Front Page
November 30, 2000

Matilda Archuleta dies unexpectedly at age 51

Many Pagosans were saddened Wednesday to learn that Matilda Griego Archuleta had unexpectedly passed away.

Mrs. Archuleta was born in Pagosa Springs to Isidro and Eva Griego on May 7, 1949. She was raised by her grandparents, Jose Victor and Matilde Griego.

In her spare time, she enjoyed making crafts such as crocheting, embroidery, sewing, and painting. She mostly enjoyed taking care of her family. She also worked as a homemaker and as a cook for local restaurants where many people enjoyed her good cooking.

Mrs. Archuleta is survived by her husband, Julian, of 29 years; her daughters Cindy Lovato and son-in-law McKean Walton of Pagosa Springs, Valerie Romero and son-in-law Tony Romero of Denver, and Kristy Archuleta of Pagosa Springs; her sons Julian Archuleta and daughter-in-law Vanessa Archuleta of Denver, Phil Archuleta of Denver, Ike Archuleta of Pagosa Springs and John Archuleta of Pagosa Springs; and six grandchildren.

She is also survived by her brothers Joe Griego of Boulder, Delfin Griego and Danny Griego of Pagosa Springs; her sisters Lenore Martinez, Della Maez, Dorothy Trefethen and Frances Griego, all of Pagosa Springs, and numerous nieces and nephews.

Mrs. Archuleta was preceded in death by her sister, Viola, her parents Isidro and Eva Griego, and her two grandchildren.

A rosary was held Friday, Nov. 24, 2000. Funeral services were conducted by Father John Bowe Saturday, Nov. 25, 2000, at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church with interment following at Hilltop Cemetery.


Family at side as Angie Marquez dies

Surrounded by her loving family, Angie Marquez of Arboles, passed away Thursday night, November 16, 2000.

Mrs. Marquez was born on March 13, 1942, in Arboles to Luis and Louise Quintana. She married Jose Eduvijen "Ed" Marquez on July 16, 1958. From this union, seven daughters were born.

Many knew Mrs. Marquez for her loving hands that prepared wonderful meals. Others would know her for her generous heart that extended to everyone she encountered. Her friends never knew what surprise she carried in her goody basket; a loaf of bread, fresh vegetables from her garden, empanaditas, posole or a warm apple pie. Her ability to "throw together a little something," no matter what time of day, never ceased to amaze her family and friends.

She will be greatly missed by her family: Lou Jean and Henry Espinosa, and their children, Jose, Henry, Jessica and Roman; Mercie and Leo Ulibarri and their daughters, Diana and Kayla; Eleanor and Chris Velasquez and their children, Meranda, Christopher, Nathan, Rachel, Rico Rosendo, and grandchildren Jada Marie; Edna and Charles Gomez; June Marquez and children, Marcus, Naquita and Eli; Geraldine and Rockey McPherson and children Gabrielle and William; Angelica Marquez and former spouse, Ed Marquez.

Mrs. Marquez is also survived by her mother, Mrs. Louise Quintana, sisters, Carol Perez, Gloria Marquez and numerous aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

Mass of celebration was held Monday, Nov. 20, 2000, with burial at the Rosa Cemetery.


Rural Chromo home burns to ground

By Karl Isberg

A newly-constructed home near Chromo, south of Pagosa Springs, burned to the ground Nov. 22 before local firefighters could make their way to the scene.

According to Pagosa Fire Protection District Chief Warren Grams, his department received a call at 4:15 p.m. asking if a crew would respond outside district boundaries to the Chromo fire. Grams said two tankers and a command vehicle were dispatched to the scene.

The 1,800-square-foot home was located in Spring Valley Estates, approximately a mile and a half south of Chromo on U.S. 84 and another mile and a half southwest of the highway.

"When we got the call," said the chief, "we were told the structure was fully involved. Our nearest station is 17 miles away and we knew we weren't going to be able to do anything with the house with no water source at the site and a 25-minute response time. Our response was made in case we could save outbuildings and keep the fire from spreading."

One tanker and the district's command vehicle were able to negotiate a muddy dirt road leading to the burning house. "The structure had burned to the ground by the time we arrived," said Grams. "It was a relatively new house, with a building permit still in progress."

Outbuildings at the property, said the chief, were sufficiently distant from the house to avoid damage from the flames and heat. "We used the tanker to knock down the coals," said Grams, "and we put out a tree that was on fire. The propane tank was on fire and we let it burn itself out."

Grams said the owners and occupants of the property were at the scene when he arrived but left to take shelter with friends before he could question them about the fire. He identified one of the owners as Danielle Sechaud.

The chief said there was no indication of the cause of the blaze.


Linda Jackson's death comes week after stroke

Linda Clay Jackson died Nov. 27, 2000, in Grand Junction after suffering a massive stroke at her home in Pagosa Springs on Nov. 20.

Mrs. Jackson was born in Trenton, Mich., on May 28, 1945, to Archie and Dorothy Clay. She became a Christian as a youth and was baptized in the Baptist church. She grew up in Lincoln Park, Mich., and graduated from Lincoln Park High School.

Mrs. Jackson trained as a licensed practical nurse at Sinai Hospital in Detroit. She met her future husband, Terry, at a social function when he was in the Navy and stationed at the Naval Air Station on the south side of Detroit. They were married Dec. 29, 1967, at the Riverview Baptist Church in Riverview, Mich.

She earned her Registered Nurse Degree at Marion College in Indianapolis, Ind., and her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Webster University in Kansas City, Kan. She practiced as a public health nurse in Overland Park, Kan., for the Johnson County Health Department and was regarded as one of the state's experts in sexually transmitted diseases and HIV.

Mrs. Jackson was a Brownie Scout leader when their daughter was a Brownie; she was a "parent-advisor" at the local high school for the American Field Service in the mid-80s when their daughter was an exchange student to Denmark; a member of the Kansas City BMW Motorcycle Club and Indian Heights United Methodist Church in Overland Park.

The Jacksons moved to Pagosa Springs on Oct. 29, 1997, where she enjoyed walking, reading, biking and skiing. She was an active member of Community United Methodist Church of Pagosa Springs.

Mrs. Jackson is survived by her husband, Terry; daughter Cheri Strother, son-in-law Scott Strother, and granddaughters Mara age 3 and Wren age 15 months of Arvada; and a brother, Sherman Clay of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

She was preceded in death by her parents. A memorial service will be held at 11 A.M. Saturday, Dec. 2, at Community United Methodist Church. A luncheon will follow in the church's Fellowship Hall.


Solomon Martinez loses fight with lung cancer

Former Pagosa Springs resident Solomon R. Martinez, 70, passed away Nov. 26, 2000, in Salt Lake City, Utah, following a long bout with lung cancer.

He was born to Frank and Rosa Valerio Martinez Oct. 10, 1930, in Pagosa Springs.

Mr. Martinez retired Feb. 28, 1991 from service as a corrections officer at the Utah State Prison. He was a veteran of World War II, having served in the U.S. Navy. He loved fishing, camping, building and working with his hands. He was a member of Great Harvest Family Church, and loved his brothers and sisters in the church.

Mr. Martinez is survived by his wife, Mrs. Reba Reynolds Martinez; four children from a previous marriage, daughters, Hope and Faith; sons, Solomon and Rudy; stepchildren, John and Rebecca Reynolds. He also is survived by three grandchildren, Rico, Victor and Nina Martinez; nine great-grandchildren; nieces Grace Lilly and Lou Serrano; nephews Albert Chavez, Sam Martinez and Benito Gallegos; and aunt, Dubie Valerio.

Funeral services for Mr. Martinez were to be held Thursday, Nov. 30, in Salt Lake City.


County's budget grows with territory

By John M. Motter

The largest of all county budget funds is the general fund. Included in the general fund are the budgets of all elected officials and some categories not specifically included under elected officials other than the county commissioners.

At the beginning of the process for preparing the 2001 budget, the preliminary general fund summary showed a beginning fund balance of $1,225,923, revenues of $4,632,645, expenditures of $5,321,080, and an ending fund balance of $537,490.

The 2000 general fund budget summary showed a beginning balance of $1,531,580, revenues of $4,173,785, expenditures of $4,479,440, and an ending fund balance of $1,225,923.

Actual numbers for the 1999 general fund show a beginning fund balance of $1,360,445, revenues of $3,867,840, expenditures of $3,696,700, and an ending fund balance of $1,531,580.

Among the larger budget categories controlled directly by the county commissioners are road and bridge, social services, solid waste, planning and building inspection, finance and administration.

Road and Bridge Fund

The preliminary road and bridge fund summary for 2001 showed a beginning fund balance of $773,055, revenues of $2,205,700, expenditures of $2,389,570, and an ending fund balance of $589,180.

For the year 2000, the road and bridge fund budget summary showed a beginning balance of $1,079,805, revenues of $2,504,210, expenditures of $2,810,960, and an ending balance of $773,055.

Actual road and bridge fund expenditures for 1999 were a beginning fund balance of $943,010, revenues of $2,229,715, expenditures of $2,092,920, and an ending balance of $1,079,805.

Road and bridge fund expenditures are divided into road maintenance, fleet maintenance, snow and ice removal, administration, engineering and transfers out.

In the preliminary 2001 budget, the following expenditures are anticipated: road maintenance - $969,040, fleet maintenance - $652,630, snow and ice removal - $255,820, administration - $442,335, engineering - $69,750, and transfers a net of zero.

For the 2000 budget, those same numbers were: road maintenance - $860,700, fleet maintenance - $637,610, snow and ice removal - $270,070, administration - $257,300, engineering - $40,000, and transfers out - $745,290.

Salaries across the various categories proposed for 2001 are, not including benefits: road maintenance - $360,255, fleet maintenance - $258,150, snow and ice removal - $249,820, administration - $73,115, and engineering - $55,800.

In the 2000 budget, those same numbers were: road maintenance - $326,255, fleet maintenance - $234,555, snow and ice removal - $225,835, administration - $70,185, and engineering - $40,000.

Social Services Fund

For 2001, the preliminary social services fund summary shows a beginning fund balance of $317,910, revenues of $1,042,915, expenditures of $1,042,915, and an ending fund balance of $317,910.

The year 2000 social services fund budget showed a beginning fund balance of $317,910, revenues of $945,920, expenditures of $945,920, and an ending balance of $317,910.

Actual social services expenditures for 1999 included a beginning fund balance of $264,415, revenues of $909,040, expenditures of $855,545, and an ending fund balance of $317,910.

The social services budget is subdivided into a number of categories roughly corresponding with various government-supported programs. Salaries are carried under each of the categories rendering comparisons of personnel expenditures with other departments almost meaningless.

A preliminary 2001 budget for administration of the department of social services calls for administration expenditures of $116,285. That same number was $108,520 in 2000 and $122,550 in 1999. This coming year's administration salaries line item shows $50,530, down from $59,745 in 2000, and $60,010 in 1999.

Total salaries in the social services department in the preliminary 2001 budget including administration and not including benefits are $289,070. For 2000, that number was $203,270. Part of the salary expenses prior to 2001 were labeled as contract wages, and new programs have emerged. For 1999, the salary total was $194,395.

Solid Waste Fund

A preliminary 2001 budget for the solid waste fund shows a beginning fund balance of minus $997,830, revenues of $283,280, expenditures of $283,280, and an ending fund balance of minus $997,830.

The year 2000 solid waste fund showed a beginning balance of minus $1,008,810, revenues of $291,205, expenditures of $280,225, and an ending fund balance of minus $997,830.

Actual numbers for the 1999 solid waste fund show a beginning balance of minus $1,009,120, revenues of $237,590, expenditures of $237,285, an an ending balance of minus $1,008,810.

Personnel expenditures for the solid waste fund in the preliminary 2001 budget are placed at $195,000 with $41,200 aimed at the department head. The proposed wages for an administrative assistant are $25,170, and for the landfill $21,630. Since this department was created during 2000, no prior year comparable figures are available. The minus figures in this budget emphasize that the funds creating it came from the county. A comparison of revenues and expenditures for 2001 reveal that the department expects to earn enough to pay its own operating costs.

