Front Page
April 5, 2001
Eagle Drive relocation paves the way for third traffic light
By Tess Noel Baker

The forecast for Eagle Drive is clear. Changes are coming, and soon.

At the regular meeting of the Pagosa Springs Board of Trustees Tuesday night, both a motion to amend a plat to relocate the intersection of Eagle Drive along Piedra Road to make way for a traffic signal project at U.S. 160 and Piedra Road and a motion to erect no-parking signs along Eagle Drive were approved.

The plat, as amended, shifts the entrance to Eagle Drive, located on the northeast corner of U.S. 160 and Piedra Road, back to a point across from Solomon Drive north of the highway intersection. The move, part of a project involving the Colorado Department of Transportation, Archuleta County and the town, is necessary to provide space for vehicles to stack up on Piedra Road once a traffic signal is erected at the intersection this summer.

This plat amendment falls short of solving all the problems at the intersection, Jay Harrington, town administrator said, but it is one solution that allows access to remain open to the businesses along the frontage road. Other options to divert traffic flow farther east drew opposition from residential property owners.

In addition to shifting the entrance to Eagle Drive, the approved plat amendment also includes a minor subdivision requested by Fred Schmidt of FS Development and vacates the old roadway. By vacating the existing roadway, ownership will revert back to the adjacent property owner once the relocation is complete.

The CDOT piece of the project, to construct a traffic signal at the intersection of U.S. 160 and Piedra Road, went out for bid March 22. Steve Lewis, consultant project manager with Bechtolt Engineering, said the bid of $518,091 was awarded March 29 to Four Corners Materials of Durango. Roadwork is expected to start prior to May 1 and end around the first of July, with delivery and installation of the traffic signal sometime in September.

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 needed. A 1999 traffic study showed the average daily traffic on U.S. 160 to be around 13,700 vehicles.

As engineered, the state's project includes a slight widening of the intersection to allow for raised island bases for the traffic signal poles, and about 0.4 miles of overlay on the highway in the immediate intersection area. In addition to the state and town projects, the county is considering a plan to widen Piedra Road to Ace Court.

Harrington presented the trustees a draft copy of an intergovernmental agreement between the county and the town allowing their two pieces of the overall Piedra Road intersection project to be bid and administrated together, an agreement that could save both some money.

However, because the county is still working on some of its design issues, a staggered bid process may be necessary, he said. Because the relocation of the town's Eagle Drive intersection is a key safety component to the CDOT project, the town must be ready to move ahead soon.

Archuleta County Commissioner Bill Downey, who attended Tuesday's meeting, said the county was waiting to have a few questions addressed before settling on a final design.

"One of the things we're looking at is extending the right turn lane off of Piedra Road onto Highway 160," he said. "I'm not sure CDOT will buy off on that."

Downey said despite the questions it was still important that the county and city move forward with the joint project as planned because of the cost benefits.

"On our side we don't have the time to hold off on this," Harrington said. The town's goal is to have the project out for bids sometime in May so that the intersection can be moved and remain open as much as possible through the CDOT construction.

Town and county representatives are meeting with engineers on the project today in an attempt to iron out the final details.

No parking

In a related move, the trustees approved a recommendation from the town staff to make Eagle Drive a no-parking zone on both sides of the street beginning May 1. Eagle Drive runs from the Piedra Road intersection nearly a mile in an easterly direction, parallel to U.S. 160.

"The police department has received several complaints in the last six months," Harrington said.

Because of the 24-foot road width, cars parked on the street force those driving on the roadway over the centerline in order to get through. When two vehicles meet going opposite directions, the situation requires one or the other to swerve and sometimes tempers flare. Although no accidents have resulted from the tight squeeze at this point, numerous close calls have been reported, Harrington said.

Todd Shelton, representing Century Plaza property owners, agreed the on-street parking had become a problem. He said people park out on the street in part because of an unpaved and muddy lot, a problem the property owners are unable to fix at this time due to lack of funds.

In order to encourage people to park in the lot, he asked the trustees if they could assist the property owners with dust abatement on the unpaved area and requested a grace period once the no-parking signs were put in place.

"It's going to take everybody a while to get used it," he said. "Maybe if you gave 30 days of written warnings it would scare some of these people."

Harrington said warning tickets could be written for a period of time after the signs first go up.

County eyes rules for hiring planner
By John M. Motter

Ground rules for hiring a new Director of County Development were discussed yesterday when a hiring advisory committee met for the first time, according to Bill Downey, the county commissioner responsible for conducting the hiring process.

The Director of County Development has, over the past few years, headed the county planning and building permit departments. Recently, the commissioners separated the planning department from the building permit department. The new hiree will head the planning department which writes regulations guiding county growth and development and reviews applications connected with growth and development, including applications for new subdivisions.

"We have seven applicants," Downey said. "We'll meet and decide how many of the applicants we want to interview and some general guidelines for how to proceed. We may see one strong applicant and decide to just interview that one, or we may interview all of the applicants."

The members of the advisory committee are Downey; Lynn Contstan, chairman of the Upper San Juan Regional Planning Commission; Bob Lynch, vice chairman of the USJRPC; Mary Weiss, the county attorney; and Kathy Ruth, director of county planning.

Downey declined to say when the hiring process will be completed, but expects to start the interviews as soon as the ground rules are established and interviews can be scheduled.

Downey was not sure of the limits of the advisory board's authority during the hiring process.

"I will have to ask the other commissioners," Downey said. "I assume the advisory board does not have the authority to make job offers. I think we are limited to making recommendations to the county commissioners. The commissioners will make the job offer. We'll (the commissioners) have to talk together and clarify that."

"I intend to make sure every applicant we interview is seen by every member of the advisory committee," Downey said. "I want to avoid what happened when we hired a building inspector."

During the building inspector hiring, not all members of the hiring advisory committee interviewed all of the applicants, complicating the process of giving weight to the ratings of finalists.

A second issue, the timing of adoption of a Community Plan by the commissioners, will not bear on the timing of hiring the Director of County Development, Downey said.

The USJRPC approved the Community Plan March 21. The Community Plan represents the county's land use intentions over the next few years. The plan is expected to be on the county commissioner agenda April 17. Commissioner approval of the advisory document is not required, but is highly desired according to Ruth.

"We don't have to fill the new position in order to act on the Community Plan," Downey said. "I assume when we hire the new director we will show him or her the plan and tell him or her to follow it and to write rules for enforcing it."

Meanwhile, the county is also advertising in an attempt to fill the County Administrator position left vacant when Dennis Hunt resigned to take a similar position in Montrose County. More than 20 applicants have submitted applications for the position. The period for applying has not been closed, according to Downey. A selection advisory committee has not been named for filling this vacancy.

Commissioners approve three gas well sites
By John M. Motter

Ground rules for hiring a new Director of County Development were discussed yesterday when a hiring advisory committee met for the first time, according to Bill Downey, the county commissioner responsible for conducting the hiring process.

The Director of County Development has, over the past few years, headed the county planning and building permit departments. Recently, the commissioners separated the planning department from the building permit department. The new hiree will head the planning department which writes regulations guiding county growth and development and reviews applications connected with growth and development, including applications for new subdivisions.

"We have seven applicants," Downey said. "We'll meet and decide how many of the applicants we want to interview and some general guidelines for how to proceed. We may see one strong applicant and decide to just interview that one, or we may interview all of the applicants."

The members of the advisory committee are Downey; Lynn Contstan, chairman of the Upper San Juan Regional Planning Commission; Bob Lynch, vice chairman of the USJRPC; Mary Weiss, the county attorney; and Kathy Ruth, director of county planning.

Downey declined to say when the hiring process will be completed, but expects to start the interviews as soon as the ground rules are established and interviews can be scheduled.

Downey was not sure of the limits of the advisory board's authority during the hiring process.

"I will have to ask the other commissioners," Downey said. "I assume the advisory board does not have the authority to make job offers. I think we are limited to making recommendations to the county commissioners. The commissioners will make the job offer. We'll (the commissioners) have to talk together and clarify that."

"I intend to make sure every applicant we interview is seen by every member of the advisory committee," Downey said. "I want to avoid what happened when we hired a building inspector."

During the building inspector hiring, not all members of the hiring advisory committee interviewed all of the applicants, complicating the process of giving weight to the ratings of finalists.

A second issue, the timing of adoption of a Community Plan by the commissioners, will not bear on the timing of hiring the Director of County Development, Downey said.

The USJRPC approved the Community Plan March 21. The Community Plan represents the county's land use intentions over the next few years. The plan is expected to be on the county commissioner agenda April 17. Commissioner approval of the advisory document is not required, but is highly desired according to Ruth.

"We don't have to fill the new position in order to act on the Community Plan," Downey said. "I assume when we hire the new director we will show him or her the plan and tell him or her to follow it and to write rules for enforcing it."

Meanwhile, the county is also advertising in an attempt to fill the County Administrator position left vacant when Dennis Hunt resigned to take a similar position in Montrose County. More than 20 applicants have submitted applications for the position. The period for applying has not been closed, according to Downey. A selection advisory committee has not been named for filling this vacancy.

Pagosa hosts Wolf Creek project update tonight
By Richard Walter

A second public meeting and presentation on summer work plans on Wolf Creek Pass has been scheduled from 5:30 to 7 p.m. today in the Archuleta County Courthouse meeting room.

A similar hearing, announced last week, was conducted last night in South Fork.

Representatives of Colorado Department of Transportation, project contractor Kiewit Western Co., and consultant Carter Burgess, will be on hand tonight to present details on construction plans.

Included will be an overview of the projects, remaining construction phases, project scheduling and expected traffic impacts.

The major pass project is construction of a tunnel at the east side narrows area often called the chute. Beginning phases of the project last year resulted in daily, periodic closings of the pass for up to 45 minutes, and all-night closings on weekdays.

Residents were required to travel south to Chama, N.M., and then north over Cumbres Pass to reach points in the San Luis Valley. Mail delivery into Pagosa Springs and points west was delayed several hours daily as trucks awaited the morning pass opening.

Those with questions regarding the meeting tonight or with disabilities requiring special accommodations to attend may contact Nancy Shanks, CDOT Public Relations, at 303-757-9484 or Rosemarie Kingery, CDOT Alamosa residency at 719-589-4521.

Notice of the Archuleta County session was received 10 days after notice of the South Fork meeting and two days too late for publication last week.

Worker gored in backhoe crash; peers actions praised

By Tess Noel Baker

A construction worker, Austin Collins, 25, severely injured by a backhoe at mid-morning Monday was pulled to safety by the quick reaction of co-workers and a Pagosa Springs EMS crew.

Terri Clifford, the on-scene EMS paramedic said the young man was working 10-feet down inside a large pit when a backhoe doing some work at ground level accidentally caught on a piece of his clothing.

Witnesses at the scene said Collins was lifted 2-3 feet in the air before being smacked into one of the concrete walls surrounding the pit, she said. As he hit the wall, one of the tines on the backhoe struck Collins.

When the three-person ambulance crew - Clifford, Kitty Benzar and David Price - arrived at the site 10 miles east of Pagosa Springs near U.S. 160, they had to scramble down into the pit to reach the victim.

"The patient was pale and had lost a significant amount of blood," Clifford said. "I immediately called for Air Care." Hampered by poor reception in the pit, the paramedic said, it was actually the EMS office that relayed the need for helicopter aid to dispatch.

"I just knew he's got to go, and he's got to go fast and we need to put our thinking caps on," she said. Clifford praised Collins' co-workers who kept him on the ground and immediately put pressure on the wound in an attempt to staunch the bleeding.

"The construction crew did all the right things," she said.

The challenge was to maintain that constant pressure while physically hoisting the injured man out of the pit. A Quick Response Vehicle was called to deliver a Stokes Litter, an oblong, shallow bucket, to make it easier to lift Collins while keeping him stable.

Once the QRV and litter arrived, members of the construction crew and the QRV driver worked to erect a 5-foot high scaffolding. That quick thinking allowed the people in the pit to lift the patient high enough that others working from above could pull him up the rest of the way, Clifford said.

The EMS crew was on the scene 25 to 30 minutes and pulled up to the helipad just as Air Care arrived. Collins was transported to Mercy Medical Center at Durango.

A Mercy spokesman said Wednesday afternoon that Collins, of Pagosa Springs, was in fair condition, suffering from a severe laceration.

Inside The Sun
April 5, 2001
Finance chief putting county online
By John M. Motter

Archuleta County took another step toward entering the computer age by conducting a workshop Tuesday with going online as the theme.

Cathie Wilson, the finance director, has been given the lead in preparing the county for Internet status. Also attending the meeting were a number of department heads and interested non-employees.

Initial tasks may be completed and the county online within a few weeks, Wilson said.

Current plans call for the county to take advantage of an offer by Sheriff Tom Richards allowing other county departments to use his high speed DSL internet connection and home page already established as

It was generally agreed by those attending Tuesday's workshop that simplicity will keynote the county's entry into the Internet universe. The kinds of information posted in the beginning will include agendas and minutes for commissioner meetings, a county organization chart including the work addresses and phone numbers of department heads and key officials, and most commonly asked questions with their answers.

Department heads and elected officials will be asked to submit lists documenting the kinds of things they would like to see on a county Web page.

When the process becomes more sophisticated at an unspecified future date, county records and other larger, changing information blocks may be included. Individual departments could have their own pages in the future.

Development of public computer access to county information is part of the fulfillment of commissioner campaign promises to better communicate with the public. In a parallel move, the commissioners are also looking into publishing a brochure full of information about the county budget and other county data.

General agreement was reached Tuesday that the Web page and brochures should be coordinated so that a duplication of effort is not required to present information in both fashions. Information contained in the computer presentation could be reproduced on paper and used as the brochure.

Richards pays about $250 a month to local server Pagosa Worldwide for his computer connection. The county has assumed half that cost plus the allocation of $1,000 for Web page development. The county hopes that other elected officials who take advantage of the opportunity will share some of the costs.

Sen. Campbell coming Tuesday

U.S. Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell announced he will host an April 10 town meeting in Pagosa Springs, 8-9 a.m. in the county commissioners meeting room at the Archuleta County Courthouse.

All residents from Pagosa Springs, Archuleta County and the surrounding region are encouraged to attend.

The Senator's town meetings are designed to allow an opportunity for the Senator to provide an update from Washington and for him and constituents to discuss issues facing the U.S. Senate. A Senate aide will also be available to assist residents in accessing and dealing with federal agencies, as well as to provide an opportunity for citizens to comment on federal legislation.

9Health Fair scheduled 8 a.m. to noon Saturday

The 9Health Fair, an event to promote health awareness and to encourage individuals to assume responsibility for their own health, is coming to the Pagosa Springs High School Saturday from 8 a.m. - noon.

Don't miss this chance to participate in 16 health screening stations and 13 interactive learning centers at no cost.

Three other important health screens - a blood chemistry analysis, prostate specific antigen testing and colorectal kits - will be available at low cost to participants.

The blood chemistry analysis is one measure of overall health and covers heart, thyroid, gout, muscle and bone, pancreas, liver and kidney, blood, electrolytes and, for men, prostate.

The prostate specific antigen testing measures a protein produced by the male prostate gland.

Those interested in having their blood tested must fast for 12 hours prior to the test and are encouraged to wear loose clothing. Drinking water is highly encouraged and tea or coffee are permissible if served without sweetener or cream. Anyone on medication should continue to take medicines as usual, and diabetics should avoid fasting all together. All participants who arrive by noon for these blood tests will be served.

Screenings provided at the 9Health Fair are not a substitute for a physical examination and no diagnosis will be provided. A summary and referral service station will be available for those that require further evaluation.

