By Tess Noel Baker
After 4 p.m. on a Thursday the Pagosa Springs Elementary School seems quiet, almost deserted, but a short walk down the hall to Room 12 proves differently.
Here, in a room large enough to contain 40 students, educations continue long after the final bell rings. Students stand, sit, slouch and wiggle in pairs, one tutor between the ages of 12 and 18 and their student, a younger child, between kindergarten and fourth grade.
At the After-School Tutoring Program sponsored by the Archuleta County Education Center, homework and skills improvement are the names of the game. Heads are bent over books, spelling words and math problems in soft, determined conversation.
"It's a fun day," third-grader Nick Jackson said sitting contentedly in the corner of a green couch working on some math problems with tutor Todd Henry, a high school junior. "We get snacks, something to drink and we get our work done."
Cynthia Purcell, tutoring coordinator, said goals of the program, now in its fourth year, are to strengthen a student's skills in basic subjects and give younger students an older role model with a strong commitment to school.
Sessions begin with 15 minutes of exercise, followed by a snack. After that, tutoring begins. An enrichment activity, which centers on a variety of school-related subjects including science, math, art and physical education ends the afternoon.
"He has our day all planned out," Jackson said, nodding to Henry. This particular afternoon they are starting with multiplication tables and then moving to reading.
"It's fun working with the kids," Henry said. "We usually spend a little time reading, do some homework and then a teacher-specified thing, spelling lists or that sort of thing."
Practicing the spelling lists, especially using a variety of games Todd created or learned through the tutoring program, has helped Nick improve his spelling grade from a "D" to an "A."
Each student in the program has a folder with comments, suggested focus skills and other instruction materials that passes between tutor and teacher. This communication makes it easy to set goals and determine progress.
"I don't have them do homework," said Brian Able, a fourth grade teacher with three students currently in the program. "I have them work on something they need help with, reading, reading comprehension, writing skills, things that, as they get older, they need in every class."
Able said the older peers as tutors were a key to the positive response of the younger students.
"They have to listen to adults all day long and then all evening long," he said, "I think they look up to these tutors."
Besides the obvious assistance with academics, Cynde Jackson, community education director for the Archuleta County Education Center, Inc., said the program, now in its fourth year, addresses social issues as well.
"Kids who are more involved in school are less likely to get in trouble," she said. "The program that funds this is designed to reduce violence in children."
Respect between the tutor and student pairs is evident around the room as tutors urge their students to finish homework and get a little extra done. Whether they've worked together months or weeks, the pairs are all business most of the time.
Tutors and students are paired by trial and error, Purcell said.
"We try to match personalities. If it's a good match, they keep the same tutor throughout for consistency. That way both people know the expectations and are familiar with the work they're doing and the progress they're making."
Henry and two of his peers agreed working as tutors was one of the best after-school jobs around.
"The kids are great," tutor Casey Belarde, a high school freshman said. "It's so well organized you can get into a routine working with the kids everyday."
Tutor Chris White, a high school senior, said a friend encouraged him to apply for the tutoring job.
"I think this is probably the nicest after-school job in this town," he said as he worked with first grader Tyler Leewitt reading "Molly's Surprise."
The After-School Tutoring Program is available in two sessions, Mondays and Wednesdays or Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:10-5 p.m. Classes can accommodate up to 20 students on a first-come first-served basis and are usually full, Purcell said. Cost is $25 a month to cover snacks, tutors and enrichment activity supplies, but a grant allows for several scholarships to cover the cost for many students.
Openings are still available for tutors. Anyone interested should call the Education Center at 264-2835. Students in fifth grade and above who are looking for tutoring assistance are also encouraged to contact the Education Center for information on other tutoring programs.
Census: We're bigger, but not as big as many expected
By Richard Walter
The U.S. Census Bureau says percentage wise Archuleta County is the fifth fastest growing county in the state.
But the total population figure for the county - 9,898 - is somewhat lower than most had expected the 2000 Census to show. Many anticipated in excess of 10,000 and some saw a distinct possibility of reaching the 12,000 mark.
The county figure represents an 85.2 percent increase from the 1990 total of 5,345 and a whopping 170.1 percent climb since the 1980 census figure of 3,664.
In what The Denver Post referred to as the "retirement mecca of Pagosa Springs" (the only incorporated community in the county), the 2000 census pegged the population at 1,591, up 31.8 percent from the 1,207 in 1990. The latter figure reflected a 9.3 percent decline from the 1,331 counted in the town in 1980. That means the 20-year gain was only 19.5 percent.
It is interesting to note that, in comparison, the county's school population during the same 10-year period went up from 1,117 to 1,661, an increase of 544 or a little over 48 percent. That is for public schools only and does not count students being home-schooled or in various private schools in Archuleta County.
The county's transient population, as evidenced by seasonal occupation of timeshares and condo units, would probably indicate that for several months each year there are well in excess of 10,000 persons residing in the county. Census counts, however, cannot take those part time occupants into consideration.
The county's percentage of increase ranked behind only Douglas County, up 598.8 percent to 175,766; Eagle County, up 212.8 percent to 41,659; Elbert County, up 190.1 percent to 19,872; and Park County, up 172.3 percent to 14,523.
The state's total population was up 48.8 percent from 1990, climbing from 3,294,394 to 4,301,261.
Initial Census Bureau releases covered only the largest 15 counties and largest 15 cities in the state with reference to population breakdown by race, income, employment field, etc. That data for areas such as Archuleta County and Pagosa Springs will be released in the next 60 days, a bureau spokesman in Washington, D.C., said Friday.
The early figures released were expedited to allow states to plan for legislative district changes. The state's total population means Colorado will gain an additional U.S. House seat after redistricting. The figure also puts Colorado in the 26th spot in population nationwide.
Shifting population patterns in the state also resulted in five counties losing population in the last 10 years. San Juan County (Silverton area) had the biggest decrease - 25.1 per cent - from 745 to 558. Others with declines were Baca County (southeast corner of the state) down 0.9 per cent from 4,556 to 4,517; Cheyenne County (eastern central Colorado at the Kansas border), down 6.9 percent from 2,397 to 2,231; Jackson County (north central at the Wyoming border), down 1.7 percent from 11,605 to 1,577; and Kiowa County (on the Kansas border below Cheyene County) down 3.9 percent from 1,688 to 1,672.
Counties neighboring Archuleta (with primary communities in parentheses) showed these totals:
- La Plata up 60.2 percent from 32,284 to 43,941 (Durango up 12 percent from 12,430 to 13,922; Bayfield, up 42.1 percent from 1,090 to 1,549; and Ignacio down 7.1 percent from 720 to 669).
- Mineral up 48.9 percent from 558 to 831 (Creede up 4.1 percent from 362 to 377).
- Hinsdale up 69.2 percent from 467 to 790 (Lake City, up 68.2 percent from 223 to 375).
- Conejos up 12.7 percent from 7,453 to 8,400 (La Jara up 21 percent from 725 to 877).
- Rio Grande up 15.3 percent from 10,770 to 12,413 (Del Norte up 1.9 percent from 1,674 to 1,705).
Commissioners split anew on hiring actions
By John M. Motter
The Archuleta County Building Department will soon be fully staffed, even as the county commissioners wade through the task of filling a number of vacant positions.
Former county building inspector Michael Howell was rehired this past week in a controversial action which pitted Commissioners Gene Crabtree and Alden Ecker against Commissioner Bill Downey.
Vacancies remaining to be filled are those of county manager, director of county development and county engineer.
Last Friday was the last work day for former County Manager Dennis Hunt, who resigned to take a similar position in Gunnison County. The local commissioners have changed the title to county administrator and are advertising nationwide to fill the void. About 22 applications had been received by Tuesday for the county administrator position.
For the director of county development position, Tuesday the board of commissioners approved a five-member selection committee recommended by Downey. Members of that committee are Downey, Lynn Constan, chairman of the Upper San Juan Regional Planning Commission; Bob Lynch, vice-chairman of the USJRPC; Kathy Ruth, director of county planning; and Mary Weiss, the county attorney.
Pagosa Springs officials were invited to place a member on the committee, but declined for reasons they don't care to mention, Downey said.
The number of applicants for the director of county development position, also advertised nationwide, is seven. Interviewing for that position will start soon.
Also advertised was the county engineer position. A "number of applicants" have responded to fill that position, but nothing is currently being done to fill it, according to Kathy Wendt, the administrative assistant to the county commissioners.
"We've put that position on hold for a little bit," said Crabtree. "The projects we're looking at coming on have an engineer built in. Kevin (Walters, superintendent of the road and bridge department) says hold. Concerning plats, we're going to rewrite the regulations," Crabtree continued. "We want them more like the town has. Ours are too stringent. We're catching a lot of flack from builders, things like requiring sidewalks in a five-mile radius."
In the past, the county engineer's duties have included an overview of county road, subdivision, and building activities from an engineering standards perspective.
Meanwhile, during the March 20 commissioner meeting, Downey opposed offering the building inspector job to Howell because he said Ecker has a conflict of interest, a conflict Ecker denies.
The selection committee interviewed applicants for two positions in the building inspection department, those of chief inspector and of building inspector level one. A seven-member selection committee conducted the interviews. Downey represented the commissioners on the selection committee.
Only two members of the selection committee, Julie Rodriguez and Michael Crofts the former building inspector, interviewed all of the applicants. Rodriguez is permit technician in the department. Crofts and Rodriguez gave a nine numerical rating to three of the applicants. Of the three, Raul Garcia accepted the building inspector level one position, and a second applicant offered a position declined. The third nine rating belonged to Howell, who was bypassed in the first go-around of offerings.
At the March 20 commissioner meeting, Crabtree and Ecker argued that, because one of the three had turned down the county's offer, the position should be offered to the No. 3 applicant, Howell.
At that meeting, Downey argued that in choosing Howell, Ecker had a conflict of interest. Downey moved to readvertise the position. Downey's motion died because of no second.
Ecker admitted that JoAnn Jacober Howell, Michael Howell's wife, does his books and income taxes. For that reason, Ecker pointed out, he had removed himself from the original selection process. He said taking part in the final vote was not a conflict of interest.
Downey said that, if Ecker had a conflict of interest when the process started, the conflict of interest remained at the end.
Ecker moved and Crabtree seconded to offer the position to Howell. The motion carried with Ecker and Crabtree voting yes, and Downey voting no.
Downey asked that the minutes reflect that he objected to Ecker making the motion and voting on the motion because of his conflict of interest.
Howell's wife was also treasurer of the Committee to Elect Alden Ecker for County Commissioner during the Nov. 7, 2000, election for county commissioner, according to records on file in the county clerk's office.
Howell reports for work April 9. His hiring brings planning department staffing to the authorized level. Howell resigned as county building inspector Jan. 7, 2000. Since then he has been employed in the local building industry by Colorado Dream Homes, Southwest Custom Homes, and local contractor Dusty Pierce.
Hospital district audit sees recovery
By Tess Noel Baker
After facing a major budget shortfall last summer, a recent audit shows the Upper San Juan Hospital District may not be totally out of the woods financially, but it's back on the right trail.
Dick Babillis, chairman of the hospital district board, said auditor Michael Branch's latest report indicated, even without donations, the Dr. Mary Fisher Clinic is on-track to show a profit and Emergency Medical Services should break even in 2001.
"If everything goes OK, we should have a good year," Babillis said Monday.
In 2000, an anonymous donation of $125,000 put the district back on its feet and allowed the return of two part-time paramedics to full-time status after a $230,000 accounting-error budget shortfall rocked the district.
The auditor found no evidence of misappropriation of funds, missing funds or wrongdoing related to the error, but the district was forced to reduce staff, cut one position and eliminate some planned capital expenditures to help make up the shortfall.
"The $125,000 was absolutely crucial in our being able to get to this point," Babillis said. "In addition to which, there was another donation made which enabled us to launch the Urgent Care Facility. The first donation meant our survival. The second was used the way I'd like to be able to use all the donations - for improvements." The Urgent Care Facility, located on the northwest side of the Mary Fisher Clinic, provides care on a walk-in basis 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturdays and Sunday.
"Our commitment is, as much as possible, trying to provide needed care for Pagosa residents without them having to make the trip to Durango," Babillis said. "The district continues to try to provide the best medical services available with the money we have."
With the budget back in order the board is now working proactively to increase income to the district, Babillis said.
For instance, when an HMO recently audited coding practices at the Mary Fisher Clinic, it discovered that the clinic was performing procedures more complicated than the coding reflected, Babillis said. By coding these differently, the clinic was advised it could receive a higher reimbursement from the HMO.
The district therefore followed the audit with a coding-practices update led by the billing administrator to make the necessary changes.
"The audit by Rocky Mountain HMO was a good audit for us," he said.
As far as preventing future accounting errors, Babillis said the district continues to meet almost monthly with Branch, district auditor, to keep on top of budget procedures. The district is also working to improve billing and collection efforts on EMS calls.
"The auditor reported a good deal of cooperation on this audit, and commended the support of staff," Babillis said.
Piedra Road-160 traffic signal project imminent
By Tess Noel Baker
A third traffic signal for Pagosa Springs could be in place at U.S. 160 and Piedra Road as early as September.
The Colorado Department of Transportation opened the project, which includes signalization and improvement, for bids this month.
Steve Lewis, consultant project manager with Bechtolt Engineering in Durango, said, provided a bid is accepted, the project, estimated to cost between $500,000 and $1 million is scheduled to start the beginning of May.
"They're allowing 45 working days," Lewis said. "We anticipate it will take six to seven weeks to get ready for the traffic signal."
