the two points scored by Monte Vista came as a result of Lady Pirate errors.

Monte got the first point in the first game when a Pagosa hit went out of bounds.

With Katie Lancing at the serve, the Ladies surged to a 5-1 advantage, getting one point on an ace and another when middle-hitter Ashley Gronewoller put a set from Meigan Canty to the floor.

Monte was a gracious host, giving up five points on errors and allowing a serve from Nicole Buckley to fall to the floor. Pagosa led 10-2.

The Lady Pirates earned three of the final five points in the game with scores on a roll shot by Buckley, a kill of a Monte overpass by Grone- woller, a solo stuff block by Lancing, and a tandem block by Lancing and Gronewoller.

In the second game of the match, Pagosa earned points in fits and starts, holding Monte Vista scoreless.

Gronewoller and Lancing maintained a wall at the net, scoring with kills and blocks; Buckley, Canty, Hamilton and Gronewoller served aces; Buckley and Hamilton added points with kills. A Monte hitting error ended the game and match.

Gronewoller and Lancing each put up two solo blocks against Monte Vista. Gronewoller had eight kills in 11 attacks for an impressive .727 average. Lancing contributed 14 setting assists.

Buckley was 4 for 10 on the attack (.400) and Andrea Ash hit three kills in five attempts to post a .600 hitting average.

Tiffanie Hamilton led the way in the back row, with five digs - the low number a testament to the number of times Monte Vista was able to keep the ball in play.

Gronewoller and Buckley each hit two aces during the match.

"The girls did what they needed to do," said Lady Pirates coach Penné Hamilton. "They got in, played their game, and we left."

The level of play increases astronomically for the Lady Pirates this weekend.

Rampart High School is first on the agenda, as the Ladies meet the Rams tomorrow night in a 7 p.m. match at Colorado Springs.

As of Oct. 3, Rampart sported an 11-0 record, was tied for the lead in the rugged Class 4A/5A Colorado Springs Metro Conference and was fifth in the Colorado 5A rankings. The Rams possess a bevy of talented underclassmen and have forged their season record against some of the top teams in Colorado.

To get to Rampart High School from northbound I-25, take Exit 151 (Briarwood Parkway) and continue east on Briarwood to Lexington. Take a right on Lexington, and continue to the site of the school at the intersection of Lexington and Union.

Saturday, the Ladies pile on the bus and motor out on the Eastern Plains.

Fowler won seven Class 2A state championships in the '90s and coach Vin Mizer's Grizzlies stood at 7-1 on Oct. 3. They entertain the Lady Pirates and three other teams Saturday at a day-long tourney.

Pagosa's first match of the day, at 10:30 a.m., is against Lamar. The 3A Savages made a trip to the 1999 state tournament and had a 8-0 record this season going into an Oct. 3 matchup with Trinidad.

Fowler is next on the schedule for Pagosa as the tournament progresses through the afternoon.

Mid-afternoon, the Ladies play class 4A Niwot - a recent visitor to the state 4A championships. A member of the tough Northern Tri-Valley League, the 4-4 Cougars hone their skills against the likes of perennial powers Fort Lupton, Sterling and Windsor.

The weakest entry at this year's Fowler tournament is likely to be Class 2A La Veta. Pagosa takes on the Redskins to finish their round-robin play.

The two top teams from the round-robin schedule meet for the tournament championship once all preliminary matches are complete.

The Fowler High School gym is located at 600 West Grant Street, south of U.S. 50 on the west side of town.

Pagosa gymnasts score well in Aspen invitational

Pagosa Springs gymnastics kicked off its season last weekend at the Silver City Invitational in Aspen. Nine teams competed with 113 girls.

Pagosa's Level 6 gymnasts brought home a third-place team trophy along with a few individual medals.

Coach Jennifer Martin said the team award is based on the top three scores from each team, so all three of Pagosa's highest Level 6 scores counted.

Erin Sims won a silver medal by receiving a 9.0 score on the balance beam. Her 8.9 in the vault, 7.2 in the uneven high bars and 7.6 on her floor exercise gave her an overall score of 32.7 points.

Shelby Stretton also brought home a silver medal on the vault with a 9.0 score. In the other disciplines, Stretton scored a 7.7 in the uneven high bars, 7.4 on the balance beam and 7.3 on her floor exercise to finish with 31.4 points overall.

Hillary Wienpahl finished the day with a composite score of 30.9 points to help the Pagosa team win the third-place trophy. Wienpahl scored an 8.7 in the vault, 7.9 in the uneven high bars, 6.7 on the balance beam and 7.6 on her floor exercise.

Raesha Ray, Pagosa's fourth entry in the Level 6 judging finished the day with 28.5 points - 7.8 in the vault, 6.8 in the uneven high bars, 7.4 on the balance beam and 6.5 on her floor exercise.

"All of Pagosa's girls performed beautifully at their first competition of the season," coach Martin said.

In the Level 5 competition in the Aspen meet, gymnast Jacey Sirios scored a 32.45 in the AA qualifying for the sectional competition thanks to a score of 8.4 in the vault, 8.65 in the uneven high bars, 7.3 in the balance beam and 8.1 on her floor exercise.

Jordan Sirios finished with a score of 31.8 to likewise qualify for the AA sectional competition. Jordan scored 7.9 in the vault, 8.1 in the uneven high bars, 7.4 on the balance beam and 8.4 on her floor exercise.

Other Pagosans in the AA competition included Loren Rodriquez, Olivia Chavez and Lauren Ware. Rodriquez finished with a score of 31.6 thanks to a 7.7 in the vault, 7.0 in the uneven high bars, 8.3 on the balance beam and 8.6 on her floor exercise.

Chavez posted an overall score of 31.1 with a 7.3 in the vault, 7.8 in the uneven high bars, 8.4 on the balance beam and 7.6 on her floor exercise.

Ware scored 25.9 overall thanks to a 7.1 points in the vault, 5.9 in the uneven high bars, 7.1 on the balance beam and 5.8 on her floor exercise.

The sixth annual Silver City Invitational meet was the first time for Pagosa Springs Gymnastics to field a Level 4 team, and Martin said "these ladies certainly stole the show."

In the Level 4 competition, Pagosa's Kelsi Lucero had an overall score of 26.4, Stacy Dominquez scored 25.5 points, Re'ahna Ray scored 25.2 and Rebecca Zeller posted a 23.8.

Pirate gridders tune up for IML with rout of Taos
By John M. Motter

Pagosa Springs thumped Taos 42-6 Friday, a victory easily attributable to the Pirates' defense which stopped the Tigers cold. It would be just as easy to congratulate the offense for taking advantage of nearly all of their scoring opportunities.

The win boosts the Class 2A Pirate's preseason record to 3-2.

"I have to credit the offensive line for their effort," said Myron Stretton, the Pirates' coach. "They've gotten better each game. They deserve the credit when the offense works."

Tomorrow night, the Pirates' strategy of playing bigger schools during the preseason will be tested when Pagosa hosts the Ignacio Bobcats for their first Intermountain League game of the season. The idea is, if Pagosa faces larger schools during the preseason, it will be better prepared for the smaller schools in the Class 2A Intermountain League.

Pagosa's preseason play ended Friday. During the preseason the Pirates beat Class 1A Dolores 28-7, lost to New Mexico 4A Kirtland 37-0, lost to New Mexico 4A Piedra Vista 35-6, beat New Mexico 4A Bloomfield 35-19, and picked up last week's win over 4A Taos.

The Bobcats, Pagosa's opening IML opponent, lost their IML opener last week to IML favorite Monte Vista 35-6. During the current season, the 2-3 Bobcats have beaten 1A Mancos 39-6, lost to 1A Norwood 27-0, lost to 1A Dolores County 18-7, beat 1A Antonito 53-6, and suffered the 2A Monte Vista loss.