Everyone 18 years or older is invited to the program sponsored by 9Health Services, Inc., a nonprofit organization endorsed by the Colorado Medical society and the Colorado Health and Hospital Associations. Those who can't make the Pagosa 9Health Fair are invited to attend one of the other 144 programs statewide. The closest ones are Bayfield, April 14, and Durango, April 21.

Rape Intervention hotline

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month across the nation, bringing attention to the issue of sexual violence. The question most often asked is, "Do we really have a problem in Pagosa Springs?" The answer is yes, after viewing statistics for this area.

One program that helps victims of this crime is the Archuleta County Victim Assistance Program. The mission of ACVAP is to provide emergency and other necessary services to victims, their dependents and witnesses of a violent crime. Their focus is mostly domestic violence and sexual assault. ACVAP works to ensure that the rights of victims are met throughout the criminal justice process. At the inception of the program in 1997, their mission was intervention. They are now moving their focus to include more prevention.

ACVAP is the only victim assistance program in Archuleta County. They work closely with the local courts, the district attorney's office and law enforcement. Local resources to assist victims with their long-term needs are utilized continuously as well. They include the Department of Social Services, housing agencies, food assistance, local counselors, legal aid groups and any other available groups with resources to fulfill the needs of victims.

What are the fears experienced by many people who report this crime? Most of the time the answer is confidentiality. The victim fears that everyone will know.

Members of ACVAP are bound by confidentiality; they work for the victim, therefore the victim has the power to tell them who they can talk to. A victim's story needs to be viewed as extremely personal and delicate, not to be displayed. To tell their story is to give a part of themselves, not to be taken lightly.

Sometimes a victim fears and distrusts the criminal justice system. ACVAP offers court advocacy which helps insure a victim's rights are being met.

There are three ways to make a report regarding a sexual assault.

There is a formal report, which means charges are filed immediately. The victim chooses to go forward with the prosecution, but the state is responsible for pressing the charges.

There is an informal report, which means the victim gives details of the report but isn't quite ready to press charges. There are many stages a victim goes through. There's shock, disbelief, anger, denial and even acceptance. The scenario could be that a victim wants to make a report but they're just not sure they want the perpetrator to be prosecuted. It could be a close friend and they're afraid of coming forward. Then the victim realizes she or he is the victim and the perpetrator needs to be punished. The statute of limitations depends on the crime, but generally speaking it could be anywhere from 18 months to 10 years. Making the report immediately is crucial evidence in a case: it's crisp in the mind and the victim is able to provide relevant details.

Lastly, there is an anonymous report. Giving law enforcement valuable information in the beginning may stop the perpetrator from hurting anybody else. He/she may hang out at a designated place - a recreational area, a specific neighborhood - and is a threat to many other people. Communication with the police can provide essential evidence.

Our small town is not immune to sexual assault crimes. We would not have a Victim Assistance Program if we were and many volunteers would not be needed to collaborate in support of this program. Carmen Hubbs, director of ACVAP said, "Volunteers are my number-one resource. Without them, we would not exist. Their hard work and dedication is unyielding." She feels as if the volunteers are never honored and thanked enough for all they do, but they are all valued to no end.

This article addresses only a small portion of information regarding sexual assault. The point is to make local resources known.

If you have further questions about the Archuleta County Victims Assistance Program, need assistance in any way regarding sexual assault, or would just like to make a donation to the program, contact Carmen Hubbs by calling 264-9075.

Surging sales tax receipts reflect strong economy
By John M. Motter

Despite hints of a slowing national economy sales tax receipts in Archuleta County continue to grow at a record pace, hinting at a sound local economy.

Sales taxes collected in the county during February this year amount to $437,609, 57 percent above the $278,651 collected during February of 2000.

Because sales taxes are directly proportional to the amount of retail sales, they are considered a good indicator of the health of an economy. Sales taxes are thought to measure the amount of money people have to spend and their willingness to spend it. Larger collections are considered good.

For this year through February, sales taxes collected in the county total $837,259, a 28 percent increase over the first two months of 2000. Last year, by the end of February, sales tax collections in the county amounted to $653,757.

Five years ago during 1996, as a comparison, February sales tax collections amounted to $175,010, and the year-to-date total was $406,438, less than the amount collected for February of 2001 alone.

Sales taxes collected in Archuleta County are evenly divided between the county and Pagosa Springs. The town's portion is used for capital improvements projects. The county's share is divided equally between the general fund and the road and bridge fund.

A 6.9 percent sales tax is levied on most retail sales in Archuleta County, including Pagosa Springs. Of that amount, 2.9 percent is retained by the state, and 4 percent is divided between the town and county.

Because of the collection method used and time of posting by the Colorado Department of Revenue, the agency collecting the tax, monthly collection reports can be misleading. One or more large accounts could be posted a month later than the collection was made, lowering the total for the first month and elevating the total for the second month.

Last year, $4,588,854 in sales taxes was retained by Archuleta County and Pagosa Springs, representing 4 percent of the 7 percent total generated in the county. That 7 percent tax rate was lowered to 6.9 percent by the Colorado Legislature this year to comply with TABOR restrictions.

Final census figures probably months away
By Tess Noel Baker

It will be a few months before 2000 census figures, which may off by several hundred people for both the town and county, can be corrected, Chris Bentley, town planner, reported to the Pagosa Springs Board of Trustees Tuesday.

Preliminary figures, recently released, put the town population at 1,591, up 31.8 percent from the 1,207 in 1990. Town staff is concerned that recent annexations are missing from the preliminary figures' municipal totals.

Because the census figures are used in qualifying for grants and other state monies for the next 10 years, it's important the numbers are right, Bentley said. In June or July when complete housing data is available, the staff will have a chance to make changes and report those to the state.

In other business the board:

- Approved a plat amendment for the Hersch Building Condo. This amendment brings the downtown building's plat up-to-date with the current uses of the structure

- Accepted a riverwalk easement to replace a similar easement vacated last year to allow the Spring Inn to construct the new bath house

- Praised Jay Harrington, town administrator, for his hard work in an annual evaluation.

"All I hear are nothing but positive comments," Mayor Ross Aragon said, echoing many of the board's comments. "We are about working together and you keep up informed. You never blindside us, and we have a good relationship with the public. I just can't say enough about you."

County, town officials meeting on 160-Piedra work

By John M. Motter

Archuleta County and Pagosa Springs are meeting today to coordinate plans connected with stop lights and associated road work at the intersection of U.S. 160 and Piedra Road.

On the table today will be engineering, financial, and timing issues. The most desirable result will be coordinating all facets of the work so it can be accomplished by one contractor.

Complicating the overall project proposed for the intersection is the fact that three agencies are involved: Colorado Department of Transportation, the county, and the town.

CDOT is responsible for stoplights and acceleration and deceleration lanes at the intersection. The town is responsible for rerouting Eagle Drive, thereby moving traffic entering and leaving Piedra Road at Eagle Drive a safe distance from the stop light intersection. The county is responsible for widening Piedra Road between the highway intersection and the entrance to Pepper's Restaurant north of the intersection on Piedra Road, and for access and departure lanes on Piedra Road providing access to the proposed Eagle Drive intersection.

Tuesday, the county approved in concept a draft of an intergovernmental agreement with the town concerning payment for engineering and management of the project. Bechtolt Engineering, LLC, has been retained by the three entities for engineering and design work. The town considered the same draft Tuesday night.

Today's meeting is being conducted to resolve issues connected with the contract, with design considerations, and with the timing of bids.

The draft intergovernmental agreement proposes that:

- The town and county shall each pay one-half of Bechtolt charges for engineering and design regardless of which portion of the project the services concern

- Within an as-yet unspecified time limit, the town and county shall enter into a contact with Bechtolt for all stages of construction management for the project

- A project administrator will be named to ensure all work is completed in accordance with contract requirements and generally accepted engineering standards

- Before Bechtolt and the still to be named project administrator publish a request for proposal or accept or award a bid for the project, or enter into any contracts, the town and county will have the opportunity to review and approve any such documents

- The town shall be financially responsible for construction management and work connected with Eagle Drive. The county shall be responsible for construction management and work connected with Piedra Road. The project manager shall ensure separate accounting for the two projects

- Both entities will deposit an amount equal to the anticipated cost in a separate fund administered by the county

- The project administrator will ensure that all licenses, permits, bonding, and other authorizations and approvals are obtained

- The county represents that it owns the necessary rights of way for its portion of the contract, as does the town for its portion.

Meanwhile, CDOT awarded the bid for its portion of the work March 29 to Four Corners Materials of Durango for $518,091.

County getting three acres at rodeo grounds
By John M. Motter

Archuleta County's commissioners approved extension of a contract between the county and Pagosa Springs Enterprises Tuesday.

Pagosa Springs Enterprises is the entity responsible for staging the Red Ryder Roundup and is the owner of the property on which the rodeo grounds and Extension Office are located. The contract is related to a minor impact subdivision being used to transfer about three acres of land from PSE to the county. The land included contains the Extension Office plus parking spaces.

When the land transfer is completed, the county will be able to apply for state grants to finance installation of restrooms and connection to the Pagosa Springs Sanitation District sewage collection system. Because it is not a governmental organization, PSE is not eligible for the same grants.

In other business Tuesday the commissioners:

- Denied a request by Colorado Housing that the county waive fees for road cuts and culvert permits connected with houses being erected by Colorado Housing. Last week the commissioners waived half the fees incurred by Colorado Housing for dumping at the county landfill in connection with six homes currently under construction

- Approved the purchase of a computer and specific software by Russell Crowley, director of county emergency preparedness services

- Approved the final plat and partial release of improvements agreement for Teal Landing Phase I Building 11

- Granted a change of premises permit for retail liquor store license and 3.2 beer license for the Arboles Store

- Adopted an e-mail policy stipulating that county employees can only use e-mail for county business and that all e-mail correspondence on county computers belongs to the county

- Listened to a monthly progress report by Director of Social Services Erlinda Gonzalez

- Approved a routine contract between the county and the state Office of Emergency Management

- Accepted thanks from Billy Chenoweth, owner of Ridgeview Mall, for help in obtaining a certificate of occupancy for his project.

Home show this weekend

The Upper San Juan Builders Association of Pagosa Springs is holding its annual home show Saturday and Sunday at the Archuleta County Fairgrounds.

There will be 80 booths with 63 exhibitors and 12,000 square feet of exhibition floor space.

There is a $1 admission charge for adults. Money will be collected by and go to the Boy Scouts of America. There will be a drawing for a Dell computer.

Show hours are Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

IRS eases rules for extending filing deadline

People who need more time to complete their income tax forms will find it easy to extend their filing deadline - and they don't need an excuse, or even a stamp.

Automatic four-month extensions are now available by telephone or by computer, as well as through the paper Form 4868.

Those getting extensions may also pay any projected tax due electronically, although payment is not required to obtain an extension. Taxpayers must make their requests by the normal filing deadlines and IRS officials expect eight million extension requests this year.

The IRS opened a special toll-free phone line for extension requests on April 1. The number is 1-888-796-1074. Callers should use Form 4868 as a worksheet to prepare for the call and have a copy of their 1999 tax return handy. They will need to enter the adjusted gross income and total tax amounts from that return to verify their identity.

The system gives the caller a confirmation number to signify that the extension request has been accepted. Users should put this confirmation number on their copy of Form 4868 and keep it for their records. They should not send the form to the IRS. Taxpayers calling the extension line can choose to pay any expected balance due by authorizing an automatic withdrawal from a checking or savings account.

Taxpayers may also e-file an extension request using their own tax preparation software or by going to a tax preparer. As with the phone system, computer filers must provide two figures from the previous year's tax return to verify identity.

The third way to get a filing extension is to charge an extension-related payment to an American Express, Discover Card or MasterCard account. The IRS has authorized two companies to process credit card charges for federal taxes. These processors offer the option of extension-related payments through their phone and Web site systems. They also accept credit card charges for the taxes due for 2000 or for estimated taxes for 2001, but these charges do not give an extension of time to file.

There is no IRS fee for credit card payments, but the processors charge a convenience fee.

Whether filing an extension request electronically or on paper, the taxpayer must estimate the total tax liability based on the available information. If the IRS later finds this estimate to be unreasonable, the extension will be null and void. The taxpayer will still get credit for any payments made with the extension request.

An extension of time to file does not give more time to pay any taxes owed. A person may choose to pay any projected balance due when requesting an extension, but even without a payment, one can still get the extension.

Interest charges apply to any tax not paid by the regular deadline. The current rate is eight per cent per year, compounded daily, and is subject to change each calendar quarter. Taxpayers who request an extension may also be liable for a late payment penalty of 0.5 percent per month if the total tax paid by the regular deadline is less than 90 percent of the actual 2000 tax.

One deadline taxpayers cannot extend is the date to claim a 1977 refund if they have not yet filed for that year. Unless they had a filing extension in 1998, they must mail such late returns by the April 2001 deadline.

For most of the country, that deadline is April 16 because April 15 falls on a Sunday. This extra day applies for requesting extensions, including requests by phone or computer, filing returns and making payments.

Nine entities create Home Energy Assistance

Nine Colorado companies and nonprofit organizations, including the Governor's office, have pulled together to create the Home Energy Assistance Team, or HEAT. Its purpose is to give Coloradans the knowledge they need to lessen their energy use and lower their utility bills.

In turn, Coloradans who commit to conserving energy will play an active role in reducing the state's need to construct additional generation.

"In the words of President Bush, a shortage of any commodity in the marketplace is overcome by either increasing supply or reducing demand, or both," said Rick Grice, director of the Governor's Office of Energy Management and Conservation. "Consumers have no effect on supply, but they can affect the demand side of the equation. In doing so, they will receive the added bonus of lowering their utility bills. The HEAT program will show them how."

The organizations forming HEAT include the Governor's Office of Energy Management and Conservation, E-Star Colorado, Xcel Energy Inc., Colorado Energy Assistance Foundation, Oakwood Homes, Energy Savings Partners, About Saving Heat, Home Depot, and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

To help Coloradans take control of their energy use, HEAT members have produced an energy information packet that includes tips on how to conserve energy immediately, how to make a home more energy efficient for the future and the truth about the top five energy-saving myths.

Also included is an application for CreditSmart, a new low-interest loan program sponsored by Xcel Energy. Under the program, qualified Xcel Energy customers can borrow between $500 and $5,000 at or below market rates in order to pay for specific energy conservation improvements to their homes.

"Higher energy prices burden our customers and we want to help them permanently reduce their bills," said Cynthia Evans, vice president of Xcel Energy. "We agreed to sponsor this loan program, and provide other forms of information or assistance, because of the growing need for everyone to focus on solutions to achieve long-term energy conservation."

To obtain an energy information packet, residents can call toll-free 866-HEAT-HELP, or access the information at the coalition's website,

The website also will feature an "Ask the Experts" section where residents can ask specific questions regarding energy conservation and receive a personalized response.

"I strongly recommend Coloradans take advantage of the 'Ask the Experts' feature on our website," said Steve Andrews, E-Star Colorado senior technical program officer. "Each HEAT organization is an expert in its field. From energy generation, to home construction and improvements, to weatherization and assistance, HEAT can provide a long-term energy solution for every Colorado family."

In the coming months, HEAT will supplement this education initiative by sponsoring discounts for weatherization kits, home improvement classes and a regional energy summit. The organization intends to be one of the primary resources Colorado can access for information and assistance on reducing utility bills, lessening demand and consuming less of the state's natural resources.

"Every Coloradan has the power to reduce their personal energy use and lower their bills, and now is the time to start," said Karen Brown, executive director of the Colorado Energy Assistance Foundation. "Our state's energy problems will not go away unless we pull together and help solve them. HEAT gives residents the knowledge to do just that."

