Front Page
November 9, 2000

Ecker tops Smith, use tax defeated

By John M. Motter

George W. Bush was the overwhelming presidential choice of Archuleta County voters at Tuesday's general election.

In an election day when 62 percent of the county's 7,700 registered voters took time to visit the polls, 2,988 of those voters marked Bush's name on the ballot while 1,432 voted for Al Gore. Archuleta County voters indicated a preference consistent with voters across Colorado who showed a 54-41 percent preference for Bush. Both Colorado and Archuleta County presidential preferences ran counter to the national vote total where the presidential vote is so close, final results may not be determined for days.

"Everything went pretty smoothly here," said June Madrid, the Archuleta County clerk and election official. "We finished counting about midnight, which is average. The 62 percent turnout is good, but not a record. In 1992, 78 percent turned out and in 1996 the turnout was 68 percent."

Early and absentee ballots totaled 2,209, 45.9 percent of the 4,814 votes cast, according to Madrid. Again, the early-absentee turnout was not a record.

"We've had as many as 2,500 early votes," Madrid said.

On county ballot issues, Bill Downey and Alden Ecker have been elected county commissioners, a proposed county use tax was soundly defeated, and term limits for county elected officials excepting commissioners were removed.

Concerning a town proposal on the ballot to create a town improvement district in place of the Pagosa Springs Sanitation District, voters okayed creation of the improvement district, but voted against the financial measures needed for creating the improvement district.

Attracting a great deal of local attention were two proposed changes to the state constitution. Both were defeated by large margins. Amendment 21, the so-called TABOR Amendment sponsored by Douglas Bruce and offering tax cuts was opposed by 79.2 percent of Archuleta County's voters, 3,647 against, 956 for. Amendment 24, called the growth management amendment was opposed by 75.3 percent of Archuleta County voters. On that issue, 3,505 citizens voted no, 1,152 voted yes.

County ballot issues

Republican Bill Downey will continue as commissioner for Commissioner District 1, a position he already fills by virtue of his past appointment to fill the unexpired term of former Commissioner Bill Tallon. Downey was unopposed on the Nov. 7 ballot after winning the Aug. 8 primary election race.

"I will continue the work at hand," said Downey. "I'll continue to help get positive things going for citizens of the county. I want to thank all of the supporters I've had. I intend to go on from here."

In Commissioner District 2, Republican Alden Ecker defeated Democrat J.B. Smith. Ecker received 3,285 votes, Smith 1,053 votes. Ecker will replace Commissioner Ken Fox on the board of county commissioners. The exchange will take place at a swearing in ceremony at the county courthouse shortly after Jan. 1, 2001.

"I want to thank all of the people of Archuleta County for their support and votes," Ecker said Wednesday morning. "I also want to thank all of the people who worked on my election campaign," he continued. "It's still a humbling experience for me. As I stated in my ads, it will be my duty and goal to work for the people of Archuleta County and put them first."

Voters overwhelmingly approved Questions 1B through 1G allowing all elected county officials, excepting the commissioners, to serve for more than two consecutive terms in office. The three commissioners will continue to be limited to two terms in office. The other elected officials can serve as many times as they receive voter approval. Those elected officials are the assessor, clerk, treasurer, sheriff, coroner and surveyor.

County Ballot Issue 1A asked permission to levy a 4 percent use tax on building materials purchased outside of Archuleta County, used inside the county, and not subject to a previous use or sales tax. Voters rejected the idea by a 78.5 to 21.5 percent margin, 3,443 votes against, 941 votes for.

Town ballot issues

Only one issue was on the ballot concerning the town, but that issue was divided into four question. The foundation question, 2A, was: Shall the Town of Pagosa Springs Sanitation General Improvement District be organized? Voters said yes by a 72.9 to 27.1 percent margin. The vote was 380 yes, 141 no.

Questions 2B, 2C and 2D all concerned transferring property and funding from the soon-to-be disbanded Pagosa Springs Sanitation District to its intended replacement, the general improvement district. Voters said no on Questions 2B, 2C, and 2D by a large margin, apparently denying the town the means to carry out the organization of the district they approved in Question 2A.

"We're uncertain what this split vote means," said Town Manager Jay Harrington. "We're talking with our attorneys and will bring the issue to the town board at its regular meeting this afternoon (Wednesday)."

6th Judicial District

Democrat Sarah Law was re-elected district attorney for the 6th Judicial District representing Archuleta, La Plata, and San Juan counties. Across the district, Law won by 14,154 votes to 9,121 votes for her unaffiliated opponent, Richard Jaye. Law captured 60.8 percent of the votes. Archuleta County voters backed Law by a 2,258 vote to a 1,695-vote margin over Jaye.

U.S. Representative District 3

Republican Rep. Scott McInnis was re-elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from Colorado's Congressional District 3 by polling 194,376 votes across the district while his chief opponent, Democrat Curtis Imrie gathered 85,794 votes. (Not all of the precincts in the 3rd District had been counted by late Wednesday afternoon.) McInnis topped Imrie in Archuleta County by garnering 3,379 votes to 920 votes for Imrie.

Colorado House District 59

Republican Mark Larson apparently won a second term in the Colorado House of Representatives from District 59 by outpolling Suzanne Garcia, his Democratic opponent, 18,851 to 8,175. (Not all of the precincts in the 59th District had been counted by late Wednesday afternoon.) Larson also captured Archuleta County by receiving 3,076 votes while Garcia was attracting 1,194 votes.

State offices

Republican Donetta Davidson was leading Democrat challenger Anthony Martinez by a margin of 873,825 to 593,873 in the statewide race to be secretary of state, with more ballots remaining to be counted. Davidson bested Martinez in Archuleta County 2,752 to 1,290.


Amendment 20, the legalized medical use marijuana amendment, passed in Colorado by a 54 to 46 percent margin. Archuleta County voters leaned the same direction, showing a 50.3 to 49.7 percent approval for the proposal.

Amendment 21, Douglas Bruce's tax cut proposal, took a beating across Colorado and in Archuleta County. Across the state, almost 66 percent of the voters opposed the proposition. In Archuleta County, almost 80 percent of the voters said no.

Amendment 22 proposing additional gun show controls was passing in Colorado by a 67-33 percent margin. The vote was closer in Archuleta County, 54 percent for, 46 percent against.

Amendment 24 faced the same skepticism across the state as other proposed constitutional amendments. Statewide, voters turned down the proposal with 70 percent opposing, 30 percent favoring. Archuleta County voters rejected the referendum by a 3-1, 75 percent against, 25 percent for showing.

Referendum A, a property tax reduction for senior citizens, was passing with 55 percent of the citizens across the state voting yes. In Archuleta County, 58 percent of the voters approved.

Referendum B requiring a reapportionment timetable was passing across the state by a 3-2 margin, approximately the same approval rate shown by Archuleta County voters.

Referendum C, to also allow county surveyors, who presently by the state constitution are elected, to also be appointed, was going down across the state. Archuleta County voters were of the same mind, as evidenced by their 55 percent no, 45 percent yes vote on the proposal.

Referendum D passed easily across the state and in Archuleta County. This proposal authorizes removing outdated provisions from the constitution.

Referendum E, a multi-state lottery proposal, elicited an almost equal for and against response across the state. Archuleta County voters followed the same pattern. Saying yes were 49.18 percent of the voters, no 50.81 percent.

Referendum F, a proposal to give certain state surplus money to the schools for math and science classes, was being opposed by voters across the state by a 3-2 margin. In Archuleta County, 56.21 percent of the voters said no, 43.78 percent of the voters yes.

All of the vote tallies represented in this article are unofficial. Results may or may not change by the time the final vote counts are certified and become official. Numerical results of key national, state and county political offices and ballot questions appear in a chart on page 1 of this edition.


Trucker leaps to safety as rig leaves Overlook

By Karl Isberg

The driver of a truck westbound on Wolf Creek Pass Nov. 6 was lucky to be alive and uninjured following an accident in which his truck and its load went over the south side of the highway at the notorious Overlook turn.

According to Trooper Nick Rivera of the Colorado State Patrol, the accident occurred at approximately 1:25 p.m. at the Overlook on the west side of Wolf Creek Pass, near milemarker 160.

Rivera said a 1993 Kenworth driven by Arthur Hurt, 43, of Brundidge, Ala., entered the curve at the Overlook at an estimated 40 to 45 miles per hour. Rivera reported the truck had no traction on the wintery road surface, bounced off a concrete barrier next to the highway then went off the highway and down the steep slope at the south side of the road.

Hurt managed to leap from his truck before it left the highway. Rivera said the truck and its load of lumber traveled approximately 400 feet down the slope before it came to rest in the trees.

Rivera reported another semi-truck driver had jackknifed his rig near the run-away truck ramp just above the overlook and witnessed the accident. Rivera was on duty on the pass at that time and arrived at the accident scene at 1:28 p.m., before the second truck driver could make his way to Hurt to render aid.

Bill Bright of Emergency Medical Services said an EMS ambulance crew transported Hurt to the Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Center where the driver was treated by Dr. Bob Brown and released.

"The driver said he was hauling lumber from Wisconsin to Durango," said Bright. "He told one of our people in the ambulance that other truckers parked over at South Fork told him not to drive the pass in those conditions if he had never done it before. He had never done it before, but he went on anyway. He just about made it. He jumped out of that truck at the last moment, and he complained of sore ribs. He is a very lucky man."

Rivera said a wrecker crew was scheduled to remove the truck from its resting spot Wednesday. The trooper said an investigation of the accident is still underway with no decision made concerning possible charges against the driver.


Ladies take volleyball streak to state

By Karl Isberg

Eight teams have fought their way to the Colorado Class 3A volleyball tournament in Denver tomorrow and Saturday - among them, the Pagosa Springs Lady Pirates.

Five of the teams set to compete at Denver have been regular visitors to the event during the last decade - among them the Lady Pirates.

Pagosa joins Faith Christian, Eaton, Platte Valley and Manitou Springs as one of Colorado 3A's familiar faces. The contingent of veteran state tourney teams are joined by Lamar (which competed at the 1999 tournament), Eagle Valley (with a state appearance more than 15 years ago) and newcomer Colorado Springs Christian.

At the end of play on Saturday, one of the teams will be the new state champion.

Competition begins tomorrow at the Denver Coliseum. Teams are separated into two four-team pools for preliminary play Friday. Each team plays the other three teams in its pool and the two top teams advance to semi-final action Saturday morning. The Class 3A final is scheduled for Saturday afternoon.

Pagosa must emerge as one of the top two teams from Pool 2 in order to play Saturday. The pool includes Faith Christian, Lamar and Manitou Springs. Pool 1 includes defending state champion Platte Valley, Eaton, Colorado Springs Christian and Eagle Valley.

The Lady Pirates' program is no stranger to any of the three opponents in Pool 2.


Pool play for the Ladies begins with a match against Lamar, of the Southern League. Pagosa and the Savages met twice this season at the Oct. 7 Fowler Invitational. The teams split at Fowler, with the Ladies taking the first match 15-10, 15-10 and Lamar winning the second match 15-12, 15-10.

Pagosa and Lamar clashed at the 1999 Fowler Invitational, and the Ladies beat their opponents from the southeast plains. The Lady Pirates also defeated the Savages at the 1998 regional tournament, 15-1, 15-6.

Lamar comes to this year's state event with a 23-2 record. The only losses suffered by the senior-dominated squad were to Pagosa and to Eaton (15-7, 15-11) at last week's Region C tournament.

Manitou Springs

Until they suffered two shocking upset losses at their district tournament, the Manitou Springs Mustangs (21-5) were the top-ranked Class 3A team in the state. From the Tri-Peaks League, the Mustangs lost only two regular season matches - to Eaton and Pine Creek - and recovered from their district disaster with a 2-1 record at regionals. At the Region D tournament last week, Manitou beat Aspen and Weld Central and lost 15-13, 13-15, 9-15 to Platte Valley in the final match of the day.

The Mustangs are one of the legendary programs in the state and, as always, feature a potent attack. Pagosa lost a tough match to Manitou at the regional tournament last year, but defeated the Mustangs at the 1998 state tournament 15-12, 13-15, 15-8.

Faith Christian

Pagosa and Faith Christian of the Metropolitan League have met each other three times over the years. The Eagles beat the Ladies at state tournaments in 1995 and 1996. Pagosa returned the favor in 1998, defeating Faith 12-15, 15-13, 15-7.

Faith Christian can be counted on to wheel some heavy hitters into action and this year the team features four attackers who can do damage. On the way to a 24-3 record, the Eagles lost regular season matches to Littleton, Rampart and Manitou Springs. The team took the Region B championship last week with easy victories over Ignacio, Eagle Valley and Trinidad.

Lamar does not report statistics during the season, but the remaining teams in the pool rank high among Colorado 3A programs in several categories.

Pagosa is currently the 3A leader on offense, with Faith ranked fourth and Manitou fifth. The Lady Pirates are also the top blocking team in the state.

Manitou Springs leads 3A teams in digs and serve aces.

"This tournament should be a real dog fight," said Lady Pirates coach Penné Hamilton. "The teams at Denver, on both sides of the bracket, are pretty evenly matched. I think we got a good draw for the first round, with Platte Valley and Eaton in the other pool. We played Manitou this summer in club ball and they are no mystery to us. We beat Lamar at Fowler, so we know we can do that. And we are definitely not afraid of Faith Christian."

Hamilton said her team is ready for the state tournament. The program has sent seven teams to the tournament in the last 10 years and the experience is no surprise to any of the Ladies: they expect to be there.

"This has been a good team to coach," said Hamilton. "This is a strong bunch, mentally. We're going to Denver focused on playing one ball, one sideout and one point at a time."

Pagosa plays Lamar in the fourth match of the day tomorrow. Pool play begins at 8 a.m. with matches following each other at 20-minute intervals.

The Ladies return to the court at the Denver Coliseum for the eighth match in the competition against Manitou Springs then finish the evening in the tenth match of 3A competition, against Faith Christian.

If Pagosa advances to semifinal action, it will take place at the Coliseum Saturday morning following two final pool play matches that start at 8 a.m.

The Class 3A final will be played at 3:30 p.m.

The Denver Coliseum is adjacent to I-70 just east of the intersection of I-70 and I-25 in the north Denver area.


Winter coat distribution is Saturday

Pagosa Springs Rotary Club's Operation Winter Coat, an annual clothing collection and distribution program, is underway.

Thanks to the efforts of the Rotarians and the sharing by members of the community, anyone in need of the donated items may come to the Pagosa Springs Junior High School lunchroom from 9 a.m. to noon Nov. 11. The recipients may select all of the available warm clothing that they might need without charge.

