Front Page

December 7, 2000

Town budget rises but mill levy drops

By Karl Isberg

Pagosa Springs trustees met Dec. 5 and approved an overall 2001 budget of $4,041,191 &emdash; an increase from the 2000 budget total of $3,672,805.

At the same time, trustees lowered the town mill levy for the upcoming year to 1.68 mills, recognizing an increased assessed valuation of $29,093,255. Assessed valuation of property within town limits in 2000 was $26,392,510, generating a mill levy of 1.79.

Most of the increase in the overall 2001 budget is due to a $300,000 sale of the current Town Hall property expected during the next year, and an anticipated Community Development Block Grant of $500,000 for construction of a new community center.

The general fund budget for the next year is set at $3,141,050 &emdash; an increase of $116,020 from the 2000 general fund budget. Adding a beginning balance of $503,585, total general funds available in 2001 are $3,644,640.

It is expected taxes will contribute $2,364,825 to the general fund in 2001, of which $48,875 will come in the form of property tax. Sales tax revenues (expected to increase 2 percent during the upcoming year) will provide $2,261,450.

License and permit fees will contribute an anticipated $36,540 to the general fund, with upcoming intergovernmental revenues set at $595,240. A Colorado Municipal Air Quality Grant from the Colorado Department of Transportation will provide $360,000 of that amount.

Recreation user fees are expected to put $50,000 in the general fund and Municipal Court fines will bring in an expected $40,000.

General fund expenditures for 2001 are $3,141,052 with general government expenses listed at $625,853.

Several department budgets show increases in the 2001 budget.

The town administrator's budget increases to $79,685 from the 2000 amount of $72,695

A budget of $282,000 for the recreation department is up from $265,455, and the parks department budget increases to $125,925 from the 2000 total of $118,270.

The 2001 budget for the town police department is $374,555, compared to $319,025 in 2000.

There will be $37,140 in the geothermal department budget in 2001, up from the previous total of $34,460.

Money in the building and planning department budget increases to $107,110 from $97,645 in 2000.

Municipal Court money will go up to $118,060 in 2001, from the 2000 amount of $101,960.

Budget totals in several areas are down in next year's budget.

The town street department budget goes down in 2001 to $592,615 from $623,280, a decrease reflecting a decline in department capital improvements expenditures since 2000.

Town contributions to service organizations in 2001 will be $34,350, down from $36,605 in 2000.

Sales tax-funded capital improvements during the upcoming year will cost $1,130,725, down from $1,310,555 in 2000. Most of the capital improvement money spent next year will go toward the construction of a new town hall, with $80,000 used for paving and street reconstruction projects and $40,000 paying for street lighting improvements.


Ex-restaurateur Bob Stewart dies at 80

Many Pagosans were saddened Friday to learn Bob Stewart, 80, the former owner of the Riverside Restaurant, had passed away in Albuquerque on Dec. 1, 2000.

Mr. Stewart and his wife Jane moved to Pagosa Springs in 1976 when they became owners and operators of the Hub Restaurant.

They sold the business to independent operators from 1983 to 1987 before repossessing the operation in 1988. Remodeling their facility and continuing to improve the restaurant, the Stewarts changed the name of their business to Riverside Restaurant. They continued its operation until 1994 at which time they once again sold the business. The Stewarts sold the Riverside Restaurant property in October 1999.

During his retirement, Mr. Stewart enjoyed volunteering his time as a Chamber of Commerce Diplomat at the Pagosa Springs Visitor Center.

Born Oct. 5, 1920, in Waterloo, Iowa, Mr. Stewart enlisted in the U.S. Army in April 1942. He was assigned to the 452nd Bomber Group in England as a bombardier on a B-17 during World War II. Mr. Stewart spent the last 12 months of the war in Europe as a prisoner of war. His capture came after he and his crewmates were forced to parachute from their crippled bomber on May 19, 1944, during a daylight bombing run over Berlin. Following 24 years of duty, he retired Jan. 1, 1966, as a lieutenant colonel from what had become the United States Air Force.

Bob and Jane Stewart were married Feb. 28, 1970, in Dallas, Texas. During the past few years they have spent the winter season in Albuquerque while maintaining their residency in Pagosa Springs.

Mr. Stewart is survived by his three children, David Stewart of Dayton, Ohio, Steven Stewart of Newport, R.I., and Barbara Collier of Troy, Ohio; and his six grandchildren. He also is survived by four sisters, La Rainne Jones of Fowlerville, Mich., Charlotte Ohrt of Denver, Dorothy Timmerman of Kingman, Ariz., and Darlene Page of Waterloo, Iowa.

The family asks that donations be sent to the Southwest Kidney Support Group, Box 1784, Farmington, N.M. 87499.


House fire loss could hit $8,000

By Karl Isberg

Residents of a house at 535 Harman Avenue in the San Juan River Village subdivision east of Pagosa Springs were lucky to spot a fire Dec. 5; their call for help elicited a quick response by local firefighters and saved the structure.

Chief Warren Grams of the Pagosa Fire Protection District said the unidentified residents of the rental property emptied the fire box of a stone fireplace at the house and, taking the ashes outside, noticed smoke coming from between the stone chimney and the house siding.

"They called 9-1-1," said Grams, "and we responded at 10 p.m."

The fire district responded with two trucks, a command vehicle and 12 firefighters. "When we arrived," said the chief, "we found the building had a fire in the wall of the house, next to the fireplace." Firefighters opened the wall, tore off parts of the stone fireplace and extinguished the blaze.

Grams estimated the damage to the structure to be as high as $8,000.

"It's a good thing the residents noticed the smoke when they did," said Grams. "It's lucky they went outside when they did. If they had gone to bed without seeing the smoke, we would have been called to the scene sometime in the morning, with the entire structure involved."

Grams said an initial investigation of the scene showed the blaze probably began as a result of a faulty fireplace, with a crack in the fire box.


Family fight ends with shots, 2 arrested

By Karl Isberg

A domestic dispute Dec. 2 at a Pagosa Springs residence ended with shots fired, no one injured in the fracas, and two local residents arrested for their parts in the incident.

Police were called at approximately 6:47 p.m. to a house at 181 Hermosa Street in downtown Pagosa Springs. Town police officers Gilbert Perales, Chuck Allen and Bill Rockensock were joined at the Hermosa Street residence by members of the Archuleta County Sheriff's Department and the Colorado State Patrol.

Once at the scene officers discovered a conflict between the residents of the home of Jorge Robles-Ortiz, 25, and Mary Ann Phillips, 33 &emdash; had generated a shooting incident involving several members of the extended family.

Interviews revealed an initial dispute between Robles-Ortiz and Phillips led to two of Phillips' sisters and her brother-in-law Dustin Wood coming to the home to deal with the situation.

According to a report filed by Perales, Wood and Robles-Ortiz were involved in an altercation during which Phillips went to a bedroom and procured a handgun. When other members of the family went to the bedroom the gun was fired, sending a bullet through the ceiling of the home.

With the altercation subsiding, Wood took the infant son of Robles-Ortiz and Phillips and left the home, allegedly to transport the child to safety at a residence next door. At that point, reported Perales, Robles-Ortiz took possession of the .44 caliber handgun and fired at Wood through a window.

Officers arrested Phillips on a charge of prohibited use of a weapon. She was later released on a surety bond.

Robles-Ortiz was arrested on charges of attempted second-degree murder, third-degree assault and prohibited use of a weapon.

A hold was put on Robles-Ortiz by the federal Immigration and Naturalization Service. Robles-Ortiz remains incarcerated in the Archuleta County Jail and, according to Pagosa Springs Chief of Police Don Volger, the district attorney's office is considering an upgrade of charges against the suspect.


County employees to get $1,400 pay raises

By John M. Motter

County elected officials doing battle with the commissioners to obtain raises for their employees apparently won at least a small victory Tuesday.

County budget officer Dennis Hunt is dotting the final i's and crossing the last of the t's while preparing the 2001 budget for final approval at this coming Tuesday's regular commissioner meeting.

Included in the budget will be $1,400 for each of the 126 full-time county employees plus an undetermined amount to be used for incentive raises as determined by department heads and other elected officials.

"We need everyone to understand that the $1,400 is an estimate at this time and could change a little when we develop the final budget," Commissioner Ken Fox said at a Tuesday budget workshop.

When they look at their pay checks, county employees paying for dependent coverage under the county group insurance plan will not notice a $1,400 increase. That is because, besides standard deductions, they will be minus $50 a month to help pay the cost of dependent coverage.

The $1,400 amounts to $176,400 when considered as a lump. The raise amounts to a 6.2 percent increase over last year, according to the commissioners. During the preliminary steps of budget development, department heads and elected officials had been seeking an increase of about $324,280, approximately 11.4 percent.

A line item containing about $208,000 has been established within the administration fund to cover salaries when department heads and officials hire replacements to fill existing vacancies.

For example, four vacancies already exist within the sheriff's department. When the sheriff hires someone to fill those vacancies, he will have to come to the commissioners for money to pay the new hire's salary.

This year's property tax rate will be up over last year, but still below the permanent rate of 21.145 established about 10 years ago. The general fund mill levy will be 12.925 mills, the road and bridge mill levy is 3.5 mills, and the social services mill levy is 0.832 mills.

A tax credit of 3.888 mills will be allowed, amounting to $615,050 across the county. The county assessed valuation has grown from $149,999,050 last year to $158,191,480. Tax payers will notice the credit when they receive tax bills.


County gives Timber Ridge a break

By John M. Motter

An Archuleta County developer caught between a rock and a hard place by county subdivision requirements was granted relief Tuesday by the county commissioners. The next developer trapped in the same situation will not be so lucky.

In an action counter to the advice of County Attorney Mary Weiss, the commissioners unanimously approved a final plat and release of the improvements agreement for Colorado's Timber Ridge Phase 2.

By their action, the commissioners authorized the developer to sell lots within the development, thereby raising enough money to pay off an encumbrance against the roads and open space within the development dedicated to the property owners association and to the public.

Weiss warned the commissioners that a deed of trust encumbered Colorado's Timber Ridge Phase 2, including the roads and open space.

"Unless a partial release of the deed of trust is obtained for the land committed to the public and the property owners association," Weiss said, "if something unforeseen happens and the lender is forced to foreclose, the public land could be tied up."

As a consequence, Weiss said customers purchasing lots might be forced to go to court in order to secure access to their lots.

"This is a kind of chicken and egg scenario," Weiss said, "and the odds of something like this happening might be one million to one, but it is possible."

Under county subdivision regulations, the final plat of a subdivision must be filed with the county clerk and recorder before lots can be sold within the subdivision. Before the plat can be filed with the clerk, it must be approved by the county commissioners.

Within an approved subdivision, when an individual lot is purchased a partial deed of trust release is granted on the lot clearing the title for the owner. In the past, a similar action has not been taken for clearing title to encumbered public lands.

