Record-breaking numbers of Spring Breakers flooding ski slopes, hotels and rental shops last week left some in Pagosa Springs gasping for breath.
"Last week was super-swamped," Larry Fisher, owner of Ski and Bow Rack, said. "It seemed like everyone all showed up at once this year, instead of over two weeks. We've made it through though, mentally and emotionally."
The three-day rush for the slopes March 12-14 made ski poles, shoes, skis and snowboards nearly extinct.
Juanalee Park, co-owner of Alpen Haus Ski Center, said the store rented out of poles and came close to renting out of skis last Monday.
"We ran out of snowboards a couple of days, but now they're all back and ready to go," said John Steinert, one of the owners of Juan's Mountain Sports.
At Pagosa Ski Rentals, some sizes of shoes and skies rented out last week, employee Allen Guimond said.
"We were extremely busy," he said.
That translated into some extreme numbers at Wolf Creek ski area as well.
Rosanne Haidorfer-Pitcher, marketing and sales director at Wolf Creek, said a record-breaking 5,125 skiers hit the slopes March 13. Numbers smashed the previous record, set in December 1998, by 182 skiers.
"Overall, on the season we're having a great year," she said. "The snow has been the best we've seen in 10 years."
Total numbers are still about 9 percent lower than the mountain's benchmark year in 1998-99, but climbing. Haidorfer-Pitcher said the gap could get even smaller with a strong week this week.
Some business owners are still concerned that last week's rush could be followed by a sharper-than-normal slowdown in travelers.
"Last week was pretty much gangbusters," said Jeff Greer, owner of Summit Ski and Sports, "but this week, March 19 through 25, will determine how Spring Break 2001 will turn out for us."
Greer said that if the shop receives between one-third and one-half of last week's business again this week, they'll be close to last year's March numbers. For the season, he said, the increase in snow has meant a much better year than 1999-00.
"We're optimistic," he said. The shop is still encouraging people to call ahead to determine the busiest days before driving to Pagosa Springs for Spring Break.
"If people could avoid the Monday through Wednesday rush, they'd have a much better value," he said.
Fisher, of Ski and Bow Rack, said with the first week of March starting on a Thursday, it seemed like Spring Break for Texas and Oklahoma landed on the same week, resulting in the explosion of travelers over three days.
Others refused to hazard a guess at the sudden onslaught of people.
"It was kind of a weird Spring Break," said Steinert. "I don't think it was as strong as it has been. It was short. Everybody picked the same three days to come."
Still, he was expecting this week to remain steady.
Similar comments came from hotels in town.
Frances Eslinger, director of sales for the Pagosa Lodge said the hotel was at capacity almost every night during the week of March 12. This week, with the Colorado Spring Break coming up, the phones are still ringing, she said, but not as intensely.
"Due to our amazing snow this year, we're doing a lot better business," Eslinger said. "Of course, there's room for even better business."
Stan Zuege, a marketing employee at Spring Inn Motel, said last week's business was great.
"This week, when we're usually very busy, it's dropping off a bit," he said.
A transit system connecting five counties in the Four Corners area is a possibility, if steps being taken by Archuleta County continue to their natural conclusion.
Ultimately Archuleta, Montezuma, La Plata, Dolores, and San Juan counties could be involved along with the major municipalities in those counties, plus the Southern Utes in Ignacio and the Ute Mountain Utes at Towaoc.
This week, Archuleta County commissioners approved a contract with RAE Consultants, Inc., calling for completion of a transit development plan for Archuleta and Montezuma counties. Those plans will likely be integrated into the five-county area at a later date.
Colorado Department of Transportation has supplied a $21,000 grant to pay RAE, a Denver consulting firm, to develop the plan over the next two years.
Archuleta and Montezuma counties will each provide an additional $4,500. By agreement with the other counties, Archuleta County has assumed the lead role among the five counties involved.
Overseeing development of the plan is a regional advisory board made up of volunteers from the various counties, including social service directors, transit providers, CDOT, county commissioners, and Region 9 Economic Development District.
The first task for RAE Consultants will be to study administration and organization with the objective of researching, preparing, and writing a transit development plan for Archuleta and Montezuma counties, including the Ute Mountain Ute Reservation.
Three visits to the site will be made by the consultants. During the first site visit, the consultants will meet with the Transit Advisory Committee and appropriate staff to:
- Refine the study work program and schedule
- Discuss and refine project outcomes and objectives
- Identify project success factors and brainstorm other project ideas
- Determine communication protocols and points of contact
- Begin the data gathering process.
A public meeting in each county will be conducted by the consultants to learn community perceptions of unmet transit needs and obtain information concerning an acceptable range of alternatives.
Following completion of Technical Memorandum One, a second consultant visit and public meeting will provide the opportunity to review demographic and economic information, an inventory of transit providers, transit demand and need estimation, evaluation of existing services, and an initial analysis and recommendation of alternatives for improving service.
The outcome of this task should be continuing coordination and clear communication between local staff, community interests, and the consultant team.
Task 2 involves base data compilation to provide demographic and economic overviews, with projections covering the two-year planning period.
At a minimum, data presented will include:
- General population with age breakdown
- Disabled, elderly, and minority population
- Economic breakdown by neighborhood area
- Activity centers including hospitals, clinics, and senior centers
- Shopping centers, colleges, and other transit generators
- Major employment centers
- Tourist and other seasonal activities.
Particular interest will be focused on access-to-work issues related to major employment sites, automobile availability, and affordable employee housing. Facts from recent Region 9 data-gathering efforts will be the primary information source. Additional sources will include:
- Federal census, state demographer and CDOT
- Individual and regional county planning and community development offices
- Any relevant local studies.
Completion of Task 2 should result in the preparation of current and two-year socioeconomic projections including tables, charts, and maps. The information will be included in Technical Memorandum One.
Task 3 consists of an inventory of existing transit services. The accumulated information will be used to evaluate existing transit services and project future transit needs.
This information will be compiled by existing public and private transportation providers, as well as specialized providers. The information collected will include:
- Name of operation and type of service
- Service area and type of clients served
- Time and level of service
- Routes and schedules, miles and hours of operation
- Operation characteristics, passenger trips
- Operating budget and funding sources
- Equipment, facilities, and their locations
- Method of funding.
This data will be used to develop a table showing information with periodic totals for each provider including total trips, vehicle miles, hours, revenue, expenditures, trips per vehicle mile, and hours and cost per trip, vehicle miles, and vehicle hours.
In addition to a narrative and profile for each provider, performance indicators will be calculated to determine the relative productivity of individual routes and the system as a whole.
Task 4 involves development of transit demand and need estimates for various population segments and various locations in Archuleta and Montezuma counties. A variety of methods will be used to develop these estimates including mathematical models developed from observing rural areas and small communities. In addition to quantitative methods for developing estimates, subjective needs will be identified by talking with community leaders.
Transit demand estimations will be reported in Technical Memorandum One.
Task 5 entails the evaluation of existing services compared with transit needs in order to evaluate if current needs are being met and to evaluate alternatives for improving available services.
This approach involves comparing available services and trips as defined in Task 3 with demand as determined in Task 4. The result should be the measure of unmet needs. Guidelines to be used in this evaluation include:
- Transit supply and conditions including quality and quantity of service based on service hours, service miles, and area coverage
- Local support, including financial support as well as volunteer and commute assistance
- Management, financial, institutional, and operational arrangements and responsibilities
- Coordination of transit activities including opportunities for supporting service information, vehicle maintenance and purchase of parts and supplies, vehicle sharing, driver training and safety.
The result of Task 5 should be a comparison of existing service and transit needs. In addition, a preliminary discussion of the range of service alternatives will facilitate development of a meaningful analysis of transit service options. The information will be reported in Technical Memorandum One.
Task 6 envisions development of alternatives for improvement of service with recommendations for service to meet the objectives for transit service.
The consultants will work with the Transit Advisory Committee and local staff to refine alternatives for evaluation. The alternatives should consider:
- Type of service that can be offered
- Provision of service to outlying areas
- Provision of service between counties.
Alternatives will be evaluated for cost effectiveness and compatibility with regional transit service goals. Information to be used in this evaluation will include:
- Estimates of ridership, financial characteristics, legal, management structures, and equipment needs and capital investment costs.
Task 7 involves writing an operation, management, and funding plan to provide a program for the alternatives selected for 2002-2003.
Elements to be included are:
- Map indicating service area and type of service
- Monitoring program to track performance
- Organization and management chart
- Coordination of activities chart
- Analysis of privatization opportunities
- Two-year financial plan.
The operations program will be presented in Technical Memorandum Two and will include Tasks 6 and 7.
Technical Memorandums One and Two will be revised based on information developed in public meetings, with the Transit Advisory Committee, and with staff. The resulting final draft report provides a second opportunity for public comment and revisions. After this review, a final report will be prepared. Fifteen copies of the final report, one photo-ready, and one electronic copy, will be distributed by June 11.
Archuleta County was advised to get a web page by several members of an audience attending the regular Tuesday meeting of county commissioners.
The subject was broached by Karen Aspin after she questioned the commissioners concerning a county proposal to authorize a pamphlet explaining the county budget, giving facts about the county, and including statements from the commissioners and other elected officials.
After talking with three prospective printers, county officials invited Fraser and Associates to make a presentation based on their estimate that they could do the job for about $4,100. After a discussion of what Fraser proposed and what the commissioners want, Fraser was asked to return with a concrete proposal.
Aspin claimed the brochures will end up in the waste basket. She argued that a web page won't cost much more and will better serve a public interested in Archuleta County and its government. She pointed out a web page could include items such as commissioner meeting agendas and maybe even minutes. Agreeing with Aspin were Lily Jay, Barbara Palmer, and Nan Rowe, also members of the audience. The discussion was conducted under the Public Comments agenda item.
From the audience, Nancy Rae supported the commissioners.
In general, all three commissioners support the idea of printing the brochure and also support the idea of having a county web page.
In other business, the commissioners:
- Met with Emzy Barker representing the Archuleta County Fair Board. Barker briefly outlined fair board goals for this year's fair - goals which are not far advanced at this time. On a related issue, the commissioners appointed Donna Modarelli and Charlene White to the fair board
- Agreed to accept the conditions for a Colorado Department of Transportation permit allowing access to the Archuleta County Fairgrounds. Triggering the need for the permit is a limited impact subdivision process applied to the Fairgrounds allowing the county to acquire about 3.5 acres from Pagosa Springs Enterprises, formerly the owner of all the property. The county portion includes the fair building and parking space and will enable the county to apply for state grants to fund improvements. Pagosa Springs Enterprises conducts the annual Red Ryder Roundup
- The commissioners acknowledged that Gene Crabtree, chairman of the board of county commissioners, is authorized to sign certain health insurance documents formerly signed by Dennis Hunt, the county manager. Hunt's last work day as a county employee is tomorrow
- Approved an intercounty agreement with Hinsdale County calling for Archuleta County to provide specified law enforcement activities in that portion of Hinsdale County located south of the Continental Divide
- Agreed to write a letter to U.S. Senator Wayne Allard asking for increased federal funding for Natural Resource Conservation Services
- Scheduled a public meeting on a proposed transit development plan for March 21 at 5 p.m. in the commissioners' meeting room in the county courthouse.
Archuleta County's commissioners listened Tuesday as La Plata County planner Adam Keller described La Plata County's regulations concerning drilling of oil and gas wells.
Keller is employed by the La Plata County Planning Department and works primarily with oil and gas well drilling and production issues. The oil and gas industry provides about 15 percent of La Plata County's income, Keller said, and about 50 percent of the county's property tax income.
Archuleta County has recently been the target of several applications for permits to drill gas wells. The proposed well sites are in the Allison-Arboles area and contemplate tapping Fruitland Coal formations to obtain methane gas.
Currently, oil and gas drilling in Archuleta County is regulated by a conditional use permit process, a process involving weeks or months before a permit is issued. Issuance of a variance from the conditional use permit also involves several weeks from start to finish.
When the proposed drillers learned how much time the permitting process requires in Archuleta County, they asked the commissioners to bypass county regulations governing drilling oil and gas wells. The commissioners responded by saying the law does not allow them to bypass county regulations. Instead, they promised to change the regulations, a process which could also require several months.
Since promising to revise the regulations, the commissioners conducted a public meeting March 15 during which Morris Bell, operations manager for the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, presented general information related to the oil and gas industry and its governance in Colorado.
Keller's presentation at the Tuesday workshop was a follow-up on the March 15 meeting. La Plata County is located immediately west of Archuleta County and has been addressing oil and gas industry issues for several years.
"I don't feel that we need to reinvent the wheel," said Alden Ecker, an Archuleta County commissioner. "Let's look at what La Plata County is doing, and maybe some others. It will help us know what to do."
Bell pointed out that La Plata County has more than one process, but that the process used for ordinary drilling requires him to give an answer to the applicant within seven days. He processes the application and issues the permit without going to the planning commission or county commissioners. More complicated drilling venues could require planning commission and county commissioner review and approval.
"My answer may be a request for more information, but it usually isn't," Keller said. Review of an application normally requires about one day of his time, he added.
Ownership of surface land and ownership of underground mineral rights do not ordinarily belong to the same person in Archuleta County, said J. Robert Outerbridge, CPL, a landsman for oil and gas drillers. Landsmen typically help drillers with title and ownership issues.
Owners of mineral rights, including oil and gas, have a right to remove the minerals they own and the owners of the surface land cannot stop them from that extraction, according to Keller.
Many of the regulations governing the oil and gas industry are made and enforced by the state oil and gas commission, Keller said. The county can adopt rules that do not conflict with state rules and that apply to certain surface mitigation measures, Keller added. County rules usually affect setbacks, noise, and visual impacts.
The county needs to move quickly to adopt appropriate regulations, ones which do not involve so much time, Ecker said.
Several options exist for the county, according to Commissioner Bill Downey. They include having the planning staff write new regulations or hiring outside experts to write the regulations.
"We've discussed hiring an outside contractor," Downey said. "One of the advantages would be to hire someone with expertise in the field, an expertise our planning staff does not have. In addition, our planning department already has a pretty heavy work load. We might have to go outside in order to get the job done in a timely fashion."
Right now, prices for natural gas are high enough to encourage drillers to look for new wells, said Keller. An additional tax advantage may be in the offing which would make exploratory drilling even more desirable, he added.
And so, in anticipation of a coming wave of exploratory gas wells, the county is on the road to adopt regulations suitable for the challenge.
Sen. Jim Dyer, D-Durango, announced in a late afternoon press conference Wednesday that he will step down from his District 6 Senate seat May 9, completing the balance of the current session.
Dyer's elected term expires in 2002. He won the seat in 1998 by a substantial margin districtwide over Republican Jasper Welch, but lost a close vote in Archuleta County.
Dyer has been appointed by Gov. Bill Owen to the state's three-member Public Utilities Commission.
Kay Newsum, media director for the Senate majority, preceded the press conference announcing Senate Leader Stan Matsunaka, D-Loveland, would lead the session, rather than Dyer.
Matsunaka said, "I just got word this afternoon that Sen. Dyer has accepted the PUC appointment. We had a brief conversation about it and I understand he is doing things for his family. I understood it. He is a class act and will work hard for the governor."
The PUC term is four years, and the appointment is subject to Senate confirmation, probably in January.
A vacancy committee will be named by the Democratic Party and they will select the replacement within 10 days after the vacancy occurs.