Ignacio coaches have been using a single setback this year in an effort to improve on three consecutive losing seasons. Their top two running backs did not play last week against Monte Vista and may not play this week. As a consequence of having its running game decimated by injuries, Ignacio may go to the air.

"Now that the preseason is over, I still think we are the team to beat for the IML title," Stretton said. "I've seen every team in the league play. Overall, they are all stronger than last year except for Monte Vista. How could Monte be stronger than the team that went to the state 2A finals last year? Bayfield and Monte are the teams we have to beat. I expected Centauri to be stronger and they may come on as the year advances."

Stretton searched for words to describe the Pirates' chances.

"Because of the teams we've played during the preseason, it's hard to gauge our strength," Stretton said. "I know we have made progress every week. If you continue to do that, you should be in the running at the end of the season."

Pagosa tames Taos

Pagosa Springs took the Tigers by the tail during the second quarter at Taos, pounding across three touchdowns while holding Taos scoreless. The first touchdown ended a 19-play drive launched after the Pirates' safety Garrett Tomforde picked off a Manuel Archuleta pass to end the Tigers' opening drive.

Starting on their own 26-yard line, the Pirates moved 74 yards in about 10 minutes, with Clint Shaw punching the ball over from the 4-yard line. Darin Lister's extra point kick went wide as Pagosa took a 6-0 lead with the second period barely underway.

The Pirates' defense ended Taos' second drive in just four plays. On the fourth play, the snap from center sailed over punter Jesus Ramirez' head. Pagosa's Caleb Mellette recovered the bouncing ball on the Tigers' 2-yard line.

From there, Nathan Stretton crossed into paydirt on the first play from scrimmage. Quarterback Ron Janowsky passed to Tyrel Ross for two points, and Pagosa's lead mounted to 14-0 with almost 11 minutes remaining in the first half.

On Taos' third possession, the Pirates' D once again shut the door. Facing a fourth and 10 on the Pirates' 34, the Tigers could only pick up one yard.

After taking over on their own 34-yard line, the Pirates' offense used 15 plays and six and one-half minutes to move 66 yards as Mellette fancy stepped his way through the right side of the Tiger defense for the third Pagosa touchdown. After Lister booted the extra point, Pagosa was on top 21-0 and looking good with only about a minute and one-half remaining in the first half.

Pagosa started the second half with the ball on its own 27-yard line. Picking up where they left off in the first half, the Pirates drove 69 yards in seven plays, before Nathan Stretton scampered into the end zone from 14 yards out for his second touchdown of the game. Lister kicked the PAT to elevate Pagosa's lead to 28-0 with 7:44 remaining on the third period clock.

Following the fourth Pagosa TD, Taos put the ball into play on its own 30-yard line. Aided by an offside and a face-mask penalty against Pagosa, the Tigers held the ball for 11 plays to reach the Pirates' end zone. A try for two points on the extra point failed, leaving the score Pagosa Springs 28, Taos 6 with 3:27 remaining in the third period.

After neither team moved the ball on their next two possessions respectively, the Pirates offense reignited and enabled Pagosa to go 44 yards on six plays for the Pirates' fifth touchdown. This time it was Shaw's turn to score. Another successful Lister PAT kick stretched Pagosa's lead to 35-6 with 9:24 remaining in the game.

Led by Justin Kerns' interception, Pagosa took the ball away from the Tigers on the next Taos possession. Powered by a 30-yard pass from Janowsky to Jason Schutz, Pagosa scored yet one more time. After Schutz' reception gave Pagosa a first on the two-yard line, Lister crossed the goal line with the ball, kicked the extra point, and Pagosa led 42-6.

For the game, Nathan Stretton was the leading ground gainer. He picked up 108 yards on 13 carries and two TDs. Shaw covered 87 yards on 11 carries and also scored two touchdowns. Janowsky carried seven times for 59 yards, Lister five times for eight yards and a TD, Mellette three times for 32 yards and one TD, Anthony Maestas three times for 19 yards, and Brandon Rosgen one time for six yards.

Janowsky completed 5 of 13 passes for 92 yards. On the receiving end of Janowsky's passes were Tyrel Ross, who caught four passes for 62 yards, and Schutz, who snagged one pass for 30 yards.

For the completed preseason, Nathan Stretton has rushed 45 times for 263 yards, an average of 5.8 yards a carry. Stretton has scored five touchdowns. Shaw has carried 41 times for 221 yards, an average of 5.4 yards a carry. Shaw has tallied four touchdowns. Lister has carried 32 times for 146 yards, an average of 4.6 yards a carry. Lister has scored two touchdowns rushing. Janowsky carried the ball 38 times and picked up 136 yards, an average of 3.6 yards a carry. Janowsky has scored one touchdown. Mike Maestas has carried the ball eight times for 27 yards, an average of 3.4 yards a carry. Brandon Rosgen has carried once for six yards, and Caleb Mellette has carried 10 times for 84 yards, an average of 8.4 yards a carry. Mellette has one TD rushing.

Janowsky has completed 20 of 46 pass attempts for 246 yards and three touchdowns. Tyrel Ross has been Janowsky's primary target. The senior has pulled down 15 passes for 144 yards and a TD. Lister has caught four passes for 74 yards and two touchdowns. Schutz has caught one pass for 30 yards.

After five preseason games, coach Stretton still is making changes in the starting offensive and defensive lineups. Seeing a lot of time on the offensive line have been Pablo Martinez, Ethan Sanford, Matt Ford, Josh Richardson, Michael Vega, Cord Ross and Garrett Paul. At offensive ends are Tyrel Ross and Schutz. Sharing time in the offensive backfield are Janowsky, Nathan Stretton, Shaw, Lister, Mellette, Maestas and Rosgen. Justin Kerns may also see time in the offensive backfield.

The defensive line features Richardson, Ford, Vega and Paul with Mellette and Cord Ross at defensive ends. Linebackers are Pablo Martinez, Shaw, and Tyrel Ross spelled by Rosgen. In the defensive backfield are Kerns, Stretton, Tomforde and Maestas.

Around the IML

In the other IML opener last week, Bayfield dedicated their new field by beating Centauri 23-0.

Monte Vista and Bayfield are 1-0 in IML play. Ignacio and Centauri are 0-1 in the IML and Pagosa Springs is 0-0.

For the season, Monte Vista is 4-1 and ranked 7th among 2A schools in Colorado, Bayfield is 3-2 and ranked 10th, Pagosa Springs is 3-2, and Ignacio and Centauri are 2-3.

In IML action this week, in addition to the Pagosa Springs-Ignacio game, Bayfield and Monte Vista tangle at Monte Vista. Centauri has an off week in the IML but will be playing Las Animas in a non-league game.

Pirates, Ladies third at Bayfield Invitational
By Karl Isberg

With only one meet left before the Oct. 14 Intermountain League cross country championship at Monte Vista, Pirate and Lady Pirate runners have a clear idea of the improvements they must make if they are to move through the season-ending qualifying competitions to the state meet at Denver.

More accurately, the runners are already making improvements, and now the route to the Oct. 28 state meet is clearly marked.

Progress could be seen Sept. 30 as the Pirates and Lady Pirates each finished in third place at the Bayfield Invitational.

The Pirates took third with 66 points, behind second-place Monti- cello, Utah, and winner Aztec, N.M. Host team Bayfield, the only other Intermountain League team at the meet, finished in sixth place with 83 points.

"Our guys are the only Colorado team to beat Bayfield so far this season," said Pirates coach Scott Anderson, "and they crushed Bayfield. It was a good sign."