According to drawings provided by Bechtolt Engineering, the project includes a slight widening of the intersection to allow for raised island bases for the signal poles and about 0.4 miles of overlay on the road on both sides of the highway.
Roadwork should be complete around the first part of July, Lewis said. The signal poles themselves are scheduled to be delivered around Sept. 1. Once they are in place, it will take around two weeks to make the poles operational and complete the project.
This is the second CDOT project at that intersection. Since the first improvements in 1995, traffic flow has increased to the point that a signal is warranted, Lewis said. A 1999 traffic study showed the average daily traffic on U.S. 160 to be around 13,700 vehicles.
Two other projects, one, a relocation project on Eagle Drive being considered by the town board, and a second, widening Piedra Road to Ace Court, being considered by the county commissioners, are still in the design phase.
Commission adopts county community plan
By John M. Motter
After a year of public meetings, and with the help of consultants, the Archuleta County Community Plan was adopted March 21 by the Upper San Juan Regional Planning Commission.
"This represents a great deal of work by a lot of people in this community," said Kathy Ruth, the director of county planning. "After we make the minor adjustments suggested at last Wednesday's meeting, we'll forward the plan to the county commissioners. We're hoping for their endorsement."
Lynn Constan, chairman of the USJRPC, thinks the document as adopted is a good one and represents the vision of the community regarding future land-use development in the county.
"We made a lot of changes during the process," Constan said. "I believe they were positive. It is a good plan that sets out policies for developing the framework for future land use in the county."
The Community Plan is an advisory document that can be used as a guide for future county development and as a basis for future legislation adopted by the county commissioners relating to development.
Because it is advisory only, the Community Plan can and has been adopted by the USJRPC, Ruth said. Approval by the board of county commissioners is not required. The USJRPC is an advisory board containing members Constan, Bob Lynch, Betty Shahan, David Durkee, Bobra Schaeper, Brian Lewis and Rex Shurtleff.
The road to adoption of the plan had its origins in a citizens "Vision Committee" appointed by the county commissioners, an additional advisory committee, representatives from various designated regions in the county, and at least 26 public meetings.
A Durango consulting firm, Four Corners Planning and Design Group, conducted public meetings, gathered data, and wrote the initial draft. Staff from the Archuleta County Planning Department, with guidance from the USJRPC, rewrote the initial draft as additional public input was received.
The first round of public meetings throughout the county carried the purpose of identifying a vision representing the wishes of the people concerning the impacts of growth and development.
With a concept of the vision in hand, a series of steps were formulated with the purpose of identifying practical means for ensuring development of the vision. A second series of meetings was conducted to obtain public reaction to the suggested steps.
The draft plan was formulated based on public reaction to the second series of meetings.
Finally, the draft plan was presented to the public a number of times, being modified after each meeting to conform with the latest public input. The plan adopted March 21 is the result of the entire process.
After the initial round of public meetings, the proposal contained language purporting to protect scenic corridors, river corridors, wildlife corridors, and ridgetop views in an attempt to preserve the public's perceived desire to retain the rural and agricultural appearance of the county. The proposal also identified the specific areas to be protected.
These provisions drew the most opposition from segments of the public, especially when protected areas were specifically identified. The adopted plan retains the concept of preserving scenic, river, and wildlife corridors and ridgetop view lines, but stops short of specifically identifying those areas.
Implementation depends on the county commissioners. Only they can adopt the specific county laws needed to carry out the plan. Identification of the various scenic corridors depends upon the language of legislation adopted by the commissioners.
By Richard Walter
Residents and regular users of Wolf Creek Pass will get a chance April 4 to learn about construction plans for U.S. 160, including the east side narrows tunnel.
The Colorado Department of Transportation has scheduled a public meeting Wednesday, 5:30-7 p.m. in the Community Building, 254 Colo. 149, South Fork.
CDOT spokesmen said representatives of the strategic transportation project will be on hand to present details and a timetable for the tunnel construction through the area oldtimers know as the "Chute."
State and contractor representatives will also review for the public the remaining project phases, their proposed scheduling and anticipated traffic impacts.
Joining CDOT personnel at the hearing will be representatives of contractors Kiewit Western Co. and Carter-Burgess.
Regular pass travelers will remember the daily periodic delays of up to 45 minutes during initial phases of the tunnel project last year and the fact the pass was regularly closed to nighttime weekday traffic so construction could proceed unimpeded around the clock.
One development of that schedule was later than normal mail delivery to the local post office and a restructuring of the postal sorting scheme to get mail into patrons' boxes by 1:30 p.m.
Nighttime closures required travelers to take U.S. 84 south to Chama, N.M., then go east across Cumbres Pass to reach sites in the San Luis Valley and areas to the north.
It is anticipated closures may be more frequent during daytime hours this year as tunneling begins in earnest.
Dyer expects to be 'invigorated'
By Karl Isberg
Following a March 21 announcement by Governor Bill Owens that he had nominated Senator Jim Dyer, D-Durango, to become a director on the board of the Colorado Public Utilities Commission, Dyer expanded on his likely departure from his District 6 seat, and on his new job.
In a March 22 telephone interview, Dyer explained the move to the PUC would "invigorate" him after 15 years in the Colorado Legislature as representative of House District 59 and representing Senate District 6 - a position he won in the 1998 election.
"I needed an opportunity to revitalize myself after those 15 years," Dyer said. "This will do it. It's a huge job I'm going to; it affects so much of what we do. This is a powerful position; the commission deals with electric and phone rates, transportation, phone availability. All go through the PUC."
Dyer is used to spending time in Denver, but he says the upcoming move will "be a huge change in my life. I live in Durango and I'll commute to Denver. The commission meets weekly, and there are a variety of other meetings scheduled. I think a lot of any additional money I'll make being on the commission could be spent on airline tickets."
Owens' announcement of the nomination is the first step in the transition. While the gears grind, Dyer will serve out the remainder of the current legislative session in the Senate. That session ends May 9.
"My appointment has to be approved by the Senate," said Dyer. "Following my nomination by the governor, the nomination goes to the Senate Business Affairs Committee. If approved by the committee, the nomination goes to the floor of the Senate for a roll-call vote."
Asked about his chances with the committee and the Senate, Dyer said "They'll probably be glad enough to see me go that they'll approve the nomination."
Dyer said the approval process could be finished in two week's time. "I'll work until I resign my Senate seat at midnight, May 9. I could take the oath of office as a PUC commissioner the morning of May 10."
During his time remaining in the Senate, Dyer said he will continue to "try to get some oil and gas bills through. Plus, there are budget bills on the agenda the next week or two, and those tend to be time-consuming."
Dyer noted state Democrats "have 10 days from my resignation to appoint someone to fill my Senate seat."
While he would not speculate on who will eventually move into the position, Dyer mentioned three candidates he thought might be considered. "I would think Mike Matheson, from Durango, might be a candidate," said Dyer. "He has sat on the Oil and Gas Conservation Commission for four years, and he's a good guy. Julie Cooley of Durango and Bill Patterson, the current mayor of Montrose also come to mind. It will be an interesting process.
Chance for rain stays in area forecast
By John M. Motter
Daytime temperatures should hover between the mid-40s and mid-50s through the coming week, with several opportunities for rain or snow showers and even some thunderstorms, according to Jerry Smith, a forecaster from the National Weather Service office in Grand Junction.
"It will be partly cloudy with a chance for showers and thundershowers today, partly clearing tonight," Smith said. "Temperatures today should range between 50-55 and drop to the mid- or upper-20s tonight."
The chance for rain or snow showers continues through Friday and Saturday, Smith said, with a drying trend Sunday and Monday followed by a slight chance for showers Tuesday and Wednesday. Temperatures could dip slightly Sunday and Monday, but should climb back early next week.
Pagosa Country remains under a northwesterly flow through the weekend, caused mainly by a low-pressure area over central Canada and a high-pressure area off of the California coast, Smith said.
No precipitation dampened Pagosa Country last week, although a trace was detected Friday. High temperatures ranged from 49 degrees Tuesday up to 57 degrees Sunday. The average high temperature was 54 degrees.
Low temperatures ranged from 26 degrees Wednesday up to 32 degrees Sunday and Monday. The average low temperature remained below freezing at 30 degrees.
Sheriff offers use of home page
By John M. Motter
Archuleta County may soon have a home page and Internet access courtesy of County Sheriff Tom Richards.
Richards has offered to allow the rest of county government access to his high speed DSL Internet connection and the home page already established under the name "archuletacounty.org," according to Cathie Wilson, the county finance director.
Wilson has been delegated by the board of county commissioners to work out details so the county can take advantage of the sheriff's offer. Richards currently pays $250 a month for the services he has through Pagosa WorldWide. It is anticipated that other county elected officials will assume a proportionate share of the $250 if a plan is worked out between them and the sheriff.
Also Tuesday, the commissioners approved a request by the sheriff to fund hiring of a deputy to fill an existing vacant slot. Funds for the deputy's salary and benefits were set aside in last year's budget.
The sheriff was also authorized to purchase two, low-mileage used cars replacing two cars, each with more than 160,000 odometer miles. The sheriff's department currently has six deputies and 10 cars, according to Capt. Otis May. The two high-mileage cars will be moved to the county garage, according to Commissioner Alden Ecker.
Ecker said the $32,000 needed to purchase the two vehicles comes from the $57,270 county reserve fund, leaving only $25,270 in that fund. The commissioners refused to put the funds in the sheriff's budget during budget time last year because they said they were afraid he might spend the money for something else.
In another action related to the sheriff's department, a contract was signed with the Southern Ute Indian Tribe allowing Archuleta County prisoners to be housed in the tribe's jail at a cost of $55 per day and limited to 20 prisoners per day.
In other business Tuesday the commissioners:
- Agreed to shift weekly payroll and payable warrant activities and other routine activities to an agenda label "consent items" allowing commissioner approval without reading each item. All items on the consent agenda will be listed for public knowledge
- Agreed to waive landfill fees for Colorado Housing Inc. in connection with the construction of six new homes targeted for low-income owners in the community. Colorado Housing had also asked the county to waive road cut and culvert fees. The county postponed action on the road cut and culvert fees
- Approved a contract among the county, the Colorado Office of Emergency Management, and the U.S. Justice Department concerning certain disaster actions and funding opportunities
- Approved a proclamation establishing the Week For the Young Child in Archuleta County April 1 through April 7.
Thaw creates severe road woe
By John M. Motter
Emergency condition is how the county commissioners describe county roads damaged by water loosed recently during the annual Pagosa Country spring thaw.
Thawing snow has softened road surfaces, filled potholes with water, clogged culverts, and in some instances caused flooding, according to Gene Crabtree, chairman of the board of county commissioners.
A considerable proportion of this road degradation has taken place on Fairfield Pagosa roads recently rebuilt with funds from the Fairfield Bankruptcy settlement. Consequently, at their regular Tuesday meeting, the county commissioners announced that priority will be given to maintenance of roads in the Fairfield Pagosa subdivisions.
The emergency is the risk that guarantees provided by Weeminuche Construction Authority when it rebuilt the roads will be lost if the county fails to perform the maintenance required to keep the roads from failing because of weather-related impacts.
"We are aware of what's going on," Crabtree said Tuesday. "We've all been out looking. Alden (Commissioner Alden Ecker) lost a hubcap. We're grading now, as the roads dry out."
Other county roads requiring maintenance will also be addressed, Crabtree said. Scheduling the maintenance will be Kevin Walters, the county road superintendent, Crabtree added.
The board of county commissioners will continue to meet on roads in an effort to develop a countywide maintenance policy, Crabtree said. An attempt will be made to develop a list of roads to be maintained, when maintenance will be performed, and a description of the level of maintenance. Some roads may be graded only once or twice a year and others will receive a higher priority.
A meeting with the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association is scheduled for April 11, Crabtree said. The county is looking at working on some of the roads in Fairfield Pagosa, and the county is interested in receiving PLPOA help, maybe in the form of money with which to purchase magnesium chloride.
Magnesium chloride is a salt used to stabilize gravel road surfaces and to limit dust generation.
"In regard to the emergency," said Commissioner Bill Downey. "I'm in agreement that we need to protect the warranty on the Fairfield settlement roads. I think we need to limit the emergency to the time of the warranty. I'm not looking to adding new roads to the county road maintenance system."
No one seemed to know when the warranty would run out, but most thought it would happen this year. The commissioners agreed to do what is necessary to protect the warranty without obligating the county beyond the warranty period.
Several years ago, the county declared a moratorium on the maintenance of new subdivision roads. Since then the commissioners have been under pressure to lift the moratorium. Currently, the board of county commissioners is attempting to craft a road maintenance plan that may or may not affect the moratorium.
In a move related to road maintenance Tuesday, a contract was awarded J.E. Sutherland to crush rock at the Klett Gravel Site located near the intersection of Trujillo and Juanita roads. The contract calls for payment not to exceed $110,000 and specifying $3.75 per ton for 3/4-inch minus gravel, $3 per ton for 4-inch minus gravel, and $5,000 for mobilization. The commissioners say gravel sources nearer town are being sought in addition to the Klett site.
February building dip replaced by March surge
By John M. Motter
The number of building permits issued by Archuleta County through Feb. 28 of this year is significantly less than the number of building permits issued through February of 2000, according to an end of February report released by the Archuleta County Building Department.
But, according to the county building department, that is about to change.
"February may look slow, but March will more than make up for it," said Julie Rodriguez, of the county building permit department.
