Two expelled in junior high pot bust
By Karl Isberg
Five youngsters attending Pagosa Springs Junior High School have problems with the law after they were accused of selling and/or possessing marijuana on school grounds.
According to Pagosa Springs Police Chief Don Volger, his department received a call Sept. 27 from junior high Principal Larry Lister alerting police to the fact the principal believed illegal activity was occurring at the school. Volger said the incident involved "sale and possession of a small amount of marijuana - less than one ounce."
Lister said Wednesday he learned of possible problems Sept. 27, looked into the matter, called the police, then met with law enforcement officials Oct. 2 to turn over information for an investigation. At that time, Lister provided the names of seven youngsters he suspected of involvement in the incident.
Town police officers Bill Rockensock, Richard Valdez and George Daniels handled the investigation and determined five of the students could be charged with some type of offense. Two of the students were not implicated in the incident at the school.
Two of the juveniles will be charged in Sixth Judicial District Court with felony distribution of less than one ounce of marijuana. Three of the juveniles will be charged in Pagosa Springs Municipal Court for possession or consumption of less than one ounce of marijuana.
Lister said all suspect students were suspended from school for one week as per school policy, and those involved in extra-curricular activities were suspended from participation in the activities.
Problems for the two youngsters set to be charged in district court were multiplied Tuesday night when they were expelled for the remainder of the school year by the District 50 Joint school board.
According to Candace Rockensock, district court juvenile intake officer and juvenile services coordinator for Pagosa Springs, one youngster was set for an Oct. 11 arraignment in municipal court. The other two suspects involved with the municipal court process were set for arraignment Oct. 18.
The two youngsters set to be charged with felony distribution of less than one ounce of marijuana, and their parents, will meet with the juvenile officer tomorrow so paperwork can be completed and forwarded to the district attorney's office where juvenile petitions against the two youngsters will be prepared.
"At our meeting," said Candace Rockensock, "we will establish stipulations to place on a detention contract for each of the youngsters, allowing them to remain with their parents prior to a court date at Durango. Conditions include no contact with the school or codefendants, 24-hour adult supervision and daily call-ins to my office, among other things."
Rockensock said she anticipates the two young suspects will appear Nov. 1 before a district court judge at Durango.
All night Wolf Creek closures will begin Monday
Colorado Department of Transportation officials announced earlier this week that night closure of U.S. 160 between mile markers 175 and 173 on the east side of Wolf Creek Pass will start at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 16. The highway in that area will be closed from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. on Monday through Thursday. The closures will be in effect during the construction of a tunnel and the realignment of the highway in that area.
Also, the reconstruction and repaving of a portion of U.S. 160 between mile markers 166 and 167 near the western summit of Wolf Creek Pass will continue to cause traffic stops and delays up to 45 minutes from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Fridays. The ongoing project is scheduled to be suspended sometime during November and then resumed during the spring of 2001.
Blanco bus route will not change
By Richard Walter
Neighborhood dissension over school bus operations on the Lower Blanco erupted and then calmed Tuesday as two separate delegations explained their stance to the District 50 Joint school board.
Superintendent Terry Alley set the stage for the discussion when he told the board an extension of the existing bus route in the area had been opened this year because the administration believed there were sufficient students to justify it.
District policy, he said, requires at least seven students eligible for busing and living at least a mile from the current last bus stop.
On the Lower Blanco, Alley said, it turned out there were only six such students and that the route was complicated by narrow and sometimes almost impassable roads.
A spokesman for the delegation seeking an amendment of the policy, said there are now six students eligible for bus service and asked, "What difference would one less make?
"We have addressed the community and have the approval of the majority of the parents involved to make this request," he said, noting the residents of the area have created a turn-around point for the bus on their own by obtaining an easement to a vacant lot.
He said the existing bus stop is a little over 2 miles from the last home on the road and that is a long distance to "expect children to walk prior to 6:55 a.m. pick-up and 4:20 p.m. return home. Many parents, he said, cannot get home from their own jobs in time to pick up the children and while some can be car-pooled, it seems unwise to have the majority walking.
"It has been statistically proven," he said, "that is eminently safer for children to be transported by bus than in a group of private vehicles."
Debra Brown, primary spokesman for foes of the busing request, argued that the roadway leading to the area is unsafe for school bus operation and, in fact, often unsafe for the residents.
"It is too narrow to allow even two small vehicles to pass each other," she said, "and improvement is not in the county budget for next year."
Brown said she has gone to several county commissioner meetings to discuss the road problems in the area and has been repeatedly told the expense of improvement must be figured into a road and bridge budget at some later date."
Brown said she lives at the 5-mile marker and there were no families beyond them when they moved in 17 years ago. Now, she said, there are 12 such families and the road "has not been improved to even basic county standards."
At some spots, Brown said, the roadway is only 15-feet wide and in many points it is "deteriorating rapidly."
Until such time as it can be brought up to standard, Brown said, "we feel it would be unsafe for school buses to traverse its treacherous twists and narrow turns."
Brown said the bus route supervisor told her the buses will go only where roads meet county specifications "and this one surely does not."
Brown said residents change their own schedules now to "avoid meeting the school bus on the roadway. As growth continues, something will have to be done but we don't need an accident to prove the bus should not be there."
Another woman opposed to extending the route said that for her "this is strictly a safety issue. Many of us need four-wheel drive now just to get into and out of our properties. Without road improvement," she said, "we fear for the safety of bussed students and ourselves."
Following the presentations by both sides, Director Randall Davis said, "I believe we now have a good idea of what the issues are. We have pictures of the area, and I personally don't believe the bus should go there, no matter how many kids live there.
"Our policy once set the limit at five bus-eligible children," he said. "But a few years ago we looked long and hard at the policy and decided seven was a more legitimate limit. I see no need for us to change that decision now."
Director Russ Lee said, "I don't care if there are 20 children down there, we just should not send a bus into such a dangerous area and endanger the children who would ride it.
"Until such time as the county improves the roadway," Lee said, "I'd be against extending the route."
When Alley said the school policy states: "No route shall be established on any road deemed to be hazardous to safe school bus operation," the issue was put to bed - for now.
"But with growth accelerating in the Lower Blanco area," Brown said, "I expect we'll be dealing with the issue again. When the road is improved, school buses will probably again be on our agenda. And if there's an improved road we'll be happy to welcome them."
Search goes into motion for new school chief
By Richard Walter
The search for a replacement for Archuleta County School Superintendent Terry Alley is about to get underway in earnest.
Alley told the school board Tuesday night that the citizen search committee has been completed with one exception, and that it should begin meeting within the next two weeks.
With only an intermediate school parent yet to be named, the committee will be comprised of the following: Anita Scanga, intermediate school teacher; Lisa Montoya, high school parent; Bruce Anderson, junior high parent; Mike Haynes, elementary school parent; David Hamilton, junior high teacher; Rick Schur, high school teacher; Karyn Brughelli, elementary school teacher; Amber Mesker and Daniel Crenshaw, high school students; Sally Hameister, business representative; Nancy Schutz and Robyn Bennett, classified employees; Larry Lister representing building principals; and Alley himself.
Alley set out a tentative time table for the selection process, beginning with the search committee reviewing the current job description and recommending any changes they would like to see.
That would include a study of the personal attributes deemed necessary for a successful superintendent candidate and development by the November meeting of outlines for an advertisement to be placed in professional journals.
At the November meeting, Alley said, the directors should be prepared to develop, with the committee's recommendations, a final list of the qualifications they wish the new superintendent to have.
By December, Alley said, the committee should be ready to present a proposed advertisement and the board should be ready to set a closing date for negotiations, salary-offer data and length of contract.
Alley suggested the advertisement should run in mid-January, with a mid-February deadline for applications to be received. The application screening, he said, should begin in mid-February with both the committee and the board scanning them. The committee would make its recommendations to the board on the basis of that screening, but the board would be able to make choices of its own from independent screenings.
Alley said, "You should be able, on this schedule, to begin interviewing the top two to four candidates by late February and probably narrow the field to a final two by early March."
Interview expenses which the district will cover will have to be determined, Alley said, and visiting teams from Pagosa, including members of the search committee, should visit finalists' home communities in time to make a final selection at the April l board meeting.
Answering a question from Director Randall Davis, the board's president, Alley agreed there should be a joint meeting of the board and search committee, advertised as a special meeting, at which time the obviously not-qualified candidates would be pared from consideration.
Davis said Alley's timetable appears to be a workable guideline for the board, and Alley concluded the discussion by saying he would be available to work with the new superintendent even after his term expires on July 1.
Free dumping for hunting site trash
By John M. Motter
Archuleta County will help keep area roads free of debris during hunting season by allowing free dumping at the county landfill for a group promising to clean up trash at selected collection sites.
The program is patterned after an effort started last year in Durango by the San Juan National Forest and the San Juan Mountain Association.
"The amount of trash created at camps in the national forest and on BLM lands during hunting season is a problem to the environment, the local community, and to the hunters themselves," according to a letter submitted to the Archuleta County commissioners by the San Juan Mountain Association.
In the Durango area last year, certain businesses donated money to pay for trash receptacles and for dumping those receptacles. In addition, citizens volunteered to distribute "Leave No Trace" pamphlets to hunters in the field and at booths in the community.
"Now in its second year, we are seeking to expand the project to Pagosa," the letter states. "Sites suggested for Pagosa are Mill Creek Road, Buckles Lake Road, and Kenny Flats. We are looking for partners in the Pagosa business community to help offset the costs of this project."
Pagosa District Ranger Jo Bridges also wrote a letter to the commissioners supporting the proposal.
After approving free dumping at the county landfill for trash receptacles connected with the project, the Archuleta County commissioners suggested collecting trash at additional sites.
On another matter, the commissioners agreed to continue with the present organization and number of volunteer members serving on the Upper San Juan Regional Planning Commission.
County Planning Director Mike Mollica had asked the commissioners to reduce the number of members on the board. As now constituted, the board contains seven members appointed by the county commissioners, one member appointed by Pagosa Springs, and a member each appointed by the Southern Ute Tribe, Hinsdale County and Mineral County.
When Mollica made the request last week, the commissioners asked him to contact the Southern Ute, Hinsdale County and Mineral County officials to learn if those entities are still interested in holding a position on the Upper San Juan Regional Planning Commission.
Mollica reported Tuesday that Mineral and Hinsdale counties are not interested now, but may be next year and like the regional makeup of the board. The Southern Ute Tribe officials informed Mollica that they are interested, and as soon as they complete a reorganization process, will send a member to meetings.
As a consequence of the commissioner directive to continue the present board makeup for the time being, Mollica was instructed to seek replacements for Julia Donoho and Betty Shahan, members whose terms expire at the end of this month.
Under the agenda heading of other business Tuesday, the commissioners discussed the reported failure of gravel roads in the Chris Mountain subdivision built this year by Weeminuche Construction under the Fairfield Communities Inc. bankruptcy settlement. County Engineer Roxann Hayes said the roads did not receive enough traffic to aid compaction as expected, but the traffic it did receive travels too fast and has, along with the growth of noxious weeds and not fully restored road cuts made by Sutherland Construction, created a problem. Hayes said the road construction met all county tests and basically, the current problems are minor and should be expected. The problem according to Hayes, is the appearance at one point of road base through the three-inch gravel surface.
After being asked to comment by Commissioner Gene Crabtree, Chairman of the Board of County Commissioners, commissioner-elect Alden Ecker disagreed with Hayes. Ecker said there were more than one or two bad spots, and that maybe the county should put more gravel on the road. "Sutherland was not the cause," Ecker said.
No action was taken by the commissioners concerning this issue.
In other business Tuesday, the commissioners:
- Extended the 30-day extension granted Bill Chenoweth for repairing and opening the portion of Bastille Drive crossing the Ridgeview development. Chenoweth's representative said he was unable to retain a paving contractor within the time limit set by the first extension, but that the work is 97 percent complete and should be done soon. The commissioners granted an extension through Oct. 16.
- Voted to spend $491 to purchase maps requested by E-911 director Russell Crowley
- Approved a tax sale certificate for Al and Carol Martin for two properties with a total payoff of $1,022.22
- Approved the renewal of a bed and breakfast permit for the Canyon Crest Lodge
- Approved the conditional and final plat for the Grindstaff-Roeder minor impact subdivision located about 13.5 miles south on Trujillo Road
- Approved a $111,000 escrow account securing improvement agreements for Phase II of Cloman Industrial Park
- Extended the time for completion of a bridge reconstruction project to Oct. 19 at the request of Hayes. The bridge crosses the Navajo River between Chromo and Edith.
- Approved the expenditure of $13,064 to purchase a 1993 Chevrolet 3/4 ton, 4WD pickup for use by the county building maintenance department. The pickup formerly used by that department was auctioned off by the county last week.
First big game season opens here Saturday
The big game hunting season cranks up the volume in Pagosa Country this weekend as the rifle season starts with a draw-only, elk-only either sex hunt, Oct. 14 to Oct. 18.
Bull elk taken this season must have four antler points on one antler, or a brow tine at least 5-inches long
Hunters purchasing regular elk licenses over-the-counter get their first chance at the big game animals Oct. 21 to Oct. 27. There will be a six-day break before the big game seasons resume Nov. 4-10 and Nov. 11-15.
All deer hunting this season is by drawing only, with antler-point restrictions lifted for deer. The seasons are Oct. 21-27, Nov. 4-10 and Nov. 11-15.
Private land doe and cow elk hunts follow in December.
Rifle hunting seasons follow a deer and elk archery season that ran Aug. 26 to Sept. 24 and a Sept. 9-17 muzzleloading season.
Bear hunters who drew a license for the Sept. 2-30 season and who did not fill their license can hunt bear during any deer/elk rifle season for which they hold a license.
Boy, 8, dies in sleep; memorial set
A memorial service for 8-year-old Benjamin Robert Haynes will be held Friday in Pagosa Springs.
A former resident of Pagosa Springs, Benjamin died in his sleep of natural causes sometime early Tuesday morning at his family's home near Ignacio.
A Christian memorial service will be held at 4 p.m. Friday at Community Bible Church.
The son of Rev. Randall C. and Sherrie Haynes, Benjamin was born Sept. 29, 1992, at Mercy Medical Center and had lived with his family in Pagosa Springs until they moved to Ignacio in the latter part of 1995.
Along with his his parents, Benjamin is survived by his brothers, John Mark, Jeremiah Luke and Nicholas Josiah Haynes, all of Ignacio; and brother, SPC Matt B. Haynes, 82nd Airborne of Fort Bragg, N.C.; his paternal grandparents, Joe and Mary Haynes of Granbury, Texas; his maternal grandparents, Robert and Charlene Baumgardner and his aunt, Barbara Lindley all of Pagosa Springs, and a large extended family of aunts, uncles and cousins.
His family remember Benjamin as one who "found life exciting and was eager to learn in fulfilling his potential. He was home schooled as were his older brothers. He loved to swim, fish, ride bikes, roller skate, ski, play ball and was a strong hitter for his coach's baseball team this year. He was faithful in study and memorizing God's word and had attained the rank of 'Climber' in the Sparkies in AWANAS (Approved Watchmen Are Not Ashamed), an acronym based on II Timothy 2:15.
His family said that, "Benjamin was a strong competitor. He especially enjoyed checkers, chess, dominoes, Risk, Monopoly, other table games and the computer game Adventures in Odyssey, a 3-D CD ROM interactive game from Focus on the Family. He enjoyed the challenge of picture puzzles and participated in creating picture scrapbooks of his family life and travels. He had begun collecting the new quarters as a coin collection displayed in a map of the United States.
"Benjamin had a tender, loving spirit and a servant's heart, eager to help everyone with their task. He loved his family, friends and Jesus, his Savior. He will be missed."
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that gifts be made to the Four Corners Chapter of Child Evangelism Fellowship or to the Ignacio Community Church.
Preliminary county budget expenses exceed revenue
By John M. Motter
A preliminary county budget for 2001 with spending requests exceeding anticipated revenues by almost $875,000 was unveiled by County Manager Dennis Hunt at the regular meeting of the county commissioners Tuesday.
Last fall's voter-approved de-Brucing of county finances will have little effect on this year's budget, according to Hunt, who also serves as the county budget officer.