Rotarians are urging local residents to search their closets and their hearts for warm clothing they can donate for those in need. The Rotarians are emphasizing that there is a special need of children's winter clothing this year. Items such as gloves, boots, hats, sweaters, blankets and coats may be dropped off at the following locations until Nov. 10:

- County fair building on U.S. 84 at the Archuleta County Fairgrounds

- Village Texaco at 25 North Pagosa Boulevard

- Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center on Hot Springs Boulevard.

School children wishing to contribute warm clothing for the program may turn in articles for donation at their respective schools.

For additional information, call Lois Hill at 731-5489.


Inside The Sun

Pagosa woman named 'Highway Angel'

Cited for stopping fire

By Richard Walter

A woman who said at the time, "I didn't think I was doing anything exceptional," was honored by her employer, United Parcel Service, and the Truckload Carriers Association of America Friday morning as a "Highway Angel."

Stephanie Mueller of Pagosa Springs was credited in August with acting without regard to her own safety to control a fire threatening a home 25 miles southeast of the town.

Barry and Deanne Silverstein, in addition to notifying the press of Mueller's actions, also wrote a letter of commendation to the CEO of UPS.

UPS district and regional leaders contacted the Carriers group and nominated Mueller for the award presented Friday.

One of two plaques she received said she was being named "A Highway Angel for making a positive difference in the lives of the people with whom you share the road.

"Thank you for your dedication as a professional, safe and courteous truck driver."

An accompanying letter added, "On behalf of the trucking industry, we extend a sincere thank you for going the extra mile."

With fellow drivers looking on at the surprise ceremony, Mueller again downplayed the importance of her actions. "I think any one of you, seeing what I did, would have done the same thing," she said.

The Silversteins noted Mueller spotted a fire burning Aug. 3 on their Coyote Park property, "not more than 500 feet from our house."

"She stopped her truck on our isolated road, 25 miles from town and more than 2.5 miles from our nearest neighbor," their letter said, "and in failing light, proceeded to fight the fire with only a snow shovel she had on her truck. She was able to contain the flames, then push the ground cover away from the fire to create a fire break."

Their letter concluded:

"Stephanie did not have to stop and put herself in personal danger. She could have driven on and called 9-1-1 and let someone else handle the problem. This is really a special young lady. Her effort probably saved our home from burning that evening."


Voting kids reflect concerns of the county

By Richard Walter

Teaching a youngster to analyze the election options and to vote his or her conscience is a vital part of America's future.

To that end, the Kids Voting Program in Archuleta County sent 431 youngsters to the polls with their parents Tuesday and their ballots, counted separately, reflected the diversity of beliefs one can find in the county.

At the presidential level, Archuleta County youngsters went with the flow, giving the Bush-Cheney Republican ticket a comfortable 297 to 88 margin over the Democrats' Gore-Lieberman entry. The Green Party's Nader-LaDuke ticket garnered 15 votes. One vote each was cast for the American Constitution Party's Phillips-Frazier entry, The Freedom Party's Buchanan-Foster pair, and the Socialist Party's McReynalds-Hollis ticket.

Incumbent Secretary of State Donetta Davidson drew 88 votes from the children to 41 for her Democratic opponent Anthony Martinez. Others in the race were American Constitution Party's Clyde Harkins with 7 votes; Natural Law Party's Cheryl Beckett with 13; Libertarian Party's Johanna C. Fallis with 2; and the Reform Party's Patricia Baker with 8.

The youngsters voted on only one of the referendum questions narrowly favoring, by a 68-64 margin, allowing Colorado to join the multistate lottery.

The students cast ballots on four of the proposed state constitutional amendments, favoring the medical use of marijuana 90 to 78; overwhelmingly rejecting the so-called tax cut amendment 325 to 90; favored funding for schools at rate of inflation plus one percent by a margin of 121 to 40; and rejected the growth management proposal 184 to 71.

In local races the youngsters voted as follows:

For U.S. House of Representatives District 3, Curtis Imrie, 74; Rep. Scott McInnis, 270; Drew Sakson, 27; and Victor Good, 27.

For State House of Representatives District 59, Suzanne Garcia, 100; Rep. Mark Larson, 234; and William Zimsky, 20.

For County Commissioner District 1, William Downey, 136; Nan Rowe, 5; and Mickey Mouse, 1.

County Commissioner District 2, Alden Ecker, 229 and J.B. Smith, 57.

District Attorney, 6th Judicial District, Sara Law, 132 and Richard Jaye, 125.

State Board of Education at Large, Ben L. Alexander, 113; Jared Polis, 31; and Thomas D. Groover, 15.

On the county use tax proposal, youngsters followed their adult counterparts, rejecting it 91 to 53.

On the question of authorizing various county officials to serve more than two consecutive terms, the youngsters rejected the idea for county clerk 186 to 150; for county treasurer 185 to 138; for county assessor, 179 to 154; for county sheriff, 169 to 167; for county surveyor, 185 to 148 and for county coroner, 181 to 143.

Antics, pratfalls highlight clowns' safety show

By Richard Walter

Understanding fire safety rules and the precautions and habits needed to prepare one to meet emergencies begins at the age when children can begin to understand.

But it can be a boring subject, one which quickly causes youngsters to lose interest.

That is not the case, however, when the Animas Clowns give the lesson as they did Friday morning at Pagosa Springs Elementary School.

Members of the Animas Fire Department in La Plata County (with one extra clown from the Pagosa department assisting), were on hand at the invitation of the school district and the Pagosa Fire Protection District.

And from the beginning of the hour-long program, the firefighters bringing their message as clowns had the students in their hands.

Their demonstration of what happens when you use your bed for a trampoline and suddenly fall - accentuated by a clownish pratfall into a pile of toys - had youngsters laughing but nodding in understanding, indicating they'd seen the possible outcome of something they might have tried themselves, something that could result in a call for paramedics.

Another skit had children picked at random from the audience, along with one teacher, pretending to be smoke detectors. Each was given a red nose like the clowns' to simulate the red test button found on a smoke detector.

When a clown pushed the nose of the detector children, it went off as a good detector should. When another clown pushed the red button nose on the teacher, nothing happened.

Clowns pondered, posed and wondered why. Children had plenty of ideas, but one hit the correct answer: "The battery's dead."

Clowns nodded in agreement and the leader went into 3 Clown Alley and returned with an oversize mock battery for the teacher to hold. When the red dot nose was pushed this time, the alarm sounded.

All of this acting was designed to make children aware smoke detectors should be tested every month, and that batteries should be changed twice a year. They were told the logical time to change is when the day-light savings time changes take effect as happened Oct. 29.

Still another skit had the clowns in a turmoil about what to do when you smell smoke coming into the room.

Doing the "Smoke Limbo" under a banner labeled smoke, to the tune of Harry Belafonte's "Day O" with words adapted to indicate those smelling smoke should stay low and crawl to safety.

A number of students were selected to join the clowns in demonstrating the proper way to exit. And they were shown that you stay low because heat and smoke rises and you can breathe more easily in a smoke filled room when you are near the floor.

Warren Grams, Pagosa's fire chief, was enthused by the program. "It's a way to get children interested in fire protection and safety and allow them to have fun at the same time," he said.

The youngsters watching the program were so involved that each time there was a request for volunteers to assist the clowns, virtually every hand in the audience went up.

And the exuberance of those selected, including squeezing the clown's bulb horn when he wasn't looking, proved the children were fully involved.


Weather? Unsettled, as usual

By John M. Motter

Weather conditions in Pagosa Country should remain unsettled with spates of snow, rain, and ice alternating with brief moments of clearing and even sunshine, according to Ellen Heffernas, a forecaster from the National Weather Service office in Grand Junction.

"Thursday (today) will see mixed clouds and isolated snow and ice showers with high temperatures in the upper 40s," Heffernas said. "Tomorrow and Saturday the chance of snow increases to a range of from 30 to 50 percent with high temperatures in the mid-40s and lows in the 20s."

By Sunday the forecast is for partly cloudy with low temperatures ranging from 15 to 25 degrees.

This morning's weather influenced by westerly winds will change slightly as the winds shift to a southwesterly flow, according to Heffernas. Influencing the weather pattern is a low over Idaho and an upper level jet stream moving at about 115 miles per hour at an elevation of approximately 30,000 feet, Heffernas said.

Contained within the counterclockwise winds of the low-pressure area controlling weather conditions in the Rocky Mountain West are a series of vorticity centers, mini-systems rotating in a counterclockwise direction around the low. The vorticity centers create mini-storms of their own.

Updrafts originate ahead of the vorticity centers. As the air ahead of the centers lifts it is cooled, causing condensation of moisture, also known as rain and snow depending upon temperatures.

Beyond Friday the low-pressure area should move east allowing a break in storminess Sunday. Beyond the break, a continuation of alternating periods of storminess and clearing are likely, Heffernas said.

Pagosa Country received one-half inch of snow fall Monday and 0.53 inches of precipitation for the week ending at 6 a.m. Wednesday. Total snowfall in town for November is one-half inch, total precipitation 0.53 inches.

Conditions were very different on the Continental Divide. Wolf Creek Ski Area reported 64 inches of snow at the summit Wednesday morning, with 15 inches of snow over the past 48 hours and 30 inches of snow over the last seven days.

High temperatures last week ranged from 34 degrees Sunday to 48 degrees Friday with an average high temperature of 40 degrees. Low temperatures ranged from a chilly 14 degrees Monday up to 29 degrees Thursday and Friday. The average low temperature was 22 degrees.


CPR training

Dear Editor,

On Oct. 20 a man died of a heart attack. He was a hunter who has been coming to this area to hunt for some 20 years. The other gentlemen he was hunting with did not have any kind of CPR training which very well may have saved this man's life. I am not blaming these men for the death of this man, but I am blaming all hunters who go into the wilderness without any basic medical training. I feel that at least one member of each hunting party should be certified in basic medical training before they are issued a license to hunt. It should be made a part of the Hunter's Safety course.

The reason I feel this way is because I am the unidentified store clerk who tried to save this man's life. If CPR had been administered right away, this man's life may have been saved. This was a very traumatic experience for me to encounter, as my own mother just recently suffered a heart attack and had to have open heart surgery, but I am grateful that I had the proper training to try and help.

Not every store clerk you encounter is going to have that kind of training, so it would be best to be prepared for all emergencies.

My sincere condolences go out to Cecil Houge's family, sorry I couldn't have done more.


Ana D. Burch

Cost to some kids

Dear Editor,

Hopefully school officials, coaches and parents will take this seriously. We have an excellent school system with many dedicated administrators, teachers, coaches and teacher's aides. Most of them work well with students and try to bring out "the best" in each student. My kids have been involved in athletics for approximately 10 years. They have experienced some very qualified, understanding and compassionate coaches. They also have had coaches that did not exemplify sportsmanship or fairness.

It is very difficult to discipline and direct a child without breaking his/her spirit, but I feel that this is exactly what some of our coaches are doing to some of our kids. As parents we try to teach our children responsible behavior, fairness, cooperation, compassion and good sportsmanship. I think we should also expect these qualities to be present in the coaches.

Is screaming at a player in front of a gymnasium or stadium full of spectators a responsible or compassionate act? Shouldn't a child be disciplined constructively? Would we stand for a teacher humiliating a child in a classroom? How would a coach react if he/she were humiliated by an administrator in front of a large group of people?

One definition of a coach is one who instructs players in the fundamentals of a competitive sport and directs team strategy. In my opinion we should maintain the same standards for our coaches as we do our teachers. Coaches in our school system should be expected to demonstrate good sportsmanship and respect for each player.

Is throwing a piece of equipment down onto the ground in a fit of anger a responsible act? And fairness? When our teams are winning by a large margin, why not put in kids that practice with the team everyday but sit on the bench game after game. How are the coaches ever going to know how these kids play in a game, if they aren't given a chance? (I have been a parent of children that were starters on teams and also a child that "sat the bench.") I understand that in our high school the coaches are not required to give each player equal playing time, but what about middle school?

What is more important, for our kids to be coached by positive role models and learn life skills or to win at any expense (even the players' self esteem)? We may have winning teams but what is the cost to some of our kids?

To these coaches I would say, lighten up - have fun - have a good working relationship with your team so that they respect you. You might find that your players would even work harder for you and the team. A little bit of encouragement from a teacher or coach can make a difference in a child's life - even turn his/her life around.

Let's support and encourage coaches that are good role models and displaying positive qualities and discipline those that aren't.


Lynn Carew

Since I left office

Dear Editor,

I would like to correct your response to one of your recent letter writers (Fred Wegener, Oct. 26). You stated that the roads are much better now than they were when I was in office. You are so wrong.

I dare you to drive the roads around Pagosa Junction, Cat Creek area and Carracas to Arboles after three or four days of rains. Drive a two-wheel drive vehicle. You will change your mind after the first mile. Yes, you have a better road since they paved Four Mile road, only to spend thousands of dollars on repairs. It is still an obstacle course with all the potholes. Talk to the people in Upper Blanco Basin. The roads are horrible and have never been in this poor condition. Talk to the people on Edith Road and you will get the same story. The same can be said for many other areas.

While I was in office our road and bridge mill levy was 1/2 to 1 mill. Now it is 3.5 mills. This is an increase of millions of dollars over 11 years. The bridges have been built with state grant assistance. In addition, millions of dollars of settlement money has rebuilt and/or paved roads in the Pagosa Lakes area. This has freed up money that could have been used elsewhere.

When I left office we only had one road and bridge supervisor, Freddy Jaramillo. Before him was Joe A. Valdez. They handled all functions of road and bridge. They paved roads, chipped and sealed roads, and even built three bridges. Freddy, the road boss, the county planner and three commissioners did it all. Now everything is contracted out. Why? Well, we all know the answer. Archuleta County has no one in supervision with the knowledge to do the work.

Since I left office the county has hired people to fill the following positions: road and bridge office clerk, county surveyor, county manager, road and bridge superintendent inspector, road and bridge administrator, fleet manager, utility and culvert installation inspector and county engineer. Why do we have a full-time county engineer? This position should be hired on a project basis, rather than being paid to sit around until next April with no projects.

The county is very poorly run. The commissioners have no knowledge of what is going on. No one is involved in the day-to-day running of the county. If one commissioner tries to get involved and question anything your paper, the county manager and the other two commissioners blast him. The position is, "Keep your nose out of it. Mr. Hunt will run the county."