The developer's dilemma was his intention and need to sell the lots in order to clear the title to the property in question. If denied permission to sell the lots because the county refused to approve the final plat and thus enabling it to be recorded with the county clerk, due to time constraints, it would have been inconvenient for the developer to clear the indebtedness.

The commissioners accepted two justifications for approving the final plat and allowing the lots to be sold.

First, this particular issue has not been raised before in the county, even when the developer obtained county approval for Phase 1. Consequently, this approval would be a one-time agreement.

Second, the title company handling the transaction agreed to provide the county with a letter promising to apply funds from promised lot sales, to pay off the existing mortgage on the public property in question.

Speaking for Timber Ridge, developer Mike Mitchell said that the sale of 15 lots was promised and that he would have no problem raising the money and relieving the encumbrance within a couple of days. About $173,200 was needed to clear the property in question.

Included with county approval are instructions to the planning commission to develop a process informing future developers that final approval will not be granted for plats on which public lands are encumbered by debt.


Bazaar's bank bag missing

A green deposit bag disappeared from the Community United Methodist Church, Supper Fellowship Russ Hill Memorial Bazaar on Monday, Dec. 4. The bag contained only checks that had already been endorsed for deposit only.

Members of Community United Methodist Church volunteer their time to work very hard during this bazaar. A great majority of the proceeds are returned to the community in the form of grants. Only a small portion of the proceeds are used by Community United Methodist Church. The loss of these funds represents two or three community applications that cannot be fulfilled.

Therefore, Community United Methodist Church is asking that if anyone finds this deposit bag, please return it with the checks. No questions will be asked and a $50 reward will be given.


Three school concerts will kick off holiday season

Three concerts in the Pagosa Springs High School auditorium next week will set the stage for Christmas vacation with a wealth of holiday music.

The first, at 7 p.m. Monday, will feature the sixth grade and junior high school bands in their annual performance.

At 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sue Anderson's junior high school chorus will present its holiday show.

The final event of the series will come at 7 p.m. Thursday when Lisa Hartley presents the high school band and choir in concert.

"If you love holiday music, and local performers," Hartley said, "take one of these opportunities to hear them in public concert."

Inside The Sun

PAWS budget reflects service area's growth

By John M. Motter

A budget reflecting the growth of its service area was adopted by the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District board of directors Tuesday.

The utility district's budget is divided into a general fund and an enterprise fund. General fund revenue is expected to total $582,245 during 2001. General fund revenues projected for 2000 were $483,470 and general fund actual revenues for 1999 were $446,3340.

Expenses in the 2001 general fund are estimated $698,065. The beginning fund balance is estimated at $142,795, the ending fund balance $26,975. General fund expenses were projected at $489,105 last year and actually amounted to $462,670 during 1999.

Enterprise fund revenues for 2001 are expected to total $4,444,510, compared with $7,003,335 for 2000 and $3,772,960 for 1999. The big bump during 2000 was the receipt of almost $3 million in revenue bond proceeds for capital construction.

Enterprise fund expenses for 2001, including capital, are expected to total $6,948,690. Last year's projected total was $5,778,200, and actual expenditures for 1999 were $5,185,175.

The property tax mill levy was set at 6.09 mills for District 1 and 1.949 mills for District 2. A debt service mill levy of 1.15 mills was established for both districts.

Capital expenditures are expected to consume a major portion of the budget, about $5.3 million. The larger capital expenditures anticipated are $2 million for the Vista Wastewater Treatment Plant upgrade, $598,000 for a facilities upgrade, $462,830 for 1998 debt service revenue bonds, $450,000 for water line extensions, $400,000 for wastewater line extensions, $340,605 for the San Juan Water Treatment Plant, and $161,015 for the San Juan pipeline.

During a workshop held between 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. Tuesday before the special meeting started, the board discussed future priorities and plans. Taking part in the discussion was Allen Davey, an engineer for Davis Engineering.

Much of the talk centered around gathering information and establishing priorities and discussing alternatives for future capital projects including enlarging Stevens Reservoir, getting a 404 permit from the Army Corps of Engineers, encasing portions of the Dutton Ditch in pipe, and developing a master plan for the district. Dutton Ditch supplies water to Hatcher Reservoir and can supply Stevens Reservoir.

Following the discussion, Carrie Campbell PAWS general manager, with tacit consent of the board, refused to give a copy of the discussed engineering report to the SUN reporter in attendance. The reason given was, "this is only a draft report and the public may interpret it incorrectly."

Campbell said the following day that the PAWS attorney, Jim Collins of Denver, had been consulted and agreed with the decision to withhold the draft document discussed during the public meeting. The document is slated for board approval and release to the public in a few weeks, Campbell said.


School-based dental program set

By Richard Walter

Dixie Gray, regional director for the Miles for Smiles program, had a big smile of her own Tuesday when she reported new data for southwestern Colorado.

First, she said, in five days of open care in the mobile dental suite at Pagosa Springs Elementary School, 57 patients had been treated and the value of the service they received was just under $8,000.

The unit was spending its last day in Pagosa Springs today and will not return until next fall.

Gray's second bit of good news was an announcement that a school-based public dental education program will be launched this winter and it has been endorsed by the Colorado Dental Hygienists' Association.

The comprehensive oral health education program will be initiated by Kids in Need of Dentistry and the Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation of Colorado in 16 western counties. The program, Gray said, is designed specifically to support the Miles for Smiles care being provided in the mobile dental clinic

Suzanne Hamill, president of the Dental Hygienists' Association, said she was "delighted to formally announce our endorsement of this effort to help children develop good oral hygiene habits. Hopefully, our support and participation will enhance the increased awareness of oral health issues for children within the underserved populations of Colorado."

Initially, the school program will be implemented in 28 elementary schools, with the first phase providing presentations on good oral hygiene habits to students in kindergarten through third grade.

Topics to be covered during the school year will include the importance of daily brushing and flossing, visiting the dentist, nutrition and injury prevention.

Other features of the Miles for Smiles public education campaign will include community dental health fairs and parent education programs. The initiative will utilize local community volunteers, including dental hygienists and dental hygiene students, other health care providers and area Miles for Smiles representatives.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment will help provide curriculum materials and supplies and other technical assistance.


Building spree continues; permit total at 567

By John M. Motter

The number of building permits issued this year by Archuleta County continues to climb at a record pace.

For 2000 through Nov. 30, the number of permits of all kinds reached 567, according to a report released by the county building department. Last year 499 permits of all kinds had been issued for the same time frame. In preceding years, the number of permits of all kinds issued through November was, for 1998, 527; for 1997, 434; for 1996, 434; and for 1995, 485.

The bulk of the year 2000 permits, 334, are for single-family residences. That number was 229 for 1999, 253 for 1998, 196 for 1997, 210 for 1996, and 216 for 1995.

Over the past two years, the number of commercial permits issued is down from the preceding four years. So far this year, 12 commercial permits have been issued, close to the 13 commercial permits issued last year. The number of commercial permits issued during 1998 was 35; during 1997, 34; during 1996, 25 and during 1995, 23.

A slight down trend seems to be taking place in the number of mobile home permits issued. Thus far this year 73 mobile home permits have been issued, fewer than the 92 permits issued for mobile homes last year. Mobile home permits issued during the preceding years totaled 81 for 1998, 71 for 1997, 95 for 1996, and 102 for 1995.

The category of other permits covers a variety of building activities including adding new porches, rooms, garages and other major additions or changes. The number of permits issued in this category are 131 for 2000, 153 for 1999, 142 for 1998, 128 for 1997, 104 for 1996, and 131 for 1995.

Timeshares covers the final category included in the report. Under the timeshares heading, seven permits were issued this year, 12 permits last year, 16 permits during 1998, five permits during 1997, no permits during 1996, and 13 permits during 1995.


Weekend and beyond could be a weather mess

By John M. Motter

Pagosa Country weather could get messy this coming weekend, according to Jerry Smith, a forecaster from the Grand Junction National Weather Service office.

"There will be a surface low from northern Arizona moving into your area Monday that could be messy, leaving lots of stuff on the ground," Smith said. "It's going to look a lot more like winter."

Smith's forecast calls for clouds to start moving into Pagosa Country today with today's high temperatures in the 40s and lows in the teens to low 20s. There is a chance for rain or snow, depending on elevation, starting Friday and continuing through Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.

Temperatures should drop with highs ranging down to the 20s and 30s and lows between zero and 15 degrees.

Controlling local weather temperatures is a pool of cold air dropping down from Canada, according to Smith.

Meanwhile, conditions in Pagosa Country from Nov. 29 through Dec. 5 were almost balmy with high temperatures ranging from 49 degrees Nov. 29 and Dec. 3 down to 46 degrees Nov. 30. The average high temperature was 47.6 degrees.

Low temperatures ranged from a cold of 14 degrees Sunday up to 19 degrees Monday. The average cold temperature was 17 degrees. The average temperature for the week was 32.6 degrees.

No new snow fell at the Wolf Creek Ski Area this past week. Snow depth there at the summit is 55 inches, at midway 43 inches.



Overwhelmed by area's kindness

Dear Editor,

In the early morning hours of Nov. 17, 2000, my family awoke to a frightening reality. Smoke billowed all around us and it was all we could do to get our children and ourselves out safely. My husband, Jeremy, suffered a broken ankle and third degree burns while trying to save our possessions. When the sun finally came up we stood and surveyed the damage and realized that everything we had struggled and saved for was gone forever. Needless to say it was one of the worst tragedies we had ever suffered. The devastation was total, it was all gone.

That's when the help started flowing in. People we had never met started donating all sorts of food, clothing, household items and money. We were overwhelmed with the kindness and love that was showered on us in our darkest hour. The Red Cross put us up for the weekend and supplied vouchers for food and clothing, and our landlady, Louise Jagger, let us stay in an empty apartment she had. Robert and Teresa Scott wrote a letter to the paper and opened a bank account in our name. Turkey Springs Trading Post provided a central location for donations. We now have enough clothing and household supplies to start our lives again. Jeremy lost all his tools and wood-cutting supplies and this is where we are still lacking.

I never realized that in a busy town such as Pagosa Springs, there are people who are kind enough to take time out of their busy schedules to help a family in crisis that they had never even met. We are so grateful for all the love and generosity from all the citizens and businesses given to us during this time. This experience has renewed our faith in the power of love and human generosity. We wish to thank from the bottoms of our hearts, all the kind people who pulled together and helped us through this disaster, without whom we would not have been able to go on.

Special thanks to my grandma, Beatrice Espinosa, our parents, and all our aunts and uncles, brothers and sisters for pulling together and providing us with a network of love and generosity that only a family can give.

I could not begin to personally thank all the kind people who helped us at this time, so I hope you will accept this letter as a personal, heartfelt thank you.