"Even though we're relieved from the restrictions of Bruce, we're still under the 5.5 percent statutory limitation prescribed by the state," Hunt said.
Final adoption of the budget and property tax rate will be accomplished by the commissioners after a public hearing near the end of the annual budget process. The budget adoption target date is Dec. 15, even though the state does not require adoption until Dec. 31.
In the early stages of budget preparation, Hunt is using 17.895 mills as the temporary mill levy imposed on real property in the county. Last year the commissioners adopted a temporary mill levy of 16.972 mills. The permanent mill levy of 21.145 was adopted in 1991. Since then, the commissioners have adopted a temporary mill levy each year, allowing themselves room, in the face of TABOR and the statutory 5.5 percent limits, to boost the tax rate to the permanent level in the event assessed valuations drop significantly.
The proposed budget contains spending requests made by the department heads hired throughout the county administration and the elected officials who head the county offices, according to Hunt. Still to come is the wrangling involved in paring expenditures so they don't exceed revenues. Colorado law requires a balanced budget.
Next on the budget development agenda are a series of meetings involving county commissioners and their elected counterparts. During those meetings, the heads of the other county offices will attempt to justify requests contained in the preliminary budget. The commissioners will take notes. Ultimately, the commissioners will have to limit the dollar value of those requests to the dollar value of next year's anticipated income. Those meetings begin Nov. 13 and last until each elected official - assessor, clerk and recorder, coroner, sheriff and treasurer - has a say, perhaps three or four days.
Adding flavor to this year's budget process is a carryover from last year when certain elected officials accused the commissioners of forcing them to "voluntarily" restrict employee raises, then granting larger raises to employees under commissioner control.
Conflict during the budget process develops because each elected department head is responsible for that department's budget. The commissioners are responsible for the county budget. Commissioners cannot tell other elected officials how or for what to spend money, but they dictate how much money is available for other elected official's to spend.
The elected department heads are the county clerk, the county treasurer, the county sheriff, the county assessor, the county coroner, and the county surveyor. The three county commissioners are also elected. Several departments report directly to the commissioners through the county manager. Among those departments are the county manager, county finance, road and bridge, building inspection, planning and county development, social services, and a number of others.
As county financial officer, Hunt drafts the initial budget after collecting requests from the other elected officials.
While the total county budget is in the neighborhood of $21 million, last year was about $15.5 million, that number is misleading, according to Hunt. Causing the problem are a number of dual entries required by "generally accepted governmental accounting practices" as prescribed by the outside auditor retained by the county. Some of those practices are required because of TABOR and other limitations.
For example, sales tax revenue is listed as a separate budget fund among many funds. The 2001 budget anticipates a sales tax revenue of $2,267,188. That amount is shown as income and also as a transfer out, $1,133,594 to the general fund and $1,133,594 to the road capital improvement fund. At the same time, those funds show the transfers as income and contain a balancing volume of expenditures. The effect is double entry of sales tax income and expenditures. Certain other items in the budget receive the same treatment. Consequently, the total budget figure does not represent a "bare bones" look at county income and expenses.
"It's confusing," Hunt said, "but it is the way we are required to keep the books."
This year's preliminary budget contains 23 funds ranging from the approximately $5 million in the general fund down to funds containing less than $10,000. The general fund contains the budgets of all of the elected officials.
The expenditure total for the preliminary 2001 budget for the 23 funds amounts to about $21.5 million.
Largest of these funds is the general fund with estimated expenditures of $5.3 million. Next among the funds are airport component unit expenditures of $3.2 million, road capital improvement fund of $2.6 million, road and bridge fund of $2.4 million, sales tax fund of $2.3 million, capital improvement fund of $1.8 million, and the social services fund of $1,048,913. The Fairfield settlement fund of $910,523 tops the remaining funds, all less than one million dollars.
Rain, cooling mark return of true fall
By John M. Motter
Pagosa Country soaked up 1.15 inches of rain this past week. There is a 20 percent chance for more rain through Saturday, then a clearing trend should set in, according to Gary Chancy, a National Weather Service forecaster from Grand Junction.
A decided cooling is taking place with daytime high temperatures ranging from 50 to 55 degrees and nighttime lows ranging from the low 30s down to the mid-20s, according to Chancy.
A deep low-pressure area is dominating weather in western Colorado, Chancy said, but that should be replaced by a weak low pressure area later in the week. Starting Sunday local conditions should be dry. The weather pattern now pummeling the West Coast with rain should drift far enough north as it moves east to miss Pagosa Country, Chancy said.
Pagosa Country has received 1.15 inches of precipitation during October. The long-time average precipitation for October is 2.03 inches, the second wettest month of the year behind August's 2.52 inches. Snowfall during October has averaged 2.9 inches over the past 53 years. The heaviest snowfall recorded during that time span was 31 inches during 1961. Snowfall has exceeded 10 inches for the month of October six times since 1939. Most recently, 14 inches fell during 1991, 14 inches during 1984, and 16 inches during 1980.
The highest temperature last week was the 68 degrees captured Oct. 5. On Tuesday of this week the high temperature was 49 degrees, the first time this fall the thermometer has failed to top 50 degrees. The average high temperature last week was 60 degrees.
No freezing temperatures were measured last week at the official National Weather Service recording station located at Stevens Field. The lowest reading was 33 degrees on Oct. 5. At no time was the low temperature above 40 degrees. The average low temperature for the week was 35 degrees.
San Diego, oceanic study lure Pagosa class
By Richard Walter
Pupils in the School Within a School program at Pagosa Springs Intermediate School have the wander lust.
Last year they utilized their programmed "travel for education week" for a trip to Yellowstone National Park. This year the youngsters have their eye on a far different venue - San Diego and oceanic studies.
Their teachers brought the proposal for the trip to the Archuleta School District 50 Joint board of education Tuesday, seeking permission for fund-raising events to finance the trip for approximately 35 persons, including parental chaperones.
The students would stay in YMCA camp accommodations right on the ocean with five YMCA activities as part of their program, including a course in oceanic studies and sea habitat survival.
Plans include a stopover in Phoenix en route to California.
The choice of trip site was based on classroom work the youngsters have been doing this year on ocean-based economies as they apply to both cities and nations.
Negotiations also are underway for the pupils to visit the U.S. Naval Base at Coronado Island and possibly to take a trip on a naval vessel.
Board members expressed great appreciation for the program and at least two, Carol Feazel and Randall Davis, lauded "the great opportunity for education that they can't get at home."
The board said the project is authorized but must be self-supporting.
In other action Tuesday, the board:
- Heard Superintendent Terry Alley report that a district technology institute is operating with five staff members as teachers. It offers 18 short courses after school for members of the staff based on a survey of expanded education needs.
Alley said the classes are running an hour to an hour and a half and class size is limited to 10. Most classes, he said, are drawing seven or eight participants.
- Heard Windsor Chacey of the League of Women Voters update the plans for Kids Voting 2000. She said more than 1,000 students in community schools have been registered to take part in the program this year and have been issued special voter registration cards.
She said voting for children will be from 7 to 8 a.m., 11 to 1 p.m. and 3:30 to 7 p.m. on Election Day Nov. 7. Children will be allowed to leave school with their parents during those hours in order to vote at the same time as their parents do.
The project is designed to get children more involved in civic understanding and parents, as a result, more involved in and concerned with election issues being discussed by the children.
- Approved adoption of a new spelling standard for the elementary school that had been outlined last month but not approved because the board lacked a quorum. The new standard is a combination of several basic spelling systems.
- Approved a letter of opposition to Amendment 21, the so-called tax cut initiative on the Nov. 7 ballot. It, too, had been reviewed last month but delayed for lack of quorum.
- Approved filing a replat of properties acquired by the district from Mary Pierce adjacent to the high school campus. Alley said the decision was made after the district found it was paying a monthly water availability fee of $14 per lot for the land. The replat consolidates the nine lots into one tract and adds a 192-by-27-foot tract for which Mrs. Pierce is issuing the district a quit claim deed. The property was not included in the original transaction. The replat proposal goes now to the town of Pagosa Springs Planning Commission and must by approved by the town board.
- Conducted a 25-minute executive session to hear a request from parents of one of two junior high students recommended for expulsion. After the hearing, the board voted unanimously to approve both expulsions for the rest of the school year.
Warning: Lynx not legal hunter fare
By John M. Motter
Big game hunters taking to the woods in southwestern Colorado are cautioned by Colorado Division of Wildlife officials that lynx or other big cats are not on the menu.
Federal and state law enforcement agents are investigating the death of a lynx shot to death just east of Electra Lake at an elevation in excess of 10,000 feet, according to Todd Malmsbury, public information officer for the DOW.
The emaciated body of the lynx was discovered Aug. 30 and may have been dead as long as two weeks, Malmsbury said. Electra Lake is northeast of Durango. The dead lynx was a male that formerly had been trapped in Alaska.
"Since the lynx has been declared a threatened species in the United States, killing a lynx is considered a crime by both state and federal authorities," Malmsbury said. "The radio collar of the Electra Lake lynx was lying on the ground beside the body and still functioning. That's how we found it."
Law enforcement officials are reluctant to release details of the shooting, but the investigation is well underway, according to Malmsbury.
"No one should shoot a lynx with the mistaken idea they are shooting a bobcat or mountain lion" during the upcoming big game seasons, Malmsbury said, "since it is illegal to shoot any of those cats during the big game seasons."
A Louisiana hunter arrested for shooting a lynx near the Dolores River last fall was prosecuted under state law, Malmsbury said. Federal sanctions were not invoked because lynx had not been declared threatened at that time, according to Malmsbury. The Dolores hunter pleaded guilty to a charge of possessing an endangered species, was fined $18,000, surrendered an all-terrain vehicle to the state, gave up his rifle, was banned for life from hunting in Colorado, and is serving a year's probation.
If convicted under federal law, the fine could be as high as a $50,000 in addition to one year in jail.
In Colorado, the lynx reintroduction program begun in 1999 was bolstered earlier this year by the release of 55 more cats, according to Malmsbury. Of the 55 released this year, two have died from plague, one was hit by a car, and one starved. The cause of the fifth animal's death is unknown.
Probably more than three-fourths of the lynx released this year have remained in southwestern Colorado, Malsmbury said. DOW follows lynx movements via satellite reception of signals transmitted from a radio collar attached to the lynx. An airplane, guided by the satellite, is also used to locate lynx. When snow is on the ground this winter, trackers will approach certain animals. Tracking is almost impossible during the summer when snow is not present.
The satellite tracking program has worked very well and, since it is the first of its kind, is attracting inquiries from wildlife managers in other parts of the United States and from around the world, Malmsbury said.
So far, DOW has no proof of reproduction for the reintroduced wilderness felines, Malmsbury said.
"That doesn't mean there hasn't been reproduction," Malmsbury said, "It just means we haven't seen any kittens. When the trackers get in there this winter, maybe they'll see something. Unless the lynx reproduce, the program will ultimately be a failure."
PAWS plans to divert river water to athletic fields
By Richard Walter
Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District, concerned with the use of treated water to irrigate playing fields at Pagosa Springs High School, has notified the school district it will begin pumping river water for irrigation next year.
The Board of Education of Archuleta School District 50 Joint heard the proposal Tuesday when Superintendent Terry Alley reported on conversations with PAWS representatives.
He said PAWS will install a diesel powered pump at river's edge adjacent to town-owned property east of the athletic fields.
Costs will borne jointly by the town, school district and water supplier, with installation expected to take place in late spring or early summer. Alley said the town-owned property is expected to eventually be developed into additional athletic facilities.
Asked by Director Russ Lee if the untreated water will cost the district less, Alley said the district's water use is not metered now. "PAWS gave us an option of using river water or going on meter," he said, "and river water should definitely be more economical."
Lee questioned how loud the pump might be and if it would distract from activities in the high school building. There was no answer available and Alley said he would discuss the topic with PAWS representatives.
On a related matter later in the meeting, Kahle Charles, high school athletic director, presented a tentative 5-year plan for developments at Golden Peaks Stadium and adjacent athletic complex.
No cost figures were given, but Charles said the list represents the cumulative opinions of all the district's principals and coaches, in descending order of importance.
Primary on the list is development of access walkways to the athletic complex for the use of both regular students and the handicapped students and fans. Secondly, he suggested, an imminent need for improved concession stands and restroom facilities.
Lee recalled that when the board approved the lighting system for the football field earlier this year, the restroom problem was mandated for solution in any long-range plan.
Third in the 5-year-plan would be development of the track area with event stations for shot put, high jump, pole vault, javelin and other field events. Next were outdoor basketball and tennis courts proposed for the area north of the soccer practice field; construction of a soccer stadium, perhaps on school-owned property south of the bus loop drive; addition of field-side team rooms for both home and visiting teams so they don't have to walk up to the high school at half time; and finally, addition of a second ticket booth at the north end of Golden Peaks Stadium which, Charles said, "is becoming the entry of choice for home team fans."
Charles told the board the addition of lights has paid dividends with larger crowds for every home game and with increased concession sales by the booster club.
However, he said, the increased use of the field thanks to the lights has created a lot of abuse of the turf "and it is beginning to show signs of wear and tear. The more activities we can divert to adjacent fields in the development plan, the better off we'll be," he said.
Lee liked the plan, but said, "We need to add more portable toilet facilities now, not at some later stage in a 5-year plan." Charles agreed and said he hopes to have additional facilities in time for the homecoming game next week against Bayfield.
Asked why the soccer practice field can't be utilized for actual games, Charles told the board that engineers have said the field is too far from level and that upgrading it would cost more the developing a separate playing facility.
With reference to the desired new ticket booth, Lee suggested the next time a teen is looking for an Eagle Scout project the school should suggest the ticket booth.
Alley told the board that the administration can start working athletic field projects into the proposed budget next spring if the board so desires.
Board members concurred the top two concerns for immediate action should be the accessibility for the handicapped and proper restroom facilities.
County school board nominated for all-state status
By Richard Walter
Members of the School District 50 Joint board of education showed modest restraint Tuesday when they agreed to allow themselves to be nominated as the all-state school board.
The item, last on a lengthy agenda, was broached by Superintendent Terry Alley who asked all board members to attend the Colorado Association of School Boards meeting Nov. 30 through Dec. 3 in Colorado Springs.
When Director Carol Feazel said she had read the members' packet and was surprised to see boards could nominate themselves or an individual member for state honors, Alley acknowledged the process, but said the nomination can be made by the superintendent, with agreement by the board.
High School Principal Bill Esterbrook urged the board to consider being nominated.
"I think you should enter yourselves," he said. "You have each made a significant contribution to the educational atmosphere in Pagosa Springs. I doubt very much there are many boards in the state which do the job you do."
When Alley said he'd be more than willing to prepare the nomination, Director Randall Davis, board president, agreed with Esterbrook that the board has been exemplary in its attention toward the development of educational concepts and lasting programs in the district.
"I feel good," Davis said to his fellow board members, "that you have never allowed personal agendas to interfere with school business. I think this board should be recognized. A nomination is not out of line at all."
The board then agreed, by unanimous vote, to nominate Davis for the individual honor as board member of the year.
Alley said he will prepare both nominations to be submitted to the state board by Monday. The winning school board will receive $2,500 for its district.
Thai school new challenge for Pagosa collegian
By Richard Walter
There are many facets to her persona.
The infectious smile, the bubbling personality, the obvious dedication to whatever she attempts.
Fans of Pagosa Springs High School Lady Pirates' basketball will remember her as a feisty, harassing seemingly everywhere-on-the-court defensive player and sometimes 3-point shooter.
Others will recall her leadership of the Future Business Leaders of America student organization.
Teachers admired her scholastic ability, studious nature and sensitivity.
But there is another side to this 1998 Pagosa grad now attending Fort Lewis College as a biology major.
Call her Tracy Farrow, humanitarian.
While others were boning up on collegiate needs or spending time off getting ready for college, Tracy has devoted the past two summers to work in a school in Chiang Rai, Thailand, a city of about 20,000 near the borders of both Burma and Cambodia.
The link with Thailand came after Rev. Micah Wells, her pastor at the Assembly of God Church in Pagosa Springs, visited Thailand and met with Saphot Phanon, a Thai minister who was running the school. Phanon indicated a need for assistants and that need was related to Tracy back in Pagosa.
