Front Page

March 8 , 2001
Pirates, Ladies open state title quests today
By Richard Walter

Isn't it great to be in the state Elite Eight.

That's the feeling being shared this week by both high school basketball teams from Pagosa Springs.

The Pirates hammered Rye 60-43 on the opponent's home court Saturday to force their way into the state quarterfinals at 1:15 p.m. today against Colorado Springs Christian, the number 1 seed.

They'll take the court immediately after the Lady Pirates take on the Lady Lions from the same Colorado Springs school at 11:45 a.m. It was the luck of the draw that put both Pagosa entries in against teams from the same school.

The Pirates, 16-7 for the season, will face a team with the number 1 seed and a 21-2 season mark coming into the Class 3A showdown, a role they won for hammering Trinidad 79-47 Friday night.

The Lions feature a veteran lineup with 10 seniors on the roster with two of them, 6-foot-3 Delbert Young and 6-foot-5 Brian Lohrey, 3-year starters. The Lions' only player under 6 feet is 5-foot-11 senior guard Eric Haynie. Their win over Trinidad ended a two-year embarrassment of coming into regionals highly ranked and being upset.

The Lions are known for a pressing man-to-man defense and a fast break attack keying off forced enemy turnovers. They also are adept at the 3-point shot, converting seven in the game against Trinidad.

Young and Lohrey had 25 and 17 points respectively against Trinidad but eight other players also scored for the Lions.

Coach Kyle Canty's Pirates will counter with four senior starters: 6-foot-4 Micah Maberry at forward, 6-foot-6 David Goodenberger at the post, 6-foot-2 guard Daniel Crenshaw and 6-foot-1 forward Tyrel Ross, with 5-foot-10 junior Darrin Lister at guard.

While Goodenberger normally controls the boards, he also helps set up the offense and often brings the ball up court. All are adept at the 3-point shot, and two sophomores coming off the bench, Brandon Charles and Jason Schutz, seem to provide instant offense.

The Pirates are making their second consecutive trip to the state tournament. They fell in the opening round last year to Weld Central, defeated La Junta in the consolation bracket and then lost to IML champion Monte Vista for the consolation title.

The boys bracket opens play today at 10:15 a.m. with Weld Central (20-3) facing Eaton (19-4); the Pirates-Lions clash is scheduled for 1:15 p.m.; Denver Christian (19-4) meets Platte Valley (18-4) at 5:30 p.m.; and Buena Vista (22-1) goes against Centauri (16-6) at 8:30 p.m.

On the Ladies' side, action begins at 8:45 a.m. with Eaton (20-2) taking on Estes Park (21-1); then the Pagosa-Colorado Christian matchup; Denver Christian (22-1) plays Lamar (14-8) at 4 p.m.; and Platte Valley (19-4) takes on Centauri's Lady Falcons (17-5) at 7 p.m.

The Lady Pirates come in at 20-2, fresh from a stalwart defensive effort in a 50-29 showing Saturday against Roaring Fork High of Carbondale and take on a Lady Lions team that is 19-3 for the season and made the Elite Eight by cutting down number 1 ranked Faith Christian of Denver, 40-36.

Lady Pirate coach Karen Wells said she expects a tough matchup with the Lady Lions. "They work a nice double post offense with two 6-foot-1 inside players, Stephanie Thompson and Courtney Jackson, being set up by excellent ball handlers out front."

Others who see considerable action for the Lady Lions are Chrissy Merritt, a defensive specialist, Jennifer Hutcherson, Shannon Charles, Judy Kenney, Heather Bowen, Kaylee Garnhart, Tara Bultje, Erin Pinokowski and Joanna Lorenzen. Hutcherson, Thompson and Kinney are the only seniors on the squad.

To combat this crew, Wells said her approach will be the same as it has been for several weeks.

"My girls will be told to make the most of every opportunity," she said. "They'll have to protect the ball as well as we did against Roaring Fork (just 12 turnovers) and we'll keep a hand in everyone's face. Defense and rebounding should be the keys and we've done both extremely well recently."

For the season the Lady Pirates are averaging just over 33 rebounds per game and had 34 against Roaring Fork.

Wells will counter the Lions lineup with three seniors and two juniors starting, just as they have all season.

Senior guards Meigan Canty and Andrea Ash run the offense with senior power forward Tiffanie Hamilton leading the team in assists and ranking second in offensive rebounds.

The inside game is the story for the Lady Pirates. Junior center Ashley Gronewoller at 6-foot-3, and junior forward Katie Lancing at 6-foot-1, form an imposing interior presence for Lady Pirate foes. Sophomore guard Shannon Walkup has become something of a defensive specialist, harassing opposing guards and 3-point shooters while keying offensive efforts with a helter-skelter type of attack that throws opponents off stride.

Wells feels Pagosa will match up well with the Colorado Springs tandem inside. "We need to concentrate on our strengths and adapt to theirs," she said.

It is the Pagosa team's fifth consecutive trip to the Elite Eight, having finished as state runners-up twice.

There are some surprising statistics about this year's Class 3A tournaments. Twelve of the 16 Elite Eight teams come from just six high schools. Boys and girls teams qualified from Pagosa Springs and Centauri of the Intermountain League, Platte Valley and Eaton, both of the Northern Plains League, Denver Christian of the Metropolitan League and Colorado Springs Christian of the Tri-Peaks League.

Some observers believe this is a sign that parity between the metropolitan area teams and those far-removed from the big cities is becoming more a reality as the years pass.

Others say it is just that good programs beget good athletes who produce good records.

Whatever the reason, look forward to some stimulating competition this weekend at the Air Force Academy.

Bumps, potholes hamper county's hiring tactics
By John M. Motter

Archuleta County's commissioners, deep in the process of hiring key people, have discovered the path to finding replacements is not always smooth.

Being filled are two vacancies in the building inspection department, a director of county development, a county engineer, and a county administrator. All positions have been publicly advertised.

In general, the county has used committees to screen applicants in the past. Commissioners have indicated their intention to use committees for the current hiring as well. A problem universal to the use of committees is to get all committee members at one place at the same time.

For example: six applicants for the two building department openings are being interviewed. The committee conducting those interviews is Julie Rodriguez of the building department; Mike Crofts, the departing building inspection official; Commissioner Bill Downey; County Manager Dennis Hunt; a representative of the County Builder's Association, in this case Tim Horning and Eddie Dale; and Mark Garcia, Pagosa Springs' Building Department administrator.

Concerning the six applicants, Rodriguez and Crofts interviewed all six; Downey, Hunt, and Garcia interviewed five; and Horning and Dale interviewed three each. Downey and Hunt missed one interview because they attended the annual Club 20 meeting. Hunt is a Club 20 board member; he is being replaced by Downey.

Crabtree placed building inspector hiring on the floor at the regular meeting of county commissioners Tuesday by announcing the cancellation of an executive session scheduled at 10:15 to "hear recommendations of selection committee for building inspector positions."

The reason for cancellation, according to Crabtree, was that only two members of the selection committee had interviewed all six candidates. He argued that continuing with the process as originally conceived would be unfair to the candidates and to citizens.

"Let me see if I can give a solution that is fair to the applicants and the citizens," said Commissioner Alden Ecker.

Ecker recommended that the board receive the recommendations of the two selection committee members who interviewed all of the applicants.

"They rated three candidates equal," he said.

Ecker recommended the commissioners interview the three nominees, then make a job offer to the two they prefer.

"It's time for the board (commissioners) to do our duty," Ecker said.

"I disagree," said Downey. "My expectation is the county manager will do his job until he leaves March 23. In the past we've established a selection committee who made recommendations to the county manager. I think that is still appropriate. The pick has to involve the agreement with Dennis."

Downey suggested he conduct a telephone interview to make up the interview he missed, then later in the meeting agreed that might not be a good idea.

"I'm really concerned with commissioners hiring these positions," Downey continued. "There is a danger of making political appointments. That is why most places have a committee process."

Crabtree agreed with the process recommended by Ecker. Several people from the audience disagreed with Ecker and Crabtree, as well as with Downey's notion of interviewing by telephone.

The fact that two building department staffers interviewed all of the applicants is a good reason to follow their recommendations, Crabtree said. Downey would be part of the final interview and Hunt's input was not necessary since he is leaving, Crabtree added.

"We need to step up to the plate and take the building department's recommendations," Crabtree said.

Ecker noted he had removed himself from the selection process in order to avoid a conflict of interest. Since the selection process was ended, he felt free to act.

Downey suggested he found it odd that Crabtree was in a hurry to find a new building inspector, but wanted to take time to replace the county manager.

"We have applicants ready to fill the building positions," Crabtree said. "The time for accepting applicants for county manager is not closed. When applications for that are closed, then we can move ahead."

"I was prepared to have someone on board before I left or Mike (Crofts, the building inspector) left," said Hunt. "You've taken me out of the process. Has the board terminated me? My contract says I hire and fire the building inspector."

"You knew you wouldn't be here (for the interview)," Crabtree said. "You should have excluded yourself. When we listen to the recommendations, we'll take your input. We'd like you to finish your agreements."

Ecker suggested that "We need to review this, take it under advisement."

Crabtree asked for commissioner agreement that the board consider the recommendations of the two members of the planning staff.

Ecker asked that the subject be tabled. The subject was tabled, but may be brought up again at a specially-called meeting or at the commissioner meeting March 13.

Geothermal rate hike of 15 cents approved
By Tess Noel Baker

For the last decade, because of limited water rights, the Pagosa Springs Geothermal Heating District has limped along with assistance of about $40,000 in subsidies from the town.

Tuesday night, town trustees gave the district a boost, approving its first rate increase since 1994. The increase, from 45 cents per therm to 60 cents per therm, remains 45.5 percent below current natural gas rates.

Mark Garcia, geothermal administrator, said that, from the time it went online, the district had promised customers that rates would remain approximately 25-30 percent below the cost of natural gas. The approved increase remains well within that range.

Even with the added funds, it is uncertain if the district, built to handle twice the current capacity, will be able to operate without subsidies considering the cost of maintenance and legal fees.

Town Administrator Jay Harrington also cautioned the trustees that the current increase falls short of providing for a capital improvement fund for the district.

"If we had a major main failure on the system, once again the town would have to subsidize, we would have to draw those funds from the town budget," he said.

At the public hearing prior to approval, a representative of the Community United Methodist Church, which uses geothermal heat, asked the board to maintain reasonable rates, but did not see a problem with the proposed hike.

No one spoke in opposition to the rate increase. To inform business owners and residents about the proposed hike, letters were sent out with bills. New rates will be in effect for the April billing cycle.

Commissioners split supervisory responsibilities
By John M. Motter

The Archuleta County commissioners prepared for a length of time without a county administrator by apportioning county supervisory responsibilities among themselves at a Tuesday afternoon workshop.

Former county manager Dennis Hunt resigned after accepting a similar position with Montrose County. In accordance with his contract, Hunt gave the local commissioners 30-days notice. That 30-day period ends March 23.

"We don't want to leave everybody dangling," said Gene Crabtree, chairman of the board of county commissioners. "I thought we would discuss having each commissioner take a couple or so departments and be a liaison with the rest of the commissioners. If the department supervisor needs something, there'll be somebody to reach out and touch."

"I agree with the liaison idea," said Commissioner Alden Ecker. "The commissioners can talk to the departments they are responsible for, then take what they learn back to the other commissioners so everyone is involved in making decisions. I'd be willing to fill that responsibility. I'd like to work with roads, specifically."

"All of the department heads will run their departments very well," said Crabtree. "I don't want us to micromanage, get into their business. We'll just be somebody they can touch if they need help."

"I'm encouraged, I feel better after hearing what you two have to say," said Commissioner Bill Downey. "I'll be willing to act as liaison. I appreciate your indication that you believe the departments are capable of running well so long as we let them run, not run the departments for them."

Commissioners, or at least one commissioner, should respond to all public complaints, Ecker said. The commissioners can legally be involved in day to day supervisory activities, he added.

By agreement, the commissioners apportioned county responsibilities among themselves as follows:

Crabtree - administration, finance, solid waste, social services

Ecker - road and bridge, veteran's affairs, engineering, airport

Downey - building, maintenance, planning, emergency services, county extension office, senior citizens

No one was appointed to supervise the departments headed by other elected officials, since, by law, those departments are not under the commissioner's jurisdiction. Those departments are the county clerk, county treasurer, county assessor, county sheriff, and county coroner.

Local program assists job seekers
By Richard Walter

While the economy appears to be tightening nationwide, it is still healthy here in Pagosa Springs.

In fact, according to data compiled by the Pagosa office of Southwest Workforce, the unemployment rate in the county dropped to 2.8 percent in December, compared to 3.2 percent the previous year.

Martha Garcia, employment specialist for the center located on the lower level of the Archuleta County Courthouse, said the figure is more relevant when one considers the available workforce in the county increased from 4,812 in November, 1999 to 4,891 in November, 2000.

"And we see signs it is still going up," Garcia said.

She noted service businesses like restaurants and motels have experienced recent slowdowns, but not as drastic as in some years. And the construction business, which normally is almost dormant in winter, has kept up a steady if slower pace this year.

Garcia likes a statement in the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment summer newsletter which says:

"For many small business owners and human resources offices, staying staffed-up is the extreme sport of the new decade."

And, the statement concludes, "In today's fluid, fast-changing business environment, understanding the trajectory of job trends can mean the difference between riding the wave and getting buried by it."

Most organizations about to mark their first year in operation are ready to celebrate. While there certainly are reasons for such celebration in the Workforce office, Garcia said she's more interested in achieving the goals she set for the unit when it opened a year ago.

Primarily, she wants to reach, personally, every potential employer in the county and let them know what her office can do for them. "I wanted to accomplish that in the first year," she said, "but only reached about 40 percent of them. They need to know we are here and what we can do for them."

She cites as an example, the arrival of an ALCO store in Pagosa Springs next week.