The Brousseau Family


No accountability

Dear Editor,

Since when do two wrongs make a right? After my first letter almost two months ago, I have been reading letters every week of concern over the dog problems in Archuleta County. I firmly believe that people have a right to live peacefully on their own property without the unwanted intrusion of neighborhood dogs. I also believe that neighbors who are conscientious dog owners and make efforts to contain their dogs should not have to live in fear that if their dog should accidentally escape it might be killed or injured by an angry neighbor.

Those that kill and injure neighborhood dogs and those that allow their dogs to roam should both be held accountable for their actions. However, finger pointing at one another doesn't solve the problem, and as our population grows, so will this problem.

Why is there no resolution? Why does this continue year after year after year? I suggest to you that this continues to be a problem because no one is held accountable. In past history the district attorney's office has chosen not to prosecute, the sheriff's department has chosen not to write citations, and our county commissioners have chosen not to provide an animal control officer for our county. Each one looking at the other to do the job. How long are we willing to let this colossal buck-passing go on? While this problem may not be a crime of the century, it certainly affects the quality of our daily lives, and presents a danger to our neighborhoods.

The woman who killed our dog for standing on her property when he got out of his fenced yard one day, lives on a one-acre lot. She fired her shots toward the back of her lot. How did she know there wasn't someone walking on the lot behind her property? She also fired a rifle at a 4-month-old puppy on her property last June. How far does a rifle bullet travel? How did she know a child wasn't walking nearby, perhaps looking for that puppy?

We have laws, rules, regulations, to resolve these problems peacefully (not to mention the age-old idea of at least trying to resolve conflicts peacefully neighbor to neighbor). However, we have no enforcement of these provisions, and I fear that until we have fair and equal enforcement, these situations may grow more dangerous.

The legal system of Archuleta County and its commissioners, the elected servants of this county, must realize the seriousness of this problem and begin serving its residents by providing for their concerns.

Two wrongs don't make a right. Start using the legal system we have. Granted it has not worked well for us in the past, but if we give up and continue to just shake our heads and say "oh, well, that's the way it's always been," then that's the way it will be. It's our right as residents of this county to insist that it start working for us. Speak up at the county commissioners' meetings, speak up to the district attorney's office - voice your concerns and make an effort toward change.


Lisa A. Boelter

Still using gifts

Dear Editor,

We want to offer a big thanks to all the businesses in Pagosa Springs who belong to the Pagosa Springs Chamber of Commerce and welcome newcomers with endless gifts.

We have been here five months and are still using these gifts, i.e. spa passes, restaurant coupons, eyecare discounts, movies, and the list goes on.

A big thanks also to the Welcome Committee for arranging such details.

Thank you,

Pam Morrow and

Jerry Ethelbah

Thanks people

Dear Editor,

On behalf of the wrestling team, I would like to thank the following people who worked at the San Juan League Tournament held at Pagosa Springs Junior High School this past weekend: Tournament organizer: David Hamilton and LeRoy Lattin. Team scoring, bracketing, and bout sheets: Penne Hamilton. Scorers and timers: Sue Jones, Jason Plantiko, Mike Branch, Justin Cowan, Ronnie Janowsky, Matt Lattin, Chris Valdez, Ross Wagle, and Scott White. Announcer: Chris Hinger. Ticket taker and hospitality room: Sheryl Bogert and John Perea. Student workers: Sandra Griego, Stephanie Schofield, Naquita Rivas, Nikki Kinkead, the cheerleaders under the direction of Michelle Platt and Martha Taylor, and the wrestling team. Concessions: Student Council sponsored by Lori Plantiko. Setup and cleanup: The wrestling team and Steve Voorhis. Trophy: Barbara Voorhis. Medals and officials: Butch Melton, Ignacio High School athletic director.

The tournament was a great success thanks to these people. The tournament site is supposed to rotate among the league schools but the league members assign it to us based on the quality of the workers we have available and the smoothness of how it is run. It is an honor and a privilege to work with these people.


Larry Lister,

Junior High Principal

Lost boy found

Dear Editor,

I want to thank you for writing the article "Lost Boy," and putting it in your paper. He has been found.

Thank you so very much for helping me reunite with my son.


Gail Okash

What is at stake?

Dear Editor,

Just what is at stake in the present non-election process for president of our great nation? In this "Polish Crayola's" colored opinion, allowing manual counts of votes in Florida is absolutely unfair to the voters in the other 49 states. Maybe someone needs to file a lawsuit to that effect. It may expand the current legal lexicon.

The fact that the vote was close is not a fair reason to allow Florida votes to be elevated to a position of super importance, and thus justify special treatment, such as hand counts. All votes should be counted in the normal way, according to state laws. Then they would have equal value.

Voter error is unavoidable. Humans make mistakes. How many people in this country committed an error and did not realize it? No doubt, quite a few. But their votes stand, as they should. Had a butterfly ballot been a bingo card, I can only assume the process would now be complete.

Whenever this matter is finally resolved, and especially when Bush prevails, I fully expect an all-out assault on the Electoral College with Hillary Clinton leading the liberal charge from her lofty seat in our U.S. Senate. The Clintonites have prevailed thanks to New York state's non-voters.

Ironically, the absolute disdain for the rule of law and the inflammatory rhetoric coming out of the Gore camp in Florida are terrific examples of why our Founding Fathers feared direct election of the president by popular vote. They were absolutely brilliant thinkers. Besides, unfettered populist passions can be dangerous, and sometimes it is necessary to place a brake on "the will of the people."

Jim Sawicki

Fun evening for all

Dear Dave,

On behalf of Kiwanians, I thank the community once again for joining us in celebration of this glorious season of joy. This was our sixth annual Community Christmas Party and we are pleased that this appears to have become a tradition with many of our families. Our hearts continue to be warmed with love as we see smiling faces and friendly good will exchanged between folks from throughout this community. Adding to the spirit of the evening was the lively music by Mark DeVoti, who not only entertained us, but engaged the crowd - he got us in the mood for fun. Then followed the Mountain Harmony Choir with their many songs of the season, much appreciated. The evening ended with outstanding performances by Mark DeVoti and his Karaoke Kids - some were returns from last year and we could tell they had done their home rehearsals. Special thanks to the parents for giving them this opportunity. That was a great way to end the evening for Kiwanians, for children are our major focus and monies from this event will be used to support education and healthy development for our community's children. Yes, it was a fun evening that truly defined the spirit of the season - Good will to all.


Patty Tillerson

It's the season

Dear Editor,

The story "The first Christians avoided decorations" (Dec. 1 Preview) left out many details which I will attach. I know it's a popular celebration for man but not admonished by God within scripture. Scripture does tell us of how man will cut wood and make a fire to warm himself, cook his meal, carve an image from the same and worship the image. Perhaps an interesting comparison to the Christmas holiday created by man. If the evergreen is symbolic of eternal life, it may be of poor illustration as it is found upon the rubbish heap shortly as the holiday fades away. For many, bills replace joy and giving remains the same as payments arranged.

Yes, early Christians shied away from all of the pagan symbolism however most today don't know what the details are, so it's a nice tradition and a great commercial endeavor which is in the name of The Lord Jesus Christ. I wonder as the holiday is greatly enjoyed by all of its validity, as nothing which is of God is enjoyed by the world. Perhaps man has created a celebration which appeals to Christian and pagan alike, promotes commerce and we all feel good about it. We even invented Santa Claus to go along with the theme. If you don't believe in the Messiah, why there's a Santa Claus or both. Buy, it's Christmas. Stores play the seasonal music and relate purchases as a seasonal requisite. The Bible forbids Idolatry as a commandment, perhaps few believe it anyway, but who cares, let's get on with the season. A nativity scene is great and throw in the wise men although they were not on the scene, it's great, anyway. Guess man needs a symbol but what upon this earth can be one? I don't know of anything upon this earth that can compare to God. He also commands us not to do it.

It's the season, we think, to reflect upon the birth of Jesus Christ and again create a manger scene and we let our imaginations fill in the details. Now God has given us a user manual called the Bible. If we believe that it's his word why do we perform against it? Of course if you read it, man has done so throughout the entire book. Maybe we just can read, see and still can't get it right as it's not humanly correct. It does tell us that He will come back for a church without spot or wrinkle, perhaps some do.

May God bless you,

Bob Urbanek


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 Ph.D. 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.

Sports Page

Ladies refine defense to capture Cortez crown

By Richard Walter




All three factors melded into a full deck for the Pagosa Springs Lady Pirates' season opener Friday, as they dealt Farmington's junior varsity a 52-17 thumping in the opening game of the Cortez Invitational tournament.

Factor No. 1 came before the game even started. The short Farmington squad (tallest player 5-foot-8) watched the Pagosa girls warmup with the twin towers of Ashley Gronewoller (6-foot-3) and Katie Lancing (6-foot-1) and seemed awed by the height.

Factor No. 2 was the Lady Pirates' reputation for big wins and state tournament competition which also provided the experience factor.

The final score was hard to use as an interpretive point for the Lady Pirates' play. They were starting five players with state tournament experience, including three seniors. Every team member suited up saw extensive action as coach Karen Wells tried to hold the score down. (Exchange student Beata Svendsen, a 6-foot-3 junior, was unable to play because she hadn't had the required nine full practices.)

The game was no contest from the outset with Pagosa leading 14-6 after one quarter, all six of Farmington's points coming on a pair of 3-pointers by Joni Hewey who, incidentally, never scored again.

At halftime the score was 25-10 and Farmington had managed only one field goal and a pair of charity tosses in the quarter. The third quarter was almost a whitewash for the Lady Pirates as they outscored the Scorpions 15-2 and took a 40-12 lead into the last stanza. A 12-5 fourth quarter made the final score 52-17.

But the score was probably deceiving. The Scorpions came back in the consolation bracket on Saturday to defeat Delta's Lady Panthers 53-47 and looked like a team which had learned from the Pagosa shellacking. They worked a set offense and ran a full-game full-court press to take Delta out of any consistent attack.

Against the Lady Pirates however, they had let the twin posts go at will without attempting to stop the inside attack. "As long as they give it to us, I told the girls, we have to keep taking it," said coach Wells.

Lancing and Gronewoller, who were both named to the all-tournament team, paced the Pagosa attack with 23 and 22 points respectively. Seniors Meigan Canty and Tiffanie Hamilton each added a pair and Shannon Walkup, a 5-foot-5 sophomore who played a sparkling defensive game coming off the bench, added three.

Hamilton and Gronewoller each had a blocked shot and Hamilton keyed the Pagosa defense with four steals. Lancing had three takeaways, Gronewoller and Walkup each had two and 5-foot-8 junior Nicole Buckley added one.

Lancing and Gronewoller each had four assists, Hamilton added three, Canty and Walkup had two each and Carlena Lungstrum and Amber Mesker each had one.