It was an adventure at first, one most Pagosa youth might only dream about. Visiting a Buddhist nation half way around the world with a lifestyle like nothing she'd ever experienced.
"The first year," she said, "was just meeting people, seeing a different way of life and learning what was going on."
The first things she learned were that while Rev. Phanon spoke some English, few of the students in his school understood it at all; and that many of the pupils were children he had rescued from the mountain tribes before they could be sold into prostitution by their families.
The latter trade results from an almost universal opium addiction among the elders of the tribes, an addiction fed by the money received for children who can be pressed into service in the brothels of cities like Bangkok.
"The pimps go into the hill tribes and make incredible offers," Tracy said. "The children think they are going to be trained for high paying jobs in the city but they have no knowledge of the Thai language, only their own regional dialects, so they are misled into lives of degradation.
"Pastor Phanon," she said, "tries to get them into his school before that happens.
"I got an opportunity to visit Bangkok myself and it is incredible what you see on the streets there. Sexual advertisements are widespread along with photos of the females and a major proportion of them are from the mountain tribes. It is a disgusting practice, girls of all ages walking the streets."
This past summer, Tracy became an instructor in Rev. Phanon's school, teaching English as a second language to students 15 to 21 years old who had no knowledge of English. This was a challenge to Tracy who has not yet learned more than some basics of the Thai tongue.
Asked how she made the class work, Tracy detailed how she fell back on things she had learned in Kathy Isberg's Spanish classes at Pagosa Springs High School. "I used word associations, word games, charades, win-lose-or-draw illustrations and found them eager to learn."
"They have a basic body language which helps me interpret whether they understand what I'm illustrating," she said.
"These people have great pride," she said, "and they are eager to learn about home, love, church and life outside their small world.
"To this point in their lives they've had nothing to fall back on," she said. "They've been looked down upon and pressed into lives they did not choose for themselves and they become avid listeners and class participants."
The daughter of an Archuleta County pioneer family, Tracy seems to have adapted well to the Thai culture and is eager to go back. She had hoped to return during second semester of this collegiate year as part of a Fort Lewis sponsored "for credit" study abroad program, but learned Monday that it will not be possible.
She thinks it is important to keep going what she has started while it may or may not fit into a future career. She will return next summer, taking a month of language training and then working in the school for two months.
"The students there are hungry for knowledge," she said, and while her link began as a Christian effort, Christianity is only an incidental element of her classroom work. "They are not forced to learn religion, but they have questions about America and religion," she said, "I tell them about how Christianity affects life in America, at least in the part of it I am familiar with.
"One of the really neat events there," she said, "was the celebration of Christmas, seeing Buddhists exchanging gifts and love at a purely Christian event.
"They're interested, sometimes confused by religion," Tracy said. "For the Christmas celebration they invited guests, brought in little children and some teachers from other schools and had gifts for all. Outside one could hear those who had been inside already telling others they should go because 'they're celebrating Christmas."
"Since it is a Buddhist school, we were not allowed to talk about Christianity as a religion," she said, "but could relate its elements as a portion of educational background."
Asked if the humanitarian aspect of her experience is something she plans to follow, she was unsure. "I love helping people, she said. It is a passion for me. I cried when I had to leave them.
"The Buddhist culture," she said, "leans toward deep thinking and inquisitive nature. They want to know about the rest of the world from someone who lives elsewhere, not from what they can see or hear in the local media."
She was thrilled when a delegation of nine from her Pagosa church, including Rev. Wells and her mother, Joyce Farrow, visited the school during the last week of her stay last summer. "And the children were just as thrilled," she said. "They wanted to talk to all of the American guests; they wanted another source of knowledge.
"The students are not just students," she said. "Many have become close friends. I regularly get e-mails, pictures and letters from many of them and they all want to know when I'm coming back."
The 19-year-old Pagosa native, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Alan Farrow, is unsure what her life's work will be, despite the biology major and humanitarian experience. She's taking advanced science and mathematics courses and engineering classes.
"Mathematics seems to be my greatest interest," she said, "but I don't think I could ever give up the need to help others. It's not just a Christian trait, it is a deep-seated feeling that I can give something to those in need. In turn, I take from them knowledge of another culture, of another way of life and a deeper understanding of cultural differences around the world."
One thing she couldn't stay away from is basketball. She's playing intramural basketball and will also play intramural volleyball this year at Fort Lewis. "I love the competition, the one-on-one challenge," she said.
Asked about the cost of her foreign service, she said it is being borne mostly by family and friends, "but it can be pretty expensive. The flight runs from $500 to $900 depending on the airline."
And while she lives with Rev. Phanon and family while in Thailand, her personal expenses are her own responsibility.
She didn't ask for financial assistance, but anyone who would like to help can contact her at 7461 FLC , 1000 Rim Drive, Durango, CO 81301.
Be not afraid of scare tactics
As the election nears, I note a definite increase in scare tactics by the "entrenched" against the amendments to be voted upon. Now, in my opinion, not all of the amendments are good; but some are excellent. Each needs to be read and thought about before letting someone else scare you into voting their way. There is a wonderful booklet put out by the League of Women Voters that offers both Pro and Con positions that I highly recommend everyone read before letting someone else tell you how to vote. Voters may decide on their own that some of these amendments are very worthwhile and will not cause the great harm we are being led to believe. An example is the Planned Growth Amendment No. 24 which will finally make our county commissioners consider zoning.
One should also question why all these amendments are appearing before us, the voters, in such great numbers. There seems to be a message here. Perhaps the message is that our elected representatives are not doing their job? The overall message seems to be that taxes and uncontrolled growth are getting out of hand and that voters want something done about it. Our elected representatives don't seem to be hearing the message, so the citizens are doing the job for them via these amendments. Some may not be the correct way to solve the problem; but at least somebody is trying and putting it before the citizens to decide.
Yes, each citizen will now have to read and think before they vote. But isn't this what democracy should be all about? On the other hand, if we have to do all their work and have to keep bypassing our elected representatives, why do we keep electing them? Of course, if we don't vote, we get what we deserve.
My letter to you last week about asphalt paving of North Pagosa Boulevard was misunderstood. Your response was informative but I was talking about work done last year. The key word being paving, even though the word "initially" could have been misleading. Your response has led me to ask if the original developer, Pagosa In Colorado, built North Pagosa Boulevard under the guidelines of Senate Bill 35? Assuming those are the acceptable standards, why did the asphalt work fail? Are the guidelines at fault? Did the developer abide by those guidelines; or maybe the asphalt job was inferior since there were a number of places cut out and redone before the job was finished and it was still obvious, as I stated before, of the existing bad spots? When moisture got under these areas, the asphalt broke up. The areas that were cut out and redone at the initial time of asphalting are holding up.
Did the county have an engineer supervise and accept the asphalt job? The lowest bid is good only if it passes the standards set for all bids.
At the commissioners meeting on Oct. 3, a past county commissioner (who does not live in "mythical" Pagosa Lakes) adamantly told the present commissioners he had been observing the road work, and the reason the roads have been failing is because their procedures were in error. In his details he mentioned a grid roller the county owns that should be used and that it was rusting away in the county yard.
I eagerly waited for a healthy response, hoping to gain more knowledge about the costly failure of county roads, maybe even correcting the past commissioners comments. The dialogue ceased without a single response.
In your newspaper article about road rebuilding on Sept. 21, you said that County Manager Dennis Hunt said road testing is included in the general bid package, but done to county specification. If this were true, wouldn't the road advisory board put their trust in the county commissioners that sound management decisions were being made? Why was a road that was built 30 years ago not tested before it was paved over?
The same article said that the county had had many road problems, but yet Mr. Hunt defended the company that tests the roads for the county.
Even though I live in mystical Pagosa Lakes, I travel various roads all over the county and would like to see all the roads maintained to decent standards; but at this time I can only believe the past commissioner is correct about how the roads are built.
P.S. Other than being built on private property, was Lake Forest Circle constructed to county standards?
Editor's note: I have repeatedly thanked Chris Chavez, the past county commissioner you refer, to for being the one who first declared that the county should place a moritorium on accepting additional subdivision streets in the county road maintenance program. I continue to agree with former Commissioners Bob Formwalt and Bill Tallon, and Commissioner Ken Fox's contentions in 1998, that the county should stop maintaining the streets in the Fairfield Pagosa subdivisions.
Once upon a time . . . a handful of frustrated, outraged, men and women boarded a tiny, leaky, little boat and headed out across an unknown ocean to a land even more unknown.
They were outraged that the mighty hand of government had clutched their right to believe and worship their Creator as they pleased.
Like the proverbial grain of wheat, their bodies lay planted in the soil they claimed. The fruit of these graves rose around them far and beyond anything they could have ever imagined or dreamed.
Thirteen rag-tag colonies became outraged that they should be taxed without representation. They held a tea party on the bay. Taking up whatever arms they could find, they marched on the greatest military power in the known world. "Give us Liberty or give us death," was their cry.
The colonies elected their own government, declaring, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."
Harriet Beecher Stowe, became outraged that her country's government allowed one human being to "own" another. She wrote a book . . . "Uncle Tom's Cabin."
Outrage against slavery sprang up across a nation divided. In the end, the graves of 50,000 Americans, both black and white proclaimed: "This country shall remain united and no American will ever again own another American."
America watched as Hitler marched across Europe. We were careful and busy . . . but one morning outrage spread across America. Our mighty battleships and our young men lay on the bottom of Pearl Harbor. The slumbering giant awoke . . . with a roar heard around the world. Once more our youth marched off to fight for liberty, justice, and the American dream.
A Southern preacher became outraged as he watched his people struggle for equality. He declared "I have a dream. . . ."
What has happen to the spirit of outrage over injustice that once flowed through American hearts?
With the blessing of the highest court of justice in our land, thirty million Americans have lost their lives. Thirty million Americans who died without ever seeing the light of day.
This same high court informed the nation, that it is unlawful for our children to address the Creator, "who endowed them with certain unalienable rights," within our tax-supported schools.
Our airways, magazine racks, and tax-supported institutes are flooded with pornography and every manner of human degradation. All in the name of "free speech."
Immorality snickers at us from behind the locked doors of the Oval Office.
Where is the spirit of American Outrage? Dare we pray that that spirit might pour down from above once more? That it might flood across the plains and mountains of this mighty nation, so that in the words of Abraham Lincoln . . . "that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from earth."
Express your outrage. Vote.
Wilma J. Hawkins
What God can do in the rain, man cannot do in the bright sunshine.
This certainly was the case Wednesday, Oct. 4, when 25 golfers/fundraisers participated in the Pagosa Pregnancy Support Center's golf marathon at the Pagosa Springs Golf Club. (Two additional golfers played Wednesday.) If you will recall, every day last week was a beautiful Pagosa Indian summer day with the exception of Wednesday, the 4th. But no one's spirits were "dampened" as each golfer endeavored to play 100 holes of golf in one day.
Twenty-seven golfers have been working since July 11 to raise pledges based on the number of holes played or on the event itself. To date, over $40,000 has been pledged with more to come in until the fundraiser is over at the end of the year.
I would invite you to log on to our Web site at www.pagosagolfmara- thon.com for info on the center, the marathon itself, the participating golfers, prizes offered, a list of our expenses and our business sponsors. Please note that no monies pledged and paid to the center will be spent on a professional fund raising company or any of the prizes awarded.
Pagosans are noted for their giving hearts throughout the year for many wonderful causes. The center's board of directors, steering committee, golfers, women who have and will visit the center, and all unborn babies thank all of you from the bottom of our hearts.
Seeds are planted
On Sept. 21, you published a letter from my daughter, Robyn Miller, who was leaving to join the U.S. Army. You can't imagine how proud my husband and I are of our daughter. She has grown into a lovely young adult who loves and cares very much for her country and is very concerned about the direction the U.S. is taking.
However, this letter is really not about Robyn. This is a letter of encouragement to the parent's of Archuleta County, especially the parents of teenagers.
Teenagers are sometimes difficult at best, but if they are having any problems life can become difficult for them and extremely difficult for their parents. Teenagers have a different way of coping with life's stresses than adults and often those stresses turn into rebellion.
I encourage parents to be involved with their teenagers in all that they do. If they are having problems in school, be there. If that means conferences with teachers and principals, be there. I'm sure that Mr. Bill Esterbrook and several of Robyn's teachers wanted to run and hide when Bob and I would come to school. Thank goodness they didn't, and thank you to each and everyone of them.
Be an example to your children. Don't set rules and standards for your children you are not willing to live by. Your children may not and probably will not always follow your example, but the seeds are planted. They may lay dormant for a while but will eventually sprout.
Love your children unconditionally and let them know you love them. That does not mean you have to approve or condone what they do. They will make mistakes and must pay the consequences of those mistakes, but love and support them through their mistakes. Don't be afraid or ashamed to seek outside help if you need it. Children do not come with parenting manuals and we don't always have all the answers.
Last but surely not least, pray for your children daily. They are one of the most precious gifts you will ever receive.
To all those parents of very young children, remember those values and morals you instill in your children are the standards they will live by as adults.
Thank you for your time in reading this letter.
P.S. We have heard from Robyn often. She is very homesick but is excited about all the new experiences she is having. For those who wish to contact Robyn, her address is:
Pvt. Miller, Robyn A.
Roster No. 442
E. Co. 2-13 Inf. Regt. 4th PLT Wardawgs
Fort Jackson, S.C. 29207
I thought it was important to make the public more aware of the size and scope of the Jackson Mountain timber sale, as it is one of the largest sales of timber in the state of Colorado and definitely the largest one in the Pagosa Ranger District. This sale covers almost 3,000 acres and extends from Snowball Road on the west to just over U.S. 160 to the east and from Turkey Creek in the north to private property toward town in the south.
While the Forest Service has classified it as a restoration of the forest, unfortunately its primary purpose is to produce over 12 million board feet of lumber. This will include some clear-cut areas. One of the major concerns is that this cut will take place on a very unstable mountain. The Forest Service has located 15 landslides within the proposed cut area and San Juan River Village subdivision is directly affected by two of them. U.S. 160 and the town water and high pressure gas lines just west of San Juan River Village are also at risk.
The Forest Service officials claim that the restoration is necessary to reduce the fire risk and tree mortality due to disease. Unfortunately, they fail to mention that fire risk actually increases the first five years after a timber cut. The Forest Service's own 1994 study "Forest Resources of the United States" revealed that tree mortality in the West due to both fire and disease actually increases in logged areas.
The Forest Service is holding a field trip to Jackson Mountain on Oct. 18 to discuss the proposed cut. The public is invited and should meet at the ranger station in Pagosa and then proceed to Jackson Mountain. Please plan to attend. The Forest Service has requested you call and let them know who will be coming or call and let them know your thoughts. You may reach the Forest Service at 264-2268.
Who gets what
The vice presidential candidate debate was about treating symptoms of who gets what out of the support surplus revenue.
We should think in terms of how to produce food, clothing, housing, education, health care and energy in greater quantity.
A tax credit or cut or to repeal all taxes won't get you cheaper energy.
Unless the new administration has a very aggressive energy policy we will have no surplus. Any productive gains in our economy will be destroyed by increases in the cost of energy.
I was actually pleased to see that you ran a story last week concerning the campaign finance disclosure reports filed by the various candidates who ran in the county commissioner primaries in August.
I feel very strongly that full disclosure of all sources of campaign revenues is critical for voters to know in order that they can make informed choices among candidates. My conviction in this regard is the reason I filed financial disclosure information in the county clerk's office which wasn't required by law, so that any voters interested in knowing about any sources of my campaign funds have all of their questions answered. As my disclosure reports show, more than 75 percent of my campaign costs were incurred by Gary and me personally. As far as I'm concerned, such disclosure "comes with the territory" of running for public office.
I had coincidentally just had a conversation with the editor of the Durango Herald the week before John Motter's article appeared, in which I asked him whether the Herald prints articles detailing local candidates' financial disclosure reports. He replied that the Herald regularly does so, and we both agreed that it's a newsworthy subject for voters to see in the paper. And then John Motter's article appeared.
Just for the record, though, John had mentioned in his article that no committees that had formed to support specific candidates had filed with the clerk's office, as required by law. I can't speak to other committees, but I do want to point out that the Committee of Nan Rowe County Commissioner had filed all its necessary documentation with the clerk's office within all applicable statutory deadlines. Meeting such disclosure requirements is critical for a candidate's credibility, as far as I'm concerned, and I'm glad you and John consider it a newsworthy topic for the SUN. I think that kind of reporting does a real service for the voters.