Matsunaka said he knows "there are several people interested and they will have until May 9 to make their desires known and for the committee to make a choice. I'm not at liberty to release any names."
The Senate leader said, "I'm going to miss Sen. Dyer. We all will miss him in the Senate. Whoever steps into this seat will have a special session to go through and will get some training. We have a built-in process of training that all new members go through. Sen. Dyer told me he is looking forward to a new challenge."
You asked for it and here it comes - after we get through today.
Mild, warm spring weather is in line for the weekend and through the early part of next week.
Doug Baugh, a weather technician with the National Weather Service in Grand Junction, said Pagosa Country can expect a few rain showers and intermittent cloud cover today, and maybe even an old-fashioned thunderstorm this afternoon before the disturbance passes out of the area this evening.
Friday should be partly cloudy with a high in the 50s, he said, as remnants of the storm pattern linger through the morning.
And then, he said, "you should have a great weekend and early part of next week with daily highs in the 50s, nighttime lows in the upper 20s, and a strong meltdown which could swell regional streams. Anyone venturing out should be aware of rising waters."
Baugh said the area's weather is being influenced by a series of weak systems which are not well organized and by a jet stream holding far to our north, keeping colder Canadian air away from us.
The general east-west flow should keep the warming pattern right in line with what spring should bring, he said, noting it probably means good news for spring breakers looking for things to do outside the home.
In the past week, Pagosa's average high temperature as recorded at Stevens Field, was 45 and the average low 20. Precipitation totaled .80 inches in four inches of snowfall Friday night into Saturday.
That brought total snowfall for March to 5.5 inches in town where average monthly snowfall has been 16.8 inches since record keeping began in 1938. The most snowfall ever recorded in March (since 1938) was 47 inches in 1975
Pagosa high temperatures were in the 50s for the first time this year on Monday and Tuesday when the mercury climbed to 51 and 58 degrees respectively. The coldest overnight low, 17 degrees, was recorded Saturday with 19-degree lows both Friday and Sunday and lows in the lower 20s Wednesday, Thursday, Monday and Tuesday.
The mean temperature for March is 32.5 degrees with the all-time low minus 25 degrees on March 4, 1986 and the record high for the month - 80 degrees - coming on March 21, 1940.
At the Wolf Creek ski area, summit snow depth was 133 inches as of 6 a.m. Wednesday with midway depth at 116 inches including six inches in the previous 72 hours and 21 inches in the previous week.
Total snowfall for the season on Wolf Creek stands at 403 inches.
A possible 32-acre commercial subdivision off U.S. 160, sign codes and road relocation were discussed at the Pagosa Springs Planning Commission meeting Tuesday.
The proposed commercial subdivision, the Timber Ridge Professional Center, planned for land west of the new Baptist Church, received an initial sketch-plan approval after several questions were answered.
Mark Garcia, town building administrator, said the subdivision, among the first for the town on recently annexed land south of U.S. 160, includes 21 lots ranging between 1/2 acre and 2 acres. Room has also been allocated for a nearly four-acre park.
Richard Gustafson, of Gustafson Consulting Group, represented property-owner Joe Machock at the meeting. He said plans include a buffer to the south to protect current residential development and enough room for future pedestrian trails.
Pedestrian traffic, including a connection with future hike/bike trails, must be considered because of the D-4 zoning on the site. D-4 design guidelines are site-specific, requiring plans discussed and presented to include signage, building design, pedestrian access, and landscaping.
Access to the proposed development is currently one of the unknowns. Gustafson said they have been in contact with the Colorado Department of Transportation and the Alpha/Rockridge Metro District to determine the best way to reach approval on an access road. Beyond the access road, an interior road would wind around to the various businesses.
Under town regulations, the developers now have one year to complete preliminary design steps and present those plans for approval. Preliminary plans also must go before the town board for a vote. Following that process, final subdivision and design plans are presented to the planning commission and the town board before final approval is granted or denied.
Banners and other temporary signs will remain exempt from a permitting process for at least another month after a proposed amendment to the current sign code was tabled by the planning commission.
The commission asked to see the amendment in another month with some changes, directing town staff to add a section clarifying the definitions of some of the more common temporary signs, like pennants and banners.
The proposed amendment, created last month after citizen complaint and board discussion, would require businesses that display banners and other temporary signs to have a permit. Permits would allow banners to be displayed free for 14 days in any calendar year. After that, a fee of $1 per square foot per month would be charged for a maximum of 10 weeks.
Under the proposed amendment, banners would also be included in the total square footage of signage allowed for each business. Banners that exceeded an individual business' aggregate based on street frontage would be denied a permit.
Grand openings were given a little more leeway. The proposed ordinance allows one temporary sign per street frontage not to exceed 60 square feet for up to 14 days, and streamers and pennants for up to 10 weeks during a grand opening event.
Joan Cole, a local business owner, applauded the proposed sign ordinance amendment.
"I've been appalled with the use of banners," she said. "I'm really delighted to see you addressing this issue."
She added that, in her opinion, the 10-week time-frame proposed for grand opening flags or pennants to be displayed was too long.
Members of the commission said to give businesses enough advance time for announcing a grand opening and a few weeks to celebrate was not out-of-line.
"Getting a new business off the ground is the toughest time," Commissioner Tracy Bunning said. "I don't think we want to make it any tougher on a new business owner. The reason we're dealing with this is abuses that are happening, not the people who have them up for 10 weeks."
Cole also questioned how current banners would be addressed providing the proposed amendment passed.
As far as policing the current banners, Chris Bentley, town planner, said a fairly lengthy education and information process would be conducted before the permitting process was started if the proposed amendment passed. After that, all businesses would be required to have permits for any temporary signage displayed, new or old.
In other business, the commission:
- Recommended a re-plat of the intersection of Eagle Drive on the northeast corner of U.S. 160 and Piedra Road. Garcia said under the proposed plat, the entrance to Eagle Drive would shift back away from U.S. 160 to align with Solomon Drive directly across Piedra Road. This realignment provides the cushion necessary for safe access once the state's project to construct traffic signals at the U.S. 160 intersection is complete
- Recommended amending the plat for the Hersch Building in downtown Pagosa Springs to reflect the current uses
- Determined that developers for the Overlook Planned Unit Development project, a proposed multi-phase project on the south side of U.S. 160 opposite Majestic Drive, will have to start the subdivision and design process over at the sketch plan phase. The project first came before the commission in late 1998. The developer's most recent approval, of a conditional final plan, expired in June of 2000.
"Deviating from the town's policy isn't good," Commissioner Bunning said. "If they've used up their time, they should have to start over."
On a unanimous vote, the commission agreed.
Applications for National Forest 2001 Rural Community Assistance (RCA) Grants are now available at San Juan National Forest offices in southwestern Colorado. Rural communities, tribes, counties, municipalities, and non-profit organizations seeking technical and financial assistance may apply for awards in the range of $1,500 to $7,000.
Projects eligible for funding include those that:
- develop community leadership
- increase a community's capacity to solve problems
- develop an action plan or implement projects from an action plan
- focus on business retention and expansion projects
- implement value-added business projects
- feasibility studies, stewardship of public lands
- sustainable rural-development projects.
The RCA program is aimed at building community relationships that sustain community vitality and healthy ecosystems, and enhance quality of life. Projects must be tied to a Community/County Action Plan (or if an action plan doesn't exist, letters of support from local elected officials). To be successful, projects must demonstrate matching funds and services, broad-based community benefits, and a natural resources component.
These and other details are outlined in application packages, which are now available at the Forest Service offices in Pagosa Springs.
Applications must be received at the Forest Service Office by the close of business April 20. Award recipients will be announced in May.
For more information, contact Alexcine Napolitano at 882-6810.
Understanding ownership of mineral rights and how these rights can be utilized, or exploited, is a complex matter.
This was evident recently at the public forum held by the Board of County Commissioners March 7 when Morris Bell of the Colorado Oil and Gas Commission presented information on oil and gas exploration in Archuleta County. Residents living and owning property near Allison are currently interested in oil and gas issues because applications to drill gas wells in the area have been filed with the Colorado Oil and Gas Commission.
Mineral rights are an interest in the real estate. They are owned and can be dealt with in the same manner as the surface rights, water rights or timber rights. The surface owner may own all or a portion of the mineral rights. Or the mineral rights may be owned by one or more persons or companies which have no ownership in the surface. These mineral rights are called severed minerals.
Severed mineral rights are created by grant or by reservation. Reserved mineral rights are created when a party sells a parcel of land and reserves ownership to all or a portion of the minerals. A landowner may also sell and grant all or a portion of his mineral rights to a third party. A typical conveyance will contain language that gives the severed mineral owner the right to enter upon the property to recover the minerals. Colorado law recognizes that access to the mineral estate from the surface estate is necessary in order to develop the mineral interest. Mineral owners are allowed "reasonable use" of the surface.
Over time, ownership to severed minerals can become very fragmented either by the sale of small interests to other parties, or through settlement of estates by deceased owners.
Seldom does a mineral owner have the expertise or the financial capability to explore for and produce his minerals. The typical approach is for mineral owners to lease their mineral rights to individuals or companies that have the resources to get the job done. In Archuleta County the current focus is on the development of oil and gas rights in the southwestern portion of the county.
Oil and gas lease forms used for leasing privately owned minerals (as opposed to federal, state and Indian minerals) contain many basic provisions that have been standard in the industry for many years. There can be variations between different lease forms, however. And since an oil and gas lease is a negotiated contract between the lessor and the lessee, there may be alterations made to the pre-printed form and additional provisions can be added, depending on the agreement between the parties.
In the typical oil and gas lease the mineral owner grants to the lessee for a specified period of time the exclusive right to explore and prospect by geophysical and other methods, drill, and operate for and produce oil and gas. The lease will provide for such things as laying, constructing and maintaining pipelines, building tanks to store oil, constructing access roads, and installing telephone and electric lines necessary to produce, treat and transport any product produced from the leased premises.
When signing an oil and gas lease, the mineral owner is paid a negotiated amount, called a "bonus." The typical lease will provide for an annual rental and, in the event of production, a one-eighth royalty on the proceeds from the sale of the oil and gas. If the lessee is successful in obtaining production, the term of the lease will be extended for as long as production of oil or gas continues. Other provisions of the lease include paying for damages caused by the lessee's operation to growing crops, and not drilling nearer than 200 feet to a house or barn on the leased premises without the consent of the landowner.
An oil and gas lease is generally comprised of two legal-size pages of complex provisions in fine print. A prospective lessor should read the document carefully and, if need be, seek appropriate legal advice to understand what the instrument means.
The oil and gas industry in Colorado is highly regulated. The rules and regulations are administered by the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission and will be the topic of another article.
An unprecedented statewide campaign to educate teenagers and their parents about Colorado's Graduated Driver Licensing law is now underway.
The campaign, known as "Drive Time," utilizes several ways to get information into the hands of the target audience - youths in their freshman and sophomore (pre-driving) years.
"In the majority of cases where teens are killed in traffic crashes, the driver of the vehicle is a teen," noted CDOT Executive Director Tom Norton. "The Colorado Department of Transportation has funded this campaign along with our corporate sponsor, Sprint PCS, in an effort to save young lives."
Colorado's GDL Law includes the following requirements:
- First time driver's license candidates under age 18 must have 50 hours of driving under adult supervision and proof of instruction in the form of a log sheet. The 50 hours must include 10 hours of nighttime driving experience
- The minimum age at which a teen may obtain a driver permit is 15, if the teen is enrolled in a driver education course. Any teen not enrolled in such a course must wait for a permit until age 15 years and six months. A learner's permit must be held for at least six months
- Drivers under age 17 are restricted to only one passenger in the front seat and may only have as many passengers in the back seat as there are seat belts. Drivers under age 17 and their passengers must be buckled up in both front and back seats
- Drivers under age 17 are prohibited from driving between midnight and 5 a.m. unless accompanied by an adult or having a note signed by an employer, parent, guardian, or other responsible adult stating the time the driver arrives at and leaves his or her employment. The only exception to the nighttime driving restrictions is in the case of medical or other emergency
- Violations of the nighttime driving, seat belt, and passenger restrictions in the GDL law are Class A traffic infractions, and upon conviction carry a $35 fine, a $4 surcharge and two points for each offense against the minor's driving record.
The campaign outlines the GDL law's requirements as well as many of driving issues parents and teens requested as a result of research. The campaign includes a newspaper, The Colorado Drive Times, which is being distributed to every high school in Colorado and is available in special display racks.
The campaign also includes a web site www.coloradodrivetime.com, posters and a video. Newspapers are being distributed in both English and Spanish to high schools, state driver licensing offices, Colorado State Patrol officers statewide, AAA Colorado offices, and many insurance companies.
Spend Saturday morning, April 7, at the 9Health Fair in the Pagosa Springs High School.
Those who attend have the opportunity to participate in 11 different screenings, including three for eyes and ears, look over three different mental health learning centers and gather information on several types of cancer.
Some of the screenings include: a low-cost blood chemistry analysis, $30; low-cost Prostate Specific Antigen screening, $25; colorectal kit, $5; interactive health education exhibits and information centers; the possibility of early detection of a medical problem; referral by medical professionals if results are outside normal range; and support in learning how to develop a positive life-style.
Everyone 18 or older should take advantage of the chance to assume responsibility for his or her own mental and physical health. The three mental health learning centers offered at the 9Health Fair will provide information on depression and anxiety, Alzheimer's and music therapy.
Considerable attention will be devoted to cancer. Women of all ages will have the opportunity to learn proper self-examination techniques, still the best procedure for early detection, at the breast cancer screening exhibit. The Mercy Medical Mammography department will have a technician onsite to answer questions and concerns. A medical professional will also be available to help identify persons at risk for oral cancer and provide information on oral health.
If you can't make the Pagosa Health Fair, there are 144 sites statewide. The ones closest to Pagosa Springs are Ignacio, March 31; Bayfield, April 14; and Durango, April 21. For more information and additional sites call (800) 332-3078, email 9HF@9HealthFair.org or logon to www.9HealthFair.org.
The 9Health Fair is a program on Nine Health Service, Inc., a nonprofit organization endorsed by the Colorado Medical Society. Local support includes some 200 volunteers, business and service groups. Anyone willing to be involved in a medical capacity, please call Kathy Conway, 264-6303. Space in a shed is still needed to store supplies until next year, please call Lili Pearson to donate at 731-5159.
I am writing this letter in response to the letter of March 8, "High Turnover."
First off I would like to say that I agree with the statement that it is not the commissioners' fault for the high turnover of the last few months. But I do feel that the hiring practices and personnel policies of the county should be looked at deeply and turned around to meet that of an efficiently run business. After all, that is what running a county is, a business.
Persons being hired or promoted to "fill an empty slot" is not, in my experience, how it is done. The people hired should meet the needed criteria of the position. But that would require job descriptions.
Persons hired should not be writing their own job descriptions. The people hiring them should know what is required and have this already done, know what is needed and the candidates should be told what is required of them. They should meet the job description, not the other way around.
As in the federal government there should be a checks and balances system. The supervisors should know the jobs of their subordinates. Here in Archuleta County we seem to have a series of small fiefdoms with their overlords.
All of us that live in the county love it here, but we need to know that things are being run right.
There is an old adage that says "If it's not broken, don't fix it." Well, we're broken.
Please fix it!