You have often praised the moratorium that I put in place on roads. The purpose of the moratorium was to halt the receipt of additional roads until the county could afford to accept them. It was not considered to be a permanent moratorium. If the county were properly run, the money available would adequately cover all roads and allow additional roads to be brought under county maintenance.


Chris Chavez

Editor's note: After two terms as county commissioner, former Commissioner Chavez lost the District 2 nomination to a Democrat challenger in the party's primary election. His opponent went on to win the general election. Chavez was likewise unsuccessful six years later when he was appointed to the Democrat candidacy in hopes of unseating the Republican incumbent in the county-wide election. Of a possible 100 percent rating by state bridge inspectors, one of the three bridges referred to above has a 32.7 percent rating, another has a 49.2 percent rating.

Historic event

Dear David,

On Sept. 21 final approval was granted for the long-overdue construction of the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. This beautiful memorial will be located appropriately on a 7.4-acre site between the Washington Monument and the Reflecting Pool.

The groundbreaking for the Memorial will be held on Veterans' Day, Nov. 11. An impressive public ceremony has been planned and my wife and I were surprised and delighted to receive a special invitation and reserved seat credentials.

We will attend this historic event, carrying with us our gratitude for the contributions made by so many area people during our recent fund-raising drive. We are grateful to our radio interviewees, those who helped with the July 4 World War II float, and to our generous donors. Ninety-two percent of the national goal of $100 million has now been raised. In Archuleta County in the first four years of the drive 16 donors contributed $1,100, while our May-July drive raised an additional $1,875 from 30 contributors.

Our deepest appreciation goes to the following who joined thousands of other Americans to finally honor the sacrifices of both veterans and those on the home front during World War II: Pearl Airhart, John Avery, Mary Alice Behrents, Mabel Bennett, John Boyce, Don Braune, Bill Carnicom, Bill Clark, Glenda Clark, Jim and Rita Clark, Dick Cole, Shirley and Glen Cope, David Goodman, John Grant, Michael Greene, Ron Gustafson, John Hawk, Craig Hinger, Teresa Huft, Alan Jones, Ernest Jones, Virginia Kaumeyer, Sy and Donna Kolman, Victoria Landon, Helen Miller, Bruce Muirhead, Richard Murray, George Norman, Sharon Pack, Pagosa Springs Rotary Club, Elaine Pinkerman, Jerry Sager, Frank Savage, Willard Schade, Glenn Schneider, Pamela Schoemig, Wade Slough, Lee Sterling, Bill Storm, Brenda Stretton, David Swindells, Cecil Tackett, Dani Paulette Thomas, Delia Vierra, John and Carolyn Walker, and Ruth Yarbrough.


Bill Clark, Field Representative

World War II Memorial Campaign

Community plan

Dear Editor,

If the statute books had been used throughout the 1990s, the Community Plan (which leaves out some very important items on purpose) would never have been put together. As I have said, the statute books allow for zoning, open space, controls on the various types of pollution, and signage restrictions, but these have been ignored. The poor books just couldn't enforce themselves I guess. I also said that this planning process is a way to avoid doing any real work or doing the most positive for the majority of the residents of this beleaguered county. It's another form of partying.

I have tediously and painstakingly graphed out the problems, who has been causing them, and how to correct them and now there are others who are beginning to see the same things. I wonder why. We notice how the people wait until they don't have any choice of candidates before they repeat my ideas: a noble and safe approach. The voters simply won't elect anybody who has brains and courage both; i.e., a leader.

Nevertheless, the following is one item that should have been included in the so-called Community Plan. Addition: There should be an industry per capita mandate much the same as the low-income housing per wealthy houseowners idea mentioned in the meetings. My idea would also restrict the number of idle rich who move here and would decrease the worst form of environmental extractionism of all time - the mindless, money grubbing "industry" of residential development only. This kind of zoning I could certainly support.

Here's another thing that nobody seems to have noticed. The town of Pagosa Springs has said it will adopt the Community Plan, but just when it should have invoked it or some other planning device to prevent another road on Reservoir Hill, it conveniently ignores it as well as common sense. The value of the town has been cut in half by this atrocious road that goes to the same place as the existing road. Will houses be built along this road or will extra spur roads branch off of it at the top going to house sites with million-dollar views? When does the planning start - after Amendment No. 24 trillion passes and all of our real value is permanently gone? The people in charge of this project have just committed a high crime against the residents of the town and county both. I wonder how many people are beginning to harbor a revulsion toward what money does.

Who has a real plan; one that would actually work; one that had the original intention of working; one that includes something besides helter-skelter land development by and for the affluent listless? Do we want to continue this type of unbalanced development? Did God put us here to mindlessly tear up everything we touch? There are a few people who had the original motivation to live here.

Nothing really matters does it?

John Feazel

Editor's note: The existing road on Reservoir Hill accesses public property. The new road accesses private property.

Voted out

Dear Editor,

I saw or should say I read your response to Fred Wegener's letter on Oct. 26 and you wrote that Mr. Chris Chavez had been there for 8 years and roads were poorly constructed and maintained. I agreed with you, I worked under Mr. Chavez for the county. But the reason they were like that was that by the time they met, he was already voted out on anything he tried to do by the other commissioners. It takes three persons if I remember right.


Tony Gallegos


Livestock danger

Dear Editor,

I read about the dog shootings in Aspen Springs. It saddens me to know that family pets are indiscriminately being shot without provocation.

As the owner of 12 miniature horses and having recently had a problem with loose dogs getting into my pastures and endangering my little horses, I hope to enlighten persons to the scope of this problem.

This is ranching country and many people have the mistaken idea that their family dogs should run free and feel it is cruel to confine them. The ranchers invest a lot of hard-earned money, time and energy in their livestock. We know we run the risk of predators such as mountain lions and bears ravaging our stock. But dogs are also a predator and are more dangerous than lions and bears because domesticated dogs no longer have a natural fear of man. Because of the large numbers of dogs that are allowed to run loose, this poses a daily danger to livestock.

The leash laws and laws protecting livestock and other property are there for good reason. Dogs only do what their instincts drive them to do, family pets or not.

What is the solution?

What about responsible dog ownership and good will toward our neighbors? How many dog owners truly abide by the leash laws? Responsible owners should confine their dogs to their own property be it with proper fencing or tying the dog and with respect for the fact that their dog is a predator and potential danger to livestock and people. That will take effort, but if one values being a dog owner, and values the dog, one needs to value the responsibility that goes with it.

And livestock owners should show good will by not shooting first even though the law allows it. The "shoot, shovel and shutup" method should not be utilized leaving a pet owner wondering what has happened to their beloved dog that just happened to get loose.

If all family dogs were confined, there would be fewer dogs on the loose and no need for a "vigilante" tactic used against them along with the true strays and packs. If everyone on both sides of this issue will act responsibly, it should cut down on the scope of the problem and prevent the kind of heartache and monetary loss both sides experience.

Changing the laws isn't the answer. The shoot laws are needed to protect people and livestock from strays and packs. The leash laws protect everybody, the dogs, dog owners and livestock. An attitude change on the part dog owners and livestock owners alike is a good solution. Oh, if only it could be made a reality.

Bonnie Gilbert

R&B's Lil Rascals

Miniature Horses

Trying to find son

Dear Editor,

I am hoping you can help me. I am trying to find my son, Jason O'Kash. He was living in Pagosa Springs the last time I spoke with him. It has been a year now since I have spoken with him. He has no telephone listing in Pagosa Springs.

If anyone knows my son, and knows how to contact him, please tell him to call his mother, (858) 613-5216.

I really need to get in touch with my son. It is very important.

If you could please print this in your newspaper, it would be greatly appreciated.


Gail O'Kash

The wild west

Dear Editor,

As somebody who has lost a friend, my dog, from a shooting by a property owner I've been reading the letters here with great interest. I know how those folks who lost their dog feel. I can understand a rancher's perspective on the whole deal. Dogs do occasionally bring down and hurt or kill livestock and wildlife. I can't argue against shooting a dog under such circumstances, but in some cases there really is no reason for killing somebody's pet. I think a lot of times a warning shot and/or a talk with the owner when possible would solve the problem. Why breed more animosity and hatred? There's already so much around.

If a dog is simply on someone's property I don't believe shooting it should be a legal option. In the eyes of the law it should be equal to shooting a cow that crosses a property line. I can see a rancher getting angry at a dog barking at his livestock, livestock that is often on public lands. But think of the many people who get disgusted at the huge amount of cow pies covering their once favorite campground. Or at the muddy quagmire that was once the moss-covered bank of a pristine creek where they used to bring their kids to dunk worms for wild trout. These kinds of things will be gone for a lifetime; kids who have not experienced wonders like these will never see them. Why should our laws bow down to creatures that play a huge part in destroying our national forest?

And how about the other kind of rancher, the all too common new-school rancher. He's just moved from "Calitexayork" and has bought a 35-acre ranch of his dreams so he can raise llamas for show. Well if a dog comes around barking at his precious animals, by God "I'm in the Wild West, I'll just shoot the darn thing." Well guess what pardner, just because you bought yourself a piece of Colorado doesn't mean that you bought your way into the Wild West that you've always fantasized about as a kid. Which is lucky for you because if this was the Wild West and you just shot my dog I'd be at your door calling you out with a .44 at my side.

I believe someone who shoots a dog should be morally and legally responsible for contacting the owner of the pet to explain the circumstances, and the killing should meet certain criteria for livestock protection or personal defense. Otherwise it should be considered a livestock killing and all applicable laws would apply. At the very least people who shoot a dog just because it was on their property or it was barking should not be protected by a law written for different reasons.

Or maybe we should just resort to the laws of the Wild West.

Jim Porch

Continue to pray

Dear David,

The family of Debbie Swenson would like to thank this wonderful community for all the prayers and support during Debbie's illness. Words fail to express our gratitude; the outpouring of love has been overwhelming.

Debbie was flown to University of Denver Medical Center on Nov. 1. Her address there is 4200 E. 9th Ave., Denver, CO 80220, Room 5117, Bed 2. She is facing an extended period of treatment. Please continue to pray for her and her family.

Thank you.


Bill Swenson,

children Stephanie and Robbie

and mom, Diane Pancoast



Jack Ellis

English teacher

Pagosa Springs High School


Where were you born and raised?

"I was born in Port Jefferson, New York. I was raised in St. James, New York, on the north shore of Long Island."


Where were you educated?

"I graduated from Smithtown High School in 1966. I went to Suffolk Community College then to Sul Ross University, in Alpine, Texas. I received a B.A. in Literature from Sul Ross in 1972 and I got my M.A. there in 1977. I've done post-grad work at the University of Colorado, Adams State, Brown University and the University of Wisconsin.


When did you move to Pagosa Springs?

"I moved here in August of 1975, to teach at the high school."


Tell us about your domestic situation.

"My wife Charla and I have been married 27 years. We have two daughters: Sara, 23 and Mikiko, 21."


What work experience did you have before working for the local school district?

"I worked as a clam digger, but I wasn't too happy about that. I worked as a carpet cleaner in New York City. I taught, as a teaching assistant, at Sul Ross University and I was an assistant astronomer at the McDonald Observatory at Fort Davis, Texas, which is affiliated with the University of Texas."

What do you like best about your work?

"There are a lot of things I like about it. At the top of the list is the fact I can be a witness to intellectual growth, and growth in general. I get to see the best of what human beings do."


What do you like least about your job?

"Probably getting glimpses of the worst things about human beings - like missed opportunities and untruthfulness. Although these aren't things that happen all the time. when they do happen, it stays with you."


Sports Page

Ladies spike their way to regional title

By Karl Isberg

With a district volleyball title in hand, the Lady Pirates hosted three of the better Class 3A teams in the state at the Nov. 4 Region A tournament.

Roosevelt, Middle Park and Colorado Springs Christian each arrived at Pagosa Springs counted among the leaders in Colorado Class 3A. Roosevelt was ranked as the top blocking team and top back-court defense; Middle Park had the second best offense in the state, and Colorado Springs Christian came with one of the state's top hitters, fresh off a dramatic upset of then top-ranked Manitou Springs at a district tournament.

When the day was over, the Lady Pirates were the regional champs and had earned the right to play in the Class 3A state tournament at Denver tomorrow and Saturday.


Roosevelt's Roughriders were first on the slate for Pagosa and the team from the northeast part of the state could not live up to its billing against the Lady Pirates. Following Pagosa's 15-5, 15-10 win, it was apparent the home team might be the best blocking team in Colorado 3A.

The Ladies took an 11-0 lead in the first game, setting the Roughriders back on their heels with ace serves by Katie Lancing, a kill by Nicole Buckley and points on blocks by Ashley Gronewoller, Meigan Canty and Tiffanie Hamilton.

Roosevelt snatched a bit of momentum and put four unanswered points on the scoreboard, three of them donated by the Ladies with passing and serve-receive errors. Pagosa then cruised to the win, using three Roosevelt mistakes to add points to the total and rounding out the game with an ace serve by Andrea Ash.

Roosevelt had a 5-4 lead in the second game, with Lady Pirate errors contributing all the points to the visiting team.

Gronewoller and Canty stepped up to score twice with tandem blocks, Amy Young hit an ace and Buckley got a tip to the floor. At that point, Roosevelt's game came undone with the Roughriders giving up the tying point and a sixth point as hitters made mistakes in the teeth of a tenacious Pagosa blocking scheme.

Pagosa went ahead 9-6 when Gronewoller stuffed a Roosevelt hitter for a point, the Roughriders committed a hitting error and Ash put a kill to the floor.

The Lady Pirates' defense vapor locked and gave up two points but Gronewoller took back the serve with a kill off a quick set from Lancing. The 6-foot-3 Lady Pirate middle hitter then stuffed another Roosevelt attack to score a point. Hamilton crushed a Roughrider overpass, Roosevelt surrendered a point with a passing error and Hamilton stuffed a Roughrider hitter. The Ladies led 13-8.

Gronewoller scored with a kill; the Ladies committed two mistakes to give up points; and the game ended with a Roosevelt receive error. The Ladies were on the way to the regional title.

Despite the win, the Ladies did not put on a display of firepower on offense.

"We had only 10 kills against Roosevelt," said Lady Pirates coach Penné Hamilton. "But, boy, did we do a job on them at the net. Ashley had three solo blocks and two block assists. Tiffanie had two solos and two assists, and Andrea got a solo and had two assists. Their statistics said they had the best blocking team in the state but we definitely dominated them. They had a big girl (6-foot-2 Lauren Shores) and we noticed she didn't move real well. We picked on her in the back row with our serves and it worked for us."