Liberals in power
It is now time to get prepared for chaos. The 2000 elections are about to install a Republican president, a Republican House, and a Republican Senate. We are about to experience a noteworthy event and will see panic and mayhem among liberals as never before.
When liberals are in power, they're dangerous. They implement their cockamamie ideas. But when they're out of power, they get funny - and stupid. Unable to stomach opposition, they throw tantrums. They storm the gates. They "occupy" buildings that don't belong to them. They stage demonstrations, shut down munitions plants, chain themselves to missiles, spit on returning war veterans, close down highways, unfurl banners from the top of Golden Gate Bridge. They splatter themselves with paint. They agitate.
You have the sit ins, the walk outs, the die ins - the floating candles down the river for peace, the going undercover as homeless people, the getting arrested to raise everyone else's consciousness. The day a Republican president is scheduled to move into the White House, a bunch of old lefties from the "flower children" era in the sixties will no doubt chain themselves together to block the entrance. In the annals of liberal history, it will be the darkest day yet; a day that calls for radical action. I can't wait.
Just one thing troubles me. If the voters in the state of New York install Hillary Clinton in the U.S. Senate, they will effectively place the Clintonites back in power. Liberalism - and Chintonism especially is fundamentally dishonest.
It would be a tragedy.
The S.O.S. - Save our Services - committee met last week and discussed plans for a grass-roots campaign to defeat the Douglas Bruce Amendment 21 that will abolish government services such as fire protection, ambulance, hospital, and EMT services.
If this threat concerns you, please volunteer to help explain just what Amendment 21 really means.
Absentee ballots are already available, so time is short to educate the public. There are only 26 more days until election.
The next meeting is set for Monday, Oct. 16. Call 731-9411 for time and place.
I moved to Pagosa for many reasons, clean air, scenic atmosphere, tranquility, but most importantly the relaxed, friendly attitude of the residents of Pagosa Springs. I have always enjoyed the serene yet exhilarating night life of the weekends. Where safety is not an issue, such as the big cities or the world. It has always been a pleasant and comfortable experience to visit one of the many saloons/pubs after a hard week of work to meet new friends, catch up with old ones, enjoy live music, dance, relax and enjoy a cold beer.
Unfortunately, I have seen some drastic changes come to light most recently. In Pagosa Springs, we have a local motorcycle group called the "Sons of Silence." In the past year I have seen them terrorize the residents of this community. While the local police department looks the other way.
It is disgusting that such a group of thugs "men and women" alike who enjoy disrupting the lives of others by threats of physical violence. These "Sons of Silence" exert a total lack of class amongst each other and he community at large. They are tolerated by the local saloon/pub owner by what appears to be the only logical explanation, plain and simply put "fear."
There are many motorcycle clubs around the world, that contribute an insurmountable amount of goodness to our society. Many clubs raise money for needy families, disabled children, many motorcycle clubs are assets to this world in so many positive ways. It's very difficult for those clubs to "shake" the bad rap they are given by the so called "Hells Angels" of the sixties.
Here we are in "God's Country" with one of the finest communities in the world. Yet we are amongst some of the worst thugs, the "Sons of Silence." These hoodlums have virtually terrorized the night, here in Pagosa Springs. Gangsters that as a group attack a single victim, relentless in the pursuit to destroy humanity. An occasional one-on-one battle may occur, occasionally resulting in the victory to the underdog. However, this victory is only an illusion, by which, rest assured the underdog, as well as friends, family and any other citizen willing to cross into this dangerous territory, shall become the hunted by the group of undesirables.
The millennium has brought about new and enlightening changes to some of the most destitute nations of the world. Violence in any form is deplorable and we as a community should stand united in detouring such behavior. Patrons of the saloons/pubs that condone this behavior should be avoided at all costs. Obviously this unacceptable violent behavior is acceptable to the proprietors of these establishments. Therefore, the only way to thoroughly make an effective statement as a community is to hit them where it hurts. We must unite as a whole and avoid patronizing those establishments that provide a haven for such irresponsible behavior.
Aware of freedom
There have been so many letters of late about the various projects property owners are doing with their personal property. We want to make sure that everyone is aware of the fact that in the United States of America, freedom is the driving force for our being. Having said that, we wish to announce the future site of a half-way house for the criminally insane inner-city youth and sexual offenders. This site is secret until someone writes to you about it. Since there are so many whiners and diners in Pagosa Springs these days, we thought that this project might fit right in without being objected to by anyone. After all, it will be on private property.
There will be plenty of control and guards for the facility. Wolf-dogs from the refuge outside of Pagosa will be utilized. Hard Times Inc. will supply concrete for the perimeter walls that will be 20-feet high and have a razor fence another 10-feet high.
There will be a special wing for those elected officials who will no longer be serving the county in any capacity except as "lame-ducks."
Since the RV park out at the former saw mill will no longer be built, we are leasing the grounds to put up army surplus tents as temporary homes for the workers, youths, and offenders. In order to keep the population in the tents warm this coming winter, we will stockpile coal at the junction of U.S. 84 and 160 and burn it in 50 gallon barrels throughout the compound. Inmates from the county jail facility will be used to haul the coal to the compound. Please avoid hitting any of them pushing wheelbarrows. We have enough road kill as it is.
Federal monies leftover from this project will be used to maintain the red tag roads throughout the county that are not maintained. Those at the compound will also work on the new river project. This will involve draining and paving the San Juan River bed to avoid further erosion problems and the growth of willows, grass, or flowers. Piano Creek Ranch will be a haven for wildlife that has been driven away by the NIMBYs.
Along with limiting the growth in Colorado, there will be an amendment on the ballot to eliminate all real estate agents in the state. The only agent in Archuleta County will be the chamber of commerce. They will act as the property owners association county-wide. They do such a wonderful job now of advertising our community and promoting growth. The elected officers and staff of the PLPOA will no longer be needed and will share the special wing with other "officials."
We look forward to working with the Archuleta County commissioners, planning commission, and all the other fabulous organizations or utilities that make life what it is today in Archuleta County.
Simplify Mainly In Life Enrichment,
Janet Valdez, Chairwoman
It's strange that each week I read about people voicing concerns over a cement batch plant, road conditions, planning problems and the PLPOA (and I'm not saying that these aren't valid concerns), but when the Upper San Juan Hospital District comes up $230,000 shy, no one questions it. Bill Bright says the error is an $80,000 error on the expense side, and a $140,000 mistake on the revenue side. So, where's the $140,000? Bright says that it was just an internal accounting error. They never say where the money went, if they ever had it, or if they are just over spending. In my work, if a mistake of that magnitude happened, I would no longer have a job.
Even stranger is the fact that they now received an anonymous donation of $125,000. I wish this person would come forward to legitimize where it came from. Maybe it came from the person who took the $140,000. Maybe it came from a concerned citizen. And if so, why is it that someone in the public sector needs to bail out the Upper San Juan Hospital District in times of turmoil? Are they unable to take care of their own business? I find this frightening and so should the community.
Yes, there is a problem of receiving revenue from insurance agencies and HMO's. Planning for these delays is part of the job.
Even more upsetting, I learned this week that we will be losing our newest physician, Dr. Pam Deberghes. It is not because she doesn't like her job nor where she lives. It is because of the poor pay scale in Pagosa compounded by the fact that federal student loan repayment funding did not come through (and the high cost of living). Thus she could not afford to live here.
If any of you have tried to go to see a physician lately you know that they are already over-loaded with patients and can't take any new patients. Losing a physician isn't going to help. By the time flu season hits this winter I suspect the lines to get in to see a physician will be down Put Hill. The physicians are not to blame because they work very hard and do their best. I think that we are fortunate to have good people working as physicians in the doctors offices, and with the emergency medical team. The problem is that they are under poor direction. I know pointing fingers won't solve any problems but questioning the board on these issues is relevant and necessary. As a community of retirees with increased health care needs, I would think that you should be concerned about health care facilities in your area. And for retirees planning on moving here, I would definitely consider the problems of the medical services in this town. My advice to everyone is get involved and ask questions and until some problems can be resolved, be patient patients.
Nathan Weisz, R.Ph.
Taxed for services
It is amazing that we have three government trained individuals running this county, not one of which have ever had to use good business sense to survive. I refer to a retired state patrolman, a retired military man and Peace Corps trained school teacher.
Their canned solution to any financial problem is (1) raise taxes or (2) cut services.
Sadly it has apparently never occurred to them to see where the money is going. Earlier, when this road maintenance reduction thing began, it was stated in the SUN that it costs the county $5,800 per year to grade (not build) one mile of gravel road.
That is ten times what the grading of one mile should cost per year. Perhaps the commissioners should look into contracting out the road work, although they ended up giving away $75,000 extra tax dollars over budget when they did get involved in the Loma Linda road job, How could that happen?
This is another example of the complete lack of business ability these commissioners, and several of the previous commissioners have exhibited.
This red tag business is the biggest joke I have ever heard of. We pay taxes for services including road maintenance. If the services are reduced or terminated, so should be the taxes.
We need to elect a commissioner who has actually had grease on his hands, and who can start a piece of heavy equipment and go do something, or know if the work is being done properly. We sure do not have anyone now who qualifies.
If you folks out there have a problem with being taxed for service not to be delivered, you had better start making yourself heard now before it is a done deal.
Those little red tags need to be properly affixed on the foreheads of each of our wonderful government trained, never had to produce anything, commissioners.
We are about to be railroaded here.
Wynona Crowley Eaklor departed this earth on Sept. 6, 2000.
"Nonie" was born Nov. 24, 1907, in Chromo, to "Pet" and Sara Crowley. She was the third of six children: Asher, Everett, Wynona, Irwin, Dutch and Iola.
On Aug. 27, 1929, she married Harry D. Eaklor of Chromo. To this union three children wee born: twins, Jack and Jacquelyn, and Bill.
Mrs. Eaklor ran cattle on the family ranch and on Banded Peaks Ranch until 1998, when her health began to slow her down. She was an avid horse woman, rancher, and snowmobiler. Her favorite pastimes included riding, ranching, cooking and picnicking. She took great pride in her ranch and her family. She was well known in and around the Chromo community for a good cup of coffee and a ranching story.
Mrs. Eaklor was preceeded in death by her parents, her son Jack in 1965, her husband Harry in 1975, two grandchildren, Steve and Bobbie, and her brothers Dutch, Irwin and Everett.
Mrs. Eaklor is survived by her sister, Iola Shahan of Pagosa Springs; her brother, Asher Crowley of Leoti, Kan.; her daughter, Jacquelyn of Chama, N.M.; her son, Bill Eaklor of Lumberton, N.M.; grandchildren Sydney and Steve Crouse and Jack and Barbara Eaklor of Pagosa Springs, Cindy Eaklor of Ruidoso, N.M., Scott and Leisa Baxstrom of Llaves, N.M., Kent and Lois Ann Baxstrom of Durango, Eric Eaklor of Las Vegas, Nev., Julie Eaklor of Elko, Nev., and Kirk Eaklor of Ketchikan, Alaska; 16 great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.
Mrs. Eaklor certainly was an inspiration to anyone she would meet and will be greatly missed by her family and the Chromo community.
Memorial services were held Oct. 6, 2000, at 1 p.m. in the First Christian Church, Plano, Texas for former Durango resident, Carolyn B. Gillock-Wadley. Mrs. Wadley succumbed to pervasive complications resulting from lifelong diabetes and accompanying vascular disease.
She is survived by her husband, Dan A. Wadley, McKinney, Texas, and her son, Dr. Grant Neeley, Lubbock, Texas. Dr. Neeley and his wife Sabrina are presently professors at Texas Tech University.
Mrs. Wadley is the daughter of Aubrey and Freddie Burkett of Fort Worth, and is further survived by her sister, JoAnna Ingram and brother, Van Burkett Jr., both of Fort Worth.
Mrs. Wadley and her predeceased husband, Kent Gillock were former managers of the Rainbow Inn, where Mr. Gillock's resulting bad health forced them to move to Durango until his death in 1994.
The cremated remains of Mrs. Wadley will be returned to Durango for disposition.
In honor of the 50th wedding anniversary of Mr. and Mrs. Donald Tucker, their children and grandchildren will host an open house reception on Saturday, Oct. 14, from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Pagosa Lakes Community Center located on Port Avenue. Friends of the Tuckers are cordially invited to attend.
Don and Peggy Tucker were married on Oct. 15, 1950, at the First Christian Church in Cherryvale, Kan. The Tuckers moved from Page, Ariz., to Pagosa Springs in 1979. Their children are Debra Stowe, Diana Nordin and Donna Kiister of Pagosa Springs and Darrell Tucker of Denver.
Rampart ranking earned; Ladies bow in two
By Karl Isberg
What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger.
The Lady Pirates' volleyball team left town Oct. 6 for a grueling two-day road trip to the Eastern Plains, the first stop being at the home of the Rampart Rams, the third-ranked Class 5A team in Colorado.
Any question about whether the 13-0 Rams were ranked correctly was answered during a 15-7, 15-8 win over the Lady Pirates. They are.
Likewise, questions about whether the Lady Pirates deserve a top-10 ranking in Class 3A were answered in the affirmative as the Pagosans put up a decent fight and showed that, on another night, on another occasion, the score might be much closer.
Rampart used a lightning-fast offense, often featuring hitters moving rapidly to the weak side to attack the Lady Pirates' defense. Pagosa's veteran senior middle blocker Tiffanie Hamilton was hobbled by an ankle injury suffered in an Oct. 3 practice, and the Pagosa blockers could not match up with the Ram hitters.
The Rams established an 8-0 advantage in the first game of the match, getting three points because of Pagosa serve-receive errors, and points on a passing error in the Lady Pirates' back court and a Lady Pirates' net violation.
Pagosa crept back into contention, closing the score to 9-6 with a back-row kill by Nicole Buckley and a solo stuff block by Katie Lancing. Hamilton hit an ace serve to the back corner of the court, Ashley Gronewoller smashed a Ram overpass to the floor and the Rams surrendered a point with a lift.
Rampart surged to a 13-6 lead with three Pagosa errors and a kill of a misdirected Pagosa pass. A kill inside the Lady Pirates' block on the weak side set the Rams up for the win. The home team gave up a final point with a setting error then got the win when a Lady Pirate hit went out of bounds.
The Lady Pirates fought to a 3-0 lead at the beginning of the second game, getting two gift points from the Rams and a point on an ace by Gronewoller.
The Rampart attack went into hyperdrive at that point, and the Rams scored seven unanswered points. Hamilton scored with a solo block, but the Rams retaliated with a successful kill of a weak-side quick set and a tip over the Pagosa blockers.
Lancing earned a point with a stuff block and the Rams again countered to take a 12-5 lead. The Lady Pirates then scored their final three points: Buckley tipped over the Rams block, Gronewoller killed from the middle and Lancing scored with a block.
The match ended as Rampart used three Pagosa errors to seal the 15-8 win.
Gronewoller led the Ladies on offense with three kills. Hamilton, Lancing and Meigan Canty each had two kills during the match.
Lancing had three solo blocks against formidable Rampart hitters and Hamilton had a single ace serve.
Canty sent eight digs to the setter during the match.
"Rampart was a very good team," said Lady Pirates' coach Penné Hamilton, "just like I expected. We struggled all night because we didn't get our passes to the setter. We were never able to get into our offensive mode, so we had few kills and assists."
The loss was anything but intimidating to Hamilton and her players. The coach, in fact, relished the idea of the high level of competition. "We would love to play them again," she said.
The loss to the Rams put the Ladies at 7-2 for the season and primed the team for competition the following day at the Fowler tournament.
Lamar, Fowler, Niwot fall to Ladies
By Karl Isberg
Following a loss to the Class 5A Rampart Rams Oct. 6 in Colorado Springs, the Lady Pirates volleyball team journeyed to the farmlands of eastern Colorado to compete at the Fowler tournament.
This year's trip to Fowler was the third in a row for Pagosa, with coach Penné Hamilton scheduling the appearance to give her team a tough competitive experience prior to post-season play.
