Community Plan ready for Planning Commission vote
By David C. Mitchell
Adoption of the proposed Archuleta County Community Plan is expected to be acted upon Wednesday night during the Upper San Juan Regional Planning Commission's regular monthly meeting.
Prior to its regular 7 p.m. meeting, the planning commission will meet with the county commissioners at 6 p.m. in a work session so that the two groups can review the proposed plan. (Copies of the draft Community Plan are available for public review in the planning department and at the front desk of the Ruby M. Sisson Library.)
Both meetings are open to the public, and will be held in the commissioners meeting room in the county courthouse. Due to time constraints on the 6 p.m. meeting, public comments will be encouraged at the 7 p.m. meeting. (The agenda for the Oct. 25 meeting appears elsewhere in this edition.)
Mike Mollica director of county development, said the Community Plan is designed to guide the future development or redevelopment of the various communities in Archuleta County in an effort to create and maintain a desirable environment and to promote the public health, safety, and welfare of the overall county. As an official public document, the plan is intended for use by public officials, citizens, and developers in making decisions about future development of Archuleta County.
Mollica said he plans to ask the commissioners to pass a resolution showing their support of the document. Likewise, Mollica said he is optimistic the planning commission, following the work session with the commissioners and the public input during the planners' regular meeting, will adopt the plan.
The 45-page, 10-chapter Community Plan starts with addressing the county's need for a plan and concludes with a recommended implementation of the plan.
The plan advises that, "Immediately after the adoption of the plan, a steering committee should be appointed to assist in the preparation of the rules by which the county and town will guide (future) development. The committee should work with county and town staff to help create the basic framework of the rules and establish priorities as to which policies should be implemented first. . . ."
The Community Plan itself represents the efforts of an 11-member Vision Committee that included representation from the seven different geographical areas of the county, Pagosa District Ranger Jo Bridges, Town Administrator Jay Harrington and Mollica. Planning consultants Tom Maynard and Lynn Vandegrift of Four Corners Planning and Design Group, a Durango firm, likewise played an active role in the development of the Community Plan.
In its current draft form, the plan addresses the interrelationships between the physical layout of a community, public facilities, the provision of government services, and preservation of a community's character. The plan therefore aims at establishing a framework for managing future growth within Archuleta County in a manner that could preserve the county's quality of life while sustaining its healthy economy.
The process that went into developing the draft Community Plan included 22 public workshops held throughout the county; five meetings by the steering committee; development of a vision statement and desired future conditions for each planning element; development of alternative growth management scenarios and the selection of a preferred growth scenario.
Mollica said the draft Community Plan is based on input obtained during the initial series of public workshops in February, in which approximately 9 percent of the county's entire population participated, and on the resulting vision statement and the statements of desired future conditions for each planning element. While acknowledging that the plan's "vision statement is broad and general," Mollica said the statements related to the county's desired future conditions reflect "more specific values, issues and concerns."
The document's proposed vision statement contends, "Archuleta County should retain its outstanding scenic and natural qualities while providing quality employment, housing, education, and recreation to its residents. Tourism, recreation, and agriculture will remain major segments of the economy, but attempts will be made to diversify and encourage other types of economic development. The majority of youth should be able to have a career and eventually raise a family without being forced to leave. A healthy and vibrant community will continue to evolve and the rural character and small town atmosphere will be preserved."
As for the desired goals of the county's "future conditions," Mollica said these could be considered as being desirable "long-term ideals or end products." He said the statements regarding the county's future conditions resulted from public comments regarding "special values, issues, concerns, and needs stated or implied at the public workshops."
For more information about the draft Community Plan, contact Mollica at 264-5851, ext. 1152.
State statute violation cited in road fight
By Richard Walter
A director of the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association believes Archuleta County is in violation of state statutes with reference to designation of both primary and secondary roadways.
Fred Ebeling told fellow PLPOA board members Thursday that former county Commissioner Chris Chavez provided data at a recent PLPOA forum which led him to examine state codes.
As a result, Ebeling said, he discovered a statute which requires the county to formally select, from all roadways within its borders, those which will be designated primary roads, requires it to map this road system, and to hold a countywide public hearing on the status of all roadways.
Specifically, Ebeling was quoting from Colorado Revised Statues 43-2-109 and 110, found on page 1428.
The first section, labeled County Primary Systems, specifies: "The board of county commissioners of each county shall select the county primary system of roads on the basis of greatest general importance, and the system selected shall constitute an integrated system within itself or with the state highway system as defined . . ."
The second section, labeled Selection by County - notice - secondary system, specifies:
(1) The initial selection of the county road system shall be done in the following manner:
(a) The board of county commissioners of each county shall cause a map to be prepared showing each road in the county primary and secondary system and designating each primary road by appropriate number, and said board shall cause notice of intention to adopt said map as the official map of such system to be given, which notices shall specify the time and place at which all interested persons will be heard. Such notice of intention shall be published once a week for at least two successive weeks preceding the date of such hearing in a newspaper of general circulation in the county.
(b) After such hearing, the board of county commissioners shall adopt such map, with any changes or revisions deemed by it to be advisable, as the official map of the road system of the county.
(2) All roads not on the county primary system and for which boards of county commissioners assume responsibility shall be the county secondary system.
(3) Nothing in this section shall limit the power of any board of commissioners to subsequently include or exclude any road from the county primary system in the same manner provided for the selection of the initial road system as provided in this section. . ."
Ebeling, who has been fighting for the county to tell PLPOA specifically which roads it will maintain and which ones it will not, asked the board to determine, "Do we want to push the county on this right now, force them to meet statutory policy?"
Ebeling was reporting for Road Committee Chairman Bill Ralston who had undergone surgery the previous day.
When Director Richard Manley, board president, asked if the road committee had asked the county to comply with the code, Ebeling said it had not.
Director Dave Bohl said he'd prefer the board wait to take action until the new county board is seated after the November election. Director Gerald Smith said it was his impression that "the people want our board to actively pursue the issue. But I'm willing to wait until election results are finalized."
Ebeling said he had just finished an analysis of a preliminary county list of roads and that there are 165 roads in Pagosa Lakes. "That's 48 miles of roadway" that are not maintained, Ebeling said, adding, "the county does maintain about 78 miles in PLPOA territory.
"We're trying to get the county to decide what roads are theirs so that we, as taxpayers, can decide what to do about the rest of them," Ebeling said. "The editor of the SUN wants the county to stop maintaining all Pagosa Lakes roads. We want the county to take a position so we'll know what to do."
From Mojie Adler, a former PLPOA director, in the audience came the call: "Mythical Mitchell (SUN editor David Mitchell) should learn that Pagosa Lakes exists . . . he knows it."
Ebeling, pressing for an answer on his question of forcing county compliance, said he believed his figures on mileage to be reasonably accurate.
From the audience, Alden Ecker, the Republican candidate for the District 2 county commissioner's seat on the Nov. 7 ballot, said his figures "indicate there are 540 miles of county maintained roadways in total.
"I'd ask your patience," he said. "We'll take care of you (an apparent allusion to his assumed victory over J.B. Smith, his Democrat opponent at the polls)."
Ebeling said his research indicates there are 10 to 12 roadways in Pagosa Lakes that are not on the county's list at all and 12 to 15 others in other parts of the county which do not appear on any lists.
"We want to know if you want the road committee to push this now, or wait until the new commissioner is seated," he said.
Manley said he'd prefer not to hear the words "push or force" but would accept "request."
Without taking a formal vote, the board seemed content to await the seating of a new commissioner before making that "request."
First hunt over, some violations
By Karl Isberg
The first big game rifle hunting season of the year is complete, and combined deer and elk seasons are about to begin.
According to Mike Reid of the Colorado Division of Wildlife, many participants in the local Oct. 14 to Oct. 18 elk-only hunt, had a successful experience.
Reid said part of the reason for the successful five-day hunt is a lessening of hunter pressure on the local elk population.
"People have noticed the pressure is down," said Reid. "License numbers this year were set at approximately 50 percent of the average of the last three years to create a better season. Most all of the camps I visited had animals or had opportunities to take animals. The hunters seemed real pleased."
Local residents should notice a significant increase in the number of hunters in Pagosa Country beginning Saturday when the first of three combined deer-elk rifle seasons begin.
Hunters purchasing elk licenses over-the-counter get a chance at the big game animals Oct. 21 to Oct. 27, with other hunts planned for Nov. 4-10 and Nov. 11-15. Reid said there are a limited number of cow elk licenses available and said bull licenses are readily available at local outlets. Bull elk taken this season must have four antler points on one antler, or a brow tine at least five-inches long.
All deer hunting this season is by drawing only, with antler-point restrictions lifted for deer. The deer seasons are Oct. 21-27, Nov. 4-10 and Nov. 11-15.
Private land doe and cow elk hunts follow in December.
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.
With the hunt fully underway, Reid said DOW personnel have already dealt with numerous violations.
"Some of the violations we've seen," he said, "are the same ones we see every year. These can be avoided if hunters pick up a (Division of Wildlife) proclamation at a local outlet and read it carefully. For example, proper blaze orange is required, including blaze orange on a hat. And firearms must be unloaded when they are carried in a vehicle."
Reid said a new law requires that "firearms (excluding pistols) carried on 'Off Highway Vehicles' must be unloaded and completely enclosed in a soft or hard case."
Colorado State Parks officials are also focusing their attention on OHV-related activities.
According to Steven Hall of the Denver office of Colorado State Parks, the use of OHVs during hunting season is increasingly popular and state park officials urge OHV users to minimize the impact their vehicles make on all public lands.
Hall reminds hunters that travel management plans on public lands in Colorado prohibit OHV use altogether in some areas and require that OHV users remain on established trails and roads in other areas. He urges hunters to consult local public land travel management plans before using OHVs.
The state parks bulletin concerning OHV use asks drivers to be mindful that tracks created off existing trails often cause resource damage, establishing seed beds for noxious weeds and leaving less forage for wildlife. The trails and roads created by OHVs are often avoided by wildlife.
The bulletin reminds hunters that DOW statistics show a hunter is five times more likely to kill an elk when hunting on foot and leaving the OHV behind until they need to retrieve game.
It is illegal to hunt, chase, pursue, harass of shoot at wildlife from an OHV. It is illegal to shoot across or within 50 feet of the centerline of any county, state or federal road. Handicapped hunters can get a permit to hunt from a stationary OHV by contacting the DOW.
All OHVs must be registered through the Colorado State Parks OHV program each year, for a fee of $15.25. Out-of-state registry is accepted but must be displayed at all times.
Piedra Road subdivision sketch plan rejected
Support data insufficient
By John M. Motter
Developers of a proposed 258.46-acre subdivision planned on Piedra Road were sent back to the drawing board after submitting a sketch plan application to the Upper San Juan Regional Planning Commission Oct. 11.
Submitted by Land Properties Inc., the proposed development called The Reserve At Pagosa Peak is located on the east side of Piedra Road approximately across from Hatcher Lake and 6 miles north of U.S. 160.
The sketch plan describes breaking the acreage into 153 single-family, one-acre parcels plus 36 acres of open space/green belt areas including a 10- to 15-acre lake. The property currently contains a main house of approximately 9,000 square feet and a guest/caretaker house of approximately 1,500 square feet, plus several outbuildings. The main home will be included as a 10-acre parcel and the guest house as a five-acre parcel.
No vote by planning commission members is taken at the sketch plan stage, but individual board members make comments on the submitted plans.
Both county staff and planning commission board members expressed dissatisfaction because certain lots contained in the proposal are on land that contains 20-percent grades. Some of the roads have portions with grades exceeding 20 percent.
The Archuleta County Land Use Code says that areas of land with 20 percent or greater slopes shall not be platted for residential or other uses where the slopes could be hazardous to the health and safety of the public, unless the slopes are mitigated.
Concerning water supply, a letter from the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District says the property is within the district's boundaries for water and sanitation purposes. The developer is responsible for providing water and wastewater lines and infrastructure in accordance with PAWS rules. Engineering will be required to determine the impact of the proposed development on PAWS facilities.
The proposed reservoir is within the natural drainage supply for Hatcher Reservoir, one of PAWS' water-supply storage reservoirs. The applicant will be required to show ownership of water rights for the proposed reservoir.
The county planning staff expressed concern that proposed roads may intrude on wetland areas and consequently require proper mitigation.
The developer will be required to submit a study showing the development's anticipated impact on Piedra Road traffic and possible steps needed to offset costs generated by that impact. The same traffic could impact the Piedra Road-U.S. 160 junction.
A written planning staff comment said, "Staff is of the opinion that this subdivision design appears to have been hastily submitted to the planning department in an effort to beat the deadline for Amendment 24. As such, the design and supporting materials are insufficient for a proper review of the sketch plan. It appears this subdivision will require an extensive redesign to meet even the basic requirements of the Archuleta County Land Use Regulations for sketch plans. For example, the 20 percent or greater slopes map provided by the applicant is inaccurate, there are many lots plotted in areas of 20 percent or greater slopes and the roads that cross the interior of the project from east to west would be platted on steep hillsides."
A redesigned sketch pan will allow the applicant to meet Amendment 24 deadline requirements, according to the county planning staff.
No vote was required or taken, but the planning commission seemed to agree with the planning staff. Commission member Julia Ann Donoho excused herself from the discussions because she helped design the subdivision plat.
Approximately eight people in the audience opposed the proposal for a variety of reasons agreeing with planning staff concerns.
A request by the developer to move to the preliminary plan stage on next submission was denied.
Weeds, speed irk Butte Drive homeowner
By Richard Walter
It wasn't exactly surf and turf fare brought to the attention of Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association Oct. 12 by Brock Taras.
It might be more a case of weed and speed.
Taras, who lives at 104 Butte Drive, told the board first that he had been working with Larry Lynch, the PLPOA manager of lakes and recreation, and that he is highly concerned about the growing weed problem in all the PLPOA's lakes, particularly Pagosa and Hatcher.
"We need a permanent weed control fix, one that will stop the onslaught of these weeds before they destroy the habitat completely," he told the board. "Larry sprayed heavily last year and there was some direct effect, but the problem seems to be leaching down from Stevens Lake and we want to make sure there is sufficient coverage when the new budget is developed, to continue the attack on these weeds."
Walt Lukasik, general manager, told Taras that Lynch is now changing the type of weed killer applied, from the granule form used last year to a new liquid which disperses and dilutes more completely and attacks the entire weed rather than the surface action achieved by the granule form.
"The liquid is expensive," he said, "marketing at $1,000 a gallon by its British producer. But, it is guaranteed to continue working for two to three years with one application."
Taras said, "I also have a personal problem of a different nature. Butte Drive has become the area speedway and I can't seem to get the sheriff to take any action to stop it."
Taras said he called Sheriff Tom Richards about the problem and was told, "I don't have the equipment or time to look at this."
He said he then called each of the sitting county commissioners to complain about the situation and only one, Gene Crabtree, had the courtesy to return his call, "and I wasn't home when he called back," Taras said.
Taras said the sheriff was cordial and said he'd try find some way to to work in some patrol of the area, "but his deputies are obviously not listening to him. We haven't seen anyone there."
The speed limit is 30 miles per hour, Taras said, "but speeds of 40, 50 and more are commonplace. I'm afraid someone is going to get killed. This (Butte Drive) is not the kind of thoroughfare designed for speed. It probably shouldn't have anything in excess of 25 miles per hour.
"Why these racers are using Butte I have no idea. But possibly it's because they know there is no patrol, ever. You can't get caught if there's no one to catch you. I wonder," Taras said, "if we made a big mistake when we got rid of our security patrols."
Director Fred Ebeling said the problem came up at a recent community forum and that one suggested course of action was use of cameras which can record photos of violators. It was suggested, he said, that "we could turn them in to the law officials who could then trace license plates and charge the offenders."
Ebeling also suggested the possibility of installing speed bumps, citing their effective use on residential streets in the city of Espanola, N.M., which he visited recently. "They really slow traffic," he said, adding, "they're not so high as to damage your vehicle."
Later in the discussion, Alden Ecker, county commissioner candidate, told the board the speed bump idea was broached in Alpha Subdivision, but it was found they are illegal in Colorado.
Ebeling said the commissioners have repeatedly rebuffed the sheriff's bids for additional personnel. "We need to tell them, if he needs more deputies, give him the money to hire them."
Taras said he had talked to almost everyone involved in county law enforcement and had learned the sheriff's office has only one or two radar units "and one officer told me they have none allotted for use in our area. Our own security patrol was first class and this would not have happened had it still been in operation. People observed the law then, because they knew they were being watched."
Director David Bohl suggested strategically placed stop signs could help alleviate the problem.