Energy conservation and investments in weatherization will lower bills and improve comfort in a home year-round. They also can improve a home's resale value.

State's middle schoolers lead in tobacco experiments

Colorado's middle schoolers are experimenting with tobacco use at a higher rate than their national counterparts, putting themselves at greater risk of lifelong nicotine addiction and related health problems.

In a statewide survey conducted last fall, 39.4 percent of the state's sixth, seventh and eighth graders reported having used tobacco products, compared to 33.5 percent nationally. Thirty-two percent of this age group in Colorado had experimented with cigarettes and 28 percent of these said they had done so before age 11.

"This is particularly alarming because research shows that the younger individuals are when they first try smoking, the higher their chances are of ultimately becoming regular smokers," said Jane Norton, executive director of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

"Those who begin smoking at an early age are more likely to develop long-term nicotine addiction than those who start later," Norton said. "In fact, the symptoms of addiction - including strong urges to smoke, anxiety, irritability and failure to quit - can appear in young kids within weeks or only days after occasional smoking first begins."

Norton announced the results of the state's first youth tobacco survey at a news conference at the Colorado State Capitol held to launch the Colorado observance of 2001 National Public Health Week, which began Monday and will continue through April 8. Colorado's theme for the week is "Tobacco Use is the Leading Cause of Preventable Death - Don't Let Our Future Go Up in Smoke." More people die from diseases related to tobacco use than from drugs, alcohol, sexual behavior, firearms and motor vehicle crashes combined in Colorado and nationwide. In addition, most adult tobacco users - 90 percent - report beginning their habit before high school graduation.

The youth tobacco survey, developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, provides the first reliable baseline data for Colorado. Survey data was collected from 3,546 students attending 41 middle schools and 49 high schools throughout the state who responded to a 70-question survey on tobacco use.

Norton said, "The results of this survey make it clear that many of our state's young people are blazing a highly dangerous trail that leads to tremendous health and economic impacts down the road. We owe it to our young people to arm them with the information and skills they need to avoid these addictive and deadly consumer products. Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death in Colorado. It is incumbent on all of us to ensure that our future does not go up in smoke."

Colorado tobacco education, prevention and cessation initiatives are funded largely by the master settlement agreement between the states' attorneys general and tobacco industry. The Colorado Legislature allocated $11.5 million from settlement funds for tobacco education and prevention programs for the current 2000-2001 fiscal year. The State Tobacco Education and Prevention Partnership, or STEPP, which is based at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, is responsible for administering the grant program.

For a copy of the Colorado Youth Tobacco Survey Executive Summary and detailed fact sheets about youth tobacco use, environmental tobacco smoke and adult use and cessation, visit the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment web site at hom.asp.

April 5, 2001

Blessed beyond belief

Dear Editor,

To our friends, associates and the fabulous community of Pagosa Springs, we want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the incredibly overwhelming gift of support, encouragement and especially the unceasing prayers that have been sent our way during this challenging time with our son Michael.

We feel truly blessed to be surrounded by such a wonderful community. Your prayers were answered far beyond our imagination.

The final pathology reports on Michael's tumor and spine came back late yesterday - negative! We were released from the hospital late yesterday and will need to stay here in Phoenix another 8-10 days.

Two little spots of the tumor remain on Michael's main blood vessel which will be watched closely over the next three months. Doctors assure us that any changes from this point forward can easily be handled by radiation and even that most likely won't be needed. Only one percent of children get this type of brain tumor.

If someone had told us one month ago that our precious child was going to be diagnosed with a brain tumor and we would ultimately feel like the most blessed family on earth - it would have been hard to comprehend. We all feel truly blessed beyond belief and we want to thank you all for helping us through this. We heard and felt your prayers like thunder!

We look forward to returning to Pagosa and thanking you all personally with our healthy son.

Mike and Laurie Heraty

Thank you all for your prayers!


Finance abuses

Dear Editor,

With the McCain Feingold Campaign Finance Reform bill passed through the Senate the folks in Southwest Colorado might like to know about campaign finance abuses occurring with their tax dollars.

The Southwestern Water Conservation District has long served as a slush fund for the Animas La Plata Project. Over the years it has expended millions of dollars financing the lobbying activities of their lawyers and lobbyists. But the lobbyists and lawyers have gone beyond mere lobbying and into the realm of campaign contributions.

In the past two election cycles (1997-98 and 1999-2000) the lobbying and legal firms or individuals employed by the firms have given over $80,000 in direct donations to Congressmen, Senators, presidential candidates or PACS. A review of this giving reads like a Who's Who of influence for the ALP.

Much of the giving has gone to members of the House Resources Committee (information available from Center for Responsive Politics

At a recent SWCD Board meeting the lobbyists bragged about how much influence they had gained with these Congressmen.

Of course using tax dollars for campaign contributions violates both state and federal law. Presumably the employees of the SWCD, including attorneys and a former Congressman, know how to massage the law. But there is a rub.

The SWCD requires no itemized billings from their employees. As a result, they have no knowledge of how your tax money, paid to these employees, is spent. When the Board of the SWCD was asked directly what safeguards were in place to prevent spending tax dollars for campaign contributions, they admitted there are none. And excused the practice by stating they "trust" their employees.

In an election process awash with money, where even the beneficiaries of the system admit its corrupting influence, an immediate investigation of these seemingly corrupt practices of the SWCD Board should be instituted. But an investigation by the authorities is not likely since the buying of political influence by the SWCD applies locally as well as nationally.

Michael Black


Dear Editor,

How blessed we are to live in a community where people care enough about our children to take their time and money to buy Bibles and donate them to any child who desires one.

Thank you Gideons!

Pam Brownlie

Doesn't speak well

Dear Editor,

On Friday March 23 my wife and I were traveling from Bloomfield, N.M., to Pueblo, to visit my sister. We were along the last big curve before coming into Pagosa Springs when I noticed that we had also entered a climbing lane. Due to the conditions of the road stripes (mud and sand), I did not notice that I was in the passing lane (it was also misty). When I did realize I was, I turned on my turning signals to get over to the slow lane.

I was traveling the speed limit. I knew that there was a car behind me and I also knew it was a police officer. Apparently even though I had my turning signals on (the officer admitted that he saw them) he decided to pass me on the right hand side. I saw him in time to keep from having a collision but it was close. Under these conditions I feel that officer Webster should at least pay half of the ticket but that is not why I am writing this letter.

The ticket informs me that if I wish to contest the citation I can do so but only after what would be nine days short of three months later. In other words I would have to come back three months later to have my day in court. Either this is designed to make sure that someone from out of state cannot afford to contest the citation or there are so many citations being given that your court is backed up three months. Either way it doesn't speak well of the State of Colorado and of the good people that I know live there.

Albert Lason

Thank you

Dear Editor,

Even the leprechauns are green with envy over Pagosa Springs' response to the Muscular Dystrophy Association's Shamrocks Against Dystrophy campaign. Many thanks to the thousands of people who donated to MDA and signed paper shamrocks in businesses in February and March. Their generous participation in Shamrocks will help MDA continue to provide families affected by neuromuscular diseases in our community with valuable services.

As one of many who has a loved one affected by a neuromuscular disease, I'm genuinely grateful for the caring support of customers and employees at convenience stores, supermarkets, restaurants and other retailers in Pagosa Springs.

The 18th annual Shamrocks Against Dystrophy campaign raised more than $10 million nationally. These donations help MDA fund almost 400 research teams worldwide.

On behalf of the millions of Americans affected in some way by the more than 40 diseases covered by MDA - thank you - and may St. Patrick bless you all year long


Maureen McGovern

National Chairperson

MDA Shamrocks Against Dystrophy

Eighth wonder

Dear Editor,

Most everyone knows of the seven wonders of the world. What they don't know is the eighth, which is right here in Pagosa Springs.

I found it one morning last week when I heard a noise outside and to my surprise what did I see? Not one but two road graders out in front of my house grading Twin Creek, Sweetwater and Capitan Circle. Now why is this a wonder you ask? Because we are by all "signs" not maintained.

I asked the county worker what we owed this luxury to and he replied that it was on the work list that day. I thanked him and said I didn't care how it was happening but that finally it was getting done. We were starting to look and feel like the craters on the moon.

When the SUN came out that week I learned the commissioners found out the roads were under warranty and the warranty would be void if the county did not maintain them in a prescribed time period they are still not sure of. Heaven forbid they should do the right thing and maintain these roads because we pay taxes and that it's the right thing to do!

It seems the only thing lately the commissioners are concerned about is how much power they can have and which one of them will have it - oh, and to collect the $44,000 paycheck to sit on their back sides.

When one is elected after telling the people what they want to hear, does it come natural for them to forget the concerns of the people only to find a way to make things happen for their purpose, or are they sent to a politician school?

Randall Mettscher

Thanks neighbors

Dear Editor,

On February 1, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior, published a Final Rule in the Federal Register (Volume 66, Number 22). It was written in the first person.

The rule concerns "Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Final Designation of Critical Habitat for the Mexican Spotted Owl" specifically. The areas of concern cover " . . . approximately 1.9 million hectares (4.6 million acres) of critical habitat in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah, on Federal lands."

The rule became effected on March 5. Anyone who is familiar with other endangered-dangered species critical habitat areas know that it has devastating impacts upon the surrounding land uses and upon all peoples' lives. However, it will not happen to us in Southwest Colorado thanks to our neighbors. It was not our state or county officials who should have been assisting. A heartfelt thank you is warranted to both Ute Tribes: the Ute Mountain Ute Tribal Council led by Council member Carl Knight and the Southern Ute Tribal Council led by former Chairman John Baker asserted their Brunot Treaty in the matter to the Service and prevailed.

The proof: "This critical habitat designation does not include tribal lands; FS lands within Arizona and New Mexico; Fort Carson, Colorado; and low-density areas (see discussion under Exclusions Under Section 3 (5) (a) Definition). This critical habitat designation does include FS lands in Utah and Colorado, and other Federal lands used by currently known populations of Mexican spotted owls.

"We did not designate some areas that are known to have widely scattered owl sites, low population densities, and/or marginal habitat quality, which are not considered to be essential to this species' survival or recovery. These areas include Dinosaur National Park in northwest Colorado, Mesa Verde National Park, Ute Mountain Ute Reservation, Southern Ute Reservation, other FS and Bureau of Land Management land in southwest Colorado and Central Utah . . ."

Carl doggedly demanded that the Service respect the Tribal Treaty provisions and has succeeded for now. Thanks Carl and John and all of your Council members from all of us - your neighbors - for protecting us from this absurdity!

Marvin Smith

Proud of the service

Dear Editor,

With regards to Ms. Holly Kerkes letter "Miss volunteer" Pagosa SUN, March 29, I would like to offer the following comments.

The Colorado Mounted Rangers across the state provided over 10,000 hours of unpaid volunteer time serving their various communities in the year 2000. Here in Pagosa the local Troop provided over 2,000 hours of community service in the same year; all the Rangers work for nothing and provide their own equipment.

We are proud of the service we provide, along with the traditions we uphold, one of which is helping those in distress. We regret that in this case we did not have the means to offer her a tow - which was why our captain went in search of a rope.

If Ms. Kerkes wishes to malign either the captain or me as the officers in charge she is welcome to do so, but do not impeach the reputations of the fine men and women who serve as Rangers both here and across the state.

Maybe next time she will park along with everyone else, in the allotted parking areas, which worked so very well for over 300 vehicles.


Ian Vowles

1st Lt. Troop F.

April 5, 2001

Joey Hill

Joey Hill quietly and gently left this earth on Thursday, March 29, 2001 surrounded by his friends and family, to be with his Heavenly Father and his Dad.

Born March 3, 1969 in Wichita, Kan., he lived in Pagosa Springs from 1978 to 1987. Moving to Tucson, he graduated from Catalina High School in Tucson 1991, and worked for the Tucson Police Department since that time. Despite his many disabilities, Joey's "can do" attitude set an example for all who knew him. He accomplished more and touched more lives in his 32 years than most do in a lifetime.

He is survived by his mother, Sheila Hill; sister, Katherine Nye of Tucson; brother Samuel K. Hill of Fort Worth, Texas; and nine nieces and nephews.

Now we know he stands tall without pain and we all faithfully look forward to meeting him again in heaven.

Memorial Mass for the celebration of his life will be held at Corpus Christi Church Saturday, at 10 a.m. Interment will be private.

The people at Blake Foundation gave Joey so much help in making his life and work here in Tucson a wonderful experience, any donations will go to helping the disadvantaged in a personal way.

Donations may be sent to the Blake Foundation, 6107 E. Grant Rd. Tucson, AZ 85712.

Wilbur Hohn

Wilbur L. Hohn, 91, died April 2, 2001 in Fort Collins where funeral services were scheduled at 2 p.m. today. He had lived in Fort Collins the past five years.

Born May 14, 1909 in Beaver Crossing, Neb., to Paul and Mary Christina Hohn, he was married July 19, 1939 to Mary A. Long in Neosha Falls, Kan.

Mr. Hohn ranched in the Ignacio, Stove Prairie and Haxtun areas for many years and was employed by the Colorado State University athletic department from 1960 to 1975.

He had been a member of First United Methodist Church since 1958 and was active in Sunday School classes and choir. He was also a Rocky Mountain Conference delegate several times. He was a member of the Larimer County Cattlemen's Association. His hobbies were music, hunting, fishing, reading and travel.

He is survived by his wife, Mary, of Fort Collins; a daughter, Arleen Starr and husband, Jim, of Wexford, Pa.; a sister, Edith Friehauf of Brush; grandson Daniel Kramer of Wexford, Pa.; granddaughter Carolyn Kramer of Baltimore; and by numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; daughter Linda Rae Artz; and a sister, Margaret Eckman.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Wilbur Hohn Memorial Fund at Community United Methodist Church in Pagosa Springs, c/o Allnutt Funeral Service/Drake Road Chapel, 650 W. Drake Road, Fort Collins, 80526.

'Shay' Kirkpatrick

Sharlyn "Shay" Kirkpatrick passed away March 28, 2001 at her home in Tulsa, Okla.

She is survived by Richey and Deborah Kirkpatrick of Tulsa and their daughters Jessica and Alicia; Michelle and Danny Kingsley and their children Joshua, Justin, Jay, and Jason all of Tulsa; Kari and Joel Thompson and their daughters Keziah, Tressa and Kayley from Lawrence, Kan.; and Tracy and Tommy Osburn and their son, Zachary of Tulsa.

She will be remembered by residents of Pagosa Springs where she lived in the early 1980s, where her daughters Michelle and Keri attended high school, and where the girls met and married their husbands.

She was a devoted mother and "Mumby" to her grandchildren and will be deeply missed.

Services and burial were April 2 in Tulsa. A memorial fund is set up for those unable to afford medical treatment in the Tulsa area. The Mumby Fund is at Bank of Oklahoma, 5036 S. Yale, P.O. Box 2300, Tulsa, OK 74192.

Doris C. Plendl

Pagosa Springs resident Doris C. Plendl died March 21, 2001 at Pine Ridge Extended Care Center. Doris was born Jan. 15, 1910 in Sioux City, Iowa. She was 91 years old.

Doris was the daughter of Ernest and Dora Leonard. She moved to Pagosa from Moab, Utah in December, 2000. Married February 21, 1928 to Anton W. Plendl, she was a mother and housewife.

She is preceded in death by her husband Anton and her son Ernest. Doris is survived by her daughter Mary Plendl of Pagosa Springs; her son and daughter-in-law, Walter and Barbara Plendl of Sioux City, Iowa; her daughter and son-in-law, Bonnie and Leonard Janke of Pender, Neb.; 9 grandchildren; and 7 great-grandchildren.