Through Feb. 28 of this year, 38 building permits of all types were issued. For the same time frame last year, 54 permits were issued. The decrease amounts to almost 30 percent.
Included among this year's housing permits are 23 for new homes, two for mobile homes, five commercial permits, and eight other permits.
Even though the total number of new permits is down, the number of commercial permits this year is five. At this time last year, no one had applied for a commercial permit.
"The commercial permits are for additions or remodeling of existing businesses," Rodriguez said. "So far, no one has applied for a permit to start a new business."
"Other" is a catch-all category involving significant changes or alterations, such as adding a porch.
During years before 2000, the number of building permits issued by the end of February were: 55 permits in 1999, 37 permits in 1998, 24 permits in 1997, 28 permits in 1996, and 54 permits in 1995.
For the year 2000, a record 563 permits with a value of $90,149,825 were issued by Archuleta County. County permit numbers do not include permits issued by Pagosa Springs.
Of the 563 permits, 326 were for single-family dwelling units with a total cost of $67,733,000, an average value of $207,770 per new housing start. During 1999 permits were issued for 233 single family dwelling units with an average value of $193,549 per new housing start.
As mayor of Pagosa Springs and chairman of the Pagosa Springs Community Facilities Coalition, I would like to make the following report to contributors and community members:
We are pleased to report that considerable progress has been made in raising funds for the construction of the Community Center during the past two years. Personal donations from within the Pagosa Springs community, have resulted in contributions of about $400,000. In addition, we have recently received a grant commitment from the state of Colorado for $500,000. These amounts, combined with land donations and other commitments, total in excess of $2,000,000.
With the estimated completion of Town Hall scheduled for late spring of 2001, we have decided to proceed to develop a full set of architectural plans involving our community center. It is also the recommendation of our fund raising committee that due to timing issues with the larger foundations and larger donors, that the coalition request the town accelerate the start of actual construction in the summer of 2001 by obtaining a low cost loan over a period of 10 years in the form of a lease purchase arrangement. The interest on this loan would be in the neighborhood of 5 percent. The town would pay approximately $220,000 annually from the existing town capital improvements fund toward this lease purchase arrangement. There would be no increase in tax rates as a result of this action. The use of the town's capital improvements funds should not inhibit other needed capital projects.
This makes sense as the cost of construction is predicted to escalate at more than 9 percent a year. I also suspect that the timing issues of the larger foundations, who are positive about our projects, may in fact be negatively affected short term by the significant downturn in the stock market. So, while the funds will be forthcoming, it is our decision not to wait and incur higher future building costs.
The fundraising committee will continue its efforts with larger donors, foundations and with others in the community who have not yet pledged to this worthy project. I would expect to raise an additional $500,000 to $700,000 or more through these sources by the spring of 2002.
So you see, with the town of Pagosa Springs supporting our endeavor to have a community center building and with the hard work of our fundraising committee, this dream will become a reality in the near future.
Soliciting our youth with literature of any kind when they get on or off the bus is un-American and unethical. It's not the place or time. Putting our kids through a gauntlet of solicitors as they get off the bus is absolutely a forceful way. If it walks like a duck, talks like a duck . . . When you get through their exaggerations and rhetoric concerning the impressionistic ways of 12-year-olds at our middle school, the solicitors have no argument for their despicable actions. They avoided the issue of solicitation and have tried to make it a religious one. They are cowards that won't solicit the parents and found easier targets in our children.
The First Amendment though protects them to make fools of themselves. To solve the problem the sidewalks should be made school property. It is good to know I can go protest and pass out literature on Hot Springs Boulevard this summer as to the inaccessibility of the Pagosa Spring to the disabled.
My daughter just moved to Pagosa Springs this past weekend. I live in Canada and your newpaper on-line helps me feel closer to her. You have a nice little town.
I wished the downtown Web camera worked. Maybe later it will.
I hope my daughter and son-in-law and granddaughter will be happy in your town. This is their first "apt" on their own.
Thanks for having a newspaper on-line.
In the dark of the night on March 17, while volunteering at the Casino Royale, I stranded my car in the mud just off the crowded parking lot. I rushed inside, forgetting my car for the moment, to do something positive for my community. Toward evening's end, I begged assistance of some finely dressed Colorado Mounties. One replied that he didn't want to get his shiny boots dirty. The others vowed they would find help, and then escaped into the crowd, never to be seen again. While I pondered the meaning of "to protect and serve," who to my wondering eyes should appear? Not a winch-bearing woods-sharing, staunch mountaineer, but a truck-driving, mud-sliding, "Miss" volunteer. She deftly yanked my car from the mud. I wonder, has Rosie the Riveter replaced Dudley Do Right here in Pagosa?
The test is coming
I teach fourth grade in Dulce, N.M. With the pressure of standardized testing increasing, here is a response.
The answers were B, then A, then C - none of these. He learned to get them right. His mother was proud. His teachers smiled. His answers were right. Then there was high school and college. The answers were all still right. Law school and marriage, big car, big home, a family. Day after day, he knew what to do and what to say. And inside he was not dying. That had happened years ago. That tight, promising bud within him, the essence of who he was and all he had to offer simply never unfolded. He never even imagined it was there.
Imagined. Dreamed. Hoped. Created. Dangerous words for a fourth-grade teacher working under the gray cloud of standardized testing. Think about what I want you to think about. Learn the right answers. State tests are coming.
Sputnik launched, gave Russia the lead in the space program. Enter Japan, West Germany and others outperforming us in automotive and high-tech industries. Political leaders named schools the source of the problem. We need a skilled, educated workforce, able to compete in our global economy.
And so the test. What students need to know to be productive members of our society will be tested, will be taught - at a younger and younger age. Forget the reality of a child's intrinsic motivation to create, expressed in arts, movement, involvement in nature and personal expression through writing. Time is precious. The test is coming.
Time indeed is precious. Daily the children in my classroom grow and are either honored for the individual expression of who they are or for learning to darken the correct circles. The answers are B, then A then C - none of these.
Dare I ignore that tightly closed bud containing the essence of who these children are? Can I daily teach to test questions, sacrificing the creative potential of each child? "Art is the signature of man," said G.K. Chesterton. Whatever it takes, I must allow my children the freedom of learning to sign their own names.
Sometime in early February while having potluck at a friend's home, I developed some sort of stupid reaction from the wine or company and calling 911 was mandated. The EMT's arrived in good time and the three were a perfect team. Tony Rackham, our erstwhile science teacher who is at this time a basic EMT; Joshua Lornzen, an EMT intermediate who was just honored at Mercy Hospital as employee of the month; and the most impressive leader of the threesome, Rod Richardson, paramedic.
How fortunate for our community to now have Rod as operations manager of Emergency Medical Services.
A taste of home
Kudos, for the new look on your Web site! Makes it much easier on these "over-30" eyes to read!
Thanks again for providing a taste of home. It is especially gratifying to be able to see pictures of mountains, snow, and an occasional face that is familiar.
I'd also like to pass along a "Congratulations" to Monette Jefferson ("Miss Jeff" to that early cheerleading squad) on her survival for all these years! The things she had to put up with! Also to Butch Madrid, local guy making good and contributing to the old home town instead of moving on to other (greener is questionable) pastures.
Regarding the soliciting of students, perhaps it's been discussed in other forums, but has it occurred to those of you who are clamoring for an ordinance or legislation against this sort of thing to maybe take the time and show up where kids congregate? Then you would have the opportunity to discuss the issues directly instead of going through a legislative maze which will get "committeed" to death and be forgotten by the time Michael Jordan releases his new model tennis shoe. Just a thought from the flatlands.
Pam (Formwalt) Strunk
The Colony, Texas
Clarence E. Tubb, 87, a resident of Albuquerque, N.M., since 1990, died Sunday, March 25, 2001.
He is survived by his sons, Gary Tubb and wife, Susan of Seabrook, Texas, John Tubb and wife, Patricia of Los Alamos, N.M.; daughters Susan Woy and husband Rod of Albuquerque, Karen Bryant and husband, Gary of Edgewood, N.M.; brother, Irvin Tubb and wife, Leah of Grass Valley, Calif.; 12 grandchildren and their spouses; and 13 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife, Dorothy H. Tubb and by a grandchild, Brandt Tubb, four brothers and a sister.
Mr. Tubb attended First Baptist Church in Tijeras, N.M. He was a member of the Masonic Lodge of Kirkwood, Mo. Services were scheduled at 10 a.m. today (March 29) at First Baptist Church in Tijeras. Interment was to follow at Sandia Memory Gardens in Albuquerque. Pallbearers were Gary and John Tubb, Jim and Roy Neil, Rod Woy, Garry Bryant, Jeff Pierce, Jim Payne and Louie Bryant.
Memorial contributions may be made to Alzheimer's Association, 1330 San Pedro NE, Suite 205, Albuquerque, N.M. 87110.
By Richard Walter
Having faced three New Mexico Class 4A teams and with Class 5A Durango's junior varsity next in line, Pagosa Pirates baseball coach Tony Scarpa is looking for some silver linings.
One might be the snow melt which has taken place in the past week.
"We can actually see the field now," he said, "and I think with any luck it will be ready for at least some practice by the end of spring break."
And practice is what Scarpa feels his team needs.
"We've been working in a batting cage indoors and not seeing the ball come to the plate the full distance. Some of our hitters have picked up the ball more readily than others. We need some time looking at a variety of pitches coming from 60 feet, 6 inches and at full speed."
Secondly, the coach said, "We have to get over the habit of having a bad inning and then collapsing. We have a lot of potential on this team. We just have to capitalize on it."
At Bloomfield last week, the Pirates lost 10-4 with eight of those runs coming in two innings. Bloomfield got to pitcher Ronnie Janowsky for three in the first and five more in the third inning. Nine of the 10 runs were earned.
Pagosa got its four runs on only three hits, two of them by shortstop and leadoff man Justin Kerns and the other by Janowsky - all singles. The Pirates were aided by wildness on the part of the Bloomfield pitchers - Ross Wagle, for example, drew three walks.
But Pagosa was unable to capitalize with men on base. Eleven Pirates struck out in the game, most of those coming with men on base.
A second game was halted because of darkness with Pagosa leading 5-3 behind the pitching of Brandon Charles, making his first appearance of the season after having played in the state basketball quarterfinals. He gave up three runs on three hits and struck out three.
Scarpa said the team showed signs of coming together as a group, but the players still need to develop a belief in themselves.
Positive factors from the performance included two hits from freshman catcher Ben Marshall, Darin Lister (who also played on the basketball team) getting his first hit of the season, doubles from Janowsky, Larry Lopez and Charles, a single by Wagle and only one strikeout.
Playing Thursday afternoon at Piedra Vista High School in Farmington, however, the Pirates never found a chance.
"We played the best high school team I've ever seen," Scarpa said, "and we were down 5-0 in the first inning with Jarret Frank having faced eight batters and not recording an out."
Lister came on in relief and allowed one more run, charged to Frank, to score in the inning. He, however, met the Piedra Vista furor in the second.
The first 10 hitters connected for six singles, three doubles and a triple before the first out was recorded and the score had mounted to 19-0 after two innings.
The Pirates got two runs back in the top of the third, but Piedra Vista came back with five more against Lister and Wagle in the bottom of the frame. That 23-2 lead produced the mercy rule and the game ended there.
Scarpa said the Durango junior varsity, which the Pirates meet in Durango at 3 p.m. Tuesday, probably could beat their varsity on some days. "Last year," he said, "These kids were the best freshman team Durango had fielded in years."
Scarpa said one good thing that can be said about the early season losses to bigger schools is that "we've faced some really good pitching and I don't think we'll see anyone that good in our league."
In fact, Scarpa said, "I can't wait for league play to begin. I think we have some outstanding performances waiting to happen. We'll be OK as soon as we learn we can win."
That league season begins for the Pirates on Saturday, April 7, with a home double header scheduled against Centauri, the first tilt to begin at 11 a.m.
Sharp times reported in Wolf Creek Fun Run
Wolf Creek Ski Area held the ninth in its 2000-01 Fun Race Series on March 24.
Top woman's time for the day was 28.85 seconds recorded by Hannah Steffens of Monte Vista. Top overall time for the day was 28.31 recorded by Duncan Cullman of Santa Fe competing in the men's 51-60 bracket.
In the girls and women's races, Kaylie Ray, Shannon Rogers and Kelli Florick, all of Pagosa Springs had the top times in the girls 6-to-8 bracket with marks of 52.80, 53.77 and 3:27.0 respectively. Alexa Midgley of Pagosa Springs won the girls' 9- to 11-year-old race with a time of 41.44 seconds.
In the girls 15-to-17 bracket, Steffens was first and Sarah Wamporas second with 32.84. In the 18-20 bracket, Kat Daggett of Denver had a 33.55.
Traci Doovd of Pagosa Springs finished first in the women's 21-to-25 division with a time of 29.29. Andrea Levonius finished second in 34.90.
In the women's 26-to-30 division Kendrah Henning and Sarah White were first and second respectively with times of 33.55 and 36.38. In the 41-50 bracket, Sharon Albonico was first in 49.87 and Pamela Novack second at 56.40.
In the 51-60 bracket, Carrie Weisz of Pagosa Springs was first in 33.56, Joanna McIlhenny of Los Alamos second in 42.26 and Lynda Van Patter of Pagosa Springs third in 44.83.
Men's race results
Shay Mankiewicz won the boys 3-5 bracket with a time of 39.98. In the boys 6-to-8 bracket Curtis Eggleston of Durango was first in 38.44, M. Gates of Kansas second at 49.94 and Alex Worker of Texas third in 52.30
Mike Mundy won the boys 9-to-11 bracket in 32.53. Jonathan Boltuch was second at 39.04 and Joey Bergman of Pagosa Springs third (time not reported).