Taras said he had taken up that idea with County Manager Dennis Hunt. He said Hunt told him 30 mph speed limit signs would be posted - and they were. He also ordered a stop sign installed at Butte and Aspenglow, Taras said.
"But it didn't work. They just blow right through it," Taras said. "If they're not going to obey the speed limit, they sure are not going to obey a stop sign when there is no threat of being caught."
Ebeling said that state law proscribes speed limits of 30 miles per hour in residential areas, a dictate that can be changed only on the local authority's specific survey and evaluation of traffic conditions indicating a lesser limit is necessary for public safety.
"Then," urged Taras, "let's petition for such a survey. Let's ask for 25 miles per hour. And let's ask for enforcement."
Director Gerald Smith, the newly appointed member of the PLPOA board, suggested "it is hard to deal with the speed problem because you have to be there when it happens.
"Maybe," Smith said, "we could hire some deputies in off-duty hours to hit the problem on a random basis. I think we should ask our residents to attend the next community forum (planned for mid-January) with some hard-and-fast ideas, some constructive how-tos to deal with the problem."
Advised Friday morning of the discussion, Sheriff Tom Richards said he had, in fact, directed patrol of the area on a time-available basis and added, "We'll make every effort to curb the speeders, but we can't be everywhere at once."
Woman's car hits deputy; fugitive warrant issued
By Karl Isberg
A warrant was issued seeking the arrest of a Pagosa woman following an Oct. 13 incident in which she allegedly attempted to run down an Archuleta County sheriff's deputy with her vehicle.
A domestic violence call in the 100 block of Flicker Lane in the Aspen Springs subdivision on the night of Oct. 13 was answered by deputy Karn Macht.
On his arrival at the Flicker Lane address, Macht contacted a Jeep Cherokee leaving the driveway of the residence. According to his report, Macht recognized the driver of the vehicle as Clofes Gurule, 42, one of the residents at the address. Macht reported Gurule attempted to drive around his patrol vehicle and he blocked her path.
Macht said Gurule then put her vehicle in reverse, backed up and accelerated toward the patrol car. When Gurule attempted to drive past the deputy's vehicle, Macht said he got out of his car and stood in the path of Gurule's Jeep, waved his arms and commanded the woman to stop.
Macht said the passenger-side front fender of Gurule's Jeep struck him, and he jumped to the side to avoid being run over.
The deputy said he ran beside the car, grabbed and opened the passenger door and ordered Gurule to stop the vehicle. Macht's report states Gurule ignored his order and accelerated the vehicle. Unable to keep his feet as the auto gained speed, the deputy said he fell and rolled several times. Gurule reportedly fled the scene in a westerly direction.
As of Oct. 18, Gurule remained at large. The warrant for her arrest lists charges of first-degree assault, menacing and reckless driving in connection with the alleged assault on the deputy. She is also charged with third-degree assault and harassment in connection with the domestic violence incident at the Flicker Lane residence.
Macht suffered abrasions to both forearms and a minor shoulder injury. The deputy also suffered an injury to his right knee. He was wearing a brace Oct. 18 with an examination scheduled Saturday to determine whether surgery is necessary.
The deputy was scheduled to return to light duty at the sheriff's department today.
No fireworks over candidates, issues at forum
By John M. Motter
An audience of about 75 citizens listened to candidates and presentations on the pros and cons of ballot issues at a forum conducted Tuesday night by the League of Women Voters.
"You must remember, according to our rules this forum is conducted to provide information, not engage in debate," said Windsor Chacey, voter services chairman for the local organization.
Tuesday night's format divided the forum into two parts, one part presentations by candidates, and the other part pros and cons concerning amendments and other issues that will appear on the Nov. 7 ballot.
Present were William Downey, Alden Ecker, and J.B. Smith, candidates for Archuleta County commissioner; Sarah Law and Richard Jaye, candidates for district attorney in the 6th Judicial District; Suzanne Garcia, Rep. Mark Larson, and William Zimsky, candidates for District 59 representative in the Colorado House; and Victor Good, candidate for U.S. Representative from the 3rd Congressional District.
Incumbent Commissioner Downey is a Republican from District 1 and has no opponent on the Nov. 8 ballot. Ecker is Republican and Smith a Democrat, both trying for the commissioner seat for District 2.
Law is a Democrat, Jaye an Independent, Garcia a Democrat, Larson the Republican incumbent, Zimsky a Libertarian, and Good a member of the Reform Party. Curtis Imrie, a Democrat, and Drew Sakson, a Libertarian, had said they would come, but didn't attend the forum, according to Chacey. Imrie is said to have attended an alternate meeting in Denver. Sakson failed to reach Wolf Creek Pass before it closed for the night, but visited the SUN the following day.
The pros and cons of other ballot measures on the Nov. 7 ballot were presented. Those issues are Amendment 21, Douglas Bruce's latest tax proposal; Amendment 23 on school finance; and Amendment 24, the growth amendment.
On the county ballot are Ballot Issue 1A proposing a use tax, and Ballot Issue 1B eliminating term limits for elected county officials excepting the commissioners.
On the town ballot are Ballot Issues 2A, 2B, 2C, and 2D.
Since no local representative who favors Amendment 21, or who opposes Amendment 23 could be found, League of Women Voters member Ann Van Fossen represented those positions with readings.
Consequently, Van Fossen argued for and Dahrl Henry against Amendment 21; Phillip Virden for and Van Fossen against Amendment 23; Katherine Goldman for and Dusty Pierce against Amendment 24; Nate Shawcroft for and Allan Bunch against the county's Ballot Issue 1A; Keren Prior for Ballot Issue 1B; and Town Manager Jay Harrington for the town ballot items.
Downey began by thanking everyone for supporting him in the primary election and promising to serve to the best of his ability during his coming four-year term.
Ecker centered his three-minute talk around the theme "you are the boss." The county needs to get the 150 county employees working together, Ecker said, and needs to develop a positive dialogue in the community so that even the newspaper will become positive, not negative.
Smith said he often agrees with Ecker but would have opposed the batch plant, and opposes undue taxes against business. He then launched an attack against the state legislature concerning homosexual marriages, came out for more money for the local sheriff, opposed gun control, and said the state needs to give financial help to rural school districts.
Jaye cited his 30 years of experience as a prosecutor, defender and judge in criminal courts. He said crime is decreasing in the area, not increasing, but he can reduce the number of cases filed.
Law, the incumbent DA, recalled promises she made to Archuleta County voters four years ago to give more attention to Archuleta County. She pointed out that now there are four or five district attorneys from her office working in Archuleta County at a time. She promised to maintain her record and maintain her conviction rate.
Garcia said that her family, going back to Grant Shields, has lived in Archuleta County for five generations. "My heart is in Pagosa Springs," Garcia said.
Larson, the incumbent, cited his record during his first term including being named No. 1 freshman legislator by his colleagues in the House. "I do my homework, am accessible, and timely," Larson said.
Zimsky cited the Libertarian Party line espousing less government and charging that more government almost always means more expenses and confusion with contradictory services.
Good distanced himself from the Buchanan reform movement. He spoke against corruption, said the government should finance public education but needs less bureaucracy.
During the question-and-answer session which followed, Downey said he favors the 4 percent use tax (Ballot Issue 1A) because it is consistent with the user pay philosophy. "Either they pay or you do," Downey said of the proposed tax on building materials brought into the county.
When asked how to reduce the number of uninsured Colorado drivers, Garcia said lack of car insurance is the result of not being able to afford car insurance. Help with day care for working mothers will enable mothers to afford car insurance by enabling them to work, she said. Larson said the 25 percent number on uninsured drivers is no longer accurate. According to Larson, tiered insurance premiums make insurance available to everyone. According to Zimsky, free market conditions would enable everyone to earn enough to purchase car insurance.
In response to Smith's opening statement that this is a Christian county, Smith was asked if Christian beliefs should be made law. "I'm Jewish," Smith said. "I merely meant we have a strong moral fiber locally and I oppose same sex marriages."
When asked why drug convictions, sex molestations, and grand theft larceny cases are not included with her conviction-rate calculations, Law said she simply hasn't pulled those numbers together yet.
Jaye took issue with Law's statement that crime is down in Archuleta County. "Richards (Sheriff Tom) says it's up, all law enforcement says it's up," Jaye said.
When asked how the state can improve housing for middle- and low-income families and children, Zimsky replied by recommending that the government get out and leave the problem to free private enterprise. Larson said the state should help, but solutions such as Colorado housing projects are helping. Garcia said the help must be local not state, and that child care workers should be paid more in order to attract better people.
"I do not support traditional zoning, Downey said, "but I favor the conditional-use permit we are using now in the county."
Garcia opposed gun control, Larson said federal regulations should be enforced, and Zimsky said current gun laws are okay, they have no loopholes. "A gun in hand is better than a cop on the phone," Zimsky said.
Law explained her DUI and drunk policy as believing "early behavior can be changed." The first offense may not result in jail time, she said, but more than one offense merits a jail sentence and more than two offenses as much jail time as can be arrived at.
Jaye intimated that Law is easy on drunks and he will try "one week in jail for a first-time offender. If that doesn't work after a year's trial I'll do something else," Jaye said.
Concerning campaign reform, Zimsky advocates immediate disclosure, no government help, and unlimited individual donations. Larson advocates reform, favors contribution limits, refuses to accept PAC money, and favors limits on donations and expenditures. Garcia pointed out that it costs a lot of money to run, she advocates campaign finance reforms, and said she is publicizing her position by picking up trash wherever she can.
Concerning planned parenthood issues, Larson favors some sex education in public schools, but believes parents should be informed about the curriculum. Garcia said planned parenthood is linked with other health care provisions and is often the only help available for the needy. Zimsky proposed attacking the problem privately and not involving the government. Larson explained that in so far as the issue recently involved Gov. Owens, that the concern was to separate abortion funding from other issues. The government should support much of the program, but not fund abortions, Larson said.
While explaining how the LWV handles Amendment 21 during the forum, Chacey said the sponsor, Douglas Bruce, declined visiting Pagosa Springs saying it is "too far away and has too few votes." Amendment 21 is the so-called tax cut initiative.
Ann Van Fossen read Bruce's statements favoring Amendment 21. The pros are: Colorado citizens need a tax cut; a $25 cut is small compared to the growth of taxable values; the poor and senior citizens will benefit most; the across-the-board tax cut applies equally to rich and poor and is, therefore, fair; and the tax cut will allow people to spend more, thereby improving the economy.
In her opposing statement concerning Amendment 21, Dahrl Henry said: Bruce's proposal is deceptive. Special districts support a user-pay, local-control concept. They will be destroyed if Amendment 21 passes. Instead, Bruce expects the state to provide money. Does it make sense to substitute a state tax and state control for a local tax with local control? Besides, there is no guarantee the state will supply the needed money. The current TABOR law limits state general fund growth to $318 million. Replacing money eliminated by Amendment 21 will require $852 million. It won't work.
Amendment 23 is a school finance proposal requiring the statewide per pupil education funding base to keep up with the current inflation rate plus 1 percentage point for the next 10 years, and with the inflation rate after that.
Arguing for passage of Amendment 23 was Phillip Virden, president of the Colorado Association of School Boards, and a member of the Lake County School Board. According to Virden, the rate of funding for Colorado public schools has lagged behind the rate of inflation for several years. Approval of Amendment 23 will assure more money for schools and allow Colorado to attract better teachers by offering better salaries.
Van Fossen read the opposition's arguments saying: 1) Approval will increase our tax burden by the amount of the tax refund we do not receive as an offset. The measure could divert $4.58 billion from taxpayers to the state education fund during the first 10 years. This is a $3,000 tax increase per couple over the 10 years.; 2) Allocating money through the constitution reduces the legislature's flexibility in meeting budget demands; and 3) Government institutions should live within their means. Colorado already provides school districts with about $7,323 per student per year.
Katherine Goldman of Coloradans for Responsible Government spoke in favor of passing Amendment 24, the Citizen Management of Growth proposal. According to Goldman, the proposal does not limit growth, it merely limits sprawl, is adaptable to county size, and enhances local control. "This does not limit the numbers, it limits where growth can occur," according to Goldman, and "will lower housing prices."
Local contractor Dusty Pierce argued against Amendment 24, saying it will surrender local control to the "Front Range," that the measure takes a "one size fits all" approach not applicable to Archuleta County, and that sprawl and density are relative terms that require definition. "Humans now use less than 5 percent of the surface of the lower 48 states," Pierce said, suggesting there is a lot of room for growth before density and sprawl become problems.
Concerning the county's proposal to levy a 4 percent use tax on building supplies purchased outside the county on which the tax is not already levied, Nate Shawcroft argued for the proposal. Materials for large projects are purchased outside of the county where a sales tax is not levied, Shawcroft said, creating unfair competition for local building supply companies which pay the 4 percent county tax. In addition, the new buildings and people add a burden to county and town services creating additional public needs. It is only fair the buyers be taxed to help pay for the needs they are creating.
While arguing against the 4 percent use tax, Allan Bunch said county estimates of revenue are high. He said revenues generated by the tax may not cover the cost of implementing the proposal, a cost approximating $35,000 a year.
County Assessor Keren Prior spoke in favor of Ballot Issue 1B which would eliminate term limits for all elected officials except county commissioners. According to Prior, the positions in question are highly technical and require much education and training. "It doesn't make sense to train someone, then turn them out of office and start over," Prior said. "Sometime it could mean removing the county treasurer, assessor, sheriff, clerk, coroner, and surveyor all at the same time. Does it make sense to try to run the county with all green horns?"
No one opposed passage of Ballot Issue 1B.
Town Manager Jay Harrington explained town issues on the ballot, 2A, 2B, 2C and 2D, as all related to the same goal of forming a general improvement district to operate the town's sanitation collection and disposal system. The process involves ending the current Pagosa Springs Sanitation District.
"Effectively, this means eliminating one layer of government which will reduce operating costs," Harrington said.
Voters on this issue need only live in the proposed service area or own property in the district, Harrington said.
No opposition was presented to the town's proposal.
Materials and handouts concerning candidates and ballot issues are available to the public at the Ruby M. Sisson Memorial Library.
Chance seen for weekend showers
By John M. Motter
Pagosa Country skies will remain mostly clear today and tomorrow, but there is a slight chance for showers Saturday and Sunday, according to Becky Klenk a forecaster from the National Weather Service office in Grand Junction.
"A storm front is moving in from the West Coast," Klenk said. "It should touch land Friday. We should start seeing clouds Saturday here in Western Colorado. There'll be a better chance for showers Sunday, sooner in the mountains than down in the valleys."
Weather conditions in western Colorado remain in an unsettled transition mode, according to Klenk, between late summer monsoons and fall and winter westerly flows. Daytime high temperatures for the next few days should remain in the 60s with low temperatures ranging from the upper 20s into the low 30s.
As the current high-pressure area moves out and the West Coast system moves in, look for temperatures to drop by as much as 10 degrees.
No precipitation was recorded in town this past week. High temperatures during the week ranged from 65 degrees on Tuesday down to 53 degrees Oct. 11. The average high temperature was 58 degrees. Low temperatures for the week ranged from a low of 23 degrees Sunday upward to 34 degrees Oct. 11. The average low temperature was 28 degrees.
Measurable snow has yet to fall in town, even though the surrounding mountains have received snow severable times. Snowfall for the month of October averages 2.9 inches over the past 53 years. During 1961, 31 inches of snow fell in town.
Winter weather intensity as gauged by cold temperatures and snowfall picks up during November when snowfall averages 10.6 inches for the month. During November 1964, 46 inches of snow fell in town.
The lowest temperature recorded during October over the past 48 years was five degrees recorded Oct. 31, 1971, and Oct. 28, 1955. The lowest temperature recorded during November for the same time span was minus 25 degrees recorded Nov. 29, 1952.
PLPOA moves to return accounting procedures
By Richard Walter
Following up on a mandate delivered by voters at the annual meeting of Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association earlier this year, the board of directors put in motion Thursday the steps necessary to return full association bookkeeping and accounting procedures to local control.
The action came after a report from Walt Lukasik, general manager, on his investigation of possible changes as a result of that mandate.
Lukasik said he had compiled a 10-page report on options for the board. "I looked at outsourcing, archiving services and examined various methods of bringing the whole system back in house," he said.
"I met with two accounting firms in the area, got new bids from Colorado Management (the current provider), analyzed potential costs of necessary software and hardware upgrades and replacement and levels of staffing in terms of everything from a CPA to general bookkeeping help," he said.
Lukasik said, "It is my belief we can bring the operation back in house for immediacy of service to our members and for quicker access to accounts and service thereon."