"They met with me here in December to discuss how we could help with the job development process," she said. "After our presentation, they decided to have us handle all their applications and schedule all interviews. We conducted math tests for them, screened applications from 140 persons, conducted the interviews, and so far have hired 44 for the new store."

That's an example, she said, "of how this office can help an individual business which has no general office nor on-site management in the area. We announced the screening dates and the people came," she said.

The center is working right now with La Plata Electric in the same screening and testing capacity. In each case, completed applications are held on file until jobs open up. Those who have pretested, qualified and interviewed, will be the first called when positions open.

In the August through February period, Garcia said, the center had 124 job openings and filled 97. In addition, 103 persons put applications on file for future openings. In total, 493 persons had registered in the center's first year for both full and part-time employment.

Garcia said local wages are still lower than the state average, "but are on the rise. Employers are seeing that if they maintain a living wage they'll have less turnover and therefore more consistent service and more profit."

One of her dreams is to establish an educational program for Workforce in the local school system.

Toward that end, she has received funding from the Department of Labor for a Summer Job Hunt Program coordinator. The position will be filled by someone between 16 and 23, preferably a high school graduate planning to go on to college or a collegian coming home for the summer.

The successful applicant will set up and manage a local registration program in the schools, conduct career fair registration and research topics for resource training in the local labor market, interview summer job applicants and evaluate skills.

This person will get specific training in Garcia's office and then work part-time April 16-23 and full time thereafter until Aug. 17. The job paid $8.10 per hour last year but salary has not yet been set for this year though it will be higher, she said.

Specifically, her goals for the office's second year include:

- Have Workforce considered as a central clearing house for all job opportunities in the county, specifically able to communicate needs and pay scales to both sides of the employment equation.

- Understand employers' needs fully "so that we can better supply the skilled labor needed and the workers can expect better pay."

- Utilize the Chamber of Commerce as a tool in reaching employers.

- Conduct a round table discussion sometime during the summer for local employers with the focus on labor law with state, federal and county representation on the information panel.

Garcia notes the office has an average of 30 walk-in visitors a month, "people who just want to know what this office hidden out of the way is.

"We also have had an average of 40 visits per month for personal services like use of the resource library, access to computer services, help with resume writing and resume distribution with our FAX services," she said.

In addition, the office has referred 23 persons to WorkInvest for specific job training; 49 to first work training programs; 14 were placed with Colorado Work Search; 22 assisted with fatherhood initiative requests; three referred to outside agencies for vocational rehabilitation (cases where injury precludes return to the previous profession); conducted five workshops; and provided free bus passes for placed workers without transportation to go back and forth to and from work.

A statewide survey of job vacancies will begin in Archuleta County in July and when completed will provide even more data on how and who to deal with when seeking a job in Archuleta County.

If you are interested in contacting Garcia or anyone in her office, the main entrance is from the parking lot area at the back of the courthouse. The office telephone number is 264-4133 (Ext. 22 for Garcia, herself); the FAX number is 264-4134 and you can send her email, at

The mailing address is 449 San Juan Street, P.O. Box 4101, Pagosa Springs, CO, 81147.

Propane blast, chimney fire controlled
By Tess Noel Baker

A small propane explosion and the season's first chimney fire kept members of the Pagosa Fire Protection District busy Tuesday night.

A total of 17 firefighters, two engines and two support vehicles responded to the propane fire at 1200 Hill Circle in the Hatcher subdivision.

Fire Chief Warren Grams said the explosion was caused by propane gas leaking into the private residence's utility room. Investigation showed that ice sliding off the roof fractured the gas line going into the house, causing the leak.

No one was injured, but the 5:23 p.m. explosion caused an estimated $1,000 to $1,500 in damage, Grams said.

A district crew responded to the second call, a chimney fire at 505 Cloud Cap, at around 7:20 p.m.

Fifteen firefighters, two engines and one support vehicle helped to extinguish the blaze. No injuries were reported and damage was minimal.

Inside The Sun
Agreement limits shelter stay for dogs
By John M. Motter

Archuleta County and the Humane Society of Pagosa Springs reached agreement Tuesday concerning the county contribution to the Humane Society budget.

No dogs were consulted during the negotiations. Had they been, the results might have been different.

In the beginning, the Humane Society wanted the county to guarantee the cost of a 10-day stay for an animal at the society's shelter. The county insisted on paying for only five days, a position that prevailed during the negotiations.

The result does not limit a dog's stay to five days, but limits the number of days the county is obligated for support to five days.

The Humane Society had asked for $42,500, the county countered with a $34,000 offer. The county asked the Humane Society to submit a proposal based on cost per day, per dog, instead of allocating a percentage of the total budget to the county.

Both groups agreed Tuesday that the county will pay $14.42 per day, per dog, with a guarantee of five days per dog instead of 10 days. Based on an assumption that 281 dogs chargeable to the county will be apprehended this year, the total cost to the county will be about $21,000. If more dogs are apprehended, the county's cost will be higher.

"This cuts us in half," said Mary Jo Coulehan representing the Humane Society. "This leaves us with a bare-bones budget, no money for medicines and other items."

When talk shifted to euthanizing dogs after a number of days, Coulehan said there is a problem because local veterinarians won't euthanize healthy dogs.

"We'll have to pay to have a staffer trained to do the euthanizing," Coulehan said.

The county offered to pay for the training, but no action was taken on that proposal.

County studies are underway concerning creation of county dog control ordinances, a county dog license, and hiring of a county dog catcher.

CollegeInvest may be the answer to education plans
By Richard Walter

Your child is going to be different, right?

He or she is going to get a college education, no matter what.

The youngster is in fifth grade right now so you have seven years to save the money to pay for that higher education.

But, is that enough time? How much will you have to save? How do you do it? A conventional savings account? Stock market? IRAs? Where do you start?

CollegeInvest just might be the answer.

Geri Reinardy, vice president of the organization for college and governmental relations, stopped in the SUN office last week to discuss what her organization can do and is doing to help people like the parents of that fifth-grader get as much as they can for their education dollar.

What is CollegeInvest?

It is Colorado's only state-sponsored college savings plan, offered under Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code, which enables families to take advantage of federal tax benefits in addition to those offered by the state.

The program offers two separate plans - the Prepaid Tuition Fund and the Scholars Choice.

Basic funding for the program began with the state government establishing the Colorado Student Obligation Bond Authority which operates CollegeInvest. The CSOBA operates as an enterprise fund of the state with no tax dollars involved.

Payments made toward a student's future education are invested in a number of ways to keep the reserve fund continually reconstituting itself.

To look at the sample fifth-grader and the amount needed, one first must know the existing cost of a college education.

In Colorado today, Reinardy said, that figure is $2,356 per year. One must note that is the average and averages have a habit of increasing proportionately each year to the cost of living and the cost of providing an education.

If the parents of that fifth-grader began paying in $25 per month (the minimum allowed) to finance the child's college education (and for illustration purposes we're saying the decision was made at the beginning of the year and the Prepaid Tuition Fund was selected) in seven years the family will have invested $2,100.

That fund offers families a minimum growth rate of 4 per cent per year. That means that in seven years, you will have a paid up fund for the child totaling $2,755.50, including at least $378.75 accrued in interest. That would more than pay for one year of education at current cost levels.

Keep in mind $25 is the minimum which can be invested and that investments in the Prepaid Tuition Fund are managed by the state treasurer with advice from the bond authority and its private sector investment consultant.

And another key factor to consider is this: If average tuition grows, on average, more than four percent per year over the life of the contract, the savings will grow at the rate average tuition grows. Thus, the greater the amount invested, the bigger will be the tuition nest egg awaiting that youngster now in fifth grade.

The second option, Scholars Choice, offers five savings plans with two new portfolio options added this year - an all-equity portfolio and a mixed-income portfolio. Contributions to this plan are invested in equity mutual funds throughout the life of the account, while the fixed income option is invested in bond funds throughout the life of the account.

The other options are based on age of the child or the years-to-enrollment with various combinations of equity and fixed income investments.

A balanced portfolio also is available with investments evenly divided between equity mutual funds and bond funds. Investments in Scholars Choice are managed by Smith Barney Asset Management, a division of Salomon Smith Barney Inc. which is part of the CitiBank financial family.

It is important to reiterate that contributions and earnings growth, when used for education, are tax exempt. The deductible amount, however, can be recaptured if the funds are not used for higher education expenses.

Accounts can be used nationwide, not just in Colorado, for tuition, fees, room and board, books and supplies.

While a person may start with as little as $25 monthly, as in our example, if you have the money and are so inclined, you can contribute up to $50,000 per year without incurring gift taxes, with a total enrollment limit of $150,000 per student.

Enrollment in the CollegeInvest programs is now open for 2001. To receive information and application materials, readers may request a free CollegeInvest kit by calling 1-800-478-5651, email collegeinvest, visit or email collegeinvest

Perhaps the CollegeInvest motto will sum up the programs offered:

"Face The Future: Invest now . . . and keep pace with your child's dreams."

County adds to recycling

Thanks to the efforts of the Solid Waste Department and the Recycling Committee, the county is now recycling plastic containers. This includes milk, soda and juice containers, detergent and and bleach bottles, and the plastic containers that fresh fruit comes in, (the top of the container must be larger than the bottom portion). A container must have the recycling logo on its bottom, with the number 1 or 2 on it, to qualify for recycling.

Other materials that are presently being accepted for recycling are newspapers, junk-mail, phone books, tin, aluminum and corrugated cardboard. The aluminum is sold, and proceeds come back to the community in the form of a scholarship fund.

Recyclables can be dropped off at the Pagosa Transfer Station, located two miles south on C. R. 500 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.

To prepare items for recycling, a few things must be done. Give the containers a quick rinse to remove residues. Separate the plastic, tin and aluminum. Newspapers and junk mail can be packaged together. Corrugated cardboard should be flattened. Margarine tubs, yogurt containers, containers which have held window cleaners, and those that have contained motor oils and lubricants cannot be recycled at this time.

Anyone with questions, or who would like to join the recycling committee, can call Mary Madore at 264-6768 or Clifford Lucero at 264-0193.

Survey shows town plans match local needs
By Tess N. Baker

Local parks, including their safety and maintenance, received a thumbs up from Pagosa Springs property owners in a recent parks and recreation survey.

The vast majority of survey respondents also gave the town a good grade in the categories of quality of life and potential for a bright future. In fact, 92 percent of those surveyed in November, 2000 were "satisfied with Pagosa as a place to live."

The results, although mostly positive, represented just under 15 percent of the people surveyed. However, taking in to consideration the time of year the survey was distributed and its length at over 150 questions, Douglas Call, director of parks and recreation for Pagosa Springs, said he was pleased with the results.

"Most people get around 10 percent," he said. "I would have liked to get more, but we did the best we could with what we had."

Of the approximately 1,800 surveys mailed out in November to property owners on the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District mailing list, a total of 268 surveys were returned. Participants answered questions regarding recreation opportunities, community satisfaction and possible capital investments projects.

Over 90 percent of respondents agreed that recreational opportunities for the whole community are important and provide a valuable way to bring the community closer together.

On the question of whether or not Pagosa Springs has sufficient current recreational facilities, opinions were split with 40 percent agreeing that the current facilities met the community needs, and another 42 percent disagreeing. Participants indicated several needs, including: more indoor recreation activities, an increase in hiking, biking and jogging trails, a teen center, covered skating rink and after-school programs.

Nearly 90 percent would like to see the San Juan Riverwalk, a hike/bike trail connecting downtown to the site of a proposed community center, continued. The Riverwalk project, teen center and after-school programs, plus several of the other capital investments projects and needs voiced by survey respondents, are already being addressed by the department, Call said.

"We're in the process of planning more teen events and an after-school program," he said. The community center project, with a completion date set sometime in 2002, will include a teen center. Other needs will be addressed with the future development of additional athletic fields and a sports complex on land near the high school.

Responses to funding source questions on the survey showed three-quarters were willing to pay something for individual participation, but not increased taxes. In fact, nearly 70 percent objected to spending more tax money on parks and recreation.

In an attempt to improve the number of responses and to keep up with the changing needs of the community, Call said the department was planning to survey the public once every five years.

As for those who chose not to return their surveys this year, he had only one thing to say - "If you want to improve things, you've got to become part of the change."

In the current survey, the average participant was 51 years old, had lived in Pagosa Springs almost 11 years and had an income of over $50,000. The majority of respondents, 54 percent, were male. Thirty-one percent of participants had attended college. Cost for the project was around $2,000.

Results were tabulated by Sam Burns, director of community services at Fort Lewis College. In the final results, the top two categories, agree and strongly agree, as well as the bottom two categories, disagree and strongly disagree, were combined.

Survey results have been presented to the Parks and Recreation Commission and to the Kiwanis Club. A presentation has also been scheduled with the Rotary Club. Any other service club or organization interested in hearing a presentation on the survey results should contact Call at 264-4151.

Trustees approve action on Commnity Center
By Tess N. Baker

The goal of breaking ground for a new 20,300 square foot community center in June drew a few signatures closer to reality at Tuesday night's regular meeting of the Pagosa Springs Board of Trustees.

By a unanimous vote, trustees authorized the mayor and town staff to enter into three separate agreements with Wells Fargo Bank and the Community Facilities Coalition to provide for construction, ownership and administration of the proposed community center.

Town attorney Bob Cole, on-hand for Tuesday's meeting, said the complex agreements allow the town to lease the land to the coalition for a nominal fee, own a piece of the building for the first 10 years and lease that part of the building to the bank to fund construction.

Jay Harrington, town administrator, said these agreements give the town the majority interest in the building for the first 10 years. That means the structure can be insured by the town, and the town will have priority use over the multipurpose room, two meeting rooms and part of the lobby and receptionist area.

The multi-purpose room will be used mainly for youth recreational activities such as youth basketball, and one of the meeting rooms is suitable for use as an incident command center in the event that one is ever needed, Harrington said.

Once the lease is paid off, the title for the building will be owned by the non-profit organization which will continue to lease the land from the town for a nominal fee.