In the boys 12-14 category, Phillip Wampold was first in 30.64, Matt Hurst second in 36.82 and Andrew Boltuch third in 36.91. Deane Salegery won the boys 15-to-17 race with a time of 28.86. Thomas Hampton of Pagosa Springs was second at 32.01 and Jonathon Subo of Oklahoma third in 33.38.
Eric Suave of Cancun was first in boys 18-to-20 with 28.93. Rodney Roso of Kansas was second in 34.66 and Jason Dalrymple of Pagosa Springs third in 39.14.
Adam Deba was first in the 21-to-25 race with a time of 32.51, followed by Seth Watkins in 33.84.
Ben Levonius of San Antonio won the men's 26-to-30 race with a time of 30.62. Craig Hall was second in 31.88 and Kevin Gates of Kansas third in 32.43.
Gary Smith of Albuquerque was first in men's 31-to-35 with 30.16. Matt Weisz of Pagosa Springs was second in 30.64 and Duke Eggelston of Durango third in 32.54.
Brian Burgan of Santa Fe was first in the men's 36-40 with a time of 29.44. Daren Mundy was second in 31.20 and Dan Madrid third in 31.84.
Robert Sparks of Pagosa Springs captured the men's 41-50 bracket with a time of 32.89.
Cullman was first in the men's 51-to-60 division followed by Albert Zamora of Farmington in 31.39 and Glenn Van Patter of Pagosa Springs in 32.52
Sam Selters of Center won in the men's 61-and-over race in 28.32 followed by Bryan Lemon of Pagosa Springs in 29.92 and Dick Bond in 33.38.
PeeWee grapplers will host tourney April 7
Pagosa's PeeWee wrestlers attended their fourth tournament on March 17 in Cortez. Due to poor weather conditions, only nine wrestlers made the trip.
In division two at 55 pounds, Levi Wilkins placed first and Cody Snow took second. In division three, Thayne Sanford placed third at 80 lbs., and, in the 70 lbs. bracket, Shelby Chavez placed fourth.
In division four, Robert Rader placed second in his bracket; Steven Smith placed second at 60 lbs., and Victoria Espinosa took fourth at 60 lbs.
On March 24, Pagosa wrestlers traveled to Bayfield. In the 40 lb. bracket for division one, Christopher Rivas placed second and Lane Chavez took third.
Division two wrestlers were our largest group, with George Stevens fourth at 45 lbs., and E.J. Romero third at 50 lbs. In the 55 lb. bracket, Cody Snow took second, Levi Wilkins placed fourth, Michael Rivas was first and Austin Miller placed third.
In division three, Waylon Lucero placed first at 65 lbs. At 70 lbs., Jordan Valdez took third, and Shelby Chavez placed second. Justin Johnson placed second at 85 lbs.
Robert Rader ruled his bracket once again placing first in Bayfield for division four. In the 60 lb. bracket, Steven Smith took second and Victoria Espinosa placed fourth. Gabe Gallegos took first at 105 lbs.
All of Pagosa's division five wrestlers placed, with Joe Stoddard taking second at 80 lbs., Tony Poma placed third at 80 lbs., and Shane Martinez taking second at 120 lbs.
Pagosa will be hosting our own tournament April 7. Table and concession stand workers are needed. To volunteer, please contact Lori Lucero, Chris Valdez, or LeRoy Lattin. Come down to the Junior High Gym on April 7 and see these young athletes compete.
Twin posts keyed Lady Pirates' drive to state
By Richard Walter
It would come as no surprise to their foes that Pagosa's Lady Pirates' basketball team, which finished fourth in the state, was led in scoring by the junior duo of Ashley Gronewoller and Katie Lancing.
The two post players, 6-foot-3 and 6-foot-1 respectively, scored 793 points for Pagosa during the recently completed season. Gronewoller averaged 17.56 points per game and Lancing 14.56.
Two other players, senior guard Meigan Canty and senior power forward Tiffanie Hamilton, scored in excess of 100 points for the season. Canty had 142 and averaged 5.64 points per game and Hamilton had 120 and averaged 4.80 points per game.
Hamilton was the team's assist leader with 83, and was third in total rebounds with 185, 103 at the offensive end to keep rallies alive.
Lancing was far and away the top free throw shooter on the team despite her year-ending slump at the state tournament. For the season she hit on 109 of 155 from the line for a .703 percentage. She also had 116 defensive rebounds, second only to Gronewoller's 124. And she led the team in steals with 83 followed by sophomore Shannon Walkup with 53 and Hamilton with 51.
Gronewoller also led in blocked shots with 56, followed by Hamilton with 17, Lancing with 13 Walkup with 5, Canty with 2 and junior guard Joetta Martinez with 1.
Ladies hope to become offensive
By Richard Walter
The Pagosa Springs Lady Pirates, struggling to put their offense in motion in the early season, take their soccer show on the road Tuesday to face Center on the latter's home field. Game time is 4 p.m.
Finding a playable surface has been a problem for coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason's crew, but warm spring break weather has removed most of the snow from the home practice field and team members hope to use it next week.
The Ladies dropped a league tilt to Telluride on a neutral field in Cortez Thursday. The score was reported to be 5-0 but attempts to reach Kurt-Mason for game details were unsuccessful. The game, originally scheduled as a home game for the Lady Pirates, had been snowed out in Cortez the previous weekend.
Pagosa is scheduled to stay on the road after the Center tilt with a game in Telluride at 3 p.m. April 6. But, as of Tuesday, the Telluride field was reportedly still unplayable and new snow was falling in the community that morning.
Telluride, defending league champion, like Pagosa, has been forced to conduct most of its practice indoors.
The potential first home game for Pagosa, field conditions permitting, would be a 4 p.m. tilt Saturday, April 7, against Bayfield which is fielding a team of its own for the first time this year. Ignacio and Bayfield had a combined squad playing under the Ignacio banner last year.
Visitor Center data reflects a busy area
I like to think that I "walk the talk" - or is it "talk the walk" - or, oh whatever - I like to think I'm good for my word. I have said for a number of years that my door is always open, and that I'm happy to listen to new ideas, criticisms and/or suggestions from members and guests alike.
John Porter was in the other day and was good enough to suggest that I reinstate reporting Visitor Center traffic and request statistics, and I am delighted to comply. I, frankly, had discontinued that practice because John Motter does a far superior in-depth report and analysis with the retail sales figures, but since John doesn't have these other figures, I'll be happy to pass them along.
I'm grateful to Johnny P. for the suggestion.
Since we haven't done this for quite a spell, I'll begin by giving the 2000 year-end figures, which are positive and telling about the year. Morna sent 4,392 vacation and relocation packets which represents a 48 percent increase over the 1999 totals. This is rather remarkable when you consider that in these days of information access via the Internet, folks clearly still require something tangible in their hands when making decisions about vacation or relocation choices. Ski requests totaled 749; 3,074 requests were made for summer vacation information and 569 folks were considering relocating in Pagosa. We received 608 of those requests by e-mail, 3,090 over the phone, 670 referrals from Woodall's Campground Directory and 24 from the AAA Colorado-Utah Tour Book.
In January and February of this year, Morna sent around 300 a month, so it's a little early yet to see any trends.
Visitor Center traffic increased 3 percent in 2000 with 42,553 bodies entering our doors looking for information about all things Pagosa. Our Colorado neighbors once again garnered top number honors with 7,568 gracing the VC. Not surprisingly, our Texas friends came in with a close second of 7,284, and New Mexico folks numbered 3,254.
You can be sure that both Texas and New Mexico figures include a lot of snow seekers, and we certainly accommodated them with plenty of the white stuff this year. Arizona and Oklahoma occupied fourth and fifth place respectively with 1,735 and 1,684. I always find it interesting to check out our "out of country" figures for the year: 261 from Jolly Old England, 143 from Canada, 201 from Germany and 711 in the "Other" category.
There you go, John. Thanks again for asking.
Members Per Capita
While we're about the business of numbers, I think you might be interested to know that as of the end of December 2000, our little Chamber had more members per capita than any town/city in Colorado.
We can thank Morna for gathering those figures after visitors repeatedly told us that they had heard that we did indeed have more members per capita. Morna decided to conduct her own poll and subsequently spent a lot of hours on the phone to find the truth.
We were and are delighted with the results and hope to maintain that enviable status for a long time to come. Winter Park, Creede, Silverton and Ouray are next in line. Top five cities for numbers of members are Denver, Colorado Springs, Boulder, Pueblo and Grand Junction.
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 a.m.- 5 p.m. Mountain Standard Time) 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.
You still have time to bring in your non-perishable food items for the Curves for Women "Food for Friends" annual drive. Until the end of the month, you can bring your items to the Visitor Center or Curves for Women behind the Hogs Breath. Donation targets this year are Casa de los Arcos Senior Housing, Social Services, Victim Assistance and local church food banks. You can call Kathryn at Curves, 731-0333 with questions
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 the thrift store, 264-UPHM, for information and assistance.
Congrats to Zach Nelson and crew on their production of "Coping" which debuted at The Cabaret at the Lodge in the lounge at Pagosa Lodge last Friday night. Three very talented individuals carried the entire show and did a wonderful job with dance, song and humor. The airplane sequence is simply priceless. Jaxon Quick, Tara Slover and Susanna Ninichuck star, and Susanna choreographed the show. "Coping" will reappear in April, May and June. "Elvis at Sixty" starring Zach Nelson, Brynn Mackensen, Elizabeth Honan and Nora Fabris will premier this Friday and Saturday at the Cabaret with five more performances throughout April, May and June. Please call 731-6020, 731-4141 or 731-3500 for more information about dates. All performances begin at 7:30 p.m., and tickets are $8.
This Saturday from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. plan to attend the Pagosa Springs Arts Council Garage Sale at the Town Park Gallery. You'll find bargains aplenty and refreshments awaiting you. You are invited to donate your tax-deductible items for the sale and can drop them off today from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. For more information or to request a pick-up of your donations, please call 264-5020.
We have two new members to introduce this week, one upgrade and five renewals. We love our new and renewed members.
Cindy LeVrier joins us with the Four Corners Business Journal located at 1315 Main Avenue, Suite 307, in Durango. The FCBJ is a weekly business publication with a readership of 35,000. This publication features in-depth stories, special reports, press releases, healthy living quarterly, senior living quarterly, technology quarterly, oil and gas quarterly, economic development quarterly and acts as a business resource guide. You can reach these folks at 385-7883 to learn more about the Four Corners Business Journal.
Our second new member this week is Christie L. Anderson, managing broker, with Northern New Mexico Real Estate Inc. located at 1512 Hwy. 17 in Chama, N.M. Christie joins us as a Real Estate Associate with the first Quality Service Certified Real Estate office in New Mexico. Christie and her associates are prepared to help you with all your real estate needs. You can call them at (505) 756-2196.
Our upgrade this week is W.L. (Bill) Bishop with Bishop Real Estate locate in Chama.
Bishop Real Estate/The Bishop Team are Exclusive Buyers Agents. They represent the buyer exclusively. Discover the difference with Bishop Real Estate. Give Bill a call at (505) 756-2363 to learn how he can help you with your purchase.
Renewals this week include Marcia and Rick Kraus with Dancing Winds Lodge located at 101 Kleckner Lane; Carol Anderson with CPR Title Pagosa Springs located at 2035 West Hwy. 160, No. 108; Kim Smith Flowers with the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad at 500 Terrace Avenue in Chama and Valerie Ann Green with Canyon Crest Lodge located in Martinez Canyon. Many thanks to one and all - we do indeed appreciate each and every one of you.
Recovering friends may be back soon
We are happy to learn that Carlo and Lee Carrannante may be able to return to their home soon, and also that Mary Lucero expects to be released from the Albuquerque hospital and return to Pagosa soon. Mary Archuleta fell on her way to the Senior Center a couple of weeks ago and hasn't been able to join us since. Ted Cope also had a fall a few weeks back and is up and around but has only been back to eat with us once since she is still sore. We have missed these folks and pray for their continued recovery.
Many folks enjoy putting jigsaw puzzles together but don't know what to do with the puzzles once they tire of working on them. Our seniors really enjoy working on the ones set out at the Center so we are asking for donations of complete puzzles (no missing pieces). Contact Payge or Musetta, or bring them by the Senior Center, if you wish to make a donation.
Also, if anyone has one or two nice living room chairs they would like to donate to the Center, we would really appreciate it. Two of our four chairs have broken down, so we really need new seating.
Norma Richardson is our Senior of the Week - congratulations, Norma! We are happy to honor such a faithful member.
Our memberships in the Archuleta Senior Citizens Inc. just keep increasing in value - we are proud to announce that the Pagosa Veterinary Clinic has offered a 20 percent discount on their services to our members. Thanks!
The House Appropriations Committee and state Senate are considering House Bill 1079, which would provide extra state funding to support senior needs (as was provided last year for the first time). In the past Colorado has only provided 5 percent matching funds (which is required by law) to the Federal Older Americans Act funding, whereas most states contribute a much higher percentage of matching funds. Though House Bill 1079 would only be for this year, we very much need for these funds to be included in the state budget so we could depend on receiving them on a regular basis (they help fund our Tuesday meals as well as fund meals-on-wheels for shut-ins). Please let Senator Dyer, Representative Mark Larson, and any other senators and representatives you may come in contact with, know that we really appreciate their support of this bill and would really appreciate it if this funding could be made a permanent part of the budget.