Estimating total cost of upgrades at between $5,000 and $5,700, Lukasik asked the board for specific authorization to buy new software, replace and upgrade hardware, seek employees to handle the operation and to remodel to upgrade space available by the first of the year.
The board then discussed Lukasik's report at great length.
Director Gerald Smith asked Lukasik if he was sure all the elements could be in place within 75 days and suggested not tying the operation down to a specific date should there be problems in delivery or operation.
"There are no guarantees," Lukasik replied. "Equipment upgrades will have to be melded into a workable system. Everything has to work properly."
Smith suggested, "Building problems are predictable and I think you might not want to make completion of installation date specific. I'd also suggest you amend your proposed resolution to include that software purchased be installed by the dealer and that training in its use be provided."
From the audience, Mojie Adler, a former PLPOA director, asked if parallel processing would be operative for a while after installation, and Lukasik said "it is the intent should there be any glitches in the new system."
Adler then reiterated an earlier offer: "I'll provide an enclosed trailer for use by anyone who wants to drive to Littleton and bring all our records home."
Smith also moved to separate the motion for new purchases from the move for remodeling. Other directors agreed and asked Lukasik to bring in purchase requests for approval with reference to necessary plant modification to house the new accounting operation.
Director Richard Manley, board president, said the board will call a special meeting to deal specifically with such purchase requests.
But, when Manley called for the vote, Director Fred Ebeling said he was "not at all convinced that in-house operation is the way to go.
"I don't think we should make this momentous a decision with three directors absent (Tom Cruse, Jim Carson and Franceso Tortorici were not there)," Ebeling said.
Smith responded by reminding Ebeling, "They'll be involved at the special meeting to be called."
Director David Bohl noted the general manager's report "was made available to all members. Only one of those absent tonight responded to it and he said he wanted it in house."
The motion to proceed, as suggested by Lukasik, was approved 3-1 with Ebeling voting against it.
After the vote, Smith said, "After the primary goal is accomplished, I'd like to see us exercise software and project management controls that will keep in place and (provide) up to date data on every project we have underway. That way, at any time, any member will be able to find up-to-date data on a given project."
Wildlife commissioner promises support
By John M. Motter
Colorado Wildlife Commissioner Olive Kimbleton Valdez visited Pagosa Springs Oct. 11 and spent the evening listening to gripes and "mending fences."
"I chose Pagosa Springs to conduct my first public meeting because I've heard you are unhappy," Valdez said. "Mainly, I want to hear from you. I promise you I will represent you in Denver. I may be new on the job, but I will carry your message to the board meetings."
With husband Demetrio Valdez, Colorado's newest wildlife commissioner runs a ranch and operates a big-game guiding service just outside Antonito. She was appointed to the state board of wildlife commissioners by Gov. Bill Owens on March 1 of this year.
The eight-member board meets at least once each month to deliberate and act on issues facing the Colorado Division of Wildlife. Meetings alternate monthly between policy meetings, or workshops, and are conducted at differing locations around the state. Among board responsibilities are establishing hunting seasons and license fees. License fees also have to be approved by the state legislature, according to Babs Brockway, a DOW information specialist in Denver.
Alamosa is the site of the next commission meeting. Workshops are scheduled for today and tomorrow.
Members of the commission, in addition to Olive, are Robert Shoemaker of Cañon City, Marianna Raftopoulos of Craig, Mark LeZalley of Hotchkiss, Tom Burke of Grand Junction, Philip James of Fort Collins, Rick Enstrom of Lakewood and Bernard Black of Denver.
Each of the commission members is chosen to represent a special interest, according to Brockway. Shoemaker is a farmer, Raftopoulas a Moffat County commissioner, LeZalley a rancher, Burke a wildlife organization representative, James and Valdez represent the public at large, Enstrom and Black represent sportsmen.
Commission members are required to hold at least two public meetings a year within their district, based on the mandates of HB 99-1313. The Oct. 11 gathering was Valdez' first public meeting.
In the audience at the Oak Ridge Motor Inn were a number of guides and outfitters and other sportsmen from the Pagosa Springs area. Assisting Valdez were West Regional Manager Ron D. Belarde from the DOW Grand Junction office and Area Wildlife Manager Tony Gurzick from the DOW Durango office.
Comments from the audience centered on DOW ignoring Pagosa Springs and the Western Slope, particularly with reference to lynx reintroduction, big game seasons, big game license fees, and failure to solve the whirling disease problems associated with rainbow trout planted in Colorado waters.
Valdez didn't attempt to answer most political questions, begging off because she is "new." She did promise to learn about the issues and to voice Pagosa Springs' concerns at commission meetings and otherwise as required. Velarde or Gurzick answered most of the technical questions.
Lynx reintroduction was opposed by most of the audience. Gurzick defended the reintroduction arguing that, if the reintroduction is successful, the U.S. Wildlife Service will not place lynx on the endangered species list. Therefore, access to wilderness areas around Pagosa Springs will not be restricted. If the reintroduction is unsuccessful, according to Gurzick, a body of evidence will exist proving the lynx cannot survive in this area. Again, according to Gurzick, lynx-created restrictions against usage of local wilderness areas will be avoided.
Belarde defended seasons and license rates established by the Wildlife Commission on the basis that all were set after conducting a number of public hearings.
Concerning whirling disease, Belarde said in the future no diseased fish will be stocked anywhere until state fish hatcheries are free of the disease. In lieu of using state hatcheries, DOW has allocated $1 million for purchasing trout from private, undiseased hatcheries for stocking purposes.
Valdez urged local citizens with problems or questions concerning DOW matters, to call her, (719) 376-5873.
Town bids surplus PLPOA goods
By Richard Walter
The town of Pagosa Springs is interested in some of the surplus remaining in Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association lockers since the demise of its Public Service Office.
Walt Lukasik, PLPOA general manager, told the board of directors Thursday he had a request in hand from the municipality offering "about $700 for two older radar units, two shotguns, some hand-held mobile radio units and a set of file cabinets."
He said the sheriff's office and state police also are working on bids for some newer radar units and that the sheriff's office also is interested in a "rack of county pants and shirts once used (as uniforms) by our PSO deputies."
In addition, Lukasik said, the city of Aztec, N.M., has a federal grant coming and may wish to bid on some specific surplus items after the first of the year.
When Lukasik asked the board to express its formal pleasure on the proposed disposal of surplus, Director Fred Ebeling moved to authorize Lukasik to sell the equipment listed to the highest bidder within the next 10 days. "And," he said, "If the town wants some of it I would like to see that they get it."
After a unanimous vote, Director Dave Bohl asked what had happened to the former PSO drug sniffing dog which had been kept by a former handler since dissolution of PSO.
"It was donated to the Humane Society," Lukasik answered.
Lukasik also reported that four older inoperative squad cars had been sold at auction in Durango and that the Archuleta County Sheriff's Office had purchased one of the three remaining squad cars. (The others, he said, were adapted for association use.)
In answer to a question from Dallas Johnson, a former PLPOA director, in the audience, Lukasik said the association netted about $22,000 from the auction and direct squad car sale "and that was pretty much in line with what we had hoped to get."
Also Thursday, Bohl reported that a revised budget has been readied for the balance of this fiscal year and that it will provide the framework for work on the 2001 budget. He asked the board to approve the revision and Ebeling made the motion to do so.
Johnson then asked from the audience when the financial advisory committee made a recommendation to approve the matter. "I'm a member of the committee," he said, "and I've never seen it. The committee has not had a meeting on this subject. The minutes should show this was not submitted to the committee."
There was a momentary argument about committee action between Johnson and Jim Corboy, committee chairman, who said Johnson was not at the meeting where it was considered. Johnson in turn argued he had attended every meeting he'd been notified of.
Corboy then urged adoption of the revised budget subject to confirmation of the financial advisory committee.
Ebeling, however, argued he did not believe it was necessary for the committee to act and said, "I'm not willing to amend my motion to involve the committee. I will amend it to say we accept it as submitted by the treasurer (Bohl)."
In other action last week, the directors:
€ Approved a recommended amendment to association bylaws with reference to appointment of board members.
The amendment applies to board President Richard Manley, specifically. He was appointed to the board prior to adoption of the new guidelines at the annual meeting. Under the amendment, Manley's term will be grandfathered in and he will not have to run for reelection next year.
At the same time, it was noted that the appointment of Gerald Smith to fill a board vacancy came after the amendment adoption and he will have to run in 2001 for the balance of the term to which he was appointed.
€ Learned from Lukasik that he and Larry Lynch, lakes and recreation director, had met with County Manager Dennis Hunt on the ongoing Great Outdoor Colorado grant that had been pending for a trail project.
GOCO requires front money for such grants &emdash; money refunded when the grant is received &emdash; and the grant application had been written with the county as the initial funding agent.
Now, however, Hunt told the PLPOA delegation, the board of county commissioners has unanimously refused to front the request and it appears dead.
€ Heard Manley laud the membership for its attendance and words of wisdom at the recent community forum. He said he hopes more residents will take advantage of future sessions so members of the board can learn one-on-one what the concerns of their constituents are and any suggestions association members may have for dealing with them. "We'd welcome 30 or 300 to any of these meetings," he said.
Big week for school bands
By Richard Walter
Athletes aren't the only ones representing Pagosa Springs High School in major appearances this weekend.
A delegation of Pagosa musicians, representing both the high school and junior high bands, will participate in Band Day activities Saturday at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs and will perform at half time as part of a massed band from schools in four states.
Lisa Hartley, band director, said, "This is a fine activity for band students. They prepare themselves musically and learn a marching routine with close to 1,200 other students."
The local students will attend the Falcons game against New Mexico and will be part of the giant half time show.
Other events on the music department's calendar include the high school choir and band presenting their fall concert at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in the high school auditorium; and the sixth grade and junior high bands presenting a concert at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 26, in the high school auditorium.
Solving domestic violence is a task for everyone
The following is by Carmen Hubbs, Archuleta County Victim Assistance Program director.
If someone close to you was assaulted by a stranger, what would you do? Worry about the person's safety? Offer support? Look for resources that would provide assistance? Help him or her seek justice through the court system? Most likely, you would.
But what if that same person was assaulted by someone she loves and trusts &emdash; an intimate partner? The crime is the same, the injuries just as severe, except that the assault occurred in the context of an intimate relationship. Do you still reach out to her in the same way? If you're like many Americans who believe domestic violence is none of their business, most likely you wouldn't.
But make no mistake &emdash; it is your business, my business, and our business. It's everyone's business because domestic violence systematically shatters lives, destroys families, and devastates communities. Consider:
€ Domestic violence is an epidemic. One million violent crimes were committed against persons by their current or former spouses, boyfriends or girlfriends.
€ Domestic violence kills. In 1998, 1,320 women were killed by an intimate or former intimate partner in the United States.
€ Domestic violence is primarily a crime against women and their children. Women are five times more likely to be victims of intimate partner violence than males. In 1998, 140,050 women were the victims of aggravated assault and 569,650 women were victims of simple assaults.
€ Domestic violence is happening in front of our children. Between 1993 and 1998 children under the age of 12 resided in 43 percent of the households where intimate partner violence occurred.
€ Domestic violence is a health care issue. In 1999 the United Nations Population Fund declared violence against women "a public health priority." And one Minnesota health services study found that an annual difference of $1,775 more was spent on health care for victims in intimate partner violence than on a random sample of female patients.
Given these facts, we can see that domestic violence is a common occurrence that affects each one of our communities and us. It is your business and my business to put an end to domestic violence. There's no better time to start than right now.
October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, a time to take a personal stand to end domestic violence. A time to take action &emdash; any way you can &emdash; to make ending domestic violence your business. A time to mourn those who have died as a result of domestic violence, celebrate those who have survived, support those living with domestic violence, and raise public awareness about violence in the homes of our community. There are countless ways to make ending domestic violence your business. They are easy, yet convey intolerance of abuse and support for battered women and their children. To learn more about how you can help eliminate domestic violence in Archuleta County, call the Archuleta County Victim Assistance Program at 264-9075 or call (800) END-ABUSE.
As a society, we cannot afford to turn our backs on battered women and their children. This October and throughout the year, make domestic violence your business. Take a stand &emdash; any way you can. Change the statistics in this new millennium.
The Pagosa Springs Junior High seventh grade science class is very smart and more polite than me. I enjoyed their informative letter (Oct. 5) describing the importance of our natural plants such as willow. I wish cement plants were as easy to resolve as complaints about our willows.
The questions asked in letters to the editor in recent weeks about the deteriorating asphalt paving project on North Pagosa Boulevard appear to be getting something less than responsive answers. Rumors are a dime a dozen and probably not worth that.
There seems to be a dispute as to who authorized what and who had the authority to make the decisions that led to the current result.
The fact that the road fund was so large ($6 million plus?) and the magnitude of major repair costs now being accrued, creates some further questions. The first and second being: Who is going to be on the hook for all of the necessary repairs? Who was the appropriate party to control the expenditure of the original fund?
It seems to me that the road fund became a trust fund ultimately for the benefit of those property owners who purchased lots from "Fairfield" in reliance on the ambitious promises made concerning the roads. If this was a trust fund then the controlling party took on a fiduciary relationship that requires a higher degree of responsibility.
Since it has been many years since I had a current working knowledge of trusts, I have gone to "Blacks Law Dictionary" (5th Addition) for definitions that may apply.
Fiduciary or confidential relation - It exists where there is special confidence reposed in one who in equity and good conscience is bound to act in good faith and with due regard to interests of one reposing the confidence. A relation subsisting between two persons in regard to a business, contract, or piece of property, or in regard to the general business or estate of one of them, of such a character that each must repose trust and confidence in the other and must exercise a corresponding degree of fairness and good faith. Out of such a relation, the law raises the rule that neither party may exert influence or pressure upon the other, take selfish advantage of his trust, or deal with the subject matter of the trust in such a way as to benefit himself or prejudice the other except in the exercise of the utmost good faith and with the full knowledge and consent of the other, business shrewdness, hard bargaining, and astuteness to take advantage of the forgetfulness or negligence of another being totally prohibited as between persons standing in such a relation to each other.
Cestui que trust - The person for whose benefit a trust is created or who is to enjoy the income or the avails of it.
Beneficiary - A person who may derive benefit from performance on contract, though he is neither the promisee nor the one to whom performance is to be rendered.
Before this can be resolved I believe that the complete transaction needs to be reviewed and summarized in laymans' terms and made available to the property owners who are the beneficiaries.
The last time
We live in Aspen Springs Unit 6. Last Thursday evening, Oct. 12, at approximately 6 p.m. Melissa O'Neal Lewis shot and killed our beloved dog Nicki, a gentle mannered 14-month-old Great Dane, for being on her property. We concede that Nicki should not have been over there. He had unfortunately gotten out of his fenced yard and my husband was looking for him when he heard the shots. By Ms. O'Neal's own statement Nicki did not make any aggressive actions toward livestock, person or property - he was just standing there. We know this in not the first time a dog has been shot by the Lewis' - Dane or Melissa - but we want it to be the last.
There are other ways of dealing with unwanted animals on your property. Whatever happened to being a good neighbor? Going over to your neighbor and discussing the problem first? Or at least calling the police or sheriff's department? We would have gladly traded a citation for our dog's life. Even the bear tearing up your garden or bird feeder is protected by the department of wildlife. What about our pets?
This matter is being turned over to the district attorney's office for consideration. We are hoping for prosecution and are urging all of our neighbors who have any information in regard to other dogs being shot or threatened by Dane Lewis or Melissa O'Neal, whether suspected or proved, to report it to the sheriff's department care of Deputy Walter, the district attorney's office, or to us, and we will turn it in.
If these incidents are just accepted and not reported this cruelty will continue, and maybe one day it will be your beloved dog or worse. We should have reported the other dog-shooting incident we were aware of but we felt guilty, thought it was our fault, but their actions are wrong and we regret not reporting it. Please don't continue to make the same mistake we did. Help us to stop this cruelty and "I was here first" attitude. Allow us to all be good neighbors.
Thank you for your support,
Allan and Lisa Boelter
I am writing to urge in the strongest manner possible that all registered voters in Archuleta County vote an emphatic "No" on the Douglas-Bruce-inspired Amendment 21 in the November election. Passage of this measure would progressively rob all of us of the vital services which our taxes provide.
Let me attempt to support this opinion with facts gleaned from data provided last month by the Archuleta County Assessor. Our county collects taxes for 17 different taxing districts, each of which is subject to the $25 annual tax cut during the first year, increasing by $25 in each subsequent year - if this ruinous measure passes. Obviously, none of us pays taxes to each of these districts, so I will concentrate on those which affect most of us importantly: Archuleta County, Pagosa Area Fire District, Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District, School District 50 Joint, Town of Pagosa Springs, Upper San Juan Hospital District, and Upper San Juan Library District.