Funeral services were held in the chapel of Pagosa Springs Funeral Options on March 25. Burial took place the following day at Hanksville Cemetery, Hanksville, Utah. Rev. Louis Day officiated both services.

April 5, 2001
Siblings find the right Bigs
By Tess Noel Baker

When Lisa Braswell, a single mom with two children and two jobs, went looking for a mentor program for her son Marshal, 10, two years ago, finding the Big Brothers Big Sisters program was easy.

Finding a match in Archuleta County was not.

"It took about a year and a half before he got a match," she said. Since the Big Brothers Big Sisters of La Plata County began trying to expand to include Archuleta County in 1996, volunteers had been scarce.

Now, with the push by the Social Services Department and a local church, Big Brothers Big Sisters, a nationwide program that matches children ages 6-17 with an adult mentor, is gaining a foothold in the county.

Shelley Pajak, child welfare program coordinator for Archuleta County, said early last year, the Social Services Department was considering the need for a mentoring program, but saw no reason to re-invent the wheel.

"Social services didn't want to duplicate a program when there was already one in the region, so we asked how can we increase the availability here?"

At the same time, members of the Community Bible Church stepped up with some volunteers.

The combination of increased awareness in the community, encouragement from social services and the added volunteers gave the program the added boost it needed, Pajak said.

Archuleta County now has ten pairs of Bigs and kids matched, Margaret Gray, executive director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of La Plata County, said. That's a boom compared to the level of two or three since the program's beginnings.

"This is the most ever," she said. "This was the top number and it's going to continue to grow. The majority of these matches were made since November."

Finding a match

Marshal Braswell found his big brother back in September. Since then, the two have gone camping, elk hunting, mountain biking and snow boarding. They've also been to the hot springs, baked a pizza together and watched football.

"It's fun and we get to know each other pretty well," Marshal said.

"It's also nice to do things with a man instead of your mother all the time isn't it?" Lisa Braswell added, getting a nod and a smile from her son.

Her daughter, Julia Braswell, 14, has been matched with her big sister for almost a year. The pair got together for so many volunteer activities last year they received second place for total volunteer hours out of all the Big Brothers Big Sisters participants in La Plata and Archuleta counties.

Julia, a seventh grader, said some of the hours included babysitting for free at a community event, walking dogs for the humane society and helping at a children's youth ranch. They've also been swimming, done some home decorating and been to several of the Big Brothers Big Sisters activities in Durango.

"It's a good that they have adults in their life that are dependable, good role models, and that one-on-one relationship" Braswell said. "We don't have any family up here so it's kind of like an extended family. They need someone to talk to and sometimes that's anyone but mom and dad."

Numbers of results

A Big Brothers Big Sisters program can lead to several benefits for the youngsters, Gray said. An independent research firm recently completed a study showing that children in a mentoring relationship were: 46 percent less likely to use drugs, 27 percent less likely to begin using alcohol, 53 percent less likely to skip school and 33 percent less likely to hit someone.

The study also showed these students got along better with peers, teachers and other adults and had improved self-esteem, she said.

Currently, staff from Durango travel to Pagosa Springs on an appointment basis to conduct interviews and make matches. In recent months, Gray said, she has been to the community up to once-a-week. Although that has dropped off a bit in the last month, it is expected to pick-up again with the addition of a new staff member.

"We're hoping to have that program grow to about 20 by the end of this year," Gray said. In La Plata County, where the program has been in place since 1984, there are around 90 matches.

As funds allow, the hope is to get a permanent staff member located in Archuleta County, she said. That cost, for office space, supplies and staff, for even a part-time position, would run near $25,000 annually.

"The Pagosa program right now is primarily supported by grants and fundraising out of this office," Gray said. The Archuleta United Way helps by funding some for mileage for staff from Durango to make the 104-mile round-trip.

Rising need

Both Gray and Pajak believe the future need for mentors is on the rise.

"Pagosa Springs is growing as community," Gray said. "As it grows, the need for mentors is going to increase."

According to preliminary 2000 Census results, the county's school population went up from 1,117 to 1,661 in ten years, a little more than a 48 percent jump. During the same time frame, overall county population numbers jumped over 80 percent.

Pajak said around 25 percent of families in the area include a single-parent. With a divorce rate holding between 40 and 50 percent, the need for more mentors is there.

"I'm not saying that single parents can't do a good job, but it's harder to do some of those things," she said. Extra jobs, or the necessary skills for certain specific sports or hobbies simply make some activities out of reach.

Volunteer fun

As for the volunteers, once hooked, the fun keeps them involved.

"It's very self-fulfilling," Archuleta County Volunteer Chris Pajak said. "You feel like you're making a difference for someone."

Pajak was matched with a 9-year-old boy about six months ago.

"This little boy is easy going, quiet and real polite," he said. "For me, it's been perfect."

More volunteers, especially men, are needed.

"It's a lot of fun, really," Gray said. "It keeps the adult young."

Volunteers are asked to make a one-year commitment to spend between eight and 12 hours a month with a child on a consistent basis. However, that doesn't mean the volunteer can't work, travel for a job or take vacations.

"Volunteers are not expected to change their lifestyles," she said. "If they go fishing, take the child fishing. If they like to go to movies, take the child to the movies. If they're making dinner at home, have the child over for dinner. The child should become part of their life."

In making the match, staff at the Big Brothers Big Sisters spend a lot of time interviewing both volunteers and children to ensure a pair has common interests so friendships can form easily and early. Besides the interview, volunteers go through a background screen before being accepted.

Both the Braswells and Chris Pajak said getting to know the people they were matched with was easy and fun.

Right now, four children in Archuleta County are in the process of being matched with a big sister or big brother.

"One young man would like his brother to play football and other sports with him. Another young man is looking for someone to go 4-wheeling," Gray said.

Anyone interested in volunteering should call 264-5077. Gray also said although most of the referrals for children have come from social services, anyone, including parents, can refer a child to the Big Brothers Big Sisters program by calling the same number.

Beyond volunteers, Big Brothers Big Sisters is looking for some support from businesses in town.

"We are looking for businesses that will give discounts, or coupons for activities so volunteers can take the kids out for less cost." In Durango, coupons for the Big Brothers Big Sisters include ice cream cones, among other food items, movies and rafting. The Durango office also plans a monthly activity for their matches, another area they're looking to expand in Archuleta County.

Andrea Ash

Andrea Ash, daughter of Larry and Rhonda Ash of Pagosa Springs, has accepted a Fort Lewis College Presidential Scholarship for the 2001-2002 academic year.

Andrea will graduate from Pagosa Springs High School this year. She is a member of Future Business Leaders of America, National Honor Society and Athletic Committee and has been an honor roll student every year.

Andrea lettered in volleyball, basketball, track and academics. She is involved in student council, was vice president in her sophomore year, and has served as both Homecoming and Winterfest royalty.

Lisa Mitchum

Lisa Mitchum, a senior general business major from Pagosa Springs, has been nominated for Student Employee of the Year at West Texas A&M University.

Mitchum is a clerical assistant with WTAMU's Medical Services. She has been with the department for one and a half years.

The WTAMU Student Employee of the Year winner will go on to the regional competition according to Elise Copeland, coordinator of Student Employee Services.

All nominees will be recognized and the winner will be announced at a reception at 1:30 p.m. April 6 in the Jack B. Kelley Student Center Quiet Lounge.

Kellilyn Patterson

Kellilyn Patterson, daughter of Michael and Vicki Patterson of Pagosa Springs has accepted a Fort Lewis College Presidential Scholarship for the 2001-2002 academic year.

Kellilyn will graduate from Pagosa Springs High School this year. She is a member of the National Honor Society, Future Business Leaders of America and plays on the varsity Lady Pirates soccer team.

Sports Page
April 5, 2001
Victory skein moves Bramwell near PRCA point lead

Don't look now, but there's a fresh new face who is giving the veterans of bareback riding all they can handle.

His name is Forest Bramwell.

Bramwell, of Pagosa Springs, is enjoying unprecedented success thus far in 2001, his third as a PRCA cardholder. The 23-year-old alumnus of the University of Wyoming found himself in the winner's circle for the second week in a row last weekend after scoring 167 points on two head for the victory at the Rodeo Royal in Calgary, Alberta.

The $3,970 in earnings moved him to No. 2 in the Jack Daniel's World Standings, just $3,712 behind eight-time National Finals Rodeo qualifier Larry Sandvick.

Just a week before, Bramwell captured the bareback riding title at the Southeastern Livestock Exposition in Montgomery, Ala., pocketing $4,355 after scoring 164 points on two head. He also has claimed victories in Topeka and Scottsdale, finished runner-up at the Black Hills Stock Show and Rodeo in Rapid City, and split a round title at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, good for a chunk of change.

"I'm starting to feel really good," said Bramwell, who had surgery twice last year to repair a broken left leg. "I've just been at it long enough that now I'm starting to figure out when to enter perfs and just how to handle things a little bit better."

Bramwell had some brief success in his first two years, but nothing like this. During his rookie year of 1999, he finished second to J.D. Garrett Jr., in the running for PRCA Resistol Bareback Rookie of the Year. In 2000, he won the average title at the Clovis (California) Rodeo and finished 34th in the final Jack Daniel's World Standings with $26,063.

With three months in the books in 2001, Bramwell already has pocketed nearly $22,000. He's also faring quite well on the winter Wrangler ProRodeo Tour, ranking third at the halfway point. The top 12 contestants after the tenth rodeo in Redding, California, in April, qualify for the Copenhagen Cup Finale, June 14-16 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas and a shot at the $470,000 purse.

Spring break puts enthusiasm into soccer team
By Richard Walter

The difference between night and day.

That's how coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason describes his Lady Pirates' soccer performance Tuesday in Center compared to previous efforts this season.

"It was like having a different team on the field," Kurt Mason said. "We moved the ball crisply, had good swing plays back and forth across the field and excellent defense which set up scoring opportunities."

The result was the first win of the season for the Pagosa team, a 5-0 whitewash of the Vikings.

"It was teamwork like we haven't seen all season that paved the way for the victory," Kurt-Mason said. "We had great recognition of game situations and took advantage of that with sharp passes."

Keys to the Pagosa victory were many but the return of all-conference players Alysha Ranson and Jennifer Gross, both coming off injuries which had sidelined them until this week, made a distinct difference in the team's personality.

"Jennifer and Kelli Patterson controlled the midfield action," Kurt-Mason said, "and the attack developed with their ball control setting up good swing plays to Gross, Ranson, Cathy Tharpe and Megan Hilsabeck."

Tempering the return of key players, at least temporarily, was the loss of starting left wing Lindsay Schmidt to a knee injury. She hopes to be back in action within two weeks.

Another prime factor for Pagosa was the performance in goal of Carlena Lungstrum, making her first start in the nets. "She had practiced in goal, but had never been there in game conditions," Kurt-Mason said.

"I told her today that we needed her to step up and she did everything I could have expected and more," the coach said.

"Carlena's an excellent athlete and she seems to have an inborn sense of where to be and when to make her moves," Kurt Mason said. "They had several breakaways against us and she made saves each time. Two of them had every reason to be goals, but she stopped them with outstanding moves and excellent timing."

Lungstrum had six saves in the first half and Charlotte Souza, who played the nets in the second half, also had six to complete the shutout.

The coach had high praise, too, for Amber Mesker, a senior making her first varsity appearance with four shots on goal and "tremendous midfield play. She was hungry for action, just on fire," he said, "and her speed will be another asset for us down the line."

Cassie Pfeifle turned in her usual top defensive performance, he said, but added to that with several dribble advances instead of attempting to make lateral passes across field. The result was midfield play development which resulted in shots on goal.

Statistically, Lori Whitbred got the first Pagosa goal at the six-minute mark on an angle drive off a crossing lead assist from Gross.

At the 33-minute mark of the first half, Patterson scored on an assist from Tiffany Diller.

Kurt-Mason said Patterson had begged to work at the striker position, saying, "I know I can score." The coach told her she had four minutes to prove her point, "and she did, on a hard shot from the top of the 18-yard line."

Goal number three, "a spectacular drive from 30 yards out on the left side," came from Ranson five minutes into the second half after she'd been moved up to play the midfielder position. She was assisted by Heather Beye.

Hilsabeck got the fourth Pagosa score at the 10-minute mark of the half when she snared a rebound from a teammate's shot and drilled it in.

The final goal, at the 33-minute mark, was scored by Gross on an assist by Tharpe, a shot the coach called "a beautiful chip over the keeper's head."

Leading the offensive drive were Hilsabeck with eight shots, Gross with seven and Mesker with four.

Overall, the coach said, both the defense and offense were more organized than they had been at any time this season and he credited that to the return of his injured veteran players and an intensity that developed after spring break.

"I had urged them to think soccer during their break," he said. "I think they all considered their performances until now and decided they are a lot better than they have shown."

They'll get two chances this week to prove him right. The Ladies face league foes Telluride on the road Friday and return to host Bayfield in key matchups in terms of conference standings. They lost to Telluride on a neutral field in Cortez and face a first-year team from Bayfield in Pagosa's first home game of the season at 1 p.m. Saturday at Golden Peaks stadium.

Motocrosser captures his first national title

Local motocrosser Justin Dikes participated in the annual Lake Whitney Spring Nationals, March 7-11 in Lake Whitney, Texas.

Dikes raced against more than 100 riders in the 125cc stock novice class, to capture his first national championship. The race boasted some of the best competitors in the country, as well as one of the most demanding tracks.

In his other class, the 125cc modified, Dikes came away with sixth place.

Dikes plans to compete in several other nationals this year, including the World Mini in Las Vegas, Ponca City Grand National in Oklahoma, AMA Amateur Nationals in Tennessee, and the RM Cup in California.

Due to a third place finish, in the Central U.S. Arena Cross Series, Dikes will be invited to race against the top 18 finishers at the World Amateur Arena Cross Championship, held at the U.S. open this October in Las Vegas.

Local, Sante Fe skiers have top marks in Fun Run

Wolf Creek Ski Area held the last in its 2000-01 Fun Race Series March 31 with Tracy Dowd of Pagosa Springs recording the fastest woman's time of 29.24 and Brock Homsher of Santa Fe turning in the fastest men's time, 26.86.

In the girls and women's races, Shantalle Rizzo of Pagosa Springs, with a time of 36.22, topped the girls 12-14 bracket, the only sub-20 division in which there was competition.

In the women's 21-to-25 division Dowd was the pacesetter, followed by Jennifer Jenkins of Albuquerque in 32.50 and Kris Sandow of Germany in 39.57. In the 26-30 bracket, Dina Williams of Pagosa Springs was first in 32.07, Heather Sante of Monte Vista second in 36.80 and Beth Arthur of Denver third in 40.27.

In the 31-35 bracket Jenifer Williams of Denver was first in 35.61 and Jenifer Johnson of Denver second in 37.21. In the 36-40 division, Barbra Russel of Boulder was first in 32.60 and Leslie Coyne of Albuquerque second in 1:03.00. In the 41-50 bracket, it was Jenifer Schomfeld of Ohio first in 34.57 and Shawn Sweeney of Santa Fe second in 37.88.

In the 51-60 bracket, Chris Conboy of Colorado Springs was first in 34.38 and Sheryl Santi of Monte Vista second in 41.01.

Men's race results

Christopher Coyne of Albuquerque won the boys' 6-8 bracket with a time of 35.95. Chris Bridges of Arkansas was second in 37.16 and Curtis Eggleston of Durango third in 37.60.

Seth Rizzo of Pagosa Springs won the boys 9-to-11 bracket in 35.96. Braun Paynter of Angel Fire was second in 38.15 and Alex Andrews of Arkansas third in 44.95.