Don't ever let anyone say you have no talent
Every once in a while someone asks how I got started writing this column.
They want to know if I've always written, or did I study English or journalism or some related subject. The answers are nope, and nope.
The truth is, I studied biology back in the dark ages. Not much writing skill needed there.
I even used that biology degree. For about six months I worked for a professor at my college. He was pursuing research in amino acids, using the infamous E. coli, that bacterium that lives in everybody's intestines. The bug that sometimes gets into hamburgers and makes people way sick. Or worse.
I got pretty good at growing E. coli in test tubes and at estimating how many of the little critters were in a test tube. It's not too technical. Basically you shake up the tube and hold it up to the light. You guess the population of culture by how murky the solution looks. Seriously.
Sometimes I worked with salmonella. That's another nice little bug that can make people very sick. Especially if they leave the potato salad out in the hot sun for a few hours at the annual church picnic.
The work involved trying to find mutations of bacteria that could or couldn't (after almost 40 years I can't remember exactly which it was) manufacture a certain amino acid. I'd spread the bugs out on petri dishes and irradiate them. The radiation would create mutations, some of which would grow into colonies on the medium in the petri dish.
The E. coli colonies were just round white slimy-looking blobs, but the salmonella - ah, those colonies were a beautiful dark pink color. Rich-looking. Just like the fish.
Every once in a while I grew salmonella in my refrigerator. Not on purpose, of course. I'd find it in some plastic container that had gotten lost in the back, on a lower shelf, and been left happily to its own devices for several weeks. Or months.
"Oh, look," I'd cry, prying off the lid and surveying the pink-spotted contents. "Salmonella! Look, kids." And our poor children would be forced to put down the Uno cards and admire the poisonous colonies before I consigned the contaminated food to the garbage grinder.
Biology requires you to write reports, but it's all strictly factual. No embellishments, nothing creative. Just the facts, ma'am.
My second career was doing research in the field of historic preservation.
Find out everything I could about a building - who built it, who owned it, what the owners did for a living, how many children they had - dry data like that. Then write it up. And have at least two sources of information to confirm any statements I made.
Again, just the facts, ma'am.
Actually, English classes, in both high school and college, were tortuous times for me. Not learning the rules of grammar; that was fun. But remember book reports? Remember having to come up with your own poetry?
Remember those deadly questions like, "What is the theme of this book?" How the heck should I know?
That question still makes me squirm. After the movie at the monthly Film Society showing, John Graves asks, "What is the theme of this movie?" I'm right back in Miss Peterson's senior English class. I want to hide under the desk. I want to be invisible. I'm praying she won't call on me.
The best thing about English in college was that I only had to take it for one year. The first assignment wasn't so hard. We had to describe something.
I chose my desk lamp. Got in a few good metaphors and similes. The paper received an A.
After that it was all downhill.
After the next few assignments, my professor gave me this devastating evaluation. "I can't understand it," he told me. "You write so beautifully, and you say absolutely nothing."
Now, there's a way to ensure someone won't seek a career with her pen! I didn't write anything but letters to my parents for years afterward. At least they weren't going to criticize me.
Sometimes we don't realize the power of words. Remember the nursery rhyme,
"Sticks and stones can break my bones, but names will never hurt me"? Want to bet?
Recently I told a couple of friends about that English teacher's cruel statement. Turns out similar things happened to them when they were young.
One of them heard continually from her friends and family that she couldn't sing. Couldn't carry a tune in a bucket. As a result, she grew up afraid to open her mouth.
It wasn't until she was an adult and her husband said, "You have a sweet voice," that she began to trust herself to sing. He's right; she does have a sweet voice. What a shame that nobody got to hear it for such a long time.
The other friend was told she had no artistic talent. That she couldn't draw a straight line to save her life. That kind of thing. As though straight lines were the sum total of art. Who looks at the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel and admires the straight lines?
Recently my friend bought herself some paints and brushes. She's signed up for a class in how to use them.
I say, "Right on!"
Single parents need to prepare for border crossings
When Sue Passant, San Juan Outdoor Club president, called me last Thursday to point out my error on the announcement of the club's next meeting, I was first horrified; then deeply contrite. I'm pretty good at visualization, and my mind went to work immediately. I saw people waiting outside the Parish Hall at 7 p.m. . . . waiting patiently. If this scenario did happen, please forgive me.
The much-anticipated SJOC meeting featuring Colonel Barth as the program is scheduled for April 5 at 7 p.m. at the Parish Hall. This date is correct. I've checked and double-checked. Colonel Barth will share, through slides and narration, the fascinating tales of his mountainous ascents, the most impressive of them being his successful journey to the top of Mount Everest in 1999. The meeting and program is open to the public.
With the growing number of single-parent households in the U.S., more families could face disappointment at the border. To make sure immigration doesn't put the kibosh on your vacation, bring a notarized letter of consent from your child's other parent anytime you travel internationally. Parents with full custody should bring papers with them, and widowed parents should bring their spouse's death certificate.
New legislation sponsored by Senator Harry Reid, D-N.V., would require children under 14 to get written permission from both parents before getting a passport. The new law is designed to prevent international child abductions. Already, many foreign countries require single parents traveling with children to provide written permission from the other parent before the child crosses the border, though many travelers, particularly to Canada and Mexico have been caught unawares at the airport.
Spring skiing or boarding can be some of the most enjoyable time on the mountain. The sun is warm and the snow is soft and fast. On Wednesday, April 4, the Wolf Creek Ski Area will host its last local appreciation day of the season. Life ticket prices are greatly discounted.
Wolf Creek Ski Area will close Sunday, April 8. To close with its usual fanfare, there will be the annual costume contest beginning at noon on the deck of the main Wolf Creek Lodge (weather permitting - or inside if it's snowing hard). Contestants will need a current lift ticket, a great costume and some pre-contest effort and creativity. The grand prize, a season pass, will go to two winners - one adult and one child 12 and under. Come join the fun.
Reading: Skill most essential to success
Our libraries play a vital role in helping people connect with all of the information resources they need to learn and grow. Libraries offer programs to expose children to the joy of reading. We trust that children and their families view librarians as friends available to answer questions and offer a safe and friendly place where learning and reading are fun.
Reading - it's the skill most essential to a successful life and career. You can't use a computer without knowing how to read. You can't do math without knowing how to read. Following recipes, fixing cars, building houses, and getting through a pregnancy . . . how much easier these tasks become if one can read. It has to start with the children.
This year, National Library Week coincides with the "Week of the Young Child" - a week dedicated to celebrating children, families, and the people and organizations that provide services to children.
You will be reading more about the proposed activities elsewhere, but we want to emphasize Library Story Day on April 5. Volunteers will be telling stories, reading and doing finger plays 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. This is an open invitation to come to the library and celebrate the joy of reading.
Call Amy Hill at 731-9152 for more about other activities.
Each year, the American Library Association comes up with a theme for National Library Week. "Get Connected at the Library," has been the theme for several years - the emphasis on connecting to the Internee. In reality, our library is one big computer, one big database. "Get Connected" can mean many things.
While we have some computers for public use, and we marvel at what we can find on-line, we have many more ways to get reliable information on almost any subject thanks to the expert research skills of our staff. You could spend hours trying to find information on an obscure subject, or you can come to the library and ask an expert to help find the answer more quickly. And you don't have to pay an Internee Service Provider for the time involved.
National Library Week gives us the opportunity to brag about the honors we continue to receive. The staff, volunteers, board members and friends have all worked hard these many years to provide an outstanding facility for your enjoyment. Organizations and individuals continue to donate money to our book endowment. This kind of support generates other benefits for us.
We just received word we've been chosen to receive another 60 volumes of the Library of America classic series. I'll be writing more about these as the books arrive.
We're anxiously awaiting news on two other grants we are fairly sure we will receive. These will help fund electronic activities. One grant will make our collection "Web-based." This means you will be able to search our holdings at home on your computer. You may request us to hold books for you, and get inter-library loans ordered right on-line. I marvel when I think how far we've come from the basement of the Methodist Church back in the 1800's.
In the meantime we just received word that the State Legislature has issued checks to all libraries qualifying for state funding. We'll receive over $3,600 to buy books. This is the first time the state of Colorado has funded any type of public library services. We personally have worked on getting this done for many years. Please take the time to thank Jim Dyer and Mark Larson for their part in bringing about this support for books and reading.
Doors open and close
Our library is a training ground from which we send forth very special librarians. It is with truly mixed blessings that we now send our Mary Loudermilk to be the Assistant Director of the Ignacio Public Library.
Mary and Baby Eva will not have to make that long arduous trip from Bayfield to Pagosa anymore. Mary invites all of her good friends to stop in and see her in Ignacio. We expect to have close ties to our "sister" library over the hill.
So, in closing, help us celebrate reading next week and forever, no matter where you are. Celebrate by touching the life of a child so that he or she will always know the joy of discovery through reading. Remember that It starts with the children!
Litter question: Do beer drinkers read?
Late March is a good time to visit the Texas Hill Country for the bluebonnets and the Indian paintbrush are beginning to pop up; a beautiful sight.
I have relatives who winter in Mason, a small town smack dab in the center of the Texas Hill Country. They are willing to put up with me for two weeks every spring, so I go down and follow them around. This time my hostess was on a rampage. People were littering the roadsides with beer cans and she'd just picked up 100 cans in a three and one half mile stretch of the road where she lives. She's pretty good at math and had worked up some statistics: 100 cans a week, 400 cans a month adds up to 4,000 cans in 10 months. Hoping that I could help the situation and make brownie points, I wrote a 148-word letter to the Mason County News, quoting her stats and shaming Mason County for not living up to its motto, "Don't Mess With Texas."
The editor was delighted and thanked me profusely. My letter was his only Dear Editor letter that week and he printed it in a prominent place. But only one person has acknowledged reading it, and beer cans still litter the road, which makes me wonder if beer drinkers read newspapers!
My hostess worries that the garbage collectors will think that she's drinking all of that beer, so she's considering leaving them a note: "I do not drink beer; I only pick up the cans."
Her sister-in-law's brother, a science teacher, has this to say about the beer cans: "If the beer is cheap then it's the locals; if the tabs are off then it's the kids, for they play with the tabs; if it's expensive beer like Coors and Millers, then it's tourists and hunters."
One of my dreams has been to go on a safari, and I got close to doing so, only it wasn't in Africa and I didn't use a gun. I was a "non hunter." As a matter of fact we were all non hunters touring the 10,000-acre Fort McKavett Ranch that provides exotic hunts as well as traditional whitetail and turkey hunts. The animals are kept apart by slews of gates. I had counted nine until I forgot to count; it was more interesting to look for the exotic animals. Bouncing over the free-ranging ranch land consisting of oak motts, mesquite and prickly pear flats and cedar breaks, while stretching our necks to see what we could see, was a game in itself. A Russian hog (I think that is what he was) kept running alongside of the truck. He was so ugly he was cute and I think his nose was flatter than the noses of our domestic pigs. I had the urge to reach out and pet him, but the truck pulled away and I lost the chance.
The biggest thrill was getting to see the most beautiful animal I have ever seen. It was a big buck. He was standing broadside on the side of a small hill some distance away. When our guide stopped the car, the buck moved so as to look straight at us and then slowly turned his head from left to right and back again. He was posing for us I felt certain.
Fort McKavett Ranch is located near Sonora, Texas, which is located near the restored Fort McKavett, one of the frontier forts built to protect the settlers prior to the Civil War.
My visit was coming to an end. All the watercress we'd picked was eaten and expensive beer cans were showing up along the roads, and I wasn't a tourist nor was I a hunter. But there was one more thing to do and that was to celebrate my birthday.
The party was held at the famous Hill Top Cafe located at Doss on U.S. 87, about 11 miles from Fredericksburg. If one didn't know about this place, one would pass it by, for it looks like an old gas station with the gas tanks still intact.
The Hill Top has been in business for 20 years and serves Cajun and Greek food, steaks and fish - lunch and dinner. It's famous in Texas, drawing people from all over the state, and it has been written about in the New York Times. Prices are moderate to expensive. Reservations are a must for evening meals. It's closed Mondays and Tuesdays and provides entertainment on Fridays and Saturdays: live blues, jazz and boogie-woogie at the piano. We lucked out for Carol Flan was still in residence. She'll be going abroad this summer to France and Germany to entertain.
And I have to tell you what I had to eat: red snapper flown in that day.
Of course I'm happy to be home but there is one thing I'll miss, the time to really read The Pagosa Springs SUN. I particularly enjoyed Karl Isberg's column on decorating. How timely this is for me - just in time to give me suggestions, for redecorating my apartment was on my mind while I was picking up cans. All I want is to cover a footstool, get a new love seat and, in particular, to get a TV that shows the University of Kentucky winning the NCAA.
Fun on the Run
We're accustomed to hearing news reports about the stock market, but how would you react if you heard this:
Helium was up, feathers were down.
Paper was stationary.
Fluorescent tubing was dimmed in light trading.
Knives were up sharply.
Cows steered into a bull market.
Pencils lost a few points.
Hiking equipment was trailing.
Elevators rose, while escalators continued their slow decline.
Weights were up in heavy trading.
Light switches were off.
Mining equipment hit rock bottom.
Diapers remained unchanged.
Shipping lines stayed at an even keel.
The market for raisins dried up.
Coca Cola fizzled.
Caterpillar stock inched up a bit.
Sun peaked at midday.
Balloon prices were inflated.
