Front Page
April 26, 2001
County Commissioners table Community Plan consideration
By John M. Motter

County commissioners here failed to endorse the Community Plan adopted by the Upper San Juan Regional Planning Commission March 21.

Approval of the Community Plan was an agenda item at Tuesday's regular commissioner meeting.

Commissioner Bill Downey asked to delay any action concerning the Plan until he has time to read it. Commissioner Alden Ecker and Chairman of the Board of Commissioners Gene Crabtree said they also need time to read the document.

Ecker added that the commissioners might want to delay approval of the Plan until a new Director of County Development is hired. Delaying approval will afford the new director the opportunity to provide input to the process. Ecker also suggested that a public information meeting scheduled April 24 to explain Montezuma County's landowner-initiated zoning land use plan might contain information the commissioners need to know before approving the local Community Plan.

An additional concern voiced by Ecker is the possibility that the state legislature might adopt land use laws making county master plans mandatory instead of advisory documents.

The commissioners postponed action on the Community Plan.

After advertising for a Director of County Development and narrowing the list of respondents to two applicants, a commissioner-approved screening committee is interviewing those applicants this week. A hiring date has not been determined.

An explanation of the Montezuma County plan was presented at the county extension building Tuesday by Mike Preston from the Office of Community Services at Fort Lewis College. Cortez is the central urban area in Montezuma County. Preston was involved as a consultant during development of the Montezuma County plan.

That plan evolved much as the local Community Plan evolved, according to Preston. A citizens' committee appointed by the county commissioners, after a series of public meetings and in conjunction with county planning professionals, developed a document similar to the Archuleta County Community Plan describing community goals related to land use planning. The first document, advisory in nature, was approved by the county planning commission and county commissioners. It contained a chapter recommending tools for implementing the plan.

"That's where Archuleta County is now," Preston said. "You've developed the guiding document. Your next step is to find a way to implement your Community Plan."

Montezuma County adopted an innovative, landowner-initiated zoning technique as part of their implementation process.

"When we started, no one would use the 'Z' word," Preston said. "By the end of the process, everyone seemed to be in agreement that some form of zoning was necessary."

The Montezuma County process deals basically with land densities. Control of subdivisions, Planned Unit Developments, and building construction guidelines are much the same as under more conventional land use and zoning systems. Following the Universal Building Code is required only for industrial and commercial builders.

In the beginning of the implementation process and based on information gathered through public meetings and from other sources, a number of zones were defined. Owners of zones containing larger parcels of land were invited to identify the zone classification they wanted for their land. They were given one year in which to submit zoning choices. All of the requests for zones containing 10 acres or more were initially approved.

Owners of smaller parcels could also submit zoning wishes, but these submissions were subject to review and denial. Subdivisions and areas with metropolitan population densities were excluded from the process.

At Tuesday's county commissioner meeting, Planning Director Kathy Ruth and Chairman of the Upper San Juan Planning Commission Lynn Constan presented the Community Plan to the commissioners. Constan is a former planner from the New Orleans area.

"Developing this has been a long process," Constan said, then pointed out that more than 20 community meetings had been conducted in various parts of the county involving the input of hundreds of people. At the end of the process, the USJRPC conducted five additional public meetings while refining the document.

"It is a good document," Constan said. "In the end, it contains more protection for agriculture. Nobody agrees with everything, but we think it has good balance with lots of flexibility."

Future rules for implementation should result in standardization for applying the Conditional Use Permit and other regulations, Constan said.

Constan urged the commissioners to adopt implementation measures in a timely fashion.

Superintendent pact clears final hurdle
By Richard Walter

It took two special meetings, one postponed meeting and some long distance legal debate over specific wording, but the contract for the new superintendent of schools for Archuleta District 50 Joint now lacks just one thing - the signature of Duane Noggle, the school board's choice for the post.

Members of the board learned at a special meeting April 19 that there was at least one contested section in the proposed contract they had offered Noggle, now the director of personnel in the Window Rock, Ariz. school system.

In a conference call with the candidate during that meeting, board members were informed Noggle's attorney had advised him not to sign the pact as long as it retained a subparagraph dealing specifically with the board retaining the right of unilateral contract termination.

As written initially, the provision allowed for payment to be made for (blank) months of service on such termination. Noggle had initially asked for 12 months pay should such termination take place and then raised that request to 24 months. But his attorney, after reviewing the wording, initially advised him to seek elimination of the clause completely.

"Anything less than 12 months would not be acceptable," Noggle told the board.