Todd Mees was the top individual finisher for the Pirates, taking 10th place with a time of 19 minutes, 24 seconds. His time was nearly a minute faster than the one he posted the week before at the Centauri Invitational at Manassa.

Just 10 seconds behind Mees, in 11th place, was Travis Laverty, at 19:34. Laverty was nearly a minute faster than the week before.

Trevor Peterson was the third Pirate across the finish line, in 21st place, with a time of 20:47. Peterson's time was a minute lower than the time he posted at the Centauri meet.

A time of 21:05 gave Patrick Riley 24th place and set the Pirates' pack time at 1:41 for the purpose of scoring the team competition.

Pagosa's Nick Hall managed a time of 21:24 and placed 26th in the individual rankings.

Ryan Beavers was 37th, at 24:53.

Toby Gunzinger was held out of the meet with a foot injury.

The girls'meet was won by Monticello, with 19 points; second went to Bayfield with 44 points and the Lady Pirates were a mere two points behind, in third place in the team standings.

Aubrey Volger led the way for Pagosa, taking third overall with a time of 22:35. Her finish time at the Sept. 23 Centauri meet was 24:09.

Amber Mesker continues to improve her times and looks ready to make a late-season move. The senior posted a time of 24:01 at Bayfield, more than a minute faster than her previous-best time this year.

A time of 25:23 was good enough to give Tiffany Thompson 17th place in the competition.

Annah Rolig was 20th in the individual standings. Her time was 25:53 and it established the Ladies' pack time at 3:18.

Freshman Genevieve Gilbert ran her first varsity race at Bayfield and served notice she will be a factor as this season and coming seasons develop. Gilbert finished the 3.1 miles at Bayfield in 23rd position, with a time of 26:20.

Just behind Gilbert, in 24th place, was Joetta Martinez, who posted a time of 26:49.

Makina Gill took 29th with a time of 28:01.

"The conditions at Bayfield were better than we faced at Centauri the week before," said Anderson, "but the course at Bayfield is tough, with significant hills. Our guys are doing very well. They're coming on strong and they look like they are peaking. They look good."

"Among the girls," said the coach, "Aubrey is doing her usual good job and Amber is coming around and will get stronger every week. We need to get the others to close it up and when they do, they'll do well."

A meet tomorrow at Bloomfield, N.M., is next up for Pagosa.

"We'll see Bayfield again" at Bloomfield, said Anderson. "In fact, we'll see them the next three weeks. Gallup will also be at Bloomfield so we'll get to watch them gallop away. Bloomfield is a tough team, too and the traditional Bloomfield course is a tough one."

First races at Bloomfield tomorrow are scheduled to start at 3 p.m.

Hungry Dogs', defense meld efforts for Pirate win
By Richard Walter

"The new season started today!"

That was the first post-game comment Saturday by Pagosa Springs Pirates' soccer coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason after his squad's 6-0 whitewash of Ouray on the Trojan's home field.

The game was originally scheduled to be played in Ouray, but the press had been notified two weeks earlier that it had been moved to the field in Ridgway.

Several carloads of Pagosa fans were sitting in Ridgway waiting for it to start when some decided there must be a scheduling error and went to Ouray. Even Kurt-Mason was unaware of the change and discovered it only by accident.

The team bus was passing the Ouray field en route to Ridgway when the coach spotted Ouray players on the field there and asked the driver to stop. It was then the team learned it had reached the game site.

And then the "Hungry Dogs," as the Pagosa offense has been requesting they be called, went smoothly to their second victory of the season over Ouray, but it was the defensive scheme and performance which made the day for the Pirates.

That scheme, which had outside left wing Zeb Gill and offensive midfielder Daniel Crenshaw marking up on Ouray's two primary goal threats at midfield and two other Pirates transitioning into goal protection, worked to perfection.

The Ouray offense was effectively stymied by the move and the Pirates' offense was the beneficiary.

Kurt-Mason also moved Josh Soniat into goal for his first start of the year and rotated regular goal keeper Matt Mesker in both attack and defensive positions throughout the game.

The effectiveness of the Pirates' scheme is reflected in statistics. Ouray had only 12 shots on goal and only four in the second half. The Pirates, meanwhile, had 17 first-half shots, 11 on goal, and 14 more shots in the second half with 10 on goal.

Despite the statistical imbalance, the game's opening minutes looked threatening for Pagosa as the team adapted to an unmown field with Pagosa practice cones placed on the field to mark potential ankle-injuring holes in the turf.

In fact, the first shot of the game, at 2:16, necessitated a fine stop by Soniat on a drive from his right by Ouray striker Daniel Leonardi.

Pagosa's first shot on goal came at 3:49 when Kyle Sanders' drive up the middle was snared by Ouray keeper Devon McMurrin.

At 6:04, Crenshaw's drive from the right side sailed just over McMurrin's outstretched arms and, unfortunately, just over the net.

At 6:46, Ouray's Gevorg Sargysyan was wide left on his team's second scoring chance. Gill dribbled the ensuing rebound all the way down field on the left wing, cut to the middle and ripped a kick right at McMurrin who made the stop. At 9:58 Mike Pierce squibbed a free kick but it was right on goal and McMurrin made the save. A minute and 38 seconds later Gill was on the attack again and was stopped again by McMurrin.

Then came the real test of the game for Soniat. First, he stopped a blast from the right by Ouray's Matt Rushing and then deflected a rebound header by the Trojan's Sam Kigar and a second rebound by Lang Kenng.

Just 40 seconds later the Pirates opened the scoring when Crenshaw drove the middle, cut loose a blistering drive which McMurrin deflected right to Pagosa freshman striker Kevin Muirhead who ripped the rebound into the net to give Pagosa a 1-0 lead.

After two more stops by McMurrin, the Pirates upped the lead to 2-0 at 18:39 when Kyle Sanders scored from the left side on the rebound of a Brian Hart shot. At 23:28 one of the more spectacular plays of the game came when Kyle Sanders corner lead to his brother Trent set up a reverse bicycle kick which rimmed just over the net.

At 24:58 Kyle Sanders' kick sailed over the net and exactly one minute later, Crenshaw's blast off a Pierce drop from the corner hit the left post.

The Pirates made the score 3-0 at 39:01 when Kyle Sanders took an outlet kick from Soniat, dribbled the right side, eluded two defenders at midfield and outraced the only defender in the attack zone to rip a shot past McMurrin.

In the closing 59 seconds of the half the Pirates continued the offensive onslaught with first Thomas Hampton missing wide left, then Muirhead being stopped by McMurrin on an acrobatic leap, Ryan Lister kicking the rebound over the net and Gill being stopped on a point blank drive.

The Pirates opened the second half at much the same pace. Crenshaw's skimmer was batted aside and Gill's rebound effort was stopped at just 38 seconds. At 2:20 Jordan Kurt-Mason's blast off a lead from Kyle Sanders hit the crossbar.

Ouray's best scoring chance of the game came at 3:01 when Soniat came about 25 yards out to his left to cut down Ouray's Rushing. The ball, however, trickled back toward the middle of the field where Kigar captured it and drove toward an empty net. Out of nowhere, as Kygar's kick sailed goalward, came Lister to make the save and kick the ball out of danger.

At 6:28, Hart's shot off a cross from Jordan Kurt-Mason was tipped by McMurrin and deflected over the crossbar and at 8:26 Gill's crossover move from the left put him dead-on for a drive batted out by McMurrin.

Gill got the rebound and dropped it out to Michael Dach who got his first goal of the season on Gill's assist and the score was 4-0.