Planning and Building Inspection

Planning and building inspection are separate entries included in the general fund.

The preliminary planning budget for 2001 shows expenditures of $253,670. The year 2000 planning budget showed expenditures of $189,340. Actual expenditures shown for the 1999 planning budget amount to $134,290. A major portion of the planning budget for 2000 is devoted to personnel, including a proposed salary of $52,790 for the director. That line item has grown from $23,050 in 1999 through $47,000 for 2000 to the present number. Planning personnel costs were $99,770 in 1999 and $139,780 in 2000, the year a full-time planning director was hired.

For the building inspection department, preliminary 2001 budget expenditures are pegged at $139,215. The building inspection budget for 2000 was $115,030. Actual expenditures for this department in 1999 were $104,915.

Personnel expenditures are also the main component of the building inspection department. In 1999, personnel expenses totaled $93,080. In 2000, that amount was $107,470, and proposed for 2001 is $127,280. A major factor in the increase has been growth of the building inspector's salary from $15,960 in 1999 to $23,650 in 2000 and a proposed $33,070 in 2001.


The finance department budget is likewise included in the general fund.

Included in the preliminary 2001 finance budget is $125,455 for expenditures. The 2000 finance department budget called for expenditures totaling $120,350. Actual finance department expenditures during 1999 were $105,000.

Personnel costs dominate the finance department's expenditures. For the 2001 proposed budget, personnel costs amount to $107,600, including $36,050 for a director and $30,660 for a department of social services accountant. The director's salary has grown from $27,930 in 1999 to its present level. Personnel costs in this department were $94,180 in 1999 and $103,840 in 2000.


The county administration budget proposed for 2001 contains expenditures amounting to $320,835, up from $291,540 in 2000 and $188,245 in 1999. This category is contained in the general fund and does not include the budgets of the general manager or county commissioners.

The personnel portion of this category in the preliminary budget amounts to $103,885, up from $89,705 in 2000 and $37,360 in 1999. Included under personnel is $18,750, one-half the salary of an administrative assistant who also receives $18,750 in the commissioners' budget. Also, an administrative assistant with a salary of $22,880 is included. That proposed salary is up from $18,720 in 2000 and $12,610 in 1999.

This budget has increased $132,590 since 1999, about 70 percent. About $42,000 of that increase can be attributed to the inclusion of $41,000 in liability insurance formerly spread across individual budgets and about $47,000 in employee benefits receiving the same treatment.


Wolf Creek Pass nighttime closures halted temporarily

Colorado Department of Transportation officials announced Tuesday that night closures on U.S. 160 over Wolf Creek Pass are suspended, possibly for the winter, while blasting operations and a construction of the 950-foot tunnel continues during the daytime.

The construction project is located between mile markers 173.9 and 174.7 on the east side of the summit, and motorists can expect 30- to 45-minute delays, Monday through Thursday from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m., and Fridays from 7 a.m. until 3 p.m. The lengthiest delays can be expected during mid-morning and late afternoon, when blasting operations occur.

The width restriction of 12-feet will continue to be in effect through the construction zone during working hours.

Motorists will be notified via the media and by roadside variable electronic message boards of any change in the nighttime closure schedule. However, currently construction crews are able to work off-road and within a single-lane closure configuration in order to blast and haul material from the road without having to close the entire highway.

Inside The Sun
Temperatures should rise as winds increase

By John M. Motter

After a short season of significant snowfalls, the weather scene in Pagosa Springs has shifted to sunny and bright.

Sunny and bright it will remain, at least through the middle of next week according to Paul Frisbie, a forecaster from the National Weather Service office in Grand Junction.

"A high pressure system centered on the intermountain region and central United States should continue to dominate," Frisbie said. "That means little change is on the horizon. Temperatures could rise a few degrees as southwest winds increase, but I can't see any other changes through the middle of next week."

High temperatures should be in the mid-40s, possibly rising to the 50s in a few days, Frisbie said, with low temperatures in the teens.

Low pressure in the eastern Pacific continues to spawn storm systems, but under prevailing conditions the storms weaken before they reach Pagosa Country.

About four and one-half inches of overnight snow greeted Pagosa Country residents Thanksgiving morning, bringing the November snowfall total to 14.25 inches. November snowfall in town has averaged 10.6 inches over the past 48 years.

When the 4.5 inches of snow was melted, 0.36 inches of precipitation remained. Precipitation for November totals 1.64 inches. The long-time average November precipitation is 1.52 inches.

High temperatures last week ranged between 46 degrees Sunday and Tuesday down to 34 degrees last Thursday. The average high temperature for the week starting Nov. 21 and ending Nov. 28 was 42 degrees.

Low temperatures last week ranged from a low of 15 degrees Sunday and Tuesday to 20 degrees last Thursday. The average low temperature for the week was 17 degrees. The average temperature for the week was 29.5 degrees.

Winter weather conditions in Pagosa Country generally step up a level in severity during December. Average December snowfall in town is 22.2 inches, about double the November average. The most snowfall ever recorded in town during December was 72 inches during 1967. On the other end of the scale, during December of 1989, only one inch of snow fell in town.

December temperatures in town average about 10 degrees colder than November temperatures. The average mean temperature for November is 32.5 degrees, the average mean temperature for December is 22.8 degrees. Mean readings reflect that half the temperatures are above that reading and half are below.

The extreme low temperature recorded in town during December over the last 51 years was the minus 34 degrees captured Dec. 25, 1990. The thermometer has plunged below minus 30 degrees four times during December over the last half century, below minus 20 degrees 13 times during the same time frame, and below minus 10 degrees during all but 10 of the years. The thermometer has never failed to drop below zero during December over the last 51 years.


Ski crowd huge but no new records set

By Karl Isberg

With plenty of snow on the ground at the Wolf Creek Ski Area, Thanksgiving holiday skiers enjoyed the best conditions in Colorado.

Despite the situation no records were broken at the area, but it is wise to keep things in perspective: there was no snow for the Thanksgiving holiday in 1999 and skiers did not arrive at the area until it opened Dec. 2.

Wolf Creek opened Oct. 28 this year and by Thanksgiving the mountain was 100 percent open with plenty of high-quality snow on the ground. Last year, when the area opened Dec. 2, there was barely enough snow to open one lift and a limited number of runs.

According to Wolf Creek spokesperson Roseanne Haidorfer-Pitcher this year's healthy holiday began Nov. 19. "We had a College Day on Nov. 19," she said, "and there were 2,319 skiers on the slopes. At least 850 were college kids from the area."

Skier numbers hovered near the 1,000-per-day mark Nov. 20 and 21 when 928 and 818 skiers were at the area. Vacation visitors began to arrive Nov. 22 and there were 1,043 lift tickets sold for the day.

The number of visitors to the area increased to 1,787 Thanksgiving Day and the holiday high of 3,159 skiers enjoyed Wolf Creek Nov. 24. A strong weekend began with 2,732 skiers on the slopes Nov. 25 and ended with 942 skiers on Sunday.

A record holiday at Wolf Creek might have been in the offing this year but for the arrival of snow at several ski destinations in northern New Mexico.

"It was great," said Haidorfer-Pitcher. "We were thinking we might do as well as we did two years ago, with 3,600 skiers in one day, but Santa Fe got 8 inches of snow and we think some skiers from New Mexico decided to stay closer to home. We still had a great week."

Wolf Creek officials hope the trend continues to the Christmas holiday period. With 56 inches of snow measured at the summit Nov. 29, there is certain to be more of the white stuff available at Wolf Creek (regardless of weather during the next three weeks) than there was in 1999 when the snow drought continued into the new year.

Haidorfer-Pitcher said projections for a good holiday season are positive. "Local hotels sound like they'll be busy," she said. "And we still have more snow than anyone else in the state. We're hoping for more snow; it will help the industry as a whole. But, our mountain will be great no matter what."


$3 million airport improve targeted

By John M. Motter

Stevens Field will receive more than $3 million in improvements this coming year, according to Tim Smith, the airport manager.

The work proposed for 2001 is part of a five-year capital improvement plan designed to replace a badly deteriorating runway with a stronger, wider version capable of handling modern corporate jets.

"Runways wear out in about 15 years," Smith said, "and the useful life of Stevens Field has about expired. Not only are we replacing a wornout runway, we're upgrading the runway capacity."

Currently, the Stevens Field runway is limited to weights of 16,000 pounds or less, according to Smith. When the new work is completed the load limit wll rise to 60,000 pounds, matching the needs of many corporate jets.

The Federal Aviation Agency is providing the bulk of the money needed for the 2001 budget year portion of the airport renovation. A little over $2 million is being transferred from federal to local coffers for the project.

Federal money always comes with conditions, according to Smith. In this case, the sponsor is required to put up a 10 percent grant. Since Stevens Field is owned by Archuleta County, the county is required to provide the 10 percent grant match.

Mitigating the demand on county financial resources is a provision of the Colorado Division of Aeronautics. Using money from a state discretionary grant fund, the CDA is providing half of the 10 percent match required of the county. Consequently, the state is giving $156,665 and the county an equal amount to meet the 10 percent federal grant requirement.

In addition to upgrading the runway, 2001 grant funds will be used to acquire land needed to increase runway approach safety.

Planning for the five-year project is still under way, according to Smith. Last year the county received a grant of slightly over $1 million from the FAA to be used for planning and engineering of the five-year capital improvement plan.

In addition to paying for planning and engineering, about $266,625 of last year's grant funds were used to acquire lands used to develop runway approach safety zones.

The county put up about $110,000 last year as a 10 percent match for the planning and engineering grant.

"Stevens Field is receiving federal and state funding because of its economic importance," Smith said. "Our airport is the sixth largest among general aviation airports in the state in terms of economic impact. We are first outside the Denver metropolitan area and first in Colorado on the airport improvement list.

"We were listed in 1998 by the FAA for our special interest needs," Smith continued. "That is why we have been able to obtain the funding support we are getting.

"The timing is fortuitous, because we're getting the financial help at the same time we need to replace the runway," Smith said.

The proposed budget for Stevens Field for 2001 is scattered between three funds. Shown in the capital improvement fund expenditures is $156,665 for airport grant match. Under the general fund airport subsidy expenditures heading are listed $20,000 as a snow removal county match and $35,870 for airport manager salary and benefits. The year 2000 budget showed $31,860 for airport manager salary and benefits.

The third fund relating to the airport is the airport authority fund. The summary of this fund shows revenues of $3,253,540 and expenditures of $3,252,760. Further division of revenues shows $64,340 operating revenue, $2,976,675 from grants and other sources, and $212,535 as a county grant. The county grant revenue is basically the same as the general fund airport subsidy expenditure.

A breakdown of expenditures under the airport authority fund shows the same airport manager expenditures as before, $77,560 for operating expenses, $3,133,330 for airport project expenses, and a couple of minor expenses.


Sales tax receipts still on record pace

By John M. Motter

Sales tax collections in Archuleta County for the year 2000 could set an annual record for the third consecutive year.

With two months of 2000 remaining, sales tax collections in the county for the year reached $3,833,860, not far from the 1999 record-setting total of $4,193,255. Collections through October of this year are running 9.41 percent ahead of last year.

Last year, collections during November were $384,465, during December $304,515. Together the last two months of 1999 produced $688,980 in sales tax income. Assuming that 2000 November-December collections match the prior year and adding that total to the $3,833,860 already collected for 2000, the projected total for 2000 becomes $4,522,840, well above the 1999 year-end total.

Sales tax collections are directly proportional to retail sales. Economists, therefore, regard sales tax collections as at least one good indicator of the health of an economy. Increasing sales tax collections mean increased retail sales.

September collections this year amounted to $453,050, considerably more than the $383,805 collected during September of last year.

October collections this year totaled $487,080, well above the $469,990 collected during October of 1999.

Despite the record-setting pace of sales tax collections this year, County Manager Dennis Hunt inserts a word of caution for those county officials working on the budget for next year.

"It's true that we are collecting more from this source than before," Hunt said, "but the rate of increase is slowing down."

The county places unbudgeted revenue increases in a special contingency fund, then uses the fund as a source for unbudgeted expenditures. If the rate of sales tax collection increases decline, the balance of money in the contingency fund could be less, decreasing the county's ability to make unbudgeted expenditures.

A 7 percent sales tax is collected by vendors on all retail purchases in Archuleta County. Of that amount, 3 percent is retained by the state and the remaining 4 percent returned to Archuleta County.

Archuleta County and Pagosa Springs divide the local 4 percent equally. The town's portion is devoted to capital improvement projects. The county's portion is divided evenly between the general fund and the road improvement fund. Through October of this year, the county general fund and road improvement funds have each received $958,465.


Log Park Water gets violation notice

By Richard Walter

A legal notice which arrived too late for publication this week notifies residents of Log Park Subdivision and customers of Log Park Water Company that the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has issued a violation notice for the system.

Specifically, a turbidity maximum contaminant level violation was reported for the firm which was recently transferred from Wolf Creek Utilities.

The warning does not require a boil order nor, according to Gene Tautges, a licensed operator, does it represent any imminent health danger.

Tautges said the warning is required by the Environmental Protection Agency which sets drinking water standards and has determined that turbidity is a health concern at certain levels of exposure.

The turbidity, or cloudiness, of drinking water is a measure of the minute particles suspended in the water that can interfere with disinfection and with testing for bacteria. EPA has set a turbidity level of 1 unit as determined by a monthly average of daily results and 5 units based on an average of two consecutive days.

Tautges said the Log Park system, which serves about 40 customers in 25 dwellings, averages about 1.2 units of turbidity.

He said the water system has 90 days to come up with a recommendation for correction of the problem. The water is pumped from the San Juan River to the subdivision which lies southwest of Fawn Gulch Road.

Tautges said the system was well-designed when constructed in the early 1970s, but like other things which age, "needs to be upgraded."

The notice advised those with questions about the turbidity situation to call Alan Brownlie, interim president of Log Park Water Company, at 264-4593. The Brownlies, however, are reportedly out of state on vacation. No other representatives of the company could be reached.

Tautges said the mandated levels are "theoretical since no one has ever gotten sick from turbidity, but it does need to be corrected."


Pagosa has billiard league leaders

By Richard Walter

Pagosa Springs has a current league leader and the team has held the top spot for two weeks.

What sport, you ask?


Yes, billiards.

A five-member squad from Pagosa competes in a Durango league every Tuesday evening and for the past two weeks, with the season one third gone, the Pagosa cue masters have climbed to the top of the 24-team league which hosts teams from across the Four Corners area.

The players actually met during Monday night individual competition in a local establishment and realizing they played well, wanted to find tougher competition. Then they heard about the Durango league and entered.

Wade Duncan, spokesman for the group, said it is unusual that "five guys all 40 or better are leading a league where most of the players are substantially younger."

Members of the Pagosa squad, in addition to Duncan, are Jack Dyer, Dave Scaveeze, Paul Stymfal and Dave Cordray.

"Now that we've hit the number one spot," Duncan said, "others are beginning to notice. People congregate around the table where we're playing and if one of us makes a good shot you can hear 'did you see that?' It's a good feeling."

Having already beaten the team which was expected to run away with the league title, the Pagosa team is hoping to hold on to its lead. The winner advances to regional competition.


Miles for Smiles van brings dental care to dozens

By Richard Walter

Her job is like that of the carney promoter of old but the cause she espouses is much more important to the children of southwest Colorado.

Dixie Gray is the new regional director for the Miles for Smiles program, a traveling dental clinic for children who don't qualify for public help and can't afford dental insurance.

She brought the story of the program to town last week in preparation for the mobile clinic's visit here which started Tuesday and continues through Dec. 7 at Pagosa Springs Elementary School.

Miles for Smiles is an offshoot of a Denver metropolitan area program called Kids in Need of Dentistry (KIND) and the miles name came from the distances the professionals will travel in the fully-equipped dental clinic van to bring care.

Gray noted Miles for Smiles personnel carefully canvassed the region before committing the van here. One thing they found, she said, "is that some families in the region don't even have a toothbrush in the house."

To help remedy such dental problems, the KIND organization is working with area elementary, middle and high schools to give educational programs on dental care.

Gray said the van's dental staff, including three full-time employees supplemented by volunteer dentists in the areas visited, can see 11 to 14 patients per day, depending on the severity of problems encountered. Of 52 licensed dentists in the five-county southwest area of the state, 47 have volunteered time with the program.

Referrals come from day care and public schools, programs like Head Start and from county nurses. Area schools have cooperated with mailings detailing van visits and urging parents to come into the schools to pick up applications and program brochures.

"Many children," Gray said, "have fallen through the cracks in the past. This program is aimed at getting attention for their dental needs."

Children may be eligible for care in the van if they are Colorado residents under 18, with no Medicaid coverage or dental insurance, and live in a family with an annual income below 185 percent of the poverty level. For example, a family of three with an income less than $26,700 would qualify below the cap.

Gray noted, however, that a family which qualifies in one year must re-apply in the next year.

She had high praise for Isabel Willis of Seeds of Learning in Pagosa Springs for her efforts in getting the van to come here for more than just a one-day effort.

Gray said Willis was told by the Denver office that if she could produce numbers showing the need it could be arranged.

"Mrs. Willis made sure there would be accommodations for the staff while the van is here, volunteered her own time to get merchants involved with discounts for the visiting dental professionals and secured rooms for them at discount rates."

Gray said this area "has proved to be every dentist's dream . . . a clientele that is rarely late and has a high percentage of patient appointment fulfillment."

The van, donated to the southwest Colorado program by the Blue Cross-Blue Shield Anthem organization, is loaded with state-of-the-art equipment.

Dr. Gary Andersen of Durango, one of the volunteer dentists, said "many dentists volunteer to serve so they can use the equipment and see if it's something they should get for their own practices."

Fifteen children were treated when the Miles for Smiles van last visited Pagosa Springs and follow-up care has been provided. With a longer stay this year, it is anticipated many more children in need of care will be treated. After this visit, the van will not return to Pagosa Springs until some time next fall.

In two trips to Pagosa Springs this year, before the current visit, van personnel treated 60 new patients. Value of that service was estimated at $19,327. Total patient fees paid were $2,204 and that was reduced by patient assistance donations of $494.

Throughout the southwest area, the service has been extended to 329 persons so far this year with total service value of $131,710, patient fees of $15,085 and assistance donations of $2,565.


You make my day

Dear Editor,

I have subscribed to the SUN for several years. My daughter, granddaughter and her dad live in Pagosa. You make my day when you print a picture or write up on my granddaughter Genevieve Gilbert. Thank you so much and keep the SUN coming to Winnsboro, Texas.

Frances L. Hudson

Defend human life

Dear David,

Since leaving our beloved Pagosa in August 1998, I occasionally read the SUN's Web site in order to stay somewhat up to date with what's going on back there (and what's the latest thing that people are squabbling about). Sad to say, I think my friend Tim Beach is entirely accurate in his statement (letter to the editor Nov. 16) that too many people are more concerned over the death of a dog than over the death of an unborn child.

Reading various letters, I can feel the writers' outrage over the "execution" or "murder" of pets. But where is the person who is courageous enough to express their outrage over the millions of murdered human beings, victims of a selfish society (both men and women), who choose not to be burdened with parenthood, even at the cost of innocent lives? I salute you Tim, and join you in defending human life.

Sonny Kelley,

Lawrence, Kan.

Restoring church

Dear Editor,

We are relocating and restoring the old Juanita Church on Hot Springs Boulevard. The relocation is scheduled for January 2001. We are requesting that anyone with pictures inside or out or any historical information to please forward it to P.O. Box 2234 in Pagosa Springs (81147). This will help us in the restoration. Photographs will be copied and returned. The bell tower is almost complete and we look forward to finishing the church with the public's help.


Sean McMullen

Follow leash laws

Dear Editor,

For all the letters about loose dogs; I wonder? Does Archuleta County actually have a leash law? Maybe it's time for a dogcatcher. In the seven years I've lived here, I've seen loose dogs almost every day. While waiting the arrival of a late-night athletic bus, I watched a Great Dane chase an elk down Main Street. I've seen huskies chasing deer and ducks, packs of three or four dogs belonging to different owners, chasing the pounds off cattle and trapping some in barbed-wire fences.

When confronting dog owners, I've been laughed at and yelled at. Every dog owner thinks his pet is an angel.

But according to the American Veterinary Medical Association any dog has the potential to bite. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 2 percent of the U.S. population is bitten by a dog each year. That's more than 4.7 million people each year. Ten to 20 people die in the U.S. every year as a result of dog bites. And most of those are children. Dog bites are the No. 1 health problem of children, outnumbering measles and mumps combined. According to State Farm Insurance Companies, there were more than 14,000 dog-bite claims and more than $80 million paid out in liability claims in the U.S. in 1997 alone. According to the American College of Emergency Physicians, dog bites are the second most common injury in the emergency department. These figures represent only those dog bites reported to authorities.

The AVMA states that dog owners need to be responsible. They need to follow leash laws, get proper health care and properly socialize and train their dog. Even so, they recommend that an infant or small child should never be left alone with a dog, even when the owner believes the pet is completely docile. What about that toddler in the sandbox down the street? Is she safe with your dog loose? The law, the experts and the insurance companies say no.

If you let your dog run loose, while you're at work or at home, you are sicking your pack-mentality predator on the rest of us. These loose dogs rip through trash, bite and maim other animals and harass and bite joggers and bikers. And after a dog has harmed a child, pet or livestock, the owner will often deny that the dog was loose or even that he owns it.

Responsible dog owners do not let their dogs run loose. And if you leave your dog alone all day, tied up in the sun, maybe you should not own one. If you really care about your dog, take time to introduce yourself and your dog to your neighbors. Ask if your dog barks or causes any problems when you're gone. Use a bark collar, leave your dog inside, be a responsible owner.

John A. Eustis, DVM should remind his clients that they should follow leash laws. Loose dogs can get hurt, run-over, "porcupined," poisoned or shot. In the end, it's the owner's fault. Loose dogs are dangerous; there is no excuse to let your dog run loose.


Ellen Rolig

Hope and thanks

Dear David,

I would like to thank all those who participated in our Community Thanksgiving Service on Wednesday, Nov. 22. I am most grateful to Pastor Mack Jones and the congregation of Mountain Heights Baptist Church for hosting our worship, to Marie Martin Jones for helping us make beautiful thank-filled music, and to Virginia Humphries for providing a special program for children through Child Evangelism Fellowship. Thanks to Pastor Don Ford and Pastor Al DeBoer for delivering messages of hope and the greatest of thanksgivings - for our God. An offering for the Community Care Fund will help provide emergency assistance for the neediest among us.

This was a modest beginning, as beginnings often are, but it is my hope that this Community Thanksgiving Service can become a Pagosa tradition, bringing people together from all our churches to sing, pray, and thank God together.

Rev. Annie Ryder

St. Patrick's Episcopal Church

President, Pagosa Springs

Christian Ministerial Alliance

Fine musicians

Dear Editor,

Congratulations to my buddy Brian Hart and all the other teenagers who were selected for the Intermountain League Honors Band. Pagosa must be very proud of its fine high school musicians. Music makes the world 'round.

Fr. Clark Sherman

Bozeman, Mont.

Truly a blessing

Dear Editor,

Every Friday night from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. the Community Bible Church has Parents Night Out with activities for kids so parents can have a night out.

My three kids have a terrific time playing games all night with other kids while my husband and I get some time together. The best part of this service is that it is free, which is truly a blessing.


Christie Spears


William Bernard

William Hickman Bernard of Pagosa Springs, died Nov. 23, 2000. in the home that he and his wife, Linda, shared. Dr. Bernard was born July 7, 1932, in New Orleans, La., to Louis Joseph and Rosa Belle Hickman Bernard. He was 68 years old.

Dr. Bernard attended Jesuit High School in New Orleans, then matriculated from Tulane University in New Orleans with both a Bachelor of Science and PhD degrees. He also had the distinction of serving in the U.S. Navy on the USS Roanoke as a lieutenant. Retiring as a professor of physics at Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, La., Dr. Bernard and his wife moved to Pagosa Springs in 1996 from Silverton. Although he received accolades such as membership in the Sigma Pi Sigma Physics Society and being honored with the 1969 Sigma XI Researcher of the Year Award from Louisiana Tech University, his greatest honor was marrying Linda Williams on Oct. 3, 1970, in Simsboro, La.

Dr. Bernard was an academician to the end. His favorite pastimes were reading and studying history, philosophy and science. In retirement he taught chemistry and physics to homeschoolers.

However, hiking in the San Juan Mountains near Silverton stole his heart as well.

He is preceded in death by his parents and his brother, John Edgar "Jackie" Bernard.

Dr. Bernard is survived by his wife, Mrs. Linda Bernard of Pagosa Springs; sons, Preston Bernard of Tucson, Ariz., Thomas Bernard and wife, Megan of Chubbuck, Idaho, and Paul Bernard of Houston, Texas; a daughter, Carolyn Bernard of Sugarland, Texas; stepson, John Lipham of Monroe, La.; a sister, Amelie, and husband William Harris of New Orleans; a brother, Louis Bernard and wife, Shirley, of Cape Fair, Mo.; and two grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully requests that contributions be directed toward the Jesuit High School, 4133 Banks Street, New Orleans, La.

Clifford Evensen

A lifetime resident of the Durango area, Clifford Hermand Evensen, 88, died Nov. 22, 2000, at his home after a lengthy illness.

Funeral services for Mr. Evensen will be held December 1, 2000 at the Durango Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day Saints, 2 Hilltop Drive at 10 a.m. Visitation will be at Hood Mortuary today until 8:30 p.m.

Mr. Evensen was born to Axel Hermand and Pearl Stivers Evensen Feb. 28, 1912, in Breen. He married Elma E. Peine in the Salt Lake Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day Saints on June 8, 1937.

Mr. Evensen was well-known in the Four Corners Area as a religious leader for the Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day Saints. He served as a branch president, bishop, member of the Young Stake presidency, seminary instructor, and for 33 years was the patriarch of the Young and Durango Stakes.

He worked many years for Morehart Chevrolet Oldsmobile as an accountant and office manager. He graduated from Durango High School and the American University of Commerce.

Mr. Evensen is survived by his wife, Mrs. Elma Evensen of Durango; sons, Ronald (Shirley) of Provo, Utah, and Val Evensen of Durango; two daughters, Elaine Bard of Randlett, Utah, and Karen (Brent) Christensen of Farmington, N.M.; 10 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren. He also is survived by one brother, Glenn Evensen of Mesa, Ariz., and one sister, Agda Remple of Stockton, Calif.

In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Missionary Fund of the Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day Saints, 2 Hilltop Drive, Durango, CO 81301 or the American Heart Association, La Plata County Heart Fund, P.O. Box 1777, Durango, CO 81302.




The wedding of Gabriel and Barbara Hendricks took place in Las Vegas, Nev., on Nov. 24, 2000.


Matthew Miller

Cadet Private Second Class Matthew Dale Miller, son of Russell and Mary Hanna DoLese of Pagosa Springs has been promoted from cadet private first class and is now serving in Charlie Company at St. John's Military School, Salina, Kan.

This is Cadet Miller's first year at St. John's.


Sports Page

Pirate grapplers face a building season

By Karl Isberg

It has been a while since the ranks of the Pagosa Springs High School wrestling team were filled by underclassmen.

It has been a long time since a Pirate team had as much raw potential as this year's group.

Coach Dan Janowsky is ready for an interesting, frustrating and hopefully gratifying campaign.

Marked by the failure of several senior athletes to return for a final season, the 2000-2001 Pirates have only one true veteran on the roster. Josh Richardson is a two-time state tournament qualifier and he will have to lead the way for other members of the young team.

"This is only the second year since I started coaching," said Janowsky, "that I haven't had at least one state placer in the wrestling room at the start of the year (a placer being a wrestler who finishes with a medal, first through sixth place, at the state tournament). I don't expect we'll have an easy time of it and we've got a ways to go to be competitive."

While Janowsky does not have the tested talent he is used to, he has a crew of eager youngsters ready for instruction.

"We have a pretty good turnout," said the coach, "primarily freshmen and sophomores. We have Josh as our one senior and at this point in the year, a lot of the weights are up in the air as guys adjust for competition."

Three freshmen will vie for a spot at 103 pounds: Mark Ginn, Michael Martinez and Mike Voorhis. During the first two weeks of practice, Voorhis was the only legitimate 103-pounder, but Janowsky expects the other wrestlers to make weight and wrestle off to determine a varsity starter.

Sophomore Jesse Trujillo saw some varsity action last year and looks to be a strong contender for a spot at 112 pounds, pending the loss of two pounds.

The ranks of wrestlers at 119 pounds include three Pirates new to the varsity world: James Gallegos, Jesse Rader and Ryan Lee.

Mike Maestas returns as a sophomore after tasting some varsity action last year. He will work for a starting spot at 125 pounds, competing with Justin Bloomquist and Jon Jackson. Ronnie O'Brien, a junior, could end up at either 125 or 130 pounds.

Cliff Hockett saw limited action last year as a freshman and will work for a starting nod at 130 pounds against freshman Aaron Hamilton, once Hamilton sheds a few pounds.

Sophomore Cameron Cundiff, David Richter, Bobby Read and Stephen Wallace will fight it out to determine which athlete sees his first varsity matches at 135 pounds.

At 140 pounds, Clayton Mastin returns to the team after a freshman debut in junior varsity and varsity matches. He will battle with Aaron Perez and Andrew Knaggs.

Junior Trevor Peterson has recovered from a broken leg suffered during a match last season and looks strong at 145 pounds.

Zeb Gill has grown since his freshman season and brings substantial varsity experience to the task of fighting at 152 pounds. Andrew Martinez, Ben Marshall, Matt Lattin and Cayce Brown join Gill at 152.

At present, there is no Pirate set to compete at 160 pounds.

Richardson will make a run for medals this season at 171 pounds. The senior has the strength and the skill to be a contender if he wrestles under control and uses his experience to his advantage. Ryan Versaw is also at 171 pounds for the Pirates.

If he recovers from a shoulder injury suffered during football season, sophomore Pablo Martinez could work into the Pirates lineup at 189 pounds.

Junior Luke Boilini saw limited varsity competition last year and is ready to wrestle at 215 pounds this season. He is joined at the weight by newcomer Craig Lucero.

For the first time in many seasons, the Pirates will not put a 275-pounder on the mat.

The fact Pagosa will forfeit matches at several weights will not work well for the team in a dual-meet format and will not help the team's score at a tournament. "We could find ourselves behind the eight ball in terms of our forfeits," said Janowsky. "We could start meets 12 to 24 points down on the scoreboard, with other programs showing up with a full roster. I don't think our meet scores will be an accurate gauge of how well we are doing."

With this season's schedule, however, the team could experience a measure of success. The infamous Warrior Classic, held at Grand Junction prior to the Christmas break, was dropped from the schedule this year. "We dropped the Warrior and added a tournament at Bloomfield, New Mexico, to see if we could get our younger guys a few more matches," said the coach. "The only real tough regular season tournament is at Alamosa (Jan. 13) and I think our guys will find themselves real competitive week in and week out."

Intermountain League competition will be stiff this season and the Feb.3 IML tournament at Centauri should be a dog fight. Monte Vista is perennially strong and Centauri returns a substantial number of good athletes this year. Ignacio comes back after a successful 1999-2000 season and Bayfield wrestlers are now under the tutelage of Herb Stinson, the architect of the legendary Aztec, N.M., program.

Pirate wrestlers will also see a stronger field at the regional qualifying tournament at La Junta Feb. 10. The top four wrestlers in each weight class at regionals qualify for the state tournament and the lineup of teams this year has changed.

"The regional tournament will be tougher this year," said Janowsky. "We were second at regionals to Lamar last year. Lamar, La Junta, Monte Vista and Centauri return pretty much intact from last season, and Bayfield and Ignacio will join the region this year, replacing two weak teams - Del Norte and John Mall - that went down to Class 2A."

Hard work is ahead for the young Pirates if success and trips to the state championship tournament are to be in the picture.

"We are working on basic, fundamental stuff, improving our strength and positions" said the coach. "We are going to try to keep matches close and, at some point in the year, start winning the close matches. I think this team can pull off some surprises, but we're kind of starting over in terms of leadership. There's a void there and it will take us some time to adapt to that. It would be a delight if some of our young kids qualify for state. You have to get into the top four at regionals and I think this is an attainable goal for many of our guys. Right now, we need to get into shape, get strong. If we do, there's no reason we can't be fighting for places at the state tournament at season's end."

The Pirates will see their first competition Saturday at the Rocky Ford Dual Tournament.

Several significant Class 3A programs will compete at the tourney, including the host Meloneers, Lamar, La Junta and Roosevelt. Larger schools, including Pueblo Centennial and Cañon City will also battle at the meet.

Prior to the Christmas holiday break, the Pirates compete Dec. 7 against Ignacio and Aztec at Aztec, at the Dec. 9 Buena Vista Invitational, and at the Bloomfield Invitational Dec. 15 and 16.

The 2001 portion of the season begins at Pagosa Springs Jan. 6 with the Rocky Mountain Invitational.


Pirates open season Friday at Cortez

By John M. Motter

Coach Kyle Canty's varsity basketball boys open their 2000-01 season this weekend in traditional fashion, by playing in the Cortez Invitational Tournament. Local fans have a double reason to go to Cortez, since the Pagosa girls also play in the tournament.

Defending champions of the Intermountain League, the Pagosa boys exchange hoops with Monticello, Utah, tomorrow at 4:45 p.m. in the first boy's game of the tournament. Host Cortez tangles with Delta at 8:15 tomorrow, closing the first day of competition.

Saturday's schedule depends on Friday's winners. If Pagosa defeats the Monticello Broncos Friday, the Pirates play the winner of the Cortez-Delta game at 3:15 p.m. Saturday. If Pagosa loses to the Broncos Friday, they play the loser of the Cortez-Delta game at 11:45 Saturday morning.

Pagosa surprised the home town Panthers during the 1997-98 season by capturing the tournament. They buried Monticello in the opening game 67-53, then stunned Cortez the next night 68-65. Normally, no one but Cortez wins in Cortez.

Cortez made sure history did not repeat itself during the next two years. The Panthers opened play during the 1998-99 season by pounding Pagosa 69-43. Monticello won the consolation championship the next day by topping Pagosa 56-42.

Last year, Delta topped the Pirates in the opener 60-48. Pagosa came back to capture the consolation game by besting Monticello 65-63. Later in the season, the Broncos turned the tables by beating Pagosa at home 60-56.

Monticello will be no mystery to several of the Pirates. Daniel Crenshaw, David Goodenberger, Micah Maberry and Tyrel Ross all started against the Broncos last year. Junior Clint Adams will likely lead the Utah schools this season. Last year as a sophomore, Adams used his 6-foot-5 height to tally seven points in the February Bronco victory. Also fueling Monticello last year were 6-foot-3 Jacob Hout and 6-foot-6 Matt Perhson, but they have graduated. Unless last year's C-team performer Chesley Tracy at 6-6 has improved considerably, the Broncos will surrender the height advantage they used to advantage against the Pirates last season.

"They're a good team and we'll have to be at our best to beat them," Canty said of Monticello. "They shoot well and they'll be able to shoot from outside."

The Pagosa coach is still fuming following his team's scrimmage with Durango last week.

"I was embarrassed by our performance," Canty said. "We didn't have anybody who wanted to play defense."

Canty is looking for a banner season this year after capturing the Intermountain League title last year and advancing to the consolation finals in the state tournament.

Crenshaw, Goodenberger, Maberry and Ross all are returning starters and all have respectable height. Crenshaw tops 6-foot-1, Goodenberger 6-4, Maberry 6-3, and Ross 6-foot even. All have shown the ability to score consistently and all have had big games.

Last year in the two games against Monticello, Crenshaw scored 22 points, Goodenberger 24 points, Maberry 19 points and Ross eight points.

Canty's big challenge this year is replacing IML most valuable player, point guard Charles Rand. Several candidates with playing time are vying for the position, including Dominique Lucero and Darin Lister. Also challenging for the position are several performers from last year's junior varsity and C-teams.

Pagosa's attack may change this year as Canty alters the pattern to fit his material. Because of good across the board height with the obvious potential to dominate rebounding, Pagosa may run more even though Canty will retain the fundamentals of his motion offense. Also necessary for a successful running game is good depth and Pagosa seems favored in that department.

On defense, Canty favors man-to-man, but may have the Pirates play more zone this year.

Following the Cortez Tournament, the Pirates host the Wolf Creek Classic Dec. 8 and 9. During the Wolf Creek Classic, home town fans will be treated to the likes of Aztec, N.M., Dolores County, Gunnison, Montrose and Nucla.

In a year-ending finale, Pagosa crosses the San Juan Mountains Dec. 15 and 16 to play in the Black Canyon Classic in Gunnison. When the Black Canyon Tournament is ended, Pagosa takes a break over the Christmas holidays.

In the first game of 2001, Pagosa hosts Bloomfield, N.M., Jan 4, then travels to Buena Vista to play Eagle Valley Jan. 6 in another non-league encounter.

IML play begins Jan. 12 when Pagosa plays at Bayfield. This year's IML opponents are Bayfield, Centauri, Ignacio, and Monte Vista. Del Norte has dropped from Class 3A to 2A competition. As a consequence, the Tigers are not on the Pirates 2000-01 schedule.

Players named to the Pagosa squad for the Cortez tournament are seniors Daniel Crenshaw, David Goodenberger, Micah Maberry, Tyrel Ross, and Dominique Lucero, juniors Darin Lister and Ethan Sanford, and sophomores Todd Mees, Charles Rivas and Jason Schutz.

Some of the younger players may swing back and forth between the varsity and junior varsity in order to get more playing time, Canty said.

About 45 basketball candidates have turned out this season. They will be placed on the varsity, junior varsity and "C" squads.

Community News
Chamber News
By Sally Hameister

And now, for the real holiday season

Now that you've cleaned up the last of the Thanksgiving leftovers, it's time to welcome Old St. Nick to Pagosa Springs and prepare for the happy holiday season.

No better place to do that than the Visitor Center on Saturday from 3 to 5:30 p.m. when Santa makes his annual appearance to listen to each and every Christmas wish from the little ones. Please join us for hot spiced cider, Christmas cookies baked lovingly by Sally Theesfeld and, of course, a candy cane from Mrs. Santa Claus when the children have completed their business with Santa.

At around 5 p.m. we will be treated to the beautiful voices of the Mountain Harmony Ladies Chorus. As always, they will lead us in all of our favorite songs of the season and then some. Santa will leave his post in the Visitor Center to go to the front deck of the Visitor Center to conduct the countdown to the ever-so-lovely lighting ceremony which traditionally marks the official opening of the Christmas season in Pagosa. It's a very special day, and we sincerely hope that you will bring all the little ones to experience it. Hope to see one and all this Saturday between 3 and 5:30 p.m. at the Visitor Center.

Chili dinner

After the lighting ceremony, you can head on over to Parish Hall on Lewis Street for the Annual Kiwanis Club Infamous Chili Dinner from 5 to 7 p.m. It will be the perfect ending to the perfect day because you won't have to cook after all the Santa excitement. Just $5 will buy an adult a traditional chili plate complete with chips, a drink and ice cream. Children can enjoy a hot dog platter with chips, a drink and ice cream for just $3. Christmas choirs will provide the entertainment for the first hour, and the second hour will feature "Kid's Karoke" when kids eight and under are encouraged to take the stage and sing their favorite Christmas song. Participants will receive prizes, so start practicing in front of those mirrors at home.

Presale tickets for this event are available at the Chamber of Commerce, Pack 'N Mail and The Emporium. You're encouraged to buy your tickets by 5 p.m. Dec. 1, because you will pay an extra dollar at the door. Hope to see everyone there.

Citizen of the year

Thanks to those who have already turned in the Citizen/Volunteer of the Year forms. We have given this project a lot of time so that people will have ample opportunity to give this all the thought and consideration it so rightfully deserves. Remember that in either category, it can be an individual, a couple or an organization. I'm not pushing any particular category, but just trying to encourage everyone to think outside of the box when considering folks for these time-honored, respected awards. To better illustrate my point, past winners of the Citizen of the Year include Lenore Bright, the Pagosa Springs Rotary Club and Mary Ann and Bill Sayre. Volunteer of the Year winners include Mary Jo Coulehan, Barbara Rosner and HRH Lee Sterling - so you can see that these awards are given to those who have given so much of their time and talents to this community. A significant piece of this, to me, is that these people do what they do with no thought whatsoever of receiving a blasted thing in return. Selfless contributions are clearly the most valuable, and we are anxious to reward those individuals. Please pick up your nomination form at the library or the Visitor Center. You only have to deal with one piece of paper - "Citizen" is on one side and "Volunteer" on the other.


The Wolf Creek Trailblazers invite anyone who might be interested in joining their group to a Dec. 14 pot luck dinner and meeting, 7 p.m. at the Community United Methodist Church on Lewis Street. With all the white stuff we've already experienced this year and the super-early opening of Wolf Creek Ski Area, this promises to be an amazing year for snowmobiling and hence a timely year for joining the Trailblazers.

Christmas cards

The Chamber will not be creating new Christmas cards this year but we have several boxes of last year's cards that are as timeless as you please. They are beautiful photos taken by local artists Jan Brookshier and Sam Snyder that represent the beauty and majesty of our wonderful area during the winter season. You may purchase a box of 10 with four different styles for $15. Come down and check them out.

Christmas Shoppe

Please join all the folks with the Pagosa Springs Arts Council tonight for the reception opening their Olde Tyme Christmas Shoppe, 5 to 7 p.m. at the gallery in Town Park. This will give you the opportunity to socialize and enjoy some goodies as well as support our local artists. Unique and original items will be available to fill all your holiday shopping needs. The gallery will be open Nov. 30 through Dec. 23, Tuesdays through Saturdays, 11 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. Join us for holiday cheer.

Parade of Lights

We hope to see all of you Dec. 8 with lights, lights and more lights to shine all the way through the middle of town and maybe even win some big bucks for your effort. Our second annual Parade of Lights will begin at 6 p.m. and go from 6th Street all the way through the traffic light to end at 2nd Street. Those of you who participated last year will remember what a great time we all had and how appreciative were all the spectators who had so faithfully lined up on both sides of the street. We ask once again that all participants bring a boom box and tune to KWUF 106.3 FM so we will all be providing our own parade music. We're grateful, as always, to Will Spears at KWUF for working with us again to create the brightest little holiday light parade around. (As much as I hate to even think about it, please tune in to KWUF if there is any question about the weather that day. If there are three or more inches of snow or otherwise inappropriate conditions, we will be forced to cancel.) Entry fee is $25, and registration forms can be picked up at the Chamber in case you didn't receive one in the mail. Cash prizes of $100 will be awarded to the Best and Brightest floats in the categories of Business, Family and Organizations. The deadline for registration is Dec. 7 at 5 p.m. Please join us in what is bound to become yet another priceless Pagosa tradition.


We have three new members to share with you this week and eight renewals. Morna just informed me last week after she had processed all the forms upon her return that we now have 765 members - awesome, dudes and dudettes. I also had a visitor inform me that they had been told that we had more members per capita than any town/city in the state of Colorado. Since I didn't start that rumor, I encouraged him to spread the word wherever he went because, if it's true, we love it. Actually, when things slow down a bit here (that phrase always makes Morna laugh until she can't breathe, by the way) we are going to try and do some research to see how factual it is. In the meantime, let's just enjoy the real or imagined notoriety.

Bob Fisher and Lauren Huddleston join us this week with Spacemasters located at 295 Lewis Street. You will find more information about Spacemasters in the December issue of the Chamber Communiqué. Spacemasters simply redefines renovations by creating space to embrace your every need - they custom design space just for you. They encourage you to partner with Spacemasters to turn your living or work place into space just right for you. These folks will be happy to share more information with you if you will just give them a call at 264-5382.

Tim Odom joins us with Colorado Activity Centers located at 286 Badger Road in Carbondale. These folks are a publishing and brochure distribution company for the Colorado Vacation Planner (Colorado Hotel and Lodging Association) and Dining Out Magazine for the Colorado Restaurant Association. If you would like more information, you can call Tim directly at 970-948-6617.

Kent Monson and Steve Monjaras join us next with Colorado Jaynes Construction Company located in Bodo Park in Durango. Colorado Jaynes will enhance the skills and educate our work force to improve productivity and the quality of service to our clients. Target markets will be identified and pursued utilizing flexible-contracting methods that meet our clients' needs. To learn more, you can call these gentlemen at 247-1831.

Renewals this week include Bryan Madsen with All American Plumbing; Matt Carnahan with Lafarge Construction Materials; Ken Smith with Smithco Construction and Excavation; Diana Smith with High Country Real Estate; Harold Slavinski with Custom Craftsman; Wendy Horning with the Upper San Juan Builders Association; Mrs. Calmya Sosbe with Silverado Clothing; and Real Estate Associate with Land Properties, Jerry Dermody. Many thanks to one and all.


Pagosa Lakes
By Ming Steen

Lake ice is not yet safe for winter use

Over the last couple of weeks ice has begun forming on Pagosa area lakes. The current conditions are unsafe for any ice activities on the lakes. Warmer weather last week and this week has made for extremely questionable ice thickness. Please do not go out onto the lakes until temperatures drop and we have a good solid six inches of ice. Also, keep an eye out for children and pets on the ice and if you do see a child or a pet on one of the lakes, please call the PLPOA Administration office at 731-5635 or the sheriff's office non-emergency dispatch number at 264-2131, and someone will respond. However, if it is an emergency situation, call 911 immediately. Hopefully ice conditions will improve in the near future and lake surfaces will be safe for recreational purposes. Be patient.

Wolf Creek Ski School is offering free clinics this weekend, Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 2 and 3, for people interested in skiing, snowboarding and telemarking. Registration is on Saturday, from 8:30 to 9 a.m. in the Prospector Lodge. Come equipped, purchase a lift ticket, bring or buy your lunch and be ready to improve your skiing or riding skills. The commitment to the learning clinic is for both days. The Wolf Creek Ski School will be hiring instructors for the upcoming holiday rush and if after the clinic, you wish to be a part of the instruction team, talk to the ski school directors. For more details, call 264-5639.

Mercy Orthopedic and Sports Therapy is offering an introductory Pilates clinic on Wednesday, Dec. 6, from noon to 1:15 p.m. For a nominal charge, participants can learn about an exercise that has been highly recommended for relaxation of body and mind. Additional Pilates classes will be scheduled for the new year.

We have hit the cold and flu season. Contagion of colds becomes even more of an issue during the holiday season when people are packed into close quarters. Contrary to popular belief, the risk of getting a cold does not increase because of sitting in a draft or going out with a damp head. The virus is usually transmitted when someone with a cold contaminates a doorknob, steering wheel or other common objects. When an unsuspecting second person touches that surface and rubs their eyes or nose, the virus is introduced through the mucus membrane. Even a sneeze can occasionally transmit the virus through aerosolized droplets. Avoiding a cold is almost impossible. However, there are steps you can take to reduce the risk. Wash your hands frequently and don't rub your eyes or nose. If you have a cold, cover your mouth with a tissue whenever you cough or sneeze, wash your hands frequently and stay home during the first few days, when the virus is most contagious. On that note, don't sneeze or cough over the buffet, don't sneeze or cough into your bare hands and then turn around and shake other people's hands. If unfortunately, you do come down with the classic cold symptoms, that is runny or stuffy nose, sneezing, mild sore throat, mild cough and headache, try Grandma's cure of hydration and good warm chicken soup.

It keeps mucous flowing and decreases congestion. Perhaps Karl Isberg, our local "foodie," can share some recipes that take the basic chicken soup into new taste dimensions.


Senior News
By Janet Copeland

Two holiday dinners tempted palates

Nineteen of our group traveled to Durango on Tuesday, Nov. 21, for a delicious Thanksgiving dinner at Francisco's Restaurante. A big "Thank You" to Francis and Claudine Garcia and their staff for their generosity. We all really enjoyed it.

Also, we appreciate Dawnie and her staff preparing a delicious Thanksgiving dinner here at our Center on Wednesday, Nov. 22. We enjoyed turkey, dressing, yams, peas, and pumpkin cake. Yum! One of our many blessings is having such dedicated and thoughtful folks on our staff.

This has been a short week news-wise since the Center was closed Thursday and Friday. We hope the staff enjoyed the time off with their families and got some much deserved rest.

Gwen Woods is our Senior of the Week. Congratulations, Gwen. She is a lovely lady who is very supportive of our Center. We do hope Gwen has recovered from being under the weather recently.

The Senior Board's last meeting for this year will be on Dec. 1. We hope all our board members (and anyone else who would like to attend) will be present.

We had several guests and returning members on Wednesday - Edith Dame, Elizabeth Belmear, Helena Gunther, Rosemary Lavine, Susan Stoffer, Judy Ulatowski, and Brenda Waldbauer. We sincerely welcome everyone, and hope you all will join us as often as possible.

Johnny Martinez celebrated a birthday on Wednesday. We hope it was a "Happy Birthday."

Wednesday, Nov. 29, was "Bring a Toy" day. Those who may have forgotten to bring their toy can still bring it on Friday.

Cruising with Cruse
By Katherine Cruse

Shorts, tee shirts, sandals and blue hair

Two weeks ago I was in California, staying at my mother's place in a sunny suburb of San Francisco. The liquidamber trees were flaming red and the grass on the hillsides was beginning to green up. I drove through the Caldecott Tunnel into Oakland and saw the blue sparkling Bay dotted with white sails.

At the coffee shop I stopped at, the people didn't quite look like Pagosa folks. For one thing, they were dressed in shorts and sandals and tee shirts. In November. For another, the young woman brewing the individual cups of latté and mocha had bright blue hair that stood out wildly around her head. One of the customers had a shaved head and what looked like the diagram of his brain, with all the lobes and curlicues, tattooed on his skull.

Each morning I took a long walk around my mother's neighborhood, wearing shorts and a tee shirt myself, until the last few days when they had a cold snap. The weathermen on the nightly TV news shows were beside themselves with the joy of reporting on the frigid temperatures. "It's going to be down in the 30s by morning, folks. Better bundle up." They were so excited, so hopeful.

I was reminded of the reporters who went to Florida or the Carolinas to cover some big hurricane that didn't happen. Remember them? Remember them standing around on the beach with the water sloshing gently behind them, trying to whip up a story?

We didn't even run the furnace at my mother's place. Each morning the sun came out and warmed everything up.

Well, I guess it's a matter of what you're used to. When I returned home, to Pagosa, the thermometer on our porch registered temperatures like 0. Or maybe 5 degrees. Hotshot reported the noon temperature, which might have gotten up to 20. I couldn't bear to look. I kept nudging the thermostat up, a degree at a time. I put on another layer. I looked for my wool knit hat. It was a real relief to read in the paper, a few days after I got home, that we were having a record cold. That this November might go down as one of the coldest of all time.

It wasn't just that I wasn't "acclimated."

And then it warmed up a bit, and we got some more snow. Thanksgiving Day we woke to 6 inches on the deck. "Ah," said my guy, "let's go skiing."

Last fall we bought season passes at Wolf Creek Ski Area. With a season pass, you can go anytime, for just a short time. So he hauled out the snowblower and cleared the driveway, and off we headed.

Now, you have to realize that neither of us had been on the slopes since last April. And we had only been skiing since our first lessons, in January.

So it was not without some trepidation that we loaded our skis in the back of the car. The first meaning of trepidation in my dictionary is tremulous fear. That's about how I was feeling, all right.

I'd lain awake for an hour or two the night before, with this scenario in mind. Here I am, coming down the long loop of the Kelly Boyce trail. This part is an old road, right on the edge of the hillside. Granted, this is an easy run, not at all steep. But then, it's not very wide here either. In my half-awake state I saw myself approaching the edge, trying to turn and unable to make my legs work, and sailing right on over the edge, through the little nylon rope strung between the little poles that say basically, Don't ski past this edge. Well, heck, I wasn't skiing by then. Flying maybe.

Falling, definitely. Breaking everything. And of course my eyes wide open there in the dark bedroom, my heart pounding.

And now I was actually going to go face this thing.

Up at the ski area, as we forced our feet into the boots and struggled to fasten the clasps, we reminded ourselves that this was probably the hardest part.

We clumped over toward the ski lift. Hotshot was all for getting right on it. I, with that image from the night still racking around in my head, decided to just put on my skis and stomp around near the ski school area.

Call me cautious. Call me coward. We agreed to meet at the lift in a little while and he took off.

I watched three small kids - they weren't much bigger than my granddaughter - herringbone up a little slope toward the entrance of the roped off ski school instruction area. They could only go so far. "Help us! Help us!" they called to their instructor, who was inside the rope checking out something.

By the time she came, one of them was sitting in the snow, crying piteously.

"What's wrong," she asked. "I want my mommy," wailed the small child.

Well, that young woman must be some kind of miracle worker. She soon had the tears stopped and the three young charges heading back to the lift. "We'll go just like before," she said. "You two together in front, and you (the former crier) with me." And off they went, everybody smiling.

I made four runs down the slopes that morning, several of them on that part of Kelly Boyce I'd dreamed about. It was, I am proud to say, the proverbial piece of cake. My form wasn't great, but I remembered what I had learned last season. I didn't even have to resort to the snow plow technique to slow down.

I guess skiing is a lot like falling off a bicycle; you don't really forget how.


Library News
By Lenore Bright

Many topics covered in new volumes on shelves

Don't forget to enter the stocking contest. Deadline to get the entry in is Dec. 9. Pick up more information at the desk.

New books

Liz Morris brought several new books including Volumes 1 and 2 of the Bandelier Archeological Survey.

In 1916 the Bandelier National Monument was established by Woodrow Wilson to protect the large Pueblo settlements and cave dwellings of the southern Pajarito Plateau.

This survey was initiated with the goal of recovering both cultural and research data needed to better understand, preserve and interpret the monument's resources. The report describes most of the 1,959 sites documented within the 140,634 acres surveyed.

Preservation 2000

Community identity and a sense of place make Colorado special and meaningful to each of us. Across the state, people in the public and private sectors are working to retain the historic character that makes Colorado unique. Yet, our distinctive heritage is threatened. A few years ago, the threat was economic decline and neglect; today it is rapid change.

The Colorado Historical Society is leading an effort to create a 25-year statewide vision for historic preservation and to establish a five-year strategic plan to move us toward that vision.

Remember Ludlow

This pamphlet by Joanna Sampson relates a sad day in Colorado history when machine gun bullets sprayed death on striking coal miners. The study of this massacre can prevent us from repeating a tragedy like the one that ended with the killing of miners and their families April 20, 1914. This story is sponsored by the Colorado Historical Society.

"Runaway West"

Terry Hershey donated this book compiled by editors of High Country News. Enjoy this chorus of fresh voices exploring the troubled terrain of the New West. This volume presents the best of "Writers on the Range," a recent High Country News venture that provides a steady flow of columns by straight-talking and often ornery westerners.

Psychotherapy options

The Department of Regulatory Agencies published this to protect you.

In Colorado, anyone can practice psychotherapy. They do not have to be licensed. This pamphlet lists things a psychotherapist shouldn't do. If you think a therapist has violated your rights, it tells what you can do about it.

Special holiday gift

Richard Sutherland made some cork trivets to sell, with proceeds going to the library. We have five left, but he can make more.

We have them on display. They run between $25 and $35. The Trivet Kit alone, with no corks, runs over $20 in the magazines. The trivets make most unusual gifts. Come by and see what they are.


Have some fun and check out the current silliness raging around the continent. and will let you know if there is cause for concern.


We thank Betty and Wayne Farrow for donations to the book fund in memory of Art and Dodi Pederson, and Patty Pederson Aragon. Thanks for materials from Jeanne Simpson, Katherine Cruse, Richard and Frances Wholf, the Child Evangelism Fellowship, Scotty Gibson, Nancy Lu-Walls, John Eustis, Justine Woodard, Glenn Vaura and Dick DeVore.


Local Chatter
By Kate Terry

Special Olympics ski season opens Sunday

The Special Olympics ski season opens Dec. 3 at the Wolf Creek ski area. Snowshoeing will start Dec. 2. Coaches are needed for this program and people are also needed to provide transportation. Please call Cathy Pokorney at 264-5113 before 9 p.m. if you can volunteer for either of these.

When members of the U.S.A. Freestyle Ski Team were training up at Wolf Creek in November, they met with our Special Olympic athletes and wished them well. This was a great thrill for all of them.

Pagosa patriots

The Denver Post had an excellent article and picture about the late Reuben Marquez and his devotion to the American Flag which he flew every day. The Marquez home is located across the street from the Pack Rack on Pagosa Street. His widow, Ruth, continued the tradition this Veterans Day, and the family sponsored an essay contest - the Reuben R. Marquez Memorial Writing Contest. They intend to make this an annual event.

Mary Kay Fautheree, one of Reuben and Ruth's daughters, teaches third grade at the Pagosa Elementary School. To commemorate Veterans Day, she had her class write on "What is a soldier?"

Election reflection

If there is one thing this election has brought home to us it is that every vote counts.

This isn't news, really. For example, in my home town in Kentucky during the 1975 circuit clerk's race, the two people who ran each received 1,420 votes. The initial vote total had shown a one-vote margin but a recount showed that one absentee ballot hadn't been counted, so the contestants drew to decide the winner.

In Kentucky in the 1940s there was a state law that vote counting had to stop at midnight, but in at least one place - Pikeville - the process wasn't completed by then, so election workers did the logical thing, stopped the clock and kept counting.

My favorite story regarding this election is this: I have this longtime friend who lives in Melbourne, Florida, who is an avid politics watcher. When she was scheduled for surgery last week and they were rolling her down the hall, she said "bring the radio."

Great show

Congratulations to the cast of "Grease" and the same to anyone who had anything to do with this latest production by the Music Department of Pagosa Springs High School. The place was full, the audience loved it.

Fun on the run

When George W. Bush was asked what Roe versus Wade was, he said he thought it was the decision that General George Washington needed to make when he planned to cross the Delaware. It was in a boat Al Gore claimed to have built with his own hands.


Veterans Corner
By Mike Diver, VSO

3.5% COLA approved for military retirees, veterans

Congress has approved a 3.5 percent cost of living adjustment for military and federal retirees, veterans receiving compensation and pension benefits, and social security recipients. The rise in benefits will be effective Dec. 1, payable in Jan. 2 checks. It is the largest cost of living increase since the 3.7 percent increase in 1992. Experts attribute the size of the 2001 increase to growing inflation fueled by rising energy prices.

Online applications

By logging on to the VA Internet Homepage,, and selecting VONAPP (Veterans On Line Applications), veterans can now file online applications directly with the VA.

How is using this site different from visiting my office? When you use this site to complete and send an application to VA, your application will be sent directly to the regional VA office in Denver. Processing will begin immediately, and you will receive a response directly from the regional office letting you know the status of your application. If you want the Colorado Veterans Affairs office or any other authorized service organization to represent you, a power of attorney will still need to be sent to that organization.

There are currently two forms available for online processing: Veteran's Application for Compensation and/or Pension, and Disabled Veterans Application for Vocational Rehabilitation. Plans to add more forms are currently in the works with the application for health and Montgomery GI Bill Education benefits expected to be online soon. Forms requiring a signature, such as the Application for Health Benefits, will need to be printed out upon completion, signed, and mailed in as they are now.

If you have access to the Internet, check out the new features on the VA Web Site. The Sisson Library on San Juan Street in Pagosa Springs makes Internet access available to everyone in the community. Help with understanding and completing VA forms will always be available from the Archuleta County Veterans Service Office and online applications can be completed and sent from my office if no other Internet access is available.

Since my arrival in August, 120 new veterans have joined the more than 400 veterans previously registered and signed up for earned VA benefits. However, I know there are hundreds more in the county deserving of earned VA benefits and assistance who have not applied.

For more information on your veteran benefits, please call or stop by the Veterans Service Office located on the lower floor of the Archuleta County Courthouse. The office number is 264-2304, the FAX number is 264-5949, and E-mail is The office is open between 8 a.m. and noon or 1 and 4 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and on Friday by appointment. Bring your DD Form 214 (Discharge) for registration with the county, application for VA programs, and for filing in the VSO office.



Some important lessons

Two weeks ago I was wishing I was a high school teacher. I thought this would be an opportune time to be teaching a current events course in U.S. history or American government. After the never-ending nature of the 2000 presidential election, I have changed my mind. I think I would rather be helping first graders develop their skills in reading.

Vote recounts in Colorado made the news in yesterday's Denver Post. A recount involving incumbent Ben Alexander, who once represented Archuleta County as the state senator for the 6th Senate District, and Jared Polis in their race for the at-large position on the State Board of Education produced different totals but the same results. Polis originally had been declared the winner with a minuscule margin of 1,211 votes out of the 1.6 million cast. The mandated statewide recount determined that Polis was the winner, but this time by only 90 votes. Upon learning of the newest tally, Alexander reportedly said, "That's where it's going to stop as far as I'm concerned . . . I congratulate my opponent."

I congratulate the feisty Alexander on calmly stepping aside.

Recounts in three tight legislative races in the state - House District 60, House District 17 and Senate District 23 - also failed to change the originally-announced outcome of the races.

County Clerk June Madrid conducted a recount of the Archuleta County votes prior to verifying the official results.

The recount showed that 4,813 votes, rather than 4,814 as originally counted, had been cast locally in the Nov. 7 election.

Of the 4,813 ballots Archuleta County electors cast in the presidential race, 27 electors did not vote for any of the candidates on the ballot. Also, 29 voters voted for more than one presidential candidate and therefore their vote did not count. The 56 ballots, though they were counted, were not included in the final tallies of the presidential race. The 56 ballots represented 1.16 percent of the ballots cast in Archuleta County.

The practice of withholding a vote or invalidating a vote by incorrectly marking the ballot was repeated to one degree or another on every office or every question on the ballot. In the race for U.S. Representative of the 3rd House District, 287 electors voted for none of the four candidates on their ballots and 14 ballots were incorrectly marked. In the race for the State Representative of the 59th House District, 368 voters voted for none of the three candidates and five voters incorrectly marked their ballots. In the race for District Attorney of the 6th Judicial District, 853 voters failed to mark their ballots for either of the two candidates and five voters incorrectly marked their ballots.

Madrid said she is confident that all of the ballots that were cast in Archuleta County had been counted, and then recounted. She said she was not surprised that some electors withheld their votes in certain races and that other electors failed to correctly mark their ballots. She said these practices are common.

I'm sure that teachers at all levels are sure to use the 2000 presidential election when instructing their students on the importance of reading completely and correctly following written instructions.

David C. Mitchell


Dear Folks
By David C. Mitchell

All grandchildren are grand

Dear Folks, .

If last Thursday was Thanksgiving, then the year's 12th month starts tomorrow. And I'm already looking forward to March,

Thanksgiving remains my favorite holiday and Thanksgiving 2000 has moved to the top of my chart.

The Macey Thanksgiving parade arrived at the Mitchell's a week early this year. Yes, Macey and her little brother Payton totally captured and captivated her Pagosa grandparents. They equally overwhelmed their uncles Chuck and Drew.

Even Maggie our "wonder dog" - I'm still wondering if she's really a dog - behaved remarkably well. It bothered her not to have her tail pulled, her collar laced with ribbons or Payton eating out of her dog-food bowl.

Not to boast, but Payton's somewhat like his grandfather. He loves to sleep. He never gets enough to eat. He'll eat right out of the jar, or off anyone's plate, or off the floor. He thrives on hugs. He has a high forehead and low eyebrows. He has a hard time keeping his pants up around his waist. He likes to start the morning in a rocking chair.

His talking is much like his grandfather's editorials. You know he's trying to say something but it's hard to understand what it is.

Whereas it's natural to take credit for a fun Thanksgiving, it's nature and the weather that deserves our thanks. The hillside across the road provided Macey some fun sledding thanks to the 8 inches of snow that fell November 11. The only problem was that it was too dry and powdery for making a snow man. Thankfully, the 4 inches of snow that was in the front yard Thanksgiving morning was perfect for making a wonderful snow man. And the blue jays, finches and squirrels that clustered around and took turns at the feeders made for some fascinating viewing.

It was great experiencing Thanksgiving through the eyes and emotions of our youngest grandchildren.

I know they are no grander than everyone else's grandchildren. Nor is our daughter-in-law Jennifer any more amazing than everyone else's daughters-in-law. Knowing that other folks second generation is equally grand keeps it all in perspective.

As with all good things, the Payton and Macey parade had to come to an end. It ended Saturday morning with a trip to the Durango airport. Even this offered highlights.

Accompanied by a well-worn tape that's almost 20 years old, Dan and I once again sang our "Bull Frogs and Butterflies" duet as we drove up Yellow Jacket. The tape went home with Macey and the song's now at the top of Macey's music chart.

Good times followed by good byes are no fun. But a lazy drive home through Ignacio, Allison and Arboles, plus spotting a flock of turkeys alongside the highway softened the sadness.

By the time Drew called Saturday afternoon to tell of Chuck's dislocated elbow, I knew Saturday definitely would be one to remember. There's no such thing as a good injury but fortunately this one wasn't too bad. The round trip to Mercy Medical provided another opportunity to be a dad.

Most of the pain was gone by Sunday morning except for my pain of knowing that after lunch Chuck needed to head home to Españolla.

So I'm already looking forward to the end of March and our visit with the Alta Loma Mitchells. I'll experience my Thanksgiving emotions when Tom brings Sheila, Trey and Taige home to visit during their spring break. I'm already thinking about how exceptional they are and how grandparents live off of memories.

One of the special benefits of living in Pagosa is that family and friends alike look forward to visiting just about any time of the year.

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


25 years ago

3-day storm dumps 66 inches

Taken from SUN files

of Dec. 4, 1975

Almost an inch-an-hour of snow fell on Wolf Creek Pass during a 67 1/2-hour period over the Thanksgiving weekend as 66 inches of snow fell in the three-day storm. The storm left 24 inches of snow in town.

The county commissioners voted to instruct the county attorney to prepare possible legal action against several people involved in what was considered violations of the county subdivision regulations. The regulations provide that any division of land into less than 35-acre plots must have approval of the county. The area involves property that is located immediately west of town on what is known as the "Old Gopher Hole" property. Approval was not obtained in this case, until, after the land had been subdivided into small parcels.

Mining activity is again coming to public notice in this area. A total of 61 mining claims have been staked in the Devil Mountain area by Homestake Mining Co. of San Francisco.

The town board discussed the public use of the El Centro building and in view of recent damage to the building by users it was agreed that the deposit for the use of the building be raised to $50.

By Shari Pierce

Counties confer on pass construction

I would like to make a correction to last week's story. In it, I referred to Harvey Catchpole Sr. as the area's road commissioner during the events that I was describing. In fact, the person involved in the happenings was Fred Catchpole. My apologies to the Catchpole family for the error.

The past couple of weeks I've shared with you a story about the decision to widen Wolf Creek Pass. Charles Elliott of Monte Vista sent me an article about three years ago that referred to this same story. The item appeared in "The High Road," a story that told the history of the Colorado State Highway Department.

In the section about Wolf Creek Pass the story told how the people of Durango and southwestern Colorado had been hoping for a road across the Divide to open travel to the east - Alamosa and other cities of the San Luis Valley. Currently the only connection to the east was "a terrible wagon road over Elwood Pass, which was made hardly passable by the flooding of 1913."

The Pagosa Springs SUN of the summer and fall months of 1913 relates the efforts of the highway department in conjunction with local counties to determine the best course of action. Money was already earmarked by the state highway department for the project. Since the highway and pass project would affect four counties, a meeting of representatives of those counties - Archuleta, Hinsdale, Conejos and Rio Grande - was called.

At these announcements the SUN expressed pleasure, "Now let every good citizen shed his linen and get busy in the direction of connecting the greatest hot springs on earth and the San Juan basin with the rich mining districts over the hill, the San Luis valley and metropolitan centers of the state."

About this meeting, the High Road article read, "In a serious effort to find a feasible route, the commission had appointed a construction committee comprised of a county commissioner from each of three adjoining counties. Their job was to make surveys and begin construction as soon as possible. The committee consisted of Fred Catchpole of Archuleta County, Lige Morse of Alamosa County, and R. Chisholm of Rio Grande County.

The June 6, 1913, SUN reported that after a harmonious meeting in Alamosa plans were made to go over the route and apportion the work between the counties involved. "They expect to have the dirt flying on Elwood pass within the next sixty days."

More about Elwood and Wolf Creek passes next week.


Pacing Pagosa
By Richard Walter

Pace of season set by degree of stress

OK, already!

IT has started.

You can't hide from IT any longer.

Everywhere you look IT hangs like something special wafting about on the mountain air.

IT is Christmas shopping season, that time of year when people go berserk, spending money they don't have to buy gifts the planned recipients don't need or will take back for refund or exchange on Dec. 26.

Actually, some stores have been hawking their wares for the gift-giving season since before Halloween. There might be some legitimate link there. After all, the Grinch of Christmas would fit right in with the ghouls and goblins prowling for free goodies.

The Grinch, you see, is accused of stealing the purpose for IT.

But he's only incidental to this report.

Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, they say (and repeat every year) was the biggest shopping day of the year. Everyone with a spare dollar in their pocket seemed hell-bent on getting rid of it - but wanting something with a $50 value for it.

The pace of the season is set by degree of stress. The more perturbing, unsettling, confusing, unrelenting and frustrating it is, the more we'll believe it to be a success.

If your hair isn't flying in several directions, your brow not wrinkled with worry that you won't find the last usable version of the newest already obsolete game, and your stomach growling because you've ignored its needs while feeding your own spend, spend, spend impulse, it hasn't been a successful shopping trip.

For many retailers the Christmas shopping season can make or break their year. If they guessed right several months ago when viewing the wares offered by manufacturers' representatives, they have in stock the new gadget everyone believes they just have to have.

If they guessed wrong, they're wondering what they're going to do with 22 dozen leftover thing-a-ma-bobs that no one understands or wants.

What? You say Aunt Martha would die for one of those new do-everything-for-you appliances for the kitchen but no local merchant had the extraordinary vision to stock it so you have to go to Farmington, Albuquerque, Colorado Springs - or Havana to get it?

Bah, humbug, I say (dragging out another seasonal refrain)!

Just ask around. Any self-respecting merchant will say he can get it for you. He just doesn't know how soon. And if Aunt Martha really wants it, the wait will be worthwhile.

What you don't seem to remember in your spur of the moment, I don't care what it costs largesse, is that your good old aunt is already dissatisfied with the gem-dandy gift you searched high and low for last year. It gets in her way and never did work. And now you want to make more points by supplying her a new impediment (not implement).

The pace of Pagosa which gave name to this column has never been in line with that of the rest of the world. Just ask anyone who moves here from one of those metropolitan nightmares called a city.

They just don't understand what we've all come to know as Pagosa time. It simply takes a little longer to get the clock hands to move at this altitude. Something like adjusting the recipe ingredients and cooking time because of the height above sea level. After all, there hasn't been any sea in these parts for a few dozen centuries or more.

Pagosa time means it'll get done when someone gets to it. Got an appointment for 10 a.m. Tuesday? Great! Just don't try to guess which Tuesday.

But, I digress.

I was, after all, discussing the proper way to conduct one's self when venturing out into the real world to find Christmas gifts for everyone on your list.

I have a tried and true method. I am a recognized procrastinator. "Why do today what you can leave until the last possible minute?" is my credo.

I've been known to start my shopping at that indefinable last minute. I find it heartwarming to be standing in line as the store manager waits to lock the door. I'm waiting to pay for the exact things you bought a month earlier - at full price. I got the last ones, and they were reduced for last minute clearance so they wouldn't have to be part of the post holiday season inventory.

So what if one candy box has a hole in it? And who cares about a few chocolatey fingerprints on the teddy bear's derriere? They're removable.

Wrapping paper? What for? Just ask the store clerk for a brown paper bag instead of plastic. And you can make a bow for it from an old used shoe string. And of course, it's more personal if you just write your gift wish on the wrapper. That way the grateful recipient won't have to save the name tag and write the donor's name and gift identification on the back so that you, the ever-popular giver, can be properly thanked.

Yep, Christmas shopping can be made real simple and - if you mind this shopping etiquette lesson - even inexpensive.

And just think, you'll have plenty of money left over to get yourself something, too. Maybe that handy-dandy glass-breaking, belt-cutting tool every driver needs to have on hand to extract themselves from their vehicle after a winter crash.

Or maybe, you'll want to take all that excess funding and deliver it to a church for use in stocking a soup kitchen or to your favorite charity for use in compiling real Christmas gifts for real needy people.

Somehow we all get to the meaning of the day, eventually.

Many Bible historians will tell you that Jesus of Nazareth was born in the fall, not in December, but the real date makes no difference.

The significance is that He was born and that He died on a cross to save those members of mankind who believe in Him for eternal life with his father. That, It has been said, was the greatest gift ever, that God gave his only begotten son to die for our sins.

Would that we all remember in the hectic pace of the season that that gift is the real IT.


Old Timers
By John Motter

Early Pagosans sought rail link to the world

By John M. Motter

As the Year 2000 draws to a close, we are all full of hopes and dreams for the coming year, for the coming millennium. Our forefathers, the settlers of Pagosa Country, faced the 1900s full of hopes and dreams very similar, yet very different, from our own.

If we could talk with one of them today, guessing who would be the most surprised might be difficult. Try to explain the contrails left by jet aircraft to someone whose experience stopped in 1900, someone who had never seen and probably never contemplated the existence of aircraft.

In the other direction, we might have trouble understanding the amount of optimism locals placed in the approaching railroad. Pagosa Springs, in 1900, had no electricity, no running water or central sewage system, no automobiles, no paved streets, and no railroad. A single telephone line connected Pagosa Springs with the outside world.

People first learned in 1899 that a railroad would be built from Pagosa Junction to Pagosa Springs. A logging railroad owned by E. M. Biggs and the New Mexico Lumber Company entered the county at Edith, but no one knew if Biggs would extend his tracks to Pagosa Springs. He never did. People had heard rumors of approaching railroads for a couple of decades. By 1899, they might have grown skeptical.

Besides, there were other things to worry about. After all, 1899 had been a dry year. Some things never change. "It's been so dry the water is only wet on one side," reported Daniel Egger, editor of the Pagosa Springs News.

"The railroad is coming. Hoop la!" Egger trumpeted Aug. 11, 1899. Was he being enthusiastic or sarcastic?

From that date until it left town, the papers were filled with news of the approaching railroad. Buoyed by hopes of economic prosperity the railroad would bring, the town planned to install a waterworks, a flour mill was proposed south of town, and the county attempted to float bonds for a new courthouse. Electricity soon followed, probably housed in the same building that housed the flour mill for a short time.

Egger copied this item from the Aug. 22 Denver Post: "Track laying on the Rio Grande Pagosa & Northern Railroad," said President Jeffrey of the Denver & Rio Grande, "will begin the last of this month or the first of September.

"The president returned this morning from a trip over the Rio Grande system, which included an inspection of the new branch from Pagosa Junction or Gato water tanks to Pagosa Springs in Archuleta County.

"From Gato water tanks on the Rio Grande the road runs in a northeasterly direction to the Springs and will be extended from there to Alamosa through the rich San Luis Valley. The Rio Grande is behind the project, President Jeffrey and other officials being directors of the scheme, a long-brooding and constantly pushed idea of A.J. Sullenberger, a Denver capitalist.

"President Jeffrey was surprised at the extent of the work. He relates the first three miles of Wild Cat Canyon and up that rift in the mountains, beside the famous disappearing stream, have been graded and contractors are rapidly pushing on the first goal. The road will be a narrow gauge through a precipitous country, but one rich in forests, mineral and agricultural land.

"There is a large camp of graders and the ties are placed as rapidly as the grade progresses," said Mr. Jeffrey. "The rails are being shipped now and after the mountains are pierced and the level park-like lands reached the worst part of the job will be over. It is too early to surmise when Pagosa Springs will be reached.

"The building of the line through the eastern part of the old Ute reservation has opened up another small-sized rush. Two large lumber mills have been started and the news has reached Denver that the Biggs interests have retired and will allow the Rio Grande to enter Pagosa Springs without a competitor.

"Mr. Whitney Newton of Pueblo, president of the Newton Lumber Company, was here the fore part of last week looking over the new railroad line. He left Tuesday morning for Pagosa Junction," Egger reported.

Clearly, the outside world was interested in Pagosa Springs' railroad. The Trinidad Chronicle reported: "Whitney Newton, president of the Newton Lumber Company, one of the largest of the kind in the state, departed for Denver this morning. His company has been operating a large sawmill on Red River, twelve miles below Catskill, for several years. Since the Newton branch of the C & S road was washed out two weeks ago, and in view of the fact that most of the timber is already cut out, Mr. Newton decided to move the mill outfit to Pagosa Springs. The company has leased vast bodies of timber over there and is now building a narrow gauge railroad from Pagosa Junction to the Springs, a distance of thirty miles. The horses and wagons arrived in Trinidad, coming overland, and a carload of machinery went over the Maxwell ranch. The whole outfit, requiring four cars, left over the Rio Grande for Pagosa Junction."

Egger added the following information on his own: "The contract for construction of the branch line from Pagosa Junction to Pagosa Springs on the Rio Grande system was let yesterday (Thursday Aug. 10, 1899) to W.C. Bradbury and Co. of Denver. Work will commence as soon as the papers are signed up and it is expected the work will be completed by November. This road has been hitherto known as the Sullenberger line, inasmuch as A.T. Sullenberger, the Denver lumberman, has been superintending the work. The incorporated title of the line is the Rio Grande, Pagosa & Northern railroad. It will be about 30 miles in length although the word "Northern" in the title is generally taken to indicate that the Rio Grande contemplates eventually continuing the tracks across the divide to a point higher up on its San Juan line for the purpose of saving the climb to Chama. The present purpose is that of tapping the lumber territory in the vicinity of Pagosa Springs, where mills are to be erected. The line from Arboles, which is backed by a lumber firm, is being run with the same idea in view. Construction work is said to be going on at present. It traverses a country rich in fine bodies of timber where several Denver men now have large mills.

"After construction of the road by the Rio Grande it is said many improvements will be made in Pagosa Springs. The new line passes through the Indian reservation."

Even though the Arboles line was never built, the coming railroad provided a huge boost to the Pagosa Country economy, as evidenced by Egger's plaint: "Work is plentiful but laborers are scarce. Wages, $1 per day and board.

"They are paying $3.50 per day for team work on the new railroad. All parties that want work and have good teams are requested to report at Pagosa Junction and they will be put to work at once."

Other branches of the local economy benefited as well, according to the following item: "A bunch of boys belonging to the surveyors gang of the new railroad arrived at Pagosa Springs Sunday and proceeded to paint the burg a beautiful carmine. They are excusable for their rash act because they haven't been in civilization in over a month. That's alright fellows, just push along that railroad and you are entitled to large chunks of the town."

And, of course, progress reports were plentiful: "The survey on the railroad between Dyke's Ranch and Pagosa Junction is now completed."

"The Sullenberger railroad will be completed to E.E. Hatcher's ranch within five miles of town before the snow flies."

"Hatcher Brs. have the contract for furnishing ties for the new railroad from E.E. Hatcher's ranch to Dyke's. Hatcher's ranch is only about five miles west of town."

"James and Elmer Hatcher have been awarded the contract for poles on another telephone line into Pagosa. The line is to be run to Dyke's following the railroad."

"Grant Shields is going over to Pagosa next week with his outfit of teams to work on the railroad which is being built from the D. & R.G. line to Pagosa Springs."

"Mr. Wm. Dyke has the contract for furnishing beef to the Sullenberger railroad. If you have any fat beeves that you want to dispose of you can find a ready market here."

"The Pagosa and Rio Grande Northern Railroad will have eight miles of grading completed by October 1. The contractors are still short of men and teams. The pay per day being as follows: Teams $3.50, men $1.75, board is $4.50 per week and oats $1.75 per hundred. The pasture along the line of the railroad is first class and owners of teams will not have the extra expense of buying hay."

"A large party of graders are now at work near Dyke's working on the new railroad. Their camp is located about 10 miles west of town."

"N.E. Garcelon, who has a sub-contract of grading on the new railroad near Wm. Dyke's, was in town Saturday. Mr. Garcelon claims, for a narrow gauge railroad, he never saw such good work done anywhere. All fills and cuts are made for a standard gauge line."

Having so many workers in the county, many of them itinerant drifters, must have increased the sheriff's workload. Notice the following item: "It has been reported here that Mr. McQuerry, who has been working on the Sullenberger railroad, borrowed a grader's team, sold it for $40, then vamoosed."

And nothing escaped the clutches of local politics. The following item was written by E.T. Walker, now a populist and buddy of Egger. Walker first backed Sullenberger and opposed Biggs. Later, Walker changed his mind and spent the next few years lamenting the "Railroad Octopus" and control over the county maintained by Biggs and A.T. Sullen-berger. Here is Walker's first salvo when he supported Sullenberger:

"If you want the railroad that is now building in this county to reach Pagosa Springs in the shortest possible time, you must of necessity vote against the Biggs-Archuleta ticket. That outfit is dead against Mr. Sullenberger's railroad."

The Biggs-Archuleta ticket, Republicans all, won the election. One of the early political plumbs was observed in the following announcement: "A.T. Sullenberger has been appointed postmaster of Pagosa Junction, a new position recently established by the department. The place was formerly known (to the postal department) as Gato water tanks."

Work on the railroad stopped with the coming of winter. Egger reminded folks that the railroad was still coming with the following Jan. 1, 1900, article taken from the Del Norte Prospector:

"As soon as the frost is out of the ground, the work of continuing the building of the Pagosa & Northern Railroad will be resumed. The general impression prevails that this road will be pushed on over the divide to the San Luis Valley, and many things indicate that the Pagosa connection may be made at Del Norte. Be that as it may, the people of this section should be wide awake when the time comes, and if possible, secure a closer union with the great and growing southwest, which may ultimately mean a shorter line to the coast. These things are all well worth looking after and should not escape the attention of the people on the San Luis side of the range."

More on the coming of the railroad in future Oldtimer articles.

Sarah Marie

Jeff and Karen Ross are proud to announce the birth of their daughter, Sarah Maria, born on Oct. 8, 2000, at 7:30 p.m. at Mercy Medical Center of Durango. She weighed 6 pounds, 3 ounces. Her 3-year-old brother, Gavin, also welcomed her.

Her maternal grandparents are Dreana Walz of Anaheim, Calif., and Raymond and Virginia Walz of Lakeside, Calif. Her paternal grandparents are Bill and Beverly Ross of Sisters, Ore.


Business News
Biz Beat

Royal Gem and Jewelry

Keith Cope, a certified jewelry manufacturer and gemologist, is the owner and operator of Royal Gem and Jewelry.

Serving the public since 1962, Cope offers customers elk ivory jewelry, custom designs, platinum, gold, silver and fine gems. Royal Elk also provides quality repairs and restorations.

Royal Elk Gem and Jewelry is located at 175 Pagosa Street and is open Monday through Saturday. The phone number is 264-6599.


Weather Stats