Buckley led the way on offense with six kills in 16 attempts. Gronewoller had two kills in 13 attempts, and Hamilton went 1 for 7 in the kill department. Ash had seven digs to the setter during the game while Lancing hit three aces and put up seven setting assists.

Middle Park

Middle Park finished second in Metropolitan League district play and came to the regional fray with a powerful outside attack.

Following the 15-7,15-6 Pagosa victory, it was apparent the Panthers' outside attack was no match for the Lady Pirates' blockers.

The Pagosa coaching staff knows well that an early lead in a game is one of the few advantages a volleyball team can establish in a momentum-riddled sport. Following an opening point by the visitors, the Ladies did what they were taught and zoomed to a 10-1 lead.

Lancing served for the first five Pagosa points, nailing two aces. Buckley stuffed a Panther hitter for a point. Gronewoller annihilated a Panther overpass then stuffed a hitter to end the run.

Pagosa exchanged serves with Middle Park and in the offing got points from Tiffanie Hamilton on a block, from Canty on a hit down the line, on a tandem block by Gronewoller and Buckley, and with an ace by Lancing and on a Panther hitting error.

Middle Park scored with an ace and Young answered with an ace for the Ladies.

After the Panthers scored two consecutive points, Pagosa got an ace from Buckley, an ace from Tiffanie Hamilton and a kill by Gronewoller. Middle Park managed three points in the midst of a series of sideouts before Gronewoller put a Panther overpass to the floor to end the game.

An early lead was the dominant factor in the second game of the match. Pagosa went ahead 13-0, with Middle Park donating six points as Panther hitters tried to surmount the Lady Pirates' imposing blockers. Pagosa got earned points on a stuff by Gronewoller, two kills by Canty, a tandem block by Hamilton and Ash, two tips by Tiffanie Hamilton and an ace serve by Buckley.

Middle Park managed a point, and Lancing answered with a kill off the pass. The Panthers snuck five points on the scoreboard during a prolonged series of serve exchanges before Gronewoller brought the matter to a close with a kill from the middle.

Tiffanie Hamilton hit six kills in 10 attempts for a .600 average against the Panthers. Gronewoller hit six kills in 14 attempts (.428), Buckley was 5 for 13 (.384), Lancing was 4 for 7 (.570). Buckley and Gronewoller each had solo blocks during the match. Lancing hit three ace serves and had 11 setting assists.

"Middle Park was a fairly even team," said coach Hamilton. "They had good hitters coming at us from different directions, and they had a good setter who could dump the ball. They didn't get to their blocks very well. They set a single block against our middle and we took advantage of it."

C.S. Christian

The regional championship came down to a match with Colorado Springs Christian. The match gave the large crowd in the Pagosa gym a dose of top-quality play on both sides of the net as the Ladies prevailed 15-9, 7-15, 15-7.

CSC's junior outside hitter Ann Geddie proved to be a handful during the match. The fortunes of the Colorado Springs school hung on her ability to put points on the scoreboard.

Pagosa's fortunes in the first game of the match hinged on effective blocking, on the hitting of Buckley and Tiffanie Hamilton, and on shrewd play at the setter's position by Lancing.

A Lady Pirate serve-receive error gave the Lions a point to start the scoring. Tiffanie Hamilton took serve back with a stuff block of Geddie and the Lady Pirates' senior middle hitter proceeded to put a kill to floor to tie the score.

CSC went ahead 3-1 with a tip and a Pagosa hitting error, but Lancing brought the home team back to 3-3 with a stuff block and a dump that landed at the feet of the Lions' back-row players. A power dink by Buckley and a kill by Buckley from outside gave Pagosa a 5-3 lead. Two Lion mistakes put the advantage at 7-3.

CSC came back strong to tie the score at 7-7 but Gronewoller halted the march with a kill. Canty scored with a solo block and Buckley killed twice to get the ladies out of the hole. Pagosa would not trail again in the first game. CSC got two more points, but the Ladies logged the win with a kill by Tiffanie Hamilton off a quick set, four Lion errors, and a ball hit by Buckley that rolled along the tape at the top of the net before dropping to the floor.

Mistakes dogged the Ladies in the second game of the match as they gave up 10 unearned points to their visitors. The Lady Pirates led 6-4 at the beginning of the game but saw the lead disintegrate as Geddie, unblocked, put kills cross-court for points. CSC scored the last six points of the game, with their star hitter nailing an emphatic kill to end the contest.

The championship match came down to a third game and if the Ladies were phased by CSC's victory in the second game of the match, it didn't show.

Pagosa took a quick 6-1 lead with five of the points unanswered as Canty and Gronewoller each nailed solo blocks, Gronewoller put a quick set down, Lancing hit an ace and Gronewoller got a kill from the middle.

With the help of two Pagosa mistakes, a kill by Geddie and two stuffs, the Lions tied the score at 6-6.

From that point on it was all Pagosa Springs. Young dug two ferocious blasts by Geddie to keep the ball in play, Tiffanie Hamilton got points with a block and a kill, Lancing scored with a stuff and a dump, Gronewoller and Canty got points with blocks and Buckley hit a soft shot to an empty spot on the floor.

Ahead 14-6, the Ladies ended the game, match and tournament with a statement. Geddie went high in the air in the middle to crush a kill. Gronewoller went up with her and the Lady Pirates' middle blocker stuffed the CSC's hitter for the final point of the day.

Gronewoller had two solo blocks against CSC and killed 8 of 19 attempts. Buckley was 13 for 28 in kills, Tiffanie Hamilton 8 for 18, Lancing 5 for 10, and Ash 3 for 7.

Lancing completed two solo blocks and put up 17 assists.

Canty, at 5-foot-7 was a force on defense, nailing three solo blocks against strong CSC hitters.

Young's two digs against Geddie helped with her total of five digs to the setter during the match. Buckley had 10 digs to the setter against CSC.

"I put Ashley and Tiffanie, our middle blockers, on Geddie," said coach Hamilton. "That left Meigan alone against their outside hitter. Meigan really came through, with three solos, and we stayed deep in our back row to pick up hits if they got through the blocks. The advantage we had was CSC didn't play a real good back row defense. They stood up and we used that against them."

Regional play gave the Ladies a good taste of what they'll face tomorrow in pool play at the state tournament (a complete tournament schedule is part of an article on page 1 of section 1).

"It was good competition," said coach Hamilton of the regional tournament. "We had to earn every point we scored. The couple of times we were behind, I was happy to see that the girls didn't panic: they played well except in one game against CSC. We made errors in that game and we beat ourselves. For the most part, our kids were on top of their game and they are ready to go to Denver."


Pirates' furious comeback falls short

By John M. Motter

Pagosa's Pirates dropped a heartbreaking Class 2A playoff game to Florence 20-15 Saturday in Golden Peaks Stadium.

The Pirates surrendered a 13-0 first quarter lead to Florence, allowed seven more points in the third quarter, then launched a furious fourth quarter rally that trimmed 15 points from the Florence lead.

For Pagosa fans, Saturday's game was filled with "what ifs" and "how can that be reactions," plus unprintable reactions.

"We are extremely disappointed," said Pirates coach Myron Stretton, speaking for himself and his team. "Last year we met Fort Morgan in the playoffs. We played as hard as we could. They beat us, but it wasn't so bad because they were a better team. We played hard again this year, but losing this year is harder to take because we feel like we should have won."

Stretton refused to criticize the officiating, but many fans, admittedly Pagosa partisans, openly voiced the opinion that "we were robbed."

Among the more noticeable, questionable calls were an offside penalty that resulted in a Pagosa touchdown run by Clint Shaw being called back; a run by Pagosa quarterback Ron Janowsky when everyone but the official thought Janowsky crossed the goal line, the official instead spotted the ball on the one-half yard line; an apparent safety against the Huskies when the official spotted the ball back on the 1-yard line; failure to call a roughing the kicker penalty against the Huskies when Pirate kicker Darin Lister was knocked down; and another apparent safety against the Huskies late in the game. The questionable calls cost Pagosa Springs at least eight points, enough to win the game.

"I won't comment on the officials," Stretton said. "I can't see the play from where they are standing. I could see some calls and I thought they were good calls. Part of being competitive is to not blame things on other people. That goes for specific times in the game.

"I am proud of our team for their competitiveness," Stretton continued. "I asked them not to hold anything back for this game, to play as hard as they could. They did. One of the most important reasons for interscholastic competition is to learn to respond to adversity. It builds character and will benefit them all down the road of life. I'm proud of this senior class. I was told they were not too much, but they have been good, faithful players. As I said, I am proud of them."

Pagosa has nine graduating seniors - Justin Kerns, Tyrel Ross, Anthony Maestas, Nathan Stretton, Clint Shaw, Garret Paul, Kail Pantzer, Josh Richardson and Garret Tomforde. Returning next year will be 13 juniors, 16 sophomores, and 17 freshmen.

Pagosa won the coin toss to open Saturday's game and elected to kick off to the Florence Huskies. Lister's kick sailed into the end zone. Beginning on their own 20-yard line, the Huskies drove 80 yards to score, aided by a five-yard Pagosa off side when facing third and seven on their own 34-yard line. Bubba Pfaff ran the ball over, David Wood kicked the extra point, and the Huskies led 7-0 with eight minutes remaining in the first quarter.

After getting a good kickoff return by Kerns, Pagosa drove 25 yards to the Florence 42-yard line. The big play of the drive was a 12-yard pass from Janowsky to Tyrel Ross. The Pirates' drive stalled and Florence took over on downs on its own 42-yard line. This time the Huskies moved 58 yards to score, capped by a 39-yard, fourth-down run by Nick Maez. Again, an offside call against Pagosa helped the drive. Wood missed the extra point, but Florence led 13-0 with more than two minutes remaining in the initial period.

Pagosa only moved the ball 22 yards on its next possession. It looked as if the Pirates were in for a long afternoon. Lister's punt rolled out of bounds on the Husky 6-yard line as the first period ended.

Then Pirates' perseverance began to show. The flow of the game shifted, with Pagosa taking control. The Huskies moved out to their 30-yard line where they were forced to punt. The punt was partially blocked and Pagosa started from mid-field. On this drive, Janowsky appeared to cross the goal line, but an official spotted the ball on the 1/2 yard line. On the next play, Shaw raced into the end zone. Again the flag fell, the touchdown was canceled and Pagosa was pushed back five yards. On the next try, Janowsky's pass fell incomplete and Florence took over on their five and one-half yard line.

Pagosa pushed the Huskies back on two running plays and Janowsky apparently sacked Pfaff in the end zone for a safety. Again the ball came out to the one-half yard line. On fourth and one, Maez punted out of bounds on the Huskies' 38-yard line.

With only 38-seconds remaining in the half, Pagosa was unable to move the ball and went to the locker room trailing 13-0.

The Pirates received the second half kickoff and marched to their own 44-yard line before turning the ball over to Florence with a fumble. Florence pushed across mid-field to the Pagosa 38-yard line where the aroused Pirate defense stopped the visitors.

After taking over on their 38-yard line, Florence's 256-pound defensive tackle Mike Slack barely tipped Janoswky's third-down screen pass and was able to catch the ball for interception as he fell to the ground. Taking advantage of field position on the Pagosa 30-yard line, Pfaff spotted Maez streaking down the right hash mark and hit the open receiver for a score. Wood kicked the extra point and Florence led 20-0 with 7:41 left in the third period.

Now was the perfect time for Florence to relax and Pagosa to quit. That's not what happened. Pagosa so dominated the remainder of the game that Florence must have felt fortunate to slip back over Wolf Creek Pass with a win.

To get the Pirates' comeback started, Stretton returned the kickoff following the third Husky score to the Pagosa 35-yard line. Pagosa moved to the Florence 40-yard line, but was again forced to punt with only 4:31 left on the third-quarter clock.

The Pirates' D held Florence to a minus 2 yards on its next possession, forcing Maez to punt. Pagosa got a 16-yard run from Caleb Mellette on their next possession, but a holding penalty canceled the run and the first down. After the two teams were unable to move the ball and instead exchanged punts early in the final period Pagosa took over on its own 30 trailing 20-0 and with just over eight minutes left in the game.

In quick succession, Janowsky passed to Lister for 10 yards, Shaw picked up two yards, Janowsky passed to Ross for 12 yards, Janowsky passed to Ross for 32 yards, and Shaw raced 14 yards into the end zone. Lister's extra point kick was good and, with 7:50 remaining in the game Pagosa trailed 20-7.

Lister's kickoff went into the end zone forcing the Huskies to start on their own 20-yard line. A series of penalties pushed them back to the 11 where second-string quarterback Clint Buderus launched a desperation pass. Lister took the ball away from the startled receiver giving Pagosa a first down on the Huskies' 29-yard line.

Janowsky threw incomplete, Shaw ran to the 17, then the 10-yard line, Stretton took a pop at the Huskies' defense, then Janowsky threw to Lister in the left corner of the end zone. The Pirate junior out jumped the Florence defender to catch the ball and fell just inside the corner of the end zone while clutching the ball. Lister's extra point kick missed, but with 4:45 remaining in the game, Florence's lead had suddenly shrunk to 20-13.

Florence's receiver on the kickoff that followed touched his knee at the 8-yard line, which is where the Huskies' next possession started. Again Pagosa pushed the Huskies back. Some spectators believe Pfaff was again downed in the end zone for a safety. In any case, realizing the peril his forces were in, Husky coach Mark Buderus instructed his punter to step out of the back of the end zone for an automatic safety. The fourth-down play gave Pagosa two points but avoided the chance of having the Pirates block a punt and recover it in the end zone for a touchdown. With 3:15 remaining on the clock, the score was now a slim 20-15 for Florence and the Huskies had to kick the ball away from its own 20-yard line.

By now Pagosa fans were beside themselves with joy, filled with visions of the Monte Vista game a week earlier when Pagosa scored to win with two second left on the game clock.

Pagosa started on its own 43-yard line following the Huskies' free kick, not bad field position. This time the Florence defense held and forced Pagosa to give the ball up on downs on the Huskies' 46.

Florence, on its last possession of the game, moved to the Pagosa 24-yard line before surrendering the ball on downs with just 13 seconds left in the game. Janowsky launched two passes, but the effort was futile and the game ended with Pagosa trailing 20-15.

The season will end with a soon-to-be-held banquet honoring the Pagosa Pirates for their season. At that time, coach Stretton will announce which Pirates have been selected to the all-district team.

Pagosa Springs and Florence appeared to be equally matched offensively, each team netting 235 yards for the game. For Florence, 138 of those yards came on their first two possessions.