Preliminary play at the tournament provided two difficult opponents for the Ladies, while the remaining two teams were less than formidable.
In the first match of the day, Pagosa defeated Class 3A Lamar, a team that participated at the last Class 3A state tournament and that returns most of the players from its 1999 squad. The Ladies took the match 15-10, 15-10.
Lamar put a senior-laden six on the court, featuring solid defensive skills and two excellent hitters. The Savages came out strong in the first game to take a 4-0 lead but with a kill by Tiffanie Hamilton, a tandem block by Hamilton and Meigan Canty, a tandem block by Katie Lancing and Ashley Gronewoller and two hitting errors by Lamar, the Lady Pirates led 5-4. The teams then exchanged serve 10 times without a point scored.
Hamilton hit a kill to the back corner of the court to break the scoring drought, and Lamar handed over a gift point to put the Ladies up 7-5. Through a series of exchanges of serves, each team put sporadic points on the scoreboard until the Pagosa lead stood at 12-10. At that point, Hamilton crushed a back set to the weak side; Lancing scored with a solo block; Gronewoller scored on a kill when she completed a swing from the middle to the weak side; and a Savage serve-receive error ended the game.
The second game of the match also featured several changes of serve without points. Pagosa led 4-1 at the outset with kills by Nicole Buckley, Canty and Gronewoller.
Ahead 6-3 after a tip by Buckley and a tandem block by Canty and Hamilton, the Ladies saw their lead evaporate as the Savages put together a string of seven unanswered points. Lamar fans were convinced their team was on the way to a win with a 10-6 lead.
Lamar would not score again.
Four consecutive Savage errors tied the score. Lancing and Buckley scored with kills, a Savage free-ball went out of bounds, Gronewoller and Lancing tallied a point with a tandem block and Andrea Ash hit an ace to seal the win for the Ladies.
Buckley hit 14 kills in 34 attempts against Lamar; Hamilton was 9 for 21; Gronewoller hit 7 of 22.
Buckley also led the way in the back row with 16 digs to the setter. Lancing had 13 digs and put up 36 setting assists.
Gronewoller and Lancing each had a solo block.
Ash served the only ace during the match.
"Lamar is a good team with a lot of experience," said Lady Pirates coach Penné Hamilton, "and we knew they'd be hard to beat. We had to shut down their hitters. We finally did it, and it made our game. Nicky (Buckley) played excellent - her best match of the season with 14 kills."
Banners signaling state championships line the top reaches of the walls at the Fowler gym. Seven banners are clustered together to herald the seven Class 2A volleyball titles won by the Grizzlies during the '90s. Fowler is one of the great high school volleyball programs in Colorado.
While Grizzly coach Vin Mizer has one of his youngest teams in years, the players do not lack for skills. But, inconsistency and inexperience have plagued the Grizzlies this season and those problems became apparent when the host team faced the seasoned Lady Pirates.
Pagosa scored its first-ever win over the Grizzlies, 16-14, 15-5.
Mizer called his team's first game against the Lady Pirates the best effort of the season. The home team took a 6-0 lead and appeared on the way to an easy victory.
Lancing stopped the momentum with an overhead free-ball that hit an empty spot in the Fowler defense. With kills by Gronewoller and Buckley and several Fowler errors, the Ladies suddenly trailed 7-6.
Fowler came back to lead 9-7 before Pagosa scored four times - on a kill by Hamilton and three passing and hitting errors by the Grizzlies. With their block up at the net, the Ladies went out to a 13-11 advantage, but Fowler rebounded to go ahead 14-13.
Tiffanie Hamilton returned serve with a kill from outside, Canty tipped over the Fowler blockers for a point and the Grizzlies handed over a point with a passing error. Tiffanie then killed for the final point of the game.
The Ladies had their machine in gear during the second game and put the young Grizzlies back on their heels, building a 5-0 lead. Buckley scored twice with tips, and Ash hit an unreturnable serve in the early going.
The Grizzlies made it a game for a few minutes, using two ace serves and a kill off the Pagosa block to tie the score 5-5, but the Ladies pushed ahead to the 15-5 victory using tips and kills by Buckley and Canty and tandem blocks by Gronewoller and Lancing to close out the scoring.
"Fowler came out strong," said coach Hamilton, "and we started slow. Fowler couldn't hold it in the second game. We watched them play earlier in the day, noticed where their passing was weak, and we took advantage of it. They are a young team, but I would venture that, next year, they'll be back as strong as ever."
Buckley hit at a .500 average, going 10 for 20. Tiffanie Hamilton hit .555, getting six kills in nine attempts. Ash was 3 for 6.
Lancing and Ash hit ace serves against Fowler. Buckley and Canty each put seven digs to Lancing, who had 22 assists.
The Lady Pirates' third win in pool play came against Class 4A Niwot, 15-4, 15-4.
The match was nowhere as close as the score indicates. Niwot has gone from a 1997 Class 4A state contender to a less-than-average team and provided no competition for the Ladies.
Pagosa hitters scored at will against non-existent Cougar blocking and a sluggish back-row defense. The Lady Pirates led 6-1, then went in front 11-3. The Cougars got points on two Pagosa hitting errors and with an ace serve. The only other earned point Niwot put on the scoreboard came on a kill with Pagosa ahead 14-3. A Niwot hitting error ended the first game.
The Cougars stayed with Pagosa to 3-3 in the second game before the Ladies ran off six unanswered points with Canty at the serve. Tiffanie Hamilton scored twice with kills and Lancing scored with a tip and a kill inside a Niwot block. An ace by Tiffanie helped the Ladies to an 11-4 lead.
Following an exchange of four sideouts, Pagosa sealed the win, scoring points on two Niwot errors, a kill by Buckley, and a kill of a back set by Canty.
"Niwot was lazy in the back row," said coach Hamilton. "Technically, they were not good hitters and our girls handled them well."
Niwot's deficiencies showed up in the Pagosa stats.
Tiffanie Hamilton managed seven kills in 14 attempts, while Buckley hit 5 for 12. Lancing served two aces. Buckley and Canty each had an ace serve and each had 7 digs.
Lancing finished the match with 22 assists.
The Lady Pirates' final match in tournament pool play pitted them against Class 2A La Veta - a team much improved since previous Fowler tourney appearances.
Despite the improvement, La Veta was no match for Pagosa, which won the two-game affair 15-9, 15-3.
The Lady Pirates played the La Veta match with only six players - all on the court, and no substitutes on the bench. Tiffanie Hamilton was held out of the match to rest an ankle injury she suffered earlier in the week and sophomore Amy Young (generally used in the back row) came in to fill out the Pagosa complement.
Another change required by the depleted ranks forced Lancing to assume a hitter's role when she rotated to the front row. Instead of setting the offense, Lancing moved into position to take sets from Young, who moved out of the back row in the Ladies' 6-2 offense. When Lancing rotated to the back row, she came forward to set.
Despite the fact the Ladies had practiced a 6-2 offense only once, the alteration did not seem to bother them. La Veta earned only three points in the first game as the Lady Pirates donated six points to the Redskins on the way to a 15-9 win.
Pagosa's gears meshed well in the second game with Gronewoller, Buckley, Young and Lancing scoring and La Veta donating enough points to secure the 15-3 Lady Pirates win. The victory advanced the Lady Pirates to the tournament championship match against Lamar, which went 3-1 in pool play.
"La Veta looked better this year," said coach Hamilton. "We ran a 6-2. It was a change for our girls and they had only practiced it once during the week when it looked like we might miss Tiffanie for the whole road trip. They ran the offense well. It was nice to have it as a back-up."
Gronewoller finished the last match of pool play with seven kills in 10 attempts (.700). Buckley was 7 for 11 (.636).
Gronewoller hit two ace serves, while Young, Lancing and Canty each hit one ace.
Digs were scarce due to an ineffective La Veta attack. Ash sent seven digs to the setters.
Lancing had 15 assists during the match and Young added three assists to the winning effort.
Lamar evens score with Lady Pirates
By Karl Isberg
By the time members of the Lady Pirates volleyball team advanced to the championship game of the Oct. 7 Fowler tournament they had played five matches in less than 24 hours.
Ordinarily, this would not require a major effort since, a volleyball team usually has at least 10 players on its roster for a match. Coaches are able to substitute players in order to rest athletes for critical situations.
It does require Herculean effort when your team consists of seven players, one of whom is hobbled by an ankle injury. In other words, when you are the Lady Pirates.
Following a match with Class 5A Rampart at Colorado Springs Oct. 6, Pagosa advanced to the Fowler championship match with pool play victories over Lamar, Fowler, Niwot and La Veta.
Lamar earned a trip to the final match with a 3-1 pool play record, and the Savages were eager for revenge.
They got it, 15-10, 15-12.
Pagosa jumped to an early 3-1 lead when Ashley Gronewoller killed an errant Savage pass, Katie Lancing hit an ace serve, and Gronewoller forced a Lamar hitting error by getting to her block.
The lead evaporated as Lamar surged ahead 5-3, but Nicole Buckley scored on a tip and another Savage hitting error knotted the score at 5-5. The teams traded points, with Meigan Canty nailing a Savage overpass.
Lamar put together a six-point run, capitalizing on four Pagosa hitting mistakes and seemed ready to cruise to the win.
Though fatigued, the Lady Pirate players had different ideas: they were not going to surrender the win without a battle. A Savage passing error gave Pagosa a point and Gronewoller hit an ace. Lancing scored with a solo block to pull Pagosa to within four points, 13-9. A tandem block by Lancing and Gronewoller allowed the Ladies to inch closer, but a charity point on a hitting error and a kill to the floor by Lamar's middle hitter ended the game.
The Ladies used what little energy they had to establish a 6-1 lead in the second game. Andrea Ash and Gronewoller hit aces, Lancing scored with a soft shot from the back row, Tiffanie Hamilton got off the floor on her injured ankle to stuff a Savage over-pass then put a free ball to the floor. Ash scored a point with a tip.
Then, it was Lamar's turn. The Savage attack from the middle and the outside came alive, producing points with tips and kills inside the Pagosa blocks. After giving up a point with a hitting error, the Savages led 10-7.
When Pagosa blockers were in place, Lamar committed hitting errors. Two such mistakes, along with a solo block by Lancing, tied the score at 10-10. The Savages scored twice and Pagosa got a point on a solo block by Gronewoller, who continued to maintain a defense at the net. Another solo by the Lady Pirates' junior middle blocker moved her team as close as 13-12 before a tip by the Savage outside hitter and a Lady Pirate hitting error ended the game and match, giving the tourney title to Lamar.
"In the first game," said Lady Pirates coach Penné Hamilton, "Lamar started attacking, and tipping the ball. We had some problems adjusting to that, and we didn't set our blocks cross-court. Our defense was moving very slowly. Finally, we adjusted to the tips, but we weren't attacking Lamar. We weren't hitting the ball and that's what got us.
"It was good competition. The whole weekend was good for us because we played six matches in a short period of time. It's good to get used to it - hopefully we'll have to play a lot of matches in a day or two come post-season play in November."
The Lady Pirates have a 12-3 overall record and a 4-0 Intermountain League record heading to tomorrow's 5 p.m. IML match-up at Bayfield. Pagosa defeated the Wolverines 15-6, 15-4 when the teams clashed Sept. 21 and a match in the Bayfield gym is always an emotional and unpredictable affair.
Saturday, the Ladies travel to Farmington, N.M., for a match against Farmington High School - the first such match since 1995. The Lady Pirates and the Scorpions will play a best-of-three match at 4 p.m.
The Ladies return to their home gym Oct. 17 for an IML rematch with Ignacio. The Bobcats are currently in second place in the IML standings and nearly upset the Lady Pirates Sept. 28 when Pagosa squeaked out a 9-15, 16-14, 15-4 win at the Bobcats' lair. The Ignacio matches begin at 5 p.m.
Pirate defense keys 41-7 rout of Ignacio
By John M. Motter
Pagosa Springs' black and gold Pirates struck gold as they opened defense of their Intermountain League football title last Friday. The Pirates rolled over Ignacio 41-7. Saturday Pagosa travels to La Jara for an IML game with the Centauri Falcons.
Once again the Pirates' defense gave the offense a big boost. Led by safety Garrett Tomforde's 62-yard touchdown run with an intercepted pass thrown by Bobcat quarterback Chris Phillips, Pagosa's D pilfered four passes and limited the Bobcat offense to 112 yards, 69 on the ground and 43 through the air.
Injuries to two linemen may make the Pirates' victory expensive. Cord Ross hurt the same knee which ended his season last year, required surgery, and prevented him from playing basketball. Center Matt Ford took a blow to the back and spent the remainder of the game on the bench.
"I expect Ford will be back this week," said Pirates Coach Myron Stretton. "I think Ross may be out for the year. He was due to see a doctor later this week to learn how serious the injury is. Losing him will hurt the team."
Cord Ross had eight tackles and assists in the Ignacio game before being carried to the sidelines near the end of the third period. One of the more versatile players on the squad, Ross has anchored the defensive line at an end position through much of the year. He has also played fullback on offense. Ross has been in on or made 26 tackles this season.
Pagosa versus Ignacio
The Bobcats made their first mistake against Pagosa when they won the coin toss and elected to kick off. After Pagosa's Justin Kerns returned the kickoff 29 yards to the Pirates' 31-yard line, Pagosa hammered up the middle against a big Bobcat line for a couple of yards. Quarterback Ron Janowsky then crossed up the Ignacio defense by whistling an aerial to Tyrel Ross good for a first down on the Pirates' 45-yard line. Janowsky found no room up the middle on the next play and so, on second and long pitched out on the option to Clint Shaw who raced 54 yards down the right side line for a Pagosa TD. Even though the extra point kick was wide, Pagosa led 6-0 with 9:24 remaining in the first period.
Caleb Mellette kicked off for Pagosa in place of regular kicker Darin Lister. Lister was suffering from sore back muscles and was used sparingly by Stretton during the game.
Ignacio put the ball in play on their own 30-yard line, sent Rodney Hocker to the right two times for no gain, then called a passing play. Phillips threw into Tomforde's defensive area and the Pagosa senior responded with an interception.
Starting from the Ignacio 44-yard line, Pagosa stunned Ignacio by reaching pay dirt in just two plays. Janowsky's 40-yard bomb to Tyrel Ross on second down did the damage. This time Lister made good on the extra point and, before Ignacio fans could find their seats, Pagosa was on top 13-0.
Following a short kickoff, Ignacio put the ball in play on its own 37-yard line and, with just over seven minutes remaining in the first period, launched the Bobcats' only scoring drive of the game. Eleven plays and five minutes later, Phillips passed to Lorenzo Rodriguez for one yard and a touchdown. Lupe Huerta kicked the extra point, trimming the Pirates' lead to 13-7.
The combatants then exchanged punts until well into the second quarter when, with almost seven minutes remaining on the halftime clock, Pagosa's Kerns picked off a Phillips pass.
After the Pirates put the ball in play on their own 30-yard line, Ignacio held Pagosa in check until Shaw broke loose for 13 yards and a first down out to the 49-yard line. Two plays later Janowsky kept the ball on an option and broke loose for 39 yards and a third Pirate touchdown.
Shaw crossed the goal line to pick up two points following the touchdown. With four minutes remaining in the half, the Pagosa lead stretched to 21-7.
More of the same
Pagosa's D proved its mettle as the first half ended by forcing an Ignacio field goal attempt from the 31-yard line. The kick was wide.
It was four downs and out for Ignacio after the Bobcats received the second half kickoff. A fumble on the third Pagosa play of the second half restored Ignacio's hopes, but only briefly. Two plays later, a streaking Tomforde popped the Bobcats' bubble by intercepting a Phillips pass while in full stride and racing 62-yards untouched into the end zone. Lister kicked the PAT boosting Pagosa's lead to 28-7. Almost 10 minutes remained on the third-quarter clock.
After forcing Ignacio to punt yet again, Pagosa picked up another first down on the running of Stretton. Then Janowsky hit a wide-open Tyrel Ross with a 65-yard TD strike, only to have the play called back because of a clipping penalty.
The third quarter ended with Pagosa in possession of a first down on the Ignacio 9-yard line. Mellette opened the final quarter by high stepping nine yards into the end zone, Lister kicked the extra point, and the Pirates' lead reached an unsurmountable 35-7.