After talking with Noggle, the board conducted another conference call, this one with their own attorney who advised the clause should remain, but agreed with a board suggestion the payment period involved could be increased to 12 months.

At Noggle's suggestion, the board advised its attorney to contact the candidate's counsel and iron out a mutually acceptable contract wording.

The board then scheduled a special meeting for 7:15 a.m. Monday to deal with that contract recommendation.

The attorneys' mediations, however, took longer than expected and the special meeting was rescheduled for 7:30 a.m. Tuesday.

After review, the board agreed all the i's have been dotted and the t's crossed and directed signing of the contract by Randall Davis, board president, and director Clifford Lucero, with the signed pact to be rushed to Noggle for his signature and returned to the board.

If everything goes as expected, that signed contract should be a reality before the end of the week.

Alley said he had talked with Noggle Sunday night and that the candidate was fully prepared to sign the contract as amended by legal counsel.

Before approval by the board, there were a few questions.

Director Russ Lee wanted to know if the controversial paragraph, as amended, applies only to salary and not to side benefits. He was assured that belief was correct.

A second change from the original wording of the contract dealt with possible suspension of the superintendent with pay. It changed the wording "for due and just cause" to read "due process rights as required by existing board policy and applicable state law."

Director Carol Feazel asked if the clause would give the superintendent "an opportunity to tell his side of any controversy" and was assured it would. "I want his rights to be protected," she said.

Alley said any suspension under the wording accepted would be considered a step necessary prior to termination and would be with full pay.

Davis said suspension, if necessary, could come "for purposes of investigating the superintendent's conduct or deportment." But, he wondered, "should we specify a time limit for such a suspension?"

Alley said they should not, that the clause should be flexible enough to deal with any form of cause. "For example, if there were an accusation of sexual harassment, those things usually take at least 10 days of study and review. Other charges might be handled in a day or two. Attorneys felt it should be open-ended to protect both sides.

Lee asked if the contract is still to be effective July 1, and was told it is and that it must come up for review in February.

When Davis asked if Noggle would come here earlier than July 1, he was reminded the candidate is under contract in Arizona through the end of June. "He does expect to be up here looking for housing during the interim, and expects to attend at least one meeting of this board before the contract date," Alley said.

As soon has the signed contract has been received, Alley told the board, "I'll be sending him our school policy manuals, Colorado school law interpretations and other material he'll have to be familiar with."

The final motion to sign the contract and send it to Noggle for his signature was made by director Jon Forrest and approved unanimously.

The district is now just one more signature away from having a new superintendent.

County administrator post draws 28 applicants
By John M. Motter

The deadline for seeking the vacant county administrator position closed this past week with the names of 28 wannabes on file.

Because of the large number of applicants and at the urging of Commissioner Bill Downey, a commissioner work session was scheduled for 10 a.m. May 7 during which a selection process will be discussed.

"Now that we have 28 applicants and the advertising deadline is past, I suggest we set a work session next week to establish a plan and timeline for choosing a new administrator," Downey said.

"For myself, I don't mind talking," said Gene Crabtree, chairman of the board of county commissioners, "but I don't see any big hurry. It's been one month and things are going well. We haven't fallen behind."

"The lack of a county administrator is starting to show," Downey interjected.

Talking and looking at the applications won't hurt, said Alden Ecker, the third commissioner.

"I concur with Commissioner Downey," said Mary Weiss, the county attorney."I have a concern that things that position would handle are beginning to slip through the cracks."

Weiss gave the example of Bean Pole funds for Region 9 constituting five Southwestern Colorado counties being administered by the county. The Bean Pole program involves fiber optic Internet connections for Southwestern Colorado and connecting this region with the rest of the nation.

"We administer a lot of money with this program and I don't want problems," Weiss said.

"I recall when we first advertised," Downey said. "The other commissioners said it was important to fill this position and you did not want to rush the process. I agreed. Instead of sitting on these applications, we need to start establishing the process. We need to decide who reviews the resumes, what kind of a process, who will be on the selection committee, things like that so we can move forward. We probably have some able applicants and we don't want them to lose interest in this position. We don't want events to put pressure on us, force us into a knee-jerk reaction."

A result of the discussion was scheduling the May 7 workshop. That workshop will be open to the public, since applications will not be publicly reviewed.

Seventeen file applications for intermediate principle
By Richard Walter

When Thursday's deadline passed, 17 applications were on file from educators seeking to replace Butch Madrid as Pagosa Springs Intermediate School principal.

Madrid announced last month that he would step down at the end of this school year.

The candidates include at least three persons currently employed by Archuleta School District 50 Joint. The district had advertised the opening seeking candidates "with teaching experience, knowledge of elementary curriculum and current educational programs."