First-year percentage revenue losses from real estate property taxes - if Amendment 21 passes - will be as follows: county - 14.4 percent; fire district - 41.2 percent; water only - 22.1 percent; water and sewer - 24.9 percent; schools - 7.2 percent; town - 37.0 percent; hospital district - 55.1 percent; and library - 68.0 percent. By the fifth year under this crippling action - if Amendment 21 passes - percentage losses will escalate as follows: county - 45.1 percent; fire district - 80.4 percent; water only - 66.4 percent; water and sewer - 64.9 percent; schools - 28.0 percent; town - 68.6 percent; hospital district - 85.4 percent ; and library - 88.8 percent.
Certainly a glance at these facts illustrates that the grievous passage of Amendment 21 would quickly damage or completely destroy the essential services connected with fire and police protection, utilities, education, health, and recreation. How could these entities cut expenses to survive? In times of financial crisis the first cuts are usually made in personnel. Can we afford to lose the well-trained, conscientious people who provide these necessary services? Which 15 teachers can we get along without to make up the school system's $384,086 first-year loss? Terminating the entire staff of the fire district would not begin to cover its $224,588 first-year loss in property tax revenue.
Please think about it and vote "No" on Amendment 21.
In regard to Gene Wissler's letter three weeks ago about prices not being out of line in Pagosa Springs, I wonder if he could explain to us why the Fina station in Durango sells unleaded regular for $1.51 and the Fina station here sells it for $1.69? I don't call 18 cents difference within 60 miles "remarkably uniform" or "a waste of time" if you have reason to go to Durango. Both stations are within a populated area on main highways.
I know a few people here that take any job they can get to make a living and could use that savings of 18 cents a gallon.
I wonder if Mr. Wissler considers Durango and Pagosa Springs in the same region?
After carefully studying the innumerable epistles of Mr. James Sawicki, I conclude that the sale of crayons should be banned in Pagosa Springs.
This is about the ovations from Bob Bigelow and Sheryl Bogert for Cathy Mymern and Catherine Looper (respectively). Kudos to you two too.
How kind of Mr. Bigelow on June 8, not to let that week's previous, Whaddaya think? unladylike commentary from a pre-teen go without a reminder that ". . . Cathy Mymern is an exceptionally devoted, professional, skilled, creative and compassionate educator."
And how kind of Mrs. Bogert who, in the Sept. 28, issue of The Pagosa Springs SUN, told us how Mrs. Looper - during recess - came to the rescue of children who were being stung by bees even though she, knowing she was allergic to bee stings, was being stung by the insects herself.
Thank you Mr. Bigelow and Mrs. Bogert for taking the time to tell us so well about these heroines who discipline our children and guard their safety. Thanks to all the heroes and heroines that take care of our children.
Mary A. Hannah
Servants of God
For several years First Baptist Church of Pagosa Springs has observed October as pastor appreciation month. Our church body chooses this special time to acknowledge to the community and to express to our pastor and his family our love and appreciation.
We at First Baptist called Dan Sanders to be our pastor in March 1994. Under his leadership we have outgrown our old building and parking facilities. Now Pastor Dan oversees the construction of our new building on west U.S. 160 in addition to his regular pastoral responsibilities.
In today's culture when it is unpopular and politically incorrect to believe in absolute truth, Pastor Dan boldly and unashamedly preaches the uncompromising and infallible word of God.
Donna Sanders does a wonderful job of supporting her husband as pastor's wife. She has a servant's heart when it comes to meeting the needs of people. Donna is our director of children's ministries and truly expresses through her life God's love for the children of our church and community.
We speak for our entire congregation when we express our love and appreciation to Pastor Dan, Donna, and their sons, Blaine, Trent and Kyle. They do not serve our Lord to bring glory to themselves but to honor and glorify Jehovah God and to see others come to know him through a personal relationship with his son Jesus Christ.
First Baptist Church will honor the Sanders family with a special dinner on Sunday, Oct. 22, immediately following the 10:45 a.m. worship service. First Baptist meets temporarily at the Community Bible Church building on Village Drive behind the new City Market.
Pastor Appreciation Committee
First Baptist Church
Lots of fun
Just a note to say in my opinion Thursday Night Live at Loredana's Restaurant in Pagosa Springs is fun. Patty and I went last week to Thursday Night Live's "12th night" opening celebration and had great laughs, hysterical giggles, plenty of delicious food, put out by what may be the silliest, most fanciful, wonderfully bizarre and loving group of comedians, actors, actresses and musicians Pagosa Springs may see ever.
On behalf of "PPKM" thanks "TNL."
My family has camped in the East Fork, east of the Silver Falls forestry cabin and west of the Silver Creek Trail several times a year, since 1976.
In selecting this location, we used information on Forest Service maps of the San Juans, which indicated this area was national forest. During these 24 years, representatives of the owners of the private property across the road have visited in our camp, as have Forest Service personnel, game wardens and newspaper reporters; not once did anyone tell us that we had crossed private property to reach our campsites.
In the fall of 1998, a representative of the new owners of the private property visited our camp and the camp of one of our friends. He told our friend, that he was camping on private property, but that it was all right. He never said a word to us. The summer of 1999 we again camped in the same area and were visited by a game warden. Again we were not told we had crossed private property to access the national forest.
Last fall, our friends arrived at the same location to set up camp ahead of us, only to be confronted by Piano Creek no trespassing signs stating that this was private property, that they were not allowed to cross. Almost immediately after they arrived in front of the sign, a Piano Creek representative arrived and said that he had just had the area surveyed and discovered that 25 feet north of the road in that area to approximately 100 feet north of the road in the areas further to the east, was their private property. He stated that if they let anyone cross their property to camp, it would be detrimental to the sales of their new resort.
Piano Creek had also posted no trespassing signs on Silver Creek Trail and Lane Creek Trail and intimidated us from using the Quartz Meadow Trail, contending that it was not a recognized trail. Our stay was made all the more unpleasant, due to continued observation by Piano Creek staff, sitting in company vehicles, on national forest property, directly across from the new camp we had established.
It think that the actions of the Piano Creek property owners are arbitrary, captious and capricious. There were never no trespassing signs, on the north side of the road, there was never a fence. The only no trespassing signs and fences were on the south side of the road, just as the maps indicated. The Forest Service maps showed that north of the road in this area was national forest.
I am requesting that the Forest Service assist us and many others who have unknowingly crossed what is now the Piano Creek property, by moving the road to the south edge of the forest boundary, so public access cannot be denied and lost to everyone forever.
It is obvious that "our" new neighbors, Piano Creek, will never be good neighbors.
Pearl K. Buschke of Pagosa Springs passed away Monday, Oct. 16, 2000, at Pine Ridge Extended Care Center.
Mrs. Buschke, 90, was born in 1910 in Ogden, Utah. She had lived in Pagosa Springs for only a short while, having moved from Phoenix, Ariz., in February of this year. She was a college graduate who had worked as an office assistant for physicians, attorneys and a judge. She was married to Harold R. Buschke. They raised three children, Thomas, Irene and Carol. Pearl was a member of the Eastern Star in Auburn, Calif., and enjoyed the piano.
She is preceded in death by her husband.
Mrs. Buschke is survived by her daughters, Carol R. Thomas of Pagosa Springs and Irene M. Mathews of Pasco, Wash.; her son, Thomas H. Buschke of Lemburg, Germany; her grandsons, Fred Buschke of Pagosa Springs, Chris Mathews of Phoenix, William Buschke of Illinois, and Tommy Buschke and Christian Buschke, both of Lemburg; and her granddaughters, Ann C. Thomas of Boulder, Carrie Smith of Washington, D.C., and Linda Buschke of Israel.
A memorial service for Mrs. Buschke will be held at 10 a.m. tommorow, Oct. 20, at Our Savior Lutheran Church. Pastor Richard Bolland will officiate. A private family committal service will follow at Hilltop Cemetery.
Ophelia M. Chavez passed away peacefully in her home in Pueblo on Sept. 21, 2000, following a courageous battle with cancer.
Mrs. Chavez was born June 11, 1926, in Parkview, N.M., to Maclovio Vialpando and Carolina Latin.
Her husband of 52 years, John Chavez, preceded her in her death.
Mrs. Chavez is survived by her sons, John Paul Chavez and Mitchell Chavez, and her daughter, Carrie Hansen. She is also survived by her grandchildren, Antonio and Curtis Chavez and Janae Hansen; her brother, Raymond Vialpando of Anthony, N.M. and her sister, Josephine Sanchez of Las Vegas, Nev., and a very special sister-in-law, Benina Cruz of Pueblo. She also leaves behind many, many friends and relatives who were dear to her heart.
Her life was her family and she loved each and every one of them in her own special way. Ophelia had a zest for life in ways that few people do. She was an avid sports fan who "loved her Broncos, Rockies and Cowboys." She enjoyed swinging a golf club as much as casting a fishing line, and had numerous 200-plus bowling scores.
Her friends recall that as her illness grew, "her faith in God far surpassed her ailment. "Fee Fee" will always be remembered for her passion of life, her generosity, her kindness, her smile, her laughter, her honor, her passion to always be on the go - especially to Las Vegas to visit her extended family."
Pagosa's Baltazar Gallegos, an avid fisherman, recently won the BBWC Colorado state championship by catching a 9.72 pound bass. He represented the state of Colorado at the BBWC World Championships at Lake Conroe near Houston, Texas, this past weekend.
Pirates' 'power game' stops Bloomfield 4-2
By Richard Walter
Once the die is cast, the product produced from the mold should come out the same each time.
It worked for the second half against Center Friday, a full game against Crested Butte Saturday, and on Tuesday, Pagosa's soccer team proved the theory as it knocked off Bloomfield, N.M., 4-2 in the Pirates' final tune-up for district tournament play.
The format? Keep constant pressure on your foe both offensively and defensively, switch your game set according to specific situations, and allow your midfielders to join the attack.
The Pirates swarmed to the attack after a Bloomfield shot sailed over the net just 33 seconds into the game. The home team had 10 shots in the half, seven on goal, compared to only seven shots for Bloomfield, with five on goal.
Early on, it became the Kyle Sanders and Daniel Crenshaw show. Sanders had the first Pagosa shot at 3:27, a right-foot twister from the left side that sailed just over the net.
Then, a key play in the game developed when Crenshaw's blast from the middle at 5:11 was deflected back in front of the box by Bloomfield goal keeper Nick Corbett. Sanders recovered the ball but his rebound shot also was blocked. On the play, however, Corbett was injured and had to be carried from the field.
Jordan Kurt-Mason started a new offensive move for the Pirates at 11:23 when he broke free in the middle and dropped a lead to Sanders moving in from the left wing. The ensuing shot sailed wide right.
The Pirates broke the scoring drought at 21:22 when Kurt-Mason intercepted a Bloomfield outlet pass and centered it to Crenshaw who sidestepped two defenders and ripped a 30-yarder past the goal keeper for a 1-0 Pagosa lead.
The visitors, meanwhile, had trouble penetrating the Pirates' defense and had two soft shots on goal, both stopped by the Pirates' keeper Matt Mesker. In the 25th minute, however, Mesker was put to the test. At 25:01 he dived to his right to stop a blistering drive by Kip Schilhabel and 49 seconds later deflected a screen shot from the same attacker.
Mesker turned in probably his best effort of the game at 28:57 when Bloomfield's Adam Wagoner, awarded a free kick from the back of the box, drove one high to Mesker's left. Timing his leap perfectly, Mesker defected the shot up and over the net and out of danger.
The Pirates' attack continued unabated with a Zeb Gill to Sanders to Brian Hart trifecta foiled by a fine save by Bloomfield's reserve goal keeper Matt Bouren who also stopped Crenshaw on a break-away three minutes and 56 seconds later. He also made saves on shots by Sanders and Kurt-Mason as the half wound down with the Pirates still nursing their 1-0 lead.
The second half opened as the exact opposite of the first, with neither team able to mount a scoring attack, the lone shot on goal in the first five minutes a blast by Hart on a breakaway that was snared by Bouren in one hand.
But with just four seconds left before the 10-minute mark, Sanders' rip from the left corner was stopped by Bouren but Kyle stayed on the attack, controlled his own rebound, and powered it in for a 2-0 Pagosa lead.
At 13:53, Bloomfield got on the board with Schilhabel scoring on a drive from the left wing. At 14:02 the Pirates' Mike Pierce came out of a mass of players at midfield with the ball and ripped a long lead to Crenshaw. Crenshaw's drive slipped just outside the right corner post. Exactly three minutes later, Schilhabel was on the attack again, stopped by Mesker on a point-blank effort and at 18:34, his drive sailed over the nets.
The visiting Bobcats tied the score at 22:28 when Wagoner dribbled one past Mesker on a left wing break-away.
Sanders returned the lead to the Pirates for good at 33:59 on a penalty kick from 18 yards that Bouren could not reach high to his left. Finally, with time running out and Crenshaw on the attack, Pierce broke from the right corner but was stopped by Bouren. Crenshaw, who had run straight to the front of the box, took the rebound and rifled it into the net for the final 4-2 Pagosa margin.
Coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason, in post game comments, said the Pirates attacked with abandon. "We've learned to settle the ball, to build our attack off the play of the defense, and get more players involved in the offense.
"Our passing today was much better than the score would indicate," he said. "We repeatedly had players breaking open to passes into position. Our confidence is building and I think it will carry us through the districts."
All the teams playing here Saturday "will be tough," Kurt-Mason said. "Every game will be tough from here on but I believe this team is ready for anything they can throw at us."
Pirates storm back to stun Crested Butte 4-2
By Richard Walter
Jason Spence, right striker for Crested Butte Academy, relished the first 17 seconds of his team's home soccer game Saturday against Pagosa Springs.
At the 17-second mark, Spence broke away from the Pirates' defense on the right wing and almost before Pagosa goal keeper Matt Mesker had a chance to put on his gloves, the home team had a 1-0 lead over the Pirates.
That seemed to awaken a Pirates team hoping to build on a brilliant second half the day before against Center.
After a little over four minutes of midfield exchanges and tough defense on both sides, Kyle Sanders took a drop lead from Zeb Gill on the left side and his soft dribbler on goal almost eluded Highlanders' goal keeper Ben Kamans.
When Spence's shot on the ensuing return attack was stopped cold by Mesker, the visiting Pirates took a cue to attack and at the 11-minute mark Daniel Crenshaw's left-foot drive on a drop lead from Kevin Muirhead tied the score at 1-1.
One minute and four seconds later, Mesker stopped Crested Butte's Collin Weston cold and at 15:58, Pagosa's Brian Hart had a clear shot from the left wing but it went just outside the right post. At 17:04 Pagosa's Thomas Hampton had Kamans at point-blank range but his soft shot was stopped.
Mesker had saves at 21:55, 22:57 and 23:51 as the Highlanders tried to solve the Pirates' pressing defense. Kamans was tested at 27:08 by Ryan Lister, at 30:25 by Jordan Kurt-Mason, by Crenshaw again at 23:09 and by Kyle Sanders at 37:37.
At 39:15, Mesker made a brilliant save on Spence, cutting him off 15 yards out of goal as Crenshaw moved in to back him up. But, with only 11 seconds remaining in the half, Colin MacMillan beat Mesker from the right corner of the box and the home team had what was to be its final score of the day and a 2-1 lead.
The second half opened with a save by Mesker at 1:25 against Spence and a save by Kamans at 4:02 against Kyle Sanders. At 5:28 Sanders was stopped by Kamans again, this time on a shot up the middle off a drop lead from Mike Pierce. At 9:09, Sanders appeared to have tied the game when he captured the rebound of his own drive off the crossbar and bodied it behind Kamans. Officials discounted the goal, however. Just 19 seconds later, Crested Butte's B.J. Kurtz was given a yellow card for roughness and the Pirates went into high gear.
A series of midfield skirmishes eventually yielded to a four-man Pirate attack that culminated at 14:24 with Crenshaw taking a lead pass from Kurt-Mason at midfield, eluding two defenders and ripping a shot past Kamans to tie the score.
At 16:50 the Pirates took the lead for good when Crenshaw dropped a header lead from the middle to Kyle Sanders who scored from the left side, a shot Kamans appeared not to see.
At 20:28, Mesker came out of the net and stopped Spence at the head of the box and a minute and two seconds later made probably his best save of the game, a diving grab to his left on a screened blast by Billy Zlotacha.