Clint Shaw ended his career as a Pagosa Springs running back by carrying the ball 23 times for 123 yards an average of 5.3 yards a carry. Nathan Stretton carried seven times for 12 yards. Janowsky picked up 10 yards on six carries, Brandon Rosgen 16 yards on three carries and Mellette two yards on one carry.

Janowsky completed 8 of 17 passes for 91 yards, one touchdown and one interception.

Tyrel Ross caught four passes for 55 yards, Lister three passes for 28 yards and a touchdown, and Stretton two passes for eight yards.

On the defensive side of the ledger, Mike Vega's nine tackles topped the Pirates. Vega turned in five solo tackles and four assists. Pablo Martinez and Mellette were next. Martinez recorded six solo tackles and one assist for a total of seven tackles, Mellette five solos and two assists for a total of seven tackles. Josh Richardson and Lister each had six tackles, followed by Shaw, Janowsky and Schutz with five tackles each.


Pirates favorites for IML hardcourt title

By John M. Motter

Pagosa's varsity boys basketball team is in the hot seat this season, filling the unusual position as favorites to capture the Intermountain League Class 3A title.

The Pirates are coached by Kyle Canty, in his fourth year at the helm, and feature four starters returning from last year's team which reached the consolation finals at the state tournament. Last season Canty was the Intermountain League coach of the year.

"We've enjoyed the underdog role the past couple of years," Canty said, "but that's all changed. It's hard to be considered favorites, but the rest of the league will be chasing us this year."

Centauri, with basically the same team as last year, will provide the toughest challenge, according to Canty. Bayfield and Ignacio will be improved. Perennial league favorite Monte Vista may struggle this season.

"They'll have a new coach, but only one player returning with much starting time," Canty said of the San Luis Valley Pirates.

Canty's problem this year will be to replace IML Most Valuable Player Charles Rand.

"We'll really miss his three-point shot," Canty said. "It kept the opposing teams honest on defense. We'll be taller than last year, but we'll also miss the graduating seniors when it comes to playing defense."

This year's Pagosa squad may run more than during the past few seasons.

"I'm not sure until we watch some practices," Canty said, "but we may make some changes in the offense."

At a meeting of prospective basketball players Monday, about 38 hopefuls turned out for the varsity, junior varsity, and C teams.

Returning to assist Canty and coach the junior varsity is veteran David Gallegos. Sean O'Donnell also returns as assistant varsity coach and will coach the C team.

Canty hopes to continue his usual practice of finding eight players who get almost equal game time. He has five players returning who filled that role last year, four of them starters.

Returning starters are seniors David Goodenberger, 6-foot-4; Micah Mayberry, 6-foot-3; Daniel Crenshaw, 6-foot-1; and Tyrel Ross, 6-0. Also returning with some playing time last year are senior Dominique Lucero, 5-9; junior Darin Lister, 5-9; and sophomore Jason Schutz, 6-3. Goodenberger and Mayberry were all IML second team last year.

"I don't know if we have any transfers who can help us," Canty said. "Our jayvees only lost four games last year, so we'll be looking for help from them. Right now it looks like Dominique Lucero, Darin Lister, Chris Reavis and Brandon Charles will be battling to see who replaces Rand. Other kids could step up from the junior varsity. No position is locked in until everyone has a chance to show what they can do."

Practice starts in earnest Monday. The order of the day will be to get a look at everyone and to start getting in shape.

Play begins Dec. 1 and 2 when the Pirates make their annual trek to Cortez for the Montezuma Classic. Normally entered in that tournament are the Cortez Panthers, Pagosa Springs Pirates, Monticello (Utah) Broncos, and the Delta Panthers.

On Dec. 8 and 9, the Pirates host the annual Wolf Creek Classic in Pagosa Springs. Entered in the home-town tournament, in addition to Pagosa Springs, are Aztec, N.M.; Dolores County (Dove Creek); Gunnison, Montrose and Nucla.

Finally, before the Christmas break, Pagosa plays in the Black Canyon Tournament at Montrose Dec. 15 and 16.

Following the Christmas break, Pagosa hosts Bloomfield Jan. 1, then plays Eagle Valley at Buena Vista Jan. 6.

Intermountain League play begins Jan. 12 at Bayfield. Members of the IML in addition to Pagosa Springs are Bayfield, Ignacio, Centauri and Monte Vista. In succession following the Bayfield league opener, the Pirates host Monte Vista Jan. 13, host Centauri Jan. 19, travel to Ignacio Jan. 25, host Bayfield Feb. 2, travel to Monte Vista Feb. 3, travel to Centauri Feb. 9, step out of the league to host Monticello Feb. 10, and close regular season play by hosting Ignacio Feb. 16.

The IML district tournament will be held Feb. 23 and 24 at Bayfield. The regional tournament is scheduled March 3 and the state tournament March 9 and 10.


Coach Wells sees depth, height edge for ladies

By Richard Walter

Karen Wells is a woman with a mission.

"I'm tired of just going to state," said the Lady Pirates' basketball coach. "I want to win state."

With that in mind, she looks to the official opening of practice next Monday with the anticipation of having greater depth than she's had in the past with seven returning letter winners, several probable move-ups from junior varsity action, two transfer students and a foreign exchange student all in the opening mix.

"We've had 10 to 12 girls working in the weight room to get into shape for the season," she said, "and the nucleus of our team is on the volleyball team which is in state playoff competition this weekend so they should all be in game condition by the time we open practice."

While she hasn't firmed up an offensive pattern, wanting first to see how the veterans and newcomers meld together, one thing she's sure of is having more height across the back line.

That includes juniors Ashley Gronewoller at 6-foot-3, Katy Lancing and 6-foot-1 and Carlena Lungstrum at 5-foot-7; seniors, Tiffanie Hamilton at 5-foot-10, Meigan Canty at 5-foot-7, Andrea Ash at 5-foot-5 and Amber Mesker at 5-foot-6.

Wells will have two transfer students from Texas in the mix but has seen only one of them, Shannon Walkup, play during a summer camp, and was impressed with the girl's ball handling. Both Walkup and the other transfer, Trish Thomas, play the guard position. Added to the program is 6-foot-2 exchange student Beate Svendsen from Sweden.

Also to be factored into the depth chart are several junior varsity players from last year who would like to challenge for one of the 12 varsity spots. That group includes juniors Aubrey Volger and Joetta Martinez, sophomores Tricia Lucero and Katie Bliss.

"It will be an exciting year," Wells said. "The coaches are going to have a hard time determining which girls have improved from last year and how much. That will be the duty our first week of practice. We'll run everyone through a series of skill drills and look at what each has accomplished."

Wells said the final varsity lineup may not be determined until after the three tournaments scheduled to open the season - Dec. 1 and 2 at Cortez, Dec. 8 and 9 in the Wolf Creek Classic at home, and Dec. 15 and 16 in the Black Canyon Invitational at Montrose.

"By then," coach Wells said, "we should have a pretty good idea of skill levels and talent development. Then it's up to us to make our program utilize those skills to the utmost."

There are a number of changes in the rest of the conference which, she said, makes it hard to predict how the other teams will do. "I and Monte Vista coach Jim McAuliffe are the only returning coaches in the league," she said. "Centauri, Bayfield and Ignacio all will have new coaches this year.

"On the basis of returning personnel," she said, "I'd have to rate Centauri as the top opponent for us, but you can't anticipate what turnout the other schools will have and what types of programs the new coaches will institute."

The balance of the schedule for this season includes:

Bloomfield (N.M.) here on Thursday, Jan. 4; Saturday, Jan. 6 at Aztec; Friday, Jan. 12 at Bayfield; Monte Vista here on Saturday, Jan. 13; Centauri here on Friday, Jan. 19; Tuesday, Jan. 23 at Piedra Vista (N.M.); Thursday, Jan. 25 at Ignacio; Bayfield here on Friday, Feb. 2; Saturday, Feb. 3 at Monte Vista; Friday, Feb. 9 at Centauri; Ignacio here on Friday, Feb. 16. The district tournament will be in Bayfield Feb. 23 and 24; regional tournament action March 3 and state tournament competition scheduled March 8-10


Community News
Chamber News
By Sally Hameister

Trade food for a masage Monday

Please stop by Massage at the Springs Nov. 13, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. to take part in the fourth Annual Thanksgiving Food Drive. You can exchange nonperishable food for a free 10-minute massage and/or chiropractic services on this day. Professional massage therapists and Dr. Nancy North, Chiropractor, will be available at Massage at the Springs located across the parking lot from the hot mineral springs at the Spring Inn.

All collected items will be donated to the Community United Methodist Church in Pagosa Springs. The Church will assemble and distribute these items through its Crisis Box Program to those in need. So far this year, the program has already distributed over 75 boxes, and the holiday season is just beginning.

Stop by Massage at the Springs with your donation and enjoy a relaxing massage or chiropractic treatment. If you have questions, please call Joan at 264-6620.

Pioneers of Pagosa

We still have a few tickets for Saturday's fourth annual Immaculate Heart of Mary Fashion Show and Luncheon beginning at noon at the Parish Hall on Lewis Street. This is always a fun and festive event, and I'm sure this year will be no exception. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at the Chamber of Commerce. Please call 264-2360 for more information.

Newsletter inserts

Before things get totally out of control with all the holiday madness, give some thought to bringing in your newsletter inserts for our December Chamber Communiqué edition. This is the most popular one because of the obvious marketing opportunity in a month when people are in a buying frenzy.

If you are not familiar with this economical advertising venue, allow me to elucidate. It's this simple: you bring us 725 copies of your particular flyer on colorful paper (don't fold, please) and a check for $30, and we'll do the rest. Because of the wacky holiday schedule this month, we ask that you deliver said inserts Nov. 22 by the end of the work day. If you have questions, give Morna a call at 264-2360. There simply isn't a cheaper way to get your message out to the entire Chamber membership of over 750.

Citizen of the year

Last week I gave you a heads-up on selecting our annual Citizen and Volunteer of the Year, and this week I'll go a step further.

Nomination forms are now available at the Chamber of Commerce and the Ruby Sisson Library, and I encourage you to pick one up and give some thoughtful attention to your choices. Look for just one piece of paper - Citizen is on one side and Volunteer on the other.

These are both supremely important awards because it allows us to honor those folks (or organizations/groups) who contribute so much to this community. An important thing to remember is that it doesn't need to be an individual. In the past the Rotary Club has been a recipient as well as Bill and Mary Ann Sayre. The possibilities are endless, so don't limit yourself to just individuals. Think big and think about rewarding those who have devoted so much of their time and talents to making Pagosa Springs the special place it is.

Once again, if you have questions, give us a call at 264-2360.


We will welcome four new members this week and 21 renewals - glory, hallelujah. We are ever so grateful to each and every one of you for your new and continued support. I attended a Colorado Chamber of Commerce Executives Conference in Pueblo last week and came away once again realizing how fortunate I am to have such a supportive membership. You all certainly make my job a real pleasure, and I never lose sight of that fact. Thank you.

We're happy to welcome Brian Gronewoller who brings us the POWER House Youth Center located here in Pagosa. The POWER House provides a place for today's youth (sixth to 12th grades) to have fun while growing in character, morality and integrity. "Power Pact" study groups are offered on a weekly basis at both the high school and the junior high for different age groups. Please call 264-4403 to learn more about the POWER House youth programs.

Russell G. Merrill joins us next with the Echo Springs Bed and Breakfast located at 53 Echo Drive. All are invited to enjoy the panoramic Rocky Mountain views in this cozy and intimate bed and breakfast. Enjoy a non-smoking environment and the on-site jacuzzi at the Echo Springs Bed and Breakfast. Our winter guests will especially enjoy the short drive to Wolf Creek Ski Area. Please call 264-1997 for more information.

Dean and Karen Cox join us with Pagosa Leisure Accommodations located at Timbers #8, 1288 Cloud Cap Avenue. Furnished condominium accommodations are offered with complimentary associated coordination of activities, reservations, equipment, etc. You can also look for possible guided activities in the future, and the web site is in the works as well - stay tuned. To learn more about Pagosa Leisure Accommodations, please call 264-2012.

Karen and Dean also join us with Taminah Gallery and Gifts located at 414 Pagosa Street (formerly the Wagon Wheel Gallery owned by Milt and Pam Lewis). Karen and Dean will continue sharing the tradition of artistic expression through distinctive jewelry, selective gifts as well as original art and limited edition prints. Custom picture framing and personal gift baskets are also available to you at Taminah Gallery and Gifts. Please give them a call at 264-4225 to learn more.

Renewals this week include Kari Montagriff and Greg Ruttum with the Pagosa Springs Office Supply, LLC; Tegan Brown with Colorado Dream Homes, Inc.; Susan Storey and Willie Payne with the Pagosa Springs Inn; Pat Vincent with Aspen Springs Realty II; Rhonda Ward with Wolf Creek Outfitters, LLC; Pat Kahn with both Victoria's Reign and Victoria's Parlor; the Southwest Colorado Mental Health Center; Kathleen M. Sullivan, Attorney at Law; Stacia Aragon with Pagosa Glass; Brian J. Lewis, PE; Todd D. Shelton with Century 21 Wolf Creek Land and Cattle, Inc.; Don and Mable Headrick with Country Lodge; Josie Sifft with Spirit Rest Retreat and Holistic Health Center; Jean A. Farrer with the Pinewood Inn; Maria MacNamee with Happy Trails of Pagosa Springs, Int.; Ben L. Lynch with Jackisch Drug, Inc.; Karen and Dean Cox with Wagon Wheel Frame Shoppe and Bill Gullette with Endaba Wilderness Retreat, Inc.

Ken and Jan Brookshier join us as Associate Members this week, and we want to congratulate Ken on his retirement from the plumbing biz. Nice going, Ken. Chamber Diplomats, Nettie and Bruce Trenk, join us as Associates as well. Thanks to all.

Holiday Acres

The Holiday Acres Home Owners Association meeting has been changed to Nov. 14 at 7 p.m. at the Chamber of Commerce. These folks were nice enough to change their meeting time due to a conflict. Thank you.

Marine reunion

Tonight marks the 225th birthday of the United States Marine Corps, and you are invited to join the celebration at the Greenhouse Restaurant beginning at 5:30 p.m. Cocktails will be served in the lounge from 5:30 to 7 p.m. when dinner will be served, and an open/cash bar will be available all evening. If you can't make it for dinner, you are invited to join the active, retired and former Marines, Navy Corpsmen, family and friends for a drink.