At 11:28, a free kick by Jordan Kurt-Mason was trapped by McMurrin and at 16:06 Pierce's shot from the right wing on a cross from Gill hit the left post. Three minutes and 13 seconds later it was Pierce dropping a cross to Muirhead who hit the opposite post. At the 25-minute mark, Kyle Sanders hit the crossbar on a shot off a lead from Hart and 30 seconds later Crenshaw's drive sailed wide right.

With Pierce working the right wing at 22:09, Gill bore in from the left and turned Pierce's drop pass into the net with a header hiking the Pagosa lead to 5-0.

At 27:16, Trent Sanders intercepted a Ouray outlet and dropped a lead to Mesker whose shot was blocked. At 29:26, Crenshaw was wide right again and at 30:28 Muirhead's last scoring chance was halted by McMurrin on a fine move to his left.

Finally, at 37:18, Crenshaw closed out the scoring with a blistering drive right up the middle from the front of the box. His shot was past McMurrin before he could react.

Coach Kurt-Mason lauded his team for doing in the game exactly what they had practiced all week: precise movements off the ball to open space, eliminating the pass and stop mentality, and transition directly from offense to defense and back.

"Our movement off the ball was excellent," the coach said, "and we successfully maneuvered to pull defenders out of play and open routes to the goal."

He was especially pleased by the play of Muirhead, the Sanders brothers and the header moves by both Gill and Lister and the all-round play of Pierce and Crenshaw.

The Pirates will travel to Durango for a 5 p.m. game today and will host undefeated Telluride at 11 a.m. Saturday at Golden Peaks Stadium. Please note the time and date changes. The Durango game was originally scheduled for 4 p.m. Tuesday and the Telluride game was originally scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday.

Community News
Chamber News
By Suellen Loher

Center benefits from duck race

Tickets for the River "Rubber" Duck Race to benefit the Community Center are on sale now. The race takes place behind J.J.'s Upstream Oct. 22 at 1 p.m.

J.J.'s will donate 10 percent of all sales that day toward the Community Center fund. You can purchase tickets from the Chamber of Commerce, at Seeds of Learning or from any Community Center committee member. Each ticket is $5 or you can buy 6 for $25. Come have fun watching the ducks race to the finish line and find out if you won. First place wins $250, second place is $150 and third wins $75.

Change of the guard

We are very saddened and will miss a very distinctive and longtime Chamber member and wish him and his wife well in their new journey.

As you are all probably aware, the Milton Lewis Gallery and Wagon Wheel Frame Shop has sold. For health reasons, Milt and Pam are moving to a lower elevation, perhaps Sedona, Ariz.

Milt's art will continue to be featured as a key component at the newly purchased business. The frame shop will continue in the same tradition established by Pam but with fresh, state-of-the-art creativity, maintaining the same top-quality reputation for framing that Pam developed.

Karen and Dean Cox are the new owners of the gallery. The name of the gallery will be Taminah Gifts and Gallery.

Rhythmania CDs

Those of you who were fortunate enough to see Tony Osanah and local percussionist Cary Valentine perform in the recent production of "Rhythmania" will be delighted to know that the Tony Osanah CD, "Amerindia" has arrived at the Visitor Center. The CD is available while limited quantities last. Call 264-2360 to reserve your copy.


We are pleased to introduce two new members to you this week and to announce 19 renewals.

Welcome PagosaFone Net, located at 511 San Juan St., Suite No. 3. A true ISP (Internet Service Provider) for Pagosa Springs and surrounding towns. Call Georgia at 264-6532 for more information.

Karla brings us FoneNet, LLC, 16 North Market St. in Cortez. FoneNet an Internet service provider, local and statewide. Web design services, hosting, dedicated access and technical support, call them at 970-564-1824.

Renewals this week include Gary Willmart with Colorado Fishing Adventures, and Rainbow Lodge on the San Juan River Inc., located near Navajo Dam in New Mexico; Paul and Shellie Hogue with Hogue's Glass of Pagosa, Inc. at 127 Goldmine Drive; Alex Mievel with AAM's Mild to Wild Rafting and 4-Wheel Adventures at 1111 Camino del Rio in Durango; Crista Munro with FolkWest Inc; Stan Zuegi with the Spring Inn, 165 Hot Springs Boulevard.; Susie Terrell with the Wild Hare, 118 North Pagosa Boulevard.; Ron and Lori Salisbury with Lori Salisbury Gallery and Framing, 835 East Second Avenue, Suite 200, in Durango; Gary and Nan Rowe with Rocky Mountain Reefs of Pagosa Springs, Oso Grande Ranch Outfitting and Oso Grande B and B; Ray Finney with Colorado Housing Inc., at 422 Pagosa Street, Suite 11; Gary and Claudia Weger with Land Properties, Inc.; Jim and Jane Lark with Best Western Oak Ridge Lodge, 158 Hot Springs Boulevard.; Chris Willhelm with Riverside Properties located at 143 Pagosa Street; Dan Park with Alpine Haas Ski Center at No. 1 Pines Club Place; Leila Parga with Subee Enterprises (a division of FoneNet) 2 West Main, Cortez. Thanks also to Associate Members Curl and Dot Jones. Thank you all for your continued support.

Finance workshop

Bob Scott of Edward Jones, and Don Levine of General Electric, will host a seminar Oct. 11 to address some of the questions surrounding the topic of long-term care and suggest means of protecting your savings from the skyrocketing costs of long-term care. Call Bob at 731-5100 for more information and to reserve a seat at the seminar.


I know Sally thanked several folks for all their help with Colorfest, but I have a small follow up list that includes Bill and Connie at the Choke Cherry Tree for the great bowl of caramels they brought for the wine and cheese tasting. The caramels were gone before I could taste one!

I really appreciate Mark DeVoti and his school kids for picking up and dropping off the tables at the Extension Building. Mark and the kids also did some landscaping work at the east end of town last week. We really appreciate all the hard work that was put into this project. Mark at Dominos Pizza gave us a killer deal to feed those hard working kids!

Thanks to all who help make our community a great place to live and work.

Pagosa Lakes
By Ming Steen

Durango to Silverton rail ride a color delight

Hold out your hands three feet apart - about a foot to the right and left of your body. Now picture a 143-ton steam locomotive rumbling down a pair of rails only that far apart, pulling a string of mustard-yellow railcars. Imagine further that just beyond your right hand is the face of a rocky mountainside, and just inches to your left is a shear drop into a remote Colorado canyon. You've just imagined the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad.

At some points the train seems to cling to the mountainside. Although probably more touristy than other great ways of going into the mountain, the Durango and Silverton is nonetheless an authentic slice of railroading. I think it is one of the finest scenic rides in the country. This time of the year aspen leaves turn a beautiful gold. This against a medley of evergreen and fiery red oakbrush is breathtaking. Colors this year are awesome. Because the Durango and Silverton travels through some of the most beautiful mountains in Colorado, this train ride is well worth it.

My favorite is to ride the train up to Silverton and have a buddy or spouse meet you there in a car. The million-dollar highway over those mountain passes offer views unsurpassed by anything else I've seen in this country.

Prior to last Saturday night I did not know much about Gary Morris. My exposure to music tends to be limited to what my 13-year-old chooses - N-Sync, Backstreet Boys and Savage Garden. Well, now I know more about Gary Morris. He's a phenomenal musician with a voice to match his stage presence. The powerful range of his vocal abilities is incredible and it had me nailed to my seat. Matt Morris, Gary's 21-year-old son was also a part of the concert. Young Matt is very talented with the sweetest demeanor. What a pair father and son made and with their recent roots in Chromo, they were able to add some local color to their on-stage banter. I would love to have another chance to see them perform here in Pagosa. If they do, that would be too cool. Thanks to Mary and Don McKeehan for pulling the details together for the show and from the very bottom of our hearts, we thank Gary and Matt Morris for their generous gift of music.