In a separate proposed agreement, Archuleta County would lease part of the building as a senior center. From the beginning, the Community Facilities Coalition will be in charge of administration and maintenance of the community center.

The 10-year lease with Wells Fargo will be paid biannually using capital improvement funds, Harrington said. It is not to exceed an interest rate of more than 5.4 percent and can be paid off early without incurring penalties.

When it comes to actual construction, plans are to bid the estimated $3-$3.2 million project in three phases: foundation, construction and finishing.

Harrington said funding for the first two phases should be in place when the first dirt is turned this summer.

Funding includes the $1.7 million lease purchase agreement with Wells Fargo bank, a $500,000 Community Development Block Grant from the State of Colorado and an estimated $400,000 raised to-date by the non-profit Community Facilities Coalition.

Raising the remaining $500,000 to $700,000 for finishing will be an additional challenge for the non-profit group.

"While it seems like a big hole, it's just the right amount for that final push," Harrington said. Besides a few more fundraisers, some additional grant applications are in the works.

In other business, the trustees approved:

- Two ordinances to help facilitate the sale of the current Town Hall building. The first ordinance vacates a portion of the Lewis Street right-of-way which was actually under Town Hall. The second declares the current Town Hall structure surplus property to allow for its sale. With construction of a new Town Hall on-target for completion in mid-May, the current building has been advertised for bids

- The continuation of an intergovernmental agreement with Archuleta County to cover maintenance on Eaton Drive

- Renewal of liquor licenses for Silver Dollar Liquor and La Cantina.

More moisture ahead
By John M. Motter

More moisture is on the way for Pagosa Country residents, according to Jeff Colton, a forecaster for the National Weather Service office in Grand Junction.

Yesterday's rain will be followed by partly cloudy skies today with isolated rain or snow showers, according to Colton. Friday will be partly cloudy, but a slight chance for rain or snow prevails Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.

Basketball fans traveling home from the state tournament at Colorado Springs might encounter from three to five inches of snow on La Veta and Wolf Creek passes Saturday night or Sunday, Colton said.

For the coming week, high temperatures should range from the 40s into the low 50s. That means, according to Colton, that the chance for snow instead of rain increases with elevation.

"Basically an upper level low is located off the coast of California," Colton said. "We'll get moisture as the low moves into the interior. The jet stream is split, one crossing southern Canada and the other crossing southern Arizona and southern New Mexico."

Snowfall this winter has increased the snowpack in the San Juan, Animas, and Dolores basins to 96 percent of average as of March 1. For the same time frame, the snow pack is 151 percent of last year's snowpack.

Two inches of new snow fell in Pagosa Springs Feb. 28, bringing the February total snowfall to 17.25 inches. The long-time average February snowfall in town is 18.8 inches.

High temperatures last week ranged between 42 degrees Tuesday down to 33 degrees Feb. 28. The average high temperature for the week was 39 degrees.

Last week's low temperatures ranged between 8 degrees Friday and 22 degrees Feb. 28 for an average low reading of 16 degrees.

Local readings are measured at the National Weather Service station located at Stevens Field.

Commission will consider fish stocking provision

The Colorado Wildlife Commission will consider a regulation modifying fish stocking provisions in the upper Colorado River Basin below 6,500 feet elevation at its meeting today and tomorrow in Denver.

The decision-making body for the Division of Wildlife meets at 10 a.m. each day at Division Headquarters, 6060 Broadway.

The fish stocking regulations established by the commission set specific standards for lakes and ponds to prevent non-native fish from escaping into the Colorado and its tributaries where they could prey upon native fish species.

The commission will also consider regulations concerning Division of Wildlife Director Russell George's approval of the enrollment of private ranches into the agency's Ranching for Wildlife Program for deer, elk and pronghorn antelope hunting. Ranching for Wildlife provides public hunters with an opportunity to hunt on private ranches and encourages private landowners to manage their lands to protect wildlife habitat. The commission will discuss season dates, license numbers and hunt provisions for the program.

The commission will consider - but take no final action on - a number of other issues including:

- Adoption of a policy concerning a pilot program for the allocation of licenses under the landowner preference program created by the Colorado Legislature last year.

- Annual changes to upland game bird and small game seasons.

- Regulations for field trials and hunting dogs.

- General regulations for division properties including state wildlife areas and state trust lands.

- New regulations requiring catch-and-release fishing and the use of flies and lures for largemouth bass at McKay Lake in Adams County.

A copy of the Wildlife Commission meeting agenda is available at

County moves ahead with transit system
By John M. Motter

Archuleta County's commissioners agreed to a series of contracts which could result in creation of a rural regional transit system in a five-county southwestern Colorado area.

Included in the contracts is an agreement with the Colorado Department of Transportation, another agreement with CDOT to receive transit grant funds, the awarding of a bid by a consultant charged with writing a transit development plan, and an intergovernmental agreement with Montezuma County concerning the project.

Archuleta County has agreed to be responsible to CDOT as contractor and fiscal agent for the contract, supported by $21,000 provided by the state. Archuleta County and Montezuma County have agreed to appropriate $4,500 each toward the project. La Plata County is not participating.

The money will be used to pay RAE Consultants of Denver to write the plan.

In other business Tuesday the commissioners:

- Approved a contract amounting to $40,333 for the county to provide accounting services for the County Social Services Department

- Approved a memorandum of understanding concerning the Works program

- Approved an Intercare flexible spending program available to county employees on a voluntary basis

- Approved an April 10 joint meeting in Creede with the Hinsdale County commissioners

- Approved renewal of the retail liquor store license for Chimney Rock Liquor Store

- Listened to an update by Russell Crowley, county emergency services manager, concerning progress with installing E-911. Crowley said he has received information matching telephone company addresses with county addresses. Of the 9,350 addresses, 7,353 don't match, Crowley said. Crowley's task is to reconcile the differences. When that is accomplished, E-911 will be possible throughout the county.

Mistaken identity

Dear Editor,

I am writing you concerning the Police Blotter in your last February issue.

My name is Freddy Michael Archuleta, Jr. In your last Police Blotter you had two Michael Archuletas listed. Even though my name is legally Freddy Michael Archuleta, folks around here call me Mike or Michael.

Checking with Archuleta County jail staff, I was informed that "yes" there are two Michael Archuletas in the jail computer. One is the father, the other the son, Sr. and Jr. I realize that it is not a mistake by Archuleta County Jail or The Pagosa Springs SUN. I would appreciate your help on this one. I have had my troubles in the past also and have been working hard on improving my life.

Asking for forgiveness from folks I have let down in my past is hard when they see Michael Archuleta in the Police Blotter. I would like to thank the jail staff and hopefully The Pagosa Springs SUN for helping me.

Thank you,

Freddy Michael Archuleta, Jr.

High turnover

Dear Editor,

Is commissioner micro management indeed the cause of Archuleta County's employee turnover? According to what I have heard, substantially better pay and benefit packages motivated a couple of our professionals to move on. Another employee's mate found a good job elsewhere and a couple others just didn't like our cold winters. Let's face it we have had several "professionals" quit over the last few years for various reasons - none that I heard of related to commissioner interference. Let's not put blame where it doesn't belong.

Perhaps this high turnover indicates an error in the hiring process. Should more weight be given to local applicants with a proven interest in staying here? Possibly individuals already doing the job should be recognized and promoted rather than putting an outsider in charge just because they have "credentials." Highly qualified individuals from outside the county seem to be more likely to consider Archuleta County as a stepping stone in their progress to utopia. This is a waste of our investment in "credentials" and doesn't promote stability.

Do we need a county manager? If we have a county manager then perhaps we don't need commissioners. Why pay out $126,000 plus for commissioners and another $60-90,000 for a manager. If we are going to have a manager then perhaps we should consider home rule. I prefer elected officials but we really don't need both. True, the town has a manager but then neither the mayor or the trustees are paid.


Tyrone Baker

Solution offered

Dear Editor,

In light of numerous comments and actions regarding various issues that Archuleta County commissioners have initiated and/or encountered, have subsequently forgotten or denied, have accused the SUN and others of misinterpreting and/or reporting inaccurately, have responded to public questioning for clarification with less than honesty, and have brought more intense scrutiny upon themselves, as the person responsible for attending, tape-recording and partially transcribing the meetings of the commissioners on Feb. 13-20, I offer the following solution for consideration by the commissioners, the Pagosa Springs SUN, and not least of all the citizens of this county.

All of us who have attended those meetings, reported them, read articles and letters about them, and have additional information relevant to them know there are serious problems concerning completeness, accuracy and veracity in regard to them.

Tape recording - unedited, of course - is a means of providing accurate information in context. It eliminates a lot of wasted time, energy and money spent trying to correct all the speculation, inaccuracies and consequent damages that have and will continue to come to light - and which need not have occurred.

The Pagosa Springs SUN would serve the citizens of Archuleta County well by choosing to publish unedited transcripts of commissioners' meetings and work sessions, thereby providing an accurate, complete record of the meetings to the citizens for understanding, contemplation and response to facts.

Taping, transcribing and publishing unedited transcripts would provide a solid foundation for meaningful discussion and comment by citizens as well as by the SUN - and among the commissioners themselves.

Taping, transcribing and publishing unedited transcripts also would preclude the publication of slanderous and libelous writings that vituperative citizens find time to dash off to the editor of the SUN to vilify others for the sake of personal vendetta - and obtaining newsprint space that would be better provided for factual, accurate and meaningful communication.

Careful here, you nasty folks. Please be warned that, aside from cowardice, it isn't necessary to use a person's name to be slapped with a lawsuit for slander and libel. Description that can be recognized is sufficient.

Public officials should be accustomed to public speaking, and to facing themselves in the media and taking full responsibility for their expressions. It's simply part of the job. If that's new to folks in Archuleta County, then welcome to the real world. Furthermore, it's probably necessary to point out that my own comments, as well as those of Karen Aspin and other citizens, are on the tapes.

By now Commissioner Crabtree should have no need ever again to inquire of Karen Aspin or myself or any other citizen, "Don't you have something else to do besides come to these meetings?" We citizens have as much right to be there as he or any commissioner.


Lily Jay

Creating chaos

Dear Editor,

The CUP (Continuous Use Permit), that is presently adopted law in Archuleta County, is probably the last and only protection that keeps our still beautiful county from total chaos. This law defines some rules and regulations, process and procedures and guidelines that one must pass through before starting a project that could threaten the environment and property values.

The process is an open one - ordinary citizens and not just interested parties can bring up objections, point out problems, and force compromises so all can benefit somewhat and no one loses totally. It ensures that when a project is done, it is done correctly. Is a few week's delay in a project that could cause extensive, long-term harm that onerous of a problem for developers, oil and gas companies, etc.?

Everybody who lives in Archuleta County knows of problems in their area we are still dealing with years later, created before the CUP process was put in place. In order to not leave these kinds of problems to future generations, we must insist this process not be deleted, watered down, or ignored as some of our present county commissioners seem to wish to do.

When a group of interested citizens opposed the batch plant on the bank of the San Juan River next to a residential district, it was the CUP and Planning Commission meetings that allowed a forum to point out the problems with this plant. We lost the battle at the county commissioner level, but the process made the owners of the batch plant follow certain mitigations of noise, air, light, water and other potential polluters that would have haunted our county for years to come. Citizens on both sides of the issue were allowed to present views and ideas. Out of this came the compromise of the mitigations. Not everybody is happy with this; however compromise is what democracy is all about. It was reported in the newspaper the opposition group was going to sue. They did not. They accepted the compromise. They recognized that litigation is not the best way to handle disputes and should only be used in the most egregious of situations. They stand by the mitigations and expect them to be followed to the letter of the law.

What should scare most thinking citizens is the cavalier manner in which our present commissioners seem to approach our present laws and agreements. They want to delete, ignore, and trample any law or process that gets in their way at the moment; all the time forgetting that, by doing this, they create chaos for the next generation. We need leaders with at least a little foresight, intelligence and management skill. I fear we are lacking in these at the present time and will pay for it in the future. I hope we are just going through a "learning curve" for our new commissioners and they will learn from all their recent gaffs. I hope so; but I still fear.


Jim Knoll

Judging privilege

Dear Editor:

My wife and I had the privilege of judging the 2001 Science Fair that was held here in Pagosa Springs Feb. 28. Indeed it was a privilege to talk to and learn from those students that prepared and presented their exhibits. Each and every one of the students from the Intermediate and Junior High Schools should be congratulated and encouraged to pursue their scientific interests not only for their own satisfaction and esteem but for the country as well.

There is a need in this country for more students to pursue the fields of mathematics and science. We are in the age of electronics and information and advances can only be achieved by those schooled in these fields.

A note of appreciation to the teachers, to Colorado State University, the Rotary Club and many others who supported and contributed to this event and our thanks to those who provided a delicious lunch.

Sincerely yours,

Don and Elaine Lundergan

Big thank you


A big thank you to the Chamber and all the businesses involved with the welcome packet.

Pam Morrow and Jerry Ethelbah

Get involved

Dear Editor,

People of Pagosa Springs, we now have one of the best opportunities to get involved in our community. We are looking for a new superintendent of schools, a new county manager, and within a year, a possibility of new city management. We have important issues such as batch plants, Piano Creek, road improvement, and expansion. As our community grows we need the input of the 30-50 year old population and our senior citizens to make this town one of the best in Colorado.

We need leadership from our county officers, our city management, our schools, our businesses, and our churches. At times, we seem to have an insurmountable number of community problems, but so does every growing community of this size.

Folks, this is Colorado. We are here because we choose to be; so let's get off our duffs and get involved. As a businessman for eight years in this community, I know that I am making a commitment. Our country, county, and city will be guided by strong, moral and honest leaders. If you can't or choose not to be one of them then at least let them know your opinion. Write to our local paper and attend the various city and county meetings. Write, talk, express your opinions.

If you think that this was written to promote pride and involvement in this community - it was.


David Pokorney

Good luck

Dear Editor,

The recent concerns about Piano Creek Development and its effects on the water table of the Upper San Juan drainage are reminiscent of concerns in the early 1980s of the relocation of the county landfill which is only a few feet from the San Juan River itself. The site where all the household and industrial waste and who knows what else is stored supposedly for eternity is a pit with a sandy clay bottom slightly uphill from the river. In other words, the soil is perfect for leaching water, or should I say liquid, into the ground. Since the dump has been here for 20 or so years, I'm sure the damage is irreversible. And we are all guilty of polluting the water table when we haul our trash to the dump. So good luck Piano Creek protesters, perhaps you can prevent the 30 or so miles above Burns Canyon from being trashed. But as for myself, I believe what Peter wrote in 2 Peter 3. Maranatha.

James Sanders

'Bad day'

Dear Editor,

Wednesday, February 28, was a bad day. Make that "Bad Day."

It began in the rain in Moab. It began without breakfast, because I wanted to defer satisfaction until Pagosa Springs. Well, not just in Pagosa Springs, but with a mushroom smothered burger at the Rolling Pin Bakery. I've had a home for my heart in Blanco Basin for thirty-five years, but my stomach worships the RPB.

The rain turned to snow around Monticello, and from there to Durango the road was a true western adventure for Fred-the-Ford and me. Got a little rock through my new windshield this side of Dove Creek, but no matter. Didn't need to see, nothing out there but white anyway, and Fred easily kept us between the ditches by the Braille system. We were bound and determined.

Up on Yellow Jacket Pass, the radio reported a 6.8 earthquake in Seattle. And, actually, I wasn't just coming from Moab but rather from Seattle. That's where my wife, Joni, works - on the eighteenth floor of the Exchange Building downtown.

There went my new windshield; there went good ol' Joni.

Ever one to search for the bright side, I concentrated on that mushroom burger ahead. Perhaps I should have one of their world class apple fritters for dessert. Over the years dozens of samples have confirmed their quality. No, a half dozen oatmeal-and-raisin cookies seemed a better choice considering my circumstances. I could chase the burger with two, and meditatively munch the others on the deck in the Basin while affirming life and mourning my losses for the day. I felt so much better.

Then disaster. The Rolling Pin Bakery is closed! Gone. Out of business.

It is the end of civilization as we knew and loved it.


Ken Timmerman

Carol Foley

Carol Foley, resident of Pagosa Springs, passed away Feb. 27, 2001.

She was born in 1926 in Kansas City, Mo. and grew up there, graduating in 1942 from Shawnee Mission Rural High School.

After moving to California in 1944, Carol had many diversely interesting job offers such as small acting parts in films, as a cartoonist with Hanna Barbera, and modeling for the AMC group of up-class distinctive department stores. Though she enjoyed fashion and modeling for AMC for several years, she preferred to make a career as an airline stewardess with United Airlines. When she retired from the airlines, she remained a member of United's Clipped Wings Sorority.

Carol married Jack Foley in 1953 and they resided in California with their two daughters, Karen and Kathy, until 1967. Her family relocated to Colorado Springs so her girls could pursue their serious competitive figure skating training at the Broadmoor World Arena.

Carol remained very active her entire life until diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease 10 years ago. She loved nature, camping, swimming, fishing, dance, music and animals, and was born with natural artistic talents such as drawing and creating art objects from nature.

Carol was a loving wife and mother, and was known by her friends and family for her naturalness, her sincerity and her humility, her openness and receptiveness to people, her sense of humor, her courage, her vibrant spirit, and her shining example to be always caring and thoughtful of others.

She is survived by her husband Jack Foley, of Pagosa Springs, and her daughters, Karen and Kathy.

A service is planned Saturday at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church, 451 Lewis St., downtown Pagosa Springs.

Marie J. Pruett

Marie Jeanette Pruett, 78, died March 3, 2001 in Durango. Mrs. Pruett had lived in Pagosa Springs since May 1998.

A memorial service was held March 7 at Pagosa Springs Funeral Options. Burial will occur at Meador Cemetery in Jacksonville, Texas.

Mrs. Pruett was born March 2, 1923 in Gallitin, Texas, the daughter of Silas and Sarah Hopwood. Mrs. Pruett worked for the government as a food inspector for many years. She left the Beaumont, Texas area in 1964 when she and her husband moved to Palestine, Texas. It was there that they owned and operated a contracting and construction business.

She is survived by daughter and son-in-law Cecilia Kay and Lawrence Castolenia of Pagosa Springs; son and daughter-in-law Danny and Patty Lake of Winnsboro, Texas; son Ricky Pruett of Neches, Texas; six grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren; sisters Lois Scurlock and Opal McMahon of Zwollie, La.

She was preceded in death by her husband Robert John Pruett in 1989.

E. William Allen

Local resident, E. William "Bill" Allen, age 67, died March 2, 2001 after an extended stay at Pine Ridge Extended Care Center.

Bill was born in Oklahoma City on August 22, 1933 to Elizabeth and Ernest Allen. He attended Rice University and graduated in 1955. Bill attended the University of Texas Medical School, Galveston from 1955 to 1959. He did residencies in Internal Medicine at San Francisco General Hospital and Cook County Hospital in Chicago followed by a fellowship in Endocrinology at the V.A. Hospital in Dallas, and a fellowship in Nuclear Medicine in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

In 1968, Bill moved to Oklahoma City where he practiced Endocrinology and Nuclear Medicine in St. Anthony's Hospital and from there he became Director of Nuclear Medicine at the V.A. Hospital in Oklahoma City. In 1984, he became Director of Nuclear Medicine at the Oklahoma University Hospital where he remained until his retirement in 1997.

Bill belonged to several professional organizations, most notably the Society of Nuclear Medicine, the Oklahoma Society of Nuclear Medicine and the American College of Nuclear physicians where he served as president from 1989 to 1990.

On March 5, 1983, Bill and his wife, Elizabeth were married and in 1998 they moved from Oklahoma City to Pagosa Springs to make their home.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Elizabeth Moore Allen and Ernest G. Allen. Bill is survived by his wife, Elizabeth Allen of Pagosa Springs; daughter Melinda Allen of Golden; step-son Tony Moreno of Conifer; and step-daughter, Lisa Moreno of Plantation, Fla.

A celebration of Bill's life will take place on March 17 at 4 p.m. in the Allen home.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Radiological Sciences Graduate Program, 100 Timberdale Rd., University of Oklahoma Foundation, Inc., Norman, OK 73019-0685.

by Addie Greer

Pretenders borrow sci-fi for 'Oddity'

The future is now.

We have all heard this expression before, but it is especially relevant in this year 2001. Americans have always been fascinated with the future and have designed many technologies we use and enjoy by using future-looking imaginations.

However, there were many things imagined for the year 2001 that have not materialized - some of which can be seen in classic science fiction films from the 1960s and '70s. The first one of these was Stanley Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey" taken from the book by Arthur C. Clarke. Most of the technologies imagined in these efforts have not yet been developed and our country's exploration of space has not met many American's expectations.

Perhaps if NASA had kept the pace begun when the former Soviet Union launched Sputnik there would be a space colony or other such realities now.

There are other issues as well which are explored in films about space, including human relationships, encounters with extraterrestrial life and the interaction between humans and their computer inventions. It is this combination of human drama, psychology and imagined destinies that makes the science fiction genre so enduringly compelling.

The Pagosa Pretenders' fearless leader for the past three years - Susan Garman - had the vision to plan the theater group's seventh production around this theme. She is the captain on this voyage to go where no Pagonsans have dared to go before. Does that sound familiar? Many things about the Pretenders' upcoming show should be familiar to most of us.

Garman has borrowed from sci-fi classics to create something as entertaining and unique as only the zany Pretenders cast and crew can do.

The production is being touted as "a warped ride through space" just as Susan thought it would - with plenty of ironic humor and silliness. The youngest budding actor is 5-years-old, and there is an 8-year-old "experienced" actress with four P.P.F.T. shows under her belt.

The eight or so adults in this production are really kids at heart who are having fun with their parts.

The ability to succeed with this range of age and talent is amazing in itself. When audiences have witnessed the results, that amazement is multiplied. It is something of a miracle every year when a wildly entertaining and mostly-coherent play develops. Audience members are stunned when they see the huge number of youngsters who come on stage for the curtain call.

Susan Garman and her cast do come away from a production exhausted, but they do so with very large grins on their faces. They deserve the feeling of accomplishment, and it is a great gift to work with children as they overcome apprehensions, the fear of performing and rejection. Watching a shy, clingy child blossom into a confident actor or actress hamming it up without a self-conscious thought or inhibition is rewarding, though they are often dragged from the stage to make way for someone else.

If you haven't guessed by now, this year's show is called: "2001: A Space Oddity" and will be presented Friday and Saturday and March 16 and 17 at 7 p.m. in the high school auditorium.

Tickets can be purchased for a slight discount at the Pagosa Springs Arts Council after today, and at the Sisson library, the Wild Hare and WolfTracks. Cost is $5.50 for adults, $3.50 for seniors and children under four.

Come see what is happening in original theater in Pagosa Springs. Try to guess if that blue-headed alien is really the young lady who sold you all those Girl Scout cookies last week and support her and the many other youngsters in a calorie-free and entertaining way.

All proceeds from the Pagosa Pretenders Family Theater are donated back to the community in various forms.

Come see what Pagosa is talking about, what your neighbors and friends have been up to, and what some great creative minds can do in our small, yet eclectic town. Discover what "unknown entity" is wreaking havoc in the universe and beyond.

Sports Page
Pirates pummel Rye to gain Elite Eight berth
By John M. Motter

After dominating Rye in a big way, 60-43, the Pagosa Pirates are on their way to State. For the second year in a row, Coach Kyle Canty's Buccaneers are among the elite eight of Colorado 3A basketball.

Pagosa's David Goodenberger entered the center circle Saturday at tip-off time in Rye knowing two things. First, the Thunderbolts were favored. Second, if Rye won the season would be finished and four Pirate seniors, including Goodenberger, would be going home after playing their last game.

Before the game started, Canty told the seniors, "It's up to you. You have to step up and take charge if you want to keep playing."

Saturday, the Pirates did what coach told them. They stole the thunder from the Thunderbolts by playing in-your-face defense and opportunistic offense.

The game opened slowly, both teams circling and searching for an opening like two wrestlers groping for a hold.

More than three minutes passed before the scoring opened with the Matt Stanifer, Tyrel Ross show. Rye's Stanifer banked in the first two-pointer. Seconds later, Pagosa's Ross hit a deuce to tie the game. Stanifer hit again, then Ross popped a trey to put Pagosa up 5-4 with three minutes left in the first period.

Pagosa's Brandon Charles sank a trey and a deuce in quick succession to build a 10-4 lead for the Pirates. Matt Maroney sank a trey for Rye, but then Pagosa rang up seven unanswered points and Pagosa ended the first quarter with a 17-9 lead. Pagosa never looked back and Rye never got closer.

Micah Maberry opened the second period with a pair of buckets stretching Pagosa's lead to 21-9, before Rye got back into scoring action. Charles added to the Pirate lead with a pair of free throws and a trey to close the first half with Pagosa on top 28-17.

If Rye thought they could change the momentum in the second half, they were wrong. Darin Lister hit a layup and Daniel Crenshaw a pair of buckets to open second-half scoring and stretch Pagosa's lead to 34-17. By the end of the third, Pagosa led 47-27.

All Pagosa had to do during the final stanza was hang on, but that's not what the Pirates did. They matched Rye basket for basket, racking up 13 more points.

While hoisting the regional championship trophy, Pagosa's seniors knew they had followed the coach's advice by taking charge. Still, they probably couldn't have won the game without the scoring of sophomores Charles and Jason Schutz, who added 16 points and 10 points to the Pirate total.

"I'm not surprised that we won," Canty said. "We played very, very good defense. We didn't allow them to get into any kind of offensive rhythm. They never did get into what they do offensively."

Charles and Ross led Pagosa scoring with 16 points each. Following the leaders were Schutz with 10, Maberry and Crenshaw with eight, and Lister with two. Pagosa hit 18 of 45 attempts from two-point range for 40-percent shooting, four of nine from three-point range for 44-percent shooting, and 12 of 17 from the charity stripe for 71-percent shooting.

Goodenberger hauled in 10 rebounds to top Pagosa in that department. Goodenberger also was tops in assists with eight, made one steal, and one blocked shot. Maberry accounted for six rebounds and made two assists, Ross five rebounds, one block, one assist, and one steal. Schutz contributed four rebounds. Lister had three assists, one steal, and four rebounds. Charles led in steals with five, and had one rebound. Crenshaw contributed two rebounds, one assist, and one steal. Pagosa committed just six turnovers.

Pagosa at State

The Pirates are seeded eighth among eight teams in the state tournament, placing them in a Cinderella role if they are to return home with a state championship. Their first opponent is Colorado Springs Christian, the top seed among 3A schools. Game time is 1:15 today.

Six of the Pagosa boys were in the state tournament last year when Pagosa lost to eventual winner Weld Central in the opener 47-33, defeated La Junta 51-45 in the first round of the consolation bracket, then lost to Monte Vista 52-47 in the consolation championship game.

Canty is no stranger to the state playoffs. During his years at Sanford High School the Indians went to regionals in 1977, won State in 1977, and played at State in 1978.

"It is different than the regular season," Canty said. "I guess the biggest difference for me is, I feel like I had more control as a player than I do as a coach. I have lifetime memories from going to state and I hope the Pagosa boys have the same thing."

The Pirates are facing a team that seems to have everything. The Colorado Springs Christians, alias the Lions, have 10 seniors on a 12-man squad and are 21-2 for the season. They have good height and a powerful offense. For the season, they have averaged almost 78 points a game, while limiting opponents to about 50 points a game. Their roster lists two players at 6-foot-7, one at 6-6, two at 6-3, two at 6-2, one at 6-1, and two at 6-0. Pagosa counters with a 6-6, two 6-4s, a 6-2, a 6-1, three 5-10s, a 5-8, and two 5-7s.

Still, Canty is optimistic.

"We played very well against Rye, but I think we have an even better game in us," Canty said. "We'll have to play a different style, try to limit their possessions."

Overall, Canty's charges will do what got them this far: play the toughest defense anyone ever saw.

The 3A tournament is being conducted today, tomorrow, and Saturday at Air Force Academy's Clune Stadium near Colorado Springs.

Ladies rip Roaring Fork for regional crown
By Richard Walter

It was expected to be a battle of the 6-foot-3 centers.

It was expected to be a battle of the 3-point shooters.

It turned out to be a defensive gem in the home gym.

Roaring Fork High School of Carbondale came into the Regional basketball championship game with 6-foot-3 center Ren Udall averaging over 18 points a game and about 14 rebounds a game.

Her first shot attempt against Pagosa's Lady Pirates was blocked cleanly by Pagosa's 6-foot-3 center Ashley Gronewoller and that, for all intents and purposes, was the ball game.

Udall couldn't get a shot off and Gronewoller paced all scorers in the game with 25 points. Udall had three rebounds and Gronewoller 12. Udall got in early foul trouble, had to go to the bench, and was a non-factor in the first half.

But it wasn't all Gronewoller in the 50-29 Pagosa Springs victory that sends them into state quarterfinal action at 11:45 a.m. today against Colorado Springs Christian.

Senior guard Meigan Canty had five points on one of two shooting from the field and, in perhaps her best floor game of the season, turned in five steals and six assists while canning three of four from the foul line.

Junior forward Katie Lancing had 10 points on 4 of 12 shooting from the floor and two for two from the foul line. She also had two steals, seven assists, a blocked shot and seven rebounds.

Senior guard Andrea Ash cashed in six points on three of eight shooting from the floor, added a steal and an assist, and grabbed three rebounds.

The scare of the night for Pagosa players and fans alike came with 1:46 left in the first period when senior power forward Tiffanie Hamilton skied for a defensive rebound, battled a Roaring Fork Lady Ram for possession and came down to the floor head first.

She was stunned and almost unconscious as silence fell over the home crowd.

She was down about three minutes before getting to her feet and being assisted, groggy, from the floor. She sat on the bench the remainder of the first half with assistant coach Chantelle Kay holding an ice bag to the back of her head and neck.

Hamilton, always the gamer, came out for second-half warm-up intent on returning to the lineup. Coach Karen Wells waited until the warm-ups were over before making the decision and the crowd roared when Hamilton was in the second-half starting lineup.

She had scored her only two points of the game less than a minute before her injury and attempted only two field goals in the contest.

Then, with 1:55 left in the third period, Hamilton was injured again, this time cut on the right hand, and had to leave the game because the bleeding could not immediately be stopped.

She returned early in the fourth quarter and continued pounding the boards. For the game she had nine rebounds, five defensive. She also turned in a blocked shot and a steal, but for the first time in 14 games had no assists, a category in which she leads the team for the season, with 72.

By Sunday night, Hamilton was still having headaches and neck pain but vowed she'd be ready for state playoff quarterfinals today.

Sophomore guard Shannon Walkup recorded two points on one of four from the floor, had one steal, one assist and one defensive rebound and played sparkling pressure defense, spelling both Ash and Canty and swinging to forward when Hamilton went down.

The three-point show, like the center battle, failed to materialize. Roaring Fork's premier trey shooters, Autumn Caughem and Emily Markham each attempted only one from downtown, both unsuccessful. The only trey of the game came late in the fourth period from Roaring Fork junior Becky Anderson on her only shot of the game.

The Lady Pirates attempted only three treys, two by Ash and one by Hamilton, and none were successful.

The game started slowly, both teams looking to go inside. After Gronewoller blocked Udall, Canty opened the scoring with her lone field goal at 6:42 and a minute later the Lady Rams tied the score on a soft jumper from freshman Tarn Udall.

Then Gronewoller picked up a quick four points on consecutive plays, the first on a feed from Lancing and the second off an offensive rebound of a shot by Ash. Then Lancing drove from the left side for a pair and Hamilton scored her patented 14-foot jumper to make the lead 10-2 just as Hamilton was injured. Gronewoller boosted the lead to 12-2 on another assist by Lancing with 29.8 seconds left in the period.

Markham hit one of her four field goals of the game just ahead of the buzzer and Pagosa led 12-4 at the first break.

And then the defense got even tougher for Pagosa.

Five of the their 11 steals in the game came in that period with Canty turning in two, Walkup one, Lancing one and Gronewoller making her lone theft of the game.

Roaring Fork's guards were unable to penetrate the swarming Lady Pirate defense and they were able to get off only three field goal attempts in the stanza, scoring on one by Tarn Udall (her final points of the game). The Lady Rams did convert five of six from the foul line in the period for seven points while the Lady Pirates were netting 10 points and building a 22-11 halftime lead.

Any hopes of comeback for the Lady Rams were quickly snuffed when Lancing stole the third quarter inbound pass and fed a racing Gronewoller for her tenth point. Then it was Canty's turn to steal and her lead to Lancing left Gronewoller alone underneath where Katie dropped a soft pass and Ashley converted again.

In a minute and 44 seconds the lead had climbed to 26-11. Gronewoller was fouled shooting on the next possession and missed both shots from the line. Seconds later, she was back in the lane for another drop pass, this one from Canty, and laid in another two points.

Ren Udall cut the score to 29-13 with her first field goal of the game but Lancing answered with two on an assist by Canty. Markham countered with a field goal, was fouled by Ash, and hit the charity toss and then Rams' sophomore guard Brie Bath converted for two and Roaring Fork cut the lead to 30-18 with 1:55 left in the period.

Hamilton was hurt for the second time at that point, but it made little difference. Lancing drove the lane for a pair, was fouled while scoring, and hit the charity toss. With a minute to play in the period, however, she picked up her fourth foul and went to the bench.

Walkup closed out the scoring for the period with a pull-up jumper from 12 feet and Pagosa led 35-18 at the break.

Pagosa went right back to the attack to open the fourth quarter with Ash converting an assist from Canty into two points. Anderson followed with the only trey of the game to cut the Pagosa lead to 37-21, but Gronewoller answered with another pair of field goals, both on assists by Canty.

Ren Udall got a pair back with her second and final bucket, but picked up her fourth foul on the next play. And then, at 4:38 and with hope fading, she battled Gronewoller for a rebound and instead picked up a ticket to a seat on the bench with her fifth foul.

Gronewoller converted both free throws and after Markham answered with a long deuce for Roaring Fork, Gronewoller scored again on an assist by Lancing. With four minutes left, Pagosa's lead was 45-27. In that final four minutes, the Lady Rams were able to convert only one more score, a jumper by Markham, while Pagosa answered with five, three by Gronewoller and two by Canty.

Other key factors for Pagosa were a 34-11 rebounding margin and turning the ball over for a season low 12 times while forcing 19 turnovers by the Lady Rams.

Roaring Fork was paced by Markham with nine points, Tarn Udall with five, Ren Udall with four, Anderson's trey, four by Bath, two from Caughem, and two by Jenna Nicholson.

As the game wound down, with just 5.1 seconds left, Lancing fouled out.

And Pagosa's Lady Pirates were preparing to pack for a trip to the state's Class 3A Elite Eight in Clune Arena at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs.

Coach Wells said she felt her team was "well-prepared for the game. We knew they had a lot of freshmen who might see action and I told my girls to make the most of every opportunity."

Her four seniors, she said, "were reminded what it was like when they were freshmen. Use your experience to your advantage."

She was extremely pleased with the Lady Pirate defense.

"I told them to stay in their faces, don't wait, just go right at them, and they did it with abandon."

Ladies open soccer season Saturday in Cortez
By Richard Walter

Spring sports are getting underway for Pagosa Springs High School athletes even as state basketball championship play enters its final weekend today.

The Lady Pirates' soccer team opens its season Saturday with a four-team scrimmage at Cortez involving those two squads plus Glenwood Springs and Bayfield. Pagosa and Bayfield are rivals for their Class 3A league crown while Cortez and Glenwood are both Class 4A schools.

Coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason will have to wait two weeks for any girls involved in basketball - who want to play soccer - to become eligible. At least one member of the girls' varsity basketball team, Carlena Lungstrum, is expected to be on the soccer roster.

Kurt-Mason had an initial turnout of about 40 for the indoor practices that have been necessitated by the cold and snow.

Efforts to clean the field for outdoor practice two weeks ago lasted only until a snowstorm that started while players were shoveling.

Actual league play, weather permitting, is supposed to open next week with Lady Pirate home games against Ridgway at 4 p.m. Friday and Telluride at 1 p.m. Saturday. Telluride and Center represented the league in state playoff competition last year, Telluride was the league champion and Center the winner of the district tournament staged here.

Three players who garnered all-conference accolades last year - Alysha Ranson, Jennifer Gross and Meagan Hilsabeck - are expected to form the core of a veteran squad for Pagosa which lost only one senior from last year's 6-5-2 squad.

Kurt-Mason said Gross has been ill and unable to practice until this week, but is expected to come on strong with fitness drills.

He said he has been "really impressed in practice by the efforts of Tricia Lucero who's coming on strong but will be unavailable this weekend because she will be at the state basketball tournament as a records keeper for the Lady Pirates' basketball team."

Kurt-Mason said he also has been impressed by the performances in practice of Kelli Patterson, Cathy Tharpe, Sara Aupperle, Lori Whitbred and Amy Moore along with Cassie Pfiefle and Lindsay Schmidt who, he said, "has been showing real leadership ability."

The Ladies have been unable to practice outdoors because of the weather and have been alternating in use of the Elementary School and Junior High School physical education facilities.

"We've been stressing conditioning, doing gymnastics, working on ball-handling skills and body strength exercises," he said. "We run them from the high school to whichever school we're practicing at, and twice a week we time them in the mile. Each time, generally, the times are improving."

Last weekend, Kurt-Mason got permission to use the fields in Bloomfield, N.M. for practice sessions and "we had a great 4-hour practice outdoors. We ran drills, scrimmaged among ourselves and came home a tired but team-centered group."

He said the girls felt "it was great to feel the sun, smell the grass and even run through the goose dung on the turf. Getting outdoors is what will help the most."

In this weekend's four-team scrimmage, Pagosa will meet Glenwood Springs at 12:30 p.m., the jayvees will play at 1:45 p.m. and the varsity will play Cortez at 4:15 p.m. Bayfield will be there, too, but Pagosa will not play them.

The coach said he currently has 47 girls out for practice, giving good depth for the varsity and has what he feels will be a strong freshman team. The soccer complement is expected to swell by at least three when the basketball season ends this weekend.

Team concept has become important to the girls, Kurt-Mason said, and they have been growing as a unit during practice, bonding into a cohesive element both on and off the practice arena.

"If we get and stay fit physically," he said, "we'll stay fit mentally and that can mean the difference. A team which is alert will not allow the minor mistakes that can cost you a goal." In all, he looks for a winning season and a strong showing by both his veterans and a strong corps of underclassmen.

Ross Memorial tournament scheduled April 19-22

The sixth annual Dirk and Colt Ross Memorial Basketball Tournament, an annual scholarship fundraiser for youths of Pagosa Springs and Ignacio, has been scheduled April 19-22 in Pagosa.

The entry fee is $175 per team with a $100 non-refundable deposit required by April 1 for the first 24 teams to qualify.

College competition is expected and there will be a 10-player minimum per team in a double elimination format in three divisions: Open, 6-feet and under, and 35 and over.

All participating teams will receive an information packet with discount coupons for food, lodging and spas.

Quality referees from the Four Corners area will officiate the games in the adjacent Pagosa Springs Junior High and Intermediate school gymnasiums.

A special memorial presentation will be made during the tournament and there will be prizes for first, second, third and fourth place teams. An All-Tournament team will be named along with a tournament MVP, Mr. Hustle, and Mr. Defense.

Also on tap are a slam-dunk contest, a 3-point shooting contest and door prizes.

For more information, call Troy Ross (970-264-5265), Cody Ross (970-264-4316), Redo Ross (970-884-6032), Larry Ash (970-264-4594), Clifford Lucero (970-264-2478) or Jon Forest (970-264-4544).

Entries may be mailed to Troy Ross, P.O. Box 727, Pagosa Springs, CO, 81147.

The tournament honors two brothers who died in a plane crash near the Vallecito Reservoir on Oct. 10, 1995. Dirk, 39 at the time, was a 1974 graduate of Ignacio High School and Colt, 28, a 1985 graduate of Pagosa High School.

Fun Race Series draws 64; winners named

Wolf Creek Ski Area held the sixth race of its 2000-01 Fun Race Series on March 4. The all-comers races attracted 64 area and out-of-state skiers.

In the girls' and women's races, Carmen Winn won the girls' 9- to 11-year-old race with a time of 35.66 seconds. Kelley Vandilla was second at 36.06 and Kala Matzdorf third at 42.75.

Kyra Matzdorf won the girls' 12-to-14 race with a time of 52.70.

Traci Dowd of Pagosa Springs won the women's 21-to-25 division with a time of 29.33.

Kristie Witter of Dallas won the women's 26-to-30 division with a time of 37.03. Sarah White of New Mexico was second at 52.70.

Janelle Karas of Pagosa Springs was first in the women's 31-35 division at 38.07 and Teri Matzdorf of Pagosa Springs took first in women's 36-40 with a time of 37.95. Wendy Vandilla of Santa Fe was first in women's 41-50 with 33.72. Margaret Zamora of Farmington was second at 37.53.

In women's 51-60, Sharon Meyer of Alamosa was first in 36.55 and Barbara Case of Texas second in 36.85.

Men's race results

Zack Rutledge of Farmington won the boys 12-to-14 race with a time of 37.99. Tad Beavers of Pagosa Springs was second at 38.92 and Casey Knight of Ft. Collins was third at 40.57. Adam and Alex Zamora of Farmington were first and second with 33.49 and 41.09 respectively in boys 15-17.

Mike Angelo of Pagosa Springs was first in boy's 18-20 with 26.45. Bryan Eggelston of Colorado Springs was second in 27.74 and Flavio Salazar of New Mexico third in 29.38.

John Kannolt of Albuquerque won the men's 21-to-25 race with a time of 27.57. Robert Case of Temple was second in 28.55 and Ari Karas of Pagosa Springs third in 30.64.

Jason Baig of Kansas won the men's 26-to-30 race with a time of 34.28. Jason Kaye of Durango was second in 35.13 and Morgan White of New Mexico third in 36.31.

In the men's 36-to-40 age bracket, Eric Matzdorf of Pagosa Springs won the gold with a time of 28.01, and Jens Read captured second with a time of 30.29.

Gerry Riggs of Pagosa Springs won first place in the men's 41-to-50 age bracket with a time of 29.20. John Knight of Fort Collins placed second at 34.46 and Charles Bergeron was third in 1:15:10.

Duncan Coleman of South Fork won the men's 51-to-60 division with a time of 26.49. Tom Gibbons of Walla Walla, Wash., placed second at 30.55 and Rick Nehrboss was third in 30.83.

Sam Selters of Center won the men's 61-and-over race with a 27.10. Dave Bryan of Pagosa Springs finished in second place with a time of 27.76 and Dick Redfield of Pagosa Springs was third with a time of 28.33.

PeeWee wrestlers collect awards in Ignacio
By Lori Lucero

Pagosa's PeeWee wrestlers attended their second tournament March 3 at Ignacio.

In Division 1, Christopher Rivas placed first at 40 pounds, and Lane Chavez placed fourth at 40 lbs. At 45 lbs., Chase Purcell placed second.

In Division 2, in the 45 lb. bracket, Juan Pablo Espinosa placed third. E.J. Romero placed third at 50 lbs. In the 55 lb. bracket, Terrence Campbell placed first; Cody Snow placed second; Michael Rivas placed second and Levi Wilkins placed third.

In Division 3, Waylon Lucero placed third at 65 lbs. In the 70 lb. bracket, Jordan Valdez placed second and Shelby Chavez took third.

In Division 4, Gabe Gallegos took first at 100 lbs.; Robert Radar placed second in the bracket. Isaiah Vigil placed third at 80 lbs. and Steven Smith was fourth at 60 lbs.

Joeseph Stoddard competed in Division 5, taking first at 75 lbs.

Pagosa will host a tournament April 7, and volunteers are needed to help run tables, and the concession stand.

If you are interested in helping, or would like to make a donation to the club, contact Lori Lucero or Chris Valdez.

Community News
Chamber News
By Sally HameisterSt. Patrick's parade deadline March 15

We've already received lots of phone calls about our ever-so-fun St. Patrick's Day parade.

This is the one designed for children, animals, and anyone who just loves a parade. That would be most of Pagosa Springs, of course.

We have an awfully good time and hope you will join us this year. Registration forms are at the Visitor Center, and all you have to do is fill one out and hand us a check (or cash) for $3.17. The next thing you need to do is show up the afternoon of March 16 on Sixth around 3:17 to line up for the parade. We will enter the highway at 4 p.m. and march to Second Street.

Cash prizes will be awarded for the Best Float ($25 big ones), the Most Green Costume ($15) and the Most Bizarre Costume ($10). Obviously, the competition in this parade is not about money - it's all about fun. We invite all age groups to join us, and our one and only requirement is that you wear green.

As always, we are at the mercy of Mother Nature, so please stay tuned to KWUF Radio for an update if the weather looks "iffy" that day. Entry deadline is 5 p.m. March 15. Please join us for the fun and silliness of the St. Patrick's Day Parade.

Elk Foundation

Lots going on this weekend and one of the events you want to consider is the Big Game Banquet and Auction sponsored by the San Juan Chapter of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. This popular annual event is being held at the Archuleta County Fair Building beginning with a social hour at 4 p.m. followed by a banquet at 6:30 and a fundraising auction at 7 p.m. Tickets are $55 each or $70 per couple. Purchase of a ticket includes a one-year Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation membership and subscription to Bugle magazine.

For reservations or additional information, call 731-2735.

Casino Royale

The Pagosa Springs Rotary Club will present its annual Casino Royale, The Grandest Party in Pagosa Springs, March 17, from 6 p.m. until midnight at the Ridgeview Mall.

One of the cool things about this evening is that, if you are so inclined, this is one of those rare opportunities in Pagosa to wear sequins, tiaras, velvet, long gloves and the like. Pagosa's very own Rio Jazz will be there to entertain us as well as The Jeff Solon Big Band with its 1940s swing sound.

There will be dance contests, funny-money gambling, blackjack, craps, bingo, roulette, hors d'oeuvres, desserts and a Texas beer garden.

Also included will be a grand prize drawing for a trip to Las Vegas for up to one week's stay at a Fairfield timeshare located behind the MGM Grand Hotel. The prize also includes round-trip airfare from Albuquerque and $250 spending money.

There will be 20 silent auction items worth over $100 each, and you can use your gambling winnings to buy tickets for a chance to win these items. All in all, sounds like a great way to spend an evening, so don't miss out on this one. Tickets are available right now at the Chamber and at the Durango Wells Fargo Bank. Call us with questions at 264-2360

Space Oddity

The Pagosa Pretenders Family Theatre presents "2001: A Space Oddity, A Warped Ride Through Space" with music, this weekend and next at the high school auditorium beginning at 7 p.m.

This is the same group who brought you "Aladdin" last year, so you can count on a charming performance filled with the enviable energy and ingenuous appeal of children on a stage. Adult performers always avoid sharing the stage or camera with children and animals for a very good reason: they steal the show every time.

This show boasts a cast and crew of over 80 so you're bound to know several people on or behind the stage at any given time. March 9, 10, 16 and 17 are the dates for "Space Oddity," and you can purchase your tickets after today at the Sisson Library and WolfTracks Bookstore and Coffee Company and for a discount at the Pagosa Springs Arts Council.

Daffodil Days

It's time for the annual Daffodil Days celebration in Pagosa Springs with those oh-so-welcome harbingers of spring, the beautiful daffodils.

This American Cancer Society project brings thousands of "flowers of hope" to the area, and proceeds fund the Society's local patient services, research and education. The success of this event counts upon the contribution of many local businesses, schools and clubs that order large quantities of flowers in advance of the public offering.

Bouquets can be picked up at Mountain Greenery on Fourth Street or you can arrange to have the flowers delivered. Upon your request, complimentary cards will accompany each bouquet.

The suggested donation is $7.50 per bouquet of 10 flowers. To order or volunteer your services for this project, call 264-6255. You may also pick up order forms at the Visitor Center and send them to: American Cancer Society Daffodil Days, P. O. Box 3363, Pagosa Springs, CO, 81147.

Food for Friends

Curves for Women is pleased to announce that, once again, they are participating in this year's annual Curves for Women National Food Drive. As a group, Curves Franchisees collected and donated over a quarter million pounds of food. Last year, they were able to donate 580 pounds to local food banks and Casa De Los Arcos Senior Housing.

Please bring your non-perishable food items to Curves for Women, 117 Navajo Trail Drive 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 4 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday or to the Visitor Center at 402 San Juan 8 a.m. to 5p.m. Monday through Friday. If you have questions, call Curves at 731-0333 or the Chamber at 264-2360.


We are pleased to bring you three new members this week and seven renewals. We love it that we seem to just keep on truckin' with our membership. Thank you so much.

Judy and Keith Chastain join us with Log Homes Incorporated with offices located in their home. These folks specialize in cedar log homes, custom design, tailor-made log packages and hands-on, personalized service. "Building What We Sell." You can contact these good folks at 731-9522 or at We thank members Jane and Steve McKain at Pathfinder Construction for their recruitment efforts and will send them a free SunDowner pass for recommending Chamber membership. We do indeed love it when our members encourage others to join the Chamber.

Our next new member this week is Kim Francisco with Cisco's Southwestern Eatery located at 63 Country Center Drive, Suite C. Cisco's serves a wide variety of mouth-watering dishes including Navajo tacos, stuffed sopapillas, Cuban sandwiches and roast pork just to name a few. Delivery is also available. I stopped in to chat with Kim about membership a couple of weeks ago, and the dishes coming out of the kitchen were pretty amazing - you won't leave hungry, I assure you. Stop in and say hello to these fine folks or give them a call at 731-3663 to order some yummy food.

Our old friend Fred Schmidt joins us next with Adobe Investment, Ltd., d.b.a. Adobe Office and Retail Condominiums located at 473 Lewis Street. These units are currently under construction and scheduled for completion in September, 2001. You can fix your office/retail space cost with interest rates approaching ten-year lows by buying your own business space. This first-class commercial construction is located downtown close to the county courthouse, next to Town Hall and the new stoplight. To learn more about Adobe Investment, Ltd., please call 264-4123.

Renewals this week include Terry French with Pagosa Auto Care-NAPA; Shannon Bennett with Pagosa Springs Mini-Storage; James E. Dickhoff with JJ's Upstream Restaurant; Louise W. Jagger with Chimney Rock Restaurant; Clay Campbell with Aspen Nook Industries; and Rolly Jackson with Radio Shack.

Our Associate Member renewal this week is Rita Werner who also acts as a host in our Visitor Center as one of our valued Chamber Diplomats. Many thanks to you all for your continued support.

Senior News
By Janet Copeland

Wollenweber named Senior Services Administrator

Musetta Wollenweber has been named Administrator of Senior Services for the Senior Center. Congratulations, Musetta. She has announced an open-door policy for her office so if anyone has special needs or complaints, please feel free to contact her.

We hear that Carlo Carrannante has joined his wife, Lee, in the nursing home at Durango while he recuperates from his recent diabetic problems. Our best wishes to both of them. Carlo's phone number there is 385-1584. I'm sure he would love to hear from friends.

Mike Diver of Veterans Services joined us Friday. Mike makes this a monthly session so anyone with questions or problems relating to Veterans Benefits can visit with him. We so appreciate this service and will miss Mike when he moves away in the summer.

Our Senior of the Week last week and this week kept it in the family. Ingrid Leppitsch was honored last week, and this week her husband Sepp received the honor. It couldn't happen to nicer folks. Congratulations.

Reading the newspaper is always educational and informative. This week especially so. An article in the Durango Herald "Records show wrong people using property-tax deferment" enlightened me considerably since I wasn't aware of the program the article referred to.

According to the article there is a state program which allows senior citizens (age 65 and over) to DEFER property tax on their homes, while the government places a lien on the property. The taxes are paid after the house is sold, when the owner dies or moves into an assisted-care facility. The 21-year-old program could be quite helpful to lower-income seniors and they need to be aware that it is available. According to the article, no one in the state's nine poorest counties has signed up for the program but some folks with homes valued from $200,000 up to $1.8 million have taken advantage of it.

We are sorry to learn that Marie Pruett passed away. Marie was very active in our Center. We will miss her. Our prayers are for her family.

Delores and Frank Serafini visited with us Friday. Welcome folks. We hope you will come again soon.

Cruising with Cruse
By Katherine Cruse

It's hard to communicate in computers

Ah, computers. Aren't they great? How did we live without them?

Remember the old days, before PCs and laptops and Palm whatevers and all those great laborsaving devices?

You had an address or a phone number to save, you put it in your address book. In ink if you were sure the person would stay put for a while. In pencil for those peripatetic friends who seemed to move every year.

Being a Luddite and determined to ignore most new electronic devices until forced to do otherwise, I can barely operate a cell phone, let alone deal with new computer software.

I mean, back in the Dark Ages, when I was taking advanced math, and later college chemistry, I tried to save time by making calculations with a slide rule. Borrowed, I might add. No way would I lay out money for such a technical thing.

No use. I ended up using a pencil and a scrap of paper to check and see if I'd done it right. Every time. Didn't matter that each time I proved I did know what I was doing - what engineers call the "confidence factor" in my calculations was pretty low.

We were probably the first people on our block to get a computer, back in 1982, right after IBM and the other computer manufacturers realized that they could market PCs to people who wanted to word process. The new device wasn't just for techie geeks anymore.

Hotshot the engineer and me the wordsmith. We went shopping. We bought an IBM with 16 kilobytes of memory. We upgraded it to 64 kb.

With it, for my work, we got a daisy wheel printer, an enormous machine with a round plastic disk for the type font. We're talking primitive here. But not cheap. I think the daisy wheel printer alone cost more than our last laptop.

Well, we've come a long way baby. But I still don't like to fuss with software.

Fortunately, I have my own resident technical advisor and trouble shooter. This is both good and bad.

The good part is, when something goes wrong, when the machine gives me some message that makes no sense, such as "you have just performed an illegal operation and will be shut down," I have a fix-it guy handy. He's been working with these things for so long, he almost always knows what to do.

I've tried in the past to call the customer support line. The first thing the pleasant young man does is ask whether the frammerwitzel, or some equally obtuse thing, is connected. "How should I know?" I exclaim hysterically.

It's so hard to communicate, when you're speaking different languages.

I used to want to know more. I used to say to Hotshot, show me how to do this or that. And he'd lean over my chair and say, "First open this program."

"You mean this one? How do I do that?"

"Double click the left button. Okay, now the next step . . ."

But pretty soon there'd be a glitch. The machine would give one of those cryptic message, the equivalent of "Nyaah, nyaah, nyaah."

The patient teacher mode would be gone. The problem-solving engineer would take over, and he'd say, "Let me have the mouse. Let me have the chair. This'll just take a minute. I want to see why it's doing that."

We'd switch places. I'd wait. The minute would stretch into five minutes. Pretty soon the engineer and the computer were deep in conversation and I was a fifth wheel.

Now I just say, "Honey, I'm having a problem." He jumps right in and fixes it, while I go downstairs and thumb through a magazine until he's done.

It's my belief that he's responsible for a lot of the problems. He's the one who pays attention and buys the upgrades. He's the one who installs new software.

I'll be using an ancient version of a computer address book, until some day it's so old and decrepit that the shiny Windows 2020 (or whatever version we'll have by then) won't stoop to recognize its existence. By then it probably won't matter. Everything we need to know will be on one tiny computer chip implanted in our brains for ready access.

Last week set a new record: Hotshot went on a business trip and came home with a yen to switch laptops.

There's a full-size computer at our house and two laptops. A big laptop and a cute little laptop. I've been using the little one. They're both connected to the full-size one with a host of cables, which acts as a server for our two e-mail accounts.

He wants the little one for travel. Okay.

But it's not just a matter of disconnecting the cables from the various thingies. First he had to reprogram the information for all three of them, so that the server computer would send the e-mail to the right places. And so that the two laptops would recognize whose e-mail was whose.

After a couple of hours, he stopped. "I'm not going to switch after all," he said. "Too much internal directing to make this happen." Okay.

I sat down to correspond and discovered that all my e-mail files - copies of incoming messages, copies of sent messages, updates to the address list, drafts waiting to be sent - all of it had vanished into the ether. I kid you not.

Actually, I'm kind of relieved that a lot of that stuff is gone - saves me the trouble of deciding whether to keep it or not. In the old days, when we used the telephone or wrote letters, we didn't save copies of every word that dripped from lips or pen, and we survived without those records of our precious thoughts. Or our random ones.

I know Hotshot despairs of me sometimes. He explains things like Briefcase, a feature which comes with laptops. "Just keep your files in Briefcase," he says. "You can work on them anywhere. When you activate the backup feature, every change you've made is automatically saved on the main computer."

I say, "Okay, sure. I'll do that."

But I still don't trust it.

Pagosa Lakes
By Ming Steen

Exercise, health comments drew mixed reactions

Mark your entertainment calender for "2001: A Space Oddity" coming to you tomorrow and Saturday and again March 16 and 17.

This play will be presented by Pagosa Pretenders Family Theatre - a local theatre group that involves participants of all ages in their productions. Improvisation is encouraged and there's no telling what happens from show to show. This year's production involves a cast and crew of more than 70 adults and children. I've seen the rehearsals and can assure you that "2001: A Space Oddity" is entertaining, original, full of dance, songs and a whole slew of audaciously put-together costumes.

Tickets for the play are $5.50 for adults and $3.50 for children and seniors, with children under 3 admitted free. Tickets are available at the Sisson Library, Wolf Tracks, The Wild Hare, and at the door on the night of performance.

My column from a fortnight ago on exercise and health drew sundry opinions from the readers. One reader stated that exercise helped her fight depression. "When I exercise I feel so good and being around other people who are also exercising helps me feel less alone."

There's a great deal of merit in this reader's contribution. Exercisers who take no medication for mild depression may feel that they alone were responsible for their recovery, and this sense of mastery could improve their long-term prospects for mental health. This doesn't mean antidepressants or psychotherapy isn't needed for chronic depression.

Another reader adds, "I like long walks, especially when they are taken by people that annoy me and if you are going to try cross-country skiing, start with a small country." A recreation center member told me that she has to exercise early in the morning before her brain figures out what she's doing.

This last one was shared, I hope in jest. "The only reason I exercise is so I can hear heavy breathing again."

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

The following agenda was provided by PLPOA:

- Call to order

- Approval of agenda

- Approval of minutes of Feb. 8 board meeting

- General managers report

- Public comments (30-minute time limit)

- Treasurer's report - Director Bohl

- Committee reports

- Old business

- New business: Appointment to panels and committees - Mr. Robert Grandchamp; discussion of ATV and snowmobile use within Assoc. boundaries; discussion of what constitutes "Commercial Activity" in a residential neighborhood; what was the intent of the authors of the Association documents, shall a legal opinion be sought; proposed bylaw changes.

- Announcements: Dates for a working session with the board of directors and the code of enforcement hearing panel will be proposed to the board after confirmation by the panel.

- Correspondence

- Adjournment

There are no items for executive session.

Library News
By Lenore Bright

Guide to health sites has vital data

It's just 10 days until our indoor garage sale on Saint Patrick's Day.

There are just a few more booths available. For the uninitiated, this is a chance to buy some space for $15 and sell your collected stuff. Make some money and go spend it March 17 at the Rotary Casino fundraiser.

Our sale is from 8 a.m. until noon at the Extension Building at the Fairgrounds on U.S. 84. Booth rent goes to the Friends of the Library. You get to keep your profits. This is a great way to get your house cleaned and make a little money.

Health sites

Access - America's Guide to the Internet - lists web sites where you can find medical information you can trust. The list is available at the library. I like ""

We are going to have a booth at the 9Health Fair showing a variety of medical information we can provide. You're invited to visit our booth April 7. Otherwise, please come in and look over the many references in our collection.

According to Access, more than 98 million people go online to do health-related searches. This article gives guidance in how to know if a site is reliable. Be sure you check up on the privacy policy. Be aware that your personal medical data could be sold to marketers.

New display

Aliens have taken over our display cases. They are friendly, fun and here to publicize "2001 - a Space Oddity . . . a warped ride through space." The show will be presented by the Pagosa Pretenders Family Theatre Friday and Saturday and March 16 and 17. Tickets are $5.50 for adults, $3.50 for seniors and children 4 to 12. We have tickets at the library.

And don't forget to look over our collection of science fiction. Cathy has been adding many new editions. There are also some books on tape to help with that ride through space.

Library cards

It is no surprise how quickly our county is growing. Most newcomers make the library one of their first stops. Library privileges are free. It is the best bargain in town. If you haven't come by yet, please do and sign up.

We are open 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Thursdays we stay open until 7:30 p.m.; Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Kiplinger letter

The latest letter touches on hot-button privacy issues. Technology now makes it easy to obtain, analyze and disseminate data. Governments are tempted to regulate this new challenge. Read about this in one of our many business periodicals.

High-altitude humor

We're always asked for information about high altitude cooking. Mary came across this little gem from the Pillsbury hotline: "I've moved up to the fifth floor in my apartment building. Do I need to use the High-altitude recipe?"

We can help out in this area as we have many resources on true high altitude cooking.


Thanks for materials from Wes Huckins, Ben Bergeson, Donna and Natalie Clark, Virginia Sheets, Kent Schafer, Cecil and Barb Tackett, Mary Lou Sprowle, Julie Crilley, and Becky Porco. Financial help from Elizabeth Leach is appreciated.

Local Chatter
By Kate Terry

1927 text sets form for good athletes

If the Pagosa Springs Lady Pirates - ranked No. 3 when they went into the game with the Roaring Fork Lady Rams Saturday night - play as well as they did then no team in the state can beat them. The Lady Pirates play today in the state tournament in Colorado Springs.

One of the joys of basketball, or any sport, is watching the movements of the players. Actually, being in any place where one can watch people go by provides the same response, even though one might not realize it.

Jesse Feiring Williams, M.D. ScD., Emeritus Professor of Physical Education, Columbia University, wrote a text "The Principles of Physical Education" (first copyright 1927 and still in print in 1954) that served as a basic text for years. He listed six principles that are worth knowing by anyone coaching, watching or playing sports.

1. Opposition

This is a natural movement involving balance between the left side of the body and the right side. For example, walk and swing your arms. As your right arm goes forward, your left leg goes forward at the same time. And vice versa. If jumping as to make a basket and shooting with the right hand, one balances off the left foot. When crouching to get set to run, and you are right handed, the left foot naturally goes forward to balance and vice versa.

2. Energy-activity ratio

This means to do just enough to complete the activity. An example is the graceful person who gives the impression of not trying.

3. Qualitative adjustment

This is the application of force or speed to a movement at the proper time. This is called "good timing."

4. Follow-through

This requires that the individual continue the moving part in the line of motion at the time of impact, as in after the ball has left the hand, or the object has been hit, as in a golf swing, in batting a ball, making a basket, etc.

5. Objective focus

This is the well-known "keep your eye on the ball" principle, unless the object is catching the ball.

6. Total assembly

This involves coordination of all moving parts.

St. Patrick's Day

That St. Patrick's Day is celebrated the world over and shows the influence of the not-to-be daunted Irish.

In Ireland, the emphasis for this day is a holy religious time, for Patrick is the Patron Saint of Ireland, having converted the pagan Irish to Christianity around 400 A.D. But outside of Ireland, the emphasis is secular.

The first St. Patrick's Day celebration in North America was in Boston in 1737 hosted by the Irish Charitable Society, a fraternal organization. Parades followed in New York City and Philadelphia by the Ancient Order of Hibernians and the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick.

Despite what many people think, St. Patrick's Cathedral has no connections with the parade. They will tell you so, as they told me, if you call them.

Many tales have been told about Patrick, some with bases and some without. For example, there's the tale that he drove the snakes out of Ireland. Not true. Ireland didn't have snakes.

But there is a basis for the use of the shamrock. As it is told, when Patrick was traveling around Ireland preaching, baptizing, and building monasteries, he found it hard to explain the meaning of the Trinity (the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost) and so used the Shamrock with its three leaves as a natural example. This the people understood, the Shamrock became the symbol of the land and so the Irish wear it in their hat bands and pin it to their clothing. Because the shamrock is green, people wear green clothing. And, of course, around the world, everyone "becomes Irish" on that day, so there's a lot of green around.

St. Patrick died March 17, 493 A.D.

Fun on the run

The 95-year-old woman at the nursing home received a visit from one of her fellow church members.

"How are you feeling?" the visitor asked.

"Oh," said the lady, "I'm just worried sick!"

"What are you so worried about, dear?" her friend asked. "You look like you're in good health. They are taking care of you, aren't they?"

"Yes, they are taking very good care of me."

"Are you in any pain?" she asked.

"No, I have never had a pain in my life."

"Well, what are you worried about?" the friend asked.

The lady leaned back in her rocking chair and slowly explained her major worry. "Every close friend I ever had has already died and gone to heaven. I'm afraid they're all wondering where I went."

Veterans Corner
by Mike Diver

Tracing history of decorations for valor

Military Awards and decorations serve as tangible evidence of and appreciation for heroic, extraordinary, outstanding and meritorious acts, achievements and service.

Medals and certificates of recognition presented to members of the military are meant to be cherished by the recipients, their comrades and their families, and they serve as a reflection and memory of a veteran's service to the nation.

The first authorized U.S. military decoration was The Badge of Military Merit, established by General George Washington Aug. 7, 1782. Formed by a piece of cloth shaped like a heart, this decoration was intended to recognize servicemen who displayed unusual gallantry or extraordinary fidelity. Only three are known to have been awarded, and the Badge of Military Merit fell into disuse after the Revolutionary War. General Douglas MacArthur revived it as the Purple Heart in 1932.

The Medal of Honor was the next decoration to be specifically designed and authorized for U.S. service members. It was established Dec. 21, 1861 by President Abraham Lincoln for enlisted men of the Navy and Marine Corps. Its use was later expanded to include enlisted men and officers of all services. More than 3,400 men and one woman have received this prestigious award.

Since that time, many defense and service decorations have been developed. Changes in eligibility criteria have been made over the years and, in some cases, decorations have fallen into misuse and disuse. However, the basic hierarchy remains unchanged. The Medal of Honor remains the highest military decoration this nation can bestow on a service member, and lesser degrees of recognition are acknowledged by other decorations in descending order.

Most recently, the Defense Department approved the Prisoner of War Medal; the French Government approved the French Jubilee of Liberty Medal; and the South Korean Government approved the Korean War Service Medal for issue to eligible U.S. service men and women.

A veteran or next of kin can replace lost, stolen, destroyed or unissued medals with a written request to the service or department with whom the veteran served. The official process takes about a year from application to receipt of medals. This administrative action can be accomplished by visiting the Archuleta County Veteran Service Office. Alternatively, replacement medals can be purchased from any of a number of commercial stores or web sites specializing in official military memorabilia.

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

Parks & Rec
by Douglas Call

Women's tournament begins Monday

The adult basketball season is drawing to a close with only one week of league games remaining to be played.

Tournament games will start March 12 for the women's league and the two men's leagues will start games March 19. Tournament games will conclude March 22.

Youth basketball

The youth basketball season concluded last week with final tournament games. Winner of the league was the Heat with a victory over the Knicks.

In the consolation bracket, the Jazz beat the Lakers and the Rockets beat the Grizzlies to win the "play back" bracket.

Thanks to all the parents, coaches and players who made the season a success. A post-season meeting was held to make next season even better. Comments on this year's season or suggestions for improvements for next year should be directed to the Town recreation department at 264-4151.

Commission meeting

The next Park and Recreation Commission meeting will be held March 12 at 6 p.m. at Town Hall. The major item on the agenda will be to determine the future of the Town recreation department in light of survey results from last fall.

Other items on the agenda will be a discussion of an abandoned tower on Reservoir Hill, a youth basketball wrap-up and information about the 2001 baseball season. The commission has a vacancy on the board of directors and interested people should provide a letter of interest to the commission or attend the next commission meeting. All meetings are held at Town Hall, begin at 6 p.m. and are open to the public

Park news

The Town parks department is busy helping several organizations develop a new downtown park. Site for the park is on Pagosa Street, next to the Irish Rose. Input from business owners, residents and others will be greatly appreciated.

Comments should be sent to Mt. Zion Christian Church at 731-5520.

In Sync with Isabel
by Isabel Willis

March: Developmental Disabilities month

March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month.

Despite the special month of recognition, those who work in support of children and adults with developmental disabilities pride themselves in not being noticed. They respect the individual client's desire to be independent and self-sufficient, so they try hard not to stick out like sore thumbs when they assist someone. Still, I would like to give recognition to an agency in our community that sensitively serves the developmentally disabled: Community Connections.

Community Connections' mission is to build an accepting, supportive, active and healthy community that includes people with disabilities and provides opportunities, choices, and participation for all people.