A few minutes later, Mellette again broke loose through the Ignacio defense, this time for 39 yards and the final Pagosa score. A bad pass from center forced holder Janowsky to pass for the extra point try, an attempt that failed. With seven minutes remaining in the game, Pagosa led 41-7.
Pagosa defensive back Anthony Maestas intercepted a Bobcat pass and Pagosa was driving on the goal line as the game ended.
Stretton is still experimenting with his lineup as the Pirates prepare for the Centauri game. Because of its speed as evidenced by capturing the state Class 3A track title, Centauri was expected to challenge for the IML football title. Instead, the Falcons have three wins, three losses for the season, including a 23-0 loss to Bayfield in their only IML encounter. The Falcons have beaten Rye, La Junta, and Las Animas, and lost to Lake County and Sanford, in addition to Bayfield.
"They have good skill people and I expected them to be better," said Stretton. "Maybe they got it together when they beat Las Animas 40-8 last week. Centauri has never been easy for us and we're not taking them lightly."
One of the changes Stretton is contemplating for the Centauri game is moving Darin Lister from running back to receiver. Except for kicking extra points and some kickoffs, Lister was held out of action last week because of back spasms. He normally starts as a running back and in the defensive backfield.
Starting in Lister's running back position will be Mellette. The junior transfer from Texas filled in for Lister last week at running back where he ran for 78 yards on 11 carries, an average of seven yards per carry. He also scored twice.
The Pagosa running game picked up 243 yards against Ignacio, the passing game 81 yards. In addition to Mellette's rushing yardage, Shaw carried the ball nine times for 87 yards, Stretton seven times for 16 yards, Janowsky eight times for 43 yards, Maestas three times for nine yards, and Kerns twice for 10 yards. Janowsky completed 4 of 6 passes for 81 yards and one TD, all to Tyrel Ross.
Stretton cited the play of senior Tyrel Ross on both sides of the ball. In addition to his offensive efforts, Ross made seven unassisted tackles and assisted on two others. One of the best 2A receivers in the state according to Stretton, Tyrel Ross hauled in four passes for 81 yards and a touchdown. Ross has been a starter since his sophomore year.
"What I like about Tyrel," Stretton said, "is his willingness to block. You don't often find that in a good receiver. Tyrel is a good blocker."
Stretton also singled out the defensive work of Pablo Martinez, the 210-pound sophomore middle linebacker.
"Pablo did really well on defense," Stretton said. "So did Cord Ross and Michael Vega."
Martinez led Pagosa against Ignacio with nine unassisted tackles and one assist. Vega made four unassisted tackles and assisted on four more. Josh Richardson and Tomforde each made six unassisted tackles and one assist.
Summing up last week's effort against Ignacio, Stretton said the Pirates' offensive and defensive lines did "real well.
"They get better every week and that's what it is all about," Stretton said.
At the same time, he said the offensive backfield must improve, that the blocking effort was not good enough.
When the Centauri game is finished, the Pirates will be half-way through their IML schedule. In successive weeks following Centauri, the Pirates host Bayfield, then journey to Monte Vista Oct. 27 for the last game of the regular season.
"Centauri has very talented skill people," Stretton said. "We expect them to stunt a lot on defense. We have to pick up their blitzes. If we pursue as a team defensively, we should be okay."
Game time at Centauri Saturday has been moved to 2 p.m.
Around the IML
Pagosa Springs is now 1-0 in IML play, 4-2 for the season. The loss rolled Ignacio into the league cellar with a 0-2 record. Monte Vista battered Bayfield 34-14 in Monte Friday night to boost their league-leading IML record to 2-0. Bayfield dropped to 1-1 in the IML. The final IML team, 0-1 Centauri, stepped out of the league to beat Las Animas 40-8.
In IML action this coming weekend, Pagosa travels to Centauri, Bayfield plays at Ignacio, and Monte Vista steps out of state to engage St. Pius, N.M.
Cross country runners peaking for IML meet
By Karl Isberg
Pagosa cross country runners are getting their acts together, continuing to improve performances in preparation for the Intermountain League championships Saturday at a Monte Vista course.
The Pirates' and Lady Pirates' runners competed Oct. 6 at the Bloomfield Invitational and each team finished sixth in respective standings.
According to coach Scott Anderson, the course at Bloomfield, N.M., provided a substantial challenge to the Pagosa runners.
"That course is rugged," said Anderson. "It's a tough course, and it's hot down there. There are several significant hills with a short, steep hill in the first mile. There are rolling hills in the body of the race and a gradual hill that leads to a 300-meter climb to the finish line at the top of a mesa. I'd heard about it and it was a good course."
The Pirates took sixth in a field of 12 teams, finishing ahead of the only other Colorado squad, IML rival Bayfield. Their place in the standings was secured with a pack time of 3 minutes, 51 seconds (New Mexico uses the scores of a team's top five runners to compile a pack time).
Todd Mees led the Pirates, finishing 20th in the individual standings with a time of 19:54.
Travis Laverty hit the finish line next, in 32nd place, at 20:20.
A time of 21:39 put Patrick Riley in 57th place in the race.
Trevor Peterson completed the 3.1 mile course in 21:47, in 58th place.
Individual standings were not available for the Pirates Nick Hall who finished with a time of 23:45, or for Ryan Beavers who posted a time of 26:27.
The Lady Pirates took sixth in a field of 10 teams and beat Bayfield for the first time this season.
Aubrey Volger placed seventh overall in the race, at 23:21.
Amber Mesker came across the line in 31st place, at 25:35.
A time of 25:37 gave Annah Rolig 34th place in the standings.
Tiffany Thompson was 45th, completing the course in 26:09.
Joetta Martinez completed the Lady Pirates' pack time of 4:39, finishing the race at 28:22, in 61st position.
Makina Gill took 63rd place at 28:30.
"Overall," said Anderson, "this was not a bad race for us. The girls closed their pack time a little bit and finally beat Bayfield. Our girls are in the hunt at the upcoming league meet. They'll get faster as we taper off the next couple of weeks. Even though the IML is extremely competitive this year, we'll be ready."
Regarding the steady improvement of the Pirates during the first part of the season, Anderson said the boys' team "continues to look good. They're still coming together. We need to get Riley and Peterson performing at their best on the same day. If we do, our guys will be tough at the league meet."
With the IML and regional meets looming on the horizon, Pagosa runners are entering the final phases of preparation for the competitions that count.
"We've had mini-tapers during the season so far," said the coach, "and we've done speed work. We'll have one more mini-taper leading up to a big tapering off of our hard training just before the regional meet and, hopefully, before the state meet on Oct. 28."
The IML meet Saturday at Monte Vista is part of a meet hosted by Sargent High School. Junior high school races start at 9 a.m., with high school events to follow.
'Great' first half not enough to stop Telluride
By Richard Walter
Telluride's vaunted offense was stopped cold for the first half Saturday by a swarming Pagosa Springs defense.
The Miners came back in the second with an attack adjustment that netted them a 4-0 soccer victory over the Pirates on Golden Peaks Stadium turf.
"We played incredibly well in the first half," said Pirates' coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason. "And, we made only five mistakes in the second half, but four of them cost us goals."
In each case the mistakes he was talking about resulted in Telluride having an attacker alone in the box area. "You can't do that with a team like Telluride," Kurt-Mason said. "They're too good."
Telluride's assistant coach said the second half adjustment was to go to a "swing wing" move on attack, bringing a wingback into the corner and then out into the box area from the off-side on every attack. "Pagosa didn't seem to realize what we were doing until it was too late," he said.
Kurt-Mason, despite the loss, was pleased with his team's effort.
"I've seen real improvement this week," he said. "We played well against Durango Thursday (a 5-1 loss) and played even better against Telluride."
"We executed very well on offense in both games in the first half," he said, "but seemed to let down in the second half. We don't make many mistakes but the opposition seems to capitalize on every one we do commit."
In the contest at Durango, Pagosa's lone score came on a picture-perfect drop pass from Mike Pierce in the right corner to Trent Sanders attacking from the middle and ripping a drive over the goal keeper's shoulder.
The Pirates' two regular goal keepers were unavailable for the contest and Pierce was pressed into service in the nets for the first half. He gave up two goals and freshman Drew Mitchell allowed three in the second half.
Pagosa's Saturday effort may well have been the most consistent defense the team has displayed this season and, in the first half the Pirates were on a par shotwise with Telluride.
In that opening stanza, Pagosa had nine shots, seven on goal. Telluride had 10 shots, eight on goal, and neither team was able to score.
The Pirates, in fact, had the first two shots on goal in the game, the first coming at 5:29 when Trent Sanders dropped a pass from right wing to his brother Kyle in the middle. Kyle's shot was stopped on a dive by Miners' goal keeper Brady McIntyre.
Two minutes and 14 seconds later, Pagosa was on the attack again when Jordan Kurt-Mason captured an errant Miner outlet pass and crossed a perfect lead to Daniel Crenshaw. His drive was stopped by McIntyre.
The Miners' opening shot on goal didn't come until 11:21 when they were awarded a free kick and keeper Matt Mesker made the stop. Thirteen seconds later, after intercepting a Pirate outlet kick, Telluride's Brad Atkin was stopped by Mesker on a point blank shot. At 13:18, the Sanders brothers paired again with Kyle's shot off Trent's drop lead to the middle stopped by McIntyre.
At 27:34, Mesker came out of the net to cut down an attack by Telluride's Erik Andrews and slipped to the turf. As Andrews broke for the open net, Crenshaw raced from the middle and deflected Andrews' shot out of bounds.
At 28:02, Mesker was called for being out of the box and then stopped the ensuing free kick with a dive to his left that tipped the ball out of bounds. Just 20 seconds later a Pirates' attack was blunted when Crenshaw's drive off a header lead from Zeb Gill sailed high to the left.
From 28:32 through 33:05, it was the Mesker show with a diving stop to his left, a leap to his right tipping a shot over the net, a one-on-one save against Andrews and finally, a leaping catch of a free kick.
The Pirates returned to the attack at 33:34 when Kyle Sanders' bid for a header score off a lead from Gill was trapped by McIntyre.
Two minutes and 40 seconds later, Mesker came out of net to stop a breakaway effort by Andrews and was kicked in the back after the save by Telluride's Mike Kimbal who then received the first of three Miners yellow cards. Mesker, in pain, returned to the net after a several minute break.
A minute and 46 seconds later, Telluride's Curtis Nelson was yellow-carded for use of profanity. The penalty kick by Jordan Kurt-Mason was stopped by McIntyre and Crenshaw's blast off the rebound sailed wide left. With time running out in the half, Trent Sanders' header was stopped by McIntyre and Andrews' shot on a full-field dribble with the rebound was snared by Mesker.
For all practical purposes, that was the end of the Pirates' attack for the day. The second half produced only five Pagosa shots and none of them were on goal.
Andrews opened the game's scoring at 3:25 of the final half with a blistering drive from the right corner of the box that eluded Mesker. At the seven-minute mark, Mesker saved on a similar move by Telluride's Cole Audett.
At 9:26, Audett was successful converting on a corner drop from Jake Bush to expand the Telluride lead to 2-0. At 10:09, Mesker saved on Audett's header directly in front of the net and at 12:18, Andrews was wide left on a break-away.
Trent Sanders had a break-away underway at 13:16, but slipped on a cut to the net and lost the ball. At 15:19 and 15:32, Andrews was stopped cold twice by Mesker. The Pirates returned to the attack on the ensuing outlet, but Kurt-Mason's lead to Hart resulted in a kick over the net.
The Miners' third goal came at 20:06 when Hanley Fansler, the smallest player on the field, took a rebound off a shot by Andrews and scored on a reverse kick from the front of the box.
The final Miners' score came at 37:05 when Andrews, alone in the box for a drop lead from Fansler deep in the left corner, deked left and came back to his right to drive a shot off Mesker's outstretched arm and into the left corner of the net.
Coach Kurt-Mason said he saw good leadership by the more seasoned players against Telluride, specifically singling out Gill.
"He gave us everything he had today," the coach said. "He took charge both physically and verbally. He played a great game. He left his body on the field and that's the kind of leadership we've been looking for."
He also had words of praise for Mesker: "You can't leave a goal keeper alone like we did several times in the second half and expect him to stop everything. He reacted well to the attack."
The Pirates host Center at Golden Peaks Stadium at 5 p.m. Friday (note change from the published 4 p.m. start on the schedule) and will travel to Crested Butte for a 3 p.m. game Saturday before closing out their regular season by hosting Bloomfield, N.M. for a 4 p.m. match Tuesday. Pagosa will host the district tournament Saturday, Oct. 21.
Colorado Children's Chorale sings Monday
The Pagosa Springs Arts Council proudly presents the Colorado Children's Chorale Oct. 16, 7 p.m., at the high school auditorium.
The Chorale is comprised of 37 children in grades 6 through 8. This group will perform during the day for local students in grades 4, 5, 6 and in junior high. The public performance will be at 7 p.m. A donation will be requested at the door: $3 for adults and $1 for students, with all monies donated to the Pagosa Springs Junior High chorus for purchase of stoles to be worn over choir robes.
Thursday Night Live
Tonight kicks off a new round of Thursday Night Live performances. This is a non-profit group that donates all funds from the $4 it receives for a ticket, after direct expenses, to worthy local activities. Mark your calendars for Oct. 12, Nov. 9, and Dec. 14 for Thursday Night Live performances. Contact the group at 731-3671.
Tickets are now on sale for this great event,10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Oct. 21.
Your ticket will admit you to several artists' studios. It will be a wonderful opportunity to see what inspires these fine artists and how they create their beautiful works of art. Tickets are available at the Visitor Center as well as the Pagosa Springs Arts Council Gallery. If you have any questions. call 264-5020.
Tickets for the River "Rubber Duck" Race to benefit the Pagosa Springs Community Center are on sale now.
The race takes place Oct. 22 behind J.J.'s Upstream at 1 p.m. J.J.'s will donate 10 percent of all sales made that day toward the Community Center. You can purchase tickets from the Chamber of Commerce, at Seeds of Learning, or from any Community Center committee member. Tickets are $5 each or 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 worth $150 and third place gets $75.
We are pleased to introduce three new members to you this week and to announce 11 renewals.
Welcome to Mary McLillan with Massage Therapy Center located at 35 Mary Fisher Circle, providing quality, nurturing massage by skilled professionals, either for relaxation, injuries or sports massage. The Center is open weekdays 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with evening and weekend appointments available. You can reach the Center by calling 731-6882.
Steve and Jane McKain join us with Pathfinder Construction of Southwest Colorado, LLC, builder of custom cedar log homes using incense cedar in 8- or 10-inch round, flat or D profiles. Quality, integrity and excellent customer service is a hallmark of the business. Expert crews will dry in your home, so call them at 264-9147.
Welcome to Jeff and Kim Butler with Jeff of All Trades. The Butlers do painting, pressure washing, deck treatments, faux finishes, residential and commercial interiors and exteriors, drywall repairs, taping and texturing, as well as deck construction, additions, repairs and refinishing. You can reach them at 731-1996.
Renewals this week include Bridget Allen with Pagosa Springs Super 8 Motel; Rick and Jody Unger with Copper Coin Liquors; Tim Horning with Southwest Custom Builders; W.E. Lehr with Alpine Lakes Ranch; Maggi Dix-Caruso with Envelopment Architecture; Roger Modrow with Eagle's View Cedar Homes and SunRooms; Pack Rack Thrift Shop and Humane Society of Pagosa Springs.
Associates renewals include Philip and Juanita Heitz, Pat and Georgi Curtis, Malcolm and Joan Rodger. Thank you all for your continued support.
A big help
Thanks to all the diplomats who came in and helped me out the last couple of days: Lee Sterling, Jean Sanft, Ron and Sheila Hunkin, Ann Graves and Shari Gustafson. You all help make our community a great place to live and work.
Volunteer Appreciation Week is Oct. 16 to 20. Please take the opportunity to thank those who give of their time so unselfishly.