Both defenses stiffened for the final 20 minutes of the half, neither able to mount a significant attack until the Pirates were awarded a free kick at 32:04 and a streaking Kyle Sanders took Jordan Kurt-Mason's lead pass and ripped it past Kamans for the final score.
It wasn't to be the final attack, however. In the final three minutes, Mesker made saves against Spence, Justin Henning, MacMillan and Weston.
Not normally one given to sport cliches, coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason had a pair in his post-game comments.
"These kids are peaking at the right time," he said. "They were more aggressive, they wanted the ball, and Mesker came out of the net more effectively.
"The defense," he said, "with the exception of the first 30-seconds of the game, was the best it's been all season.
"We went to a 4-4-2 set today for the first time, giving our midfielders more opportunity to attack," he said. "It was a good game for us coming into the final week."
The coach was extremely pleased with the play of Crenshaw, "who came into the game ill. I didn't want to play him, but he insisted. His early score broke open the game plan for us and his defense all over the field was outstanding."
Coach Kurt-Mason also had words of praise for Muirhead "who used his head and was always where he was supposed to be," and for Lister "who probably had his best defensive game of the year and also got into the offensive flow twice on man switches."
Finally, he opined, "You have to break a few eggs to make an omelet just as you have to make a few mistakes to learn how to win."
Spirited second half surge not enough to stop Center
By Richard Walter
You can't spot a league honors contender a four-goal lead and expect to win.
You can spot a league honors contender a four-goal lead and then come back to scare the bejeepers out of them with what may have been your best half of the season.
That was the story Friday when the Pagosa Springs Pirates' soccer team hosted Center at Golden Peaks Stadium.
Pagosa goal keeper Matt Mesker had eight saves in the first half, but found his team trailing 3-0 at the break. Mesker was sharp early, with saves at 2:41 and again 18 seconds later on shots by Braden Martinez and Brian Martinez, respectively.
The next five scoring opportunities belonged to the home team. At 3:50 Daniel Crenshaw's midfield blast sailed wide left; at 7:07 Center goal keeper Ramon Perez made an outstanding stop on Zeb Gill's rip from the left; at 7:50 Brian Hart's drive from almost the same spot was stopped by Perez; at 11:21, Gill's corner kick curved back toward goal but sailed over the net; and at 12:44, Crenshaw's head-on shot was stopped.
Just 46 seconds later, with Ryan Lister slipping to the ground on defense, Brian Martinez had a break-away and drilled a shot over Mesker's right shoulder to give Center a 1-0 lead.
Crenshaw tried to answer at 16:26 with a blistering drive up the middle after eluding three midfield defenders, but Perez was up to the challenge.
At 17:05, Center sophomore Mario Resendez drilled a goal from the right corner of the box and the visitor's lead jumped to 2-0.
Then came three more outstanding saves by Mesker on shots at 19:18 by Resendez, 24:09 by Braden Martinez and at 26:16 by Brian Martinez.
Gill was wide left on a shot at 28:08 but Mario Martinez was right on target at 29:26 when Mesker came out to cut down the angle. Martinez, with a quick switch step cutback, eluded the Pagosa keeper and hit the open net for a 3-0 Center lead.
Mesker had additional saves at 38:04 and 39:34, both on Brian Martinez, and Gill was stopped twice in the last minute of the half, once from the left side and then from the middle.
The second half was a different story, each team scoring twice, but Pagosa obviously on the rise on both offense and defense.
Center opened the scoring in the half when Brian Martinez again flanked Pagosa defenders, cut to the middle and beat Mesker to the left corner for a 4-0 lead.
Perez made a fine diving save on Jordan Kurt-Mason's shot just 59 seconds into the half but was outmanned at 5:50 when Pierce, Kurt-Mason and Kyle Sanders roared in on him from three directions. Pierce's lead to Kurt-Mason was dropped back to Sanders on the left side and he powered in the Pirates' first goal of the game.
The respective goal keepers exchanged saves at 6:28 when Perez stopped Kurt-Mason's drive and 24 seconds later when Mesker grabbed a long blast by Resendez.
The Pirates cut the Center lead to 4-2 at 4:30 when Pierce ripped a ground-hugger into the net past Perez on a free kick from the head of the box. Just two minutes and 50 seconds later, the Pirates' bid to close the gap even more was stymied when Hart's free kick after a Center penalty sailed just over the net on the right side.
Mesker had saves at 17:18 against Brian Martinez; again 55 seconds later on Braden Martinez; and then at 19:29 on Jaime Vasquez.
The next four shots on goal were Pirate efforts, the first a header by Crenshaw stopped by Perez and the second a header directly in front of the net by Pierce which dribbled just outside the left post and out of reach of Perez. At 26:14 Trent Sanders' shot on a lead from Crenshaw was wide left and at 26:18, Kyle Sanders' shot from the left corner was stopped by Perez.
At 29:37, Brian Martinez scored again, this time on a break-away drive from the left, to set up the final 5-2 score. Mesker had two more saves in the half and the swarming Pirates' offense fired five more shots stopped by Perez before the game ended, two by Kyle Sanders, one by his brother Trent, one by Kurt-Mason, and a final blistering drive by Crenshaw that Perez snared.
Most fans will tell you the final 5-2 score is not indicative of the real competitive atmosphere on the field, particularly in the second half when the teams battled each other to a standstill.
After the game, Pagosa coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason said he was "extremely pleased with how we adjusted defensively in the second half," and how "we attacked with abandon and still were able to transition into effective defense in the second half."
Pirates stop Centauri, face Bayfield Friday
By John M. Motter
Fresh from a come-from-behind 22-7 Intermountain League win over Centauri, the Pagosa Pirates host Bayfield tomorrow night in a crucial league football game for both teams.
Pagosa football lovers who come out under the lights at 7 tomorrow night to witness the Pirates-Wolverines confrontation will see two teams who've shown little love for each other over the past few years. Adding to the excitement will be the celebrations and hoopla connected with homecoming at Pagosa Springs High School.
Bayfield runs a double-wing offense that consists of a lot of dives, off tackle plays, and some play-action passes, according to coach Myron Stretton.
"Bayfield is a must game for us," Stretton said. "We have to win in order to control our own destiny."
Pirate fans are still mumbling about the 1998 game when Bayfield tripped up Pagosa 11-8 on a freezing turf, keeping the Pirates from making the playoffs. Pagosa gained a measure of revenge last year with a 21-14 victory. Both teams lost in the first round of the playoffs last year. During the mid-1990s when Bayfield won the state Class 2A title, the Wolverines clobbered Pagosa by large scores, including a 50-7 win in 1996. Between 1984 and 1993, the Pirates won nine straight games.
Comparison of scores against common opponents this season does not give a clear picture of one team being superior to the other. Bayfield lost to Bloomfield, N.M., 7-0, Pagosa Springs beat Bloomfield 35-19. Bayfield beat Centauri 23-0, Pagosa beat Centauri 22-6. Bayfield beat Ignacio 29-13, Pagosa beat Ignacio 41-6. Go figure.
If Pagosa wins, the Pirates are guaranteed a playoff spot. For Bayfield, the game is do or die. Since the Wolverines have already lost to Monte Vista, a second loss will remove Bayfield from playoff consideration. A Bayfield win creates a three-way tie possibility, dependent on the results of the Pagosa Springs-Monte Vista finale Oct. 27 in Monte Vista.
Two teams will represent the Intermountain League in the playoffs. The first-place IML team plays the second-place team from the Pike's Peak Conference. The second-place team from the IML plays the first-place team from the Pike's Peak Conference. Right now, the first-place team in the PPC is Florence, also rated the top Class 2A school in Colorado by The Denver Post. Florence beat Monte Vista in the season opener. The second-place team in the PPC is Buena Vista, last year's state champions. Monte Vista beat Buena Vista earlier this season. Buena Vista is currently rated fifth in the state.
In the event of a two-team tie for first in the IML, the team which beat the other in head-to head competition represents the league as the No. 1 seed. In the event of a three-way tie for first place, a coin toss will be used. On the first round of coin tosses, it will be odd man out. When one team is eliminated, the remaining teams will toss the coin again to see who is first and who is second.
Pagosa versus Centauri
The Pirates looked like world beaters early on against Centauri, then were forced to make a fourth quarter rally in order to win the game. Pagosa didn't take a final lead until Caleb Mellette scored a touchdown with just over four minutes left in the game.
Centauri received the opening kickoff, but eight plays later was forced to punt.
Following the punt, Pagosa took over on its own 34-yard line. Just 12 plays and about six minutes later, Clint Shaw scored from Centauri's 2-yard line.
Shaw's 32-yard lope through the Falcon defense was the big play of the drive. Another key play was Mellette's 4-yard run on fourth and two to keep the Pirate drive alive.
Lister's kick went wide on the extra point try, but no one worried.
The Pirates seemed unstoppable on offense and unmovable on defense. The Pagosa D forced Centauri to punt on its second possession. Then a funny thing happened as Pagosa pushed toward the Centauri goal line following the punt. Starting on their own 42-yard line, the Pirates quick-stepped to the Falcons' 21-yard line in just three plays. Another Pirate score seemed imminent.
Then, unaccountably according to coach Stretton, the Pirates' offense shifted into a self-destruct mode. Nathan Stretton ran to the Falcon 15-yard line for what looked like another first down, but an illegal procedure penalty set the Pirates back five yards instead. Another motion penalty set them back another five yards, then a holding penalty moved them back again. The stunting Centauri line seemed to enjoy the direction the ball was moving. On consecutive plays, Centauri linemen knifed between Pirate blockers to nail Pagosa quarterback Ronnie Janowsky for losses. So secure were the Falcons by now, they could afford to turn down yet another motion penalty. Darin Lister punted on fourth down from the Pirates' 40-yard line.
The fired-up Falcons started a drive from their own 17-yard line following Lister's punt. Keyed by a double-reverse pass good for 27 yards, Centauri scored nine plays later, kicked the extra point, and led 7-6 with three minutes remaining in the first half. Those celebrating Centauri homecoming jumped with joy.
When Pagosa fumbled on the second play of its next possession, the Falcons' fans went ballistic. Apparently Pagosa Springs had lost control of the game. Four plays later, Josh Richardson of the Pirates recovered a Centauri fumble. Now the voices of the Pirates' fans could be heard above the suddenly quiet Centauri crowd.
When Janowsky completed a 28-yard pass to Tyrel Ross along the right sideline in front of the Centauri bench, the Falcon fans started holding their collective breaths. Would Pagosa score again before the half ended? Two plays later, including another motion penalty against the Pirates, the first half ended. The score was Centauri 7, Pagosa Springs 6.
Pagosa's Justin Kerns brought the Pirates' fans to their feet at the beginning of the second half by returning the kickoff to the Centauri 48-yard line. After a Janowsky-to-Ross pass gave Pagosa a first down on the Falcon 25-yard line, it seemed Pagosa would regain the lead. Then Centauri recovered another Pagosa fumble.
Starting from their own 28-yard line, the Falcons excited their fans by moving out to their 38. Then Pirate safety Garrett Tomforde made the first of his two interceptions during the game. Pagosa marched from the Centauri 38-yard line down to the 8-yard line where Lister's field goal attempt on fourth down failed. Another Pagosa scoring threat ended. The third quarter closed with Centauri still on top 7-6.
Pagosa's defense reared up on the next Centauri possession opening the final period, forcing a fourth-down punt. Nathan Stretton returned the punt 10 yards and Pagosa took over on the Centauri 45-yard line with about 11 minutes remaining in the game.
Shaw ran for eight yards. Janowsky passed to Nathan Stretton for 10 yards and a first down. Shaw ran for four yards. Janowsky kept for five yards. Nathan hit the middle for one yard and another first down. Janowsky kept for five more yards. Then Mellette pounded into the left corner of the end zone for a touchdown. A two-point try for extra points failed and, with 7:46 remaining in the game Pagosa recaptured the lead 12-7.
The Falcons threatened on their next possession, moving the ball down to the Pirates' 17-yard line. A holding penalty set the Falcons back before Tomforde added to their misery by picking off another Falcon pass. Pagosa again had the ball with 4:11 remaining in the game. This time, when the Falcon defense appeared to hold, on fourth down Lister booted a 40-yard field goal to put Pagosa on top 15-7. About 2:37 remained in the game.
Centauri miscues then helped Pagosa ice the game. Falcon John David Jordan fumbled Lister's kickoff, Jason Schutz covered the ball for Pagosa and the Pirates took over on the Centauri 47-yard line. After Nathan Stretton scampered for 19 yards on fourth down to give Pagosa a first down and keep the Pagosa drive alive, Mellete again found paydirt, again around the left end, and Pagosa enjoyed an unsurmountable 22-7 lead with about a minute remaining in the game.
With time running out on the clock, Lister picked off a desperation pass on Centauri's next possession to end the Falcons' hopes of scoring one more time.
The Pirates' offense rushed for 234 yards and gained another 55 yards through the air for a total of 289 yards. Shaw was the leading rusher with 123 yards on 16 carries, an average of 7.7 yards a carry. Mellette ran eight times for 49 yards, an average of 6.1 yards a carry; Janowsky six times for 32 yards, an average of 5.6 yards a carry; and Nathan Stretton seven times for 30 yards, an average of 4.3 yards a carry.
Janowsky completed 4 of 6 passes for 55 yards. Ross caught three passes for 47 yards, Nathan Stretton one pass for eight yards.
Pagosa's defense limited Centauri to 125 yards on the ground and 28 yards through the air for a total of 153 yards on offense. The Pirates' D made three interceptions and two fumble recoveries. On special teams, Kerns returned two kickoffs for 80 yards and Nathan Stretton returned one punt for 10 yards.
Mike Vega was in on eight tackles, seven unassisted tackles and one assist. Lister also participated in eight tackles, four solo and four assists. Other leading Pirate tacklers were Richardson and Ross with six tackles each, and Pablo Martinez and Tomforde with five unassisted tackles a piece.
"I thought the offense executed as well as they have all year," coach Stretton said. "I can't account for the mental mistakes that caused the penalties. If I could, I'd keep them from happening. The penalties led to their tackling our backs in the backfield. The penalties gave us long-yardage situations, they expected us to throw, so they stunted and rushed."
"Ronnie (Janowsky) ran the option and threw the ball well," coach Stretton said of his starting quarterback.
Three former starters for Pagosa didn't play in the Centauri game, Cord Ross, Matt Ford, and senior Garrett Paul. Their absence forced Stretton to make adjustments in the line and reduced his ability to give other linemen a rest. Cord Ross is lost for the season, Ford and Paul are expected back for the Bayfield game.
"I am proud of the boys for coming back against Centauri," coach Stretton said. "I didn't know how they'd do if they got behind, but they showed us by winning in the final minutes. It was good for them to feel the pressure and not panic."
Around the IML
Monte Vista and Pagosa Springs top the IML standings with 2-0 records. While Pagosa was beating Centauri last week, Monte traveled to Albuquerque where the San Luis Valley Pirates lost to St. Pius X 30-18. Both teams are also 5-2 for the season. Monte is ranked No. 7, Pagosa Springs 10th in the latest Denver Post ranking of 2A football teams in Colorado.
In the remaining IML game last week, Bayfield beat Ignacio 29-13. Bayfield is 2-1 in the IML, and Ignacio 0-3.
This week, in addition to the Pagosa vs. Bayfield game, Centauri hosts Monte Vista and Ignacio takes on Dolores in a non-league game.
Cross country teams in regionals Saturday
By Karl Isberg
With the Intermountain League championship meet out of the way, the most important event of the season for Pagosa cross country runners is on the horizon &emdash; Saturday's regional qualifying meet where individuals and teams must do their best or find their seasons at an end.
Pirate runners took second place in the IML standings at the Sargent Invitational (which includes the IML meet) and were fourth in the overall standings. The Pirates finished behind Monte Vista in league competition and behind Monte, La Junta and Salida in the overall meet standings.
Todd Mees was at the front of the Pagosa contingent. Mees finished an abbreviated course in 16 minutes, 33 seconds, good for seventh place in the individual ranks.
Travis Laverty was not far behind Mees, in 11th place with a time of 16:37.
The third Pirate across the finish line was Patrick Riley, whose time of 17:37 put him in 32nd place.
Trevor Peterson was 40th, with a time of 18:02. Peterson's time completed the Pirates' pack time of 1:29.
Nick Hall managed a time of 18:22, good for 48th place in the individual standings.
Toby Gunzinger, running with a foot injury, took 70th place with a time of 23:05.