The Ladies' post players each had six boards, Lancing's split evenly on offense and defense and all of Gronewoller's coming on offense. Hamilton chipped in with five rebounds, three on offense while Canty added two offensive rebounds and Walkup one.

The win catapulted Pagosa into Saturday's championship contest against the host Class 4A Cortez Panthers who had defeated Delta 50-34 in the opening round. The hosts, though not as tall as Pagosa, had quick guards and standout performers in Stephanie Allison and Casey Bauer.

For a quarter, the game was close, with the Lady Pirates leading 11-8 after one period but facing a huge hill to climb when Gronewoller got into immediate foul trouble. In fact, she scored only three points for the game, all in the final quarter.

Because of the foul problem, Wells said, she needed someone to step up to fill the gap because Cortez took their game inside. That someone turned out to be Hamilton and Wells said, "I was reluctant to give her a rest because she was such a force on the boards."

The game turned into the "Katie did it show." If you looked away for a moment and heard the crowd yelling you could be sure that if someone had done something spectacular, Katie did it.

Though she had a horrible first half from the free throw line, going 3 for 10, Lancing paced Pagosa's Ladies with five steals, 11 rebounds, including eight on the offensive boards, two assists and a lone turnover as she dominated play at both ends of the court and tossed in 25 points.

Hamilton chipped in with one blocked shot, three steals, four assists and nine rebounds, six coming on the offensive boards. She also added six points, shooting two for four from both the floor and the line.

Another bright spot for the Lady Pirates was the combined guard play of Meigan Canty and Shannon Walkup. Canty had a pair of threes and was 1 for 3 from the line for seven points. She also had two steals, four assists and three rebounds, two on the offensive end of the court.

"Meigan answered the challenge," Wells said. "We told them all week that if they (the opponents) take away the inside game, you guards have to step up the pace. You can't score if you don't shoot."

Walkup had two steals, two defensive rebounds and was a defensive whirling dervish, reminding some Pagosans of the days of Dena Lee and Tracy Farrow. She also chipped in with four points.

The scoring was rounded out by Nicole Buckley on a nice post-up and fake which resulted in a driving left-handed layup.

Defense was a definite factor in this game and the second quarter was a prime example of the Lady Pirates tenacity. Cortez' only points in the stanza came on 4 of 8 free-throw shooting by Bauer and Lindsey Wilson. As a team, the Panthers were 0 for 9 from the floor in the quarter, including one blocked by Hamilton.

The Lady Pirates, playing consistently scored 12 points in the period including four by Lancing, three each by Canty and Hamilton, and reverse layup by Walkup.

Cortez was not done however.

Denise Newlin, a 5-foot-3 senior who had scored a lone field goal in the first half, opened with three consecutive long bombs for the Panthers as coach Stan Yake went to an outside offense trying to draw Lancing and Hamilton out of the impenetrable interior wall they had created. Bauer got her first field goal of the game and freshman Lindsey Wilson added a deuce to give the Panthers a 13-point period.

The Lady Pirates had not dozed off, however, answering with a 13-point salvo of their own, featuring another trey by Canty, six points from Lancing and a pull-up jumper from Walkup.

The Lady Pirates came back with 13 more in the final period while holding the Panthers to seven, four of them by Bauer and the others on a trey by Amanda Frazier. Pagosa's scoring in the period included Andrea Ash's first two points of the season, a rebound and put back by Hamilton, and six more from Lancing.

Asked her overall evaluation of the Lady Pirates' performance, Wells said she was very pleased "but I saw some things we need to work on," citing specifically the turnover problem (her team unofficially had 12 in each game) and working on keeping out of foul trouble.

"We have to learn to adjust to how the officials are calling the game," she said. "Even if you think an official blew a call you have to accept his or her control of the game and play accordingly."

The coach also noted Ash was playing with a badly sprained ankle and was not able to make some of the moves she normally would.

The Pirates, both boys and girls, jointly host the annual Wolf Creek Classic this weekend with 18 games on tap and contests at both the high school and Mamie Lynch gyms.

The Lady Pirates will entertain the Doherty (Colorado Springs) junior varsity at 6:30 p.m. Friday at the high school. They will play Bloomfield at 11:45 a.m. Saturday and close out the girls bracket at 6:45 p.m. Saturday against Montrose. Nucla and Gunnison will also be in the girls bracket but will not play Pagosa.

Pagosa's boys will open against Dove Creek at 8:15 p.m. Friday, meet Montrose at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, and close out play with an 8:30 p.m. tilt Saturday against Aztec.


Pirates edge Monticello, fall to Cortez

Pagosa Springs edged Monticello, Utah, 49-47 Friday in the opener of the Cortez Invitational Basketball Tournament, then had to be satisfied with being a runnerup after dropping a 53-47 nail-biter to the host Cortez Panthers Saturday in the championship game.

Named to the all-tournament team by coaches of teams playing in the Cortez tournament were Pirate senior David Goodenberger, Kyle Wilson and Marcus Mortenson of Cortez, Cliff Adams of Monticello and Justin Evans of Delta.

Preseason play for Pagosa Springs continues this weekend when the Pirates host a bevy of good basketball schools in the annual Wolf Creek Classic. Coming to Pagosa Springs tomorrow and Saturday for the boy's side of Wolf Creek Classic play are Aztec, N.M., Nucla, Dove Creek, Gunnison and Montrose. The Lady Pirates also play in the Wolf Creek Classic.

The boys tangle with Dove Creek tomorrow night at 8:15 in the high school gym, with Montrose Saturday at 1:30 in the new gym, and with Aztec Saturday at 8:30 in the new gym. (Some of the games involving visiting teams will be played in the Mamie Lynch Gymnasium at Pagosa Springs Junior High.)

Last year in the Wolf Creek Classic, Pagosa defeated Gunnison 60-56, Nucla 60-50, and Salida 53-35.

Cortez Invitational

"I was generally pleased with our play at Cortez," said Kyle Canty, the Pagosa Springs coach. "I'd naturally feel better if we beat Cortez, but these were opening games and the boys played that way. They performed a lot better than they did a week earlier in the scrimmage against Durango. We took some shots we shouldn't have, but you expect that at this time of the year."

Canty played just about everybody on the traveling squad, but still hasn't worked out his substitution schedule.

"I was happy with the play of the four boys at guard," Canty said of Darin Lister, Chris Rivas, Dominique Lucero and Brandon Charles. "Nobody has come up with a dominating performance yet."

Pagosa versus Monticello

The Pirates built an early lead over the Monticello Buckaroos, then lost their shooting touch and watched a 10-point lead evaporate during the waning minutes of the game. Pagosa held a slim, two-point lead when the final buzzer sounded.

Micah Maberry's 16 points based on eight field goals topped the Pirates scoring in the opening game of the season. Goodenberger added a 3-pointer, three field goals and 4-for-5 shooting from the foul line for 13 points. Tyrel Ross added seven points, including a trey; Daniel Crenshaw two threes for six points, Darin Lister a trey, and Dominique Lucero and Brandon Charles two points each.

Pagosa topped the Buckeroos from the field, but almost lost the game at the free throw lane. Pagosa converted 4 of 5 free throws, while Monticello converted 12 of 16 from the free throw stripe, 10 of those in the final quarter of play.

Pagosa versus Cortez

The Pirates versus Panther confrontation was a see-saw battle from the beginning with first one team, then the other clawing ahead. Once again, the game was determined at the free throw line where Cortez sank 13 of 22 attempts while Pagosa was making 5 of 14 attempts.

Cortez led 17-13 at the end of the first period and 28-25 at the half. By the end of the third quarter, Pagosa edged into the lead 39-37. Down the stretch, Pagosa built three- and four-point leads, only to watch Cortez come back. Finally, with the score tied at 49 all and 14 seconds left in the game, Ross fouled out and Cortez' Gabe Evans converted both ends of the free throw to put the Tigers up 51-49.

Canty called a time out, Pagosa found Crenshaw open outside the three-point line in the right corner, but the Pirate senior's shot bounced harmlessly across the rim of the bucket with six seconds left on the clock. Cortez grabbed the rebound and sank a lay up to cinch the contest.

Crenshaw and Maberry with 17 points each topped the Pirates' scoring followed by Goodenberger with seven points, Lister with four points, and Rivas and Ross with two points each.

Goodenberger led the Pirates in boards with 16 rebounds, 12 on the defensive end of the court and four on the offensive end. Goodenberger also turned in one blocked shot, four assists, and six steals.

Crenshaw contributed five rebounds, one assist, four steals, and one blocked shot. Maberry had four rebounds, three blocked shots and three assists.

Pirate grapplers spring surprises at Rocky Ford

By Karl Isberg

Call it a tie.

Call it a valuable learning experience.

Whatever you call it, make sure you add that the Pirates wrestling team's 2-2 finish at the Rocky Ford Dual Tournament was a better-than-average start to the 2000-01 season.

Coach Dan Janowsky knew only one thing prior to the Dec. 2 tourney at Rocky Ford: his team was young, short on experience and sure to face some strong teams and wrestlers during the event.

When competition was complete, Janowsky realized his team has some surprising strengths and has the potential to develop into a formidable contender by season's end.

The bottom line at Rocky Ford: the Pirates beat the teams they should beat and lost to the teams that were clearly (but perhaps only temporarily) their superiors. Pagosa defeated University, 52-13, and Las Animas, 54-18. The team lost dual matches to Rocky Ford, 12-58, and Pueblo Centennial, 21-53.

Tournament action began with a dual meet against host Rocky Ford. The Meloneers invariably put a decent team on the mats and more often than not feature a team that will finish in the top 10 among Class 3A teams by the end of the year.

"At the time," said Janowsky of the Pirates' performance against Rocky Ford, "I was a little disappointed. Several matches were very competitive and if we had done a few things differently, it could have changed the way things turned out. The matches got away from us because of little things. When I thought about it, though, I understood with a few guys changing weights and a different lineup, the outcome could be changed."

Class 4A Pueblo Centennial was next on the tournament schedule.

"Again," said the coach, "some of the individual matches were pretty competitive. I was pleased we were able to win four matches. We lost two or three matches that, later in the year, we might be able to turn around and win."

Class 3A University has a long tradition of successful basketball teams. The Pirates got charity points with four victories by forfeit and won five matches. Freshman Craig Lucero's performance at 215 pounds was impressive. The youngster got his first-ever varsity victory with a 9-6 decision over Andrew Roybal.

The tournament ended with the win over Las Animas. The Pirates cruised to the win with points from five match victories and five forfeits.

Freshman Michael Martinez began his Pirate career with a banner day at the Rocky Ford tournament winning all four of his matches at 103 pounds, two of them with pins.

Martinez began the day pinning Trenton Lundquist of Rocky Ford. The freshman Pirate then faced Adrian Lucero of Pueblo Centennial and forged a 9-3 decision with four points in the first period and a three-point second period.