Turkey trot benefit scheduled Nov. 11
The seventh annual Turkey Trot to benefit the Ruby M. Sisson Memorial Library will be held on Saturday, Nov. 11. Sponsored by The Friends of the Library, Bank of the San Juans, City Market, Lynn R. DeLange and hosted by the Pagosa Lakes Recreation Center, this event is a local favorite. What a good way to show our support for our library. You walk or run 10K, have a great time, burn off some calories and maybe, just maybe, if you are lucky, win a turkey for the holiday season. The 10K walk starts at 9 a.m., followed by the 10K run at 10 a.m. It is recommended you preregister to ensure a T-shirt in your size ($20 entry fee). Arrive for check-in at least one half-hour prior to the event on the morning of the Trot. For your registration fee, you will receive a T-shirt, an entry for the turkey drawing (you must be present to win), use of the Recreation Center for the day, refreshments and gobs of encouragement from the volunteers organizing the race. If you can, please bring at least one canned good to benefit a local charity.
The Turkey Trot will start and finish at the entrance to the Recreation Center parking lot. The course is three loops around the Recreation Center and the condos on easy, flat, asphalted terrain. There will be trophies for first, second and third place overall male and female runners and walkers, plus ribbons in seven age divisions for male and female runners and walkers. Entry forms are available at the Library and the Recreation Center.
PLPOA directors will hold their monthly meeting at 7 p.m. tonight in the Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse, 230 Port Avenue. Members and observers are encouraged to attend. Public comments will be heard at the beginning of the meeting. The following agenda was provided by the PLPOA.
- Call to order
- Approval of agenda
- Approval of minutes of Sept. 14 board meeting
- General manager's report
- Public comments, 30-minute time limit
- Committee reports, treasurer's report, Director David Bohl; road committee, Director Fred Ebeling; and ad hoc committee on public relations, Director Tom Cruse
- Old business
- New business
- Report on accounting motion made at annual meeting
- Request to purchase equipment received from Pagosa Springs Police Department
- Resolution pertaining to short-term rentals
- Clarification for bylaw amendment regarding appointment of directors.
Snow birds departing
It is always sad to see our "Snow Birds" leave for the winter but we can look forward to seeing them again in the spring. Carol Adams, Jim and Irene Dunavant, Jack and Eleanor Jones are some of the folks who left last week, and Ray and Martha Trowbridge are leaving this week. We will miss them. Our group seems so small now - hope some new folks will join us.
Payge sends out an urgent request for more volunteers. She needs help in the dining room and the desk. If you can help, please contact her at the Senior Center.
Marion Baker is our Senior of the Week, congratulations. Marion and Bill come to the Senior Center often and we are always happy to visit with them.
The Archuleta Senior Citizens Incorporated is planning a bake sale for Friday, Oct. 20 at the Ski and Bow Rack. This is to raise money to help fund the medical shuttle fees for those who are unable to pay the $40 trip fee to Durango. We would appreciate any baked goods you would like to donate, and having you stop by to purchase some of our products.
We were pleased to have Warren Grams (fire chief) and Bill Bright (emergency medical services) speak to us on Monday in reference to Amendment 21 and the effects it will have on our community. They brought up several very important facts. If the amendment passes, we would lose our ambulance service, fire department, library, and other services within a few years. The rates for home insurance would increase dramatically, if you could obtain it at all, once the fire department is shut down; and rates for water would increase. These things would more than offset any benefit voters would receive by voting to pass the amendment.
The best examples are right at home
The cruise my mother and I took in early to mid-September was billed and marketed as a Fall Foliage Tour. They got it partly right. We saw plenty of foliage, but it was still green.
There was an occasional splash of orange-red, as isolated maples tried their hands at turning. Sumac, too, offered a bit of red contrast to the omnipresent green.
That was okay. I didn't go for the color. I went for the Erie Canal lock system.
At one time Hotshot and I lived in Connecticut. Over 10 years we resided in two different houses. I could see stunning maples everywhere.
Our first house was surrounded by an acre of ground covered with red oaks. In the fall their leaves turn a stunning dark bronze, sometimes almost a purple red. They also don't decay easily. In fact, they hang around for years. If you want your lawn to survive, you gotta rake those suckers up.
We always dedicated a weekend in late November for leaf-raking. At the back of our yard was woods, owned by the state, I think. That made a great repository for our leaves. We bundled them into an old bedspread and hauled the bundle to the woods, hunched over like peasants in a medieval woodcut.
Our kids had small rakes of their own so they could "help." You know how that is - 20 minutes and, "I'm tired." So Hotshot and I did most of the work.
When we moved from there to a house in town, one of the big draws was the small yard. Granted, two large maple trees shaded the front yard, but we traded three days, and a bit more, of raking for a couple of 20-minute sessions.
I'd rather not rake at all. I much prefer my leaves out in the woods.
When our kids were about 10 and 12, we took a backpack trip in southern Vermont. The air was crisp and cold and the fall color was at its peak. Coyotes howled somewhere in the distance as we set up our first campsite near a small lake.
That night came the first truly hard freeze of the fall. The remaining sap flowing in the petiole, the small stem holding a leaf to the branch, froze. Only ice held the leaves in place in the early morning. When the sun warmed the air and melted the ice connection, the leaves let go and drifted to earth.
The four of us hiked all the next day among bright gold and red maple leaves. They danced in the air around us and created an Oriental carpet under our feet. Looking at leaves, from a car or a ship, can't equal a magical experience like that one.
Last week Hotshot and I drove up the Forest Service road toward the Navajo Peaks trail.
He'd been picking up aspen ideas while I was on the cruise. "You have to stand under the aspen trees," someone told him, "and look up through the leaves." On another day someone else told him, "The best thing you can do this afternoon is lie under an aspen tree."
We compromised. We walked away from the road down among the trees and sat on a log, letting the feel of the spot enter our minds. It was so still! I'd been in cities, surrounded by people, sometimes hordes of people, for almost a month.
We looked up through the trees at the amazing blue sky. Not amazing when you see it every day, but I'd been in Eastern haze for weeks.
A breeze came up, soughing through the branches. A soft whisper. Aspen music. The bright leaves shimmered, and some of them let go and were carried off to scatter the brown earth with bits of gold.
And on Columbus Day weekend we hiked the Four Mile Trail. The leaves may have been past their prime, but it was still amazing. The clouds were gathering, preparing for Sunday's rain. The leaves glowed with color, as though lit from within.
I always thought fall color had to be oaks and maples, but somehow the aspen yellow seems right in our mountains, a vivid contrast to the dark green spruce and pine.
What color would you call aspen leaves? Lemon, ochre, chartreuse? I brought some samples home. Each leaf is a different color. Laid out, they look like paint sample cards.
Part of the trip I had just taken included time spent with our 3-year-old granddaughter, who has a larger collection of movies on video than I do. She and I watched "The Wizard of Oz" together, and I was reminded of the lesson Dorothy learned. You don't have to go looking for your heart's desire; if you can't find it at home, perhaps you can't find it anywhere.
I didn't have to travel 2,000 miles to find fall foliage. The best example was right here at home.
Holloween Mask Contest is underway
No, I'm not talking about Douglas Bruce and Amendment 21. The Library is holding the first-ever Halloween Mask Contest. Come to the Library and pick up a blank mask as soon as possible. Return it decorated any "witch" way you want - despicable or elegant, creepy or pretty. Use your imagination. The contest is open to boys and ghouls, mummies and deadies, Halloween lovers of all ages.
Deadline for masks to be returned is Oct. 24. We'll display them until Oct. 28. You can pick up your mask (along with your prize, if our panel of judges thinks your mask is frightfully winning!) in time to wear it to your Halloween festivities.
Our contest is open to the first 100 entrants as we have a limited supply of blank masks. Enter if you dare!
The League of Women Voters and the Colorado Education Fund provide small booklets explaining the many ballot issues. We have some to give out free of charge. You will find them on the Politics Table at the library.
Remember that you may put out information for or against any candidate or issue as long as the material tells who is responsible for the handout.
A number of people have asked for addresses to Denver newspapers and television stations so they can voice their opinions about Amendment 21.
We have those addresses at the desk.
Thanks to Roy Vega and the New York Life Company for donating a beautiful book, "The American President." It is the first fully illustrated book published in 30 years to examine all of our nation's presidents. It is a document that will be of value to historians, educators and students seeking to learn about their heritage.
The book served as the basis for the PBS documentary, "The American President." There is also a website at www.americanpresident.org for more information about the program and the book.
The 2000 Senior Resource Guidebook for Colorado is in. It is a directory of Colorado facilities for seniors, caregivers and aging service specialists.
It has excellent suggestions as well as sample advanced directives. Ask to check it out or make copies of interesting items.
The Department of Education put out three pamphlets on what your ninth, tenth and eleventh grader should know about reading, writing and math. These are pretty clear and may also be checked out.
The artwork on the T-shirt is super. (It is every year!) The entries are starting to come in. Pick up one at the library or out at the Pagosa Lakes Recreation Center. The date is Nov. 11 and it is a 10K run/walk. Your entry fee buys a lot.
For more information, call the library at 264-2209.
Come by the library and view Mary Miller's latest stained glass piece, available in the Civic Club Raffle. It is of a horse and rider and Mary's outdone herself this time. Tickets are on sale from any Civic Club Member or at the library. There are only 23 days left before the big event.
The countdown is on: the Bazaar is Nov. 4, election day is Nov. 7, and the Turkey Trot takes place Nov. 11.
Thanks for financial donations in memory of Ernie Schutz from the Springer Electrical Cooperative, Inc.; Elizabeth Feazel, Don and Ethel Rasnic, Richard and Cecelia Simms, Gil and Lenore Bright. A donation in memory of Mac Yamaguchi came from Don and Ethel Rasnic.
Thanks for materials from Leo Landon, Terry Hershey, Peter Merritt, Tony Simmons, Betty and Wilson Gibbons, L.W. Bartlett and Addie Greer.
Time to change smoke detector batteries
It's time to change the battery in your smoke detector - the rule of thumb being when the time changes in the fall, change the battery (usually 9 volts).
The Pagosa Fire Protection District will give two smoke detectors to a home or business and install them. Call the Pagosa Fire District at 731-4191 to make this request. And they will do safety checks on request.
The duties of the Pagosa Fire District are as follows: Fire inspection of all commercial buildings; inspection of every fire hydrant during summer months; review of all plans for subdivisions and commercial buildings by chief Warran Grams; an ongoing training program for the 70 volunteer fire fighters the first Saturday of the month and on select evenings (in 1999, volunteers put in 5,000 hours of training); and maintenance of the district's 15 fire trucks and equipment.
In the meantime, district firefighters put out fires. As of Sept. 27, 270 calls had been made this year - an average of a call every 33 hours.
Recently the Pagosa Fire Protection District was reclassified by the Insurance Services Office, receiving a 5 rating for all areas, which will save this community a lot of money. For four years the PFPD worked hard toward this goal.
Continuing training and education are a big part of the district's activities.
Colorado Fire Fighters Academy, Colorado's unique firefighters organization, was organized in 1987. The Academy includes the counties of Archuleta, La Plata and Montezuma and is nationally recognized. Every October, during Fire Prevention Month, the San Juan Basin Technical School, the founder of CFFA, sponsors a conference at the Sheraton Tamarron Resort. The instructors are recognized leaders who offer current, top-level training. Programs range from rookie classes to classes for first-time fire fighters, to general firefighting classes, advanced firefighting classes, and officer's classes. The dates for the 14th annual CFFA Academy are Oct. 17-22. Bill Bright, Executive Director of Upper San Juan Hospital District is one of this year's instructors.
The PFPD also sponsors a fire prevention program for the schools.
"Fire" gets a lot of attention in this area and we don't want to lose it, a good reason to vote no on Amendment 21 in the coming election. The Pagosa Fire Protection District is just one of the special services that would go down the drain if passed.
St. Patrick's Episcopal Church is sponsoring a fine art auction Oct. 14 at the Pagosa Lodge, in the Ponderosa Room. This event benefits St. Patrick's Building Fund. St. Patrick's will eventually build a new church on property on South Pagosa Boulevard next to the Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Clinic.
Much effort has been made to make this event an enjoyable evening.
A big feature is 17 original paintings owned by the former resident Dr. Alan Handy whose "Dr. Handy's Mountains" - his drawings of the San Juan Mountains - have been published by The SUN (and probably will be published again!)
Many items come from private collections: half of a traditional Navajo wedding dress, a Peruvian wall hanging, a New Zealand wool wall hanging, weavings from Chimayo, a Chinle Navajo Chief's blanket, a 15th Century illuminated manuscript page, a sweet grass basket from South Carolina's low country, and a beautifully framed bark paper work from the South Pacific in traditional tape cloth designs.
Among the donated pieces of antique Indian jewelry is a beautiful Hopi bracelet of unusually fine work, and a Kent Gordon bronze sculpture, "Christ Crucified." Gordon is a local artist.
Other items from local artists include prints by Claire Goldrick and Denny Rose and a print from the Fred Harman museum.
There is a fine watercolor by Gerald Nailor, a former governor of Pecaris Pueblo and a handsome solid oak church pew.
The viewing for the fine art auction starts at 4:30 p.m. A donation of $10 is requested. Complimentary wine and cheese is from 5:30 to 6:30. The auction starts at 6:30.
Fun on the run
Barry who is noted for his tact was awakened one morning at four o'clock by his ringing telephone."
'Your dog's barking, and it's keeping me awake," said an irate voice.
The man thanked the caller and politely asked his name before hanging up.
The next morning at four o'clock, Barry called back his neighbor.
"Sir," he said. "I don't have a dog."
Center's new wing doubles space
Last Wednesday, the Education Center held a grand opening and open house at our new building addition.
We have just completed a 2,000 square-foot, $231,000 building expansion project that more than doubles our existing floor space and greatly increases our future training capacity. Thanks to tremendous local support and funding support from several foundations, we were able to complete this project debt free. We would like to thank all who dropped in to share with us our excitement as we begin another great year of alternative and community education. Thanks to everyone in the business community for their donations toward the evening's food and drinks.
Last year was another very successful one for the Education Center. Our educational programs have been steadily expanding for several years and we had greatly outgrown our existing facility. I would like to share with you the following as a brief overview of our program successes and contribution to the community during the past year,
We reported payroll taxes for 127 Education Center employees last year. Eighty-six (86 percent) of our employees were teens participating in various juvenile crime prevention apprenticeship training programs.
During just one semester of the last school year, 18 teens put in 1,398 hours tutoring 59 different elementary and intermediate school students in our after-school program. These were students having difficulty keeping up with their schoolwork.
We tutored 90 out-of-school youth in literacy and basic academic skills related to increasing their employability skills or allowing them to pass the GED (high school equivalency) test. There were 1,323 tutoring hours involved in leading 20 of our students to successfully pass their GED.
Last year was the third year of our alternative high school diploma program - Archuleta County High School. Enrollment swelled to 51 students and we had 12 graduates. This number is up from 22 students in 1998 (six graduates) and 39 students in 1999 (eight graduates). Many of our alternative high school graduates are now successfully pursuing college degrees or are in the armed forces.
An additional 20 young people completed their high school diploma through distance learning or passed their GED through the Education Center. That's a total graduating class of 32 students who are ready to continue their education, enter the armed forces, or join the work force.
The number of migrant workers entering our local work force is expanding. The Education Center serves this group through language training. We provided nearly 700 hours of English as a Second Language (ESL) training for 27 adult workers. These students came from many different countries: Russia, Ukraine, Canada, Mexico, Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras, and Cuba.
Our "After-Hours" community education programs continue to grow. We offered a total of 106 classes providing training to 476 students. Fifteen classes were computer-based programs; 35 classes taught first aid or CPR training; 35 classes were for personal enrichment, with the balance of classes providing tutoring or homework help.
The community-wide educational focus of our programs is clearly demonstrated by the range of students attending training. Of the total number of students enrolled in these classes, 244 were adults, 32 were in junior high or high school, 186 were first through sixth graders, and we served 14 preschoolers. As indicated above, after-school childcare, tutoring and enrichment activities for elementary and intermediate school students continues to be an important component of our community education outreach.
We continue to provide administrative support and office space to support Pueblo Community College courses offered in Archuleta County.
Dissimilar art forms mesh perfectly
The current exhibit at the Pagosa Springs Arts Council Gallery at Town Park, featuring the combined works of husband and wife Carolyn "D.B." Stone and Peter Eberhard Reuthlinger, is simply stunning.