To the following volunteers who have adopted sections of roadway here in Pagosa Lakes. We thank you for keeping a clean community. Ray Pack, John and Cheryl Nelson, Joe Donovan, Sheila Hunkin, Jean Carson, Linda Sapp and Julie Bissell - you are the best. These great volunteers have made the Pagosa Lakes Adopt-a-Street Program a viable one. Others interested in being involved are asked to call Larry Lynch at 731-5635. PLPOA will provide trash bags, pick up bags that have been filled, and install sinage on the roadside to acknowledge volunteer efforts.

For those of you who get antsy half-way through the Sunday service, I share this with you. A preacher had a great way of making sure the church did not empty out 15 minutes into his sermon. He'd say at the beginning, "The first half of my sermon will be for the sinners among you. The second half will be for the saints."

Senior News
By Janet Copeland

Agency on Aging aides visit

Our guests on Wednesday were Maurine and Jud Niederer from Mud Lake, Idaho, who are here visiting with Sy and Donna Kolman. We hope they will visit us again soon. We were happy to have Betty Lou Reid with us again on Monday. We have missed her.

Our September birthdays celebration was on Friday and we hope Fred Jaramillo, Tinnie Lattin, Shirley Killion, Elizabeth Belmear, Leonora Carrannante, Ray Martinez and Medena Hamilton had very happy birthdays.

Also on Friday we welcomed a large group of folks from Area Agency on Aging, the agency responsible for funding much of our Seniors budget. Muriel Cronkhite and Esther Orr (our local AAA representative) and Bud Albright, director of San Juan Basin Area Agency on Aging, and his assistant, Sally Johnson, along with Sue Fletcher, Mary Holaday, Jim Antoltz, Bobby Jones, Kelly Wilson, Frank DiCicco, Robert Miller, Ken Rosenberg, Emma Shook, Bob Lieb and Sheila Casey honored us with their presence. We enjoyed meeting and visiting with everyone and hope to see you again soon.

Our Senior of the Week is Martha Trowbridge - one of our newer members. Congratulations, Martha. We are happy to have you and Ray here with us.

Once again our potluck supper/dance on Friday night was a big success. Twenty-three folks brought delicious food and we all had plenty to eat, after which some visited and some danced to tapes and CDs furnished by attendees. This is really a fun, relaxed time and we hope more folks will come next time - which is the last Friday of each month at 5 p.m.

Payge informs us the calendars for October events are printed and on the front desk. On Oct. 25, a trip is planned to Ignacio Casino - $15 is the cost. We do need to have at least 10 folks sign up in order for these trips to go, so please sign up at the front desk if you want to go along.

Get out your Halloween costumes. On Oct. 31 we will have a costume contest/party at the Senior Center. These parties are hilarious - you really must participate to get the full benefit.

Cruising with Cruse
By Katherine Cruse

Tropical fruit enthusiasm declines at home

Other people I know have taken cruises, on ships, to Alaska, through the Panama Canal, around the Caribbean islands. Hotshot and I have friends who used to recount their glorious times on one of those big Caribbean party lines. "It's wonderful," they said. "You can eat all day and all night, if you want to." And they'd describe the served meals, the lobster, the prime rib, the fruit platters in the buffet.

Here's an aside: I've been in Hawaii and in Costa Rica, where I couldn't get enough of the fruit. Both times I vowed to keep up the papaya and mango habit after I got back home. The enthusiasm for tropical fruit lasted about three days, until I gave up looking for the same degree of lush ripe taste.

Plus, cutting up all that fruit takes time. Better to go on vacation and let someone else do the work.

These same friends also extolled the virtues of basking in the sunshine on the deck beside the ship's pool. They gamboled and gambled the evenings away, while dedicated minions replenished their rum and fruit juice.

Sounds idyllic. Kind of like a Hollywood movie version of a cruise.

My own introduction to the wonderful world of cruise ships was a little different.

First off, the ships belonging to the cruise line my mother and I sailed on are small, by your normal Caribbean standards, or Alaskan inland passage standards. Certainly they wouldn't make any trans-ocean trips either. These ships were specially designed to fit smaller places, like the Erie Canal locks: 175 feet long and 40 feet across, with a 6 foot draft.

There was no wasted space. Before we left, Buck's wife urged me to walk around the deck for exercise. She and Buck walked a couple of miles every day on their trip to Alaska, doing laps around the deck.

Well, you could do that on the Niagara Prince. You could do that. . . single file. We had about two feet of clearance, so if anyone was standing at the railing, you had to slow down and sidle past. Twenty laps equaled a mile. It could take a long time.

Dave, one of the passengers, solved this close encounter problem by taking his constitutional early in the morning, before most people were out of bed. Since most of the staterooms were directly under his path, we could here him coming. Thunk thunk thunk.

And every morning my mother would say, "What's that noise?"

Another sign that we weren't in the Caribbean? The weather. When it wasn't raining, it threatened to.

Except for one afternoon, we didn't see the sun for five days. Our cruise director was so excited when that little ray found its way through the clouds that she immediately announced it over the ship's loudspeaker. "Keep your fingers crossed," she urged us. That was enough to send Ol' Sol back behind the gray stuff for the rest of the day.

The clouds finally blew away the day we entered the barge canal system. Unfortunately, that was when the deck hands removed everything from the top, or "sun," deck, so that we could fit under any low bridges. They stepped the masts and antennas and laid the railings and furniture and awning rigging flat on the deck. Then they rigged a block and tackle and lowered the pilot house to the main deck. For the entire time on the canal system we passengers were confined to the main deck. (I know, you'd think by now they'd know whether the ship would fit under the bridges or not. Sometimes the water level in the canal system changes, and a few inches can make the difference.)

Oh, and if you're thinking, Erie Canal, towpaths, get out and walk alongside - well, forget it. That was the first Erie Canal, or maybe the second one. It's come a long way, baby. Towpaths went out when they started using tugs to push the canal barges, and that was well over 100 years ago. Good thing, really. They used to carry extra mules on the barges. Then our quarters would have been really cramped.

No wonder we lined up like lemmings to get off when the ship docked at night.

Well, I didn't pick this cruise. I went with my mother, who went with her local museum's history group. The History Guild made up almost half of the ship's 78 passengers.

We had a great mix of people. There were artists, architects, docents, historians, innkeepers and physicists aboard, in addition to the people who could only have been the ones Mark Twain called the "Old Travelers."

There were noisy talkers and silent watchers. There was the regular crowd of bridge players, who let the scenery and the locks slide by without a glance. There were the ones who laughed all the time and others who never cracked a smile.

There were the healthy ones and a few sick ones. There were the party people. One man was lamenting that his wife didn't feel well and he was afraid they wouldn't be able finish all the liquor they'd brought on board. And there were a couple that kept to their cabins and only appeared at meal time.

In short, when it came to passengers, I'll bet our cruise was a lot like any other.

And who wants to eat all the time, anyway?

Library News
By Lenore Bright

Saluting Education Center's growth

October snuck up on us, and looking at the calendar, it is already busy.

Congratulations to the Archuleta County Education Center for their new building addition. The grand opening was yesterday.

We are indeed fortunate to have this facility in our county. The center started out providing literacy training. It has grown into a multi-faceted education provider of all types of learning, even college degrees.

We're especially proud of their after-school program. Eighteen teens put in 1,398 hours tutoring 59 different elementary and intermediate school students

The staff provided nearly 700 hours of English training for 27 workers from many different countries including Russia, Ukraine, Canada, Mexico, Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras and Cuba.

We continue to take maternal pride in the center's growth as the library started the program many years ago.

Fire Prevention Month

October is Fire Prevention Month. This is rather timely since we're still suffering from our drought, and the fire danger remains high.