Will Garoutte of University lasted one minute against Martinez; the Pirate took Garoutte down, nailed a three-point near fall then ended the match with the quick pin.

The closest match of the day for Martinez came against David Duran of Las Animas. Martinez got a point on a caution in the second period but gave up a point to Duran on a third-period escape. Duran was called for stalling in the overtime to give Martinez the 2-1 victory.

"Michael was impressive for his first time out," said Janowsky. "Obviously, he'll have tough ones down the road, but he did the things you need to do to win. He was disciplined, but aggressive. He turned some heads."

Sophomore Mike Maestas finished the tournament with a 3-1 record.

Maestas lost his first match of the day at 125 pounds in an 8-4 decision to Rocky Ford's David DeHerrera. The Pirate then rebounded against Jon Robertson of Pueblo Centennial. Down 2-0 at the end of one period, Maestas used a reversal and a three-point near fall to take a 5-3 lead in the second period. Maestas began the final period with an escape, nailed a takedown and pinned Robertson at the 5:09 mark of the match.

Rick Duran of University was next to fall, 3 minutes and 12 seconds into the match. Maestas manhandled Duran in the first period, taking him down and scoring with two three-point near falls and a two-point near fall. Ahead 10-0 at the start of the second period, the Pirate reversed Duran and scored with two more three-point near falls bringing the match to an end with the technical fall, 18-0.

In his last match of the day, Maestas clobbered Jay Walker of La Junta in an exhibition match filling the slot vacated by a Las Animas forfeit. Maestas was ahead 8-0 when he pinned Walker at 3:29.

"Mikey is starting to blossom," said Janowsky. "He responds very well to adversity. He lost his first match and, rather than fold, he fought back and dominated his opponents the rest of the day."

Senior Josh Richardson wrestled at 171 pounds. He beat two opponents and won a match by forfeit for a 3-1 record at the tourney.

Richardson fell behind early to Joe Silva of Rocky Ford, giving up four points on a takedown and a near fall in the first round. The Pirate veteran battled back in the third period, scoring with two takedowns but lost a 6-4 decision.

Richardson came back strong to pin Kris Cotterman of Pueblo Centennial at 2:26 after taking an 8-1 lead with three takedowns and a two-point near fall.

Anders Fode of Las Animas met a mercifully quick end at Richardson's hands, when the Pirate got the pin with only 59 seconds elapsed in the match.

"Josh did what we expected," said Janowsky. "His first two matches were good ones. He made a mistake in his first match, falling behind 4-0. After that he took control, but had trouble scoring. He looked real good against the kid from Pueblo Centennial."

Two Pirates forged victories in 2 of 4 matches at Rocky Ford: Jesse Trujillo (112 pounds) and Trevor Peterson (145 pounds).

Trujillo smacked Angelo Duran of Las Animas, pinning the Trojan with 42 seconds gone in the match. The Pirate also defeated Cesar Laureano of Las Animas in a replacement match following a University forfeit. Trujillo built a 7-0 lead with a takedown and near falls for two and three points before pinning Laureano at 1:53.

Peterson won by 6-4 decision over Bobby Larson of La Junta in a match replacing a University forfeit. Peterson had a 4-2 lead after the first period with two takedowns, scored a takedown for two points in the second round and fended off Larson for the win. Peterson's other win came against Steve Ortega of La Junta, in a match replacing a Las Animas forfeit. The Pirate got a 9-1 decision, scoring five points in the second period and nailing four takedowns in the match.

Other Pirates got single victories at the tournament.

James Gallegos (119 pounds) won a 10-1 decision over Jeremy Miller of Las Animas.

Ronnie O'Brien (130 pounds) forged a 15-0 technical fall over Craig Beattie of University.

Aaron Hamilton (135 pounds) pinned Travis Maser of La Junta.

Clayton Mastin won a match at 140 pounds, pinning Raul Borotoloni of Las Animas.

Other Pirates fighting opponents at the tournament included Zeb Gill at 152 pounds, Andrew Martinez at 160 pounds and Luke Boilini at 275 pounds.

"We're going to need to be patient," said Janowsky, considering a pre-holiday schedule that includes one powerhouse foe and several excellent Class 3A teams. "After all, we're looking at a team with just three kids with any significant varsity experience (Trujillo, Maestas and Richardson)."

The trick as the first half of the season proceeds is to get consistent performances from young wrestlers. "The guys are still executing much better in the practice room than in competition," said the coach, "and that's to be expected from younger guys. We need to work on changing that situation. This tournament was our first chance to test our techniques in a live situation and some of our kids encountered things we haven't prepared for yet."

The Rocky Ford Tournament showed promise, said the coach, and more progress is sure to follow. If the effort is made and the plan is followed.

"We executed our game plan at Rocky Ford," said Janowsky. "When we stuck to our plan we were competitive and we had opportunities to win. That's what we need to do in the upcoming weeks. There will be times when a guy is better than you, but you can put yourself in position to score points. If you stick to the game plan, you'll stay in a match and in position to win if anything tilts your way."

Tonight, the team travels to Aztec, N.M., for a triangular meet with the hosts and with Ignacio. Hopefully, things will tilt the Pirates' way.

Aztec, despite the loss of longtime coach Herb Stinson (who now coaches at Bayfield) is still a legendary program, winning every New Mexico title within recent memory and, no doubt, in line to compete for the state championship this year.

"They're usually loaded," said Janowsky of the Tigers.

Ignacio, on the other hand, is a Class 3A program and an opponent the Pirates will see during the regular season, at the Intermountain League tournament, and at the regional tourney in February. The Bobcats lost several wrestlers who made the trip to the state meet last year, but the team is still formidable.

"We need to give Ignacio a run," said the coach. "They're a little more seasoned than us, but they're still a young team. We should have a competitive meet with them if we get some of our guys down to their normal weights. Against them, and against anyone we face this year, we've got to be opportunistic. We have four or five guys who are capable of winning and we need to keep our other guys in position to win."

Action at Aztec starts at 5 p.m.

Saturday, the Pirates motor to Buena Vista for a tournament. The lineup includes the hosts, Centauri, Estes Park, Del Norte, Florence and Battle Mountain, among others.

"I'm looking forward to this tournament," said Janowsky. "It will be just the right level for us, featuring some very good 3A teams."

The Buena Vista tournament begins at 11 a.m.


Community News

Chamber News
By Sally Hameister

Parade of Lights rolls Friday

Tomorrow night is the Big One, folks - our second annual Parade of Lights begins at 6 p.m. and makes its way from 6th Street all the way to Second 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 so faithfully lined up on both sides of the street. We ask once again that all participants bring boom boxes and tune to KWUF 106.3 FM so we can provide our own parade music. We're grateful, as always, to Will Spears at KWUF for working with us to create the brightest little holiday light parade around.

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 5 p.m. today. Please join us in what is bound to become yet another priceless Pagosa tradition.

Perfect beginning

It isn't often that we're allowed anything close to perfect, so we are especially pleased that our Christmas in Pagosa on Saturday was so doggoned much fun and just about perfect. Thanks to the hard work of so many, we had a grand afternoon and evening with Santa and his helper Jingle, and lots and lots of beautiful children. We considered it the perfect beginning of the holiday season.

Thanks first and foremost to Xena, Chamber Princess, a.k.a. Suellen, and her trusty sidekick, Ron Hunkin, for all the hours they spent putting up lights, reindeer and wreaths, and otherwise insuring that the outside of the Chamber looks as fabulous as it does. They were awesome, and that is not any easy job, I assure you. While I'm at it, thanks to Mike Alley of LaPlata Electric for helping Suellen place all the lights on the three big trees in front of the Chamber. Thanks to Mike, a job that normally takes two people two or three hours took about an hour to complete.

Santa Claus was once again the best guy around and saw many more children than ever before in our history. He obviously loves his work, and we love having him here for that special day. Jingle the Elf, known in the real world as Wendy Horning, was enormously helpful handing out candy canes - thanks, Jingle.

Board Director Terry Smith was, as always, generous with his time and truck, providing transportation for our Mountain Harmony Ladies Chorus. Don't know what we would do without him - or without the Mountain Harmony Ladies, for that matter. They were splendid, as they are each year, singing their little hearts out for us in the parking lot. It just wouldn't be Christmas without those wonderful women sharing their voices with us in what we consider a treasured annual tradition. Thanks so much, and thanks, too to Doug and Jamie Sharp of Firefly Ranch for "loaning" us several bales of hay for our Ladies to sit on while singing. They are kind enough to do this every year, and we are most appreciative. Thanks to Mark and Angie Dahm of WolfTracks Bookstore and Coffee Co. for loaning us two of their big containers for our hot spiced cider - they made serving so much easier. Bonnie Masters, a.k.a., the most dependable individual ever in the universe, was here to help serve. And the McKeehans, as they are every year, were here to help us clean up - real troopers, those McKeehans. Speaking of troopers, Ron and Sheila Hunkin and Dalas Weisz were kind enough to help Santa with his "magic lighting" by flipping various switches. Next to Santa, Sally Theesfeld and her cookies were the stars of the show. Sally provided the most amazing variety we have ever experienced and she will be asked to come back next year. It is no secret that the Chamber of Commerce relies heavily on the help of our friends, and Christmas in Pagosa is no exception. We value each and every one and can't thank you enough for all your help.

Directory deadline

If you are considering joining the Chamber, now is the time to do it. Suellen will be working with the folks at the SUN to complete the printing of the Chamber of Commerce Business Directory in January, so please get us any changes concerning membership information before that time. Suellen does changes and updates for the directory throughout the year, but the January publication is the biggest one and you don't want to be left out. Give us a call with questions at 264-2360 or just join or bring in changes before the Dec. 29 deadline.

Citizen of the year

Yet another reminder about those Citizen/Volunteer of the Year forms. They are starting to trickle in on a daily basis, but just be sure that yours is in our hands before the Dec. 29 deadline. We all know so many individuals, groups and organizations in Pagosa that would be excellent candidates for these awards, and this is the perfect opportunity to acknowledge them. Please take the time to fill our your form and turn it in to us.


The Wolf Creek Trailblazers would like to invite anyone who is interested in joining their group to a Dec. 14 potluck 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

We have sold quite a few of our Pagosa Springs Christmas Cards but still have some available. They feature four different beautiful winter Pagosa scenes in a box of 10 for $15. The inside message is "Happy Holidays from Pagosa Springs, Colorado" and the pictures are the work of Jan Brookshier and Sam Snyder. You'll want to pick up yours from our limited supply soon.

The Nutcracker

Just wouldn't be the holidays without a performance of the Nutcracker Ballet, and you can accomplish that right here in Pagosa this year. The San Juan Festival Ballet in association with the Pagosa Springs Art Council will present the Nutcracker Dec. 13, 14 and 15 at 7 p.m. at the San Juan Dance Academy, 188 South 8th Street. There will be a special kids' performance on Dec. 15 at 2 p.m. Tickets are available at the Pagosa Springs Arts Council Gallery in Town Park and at The Pagosa Kid in downtown Pagosa. Tickets are $6 for general admission and $5 for Arts Council members, and you can call 264-5068 for more information. I'm sure this will be downright irresistible - don't miss it.

Thursday Night Live

Add another night of fun to your holiday calendar, and join the wacky crowd Dec. 14 at Loredana's for this month's performance of Thursday Night Live. These are the folks who bring you such radio classics as "Our Miss Brooks," "Duffy's Tavern," "Fibber McGee and Molly" and many more. There are also always original works as well, so treat yourself to this evening. The $15 charge covers dinner and the performance. Doors open at 6 p.m. (and not before) and the performance begins at 6:30. My guess is that there will be some special holiday silliness for you to enjoy.


Somehow five businesses found time to join us this week and seven businesses found time to renew. Life is good.

Stephanie Jones joins us with the San Juan Festival Ballet located at 188 South 8th Street. It is Stephanie and her students who will present the Nutcracker this month. The San Juan Festival Ballet is dedicated to providing quality ballet training and ballet performances. They are a division of the Pagosa Springs Arts Council. For more information about lessons or the upcoming performance, call Stephanie at 264-5068.

Kim Davis joins us next with Bill Freeman Photographs doing business in their home. These folks specialize in adventure sports and outdoor lifestyle stock images and location portraiture. They also offer digital imaging services including cosmetic retouching and photo restoration. They bring 18 years experience in professional photography to this business and invite you to give them a call at 731-9670 or visit them on the web at

Welcome to Monica Kramer who brings us Pinehaven, a rental property located six miles east off U.S.160 between Pagosa Springs and Wolf Creek. This is a two-story log cabin with three bedrooms, two baths and sleeps nine. There is also a hot tub on the deck with beautiful mountain views. To learn more about Pinehaven, call Pagosa Central Reservations at 800-945-0182 or locally at 731-2216.

David Harbur joins us next with Alpine Builders doing business in his home. David combines an artistic ability with construction expertise to build the finest quality custom homes. He is committed to excellence in all of his work. He would welcome your call at 731-3190 to share more information about Alpine Builders. We thank Georgia at Pagosa Worldwide for her recruitment of Alpine, and we will send along her free SunDowner pass.

Larry Johnson brings us Johnson Builders located at 31861 P, U.S. 160 in Bayfield. Johnson Builders specializes in custom home building and takes great pride in always giving you their personal touch. They are also proud to provide excellent Pagosa Springs references upon request. Please call them at 970-884-3252 for more information. We thank our wonderful Diplomat, Phyllis Alspach, for recruiting Johnson Builders, and will cheerfully reward her efforts with a free SunDowner.

Renewals this week include Pat Rydz and Gay Bohn with Pagosa Peak Financial Group; Lauri Heraty (a.k.a. Miss Congeniality) with The Source for Pagosa Real Estate, LLC; Monica Kramer with Pagosa Central Reservations, Inc.; Randy Fehren- bacher with Western Colorado Buyer Brokers; Moe Janosec with High Desert Publications; Anna O'Reilly with Massage at the Springs; and Pamella A. Poitras Broker/Associate with Coldwell Banker, The Pagosa Group. Many thanks to all.

See you at the Parade of Lights tomorrow night at 6 p.m.

Candlelight service

The fourth annual Festival of Lights Candlelight Service will be held Dec. 14 at 7 p.m. at the new Ridgeview Mall. It will be held inside so you won't have to worry about bundling up to stand in the really cold weather. This event, conducted by Louis Day, is sponsored by Hospice of Mercy, Pagosa Springs Funeral Options and the Mountain Christian Fellowship. As usual, the agenda will include great inspirational music by local musicians, words of comfort and hope during the candlelight ceremony and warm refreshments. If you have questions, give Louis a call at 264-2386.


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

The Season is great just stayng at home

Last weekend Hotshot and I went down to the Chamber of Commerce and stood around freezing and listening to the Mountain Harmony Ladies sing Christmas songs. Santa Claus was inside, with the little kiddies in a long line, and there was hot something (cocoa or cider, I guess, or maybe coffee) but that was also inside, and we didn't bother. We got to see people we hadn't seen for a while and remind each other that, although it was cold, it had been really cold last year. After the singing, Santa came out and led us in a countdown to switch on the lights for the Chamber building and the town Christmas tree.

Then we went over to the Parish Hall, where the Kiwanis Club took our money and served us their traditional chili supper, with KoolAid to drink and ice cream drumsticks for dessert. Mark DiVoti played his guitar and sang non-Christmas songs, including John Denver's "Rocky Mountain High" and Woodie Guthry's "This Land is Your Land." We all clapped hands and joined in the chorus unless, as Mark said, we had chili in our spoons or mouths.

The Season is officially upon us. The trees are being carted home on the tops of sedans and in the backs of pickups. The lights are going up. The carols are everywhere. Rehearsals for holiday concerts and Nutcracker are in full frantic swing. I hope that in all the bustle, people remember to stop, and breathe calmly, and look around to admire mother nature's gifts. Like the beauty we could so easily take for granted.

Speaking of winter beauty, I once read this story about Grandma Moses. After she had been painting for a while and become famous, art students and art historians and museum people and all kinds of admirers flocked to see her work. The purists among them were a little upset though. Grandma Moses would finish up one of her delightful depictions of winter. There'd be the animals steaming in the barnyard and the bundled-up people skating on the frozen pond and the bare branches of an orchard on the hill. Then, while the painted snow was still wet, the good Grandma would grab a handful of glitter and sprinkle it over the canvas.

"Grandma Moses," the purists would exclaim, "Don't do that! A painting should be only the paint!" And she just shrugged. Just brushed them off, so to speak. "That's the way it looked," she'd say. Well, I think Grandma Moses was right. Those art purists who worried about the glitter in her paintings must never have gotten out of New York City, or maybe Los Angeles.

We've got that kind of snow on the meadow, snow that's been hanging around for a couple of weeks now, melting a bit during the day and freezing again at night. When the sun hits it in the late morning the ice crystals sparkle and glitter, just as though some giant hand had cast bits of mica all across the landscape. It glistened that way last weekend, while our neighbors were out on the roof, moving ladders, tapping and hammering, putting up their Christmas lights. They have a great display, with a tree in front, and those icicle lights all along the house, and the old-fashioned big bulb colored lights around the edge of the barn. I'm really glad they've got all those lights, because it means we don't have to do much.

Last year, in a fit of momentary madness, I bought four boxes of icicle lights. I think they were on sale at some special price. Hotshot and I spent two frigid days in December, hanging the darn things along the peak of the porch roof. This meant dragging out the big ladder, the aluminum extension one, and shifting it from porch column to porch column. This also meant that I had to be out there shivering to help hold and feed him the lights. Yes, the lights were pretty. And bright. There was so much wattage we could have read the paper at night out there on the porch, except we would have frozen stiff. We agreed that they weren't really our style. So I asked our kids in New York if they wanted them. "Why, sure," came the reply. Now we're off that hook.

My friend Nettie calls me Mrs. Grinch. But that's not fair. We are going to do some decorating. We have lights, with the old-fashioned fat colored bulbs. Hotshot is stringing them along the porch railing, down low where we can see them too. From inside the house. At some time, like in another three weeks, I'll get out the three little artificial trees that look like they're balled and burlapped and put them in a row, with little white lights. Our son calls this arrangement the "Christmas hedge." Maybe we'll even put up a garland of fresh greenery on the arch between the two front rooms.

Hotshot and I shopped Pagosa last week for presents for the kids. We broke with tradition of getting useful things, or educational things. We didn't agonize long over whether the recipient would think it was the best present ever. We bought things that made us laugh, and I hope the kids will laugh too.

This weekend we extended the fun by wrapping the presents together. And fitting them into boxes for shipping. I'm looking forward to a quiet holiday. No family members are coming this year. It'll just be Hotshot and me.

Hanging out with our friends in Pagosa. Enjoying this beautiful setting.


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

Hill Bazaar gives wreaths to area churches

Many thanks to the Russ Hill Memorial Christmas Bazaar for giving Christmas wreaths to the local churches. The Bazaar is under the sponsorship of the Supper Fellowship Club of the Community United Methodist Church.

One of the busy workers in this project is Lucy Johnson, who also is the one who decorates the windows of the Methodist Thrift Shop. Besides these things, she is a wonderful cook. Here are two of her recipes you can depend on for the holidays: the late Mary Hohn's famous Sweet Potato Souffle, and a Cranberry Congealed Salad that has come down in the family of one of Lucy's relatives.

Mary Hahn's Sweet Potato Souffle

One 2 pound-8 ounce can Sweet Potatoes (Bruce's Yams if you can get it)

3/4 cup softened butter or margarine

1 cup sugar

2 beaten eggs

dash of salt

teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1 cup evaporated milk (or half and half)

Heat sweet potatoes, drain and mash. Cream butter and sugar, add eggs, seasoning and milk. Combine and pour into greased casserole. Cook 45 minutes at 250 degrees.

Topping for casserole (to be added after first baking)


1 cup crushed cornflakes

1/4 cup softened butter or margarine

1/2 cup brown sugar (packed)

1/2 cup chopped pecans

Cook 15 minutes

Cranberry Congealed Salad

One 6 ounce raspberry jello

2 cups boiling water

2 envelopes plain gelatin

1/2 cup cold water

two 1-pound cans whole cranberry sauce

2 1/2 cups crushed pineapple (drained)

1 cup chopped pecans

Dissolve raspberry jello in hot water and plain gelatin in the cold water. Combine the gelatins. Fold in cranberries, pineapple and pecans and pour into 9x13 dish. Chill. Then top with one 3 ounce cream cheese (softened), 1 1/3 cup mini marshmallows and 1 cup whipped cream (added a little bit at a time). Then whip topping mixture all together and layer on top of chilled jello.

Around town

The Hanukkah Breakfast that the Pagosa Players and Kings Men had planned for the Pagosa Lodge has been canceled because there hasn't been time for the actors to do it and get ready for a fabulous New Year's Eve celebration they are planning (see Kate's Calendar).

Dr. Pam Deburghes, one of the doctors at the Dr. Mary Fisher Clinic, has moved to Owensville, Missouri. She will be missed. The Clinic has a fill-in physician, Rosemary Greenslade, M.D., who started Dec. 4, and Dr. Bob Brown, another doctor at Mary Fisher will be increasing his hours.

The Kiwanis Club's Chili Supper was fun. The chili is always good at this annual event. Proceeds go for youth programs in town - at Headstart and the elementary school. The Kiwanis Club's sponsorship of youth programs is its purpose. An example is the Iodine Deficiency program, a Kiwanis International worldwide program. Iodine deficiency is a problem in third world countries, but is becoming more prevalent in the U.S.

One of the disappointments of the holiday season is that the Mountain Harmony Ladies Barbershop Quartet will not be doing its annual Christmas program this year. This is a loss.

Fun on the run

Smart women

1. "I'm not offended by all the dumb blonde jokes because I know I'm not dumb . . . and I also know that I'm not blonde." - Dolly Parton

2. "You see a lot of smart guys with dumb women, but you hardly ever see a smart woman with a dumb guy." - Erica Jong

3. "I want to have children, but my friends scare me. One of my friends told me she was in labor for 36 hours. I don't even want to do anything that feels good for 36 hours." - Rita Rudner

4. "I've been on so many blind dates, I should get a free dog." - Wendy Liebman

5. "Never lend your car to anyone to whom you have given birth." - Erma Bombeck

6. "I'm not going to vacuum 'til Sears makes one you can ride on." - Roseann Barr

7. "When women are depressed they either eat or go shopping. Men invade another country." - Elayne Boosler

8. "I have yet to hear a man ask for advice on how to combine marriage and a career." - Gloria Steinem

9. "I never married because there was no need. I have three pets at home which answer the same purpose as a husband. I have a dog that growls every morning, a parrot that swears all afternoon, and a cat that comes home late at night." - Marie Corelli

10. "Nagging is the repetition of unpalatable truths." - Baroness Edith-Summerskill

11. "I am a marvelous housekeeper. Every time I leave a man I keep his house." - Zsa Zsa Gabor

12. "Nobody can make you feel inferior without your permission." - Eleanor Roosevelt



Waiting for a headline

Most of what I know about Will Rogers is what I read in books. He died in 1935, the year after I was born. But his byword of the 1920s, "All I know is what I read in the papers," was oft repeated around me as I was growing up.

I contracted the habit reading newspapers while serving overseas for about 18 months. While The Stars and Stripes might not have provided the most extensive news coverage, it was printed in English. The habit followed me home and continued with me through college and on to today.

So the front page headlines and accompanying articles in The Denver Post for the past 29 days - excepting Sundays - have held my attention. Whether good or bad, it has placed me in the questionable position of not knowing anything about the presidential election except what I have read in the newspapers.

A headline about the election has dominated the front page every day except for November 17 - "Funding cuts to slow 10 highway projects", November 29 - "(I-70) Choked by road sand" and for yesterday - "No Grinch in Greenspan" that referred to Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan's comments that helped trigger significant gains in stock traded in Nasdaq and on the New York Stock Exchange.

Based on what I've read about the agreed-upon aspects of the national election, the popular vote was split almost 50-50 with Vice President Al Gore leading by a small percentage, the seats in the U.S. Senate will be split 50-50 should Governor George Bush win the presidential election, or 51-49, in favor of the Republicans, if Gore wins.

Evidently, the political, social, moral, religious or philosophical thinking of the citizens of the United States is pretty evenly divided. If such a split was dealing with water - neither hot nor cold - it would be an apt description of lukewarmness; or to a compass - neither north nor south - it would be an apt description of aimlessness.

David C. Mitchell


Dear Folks
By David C. Mitchell

Thursdays dominate my week

Dear Folks,

It was easy this week to focus on yesterday and Tuesday - December 6, and yesterday - December 7.

Lets start with yesterday. I started thinking about yesterday last Thursday afternoon. The folks from United Blood Services were taking donations at Community United Methodist Church.

Giving blood is one of my better habits. The easy pun would be to say it's somewhat draining. But not really. In reality, it's an enjoyable experience. You get to enjoy visiting many of the same generous folks who donate on a regular basis.

Such was the case last week. Bruce Muirhead was preparing to leave about the time I was arriving for the preliminary question-and-answer session and precautionary check-ups.

Earlier this year, Bruce had agreed for an interview regarding his time with the Army Air Corps during World War II.

It brought to mind the fact that if last Thursday was November 30, today would be December 7. For folks at the SUN, Thursdays, seeing as how they are the publication day, are important days. For Americans, especially those born in the early 1930s or earlier, December 7 is an unforgettable day.

Due to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and hearing live President Franklin D. Roosevelt's resulting radio address to the American people December 7, 1941, became etched in our minds as ". . . a day of infamy." Such an experience enhances and conditions the brain's "unforgettable" folder.

So when I learned last Friday morning that Bob Stewart had passed away in Albuquerque, my mind called up an article John Motter had written. During the early '80s. Starting with the 1984 bound editions, my search of the November copies ended at the November 11, 1982 edition. With that week's Thursday coming on that year's Veterans Day, I had asked John to interview a couple of the local veterans. Joe A. Valdez and Robert A. Stewart both agreed to share their experiences of World War II. The resulting article told how both had been captured in Germany.

Having grown up in Pagosa Springs, Mr. Valdez became a prisoner of war in January 1945 while fighting in the Battle of the Bulge. During the next five months he escaped three times. His third escape occurred on May 8, 1945, the day folks in the United States celebrated as V-E Day - Victory in Europe. It was not until a few days later, after hiding from would-be captors, that he learned Germany had surrendered.

As told in his obituary that appears on this week's front page, Bob became a prisoner of war after his bomber was downed during a bombing raid on Berlin.

Bob remembered successfully keeping a map and compass hidden on his body despite being searched 150 times during the 11 months he was a POW. And the comic relief a set of false teeth a dental technician friend had made for him provided during his 11 months in captivity. Having never worn the dentures, he continued to carry them in his pocket while living in Pagosa.

Yes, my memory went in many different directions last Friday morning when Earl Hoover called to tell me of Bob Stewart's passing. But for men like Bob, Joe A. Valdez and thousand others, it's likely today's news of counts and recounts would not be an issue. The war-related movies and TV series of the '50s and '60s would have been much different. I would have had no heroes. I would rather not try to imagine what my memories would be. I owe them my thanks.

As for December 6, that's the day St. Nicholas, the Bishop of Myra, died in 343 A.D. One of this week's letters brought him to mind.

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



25 years ago

Marquez finalist for award

Taken from SUN files of Dec. 11, 1975

Ruth Marquez, a Spanish teacher at Pagosa Springs High School was recently named one of four finalists in the selection of Colorado's 1976 Teacher of the Year. Now in her 31st year of teaching, Mrs. Marquez has been very influential in the development of Archuleta County school district's fine bilingual and bi-cultural education programs.

A van, which hit an icy spot and skidded on U.S. 160, ended up at the bottom of a 90-foot embankment Sunday on Wolf Creek Pass. The van was traveling at a high rate of speed, failed to negotiate the curve where the new four-lane highway ends just above the west-side highway camp, and overturned before coming to rest on its wheels.

A Pagosa Springs couple were arrested by town police Saturday on charges of possession of marijuana. Officers say that they found a large quantity of marijuana growing in the residence occupied by the couple.

Free ice skating is now available at the northwest end of Lake Piñon behind the Pagosa Lodge. The ice is reported to be eight-inches thick and has been flooded twice to give a smooth skating surface.

By Shari Pierce

Elwood or Wolf Creek? Rough trip seals vote

The decision to build a highway over the Continental Divide was an easy one. The benefits would be many and the drawbacks few. The decision of where to build that highway was not so easy. Initially the route chosen was over Elwood Pass.

News articles from the summer and fall of 1913 tell of the decision of the state highway department to allocate funds to this project - more for the Elwood Pass project than for any other mountain pass in the state. Committees met, engineers devised the best routes, contracts for construction of sections of the road were awarded. It appeared that easy access over the divide was only a matter of time.

Information from the state highway department in a story called "The High Road" related the following about the events of that summer, "In 1913 they were busy trying to get work started on the Elwood Pass road, since that was the only route there was. This seemed a hopeless task, since they wouldn't have much when they were finished. Thomas J. Ehrhart, highway commissioner, decided to send his engineer, James E. Maloney, to make a reconnaissance survey and with the committee to decide on a route.

"Wolf Creek Pass was included in the survey, which was made on horseback; and even then they had to dismount and lead the horses in some places. Maloney recommended Wolf Creek Pass to the committee. They hired a civil engineer, W.W. Reilly of Monte Vista, to do the engineering survey. One of Reilly's assistants on that field work was Mark U. Watrous, who was to become state highway engineer from 1946 to 1963. Watrous later recounted this chain of events in selecting the route. Chisholm of Rio Grande County was strongly in favor of Wolf Creek. Morse of Alamosa County was equally strong in favor of Elwood Pass. The third member, Catchpole of Archuleta County, was undecided; he could go either way. The Wolf Creek proponent, Chisholm, took Catchpole on a hair-raising ride over a portion on the east side of Elwood Pass where grades ran as high as 25 percent. Presto! The vote was two to one for Wolf Creek Pass."

The spring of 1914 brought comments from the local press blasting the decision to try to cross the divide via Elwood Pass. An article in the SUN challenged San Luis Valley members of the construction committee to visit the route. While the eastern side of the pass was in good shape, the western side was still covered with snow that would likely last for weeks. The SUN charged that the $22,000 in funding spent the previous summer was "cleaned up . . . without results."

Next week, the highway across Wolf Creek Pass is built - finally.



Pacing Pagosa

By Richard Walter

 Sound pollution invades a neighborhood

Where do my rights end and yours begin, or vice versa?

If I, in the sanctity of my own home, am subjected to high-decibel sound from your stereo or your boom-box car circling the block time after time every night, do I have a legitimate complaint?

If the sound is so loud it shakes the structure in which I live and rattles the windows to the point I fully expect them to fall out, is my right to tranquility being invaded by your right to play your music at a level slightly higher than that of a jet breaking the sound barrier?

I can live with the street sweeper making several passes between 4 and 5 a.m. or the snow plow driver doing his job at the same hour so residents can get out and get to work. The barking of neighborhood dogs at everything that moves is some assurance that thieves won't get in without being noticed.

These are the acceptable sounds of everyday life, the noises made without demand for relief.

But the incessant barrage of multi-decibel music booming until midnight or 1 a.m. (having started as early as 2 p.m.) when you have to get up at 5:45 a.m. is an intrusion of privacy.

I never cease to wonder at the blaring of sound from some cars.

It is obvious the drivers can't stand the sound themselves because they pass by with all the windows open, even in the dead of winter, the steam from their breath wafting on the thunderous drum beats emanating from multiple speakers.

When one is unable to hear his own entertainment above the sound of the noise polluters or unable to carry on a telephone conversation because the person on the other end can't hear his voice over the cacophony emanating from a nearby stereo there seems to me to be an invasion of privacy.

I recall an episode from my teen years in Pagosa when it was requested that I practice my trombone playing prior to 5 p.m. so it would not interfere with evening table conversation in neighbor's apartments.

It seemed a legitimate request. People had a right to be able to hear what their family members had experienced that day without my trombone as accompaniment.