In the boys 12-14 category, Bob Schoenfeld of Ohio was first in 32.32, Ryan Bridges of Arkansas second in 34.28 and Nick Andrews of Arkansas third in 35.07.

Tyler Hathorn of Santa Fe won the boys 15-to-17 race with a time of 30.47. Adam Strain of New Mexico was second at 35.75 and Tyler Ruboff of Santa Fe third in 37.88.

Homsher captured the boys 18-to-20 bracket. Kyle Mullins of Pagosa Springs won the men's 21-25 bracket in 28.93. Tyler Ashton of Albuquerque was second in 29.36 and Kevin Dezendorf of Pagosa Springs third in 32.07.

Eric Santi of Monte Vista won the men's 26-30 division with 31.18. Randy Thomas of Dallas was second in 37.23 and Billy Andrews of Texas third in 37.66.

Jay Harrington of Pagosa Springs was first in men's 31-to-35 with 29.44. Duke Eggelston of Durango was second in 31.55 and Lance Rendle of Boulder third in 36.20.

John Bever of Chama was first in the men's 36-40 with a time of 29.74. Stuart Paynter of Angel Fire was second in 46.51.

Jeff Greer, Chris Mills and Robert Sparks, all of Pagosa Springs, finished in that order in the men's 41-50 bracket with times of 28.57, 29.44 and 31.92 respectively.

Mike Evans of Santa Fe was first in the men's 51-to-60 division with 27.95. He was followed by Duncan Cullman of Santa Fe in 28.19 and Larry Fisher of Pagosa Springs in 28.56.

Sam Selters of Center won in the men's 61-and-over race in 29.22 followed by Bryant Lemon of Pagosa Springs in 29.76 and Dick Babillis of Pagosa Springs in 33.69.

Friday will be College Day at Wolf Creek and the ski area will close for the season Sunday with the annual costume contest.

Community News
April 5, 2001
Chamber News
By Sally Hameister

Set aside timer for 9Health Fair Saturday

This is the weekend for the 9Health Fair, and you can get some dandy health bargains and information at the High School from 8 a.m. to noon. 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 - 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.) 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.

Spring cleaning

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. Please note that the store has new hours as of April 4: 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Saturdays.

Home show

This will be a very busy weekend for those who take advantage of all the activities and events on the docket. The second annual Home Show 2001 will be held Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Archuleta County Fairgrounds located on U.S. 84. This show, sponsored by the Upper San Juan Builders Association, was a huge success last year and I have no doubt that it will be just as big this year. If you are thinking about building, you won't want to miss it, I assure you. Even if you're not building, you can learn about all the latest products for your new or existing home from the people who know them best.

There will be 80 booths available with vendors, suppliers and builders. All entry proceeds will be donated to the Boy Scouts of America, and you can register to win a new computer. Entry fee is $1 for adults and 18 and under are free. Please call Steve Schwartz at 731-9168 for more information.

Boosters scholarships

The Pagosa Springs Music Boosters announce that applications for their four-year scholarship program, beginning with the 2001/2002 school year, are now available to any Pagosa Springs area graduating high school senior who is planning to major in music, theatre or dance at an institution of higher learning. Applicants must currently attend public, private or home school in the Pagosa Springs area.

Music Boosters scholarships provide $250 per semester over a four-year period for a total of $2,000 per recipient. Applications and additional information can be obtained by contacting Joan Hageman at 264-4863.

Speaking of the Music Boosters, and we were, the group recently expanded the number of directors on their board to accommodate the current and future planned activities. This is very good news for all of us because we can look forward to the always fabulous fruits of their labors. This meeting also included the election of officers for the 2001/02 season, and those new folks are: Kathy Isberg, President; Lee Bartley, Vice-President; Joan Hageman, Treasurer and Steve Rogan, Secretary. Continuing on the board are John Graves, Lisa Hartley and Carla Kruger, and new directors are Michael DeWinter, Andy Donlon and John Porter. What a talented group.

Merry month

It's just a little early to go into all the details, but allow me to warn you that the month of May will be filled with all kinds of dandy events beginning May 6 when we can look forward to a live concert/recording session with our local, popular group, Rio Jazz. Details will be forthcoming,

The Archuleta County Senior Center will present a benefit concert May 18, at the Pagosa Springs High School featuring cellist Phillip Hansen with local Pagosa Springs pianist Melinda Baum.

Tickets for this event will go on sale the end of April, and proceeds will benefit a variety of services provided by Senior Citizens, Inc. Sponsorship is needed to cover the costs of the facility and airfare, and if you are interested in contributing toward these costs, please contact Musetta Wollenweber at the Senior Center, 264-2167.

Echo Mountain Alpacas and Colorado State University Cooperative Extension will present the first-ever Furry Friends and Fiber Arts Festival on Saturday, May 26, and Sunday, May 27 at the Archuleta County Fairgrounds. We're excited that these folks have decided to do this over the Memorial Day weekend when we have historically had no major (or minor, for that matter!) events. Similar shows have been held in Estes Park, and Taos, where all aspects of the fiber industry have been presented to the general public in one place. Livestock breeders will have a chance to showcase and sell their animals, and fiber artists will demonstrate how they transform fiber from these animals into finished goods. Those who attend will be able to purchase a wide array of fiber-related products from fleece to fashion. If you have questions, please call 264-6680.

Thanks, LPEA

We are once again indebted to the gentlemen at La Plata Electric for hauling down our wind-whipped, mangled flags and replacing them with mended ones. We are talking to the flag designer about new flags that might last a bit longer, and we're seriously considering displaying only the side flags and eliminating the top flag altogether.

It's become quite hazardous for those guys who are so willing to hop into that cherry picker and go to the top, so we're thinking long and hard about what to do. Our latest "good guys" were Jerry and Brent who performed the recent flag feat. Thanks again to La Plata for always being so accommodating.


Five, count 'em, five new members to introduce this week and six renewals. Nothing the least bit April foolish about that, I assure you.

Neil and Linda Gundelach join us with Innovative Homes of Cedar located in their home here in Pagosa. This business has been the "Cedar Leader" leading the way in cedar homes since 1966. Their patented, precision lock timber wall system with kiln-dried, laminated western red cedar sets the standard for beauty and performance. To learn more about Innovative Home of Cedar, please call 264-6516.

Pam Eaton joins us next with Pam Eaton, REALTORS, located at 336 Twincreek Circle. Pam is ready and willing to handle all phases of your real estate needs with personalized care. Your satisfaction is Pam's success. To learn more about how Pam can help you, please call 731-3943. Board Director, Bonnie Masters, recruited Pam, and she will be rewarded with a free SunDowner for her efforts.

Mike Bauman, General Manager, brings us The Timbers at Chama located eight miles south of Chama on HC 75. The Timbers at Chama is a five-star bed and breakfast offering trout fishing, horseback riding, secluded cabins, guest house, hot tub, big game hunting and wildlife viewing. For more information on this little slice of heaven, please call Mike at 505-588-7950. Angie and Ken Gayhart will receive free SunDowner passes for their recommendation to the Baumans and our eternal thanks.

Lydia Sumaya joins us next with Timber Ridge Construction located at 3100 West U.S. 160. Timber Ridge is a full-service construction company, and Manager Lydia Sumaya brings over 25 years experience in the building trade to the business. For more information about Timber Ridge Construction, please call 731-3235.

Mike and Pam Ferrell bring us Pagosa Central Management located at 140 Solomon Drive, Suite D, right here in Pagosa. The Ferrells can help you with long-term residential and commercial property management as well as condominium and homeowners association management. You can call these folks for more information at 731-2216.

Renewals this week include Stephanie Jones with the San Juan Dance Academy; Pete Woods and Lanette Wright with the Durango Mountain Resort; Tony Morse with Paradise Brew Pub; Thomas Leotti with three businesses - Conoco East, Conoco West, and Midtown Sunoco. We thank one and all for their continued support and membership.

Senior News
By Janet Copeland

Snowbirds returning but staff loses pair

Spring has arrived for our seniors.

Carol Adams was back with us (volunteering at the front desk) on Friday. Welcome back - we look forward to the return of the rest of our snowbirds soon. We are definitely infected with spring fever - the daffodils and crocus are starting to bloom and it is wonderful to get to be outside without freezing.

Friday was our monthly Birthday celebration and we honored quite a few: Happy Birthday to Kent Schaefer, Doris Kamrath, Gene Copeland, Billie Evans, Ron McCulloch, Carol Adams, Nancy Giordano, John Larson, Carolyn Beach, and Carroll Carruth. We really appreciate Lena Bowden keeping track of the birthdays, inviting all the honorees to join us for the celebration, and presenting everyone with birthday cards. Lena is a mainstay of our organization.

Our monthly potluck/dance was on Friday also. The crowds are small but the quality of food and socialization is top-notch. I just hope folks will put the last Friday of each month (5 p.m.) on their calendars and join us for these fun events.

Sandy Pixley (from Dulce) joined Elaine Nossaman at the Center on Friday - we welcome her and hope she returns soon.

Our Senior of the Week is Bob Kamrath. Congratulations Bob! Bob and Doris are wonderful folks and we really appreciate what they do for our organization as well as for many other groups/individuals.

We were sad to have Cynthia Mitchell, one of our drivers, leave us for bigger and better things. She is a respiratory therapist and will be helping folks in a different arena. She promised she will come back to see us when possible. She will be missed.

We also hated to lose Crystal Quintana, who worked in the kitchen - good luck to you, Crystal.

The Durango shopping trips are scheduled for April 12 and 26, provided at least 10 folks sign up. Interested folks should notify Payge or sign up on the sheet in the lobby.

Even though it is a few weeks away, our big "once-a-year fund raiser," the Chili Supper, will take place April 28. In addition to the delicious meal, we conduct a silent auction, as well as auction off pies, cakes, etc. to help raise funds to support activities, building maintenance and eyeglasses for the needy. Please notify Phil Heitz, 731-2558, or Musetta or Payge at the Center, 264-2167, if you are willing to donate items for the auction. The Archuleta Senior Citizens, Inc. is a non-profit organization so donations are tax deductible.

We are so happy to know that Mary Lucero is back in town, at Pine Ridge Extended Care Center, continuing her recovery. Unfortunately our driver, David Sedgwick, is hospitalized. We pray for his speedy recovery.

Cruising with Cruse
By Katherine Cruse

Runoff fueling international incident

E Hotshot says he now knows the meaning of the word runoff. Given time and spring heat, snow turns to water. And flows. And flows.

All winter long Sunetha Creek barely held water. Now it isn't quite a raging torrent, but it's doing a pretty good imitation of one.

Out in the meadows, here at the S Bar S place, the runoff has been strong for a week. The first couple of days, Hotshot kept going out to admire the rivulets that were flowing past on either side of the house. Each time, he'd come back inside and say, "We're surrounded by water."

Even Missy Kitty, the neighbor's cat, had to put on waders when she came to visit.

Now, the land our house sits on is not steep, not like the properties up the hill behind us. It's a good thing the streamlets were passing around on either side and not flowing into the crawl space.

I didn't know, when we moved to the mountains, that we'd also have waterfront property.

On Day 3 of the Big Runoff, Hotshot got out his fishing rod and began to practice casting. It was only a matter of time before trout were swimming in those new streams, right up to our house.

On Day 4, he began working on a trench to help direct the water around the garage. Suddenly the water found its own channel, which led right into a small hole in the ground. It poured down that hole. It spiraled down like bath water going down the drain.

This went on for hours, until it was too dark to see. Next day as the temperature warmed up again, the water was still flowing down that hole. And again the day after that. Where could it all be going?

The Principle of Least Astonishment says that this hole leads to a ground squirrel's den, to a whole complex of underground tunnels. Our melt water is coming out again somewhere else in the meadow, to form another channel and join the rest of the streamlets flowing together to eventually find Sunetha Creek.

But what if it's not? What if this hole is really a direct pipeline to the center of the earth, or beyond. Enough water went into that small opening in the past week to flood an entire province in China.

I'd hate to start an international incident over Spring Runoff.

Spring Runoff means that it's also the end of the ski season at Wolf Creek. This coming Sunday is the last day.

I didn't get out on the slopes too many times this year, not as often as I had planned to when Hotshot and I bought those season passes last September. I think I amortized my pass, barely, if you calculate a full day ticket.

And now, when I gaze down at the beginner slope, the Nova slope, from overhead in the Treasure lift chair, I have to tell you that I am amazed. Two January's ago that gentle hill looked like the scariest place in the world. And a tense, clenched snow plow was the height of bravery.

So what's it like, this spring skiing after a winter of good’ snow?

First of all, the rocks on some of the steepest runs are still covered. I wouldn't tackle those mogully bumps, but at least I don't have to watch someone's head getting whacked.

Second, with the weather we had the past couple of weeks, these wonderful strong-sun days, the snow begins to soften by 10 in the morning. I'm told that in the afternoon the surface is slush. Make a sharp turn and spray your friends. As good as a splash in the swimming pool.

Now that the big Spring Break crush is over, we locals pretty much have the place to ourselves. Some of us are up there almost every day, aware that the clock is ticking, that soon we'll have to hang up the skis until next year.

Some of us are entering the regular Saturday races. You don't have to be an expert. You're racing against the clock.

The course is two sets of gates, the blue ones and the red ones, side by side on the wide slope called Charisma. You can run the race again and again, but only the best of your first two times counts. The three fastest people in each age and sex category win little medals. Everyone has a good time.

A couple of Saturdays ago Hotshot entered the races. He and a friend came down through the gates almost side by side. Actually, she beat him by 2 seconds. They went back up, switched sides, and raced again.

This second time he really concentrated on speed and making the turns. He poured it on. So did she. Hotshot finished one one-hundredth of a second in the lead. If this were a horse race it would have been a photo finish.

He was so focused on speed, on getting down that hill in a hurry, that when he flashed through the final gate his brain had a little cramp and quit functioning. He totally forgot what to do next, like, maybe, stop.

Fortunately there was a sign just in front of him, telling him what to do. A big plastic mesh sign suspended between two light breakaway poles. A bright orange sign with large letters. SLOW.

Hotshot plowed into that sign doing a fine imitation of a windmill, with a flurry of snow and skis and poles flying. Fortunately, nothing broke. He got up laughing.

I don't know what he's going to do for fun when the ski area closes. I guess he'll take up fishing.

Probably in the back yard.

Pagosa Lakes
By Ming Steen

Racquetballers happy to relate game's how-to

When you are watching your favorite racquetball pro do battle, your hero or heroine offers tons of excitement and dash.

Nobody likes to whoop it up more than racquetball players and the Recreation Center league players are no different. In fact, they are happy to oblige every Monday and Wednesday evening, 5-7 p.m.

Monday evening is doubles challenge and Wednesday is when the singles get together. They all have a grand time. One court is set up for Class B/C matches and the other court is set up for A/Open matches.

So you've never attended the league play. You are a little awkward about your game, and worse yet you don't even know which end of the court to serve to. No need to worry. There's always willing and able players around who are happy to show you the how-to.

My friend Debra likes flowers. I like flowers, as do many of you. Debra shared a recent article "Flowers: A powerful medicine." Sure, receiving an unexpected bouquet of flowers brightens your day. But now there's science proving that flowers do much more.

They trigger happiness and heighten feelings of satisfaction, thus improving your quality of life, according to researchers at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J.

Study participants who received flowers were less depressed, anxious and agitated for several days afterward. They also had closer contact with friends and family members. I think it's not the surprise of receiving a gift that makes you happy, but the flowers themselves. Any kind - they have a profound effect on my mood and well-being. It doesn't have to be a whole bouquet - just placing a single bud by my bed makes me happy.