And batteries exploded in an attempt to recharge the market.
Farewell, thanks from departing VSO
Those close to the Veteran Service Office know that I am moving my family to Central Texas later this spring. This is my last week in the office and I wanted to take this opportunity to thank all county veterans for the opportunity to serve you. I love the area, the people, and the job; however, I have found that my health is not compatible with the cold weather experienced this past winter. Therefore, we must move to a warmer climate. We will return regularly during the warmer months and hope to see the many friends we have found since arriving in Pagosa Springs last summer on our return trips.
In the past nine months I have had the pleasure of meeting and assisting over 350 county veterans and their families, over 230 of those new to the County Veteran Service Office. More important than those numbers; however, are the 600 to 800 veterans I did not meet. That means they may not be taking advantage of the benefits and programs they have earned. I encourage everyone who reads this column to pass the word on to relatives, friends, neighbors, customers and acquaintances who might be veterans of military service to stop by or call the County Veteran Service Office and seek information on the benefits available to them from the state and federal VA offices.
I am being replaced by a very capable veteran by the name of Andy Fautheree. He was chosen from a field of well-qualified applicants and has the requisite background and education to carry on the traditions of the office. Please be patient with him, as you were with me, while the orientation and training process runs its course. I am confident that office operations will remain fairly normal throughout the transition.
Finally, I would like to add a personal thank you to area medical professionals who have referred many veterans to the Veteran Service Office for VA health care; volunteer drivers who have assisted veterans in making it to medical appointments; the local posts of the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars who provide invaluable services to the community; The Pagosa Springs SUN for allowing me to spread my message through the written word; and the county commissioners who have fully supported all Veteran Service Office programs.
The Archuleta County Veteran Service Office number is 264-2304, the FAX number is 264-5949, and E-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org. The office is open from 8 a.m.- noon and 1-4 p.m., Monday through Thursday, or Friday by appointment.
Bring your DD Form 214 (Discharge) for registration with the county, application for VA programs, and for filing in the Veteran Service Office.
Parelli, Lord Electric, Lucero Tire win
Adult basketball league
The adult basketball season concluded last week for both the men and women's leagues. Parelli Natural Horsemanship came away as the women's league and tournament champions. Lord Electric won the men's recreation tournament. Lucero Tire won the men's competitive tournament. Thanks to all the sponsors, team captains and players who made the season a success. A final, season-ending meeting will take place April 4 for basketball committee members. The meeting will be held at Town Hall at 6 p.m. A representative from each team needs to be present to discuss the past season.
Indoor soccer registration forms are available at Town Hall for games starting April 3 and concluding April 26. Games will be played on Tuesday and Thursday evenings with youth playing from 6-7:30 p.m. and adults from 7:30-9 p.m. (18 and over). Registration fees are $10 for youth and $15 for adults. Please call the recreation office for more information or if you are interested in officiating at 264-4151.
No teams or rosters were submitted for a women's volleyball league so due to lack of interest, there will not be a women's volleyball league this spring.
Youth baseball registration forms are available for all ages, 5-14. This year's senior league, ages 13-14 is currently registering to play in the La Plata Youth Baseball, Sandy Koufax league. The fee for this league is $50 per child and players need to sign up by tomorrow. Practices will begin the first of April, when fields are available. Games are slated to begin the first of May. Registration forms are available at Town Hall and a birth certificate is needed with the forms. Please call the recreation office at 264-4151 with any questions.
Baseball registration forms, for youth ages 6-12 are available at Town Hall and in the schools. The registration fee for this age group is $10 until April 6, after which the fee will go up to $15 until the registration deadline April 20. All bambino players, ages 10-12, are encouraged to attend group practices scheduled for April 23 and 24, weather permitting. Bambino coaches will choose their teams from these try outs on April 25. Practices will start the first of May and games will take place on Tuesday or Thursday evenings through July 4. People interested in helping coach or umpire this year's season should contact Summer at Town Hall, 264-4151.
The Town's Recreation Department is currently forming a baseball committee to facilitate this year's youth baseball season. The board's first meeting will take place on April 1 at 6 p.m. in Town Hall. Additional meetings will be held as the season progresses and at the conclusion of the season. If you would like more information, or are interested in being involved, call the Recreation Department at 264-4151.
Clinic, Rockies challenge
This year's baseball clinic will again be held in conjunction with the Colorado Rockies Skills Challenge. The clinic will take place on June 1-2. The Rockies Skills Challenge will be held on Saturday afternoon following the baseball clinic. Both events are free and no pre-registration is required.
Girl's fast pitch
A girl's fast pitch team from Pagosa Springs is currently being formed for girls ages 13-14. The league will participate in a Durango league with games starting as early as mid-May. If interested, or for more information, contact Summer in the recreation office at 264-4151.
Four Corners Cup
The first mountain bike race of the Four Corners Cup, mountain bike race point series, was held Sunday in Aztec. Over 100 people showed up to ride the new single-track course surrounding the 1948 UFO crash site. Top Pagosa finishers were Tri Metzler, second in the veteran's expert category; Holly Langford in the women's veteran's class; and Doug Call fourth in the master's category. The next race in the series will be in Farmington, at Piñon Mesa April 21. More information or registration forms can be obtained at (505) 599-1140.
Community team finds youth underserved
A group of community workers has been meeting regularly, discussing concerns about today's youth and their vital role in our community. The group consists of representation from the Department of Social Services, Family Preservation, the Fatherhood Initiative, local therapists, local school personnel, and the Victim Assistance Program.
Many ideas have filtered through the group, with the overlying premise that youth are underserved in the community and certain needs are not being met.
The group believes it is essential that students not only learn the fundamentals of math, science and English, but understand social issues as well. This could go on to include honoring diversity, skills to better conflict resolution, along with setting boundaries in friendships and relationships. It is essential for the teens to distinguish between the facts and the myths involving drugs, tobacco, alcohol use, the effects of prejudice, domestic violence, single parenting, sexual harassment, and even sexual assault. The list goes on, but it doesn't change the reality of these topics being crucial to their success.
The focus is one of solutions and prevention, addressing the core issues that lead to very serious problems. Creating safer communities and schools is a main component for not only students' improvement in learning and academic performance, but also for their lives beyond school. To make this happen, everyone can and must pitch in.
How has the group put its ideas to work?
It has formed a collaborative effort with other agencies in the community, concerned parents, members from the courts, Pathfinders' Clinic, victims of domestic violence, and Planned Parenthood. Since January, a discussion forum has been implemented for teens at the Alternative School on Monday and Wednesday mornings. A curriculum has proven successful and consists of all the topics mentioned in this article, plus more.
The forums are educational, but set in a discussion format allowing teens to talk openly and freely. The purpose is not to lecture but to learn from the facilitators and peers, thus enabling teens to be better equipped when faced with difficult decisions and choices.
As one concerned parent said, "It will make a difference if just one student is touched in a positive way by the presentations and topics discussed."
Teen issues haven't always been easy to understand and one thing that must be remembered is that we've all been there.
As a community, we need to come together and show some support. After all, to quote a famous African proverb, "It takes a village to raise a child."
Pagosa Springs can do something to help solve the problem. And it's a problem we all must solve. If you would like to be part of the solution, call me with your ideas at 264-2182, ext. 212. Let's all work together toward making our community a safer, more productive place for all youth.
Lavender horses in near dreamlike utopia
The final opportunity to catch a glimpse of Amanda Taylor's exhibit at the Pagosa Springs Arts Council gallery is fast approaching. This current display features animal acrylic paintings that take on a magical perspective. One such picture is of lavender horses existing in an almost dreamlike utopia. You can practically feel the movement of their hooves and manes as they demand your complete attention. That one is my favorite.
Be sure to check out these tale-telling creatures through April 4, at the PSAC gallery in Town Park.
Around the corner
On April 5, an opening reception for artist and gentleman Rusty Gibbs will take place from 5-7 p.m. at the PSAC gallery. A newcomer to the area, Rusty has found his southern Colorado move quite inspirational. He has created colorful and harmonious landscapes and wildlife since arriving in Pagosa. Rusty chooses to paint using a variety of mediums including acrylic, watercolor, charcoal and graphite. Rusty says, "Often times I will first lay a wet wash of color abstractly over the paper and then go in and define realistic objects within."
All are welcome to come and meet this fascinating individual at the opening of his one-man show. Watch for more tidbits on Rusty Gibbs and his work in the next Artsline.
The PSAC annual Garage Sale will be held Saturday from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. in the Town Park gallery. Please drop off all tax deductible items at the gallery today between the hours of 11 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
The PSAC would like to extend a very special thank you to Jeff Laydon for his help and guidance during the transition of officers. Also, for all of his time, leadership and hard work throughout his presidency.
Gas price slows fertilizer production
4-H Calendar of Up-Coming Events:
Tonight, March 29: Oil Painting, 4:30, Extension Office
Saturday: La Plata County Gymkhana, Bayfield
April 2: Chimney Rockers, 6:30 p.m., Extension Office
April 3: Cake Decorating Unit 3, 4 p.m. Extension Office
April 4: Leaders Appreciation meeting, 5 p.m., Extension Office
April 5: Oil Painting, 4:30 p.m., Extension Office
April 5: Dog meeting (no dogs), 6 p.m., Extension Office
April 5: Shady Pine 4-H meeting, 7 p.m., Extension Office
April 6: Colorado Mountaineers, 2 p.m., Community Bible Church
April 6: WHEP, 2 p.m., Extension Office
April 6: Goat meeting, 3:15 p.m., Community Bible Church
April 6: Rabbit project meeting, 3:15 p.m., Community Bible Church
High natural gas prices
The high price of natural gas may not only hit consumers' heating bills, it might also affect their grocery bills and the availability of Colorado-grown food. Fertilizer is made in part from natural gas and its recent climb in value leads to a number of variables that are impacting the cost of fertilizer and its availability to farmers, according to several Colorado State University Cooperative Extension specialists.
Nitrogen, a primary nutrient plants need from fertilizer, is synthesized as ammonia from natural gas, steam and air by fertilizer companies.
Because natural gas prices are so high, fertilizer plants aren't producing fertilizer; either because they can't afford the natural gas, or because it's being sold off to higher bidders for other uses. This affects farmers and horticulturists including greenhouse vegetable growers.
"It's a complex issue," said Reagan Waskom, Colorado State Cooperative Extension water specialist. "The high cost of natural gas and the lack of availability mean that some farmers may not be able to get fertilizer and those who do will have to pay more than double their usual fertilizer budget. Most farmers can't afford that mark up."
But there are alternatives for farmers, says Waskom. He's one of a team of Colorado State Cooperative Extension specialists and researchers from the university's Agricultural Experiment Station who have been delving into alternatives to commercial fertilizer for ten years.
Some of the alternatives are simple; others are more complex. But mixing them together can help farmers combat rising fertilizer costs.
"A small investment in a few farm management tools right now will pay off later in the face of high fertilizer costs," said Troy Bauder, Colorado State Cooperative Extension water quality specialist.
"For example, growers who apply a routine amount of fertilizer to a field may actually be providing more nutrients than the crop needs. A soil test can help them refine the amount of fertilizer the crop needs and reduce the amount that they apply, saving them money on fertilizer costs."
Some other options include calculating the amount of nitrogen in irrigation water or the nitrogen left in the soil by other crops, and reducing the amount of fertilizer a crop needs by that number. This strategy, called nitrogen crediting, can even help farmers identify years when a crop doesn't need fertilizer at all because it has enough nitrogen available to it from other sources that already exist.
Raj Khosla, Colorado State Cooperative Extension agronomy specialist, suggests balancing fertilizer by spending more on fertilizer for fields that usually produce more than for fields that usually have lower crop yields. Other options suggested by the team of researchers includes fertilizing with livestock manure, improving fertilizer applications for more efficiency, and paying close attention to water management when irrigating a field to get the maximum benefits from fertilizer.
The Archuleta County Extension Office is now taking orders for seed potatoes. There are two kinds available, the Sangre (red potato) and the Russet Nugget (white potato). Currently we are charging 25 cents per pound for both species. Those of you who are just starting out and are experimenting, it is our suggestion that you order 2-3 pounds of each species instead of ordering a whole lot of them. This way you can experiment and see if you like them and then order more next year. When orders arrive in at the Extension Office each person will be contacted to pick up their order. If you are interested in ordering seed potatoes please call 264-2388 or stop by the Extension Office.
The ninth annual Four Corners, Weed Management Symposium will be held April 10, at McGee Park in Farmington, N.M. Registration starts at 8:30 a.m. The course will be going over 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. The course is $15 a person by April 7, and $20 a person 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 to be planned especially for conservation planting, shelter belts, reforestation and wildlife habit enhancement.
To participate, landowners need to own at least 2 acres of land, use the seedlings purchased through the program as living plants.
The seedlings come from the Colorado State Forest Service Nursery in Fort Collins. Some species are still available; orders need to be places before March 30.
Landowners with property in Archuleta, southern Hinsdale and southwestern Mineral counties can obtain seedling ordering application from USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service or CSU Cooperative Extension Service at the Archuleta County Fair Building. Last date to order is March 30, and seedling will be available for pick up at the Archuleta County Fair Building, one day only, April 18. For more information call 264-5516.
Old fashioned care, concern and just plain hospitality often take a back seat in the hurry up world of today.
That's why we take this opportunity to salute neighbors in Durango, Silverton and Ridgway for their beyond the call help given the Pagosa Springs Lady Pirates soccer team on their recent ill-fated bus trip to Ridgway.