Congratulations to our fire district staff for passing the test that will lower all of our fire insurance costs. Do we take this service for granted? We are lucky to have such dedicated personnel and good equipment. According to Fire Chief Warren Grams who spoke at the press conference last week, if Amendment 21 passes, this good service will come to an end. Our insurance will go up, and we will be in jeopardy of fire destroying many properties across the state, not just in our county.

Contact Chief Grams if you would like to know more about what will happen if Amendment 21 passes.

Smokey Bear sent a teacher's guide that can be checked out to teach children about fire safety. I'm more worried about the hunters than I am about the children. If you would like to borrow this study guide ask at the desk.

DV awareness month

Carmen Hubbs, the Archuleta County Victim Assistance Program director, will display a special chair around town during the next few weeks. The intent is to bring awareness to the violence against women and children.

Businesses and domestic violence agencies are decorating chairs in honor of victims who died due to domestic violence. Our chair is decorated in honor of a Durango woman. A frame placed on the seat of the chair will display a poem she wrote just five days before her death. The chair will be on display the week of Oct. 16. A basket with free ribbons for people to take will also be available.

Raffle items

The Civic Club Bazaar is coming up on Nov. 4, and the drawing for the neat prizes will be that day. Many of the prizes are now on display at the library with more coming in each day. Tickets are six for $5. Come by and see the prizes and buy some tickets. The bazaar is just four weeks away.

Turkey Trot

Mark your calendar for Nov. 11 and the annual Turkey Trot 10K run and walk. Twenty dollars gets you a long-sleeved T-shirt, a chance to win a turkey, use of the Pagosa Lakes Recreation center for the day and refreshments.

New books

The "Shopper's Bible" is a consumer's guide to nontoxic household products, cosmetics and food by David Steinman and Samuel Epstein. This is a long-overdue reference book important to all who are interested in reducing their risk of exposure to harmful chemicals found in most household products, cosmetics and food.

"Hiking Colorado's Weminuche Wilderness," by Donna Ikenberry, is one of the best comprehensive guides to this area. It provides 39 hikes ranging from short strolls to overnight trips. Tips on viewing wildlife and other natural history notes are included.


Thanks for materials from Drue Hartong, Lorna Ogden, Dr. James L Knoll, Anne Grad, Bev Worthman, Carole Howard, Dr. Alton Dohner, Nicholas Afaami, St. Patrick's Episcopal Church, Kim Coleman, William Ryan, Melinda Short, Debbie Swenson, Celeste Nolan, Marsha Preuit, Roger and Marion Hansen, and Bill Clark.


The library will be closed for Columbus Day, Oct. 9.

Local Chatter
By Kate Terry

Tait Duncan benefit nets $2,500

The Third Annual Tait Duncan Special Olympics Benefit was held at Bob's Cabin last Sunday, and what an event it was! It began at 1 p.m. and lasted until 11:30 that night, with $2,500 raised.

Kathy Pokorney is the Pagosa Springs coordinator for Special Olympics. In September she was honored to receive the Coach of the Year 2000 Award for Southwest Colorado. The John Duffys and their son Josh, a special Olympian, were the Family of the Year. The annual awards banquet was held in Mancos.

Durango is the headquarters for Southwest Colorado Special Olympics. Brenda Marshall is the Southwest coordinator.

Many people helped and Kathy wants those who volunteered to know how how much she appreciates them.

There was volleyball and horseshoes and a pool tournament at the benefit. Wade Duncan, a newcomer to Pagosa Springs who wants to get involved, ran the tournament. And there were great door prizes.

A few of the local athletes were on hand to help with the games for the kids.

The music was wonderful and there was a lot of it.

D.C's band, "Dog at Large" was there, of course. He plays drums. Others in the band are Gary Watkins, lead guitar, Don Carlson, slide guitar and John June on bass.

Rio Jazz played. Here we have Lee Bartley on piano, John Graves on bass, Bob Hemenger on saxophone and D.C. Duncan on drums.

The Four Corners legend Jammin' Jeff was there. There's nothing like his guitar playing.

And then there was the "Would Be Trio" with George Clous on guitar, Chris Pierce on bass. Guitarist Robbie Pepper sat in with them.

The musicians had a ball jammin' with each other.

Other dedicated volunteers were Dave Pokorney, Marilyn Bunch, Rachel Howe and Carla Grayson. Volunteers who worked at the doors were Carol Riley, Gay Bohn, Linda Brown, Linda Lein and Barbara Blackburn.

And there was Bob and Vicky from Bob's Cabin, and Marjorie Martinez.

Some of these volunteers were members of the Wild Women of Southwest Colorado.

The present Special Olympics activity is miniature golf, Tuesday evenings at 6 p.m. When the snow falls there will be snowshoeing and downhill skiing. Coaches are needed for the downhill skiing classes. Call Kathy Pokorney at 264-5113 if you can help.

T-shirts are available for purchase: $15 for short sleeves and $20 for long sleeves. Call Kathy to buy these.

Around town

At the Four Corners Folk Festival the Kiwanis Club and the local hockey club raised over $1,000 serving breakfast on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Come Memorial Day 2001, an Alpaca Festival will be held.

Sisson Library has on display an excellent chart having to do with Amendment 21. It is easy to read. The passage of Amendment 21 would destroy many of Colorado's government services and would be a disaster for Archuleta County - negatively affecting our library, fire service, hospital district, water and sanitation, schools, law enforcement, road and bridge, and parks and recreation.

Fun on the run

Two young boys were spending the night at their grandparents' house. At bedtime, the two boys knelt beside their beds to say their prayers when the youngest one began praying at the top of his lungs.

"I pray for a new bicycle . . .

"I pray for a new Nintendo . . .

"I pray for a new VCR . . ."

His older brother leaned over and nudged the younger brother and said, "why are you shouting your prayers? God isn't deaf."

To which the little brother replied, "No, but Gramma is!"

Education News
By Tom Steen

Study finds teen athletes good role models

There may be something to the stereotype of the clean-cut high school jock.

A survey of more than 14,000 teenagers found that those who participated in team sports were less likely to use drugs, smoke, have sex, carry weapons or have unhealthy eating habits.

"The generally positive relationships between sports participation and health behaviors suggest that physicians should actively encourage young people to take advantage of the opportunity to join sports teams," a South Carolina researcher wrote in the September issue of the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, published by the American Medical Association.

Something each community member can do to support the schools' athletes is to attend their games, get to know the players, and encourage them. If you are not yet an active supporter, give it a try. You will find all of the competitions provide great entertainment.

Here is a list of some of the upcoming local games you will want to put on your calendar.

The high school football team will play Ignacio Oct. 6 under the new athletic field lights. Game time is 7 p.m.

The Pagosa Springs Junior High girls' volleyball team will host the end-of-season tournament in their gym. The tournament begins at 9 a.m.

A high school junior varsity volleyball tournament will take place Saturday in Pagosa. It begins at 9 a.m. at the high school. At 11 a.m. Saturday the high school soccer team will play Telluride at home.

Next week, there are two more home games: the high school soccer team will play Center Oct. 13 at 4 p.m. and the high school volleyball team will play at Bayfield at 5 p.m. the same day.

While you are updating your calendar, be sure to add two home games on Oct. 17. The high school soccer team plays Bloomfield at 4 p.m. and the high school volleyball team plays Ignacio at 5 p.m.

The high school homecoming football game will be at 7 p.m. Oct. 20 against Bayfield. The next morning at 10 a.m. the high school soccer team will host the district tournament and at 11 a.m. the high school volleyball team will play Monte Vista.