"I was fairly happy with our boys' performance," said Pirates coach Scott Anderson. "The times for all the runners should probably have been about two minutes longer (considering the shorter course), but I'm pleased with the boys. We need to get our second two runners to close the gap a bit. The team was four points out of third place and I think they'll be faster next week."
The Lady Pirates forged a fourth-place finish in both IML and overall ranks, finishing behind meet winner Monte Vista, as well as Bayfield and Centauri.
Aubrey Volger was fourth overall, and second among IML runners with a time of 19:05.
Amber Mesker hit the finish line at 20:37, in 16th place.
Annah Rolig was 25th, with a time of 21:19.
Amanda McCain, in just her second cross country race, took 35th place with a time of 22:17, setting the Lady Pirates' pack time at 3:12.
Joetta Martinez had a good race, posting a time of 22:24 and finishing in 37th place.
Lauren Caves was 38th. Her time was 22:29.
Genevieve Gilbert had a time of 23:20 to finish 51st.
Makina Gill was 52nd, at 23:31.
"We weren't able to run Tiffany Thompson," Anderson said. "She had a muscle strain and it's a shame we didn't have her &emdash; it could have made a difference. Joetta had a good race, and Amanda McCain has come out of nowhere and is doing very well. Aubrey did well too, and on a longer course, she might have closed on the girl from Centauri and won the league title."
Anderson knows what is ahead for his team &emdash; a do-or-die situation at the regional qualifying meet.
If 12 full teams compete Saturday, the top four teams in the boys' and girls' divisions will go to the Oct. 28 state meet in Denver. If less than 12 teams show up, there is a chance only three teams will qualify to advance.
After runners on qualifying teams are eliminated from the standings, the top 10 runners among girls and boys will qualify to run at the state meet as individuals.
"I think most of our runners were still a little fatigued when they ran at the Sargent meet," said Anderson. "I looked at the results and it seemed to me many of the runners on other teams were tapered for the IML meet. We weren't. This is our taper week and our runners will be well-rested for the regional qualifier. There'll be no excuses: if our kids want to run another weekend, they will have to get the job done at the regional meet. I think they can do it. I believe they can do it."
The regional meet will be held at Monte Vista.
The boys will run at 10 a.m. The girls' race is at 10:45 and the awards ceremony is scheduled for 11:45.
Jekyll and Hyde Ladies add three victories
By Karl Isberg
Victories during the last week over Intermountain League opponents Bayfield and Ignacio, gave the Lady Pirates' volleyball team a 6-0 IML record and virtually assured the program of a seventh consecutive league title.
With the two IML wins and an Oct. 14 win at Farmington (N.M.) High School, the Ladies' season record is 14-3 as the team heads to the final regular season and IML games of the year against Centauri and Monte Vista.
A visit to Bayfield Oct. 13 produced a few anxious moments before the Ladies revved the motor and sailed to a 15-8, 15-1 win over the Wolverines.
Bayfield went out to a quick 5-0 lead in the first game of the match, then extended the advantage to 8-5. At the outset of the match, it was a matter of the Wolverines hitting on all cylinders and the Ladies misfiring as they attempted to accelerate into their game.
"The girls started slow against Bayfield," said Lady Pirates coach Penné Hamilton. "They took us to 5-0, then to 8-2, then to 8-5. Bayfield was serving and we were making hitting errors and shanking some of our passes."
Hamilton said she called a timeout when Bayfield led 5-0 and her team's turnabout began. "After the timeout," said the coach, "the match completely changed."
The Ladies took the serve with Bayfield ahead 8-5 and proceeded to score 24 unanswered points, winning the first game 15-8 and taking a 14-0 lead in the second game before the hosts could tally a score. Bayfield's comeback was brief. The Ladies won the second game of the match 15-1.
Tiffanie Hamilton was successful on 3 of 5 hitting attempts for a .600 hitting average. Nicole Buckley was 5 for 11 (.454); Katie Lancing hit at a .500 pace, killing 3 of 6 attempts.
Lancing had a great evening against the Wolverines. The junior hit six ace serves, five of them during one run in the second game. She had two solo blocks and nine setting assists. Meigan Canty had 2 setting assists against Bayfield.
An Oct. 14 trip to New Mexico gave the Lady Pirates their only chance this season to play a best-of-five series. The occasion gave the Ladies a workout as they defeated the Farmington Scorpions 15-11, 11-15, 15-3, 15-3.
"Farmington blocked, they hit, they passed and they attacked," said coach Hamilton. "If we wanted to get a kill down, we had to earn it. This was the kind of match we needed at this point in the season."
It was a good experience for the Ladies &emdash; not just for the win, but for the fact a Pagosa attack that has shown signs of brilliance all season came alive and produced the way coach Hamilton and her staff believe it can.
"We beat Farmington by running our offense," said the coach. "We had girls attacking from everywhere and Farmington couldn't get to the blocks. There were times we had hitters working with no blocker in front of them. Farmington overpassed several times and we got kills that way. I enjoy best-of-five matches; the girls can drop a game, stay relaxed and keep playing. That's what they did."
There were plenty of opportunities to pad the stats during a four-game match.
Andrea Ash was 6 for 11 (.545). Hamilton hit 11 kills in 25 attempts (.440). Buckley hit 18 for 47 (.382). Gronewoller got seven kills in 24 attempts (.292) and Gronewoller and Hamilton each had four solo blocks against the Scorps, with Canty nailing two solos. Buckley had 14 digs to the setter, while Lancing completed 13 digs during the match. Lancing hit three aces; Canty scored with two ace serves. Lancing had 35 setting assists against Farmington.
Pagosa did its Jekyll and Hyde act against Ignacio. The team clicked in all respects at Farmington, but pulled a quick reversal and played ugly against Ignacio, wiggling to a 15-8, 15-8 win.
Ignacio has a way of taking the Ladies out of their rhythm, and not one aspect of the Ladies' game was well-played against the Bobcats. Any time Pagosa gained momentum, a player made a mistake to halt the drive. Blockers were slow to get to the point of attack, blocks were poorly set, and back-row defense was non-existent. Serve and serve-receive errors blotched the scorecard and accurate digs, passes, sets and hits were few and far between.
All problems aside, the Lady Pirates were able to play a subpar match and still emerge with the victory.
Both games of the match featured long exchanges of serve without points, with each team undermining its own efforts with mistakes.
Ignacio took a 3-1 lead in the first game, but the Lady Pirates put together a couple of spurts and forged ahead 8-3. The game's longest scoring run &emdash; four points, with Lancing at the serve &emdash; put Pagosa in front 12-3. With a solo block by Hamilton, the 13-3 advantage seemed solid.
Ignacio capitalized on a lack of Pagosa blocking and scored three points. Following a series of sideouts, Ignacio's Crystal Young hit off the block for a point and a Pagosa hitting error gave the Bobcats their eighth point.
The teams traded serve five times before Gronewoller hit an ace and Ignacio committed a hitting error to end the game.
Game two brought more of the side-out festival, with Pagosa jumping in fits and starts to a 6-2 lead before the Bobcats closed the gap to 6-5.
Up 7-5 following an Ignacio hitting error, the Lady Pirates put together their only substantial block of points in the match. Ash took the serve and the Ladies ran off six unanswered points, scoring twice on tandem blocks by Gronewoller and Lancing and once when Gronewoller put an errant Bobcat pass to the floor. Ignacio handed over the other three points with hitting errors.
In the midst of 14 changes of serve, Ignacio got three points on Pagosa mistakes and the Ladies received a charity point on a Bobcat hitting error. Buckley put the affair to a merciful end with a kill to seal the 15-8 win.
Three Ladies had .500 hitting averages. Gronewoller was 9 for 18; Ash was 3 for 6; Lancing was 2 for 4. Canty hit five kills in 11 attempts and Buckley was 7 for 20.
Lancing had three solo stuff blocks and 17 setting assists. Gronewoller also completed three solo blocks and served the only ace in the match. Ash led the way in the back court with six digs to the setter.
"We won the match," said coach Hamilton, "but the girls weren't communicating. They were lethargic and their reactions were slow. I think the match against Centauri (tonight, at La Jara) is important. If Centauri is on and we play the way we did against Ignacio, Centauri can beat us."
It has been a shaky season for Centauri, with the team recently losing a three-game shocker to Bayfield, at La Jara on Oct. 14. The Falcons have the experience and talent to be formidable; the question is whether or not the team will achieve the necessary consistency and motivation in time for playoff matches.
Following tonight's match at Centauri, the Ladies close out the regular season with an IML match on the home court against Monte Vista.
"We need to take care of business as quickly as possible, and leave the gym," said the coach of the Homecoming match against Monte Vista.
The team from the San Luis Valley is the IML whipping boy this season, taking regular beatings in league competition. Monte is in the unenviable position of failing to qualify for the District 1 tourney, which will be held at Monte Vista Oct. 28.
Wins over the Falcons and Monte would guarantee the Ladies the top seed at the District 1 tournament, and pave the way for a regional tournament appearance Nov. 4.
Competition at Centauri starts this afternoon with a C-team match at 5 p.m.
Monte Vista comes to town Saturday with matches beginning at 11 a.m.
Busy week ahead for area talent
Don't forget this is Volunteer Appreciation Week in Pagosa Springs, and we all have the opportunity to thank those wonderful people who do so much for us out of the goodness of their hearts. Do something special for your volunteers - they do so much for us.
Past pictures present
Please join the Pagosa Springs Arts Council tonight for the opening of "Past Pictures Present" at the PSAC Gallery in Town Park, from 5 to 7 p.m. We will be treated to the exquisite collection of local photographer and especially nice guy, Jeff Laydon, including a self-portrait created at the grand old age of 15.
Obviously, this was a young man who recognized his passion and talent at a very early stage in his life, and we are all ever so grateful that he followed his heart. On the outside chance that you are not familiar with Jeff's work, he does all the wonderful photos of the furry ones for the Humane Society and specializes in panoramic photos (one of which appears in the Chamber lure brochure). Refreshments will be served, so plan to stop by after work tonight or, if you can't make it, the exhibit will be at the Gallery until Nov. 1. Nice going Jeff.
Artists' studio tour
The Arts Council is bent on keeping us busy these days and invites you to join them for a tour of local artists' studios Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. This is a fabulous opportunity to see these artists at work in their own environment and to spend as much or as little time as you please.
You will be provided a map of the different studios to guide you on your tour so that you may visit any and all of them. Tickets are available at Moonlight Books, Chamber of Commerce, PSAC Gallery and WolfTracks Bookstore and Coffee Company for $10 (PSAC members may purchase their tickets at the Gallery for $8).
Local artists participating in this tour are Wayne Justus, Ross Barable, Candice Rusnick, Betty Slade, Joe Lean, Kent Gordon, Bill and Clarissa Hudson, Soledad Estrada-Leo, C. L. Goldrick, Lori Salisbury, Linda Sapp, Virginia Bartlett and Roberto and Ana Garcia.
The gallery at Town Park will be open on tour day displaying the photography of Jeff Laydon and will serve refreshments from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Don't miss out on this unusual opportunity.
Shirley at Keno's Kritters was good enough to call us with the sad news that they will be closing their doors after six years of service to the community. We sure hate to lose them but fully understand that it is time to move on to greener pastures. They will offer a half-price closeout sale tomorrow and Saturday. Keno's Kritters is located at 298 Bastille Drive off North Pagosa Boulevard just down the road from UBC Lumber. This is their way of thanking all their loyal Pagosa customers for their support during the last six years. Our best wishes to Steve and Shirley and our thanks for all their hard work at Keno's Kritters.
Our heartfelt congratulations go out to Dusty Pierce, recent recipient of the prestigious President's Award for his outstanding work as president of the San Juan Builders Association. The President's Award is presented to an individual who made special contributions to the Colorado Association of Home Builders during the year. We also want to congratulate Tim Horning of Southwest Custom Builders for his nomination for this award. Thank, guys - we're proud of you.
Two new members to introduce to you this week and, count 'em, 28 renewals. We do indeed love this time of year when the forms are coming our way in such a delightful stream. Keep those cards and letter coming, kids.
We are happy to welcome Archie Mac Millan who is branching out into a new endeavor with a unique twist. Archie brings us Accu-Tax Service, Inc. with offices located in his home. Archie offers income tax service and will bring his services to you and your records in your home. Yep, he's a tax man who makes house calls. He will prepare business, personal, federal and state returns and also offers electronic filing and refund anticipation loans. You can contact Archie at 731-2491 to learn more about Accu-Tax Service, Inc. and inquire about his house calls.
Welcome to Laura Hodges who joins us with Below Wholesale, at 432 Pagosa Street. Below Wholesale offers thousands of name brand items at rock bottom prices. Visit them in the heart of downtown Pagosa Springs or on the web at www.BelowWholesale.net. If you haven't been in, you owe it to yourself to drop in and see the fascinating array of items. They have something for everyone. Their inventory moves so quickly, it is forever changing. Drop in or call 731-6300 for more information.
Our renewals this week include: Daryl Leeper with Cascade Water-Coffee Service; Lynn Shirk with JTL Appraisals; the Holiday Acres Property Owners Association; Mack Jones with Mountain Heights Baptist Church; Gilbert and Nancy Davidson with Davidson's Country Inn; Patti Renner with Nature's Creations and Patti and Jack Renner with Renner's Mini Storage; Doug Call with Pagosa Area Trails Council; Sharon (Shari) Gustafson with Gustafson Consulting Group; Bernard Schuchart with Cabin Fever Log Homes; Bernard Schuchart with The Buck Stops Here; Sharon Cairns with the Community United Methodist Thrift Shop; Curt Johnson with Custom Homes by Curt Johnson; Jo Bridges with the Pagosa Ranger District, U.S. Forest Service; Amy Bachman with Frontier Internet; Don and Mary McKeehan (Mr. and Mrs. Old and Beat Up) with Old West Press (or Wild West Press); Joanne Haliday with the Pagosa Springs Arts Council; Mary Deganhart-Weiss with the Law Offices of Mary Weiss; APWU, Local #7153 located at the Post Office Downtown; Ken Harms with SelecPro School Photography; Ken Harms with Harms Photo/Graphic Associates; Sharon Colby with her three businesses: Colby's Cards and Gifts, Old Town Gifts, and the Christmas in Pagosa Shop (what do you think Sharon does in her spare time?); Lyn DeLange with the Pagosa Springs Welcoming Service and CSE Advertising Specialties; Ann Brady with the Happy Camper RV Park; and Real Estate Associate Member, Yvonne Kuri with Coldwell Banker, The Pagosa Group. Thanks to one and all for your renewed support - we appreciate it.
Be sure and pick up your tickets for the Nov. 11 Immaculate Heart of Mary fourth annual Fashion Show and Luncheon, "Pioneers of Pagosa." This event is traditionally sold out, so you would be wise to act quickly and pick up your tickets at the Chamber of Commerce as soon as possible. Tickets are $15 and the festivities begin at noon, Nov. 11, at Parish Hall on Lewis Street.
Don't miss a fun time Sunday with the Duck Race at JJ's Upstream Restaurant.
Lots of rubber duckies will go into the water right behind JJ's at 1 p.m. and the winning duck is worth $250 to the lucky ticket holder. Second place isn't shabby at all with $150, and third place offers $75. We'll see you at JJ's on Sunday for the duck race and brunch or lunch. All proceeds from the Duck Race and 10 percent of the food sales benefit the Community Center. See you there!
You have four opportunities to see the latest Pagosa Players and King's Men production, "Good Help Is So Hard to Murder" at Pagosa Lodge at the Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre, October 20, 21, 27 and 28. This is a comedy set in the 1930s in the Deep South and it was written by Pat Cook. Michael DeWinter takes direction honors and production kudos go to Zach Nelson. Advance ticket sales only, folks, with tickets available at the Chamber of Commerce, The Plaid Pony and WolfTracks Bookstore and Coffee Company. Tickets are $24.50 and include dinner, show, tax and gratuity. The show will be held in the Ponderosa Room at Pagosa Lodge following a buffet dinner served from 6:30 to 7:15 p.m. Dinner will be in the southern tradition of pot roast, fried chicken or catfish (you choose one) and curtain time is 8 p.m.
For information, give us a call at 264-2360.
Adult resource team
A group of concerned citizens and several local providers have been meeting to discuss the support and facilitation of services for adults in Archuleta County. The committee, called the Adult Resource Team, has adopted an agenda of "Helping and protecting the elderly and at-risk adults through resources and referral."
The committee is preparing a new resource guide for adults detailing volunteer services and volunteer resources in the area. Your agency and/or individual name can be utilized in the Resource Guide by signing up as a volunteer service or volunteer resource. For more information, contact Donna Pina at the Archuleta County Department of Social Services, 264-2182.