The two artists' works are quite dissimilar, yet they mesh perfectly. Carolyn's unusual use of color contributes to the vibrant energy that flows through her works. She often paints from dreams and always uses her own personal perception of the natural world. Her work represents a wide range of subject matter, styles and mediums and she often uses earth and other natural materials for texturing and layering.
Stone, a graduate of the Institute Of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, doesn't limit her work to a particular style and says she relates to Picasso's statement that he could paint like Rembrandt at an early age but that it took him a lifetime to learn to paint like a child. Interspersed with her mystical paintings are one-of-a-kind works in leather created by talented leather artist, Peter Reuthlinger.
Peter uses many sources for his materials, reclaiming leather found in various places such as attics, yard sales and second hand stores - along with new hides. He works totally from his own concepts and is proud of being self-taught. Reuthlinger's pieces are all hand-stitched and many are embellished with beadwork and other decorative additions. Each of his masterpieces is a one-of-a-kind original and all are created to honor and respect the animal. He says he revives his "found" leathers to immortalize life and to create pieces for others to enjoy and treasure.
This exhibit will be on display through Oct. 18. In addition, both artists will be present at the gallery at Town Park Oct. 14, from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Come meet this creative pair and enjoy their unique art.
Whistle Pig Folk Nights sponsored by PSAC and now in it's third season, is pleased to present two events in October. The first will be a house concert - a format popular along the East Coast and in Canada. House concerts are, as the term suggests, concerts performed in someone's living room.
Featured artist Buddy Tabor is back for his third appearance in Pagosa Springs. Buddy has toured the U.S. and Canada for many years, sharing his selection of original songs inspired by his travels, his life in Alaska and his experiences on the Navajo Indian Reservation where his wife, Jeanette, was born and raised. The Whistle Pig's house concert will include dessert and coffee and takes place Oct. 14 in the Hudson home at 446 Loma Street, downtown, starting at 7 p.m. Due to the limited seating, advance purchase of tickets is encouraged. Advance tickets can be purchased for $7 at Moonlight Books or by calling the Hudsons at 264-2491. Tickets at the door, depending on availability, are $8.
The second special Whistle Pig event in October is a Halloween dance and party, Oct. 27 at the Vista Community Center. This event begins at 7 p.m. with Open Mic performances, followed by the dance featuring the sound of Pagosa's own Rio Jazz with Bob Hemminger on sax, Lee Bartley and John Graves on keyboards and D.C. Duncan on drums. Volunteers are needed to help with this special event. If you can help, call Bill Hudson at 264-2491.
The Pagosa Springs Arts Council is proud to present a concert by the Colorado Children's Chorale Oct. 16, 7 p.m. at the Pagosa Springs High School auditorium. The Chorale consists of 37 children, grades 6 through 8, and has performed around the world for various charities, public audiences and dignitaries. The youngsters have sung with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, Opera Colorado, and at the Aspen Music Festival as well as with world-renowned artists such as Placido Domingo and James Levine. The Colorado Children's Chorale annually trains 400 members between the ages of 7 and 14.
Under the direction of Artistic Director Deborah DeSantis, the Chorale will perform for grades 4, 5 and 6 and the junior high chorus in the morning and will offer a workshop for the junior high group in the afternoon after which the local chorus will join the Chorale for the public performance.
The concert gives our Pagosa students a rare opportunity to perform with a professional group and it promises to be a memorable evening. A donation of $3 by adults and $1 by students will be taken at the door. All donations from this concert will go toward the purchase of stoles to be worn with the junior high chorus choir robes.
The Arts Council would like to thank Cindy Wrinkle of the Colorado Children's Chorale, Susan Garman and Sue Anderson, the school district and all the host families whose time and effort make this experience possible.
Volunteers are needed at the door the night of the concert. If you can help, please call Joanne at the Gallery, 264-5020.
Mark your calendars
Pagosa Players and the King's Men's next production, "Good Help Is So Hard To Murder," is scheduled at the Pagosa Lodge, Oct. 20, 21, 27 and 28. Dinner will be served and the curtain goes up at 8 p.m. Tickets are on sale now at Plaid Pony, WolfTracks Bookstore and the Chamber of Commerce. The price for dinner and the show is $24.50 and seating is limited.
Tickets are now on sale for the Oct. 21 Pagosa Springs Arts Council's Artists Studio Tour. Tickets can be purchased at Moonlight Books, the Chamber of Commerce, Pagosa Springs Arts Council Gallery and Wolftracks Coffee Company. Our thanks to the following artists who have agreed to open their studios for our enjoyment: Wayne Justus, Ross Barrable, Candace Rusnick, Betty Slade, Joe Leal, Kent Gordon, Bill and Clarissa Hudson, Soleda Estrada-Leo, Lori Salisbury, Linda Sapp, Virginia Bartlett and Robert and Ana Garcia. Tickets are $10 (PSAC members may purchase tickets for $8 at the Gallery). For more information contact PSAC at 264-5020 or Jeff Laydon at 731-3686.
Jeff Laydon, a photographer and president of PSAC, will present an exhibit of his work Oct. 19 through Nov. 1 at the gallery at Town Park. Don't miss this one. It's a great way to wind up the 2000 exhibit season.
Jennifer Galesic will take a break from her duties as an Arts Line columnist for a few months. Thank you, Jennifer, for a year of creative writing. We look forward to your return next year. A big thank you to Stephanie Jones who has generously offered to fill in for Jennifer during her break.
A very special thanks to all the volunteers, especially Jennifer Harnick, for making the Creede Repertory Theatre visit to Pagosa so successful.
Thanks, too, to Jerry Bolos for getting the gallery heat back on.
The San Juan Festival Ballet (a division of PSAC) is looking for volunteers to help with their December production of "The Nutcracker." Please call Stephanie Jones at 264-5068 if you can help.
Artists and crafters interested in having their art in the PSAC's annual "An Olde Tyme Christmas Shoppe" at the Town Park gallery please call Joanne at 264-5020.
New fall/winter hours at the gallery are in effect until May 25, 2001. The hours are 11 a.m. until 3:30 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. The gallery will be closed or rented Nov. 2 through Nov. 29. Anyone interested in renting gallery space during this time should call 264-5020.
Last but not least, if you can volunteer some time to help with PSAC functions, please call Joanne at 264-5020.
Some timely lessons
Thanks to the actions of Principal Larry Lister, members of the school board and town law enforcement officials,
Pagosa Springs Junior High School students were confronted with some important lessons during the past couple of weeks. The unanimous decision the school board reached Tuesday night, and is reported in today's SUN, also helps answer the "have you heard about" questions that started circulating around Pagosa late last month.
Readers who follow the accounts given brief mention in the SUN's "25 years ago" column know that youngsters being busted for alleged involvement with marijuana is nothing new in Pagosa Springs.
Those who read the latest account that is reported on today's page 1 will learn that the administration does not ignore the problems in the schools nor do local law enforcement look the other way on such matters. The latest occurrence demonstrates that the schools' administration and the police can effectively work together when both parties follow the proper procedures and maintain timely, open lines of communication.
The students and their parents have had an opportunity to learn that local authorities are concerned about protecting the welfare of local youngsters and about enforcing the laws.
The five youngsters suspected of being directly involved in the alleged incident will learn more than they had ever wanted to know about the municipal or district court proceedings in regards to juvenile drug offenses. They should consider themselves fortunate that their learning experience started with a "less than one ounce" lesson on the fact that choices produce consequences. It is a painful lesson all of us have had to learn at one time or another. David C. Mitchell
Experiencing social insecurity
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.
Pagosa tied to outer space trip
Taken from SUN files
of Oct. 16, 1975
Rumored arrivals of a religious cult in this area failed to materialize last week. Sources from other parts of the country had reported that a group of people whose beliefs were connected with outer space, would be in this vicinity to prepare for a takeoff to outer space. This cult, supposed to be from 18 to 200 people, reportedly believed the members would find a place near Pagosa Springs to prepare for the arrival of a ship from outer space.
A plane and its passengers missing since last Oct. 28, was found this week in the Fish Creek area of the Blanco Basin. The plane disappeared Oct. 28 of last year while en route from Gallup, N.M., to Sturgis, N.D. It carried a crew of two and was transporting three bodies to Sturgis for burial.
Snow fell in this area Sunday night when about four inches blanketed Wolf Creek Pass. The nights have been downright chilly since then but the days have been bright and sunny.
South 8th Street is now paved from U.S. 160 to the town limits. Curbs and gutters have been installed for a good portion of that distance. The completed project is a fine improvement for the southwest area of Pagosa Springs.
Who's who of Pagosa Springs history
I was reading through some of Bonnie Kern Stafford's memories of early Pagosa when I ran across mention of the Strawn family that I wrote about last week in this column. Her information about the family adds to what was presented last week.
Mrs. Stafford remembered, "They came to Pagosa for their youngest child's health. Enos had inflammatory rheumatism and the baths helped him. They had a hotel and Strawn took up ranch land on Turkey Creek, he had been working previously for a railroad in Monte Vista. Enos got better and they moved back to railroading at Monte Vista for years and when the railroad tried to have a broad gauge from Durango South they were active about it."
She went on to say that the family lived in the "Strawn House. It was a log cabin and they kept boarders there in the early days." The Strawns had four children - Lee, Hattie, Pearl and Enos.
Bonnie Kern Stafford's memories of early Pagosa Springs, written in the late 1960s, read like a who's who of Pagosa Springs history. She knew many of the earliest pioneers of the area.
And who was Bonnie Kern Stafford? Bonnie Kern was born in Pagosa Springs Jan. 5, 1880. She was reportedly the first white female born in the new settlement. A boy, Asa Pangborn, was born one month prior.
Miss Kern grew up and attended school in Pagosa Springs. Her family was among the earliest settlers of the county. "My grandfather and his cousin, Elliott Halstead, started from Sandban, Indiana, with covered wagon and mule team on their way to California in 1879 when they reached Pagosa Hot Springs. Grandfather liked it there and decided to stay: sent for the family, Grandma and three daughters, Elizabeth Cade Kern, Catherine, Katy, and Maude. My father, W.H. Kern did not come out until about 1882."
She went on to say that her grandfather, Issac Cade, built a log cabin at Summitville. She lived in this cabin with her parents, Billy and Elizabeth Kern, and her dog Shep. Billy Kern worked in a mine there. The high altitude of Summitville was hard on her mother so the family moved back to Pagosa Springs. They tried to make the trip early in the fall before the snow, but got caught in a snowstorm. "One of the Young brothers put me in a gunny sack over his shoulder and carried me out on his snowshoes as far as the old Laughlin place."
Billy Kern had the contract to take the mail between Pagosa Springs and Summitville. Mrs. Kern remembered that her father would make the trip about three times a week. She remembered one time when he was caught on horseback in a bad snowstorm. "He stopped at the Laughlin place, Mrs. Laughlin had him get warm at the fire, but the fingers he held the bridle reins with his right hand were frozen and had to be amputated near the second joint, but he seemed to get along very well without them."
Bonnie Kern Stafford passed away in 1973.
Child Abuse is everyone's problem
A child crying in the night awakens its parents.
They don't know why the baby is crying, but one or the other gathers the infant into arms of love, consoling and tender, sometimes cooing sounds which have no meaning save their calm assurance.
A parent is the focus of the child's existence.
How it exults when the parent lifts it up for all the world to see! How it wonders when a mushy kiss is placed on its brow! How it thrills when a parental smile brightens a moment made dark for some unknown reason!
And transversely, how it fears when snatched from the crib because of its crying and subjected to shaking and violent language!
Child abuse, we'd all like to think, is somewhere else, not a Pagosa Country problem.
But it does exist here, often not reported but nonetheless disturbing.
An article in last week's SUN noted, while announcing that October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, that the Archuleta County Victim Assistance Program has seen a sharp increase in incidents in the first nine months of this year.
During that time, services were given to 139 victims of domestic violence and their children, children who were in some cases the initial violence victims. Spousal abuse followed when one parent attempted to intervene on behalf of the child.
How often have you read of the shaken baby syndrome, of children being punished because they wouldn't stop crying when, in fact, they were unable to stop because they were in pain?
How often does a school nurse find telltale bruises which can't be explained away by the typical "I slipped and fell" answer from a child, one obviously in fear of further punishment and pain if he or she tells the truth.
I've seen the effects on a child after he was thrown against a wall by a drunken father who couldn't give up his beer and card game long enough to find out why the child was crying.
I've seen the aftermath of a mother tying her child to a bed frame every day so she could go out to party with the girls without "worrying about the baby getting injured while alone."
Why would one leave a child alone for any reason, especially one not old enough to care for itself by any stretch of imagination?
What real parent would subject a child to virtual incarceration by binding it to an immovable object?
Why would such a person allow themselves to become a parent at all? Sometimes, it has been said, victims of parental abuse are often worse abusers themselves.
Why would a victim not want to be a better parent, one who would understand a child's fear, pain and suffering and seek to alleviate it?
Spousal abuse is more common than child abuse. And sometimes, researchers say, the abused spouse takes their own pain out on an unsuspecting offspring - as if passing along the abuse will lessen its effects on the initial victim.
Sometimes the abuse isn't physical.
Often, there's mental harassment of the child, the accusation that because he or she can't learn a specific task, "You're just dumb." How many times does a child have to hear this before it becomes ingrained belief. This, too, is a form of child abuse.
One of the toughest interviews I've had in 50 years was a pregnant 12-year-old, a child whose father had been sexually abusing her since she was 9. That is another form of child abuse.
Fear becomes the abused child's most frequent companion.
Why does an adult react so strongly to a child's cry? Why not try to find out why he or she is crying.
A parent or guardian is both the protector and the towering nemesis of the child not yet able to express hurts or needs in any way except tears and their accompanying sound.
Sometimes the cry is simply a means of letting others know the child needs attention. It may not be a sign of pain, simply an attempt to be recognized, acknowledged as a living, breathing human, just much smaller than others.
The adult can offer a tender, caring response to the crying child; or the response can be violence. The youngster's lone defense is to cry again - until he or she is no longer able to do so.
The adult has size and force as allies. The child is no match.
Shake the kid and he'll stop. Why doesn't he stop? Squeeze a little more. Why doesn't he stop? Shake him. Make him quit. Why doesn't he stop?
There's a snap, then silence. At last the child has stopped crying.
The snap? Was it the spine, or perhaps ribs breaking? Maybe the skull being fractured? Whatever the source, the aggrieved adult got his silence.
If you know of or suspect abuse of a child you should notify authorities. A concerned citizenry can influence actions. Maybe it can prevent another child from being maimed or slain.
Maybe we can make the child's tears those of joy, not pain.
Bears common in Pagosa history
Bears have always attracted attention in Pagosa Country. Until the 1950s, there had been black bears and grizzly bears. During the 1950s, grizzlies were reportedly killed near Rincon de Oso in the upper Pine River drainage and along the Piedra River near its confluence with Sand Creek. Another grizzly was killed just across the divide from the upper Navajo River during the 1970s. Colorado Division of Wildlife says there are no grizzlies in Colorado, but if you see one, it's illegal to kill it. We have heard of at least one mauling of a man by a grizzly in Pagosa Country.
In any case, we still have black bears, maybe more than ever before. It was not uncommon in the west a few years ago to run across chained or penned bears at various road side facilities. The practice is frowned on today.
Carson Zesch Laverty
Steve and Kimberly Laverty are pleased to announce the birth of their son, Carson Zesch Laverty. Carson was born on August 23, 2000, weighing 8 pounds 2 1/2 ounces, and was 20 1/4 inches long. He was welcomed home by his brothers, Travis, Wesley, Will and Keaton and his sister Katie.
Carson's paternal grandparents are Bill and Peggy Laverty of Pagosa Springs. His maternal grandparents are Gaylon and Betty Hicks of Azle, Texas. His maternal great-grandparents are Travis and Reba Beall of Boyd, Texas, and Willie Hicks of Abilene, Texas.
Pagosa Power Sports
Jeto and Frank Walsh are the new owners of Pagosa Power Sports, bringing 30 years experience to the business.
Pagosa Power Sports specializes in new and used Yamaha and Polaris ATVs, snowmobiles and watercraft, as well as Yamaha motorcycles. Repair service is available as are parts and accessories.
Stop in Saturday mornings for coffee and donuts at 310 North Pagosa Boulevard. Business hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday.