Nationwide deep freeze spurs another gas rate increase
By Richard Walter
Break out another pair of longjohns or be prepared to curl up a little closer with the love of your life.
If that doesn't appeal to you as a way to keep warm, then get ready to dig even deeper into your pocket to meet skyrocketing prices for natural gas heat as Mother Nature keeps her deep freeze on the low setting.
Citizens Utilities Company, the area's natural gas supplier, has asked the state's Public Utilities Commission to approve another rate increase for local customers, the third such request in four months.
Specifically, the firm is asking for a hike of approximately 18.35 percent to residential customers, to become effective on Feb. 1, just one week from today.
The increase, certain to be approved, would bring to 94.29 the percentage area rates have increased since the first increase request was approved last fall. At that time, the SUN reported on Sept. 28, rates would increase 58.85 percent, effective Oct. 1.
And then, on Dec. 21, the SUN reported Citizens Utilities had asked for another 17.9 percent increase, to become effective on Jan. 1. Both proposals were approved by the Public Utilities Commission.
David Freeman, manager of Colorado Gas Division of Citizens Utilities, pointed out last month that the rates his firm are paying have increased dramatically. "Ten years ago," he said, "we were paying $2.30 to $2.50 per 1,000 cubic feet of natural gas. In October we were paying $5 and now, in the last week of 2000, the rate has increased to over $9."
Since that time, he said Monday, there have been daily fluctuations in the market. "Last week, for example, the price showed a downtrend. But then it went back up today.
"The change is constant," Freeman said. "There is no way to put a number out there with reference to price and have it hold up - even for a day."
"We (Citizens Utilities) are always playing catchup whether the cost is up or down. If right now it stands at $7, it is still more than $1.25 higher than the base rate we were allowed. In order to even partially meet that cost, we need to increase our charge. As the base rate goes down - and it will - we will drop rates, too. But, as with increased rates, we'll be playing catch up," Freeman said.
He said Colorado's Utilities Commission is much smarter than the one which created the current electrical brownout situation in California. "They know, perhaps better than we do, what the product is costing us and what our base rates will return. When we ask for an increase, they know immediately what we need just to break even.
"In California, the utilities commission created a maximum set rate their utilities could charge. As their (the utilities) cost went up they could not pass the cost along and now two of the major utility firms in the nation are nearly bankrupt and their credit is ruined.
"That could not happen in Colorado," he said.
He pointed out the entire country is now using more natural gas and that it has become a national market. "What happens in New York or Massachusetts tomorrow will affect you in Pagosa Springs because all the utilities are buying from the same suppliers."
"People who travel into and out of Pagosa Springs will see producing wells in all directions and wonder why the price is so high locally. The truth is that gas from a well west of Pagosa might well be sold to a utility in the Upper Midwest or New England. That's the picture people don't see when they look at their natural gas bill."
The company said the purpose of the current filing is to reflect even higher changes in the rates it must pay to its own suppliers and pipeline delivery systems.
All current Citizens Utilities customers receiving service on its Western Slope system will be affected if the application is granted.
Frigid weather already has residents with gas heating systems scrimping to come up with funds to pay for increased natural gas rates. Some have complained of receiving bills which were up to 300 percent higher for comparative months this winter over last winter.
One bill shown the SUN, for example, reflected a charge of just under $130 for the December-January billing period, an increase of approximately $90 from the same billing period last winter.
Freeman said anyone who desires to do so may file a written objection or seek to intervene as party to the rate increase filing. If you wish only to object, you may file a written objection with the commission in its offices at 1580 Logan St., Office Level 2, Denver, Co., 80203.
The filing of a written objection, alone, will not allow you to participate as a party in any proceeding on the proposed action.
If you wish to participate as a party in the matter, you must file written intervention documents to the proposed action in the same office.
While the standard form for rate increase announcements says members of the public may attend any hearing and may make a statement under oath about the proposed action, it is rare that such hearings are held.
"If there were to be one on this request," Freeman said, "it most likely would be in Pagosa Springs. But the state knows the utility needs and costs and increase proposals are usually pro forma, it just happens . . . the state wants us to keep supplying our customers and recognizes we can't continue to do so if our costs are continually higher than the amount we can charge."
The newest rate hike, if approved, would mean a nearly 100 percent increase in just over four months. With consumption rising because it is so much colder, the corresponding gas bill increases are much more evident as a result of the repetitive rate hikes.
Citizens Utilities offers a budget billing option in which users can choose to pay a fixed amount monthly year round by averaging one year of charges. Under this option, the user would pay higher than normal rates in summer months but lower than normal amounts in winter months.
Qualified users may also get help with heating expenses from Archuleta County Social Services.
When the last increase was announced, Erlinda Gonzalez, director of the office, said they encourage people who need help with heating bills to call. "They can contact us here at the courthouse and we will work out their eligibility," she said.
Funded by the state through the Low Energy Assistance Program the amount of money available for each eligible household is about $100 more this year than last, she said. She noted the amount of energy assistance being distributed in the county is substantially higher than it was last year, attributing the increase to both population growth and colder weather.
County to update its well drilling permit regulations
By John M. Motter
Following a Jan. 18 work session, Archuleta County Commissioners agreed to change county regulations involved with issuing gas drilling permits.
"I'd like to see us adopt more user-friendly regulations," said Gene Crabtree, chairman of the board of Archuleta County commissioners. "I don't mean we should neglect environmental concerns, but we've been accused of being too complicated, not user friendly. People would rather go to the city to do this or that. That's why it is easy for the town to gobble up portions of the county. We need to tweak our regulations, make them more user friendly."
"These kinds of regulations are two edged," said Commissioner Alden Ecker. "We need to protect the citizens, but the other need is to streamline."
"We need to be user friendly," agreed Commissioner Bill Downey, "but we need to be careful to look after the best interests of the citizenry."
"I agree," said Crabtree. "We don't want to damage the county or the people."
When adopted in six weeks or so, the new regulations will provide two processes for obtaining gas and oil well drilling permits. One process will be administrative in nature and allow the county to issue a drilling permit in from one to two weeks if all relevant criteria are met. The second process will involve planning office staff, the Upper San Juan Regional Planning Commission, and the commissioners.
Choice of process will be made by the Archuleta County Planning Office following submission of an application by the prospective driller. The process will likely involve an initial meeting between the prospective driller and the county staff. After reviewing the application and talking with the prospective driller, county staff will recommend that one or the other process be followed.
The first process will normally be selected if the driller is seeking a permit simply to drill one or two wells and no other mitigating circumstances are noted from the application or during the original interview. Under this process, planning staff can issue the permit without going to the planning commission or to the county commissioners.
If it is determined from the application and from the initial interview that the driller's intent is much more involved, the second process could be specified by the planning office staff. The process could require the driller to follow county conditional-use permit regulations. During the process of obtaining the drilling permit, the application and paperwork would be reviewed by county planning staff, planning commission, and county commissioners. The process could involve several weeks or even months.
The second process will be used if the driller contemplates several wells, storage and maintenance facilities, and other facilities more complicated than simply drilling a well.
Drillers will generally be required to restore the land surface to its former state, no matter which process is followed for obtaining the drilling permit.
County regulations concerning the drilling of oil and gas wells were questioned at the regular meeting of county commissioners Jan. 16. Ecker introduced a request from a driller asking the commissioners to overrule county regulations which might require several weeks before a drilling permit could be issued. According to the driller, the same permit could be obtained in La Plata County in as few as seven days.
"If he doesn't get this permit within seven days, he won't be able to drill," Ecker said at that time, after explaining that drilling rigs are in short supply and in heavy demand in this area.
Because of the high price currently paid for natural gas, drilling activity is on the increase, Ecker said, and the likelihood of drilling more wells in Archuleta County is high.
Until they are changed, Archuleta County regulations concerning drilling permits for oil and gas wells require the issuance of a conditional-use permit. The process can involve several weeks and county planning staff, the Upper San Juan Planning Commission, and the county commissioners.
The commissioners took no action Jan. 16 to override county regulations concerning gas and oil well drilling permits. Instead, they scheduled the Jan. 18 workshop. Again on Jan. 18, they took no action to override county regulations. Their action instead was to instruct the county planning office to develop short and long-term processes, depending upon the circumstances involved, for issuing drilling permits.
Writing and obtaining public approval of new regulations could require several weeks.
Meanwhile, the prospective driller has decided not to press the Archuleta County permit request at this time, according to Mike Molica, director of county development. The driller will look into La Plata County drilling interests for the time being and return to Archuleta County after sufficient time has elapsed for the county to revise its application process.
Woman jailed after sex with young teen
By Karl Isberg
Danielle Joelene Tyndall, a 24-year-old Pagosa Springs resident, was sentenced Jan. 19 in the 6th Judicial District Court at Durango following her guilty plea to a Class 4 felony charge of attempted sexual assault on a child.
The charge resulted from a July 4, 2000, incident in which Tyndall admittedly had sexual relations with a 14-year-old boy at a Pagosa residence. She was arrested July 7 by Pagosa Springs police officer Chuck Allen following a brief investigation.
District Court Judge Greg Lyman sentenced Tyndall to 60 days in the Archuleta County Jail. Tyndall reported to the jail Jan. 22 to begin serving her sentence. The sentence included five years probation, during which time a restraining order remains in effect prohibiting contact between Tyndall and the victim. Tyndall is to undergo counseling, sex offender treatment and must comply with any stipulations following a substance abuse evaluation.
Public services for Founders questioned
Project base for Piano Creek
By John M. Motter
A small turnout braved minus 20-degree weather Thursday in Creede for a public hearing on a preliminary subdivision plat of The Founders At East Fork subdivision submitted by the developers of Piano Creek.
The public hearing was conducted by the Mineral County Planning commission. Creede is the Mineral County seat. The Founders At East Fork is a 150-acre subdivision located within the proposed Piano Creek development located on the east fork of the San Juan River about 14 miles northeast of Pagosa Springs, but in Mineral County.
Piano Creek is accessible from U.S. 160 in Archuleta County and across the Continental Divide from Creede. Pagosa Springs is the nearest community.
Developers contemplate a membership-owned recreation resort at Piano Creek featuring fishing, horseback riding, camping, skiing, golf, and related outdoor activities.
The Founders portion of the development involves a 150-acre development containing 17, more or less, homes owned privately by original investors in the development. Homes on the Founders tract will be developed in three clusters in order to retain vistas and open spaces. In general, the homes are located on the extreme southeastern portion of the Piano Creek property.
The Piano Creek property is currently zoned residential recreational by Mineral County, according to Les Cahill, the Mineral County manager. In order to meet Mineral County zoning regulations, the Founders portion is being separated from the remainder of the development so it can be zoned single-family residential estate, Cahill said.
The Mineral County commissioners have already granted conditional approval to the new zoning designation for The Founders subdivision. Conditional approval could also be granted the Founder proposal before development of the remainder of Piano Creek. That conditional approval would include promises and plans for providing necessary public services with the promises secured by a bonding plan.
No action was taken at the Jan. 18 meeting, Cahill said. Action will be taken in the future following one or more meetings of the Mineral County Planning Commission, according to Cahill. Final action is the responsibility of the county commissioners.
"Because this is fairly complicated, I expect we will take longer than usual to make the review," Cahill said. "We've scheduled a meeting Feb. 1 and I expect there will be several more meetings."
During the meetings, the planning commission will review comments submitted by various state and federal agencies, environmental groups, and individuals, Cahill said.
Most concerns expressed at the Jan. 18 public hearing centered on how required public services will be provided for the proposed Founders subdivision. Those public services include potable water, sewage collection and treatment, access, and public safety issues.
The developers propose tying The Founders' public service provisions to those planned for the larger Piano Creek community. Water, waste-water collection and treatment, fire protection, emergency medical services, electricity, and other public amenities will be supplied from facilities planned for the larger Piano Creek community, Cahill said.
Mineral County contributes to the Upper San Juan Hospital District through property taxes and also contributes to the Archuleta County landfill, Cahill said.
Concerns about access across U.S. Forest Service roads from U.S. 160 to the Piano Creek development, a distance of several miles, will probably have no bearing on approval or disapproval of the Founders subdivision, according to Cahill.
"I understand they intend to reach the site during winter by traveling over the snow," Cahill said.
Piano Creek's developers had applied for enhancement of the Forest Service road. When, after a preliminary study, the Forest Service suggested an environmental impact statement and study would be required, Piano Creek withdrew the application.
The environmentally active group known as San Juan Citizen's Alliance was represented at the Jan. 18 hearing by its director Mark Pearson.
"It seemed like there were a lot of unanswered questions about how services will be provided," Pearson said. "It seems a lot of those answers have been deferred to a future date. The catch-22 for a lot of folks is that the provision for public services is not addressed in this particular subdivision."
A letter of concerns has been sent to Cahill by the Archuleta County Planning Department. The letter expresses the following concerns the Archuleta County Planning Department would like Mineral County to consider:
- Upgrading of access to U.S. 160 per Colorado Department of Transportation requirements and required CDOT access permit
- Upgrading/snow removal/maintenance of Forest Service Road 667
- Analysis of traffic impacts within Archuleta County
- Impact on services within Archuleta County (medical, law enforcement, emergency services, library, etc.)
- Possible pollution of drinking water resources for our county (ie wastewater treatment plant, soil disturbance, erosion, lawn fertilizers/chemicals, etc.)
- Air quality (fire places, fugitive dust, etc.)
- Solid waste disposal and impacts on Archuleta County landfill
- Street names (The county is requesting that the project not duplicate any street names already being used in Archuleta County.)
- Schools. (The applicant proposes to pay fees to the school district. However, the school district does not have any fees because it has open enrollment. Also, the cost of school district capital improvements should be considered.)
Valle Seco Road concerns debated
By John M. Motter
The closing of Valle Seco Road last fall was discussed at Tuesday's regular meeting of Archuleta County commissioners.
Placing the issue on the agenda was Jeff Greer, a local citizen concerned about the closing and with a desire to keep the road open to the public.
Gene Crabtree, chairman of the board of county commissioners, excused himself from the discussion because private property owned by his family and crossed by the road is involved in the dispute. Because Commissioner Alden Ecker was out of town Tuesday attending a Colorado Counties Inc. training session for newly-elected commissioners, only Commissioner Bill Downey remained in official capacity as commissioner.
County Attorney Mary Weiss said Crabtree could take part in the discussion.
Greer questioned Downey and Crabtree, seeking to learn why two months elapsed between the time the commissioners learned of the road closure from the U.S. Forest Service and the time the issue was addressed at a commissioners meeting.
Downey said the time lapse was necessary while he studied the issue and the various related laws. Crabtree refused to comment because "everything I say has been twisted and the second side has not been presented."
When asked if the issue will be on a future agenda, Downey said yes, Crabtree did not answer.
Valle Seco Road is located in the south-central part of Archuleta County. It runs in a southerly direction from an intersection with U.S. 84 at the southern end of Halfway Canyon to Montezuma Road. The dirt road traverses U.S. Forest Service land except for two pieces of private property, one near the center and one at the southern extremity. The private property near the center is owned by members of Crabtree's family. The private property at the southern end is apparently owned by a family by the name of Large.
No one presently lives on the road, but old homesites are visible. The road accesses terrain popular with big game hunters and observers.
The Forest Service says it does not own a right of way across the private property. The remainder of the road is apparently owned by the Forest Service. After learning that the Forest Service owned no right of way across the private land, during the last hunting season a gate was placed across the road on the private property at the southern end of the road.
Following erection of the first gate, someone left the road on the middle property and burned part of an old building there, according to Crabtree. A gate was then erected across the portion of the road traversing the middle property to prevent further damage, Crabtree said. When hunters or someone took down the gates across the road, they were not put up again, according to Crabtree.
"We are trying to work a land exchange with the Forest Service for that property," Crabtree said.
In the meantime, Downey brought the issue to the commissioners and said he believed the road should remain open to the public. Crabtree said private land was involved and the issue should be settled by private parties, not the county.
Downey's assertion Tuesday that the issue will be on a future agenda indicates that public access on Valle Seco Road may be addressed in the future.
Health unit gets state funding to prevent, reduce tobacco use
By Sandra Hilton
San Juan Basin
Tobacco use is the single most preventable cause of death and disease in the United States. Cigarette smoking is linked to a variety of lung, larynx and bladder cancers, respiratory infections, chronic bronchitis, emphysema and low birth weight infants.
Southwest Colorado has an opportunity to substantially reduce the human and economic toll of tobacco use over the next five years by reducing and preventing tobacco use, especially among young people.
San Juan Basin Health Depart- ment's Lasso Tobacco Coalition has been awarded funding from the Colorado Department of Health and Environment and is now working under a five-year comprehensive plan to prevent and reduce tobacco use among Archuleta, La Plata and San Juan county community members.
It takes a lot of planning and citizen participation for a community to successfully weave tobacco prevention activities together with practices which have been proven to reduce tobacco use. It requires clearly described goals which are realistic and achievable; obvious links between program activities and desired objectives; and measurable performance measures.
One component of the plan focuses exclusively on evaluating programs for effectiveness. The Lasso Tobacco Coalition evaluation overview committee is headed by Lauren Elder Patterson, San Juan Basin Health Department's evaluation consultant.
"Our main body of work is to take the comprehensive five-year plan produced by the coalition and create benchmarks for each of the goals so that we can make sure we're on the right track," Patterson said.
Patterson believes the evaluations will be beneficial to the state health department by documenting coalition project outcomes that will add to the growing body of "best practice" work and for potential replication in other parts of the state, but said the primary beneficiaries of the evaluation process will ultimately be the public in the communities which are being served and staff members responsible for program performance.
"We'll be able to check our progress along the way and adjust our thinking, planning and programs to reach the desired outcome of reducing morbidity and mortality," she said.
Smokers, non-smokers and people of all ages are invited to participate in activities of the Lasso Tobacco Coalition. For more information, call Char Day at 247-5702, ext. 227 or write firstname.lastname@example.org.
Grant fund historic survey
By Karl Isberg
A grant of $23,700 from the Colorado Historical Society is on its way to the town of Pagosa Springs where the money will fund a comprehensive survey of historic properties in select portions of the downtown area.
Once certified local government status was procured by the town last year, efforts started to procure the no-match grant from the state. A grant application from the town asked for $19,000 to fund the survey and $2,500 for an update of a walking tour brochure that guides pedestrians to local historic properties.
Town Planner Chris Bentley, liaison to the town's recently-constituted Historic Preservation Board, said state officials declined the specifics of the original grant request, changing the grant amount to the $23,700 figure and requiring that all funds be used for the survey. Reasoning behind the decision rested on the possibility that a comprehensive survey will reveal more information about individual historic structures - information that will be valuable in an updated brochure.
State guidelines also included a requirement that the survey include "a cohesive area and not involve scattered resources." As a result, said Bentley, the survey "will probably focus on the central downtown area, and perhaps include Hermosa Street." Bentley said there are 283 buildings inside town limits currently identified as meeting the 50-year age needed for historic status - too many, and too scattered to be considered in the first survey effort.
"There is a historic survey process and survey forms established by the State Historical Society," said Bentley. Survey essentials, she said, will include type of structure, age of structure, and background research concerning the importance of a structure to the town and its citizens.
A grant contract with the state will be complete soon, said Bentley, and the town will issue a call by the end of March for proposals from contractors interested in conducting the survey. A contractor will be selected by May. All survey and follow-up work must be complete by June 2002.
"We will have copies of the survey available at Town Hall," said Bentley, "and, as part of the project, the contractor must make a public presentation of survey results.
"One purpose of the survey," said Bentley, "is to give us information necessary to create a preservation plan for the town and we can create design guidelines. Also, the completed survey will allow owners of structures to have a clear sense of the importance of their properties. Survey information aids us in our local designation of historic properties and owners can use the information to apply for local, state and national registry. We now have three property owners who want properties designated as historic buildings; with the survey information, there could be more. Once obtained, historic status allows for application for grants, and for state and federal tax credits for renovation."
SJSC taking tree orders
The San Juan Soil Conservation District is taking orders for seedling trees and shrubs to be planted especially for conservation planting, shelter belts, reforestation and wildlife habit enhancement.
To participate, landowners need to own at least two acres of land, use the seedlings for conservation purposes and not landscaping, and agree not to resell seedlings purchased through the program as living plants.
Landowners with property in Archuleta, southern Hinsdale, and southwestern Mineral counties can obtain seedling ordering application from USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service or CSU Cooperative Extension Service at the Archuleta County Fair Building. Orders will be accepted through March, and seedlings will be available for pick up at the Archuleta County Fair Building, one day only, April 18.
For more information call 264-5516.
County legal services pacts inked
By John M. Motter
The county commissioners approved legal services contracts between the county and its attorney Mary Weiss, between the county and the Social Services Department; supported establishment of a Four Corners Interpretive Center; and supported a National Heritage grant proposal.
County attorney services
The contract between the county and Mary Weiss concerns compensation for Weiss as county attorney. A second contract between the county and Social Services defines Weiss' social services legal activities. In addition to defining Weiss' reimbursement provisions, the contracts define work Weiss will do, which work is covered by retainer, and which work will be billed at an hourly rate.
Weiss' retainer for general county work was boosted from $3,500 to $3,750. Her hourly rate for general county work is $90 an hour. Some functions in this category have been shifted from hourly to be included under the retainer.
Weiss' retainer for Social Services work is $1,500 a month. Her hourly Social Services work is billed at $90 an hour. Included in the Social Services category is general work and work connected with collecting child support payments. Archuleta County children benefited from Social Services intervention for child support payments in an amount exceeding $600,000 this past year.
Four Corners Center
The commissioners approved a request from the San Juan Forum that the county endorse by resolution a proposed $5 million Four Corners Interpretive Center at the Four Corners Monument Tribal Park.
About $2.5 million has been appropriated for the center by the U.S. Senate, if each of the Four Corners states agree to supply $500,000. Utah and Arizona have committed their portion of the funding. New Mexico has promised, but not released the money. Colorado has taken no action.
San Juan Forum is asking Archuleta County to adopt a resolution asking the San Juan Forum to work on behalf of Archuleta County and Southwest Colorado to seek funding from the state amounting to $500,000 to match the federal appropriation.
Heritage Project Grant
Ron Chacey asked the county to write a letter and commit in-kind services for a GOCO grant supporting an inventory of well preserved private land holdings in Archuleta County that support rare or endangered species of animal and plant life. Participation by private land owners is entirely on a voluntary basis, Chacey said. The ultimate purpose of the inventory is to preserve as much of the identified habitat as possible.
"We're not looking for endangered species," Chacey said. "We're looking for rare species and well preserved habitat. A good inventory could attract money to continue preservation practices."
Typical in-kind services as suggested by Chacey include county contacts with landowners to establish authenticity of the program, public meetings for the same purpose, and the loan of 4-wheel-drive vehicles.
The commissioners agreed to write a letter supporting the program and "do our best" to provide in-kind support.
In other business Tuesday, the commissioners agreed to:
- Consider an addition to county employee insurance services. The addition would allow employees to establish payroll deduction accounts with the county's self-insurance fund manager. The money could be used to pay expenses not covered by the insurance plan. A $5 per employee administration fee will be charged. The county could pay the fee, the employee could pay the fee, or it could be split between the county and the employee. No decision was made concerning this proposal.
- Waive minor-impact subdivision fees for work at the county fairgrounds. The fees were waived because paying the fees would involve the "county paying the county."
- The commissioners granted Rotary Club a special-events liquor permit for Feb. 3 at the county fairgrounds during Winterfest Follies.
- The commissioners authorized County Assessor Keren Prior to apply for a Colorado Division of Wildlife Impact Grant, an annual occurrence.
Series of snow storms expected
By John M. Motter
A series of snow storms interspersed between 48 hour intervals of calm are expected to assault Pagosa Country from today through the middle of next week, according to Gary Chancy, a forecaster from the National Weather Service office in Grand Junction.
The first storm front with "snow likely and breeziness" is expected this morning, Chancy said. Local skies could start clearing tonight as snow probability drops from 70 percent to 30 percent.
Temperatures should range from a Thursday high in the low 30s down to a 5-15 degree range at night.
Tomorrow should remain dry with partly cloudy skies. By Saturday and Sunday, conditions should change to mostly cloudy with a slight chance for snow.
Snow probabilities are even higher Monday and Tuesday, Chancy said. A high-pressure ridge may move in Wednesday bringing sunny skies through the following weekend, Chancy said.
Controlling local weather conditions are a series of storms moving into the area from the Pacific Ocean about every 48 hours. Because the jet stream is crossing southern Arizona and northern Mexico, the chances for snow increase as one moves south into New Mexico from Colorado, Chancy said. Chances for snow accumulations are greater in the San Juan Mountains than they are in northern Colorado.
No new snow fell in Pagosa Country this past week. High temperatures ranged from 39 degrees Tuesday down to 24 degrees Jan. 18. The average high temperature was 30 degrees. Low temperatures ranged from minus 4 degrees Jan. 17 to 14 degrees Tuesday. The average low temperature for the week was 3 degrees.
Temperature, snow, and precipitation readings are taken from the official National Weather Service station located at Stevens Field.
PLPOA sets open town meeting on parks, recreation
The Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association has scheduled an open Town Meeting for interested residents on Monday, Feb. 12.
The session is the second of planned quarterly sessions designed to provide open and informal communication between property owners and the association's board of directors.
The theme for this meeting is Parks and Recreation - Future Needs and Plans.
A brief presentation will be made by the association's Parks and Recreation Committee dealing with the "Master Plan for Parks, Open Space, Trails and Recreation" that was proposed to the board in 1999.
Past presentations and discussions have been held on the trails component of the master plan. Considerable work has already been done to implement early phases of that portion. Other sections of the master plan proposal include suggested needs for parks and open space and these will be the focus of this town meeting.
The proposed master plan was based on a survey of property owners. That survey, and a separate one conducted by the Recreation Center, will be reviewed. The plan suggests phased acquisition of lands to be set aside for recreation use by the PLPOA. Strategies for funding the acquisitions were also proposed.
The Feb. 12 presentation will review this information for property owners, and questions, concerns and suggestions will be solicited from the audience.
The meeting will begin with a social period at 7 p.m. with the presentation beginning at 7:30 p.m. All Pagosa Lakes residents are invited. The meeting's format will facilitate input from property owners on subjects of concern to them.
Members of the board of directors will be on hand to answer questions. The meeting is expected to end by 9 p.m.
County sets a new record for sales tax collections
By John M. Motter
A new record for annual sales tax collections in Archuleta County was reached this past year.
According to a report released by Archuleta County, sales tax collections amounted to $4,588,855 this past year, 8.43 percent above the $4,193,255 collected during 1999, also a record year.
Over the past five years starting with 1996 and running through 2000, annual county sales tax collections have climbed from $2,926,490 to $4,588,855, a 56.8 percent increase.
The annual percentage increase in collections over the previous year has been decreasing since 1998 when the increase in collections was 15.37 percent above the previous year.
July was the best month for collections during 2000. During July, $530,345 was collected. Following July were October with $487,080, September with $453,050, August with $444,684, November with $429,921, January with $375,106, June with $353,725, December with $325,075, April with $321,650, March with $295,145, May with $294,430, and February with $278,650.
Sales taxes are levied against most retail sales in Colorado. The sales tax rate in Archuleta County is 7 percent, with 4 percent going to the county and 3 percent to the state. The local 4 percent is shared equally with Pagosa Springs.
From sales taxes collected during the year 2000, Archuleta County retained $2,294,425. Of that amount, $1,147,215 was placed in the general fund. A like amount was placed in the road improvement fund.
Pagosa Springs received $2,294,430 in sales tax revenue. The entire amount is designated for use in capital improvements projects.
Because of TABOR limitations, the state has reduced its sales tax collection rate from 3 percent to 2.9 percent in order to help contain revenues within TABOR limits. The total rate levied in Archuleta County starting Jan. 1 of this year is therefore reduced to 6.9 percent.
Red Cross seeking volunteers, local training planned
American Red Cross officials recently announced a need in Archuleta County for disaster response volunteers.
When a disaster happens in the Pagosa Springs area, the Red Cross is there to offer assistance. The disaster could vary from someone's home burning to an a major wildfire. It could involve a flood or blizzard. In any case, Red Cross volunteers are there to help make sure the affected families have a place to stay, clothes to wear and food to eat.
But the number of local volunteers is wearing thin. The Red Cross is currently down to only one or two people - who live in Archuleta County - who are available to immediately respond and offer Red Cross services.
As a means of mustering needed volunteers, in the very near future the Red Cross will offer training in Pagosa Springs that will enable interested individuals to join the team of dedicated volunteers who help others in Archuleta County when times are at their worst. The training will cover everything a volunteer needs to know to become someone's angel of mercy.
Maybe you cannot be the one who responds, but perhaps you know someone who might be interested. If so, Red Cross officials would like to talk to you or to the potential volunteer you might have in mind. Representatives of the American Red Cross volunteer program can be contacted at (800) 824-6615 or (719) 520-5098.
Clinic will open cross country ski trails Saturday
After several years of little or no snow, the cross country ski trails at the Alpen Haus Ski Center, (golf course), are set and ready. "And how pleased we are," said Dan Park in announcing the opening.
Along with new snow and groomed trails, Alpen Haus is hosting a free cross country skiing clinic at 10:30 a.m. Saturday. "Lots of changes have taken place over the past few years, and we thought the clinic would be a good opportunity to reacquaint local residents with our facility," Park said.
The Alpen Haus has been providing cross country ski trails since 1981- weather permitting. Up to 10 kilometers of trails for beginner through advanced levels are currently available. All trails are groomed for traditional "classic" skiing, and also for ski skating. "We have hosted dozens of cross country ski races," Park said. "The Grizzly Chase series was one of the most popular races in the region. We held numerous high school state meets, and even one NCAA event hosted by the University of Alaska was held at our facility. Presently the course is in great shape, and with just a few hit and miss, (more "hit" hopefully), storms, we should have trails for many weeks to come."
Though maintaining quality trails is costly and time consuming, Park said he and his staff intend to keep them in the best shape for their skiers. Alpen Haus does not allow skiers to bring their dogs onto the tracks. "After putting in many hours of grooming, it is hard to see the ski tracks obliterated by dogs running about," Park said. There is also no sledding or snowboarding allowed on the golf course during the cross country skiing season. This restriction is necessary because the owners of the golf course do not carry the necessary insurance to cover these activities.
The Jan. 27 clinic will cover all levels of skiers. "Persons wanting to learn to cross country ski the right way, or if you simply want to hone your skills this is your opportunity," Park said. The clinic will begin at 10:30 a.m. Saturday. Individuals are encouraged to call 731-4755 ahead of time in order to arrange for reservations into their particular ability level.
In reference to the "Barking Dog Complaint" in PLPOA (SUN, Jan. 18):
I sympathize with the complainants in this issue. Without a PLPOA Public Safety Office, we have nobody to call to report such violations. The sheriff's department is certainly not going to enforce such egregious violations. The PLPOA's Declarations of Restrictions do need to be updated, but the board of directors cannot update them - each subdivision has to take the initiative to update their own declarations. A committee of 10 property owners in Meadows 4 attempted to revise/update their Declarations, but were not successful due to a lack of response and a vigorous, zealous campaign against their effort.
Such violations such as noxious, offensive, nuisance activities; business or commercial activity; unsanitary conditions of areas housing animals; and excessive amount of certain animals per acre are covered in all subdivisions' Declarations of Restrictions and were enforced prior to the misguided decision by a group of zealots/fanatics that were determined to eliminate the most important department of the PLPOA for some reason unexplained in an intelligent or logical manner, except that they were evidently against enforcement of any security, enforcement, or illegal activities within the PLPOA.
The rude and contentious attitude of Gene Cortright toward our property owners, in the Jackmans/Waters complaint, is completely unacceptable - he, and any others on any committee that treat the property owners with disrespect and disdain, should be replaced immediately and never again be allowed to be a volunteer on any committee associated with the PLPOA.
Mojie Adler, Meadows 4
The rumors of our demise have been greatly exaggerated. The Pagosa Quarter Midget Association is in the process of working with the county to build a permanent multi use facility for the community. It will be on the recently acquired property near the airport and the Cloman Industrial Park. We have started reclamation of the property provided by the school district on Vista Boulevard. We will be completing that work in the spring.
Club members have been busy racing this winter at tracks in Albuquerque; Phoenix; Primm, Nev.; and Tulsa. Most of these races hosted from 150 to 200 cars. Our Pagosa drivers were able to compete with children from several other states and as pure novices did quite well.
The only thing PQMA really needs is the interest of many more families in becoming involved in a great family sport focusing on children from age 4 1/2 to 16. I believe these to be the most important years you can invest in a child. We will be racing in the spring in Denver, Colorado Springs, Pueblo, and Albuquerque. We will also be helping to develop a track in Aztec as well as building our own.
Look for more information from PQMA in the future or call Tom Fletcher at 731-4290 or leave a message at 731-4764.
Tom Fletcher, President
Pagosa Quarter Midget Association
Our furnace and hot water heater stopped working on Saturday, when it was at least 10 degrees below zero. The furnace had used much more propane than normal, and AAA Propane made a special trip to the house to refill the tank on Sunday morning. When the system still wouldn't work, Rick, the owner of AAA Propane, and Eric Schlom (with his son, Tanner), selflessly took time on Sunday afternoon to try to fix the system for us. Our special thanks to both of them (and Tanner) for spending their precious personal time trying to help us.
Reid and Debra Kelly
The Chickens have come home to roost and we are now getting what only a minority voted for in Archuleta County.
As seen in the past several editions of the Pagosa SUN, the disgraceful behavior of our county commissioners is now open for all to see. The FFE (Friends for the Environment), in its battle against the concrete batch plant, tried to point out how the Commissioners were capricious, partisan and at times chaotic, in their applications of the law. No one would listen then.
Hopefully now, everyone will be able to see that the public roads issues, voting on family issues, wishing to have secret good ole boy club meetings, the gas and oil drilling issues, and no doubt many more to come, shows how the law means nothing to these imperial acting individuals.
Having lived in Louisiana and watched big oil and gas pollute and corrupt officials and a beautiful land, I now get to watch it repeated in Archuleta County. Just wave dollar signs at politicians and watch the laws, rules and regulations, and guidelines fly out the window. These big businesses - think Summitville - care nothing about our county except to try and evade any and all laws that would impede their quick profit.
I certainly hope the Pagosa SUN will continue to watch these guys closely and report honestly on their misguided and misdirected attempts to bend and circumvent the laws. These laws have been put in place to protect the citizens of Archuleta County from the very things that our minority elected officials are trying to do.
Honest and carefully thought out business and development that follows the law is good for our county; but "pass it now and work out the details later" is a prescription for disaster.
We are both honored and humbled by our selection as "Citizens of the Year" at the chamber of commerce annual meeting last Saturday. We truly feel blessed to be part of such a giving and sharing community.
Our involvement and support of various organizations is given without thought of recognition. We are proud to be included in the same company as all who contribute to the good of our chosen hometown, and accept this award for all who were nominated.
We would also like to thank our staff at Old West Press, Dee McPeek and Johanna Tully. Without their support and loyalty we would not have as much time to give and participate. Thanks guys, you are definitely valued friends and employees.
Thank you also to those that voted for us to receive this award. The recognition is sincerely appreciated.
Mary and Don McKeehan
In regards to getting the county to take care of the roads in the Pagosa Lakes subdivisions there should not be a problem here except you have county commissioners that are taking tax money for services paid and doing something else with it. Where is it going? This sounds like taxation without representation. It's too bad that the American people are so caught up in their everyday lives that they don't have the courage to revolt on issues where we are being taken advantage of. How about the forefathers of this country? They didn't stand for injustices,which gave the people of today their freedom. Just what do you think would happen if everyone one in this county were to stop paying their taxes and demand change?
If the commissioners want the residents of Pagosa Lakes to form their own road maintenance then how about not charging us the tax for road and bridge and also give us back the monies paid over the years that we did not receive the service from the county? It seems that it's about how the government and the rich can take money from the people and get away with it. We had a chance to make a difference in the elections and the people were blind enough to not care.You have no one to blame but yourselves.
Let's talk about the police in the town limits. They are lucky that these crimes are being committed by kids, otherwise they might have to work harder to solve them or not even solve them. If they would start policing instead of working traffic on the highway or spending time in the county dispatcher's office for hours at a time at night they might not have the crimes they do. But then again, without crimes they couldn't justify their existence now could they?
Gas to fuel your vehicles has finally gone down but not enough when it's $1.31 in Farmington, N.M. Again, it's how the supplier can take money from the public who is isolated from other options and get rich doing it. What would happen if everyone were to drive down to Farmington and fill up 50 gallon drums for their own use and not give their business to the stations here? Sure you think that's too much trouble because you are so busy and don't have the time but that's how the rich take advantage of you and we let them.
What is it going to take for the people to stand up and say no more?
I still cry
Peace, the final conquest. To hopefully go where no Americans have gone before.
Borrowed words, borrowed phrases and borrowed dreams. As a child, I saw grown men fight each other and die. It made me cry. Now as a grown man, I see grown people kill unborn children. And I still cry.
But, yet you say my guns kill people. Safe streets are my responsibility you say? While you express the need to eliminate unborn human beings. Does the word fetus make it easier for you?
Jody Ray Morris
Plowing at 3 a.m.
Twas the night of the snowstorm,/ I slept in my bed safe and warm./ Not a creature was stirring, not in my bed,/ when suddenly dreams of aliens entered my head./ Out in the street there was such a clatter,/ I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter./ Bright lights flooded my room,/ great grumbling noises, boom, boom, boom./ The clock said it was 3:30, alas and alack,/ was my home suddenly under attack?/ When what to my wondering eyes did appear,/ was a huge snowplow with all his gear./ He pushed and he beeped/ while the snowpile he heaped.
Thank you Archuleta County, / I do appreciate all this snow bounty./ The snow I must shovel from my driveway once more,/ That's okay, I really enjoy the ongoing chore./ So I have only one favor to ask now,/ please during daylight hours could you plow?
More or less?
Is there less food or more food in the market place now than eight years ago? Is there less energy or more energy than eight years ago?
Special friend lost
We received our Dec. 14 copy of the Pagosa SUN on Jan. 9 in Oklahoma City.
Carl and Gen Bolt were one of the first couples we met when we built our second home at Pagosa Lakes. The reason the Pagosa Springs Trading Post was so successful was because of their hard work and long hours on the job. They operated the best outdoor sports business in the West. Many evenings as we drove by the Trading Post, Carl was sitting on the front porch stuffing fishing worms in green paper boxes for tomorrow's fishermen.
Carl sponsored the first Winterfest Trout Fishing Contest (February 1976) at the Eaton International Resort. It was 30 below zero. He had 15 fishing prizes provided by some of his business dealers. It was so cold, only three fish were caught. So we drew straws for prizes.
Billie and I later became avid lake trout fisherman with the help and support of the Bolts. I now have to order some of the fishing supplies like large water bobbers and Little Chief fish smoker chips from the factories.
We spend our summers in Pagosa and a few weeks in January and February when the ice is thick enough to fish.
I am four years older than Carl. Too old to live full time away from the world class medical care we have here in Oklahoma City. However, our log home in Pagosa Lakes will not be for sale. It is a prized family possession. After spending 30 years in the military service and traveling all over the world, it is still my favorite spot - to sit in the porch swing and look at the mountains.
Bill and Billie Riggs
Oklahoma City, Okla.
I hope the following information will clarify and provide information on Archuleta School District 50 Jt.'s student transportation.
Archuleta School District 50 Jt. has 17 bus routes that travel 910 miles a day. Approximately two thirds of the students are currently scheduled to be transported to and from school.
The district is not required to provide transportation for students. If a district does provide transportation, some state money is available to offset the cost to the district.
The current annual operating cost of transportation is $336,870.
The district travels 189,925 miles a year with 40,265 miles traveled for activities. No activity mileage is eligible for state reimbursement.
The district does not receive 37 cents per mile from the state. This figure is one of the factors used in the formula by the state to determine the amount of transportation reimbursement the district will receive.
By state law, districts cannot receive more than 90 percent of transportation costs. The transportation reimbursement rate is currently 71 percent of eligible expenditures.
Approximately one-half of the districts that provide transportation pay parents to transport their children when a bus is not available. The amount per mile paid varies widely and is set by the board of education in each district.
Archuleta School District 50 Jt.
Now is the time to congratulate the 60 Road to Recovery Volunteers and their leader - Mamie Lynch.
These wonderful people fully deserved the recognition given them by the chamber of commerce "Volunteer of the Year" award.
Mr. and Mrs. Terry Alley of Pagosa Springs are pleased to announce the recent marriage of their son Pat to Nicole Gallegos, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Fred Gallegos of Fort Lupton. Both are graduates of Colorado State University. Nicole majored in communications and is employed by the state of Colorado in the Colorado Cares program in Denver. Pat majored in hotel and resort management and is employed as sales manager for the Mariott Denver Center. The couple lives in Longmont.
Lancing leads Lady Pirates to IML lead
By Richard Walter
It had all the earmarks of a classic early season showdown for conference supremacy.
Centauri, sporting an 11-1 record and No. 4 state ranking in Class 3A, was to visit sixth-ranked Pagosa Springs, and fans expected a shootout in a clash of Intermountain League ladies basketball titans.
Friday's matchup lived up to its billing with the home-standing Lady Pirates holding off the Lady Falcons 49-42, mainly on the basis of a smothering second half defense and a 16-point last half offensive outburst by Katie Lancing who led all scorers in the game with 20.
Both squads were without a key player, Centauri's 6-foot-1 forward Cindy McCarroll was out with the flu and Lady Pirate senior reserve guard Amber Mesker was idled with a broken rib.
The visiting Lady Falcons took an early lead on the sharpshooting of guards Sara Reynolds and Nicole Espinoza, who had nine of their team's 11 first-quarter points, and led 11-8 at the quarter break.
The Lady Pirates got single baskets from Lancing, Ashley Grone- woller, Tiffanie Hamilton and Meigan Canty in the first period, but were cold from the floor, going only 4 for 10 and committing nine turnovers.
Reynolds opened the second quarter for Centauri with a driving layup and stretched the visitor's lead to 13-8, but Canty answered with two quick buckets for Pagosa cutting the lead to one. Reserve Lady Pirate guard Shannon Walkup was fouled while shooting but missed a chance to give her team its first lead of the game when she was unable to convert the two free throws.
After Erin McCarroll hit an inside drive for two Centauri points, Hamil- ton was fouled while shooting and canned both tosses from the stripe. Walkup, fouled again after stealing the Falcon inbound pass, hit 1 of 2 from the line, cutting Centauri's lead to 16-15.
Yanira Espinoza then scored her only field goal of the game to stretch the visitor's lead to 18-15 with 2:45 left in the half. Gronewoller, fouled while shooting, calmly tossed in a pair from the line and the Centauri lead was cut to 18-17. Lancing then scored inside and gave her team a 19-18 lead and, when Gronewoller converted an offensive rebound into two points, the Lady Pirates had a 3-point lead for the first time. Brittny McCarroll cut that to one at 21-20, scoring just before the half ended.
The Lady Pirates came out strong in the third quarter with Lancing scoring two on an assist by Hamilton and then hitting two from the line after being fouled while shooting. Nicole Espinoza got one back for Centauri when she was fouled by Gronewoller and Erin McCarroll cut Pagosa's lead to three with a drive inside for two with 3:29 remaining in the period.
But the Lady Falcons were to score only four more points in the quarter, two on free throws by Idana Espinoza and two more on another field goal by Erin McCarroll.
Pagosa, meanwhile, got four points from Hamilton on a soft jumper from 12 feet and a driving layup from the left side and carried a 32-27 lead into the final quarter.
Lancing then took over, scoring nine of her 20 game points in the fourth period and Gronewoller added four of her 13 for the game. Erin McCarroll wouldn't let her team die, however, hitting six of her 14 points in the period and the visitors cut the Lady Pirates' lead to 39-37 with 3:25 remaining.
Lancing got two back with an offensive rebound putback and increased the Lady Pirates' lead to 43-39 with 2:14 remaining.
Then, on consecutive plays, Walkup and Canty were fouled, Walkup missing the front end of a 1-and-1 and Canty converting 1 of 2.
After Brittny McCarroll scored her second basket of the game to cut the Pagosa lead to 46-42 with 30.6 seconds left, Lancing was fouled twice, hitting 1 of 2 the first time and both charity tosses the second time to put the final score at 49-42 in favor of Pagosa.
Lady Pirates coach Karen Wells was pleased with her squad's performance, particularly in the second half when their pressing defense limited Centauri to 22 points, and only five field goals.
She was a little disappointed with the Lady Pirates' free throw percentage (they hit 15 of 23 from the line for 65 percent) but noted the margin of victory (seven points) was the same as the margin from the line where Centauri hit 8 of 11.
And, she was very happy with the rebounding statistics - her team out rebounding their foes 28-12, with 15 of those at the offensive end.
In addition to Lancing's 20 points, the Lady Pirates got 13 from Gronewoller, eight from Hamilton, seven from Canty and one from Walkup.
Lancing also led in rebounds with 14 while Gronewoller had 12 and Hamilton, seven, Walkup three and Canty and Ash each had one.
Hamilton led in assists with five, Lancing and Canty each had three and Walkup and Gronewoller both had a pair. Hamilton and Lancing each had four steals while Walkup added three and Gronewoller, two.
Pagosa, now 10-2 on the season and 2-0 in the IML, travels to Ignacio tonight to take on the ever-dangerous Lady Bobcats with game time scheduled for 5:30.
Pirate defense throttles Centauri attack
By John M. Motter
Pagosa's reward for clamping a vise-like defense on the Centauri Falcons Friday was a 45-25 victory and a solo spot at the top of the Intermountain League. The win raised Pagosa's record to 2-0 in the IML, 9-3 for the season.
So dominating was the Pirates' D that visiting Centauri managed only five field goals, a pair of treys, and nine free throws for the game. Falcon John David Jordan's two free throws late in the third quarter were the only Centauri scoring during that period.
Around the IML
The win perches Pagosa Springs alone at the top of the IML with two wins and no losses. Centauri drops to second place with two wins and one loss, followed by Ignacio 1-1 after beating Bayfield 56-51, Monte Vista 0-1, and Bayfield 0-2. Monte's game with Bayfield Saturday night was canceled because of the death of a Bayfield student Friday night while riding home following the Ignacio-Bayfield game.
Monte now faces two make-up games on the road. Last week's Pagosa Springs-Monte Vista game in Pagosa Springs was canceled because of bad weather. The make-up game between Pagosa Springs and Monte Vista has been scheduled for Feb. 16 in Pagosa Springs, replacing a game formerly scheduled with Ignacio. The Ignacio game has been rescheduled to Feb. 15 in Pagosa Springs.
The Pagosa boys travel to Ignacio tonight for a 5:30 encounter with the Bobcats. Ignacio is 8-4 for the season.
"They have good team speed and will pressure us a lot," said Pagosa coach Kyle Canty. "The game will be a battle because of the rivalry that has always existed between Pagosa and Ignacio.
"They run and run and they have good size," Canty continued. "They are led by Calvin Parks (6-foot), Laramie Miller (6-foot-1), and Lupe Huerta (5-11).
Pagosa hopes to be a full strength for Ignacio. Starting point guard Darin Lister has not played since the opening minutes of the Bayfield game when he hurt an ankle.
Pagosa versus Centauri
Centauri is the team Canty feared most at the beginning of the season. The way Friday's game started, Canty's fears seemed realistic. The Falcons pressured Pagosa's ball handlers from the get go, up and down the court from the in-bounds lane until they got the ball back in their hands. The strategy worked during the first quarter which Centauri led 9-7.
"Their game plan is to force us to run up and down the court," Canty said. "They play a matchup defense that is difficult to penetrate. We were taking bad shots."
After a talk in front of the bench, the Pagosa boys returned to the deliberate style of play Canty feels fits the talents of this year's Pirate squad.
"Our strength is in a half-court offense," Canty said. "We are good at taking care of the ball. By being patient, we force them to play a lot of defense. I think they get tired after awhile."
Pagosa's ball control game began to bear fruit during the second period as the Pirates outscored Centauri 14-5 to take a commanding, if not high scoring 21-14 lead at halftime.
"We weren't running our press offense all of the way during the first and third quarters," Canty said. "We did during the second and fourth quarters. The press offense is designed to give us a mismatch down court. When it works (Micah) Maberry or someone else ends up with an uncontested lay up."
Proving the point, Maberry tossed in eight second-quarter points for Pagosa.
The third period was all about defense. Pagosa again only tallied seven points, the same as during the first period. Centauri, on the other hand, failed to score from the floor. In fact, over a stretch of more than 10 minutes lasting from the second period into the fourth period, the Falcons failed to score from the field.
During the final period, the Falcons managed a pair of field goals and five points from the charity stripe. Pagosa continued to attack the Centauri press with good results, racking up 17 points during the period. Maberry added another six points, Jason Schutz five points, and Tyrel Ross four points.
For the game, Pagosa shot almost 50 percent from two-point range by converting 20 of 43 attempts. Pagosa's Brandon Charles opened scoring for the game with a trey, but the Pirates missed their next six 3-point attempts. Pagosa was 1 for 7 from 3-point range. The Pirates only managed four looks from the free throw line, but converted two of those.
Maberry and David Goodenberger each picked off six rebounds to lead Pagosa in that department. Ross harried the Falcons with five assists, four steals, and one blocked shot. Charles contributed three assists and a game-leading six steals. Chris Reavis contributed four assists, and Maberry three assists. Maberry topped Pagosa scoring with 19 points, followed by Ross and Daniel Crenshaw with six points each, Schutz and Charles with five points each, and Goodenberger with four points.
"What I like about the way we played was the unselfishness," Canty said. "Everyone was looking for the open man. If you look at the way scoring and assists were spread around, you know they found him."
Grapplers build mat time, face Bayfield, Ignacio
By Karl Isberg
With two weeks off since they last saw competition at the Jan. 6 Rocky Mountain Invitational, Pirate wrestlers desperately needed some matches.
A Jan. 19 triangular-meet against La Junta and Monte Vista and a trip to the Center Invitational the next day satisfied the need, and the Pirates were back on the road that leads to post-season league, regional and state meets.
Pirates coach Dan Janowsky characterized the weekend as "up and down," with a good start and a dramatic fall-off at the meet held at Monte Vista, and a recovery of sorts Saturday at Center.
"We started on a high note Friday night in our dual against La Junta," said the coach. The Pirates lost to La Junta 36-24, but Janowsky pointed out that two forfeits cost his team 12 points. "I felt good after the dual with La Junta. They got three pins against us, but no major decisions or technical falls, and that came against a team I regard as pretty good. Even in some of the matches we lost, I thought we were very competitive."
Four Pirates won matches against La Junta opponents.
Cliff Hockett got a 3-0 decision at 130 pounds.
Zeb Gill wrestled at 152 pounds and nailed a 6-5 decision.
Josh Richardson pinned his opponent at 171 pounds in the second period.
Luke Boilini also scored a win with a second-period pin at 215 pounds.
The skies darkened as the Pirates faced off in dual match against host Monte Vista - a team Janowsky did not regard as highly as La Junta.
"We lost 48-22 to Monte Vista," said Janowsky. "La Junta beat Monte pretty convincingly earlier in the evening and I expected more from a lot of our guys. We blew leads and wrestled scared a lot of the time. The Monte kids were wrestling in front of their home crowd; they smelled blood, got the upper hand and kept it."
Michael Martinez won his match at 103 pounds with a pin in the third period.
Ronnie O'Brien beat a Monte wrestler at 125 pounds, fashioning a 10-4 decision.
Richardson pinned his man at 171 pounds in the second period of the match.
The doldrums experienced against Monte Vista continued through the first round of action at the Center Invitational the next morning.
"The first round at Center was more of the same," said the coach. "Toward the end of the first round, we were able to string together a few wins. As the day went on, we made some real progress, and I felt good about it." Pagosa finished fourth in a 9-team field. The tournament was won by Sanford.
Martinez took first place at 103 pounds. Following a first-round bye, Martinez pinned a Cañon City wrestler in the second period. He got his tourney championship with what his coach called "a big win in the finals. Michael dominated the guy from Mountain Valley; he got a 12-point lead then pinned him in the third period."
Boilini finished second at 215 pounds. The Pirate junior drew a bye in the first round of action then earned a trip to the finals when he pinned a Cañon City athlete in the first period. Boilini lost to a Sanford wrestler in the championship match.
Gill dropped down one weight class, to 145 pounds and earned a second-place finish. Gill started by pinning an opponent from Sangre de Christo, then pinned a Cañon City wrestler in the second period. He lost a 5-3 decision in the finals to an opponent from Trinidad who was a state tournament qualifier at the weight last year.
Trevor Peterson also fought at 145 pounds and finished in third place. A 17-7 decision over a Cañon City opponent sent Peterson to the second round where he lost to a man from Trinidad. Peterson came back strong with pins of opponents from Sangre de Christo and Center to take third.
Hockett was third at 130 pounds. Hockett pinned a man from Trinidad then lost a match to a wrestler from Mountain Valley. A pin of a Sanford opponent put Hockett in the fight for third place, which he won by again pinning the Trinidad wrestler.
Jordan Kurt-Mason returned from a lengthy injury layoff and took third place at 152 pounds. The sophomore opened with a pin of a Trinidad athlete. Following a loss to the eventual tourney champion from Sanford, Kurt-Mason pinned two wrestlers from Cañon City to earn his third-place standing.
Jesse Trujillo (112 pounds) and O'Brien (125 pounds) finished in fourth place in their weight classes respectively. Trujillo fashioned wins over wrestlers from Monte Vista and Sanford; O'Brien beat opponents from Cañon City and Sanford.
Clayton Mastin won a single match at Center, defeating a Cañon City wrestler at 140 pounds.
"This was a good tournament for us to wrestle," said Janowsky. "In one respect, it was a good weekend because most of our kids got six matches. We badly needed the mat time."
As the coach sees it, the main task for most of his young wrestlers is to improve the mental side of the sport. With that, he says, another important factor will be fully engaged.
"To me," said Janowsky, "our techniques looked very good. We lost most of the time because of mental toughness and confidence, and physical strength. When you're not confident, you don't use your strength. Through the day Saturday at Center we started to exert 100 percent, to get more assertive. We started winning and when we wrestled confidently, we were competitive. I hope we can carry it over to this weekend."
The Pirates visit Bayfield tomorrow night for a dual meet against the Wolverines. Junior varsity matches begin at 6 p.m.
"We will have some solid competition at Bayfield," said the coach, "and we will be well within our abilities in our matches against them."
The same goes for Saturday's Ignacio Tournament, said Janowsky. "We're changing things up a bit this week, practicing twice each day. We're going to try to push our conditioning and do a lot of live wrestling. We'll do what we can do to continue to build confidence, and conditioning does a lot to improve confidence. From this point on, we're going to have to wrestle at a pace that wears more experienced opponents down."
Action at the 10-team Ignacio tournament begins at 10 a.m.
Height advantage helps Ladies stop Piedra Vista
By Richard Walter
Coach Karen Wells knew nothing about her Lady Pirates' opponents for a non-league basketball game Tuesday night at Piedra Vista High School in Farmington.
But when she saw the opponents come on the floor and realized their tallest player was at least five inches shorter than her own center, 6-foot-3 Ashley Gronewoller, the strategy became obvious: Lob the ball inside, or pound it inside to your advantage.
The stats line for the 59-38 Pagosa victory reflects that game plan. Gronewoller scored a game-high 25 points and sat out a good portion of the fourth quarter when the outcome had long been decided.
Her 12 field goals in 21 attempts reflected a 57 percent accuracy mark from the floor. However, she converted only 1 of 4 free throw attempts.
Her front court running mate Katie Lancing, the team's leading scorer for the season, was in early foul trouble, contributing only two first-half points when she scored on a drive off the opening tip from Gronewoller.
Lancing came back with 10 second-half points on 6 for 9 shooting from the floor before fouling out with 4:27 left in the game.
Despite the Lady Pirates' height advantage and the fact they opened with a 9-2 lead after one quarter, Piedra Vista refused to take defeat as a given.
With 5-foot-7 guard Brooke Bradley bombing a pair of treys and adding two charity tosses in the second quarter, the homestanding Lady Panthers played the Pagosa visitors almost evenly in the quarter and were down only 22-14 at the half.
During the period, Pagosa got eight more points from Gronewoller, two each from Meigan Canty and Tiffanie Hamilton and a charity toss from Shannon Walkup.
With Lancing back in the game to open the second half, the Lady Pirates went on a scoring blitz with a 16-2 early run featuring four Gronewoller field goals and three more from Lancing. The period also included one field goal each by Canty, Hamilton, Walkup and Andrea Ash.
Still, Piedra Vista battled back, riding a pair of treys by Shannon Krens, four points from Shanna Harrison and two each from Natalie Hoover and Stefanie Dixon to be outscored only 22-14 in the period, leaving Pagosa's lead at 44-28 after three quarters.
The final quarter, with Lancing fouling out less than half way through and Gronewoller giving way to Nicole Buckley in the post with 5:17 remaining, boiled down to how much the final margin would be.
Ash, Lancing and Walkup each had four points in the period, Canty added a pair and Joetta Martinez broke into the scoring column hitting 1 of 2 from the free throw line. Only Buckley and Carlena Lungstrum failed to score for Pagosa but both contributed to the overall effort, Buckley with three defensive rebounds and Lungstrum with one board at each end and two assists.
For the game, the Lady Pirates hit 28 of 52 field goal attempts, 53 percent, but were only 4 for 11 from the foul line.
The Ladies height advantage was obvious in the rebounding statistics where they held a 35-12 margin paced by Gronewoller with 10, seven on the defensive boards. Hamilton added seven, five of them off the offensive boards to keep attacks alive and Lancing chipped in with five, four on the offensive end. Walkup had four, two at each end, Ash added two, and Canty one.
Coach Wells was displeased, at times, with her team's lackadaisical ball control, but was happy at other moments when they showed superb recognition and hit teammates with sharp passes.
Leading the assist brigade were Hamilton with six and Walkup with five. Canty had four, Lancing added three, Lungstrum, two and Gronewoller and Ash each had one.
Walkup, Lancing and Gronewoller each had four steals. Ash added two and Canty one. Gronewoller had four blocked shots and Lancing one.
Bradley led Piedra Vista scoring with 10 points, all in the first half and Harrison chipped in with nine, all in the second half. Krens had seven, Stefanie Dixon and Alisha Martinelli each had four, and Hoover added three.
Two reserve guards were inactive for Pagosa, senior Amber Mesker still recovering from a broken rib and Tasha Andrews felled by the flu bug.
The game was the regular season's final non-league fray for the Lady Pirates, now 11-2 overall, who travel to Ignacio tonight, host Bayfield Feb. 2 and travel to Monte Vista the following day. They will visit Centauri Feb. 9, host Ignacio Feb. 15 and close out the league season the following day when Monte Vista comes here to makeup the game snowed out Jan. 13. The district tournament will be in Bayfield Feb. 23 and 24.
Many warrant our Mardi Gras plaudits
Wow, I can only hope that everyone had at least as much fun as I did at our Mardi Gras last Saturday night.
I laughed myself silly and was delighted to hear that a good time was had by one and all. This, of course, confirms what I have strongly suspected all along: Chamber members love silliness and have no problem laughing at their own frailties and foibles, and we are grateful that you feel that way. Thank you so much for attending and making it such a successful party.
We are indebted to the many people who worked hard to make the evening such a rip-roarin' success, and I only hope I don't forget anyone. Many thanks to the staff at Pagosa Lodge for being so accommodating to our needs. Frances and Jennifer in the Sales Department were especially attentive and helpful, and Chef Mark Browning did a magnificent job with the food preparation. I heard nothing but rave reviews about the authentic Cajun food, and Molly May did a great job with the King Cake. Thanks to all at Pagosa Lodge for allowing us to pretty much take over the place for two days.
The Lodge looked gorgeous thanks to the best decorating crew ever. The following folks are now eligible for their Official Chamber of Commerce Decorating License: Ken Harms, Bonnie Masters, Lauri Heraty, Maureen Clancy, Mark DeVoti, Erica DeVoti, Robert Soniat, Tina Soniat, Mrs. Soniat (Robert's poor mother), Don McKeehan, Mary McKeehan, Kelli McKeehan, Mike Markley, Dick Babillis, Liz Marchand, Mike Heraty, Terry Smith, Lynnis Steinert, Morna Trowbridge, Doug Trowbridge, Suellen Loher, Leslie Montroy and, of course, my Evil, Evil Twin, Betty Johann.
Betty once again loaned us plenty of paraphernalia; she decorated the stage and made our matching snowflake costumes. I honestly couldn't believe the mirror when I took a gander at myself. Only Betty could have created such wildly inventive and unique outfits.
Suellen and Morna, as always, were there through the thick and thin of things beginning with the shopping Morna did in New Orleans for decorations. Bless them both for consistently rising to the sometimes ridiculous and almost always trying demands of working for the Chamber. One has to be extremely flexible and have a few loose screws to work here.
Thanks, too, to Darrell Cotton for engraving our plaques, to Leslie Montroy for all the work on the vests and shirts, and to Carol Fulenwider for the gorgeous frames on certificates and pictures. We also thank Lee Riley, Ron and Sheila Hunkin, and Mary Hart for staying after the party and counting the votes for the Board of Director positions - which is a nice segue into the next topic.
I am delighted to announce the names of the new Chamber of Commerce Board Directors elected Saturday night. Welcome to Matt Bachus with Piano Creek, Angie Dahm with WolfTracks Bookstore and Coffee Company and Will Spears with KWUF AM and FM Radio. We want to thank Linda Delyria, April Bergman and Wayne Wilson for their willingness to participate in the closest election I've witnessed in six years. It takes great courage to run for any office, and I have great admiration for all the individuals who appeared on our ballot. Matt, Angie, and Will will be joining us for their indoctrination (trial by fire) into the Chamber at our annual, all-day board retreat Friday at TLC's. They will then realize exactly what kind of nonsense they've gotten themselves into.
While we're in the congratulation mode, we also want to congratulate the winners of the Stith Citizen of the Year Award, Don and Mary McKeehan, and the American Cancer Society Road to Recovery drivers for winning Volunteer of the Year honors. Well deserved on both counts.
We are always thrilled to honor Pagosa folks who do so much for our community. Next week look for the winners of the Pagosa Pride Awards.
Once again we remind you that Archuleta County Habitat for Humanity is looking for four qualified and enthusiastic volunteers to fill key positions in their organization. They are looking for someone to head up the Fundraising Committee, preferably an individual with a "sparkplug" type personality. They are also looking for chairpeople for the Human Resources Committee, the Building Committee and the Public Relations Committee. If you are interested to learn more about any or all of these positions, please call David Conrad at 264-6880 or call us at 264-2360.
We have six new members to introduce to you this week and 14 renewals. It would seem that our new renewal envelopes are working like little charms and doing just the job we need them to do.
Our first new member this week is Wade Duncan with Genesis Mortgage located at 478 San Juan Street. Wade is a full-service mortgage broker with both residential and commercial financing. He can also be of service with purchase, refinance, construction, second homes, lots, land, college, and bill consolidation. There's more, so you can give him a call at 264-1414 to learn more about Genesis Mortgage.
We next welcome Susan and George Wanket who bring us American Dream Builders, Inc., located right here in Pagosa Springs. These folks are builders of high-quality custom homes - no surprise as George Wanket, president, is a third generation builder. Most of the work is done "in house" to ensure quality control. Please give Susan and George a call at 731-3423 to learn more about American Dream Builders.
We thank Nan Rowe for recruiting these folks and will be pleased to reward her with a free SunDowner.
Welcome to David Hanson who brings us Colorado Roofing and Construction located here in Pagosa. David can help you with re-roofing, new roofs and/or repairs regardless of whether it's metal roofing, shakes or shingles. He can actually help you with any type of construction whether it's new or additions. Please give him a call at 264-ROOF (7663) for more information.
Thanks to the folks with the Echo Canyon Ranch Association for joining us as a homeowners association.
We welcome two new couples who joined our ranks as Associate Members: Carl and Pat Jolliff, and Wayne and Diane Lumbattis. These folks are going to be great members because the ink wasn't yet dry on their membership forms, and they were all at the Mardi Gras having a grand time. Thanks again to Nan and Gary Rowe for recruiting Wayne and Diane. At this rate, the Rowes won't ever have to pay to get into another SunDowner.
Renewals this week include Lindy Bauer with L. Bauer Construction; Mary Jo Coulehan with TLC's: A Bed and Breakfast; Kenny King with King Capital, Inc. located locally and offices in Albuquerque; Betty Diller with Diller Financial Services and H & R Block; Leslie Montroy with Monograms Plus Leather; Gregg Jorgensen with Pagosa Outside LLC/Backcountry Angler; Michelle Reyes, Store Manager, City Market, Inc. No. 38; Jeff or Barb Schmidt with Schmidt Chiropractic; Norma B. Murphy, DC, Wolf Creek Health Center, PC; Eric Maedgen with Eric Maedgen Photography; Rusty Hector, Store Manager, City Market, Inc. No. 45; Barbara Husbands with the Lone Star Cattle Company and Elaine Bisel with Pack Saddle Ranch Bed and Breakfast located in Bayfield. We are most grateful to one and all.
Weekend holds a variety of entertainment venues
January is generally a quiet month; a time to get reorganized and refocused after the hectic months of November and December. But there are still things happening that many of you will enjoy being a part of. Don't forget the Improv-O-Rama benefit performance, 7 p.m. this Saturday at the Pagosa Springs High School auditorium, for the Archuleta County Victims Assistance Program. Denver's own improvisational troupe, Improv-O-Rama is loosely patterned after ABC's smash hit, "Whose Line is it, Anyway?" and funny as heck. Proceeds from the Pagosa performance will benefit the local, non-profit victim's assistance program. This program supports victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in Archuleta County. Carmen Hubbs, director of the Archuleta County Victims Assistance Program, is encouraging the community to support the event and reap the benefits of an evening of good laughs. Tickets are on sale at Ruby Sisson Library, Moonlight Books, Pack N' Mail Plus and Wild Hare Gift Shop.
Maybe you have noticed your co-worker or neighbor who is always working out. You might wonder why they do it. What compels them to put on their shorts and tennis shoes and go exercise?
If you ask them why they are committed to being in shape, you may get an answer that surprises you - it's fun. Here are several reasons why fitness is so much fun.
Contrary to what you may have believed, working out will not leave your body drained and exhausted. Actually, exercise does just the opposite. As you get in shape, you will have more energy for your daily activities. When you become more productive at work and home, you will be glad you took the time to work out.
Regular exercise can boost your self-confidence. You are achieving you fitness goals through persistence and determination. When you start to feel frustrated over a tough problem at work or a stressful evening at home, you can no longer tell yourself that you are not good at anything. You have proved that you can succeed and persevere by getting fit. This self-confidence will spill over into many situations.
Working out is a great way to help your body stay healthy. Consistent exercise lessens your risk of experiencing many diseases. Even moderate exercise can help with osteoporosis, heart disease, obesity, back pain and other common problems you might be suffering.
Do you experience a lot of stress in your life? When you're stressed out, try jogging, karate, aerobics or some other physical activity you enjoy. It's amazing how exercise can relieve stress.
Tired of not liking what you see when you look in the mirror? Start exercising. Regular exercise can help your body shed extra pounds. Also, working out will help your body look more toned. As you add muscle and lose fat, you will begin to anticipate your exercise routine. When you start exercising regularly, you'll discover that working out can be enjoyable - especially as you begin to look and feel your best.
Birthday wishes, board meeting and dance on tap
Time has flown since the beginning of the New Year - Friday, Jan. 26, is almost here and will be a busy day. First, at lunch we will honor the folks who celebrated birthdays in January: Tom Evans, Delpha McFatridge, Mary Lucero, Bill Ulery, Vernon Day, Mabel Bennett, Dawnie Silva (our kitchen supervisor), Paul Behrents, Henry Barsanti, Ken Fox, Ted Cope, Patty Sterling, Madeline Finney and Robert Baumgardner. We wish all these folks belated Happy Birthdays.
After lunch is our Senior Citizens board meeting, and that evening is our monthly potluck/dance at 5 p.m. at the Center. The good food and social interaction makes us look forward to the potluck/dance - I hope more folks join us on Friday evening.
Our next bus trip to Durango for shopping is scheduled for Feb. 1. We must have at least 10 folks sign up for the bus to travel so interested parties should sign up soon.
This week we have more good news for members of our group - Edelweiss Needlework Chalet has offered a 10 percent discount to folks who present their Senior membership card. For the nominal yearly membership charge of $3 we truly get many benefits. We are happy that Sydney and Billy Evans have renewed their membership.
Each week I report who our Senior of the Week is but have been remiss in not explaining how we determine who is to be honored. On Friday of each week Dawnie (our kitchen supervisor) draws a name from those who have registered that day. If that person has not received the honor recently, he/she is designated Senior of the Week. If we should draw the name of a recent honoree, we draw again - we want everyone to have an equal opportunity since they do receive free meals for the week of their recognition. This week we are pleased to honor Carolyn Hansen, who is a mainstay of our group.
It is sad that so many of our group are having health problems. Lilly Gurule, Henry Barsanti, and Medina Hamilton are all on the ailing list this week. Mary Lucero is again suffering severe health problems - please continue prayers for Mary, as well as the above mentioned folks.
We hear that Irene Carey is now residing at Pine Ridge - we hope her friends will visit her there.
Like it or not, soon it will be time to start preparing our income tax returns. Beginning Thursday, Jan. 25, we will have folks available to help seniors prepare their taxes. Please call Payge at 264-2250 for an appointment with one of these experts.
Cancer story brings prayers, advice
When you start to tell people that you've been diagnosed with breast cancer, the responses are as varied as they come.
As varied as your many friends.
People have offered their prayers. They've put me in touch with friends of theirs who've had cancer. They're lighting candles for me and given me books. They've tried to cheer me and Hotshot up with encouraging words: "You're strong. I know you'll lick this. Hang in there, girl!" And they've given me all kinds of support and advice.
They hope that I get along with my doctors, that I get second opinions, that I go to "good cancer centers."
The good news is that unless your cancer is something really extraordinary, most cancer centers can deal with it competently. The bad news is, there are so many of us out there, that most cancer centers can deal with it competently.
Being a modern woman, I've also gone surfing on the net. Oncolink and NCI/NIH are two good sites for information, and so is the susanlove md.com site. I've read about clinical trials and the side effects of chemotherapy. I've read "survivor stories." I've read about motivational exercises and tapes.
One belief about cancer is that it's the result of an immune system gone awry. After all, those are your own cells that have suddenly started dividing like crazy. It's not like you caught something. You're not contagious.
Since those are just your own cells gone awry, was one piece of advice, you should learn to love them as you love yourself. Well, sorry, this is more than I can do. I prefer to think that my T-cells are also part of my body, and I'm going to love them as they go around gobbling up those errant cancer cells. Call it "tough love."
If the immune system doesn't identify these crazy cancer cells, then maybe you can best fight the cancer by building up your immune system. Get those T-cells, those leukocytes, those white blood cells charged up and out there working, doing their job, earning their keep.
Help them out, goes this theory, with good nutrition and enzymes from Europe or elixirs from Mexico.
Well, I'm all for the good nutrition part. Actually, I thought I was doing that already. But I'm not real sure about some of these remedies.
It's hard to know if burdock and slippery elm and other herbal concoctions really helped the ancient Aztecs or Mayans. I don't think we've got enough information to know about their cancer incidence. Until there's more evidence, I'm a little leery of any remedy that is supposed to be some ancient cure.
On the other hand, my doctors have said that I ought to undergo chemotherapy, based on the size and stage of the tumor, no matter what the lymph nodes show. Chemotherapy is a pretty horrendous assault on the body. Sure, it kills the cancer cells. It also knocks out the immune system.
Fifty years ago, a diagnosis of cancer was kept secret. The Big C was the Big Secret. Now, discussing breasts has become commonplace. Comic strips talk about mam- mograms. Comic strips, for Pete's sake! Hotshot hasn't heard so many women discussing their breasts since forever.
Only thirty years ago, mastectomy was the only form of treatment. In recommending that I have a mastectomy, one of my surgeons talked about removing "the breast" as casually, it seemed to me, as if he were offering to hang up my coat.
He also said that I could have an immediate reconstruction. I thought that reconstruction meant putting one of those plastic sacks filled with silicone into your chest. Seemed a little risky to me, to put artificial ingredients into a body already susceptible to cancer. But it turns out there's a reconstruction method that takes the fat from your little poochey tummy and moves it to your chest. You get a tummy tuck and a new breast all at the same time.
Then they can tattoo it to resemble a nipple. I know I wanted a tattoo, but this wasn't what I had in mind.
Cancer is a tremendous mind game. It's statistics. Eighty percent of the women diagnosed with what I've got survive for 5 years. Twenty percent of the women whose underarm lymph nodes are dissected have trouble with lymphedema, or swollen arm. A sentinel node biopsy is 95 percent accurate for detecting the spread of the cells to the lymph system, provided the surgeon is well-trained in the procedure. And there are all kinds of other statistics.
It's hard to decide what's the best thing to do. The statistics are compiled from what happens with lots and lots of different women. Every woman is an individual, and so you can't really judge your own situation from the statistics.
Just think, if this were a developing country, or someplace like Ukraine, finding a lump would mean the beginning of the end. No statistical variation. Every woman would have basically the same chance - 100 percent no survival.
Some of the advice I valued the most came from women who have themselves had cancer. They wrote me about how they dealt with the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation.
Another friend told me about the people she met while having chemotherapy, "some of them in wheel chairs, many in stocking caps to hide bald heads. I knew that I was part of a community of survivors and that appearances or opinions of others were meaningless. I learned to live one day at a time, and be grateful for that."
That's pretty powerful.
Variety of donated volumes continues to grow
The Carnegie Corporation of New York donated a new book, "Coming to Terms: South Africa's Search for Truth." The book traces the history of South Africa's quest for self-determination. This book is the corp- oration's attempt to encourage greater understanding of one of the most destabilizing phenomena of the post-Cold war era. The book is by Martin Meredith and Tina Rosenberg.
Most homes built before 1978 contain some lead-based paint. It may be harmful to your family's health. We have a video and CD comprehensive guide to maintaining a "lead-free" home. These may be checked out.
Past is prologue
We thank Genevieve Phelps for donating her back issues of "Prologue" the quarterly of the National Archives, and "The Record," the archives newsletter. These are excellent resources for school reports. They are also of general interest to patrons and history buffs.
State ed standards
Kate Terry donated 11 subject standards that represent what students will need to know to graduate from a state K-12 program.
These will be of interest to parents and anyone assisting a student through the school system. They may be checked out.
Lost and found
Someone left a maroon, zippered collection of colored marking pens and a small blue wire notebook at the library Jan. 6.
We have the latest issue of this plan. Ask for it at the desk.
This is a slick publication aimed at people wanting to start businesses in Colorado. Our area is mentioned as "fertile ground for entrepreneurs." We are in the Region 9 Economic Development District. Dove Creek is mentioned for its pinto beans. Our county didn't even get mentioned for hosting Chimney Rock.
The magazine says that Colorado is ranked best in the nation for business. Three of the top five cities of the 316 metro areas ranked nationwide are in Colorado. For more information, you can call 303-892-3840.
The state published a website list of general information for students and citizens on a variety of Colorado government subjects. The list is available to copy free of charge.
We were sent a handout from the governor's Office of Energy Management. It has some energy-savings tips. Ask for a free copy at the desk. You may qualify for help paying your energy bill. There are two phone numbers to call to get more information.
ACLIN phone number
For those of you who do interlibrary loan searching at home, the new phone is 1-800-748-0888. By March, all of the old numbers will be shut down. The new phone number is available statewide. Please switch to the new number immediately.
Thanks for financial help in memory of Ernest Schutz from Alan and Patricia Button. Thanks for materials from Lisa and Bob Scott, Sylvia Murray, Paulette Mobley, Kimi Bliss, Dodie Wood, Carole Howard, Britany Goins, Becky Porco, Sandra Martin, Bill Pongratz, Dr. Dohner, Nancy Lu-Walls, Linda and Elvis Ream, Fran Jenkins, and Gail Shepherd.
Pagosa grad was inauguration sentry
When a local boy graduates from Pagosa Springs High School in May 2000 and participates in the President's Inauguration eight months later, that's news. Right?
James Kirkham, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Jimmy Kirkham, graduated form Pagosa Springs High School, and opted to go in the U.S. Army rather than go to college. When he joined the Army he went to Fort Benning in Georgia for basic training. After being tested, he was asked if he would be interested in the Third Infantry Regiment, better know in military as "The Old Guard." This prestigious regiment is stationed at Ft. Myers in Washington, D.C., guards the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, takes part in burials at Arlington Cemetery, and participates in other ceremonial and patriotic ceremonies such as presidential inaugurations.
Pfc. James Kirkham was stationed on the steps of the Capitol about 100 yards from President Bush. When all the dignitaries were seated on the steps, he then moved down and around the podium to help seat 150 Medal of Honor recipients, two of whom were generals. Some were in uniform and some weren't, but James noticed a couple of them wearing Texas Ranger badges and he talked to them. The Kirkhams moved to Pagosa from Texas five years ago.
The preparations for a President's Inauguration usually take two months, but this one was put together in three weeks. The Old Guard practiced during the three weeks, wearing their full-dress uniforms the Sunday before. The duty the day of the Inauguration was 10 hours. The soldiers were there at 3 a.m.
To top this account, you can ask "what did James think of all this?" The answer is that it was (he said) "an awesome experience." We can certainly understand that.
The Kirkhams have another son, Robert, who attends the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and is in ROTC.
Ima Gurl's notes
The biggest surprise in the Inaugural Parade (for Ima Gurl) was hearing NBC commentator Al Roker use the word "binocular" as a single word. He answered when asked if he'd seen someone (or something): "I didn't have my binocular with me." Although using the plural world "Binoculars" is customary these days, the traditional use was the singular word, for binocular means "pertaining to both eyes, or involving both eyes at the same time, as "binocular field glass." Some people do get picky, don't they?
In the book "Day of Trinity" by Lansing Lamont, Pagosa Springs is mentioned. The occasion was when the plutonium to be used in the Trinity test at Los Alamos was being transported by convoy from California to Los Alamos. To quote: "From Cortez to Pagosa Springs, Colorado, it zigzagged between 7000-foot peaks where rock slides and washouts threatened." The book was published by Athenaeum, New York, 1985.
There is a sunglass-goggle on the market designed by an optha- mologist for people whose eyes don't tear and so they get eye infections easily. The rims are edged with a medical foam rubber. They are double-lensed with an antifog coating. The second lens can be a prescription lens which has to be ordered from the company, but the regular ones can be purchased at Ski and Bow Rack. They aren't cheap but they are useful in this environment. They are called PanopTx, the windless eyewear.
Fun on the run
A couple was touring the Capitol in Washington, D.C., and the guide pointed out a tall, benevolent gentleman as the congressional chaplain.
The lady asked, "What does the chaplain do? Does he pray for the Senate or the House?"
The guide answered, "No, he gets up, looks at the Congress, then prays for the country."
Gallery will take February winter break
The Pagosa Springs Arts Council Gallery at Town Park will close for a winter break beginning Feb. 8. It will reopen March 7. Anyone interested in renting out the space during this time should call Joanne at 264-5020.
You still have until Feb. 7 to stop by the gallery and check out the wonderful bargains at the "Artists Liquidation Sale." Local artists have marked down their work for clearance. Make sure you do not miss this annual event.
PSAC's first 2001 exhibit will open March 8 with an open house reception from 5 to 7 p.m. The featured artist will be Amanda Taylor. She will show her collection of animals in acrylics, oils and pastels.
Do not forget the Arts Council Gallery, located just south of the stoplight, is open Tuesday through Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Meeting and election
The Arts Council will hold its membership meeting Feb. 13 from 5 to 7 p.m. This annual meeting for all members will be at the Piano Creek Ranch office located at 468 Lewis Street. Entertainment will be provided by Bruce Andersen and Joe Gilbert. As usual, wonderful refreshments will be served.
This night will also be a time to elect two new board members to replace outgoing president Jeff Laydon and at-large director Bruce Andersen. In the past, elections have involved board members only. Due to a new election structure, all members of the council have the opportunity to be heard. You can find your ballot in the Petroglyph which is sent out to all members quarterly. You can drop off your ballot at the gallery in Town Park before Feb. 7, or you can bring it with you to the Feb. 13 meeting. See you there.
The PPKM's 2001 winter production will be a space odyssey and science fiction spoof with lots of upbeat dancing, singing, robots, and rock and roll. Performances are set for March 9, 10, 16 and 17. Watch for more information coming soon, or call Susan Garman at 731-2485.
The Arts Council would like to thank Nancy Green for all her hard work and dedication to the PSAC scrapbook. She routinely updates the scrapbook, and we sure do appreciate her efforts.
We are also seeking volunteers to help us out at the gallery and at PSAC functions throughout the year. If this sounds like something for you, call Joanne at 264-5020.
Finally, if you would like to join the PSAC as a member, it is very easy. Just stop by the gallery in Town Park and fill out a simple membership form. An annual individual membership is $25, and a family membership is $30. Your membership also entitles you to really great discounts.
Basketball leagues open competition
The adult basketball league started Tuesday with competitive recreational and women's league games scheduled Monday through Thursday at 8:30 p.m, until youth basketball is complete.
Schedules can be picked up at the gym and are available at Town Hall.
The season will run through March and end before spring break. Players interested in joining existing teams and anyone willing to help officiate or keep score should contact the recreation office as soon as possible, 264-4151.
Youth basketball games continue Monday through Thursday at the junior high and intermediate school gyms. On Feb. 2, the Magic and Hawks, and the Bobcats and Bulls, will play games during halftime at the high school boy's game against Bayfield - approximately 7:30 p.m. Youth basketball players wearing team shirts will be admitted free; parents pay $2 for admission. Other youth teams will play Feb. 10 at 5:30 p.m.
The two Pagosa Springs contestants who qualified for the area shootout held at Durango finished with trophies. Kerry Joe Hilsabeck shot 13 of 25 free throws to finish second in her division, and Jessica Lynch finished second with a score of 17 of 25. Last year, Mollie Honan of Pagosa Springs won the Western Colorado District contest among 12 and 13 year-old girls.
Tonight is the last night for figure skating lessons. The class decided not to make up snow days from last week. Anyone wishing to take one last lesson on the pond can do so by registering at the site for $5. Skates can be rented from Summit Ski and Sport.
The next Park and Recreation Commission meeting is Feb. 5 at 6 p.m. in Town Hall. The meeting will be used to discuss results of surveys distributed before Christmas. Two hundred twenty-eight surveys were returned to help determine the five-year future of the recreation department in Pagosa Springs. At the last meeting, John Long was appointed to a two-year term on the commission to fill Debbie Swenson's position. All meetings are open to the public and pizza is served at 6 p.m.
Time for a review
Next Thursday's rate increases on newsstands and subscriptions will not be accompanied by an apology. Staying in business is a necessary responsibility of a newspaper. Almost 10 years ago the SUN raised its newsstand rate from 25 cents to 35 cents. Next Thursday, a copy of the SUN will cost 50 cents on the newsstands.
Thanks to the rate increase that was imposed April 4, 1991, the SUN has not only remained in business, but thanks to increased staff and updated equipment, the SUN continues to fulfill its responsibilities and be worth buying and reading. These responsibilities deal with providing accurate timely news, providing a venue for public opinions, offering editorial comments and producing effective advertisements.
Since most folks want to know what they are paying for when making a purchase, the following is a review of the objectives the SUN works to maintain.
News articles and news releases: News articles contain verifiable facts regarding events, activities or public meetings that are of general interest to citizens of Archuleta County. They are written by paid reporters who strive for accuracy and objectivity while accepting the fact that the SUN is not inerrant. News releases are submitted by outside sources and are published based on their relevance to local readers.
Personal news releases relate to significant events such as engagements, weddings, anniversaries or obituaries. Usually they are written by members of the families directly involved. General news releases relate to items such as church events, social activities, fund raising activities, youth or adult organizations, civic organizations, community or neighborhood activities. This type of news release usually are submitted by representatives of the organizations or persons involved with the special events. The editor maintains the right to edit any news release submitted to this newspaper. He will also determine its news worthiness, placement in the newspaper and when, or if, it will be published. There are no charges for news releases.
If a person demands that submitted copy, whether an article or letter, be published exactly as written, and placed on a specific page, and appear in a certain issue, this person must accept the fact that such conditions are only met for paid advertisements.
Editorials: These are written by the editor. These comments may not always adhere to popular opinion or please the majority, but they will always reflect the thoughts of the editor. When the editor chooses, a guest will be invited to fill this space. At times, as with some letters to the editor, an editorial comment may be included with the guest's comments.
Freedom of Speech: In part, the First Amendment guarantees a publisher the right to publish a newspaper, it doesn't deal with the rights of a letter writer. However, to provide readers an opportunity to express their opinions on issues of concern, the SUN prints as many letters to the editor as practical. The editor reserves the right to decide whether or not a letter will be printed.
Paid Advertisements: Along with subscription and newsstand sales, these are the products that enable the SUN to report on the people, events and governmental entities of Archuleta County. Paid advertisements provide readers with valuable information about activities, entertainment, legal transactions, products and services. Required to comply with legal restrictions and common decency, and to contain factual claims and information, the space occupied by an advertisement is paid for by businesses or individuals.
The SUN only sells advertising space. It does not sell the authority to influence the news or editorial content of the newspaper.
Standards: Sometimes, a newspaper must raise its prices. At all times, a newspaper must strive to maintain its standards and to preserve its integrity.
David C. Mitchell
Mindless tasks cause idle ideas
Cynthia's book club et al threw a baby shower for one of their very-expectant compatriots Sunday afternoon.Rather than the conventional duties associated with a shower; my assignment was clearing the snow off the driveway. It's one of those mindless tasks for which I'm well suited.
My problem with performing mindless tasks is that my teachers taught me how, and Mom encouraged me to read. When performing a mindless task, my brain often takes on the characteristics of a cow's stomach. I ruminating what I've have read. I while away the time listening to myself talk while my lips never move while my body works.
I vainly think that some of the best editorials I've never written were argued inside my mind while I was splitting wood, shoveling snow or what have you. However, as burned fire wood became ash or the piled snow evaporated or melted; my mindless thoughts departed once I quit working.
A few years back I read that a journalist was someone who faithfully carried a writing implement and writing pad so as to jot down fleeting idealistic ideas or philosophical monologues. Instead of carrying a journal, I started wondering whether a person who kept notes on his thoughts in a writing tablet would be a "noteist" or a "tabletist." I never found an answer.
So please bear with me. The driveway is clean. I'm not to return home for four hours. It's Sunday afternoon. I'm at my keyboard trying to record my wandering wonderings that surfaced while cleaning the driveway. (Warning: When performing a mindless task, my mind works in two simple modes - an "if" mode and a "why" mode.)
If the early Catholic Spaniards had demonstarted a true concern about bringing the gospel of Christ to the new lands, an illegal immigrant from Mexico would not have died and 18 others would not have been injured Monday of last week when a pickup truck overturned on U.S. 160 near Yellow Jacket Pass.
If the early Protestant European seekers of religious freedom and those who followed had truly preached and practiced the gospel of Christ in early America, Monday of last week would not have been a national holiday and Rev. Martin Luther King could have enjoyed his 72nd birthday with his grandchildren.
Why is it against the law in Charlotte, N.C., to "use an instrument - a gun - to try to destroy an unborn child" such as in the Rae Curruth trial; and yet it's lawful for a surgeon in North Carolina to destroy an unborn child by using an instrument(s) such as surgical tools or a suction hose?
If murder convictions are being overturned and prisoners set free because of scientific DNA evidence that was not available at the time of the original trial and conviction; why isn't the latest medical evidence - ultrasound photos, inner-uterus photos etc. of a human embryo - used for reconsidering Roe vs. Wade? What determines what new scientific evidence is permissible and what new scientific evidence isn't when reviewing earlier decisions?
Why is it acceptable for Sen. Joe Leiberman, D-Conn., an orthodox, practicing Jew - to be nominated for vice president and yet its unacceptable for former Sen. John Ashcroft, R-Mo. - an orthodox, practicing Christian - to be nominated for attorney general?
If he was a unifier, President Bush would have followed Democrat precedence and nominated one of his younger brothers attorney general.
Why is it wrong to demonstrate against partial birth aboritions that are imposed on infants, but it's laudable to protest against death penalties that are to be imposed on convicted criminals? Why can't criminals have the right to decide what happens to their bodies?
If I had written these thoughts or ideas in a log book, would I be a "logger"?
Know you are loved and please keep us in your prayers.
A loo at life in a ranch nearly a century ago
We'll continue this week with Cora Thayer's story of the winter of 1905. This is a part of Mrs. Thayer's interesting memories of her own life. Her writing provides a look at life on a ranch nearly a century ago.
As we rejoin the story, the Thayers have made a trip into Pagosa Springs to stock up on supplies and are prepared for winter, knowing they will not be able to make it back into town until spring.
"We did get much more snow later on. It snowed most all the time for more than a week and the snow was so deep. Del (Cora's husband) kept the road broken to the Gordon Place where he had cows with little calves to look after. I never saw another woman all winter. As it was some time until spring, he was going to run out of hay, so he called Pagosa Springs to try to get George West (the owner of the ranch) in Durango to find out what to do, but the phone line was down and he couldn't get anyone. As Henry Gordon was in a cabin close by, he told him he would have to go to Pagosa horseback to get word to West."
So, while Henry Gordon and Del Thayer worked on breaking a trail through to town, a group of men were working from town toward the Thayer's place. It took three days for the two groups of men to reach each other, opening up a route to Pagosa Springs.
Upon breaking through to the Thayer's, Cora "hurried and had coffee and food for them. We had what was called a bunkhouse, with several beds in it, and also a good stove to heat it, where Henry was staying, and the men rested there and got their clothes dried. They helped Del cut out some of the cattle and get them started on the trail.
"One of the men got behind five or six of the big bulls with a pitchfork to prod them on; they were in the lead. I can't remember who all the men were, but one was Doug Garvin, an old timer of Pagosa. Del was behind the cattle so he could come back home to start another bunch the next morning. I don't remember who came with him. It was much easier to get the next bunch started as the trail was much better and wider. There were men with pack horses with hay on the way to meet the cattle and give them a little of the hay to help to get them out. There were over 400 head, so it took quite a few days to get them to feed. We had a small amount of hay to feed the milk cows and saddle horses, also cows with small calves. A lot of them died."
Burglars hit Hitching Post
Burglars hit the Hitching Post Cafe over the weekend and cracked open coin boxes on various amusement devices. Damage was heavy to the machines but it is believed that little cash was stolen.
A permit to conduct wintertime weather modification operations in a portion of the southern San Juan Mountains was granted to Western Weather Consultants of Durango earlier this month. Conducted on behalf of the Valley Growers Inc. of Center, the purpose of the cloud seeding is to increase the snow pack above 9,500 feet elevation in the upper drainage basins of the Alamosa, Conejos and Rio Grande rivers.
The town has adopted a junk car ordinance that shall make it "unlawful for any person to create or maintain a public nuisance by leaving, placing or depositing and permitting to remain any partially dismantled, wrecked and/or junk vehicle on any street, highway or property within the town limits."
Bill Dunn of the Blanco Basin reports that on Wednesday of this week the contrails from 28 westbound jet aircraft were noticed in a period of about an hour and a quarter.
Duck! Scootermania take the walks
From the proliferation one can see of them on city streets and sidewalks, it is fairly obvious the predominant gift for Christmas 2000 in the 7-to-12 age group was the scooter.
One afternoon last week I was shocked while northbound on Piedra Road to find one coming toward me, piloted by a bundled-up youngster about 9, right in the middle of my lane. When I sounded the horn and slowed almost to a stop he looked at me as if to question why I was on his road.
And try walking on a downtown street just after school is out in the afternoon. If you're not agile enough to duck this way and that at a moment's notice, you'd be better off waiting until school's in session.
Bicycles and skateboards are banned from downtown streets by city ordinance. Maybe we need to look at adding scooters and in-line skates to the restricted list.
At least, those youngsters are trying their new machines on a sidewalk. Those on the public highways are a menace to themselves and to drivers.
So, too, are the youngsters using the bank drive-up lanes at night for scooter "fun." The speed bumps make great ramps for them to launch themselves into flights of fancy. But, let them beware there are automobiles which use those lanes, too, and they'd lose any confrontation of that type.
Finally, the supermarket parking lots, particularly the one at 8th and San Juan streets with its downhill slope, make smooth riding sites for the scooterphiles. But they also endanger themselves by scooting in and out of traffic.
Parents should make sure they know where their children are using those new scooters, that they are aware of areas where they should not be, and what the consequences could be.
I guess the one good thing you can say about this version of scooters is that they are not motorized like the ones which plagued several Pagosa Country neighborhoods for a time early last summer.
And, the recent snows have removed their threat to pedestrians at least temporarily.
* * *
GREAT NEIGHBORS can make any neighborhood a more desirable place to live and in mine there are three who made the recent snows a much more handleable chore than they could have been.
After the Friday night-Saturday snowfall, one neighbor with a snowplow on his pickup came by as I was painstakingly shoveling a way out of my off-street parking area and with a swipe of his plow removed a major portion of what the efficient town snowplow had left for me to extricate my car from.
Later that same morning, as the area between the street and fence seemed to get ever larger and the snow ever deeper, Jim Standifer arrived on scene with an end loader which he promptly used to clear the balance of my snow problem and that of my next door neighbor before finally going across the street to clear his own driveway.
Then came Monday night and my trip home from work anticipating two or three hours of shoveling just to clear the same parking area again.
I was about a third of the way through the mountain of white when I realized the backyard bird feeder hadn't been replenished and dozens of tiny winged creatures might be looking for sustenance.
While I was shoveling a path to the feeder, I looked up and realized next door neighbor Glen Sterkel was clearing my parking area with his snow blower. In a few minutes, these three real neighbors saved one old reporter from hours of backbreaking work.
These three exemplify the "help thy neighbor" attitude that is so common in Pagosa Country.
Thanks guys, for making me glad I came back home four years ago to the land of mountain friendship.
- - -
BORN AND RAISED in this area, I learned to drive on - and in - ice and snow and had drilled into me at an early age that carelessness is the biggest contributor to winter accidents.
The unfortunate crash on Yellow Jacket Pass Jan 15 reportedly involved a vehicle not only moving in excess of the normal speed limit, but also far in excess of the speed advisable for the conditions existing at the time.
It brought me back to the return trip from Bayfield to Pagosa Springs after the series of basketball games there on Friday, Jan. 12. Heavy snow fell throughout the game and six to eight inches was on the ground as we left the gymnasium.
A group of Pagosans decided safety is in numbers in such conditions and formed a caravan to handle the return trip. I suspect many others leaving later did the same thing.
We moved slowly but safely across the whitened landscape, averaging, perhaps, 40 miles per hour. There were no skid-outs. There were times when speed was greatly reduced because of declining visibility and caution was advised, but the pace was steady.
As we topped Yellow Jacket, we slowed perceptibly because of heavy drifting and a sudden spurt of oncoming traffic.
And then it happened.
I was bringing up the rear of the caravan and suddenly behind me I saw flashing lights. A patrol car? An emergency vehicle speeding to a scene of tragedy?
No. It was a red Ford extended cab pickup with flashers activated and headlights flashing bright to dim and back.
Yep! He was in a passing mode. And he did. Passed us all like the posted 60-mile-per-hour speed limit applied no matter what the weather conditions, his New Mexico license plates just a recognizable blur as he went by.
We never saw him again. He was out of sight by the time we reached the bottom. Of course, he might have left the roadway somewhere below us and may still remain buried in an engulfing drift.
Nah. He probably made it back home to somewhere in New Mexico and regaled his buddies with tales of how those country dudes up in Colorado don't know how to drive in the mountains.
You know the routine. Put the pedal to the metal, accelerate with no compunction, and pray the safe drivers get out of your way before you kill someone.
Rails brought a decade of properity
By John M. Motter
A decade of unprecedented prosperity followed the arrival of the railroad in Pagosa Springs during October of 1900.
Six years later, Chas. Day reported in the Pagosa Springs New Era, "The year now drawing to a close has been, despite its discouragements, a most prosperous one for Archuleta county, and although the figures given are largely estimates, they were made by men thoroughly familiar with their respective industries and may be relied upon to be reasonably accurate.
"These figures show that the county has produced during the year about $1,200,000, of which the output of the lumber industry represents half and farming and its allied industry, stock raising, represents the other half.
"One of the most hopeful signs for the permanent prosperity of the county was the increase of tilled land during 1906 and the large number of homestead filings made. The county has a large area of splendid but unclaimed agricultural lands and when these are put under ditch, as they must inevitably be, Archuleta's growth in wealth and population will be greater than ever.
"Pagosa Springs has also fared well during 1906, and although the number of new buildings erected has not been many, several substantial improvements have been made. The year saw the completion of the Arlington bath houses at a cost of over $12,000, the partial building of the new Springs hotel, the erection of a large brick warehouse by the Hatcher Mercantile Co. and other improvements made that probably totaled a cost of $30,000. The population of the town seems to be steadily increasing and now must be fully 900, if not 1,000.
"Perhaps the best indication of the prosperity of the town is the business transacted at the depot. Mr. Kuhn, the agent, says that in the nearly two years that he has been stationed here there has not been a decrease shown in the business of any month as compared to that of the preceding month. The total express and freight business frequently amounts to $500 per day and probably averages $200."
The value of 1906 local production, according to Day, was $600,000 for lumber, $400,000 for sheep and wool, $100,000 for cattle and horses, and $100,000 for all other products. We don't know how to translate those figures into today's dollars. Those of us who remember working for 50 cents or one dollar an hour just 40-50 years ago can compare that with today's wages and get a small inkling of the tremendous amount of growth since 1906.
If Day seems naive in the confidence he places in tilling the land, we must remember that he is coming from the context of his times. None of the products fueling the local economy in 1906 are produced in important quantities today. Will someone 100 years from now be looking at our economy and see as large a change?
One of the important businesses in 1906 before the automobile had become such a necessity was the livery stable. In an advertisement in Day's newspaper, proprietors of "Pagosa Livery and Transfer," Kelley and Norton, offered good driving turnouts, splendid saddle horses, coal and wood, hay and grain, transfer work, water in the barn, and the best of care given stock. They were located on west San Juan Street.
The entire directory of "The Pagosa Telephone Company" ranging from No. 1 at First Bank through No. 65 belonging to W. Cummings was published in Day's newspaper. The rules for using the telephone were: "Ring one short ring to call Central. Tell Central the number wanted and listen until party called answers. When called, take down receiver and answer. NEVER RING BACK, as this will be taken for a "Ring-off" by Central and you will be disconnected. When through talking hang up the receiver and RING OFF (one short ring). When you wish to talk to parties on your own line it is not necessary to call Central, and you should not ring off when through talking, as this will be taken by Central as a call. Much inconvenience can be avoided by always taking down receiver before ringing and listening to see if wire is busy. NEVER RING WHEN YOU HEAR OTHERS USING THE WIRE, BUT HANG UP THE RECEIVER INSTANTLY."
The Pagosa Lumber Co. mill south of town had a huge impact on the local economy; its yards stretched across much of where Pagosa Springs High school is today. According to Day, in March of 1916:
"The Pagosa Lumber Co.'s mill, planer, yards, and commissary are located one mile south of the Pagosa post office and with the residences form the suburb of South Pagosa. The mill steadily employs from 200 to 300 men. A company-owned electric light system and hydrant water are among the modern conveniences. A pool hall and ball room furnish the local amusements. South Pagosa's population is about 300.
"The mill, the largest in Colorado, has a capacity of 75,000 feet every 10 hours. It is a circular saw plant with band resaw. The total saw of the mill averages about 20 million feet per year.
"Fred Burkardt, the superintendent, looks personally after details and the stops are few and far between. Luke Rock, head sawyer, Harry Armstrong, head engineer, and W.H. Weeks, deck foreman, are all old employees and capable.
"Under the mill roof, Sam Manion with a force of five men cuts lath on contract and has been at that line of work since the memory of man runneth not to the contrary. Sawdust is the only fuel to make steam with. About 75 men are employed in the mill and on the deck.
"The planer, under the foremanship of Harry Smith, employs about 35 men. Besides the usual planer stuff turned out, an immense amount of boxing material is made and sold to the trade. A steam drying room built for drying planer lumber holds six cars. Nothing but clear goes into the drying room.
"Over in the lumber yard, also the largest in Colorado, from 25 to 50 men are employed and from 12 to 15 million feet of lumber is stacked along either side of seven tracks a quarter of a mile long. Fred Jones is foreman here.
"The commissary, including a meat market, carries a large, up-to-date stock of general merchandise and a thriving trade. Frank Dowell is manager of the store and has for assistants George Scase, Ross Weeks, and Miss Strong. A meat cutter is in attendance at the meat counter.
"Usually, the company maintains two or three log camps, but at present there is only one, located at the Seigel Hatcher ranch six miles west of town. This camp is in charge of Hugh Kyle, who has earned an enviable reputation as a logging boss. About 40 men are usually employed at the camp.
"The company maintains its own cattle herd to furnish beef for the commissary and camps. Ike Cox is in charge of this branch of the company business.
"One of the company's important cares is the railroad building for logging purposes. Camps are changed often and the roads must be changed or extended as often as camps are moved. But with W.B. (Dad) Sprague in charge of railroad building and general superintendent of logging operations this branch of the work is well taken care of.
"Altogether the payroll of the Pagosa Lumber Co. totals about $30,000 a month and after the D. & R. G. is the largest taxpayer in the county. The company is headed by Whitney Newton of Denver, who is its principal stockholder. Whitney Newton Jr., is the resident manager of the company and has succeeded from the first in keeping a successful business enterprise to the road to greater success. Although a young man, Mr. Newton has shown a marked managerial ability."
In reference to a Denver grand jury investigation of several prominent Pagosa Springs men suspected of fraud in connection with filing timber homestead claims, Day had the following to say Dec. 13, 1907:
"Judge Lewis has intimated in Denver that no man charged with land frauds is going to be tried in his courts for any offense not recognized as a crime by the statutes. For instance, while congress authorizes the interior department to make regulations governing the procedure under which the public lands may be acquired by corporations and individuals, congress does not delegate to the interior department the right to make the land laws. When congress says that a qualified person may have 160 acres of timber land for $2.50 an acre it did not make it an offense for the applicant to borrow the money to pay for the land where he could or to sell the land to whom he chose. The crime charged must be forbidden by statutes-not merely a violation of department regulations, even if such could be proven."
Next week we'll learn what happened to The First Bank of Pagosa Springs, Pagosa Lumber Co. and the local men indicted for land fraud.
Editor's note: Our SUN e-mail address received a series of messages obviously intended for another site. The messages were sent locally and, while gibberish, are mildly amusing. Since Isberg failed to meet his Food for Thought deadline again this week, we are running this e-mail message in place of his column. It is the best we can do.
To: http://www.inevitablecon quest.com
Re: Our enemies
Noble and Magnificent Khan:
At last, I am able to communicate with you and bring you great tidings. Establishing an e-mail connection was a stroke of genius and, as such, must have been your idea. My heart is gladdened by the knowledge we finally have a working phone system in the motherland.
Your perfect plan is coming to pass; I am ensconced in a small rural community, warm in the lap of the citizenry, undetected and brimming with observations and perceptions that will allow us to better understand this place and these people we will soon conquer.
As always, I owe my success to your unerring insight, to your razor-sharp sense of strategy, to your impeccable timing.
This place is an ideal laboratory. I am able to watch the comings and goings of the inhabitants and what I am learning will be invaluable to our generals, our social engineers and our relocation technicians.
When I arrived here I was, as you predicted, warmly welcomed by the salesman at the timeshare facility. He was extremely happy to see me and treated me like a member of the corrupt aristocracy.
With funds provided by our Ministry of Finance, I purchased 52 weeks of accommodations at the timeshare facility. I attend a sumptuous barbecue luncheon at the sales office every week; the meats are toothsome and the commercial potato salad has become a favorite. We must learn to make potato salad. We must learn to grow potatoes. (On second thought, we will soon be able to take as many potatoes as we want.)
I never tire of watching the video presentations that highlight the many activities my "shared-ownership" companions and I can enjoy each week. In order to blend in, I have partaken of many of these activities: I negotiated the rapids of a raging river in a raft, rode horseback on rugged mountain trails, learned to fly fish and soared above the landscape in a hot air balloon. I purchased several colorful sportshirts and wear them when I recreate. Recreation is a major occupation among these people.
I move from dwelling to dwelling once each week. Since my possessions are Spartan, I have little baggage. It is fortunate each of my 52 abodes is nearly identical to the others. With the slightest change in position of an end table here, a dining room chair there, I suffer no sense of displacement. But, I am not easily distracted; I am highly trained, and I have a glorious mission to complete.
I also learned I can trade a week of time in a unit at this location for a week in a unit in Barbados or Tucson. The magic of unfettered consumerism is appealing, but evil.
While Your Magnificence suggested I adopt a common name - you favored "Sidney" - I spent long hours in thought, attempting to come up with a name distinctive but typical, a moniker to inspire comfort in the hearer yet brand itself on the mind so that a future meeting would occasion its immediate recall and use.
I chose the simple, euphonic, "Ping."
When I am introduced, my new friends are delighted.
As per your orders, I obtained employment immediately after arriving here. While the first option on the list of potential jobs you provided was excellent (who would not want to wash dishes at a cafeteria?) I am happy to report I've found other ways to generate a more-than-modest income and to negotiate my economic way through the pulsing body of the proletariat. I have become a real estate broker and, along with a bevy of my fellow laborers, I work hard to facilitate a frantic trade in the ownership of properties. People here foster the illusion they can own properties, and they thrive on exchanging them with their fellow dreamers.
I so enjoy answering the phone at my place of employment: "This is Ping, with what exchange of property might I assist you at the present moment?"
I was recently named "Broker of the Month" at my sales office and, due to the enormous rewards available in my new profession, I have been able to acquire many of the material items members of this society value so much. In doing so, I have become, paradoxically, more visible and less visible at the same time. My possessions and practices allow me to stand out, but to do so as a desirable paradigm.
Often I hear coworkers and, yes, casual acquaintances say "That Ping, he's really something. What a go-getter. They're all like that, you know." I take this as a signal of the success of my subterfuge.
I now own what they call an "SUV" - a gigantic vehicle in which, like my fellow residents, I zoom up and down the highways and byways of the area, blissfully ignoring traffic control devices and signs, swerving at the last moment to avoid pedestrians or one of the many deer that infest this part of the world like rodents in a squalid urban alleyway. My SUV is large enough to transport every inhabitant of a village in our homeland to political reeducation class.
While I drive hither and yon, burning enormous quantities of fossil fuel, I use devices that wrap me in a bourgeois veneer.
I talk on my new cellular phone (you must obtain one of these, Great Leader!). With my phone, I create the appearance of industry and importance.
I use the phone while I drive (though, cleverly, I rarely have anyone on the line). I program the device to ring when I am in restaurants and places of entertainment. I attend a different local religious service every week and manipulate my device to ring during what they call a "sermon." The incessant electronic tone wakes me and gives me an excuse to depart the scene. When the tone sounds, I hurriedly push buttons on the phone, yammer rapidly and loudly into the mouthpiece, and make a show of rushing from the room - the sanctuary, the theater, the restaurant - obviously swept away by a tidal wave of vital business.
People say they admire me.
A second invaluable device is my CD player. This, My Liege, you must see (and hear) to believe.
A thin, shiny disc is inserted in a machine and sound is created: music, poetry, speech. You can listen on a set of transmitters that rest on your ears or, better yet, you can attach the player to a set of enormous speakers and project the sound to anyone within earshot. I learned this from the youngsters here: You fill your automobile with these speakers, turn up the bass element, and drive down the main street of town or a quiet neighborhood avenue late at night, your acoustic message wafting out for everyone to hear.
My SUV quivers when I play my new Eminem CD. Local youngsters make intriguing hand gestures as I pass by.
An added bonus is the fact I have been able to acquire new and exciting idiomatic elements of the native tongue by listening to my CDs. I love nothing better than to drive my SUV and play my sound system as loud as possible, simultaneously entertaining the citizens and learning the terms and phrases that pepper common speech. The more verbiage the better, so I listen to what they call "hip-hop."
Do you know how few words rhyme with "more"? It's incredible.
I have increased my knowledge by indulging other common entertainments. With profits from my business activities, I purchased a "home entertainment center" - a large piece of simulated woodwork in which rests a 45-inch wide box that emits photons and sound waves. Like my neighbors, I spend hours each day sitting passively in front of my photon box, absorbing information.
I am enamored of programming broadcast during daylight hours, in particular The Jerry Springer Show and a bevy of dramas originating in the courtrooms of the telecommunications legal system. I'm captivated by shows which attempt to destroy domestic relationships or that pit once fast friends against each other in an erotically-charged atmosphere.
At night, I watch another popular form of entertainment. It is called the "news" and it is produced by a group they call the "media" - a parasitical collective that specializes in the exaggeration and endless explication of mundane events for its passive audience.
Passive activity characterizes these people. Their self-satisfied inactivity is puzzling, but addictive. I must stay on my guard in the midst of temptations; I must remind myself of my origins and my task.
There are evenings when I tear myself from the photon box, move to the small patio behind my timeshare unit and gaze to the west, toward the setting sun. The sky at the horizon is red and orange, the deepening chromatic hues electric against a brilliant blue background.
People here gape at the startling sunsets.
I too am stopped short by the beauty of what I see, and my heart quickens knowing its cause: dust from a billion feet marching in step, from the ranks of our great armies wheeling into place, moving inexorably east. Soon, our glorious legions will be here, ignited by anger and desire, acquisitive and bold, united in a quest to satisfy destiny, to shape history.
It is history these people have forgotten. They teach their children to seek immediate gratification under the guise of individualism. Their families shrink from the task of tempering the next generations, leaving the job to beleaguered teachers beset on all sides by insipid demands. They give over their offspring to the photon box, to trite adolescent entertainers, or to a child's peers. They lower their standards, exalt mediocrity and forget the fact that the plenty they enjoy, their strong and raging ancestors wrested from someone else. Life here is so easy, and the citizens are secure in the assumption they have a right to live a life of ease.
They worry here about what they call their "feelings" and their "self esteem." They mistake equality under the law for equality in all things. Their's is a culture in decline and it hangs like an overripe fruit on the bough of a dying tree. Strength has left them; they are tired and they thrive on cliché and division.
When our conquering horde arrives, emissaries will be sent from the village to inform our commanders the residents don't "feel" our troops should advance further.
We will slay the emissaries and send their self-indulgent children to northerly climes to dig peat for our campfires. We will provide photon boxes at the labor camps to keep workers content during infrequent periods of rest.
I am happy doing my work here, Oh Majestic One. I will continue to monitor these people, to learn more about their self-indulgence and their ignorance of the "feelings" of the rest of the world - a world that deplores their excesses.
In the meantime, I grow nostalgic when I think of our homeland. I eagerly await the arrival of our ferocious brigades.
How I long for our triumph, for your triumph.
I long to bask in your golden presence oh Wondrous One. I yearn to feast with my fellows. While I have learned to savor the highly processed foods provided in the local market (which I consume from a "TV Tray" set next to my favorite chair in my timeshare dwelling) I would sacrifice my sword hand for a heaping helping of Khorkhog.
Gripped by sentiment, I recently attempted to explain Khorkhog to one of my fellow workers at the office.
I reminisced about the many times I stood as a boy on a dry and desolate plain, watching my father and uncles prepare the feast. I watched them slaughter the lamb and chop it into many small pieces, still on the bone. I watched them chop a sack of onions and mix the pieces of lamb with the vegetables. I remember how the elders packed the mix in a large clay urn, layering meat and vegetables with small stones heated for hours in a fire. Layer after layer, the Khorkhog was constructed, then the urn was closed tightly and left for several hours while the women of the village played games with the severed head of an enemy.
When the urn was opened, the delicious brew and its juices were served with rice. We ate as the wind whistled against our yurts, as we dreamed of conquest and told tales of your greatness.
When I see the fiery sunset, I think of Khorkhog, of our destiny and of you.
If you need to get in touch, call me. I have a phone.
Your obedient servant,
Jim Askins is the vice-president of Fairway Mortgage, located at 565 Village Drive, Suite A.
Askins has been coming to the Pagosa area for more than 40 years and brings with him more than 20 years in the real estate and mortgage businesses.
Fairway offers a wide variety of mortgage and loan programs and packages including new and existing purchases, jumbo loans, refinance cash-outs, investor, vacation and home improvement loans.
The Village Drive office is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The office phone number is 731-3100. A toll-free line is available at 800-326-2100. Customers can also contact the business at www.pagosamortgage.com to receive information, prequalify for loans and complete applications on-line.