Rec Center adds new swim instructor to staff
Just a few decades ago, students in the average swim-instruction class lined up on the side of the pool and waited their turn to receive instruction. The students, especially young children, quickly became either bored or began to shiver while waiting for their turn. It's a small wonder that anyone took an interest in learning to swim.
In recent years, learn-to-swim programs have incorporated new practices to combat boredom and fear of the water. Popular techniques and philosophies include parent/child bonding, emphasizing safety, incorporating swim aids and equipment, and creating entertaining classes.
As recognition of these trends grows, the Pagosa Lakes Recreation Center is gearing up to provide new swim classes to include one or both parents in the lessons. This is in an attempt to improve focus around family bonding in the pool, especially in young children's classes. The Recreation Center will add to the program as time passes, but will not forfeit the basic parent - child relationship, brief and active lessons, and repetitive sessions so the child's concentration level stays in the water to the best of their personal ability. Hopefully, it will also be a great opportunity to reeducate the parent, and this is imperative. If the child's lessons are not reinforced in other aquatic environments, the result won't be what we, or the parent, hope for.
Because overcoming a fear of water is the first step in learning to swim, the program will strive to make students familiar with their environment and comfortable in the water &emdash; building student confidence will be important. Some children are ready to put their faces in the water faster than others, so they won't be told they have to unless they are ready and accept the suggestion without rejection. Overcoming fear through constant and gentle introduction to the water will be emphasized. Once a student becomes comfortable, subsequent steps fall into place.
Stephen Elges from Monroe, Wash., will be joining the Recreation Center staff next week. An aquatic coordinator with the Sammamish Family YMCA in Issaquah, Wash., Stephen will design and instruct swim classes. In addition to the new parent/child classes, swim lessons will continue to be made available to preschoolers and young elementary school students. Stephen will also conduct lessons for youngsters desiring to join the Pagosa Lakes Swim Club. The swim club will begin their winter training in late January. Please call the Recreation Center (731-2051) with your name and telephone number if you wish to enroll your child. Swim lessons will begin in early November. Dates and times will be announced after Stephen has had a chance to get his bearings. We welcome Stephen and his wife, Deanna, to Pagosa Springs.
Pagosa Springs Rotary Club is inviting local young professionals for two group study exchange opportunities. These exchanges, to Israel and the Mexico City area, will take participants to these areas for four weeks. Each exchange offers unique insights in a condensed format not typically available to a tourist.
Rotary International provides travel grants for group study exchange participants. The exchange trip to Mexico is planned for approximately mid-April, 2001 and the other to Israel will take place in mid-May 2001. Information and applications are available from Rotarians Tom and Ming Steen at 731-4596.
Bake sale Saturday backs medical shuttle fees
Archuleta Senior Citizens Inc. is planning a bake sale (from 8 a.m. until we run out of goods) 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, as well as having you stop by to purchase some of our products (we have some good cooks so you will enjoy what you purchase, I'm sure).
We were happy to have Brad Killion (Kurt and Shirley Killion's son) and Clara Kelly join us this week. Brad is here visiting his parents. Clara has already become a volunteer. Thanks Clara.
We welcomed back Neva and Wilbur Sullivan on Friday, even though it is just temporary while Wilbur takes to the woods for hunting. We wish him luck. And Clyde Bagby, Norman and Anna Denny, Bruce and Mary Muirhead, and Betty Thomas (a new volunteer) were all welcomed back on Monday after being absent for a while.
Jan Hartzell and Marion Knowles left for the winter (we will really miss them).
We need more new members to fill our tables.
Mae Boughan is this week's Senior of the Week. Mae is a mainstay of our organization and we are proud to honor her.
The menus and social calendars for October are at the front desk. Be sure to pick them up so you can keep track of what we are serving and what social events will be coming up.
Betty Lou Reid tells us that Tuffy George is back home recuperating from her health problems. Our prayers are with Tuffy for a full recovery, and we hope her friends will stop by to visit her to help keep up her spirits.
Tina White, our wonderful director, is under the weather. We pray for her speedy recovery.
Visiting Montreal gives illusion free rein
The cruise my mother and I took recently began in the Canadian city of Quebec, which was founded in 1580 or thereabouts by the French explorer Jacques Cartier. From there our ship headed up the St. Lawrence River to Montreal.
Although Quebec is about 1,000 miles from the mouth of the St. Lawrence, there is a 20-foot tide at the city. When we first boarded the ship we walked UP a steep ramp. Six hours later we walked DOWN the same ramp. The dock hadn't moved, but the boat sure had.
The great thing about being a tourist in Quebec or Montreal is that you have the illusion of being in a foreign country. All the signs are in French, and the residents all speak French to each other. But when you need directions, or want to ask a question, most of them also speak English. So you don't have to go around with a phrasebook book clutched in your hand.
The second evening in Quebec, several of us went out walking, looking for local nightlife, actually. On the way back to the ship we passed a plaza none of us had seen before, featuring an unusually modern sculpture.
Naturally, our inquiring minds wanted to know, what's this all about?
I knew the most French, meaning the others knew none, so I was drafted to read the marker. Haltingly I picked out a few words, then something something, then a few more words. I couldn't make much progress. I think it was commemorating a pledge of good relations between France and Canada. Maybe.
A young couple approached, and Rich hailed them. "Do you speak English?"
"A little," came the reply.
"Can you tell us what this says?"
The young man bent over the plaque. His translation sounded astonishingly similar to my own. A few words, something something, a few more words. We stood around patiently. Minutes passed, and our translator bogged down. Hoping to reduce the stress on the poor guy, one of us finally asked him, "Do you live around here?"
"No," he said. "We're from Germany."
Well, no wonder he couldn't make much sense of that plaque! The two of them were on their honeymoon. Were they going to Niagara Falls? we asked. They didn't know. We told them that Niagara Falls was once a traditional destination for honeymooners, and that they absolutely must go there.
The other thing about the St. Lawrence River is that it freezes over during winter. Really freezes. Ice breakers keep the channel open as far as Montreal. Until December or so.
In both Quebec and Montreal people were quick to tell us how many degrees below zero the average winter temperature was and how long winter lasted. They're kind of proud about it. Plus, their winter days are often wet and gray, unlike the glorious sunny days we usually have here in Pagosa Country. You have to wonder why they stay.
As a way of coping with winter, there is a second city underneath downtown Montreal, with subway stops and pedestrian streets and every kind of store. It's so vast, we were warned, that you could get lost there. In the winter you could travel from your apartment by subway to the city, take the elevator into your building, shop on your lunch hour, pick up dinner after work, and take the subway home again. You'd never have to go out into the cold.
Our ship was docked near Old Montreal, which has been turned into an entertainment area, with lots of restaurants and "Souvenir de Canada" shops. The buildings are probably 100 years old, maybe a lot older, three and four stories high, and the streets are narrow and cobbled.
Our Gang of Four went out walking again in Montreal.
One of us, Rich, is a contractor. He buys fixer-uppers and rehabs them. He also is intensely curious about everyone and everything, apparently. So when he saw a sign in a window advertising that the business was for sale, all inventory included, Rich's eyes gleamed as though he were already estimating the work needed. His wife sighed.
Rich went into the shop to find out more. The rest of us tagged along.
The asking price for the business was $59,000. But the man told Rich, "The whole building is also for sale."
"One million dollars."
"Is that Canadian dollars?" Rich asked. The man was a little testy. "Of course!" he exclaimed. "This is Canada, for Pete's sake."
Rich didn't buy the building, as far as I know. But the pattern was set. From then on we pointed out every building we saw that was for sale. The older and more decrepit, the better. This worked really well in central New York State, which is economically depressed and seems to have a lot of fixer-uppers.
Rich would say, "Hmm. Yeah." And Bonnie would roll her eyes and insist, "We don't need any more houses."
Our ship was scheduled to depart Montreal at 4 a.m. I woke a few minutes early, when the deep thrum of the engine vibrated through the hull. Anxious to see us cast off, I pulled on my coat and headed up to the main deck, which was slippery with rain.
I stood forward of the main cabin, under shelter of the top deck, just by the stairs going up to the pilot house, where I startled Captain Bob heading for the pilot house. I'm glad to report that he didn't actually jump over the railing, but it's a good thing he has a strong heart, or we might have spent a few extra days in Montreal.
Within a few minutes the Canadian pilot we were required to have on board through the St. Lawrence Seaway had boarded. We pushed off from the dock and headed upstream toward the first lock.
"In both Quebec and Montreal people were quick to tell us how many degrees below zero the average winter temperature was and how long winter lasted. they're kind of proud of it. Plus, their winter days are often wet and gray, unlike the glorious sunny days we usually have here in Pagosa Country. You have to wonder why they stay."
New newsletters offer vital data
The Domestic Violence Chair is on display at the Sisson Library for a few more days. Eighty-four individuals died in Colorado last year due to acts of domestic violence. Please come by and get a free purple ribbon to wear. Let us all help bring an end to this tragic statistic. Thanks to Carmen Hubbs of the Archuleta County Victims' Assistance Program for sharing this display.
We received the newsletter from the new Graduate Center, which operates under the auspices of the state colleges of Colorado. There are new programs available for students living on the Western Slope. The brochure lists the many graduate degree programs available. The web site is: www.GraduateCenter.org. You can have a free copy of the newsletter if you ask at the desk.
The Fort Lewis College Center of Southwest Studies newsletter discusses the new Center under construction since May 1999. The Center will contain the Anthropology department, museum, archives and special Southwest library.
Thousands of artifacts, rare Navajo weavings, contemporary art, historic photographs, and other collections will have a single home.
Andrew Gulliford is the new director of the Center. Dr. Gulliford brings with him a national reputation as a public historian. Gulliford grew up in Lamar. His goal is to preserve Western heritage and to train Native Americans to conserve and curate their own cultural resources.
The Center should be open this December if all goes as planned.
The 2000 publication makes an effort to include all Colorado hay producers who direct-market their hay. If you are not listed and would like to be included, there is an address in the book. The Colorado Department of Agriculture publishes the directory.
Drugs and the brain
Someone donated a CD-ROM and user guide discussing what drug abuse does to the brain. It is a multimedia exhibit developed in collaboration with Harvard Medical School and the Museum of Science, Boston. It may be checked out. We have not had time to review it. We'd appreciate feedback on its value.
A new service is now open on the Internet.www.coloradoeducation jobs.com will post openings for positions in the state. We also have several free handouts.
Civic Club Raffle items keep coming in. Wait 'til you see the Santa Fe-style adobe bird house from Richard Sutherland, and Cheryl Barlow's Cowboy Santa in a real stirrup. There are striking mountain photographs from Bob Kisken; Cathy Magin's tole painting; Barb Draper's darling life size doll; Michael Follett's leather piece; Denny Rose's note cards; two art prints by Kathleen Wolf; Leslie Montroy's monogrammed jacket, and Margaret Wilson's money wreath to go along with the other cold cash money basket. It all goes to make this one of the best raffles ever. There are many more items that need to be seen. Get your tickets as the Nov. 4 raffle is coming up soon. The raffle is at 5 p.m. that day, at the Bazaar. Tickets are available at the library and from any Civic Club member.
And, don't forget: Nov. 11 will be the 10K walk/run Turkey Trot. Start the morning off with a brisk outing. Registration forms are available at the Pagosa Lakes Recreation Center or the library.
We appreciate financial gifts in memory of Ernest Schutz from Bill and Barney Storm, the Southwestern Water Conservation District, Marion Francis Jr., Karen Samson, Ralph and Genevieve Phelps. The Phelps also made a donation in memory of Millie Jean Yamaguchi. Thanks for a donation from Kate Terry to the book fund.
Thanks also for materials from Dick and Betty Hillyer, Genelle Macht, Cate Smock, Dodie Wood, Dusty Pierce, Stacie Tye, Peggy Bergon, Patty Brown, and several donations in memory of Terri Lynn Smith.
Elected officials' duties explained
Every issue of The Pagosa Springs SUN includes a list of Colorado's elected officials and their addresses.
For the state there are Gov. Bill Owen (R), State Representative Mark Larson (R) and State Senator Jim Dyer (D).
For the nation, Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell (R), Senator Wayne Allard (R) and Scott McGinnis from Colorado's 3rd Congressional District (R).
Senators are ranked according to seniority and so Campbell's name is listed first. State legislatures determine the number of Congressional Districts. Colorado has six districts. Pagosa Springs is in the 3rd District.
Too often we forget what the responsibilities of Congress are and so, as a reminder for you (and for me), I quote from the Congressional Direction and Action Guide for the 2nd Session/106th Congress that has just closed.
The responsibilities of the Congress - in addition to writing federal laws - are that the Congress has the power to conduct investigations, monitor federal agencies, impeach federal officers including the President, declare war, approve treaties, raise or lower taxes, appropriate money, approve top federal agency and judicial appointments and all armed forces officer appointments.
A two-thirds majority in both chambers will override a presidential veto.
When members are voted to congress, they try to get assigned to committees related to their personal interests and background and to the economic interests of their district or state. When they can they seek membership on powerful committees as The Appropriations Committee (that controls the flow of money to programs authorized by other committees) (Campbell belongs to this); the Senate Finance Committee, and the House Ways and Means Committee that considers tax legislation (McInnis belongs to this).
Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell is a member of the following committees: Appropriations, Energy and Natural Resources, Indian Affairs and Veteran's Affairs.
Sen. Wayne Allard: Armed Services and Banking and Financial Services.
Rep. Scott McGinnis belongs to the Ways and Means Committee.
Many of the major denominations and faith groups have offices in the Washington, D.C. close to the capital. The purpose of these offices is to influence passage of bills which reflect the philosophy of their denomination or group. There are nineteen of these, and there are 11 religious coalitions (including the National Council of Churches) and 10 other organizations offering information.
The religious affiliation of each congressman is listed: Campbell as Native American, Allard as Protestant, McGinnis as Roman Catholic.
One hundred fifty-two members are Roman Catholic, 60 members Baptist, 50 members Presbyterian, 61 Methodist, 43 Episcopal, 34 Jewish, three Unitarian Universalist, and three are undecided. These are some of the numbers included of 24 religious affiliations listed.
All this information adds to what we ought to know about our government.
Fun on the run
A 90-year-old man is sitting on a park bench, sobbing, when a young man walks by and asks him what's wrong.
Through his tears the old man answers. "I'm just so in love with my 25-year-old wife."
"What's wrong with that?" asks the young man.
Between the sobs and sniffles, he answers, "You can't understand. Every morning before she goes to work, she cooks me breakfast and kisses me and tells me she loves me . . . at lunchtime she comes home and embraces me warmly, and then she makes my favorite meal. In the afternoon when she gets a break, she rushes home with ice cream, the best an old man could want. And then after a gourmet supper, she gives me a warm bath, and cuddles up with me all night." He breaks down, no longer able to speak.
The young man puts his arm around him. "Oh, I think I see - I bet you just found out she's with you for your money?"
"No," the old man answers through his sobbing and tears, "I forgot where I live."
Gallery exhibit features Laydon photos
The Pagosa Springs Arts Council gallery is having another Thursday night open house for a new exhibit and this one proves to be the best of all.
Pagosa Springs Art Council President Jeff Laydon's exhibit opens tonight at 5 p.m. Jeff's exhibit is titled "Past Photographs Present." Our PSAC President is also this month's featured artist in the Connections Magazine. This exhibit runs until Nov. 1. Since this is the last exhibit of 2000, you have to stop by and check it out.
Even though Jeff represents the last exhibit of the year, this does not mean anyone should forget PSAC's annual "An Olde Tyme Christmas Shoppe." Any artists or crafters interested in selling their art or crafts in the Town Park gallery need to call Joanne at 264-5020. The deadline for entry is Oct. 31.
While on the subject of exhibits, we have a local artist exhibiting at Fort Lewis College. Her name is Kate Petley, and she relocated to Pagosa Springs from Houston almost two years ago. Titled "Monkey Mind," the show includes mixed media sculpture and wall constructions using plastics, resins and other luminous materials. Petley will also have a solo exhibition of photography opening at the new Rudolph Projects gallery in New York in December. We all should take pride in our new member and welcome her to our community by stopping by the Fort Lewis College Art Gallery the next time we are in Durango.
The second special Whistle Pig event this month will be a Halloween dance and costume party, planned for Oct. 27 at the Vista Community Center. This event will start off at 7 p.m. with open mike performances, to be followed by a dance to the sounds of Pagosa's own Rio Jazz, featuring Bob Hemenger on sax, Lee Bartley and John Graves on keyboards, and D.C. Duncan on drums. Volunteers are needed to help make this a memorable "night on the town," so if you have the desire to help put this party night together, please call Bill Hudson at 264-2491.