Today, if you ask someone to turn down the sound level, you're likely to be challenged to prove you've been inconvenienced, threatened with harm to yourself or your property, or ordered off the property where the offending noise originated with the assurance of arrest for trespassing if you have the audacity to reiterate your complaint.

On my regular walks throughout Pagosa Country I listen to radio, too. But I defy you to hear it. I wear a headset which lets me listen to the station of my choice without imposing that choice upon those whose homes I pass.

Why can't drivers motoring through my neighborhood - or yours - have the same respect for our right to entertainment of choice?

Many will tell you the noise level is acceptable from teens who have nothing else to do. I don't buy that argument. And I assure you that many of those piloting cyclonic sound machines through my neighborhood are far removed from their teen years.

I recall playing my car radio as a teen while working at a service station which no longer exists in Pagosa Springs. But it was only once a week when the baseball game of the week could be heard on radio here. It didn't seem to faze the customers or other businesses and I was never asked to turn it down. Had I been, I would have done so immediately.

It wasn't unusual for three or four teens to sing along with the radio while driving about town in those days. But the sound level wasn't one which would shatter glass . . . it wasn't magnified by high volume stereo modulation and it wasn't imposed on the public by overtuned woofers and tweeters.

In fact, we'd have probably deciphered the word woofers as continuously barking dogs and tweeters would have been song birds.

The closest some of us might have come to making noise unacceptable to our neighbors would have been those who could afford to buy glass pack mufflers for their cars - before the state declared them illegal. I wasn't one of those who had one, but I envied those who did, until they came through our neighborhood and I realized they were an annoyance with no logical value.

It was a step up from riding a bicycle with a playing card twanging on the spokes. It seemed to create an identity that wasn't obnoxious but might cause someone to look for the source of the sound.

With today's noise pollution, you don't have to look for the source of the sound. It comes to you uninvited, unending and unnecessarily loud.

I wonder how many of those purveying this sound will soon wonder why they can no longer hear the way they did when they were younger. And how many of them will learn the hard way that noise above a certain level is obnoxious and damaging to your health.


Old Timers
By John Motter

Coming of fort spurred rail hopes

Two events which may have impacted Pagosa Springs' early history more than any other were the building of Fort Lewis in 1878 and the arrival of the railroad in town in 1900.

Last week we launched a series of articles recording the town's reaction to the coming of the railroad as seen through the eyes of Daniel Egger, editor of the Pagosa Springs News.

Even as Fort Lewis was under construction, Pagosa's first settlers expected the railroad to come through town. Gold and silver in copious quantities were being mined in the Silverton area. A railroad was needed to provide an economical means to get the ores to market.

On a second front, E. Biggs and others were eying the vast Ponderosa forests of northern New Mexico and southern Colorado as a source of lumber for booming Denver and Albuquerque.

In response to the demand, Gen. William Palmer had already commenced construction of a narrow gauge railroad with the goal of reaching the "San Jons" as the old timers called the San Juan country. Palmer's narrow gauge was already in the San Luis Valley and heading west when Fort Lewis was built. Pagosa settlers hoped the railroad path west would lead through Pagosa Springs.

It didn't. Instead, Palmer crossed Cumbres Pass, chugged through Chama, Amargo, and Dulce, then through the southern extreme of Archuleta County on its way to Durango. Pagosa settlers swallowed their disappointment and not a few looked for more lucrative pickings.

Over the next two decades rumor followed rumor that a railroad was on its way to Pagosa Springs. Biggs cut as many of the Ponderosa as he could get between Chama and Lindrith, N.M., using the narrow gauge to hall timber to the mills and hall the lumber to market.

When the easy-to-reach trees were cut, Biggs built a railroad to Edith on the southern Archuleta County border. Pagosa residents hoped for awhile that Biggs' railroad would come to Pagosa. When Biggs showed no interest in making that connection, Pagosa hopes waned yet again.

Then a new hope appeared. A.T. Sullenberger and Whit Newton joined forces, built a huge mill at Pagosa Junction, and announced their intention of building a railroad to Pagosa Springs. This narrative picks up in January of 1900. Construction of Sullenberger's railroad, the Pagosa & Northern, has been underway for several months, but is shut down for the winter.

On Sept. 12, 1899, Biggs received a setback when his Edith mill and 50,000 feet of lumber burned to the ground. No one knew how the flames started, but the loss was estimated at $25,000.

"The New Mexico Lumber Co.'s mill was the largest of its kind in this section of the state and the loss will be very heavy on its stockholders," Egger reported. "The company will rebuild on the old site at once and expects to put up a much larger plant with all modern machinery and a much larger capacity than the old mill."

"The D. & R. G. Railroad will sell round trip tickets to the Mountain and Plain Festival in Denver for $9," Egger announced in the same issue. Of course anyone wishing to make the trip would have to take the stage to Amargo - some 40 miles - in order to board the train. Tracks had not yet reached Pagosa Country. About 20 Pagosa citizens made the trip.

Arriving in town along with the railroad was a new telephone line. One telephone line connecting Pagosa Springs with Lumberton and installed by Welch Nossaman already existed. The new line was built to Pagosa Junction. In January of 1900 Egger wrote, "The telephone poles between Pagosa Junction and Pagosa Springs are all set and all that is required is the stretching of the wires. Two wires will be placed on the poles for the present."

That the railroad provided a social outlet is evidenced by the following item: "A party took an excursion last Thursday night from Pagosa Junction to the logging camp, nine miles distant, to attend preaching services. They brought an organ, books, and good singing voices. The party was composed of J. W. Zimmerman, bookkeeper of Pagosa Lumber Company, the popular and skillful physician, Dr. W.R. Kinwell, Mrs. G.E. Murray, Mrs. C.W. McBride, and Messrs. Forsythe, Gumes, Schofield, Huston, Schonefeld, Brandt, and Burkhardt."

"The chief engineer of the Rio Grande, Pagosa & Northern and the assistant chief engineer of the Denver & Rio Grande railroad were here this week making some changes in the route of the former road east of Dyke. The Rio Grande, Pagosa & Northern will be completed next spring as fast as men and teams can do it." Feb. 9, 1900.

"E.K. Caldwell of Pagosa Junction has his two-story frame hotel nearly completed." Feb. 1900

"Freight in car load lots for Pagosa Springs is now coming via Pagosa Junction, over the new railroad. It is only sixteen miles from Pagosa Springs to the end of the track." March 1900.

"The people of Pagosa Junction are certainly enterprising. They are going to build a school house. Mr. Sullenberger will furnish the lumber and the citizens build it. It will be completed in four weeks. March 9, 1900.

"The first communication over the new telephone line between Pagosa Springs and Pagosa Junction was made Monday (March 5) when portions of the wire were still lying on the ground. In a few days, both wires will have been placed in position. The office at this end will be in the rear of Hatcher Bros. Store (known today as the Hersch Building). March 9, 1900.

"Pagosa Junction has the appearance of a city now, being lighted by electricity." March 9, 1900. At this time, Pagosa Junction and Edith had electricity. Pagosa Springs did not. The electricity at Edith was supplied by the New Mexico Lumber Co. mill, now rebuilt and turning out 100,000 feet a day of lumber. Electricity at Pagosa Junction was supplied by the Pagosa Lumber Co mill and installed so a night shift could be added. Sullenberger' mill was cutting 50,000 feet of lumber per day per shift.

"The Rio Grande will no doubt re-open work on the Pagosa Springs grade next month. And then, with a modern hotel and baths, Pagosa will ripen into the state's greatest health and pleasure seeking resort. It is a beautiful spot and in addition the largest and best hot springs in the world has sulfur and iron springs, the grandest of drives, hunting, fishing, and all that makes an outing pleasant." Quoted from the Durango Democrat, April 27, 1900.

"The Pagosa Lumber Company commenced running a night shift this week, and still they can't supply the demand. They are running 150 men at the Pagosa Junction mill and expect to increase the work force immediately." April, 1900.

"Mr. Wilson of Denver has been awarded the grading contract of the Rio Grande, Pagosa & Northern railroad from the end of their line to Pagosa Springs. Saturday (May 5, 1900) several car loads of men, horses, and scrapers arrived at the end of the road and on Monday they commenced moving dirt. The railroad will be completed to Dyke's in a few weeks as the grade work to that point was almost completed last fall. The grade will be completed to Pagosa by Aug. 1." May 11, 1900

"Mr. Goodnight of Edith is at the Patrick Hotel taking the baths. Mr. Goodnight claims that water works could be built in Pagosa for less than $5,000. If that is true, why don't our town board take the matter in hand and build us a good water-works system?" May 11, 1900

"A.D. Archuleta was in this city looking for a location for a tie camp. He selected one fourteen miles up the San Juan, where he will begin immediately to cut 100,000 ties for the D. & R.G. The ties will be floated down the river to the railroad." Here we see the origin of the name for Tie Creek located on the pristine San Juan East Fork. May, 1890.

"Gallup and Murphy have their 54 horsepower water wheel set up, and the flour mill will be ready to run in about 30 days. C.W. Moore is going to erect a building near the flour mill and run a planing mill from the 54 horse power wheel." May, 1900.

"D.L. Hutchison visited his family here Sunday. Mr. Hutchison says they are making good progress on the railroad and the grade work to Dyke's is almost complete. Oh, Pagosa will have a railroad before many moons."

"Rents on business buildings and dwellings here have almost doubled in price in the past six months. A sure sign that Pagosa is on the boom." May 18, 1900

"The steel gang working near Dyke's quit work Monday morning. The trouble was caused by some difficulty with the cook. Another outfit went to work laying rails Thursday. They will probably reach Dyke's by Saturday night." June 24, 1900.

Early during July, the railroad reached Dyke's. Would it ever reach Pagosa Springs?


Caleb Daniel Janowsky

Caleb Daniel Janowsky, the son of Dan and Nyana Janowsky of Pagosa Springs, was born Oct. 20, 2000, in Mercy Medical Center of Durango. Caleb weighed 7 pounds, 3 ounces at birth.

Caleb's maternal grandparents are Alfredo and Juanita Gallegos of Pagosa Springs. His paternal grandparents are Phil and Mary Jo Janowsky, also of Pagosa Springs.


Business News

Biz Beat

The Plaid Pony Boutique & Gifts

DeWinter's Home Furnishings & Interior Design

Michael DeWinter owns and operates The Plaid Pony Boutique and Gifts and DeWinter's Home Furnishings and Interior Design - offering home furnishings, accessories and interior design services.

The businesses have moved to a new location, in the Mountain Run Shopping Center, located at 565 Village Drive, at the corner of U.S. 160 and Pinon Causeway.

The new facility has three times the space as the previous shop, and that translates to many more items and services to choose from. With a great selection of wrapping papers, the custom gift wrap service makes holiday shopping a pleasure.

Business hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday to Saturday. The phone number if 731-5262.


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