With state-of-the-art transportation felled by a $20 part, the young women representing Pagosa found themselves in the unenviable position of being unable to make game time, let alone make the destination itself.
With first an off-duty San Juan County sheriff's department employee coming to their aid as an escort, and then a squad car from the same department driving lead for the slow-moving, nearly disabled school bus, the girls made it to downtown Silverton.
While the driver and coaches were contacting Pagosa Springs High School for instructions, mechanics from a Silverton service station were trying to locate the cause of the bus misery.
The Durango school district, when informed of the team's plight, responded with a bus to go to Silverton, pick up the Pagosa contingent, and take them on to Ridgway.
Ridgway school officials agreed to change the game time to accommodate a much later Pagosa arrival and their team, fans and the scheduled game officials all stayed on hand for a game which finally started two hours and 49 minutes after the originally scheduled time.
When the Pagosa girls attempted to break their frustration by turning the community's main business thoroughfare into a practice field, town officials condoned the unusual conduct, warning only that it not impede vehicular traffic.
In the early days of settlement, Four Corners area communities often competed with each other for regional prestige but they always rallied to the needs of the others when tragedy loomed.
That sense of responsibility was evident again March 16. Durango, Silverton and Ridgway residents came to the need of those from Pagosa Springs.
They warrant a salute from every citizen of Pagosa Springs for rekindling the spirit of Four Corners cooperation in times of trial.
Springtime brings in some changes
Spring is the time of year when change is common in Pagosa Country.
A calm, warm, pleasant, spring morning can be followed by a blustery, snowy afternoon before an impressive alpenglow sunset ushers in a crisp, clear, star-filled nighttime sky.
So it's understandable last week would feature some notable changes in the local political climate.
Friday was the last day for County Manager Dennis Hunt to serve Archuleta County. Monday was his first day as county manager for Montrose County.
Depending on who you talked to, somewhat like spring weather, Dennis could be considered as either being agreeable or disagreeable.
Named to the position in August 1991, apparently Dennis will be remembered as being Archuleta County's first, last and only county manager.
Rather than fill the vacancy created by Hunt's departure, the current county commissioners eliminated the position of county manager and instead created the title of county administrator. Meanwhile, the commissioners agreed to split the supervisory and other responsibilities previously managed by the county manager.
Time will tell what this means for the county while it goes with management by committee.
The commissioners office went through a somewhat similar process in early 1993. At that time two commissioners changed Dennis' title from county manager to director of business services. His former managerial responsibilities were unevenly divided between the three commissioners.
Opponents to the change contended the action lacked legislative objectivity. Concerns focused on the potential for tremendous abuse of authority or the significant opportunity for favoritism. The question was raised as to whether the ones who establish the county's policies should be the ones who manage the policies.
The two proponents of the action promised their innovative decision would improve county government - improving business services, increasing operating efficiency, saving tax payers' money were the matra. They weren't what materialized.
A letter writer lamented "brace yourself Archuleta County, the party bosses are back!"
Much like spring weather, this season's climatic change in the commissioners' office will pass.
Until we see how variances, improvement agreements, permits and other regulations are handled, we won't know whether these new times are good times or hard times.
In the meantime, it's good to know Kathy Wendt continues in her role as administrative assistant in the commissioners' office. Almost a third of the way through her sixth year in the office, she is the most effective and experienced hand on board.
While it's not her role to provide leadership, when asked, she is capable of providing sound direction.
That's the scary part, sometime the folks who need them most fail to ask for directions.
Speaking of direction, Jim Dyer's positive response to a new call of duty generated mixed emotions for a lot of folks last week.
Be sure and read Jim's account on his appointment to the Public Utilities Commission. His column appears on page 8 of section 1 in this week's SUN.
The PUC's gain is Pagosa's loss.
I can't recall Jim ever doing anything stupid during his 15 years of serving in the state Legislature.
He campaigned as a Democrat.
He won the respect and support of Republicans.
As a Marine and as an elected official he typified Semper Fidelis - he was always faithful.
I look forward to once again seeing his smile walk through our office door.
That's one of the pluses of being an editor, you get to sit and talk to folks like Dennis Hunt and Jim Dyer.
Know you are loved and please keep us in your prayers. David
100 years ago
Taken from The Weekly Times of March 28, 1901
Many stockmen have turned their cattle out but it is more on the account of scarcity of hay than the fear that any range feed will go to waste. The weather will soon bring good range should it continue warm and windy, and the much starved stock will indeed be glad to see grass come.
N. Berard loaded his wagon with supplies and moved out on his ranch Monday.
Denver Latham and wife moved to their home in Blanco Basin Saturday. Denver has lately built a new house and has one of the nicest ranches in the county. May they ever live happy.
Henry Gordon came down from O'Neal Park last week and will remain a few days.
75 years ago
Taken from SUN files of March 26, 1926
Mrs. Vivian Flaugh, present incumbent, has been appointed postmaster of Pagosa Springs for a four-year term. This is her third appointment to the office and attests the efficiency of her service in that position.
Two good houses greeted the cast of the Chinese operetta, "The Feast of the Little Lanterns," produced by the High School at the auditorium on Thursday and Friday of last week. The beauty and color of stage settings, lights and costumes combined in making the entertainment not only a novelty, but were evidence of considerable hard work and diligent practice on the part of the participants - all of which are indicative of the possibilities of our local high school personnel under proper training.
50 years ago
Taken from SUN files of March 30, 1951
A group of citizens and taxpayers gathered at the High School on Monday night of this week to hear reports from committees concerning the need and possible means of a new school building. Several of the different committees were heard as well as the reports of finance and location committees. It seemed to be pretty well decided that the need for additional classroom space in town and a new building at Pagosa Junction was urgent and should be taken care of as soon as possible.
The Horne Bros. Circus will play in Pagosa Springs on Thursday, April 5, under the sponsorship of the Volunteer Firemen. Arrangements have been made for the circus tents to be set up in the Town Park and one of the big elephants will perform up town during the day.
25 years ago
Taken from SUN files of March 25, 1976
Congressman Frank Evans announced Wednesday that a grant in the amount of $42,700 has been approved for School District 50 Jt. This grant will be matched by district funds in further improvement of the school recreation complex south of town.
The pee-wee wrestling match last Thursday drew a large crowd and wrestling was certainly the order of the evening. There were four matches going practically all of the time and spectators could have seen as many as 170 matches had they watched them all.
The Pagosa Boxing Club coached by Billy Lynn and Ralph Yamaguchi will participate in an interclub bout at Dulce Friday night starting at 7:30 p.m. Saturday they will host Santa Rosa in a 20-bout match in Pagosa.
The hazards of spring come with the bright sunny skies and the desire to flee the confines of home for outdoor activities.
It's not just the strain on muscles unused during the winter months or the worn soles on the sneakers which need to be replaced that pose dangers to our citizens and visitors.
Despite the heavy snows of winter there is a threat of fire, as witnessed last week in neighboring Ignacio where a child (or children) playing with matches ignited a grass fire which consumed more than three acres before controlled.
This is spring break week for local schools, though others in the area marked the annual exodus last week.
Firefighters say this is one of the most dangerous weeks for fires every year. Some feel it is because the spring breakers are full of vim, vigor and vitality and are not attuned to the dangers of open flame in areas still at least partially covered by snow.
It seems odd, perhaps, to talk of fire and possible flooding in the same breath, but both are dangers of spring, especially when sustained warmer temperatures rush the normal snow melt.
That danger was cited last week by Doug Baugh, a weather technician for the National Weather Service in Grand Junction.
While giving us his forecast for the upcoming week, Baugh asked that we warn those taking advantage of the warm, sunny days, to beware of the dangers of rapidly rising streams fed by the early runoff.
Sometimes there's a stream where there was none before. Heavy snowpack, when melting, will create new waterways for a few days or weeks until the runoff has been completed.
These temporary streams can be real hazards to those wandering into those portions of the backcountry where they feel they'll be safe in the early weeks of spring.
Remember that very warm days can make streams rise rapidly. One that you were able to step across on your way upcountry might be a raging torrent when you come back down. Beware the possibility of flash floods if this warmth is accompanied by spring rains.
Those warnings are not given lightly.
I was reminded of one such instance last week as I read the obituary on my cousin, Lloyd James Anderson.
The occasion was an early spring outing of several branches of the family in the early 1940s with a trek up Turkey Creek to Turkey Lake. The stream was high but not overly swift on the way up and we crossed it on a single felled log without incident.
Coming back down, however, the normally docile creek had become a deep, raging torrent and the log was slippery.
You can guess who was the last in line to cross and who didn't yet know how to swim. I was leery of the log, but all the others had gone across without incident so I started over.
Then I slipped off, grabbing onto a slender branch which I was sure would break at any moment. As I clung to the branch my uncle, Kenneth Hotz, crawled out and grabbed my arm. Lloyd crawled behind him and his father, Lloyd Sr., grabbed his feet to complete a human chain which extricated me from the stream.
The next day Lloyd and Uncle Kenneth took me to "the plunge" for a swimming lesson. I learned quickly when they threatened to let me drown if I didn't. I know (I think) that they wouldn't have gone that far.
The motto, stressed by that incident and developing conditions today, should be caution. If you're going out into the wooded areas, be alert to the possibility of fire - and high water.
Do not discard lighted cigarettes! Do not leave campfires unattended! Do beware of unexpected water hazards! Do keep others informed where and when you are going so there is an area of likely location should you not return on time.
Finally, observe the rights of property owners who have their land fenced off for a reason. Seek permission before you enter private property. If it is denied, recognize the owner has a legitimate right to not want strangers wandering his or her land and take your trek elsewhere.
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NEWS ABOUT the regional science fair at Fort Lewis College earlier this month seems to be ongoing but it also illustrates one of the inadequacies of modern technology.
Last Wednesday afternoon the SUN received a fax from the college outlining the efforts of a Pagosa Springs student, a senior at the Durango school, who was one of the coordinators for the regional contest.
It would have made an interesting sidebar to the story we ran last week about the local winners and those among them who qualified for state science fair competition.
The rub is that the release was dispatched at 4:03 p.m. Friday, March 16. Old-fashioned Native American smoke signals would have transmitted the release more quickly. Even the U.S. mail probably would have gotten it to us in a more timely fashion.
The story is interesting enough, however, that even this far after the fact it is worth relating.
The Pagosa Springs student it dealt with was Christie Vliss, daughter of Judith Vliss, who is majoring in geology and whose long range goal is to teach that subject.
A highlight for Science Fair participants was a volcano demonstration inspired by Christie's recent field trip to Hawaii.
"I learned about the different types of lava flow and beach processes," she said.
"It helps to see the modern day equivalent in Hawaii and be able to apply it to the ancient examples we have represented right here in the San Juan Region. I thought it would be exciting for the public school students to see how a volcano works."
When she is not at Fort Lewis, Christie works at MAS in Pagosa Springs manufacturing computer components. Her senior research work involves the Dakota Sandstone formations in the Piedra Canyon.
They were called the gay '90s. Frontier America was sliding into the past, the age of technology moving in. No more wilderness, no new places to explore. Even so, many settlers remained to talk about the good old days: crossing the prairies in covered wagons, confrontations with Indians and wild animals, abundant fish and game.
The iron horse spanned the continent connecting east and west and filling in the middle. Electricity grew from novelty to necessity. Factories churned out goods at an unprecedented rate, even as factory payrolls provided money to buy those goods. Silver crashed as the still young nation groped for appropriate economic techniques to deal with industrial change.
Pagosa Country was no different from the rest of the nation, even if the frontier attitude lingered a little longer here. For excitement, people danced and dined on canned oysters and ice cream. Many still struggled with the soil, trying to wrest a living in a climate not suited to many forms of agriculture and in an area far from reasonable markets.
Daniel Egger, editor of the Pagosa Springs News, had his finger on the pulse of the community. From Egger we learn what was happening in Pagosa Country.
Newspaper item from August of 1890: A Sunday school was organized last Sunday at the school house, Rev. S. H. Kirkbride being present. The following officers were elected: Dr. Parrish, superintendent; D.L. Egger, assistant superintendent; Miss Vio Holt, secretary; Miss Hattie Strawn, treasurer. The Sunday school will meet at the school house every Sunday afternoon at 3:30 o'clock. It is to be hoped that people in town and vicinity will take a lively interest in the school.
Newspaper item: Rev. H. Harpst of Chromo will preach at the school house next Sunday evening. It has been a long time since Rev. Harpst preached to the people of Pagosa and everybody should turn out on that evening and hear a good sermon. There should not be a vacant seat in the building.
Motter's comment: The Pagosa area had been settled since 1877-1878 and still no Sunday school or church. Church meetings had undoubtedly been conducted from the beginning of settlement, probably by itinerant preachers or by circuit-rider pastors. Before the 1890-1900 decade would end, Pagosa would have Methodist, Catholic, and Baptist churches. In this August 1890 paragraph, we see the beginning agitation for a church and the beginning meetings in the only community center in town at that time, the public school building. That building was located near the corner of Lewis and Third streets.
Dr. Parrish and his family were newcomers to Pagosa Springs in 1890. Parrish was apparently the only practicing physician in town, although Dr. Hover may still have been around. Hover ultimately donated the lot on which the first Methodist Church was built. Parrish homesteaded just east of town where the San Juan Motel is today. Within a year or so, he and his family moved over to Monte Vista.
Egger, of course, edited the newspaper. Parts of his family stayed in the area for generations. The Strawns homesteaded on Turkey Creek and built the Strawn Hotel on the lot adjacent to today's school administration building. The Strawn Hotel burned just a few years ago. No Strawns live in the immediate vicinity, but they can be located. The Holts are a mystery to me. Three newspaper items during 1890 shed some light on the Holts. Family tragedy was no stranger, even in 1890.