Having been out of town for several weeks, we have been unaware of the repercussions following the distribution of Bibles after school on public sidewalks. Unfortunately, we noticed, as we were playing "catch-up" on local news that another side to this story is sadly lacking in your editorials. We wish that someone had been at the POWER House that Friday afternoon when close to 70 junior high students arrived with Bibles in hand. Many of these students are "unchurched" and comments overheard by our staff prove that these students were excited about the gifts they had been given, did not feel "forced upon" and indeed were overwhelmed that someone cared this much about them. One youngster was quoted as saying, "I've never had my own Bible before, now I can go home tonight and read it for myself."
Several years ago, Bob DeMoss, a youth cultures specialist, made this comment in his book "Learn to Discern:" "I am totally convinced America hates its children." No doubt as you read this statement you raised your eyebrows and found your defensive feathers ruffling. Hopefully, you wanted to blurt out the following response, "That's not true!" Yet all around us adults are burying their heads in the sand, as the media, the arts, the advertisement industry, and the entertainment gurus encourage our children to murder, rape, use drugs/alcohol, or turn to Satanism for power; and if all else fails, look to suicide as the final answer to their problems. Don't believe it? Start listening to their music, or watching their videos. Check out their websites, or what they're reading. But how many of us are concerned enough we're writing letters to the editor, phoning our legislators, or boycotting the trash which is turning our children on one another, pulling guns and knives at school, bearing babies before they graduate, and experimenting with substance abuse?
As we've worked with teens for over 20 years and speak in youth conferences all over the United States, we're being convinced of the truth of DeMoss' statement, when instead of attacking that which destroys, we turn our attention to that which could result in positive, helpful steps in the right direction for our children. Such is the case, when local Gideons received less than a warm welcome from "concerned" parents. Certainly we understand that we don't want just anything pushed upon our children. Yet, America was founded upon freedom of speech. And a situation such as this lends itself to educational opportunities at home as we teach our children to do exactly what DeMoss proposes and help our children learn to discern between right and wrong. But, we have to wonder, Pagosa, how much do we really love our children?
Semantically speaking, the students were not "solicited" (solicitation requires appealing for a donation, or to be approached for some immoral purpose) - these Bibles were gifts designed for moral value.
Bay and Peg Forrest
Youth Conference Speakers
I would like to express my deepest and dearest appreciation to the Pagosa Springs School Board for their support and understanding. Even though a few of the members had some hesitation as to our cause, none of them were blinded of our intent.
I did not ever intend or suggest to our town officials or our school board that I was making my concern be of religious nature. My intent was and will always be a "solicitation of minors" and "safety of minors" issue. If any church or religious sect got the impression I was against their beliefs, I apologize. I could not control quotes stated in the newspaper nor the directives of the attorneys. My attempt was to control the "general environment" along the perimeter of our Intermediate and Junior High Schools.
I will always believe strongly that strangers of all types should not be allowed legally, ethically or morally to approach a minor in a solicitous manner without parental consent.
Regretfully, the law does not agree. I have been told by the Town that it cannot support our petition. The lawmakers and attorneys who look out for our town's best interests strongly advise against our petition. There are several reasons, as Mr. Harrington has pointed out to me. I understand, on legal grounds, that the Town has its hands tied on this matter.
I appreciate Mr. Harrington's research and efforts into this matter, along with Mr. Cole from Denver and all other members involved with this inquiry.
If I had to do it over again, I would not have changed a thing. Bringing this matter up in the newspaper and at the school board hopefully spurred conversations at home. Hopefully, it gave people an opportunity to think about what we want for our children. We want children to have open minds so they can deduct reasonable and rational decisions. We want our children to understand moral and ethical action. We want them to weigh the differences between enthusiasm and stepping over boundaries. Above all, we want our children to be safe.
I have been told that the Gideon Organization is the group that was at our children's school buses. Do they really need to be there? Or can they serve a better and higher purpose by targeting a different clientele?
My plea to the Gideon Organization is that given the community concern over their point of distribution, they take better consideration of moral and ethical boundaries.
It is with a mixture of sadness and excitement that I tell you that I will no longer be a member of the staff at Ruby M. Sisson Memorial Library. I have accepted the position of Assistant Director at the Ignacio Public Library. The past three years have been the most fulfilling of my professional and personal life, and I owe most of it to the library - I even met my husband there!
I'm one of the fortunate few who are able to make a living doing what they love, and it has been my privilege to serve the readers of Pagosa Springs, adults and children alike. I will miss my library family - the fun and fabulous staff and volunteers who made this job such a blast. I hope to come back on occasion to read at Storytime, and perhaps whenever you come through Ignacio, you'll stop by the library to say "Hi." Thanks to all of you for your kindness and friendship, and please come by the Sission Library between now and March 30 so I can see you before I leave.
None of us is going to really receive a tax cut unless we change our energy technology. If we don't do that, a tax cut will only fuel the fires of inflation.
Remember the Irish Potato Famine.
In regard to campaign finance reform, control your own destiny or someone else will.
Are taxes paid on soft money? Even James Madison would agree that all laws should apply to all citizens.
To portray James Madison as supporting the current political campaign finance structures is ignorant of the writings of James Madison. For James Madison warned against just such a political structure.
The current process of the County to approve a new land use plan gives cause to reflect on the most recent behavior of the County.
In the spring of 2000, the county commissioners approved and adopted standards necessary to construct certain uses which could cause adverse impact on existing uses. This was the CUP or Conditional Use Permit.
After having adopted CUP, the commissioners looked the other way while the Weber family completed the construction of a concrete batch plant along the yet unspoiled ranch and residential scenic corridor to Wolf Creek Pass. A heavy industrial use such as a concrete batch plant, must first acquire a permit before any construction may begin, according to law. Batch plants are not compatible with next door RV parks and homes.
During the Planning Commission hearing, the attorney representing the concerned neighbors of this adverse impact, was double crossed by the planning staff, cutting the citizen's representative's pre-stipulated agreement with the county attorney, which provided for a 20 minute time to debate, cut to three minutes, after traveling from Denver. The Weber's attorney was given all the time he wanted. Why bother?
It is not surprising that these same commissioners later granted an "after-the-fact" CUP for this batch plant, after having met in a closed, private work session, and then allowing no public comment while they read their decision to cover their tracks. The Open Meetings Law was likely violated and the process was corrupted.
If the foregoing history of land use permitting is a pattern for future growth decisions, then we are in serious trouble.
If Pagosa Springs is to remain an unspoiled treasure of the Western Slope, then it must demand more of its stewards of the land or pay the price of a degraded future. Batch plants, junk yards, and Piano Creeks all flow downstream to Town. It is "all" in our backyard, not up the road.
A memorial service for "Andy" Lloyd James Anderson was held March 8, 2001 at the Alturas Branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Alturas, with President Harold Montague giving the service.
Anderson, a resident of Alturas since 1991, passed away peacefully March 4 after a courageous battle with cancer.
Born in San Diego on Jan. 11, 1930 to Lloyd Joseph and Goldie Anderson, the family moved to Pagosa Springs when he was young. He graduated from high school in Pagosa Springs.
Anderson was a veteran, serving his country with the U.S. Army during the Korean Conflict in the early 1950s. He married Mary Camacho-Velasquez on Nov. 11, 1962 and the two shared 38 years of marriage.
Anderson worked as a supervisor for Precision Aluminum Plant and Valley Precision Sheet Metal and retired from Neal Feay Company in California after 18 years. He also enjoyed hobbies of oil painting, fishing and hunting. With his wife Mary, he enjoyed building a cabin in the mountains above Alturas. When he retired in 1991, the couple went to Alturas to live in the completed cabin.
Anderson was also an active volunteer with the California Pines Volunteer Fire Department during his years in Modoc County.
He is survived by his loving wife, Mary; children Sherman Lee Anderson of Buellton, Calif., and Robert William Anderson of Ventura, Calif; three children by a previous marriage, Stephen Crouse of Pagosa Springs, Janet Reiger of Fruita, and Sharon Schultz of Grand Junction; nine grandchildren; a brother, Franklin Anderson of Ignacio and sisters Myrtle Snow of Pagosa Springs and Evelyn Anton of Corbett, Ore.
Long time resident, Rose Boxler, died Saturday, March 10, 2001 at Pine Ridge Extended Care Center.
Born in Victoria, Kansas on November 21, 1907, she was 93 years old. Rose was the daughter of Peter and Anna Wasinger. Rose was married to Adolph Killian on September 27, 1932 in Sitka, Kan. She moved to Pagosa Springs in 1978 from Garden City, Kan.
Rose was a housewife and mother. She was a member of the Daughters of Isabella, Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Garden City, and most recently was a member of Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Pagosa Springs. She enjoyed sewing and quilting, cooking, and being a farmer's wife.
Rose is preceded in death by her husband Adolph in 1975, and by her son Jerry.
She is survived by her daughter, Firma Lucas of Pagosa Springs; her sons Gene Boxler of Littleton and Wayne Boxler of Olathe, Kan; her sister, Anna Dinkel of Topeka; 15 grandchildren, 27 great-grandchildren and 7 great-great-grandchildren.
Services for Rose will be held at St. Mary's Church in Garden City and she will be buried at Valley View Cemetery in Garden City.
Henriette L. Jagger
Henriette Louise Jagger, 89, of Chimney Rock, passed away March 19, 2001 at Medical Center of Lewisville, Texas.
Jagger was born July 22, 1911 in New York to Alfred and Bertha Selbig Betex. She married Douglas Winston Jagger who preceded her in death. She was a member of the Trinity Lutheran Church in West Hempstead, New York.
She is survived by daughters Louise W. Jagger of Chimney Rock; sons Douglas A. Jagger of Phoenix, and Winston A. Jagger of Craig; 12 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by son, Clifford E. Jagger.
Funeral services are set for 1 p.m. today at Cutchogue United Methodist Church in Cutchogue, New York. Interment will follow in the Cutchogue Cemetery.
The family requests that memorial contributions be made to the American Cancer Society.
Alfred W. Powell
Local resident, Alfred Wayne Powell, went home to be with the Lord on February 28, 2001. Born in 1943 in Dallas to Elton and Eula Mae Powell, he was 57. Powell was married to Teresa Beal Powell. He worked as a general contractor. He was a veteran of the Vietnam Conflict and received a purple heart for wounds suffered in battle.
He is survived by his wife Teresa Powell of Pagosa Springs; his son, Andy Powell and wife Christine, their children, Taylor, Jordan and Ethan; his son Mike Marcom and wife, Carla, their children, Cody and Tanner; his daughter, Tammie Kennemer and husband, Mike, their children, Kersty, Ashley, and Mikel; his daughter, Michelle Smith and husband, Marlin, their children, Alisha, Kelsey and Cassidy; his daughter Camille Carlton and husband, Steve, their children, Caleb, Katie and Shelby; his daughter Nicci Humphrey and husband Wayne, their children, Diana and Travis; his brothers, Altis Powell, Bobby Powell, Troy Powell and Steve Powell and his sister, Earline Guinn. He will be greatly missed by friends and family.
Funeral services were held March 5 at Restland Memorial Chapel in Dallas. Interment followed in Restland Memorial Park.
Virginia B. Ralston
Virginia B. Ralston, 93, of Wichita, a retired Hamilton Intermediate English teacher, died March 16, 2001.
Virginia was born November 3, 1907 in Wellington, Kan. to father Eugene Bowers and mother Jenny (McMannis) Bowers.
Ralston is survived by sons William, of Wichita, and Eugene of Topeka; daughters Marguerite Ann Ralston of Pagosa Springs, and Virginia Sue Hatfield of Panama City, Fla.; sister Marguerite Cooley of Wichita; grandchildren, Scott, Tim, Jeff, Chris, Jason, Blair and Paige Ralston, Matt, Laney and Tory Poma, Corrie Hatfield, Kirstin Ralston-Coley and Beth Birtchfield; and eight great-grandchildren.
Graveside services were March 19 at East Heights United Methodist Church in Wichita. A memorial has been established with East Heights United Methodist Church, 4407 East Douglas, Wichita, Kan. 67218.
Pagosa Springs' resident, Siegfredo Salas, 79, passed away March 9, 2001, at the Pine Ridge Extended Care Center. Siegfredo was born October 31, 1921, in Los Pinos, N.M., the son of Abran Salas and Rupertita Lopez Salas.
Siegfredo was a veteran of the United States Army and of World War II. He was retired from the construction industry, was a member of the Elks Local 720 of Idaho Springs, American Legion and V.F.W. of Pagosa Springs, and a member of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church. His hobbies included fishing and time he spent with his loving family.
Survivors include daughters Mercy Arrellano Montoya of Colorado Springs, Pauline Rivas, Mary Espinoza and Debra Salas of Pagosa Springs; sons, Danny Salas and Andrew Salas of Pagosa Springs, Frank Salas of Farmington, N.M., and Richard Salas of Las Vegas, Nev.; sisters Beatrice Medina of San Antonio, Cedilia Pacheco and Elsie Vigil of Antonito, Ida Vigil of Espanola, N.M., and Delia Salas of Farmington, N.M.; 25 grandchildren and 26 great-grandchildren. He is also survived by several nieces, nephews and cousins.
Siegfredo's parents, his first wife Zenaida Salas, his second wife Romoncita Salas, his daughter Sandra Salas, brother Valentin and sister Tila Tafoya preceded him in death.
A Vigil Service with Recitation of the Rosary was held March 12 at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Conejos. A Funeral Mass was held March 12, at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Conejos. Interment followed at the Ortiz Cemetery in Ortiz.
After nearly a year, the position of Emergency Medical Services operations manager for the Upper San Juan Medical District has been filled.
The district's board of directors voted to hire Rod Richardson Tuesday night. Richardson, who lives in Bayfield, has five years of experience as a paramedic and 13 years with emergency medical services as a member of the Upper Pine River Fire Protection District. Before his new appointment, he was a shift supervisor and the personnel manager for EMS.
As EMS operations manager, Richardson will oversee all the business in the EMS branch of the medical district. Some of his duties will include: meeting with shift supervisors, keeping updated on state statutes, attending board meetings, coordinating with the EMS physician advisor, and maintaining communications with the hospital and urgent care center.
Right now, he said, no changes are planned.
"Everything is OK," he said. "Things are running smoothly and we'll continue the way it's been going."
Working with the emergency medical services is a second career for Richardson, who spent 28 years as a chef. In fact, cooking is what first brought his family to the area.
Everything changed after his wife and children were hit by a drunk driver near Bayfield.
"After I watched them (members of a fire protection district) work on my family, I joined the fire department," he said. He remains a volunteer member of the Bayfield district.
Richardson's wife and children were lucky to escape with their lives, and it's cases like theirs that keep him working in emergency services.
"It's great to see a positive outcome," he said. "It doesn't always work out that way, but the positive outcome keeps you going, keeps you in it."
Ten Pagosa Springs students were named winners at the 43rd annual San Juan Basin Regional Science Fair held March 14 at Fort Lewis College in Durango. One Pagosan, Jennifer Haynes, captured two awards.
Six of the Pagosa students will compete at the Colorado Science and Engineering Fair next month in Fort Collins and could possibly go on to the International Science and Engineering Fair.
Awards included medals and cash for winners in each category of each division, cash awards for best of show in each division and special Space Grant and Soil Conservation Awards.
Pagosa special award winners were Hannah and Molly Kraus, second in Space Grant Award category (and a trip to State) and Haynes first and Alaina Garman second, Soil Conservation Awards.
Sixth-grade award recipients from Pagosa Springs were Spur Ross, third in engineering; David Smith, second, Earth and Environmental; and Haynes, second, Botany.
Junior High winners from Pagosa Springs were Pier Madore, first in Health/Behavioral; Emilie Schur, first, Earth/Environmental; Josiah Burggraff, first, Physical Science; and Matt Nobles, first, Math and Computer Science.
The four junior high winners will be going to state competition and for Schur and Nobles it is the second consecutive trip to State.
Third place in team competition went to Heather Damn, Kari Beth Faber and Caitlyn Forrest. Tess Taylor and Emmy Smith had an honorable mention in the Health/Behavioral category. Also getting honorable mention were Lyle Hoffsnieder, Jamilyn Harms and Jeremy Lattin.
Clint Shaw, son of Brian and Carla Shaw, has accepted a Fort Lewis College Dean's Scholarship for the 2001-2002 academic year.
Shaw will graduate from Pagosa Springs High School. Clint received an All-State honorable mention for wrestling, and was a two-time All-Conference running back in football. His artwork appeared in "Petro-glyph." He ranked in the top 20 of his senior class with a 3.5 GPA.
What do you do when your brand new, $82,000 state-of-the-art activities bus won't go uphill?
You have three mountain passes to cross with a load of teenage girls chomping at the bit to get their soccer season underway, and it becomes obvious the bus won't get there.
That was the frustrating afternoon scenario Friday for coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason and his Pagosa Springs Lady Pirates soccer team.
The game had originally been scheduled as a home contest against Ridgway, but was moved to the latter school's field when Pagosa's sports complex was determined unplayable because of winter's thick blanket of lingering snow.
Originally scheduled for 4 p.m., the game had been moved up to 3 p.m. so there would be time for a junior varsity game, too.
But the bus, with its computerized transmission and 260 hp rear-mounted diesel engine, had other ideas.
It began to fail as the driver wound his way up Coal Bank Pass and several times he was forced to pull off the road to allow backed up vehicles to pass and to allow the bus to reinforce its own systems.
Slowly, inexorably, the vehicle struggled up Coal Bank. With a press car following, lights flashing to alert other drivers to a vehicle in trouble, the bus refused to go over 5 miles per hour at times, but finally topped Coal Bank and coasted toward the beginning of Molas Pass.
An off-duty San Juan County sheriff's office employee joined the caravan heading up Molas and notified her office in Silverton of the approaching bus in trouble. Several more times, the bus was forced to pull over and attempt to generate enough power to continue.
When a squad car dispatched from Silverton joined the caravan, the not-so-mighty new bus clunked and chugged - finally coming to a stop alongside the roadway about 500 yards from the top of Molas.
A deputy sheriff conferred with the driver and coach, exhorting them to attempt the final climb because then the bus could coast all the way into Silverton.
The bus shivered, shook and quaked, but finally made the final 500 yards. Eight miles downhill lay the welcome sight of Silverton. The lights-flashing caravan wound down into town, following the main street to a mid-town service station where the bus came slowly to a stop - literally. Everything died as if the bus were saying: "Too much! I wasn't built for this kind of use!"
Repeated attempts to reach sources in Pagosa Springs by cell phone were useless, no calls going out of the mountainous terrain.
From a service station business phone in Silverton, Kurt-Mason was able to reach Pagosa High School and, eventually, athletic director Kahle Charles. Charles contacted Durango School District officials who agreed to send a Durango bus to Silverton to transport the Pirate contingent on to Ridgway. And, he contacted Ridgway officials, advised them of the problem, and arranged for the game time to be moved to 4:30 p.m.
That was never destined to be.
What does a group of more than 30 teenage girls do on a late Friday afternoon while stranded in downtown Silverton?
First they pace the business district area, buying snacks and looking in windows. Then they get back on the inoperative bus in an effort to keep warm while they wait for substitute transportation.
Finally, tiring from the inactivity and pent up frustration of trying to get their season started, the young Lady Pirates attacked the cargo bay on the bus, found the soccer balls and began to play soccer in the middle of downtown Silverton's main street.
Passing motorists were at first surprised to see the soccer players cavorting in their street, but some actually pulled over and watched as the Ladies went through passing and ball control routines.
It became obvious as time passed that the team would never get to Ridgway - still 45 minutes away on the other side of Red Mountain Pass - in time for a 4:30 p.m. game start.
The bus from Durango arrived in Silverton at 4:19 p.m. and by 4:30 - the most recently scheduled starting time - the team and all the equipment had been transferred from one bus to the other and the odyssey continued.
With darkness approaching under threat of a winter storm warning, the bus wound into the Ridgway soccer field parking lot at 5:19 p.m.
To their credit, Ridgway fans and players - minus two who had to leave for evening commitments - had stayed at the field. The officials, too, hung around awaiting Pagosa's arrival.
Finally, at 5:42 p.m., the game - yes, there was a game - finally started.
It would be sports justice to report that Pagosa's Ladies, after their day-on-the-road ordeal, answered the challenge with a victory.
That they did not was no reflection on how they reacted to that challenge.
At the 24-minute mark Ridgway captain Heidi Ingram was awarded a free kick and drove it over the head of Pagosa goal keeper Charlotte Souza into the upper right corner of the net for the only goal of the game. Souza had replaced Nicole Dominguez about five minutes earlier after Dominguez suffered a hand injury when kicked by a Ridgway attacker while making a diving stop.
In fact, the clash was an excellent display of defensive soccer on both sides, Pagosa getting seven shots on goal and Ridgway eight before the game was stopped 14 minutes into the second half with lack of visibility becoming a safety factor. By prior agreement, the two teams had stipulated that the score at such time as play was terminated would be the final score, even if the game was incomplete.
Kurt-Mason had high praise for striker Megan Hilsabeck who had six of Pagosa's seven shots on goal and for left wing Tricia Lucero who seemed to be in the midst of every play, several times setting up goal attempts by Hilsabeck with sharp passes. The Ladies' other unsuccessful shot on goal came from senior middle striker Tiffany Diller.
Also omnipresent for the Pirates was Lindsay Schmidt from her left striker position and defensive standout Cassie Pfiefle who repeatedly blunted Ridgway attacks and forced strikers away from their routes.
Overall, considering their ordeal in just getting to the game site, the Pagosa team showed unexpected teamwork after worrying Kurt-Mason with lack of such effort in a recent scrimmage in Cortez.
One key to Friday's effort was the ball-hawking of Cathy Thorpe on the opposite side of the field from Pfiefle and her play set-ups for middle attackers.
When the game was called at 6:37 p.m. the snow, which had held off temporarily, began to come down with increased intensity as a herd of more than 20 deer, which had been grazing about 200 feet from the field, nonchalantly approached the playing area.
Again, it would be justice to report the team weathered the driving blizzard on the way home to make it back to Pagosa Springs without incident.
Unfortunately, that was not the case.
The Durango bus on loan to Pagosa brought the players, coaches, managers and equipment back to Durango. The Pagosa bus, ostensibly repaired, picked them up in Durango and started toward home.
Charles said he received a call at about 11:35 p.m. from Kurt-Mason indicating the bus was again struggling and was at Farmington Hill just east of Durango.
Charles rousted out another Pagosa driver, Justin Martin, who was to take another bus and meet the team bus in Bayfield if it could get there.
However, Charles said Monday, the activities bus managed to limp its way back to Pagosa by about 1:30 a.m. and players were generally home by 2 a.m.
John Rose, school district transportation manager, said on Monday the problem had been traced.
"A fuel system primer pump is leaking air and the fuel flow was inhibited by it," he said. Thomas Bus Co., the manufacturer, will replace the pump and run a point-by-point check of the system to make sure there are no other problems, he said.
And, he noted, the cost of the part which malfunctioned is probably only about $20, a far cry from the cost of the bus trip.
After the rigorous trip and with the Friday night snow making area highways dangerous, the scheduled "home" game in Cortez on Saturday against Telluride was postponed. Charles said it has been rescheduled for 4 p.m. today in Cortez.
Summer sun dappled the field with warmth and shadows Tuesday but it did nothing to warm up the offense for Pagosa's Lady Pirates soccer team.
Playing for the first time this season on a regulation sized field in Durango, the Pagosans struggled in the first half to get a game plan operating against a mixed varsity-junior varsity squad from Durango.
The Demons, already on spring break, had trouble mustering a full team for either varsity or junior varsity, and played the non-league interclass match with more varsity than jayvee members.
For Pagosa, the match was a study in frustration with goal keeper Charlotte Souza being peppered by 24 Durango shots and turning away 18 of them. Unfortunately for the Lady Pirates, four of those shots found their way into the nets in the first 19 minutes of the game.
Sophomore Lindsey Anderson scored two of Durango's goals while Mary Jane Carroll, Jenny Wood, Kammie Williams and Melanie Gross each added a marker.
Coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason said his girls seemed to be hesitant in the first half, both in getting to the ball and in deciding what to do with it. The result was a number of unobstructed drives for Durango after misplaced Pagosa passes left them open lanes to the net.
In the second half, Kurt-Mason said, the Pagosa Ladies stopped waiting for something to happen and became more aggressive.
And though they did not get a shot on goal in the game, the Pirates had several break-away chances in the second half which were blunted by outstanding Demon defense.
The coach said he saw a number of encouraging signs in the second half and that a lot of young talent is putting itself in the line to challenge for varsity playing time. Among those in that category who left a mark on the game were Sara Smith and Jayme Lee who both earned praise for their back-line battles against bigger and more experienced opponents.
Also getting praise was senior Cathy Tharpe whose clearing kicks broke up several Durango attacks and kept Souza from facing even more pressure.
Souza, too, won plaudits for her actions in net despite the six goals. On many occasions, Kurt-Mason noted, failed defense left Souza facing two or more attackers without support and she was able to stop 18 of those attacks.
Kelli Patterson, Sara Auperle and Amy Moore also turned in good mid-field performances for the Pirates. Seeing their first significant action of the season for Pagosa and turning in credible performances were Carlena Lungstrum (back from state basketball playoff competition), Amber Beye and Chelsea Mansanz.
Pagosa gets back into league action today with a "home" game against Telluride on a neutral field in Cortez.
After that, it will be spring break and Kurt-Mason urged his players to use the time off to "Think soccer!"
"Whether you're on the beach in Cancun or the ski trails at Wolf Creek, keep soccer in mind, think about your role on the team and how we can meld all this individual talent into an opportunistic soccer team concept with players intent on always giving their best."
After staking themselves to a 2-1 first inning lead in their season opener Thursday in the Aztec Invitational tournament, Pagosa Springs High School's baseball team proceeded to self-destruct.
The game opened under sunny skies just before dusk but temperatures rapidly plummeted to 31 degrees and strong southwest winds had fans and players alike looking for ways to keep warm.
Shortstop Justin Kerns got things rolling for Pagosa when he singled to right in his first official at-bat for the Pirates (he played at Pueblo South last year). Kerns was balked to second, then stole third - and home - to give Pagosa a quick 1-0 lead.
Right fielder Ross Wagle, who had walked, went to second as Kerns stole third and was still there when center fielder Nathan Stretton and pitcher Ronnie Janowsky each struck out.
But freshman catcher Ben Marshall drove him in with his first varsity hit, a single, and Pagosa was up 2-0. Marshall, two pitches later, was picked off at first as coach Tony Scarpa was yelling at him to not stray so far from the bag.
Aztec centerfielder Eli Wyatt opened the Tiger's half of the inning with a single to right. He went to second on a passed ball, was wild-pitched to third, then scored on another wild pitch, cutting the Pagosa margin to 2-1.
Catcher Tim Allen followed with a single, advanced to second and third on the same wild pitches that scored Wyatt, but was left there when Aztec's third and fourth hitters were fanned by Janowsky and Brandon Richardson hit into a third-to-first groundout.
Pagosa went a quick three-up, three-down in the second inning on Larry Lopez' long fly to center, a strikeout by Chris Young and a Justin Caler line drive to first.
Then the sails began to lose wind for the foundering Pirates' ship.
The first Tiger batter in the second was plunked by a Janowsky pitch and immediately tripled in by the number 7 batter. The eighth batter singled, went to second on an errant throw by the catcher, and was wild-pitched to third. The next batter, the pitcher, struck out but the lead-off hitter was hit by a pitch and advanced on a wild pitch. The number-2 hitter was on base on an error by the second baseman and both prior runners scored, giving Aztec a lead they'd never relinquish.
The Tiger runner was cut down at second on a fine throw from Marshall for the second out. But the next batter walked and first baseman Ben Cordova homered over the right field fence. Richardson singled, but the tenth batter of the inning struck out to end the carnage, temporarily.
Dustin Spencer opened the third for Pagosa with a walk, advanced to second on an error by the first baseman and was pushed to third on Kerns' second single of the game.
Spencer scored Pagosa's third run on another error by the first baseman, but Kerns stayed on first while Wagle and Stretton fanned and Janowsky popped up to the catcher.
Aztec put the game out of sight in the third, sending 17 men to the plate and scoring 11 runs. They were aided by five Pagosa errors, three walks and three wild pitches. When the inning ended, Aztec was up 18-3.
Pagosa got one more chance. Marshall flied to right for the first out. Lopez had an infield single and Young struck out. Kaler reached first on an error by the pitcher and Jarret Frank, batting in place of Spencer, walked to load the bases.
Kerns, however, fanned with the bases loaded and the Pirates were saved any further damage by institution of the mercy rule - down by 15 runs after four at-bats.
Pagosa had three runs on three hits and committed seven errors. Aztec's 18 runs came on 11 hits and the Tigers committed three errors, all by the pitcher on wild throws.
Scarpa was nonplused by the poor defensive showing of the Pirates, saying "that's what you get when you don't have a field to practice on." The Pirates had only one outdoor workout prior to the opener, a scrimmage against the same Aztec team two weeks ago.
"It's hard to learn how to throw across the diamond or to chase a long fly ball when you've been practicing for most of the preseason inside a 15- by-30-foot room in the vocational education building," said Scarpa.
Pagosa vs Cortez
The loss pushed Pagosa into the consolation bracket and a Friday game against Cortez.
The performance was better for the Pirates Friday, but three times they left the bases loaded without scoring and trailed only 4-1 after six innings.
In the seventh, however, starting pitcher Frank began to tire and Wagle, brought on in relief, couldn't stem the tide.
Cortez scored eight runs in the frame, the last three charged to Wagle.
Kerns and Marshall each went one-for-three at bat and each had a stolen base. But, offensively for Pagosa, Lawrence Lopez was the show, going three-for-four and driving in both Pirate runs from his sixth spot in the batting order.
Scarpa got pitcher-shortstop Darin Lister, catcher-second baseman Brandon Charles and outfielder Chris Rivas back this week from their participation in state basketball playoffs and feels his team will be a much greater factor offensively with them available.
Marshall, a freshman transfer student from Texas, was suspended for one game after running over the catcher in a play at the plate.
He was unaware, Scarpa said, that Colorado rules mandate a slide by a runner coming into the plate when a play is possible. It was not the rule in Texas.
Game totals showed Cortez with 12 runs on 14 hits and committing five errors. Pagosa's two runs came on five hits and the Pirates committed four errors.
Frank gave up nine runs in his 6-inning stint, eight of them earned, giving up 11 hits and five walks while striking out three and serving up two home run pitches.
Wagle gave up three runs, two earned on three hits in his relief effort.
A scheduled Saturday tournament game was called because of snow and cold weather.
Pagosa vs. Bloomfield
The Pirates had a double-header with Bloomfield (N.M.) High School Tuesday night, losing the opener 10-4 but coming back to lead 5-3 in the nightcap when it was stopped by darkness.
Game details were not available at press time Wednesday.
The Pirates are scheduled to play at 4 p.m. today against Piedra Vista High School, in Farmington.
The Pagosa Springs Lady Pirates, winners of the Intermountain League regular season, the district tournament, the regional tournament and fourth-place finishers in the state tournament, placed five players on all-conference teams.
And their coach, Karen Wells, coming off two consecutive trips to the state tournament, was named IML coach of the year.
Players cited were 6-foot-1 junior forward Katie Lancing and 6-foot-3 junior center Ashley Gronewoller who were named to the all-conference first team. Joining them were senior forward Cindy McCarroll of Centauri, senior guard Nicole Espinoza of Centauri and senior forward Julia Valdez of Ignacio.
Named to the second team was 5-foot-10 Pagosa power forward Tiffanie Hamilton, joined by Centauri's junior center Erin McCarroll and junior guard Sara Reynolds, Bayfield's Becky Evers and Kim Piccoli, and Ignacio's Reageana Thompson.
Given honorable mention were Pagosa senior guard Meigan Canty and sophomore guard Shannon Walkup along with sophomore forward Arla Velasquez of Ignacio and senior forward Jessica Javalera of Monte Vista.
Coach Wells said she was happy for the girls named "but disappointed we didn't get the Player of the Year award for one of our Ladies. It went to Cindy McCarroll. I guess they're more apt to pick a senior for that honor."
Wells said she had known for several days who the selected players were but could not announce them until state competition was completed.
Three members of the Pagosa Springs Pirate basketball team earned spots on the 2000-2001 Intermountain League all-league team chosen by vote of the league coaches.
Seniors Micah Maberry and David Goodenberger were named to the first team, while senior Tyrel Ross was named to the second team.
The Pirates tied with Centauri for the league lead with a 6-2 record. Centauri defeated the Pirates in the tournament to claim No. l seed as both teams advanced to the Sweet 16, regional round of the state playoffs. Both teams won their regional games and advanced to the Final Eight tournament at Colorado Springs, where both were beaten in the early going.
Maberry and Goodenberger were IML all-conference second team selections last year when Pagosa captured the league title and advanced to the Final Eight in Colorado Springs.
Joining Maberry and Goodenberger on the IML all conference first team this year are seniors Kevin McCarroll and John David Jordan of Centauri, and senior Jon Qualls of Bayfield.
Named to the second team in addition to Ross were senior Devon Catron of Bayfield, senior Jude Valdez of Ignacio, and junior Josh Bearss of Monte Vista.
Ignacio sophomore Laramie Miller received honorable mention.
McCarroll was chosen player of the year and his coach Larry Joe Hunt, coach of the year.
Pagosa finished with a 13-6 regular season record and a record of 16-9 at the end of the state playoffs. The graduating seniors are Maberry, Goodenberger, Ross and Daniel Crenshaw.
Fair royalty, St. Patrick's best in parade
We are delighted to announce the winners in our ever-so-lovely and fun St. Patrick's Day Parade. We're always so grateful when the weather goddesses allow us to complete this one at a time of year that can whip up snow, rain, hail and sleet in a New York minute.
We want to thank all those who entered and created such a charming sight on Main Street - nothing quite so blasted cute. Best Float honors went to those lovely young women who make up the Archuleta County Fair Royalty; winner in the Most Green Float category, fittingly, go to the Reverend Annie Ryder and her folks at St. Patrick's Episcopal Church. In the Most Bizarre Costume category, we had a tie between Ron Gustafson and the Pagosa Pretenders. Only in Pagosa would there be a tie for "Most Bizarre" - you gotta love this place. We are so grateful to our county commissioners, Bill Downey, Gene Crabtree and Alden Ecker for agreeing to judge this parade and for being so doggoned good-natured about it. Thanks to Will and the gang at KWUF Radio for supplying each and every board member with those cute miniature radios playing Irish tunes throughout the parade. We would adore live music for our parades, by the way, so if anyone has any ideas, please let me know. Thanks again to all who entered this year, and we'll count on you to appear next year as well.
As always, our thanks go out to Jay Harrington and the town crew for handling all the extra work that a parade creates, and to Chief Don Volger and the Pagosa Springs Police Department for always maintaining their pleasant demeanor throughout all our events. We also are grateful to the Colorado Mounted Rangers Troop F who are always there for us throughout the year.
I will say once again that we get by only with the help of our friends - now and always. We never take for granted the accommodating and cooperative nature of this community. Sure makes my job a pleasure.
After six years of dedicated work here at the Chamber of Commerce, Suellen Loher has tendered her resignation to move on to something new and different. Suellen has contributed so much to our organization and has more than earned her "Xena, Chamber Warrior" moniker.
She has done more organizing, running, lifting, washing, climbing, fixing, hanging, hauling and schlepping than any one human being should ever be asked to do, and we are ever so grateful to her for taking it all on.
Suellen is going to work for our good friends at The Source for Pagosa Real Estate, specifically as assistant to owner, Mike Heraty. She felt it was time for her to move on and do something altogether different, and we at the Chamber wish her all the luck in the world in this new endeavor. Thank you, Suellen, for all the good things you have done for us over the years and our very best wishes for great success on your chosen new path.
Please join our pal, Jeff Laydon, at his new Pagosa Photography Studio-Gallery for the premiere gallery opening tomorrow night, 5:30 to 7:30. Jeff has moved from his former location at Studio 160 to 480 San Juan Street in downtown Pagosa and asks us to join him for the opening night celebration. Jeff's work will be featured that night as well as the work of Durango photographer, Scott Smith, with Southwest lifestyles, action, sports and landscapes on view.
Live music for this special evening will be provided by our local treasure John Graves, and refreshments will be served.
If you have any questions, please give Jeff a call at 264-3686 or just join tomorrow to wish Jeff well in his new venue.
Mark your calendars for April 7 and plan to be at the Pagosa Springs High School between 8 a.m. and noon for the Annual 9Health Fair. The beginning hour is always the busiest, so you might want to wait a bit later to go in. You must be 18 years or older to visit the 22 different medical, interactive and learning centers for different types of health screening or health education-also available at no cost to you. Also available is low-cost blood chemistry analysis ($30) and Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) testing for men ($25).
Some of the screenings available include blood pressure, breast cancer, vision and respiratory problems. At the lung/respiratory screening station you can be tested on the respiratory peak flow and pulse oximeter. Anyone having breathing problems will also want to take note of this telephone number: (800) 222-LUNG. The National Jewish Medical and Respiratory Center's Lung Line has nurses on duty five days a week (8-5 MT) who will help you with free medical advice and materials.
Pagosa Springs Rotary Club is the sponsor for this event with many local businesses participating through donations of food, services and supplies. This event is presented for the community by the community and requires approximately 200 volunteers. If you would like to be involved in either a medical or non-medical capacity, please call Kathy Conway, the medical coordinator, at 731-2864 or Mercy Korsgren, non-medical coordinator, at 731-5159.
Don't forget to drop off your non-perishable food donations at the Visitor Center or Curves for Women, located behind the Hogs Breath, during the month of March. Our local Curves is participating once again in their national annual food drive, "Food for Friends" and is asking for your help to make it as successful as last year's drive. Donation targets this year include local food banks, Casa De Los Arcos Senior Housing, Social Services and the Victims Assistance program. Please call Kathryn at Curves, 731-0333, or Isabel Willis, 264-6012, for information or just drop your donation off at either of the above locations.
After you have completed that dreaded spring cleaning, please give a call to the United People Help Ministry for a pickup of those items you no longer need, or drop them off at the UPHM Thrift Store in the River Center. They are also trying to replenish their food bank, so feel free to drop off non-perishable food items as well.
They are looking for volunteers to assist in the store and other areas of the ministry, so please call Debi at 264-UPHM for information and assistance.
Three new members to introduce this week and seven renewals - St. Patrick's Day was very, very good to us.
We welcome Doug Blair who brings us Pizza Hut located at 1825 West Highway 160. Pizza Hut proudly offers the best pizzas under one roof for dine-in, carryout or delivery. They also now feature hot, fresh pasta and their famous lunch buffet. You can call 264-5135 for more information or to order your fresh pizza.
We're happy indeed to welcome our good pal, Joan Hageman, who brings us the venerable and awesome Pagosa Springs Music Boosters. This is a volunteer organization committed to promoting the performing arts in our schools and community, providing scholarships and entertaining the public. These are the folks who have brought us such jewels as "Nunsense," "Brigadoon" and many, many more totally professional and entertaining productions. We have long supported this group and are truly thrilled to welcome them into our membership. If you would be interested in learning more about PSMB, please call 264-4863.
Our third new member this week is Rebecca Wholf-Baxstrom with Dolls and Drums Daycare located at 30 Gallup Court. DDD is a licensed child care provider located near Lake Pagosa Park in the Fairfield area. They encourage indoor and outdoor free play, manipulatives and a loving environment. Drop-ins are welcome, so feel free to check it out or give a call at 731-9717. It's terrific to have a daycare center in our membership, by the way.
Renewals this week include A.J. and Lana Schlegel with Schlegel Bilt Homes; Gloria Petsch with Pagosa Cards and Gifts; Steve Scearce VIN Marketing Communications, in Durango; Herman Hageman (two Hagemans in one week) with the Wolf Creek Trail Blazers; and Art Fox with Rocky Mountain Scenics in Ouray.
New van seats seven for senior group trips
The Seniors have some new wheels. Our new Chrysler van arrived last week. It will seat seven so we will still need the bus when we transport more folks, but the van will be very luxurious for small groups, especially for medical shuttle purposes. Thanks so much to all the folks who worked hard to make this a reality.
The Rotary Club generously donated six tickets for the Casino Royale. We held a drawing Wednesday and the winners (to include some from Case de Los Arcos) were very excited to have this opportunity to take part in this activity. Thank you, Rotarians.
There were lots of "Irish" folks with us Friday - green was definitely the color of the day. The St. Patrick's decorations provided and put up by our wonderful kitchen crew, really set the mood. You all are the best.
We hear that Mary Lucero is recovering well from all her medical problems. She is still hospitalized in Albuquerque for physical therapy. We hope she will be coming home soon.
Muriel Cronkhite presented an interesting talk on nutrition last Wednesday. It was very informative in letting us know what to look for on food labels to determine if the food is high in sugar, salt, fat, etc. This should be a big help to those who must watch what they eat. Thank you, Muriel, for keeping us informed.
We were happy to have Charley and Ann Dalaba join us Wednesday - they were guests of Tom and Beverly Evans. Welcome. On Monday, we welcomed Oma King, guest of Mary and Bruce Muirhead. We hope these folks will join us again soon.
A little bird told me that one of our kitchen staff, Crystal Quintana is having a birthday this week. Happy Birthday.
Our Tuesday meal has had small crowds lately. We hope more folks will join us.
Our Senior of the Week is Edith Dame. Congratulations, Edith.
Science fair project produced mystery
Science Fair. Ah.
Young minds, delving into the process of what makes our world tick. Or, alternatively, young minds scrambling for a project.
Pagosa's local projects were displayed in February, and some students are now gearing up to present their projects at regional competitions.
I admire these young people, I really do. It takes courage to come up with a project that you can actually do and that doesn't seem too lame. Then make the visuals and explain what you did and why it's significant to that bunch of strangers, the judges.
And the odds are so weighted. Very few kids are ever going to be in the running for the Westinghouse prize, which seems to go each year to some young person with access to the latest in technology - to sophisticated laboratories with electron microscopes, laser tools, CAT scanners, you name it.
Watson and Crick visualized up the structure of DNA, the building blocks of life, the genetic code of every living thing, using simple tools and their brains. Makes you wonder, doesn't it?
I think we should salute all those youngsters who put their time and energy and effort into the low-tech projects.
The ones who get out the cotton swabs and culture what they find on the school drinking fountains.
The ones who drop a ball, or a feather, in front of their pets, hour after hour, to determine if a cat exhibits right- or left-handedness.
The ones who calculate how many pounds of worms can convert X pounds of vegetable peelings into Y pounds of compost in Z number of days.
And let's salute their parents while we're at it. Who do you think drives the kid to the store for the supplies, who finds out where to get Petri dishes, who shells out for the colored pencils and the construction and the foam board to make those darned displays? Who stays up late to help with the lettering?
Our daughter did only one science fair project that I can remember. She was in the eighth grade; it was the year after we moved to Texas.
She was not enthusiastic about having to participate. Maybe she already suspected that the top honors would go to the kids whose fathers or mothers worked at the medical center.
Maybe she didn't like the prospect of doing basic research. Collecting data and writing it down, over and over again. She's an idea person. A synthesizer. Let someone else do the tedious work of observing and recording.
But, she had no choice. Every student in the school would be participating in the science fair. No project, no pass.
Our Girl put her thinking cap on and came up with a project requiring minimal detail work.
I took her to the grocery store, to the plant section, where we purchased four pepperomia plants, small houseplants with dark green fleshy leaves. We also picked up a gallon of distilled water and a couple of bottles of club soda and another liquid, probably Sprite.
Back home, she lined the plants up on the windowsill above the kitchen sink and labeled them - tap water, distilled water, Sprite and Club soda.
The goal was to see if regular watering with any of these liquids would promote or stunt growth.
She recorded the height of each plant. She measured the amount of liquid that she added to each little green plastic pot. She turned them regularly, so that they got equal amounts of sunlight.
She did this, with a minimum of parental nagging, for a couple of months. By the time she had to write up the results and make that presentation board, each plant had grown about the same as the others. There were no statistical differences that she could determine for any of them.
There were holes in the leaves of the club soda plant. Tiny holes, edged in black. Only on the Club soda plant. The other three little pepperomias looked boringly normal, about what you'd expect for house plants.
I was intrigued.
So were the judges, who questioned Our Girl about the mysterious holes and approved her project to go on to the regional level, six weeks later. They also encouraged her to try and find out, before then, why Club soda would cause those holes to form.
The judges recommended that she start over with a fresh batch of plants, but the grocery store was sold out. I offered to check at local nurseries.
"Doesn't matter," said Our Girl.
We brought the plants home. Our Girl carried them into the kitchen and lined them up again on the window sill.
And the family cat leaped up on the counter, stretched out her neck daintily and took a little nip of the end plant, the only one that she could reach. The one labeled Club soda.
For the next few weeks the plants stayed on the floor in front of a window.
An overturned laundry basket protected them from additional perforations by tiny cat teeth. No more little holes appeared in the leaves of Club soda’ or any of the others.
But here's how I know that Our Girl wasn't cut out to be a research scientist. Her presentation board for the regional science fair made no mention of the little holes.
"Aren't you going to tell them how those holes got there?" I asked.
She gave me The Look. You know The Look. "No, Mom," she said patiently. "It really doesn't matter."
The following year she entered the history fair. She got books from the library for research. She opted to write a paper rather than build a little diorama inside a box.
She did a good job. And I didn't have to do anything.
That's my kind of fair.
Runners, bikers need to keep fluid level up
Oh yeaaahhhh! March is almost gone, and as far as I'm concerned, that means spring has arrived.
Sure, end of March beginning of April can be snowy, but it also signals a shift in the weather, which translates to an increasing number of warm days.
People are starting to migrate outside. Runners, walkers and bikers are staying out longer. We all know just how important it is to stay hydrated, especially when we're exercising, but just because you're out in cold to cool temperatures doesn't mean you can leave the water bottle at home.
The cold actually decreases our sense of thirst but our fluid replacement requirements are almost the same as what we would consume in warmer weather. Sara Hanifin, MS, RD, a sports and cardiovascular nutritionist with the Boulder Center for sports medicine recommends daily fluid consumption based on your body weight divided by two. The result is the minimum number of ounces of fluid one should consume. When people see that number, they go "Whoa!" but they really need that much water.
If you're not into calculations, consider drinking half a cup of fluid for every 15 minutes of exercise, and if you're going out for less than an hour, you can do this before you exercise. For longer outings, carry water. My favorite are the hydration packs designed to be worn like a backpack - with a tube to carry water from bladder in the pack to the mouth.
Living in Pagosa, altitude becomes a factor with hydration. At elevation, our air is drier and when we breathe in, our body is trying to rehumidify. And in turn, we lose fluids through our respiratory tract and thus become dehydrated more quickly.
My all-time No. 1 drink is hot water. Warm fluids are comforting and it soothes my stomach. It all started on a three-month long trip through the Indian subcontinent in 1975. "Garam pani" a Hindi phrase for hot water always ensured delivery of boiling hot water right out of the huge urns that are kept at a rolling boil all day for the preparation of chai (tea).
Pete and Helen Richardson recently returned from an extensive tour of China. They visited Beijing, Xian, the Yangtze River, Guihi, Nanjing and the Shanghai area. The highlights included Tianamen Square, the Forbidden City and the Great Wall in Beijing, the terracotta warriors in Xian, four nights on the Yangtze River, cruising the Li River from Guilin, visiting the silk factories and gardens outside Shanghai, a boat trip on the Grand Canal, and exploring the modern city of Shanghai itself.
The Chinese were welcoming and the tour glides knowledgeable and helpful. The hotels were clean and comfortable and the food delicious.
Some members of the group are returning to Southern China this summer to participate in a teaching program coordinated by the University of Nationalities. Volunteers will spend two weeks helping Chinese English teachers with conversational English, and a third week touring the province.
Participants would pay for their own return airfare to China, but other expenses in China would be paid for by the program. It would be possible to spend additional time in China afterwards. If anyone would be interested in more information, please contact Helen at 731-5184
San Juan Outdoor Club's monthly meeting this evening at 7 at the Parish Hall will feature Fred Barth. On May 26, 1999, Colonel Barth fulfilled a life-long dream as he stood on top of the world - on top of Mount Everest. Barth will present his trip through slides and verbal narrative. I understand he's kissed the Blarney Stone and can really captivate his audience.
Barth, a retired USAF Lieutenant Colonel, has been climbing for over 25 years. From the Sierra Nevadas and Yosemite of California to the Southern Appalachians, Barth has pursued summits on snow, rock, and ice. He has climbed mountains of East Africa, the Andes of South America, the Alps of Europe and the Karakoram and Hinaleyas of Asia. What a lofty passion.
The SIOC meeting and its presentation is open to anyone interested and admission is free. If you would like more information call 731-3836.
Friends sale nets $600 for library coffers
Our first big annual affair was a smash hit over the weekend. The Friends Indoor Garage Sale was well attended by bargain hunters who were not disappointed at the quality of merchandise offered by more than 20 booth holders.
This affair means that spring is here, no matter what the weather. The Library made around $600 from merchandise and booth rental. Vendors got to keep their profits and they all seemed to be having a good sale. See you all next year.
We were honored to display the Pretenders Family Theatre information on "2001: a Space Oddity, and sell tickets.
On behalf of the Players, Susan Garman donated two books to the library: "The Worst Band in the Universe - a Totally Cosmic Musical Adventure," by Graeme Base, and a special edition of Arthur C. Clarke's "2001: A Space Odyssey."
We thank the Pretenders for these gifts. We are fortunate to have dedicated people putting on the various theatrical productions here in Pagosa.
Is your name on the list? The State Treasurer's Office has a lot of unclaimed property to give back. A total of 44,000 Coloradans have something coming - maybe you're one of them. Come in and look at our list from the Denver Post.
The Red Ryder Rodeo group, Pagosa Springs Enterprises Inc., donated funds to the library in memory of Fred Lasswell, famous cartoonist. The money will be used to buy books on cartooning and drawing for children. Fred donated two wonderful videos that teach children how to draw. They have been favorites here for years.
Fred was married to Shirley Slesinger Lasswell who owns the Red Ryder Corporation. We've all enjoyed their many generous donations to our community through the years. Our sympathies to the family.
This issue of the Wellness Letter sites three new studies on the subject of cell phone dangers. The use of monosodium glutamate is also covered. Copies are available.
I truly enjoy reading and listening to John Graves discuss music then and now. I was distressed to read of the death of Frankie Carle last week. He was 97. He was one of the big band leaders of the Forties. He wrote music for many popular songs including "Falling Leaves," and "Sunrise Serenade," and played the piano.
When I was a teenager, I had the opportunity to apprentice on a musical show at radio station KVOD in Denver. Frankie Carle and his orchestra were playing at the ballroom at Lakeside Amusement Park. I had the audacity to approach Mr. Carle and ask him if he would appear on my little show. He graciously accepted and to this day, that experience is one of the highlights of my life. What a genuinely nice man he was. His band was founded in 1944 and continued until the early '60s.
We have the fabulous new book on jazz based on the TV series. We also have the videos of the actual series. This is the way to learn history, and listen to some good music.
Materials came from Bob Outerbridge, Robert Clinkenbeard, Ginnie Schoenborn, Jeremy McInnis, Bill Boardman, Addie Greer, Sherilyn Mitchum, Mary Lou Bartolomei, Mo Covell, Carrie Campbell, Barbara Bush, Carol Hakala, Ann Van Fossen, and Jim Harris.
As I am on vacation, Dr. Kathy Pokorny is our guest columnist this week. She will discuss the recent Colorado State competition in Special Olympics in this district. - Kate Terry
Special Olympics program strong here
I would like to begin by thanking Kate for inviting me to fill in for her giving me the opportunity to tell the community about the Special Olympic program of Pagosa Springs.
Special Olympics was organized by Eunice Kennedy Shriver in the '60s to provide sports activities for persons with developmental disabilities. The program has grown from a backyard "day camp" to over 500,000 athletes in more than 150 countries worldwide. Special Olympics is officially recognized by the United States and International Olympic Committees. The mission of the program is to provide year-round sports training, and opportunities for people with developmental disabilities to participate with their family and friends and in their communities.
Pagosa Springs is fortunate to have a very active program with many dedicated volunteers. Ten athletes ranging in age from 13 to 60-plus now participate in our year-round program, free of charge.
Our local program sports include alpine skiing, snowshoeing, swimming, fishing, miniature golf, and this year we plan to introduce an equestrian program. We also try to have social functions, travel outside the area to compete, and participate in all town parades.
Having been involved with Special Olympics for more than 20 years, I know that none of this could happen without the support of the volunteers, parents, caregivers, organizations and the business community. I would like to take the opportunity in this article to thank all of you for the time, donations, and directions that you provide to this program. Your efforts do not go unnoticed and are greatly appreciated.
Recently, we concluded our winter season at Wolf Creek and Durango Mountain Resort. Team members included Delta Buck, Teresa Morris, Josh Duffy, Patrick Waggener, Susie Rivas, Donna Cooper, Judy Jacobson, Frank Read and Robert Ditlevson. Each of our athletes participated in the regional competition, then five team members qualified and represented Pagosa Springs in the state competition at Copper Mountain. Those athletes included Delta Buck, Susie Rivas, Teresa Morris, Josh Duffy and Patrick Waggener. Each returned home proudly wearing gold, silver and bronze medals. Patrick even made the front page of the Denver Post. "Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt."
Beginning April 2, we will be swimming at the Pagosa Lakes Recreation Center Monday nights, 5:30-7 p.m. Our season will culminate May 19 when we host the regional swim competition followed by the Special Olympic Torch parade from City Market to Town Park. Join the fun.
Persons wishing to volunteer or contribute to the Special Olympic program or who would like a presentation made to their organization, can write me, Kathy Pokorney, at P.O. Box 2112 Pagosa Springs, CO 81147, or call 264-5113.
TRICARE pharmacy program ready
The TRICARE Senior Pharmacy (TSRx) Program for military retirees will start April 1.
TRICARE Support Contractors have mailed program information to 1.4 million Medicare-eligible military beneficiaries, including retirees age 64 or older, their spouses and eligible survivors. This new pharmacy program will cover all beneficiaries 65 and older, including retirees, spouses and survivors. Younger beneficiaries are already covered under TRICARE.
The following summarizes the information to date on how this program will interact with other health coverage plans.
In general, if you have pharmacy benefit coverage under some other health insurance (or "double coverage" as it is sometimes called), you must use up your other insurance's pharmacy benefit first in either retail pharmacies or the mail order program. Medicare HMOs, the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP), and any Medigap supplemental insurance plans that include a pharmacy benefit fall into this category. Under the double coverage rules, the other insurance will be the primary payer, and TRICARE will be the secondary payer. This isn't a new rule. The law has stated for some time that TRICARE must be second payer to other insurance coverage. This doesn't just apply to pharmacy benefits, but to medical or surgical services, as well.
Once other health insurance (OHI) benefits have been used up each year, the DoD Pharmacy Program will pay applicable pharmacy costs, less the applicable copayments, for the remainder of the year. To do so, beneficiaries must provide proof showing OHI limits have been reached or exceeded. The DoD Pharmacy Program will also provide a benefit if the medication is not on the formulary (list of available medications) for your other insurance, but is on the DoD formulary. Documentation that the drug was not on the OHI formulary must be provided. For DoD retail pharmacy services, you can submit an explanation of benefits (EOB) statement or similar document from your other insurance carrier to a TRICARE claims payer for the Central region. For the National Mail Order Pharmacy Program, you can send this documentation along with your co-payment and prescription. For instructions on how to use the mail order program after your benefit has been exhausted, call 1-800-903-4680.
If OHI pharmacy copayments are larger than TSRx copayments, beneficiaries may be eligible for partial reimbursement for the copays charged by their other insurance. After the beneficiary has met any applicable annual TRICARE deductible, DoD may refund the difference between that copayment amount and the copayment the beneficiary would have paid under the DoD program. More information is available through the DoD pharmacy call center at 1-877-363-6337.
For information on these 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. The office is open 8 a.m. to noon, and 1 to 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.
Bear Creek, Miller Const. win leagues
The adult basketball season will end tonight for both men's leagues.
In competitive league play, Bear Creek took the league championship with an 8-0 record. Lucero Tire came in second at 5-3; J.R.'s Concrete was 4-4, Buckskin 3-5, and Wolf Creek 0-8.
In the recreation league, Tim Miller Construction took the league championship with a 10-0 record. Lord Electric and Citizens Bank tied for second at 6-4; Paint Connection finished with a record of 5-5; GMAC Realty was 3-7 and Viking Construction was 0-10.
Tournament games were played all this week and will end tonight. Thanks to all the sponsors, team captains and players who made the year a success.
Indoor soccer registration forms are available at Town Hall for games starting April 3 and concluding April 26.
Games will be held Tuesday and Thursday evenings, 6-7:30 p.m. for youth, and 7:30-9 for the adults (18 and over).
Registration fees are $10 for youth and $15 for the adults.
Call the recreation office for more information or if you are interested in officiating at 264-4151.
The women's spring volleyball league will get underway with a mandatory meeting for all managers at the middle school gym tonight at 8 p.m. Complete rosters and team fees are due at the meeting.
Games will be played Monday and Wednesday evenings starting April 2, with practice times available March 28 and 29. Team fee this year is set at $200 and a $10 player fee.
Two youth baseball teams from Pagosa Springs are being formed to play in the La Plata Youth Baseball Sandy Koufax league.
Registration forms are available at Town Hall, with the registration fee set at $50 per child until the March 30 deadline. Practices will begin when fields are available and games slated to begin the May 1. Call the recreation office at 264-4151 with any questions.
The next Park and Recreation Commission meeting will be held April 6 at 6 p.m. in Town Hall. All commission meetings are open to the public and generally last only one hour. Pizza is served at 6 p.m. and all interested parties are welcome to attend.
Four Corners Cup
The first mountain bike race of the Four Corners Cup mountain bike point series, will be held Sunday at Aztec.
This is the first time for a race at this site and it promises to be one of the best races in the series. The new, single-track course was designed to enrich the 1948 UFO crash site at Aztec.
A host of events are planned for the fourth annual UFO symposium in Aztec. On Saturday, the re-ride and course inspection will take place at 11:30 a.m. at Hart Canyon. Registration for Sunday's race starts at 9 a.m. in Aztec with the race at 10 a.m. A noon awards luncheon and barbecue will follow the race in Aztec's Pioneer Park.
For more information or to obtain a race registration form contact the Aztec Library (505) 334-7658.
The second mountain bike race of the series will be held April 21 on Pinon Mesa in Farmington. This year's course will be similar to the course used in past years, but with shorter distances for all racers. This is an excellent mountain bike course with a good variety of single track, sand, hill-climbing and open-road riding.
For more information about the series or for registration forms contact the Town Recreation Department, 264-4151.
Single parenting: New job description
Yesterday was Single Parents' Day, but it is not too late to honor all the single parents we know.
About 25 percent of the parents in Archuleta County are single. Imagine being a parent in a two-parent household and suddenly trying to cope as a single parent because of divorce, death, incarceration, or abandonment and being faced with raising your children alone. Where would you turn for support? One program in our community that focuses on helping single parents, especially fathers, is the Fatherhood Initiative directed locally by Bill Boardman. The Fatherhood Initiative is a cooperative effort between The Training Advantage and the Archuleta County Department of Social Services.
Bill primarily assists single fathers, advocating for them to have more parenting time with their children. In most divorce cases, mothers are awarded custody and the fathers have visitation, often only every other weekend.
Fathers come to Bill and say, I want to be able to spend more time with my kids. Can you help? This is the question he is most often asked, and the one that really moves him, because it disproves the myth that divorced fathers do not care about their children. Boardman believes Archuleta County Court Judge James Denvir strives to make fair decisions regarding visitation, but many fathers report this has not been their experience in other parts of the country.
So how are single fathers made aware of the Fatherhood Initiative Program? Usually when the Department of Social Services Child Support Enforcement office refers them. Single fathers not only receive assistance to obtain increased parenting time with their children, but they can get parenting skills training, as well as basic adult education and career testing and training.
When one becomes a single parent it is like having a new job description. It's important to be more creative as a money manager, because the income is less. In some cases it's important to be trained for a better paying job to meet greater financial expectations.
Parenting alone might also require being around other single parents for support. Bill's program not only assists fathers - nearly a fourth of the parents he serves are single mothers. So mothers, do not hesitate to call Bill if there is a supportive service needed.
About two months ago, Bill formed a new support group for fathers that meets the first and third Tuesday of the month at 6:30 p.m. at Community United Methodist Church on Lewis Street. Bill encourages any single father in the community to walk in anytime and participate. If you are a single father, and do not feel you need support, you can come to the group to support other fathers.
Bill wants to form another group - a chapter of Parents without Partners. Because of the high divorce rate in Archuleta County, and more single parents moving into the community, this service is really needed. One support activity from this group could be a babysitting co-op.
So what can the community do to help single parents and their children? Bill says it would be great if single-parent families could have more opportunities to get out and participate in leisure activities. Local restaurants and recreational businesses could offer these families discounts because many single parents are on a limited budget.
There are occasions when single parents need time for themselves. Community Bible Church offers free childcare every Friday night, 6-10 p.m., but any of us can do the same by offering to provide childcare to a single parent. The CBC program will run through April 30 before taking a summer break. For more information, call CBC at 731-2937.
While writing this article, a parent approached me with information about a new single parent group that focuses on families getting together. This group would like to organize camping and rafting trips, game nights, sporting events, jet skiing excursions and family fun nights. For more information, call Anna 264-5538 or e-mail SLD@pagosa.net. Are there any businesses out there willing to give discounts or passes to this group?
To get Insync with the Fatherhood Initiative Program, call Bill Boardman at 264-4133. To get Insync to make donations to families, disabled adults or the elderly, call me at 264-2182 ext. 212. Your donation will be accepted and a tax receipt will be prepared for you.
Reminder: the Senior Center still needs two armchairs in good condition.
Garage sale to benefit PSAC programs
The Pagosa Springs Arts Council garage sale will be March 31 at 8 a.m. This annual event, which benefits future PSAC programs, will be held at the gallery in Town Park.
If you have anything you would like to donate, drop-off day will be March 29, between 11 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. If you cannot drop off your donations at this time, please call the gallery at 264-5020 and we can arrange a time more convenient for you. We will have a truck available; if you have no way of delivering your items, or you have extra large items, please call.
Volunteers are needed to help March 30 and 31. Please call Joanne at 264-5020, if you can spend a little time at the gallery.
Odds and ends
Congratulations to Susan Garman and her outstanding cast of "2001: A Space Oddity." I had the privilege of attending the performance on it's final night. It was excellent.
We would also like to thank Amanda Taylor and Rusty Gibbs for their volunteer efforts with Whistle Pig. Your time is greatly appreciated.
Speaking of Rusty Gibbs, he will open his exhibit at the PSAC gallery April 5. The reception will be 5-7 p.m. and everyone is invited. Rusty uses an interesting combination of representational and abstract images in his acrylic paintings. His recent move to southern Colorado has inspired him to paint colorful and harmonious landscapes and wildlife. This will be a great opportunity for the community to support, celebrate, and enjoy local talent.
Jill Choate of Talkeetna, Alaska, will be in Pagosa Springs April 21 to conduct one of her outstanding basket weaving classes. Jill specializes in antler baskets, and she is masterful at creating basket designs around natural shapes of the antlers. The Pagosa class will be held at 5 p.m. at the Parish Hall on Lewis Street.
Participants will make a fanned market basket - a basket that is both functional and decorative. Cost of the class is $95 and includes materials. To enroll, contact Barbara Rosner at 264-2564, or Mary Ann Sayre at 264-5754. Class size is limited, so register as soon as possible to confirm a space.
The Pagosa Players and King's Men, a division of PSAC, is a local repertory theater play group. They'll be performing the off-Broadway musical "Coping" at the new cabaret theater lounge located in the Pagosa Lodge, March 23 and 24. All performances are rated "G" and begin at 7:30 p.m.
For reservations, call Zach Nelson at 731-3300. Tickets can be purchased at the Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center, WolfTracks bookstore, the Pagosa Lodge, and the gallery in Town Park and at the door for $8 the night of a performance. On March 30, PPKM will perform "Elvis at 60," a musical comedy, at the same location and time.
Weed management symposium scheduled
Tonight - Oil Painting, Extension Office, 4:30 p.m.
Tonight - Beef, Extension Office, 6:30 p.m.
Friday - WHEP, Extension Office, 2 p.m.,
Friday - Entomology, Junior High Science Lab, 2 p.m.,
Friday - Mandatory Make-Up Livestock meeting, Extension Office, 2 p.m.
Saturday - Dog meeting, Extension Office.
March 26 - Shooting Sports, 5 p.m., Extension Office.
The ninth annual Four Corners Weed Management Symposium will be held April 10 at McGee Park in Farmington. Registration starts at 8:30 a.m. The course will include Biological Wildfire, Aquatic Weed management, Brush Control, Grass Pasture Weed management, Integration of Fire, Herbicides and Reseeding on Rangeland, Chemical Control of Invasive Weeds on Roadsides, Calibration of Back Pack, Field Jet, Boom Buster, Saddle Pack, and Pump-Up Sprayers.
Cost for the course is $15 a person by April 7, $20 at the door.
For more information contact the Extension Office 264-5931.
The San Juan Soil Conservation District is taking orders for seedling trees and shrubs for conservation planting, shelter belts, reforestation and wildlife habit enhancement.
To participate, landowners need to own at least two acres of land, and use the seedlings purchased through the program as living plants.
Seedlings come from the Colorado State Forest Service Nursery in Fort Collins. Some species are still available; orders need to be placed before March 30.
Landowners with property in Archuleta, southern Hinsdale, and southwestern Mineral counties can obtain seedling ordering applications from USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service or CSU Cooperative Extension Service at the Archuleta County Fair Building. Last date to order is March 30, and seedlings will be available for pick up at the Fair Building, one day only - April 18.
For more information call 264-5516.
Iowa Beef Packing, Inc. (IBP) is initiating a new program designed to help keep the U.S. cattle herd bovine spongiform encephalopathy-free, according to a news release.
According to the plan, company officials will begin March 1 to require beef producers to certify they do not use ruminant meat and bone meal in cattle feed. IBP's network of cattle buyers will also start asking cattle suppliers to sign an affidavit verifying their cattle have not been fed prohibited protein by-products derived from ruminant animals. The Food and Drug Administration in 1997 banned the use of ruminant-derived proteins as added ingredients in feed for ruminant livestock such as cattle to prevent the introduction of BSE, or "mad cow" disease into the United States.
"While we are confident cattle producers are abiding by this FDA rule, we believe this certification program will provide added assurance to our customers and the consumer," said Gene Leman, CEO of IBP Fresh Meats Company. Livestock producers will be required by IBP to sign the affidavit semi-annually in order to continue supplying the company with cattle. IBP will conduct random, on-site audits of the feeding records of cattle suppliers to verify compliance, a company spokesman said.
"We realize this initiative means additional paperwork for both IBP and our suppliers; however, given the paramount importance of this subject to our industry, we believe the effort is not only worthwhile, but imperative," Leman added.
The Archuleta County Extension Office is now taking orders for seed potatoes - the Sangre and the Russet Nugget - at twenty-five cents per pound for both species. It is suggested that anyone just starting out and experimenting order 2-3 pounds of each species. When orders arrive at the Extension Office each person will be contacted to pick up their order. Anyone interested in ordering seed potatoes should call 264-2388 or stop by the Extension Office.
Thanks to State Representative Mark Larson for his recent efforts to put curbs on the relentless attacks on domestic tranquility by telemarketers.
If you have a telephone, chances are good you've received the calls.
It's time for dinner. You sit down at the table, family gathered for the meal, and the phone rings.
It's Jennifer with Big Value Credit Card company. She's prepared to give you a remarkably low interest rate for six months, before the rate soars to 19 percent.
You finally have a chance to relax after a long day. You sit down to chat with your mate, your children; you switch on the television to watch a favorite program; you curl up on the sofa with a good book. It is 8 p.m. - time to wind down - and the telephone rings.
It's Kenny from Ultra-Tech Long Distance with a spiel about a deal to save you millions of dollars, if you'll only come to your senses. Kenny promises you the world - no matter how hard you try to get him off the line.
Lately, some of the phone calls seem like they're coming from a fraternity house, during a party.
You ask that no business calls be made to your home, yet the calls continue. Occasionally, when you tell an excited telemarketer you do not take business calls at home, the response is less than cordial.
It's a plague. And an invasion of privacy.
The telemarketing "industry' swears it keeps lists of people who do not want calls at home. But the calls come; if they abate following a complaint, the respite is momentary.
Larson said the industry opposes state sanctions with penalties because it will reduce the telemarketers' workload, increasing the odds against success for the callers.
Larson makes a sound argument that, by not contacting people who do not wish to receive a call - by calling only those people with an express interest in a product or service - a telemarketer enhances the chances for success. A working no-call list is to the industry's advantage.
This year, a bill is making its way through the legislative labyrinth that would, in part, impose a $2,000 penalty on telemarketing companies who violate a customer's don't-call request.
A previous bill met with no success and it appears SB-093 - the so-called "Colorado No-Call List" bill - could be headed in a similar direction. Telemarketing-friendly legislators, including the Speaker of the Colorado House, Republican Doug Dean of Colorado Springs, are working to have the bill sent to a specific committee - an elephant's graveyard of proposed legislation.
Larson is working to have the bill sent to a friendlier environment - his Business Affairs and Labor committee.
Dean took umbrage with Larson when one of Larson's constituents fired off an angry email to the Speaker concerning the telemarketing bill. From what Larson says in this week's SUN column, he is in the Speaker's doghouse. Good for him.
Any help Larson and fellow thinkers receive is valuable. If you dislike rude interruptions of your privacy, if you want a Colorado No-Call List with appreciable enforcement muscle, voice your approval of the proposed bill at http://www.coloradonocall.org.
Or find Dean's email address and tell him what you think - of telemarketers and his attitude.
Karl Isberg, but the idea it is time to "make a hand" is right on the money. The advice applies as well to several local boards.
Make a hand by hiring competent professionals. Clearly and realistically define your roles and theirs. Rely on staffers, and trust them to put you in position to make the best choices you can make. Make a hand, please, by being scrupulously honest, by conducting business in a legal way, in the clear light of day. Make a hand the right way and you can live with reactions from the Bully Pulpit.
To make a hand is no easy task
Seeing the term "make a hand" in last week's editorial reminded me of the summer of 1952 and my introduction to the oil fields.
I had just graduated from high school. I was playing metro-league baseball on a team sponsored by Cotton Dickson Drilling Company.
Mr. Cotton Dickson's 6-foot-2, 175-pound son Henry, was a member of my graduating class.
I needed a high-paying summer job so I could make enough money so I could go to college so I could get a degree so I could get job so I could make enough money so I could . . .
So the week following graduation I kept my job interview appointment at the Cotton Dickson Drilling office in downtown Houston. A former "wild catter," Mr. Dickson had died a couple of years earlier when the single-engine Bonanza he was piloting crashed. Therefore, Henry's mother was running the business.
Mrs. Dickson conducted a no-nonsense interview: "Are you 18?" Yes. "How tall are you?" Five-foot-seven. "How much do you weigh?" One hundred forty-five pounds. "Can you be in La Porte at 8 Monday morning?" Yes Ma'am. "You're hired. Henry thinks you might make a hand. You'll be working on a drilling barge. Report to Harvey. He'll be your teacher."
The barge was fresh out of dry dock. Having been scraped, sand blasted and repainted, it needed to be outfitted and made ready for drilling.
Harvey taught by short explanations and tireless example. His experienced crew served as assistant teachers. They taught by intimidation and the reminder: "This ain't no popularity contest."
The first lessons featured some oft repeated questions. When I worked with Harvey, it mattered not whether we were pushing, pulling or lifting, the question was, "Are you sure you're giving it your best?" Next came his patented claim, "It feels like I'm the only one who's putting out."
The crew emphasized that it didn't matter what you were doing, you had to do it the "right way." They would show me the right way to do something and then ask: "Do you think you can do it?", followed by the apparent company motto: "If you can't do it right, we can't use you."
A couple of weeks later the barge was rigged, loaded and ready to be tugged to a well site in Trinity Bay. Harvey called me aside after handing out the paychecks and asked "Can you be in Baytown at 2 o'clock Monday afternoon?" He needed a "weevil" for the "evening tower" - 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. - and he thought I "might make a hand." I had made the cut, but I remained in the might column.
For the next six weeks, seven days a week, I put in "road time" from Baytown to a nearby wharf, "boat time" out to the drilling barge, and eight hours of "full time" - working on the rig. The only deviation was the nights that storms blew in off the Gulf. The high winds made Trinity Bay so rough that the crew boat didn't bring the hands for the 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. "midnight tower" out to the barge. Therefore the evening tower had to "pull a double" - continue working another eight hours.
About the middle of July, Harvey handed me my pay check and asked if I could be at Rockport at 8 Monday morning. Our well was shutting down and only needed the crew on the morning tower.
So I "Greyhounded" it to Rockport and found a rooming house. When I reported for work Monday, my new driller told me Harvey had phoned over the weekend . . . "He told me you had made him a good hand." I had shed the might.
What works in the oil fields might not work in county government. But it might not hurt if elected officials ask themselves whether they are honestly giving it their best, or are they doing it the right way. And they might consider that it's not about popularity - it's about performing and producing.
Know you are loved and please keep us in your prayers. David
Taken from The Weekly Times of March 21, 1901
The Colorado State Bank of Durango is pleased to advise its patrons and the public that it has opened a branch at Pagosa Springs, Colorado, under the title of "First Bank of Pagosa Springs," being the first and only bank established in Archuleta County. We would introduce and commend to the trade, Mr. F.A. Collins, a banker of sound experience and judgment, who, as the bank's cashier will be the local manager.
A bad wreck occurred near Navajo last week, resulting in the smashing of several cars and an engine. Engineer Warring was killed.
Abe Howe was down from his ranch on West Fork for the first time since the thaw, Tuesday, and says the roads are very bad.
75 years ago
Taken from SUN files of March 19, 1926
John Duncan and R.A. Dunn were arrivals in Pagosa Springs Monday. Mr. Duncan was the successful bidder on what is known as the West Fork federal aid project, which consists of about two miles of grading and gravel surfacing between Turkey Creek and the West Fork bridge. The project will cost about $22,000 and will be completed about the middle of July if favorable weather prevails.
State Engineer C.W. Harkness arrived from Durango this week and will supervise the construction work. Mr. Harkness brings the pleasing news that the two state projects knows as the "Catchpole Mistake" and "Laughlin Hill," both north of Pagosa Springs and on the Wolf Creek Highway and which seem to have gone a-glimmering are now slated to receive attention the coming season.
50 years ago
Taken from SUN files of March 23, 1951
The county commissioners announced the appointment of a three-man County Fair Commission this week with H. Ray Macht, Woodrow Dunlap and Glenn Kimball being named to the board. Mr. Macht will be chairman of the group. The commissioners stated that it was their intention for the committee to draw up a plan for a county fair this fall.
Dr. L. S. Andrus, local physician, and Fred Kipp, formerly of Denver, announced this week that they had entered into a contract for the lease of the Spring, with an option to buy. The property is at present owned by the Lynn family, which has owned and operated the resort for the past twenty years. Andrus and Kipp state that their plan is to make as modern and as attractive a resort on the property as is to be found anywhere.
25 years ago
Taken from SUN files of March 18, 1976
April 6 will be town election day in Pagosa Springs and there will be six candidates contesting for the three vacancies. Candidates that have filed nomination petitions are: Bennie Johnson, Edward (Butch) Madrid, Ross Maestas, all incumbents; and Roy Vega, Ross Aragon, and Nolan Emert.
Kurt Laverty, member of the Pagosa Springs High School ski team placed third in skimeister points in statewide competition. This is an accumulation of points in all four competitive events in high school skiing. These include cross country, jumping, slalom and giant slalom. Kurt has been a consistent point winner for the ski squad and will be counted on again next year as a mainstay of the ski team.
Spring is sprung, get out to the fields
Finally, the ides have passed and now, maybe, we can get on with Spring.