Vial of Life, a program to help people organize and secure vital information often necessary in a medical emergency is again being made available to programs through St. Patrick's Episcopal Church. The health sheet, the vial and the decal, along with simple instructions, can be picked up at the Recreation Center. Additional information can be obtained from the coordinators Sue and Bill at 731-2451.

A young mother and her infant child brought a cardboard doll to the Recreation Center early this week to celebrate the week of the young child. What a pleasant present.

I'm going to celebrate the week by spending additional time with young children that I meet and see in our community. A number of local agencies are doing special programs such as immunization clinics, car seat safety clinics, and readings at the Sisson Library to recognize the occasion. Celebrate our children, celebrate our future.

In an effort to alleviate some of the evening congestion in the Recreation Center weight room, business hours have been extended. The Recreation Center is now open from 6:30 a.m. - 9 p.m. Monday through Friday. Weekend hours are from 9 a.m. - 9 p.m. The staff is hopeful that the additional morning hours will facilitate pre-work exercise for those who keep an 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. schedule.

Library News
By Lenore Bright

Pamphlets outline Colorado legal rights

The usual package of STATElinc handouts arrived with some interesting pamphlets on your legal rights in Colorado. They include: family mediation, traffic violations, filing for divorce without children, paternity, restraining orders, bail bonds, child support and sealed records.

Colorado Jury News explains how people are selected for jury duty, and covers much more about the jury system here in Colorado.

A small claims handbook - Guide for Non-Lawyers - deals with awards less than $5,000. The handbook explains how to proceed with such a claim.

Opera season

The Central City Opera 2001 Season is June 30 - Aug. 12. We are lucky to have two excellent opera opportunities here. Call (800) 851-8175 for more information. We have one copy of the summer calendar. Ask to copy it at the desk.

Resource Guide for Early Care and Education lists resources and websites of state organizations that can help people with disabilities and their families.

The Fledgling

The newsletter of the San Juan Audubon Society gives the Christmas Bird Count that recorded new highs with 75 species seen. If you'd like to know the many varieties, ask for a copy at the desk. In the meantime, we are just a few weeks away from welcoming our favorite hummingbirds.

As always, we plead that you not put red coloring in their sugar water as it is harmful to them. You only need to put up the feeders to attract them. For more information on birds, come check out our collection.

New books

"The Bird Feeder Book," shows how to build unique bird feeders from the purely practical to the simply outrageous. This joyful book by Thom Boswell is just fun to see.

Ted Koppel's "Off Camera - Private Thoughts Made Public" gives his viewpoint on the significant matters of 1999 and his memories of his experiences interviewing people in the spotlight. He reminds us that even the most public events reverberate in our private lives.

"I Watched a Wild Hog Eat My Baby!" This is a colorful history of the tabloids and their cultural impact. The supermarket tabloids have been the strongest influence of the past hundred years on the overall direction and philosophy of America's mass media. The author, Bill Sloan, explains how the tabloids have affected all of us - even if we've never so much as picked one up on our way through the checkout line.

"Stopping Cancer Before It Starts," is ground-breaking research that gives new facts versus old myths; explains your current risk level along with nutrition and exercise programs. The American Institute publishes this book for cancer research. There is a definite link between cancer and the diet. It is estimated that 60 to 70 percent of cancers are directly linked to the foods we eat and related lifestyle factors.

This book offers simple changes in diet and lifestyle than can dramatically reduce your risk


Thanks for financial help from Sharee Turk Grazda in memory of Norman Knox, Phyllis Decker, the Pagosa Women's Club and the Methodist Supper Fellowship.

Materials came from Kevin Cook, Nicholas Afaami and the StoneSoup Conspiracy, June Geisen, Jim Hatchett, Lynne Brown, Jim & Margaret Wilson, Bruce Muirhead, Katherine Cruse, Wes Huckins, John Paul, Ramona Gurule, Marty Johnson, Susan Hill, Walt Geisen, Carol Hakala, Brock Gorman, Retha Kornhaber, Sandy Kahrs, and Mary Hanna.

Local Chatter
By Kate Terry

Special Olympics needs summer volunteers

I want to thank Kathy Pokorney for filling in for me while I was in Texas. She wrote about Special Olympics in Pagosa Springs, reported on the medals awarded the athletes who competed at the state's competition at Copper Mountain, and in particular revealed that Patrick Waggoner won the top medal and had his picture on the front page of the Denver Post.

Pokorney, who has a doctorate in education, is the director of the Pagosa Springs Special Olympics program. She has taught special education in the public schools for seven years and was in administration for 11 years, as a principal and as an assistant superintendent. Her expertise in and devotion to Special Olympics is evident. Pagosa is fortunate.

Volunteers are needed for the summer program. She can be reached at 264-5113.

New ministry

There's a new ministry at the Community United Methodist Church called the XYZ Ministries.

The XYZ stands for extra years of zest for anyone who enjoys one another's company for food, fun, and fellowship. It meets at the church the first and third Tuesdays of the month. For lunch they do different things: pot luck, brown bag, catering, or going out. Board games follow.

Each meeting is centered around a theme. In March, when the program first started, the themes were St. Patrick's Day and the 1950s.

The theme for the April 10 gathering is Easter Hats and for the April 24 theme is Brown Bag Day at which time the food will be brown bag and people will wear brown clothing..

Future plans include out-of-town trips to the Bar D Ranch in Durango and the Creede Repertory Theatre and other places.

Chorus practice

The Mountain Harmony Barbershop Chorus has started rehearsals for its summer show (with a western theme) to be held Aug. 10 at Our Savior Lutheran Church. This is a place change. There's more room than at the Community United Methodist Church where the shows have been in the past, but the practices will be at the Methodist Church Monday evenings at 7. New members are always welcome.

Fun on the run

Out of the mouths of babes - these are true conversations between a Kentucky friend and her daughters. Bev is the mother and Anne Beth and Susan the daughters.

In Bev's household, morning conversations are limited to what is necessary for civil communication. She pours her coffee, props up her feet and reads the newspapers cover to cover. When Susan was very young, she could empty the refrigerator and not make a sound. One morning Bev thought she heard something and said, "Susan, what did you say?" No answer. "Susan, what did you say?" No answer. "Susan, what did you say?" and Susan said, "Nuttin."

Bev then said, "Susan, if you don't tell me what you said, I'll spank you," and Susan answered, "Me tink me called you dum dum."

I asked Bev what she said. "I roared (meaning laughed.)"

A few weeks ago Bev was visiting her daughter Anne Beth who is married and has a little girl Kate, who is not quite two years old. Beverly had reprimanded her for some little thing and Kate said, "Nana, you frustrate me."

The best story of all, maybe, is when Anne Beth was between the ages three and four and sitting on her grandmother's lap, she looked up at Mrs. Wathen and said, "Nana, what are all those strings on you face?" Mrs. Wathen answered,. "They aren't strings, they are streams of love. They are what you get as you grow old."

Sometime later, weeks or months, Anne Beth looked up at Mrs. Wathen and said, "Nana, your streams have turned to rivers."

Veterans Corner
by Andy Fautheree

VSO brings county knowledge to the job

I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself as your new Veterans Service Officer representing all veterans from all branches of military service for Archuleta County. I eagerly look forward to meeting each and every veteran in our area.

I am a veteran myself and served active duty in the U.S. Navy from 1957 to 1960, with a number of years in the reserves. Included in my duty assignments was serving on the WWII Essex class aircraft carrier USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA31), the "Bonnie Dick." My old ship is probably in somebody's SUV today, as she was scrapped a number of years ago after participating in some Vietnam tours of duty.

I have made my home in Pagosa Springs since 1978. My wife Mary Kaye graduated from Pagosa Springs High School. We have two children: Jeremy, 15, and Andrea, 7, attending Pagosa Springs schools. Mary Kaye teaches third grade at the Pagosa Springs Elementary School. Many residents of this area will recognize that Mary Kaye is the daughter of Rueben and Ruth Marquez. Rueben, a proud veteran of the European campaigns in WWII, passed away in 1999. A memorial to Rueben was established last year as an essay contest on "What patriotism means to me." Ruth Marquez, now retired, taught Spanish, English and library in the Pagosa Springs High School for over 20 years.

My background has been mostly in business. I was office manager for over 18 years for The House of Muskets, one of Pagosa Spring's small, quiet industries - a manufacturing and wholesale business in muzzle-loading black powder firearms and accessories. More recently I worked for the Archuleta County Sheriff Department for over two years as a detention officer at the county jail and retired from there late last year.

My retirement was short lived when the opportunity to serve the veterans of our community as their Veterans Service Officer became available. I sincerely felt it was a great opportunity for me to give back something to the community that has been such a great place to live and work.

I would like to thank the members of the selection board - Mike Diver, Dennis Hunt, Carl Krauter, Joe Ferreira and Alden Ecker - for their votes of confidence in giving me this opportunity to serve our veterans. I follow in a well-organized Veterans Service Office run by very capable predecessors and will strive to uphold their high standards. I assure you I will work very hard to help our veterans obtain the maximum amount of benefits they are entitled to.

The Veteran Service Office will be closed April 16-20 while I attend the semi-annual state VSO training conference in Denver. The office will be open for business again at 8 a.m., April 23.

I'll keep the coffee pot on and welcome all veterans of Archuleta County to stop by and get acquainted, or give me a call and say, "Hi."

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

Parks & Rec
by Douglas Call

Soccer, volleyball and baseball programs underway

Indoor soccer games for youth and adults started this week and will continue through the last week of April.

Registration forms are available at Town Hall and the junior high gym. Games are played on Tuesday and Thursday evenings with youth playing 6-7:30 p.m. and adults (18 and over) playing 7:30-9 p.m. Registration fees are $10 for youth and $15 for adults.

Call the recreation office for more information or if you are interested in officiating, 264-4151.


Adult volleyball open gym is being held Mondays and Wednesdays, 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the middle school gym. The player fee is $5. Call the recreation department with questions.


Youth baseball registration forms are available for players ages 5-14.

This year's senior league, ages 13-14, has formed a team to play in the La Plata Sandy Koufax league. The fee for this league is $50 per child.

Practices begin next week, 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. Call the recreation office at 264-4151 with any questions.

Baseball registration forms, for youth ages 5-12, are available at Town Hall and at the schools. The registration fee for this age group is $10 until tomorrow, after which the fee will go up to $15 until the final registration deadline of April 20. All Bambino players, ages 10-12, are encouraged to attend group practices April 23 and 24, weather permitting. Bambino coaches will choose their teams from these tryouts at the coaches' meeting April 25. All coaches are encouraged to attend the 6 p.m. meeting, April 25 at Town Hall. Uniforms and equipment will also be distributed at this time.

Practices will start the first of May and games will take place on Tuesday and Thursday evenings through June 28. People interested in helping coach or umpire this year's season should contact Summer at Town Hall, 264-4151.

Baseball board

The recreation department is currently forming a baseball committee to facilitate this year's youth baseball season. The board's first meeting will take place April 11 at 6 p.m. at 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.

Skills challenge

This year's baseball clinic will again be held in conjunction with the Colorado Rockies Skills Challenge. The clinic will take place June 1-2. The Rockies Skills Challenge will be held on the Saturday afternoon following the baseball clinic. Both events are free.

Girls' fast pitch

A girls' 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 next race in the series will be in Farmington, at Pinon Mesa, April 21. More information or registration forms can be obtained at (505) 599-1140.

In Sync with Isabel
by Isabel Willis

ACVAP guards assult victims' rights

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month across the nation, bringing attention to the issue of sexual violence. The question most often asked is, "Do we really have a problem in Pagosa Springs?" The answer is yes, after viewing statistics for this area.

One program that helps victims of this crime is the Archuleta County Victim Assistance Program. The mission of ACVAP is to provide emergency and other necessary services to victims, their dependents and witnesses of a violent crime. Their focus is mostly domestic violence and sexual assault. ACVAP works to ensure that the rights of victims are met throughout the criminal justice process. At the inception of the program in 1997, their mission was intervention. They are now moving their focus to include more prevention.

ACVAP is the only victim assistance program in Archuleta County. They work closely with the local courts, the district attorney's office and law enforcement. Local resources to assist victims with their long-term needs are utilized continuously as well. They include the Department of Social Services, housing agencies, food assistance, local counselors, legal aid groups and any other available groups with resources to fulfill the needs of victims.

What are the fears experienced by many people who report this crime? Most of the time the answer is confidentiality. The victim fears that everyone will know.

Members of ACVAP are bound by confidentiality; they work for the victim, therefore the victim has the power to tell them who they can talk to. A victim's story needs to be viewed as extremely personal and delicate, not to be displayed. To tell their story is to give a part of themselves, not to be taken lightly.

Sometimes a victim fears and distrusts the criminal justice system. ACVAP offers court advocacy which helps insure a victim's rights are being met.

There are three ways to make a report regarding a sexual assault.

There is a formal report, which means charges are filed immediately. The victim chooses to go forward with the prosecution, but the state is responsible for pressing the charges.

There is an informal report, which means the victim gives details of the report but isn't quite ready to press charges. There are many stages a victim goes through. There's shock, disbelief, anger, denial and even acceptance. The scenario could be that a victim wants to make a report but they're just not sure they want the perpetrator to be prosecuted. It could be a close friend and they're afraid of coming forward. Then the victim realizes she or he is the victim and the perpetrator needs to be punished. The statute of limitations depends on the crime, but generally speaking it could be anywhere from 18 months to 10 years. Making the report immediately is crucial evidence in a case: it's crisp in the mind and the victim is able to provide relevant details.

Lastly, there is an anonymous report. Giving law enforcement valuable information in the beginning may stop the perpetrator from hurting anybody else. He/she may hang out at a designated place - a recreational area, a specific neighborhood - and is a threat to many other people. Communication with the police can provide essential evidence.

Our small town is not immune to sexual assault crimes. We would not have a Victim Assistance Program if we were and many volunteers would not be needed to collaborate in support of this program. Carmen Hubbs, director of ACVAP said, "Volunteers are my number-one resource. Without them, we would not exist. Their hard work and dedication is unyielding." She feels as if the volunteers are never honored and thanked enough for all they do, but they are all valued to no end.

This article addresses only a small portion of information regarding sexual assault. The point is to make local resources known.

If you have further questions about the Archuleta County Victims Assistance Program, need assistance in any way regarding sexual assault, or would just like to make a donation to the program, contact Carmen Hubbs by calling 264-9075.

Arts Line
by Pamela Bomkamp

Realistic, abstract images focus of artist

The Pagosa art community has recently gained a new member of which it can be proud in the person of Rusty Gibbs. A graduate of the Northwest College of Art in Poulsbo, Wash., Rusty received a BFA in visual communication with a double major in fine art and graphic design.

A veteran of numerous solo and juried art shows, including a first-place award, Rusty, at age 22, has already established himself with his unique style of transitions or juxtapositions of realistic and abstract images in his works. A great admirer of Creede's Stephen Quiller, Rusty has been influenced by Quiller's use of color. Using just two or three colors in each painting, Rusty creates large areas of passive shapes or colors, leaving one small area very detailed to draw attention to the focal point.

As the owner of a portraiture business, he also does lifelike renditions from photographs in charcoal and watercolor as well as caricatures for fairs, parties or gifts.

An opening day reception will be held this evening, 5-7 p.m. at the Town Park Gallery. Rusty's exhibit runs through April 18. This young artist shows a mature talent and his unique style is soon to gain him further recognition. Show your support by your presence on opening day and the visual delights of color and contrast will be your reward.

Sale success

Thanks to all you generous people who donated so many wonderful items, our garage sale was the best ever! A special thanks to the Methodist Church for the loan of their tables. The following volunteers made our sale possible: Jean Carson, Phyl Daleske, Barbara Draper, June Geisen, Jim and Joanne Haliday, Jim and Jennifer Harnick, Stephanie Jones, J.J. Lawlis and Anna O'Reilly. We really appreciate all the time and effort they contributed.