In keeping with the Halloween spirit - no pun intended - the Pagosa Players and King's Men are hosting a murder/comedy family dinner theater. "Good Help is Hard to Murder" will be performed Oct. 20, 21 and Oct. 27 and 28 at the Pagosa Lodge. Dinner will be served at 6:30 p.m. and the performance will start at 8 p.m. Tickets can be purchased in advance only and are being sold at the Chamber of Commerce, Plaid Pony and WolfTracks bookstore.
Other PSAC info
Saturday is the day for PSAC's annual "Artists' Studio Tour." This year's tour features 15 artists in 13 different studios. Tickets for the tour are $8 for PSAC members and $10 for non-members. Children 12 and under are free. Tickets can be purchased at PSAC Gallery, Moonlight Books, WolfTracks Coffee Co., and the Chamber of Commerce.
If you would like to start receiving discounts as a member, just stop by the PSAC gallery at Town Park and fill out a membership form. Individual membership is $20 and a family membership is $30.
It is time to start thinking about the annual Photography Contest to be held at Moonlight Books Feb. 3 to 24. This year there will be several new categories. For a complete list of all entry rules, stop by Moonlight Books or the gallery at Town Park.
Anyone interested in volunteering to help Joanne out at the gallery or any PSAC event, please call her at 264-5020. It does not have to be a full-time commitment and it is always a lot of fun.
Speaking of the gallery, why not purchase a treasure from a local artist. The PSAC gallery is not just for exhibits - we also have a gift shop that sells the works of past artists and local crafters. Check it out. Do not forget the gallery is now operating with winter hours, open Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Better late than never
A question often heard in Pagosa asks: "What is it that makes Archuleta County tick &emdash; its matchless volunteers or its multiplicity of public meetings?" The question does not necessarily produce an either-or answer. Sometimes the answer focuses on the combined efforts of Pagosa's tireless volunteers and the competent citizens who surrender their time in order to attend pertinent public meetings so that important achievements are accomplished.
The 45-page draft of the proposed Archuleta County Community Plan is such an accomplishment. It represents the collaborative effort of county and town employees and concerned private citizens. It has the potential to become one of the most beneficial documents that the county has adopted in several decades. Through no fault of those who helped develop the Community Plan, its major shortcoming is that it was not adopted and implemented 30 years earlier.
The commissioners meeting room in the county courthouse seats around 60 people. A couple of groups of 10 to 12 latecomers can uncomfortably crowd the hallway immediately outside the meeting room's two doors.
So if you want to be able to say, "I was there when Archuleta County made a concerted effort towards meeting the challenges of preserving its past, protecting its present status and preparing for its future demands," you better arrive early for Wednesday's 6 p.m. work session involving the Upper San Juan Regional Planning Commission and the Archuleta County commissioners, and the planning commission's regular business meeting that follows at 7 p.m.
Whereas the adoption of the Archuleta County Community Plan is a long overdue, its future equitable implementation by elected county officials and by the county's employees will provide new and needed answers for making Archuleta County tick. David C. Mitchell
Pushing SUN's 92nd No. 1
It was brought to my attention yesterday that this edition of The Pagosa Springs SUN comes off the presses as Volume 92, Number 1.
From what I understand about weekly newspapers, that means today's edition is the 4,733rd edition since Volume 1 Number 1 of the SUN first appeared on the streets of Pagosa Springs on December 3, 1909.
Despite a number of inevitable cloudy and overcast days, that's a lot of SUN rises and SUN sets.
My memory remains somewhat clear regarding my first involvement with the SUN when Volume 72 Number 24 rolled off the presses on April 23, 1981.
Once I finished "shagging" the press run and carrying the copies to the mail room, I noticed there were three very blank rolls of sparkling white newsprint occupying the SUN's presses.
I'd already spent most of the week asking questions about what was going on at the site of my new set of responsibilities. So it was somewhat natural that I found myself asking, "Do these blank rolls mean we've finished this week's edition, or do they mean we've already started on next week's SUN?"
I've yet to get an answer.
All I know is that weekly newspapers are somewhat like an east-to-west journey around the Earth &emdash; it's never ending. Yet somehow you never sense that you are simply going around in circles.
At times there is a sense of achievement. At other times there is an awareness of angst.
At all times there is the constant awareness that rather than being an achievement, this week's edition brings with it the requirement that next week's edition needs to be produced and published.
Possibly this is what folks mean when they say there is a real future in the newspaper business. You better believe that's true with a weekly newspaper. The future is next week's edition. The past is for dreamers.
That's probably why I enjoy preparing the weekly "25 years ago" segment for each week's SUN.
At times while I'm compiling the news clips from 25 years ago, I read the earlier edition's 25 years ago column. That somewhat puts me in touch with the happenings of Pagosa Springs 50 years earlier.
Yet I'm much like everyone else. Though I've already prepared the information from the December 4, 1975 edition of the SUN, I look forward to learning what news content will occupy the pages of next week's edition.
An article in a recent Publishers' Auxiliary, a bi-monthly publication of the National Newspaper Association, reminded me of how the future mirrors the past.
This particular edition was focusing on "Newspaper Forcasts for 2001." I'm not sure why forecast was spelled without an E other than editorial license.
One prediction in particular &emdash; "More front page advertising" &emdash; caught my attention.
Late last year, I had declined a local advertiser's request, with an offer to pay a year in advance, to exclusively run a weekly ad across the bottom of the front page of each one of this year's editions.
It's not that the extra revenue wouldn't have been useful. Nor was there a concern about "we've never done it that way before." It just didn't seem right to me.
Actually, history was on the side of the advertiser. Half of the front page of Volume 1, Number 1 of The Pagosa Springs SUN is occupied by an advertisement for The Hatcher Mercantile Co. and for Sparks-Moore Hardware Company.
One of the many things I didn't know back in 1981 was that I wasn't getting into the newspaper business, I was getting into the advertising business.
Know you are loved and please keep us in your prayers. David
Wolf Creek paving completed
Taken from SUN files
of Oct. 23, 1975
The major portion of the paving project on Wolf Creek Pass was completed this week. The highway on the west side is now four lane down from the top to just above the west side highway camp. The grade has been improved and the roadway realigned and widened in some areas.
Sheriff John Evans said his office was notified on Oct. 15 that a hunter was lost in the Fosset Gulch area. A search party scouted the area from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. last Thursday when the lost hunter, Mahlon Swope of Indiana, was located at Chimney Rock Cafe. He had apparently spent the night with a hunting group camped on Fosset Gulch and was taken to the cafe when he was unable to tell his benefactors the whereabouts of his own camp.
Bud Brown, manager of Wolf Creek Ski Area, announced this week that a special pre-season sale is being held for season passes for the 1975-76 ski season. Brown said the 15 percent discount on the season passes makes it possible for skiers to ski at Wolf Creek for much less than in any other area.
The new Circle K store is holding its grand opening this Saturday and is offering a portable TV as its featured door prize.
Memories of early Archuleta County
Last week I referred to a story of Pagosa Springs history that was written by Bonnie Kern Stafford in the late 1960s. In the story she mentioned many of the pioneers of the county that she had known. I'd like to share some of her memories of early Archuleta County.
"P.J. Fisher came from over Mancos way, and had a store. Dry goods, etc. Dr. Mary Winter came and at last we had a doctor. Her first office was in Fisher's Store. They were married and lived on the east and north side for a good many years.
"Charlie Freeman came from over the Piedra way (the Yellow Jacket area) where his father lived. He was a clerk or something. He used to torment me a good deal about my friends, but we always thought a lot of Charlie. He and his wife lived on the north and west side of the (San Juan) river for a long time.
"When I came home for summer vacation in 1896 there had been a fire in the courthouse. This must have been the time that all of the records were destroyed. That is those that were not in the vault. There were so many moving to the north and west of Pagosa and there was no room on the courthouse side of the river. Think that was when they began to plan a courthouse on the west side of the river. I do not remember the date on which it was first used. They were building to the north, too.
"Buckles, Sparks, and Methodists all built so they did not meet in the school house any more. In March 1898, I took the teacher's examination and received a third grade certificate.
"A good many were coming in and settling on the Piedra (Yellow Jacket) Fords, Murray Harlan and others further west on the road to Durango. They had a school district organized and had to have a three-month term at once, so I was employed. The school was in a room at the Freeman farm in that district called Yellow Jacket, just a room &emdash; no blackboard or anything, all the books I could gather up and my uncle Fil Byrne could find and what the scholars had.
"Mr. Freeman, Charlie's father was building a house to replace the old one that he had had for years. There were three carpenters there from Pagosa, Elliot Halstead, Chase and Scott. Mr. Freeman had a housekeeper, Mrs. Burster her husband and a son Carl. Mrs. Freeman gave me board and room of $10.00 per month and my salary was $30.00 per month. Uncle Fil took me there when the school began in September for three months. I taught another term there about the same time and conditions the following year 1899."
Smile, friendly greeting, welcome surprises
Fog rising like the breath of a sleeping giant on a cold morning.
Mists merging to fight off briefly the rays of morning sun.
Combined, these short-lived moisture masses cloud the life of Pagosans and give the impression of solitude in the San Juan Basin.
Quiet, still, serene.
It is a picture of Pagosa Country awakening, the beginning of nature's smile on our segment of creation.
Given this salute to our existence, why should we not return the feeling manifold?
How hard can it be to smile and wish someone, even a complete stranger, "Good morning"? Why not greet a customer with a heartfelt "Good afternoon" and a smile? How about wishing fellow workers a good evening as you depart for the day?
Visitors to our town have often remarked about how friendly the people here are. They are often stunned when a passerby greets them with a smile and a hearty welcome. Whether it be "Howdy, folks," a smiling "Good morning," or a wave and a "how y'all," each of us can give the visitor a surprise welcome to our town.
Friends and remote acquaintances, too, can be cheered by a friendly greeting. Anyone off to a bad start on a busy day can get a boost from a friendly smile and obviously well-meant greeting.
Picturing in a historical mind's eye the fog and mist seen on our cool mornings swirling instead around native Americans gathered at the "great spring of stinking water" on the banks of the San Juan, one can perhaps get close to the beginning of creation.
The hot water stems from the core of the earth, from the boiling, roiling gasses the creator used to form the planet and the elements of life thereon.
The hot spring was a smile of healing, a source of heavenly friendship, a site to share with concern for friends and foes alike.
Give yourself and others an uplifting experience. Try going through a whole day with a smile and friendly greeting for everyone you meet in the grocery, on the street, in the restaurant, at work and perhaps just as importantly, at home.
A smile can be powerful, colorful, beautiful and filled with mystery.
It can be both envied and scorned, desired and rejected. A happy smile can't be faked.
As every school child was once taught, it takes far more muscles to frown than to smile, so consider your smile a form of relaxation.
* * *
And now, some news items you may have missed:
WITH HALLOWEEN looming on our end of October horizon, pumpkin growers in Eastern Colorado are lamenting an early freeze which, they say, literally destroyed thousands of potential jack-o-lanterns.
I suspect that means the ones which will be available in our markets will cost more, illustrating something about the old theory of supply and demand, to say nothing of profit motive.
SNOW ON THE MOUNTAINS this early in the season may be a harbinger of better conditions for ski resorts this winter. It may also begin to stack up much earlier than usual if last week's snowfall is an indicator. Wolf Creek ski area officials said by Thursday morning they'd had a foot of new snow and there was an 8-inch base.
One added benefit could be increased spring runoff and elimination of yard watering restrictions. Another summer drought like this year's, however, could quickly siphon off any benefits of heavy winter snowfall.
WHEN CONCERNED TEACH-ERS try to analyze their students' scores on state tests, they often are stymied at the individual level because test scores are reported back to the district as percentages only for each type of question.
Now comes word that a specialist at Board of Cooperative Services, a school consortium to which Pagosa Springs belongs, has developed a method of translating the statistical averages into individual student performance data.
The school board was told last week that such data can go a long way toward helping teachers improve areas where individual students fell short. The system is not yet fully designed and nothing like it is available anywhere else.
Supt. Terry Alley said he believes development of individual data profiles on each student will be a helpful tool for both curriculum designers and all the teachers involved
Oldtimer By John Motter
Stories of the hunt marked the early days
By John M. Motter
Since it's hunting season in Pagosa Country, publishing some old time hunting photographs seems appropriate, even though we've published these photographs in The SUN before. Folks might still enjoy them as re-runs.
Pagosa Country was likely home to large numbers of big game animals before too many people with too many guns diminished the ranks in the days before Colorado decided to restrict hunting. The larger animals at that time included elk, mule deer, big horn sheep, grizzly bears, black bears, mountain lions, and wolves.
Early hunting pressure pretty nearly eliminated deer and elk populations. Elk were re-introduced during the 1920s and have since grown into a viable herd. Wolves probably disappeared during the 1920s or 1930s and grizzly bears during the 1950s. Some people who frequent the high country along the Continental Divide say we still have wolves and grizzlies, but the Division of Wildlife says no.
The first photograph was taken during the early 1920s at the former Confar Ranch around the corner from the foot of Confar Hill near Chromo. The man and woman are Fred and Nellie Confar. Propped up on sticks are a pair of wolves. The wolves had been killing livestock in the Chromo area. While out checking cattle, Fred Confar cut the tracks of the pair on the ranch now known as the Bramwell place just down the river from Chromo. In order to lighten the load on "Fly," his horse, he took off the saddle and left it on the ground. Then, bareback and rifle in hand, he followed the tracks. Soon he came upon the killer pair and shot them both. They weighed over 120 pounds each and earned a reward of $100 each from the Colorado Livestock Association.
My informant for this information is Franklin Anderson, a direct descendant of the Confars and son of long-time U.S. Fish and Wildlife trapper in this area, Lloyd Anderson.
"I heard the story from my grandmother," Franklin says. "Fred Confar was her older brother."
"The last wolf I know of in this area was trapped in 1944 by my father near the head of Sand Creek," Franklin said. "It was brindle colored. I know because I was there. We had camped the night before on the divide between Williams Creek and the Weminuche. There used to be a spring and a hollowed-out log used for a water trough there. We heard it howl. Dad said, 'That's the first time I've herd a wolf howl in years.' "
A couple of years later, the owner of the Jewell-Carroll Ranch on the Weminuche complained that coyotes were killing livestock, according to Franklin.
"Because he was a government trapper, my dad was called in," Franklin said. "He caught five of them. They were half coyote, half wolf. Dad thought the old he wolf he'd trapped a couple of years earlier may have mated with a coyote. They weighed 60 or so pounds, a lot larger than the ordinary coyote. They were working in packs, an instinct for wolves, but not for coyotes."
According to Franklin, his dad recalled when the last wolf pack in Pagosa Country was taken out. Those wolves were roaming the Big Pasture in O'Neal Park and ravaging cattle.
"One night, one steer was killed. Thirteen others were hamstrung or gutted and had to be shot," Franklin said. "The wolves didn't eat them, they just played with them. A wolfer from Wyoming was brought in. He took out a den and several older wolves. The steers they were messing with were three or four years old and had not been dehorned. Still, they couldn't take care of themselves."
The trapper ran down the wolves up behind the old Matthews place later owned by the Moore's, according to Franklin. The timing was circa 1922-1924. In those years, several ranchers ran cattle on the Big Pasture. Bob Henry and Manley Hott are said to have discovered the chewed-up herd.
The second photograph shows a collection of hides trapped by Elmer Chapson. Chapson grew up on the family ranch on the West Fork of the San Juan River. We assume the hides were taken from animals trapped in the area. Included, according to notes on the back of the picture, are black bear, bobcats, lynx, and coyote hides. We don't know the date of the photograph, but assume the time range was between 1900 and 1910. Wolves were apparently smart enough to stay out of Chapson's traps.
The third photograph is of a monstrous black bear shot by Fil Byrne, the man in the center. According to the story, Byrne found the bear in the Blanco Basin where he'd gone to try out a "new-fangled" 30:30 rifle. This photo was probably taken shortly after 1900.
Mercy Orthopedic and Sports Therapy Clinic
Ellen King is director of the Mercy Orthopedic and Sports Therapy Clinic, which moved Oct. 16 to new quarters in the Dodie Cassidy Medical Building adjacent to the Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Center on South Pagosa Boulevard.
Mercy Orthopedic and Sports Therapy Clinic treats patients with a wide variety of therapy and pain management needs, providing physical, occupational, speech and sports therapy. The clinic will soon offer Pilates, a wellness program and a ski fitness program.
Business hours at the clinic are 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. (as needed), Monday through Friday. The phone number is 731-3303.