The advertisement also said, "Experience as an elementary principal" was preferred.

Supt. Terry Alley said there is no specific time table for filling the position.

"A lot," he said, "will depend on whether the new superintendent being hired wants to have a part in making the decision. If not, the board will act on staff recommendation. If the new superintendent does want input, it will obviously have to wait until after that person's arrival which will be about July 1."

Alley's retirement is effective that date.

During a special board meeting Tuesday morning, called to deal with finalizing the contract for the new superintendent, the board voted to follow the same procedure with the principal's post as was utilized in the superintendent search.

In effect, that means a three-teacher, one parent Intermediate School screening committee will study all the applications and make a recommendation to the board. The board, individually, will also screen all applications. Each group will then come up with a recommendation.

Alley said all applications will be available for review in the administration offices.

He noted none of the three district employees who applied have their administrative certificates. But, he said in answer to a board question, there is nothing in school law to prevent hiring such a person if they can show they are actively engaged in pursuing such documentation.

The three district employees, he said, if considered for the job would probably require at least two summers of intensive work to acquire certification.

Randall Davis, board president, said he was pleased with the way the superintendent search was conducted, with both the board and screening committee reviewing applicants and interviewing them before a final decision was made.

Alley said it probably will take at least two weeks for all board and committee members to screen all 17 applications.

Director Carol Feazel's motion to utilize the same search procedure was approved unanimously.

Ranger district plans many controlled burns
By John M. Motter

A smoke-darkened horizon during the next month or so may not be cause for panic, according to information released by the Pagosa Ranger District Forest Service office.

That office is planning a number of controlled burns in this area over the next few weeks. Exact timing of the burns is not known in advance, since the signal to ignite will not be given until weather conditions are deemed appropriate at the specific time.

Burns contemplated include about 1,100 acres in the Lower Valle Seco area approximately 15 miles south of town; about 900 acres in the Mule Mountain area west of town not far from the Piedra River; approximately 1,100 acres in the Fawn Gulch area northeast of town; about 1,100 acres in the Lefthand Canyon area southeast of town near the road to the Upper Blanco Basin; about 3,100 acres on Benson Creek southeast of town; about 50 acres on Confar Hill south of town; and approximately 1,700 acres in the Kenney Flats area about 14 miles southeast of town and east of U.S. 84.

Burning conducted in the Lower Valle Seco area Feb. 19 was ended by rain and snow. Several years may be involved before the total acreage is burned.

Controlled burns are designed to lessen the probability of damaging forest fires by reducing the volume of brush and other flammable materials available for extensive fires such as the one which raged through the Jemez Mountains and Los Alamos areas of New Mexico last year.

Areas subject to controlled burns generally consist of dense Gambel oak mixed with pinion pine, juniper, and ponderosa pine. The goal is to reduce the role of fire in this fire-dependant ecosystem by reducing ground fuels and pruning the lower branches of trees. The burns also provide for nutrient cycling, prepare seed beds for regeneration, and encourage biologic diversity.

Prescribed fires also improve the health of ponderosa pine stands by reducing competition from Gambel oak, removing ground litter exposing mineral soil for seed germination, and releasing natural minerals and nutrients into the soil. They also improve habitat for deer and elk.

Safety is a primary concern, according to local Forest Service officials. The prescribed fires will be set and monitored by trained firefighters using methods designed to keep flames at low intensity and close to the ground. The goal is to burn undergrowth and ground debris, but leave larger trees alive.

Daytime smoke should travel northwest toward remote areas of the San Juan National Forest. No road or trail closures are expected, but the burn areas will be closed to public entry for safety reasons during and immediately after the operation.

A clear weather forecast is needed to assure predictable fire behavior and maximize smoke dispersion. To ensure safety and success, the exact date is not set until just prior to the burn.

Wind, moisture, and other factors must be taken into account.

For more information, contact the Pagosa Ranger District at 264-2268.

Inside The Sun
April 26, 2001
Census mandated reapportionment concerns Rep. McInnis
By John M. Motter

Concerns about Colorado reapportionment in the wake of census gains were voiced by U.S. Rep. Scott McInnis, R-Montrose, at a town hall meeting in Pagosa Springs Friday.

McInnis was spending a day at home whipping through the sprawling Third Congressional District he represents. The Third District sprawls across most of Western Colorado and spills over the Continental Divide into the Pueblo area.

McInnis's Friday itinerary involved breakfast at Durango, an hour at Pagosa Springs, and a trip to Buena Vista and Pueblo. On Saturday morning McInnis was in Grand Junction.