Please call Robert Dobbins at 731-2482, Bob Henley at 731-9411 or Dick Akin at 731-3315 for information and reservations.


Pagosa Lakes
By Ming Steen

Weekend events will keep you hopping

Here's another busy weekend in Pagosa . . . who was it that said there's nothing to do in Pagosa? On Saturday morning the annual Turkey Trot will start at 9 a.m. with the 10-K walk, followed by a 10-K run an hour later. Both races take off from the Pagosa Lakes Recreation Center. This year's Trot is drawing a good crowd with runners coming from Durango. Don't get left out. Remember this is a fun event and it's not important if you are not in peak form and not ready to turn in a personal-record performance. What does matter is that you are able to participate to show your support of our local library. Registration forms are available at the Sisson Library and the Recreation Center. Pre-race registration is an option but plan to do so at 8:30 a.m. Lucky trotters will get to take home a turkey for the Thanksgiving table - compliments of City Market.

Also on Saturday morning is the Sports Swap organized by San Juan Outdoor Club and Operation Winter Coat, a community outreach program of Pagosa Springs Rotary Club. The Sports Swap is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the County Fair Building. A large number of booths carrying used sports equipment from both businesses and individuals will make this a fabulous opportunity to get some gear at discounted prices. In addition to sports gear, there will be a huge selection of fresh baked goods for sale. Ouch, tough choice. So will it be the pair of Nordic skis or the coffee cake, apple crisps and pecan pie. Ask me next week.

Operation Warm Coat's distribution will be held in the Pagosa Springs Junior High lunch room from 9 a.m. to noon. There's still time to search through your closets for donations of warm winter clothing for those in need. Children may take their articles for donation to their schools. All others may drop theirs off at the county extension building, Village Texaco at 25 North Pagosa Boulevard, Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center or if you are a Recreation Center regular, I'll take your donation to the distribution center. Families may select what they need from the donated inventory. If you know of families that could use some additional warm clothing for the winter, please encourage them to come by the junior high on Saturday morning.

Here's something else to add to your busy Saturday calendar - Immaculate Heart of Mary Luncheon and Fashion Show. Organized by the talented ladies of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, the luncheon is a fancy sit-down affair of good food, followed by a fashion show. The theme for this year's affair is "pioneers." Fashions modeled will reflect the theme and I suspect so will the food. Some of our local pioneer ladies will be in attendance as guests of honor and if you get to sit down next to one of them, she'll tell you plenty about Pagosa Country in those good old days. Father John Bowe will accompany the fashion show on the piano. Since seating is limited to 108, get your tickets at the Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center right away. The luncheon will start at 11 a.m.- plenty of time for you to participate in the Turkey Trot Walk, then hurry on over to the Parish Hall for the food and fashion. The 10-K Trot will work up an appetite. All proceeds from this event will benefit the Parish Hall kitchen which is desperately in need of a new stove. Many of us have used the facility over the years and therefore will stand to benefit form the planned improvements.

The open house for Mercy Orthopedic and Sports Therapy Clinic is today, from 3 to 6 p.m. Everyone is invited to visit the new location, be given a tour of the building and become familiar with what all they have to offer. Hors d'oeuvres and beverages will be served. Music will be provided by local flutist, Charles Martinez. Father John Bowe will be on hand to bless the new building. Next week's column will carry information on upcoming clinics conducted at Mercy Orthopedic and Sports Therapy Clinic.

PLPOA directors will hold their monthly meeting at 7 p.m. tonight in the Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse, 230 Port Avenue. Members and observers are encouraged to attend. Public comments will be heard at the beginning of the meeting. The following agenda was provided by PLPOA.

- Call to order

- Approval of agenda

- Approval of minutes of Oct. 12 board meeting and minutes of Oct. 23 special meeting

- General manager's report

- Public comments (30-minute time limit)

- Treasurer's report . . . Director David Bohl

- Committee reports

- Rec Center Committee. . . via e-mail from Director Tom Cruse

- Minutes from Rules and Regulations Committee

- No other committee reports submitted

- Old business if any

- New business

- Property owner Roger Hansen to discuss deferred maintenance on adjoining property

- Sale of old and salvage items under $150, General Manager Walt Lukasik

- Acceptance of 1999 audited financial statement

- Correspondence

- Adjournment.

An executive session is scheduled to be held Nov. 13.


Senior News
By Janet Copeland

Center closed Friday for Veterans' Day

Holiday: The Center will be closed Friday for the Veterans' Day holiday. I hope we will all offer up a prayer of thanks for the wonderful veterans who have ensured our freedom. And speaking of veterans, we appreciate our local Veterans Service Officer, Mike Diver, coming to the Center on the last Friday of each month to answer questions about services provided or help for those who need assistance in utilizing the services.

The Halloween celebration at the Seniors Center was a lot of fun, and brought out some really interesting characters (lots of witches, a cow, a flapper, Miss Lizzy Bruce, werewolf, a lion, etc.) Winners of the costume contest were Eva Darmopray (Miss 1925), first place; Kurt Killion (werewolf), second place; Bruce Muirhead (Lizzy Tish), third place; Lena Bowden, most outrageous; and Johnny Martinez, most understated.

Don't forget the Area Agency on Aging election on Nov. 15. Persons desiring to run for positions on the board must be members of AAA - membership cards are available at the Center - see Tina or Payge.

We are so proud to have Willie Trujillo as our Senior of the Week. Willie is one of our old-timers and a regular attendee at the Center.

A big "thank you" to Erlinda Gonzalez and Donna Pina, from Social Services, for attending our Senior board meeting on Friday and for offering to help solve some of our problems, beginning with transportation.

Wayne Van Hecke, one of our board members and membership chairman, has moved to Oklahoma. We will miss Wayne. Thanks to Eva Darmopray for offering to fill his position for the remainder of the year.

This is a reminder that senior members go to Pagosa Lodge every Monday and Friday at 10 a.m. for free swimming.

Remember to show your Senior membership card at Rainbow Gifts, which will enable you to get a 10 percent discount; and at Ski and Bow Rack a 20 percent discount is available on selected items.

We were happy to have Kathy Kulek, Betty Flowers and Betty Lou Reid back with us on Monday.

The November activities calendar is available at the front desk in the Center.

- Nov. 15, everyone is asked to bring a recipe to the Center; Payge is preparing a Seniors Cook Book

- Nov. 17, Potluck Dinner/Dance will be at 5 p.m.

- Senior Center will be closed Nov. 23 and 24 for Thanksgiving and Archuleta County Heritage Day

- Nov. 29 is "Bring a Toy Day." Toys will be collected and donated to the Christmas Wish List.


Cruising with Cruse
By Katherine Cruse

Evening at the pool ends in fright

After four days at Disney World in Florida, I am thoroughly conditioned and brainwashed. Show me a line and I'll stand in it. It doesn't matter what it's for - take a ride, buy film or ice cream or hats or stuffed toys. I'm line-conditioned.

There's a lot of hyped-up conditioning that goes on at Disney World. "Hello," says the emcee or the shuttle-bus driver or the ride guide. "Hello," some of us respond. "Hello-o," he says, more loudly, often preceded by, "You can do better than that." "Hello!" we shout back obediently.

Hotshot and I stayed at a resort in the Disney complex. In the connecting room were our son and his wife and the main attraction, our 3-year-old granddaughter.

Our resort buildings were arranged around a big lake. I was on the lookout for alligators. "Are you kidding?" hooted my spouse. "They wouldn't allow alligators here. Too many small children." Heck, even the mosquitoes were probably mechanized, on tiny wires.

Disney has come a long way since the early days of Disneyland, when you bought coupon books for the rides. Rides were graded A, B, C, D and E. 'E' rides were the big ticket ones, the Matterhorn, the Pirates of the Caribbean. Heck, maybe Peter Pan was an 'E' ride at the beginning.

'A' rides were the baby ones like the carousel or the plodding horse-drawn wagon down Main Street. As teenagers we used up all the exciting ride coupons and took the leftovers, the As and Bs, home to Mom and Dad.

Disney is savvier now. One admission price. All rides 'free.' No leftover coupons. Every ride exits through the gift shop. As if they needed the money. As if you were touring some poor church in Quebec or a historic house on Cape Cod.

The assault on your senses is constant. Crowds, signs, food smells and, especially, amplified sound. Merlin doing his spiel in Fantasyland. Hotshot and I popped aspirin freely. At MGM Studios, the 3-year-old grandchild pouted because the strollers didn't look like the ones at the Magic Kingdom. Hotshot and I popped another aspirin.

Our son and daughter-in-law did a great job, a yeoman's job, as group organizers, balancing the needs and desires of three generations - exciting rides for our son, gentler activities for the little person, decompression time for Hotshot and me.

The most exciting ride turned out to be an unplanned one. It occurred during our babysitting stint while the parents went on a "date" at what I think is called Downtown Disney. We spent the evening at the pool. Taylor demonstrated her ability to swim. She'd travel about five feet, under water, and then we'd lift her out and she'd sputter and clear her eyes.

Then she wanted to play in the baby pool where there were other little people. So we hauled the towels and sandals and robes over there. She crawled around and around, pretending to be a shark. Then it was back to the big pool, for more "swimming."

Then she demanded to ride the Jaguar water slide, a long cement chute into the big pool. Grandpa took her up the meandering flight of stairs, while I waited in the water, some distance from the edge, at a spot where I could look up the last 30 feet of the chute. Water flowing down the slide created a current that I had to push against, just to stay where I was.

Two little boys came hurtling down, one after the other. Then another. Then a long interval, and suddenly here came a tiny body. Three thoughts flashed through my mind in rapid succession: That's Taylor. Where's Tom? This can't be happening!

I started swimming even before she sailed off the end of the slide and into the water. I was agonizingly slow. Someone had strapped heavy weights to my legs and arms.

My eyes stayed on the little body thrashing around under the water. Dimly I saw Hotshot come flying down the slide. Dimly I noticed that the lifeguard had leaped from his perch.

The three of us reached her almost simultaneously. The two of them scooped her out of the water. She coughed and burped and blinked and coughed some more.

"You okay?" the young lifeguard kept asking. Taylor nodded.

"Tell him you're okay," I said. What I really wanted was reassurance that air could go in and out of her lungs. "I'm okay," she obediently responded.

We went back to the baby pool. Taylor was fine. Hotshot was still shaking. "She just slipped away from me at the top of the slide. I ran after her, until I fell and rode the slide the rest of the way."

"You ran on the slide?"

"Yeah, I bet it's the first time someone's done that." He paused. "You gonna write about this?" he asked.


"Great." He sighed. "Hotshot runs on water."

Taylor slept like the proverbial log that night. Hotshot tossed and turned, probably reliving the experience.

Three days later we flew back to Albuquerque and drove home in the dark. We left a land of steamy hot false jungle and returned to snow and elk and deer, live and unfenced, wandering across the road in the dark. We left behind fake mountains, fake animals, fake river rapids and fake old hard rock mines, and came home, where the real thing is all around.


Library News
By Lenore Bright

Walk or run add up to 'Trot' entry

The Turkey Trot is two days away.

Great T-shirts are available this year. Walk or run - your $20 entry fee gets you a T-shirt, a chance on a turkey, use of the Pagosa Lakes Recreation Center for the day, and refreshments. Come out and play with us. Walk starts at 9 a.m., the run at 10 a.m. You can swim afterward. Bring a canned food item to benefit a local charity.

The proceeds benefit the Sisson Library. Sign up at the library or the recreation center now to assure you get a T-shirt to fit.

The library will be closed Saturday, as we'll be working at the Trot.

Civic Club bazaar

Wonderful turnout for this annual event.

Our thanks to all of the Civic Club Ladies who continue to work on behalf of the library. They've been doing it for over 100 years. The raffle made around $2,000. We are indebted to Margaret Wilson and her ticket sellers for their hard work all year round on the raffle. The proceeds go to the book fund. We also appreciate all of the donors who gave us such wonderful prizes.

Lucky raffle winners were Marion Bake, Mae Rose Bergesen, Brenda Blum, Debbie Brown, Jo Anne Canales, Erika Cox, Gene Crabtree, Lynne Hair, Sally High, Barbara Hofferber, Lucy Johnson, Doris Kamrath, Kindolyn Kelley, Ray Macht, Ron Maez, Nancy McInerney, Vimmie Ray, Alice Seavy, Lola Stevens, Barbara Ward and Claudia Wood.


We have the hottest game in town on display. Come see and buy this perfect Christmas gift. Don't pass go, get your's today. We don't have many left. This is a fundraiser for the Historical Society.

New websites

The National Library of Medicine and the Public Library Association have allowed free access to online health information. www.medline is a service of the National Library of Medicine. It provides extensive information about specific diseases, and other health topics as well as links to other health providers. The site contains no advertising and privacy is assured. will get you directly in touch with all government services. Whether you need help starting a small business, getting a college loan, or reserving a camp sight - here's where to start. You can search by keyword, topic or agency.


Financial help came from Jim and Margaret Wilson in memory of Mary Cloman and Sue Chiles. Bank of the San Juans donated in memory of Mary Cloman; Gil and Lenore Bright in memory of Mary Cloman. A donation was also received from Lupe Henrichsen.

Thanks for materials from Lee Sterling, Greg Catlin, C. Lyn Frank, Annie Ryder, Julie Crilley, Richard Harris, Ralph Manring, Carol Hakala, Addie Greer, Barbara Tackett, Phyllis Decker, Chrissy Karas, and Nomad.

Beginning or the end

The election is over. Since I write this on Monday, I don't yet know if Amendment 21 passed or failed. Will there be a library column here next year? Thanks to all who have supported the library through the years. It has been an honor and a privilege to serve you.


Local Chatter
By Kate Terry

Famous terms traced to feats of Corps

Local marines will gather tonight at the Greenhouse Restaurant to celebrate the 225th Anniversary of the Marine Corp. Actually, the birthday is Nov. 10, the day before Veteran's Day.

The military has many expressions. The Marines have one that is fun to pass on. "Maggie's drawers" is the red flag waved in front of the target when the shooter misses the target. So, if someone doesn't get the point of this story, someone says, "you get a maggie drawer on that."

"Jeep" came out of World War II. It was the abbreviation used in the Army for the "general purpose" vehicle, G.P.

The term "The whole nine yards" come from WWII fighter pilots in the Pacific. When arming the gun while their airplanes were on the ground, the .50 caliber machine gun ammo belts measured exactly 27 feet, before being loaded into the fuselage. If the pilots fired all their ammo at a target, it got "the whole nine yards."