Pagosa's Community Connections office is a satellite of the main office in Durango. The main objective of the Pagosa office, says director Debra Ewing, is educating the community to provide support to individuals by helping them to further their education, to become more involved in the community, to achieve optimum independence and, most importantly, to be tolerant of their differences. Having worked in a large city, Debra says Pagosans are exceptionally accepting and tolerant of those with developmental disabilities, and have been more willing to provide support.

What can the community do to support individuals with developmental disabilities?

One thing is to create opportunities for these individuals to volunteer and give to the community. Debra is willing to speak with any community agency or any person about how to direct someone to volunteer opportunities, plus she will provide a support staff person to supervise the volunteer at all times.

Some individuals would like to be gainfully employed, so Debra is also looking for businesses that will welcome a developmentally disabled person in the workplace.

If you do not own a business or direct an agency, and you're thinking you can't help - you're wrong. You can include people with developmental disabilities in your social activities and provide a significant service.

Another person employed with Community Connections is Margie Martinez. She has been a support staff person with the agency for four years.

Margie says, "I do not work with clients but with people." She says folks are a bit envious of her job because her job does not look like work; it looks like she's having fun. She assists people with jobs, art classes, crafts, swimming classes, and computer work and she accompanies people on trips. The most rewarding experience she has had so far was making it possible for someone to ski who had never skied before. Margie really does have a fun job.

For Margie, her most valuable resource is the training she receives at Community Connections to help her better serve her people. Margie also collaborates with Archuleta County Social Services, the Training Advantage, Social Security, Adaptive Sports, and the Special Olympics.

Debra says her top resource is support from the community and she gives special recognition to the Pagosa Springs Board of Trustees and the Archuleta County Commissioners.

The question most asked of Community Connections by the community is "Why don't we have group homes or sheltered workshops for the developmentally disabled in our area?"

I'll bet you know the answer by now: Because the priority is for individuals with developmental disabilities to be integrated into the community, not segregated from the community - in order to achieve the highest quality of life and independence possible.

To find out how you can get Insync with Community Connections, call Debra at 731-5548.

Also, get Insync with seniors. The Senior Center is in need of two armchairs in good and safe condition to make this donation or other donations to families, disabled adults or the elderly, call me at 264-2181 ext. 212. Your donation will be accepted and a tax receipt prepared for you.

Time for Pirate Pride

There is a well-worn cliché, to the effect that "sport builds character."

More accurately, sport reveals character.

With good character as a standard, the Pagosa Pirate winter sport season has been a resounding success to date.

Three Pirates participated in February at the Colorado Class 3A wrestling championships at Denver. Outstanding character was the order of the day.

One young wrestler performed with great poise - doing as well as any Pirate freshman in recent memory. Another, a junior, fought hard, won a match, learned his lessons and served notice he will be back next year. The third, a senior, battled opponents who outweighed him, won a match, and showed the maturity and control you expect from an athlete competing at the last tournament of his career.

Now, as they did last season, Pirate and Lady Pirate basketball teams travel to Colorado Springs to attempt to win a Colorado Class 3A championship. Both teams begin their quests today at the Air Force Academy arena.

Despite the patent nonsense that too often accompanies youth sport - the blather of addled parents and hyperactive fans, the agitated chatter about scholarships and college scouts, the overemphasis of sport by the media - the young Pagosans have conducted themselves well. They have accomplished much, as individuals and as groups.

The focus will be on the basketball court this weekend, but emphasis, characterwise, must ultimately rest elsewhere. These athletes do other things that reveal character, in a more important way.

Whether or not the teams win championships is, in the grand scheme of things, relatively unimportant. A victory will provide momentary delight, and be fodder for great stories, with the heroic nature of their feats growing as the athletes age.

Other things these youngsters do will lay the foundation for significant contributions later in life - achievements of lasting value to them, their families, their community. They do these things well. With character.

Like so many local youngsters who excel at activities in and out of school - art, music, dance, drama, scouting programs, 4H, to name a few - the athletes are succeeding in the classroom. Where it counts.

According to high school counselor Mark Thompson, members of the Pirate basketball team have a collective career grade-point average of 3.69 and a collective grade-point average of 3.83 this school year. Lady Pirates have a collective 3.53 career grade-point average and a 3.75 average this school year.

Moreover, most of these student athletes earned their marks taking the few difficult courses left in the wake of continuing pressure from many parents and elected officials to do away with demanding studies and rigorous standards.

They are showing their mettle in ways that transcend participation in a mere game. They are becoming substantial individuals, multi-talented and formidable, growing into fine adults.

Good luck to the Pirates and the Lady Pirates today and throughout the tournament. Work hard, do your best, and remember: It's how you do it that matters. Have a good time, regardless of the outcome. Then return to Pagosa, and continue with the work in the classroom.

Bring on the character.

We all share your Pirate Pride.

Karl Isberg

Dear Folks
By David C. Mitchell

Accidetal reminder of the past

Dear Folks,

Just when it seems Pagosa's no longer a small town, I'm reassured it still is.

A justifiably proud mom dropped in Friday to correct me on an errant caption. Lynn Bartle, said "it was no big deal," but that her son, Justin was the upside down daredevil on the flying snow board that appeared on page 1 of the Feb. 8, 2001, edition of the SUN. My thanks goes to Justin's mom for the accurate identification. It is a big deal.

It will likewise be a big deal when the official population figures on Archuleta County for the 2000 U.S. Census are released later this month.

Folks could get a pretty close estimate by using the voter registration rolls, public school enrollment, home school students, enrollment at the parochial schools, Head Start and number of day care youngsters. Add a thousand or so for adults who fail to register to vote and a few hundred for pre-school youngsters who aren't in day care. It won't be surprising if the official count for the county tops the 12,000 or 13,000 mark.

Despite the figures announced as Pagosa Country's official size, to its newest residents, Pagosa is attractive because of its smallness. Along with its smallness, Pagosa's major attractions are its national forest and San Juan Mountains.

It would be easy to count Pagosa's 400-500 weekly timeshare visitors as part of the local population. The same is true of the folks who own condos, town houses or second-homes and are regular seasonal vacationers. They enjoy calling Pagosa home - even if their residency is no longer than a week, season, summer or annual holiday.

With spring break starting for the schools in Texas and Oklahoma, March in Pagosa is an excellent month to start practicing on patiently waiting in check-out lines and at major intersections.

Work will start this summer on Pagosa's third traffic control signal - the much needed one at the junction of Piedra Road and U.S. 160. Though the increasingly congested traffic makes it impossible to ignore Pagosa's seemingly perpetual growth, Tuesday's accident at the dangerous T-bone corner illustrated some of the positives of Pagosa's present and its past.

Thanks to Pagosa's growing population and accompanying increased tax base, the salaried staffs of the Emergency Medical Services and Pagosa Fire Protection District promptly arrived at the scene. And as in Pagosa's past, a number of committed trained volunteers from the two emergency response entities also were on hand to provide needed medical and technical assistance.

Trained as either emergency medical technicians or fire fighters or both, David Gottlieb, Mike Haynes, Larry Holthus, Ronnie Maez and Tony Stephens dropped their responsibilities as maintenance men, businessmen, lawyers or whatever and rushed to the scene of the accident. Unselfishly setting aside their endeavors at making a living, they became actively involved in providing a valuable service to the folks of Pagosa.

As I was leaving the scene, a young lady stopped and asked if I knew the name of the driver of the more heavily damaged vehicle. Because of the model, color and absence of a front license plate on the auto, the distraught young lady was afraid that one of her friends was the injured party.

Though I was unable to provide the information she desperately sought, her genuine concern and compassion reminded me of when Pagosa was small enough that you just about knew everyone, their youngsters, their autos, their pickups and their dogs - there was no anonymity.

Still, her questions and countenance reaffirmed, that past and present, besides its geography, Pagosa's greatest asset is the folks who call Pagosa home and their concern for one another. We should consider ourselves fortunate to be numbered among them.

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


By Shari Pierce100 years ago

Taken from The Weekly Times of March 7, 1901

E.T. Walker received $92.00 from the town board for the work done on San Juan street last fall. The contract was not finished therefore this was part pay for the amount of work done.

Buck O'Neil killed a fine white weasel down the river Tuesday.

Now that the railroad has reached town and we have our coal sheds built we are now prepared to furnish customers with coal from the Sullenberger mine and sell you coal cheaper than any other dealer in town. Give us your order and your order will be filled as soon as the cars get here. Reavis & Seavy.

A.D. Archuleta has a fine new Kodak. Look out or he'll get your picture as you appear in everyday life.

75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of March 5, 1926

The First National Bank of Pagosa Springs closed its doors Monday morning by orders of the board of directors and is now in the hands of Bank Examiner L.G. Kennedy and his assistant, of Denver, who arrived in this city on Tuesday evening and are busy making a check of the institution's assets and liabilities.

Harold D. Selby, who resides in the Dyke neighborhood, suffered a distinct loss Saturday morning when his ranch home and practically all contents were completely destroyed by a fire of unknown origin. The son, Eirwin, who has been spending the winter at Durango, had just returned the day before and left his Jewett touring car standing near the house. The tires were frozen in the mud and the car could not be moved, also being destroyed.

50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of March 9, 1951

The Pagosa Springs High Basketball team won the San Juan Basin "B" League tournament and the right to participate in the district playoffs in Durango this weekend. Jerry Lowell and Hank Stollsteimer made all-tournament teams.

The chamber of commerce membership drive closed with 44 new members, giving a total membership of about 90.

Local farmers and ranchers met with officials from the Water Resources Development Corporation to discuss cloud-seeding. Those present voted to participate in the program. A local committee was formed with H. Ray Macht as chairman. It was predicted rainfall between April and September could be increased by at least 50 percent.

25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of March 4, 1976

The ballot for the town election April 16 will have a referendum question that deals with a possible donation of land for a hospital site. At the present time a hospital committee is working to see if a satellite hospital can be established within the community.

High winds and heavy snows were the cause of Wolf Creek Pass being closed to travel for several hours Tuesday. Fifty-four inches of new snow was reported on the pass.

Four Pagosa Springs High School players were cited for San Juan Basin honors last week. Deborah Robbins and Cindy Eaklor were named to the girls all-league team. Roy Martinez was named to the sub-district tournament all-tournament team and Mike Lister was awarded the sportsmanship award at the sub-district tournament.

Pacing Pagosa
By Richard Walter

In reality, it is often the pet in charge

The long, gnarled fingers reached down to scratch the back of a scraggly dog lying at his feet.

The animal barely looked up from his rug.

It was time.

Both were aware of it.

Too long had they been side by side for one not to know the other's feelings.

Too many hunts, haunts and hurts.

Too many nights alone, just the two of them, with the sky their canvas and the wolves their companions in the dark.

A wisp of smoke curled up from the master's pipe as his fingers twisted the dog's Indian collar.

"When was it," he tried to remember, "that the tribal elder had given him the collar after the dog had pulled the man's little boy from the raging stream after a heavy spring rain."

Too many years had passed. The event was burned into his memory, but event and time could not unite.

"It makes no difference," he told the dog. "You and I both know what happened and that's all that counts."

Man and his pets are often carbon copies of one another. Try looking, sometime, at master and pet together. They often seem to take on common physical aspects.

When they are forced to part, surrender to the inevitable is as hard for one as it is for the other.

How many of you have lost a pet and seemed afterward to still hear and see the animal in the familiar places, doing all the old things to annoy you, and then coming to rub against your leg for forgiveness and a pat on the back?

How many pets have lost their human and then repeatedly gone looking for the gentle petting, the scolding for digging into the lawn or flower beds, or someone to play with an old dog-eared toy, chase a volleyball in the back yard or engage in a tug of war with a rapidly deteriorating rubber ring?

Sometimes the parting is almost too much to take.

Like the old man and his dog, I've had a pet that knew when the time was at hand.

I knew, too.

Pixie and I had been companions for many years. She wasn't the only cat in the house, but she and I seemed to gravitate to one another.

When she was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma, I was grief stricken.

"You'll still have some quality time with her," the veterinarian said. "You can expect her to begin having difficulties in about six weeks. She'll let you know when it's time."

At first, the illness made her aloof. Somehow, I thought, she was blaming me and I didn't know what to do.

For years, she had curled up in the crook of my legs at night, nestling in the protective angle.

Suddenly, she wouldn't jump on the bed. She'd come into the room, check out the surroundings and then go back into the hall to sleep on the carpet outside the door.

Time passed and she seemed to be getting no worse. Perhaps, I hoped, it was one of those miracles we dream of.

But, eight weeks after the diagnosis, she came back into the bed one night, looked at me with those demanding eyes, and then curled once again against my legs.

She was telling me what I didn't want to hear.

It was time. She knew it. She was ready to go and had come back, at last, to the spot she had always considered safe.

She was letting me know she didn't blame me, that she knew her illness was not my fault.

There have been other pets in the Walter household, dogs Tippy, Skippy, Malora and Blackie and cats Inky, John-Tom, Freddie Cat, Puff and Peggy Sue. Parting with each brought sorrow.

Now there is Sweetie. We love her dearly and hope she'll be with us many years.

Others have outdoor pets, but ours have always been the indoor variety. We've shared many dwellings with these real family members who, over the decades, have provided many quiet times and play-filled hours and just as many joint naps - one of us purring, perhaps, the other snoring.

Humans believe they've domesticated the animals they call pets. In reality, it is often the animal in charge.

The pet demands food at a certain time, wants its litter box in a specific spot and has a favorite brand. The treats must come from a foil pouch (for cats) or be big enough to resemble an elephant bone (for a dog).

When it's time to be walked, a dog will go to the door and let you know. When it's time for the kittens to arrive, the mother to be will search out the warmest, dark spot she can find, often under the bed or in a closet, and let you know the time has arrived.

The old man and his dog knew the time had come.

One of them was prepared to go and the other accepted the fact. It could have been either one.

Understanding makes such a scene possible. Man cares more deeply than he often wishes to admit. The pet learns to accept human kindness as its due. Together, they meld into inseparable companions with total understanding of, and care for, each other.

Why, I sometimes wonder, can't we say the same thing for mankind alone?

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