Public meeting

A series of public meetings on services needed by Colorado youth will be held throughout Colorado, and on Oct. 11 in Durango. This public meeting is scheduled 1 to 4 p.m. in the La Plata County building at 949 East 2nd Avenue. It will provide an opportunity for prevention, intervention and treatment service providers and the general public to help develop the first state plan for the newly-created Division of Prevention and Intervention Services for Children and Youth. The intention is to help forge state and local prevention partnerships that foster the health and well being of Colorado children and youth. The meeting will provide an opportunity to identify community needs in order to better streamline statewide youth programs and services.

This new division, which was created by the Colorado legislature during its 2000 session, is part of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and has been given responsibility for delivering prevention and intervention services for the state's children and youth. Several programs from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs (including the Education Center's after-school tutoring grant program) and the Colorado Children's Trust Fund were moved to the department in mid-July as part of the new division.


Editor's notes:

Based on this week's letters to the editor from Earle Beasley,

Rod Dornbusch and Fred Ebeling, someone read last week's

editorial. The editorial addressed the county's ongoing entanglement with maintaining various streets in the 23 individual subdivisions in Fairfield Pagosa. These letters are indeed noteworthy. However, it became evident that rather than attach an editor's note to each letter, addressing their concerns in an editorial would suffice.

Rod Dornbusch expressed concern about the statement ". . . that prior county commissioners would not have known about North Pagosa Boulevard's inadequate sub-base when they first accepted it into the county's road maintenance system in the 1970s." The fact that the county did not have a qualified engineer on its staff at that time is not surprising. Pagosa in Colorado, the developer of what is now the Fairfield Pagosa subdivisions, built the first major development in the county that came under the guidelines of Senate Bill 35 . Passed in 1972, the bill established the guidelines for county subdivision regulations.

As for Fred Ebeling's contention that in the 1970s North Pagosa Boulevard met county standards for a gravel road with the implication that an asphalt road would require a different sub base; I sought counsel from officials in the county road and bridge department. It was their contention that other than the asphalt surface itself, the county's specifications for a gravel road is the same as that for an asphalt road.

As for his contention that developers of earlier subdivisions ". . . did not, and would not, construct streets to county standard. . . ."; Ebeling failed to mention that prior to the passage of SB 35 in 1972, developers were not required to build roads to county standards. It was not a matter of would not, it was buyer beware.

During the past few years residential streets in subdivisions such as Timber Ridge Ranch, Pagosa Lakes Ranch, Eaton Pagosa Estates, South Shore Estates, Crowley Ranch Reserve, Alpine Lakes, The Knolls, Chris Mountain Ranches and others have been accepted by the county as being built to county specifications. Some of these roads have gravel surfaces, others are paved with asphalt. None of them have been accepted into the county road maintenance system, nor does the county have the obligation to do so.

The same is true of the unaccepted portions of roads in Continental Estates, Pagosa Hills, Pagosa Peaks Estates, Pagosa Pines, Piedra Park and Spring Estates.

For some reason Ebeling failed to address the issue of Lake Forest Circle. Though his letter contends that ". . . all the roads in Pagosa Lakes were built to county standards . . ." building a public street on private property does not comply with county standards. The fact that Lake Forest Circle - which was built in the Lake Forest Estates subdivision, not the mythical Pagosa Lakes - strongly indicates that neither the county or the developer had any quality control in place when that street was built.

Hopefully, someday Ebeling or one of his cohorts will explain why they exclude "areas in town" when calculating the amounts or percentages paid for county taxes. Persons who own property in the town of Pagosa Springs must pay the county taxes that are based on the same assessed mill levies as everyone else who owns property in the county. As for the percentage of county expenditures these property owners receive in return on road mileage is 0 percent. The only time this varies is when the county and the town enter into a joint agreement on a specific road project.

Lastly, Ebeling expressed concern about the county passing "through to metro districts a fair and equitable share of all road revenues received." It is no secret that the county passes through all of the funds that the state statutes dictates that a county must be passed through to local road improvement districts.

These comments admittedly fail to address all of the problems with the county's roads and its road maintenance program. They also fail to answer the question of how will accepting additional roads into the county's road maintenance system improve the overall level of service on the roads? David C. Mitchell

Dear Folks
By David C. Mitchell

Utilizing a space advantage

Dear Folks,

Mom taught me that it's impolite to ignore your friends. So I hope Earle Beasley will forgive me for placing his name at the head of the list of letter writers, and then fail in the neighboring editorial to comment on his letter to the editor.

Having moved to Pagosa in 1974, as did Earle and Betty, and having taught with him for seven years at the old high school, I by no means meant to ignore him.

To be honest, I tried to say too much in this week's editorial and simply ran myself out of space. Hopefully Earle and others will overlook this excessive use of space.

Earle's letter regarding certain events in the county commissioners' office during 1998 led me to review the history behind his contention that "the citizens of the county haven't been responsible either" regarding the provision of adequate funding for the county road and bridge department. My recollection of current history likewise differed with his contention that, "In 1998 Commissioners Bob Formwalt, Bill Tallon and Ken Fox asked us to approve their proposal to raise the road and bridge mill levy by an additional 6.5 mills."

Bob Formwalt opposed placing the proposed mill levy on the Nov. 3, 1998, county-wide ballot. Ken Fox and Bill Tallon held the 2-1 majority that makes decisions in the county commissioners' office.

However, all three agreed that the county's past practice of accepting subdivision roads for county maintenance was a mistake. They likewise agreed that the county couldn't afford to maintain subdivision roads and should stop maintaining them except for main arterial roads."

Earle was accurate in that the ballot question proposed raising the road and bridge mill levy 6.5 mills (from 3.5 to 10.0 mills) for a 5-year period. Due to the 500-word limitation on letters to the editor, he failed to mention the reasoning and other factors associated with the proposals.

The main factors behind the proposal included a two-part resolution that the commissioners had adopted. The resolution was reportedly linked in an undefined, yet supposedly enforceable manner to the ballot question.

Part 1 of the resolution stated that the resulting monies would be used to maintain the streets in "12 specified subdivisions for five years." The subdivisions in question included Blue Lake Estates, Echo Lake Estates, Holiday Acres, Log Park, Teyuakan, Continental Estates, Pagosa Hills, Pagosa Peak Estates, Pagosa Pines, Piedra Park and Spring Estates. Combined, these 11 subdivisions accounted for 37.19 miles of the streets that the county road and bridge department maintained.

The 12th subdivision was in fact the 23 individual subdivisions that had eventually been designated as being Pagosa Lakes. Of the 112.5 miles of streets in this collection of subdivisions, county tax payers funded the maintenance costs for 76.5 miles of the streets, boulevards, courts, drives etc.

Part 2 of the resolution declared that, "Upon the completion of five years, all subdivision roads, except arterial roads, will be dropped from the county maintenance system."

The ballot question failed by a 2-1 margin. At that time, no one had an accurate estimation as to how many of the county's voters resided in the specified subdivisions.

It is hardly plausible to say that "the citizens of the county haven't been responsible" regarding the "no win situation" the county commissioners have allowed to continue for the past 20 years. It just doesn't add up.

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


25 years ago

Pagosa in outer-space news

Taken from SUN files of Oct. 9, 1975

The Pagosa Springs area may be the site of a departure for outer space if news sources from other areas can be believed. News media from all over the United States and particularly on the West Coast have been giving big play to a recent religious cult that has announced that its members are preparing for an exodus from planet Earth. The group, composed of about 20 individuals, has reportedly headed for Colorado with the announced destination of the Pagosa Springs or Nederland areas.

Ground-breaking ceremonies were held Oct. 7 for the Pagosa Fire Protection District fire station. The 2,572-square-foot structure will house two pumpers, offices, storage areas, and hose drying equipment.