And then there is "snafu." Snafu is the military acronym for "situation normal, all fouled up." It came to be in 1942 when Warner Brothers was paid by the U.S. Army to make a series of training cartoons. And so the cartoon series, Private S.N.A.F.U. was begun. A young Dr. Seuss was the artist/writer. The situations were those a soldier "might encounter" (and possibly get court martialed for). Reportedly they were racy. A few years ago a company issued a video tape collection of 14 of these cartoons and I'm still looking for the address for this company. Someplace in California.

If you are interested in organizations, here is one for you: the Order of the Second World War. Membership eligibility is open to WWII veterans, descendants male or female, those who worked on the home front in war-related industry (like Rosie the Riveter), as block wardens, in the American Red Cross or Merchant Marine, and in war-related positions with federal, state or local governments. For information, contact James D. Partin, Registrar. Phone (352) 377-4164 or Email,

Fun on the run

Contributed by Dick Van Fossen.

Arthur Darby Knock was Professor of New Testament and Church Fathers at Harvard Divinity School. He lived in the Adams House residence with other citizens. When they moved out to make room for military occupation, Knock refused to move. One day when a maid came in to clean, he was sitting in the living room, stark naked, in the lotus position. She was so taken aback that she said, "Jesus Christ!" To which he replied, "No, Madam, Arthur Darby Knock, one of his faithful disciples."

Arts Line
By Marlene Taylor

Gallery will be Olde Tyme Christmas Shoppe

The Pagosa Springs Arts Council Gallery at Town Park is currently closed so it can be spruced up for the annual Olde Tyme Christmas Shoppe, featuring a wide variety of handmade gift items produced by our own local artists and crafters. Gifts of all kinds, beautiful and practical, will fill the gallery when it reopens Nov. 30, so start making your list and checking it twice!

The Olde Tyme Christmas Shoppe begins with an opening reception Nov. 30, from 5 to 7 p.m., and runs through Dec. 23. Regular gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. This is the place to find those special gifts.


If you plan to display your works in the Christmas Shoppe, call the Gallery at 264-4020 and leave a message. Space is limited, so be sure to get your request in early.

Photo contests

Its time to start thinking about the annual Photography Contest to be held at Moonlight Books Feb. 3 through Feb. 24. The total list of categories includes several new ones: Domestic Animals, Autumn Scenic, People, Up Close, Winter Scenic, General Landscape, Patterns/Textures, Sports, Flora, Black and White, Wild Fauna, Sunrise/Sunset, Special Techniques (color or black and white, partial toning, computer manipulation, manipulation, double/multiple exposure, double/multiple negatives, hand painting, collage, reticulation, sabatier) and Open (does not fit in any other category). Interested photographers can pick up a complete list of entry rules at Moonlight Books or at the gallery at Town Park.

Exhibit applications

Applications for Year 2001 exhibits are now available at Moonlight Books and Wolf Tracks coffee shop. Applications will also be available at the Town Park gallery beginning Nov. 30, when the facility reopens for the Christmas Shoppe. Exhibit space goes fast, so don't wait too long to enter your applications.

Gallery notes

Volunteers are always needed to help with the various functions sponsored by the Pagosa Springs Arts Council, as well as to help out in the gallery. If you have some time and are interested, won't you please call Joanne at 264-5020. Your help for an hour or two, or longer, will be very much appreciated.

Any phone messages received at the gallery between now and Nov. 30 will be returned as soon as possible, so feel free to call 264-5020 with your questions and concerns. The gallery reopens Nov. 30 under the new fall/winter hours - Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. through 3:30 p.m. These new hours will be in effect until May 25.


Parks & Rec
By Douglas Call

Los Amigos sweeps twinbill for league lead

Last Monday, Los Amigos beat both Jim Smith Realty and Dulce in a doubleheader, putting them in the lead of the adult volleyball league standings at 7-2.

Moore Chiropractic, in second place at 6-2, beat Piano Creek, putting them in third place at 4-4. In the other game last Monday, Hog's Breath defeated Stray Dog's to lock both teams in a fifth-place tie at 3-5.

Last Wednesday night, Los Amigos beat Piano Creek, Piano Creek beat Stray Dogs and Moore Chiropractic Health Center beat both Jim Smith Realty and Dulce in a doubleheader.

Games are played Monday and Wednesday evenings at 7, 7:45 and 8:30 p.m. League play will continue through Nov. 15. The league tournament will start Nov. 27. The tournament bracket is available at Town Hall and will be handed out at the next games.

Contact Summer at the Town Hall recreation office, 264-4151, for more information.

Youth volleyball

The youth volleyball clinic, for fifth and sixth graders, is into the third week of play with over 50 players registered. Practices and games are held in the junior high gym Monday and Wednesday evenings from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Youth can still sign up for only $5 and registration forms are available at Town Hall. Practices will last until after the Thanksgiving holiday.

Youth basketball

The youth basketball season is underway with $10 registration going on now. The registration rate will last until Dec. 1. On Dec. 9, the annual Elks Hoop Shoot will take place at the middle school gym from 9:30 to 11 a.m. No fee or registration forms are needed for the Hoop Shoot, but the Town will have youth basketball registration forms available at the $15 rate. Deadline for registration is Dec. 14 when coaches will meet to divide teams. Practices will be held during the Christmas break with games scheduled to start Jan. 8.

For more information, or to receive a registration form contact Summer at the recreation office, 264-4151.

Recreation survey

Residents of Pagosa Springs and the surrounding area will receive surveys concerning what recreation programs and facilities they desire. The survey will take about 15 minutes to complete and the accompanying envelope will be addressed and stamped with no postage necessary for the return trip to Town Hall.

Surveys need to be returned by Nov. 30 so results can be tabulated before the holiday season. If you do not receive a survey in the mail, you can pick one up at the Town Hall recreation office.

Extension Viewpoints
By Bill Nobles

Some simple food shopping tips

Nov. 14 - Rocky Mountain Riders, 6 p.m. at the Extension Office

Nov. 15 - 4-H Council Meeting, 5:30 p.m. at the Extension Office

Nov. 15 - Livestock Meeting to go over rules and regulations, 7 p.m. at the Extension Office

Nov. 16 - Chimney Rockers, 6 p.m. at the Extension Office

Nov. 17 - Clover Buds, 2 p.m. at the Extension Office

Nov. 18 - Dog Obedience, 10 a.m. at the Tunnell Family warehouse

Shopping for one or two can be frustrating when all the good deals seem to be for large households. Is it possible to spend less and eat better? Yes, when you keep in mind a few simple principles.

Assertive shoppers

You may not want to eat acorn squash or turkey breast every night for a whole week, or buy a bag of onions when all you need is one. The good news is, you don't have to.

Being an assertive shopper means asking for assistance and insisting on service. Ask the produce clerk to cut a cabbage in half or break apart a large bundle of broccoli. The butcher will wrap up a quarter-pound of ground turkey breast or just two skinless, boneless chicken breasts at your request.

Nutrient-dense foods

This is especially important after age 50 when we generally require fewer calories and more nutrition. Choose a diet based on vegetables, fruits, beans and whole grains. Also include some lowfat meat and dairy selections if you wish. Minimize empty-calorie snack foods, which are nutrient-poor and can also be very expensive.

Collect coupons

Using your coupons in stores where they double-coupon can mean your efforts are worth twice as much. And what should you do with coupons for items you've decided not to buy? Start a "coupon exchange" box at work, church or a senior center. That way you may also find clipped coupons for the products you've got on your shopping list. Some people find clippings coupons tedious. For these individuals, using the power of the Internet can help. Check out, www.value or for money saving offers.

Compare costs

Check out newspaper advertisements for weekly specials at your favorite supermarkets. Visit the store that is offering what you need at the best price. Pay attention to "unit pricing" in the store, but purchase larger packages only when contents will keep well. Or split economy size packages with friends. Select items from special "end displays" with care. A product may be offered at a special price and displayed prominently at an aisle's end. But a short walk down that aisle may reveal it is not the lowest price.

Fix it yourself

Convenience foods are often expensive, and there are many you can fix yourself for less money and more nutrition. Washed and peeled baby carrots can cost $2.59 per pound whereas a pound of regular carrots cost .69 cents. Wash, peel and chop a bag of regular carrots into convenient snack size sticks when you have the time. Or bake your own, more nutritious, bran muffins from scratch at a fraction of the store bought price. Keep them on hand in the freezer. A variety of nutritious, minimally processed food is better health insurance than expensive liquid meals, supplements and specially formulated products. For example, choose plain oatmeal, fruits and vegetables to help control high cholesterol instead of expensive cholesterol-reducing margarine. And always remember. . . healthy food at any price is an investment in your health.


Congratulations are in order

The four-day period between Saturday and Tuesday proved to be memorable as two state high school playoff schedules and the November 2000 election provided folks in Pagosa Springs with a gamut of excitement and emotions. A variety of congratulations are in order.

Congratulations are in order for the countless Pagosans who volunteered their time and contributed financially to the local effort to protect the special districts and their valuable services from the potentially debilitating consequences of Amendment 21. It was a grass-roots effort that operated effectively without support from well-funded state-level political action committees or sources.

Congratulations are in order for coach Penné Hamilton, her staff and the impressive Lady Pirates who carried on their seemingly seasonal tradition of winning the regional tournament and advancing to the state volleyball championships. The bleachers in the Denver Coliseum this weekend are sure to have a sizable number of proud Pagosa Springs fans supporting the Ladies.

Congratulations are in order for head football coach Myron Stretton, his staff and the relentless band of Pirates from Pagosa Springs High School. Though they fell a few points shy of advancing further into the state playoffs, their effort to achieve yet another comeback victory in their successful 2000 season was most impressive. Despite Saturday's less than ideal playing conditions, the Pirates left the field with their pride intact and their followers thinking, "We didn't get beat, we ran out of time."

Congratulations are in order for Bill Downey and Alden Ecker respectively for their successful county commissioner campaigns.

Congratulations are in order for the 4,814 voters in Archuleta County who cast their ballots in Tuesday's election. As the suspenseful outcome of the balloting in Florida demonstrates, one vote per precinct across a district, state or nation can determine the outcome of an election.

As with the outcome of any November election, it will be some time next year or possibly longer before voters determine whether the attitude of congratulations continues or whether it's eventually replaced by a consciousness of condolences.

David C. Mitchell


Dear Folks
By David C. Mitchell

An election night bedtime story

Dear Folks,

Let bygones be bygones.

The votes have been counted.

The people have spoken.

It's time to move ahead.

That's always easier said than done.

I'm more than ready to move ahead.

However, leaving the courthouse at around midnight on election night usually slows my ability to move.

The numbers cause me to stick in neutral or to slip into reverse. It's hard to move ahead.

I'm still wondering why 3,000 folks voted in the county commissioners' general election in November but only 1,600 voted in the August 8 primary election.

Colorado doesn't use runoffs when the top vote-getter in a primary election fails to garner a simple majority.

For all intents and purposes, Archuleta County elected two commissioners last August. One won with 503 votes and the other with 665 votes.

The 3,000-plus votes counted Tuesday formalized the process. In reality, the outcome was determined 13 weeks ago.

Sitting in the county clerk's office while watching the final stages of the local election process unfold on election night is always different.

Tuesday night's tallies offered a new twist.

I had expected the voting for Questions 1B, 1C, 1D, 1E, 1F and 1G would have been repetitious. The vote was on a rather identical question. Individuals were not involved.

Each question in essence made the same inquiry: "Shall the Archuleta County . . . be authorized to serve more than two consecutive terms in office if the voters . . . choose to re-elect him/her to said office?"

The "said" offices included that of the county clerk and recorder, county treasurer, county assessor, county sheriff, county surveyor and county coroner. Since the questions specifically addressed the individual offices, and not the individuals who currently hold these offices respectively, it seemed reasonable that the "YES" votes and the "NO" votes on the six offices would be almost identical.

So I was surprised when the vote totals from Precinct 3 on the six questions differed noticeably from office to office. The same held true with the tally for Precinct 5, and then Precinct 7, and 8. This pattern continued through all of the precincts right down to the absentee and early ballots.

It was as if the voters were expressing their approval rating of the incumbents.

All of the six elected county offices on the ballot received a majority of "YES" votes, thereby enabling the incumbents to seek more than two consecutive terms in office.

Once all of the 4,814 ballots were tallied, the highest number of Yes votes - 3,217 - went to the office of county coroner. As did the least number of No Votes - 1,264.

Next was the office of county clerk - 2,817 Yes; 1,610 No.

Then the office of county surveyor - 2,758 Yes; 1,693 No.

Followed by the office of county treasurer - 2,672 Yes; 1,783 No.

Fifth place went to the office of county assessor - 2,544 Yes; 1,916 No.

The office of county sheriff received 2,405 Yes votes and 2,081 No votes.

It's not the sort of thing you would give any real significance.

It's just part of the election night numbers game. You avoid looking at the numbers on the clock because you know that though you got out of bed on Tuesday, it will be Wednesday before you return to bed.

So you aimlessly focus on the numbers on the tally sheets. It helps keep you awake. It's an election night malady.

However Wednesday is pay-back time. Poll watchers usually go to bed twice on Wednesday - once at an a.m. time, and then about 21 hours later at a p.m. time.

So now that this is finished, I'm heading to bed. It will be my second time for Wednesday.

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


25 years ago

Jackisch Drug is remodeling

Taken from SUN filesof Nov. 13, 1975

Jackisch Drug Store is starting to remodel and extensive alterations are scheduled to take place in the next couple of weeks. When completed the store interior will be completely rearranged with new fixtures and will be as modern as any drug store in the San Juan Basin.

Eight western riding saddles along with a Sunbeam electric livestock clipper and various halters, bits and bridles were stolen Saturday from the Pagosa Stables at the Pagosa in Colorado development west of town. The theft reportedly took place in the early afternoon.

Local law officers are continuing their search for an Archuleta County man who escaped from the local jail last week. He is being sought on charges of theft of guns and other items of which many have been recovered. It is suspected that the escapee had outside help from an accomplice.

The fountain on the downtown parking fill was turned on last week after being off during the construction of a catch basin at its base along with a working drain to the river, The hot mineral water will now be drained away without leaving a mud puddle around the base of the fountain.

By Shari Pierce

Memories of Rev. Henry Harpst

Over the past weeks, I have shared with you some of the late Bonnie Kern Stafford's memories of early Pagosa faces and places. One of those mentioned by Mrs. Stafford was Rev. Henry Harpst.