Newspaper item: Again it becomes our painful duty to recount a death in our midst, and this time an old soldier and respected citizen.
William P. Holt was born at St. Louis, Missouri, on August 18, 1839, and died at Pagosa Springs on May 2, 1890 at the age of 50 years, 8 months, and 14 days. He served three years in the Union army and was lieutenant of the "Fourty-fifth Missouri Volunteers" from December 16, 1864, to March 8, 1865. He was a member of the Denver Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.) post. Mr. Holt was taken suddenly ill on Monday, April 28, and his condition became momentarily more critical until Friday morning when his death relieved him of his suffering. The cause of death is pronounced by his physician as invagination.
In the death of Mr. Holt, the wife was bereft of a good husband, the children of a loving father, and Pagosa Springs has lost a highly respected and enterprising citizen. His wife, Emma C., and three daughters, Estella, Elvira, and Edna, survive him.
The funeral from the family residence on Saturday was attended by a large number of sympathetic friends. The remains were laid to rest in the Pagosa Springs cemetery. The grief stricken wife and children, whose home has been made so desolate, have the sympathy of the people of this community.
Newspaper item: Mary Estella Holt, daughter of Mrs. Emma C. Holt, died Wednesday evening at 9 o'clock, Aug. 13, 1890. She was born at Del Norte, Colorado, on January 23, 1875, and was, therefore, a little more than 15 1/2 years old at the time of her death. This is the second time the bereaved family is called upon to mourn the loss of one of its members, the father and husband having been called away on May 2nd of the present year. Estrella was a dutiful child and highly respected by her acquaintances. The bereaved mother and sisters have the deepest sympathies of the whole community. Funeral from the family residence at 5 o'clock this afternoon (Thursday).
Motter's comment: We don't know who took care of the bodies or performed funeral services at this time in Pagosa history, since there was no church in town. We expect the burials were at the old cemetery on 10th Street and that these bodies were later moved to Hilltop Cemetery. In those days a widow without an estate faced tough times, few jobs being available for women, especially jobs paying enough to raise a family. Mrs. Holt probably married after waiting a respectable time, whether she wanted to or not. The next item gives a clue as to how Mrs. Holt tried to cope with the loss of the family breadwinner.
Newspaper item: Boarders wanted by the day or week. Mrs. Emma C. Holt.
Motter's comment: Taking in boarders was a respectable occupation for Mrs. Holt.
Newspaper item: The infant daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J.C. Dowell was baptized by Rev. Harpst at Strawn's hotel on Monday.
Motter's comment: There was death and there was life. Rev. Harpst, formerly of Amargo, is apparently finding plenty to do.
Newspaper item: A.D. Archuleta is now floating 27,000 ties on the San Juan river and has 30,000 more cut which he cannot float until a rise in the river next spring. Oct. 8, 1890
Newspaper item: About thirty thousand railroad ties belonging to A.D. Archuleta passed down the river at this place during the past week. The river is low (October) and rather slow progress is made in floating them.
Motter's comment: We've been tracking the progress of Archuleta's railroad ties, cut on the San Juan East Fork, for some time. We'll continue to track them in the future.
Newspaper item: The News regrets that the parties who own the most desirable building lots in Pagosa Springs will not dispose of them to those who are desirous of building thereon, nor themselves make any improvements. If that course is as persistently pursued in the future as it has been in the past and is at present, then how can you expect to build up a city here? Is it any wonder that many of the shacks are on streets, alleys, and park? (public land) We would also like to give the Springs company a hint regarding their land. Unless a part of that land is soon platted and sold at a fair price the town will virtually be on the north side of the river, and the eighty acres, instead of being the center of town, will be one of these days a very small outlying addition to the town proper. If the south side of San Juan street were platted and the lots sold for a reasonable consideration, the whole street would soon be lined with good business structures. A hint to the wise is sufficient. Oct. 8, 1890.
Motter's comment: Egger did his best to boost the community. By 1890, Pagosa Springs was platted into streets and lots, but not yet incorporated. The Springs Company of Leavenworth, Kansas, owned the Great Pagosa Hot Spring and the surrounding 80 acres. The frontage on the south side of San Juan Street referred to by Egger is probably where the county courthouse, Jim Smith Realty, and Riverside Restaurant are today. Apparently, in August of 1890, there were no buildings on those lots. They make up the northern edge of the 80 acres originally owned by the Springs Company and were not platted as separate lots in the original town survey. Some of the first buildings on the west side of the river were built on this location before 1900, but we don't know exactly when.
Newspaper item: The News learned this week that a party of dynamiters have been at work all summer on the Piedra river, killing trout by the thousand and selling them in the mining towns west of here. When disposing of them, they represented that the fish were caught in New Mexico. This same racket has been worked for so many years that it seems strange that the authorities have not yet caught on. This wholesale and unlawful destruction of our mountain trout must be stopped in the future. It is doubtful if any trout ever offered for sale in Colorado were caught in New Mexico. Let us have the state fish laws rigidly enforced.
Motter's comment: Human beings have ever been an enterprising lot.
Newspaper item: On Saturday last James Melrose found one of H.R. Bowling's Debon heifers on the latter's ranch several hundred yards from the corral, which had been killed with a bullet, and a hind quarter of beef taken. The tracks in the vicinity indicated that one of the party wore a shoe and a moccasin. By this means Deputy Sheriff's Melrose and Eastman tracked them on Sunday to their camping place below Dyke's ranch. At the peep of day Monday morning Messrs. Melrose, Eastman, Dyke and Grimes got the drop on the party, which consisted of four young men, and they were obliged to submit to arrest, though very reluctantly, and were brought to town. They gave their names as Henry Daggett, Chas. Richard, Henry Christ, and Geo. Stone and range from 21 to 25 years in age.
At the preliminary trial Tuesday morning before Squire Johnson, Stone pleaded guilty to the charge and was fined $10 and costs, and the others discharged. As they had no funds Stone was finally also released, as a matter of economy.
Motter's comment: Enterprise knows no bounds.
Newspaper item: On the night of December 11 a number of horses belonging to D.W. Freeman of Chromo were driven into New Mexico and were found by Mr. Freeman in Col. Broad's pasture at Chama. Suspicion rests upon a gentleman of Chama who, it is said, drove the horses from the Navajo because they were eating his hay, which is not even enclosed by a sign of a fence. By what authority he drove another man's stock from Colorado into New Mexico will be a subject for investigation by the next grand jury.
Motter's comment: I can hardly endure the suspense of learning what happens to these entrepreneurs. Concerning the cattle and horse rustling, I've never learned of a hanging in Pagosa Country even though hanging was supposed to be the proper recompense for this form of endeavor.
Pagosa pugilist sparred with Olympians
By John M. Motter
We are indebted to California subscriber Roldan F. Vigil for this bit of the past. It took place more than 70 years ago, before the call to arms summoned the cream of American youth into warfare with the Axis.
Vigil writes: "Some time ago, I read in your newspaper, of the passing away of Mrs. Ralph Yamaguchi. I knew the family but I can't remember her first name.
"Anyway, it made me think of an old snapshot I had somewhere in my possession of her husband Ralph and my brother Isodore Vigil. It was taken in front of the Pagosa High School.
"They were both avid amateur boxers. Maybe the old timers can remember them?
"Ralph was a celebrated hero out of WWII in Italy. He was shot up pretty bad. After his rehabilitation from war wounds, he was elected mayor of Pagosa Springs.
"I finally located this snap shot of Ralph and my brother Isodore. I would like it back, after you have finished with it. My brother never did make it into the service. He died in 1941 as a result of boxing and gangrene setting in. A California subscriber, Roldan F. Vigil."
After receiving Mr. Vigil's letter, I talked with Ernest "Guch" Yamaguchi, the only surviving member of the Yamaguchi family of Hoppo's generation. He supplied another photo of his brother and Isodore along with an approximate date for the photos, 1939.
We rifled through the 1939 Pagosa Springs SUN and, sure enough, there were some items written about Ralph Yamaguchi, the "Japanese Tornado," and Isodore Vigil. Both fought as flyweights. A photograph of Ralph in classic boxing pose was undergirded by a caption which pointed out that Ralph was the San Luis Valley and southern Colorado open division flyweight champion, a title he had won at Alamosa. One reward was an autographed photograph of Jack Dempsey, the Manassa Mauler.
The next week, the Pagosa pair fought in Pueblo for a spot on the National Golden Gloves team. Isodore won, Ralph lost. Both fought and won later that year in Durango.
Meanwhile, World War II beckoned. Ralph and older brother Fred served the United States in two special Japanese infantry units which survived some of the bloodiest fighting in Italy. Ralph was badly shot up and highly decorated by the time he returned to Pagosa Springs. George was injured later in southern France.
Now minus one leg, Ralph was never to don gloves again. Instead, he joined Billy Lynn to teach local youth how to box, and more importantly, how to live. A high point of that adventure was September of 1975 when the United States Olympic boxing team put on a demonstration match with the Pagosa Springs boxing team. The referees were Bob Surkein, Carlos Trujillo, and, you guessed it, County Sheriff Tom Richards.
Boxing fans will recognize the names of some of those Olympic boxers: Louis Curtis, 106 pounds; Wilfredo Eperson, 112 pounds; Richard Roselle, 120 pounds; Davey Armstrong, 125 pounds; Ray 'Sugar Ray' Leonard, 139 pounds; Charles Walker, 156 pounds; Tom Sullivan, 165 pounds; Bernard Taylor, 119 pounds, Mike Doakes and Tommy Johnson, 178 pounds; Louie Resto, 147 pounds; Keith Broome, 156 pounds; Elichi Jumawan, 119 pounds; Leon Spinks, 178 pounds; and Clinton Jackson, 147 pounds.
Fighting for Pagosa Springs were Russell Martinez, 106 pounds; Tommy Archuleta, 110 pounds; Pete Archuleta, 130 pounds; Claude Gallegos, 125 pounds; and Press Gurule, 139 pounds.
Gurule had the honor of getting in the ring with Sugar Ray for three, 3-minute rounds.
Since the bouts were exhibitions, no decisions were given.
"I thought our boys did pretty good," Richards recalls. "I remember being appalled at the hand speed of Sugar Ray."
The 1976 Olympic games were held in Montreal, Canada. United States gold medalists who had fought the year before in Pagosa Springs were "Sugar Ray" Leonard, and Leon Spinks. Leonard, Spinks, and Doakes became world champions.
Ralph Yamaguchi was better known locally as "Hoppo." His parents were Frank R. and Haru Yamaguchi, both of Japan. Frank married Haru in Seattle in 1913. The couple moved to Ignacio in 1917 and to Kearns in 1927. Mr. Yamaguchi was employed in the Matsumoto Lumber Mill at Talian until moving to Pagosa Springs in 1937. The couple's children were George, Fred, Lucy, Ralph, and Ernest, better know as "Guch."
Switching subjects, in the February 8 issue of the Preview, we ran a photograph of a frame house with a white frame fence and said we thought it to be the Luke Rock place in South Pagosa. Sure enough, we received a letter from Frances Coffee affirming that, indeed, the house was the Luke Rock home. Frances ought to know. She is a Rock descendant.
Thespians to present 'Annie Jr.'
By Tess Noel Baker
Memorizing lines, getting fitted for costumes and learning songs are filling up the hours for 52 members of the Pagosa Springs Junior High Select Choir rehearsing for their production of "Annie, Jr."
Rehearsal is all the more confusing because there are two of almost everything and everyone. To allow more students to participate, each show will be led by a different cast of main characters.
For the six students assigned to the parts of Annie, Miss Hannigan, and "Daddy" Warbucks, having the chance to pretend to be someone else has been one of the highlights of practice so far.
"We're proud to be morons," Mallorie Mackey said, referring to the clumsy, floozy ways of her character, Miss Hannigan, overseer of Annie's orphanage. "We get to flirt with all the guys."
Being "Daddy" Warbucks with all his money, respect and power is part of the fun, Carlos Edington and Chris Nobles, agreed.
For the two Annies, Marlena Lungstrum and Samantha Ricker, the best part of the day is being little girls again. But with their starring role also comes a little more pressure.
"Sometimes we feel like it's all on our shoulders," Ricker said.
Lungstrum agreed, and added that since there are two of them, they have time to talk through the pressure and look at the positives.
"We try to enjoy it while it lasts because not everyone gets this chance," she said.
Before becoming the big stars, they had to survive tryouts.
"We had to sing part of some of the songs for the part," said Brett Garman, who will play Miss Hannigan.
"She (choir director Sun Anderson) told me 'You look the part,'" said Edington.
The audience will enjoy all the favorite songs set in the traditional plot for "Annie," but the musical has been redesigned by the Hal Leonard Publishing Company to highlight the talents of young performers.
A number of parents are helping in the production. It is being choreographed by Jackie Ford. Bill Nobles is the staging director, and Michael DeWinter is assisting with set design. Costume coordinators are Renee Weddle and Eydie Thompson.
Tickets will be sold at the door at the high school auditorium and in advance by cast members. Cost is $3.50 for adults 17 and older; $2.50 for students ages 8-16; and free for children under age 7 and senior citizens. A family rate of $10 for a mom and dad with up to four children will be offered at the door as long as seats are available.
Parents of the cast will serve refreshments during intermission will all the proceeds going toward next year's choir trip to Denver's "Music in the Parks."