PPKM comedies

The new Cabaret Theater Lounge in the Pagosa Lodge will be the setting for the Off Broadway musical comedies, "Coping" and "Elvis At Sixty." All performances are G-rated and begin at 7:30 p.m. Tickets may be purchased for $8 at the Chamber Visitors Center, Wolftracks, Pagosa Lodge or at the show. Since seating is limited you are advised to purchase your tickets early. Food and beverages will be available.

In "Coping" song, dialogue and dance combine to show that anything life dishes out can be dealt with successfully and humorously. Show dates are April 20-28, May 4, and June 1-2.

Is Elvis really dead? You may not be so sure after seeing "Elvis At Sixty"! It certainly looks and sounds exactly like him. Could anyone but the King himself give such an amazing performance? Seeing this show may make a believer of you. Show dates are April 21-27, May 5 and June 8-9.

Radio interviews

Don't miss the KWUF PSAC interviews and information the second Thursday of each month from 8:05-8:35 a.m. (1400 AM on your radio dial) Keep current with our many activities.

Volunteers needed

If you would like to write the PSAC Artsline in the Pagosa SUN when there is a fifth Thursday in the month, call Joanne at 264-5020. We also need a volunteer to do publicity occasionally.

If food is your thing and you would like to be on the PSAC Hospitality Committee which coordinates our snack booth at PSAC events, please call Joanne.

Of course we can always use more volunteers at the gallery or other Arts Council functions, so don't be shy as we will work with you to find the time and activity which suits you best. It's really fun!

Spring Petroglyph

Our heartfelt thanks to Jennifer Harnick for gathering all the info and putting together the Petroglyph newsletter, to Dee McPeek for doing the layout and to Marti Capling and Sheila Hunkin for getting it mailed to our members.

SUN shine

A special thank you to everyone at the Pagosa SUN for running our Artsline column and doing such a great job with the accompanying pictures. Your support has been invaluable.

More thanks

We wish to thank Piano Creek Ranch office for their continuous support of the Arts Council and its activities. We are also grateful to Wells Fargo Bank for sharing their copy machine with us. It has been a tremendous help in dealing with all our paperwork.

Exhibit openings

There are still a few openings for exhibitors for the PSAC Gallery but they're going fast! Get your application in ASAP to be sure of a spot. Applications can be picked up at Moonlight Books, Wolftracks, and the gallery.

Extension Viewpoints
by Bill Nobles

Science backs preventative claims for cranberries

Today - Oil painting project meeting, 4:30 p.m., Extension Office

Today - Shady Pine 4-H Club meeting, 7 p.m., Extension Office

Friday - Wildlife Habitat Evaluation program, Extension Office

Friday - Colorado Mountaineers 4-H Club, 2:15 p.m., meeting at Community Bible Church

Friday - Goat project meeting, 3:15 p.m., Community Bible Church

Friday - Rabbit project meeting, 3:15 p.m., Community Bible Church

April 9 - Drawing project meeting, 4 p.m., Extension Office

April 9 - Shooting Sports 4-H meeting, 5 p.m., Extension Office

April 10 - Rocky Mountain Riders 4-H club meeting and horse project meeting, 6 p.m.

April 11 - Woodworking, 5 p.m., Extension Office

April 12 - Oil painting project meeting, 4:30 p.m., Extension Office

April 12 - Beef, Swine and Lamb mandatory meeting, 6:30 p.m., Extension Office

Cranberries, blueberries

For years, cranberry juice has been considered a folk remedy for preventing and treating urinary tract infections. However, it's only been since the mid '90s that we've begun to see science back up these claims.

In 1994, a Harvard study provided clinical evidence to support the claim that regular consumption of cranberry juice could reduce the bacteria associated with urinary tract infections. In the double-blind placebo controlled trial, 153 elderly women were given either 10 ounces of cranberry juice or a taste-alike placebo every day for six months. By the end of the second month, those receiving the real thing had fewer bacteria and white blood cells in their urine than did those receiving the placebo.

Though some members of both groups did experience UTIs during the trial, episodes were half as likely to occur in the group consuming cranberry juice than in the placebo group.

The next question for researchers was, how did the cranberry juice work? For a long time the hypothesis centered on acidity. The high acidic level of cranberry juice was thought to change the pH of the urinary tract to a climate unfriendly to bacteria. But investigations into the nature of infections led researchers in a new direction. It was found that E. coli, the infectious agent most commonly involved in UTIs, settles in and goes to work by attaching to cell walls.

Cranberries, it was discovered, decrease the ability of E. coli to adhere to cells. As a result, the bacteria were more likely to be flushed out of the system during urination.

What is in cranberries that interferes with E. coli's ability to attach to the cell walls in the urinary tract? Researchers at Rutgers University think they have isolated compounds in cranberries that seem to be responsible for preventing certain strains of E. coli from sticking to the urinary tract.

These compounds are known as condensed tannins or proantho-cyanidins that give cranberries their bright color. Of the foods studied so far, the active compounds are found in the greatest concentrations in cranberries and blueberries.

And so the investigation is complete, or is it? After observing a trend, asking how and what, the next question is, "How can we apply what we've learned?"

Surprisingly, one of the answers may come in the form of toothpaste. Yes, researchers have found that proanthocyanidins also inhibit plaque from forming and sticking to teeth. But don't brush with cranberry juice; it's loaded with sugar!

As for urinary tract infections, the most general preventive strategy is to stay well-hydrated; and yes, cranberries or blueberries may help. But don't just wait for the threat of a UTI before including these fruits or fruit juices in your diet. Along with their proanthocyanidin content, both are fat free and a good source of fiber and vitamin C.

Blueberries can be found in the fresh, frozen and canned sections of your grocery store. They have a smooth taste and add a colorful touch to salads and dishes of cereal. They're also great in muffins and breads, or as a topping for pancakes.

Besides cranberry drinks, cooked cranberries make great sauces and compotes. And don't forget Craisins - dried cranberries; they're delicious in salads or as a handy snack.

Just a reminder, you will be able to order seed potatoes until the end of April.

Call the Extension Office at 264-5931.

April 5, 2001

Learn from the past, now

Can we learn anything by studying places that were once like Archuleta County is now - gripped by irreversible change, yet in a situation where choices can be made that give residents both a modicum of control over how growth occurs and the means to preserve the qualities that drew them to the area?

It is instructive to travel to the hill country of Southern California, to see what was once fertile agricultural land, sparsely populated, endowed with beautiful scenery and climate; to see what happened when people did not exercise reasonable restraint, did not resist the lure of quick riches and convenience, did not put moderate land-use regulations into action.

People leave those places to come to Archuleta County.

They leave to escape strip malls, clogged traffic on limited highway accesses, air pollution. They leave crumbling infrastructure, visual clutter, commercial and residential neighborhoods in close proximity, roads in disrepair, limited supplies of water. They flee politicians incapable of dealing with problems, who don't care about problems, or who profit sufficiently to turn a blind eye.

Ironically, what they flee to is the embryo of what they left. The question is whether the embryo will become a monster.

Opportunities exist in Archuleta County to put reasonable constraints on some of the problems that overwhelmed other places, to protect environmental and aesthetic elements that make this place so attractive, so livable. With an involved citizenry and elected officials who have the courage to walk a controversial road, there is much that can be preserved.

The Upper San Juan Regional Planning Commission gave approval March 21 to a Community Plan - the product of a citizens' Vision Committee, more than 25 public meetings, and the assistance of a consulting firm.

This document was adopted by the commission, but it is not law - it is an advisory document, providing direction to the next step of the process.

That next step is the creation of regulations to implement the plan. The plan contains language that could, with regulations, provide for rational control of some types of growth and land use. It contains language that could allow for protection of scenic, river and wildlife corridors - a move fought, regarding identification of proposed protected areas, by opponents of the plan.

The Archuleta County Commissioners need to show their hands. They will review the document soon and time grows short for effective action on their parts.

Our commissioners have the option to move ahead to implement the plan. If they don't, the plan will remain an impotent artifact - a relic of unacknowledged concerns.

The writing of regulations requires one of two things, each involving reliance on professional expertise none of our commissioners possess: that the commissioners quickly hire an experienced senior planner and set that person to the task of writing draft regulations; or that the county hire a consulting firm to analyze the plan and write regulations.

Further, if regulations are to have muscle and a meaningful effect, the Planning Office must have the personnel to enforce land-use regulations. Regulations without enforcement are a joke, and the current office staff is overwhelmed by the day-to-day business attendant to development in the county.

The commissioners must act and tell us what they think about the future of Archuleta County. It will grow - no doubt.

What it will become is the issue on the table.

Karl Isberg

Dear Folks
By David C. Mitchell

An appreciated 'Pagosa thing'

Dear Folks,

You know it's spring in Pagosa when some of the shoppers in City Market are wearing ski jackets, ski bibs and snow packs and others are dressed in shorts, T-shirts and Tevas.

Folks are fascinated by fortuitous episodes involving Pagosans who unexpectedly come through for one another at the most unexpected places and at the most unlikely time, when needed the most. Some folks refer to them as "a Pagosa thing."

Last week, Michael, Lauri and Mike Heraty added one to the list. It involved Michael, 9, and his folks spending their spring break at the Phoenix Children's Hospital.

Their episode started March 25. The Heratys attended the worship service that morning at Community Bible Church, but that afternoon Michael experienced some unexplained seizures. After flying to Phoenix Sunday evening, early the next morning Lauri had Michael at Children's Hospital.

Specialists discovered a tumor on the right side of Michael's brain. Surgery was scheduled for the morning of March 31.

The first indication of "a Pagosa thing" being in the works was when Mike phoned home to Community Bible Church to see if someone could recommend a pastor he could contact in Phoenix. The church secretary recommended Curt Wiggers - assistant pastor at Community Bible Church. Curt, Lynell and their son, Kyle were in Phoenix for spring break vacation and to visit relatives.

While some Pagosans were leaving Phoenix and heading home for Pagosa last Saturday morning, Michael was heading for the operating room at Children's Hospital. Curt and Lynell were with Mike and Lauri and their families in the adjoining waiting room.

As the morning moved to noon and on into midday, it became a matter of concern that the operation was taking longer than Lauri and Mike had anticipated. There is no need to describe the anxiety and concern the unexpected and unknown placed on their minds and emotions. Any parent - even those who have been spared from personally experiencing such devastating anxiety - can somewhat imagine their concerns.

Back in Pagosa, Gary and Kelly Fisher did not need to imagine what the Heratys were experiencing. In 1995, specialists at the Denver Children's Hospital had determined that their oldest son Drew, who was almost 9 at that time, had a brain tumor. The delicate brain surgery was successfully performed at Denver Children's Hospital. Successful radiation treatments were subsequently performed at the Boston Children's Hospital.

Thus late last Saturday afternoon, Kelly's prayers were with young Michael in the operating room and with Lauri in the waiting room. Despite thinking it was too early for the operation to be complete, Kelly felt she should phone Phoenix Children's Hospital in hopes of reaching Lauri. With it being Saturday, a receptionist was not on duty at the phone desk in the waiting area for the operating room.

Hoping to hear a report from the operating room, Lauri quickly answered the waiting room phone on the first ring. Recognizing Kelly's voice, Lauri poured out her concerns about the operation having already gone on for six hours. What did it mean? Why's it taking so long? What . . . ? The one mother who could calm Lauri's motherly concerns - a mother who had undergone a somewhat similar experience - had called at the perfect time.

Upon hearing that Drew's surgery had taken more than nine hours and other assurances from Kelly, Lauri's worst fears were alleviated and her hopes restored. Saturday's surgery was successful.

By Sunday morning Michael was eating breakfast, wanting his Legos and visiting with friends. By Tuesday afternoon he was released from the hospital. It was a Pagosa thing.

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


By Shari Pierce

100 years ago

Taken from The Weekly Times of April 4, 1901

Quite a snowstorm was experienced Saturday and Sunday for this time of year. Many are nearly out of hay and very sorry to see such a storm.

A rock slide occurred Saturday morning one half mile west from Pagosa Junction, which caused the westb ound train to go back east from the Junction and the eastbound train to return to Durango.

Rev. Kirkbride will conduct the dedication service of the M.E. Church at Edith on next Sunday evening.

Town board proceedings: At this time bids for advertising the delinquent tax list were considered. The Pagosa Springs Printing Company's bid was 75 cents per inch. The bid of the Weekly Times was 35 cents per inch. The board accepted the bid of Weekly Times at 35 cents for all insertions.

75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of April 2, 1926

The Hatcher hot water well has reached a depth of 132 feet and drilling will be suspended until casing has been set. Hot artesian water of 104 degrees has been continually flowing since a depth of 30 feet was reached, but is said to be seepage from the Arlington well. The hot water pool desired is expected to be tapped at about 300 feet.

Joe Schreiber, delivery truck driver for the Hersch Merc. Co., while trying out his recently acquired motorcycle Sunday morning, was unable to sufficiently control the machine and crashed into the Ford coupe of Elmo Dunn on upper Pagosa Street. He fortunately escaped with no injuries other than a badly sprained foot, which has kept him off duty the past week. The motorcycle was damaged considerably while the coupe's damages were nominal.

50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of April 6, 1951

Postal Inspector Marshall of Pueblo spent most of last week in Pagosa Springs investigating buildings and building sites with the idea of a new location for the post office. As a result he has issued a call for bids on a new location of the post office. His call states that all bids must be made prior to April 20.

The Town Board of Pagosa Springs met in regular session on Monday night of this week. Plans for the permanent improvement of the town park were discussed and it is anticipated that this work will start as soon as possible under the supervision of Mayor Ben K. Lynch. The plan calls for complete modernization of the park and it will be a very nice place when work is completed.

25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of April 1, 1976

The Pagosa Boxers won 9 out of 14 interteam matches with Santa Rosa last Saturday. Local boxers who won were Matt Aragon, Eric Aragon, Jeff Harmsen, Jimmy Lucero, Marty Martinez, Patrick O'Neal, Joseph Jaramillo, Larry Holder, Steve Jaramillo, Clifford Lucero, Dennis Sanchez, Joey Trujillo, Tommy Archuleta and Pete Archuleta.

Snow readings at high altitude show that snowpacks are above average for this time of the year. Snow depths at intermediate and lower elevations are near normal. Soil moisture is good, and conditions for the spring runoff appear to be good.

Remodeling has been completed this week at Total Sports and at Jackisch Drug. A new business, Al's Cafe, has opened just east of the San Juan Motel.

April 5, 2001
Pacing Pagosa
By Richard Walter

Robideaux Hill has recreational past

The road built up the west side of Reservoir Hill last summer has been called many things, one of the kindest being "a scar on the landscape."

It lies just across Hot Springs Boulevard and slightly north of the new Town Hall and was constructed to provide access to a home site for a person who, at this time, lives out of state.

Last week a reader suggested we publish a photo of the hill as it now stands "before it is turned into another hilltop subdivision to blight the community."

The east side hill, formerly known as Robideaux Hill, has been an historic part of the Pagosa Springs recreational system.

Long before the town administration utilized recreational rights and began its development of trails around the hill, it was a summer picnic area and often, we're told, a trysting place for the area's young people.

When I was a child, there were limited roadways around the hill's top. This was long before several electronics towers were erected. Each road led to secluded areas where families took the traditional picnic baskets on a Sunday afternoon and wondered at the gifts of nature right in their own back yard.

My mother told of playing on the hill above the river as a pre-1920s youngster. She described a long rope swing that descended from a jack pine which allowed youths to swing right out over the river and of the fun it provided for those living on the east side of the river.