Rev. Harpst was an important figure in the early history of the local Methodist Church. He was the first minister to serve the church on a regular basis. Prior to 1892, sporadic services were held when Rev. Jesse DuBois traveled to Pagosa Springs from Chama, N.M.

In 1893, Harpst had this to say about the early days of the church: "First Pastor's Report, Pagosa Springs, Colo., April 4, 1893. In making this, the first pastor's report to the Quarterly Conference, I will state that on the second Sabbath of May 1892, I commenced preaching in this place, under the supervision of the constituted authority of the Methodist Episcopal Church. On June 1st I organized a class of seven members. I subsequently received four on probation, one of whom I have dismissed by letter. I have also received one full member by letter. At present we have eight full members and three probationers. I have been in my place every time, nor have the storms of winter broken our services but once. As God's cause knows no backward movement, in the days of strength that are sure to come to this charge, this brief statement of our feeble beginning will be interesting reminiscence."

Henry Harpst was born in New York in 1830. He married Catherine Pennoyer in 1851. They had six children - five sons and a daughter.

Harpst was educated in public schools before attending Genesee College in New York. He was licensed as a "Local Preacher" in 1853. Because of poor health he came to Colorado where his health improved. He spent about 10 years in this state organizing and building churches before he moved on to Washington where he passed away in 1909.

It was said about Rev. Harpst, he "has been a faithful and efficient minister of the Gospel and has endured hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. He was active, cheerful and optimistic. He was a church builder. Ten churches, erected under his supervision, stand as monuments of his heroic labors. Dr. Harpst conducted his own revivals without an evangelist and hundreds have been led to Christ during his ministry."


Pacing Pagosa
By Richard Walter


Election, Veterans' Day kindred events

There is a kind of poetic justice to the two major events this week.

The first, election day, allowed every American of voting age the opportunity to express their right of free choice.

The second, coming Saturday, allows every American an opportunity to salute the men and women who have served in our armed forces and ensured the continuance of the freedom to cast a ballot.

Military veterans served the country as defenders of democracy, the democracy that allows citizens to choose their representatives, enact constitutional amendments and establish or end local tax supported services.

It is apropos that the two events should fall in the same week, though it should also be noted they coincide with a full moon for the weekend.

Politicians have played mumble- typeg with the Veterans' Day celebration since its inception in 1919 when President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed Armistice Day to remind Americans of the tragedies of war.

A law adopted in 1938 made the day a federal holiday. But, in 1971, our freely elected congressmen thought it would be neat to create a new three-day weekend and moved the holiday to the fourth Monday in October.

Four years later, following a hue and cry from the voting constituents at home and the outraged reactions of veterans' support organizations, the Congress recanted and returned the observance to the original Nov. 11.

Not yet done with the observance, however, Congress changed the name to Veterans' Day in 1954 and designated it as a time to honor all American veterans.

In an election year when we've just chosen a new president, some new state officers and new county leaders, it would be heartwarming to see all of the newly elected officials turn out at Veterans' Day ceremonies Saturday, along with all the holdover incumbents.

It was, after all, the efforts of all those veterans who have served this nation, which made their free election a possibility.

An added and obviously related event will be Friday's local celebration of the 225th anniversary of the founding of the Marine Corps. The newly elected political leaders should make that one a must event, too.

Too often, it seems to me, those who would lead have never learned to follow. The voters who put them into office are often the last ones to be consulted on what the people really want.

The American military, through the last two centuries, has fought to keep this a nation of, by and for the people. That effort is worthy of political recognition.

If you know a veteran (it would be hard not to), whether an active member of a veterans' organization or not, walk up and shake their hand Saturday and say, "thanks for helping preserve my freedom."

* * *

I'M AS OPPOSED as the next person to paying the high cost per gallon of gasoline, but I've found we're not the only area with high rates. In fact, throughout the San Luis and Arkansas River valleys, the prices are actually higher.

In South Fork, Del Norte, Center, Poncha Springs and Johnson Village, I saw prices in the past two weeks that were as much as 11 cents per gallon higher, at each grade level, than they are here. The lowest grade at several different brand outlets averaged $1.75.9 per gallon and the highest grade was marketing at $1.95.9.

In fact, in Denver and its suburbs, the prices were only four to six cents per gallon lower at each grade level than they are in Pagosa Springs and environs. With one exception - in a neighborhood where there were four service stations involved in a one-day price war - the difference was marginal. It wouldn't make me drive to Denver to save 80 cents on a tank of gasoline.

I agree with those who want lower prices and I can't help believing there is some major oil company collusion involved. But I can't fault our local providers when I see those in other areas of the state paying even more.

* * *

FINALLY, IT NEVER ceases to amaze me that residents of this area can come out in the morning and find heavy frost on their vehicles and not realize that same frost is on the roadway.

I saw cars slipping and sliding last week after our snow-rain-frost spell, cars piloted by drivers who had obviously just scraped the frost and ice off their windshields. Still, they were attempting to drive at the same speeds they would on perfectly dry pavement.

The spurt of fender-benders and vehicles sliding off the roadways was mostly attributable to failure to recognize the conditions and adapt driving habits to accommodate them.

Let's try to get through this winter without a traffic fatality that could have been avoided by use of a little common sense.


Old Timers
By John MotterCarracas home a house that love built

By John M. Motter

When Juan and Maxine Ribera count their blessings, they look at the photograph-covered walls in their Carracas home. Smiling back at them are the loving faces of 11 children, 24 grandchildren, and nine great-children, a treasure worth more than the wealth of the world.

"We are still close," Maxine said, a faint, confident smile brightening her face "Our children are scattered around, but they stay in touch with us regularly."

Juan is age 88, Maxine 74. They married April 9, 1947, in the Rosa Church. Fr. Oliveras from Lumberton officiated at the wedding. Now the Rosa church is gone, even Rosa is gone, buried beneath the waters of Navajo Lake. Joining Rosa, the world in which Juan and Maxine grew up is gone, buried beneath the shifting sands of time.

The place where Juan Mauricio Ribera first saw the light of day Sept. 22, 1912, was Cimarron, N.M. Juan's father, José Eutimio Ribera, had been born in Ponil, a small community just north and east of Cimarron in Colfax County. The elder Ribera fed and clothed his family of seven boys and three girls by cutting timbers used to shore up the walls of mines, especially the coal mines of the Cimarron area. His mother, Maria Dolores Valdez, was also born in Colfax County.

Cutting timbers was hard work and José longed for an easier way of earning a living to support his family. A brother, Alfonso Ribera, had homesteaded 160 acres near La Fragua, a small community close to the San Juan River south of Rosa, N.M. La Fragua means the forge. If José would come to La Fragua, maybe he could file for a homestead, get his own land. Then life would be better.

In 1922, José moved his family to La Frague. The trip was not easy.

"In those days, the roads were just like cow trails and we didn't have a map," Juan recalls. "Dad had a Model T truck. It didn't have much more than a chassis and a rack. It didn't have much power. When we climbed hills, I'd walk along behind and block a wheel. Then he'd rev it up and move a little bit and I'd block the wheel again. I had a handle on the block so I could stay out of the way."

The trip took about four days. The route was southwest from Taos to Taos Junction, west to Ojo Caliente, and north through El Rito and Canjilón. Instead of sleeping in motels and eating in restaurants, the family camped along the roadside as they traveled.

At La Fragua, they lived with Alfonso in a dugout, perhaps 12 feet by 30 feet. The dugout was constructed in the following fashion. A hole was dug by hand approximately six feet deep. Rock walls were laid around the perimeter of the hole on top of the ground, the rocks shaped to fit together. José knew how to shape rocks. Cedar posts, called vigas, were laid across the top and a layer of soil packed on top of the cedar posts. Dirt formed the walls and floor of the one-room abode. The roof often leaked and was in need of constant repairs.

"We were never cold," Juan recalls.

The house was heated by a wood stove.

"There were no roads or sawmills nearby, so lumber was hard to get," Juan says of those days while explaining the choice of building materials. "We used what we had and did what we could afford to do."

Not much furniture was in the dugout, maybe a kitchen table, a few chairs or benches, and a real bed.

José homesteaded nearby at La Jara, where he also built a dugout home. The families raised angora goats, some chickens, a vegetable garden, and sometimes wheat and sorghum.

"When my uncle (tio) raised wheat, he cut it with a hand scythe with a cradle," Juan remembers. "He bundled it in the field by tying a strand of wheat around the bundle. To thresh it, they placed the bundles on packed adobe earth and drove the horses across the bundles."

The nearest mill for grinding wheat into flour was located at Allison. Rosa provided the nearest shopping for residents of the La Fragua, La Jara areas. Until Navajo Dam was built creating Navajo Lake and flooding Arboles, Rosa, and the adjacent valley, a road ran down the east side of the San Juan River to La Jara Canyon up the canyon and on to Gobernador. Mail was delivered from Arboles to Gobernador along that route.

Animals raised by the subsistence farmers of the time included horses, mules, chickens, and goats. Some raised sheep and cattle, but not the Riberas. Wild game did not help the family table, since, except for a few rabbits, there was no wild game.

Formal education was a sometime thing for Juan. When he stayed with an uncle working at the Monero, N.M., coal mine he attended school there or at Dulce. His total formal education amounted to about five years. When Juan reached a feisty 16 years old, the siren call of the outer world proved stronger than he could resist.

"My dad worked me very hard," Juan recalls. "I was tired of working for my dad. I flew the coup."

Juan drifted across the San Juan Mountains to the San Luis Valley where he worked on ranches, then caught on with a New Mexico construction company building roads. The company's name was Scoussen. The job moved Juan from place to place - Wagon Mound, Socorro, Santa Fe, east of Glorietta Pass. After a couple of years on the road, Juan hitchhiked and hopped trains back to La Jara.

When World War II came along, Juan joined the Army, on June 2, 1942, to be exact. After training in Denver and attending cook's and baker's school, Juan joined the millions of American doughboys in first England, then France, and later Belgium.

Following the end of WW II, Juan returned home. Soon Maxine Gomez from Cabrestro (it means the rope), a few miles east and some north of La Fragua and near Vaquero caught his eye. Maxine had been born July 12, 1926. Her parents were Miguel Antonio Gomez and Cina Baca Gomez. Her mother's father was José Procopio Baca from Canjilón, N. M.

"The last time I saw her, she was only two years old," Juan said and they both giggled. "I am 14 years older than her. I was an old man when we began courting."

The young couple spent their honeymoon planting a garden for Maxine's mother. The next years passed as they lived in sawmill camps and raised children. Juan found employment working for a number of the small lumber mills scattered across Archuleta County. Among those mills was J.C. Bunch's mill on Fossett Gulch Road and on Yellow Jacket just west of the Piedra River bridge.

"When Bunch got mad, he'd throw his hat on the floor and stomp on it," Maxine remembers.

Juan also worked at mills located at Juanita, for Pagosa Lumber Co. in Pagosa Springs, and at the Ponderosa on Yellow Jacket just west of the Piedra River Bridge. Early on, Juan and his growing family lived near whichever mill happened to be employing Juan at the time.

Often the mill owner supplied a plot of ground and allowed workers to take low-grade, unsellable lumber and construct a house. And so Juan and his family lived in lumber shanties, also called tar paper shacks because the rough lumber siding the walls and roof was often covered with tar paper to keep out wind and rain. Lumber mill shanties seldom contained more than two small room and usually had no running water or electricity, even in the 1950s. Baths were taken in a wash tub heated on the kitchen stove, itself normally a wood-burning range.

One luxury Maxine always had was a washing machine. Consequently, washing the endless supply of diapers was not as difficult a task as it might have been.

"I made him buy me a washing machine when we got married," Maxine said. "I've always had a washing machine."

Those early washing machines were of the kick-start variety, like a motorcyle, and were powered by gasoline engines. As we talked last week, Maxine pointed to the place in the door of her home where the water hose for emptying her washing machine used to exit the house.

In 1956, Juan and his family moved to property on the north side of the San Juan River between Carracas and Navajo Lake. Juan eventually bought the property and built a home there using materials from two lumber mill shacks salvaged from the Ponderosa Mill. The new home contained two small rooms, but no running water, electricity, or telephone. Juan did all of the work himself, including building the doors from scratch. One wall was a built by the family when Juan couldn't be there to help. Juan set up what amounted to a miniature sawmill and manufactured the 2x4s used to construct his home.

From the Carracas home, Juan and Maxine's children rode the school bus to Pagosa Springs and the public schools there.

"All of them graduated from high school," Juan says proudly, "and they all have gone on to make something of themselves. One is a school teacher and one a civil engineer and one a government purchasing agent and one a planner and so on. The Ribera children are: Mauricio Jr. who lives in Oregon, Maxine, Waldo, Daniel, Patrick, Ramona, Irene, Chris, Val, Bella and Josie.

"I really owe the community because the schools gave my kids incentive," Juan said.

Progress came slowly to rural Archuleta County compared to more metropolitan areas. The Riberas were not served by electricity until 1970-1975, and did not have a telephone until 1981. During earlier times, water was dipped by bucket from a well dug near the San Juan River. When the ground was covered with snow and surface water capped by ice, the family melted snow for water. In later years, after the kids left home, they got together, added a lean-to to the two-room home, and installed running water and bathroom facilities.

"You know you make plans, but it doesn't always work out that way," Juan says.

"My dad had plans when he left Cimarron and moved over here. It didn't work out the way he planned. We've had plans down through the years, but it didn't work out that way."

What about the changes in Pagosa Country that have altered forever the way people live?

"I think things have changed for the worst," Juan says. "We've been in a drought with no rain. We used to get two feet of snow every winter in Carracas. I wouldn't change anything if I had it to do over again. There is nothing we can change. But what can the poor people do now? They can't afford to live in Pagosa Springs."

Maxine only recently returned home after spending some time in Denver recovering from a serious illness. She is still the family matriarch, the mother who used to wash every Thursday, the woman who ironed and mended clothes so the kids were always clean and respectable. She's in the process of sewing a quilt for each of the children. Seven quilts are finished. There are four quilts to go.

And the pot is always on, simmering on the kitchen stove. Family and friends are, as ever, welcome. As I sat at the table talking with Juan and Maxine, warmth and peace prevailed. Somehow, we were not sitting in a lumber shanty. We were sitting in the house that love built.

Dylan Dean McBride

Mark and Kimberly McBride of Pagosa Springs are proud to announce the birth of their son Dylan Dean McBride. Dylan was born in Durango on Sept. 17, 2000. He weighed 6 pounds, 13 ounces and was 17 1/4-inches long. Dylan was welcomed home by his five sisters and grandparents.


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