This issue of the SUN has several photos and reprints of stories concerning the flood in October of 1911. The articles and photos are old and some are not too clear, but they should give an indication of the magnitude of that flood.

The new Circle K convenience store east of the San Juan Motel is set to open this week or next. There will be a paved parking lot in front, and the store is expected to be completely stocked by next week.

By Shari Pierce

The Strawn Hotel - 'first-class hotel'

The May 1, 1890 issue of the Pagosa Springs News announced the arrival of Mrs. J.C. Strawn and children in Pagosa Springs the previous Sunday. The following day they traveled on to their ranch on Turkey Creek. "Mr. Strawn will arrive as he is relieved from the position of station agent at Del Norte, and they make this their future home."

James Carson Strawn was born in Indiana in 1844. He served in the Civil War. He attended school where he learned telegraphy. Around 1880 Strawn became employed by the railroad as a telegrapher and station agent. This led to him making his way west, eventually being stationed at Monte Vista. After a few years there, he made his way over Wolf Creek Pass to Pagosa Springs where he was also employed by the railroad.

In the late 1880s, J.C. Strawn built the "Strawn House" in Pagosa Springs near the corner of Pagosa and 3rd streets. He had purchased the property from E.M. Taylor for $400.

A few years back, the county assessor told me comparable lots were selling for about $20 at the time thus indicating some sort of structure was probably on the lot at the time of this transaction.

In May of 1890, the Strawns turned their two-story home into a hotel. The News reported, "J.C. Strawn is now fixing up his house preparatory to running a first-class hotel this summer." Advertisements in early Pagosa Springs newspapers tell us the Strawn Hotel was located "on the west side near the school house" and served "the best meal in town."

The Pagosa Springs News moved its office "to the north side near the school house and Strawn's Hotel" in July of 1890.

J.C. Strawn was one of 35 citizens who petitioned to incorporate the town of Pagosa Springs in 1891. On Feb. 28, an election was held to present the question. The vote was 26 for incorporation and 12 against. A notice of incorporation was then filed with Judge Barzillai Price.

The town of Pagosa Springs held its first election in April. Among others, Strawn was elected to serve on the town board as a trustee.

Strawn also homesteaded property about 10 miles from town. He filed for a patent on this property in 1891.

From Pagosa Springs, Strawn moved on to Farmington, N.M., and later to San Diego, Calif., where he passed away in 1931.

As for the Strawn House, in later years it served as apartments and again as a private residence before it burned in January of 1989.

Pacing Pagosa
By Richard Walter

Does cigarette smoke cloud traffic light?

We've yet to record our first major accident at Lewis and San Juan streets where the new traffic signals are working perfectly.

But it took some skillful driving by a woman last week to avoid hitting three youths apparently en route home from the Junior High School/Intermediate School campus.

The boys, all probably 11 to 13, crossed from north to south, running right into east-west traffic which had the green light.

I yelled at them to look out and the woman into whose path they ran hit her brakes and swerved toward the curb they had just left in order to avoid hitting hem.

When they reached the other side, somewhat shaken, I asked them why they ran out into traffic.

"We didn't know it was working" said one of the three. "Cars are supposed to stop for us when we're in the crosswalk."

Crosswalkwise, he's correct. But when there is a signal controlling pedestrian traffic that signal takes precedence. No one, no matter what age, should believe he or she can just walk out against traffic and get to the other side safely.

It's hard to believe these kids couldn't see the traffic, see the light causing vehicles to stop, and not know the pedestrian crossing buttons were working, too.

They are, in fact, and are a welcome improvement over the ones at 4th and Pagosa. The new lights actually give the pedestrian a time factor for crossing, a countdown from 18 seconds showing how much time is left to clear the intersection before the light changes to green.

It also includes a warning hand which advises pedestrians they should not start to cross at that point because there is insufficient time left to complete the crossing. Those already part way across have adequate time to complete the crossing.

Newfangled traffic controls are antithesis to old-time Pagosa habit, but they do their job if given the opportunity.

The key element to remember is that they apply to everyone passing through the intersection, whether pedestrian, bicyclist, motorcyclist, RV-SUV or family auto driver, truck or tractor driver or even the occasional equestrian.

* * *

Along the same lines, I parked on Lewis Avenue Thursday afternoon at 3:25 p.m. In the ensuing 15 minutes, I watched dozens of students pass by on their way home - and 11 of them were smoking.

A twelfth, apparently not wanting to be left out, stopped immediately adjacent to Town Hall to light up a cigarette of his own.

Children smoking is not a good advertisement on the streets of Pagosa Springs. And yes, they are children, probably no more than 13 - maybe 14 - and they are getting cigarettes somewhere when it is illegal for anyone to sell them to persons under age 18.

Do the parents know? Do they care? I wish some of them would park on Lewis unannounced as I did. Hopefully the ones they'll see smoking won't be their own. If they do see their child smoking, I hope they do something about it.

Once the youngsters are off school property, it is not a problem for school officials. But I know they have gone off property to confiscate cigarettes from children awaiting classes in the morning. And I know parents have been notified when smoking students are encountered.

* * *

Health officials will tell you that the younger a person is when he or she begins smoking, the more likely that person is to graduate up the line from cigarettes to marijuana, liquor and more dangerous drugs.

The same health officials will tell you that smoking can stunt growth and create breathing difficulties not only for the smoker but for the non-smoking friend who must endure second-hand smoke or quit the relationship.

And, smoking has been shown to be a contributive factor in development of lung cancer.

I'm sure no parent wants to think their child is already contributing to a debilitating and often fatal disease before they even get to enjoy their teen years.

They need to act now to prevent disaster in the future.

By John Motter

Several cowboys remain unidentified

Judy James

Horsemen - 1-Sammy Trujillo, 2-unknown, 3-unknown, 4-Ernest Smith, 5-unknown, 6-? Nossaman, 7-Red Sisson, 8-unknown, 9-unknown, 10-Francis Corrigan, 11-Babe Shahan, and 12-unknown. Kneeling - 1-Carlos LaVarta, 2-unknown, 3-Fred Harman II, 4-unknown, 5-unknown, 6-Percy Chambers, 7-unk

nown, and 8-Donald Bennett.

Felima Gardner

Felima says the photograph was probably taken during the 1950s, possibly before a 4th of July parade. "The ones in white shirts lead the parade as does Little Beaver ( Horseman No. 1) and Fred Harman II (Kneeling No. 3)." No. 6, is Carl Gardner riding his mare 'Sugar.'"

John and Holly Dunlap

The Dunlaps say the man (kneeling No. 4) is Woodrow Dunlap. Terry Robinson is No 10 (Horseback). "I am certain it was Terry. Terry was my uncle and Woodrow was my dad. I believe the 4th from the right (No. 9) is Harvey Catchpole. Left of Ernest Smith (Horseback No. 3) may be Lionel Adams."

If anyone else has information concerning this photograph, we at The SUN would like to hear from you. Obviously, because Little Beaver and Fred Harman II are pictured, this photograph is connected with the Red Ryder Roundup. We'd just like to know more, especially who the early founders of the rodeo were. The rodeo is now more than one-half century old.

Business News

Biz Beat

Star Ridge Stables

Angela and Bill Price, and DiAnn and Jim Hitchcox own and operate the new stables and horse-boarding facility at 1360 Terry Robinson Road.

Star Ridge Stables offers year-round care and horse boarding with 25 new stalls, a 200' by 60' outdoor arena, round pen, daily turnout, 24-hour security. and many fun, ridable miles.

To reach Star Ridge Stables take U.S. 84 south of Pagosa Springs to Terry Robinson Road. Take Terry Robinson Road to the gateway to the stables. Call Star Ridge at 264-0095.

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