The ides. What the devil are ides?
I've heard the phrase the Ides of March all my life and had a vague idea that it was an offspring of the ancient Romans' calendar.
Seems I was at least on the right track. The dictionary says ides is the fifteenth day of March, May, July and October, or the thirteenth day of any other month, as reckoned on the Roman calendar.
Why they wanted to reckon is beyond my ken.
What I do know is that as much as I love winter in Pagosa Country, I'm ready for something a little more balmy to spring forward - like Spring, itself.
I know, I know. The calendar says Spring arrived Tuesday, but Old Man Winter and Mother Nature often seem to get their seasons crossed.
Cabin fever hasn't been a worry because I walk no matter what the weather, but baseballs are flying in other climes and we need to have them drifting on our mountain breezes here.
Can't happen, however, until the ides turn into warm spring breezes and the winter deposit of white stuff is removed from the Pagosa High School sports complex. In the meantime our spring sports participants have to hone their outdoor skills inside. Except for running, that means in a gymnasium for soccer players and in cramped quarters inside the vocational arts building for baseball players.
Track participants are out running, but have no facilities available for the field events. Participants in baseball and soccer opened their seasons last week on the road, meaning two soccer matches scheduled in Pagosa had to find a venue elsewhere.
I remember experiencing terrible winters in Pagosa Country as a child but I can't for the life of me recall a spring baseball season being played entirely out of town as has happened in recent memory.
Yeah, there were times when we played games in less than desirable conditions - one contest in Chama comes quickly to mind - but the season seemed always to be complete with both home and road games.
The Pagosa baseball field of that era may have melted down more quickly because there was no grass. It was an all-dirt surface which rose gradually toward center field. Located with home plate approximately where the intersection of Apache and South 7th streets is today, it was home to high school, town team, summer rec league and just plain pick-up games from March through the opening of school when football took over the sports scene headlines.
Soccer and track were only intramural activities in those days, so baseball became the spring and summer sport of choice. There was scant seating on a pair of rickety bleachers, and cars lined the roads around the field for every home game.
Crowds gathered down each base line to cheer the home nine on, but perhaps hundreds of fans watched from the relative comfort of their vehicles, horns blaring when a Pirate made a great play or got a hit at a key moment.
The backstop was a jury-rigged tangle of chicken wire loosely attached to pine poles. The wire was full of holes and foul balls or passed balls by the catcher often found their way out of the arena.
Youngsters chased the errant balls down and returned them to action. Since there normally were only three or four balls available for a game every one had to be retrieved, if possible.
Long foul balls pulled out of play beyond the left field line, however, were likely to come to rest in a pseudo-marsh and ball retrievers were cautioned not to go in after them.
The right field line was restrained to the area inside the road which skirted the bottom of the hill where 7th Street is now, and served as an access to Trujillo Road which veered southwest from what is now 8th Street. Thus, outfield distances ranged from a short 250 feet down the right field line to nearly 500 feet in straight away center field.
Perhaps the slope of the field lent itself to better drainage than that seen on the school fields today, even as it posed a severe challenge to the outfielder who had to run either uphill or downhill to field a ball. Maybe that's why there was seldom a scheduled home game which was not played.
Even Silverton had a dry field in those days. But their field was the exact opposite of Pagosa's. A nice grass infield gave way to an expansive outfield that sloped away toward the river. An outfielder could go out of sight in pursuit of a long drive and only an alert umpire would know if a legitimate play had been made on the ball.
Probably the longest ball I ever hit came in that park in my senior year. I got so much of it I was sure it was a home run, the long anticipated grand slam. As I rounded second base, the center fielder disappearing from view, I saw the umpire signaling a catch. No one but he and the fielder knew for sure, but what appeared to be a base clearing drive became just a long out.
Baseball in those days was a community activity. Whether high school or town team, many businesses closed their doors during the games so staff and owners could be at the field.
It's a far cry from the 40 or 50 who turn up for a high school home game in this era.
These prep athletes deserve as much support for their activities as do those who display their talents on indoor courts during the winter months.
The winter sports, however, provide a temporary respite from that cabin fever malady while the outdoor sports of spring and summer have to vie with sunshine, open trails and fishing streams for attention.
Still, the crack of bat on ball, the sight of a shortstop diving into the dust for a drive and firing an accurate throw to start a double play, the stride of an outfielder outrunning a ball for a sparking catch all hold thrills waiting to be recorded.
Similarly, a crisp crossing pass from an attacking wing to a forward who, in turn, drops a centering pass to another teammate for a shot on goal as soccer players develop new skills, should draw crowds to the stands.
Support your Pirate teams. Football and basketball currently are the only sports for which an admission is charged, unless it is a playoff game. Spend a couple of hours outdoors and see what fresh air is like and what diverse talents our high school athletes display.
You won't be sorry.
Prejudice, bigotry faced Indian visitors
It was Pagosa Country's good fortune to obtain a newspaper in 1890. The Pagosa News, edited and published by Daniel Egger, gives us our first, first-hand, week-by-week look at the events making history in Archuleta County.
Archuleta County had been formed in 1885, but the town of Pagosa Springs was not yet organized. In fact, as 1890 began, six square miles surrounding the Great Pagosa Hot Spring still belonged to the Pagosa Springs Military Reservation. Steps by the U.S. government to end the military reservation started during the early 1890s.
Pagosa Country residents still remembered Gen. Custer and the Battle of Little Bighorn, and Nathan Meeker and the Meeker Massacre. Less than 15 years had passed since those tragedies. The issue with Apaches in southern Arizona and New Mexico was scarcely settled. Consequently, having Ute and Apache for neighbors caused concern.
The following items from July, August, and September papers published by Egger shed some light on Pagosa Country activities and thinking before automobiles and electricity. Picture ladies in bustles and gentlemen with muttonchops and you'll have the right image.
Good roads and contact with the outside world were as important in 1890 as they are today. Pagosa's contact with the outside world was by stagecoach.
Newspaper item: F.A. Byrne's contract to carry the mail between Pagosa and Amargo expired last Monday. He is succeeded by the Southwestern Mail and Transportation Co. of which E.G. Bates is the manager. At present the mail leaves here at 5 a.m. and arrives at 9 p.m. As soon as a new schedule can be arranged the stage will not leave Amargo until the arrival of the train from the east, which will be convenient to the patrons of the Pagosa post office and the traveling public.
Motter's comments: We read a lot about Fil Byrne during Pagosa's pioneer years. That's because Byrne was one of the first pioneers and remained, until his death during the 1930s, close to the heart beat of Pagosa Country.
Newspaper item: The people of our neighboring village of Amargo do not live as peaceably with each other as might be desired for the good of the town.
Motter's comments: Amargo was at the south end of Pagosa's stage line and straddled the rail line leading in and out of the San Juan Basin. Something is happening in Amargo. Stay tuned.
Newspaper item: William Speer, sheriff of Rio Arriba County, New Mexico, fell out of a two-story window of the Vorhang hotel at Amargo one night last week, and was found in an unconscious condition several hours afterward. The injuries he received caused his death Friday morning. What caused his fall will probably always remain a mystery. Sheriff Speer had a large number of acquaintances and friends in this county who deplore his untimely death.
Motter's comment: I tell you something is happening in Amargo.
Newspaper item: J.S. O'Neal and family have moved to the halfway house between here and Amargo. Mr. O'Neal will build an addition to the house for the accommodation of travelers.
Motter's comment: The Halfway House was the resting point on the stage line between Amargo and Pagosa Springs. It is the source of the name for Halfway Canyon, sometimes erroneously referred to as Spiler Canyon. Spiler Canyon runs perpendicular to Halfway Canyon. Highway 84 runs through Halfway Canyon. The Halfway House stood at today's intersection between Highway 84 and Valle Seco Road. I'd like to hear from anyone who knows anything about the Halfway House.
Newspaper item: At the recent session of the board of county commissioners it was decided to build a bridge across the Blanco. The request for sealed bids specified a bridge across the Big Blanco River at a point near the mouth of the Little Blanco River.
Motter's comment: During earlier years, the road from Halfway Canyon along the Blanco River and leading to Eight Mile Mesa stayed on the south or west side of the river until reaching about where the Bogert place is today. That's where this bridge was built. Presumably, this bridge along with all of the other bridges in the county, washed out during the 1911 flood.
Newspaper item: Twenty soldiers from the Home at Leavenworth arrived at the Springs last Friday in charge of Major Weaver, surgeon of the Home. These veterans are suffering from chronic rheumatism, chronic diarrhea, dyspepsia, and paralysis. Some of them have already benefited from the baths, and the News predicts that in the course of two or three months, they will all be cured of their complaints. The whole number is quartered at the "Cabin Home."
Motter's comments: The Great Pagosa Hot Spring has always been the centerpiece of Pagosa Country history. The first Ute dictionary, published during the 1970s, defines Pagosa as meaning "stinking or smelly waters." Leavenworth, Kan., at one time headquarters for the army of the west, has been connected with the Great Pagosa Hot Spring since the spring passed into private hands. The Leavenworth Company owned The Pagosa Springs Company, just about the first official owner of the Great Pagosa Hot Spring.
Newspaper item: The new bath house just completed is a commodious building, 42x22 feet, It contains a plunge 24x15 feet, and vapor sweat room, both of which are comfortable size. The building cost $900 and is now ready for bathers.
Newspaper item: Mud baths are currently the rage with bathers just now. Many find them much more effective than the regular tub or plunge baths. Some very remarkable cures are reported from these baths. People who are carried to the bath house on their first arrival soon walk without any assistance or the aid of crutches.
Newspaper item: The bill introduced by Sen. Teller to dispose of the Pagosa Springs military reservation will undoubtedly become a law as the government has no more use for the reservation. When it is opened to settlement there will be a lively scramble to get a piece of it. A good part of it is already improved and resided upon by those who improved it. The bill makes no stipulation in regard to these squatters but it is presumed they have no prior rights.
Motter's comments: As this item notes, a good part of the military reservation, the six square miles surrounding the Great Pagosa Hot Spring, was occupied by squatters. We have never learned if those squatters retained their property or were displaced. We suspect, since evidence of a great fuss has not been passed down through the years, that no one was displaced.
Newspaper item: It is reported that Frank A. Deatherage, who published the Herald at this place last summer, has died in a state prison.
No comment, just the routine end of another newspaper man.
Newspaper item: The News office has been moved to the north side near the school house and Strawn's hotel. Come in and see us when in town.
Motter's comment: The News is following a trend of the time in Pagosa Springs - moving from the east side of the San Juan River to the west side. When settlement began in 1877-1878, an Army post occupied the west bank of the river, off limits to civilians. Businesses and homes occupied the east side of the river. The last troops pulled out in 1882 and a slow civilian move across the river began. We don't think a lot of businesses crossed the river prior to 1890, but some had. Note the following item.
Newspaper item: Pagosa Street is looming up. Two new two-story business houses are going up on that street. If the parties who own the old barracks would remove them and replace them with something more attractive, the street would represent a neat appearance.
Newspaper item: A large number of Ute Indians passed through town last week, accompanied by their squaws and a large herd of ponies. They are evidently on a hunting expedition on the upper San Juan. If these bucks are permitted to roam all over the country the few deer that are left will soon have disappeared.
Motter's comment. Remember, this was written during the 1890s. The language, obviously and rightly so, would be unacceptable today. Revisiting the attitudes of those years is a reminder of how prejudiced and bigoted we were. Note the following items concerning our Jicarilla and Ute neighbors. Notice the contradiction in attitudes concerning hunting.
Newspaper item: The Indians who have been up the river during the past two weeks have returned home, and we hope they will remain there the rest of the season.
Newspaper item: The Ute Indians are fattening and grazing 400 head of ponies on the upper Piedra.
Newspaper item: It is a burning shame that the Indians are permitted to destroy the game of this section in such a reckless manner. For the past two weeks, large parties of Utes have been scouring the country north of Pagosa Springs and killing deer and elk in large numbers, including does which have not yet dropped their young. James Melrose writes the News from the Mountain Meadow ranch as follows, under the date of July 20th: "I was up on the Piedra yesterday at Bowling's Ranch and found quite a band of Utes camped there. While I was at the camp the Ute bucks came in from the hunt and had five fine large elk and several deer. They had killed several does that had not yet dropped their young."
Motter's comment: Pregnant does and cows that have not delivered by late July? Does that ring true?
Newspaper item: The citizens of the Navajo endorse your sentiments regarding the killing of game out of season by the Indians. The Apaches returned a short time ago from the upper Navajo where they killed mountain sheep and deer. There has long been a small flock of sheep on the mountains at the upper end of the valley, but they have never been molested by any of the settlers here; now these miscreants must come in and slaughter them. The carcasses of several deer have been found near Chromo; had been killed for their hides. Neighboring ranchers had seen them often but never harmed them. Is there no way to remedy this lawlessness?
Motter's comment: I understand that the Southern Ute, by treaty with the U.S., retained the right to hunt within the boundaries of their reservation. I'm not sure which boundaries are meant, since there were several agreements and the reservation boundaries shrank with each new agreement. By the 1890s, the Dawes Act was in effect. Before the Dawes Act, the Southern Ute Reservation stretched from the Utah border to the San Juan River, in a strip reaching from the New Mexico border north 15 miles. The Dawes Act encouraged Native Americans to take title to 160-acre parcels. Land not claimed under the Dawes Act was opened to the general population for settlement. Much of that reservation passed into private hands, especially in the Ignacio vicinity. The Weminuche Utes settled on Sleeping Ute Mountain south of Cortez and refused to take land "in severalty." Consequently, they retain their reservation boundaries almost intact.
Am I the only reader who detects a different attitude on Egger's part when he speaks of Anglo hunters and fishermen, as evidenced in the following items?
Newspaper item: Charles Pargin and Ira Hobler (Hubler) of Pine River are camped at Bowling's ranch trapping for bear. On Thursday they caught a fine cinnamon bear, making the 14th within a month.
Motter's comment: Does anyone know where Bowling's Ranch was located? If you do, please let me know. The name will show up on someone's abstract of title.
Newspaper comment: J.C. Strawn and Mr. Sharp were up on West Fork fishing last week. After angling one day and two hours of the next they landed 315 trout, thus beating all former records in this camp. They also killed several grouse and saw three deer but did not get any of the latter.
Motter' comment: This news item speaks for itself.
Newspaper item: Notice -Sealed bids will be received by the school board of School District No. One (Pagosa Springs) for furnishing ten cords of pitch wood, cut 16 inches long, split suitable for use in the school house stove, to be delivered to the school house and piled in good shape, and delivered on or before the first day of October 1890.
Motter's comment: If this sounds like something from a long forgotten past, it isn't. I attended the fourth and fifth grades in a two-room school in Oregon during 1944-1945. The school had a woodshed and was heated by a wood burning stove in the corner of the school room. Eight grades were taught in that one room by one teacher.
Owner Michael DeWinter and designer Sherry Gorman operate Plaid Pony Boutique Gifts and Flowers, formerly The Primrose Florist.
Plaid Pony Boutique Gifts and Flowers is a full-service florist and gift shop, offering its customers gift baskets, Teleflora service, and a Friday Fresh Flower Happy Hour. Deliveries are available.
Plaid Pony Boutique Gifts and Flowers is located at 565 Village Drive, at the intersection of Pinon Causeway and U.S. 160. The business will move May 1 to an adjacent shop space.
Business hours are 9 a.m.- 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Call 731-5262.