She also reported the envy expressed by youngsters who lived on the river's west side and had no such means of expressing their daring and acrobatics. Eventually, the east siders were forced to remove the swing because town officials called it "an invitation to personal injury and community disaster."

The east side kids, she said, always believed the move was instigated by parents of the west siders who complained they had no access.

The hill, stretching a little over two miles and rising better than 200 feet from the river basin floor, provides a natural break between the flow of Mill Creek and the San Juan River into which it drains. It has long provided an "in town" refuge for wildlife and it is not uncommon to find deer, elk, coyote, rabbit, squirrel and occasional bear tracks when wandering its trails - most within view of the main portions of the Pagosa residential community.

An eagle or two have been seen on the hill already this year. Chipmunks abound and dozens of varieties of winged creatures dwell in its forests.

The hill has been logged several times and old snags still stand in some of its glades. A major portion of the hill, on both sides, is privately owned and while the hill is viewed as a community treasure, the biggest percentage of it lies outside town limits.

Modern usage of the hill's trails has resulted in bicycle races in the summer and ski and snow board jumps in the winter.

Hundreds of persons, residents and visitors alike, walk those trails to get a taste of wilderness in the midst of ongoing development. Youngsters often get their first introduction to the animals of the wild when escorted on Reservoir Hill's trails by caring parents or scout leaders.

The east side of the hill, outside municipal boundaries, has taken on a decidedly commercial aspect with lumber, asphalt, auto repair and service facilities, pet grooming and farm equipment and fuel sales all lying directly across U.S. 84 from the Archuleta County Fairgrounds.

To the south lies private property, surrounding the southern end of the hill where the light plant once stood and extending back up the river valley toward the current town limits which end a block south of Apache Street. The riverside area is prime grazing and farmland in summer months.

Development of the Hot Springs Boulevard corridor with its new Town Hall facility, planned Community Center, supplemental county government facilities and smaller retail and residential establishments will change the hill's environment even more.

Municipal government development in the area will include adding to the river walk trail system along the San Juan and retaining the marshes and small lakes that house hundreds of waterfowl on an almost year round basis.

Add to that the planned reconstruction of County Road 119 (Light Plant Road) this summer - as a joint town-county project eliminating some dangerous curves and providing another surfaced entry to the community from U.S. 84 - and you have even more encirclement of the hill and its bounty of nature's offerings.

Because of insurance liability problems and the potential for crime in an unpatrolled area, the hill's facilities are no longer open to vehicular traffic except for special, well-policed events like folk fests and mountain man conventions.

But it is still a community treasure and anything we, as a community, can do to preserve it as a pedestrian and bicycle recreation area, including walk-in picnic facilities, should be encouraged.

The views from the top are spectacular. From the giant picnic table at the north end one sees up the valley toward Wolf Creek, wondering at the alpine setting in what has been called our "high plateau" home.

From the south end one can see the river meandering into the canyon below the bluffs where Native Americans once camped and trapped for their daily needs while using the healing waters of the hot springs nearby.

Look to the east and you'll see Square Top, Nipple Mountain and the East Range and glimpse vast farm holdings and grazing areas.

To the north and you'll see the crown of it all, Pagosa Peak, and all the surrounding mountains which have provided beauty and sustenance for Pagosa Country residents since the first pioneers arrived and for the natives long before.

Reservoir Hill took its new name when the town erected a water tower there sometime around the turn of the century, directly above what is now the eastern terminus of Second Street (probably better known to oldtimers as Snowball Road).

It would be ideal if Reservoir Hill were to remain an undeveloped, but accessible, nature preserve, recreation and outdoor education area serving the community as a reminder of what was and what can be.

By John M. Motter

Law, order challenge in frontier Pagosa

As 1890 drew to a close and 1891 dawned in Pagosa Country, the traditions of the Frontier West slowly vanished into the past. Daniel Egger, editor of the Pagosa News recorded the obvious, perhaps without recognizing what was happening.

The Town of Pagosa Springs incorporated in 1891. The light voter turnout for incorporation either indicates a lack of interest or a lack of voters. In any case, the first town board consisted of John L. Dowell, mayor; E.M. Taylor, clerk and recorder; A.D. Garvin, marshal; D.L. Egger, treasurer; N.G. Peterson, police judge; J.A. Walters, street commissioner; and trustees C.H. Harpst, J.C. Strawn, C.H. Freeman, M.A. Patrick, C.D. Scase, and A.J. Lewis.

Pagosa Springs still had no electricity, no running water or community sewage collection, no railroad, no church building, and travelers into and out of town were largely at the mercy of the weather.

Frontier concerns remained, concerns such as people packing firearms, rustling, and Indians straying from their appointed reservations. Law enforcement was up front as a news item.

Newspaper item: The sheriff has posted notices that the carrying of deadly weapons must be abolished hereabouts. To attain this object all respectable citizens should lend the sheriff a helping hand by an endorsement of his action. No law on the statute books can be enforced if it is not sustained by popular sentiment. Why should boys be permitted to carry ugly guns and shoot them off, thus endangering the lives of peaceable citizens and making the nights hideous?

Motter's comment: An item such as this usually is a clue that some kind of shooting incident had occurred, but we failed to find a more specific explanation in the paper. This item was in a late 1890 paper printed before the 1891 town incorporation. That's why the sheriff took responsibility. As soon as the town organized, ordinances were passed concerning firearms and a town marshal hired to enforce the ordinances.

Newspaper item: A neat sign has been placed on the bridge in town, which conveys to the traveler the information that he is subject to a fine for riding or driving faster than a walk over the bridge. Now let the ordinance relating thereto be enforced. A.P. Thompson, the artist, did the painting.

Motter's comment: The bridge referred to connected the east and west portions of San Juan Street in the downtown area. Since there were no automobiles or trucks yet, riding was horseback and driving was in horse-drawn vehicles. Traffic control was necessary before the automobile.

Newspaper item: There is every reason to believe that this country is overrun with horse thieves, and the owners of stock are thereby warned to keep close watch on them.

Motter's comment: Again, we find no specific items to support the above general statement. During the year, many references were made to "Pine River rustlers." Pine River was the name for the area we call Bayfield today. The Bayfield name did not arrive until about 1900. Other items in the newspaper at about this time commented on the difficulty of cattle raising in the western part of Archuleta County because of the alleged activities of the Pine River rustlers. Stock raisers formed associations and met regularly. Stock associations offered rewards for the apprehension of rustlers and bounties for wolves, bear, and mountain lions.

Newspaper item: The state fund of this county for the payment of the bounty on bear and lion scalps is being exhausted at an alarming rate. Our hunters have been putting in some good licks this season and have harvested a large number of scalps.

Motter's comment: During the 1890s, mountain lions, wolves, and both black and grizzly bears still roamed Pagosa Country. Cattle raising was still important in Colorado and cattlemen were politically powerful. There is no way to guess how many of these animals remained, but stock raisers still worried about predator losses. They prevailed upon the state to pay bounties. Gray wolves survived in the county, at least until the 1930s. Grizzly bears probably survived into the 1950s. Based on newspaper items, bears have always been common in the county. Early reports refer to large cinnamon bears. We don't know if they meant grizzlies or brown black bears. Mountain lions we still have.

Newspaper item: The Apaches are still hunting in this county, and it is more than probable that they are not only hunting wild game but domestic calves also. Last week while the Chambers boys were hunting stock they were following the trail made by the cattle in the snow and overtook two Apaches who were also following the same trail. As the Indians had no provisions it is safe to presume that they were after veal. Why should these redskins have more privileges than decent folks?

Motter's comment: The Apaches referred to were undoubtedly Jicarillas. The Jicarilla Reservation with headquarters at Dulce was not established until 1887. Unsuccessful attempts had been made to form the reservation during the late 1870s. During those earlier days, Amargo was the site of the agency. Other Jicarilla agencies had been located at Tierra Amarilla, Abiquiu, Cimarron, and Taos. Early on, traditional Jicarilla territory centered in northeast New Mexico. The Chambers ranches were located on the Lower Blanco. The editor's racist viewpoint is pretty obvious.

Newspaper item: From the Durango Herald. A delegation of Utes came in from Ignacio last evening to consult with Register Ritter. They wanted to know of him why it was the government did not pay some attention to the treaties made with them and wanted to write to the president at Washington and Secretary Noble and find out if they would have to fight, like the Sioux, to obtain their rights.

Motter's comments: Pagosa Country was traditionally Ute County. Most historians recognize three bands of Southern Utes with various spellings: Weeminuche, Capote, and Moache. The Weeminuche pretty much occupied lands west of Durango and in southeastern Utah. The Capote occupied lands around Pagosa Springs. The Moache were from the San Luis Valley. At different times, agency headquarters were established at Cimarron, Taos, Abiquiu, Tierra Amarilla, and Conejos. Today the Capote and Moache mostly live around Ignacio, the Weeminuche in Towaoc. Apparently, the Jicarilla and Ute got along well together. Both were enemies of the Navajo and Comanche. The best known Ute, Ouray, was half Jicarilla, half Ute. Apparently the Ute were taking advantage of the 1890 Sioux uprising at Wounded Knee to gain leverage in their dealing with whites.

Newspaper item: The Four Mile Irrigating Ditch Co. was incorporated last week with L.L. Laughlin, L.M. Gililland, M.M. Parr, A. Thompson Sr., A. Thompson Jr., and J.D. Murray as incorporators.

Motter's comments: During the early days of settlement in the West, irrigation was one of the first tasks undertaken by settlers. The Four Mile Ditch, taking water from Four Mile Creek, is still important for the ranchers north of Pagosa Springs. It is interesting to note that none of the original creators of the Four Mile Ditch remain in this part of the country. I don't even know which ranches were theirs, except for Parr's ranch, which belongs to R.D. Hott today. We do have a descendant of Laughlin living in the community. Often we learn that the first layer of pioneers came and went, leaving little evidence they had been here.

Newspaper item: Joe Mann was down from his ranch last week. He reports that seven families have recently located on the east fork of the San Juan. Mr. Mann's neighbors are all anxious to have the territory occupied by them cut off from Rio Grande County and attached to Archuleta County, They are also clamoring for a post office and a mail route between Summitville and Pagosa Springs. These requests should be granted, but it would first be necessary to construct a wagon road between the points named.

Motter's comments: Homesteaders lived on the east fork of the San Juan until the 1911 flood wiped out the entrance road located in the lower canyon. Many of them, such as the Young brothers, were prospectors. The community of Elwood near the base of Elwood Pass did get a post office during its brief existence. Another community called Bowentown existed for a short while near where Silver Creek crosses the old military and state road that connected Pagosa Springs and Summitville by way of Elwood Pass. Lemuel L. Laughlin kept a boarding house at Bowenton. Joe Mann's cabin was the existing McCarthy cabin. Parts of the old cabin may remain within the much-modified structure.

Newspaper item: W.W. Nossaman and wife, G.T. Clark and daughter, and Mrs. Morehouse, all of Pella, Iowa, are visiting relatives near Pagosa Springs and bathing for their health. Mr. and Mrs. Nossaman are the parents of W.W. Nossaman, Mrs. J. H. Hallett, and Mrs. S. Morehouse, while Mrs. Morehouse is the mother of S. Morehouse. The party will remain for a month or two. When Mr. Nossaman arrived he could scarcely walk while now, after taking a few baths, he can walk all day without tiring him very much.

Motter's comments: W. W. Nossaman, the younger - Welch - is one of Pagosa's first pioneers. One of the interesting things from this item is that all of these folks are from Pella, Iowa. Halletts and Morehouses were early Pagosa Country settlers. Several Pagosa Country settlers seemed to be from Pella. Were they all related? Wyatt Earp's family also lived for awhile near Pella.

Newspaper item: The floating of ties on the San Juan had to be abandoned on account of low water. Oct. 2, 1890.

Motter's comment: We've been commenting on this Archuleta enterprise from the beginning. Will it ever end?

From the January 1891 newspaper we learn the following:

Newspaper item: Mr. and Mrs. C.H. Harpst and Victor Harpst moved to Pagosa from Amargo this week. They will erect two dwelling houses and remain at the Springs permanently.

Motter's comments: We repeat this item for several reasons. First of all, the Harpsts are mentioned often in the 1890s newspapers. They have a connection back to Amargo and Chromo. One of the Harpsts was a preacher and conducted services in the Pagosa Springs school house before the community had a church building. The Harpsts also ran a sawmill, a jewelry store, and a machine shop. Finally, it is a name we no longer see here. Where have all of the Harpsts gone?

Newspaper item: Mrs. C.H. Harpst was the happy recipient of a Christmas present from her husband in the form of a very fine piano, made by Ivers and Pond, Boston. In tone and mechanical construction, it could not be better.

Motter's comment: Today it is not easy to imagine how difficult was the task of bringing a piano into Pagosa Springs during the Christmas season of 1890. The piano could have been freighted on a train to Amargo some 40 or 50 miles south of Pagosa Springs. From there it had to ride on a horse- or ox-drawn wagon over a road that at its best was bad.

Newspaper item: Rev. and Mrs. Harpst of Chromo visited their sons and daughters at this place last week.

Newspaper item: Rev. Harpst preached to a full house last Sunday evening, and regular services every two weeks are now established.

Newspaper item: E.T. Walker has sold his sawmill to Charles and Victor Harpst. The Harpst's are good mill men and will undoubtedly succeed.

Motter's comment: Ethereal Thomas Walker freighted his lumber mill apparatus, including a steam boiler, across Cumbres Pass and into Pagosa Country in 1879. He probably cleared timber from a lot of the fields immediately east of town.

Newspaper item: Mrs. F.A Byrne of Amargo visited Pagosa Springs today.

Motter's comments: Yes, there is still an Amargo, but change is in the wind.

Newspaper item: Dr. Parrish was called to the halfway house at midnight last night to attend to the 5-year-old son of J.S. O'Neal, who was dangerously ill.

Motter's comments: The Halfway House was midway between Amargo and Pagosa Springs and was a regular stage stop, as we've explained in earlier articles. It is interesting to note that this good doctor made house calls, even at midnight and about 20 miles by horse buggy from town. We still have O'Neal's living here, don't we Shag?

Newspaper item: The late snow storm was about the worst the San Juan country ever experienced. Some mining camps have been completely snowed in for about four weeks, and in some of them certain supplies are running short. In Red Mountain people have shoveled the snow away from their houses deep enough to reach transoms above the doors and fresh air is obtained thereby. The informant did not explain how people made their exit.

Motter's comment: Weather has always been a big player in day-to-day life in Pagosa Country. During this particular storm, deep snow on Cumbres Pass blocked passage of the Denver and Rio Grande train for several weeks. In related items, Mrs. Cade's cattle are in six feet of snow at Cade Flats. W. H. Kern, Ouray, crossed the range from Rockwood on snowshoes and came home. Charles Snowden, editor of the Silverton Standard, snowshoed to Durango and returned with newsprint. A batch of mail came in by sled from Espanola to Chama, the first eastern mail in three weeks to reach Pagosa Springs.. The Chromo mail carrier missed no trip though he had to break trail by foot part of the way to Amargo.

April 5, 2001
There are no births this week.
Business News
April 5, 2001

Teresa Mael has opened Teresa's Li'l Blessings Daycare and is scheduling interviews for prospective clients.

Li'l Blessings Daycare provides services for youngsters age 5 and under, including basic instructional work with colors, sharing, manners, alphabet and numbers. The center is based on a strong Christian foundation and is licensed and insured.

Li'l Blessings Daycare is located at 161 Terrace Drive in Pagosa Hills and is open Monday to Friday, 7:45 a.m. to 5:15 p.m.

For more information or to schedule an interview call 264-4786.

Weather Stats
April 5, 2001