"The Third District is larger than Florida and is the wealthiest district in the nation," McInnis said. "It also contains one of the poorest areas in the nation. It contains 80 percent of the water and 20 percent of the people in Colorado."

Because Colorado picks up a legislative seat due to population gains measured by the 2000 census, Colorado will undergo reapportionment, according to McInnis. Reapportionment means the Third Congressional District will lose about 110,000 people, McInnis said.

Among the options are flaking off the portion east of the Continental Divide or splitting the portion west of the Continental Divide.

"I don't want to see them split the western part of the district," McInnis said.

The state legislature will conduct reapportionment of U.S. Districts, McInnis said. Reapportionment of state districts will be accomplished by governor appointees.

McInnis voiced support for President George Bush's tax-cut strategy designed to offset a predicted 10-year surplus of $7 trillion. Among the proposed tax reduction steps are elimination of the inheritance - McInnis called it death - tax; elimination of the marriage penalty from income tax rules; reduction of capital gains taxes, and other steps.

The Federal Reserve Bank can reduce interest rates a maximum of 1/2 percent more, according to McInnis.

In conjunction with the tax cuts, the government should curb spending, McInnis said.

Concerning energy, McInnis said the potential for crises exists unless additional exploration and development of new sources is encouraged.

"We need a national energy policy," McInnis said. "Conservation is not enough, we need to increase the supply."

As one sidelight to his schedule, McInnis said that almost daily he is asked for the expenditure of an additional $1 billion, all for good programs.

"We can't fund them all. We're choosing between the good and the good," he said.

Road, street work totaled $3.74 million here
By John M. Motter

Archuleta County spent $3,741,076 for road and street purposes during 2000, according to a report prepared by the county finance department and forwarded to the Colorado Department of Transportation in connection with the Highway Users Tax Fund.

The county joins other counties in identifying road and bridge expenditures to the state. The state then prepares a report for the federal government. The state report is used by the federal government to determine federal road and bridge allocations to the state for the coming budget year. Federal road and bridge allocations are, in their turn, used by the state as part of the formula for determining HUTF allocations to Colorado counties.

Archuleta County received road and bridge funds from local imposts, miscellaneous local sources, the state, and from the federal government.

Local impost receipts totaling $1,763,495 include property taxes and assessments of $526,100; sales taxes equaling $1,124,960; specific ownership tax of $68,898; and motor vehicle registration fees of $43,537.

Miscellaneous local receipts totaling $518,116 include $43,783 interest on investments; transfers of $422,808; sale of assets of $3,744; fees, licenses, permits totaling $25,955; service performed of $750; refunds of expenditures equaling $7,156; and "other" revenues of $13,920.

Receipts from the state amount to $1,132,945, all from the Highway Users Tax Fund. HUTF receipts are based on a three-tier formula driven by state statute. Archuleta County receives money from two of the three tiers, according to Denise Knutsen, an accountant with the Colorado Department of Treasury.

The first tier is based on the amount of money Archuleta County received in a prior year in proportion to the total allotted by the state for that year. For example, in 1998 the state had $69.7 million in the HUTF fund. Archuleta County received $751,184 that year. This year's allocation to Archuleta County from Tier 1 was in the same proportion to the total as the 1998 allocation.

Tier 2, by statute, allocates a certain portion of the money available at the state level to 17 designated front range counties. Archuleta County receives no money from Tier 2.

Tier 3 Involves the number of vehicles registered in each county along with the number of lane-miles of roads. A number is developed for each county. Again, each county's number is used as a proportion of the state total and money allocated based on that proportion of the total.

Revenues used to fund the HUTF come from a number of sources, including some federal funds, gasoline taxes, vehicle registration fees, lane miles, some judicial levies, and sales taxes.

Involved in HUTF development at the state level are the Department of Transportation which collects data; the Department of Revenue, which collects money; and the Treasury Department, which disburses money.

County receipts from the federal government amount to $582,649, including $58,792 from the U.S. Forest Service, $323,357 Payment in Lieu of Taxes, and $200,500 other.

In broad strokes, during 2000 the county disbursed $3,741,076 for road purposes, according to the report from the finance office.

Under a $1,457,240 capital outlay heading, $9,133 went for right-of-way costs, $17,141 for engineering costs, $525,360 for capacity improvement costs, $812,687 for system preservation costs, and $92,919 for safety and other costs.

Maintenance disbursements amounted to $1,842,597. Under maintenance, $126,427 was spent for snow and ice removal, $305,371 for general administration and miscellaneous, and $9,441 for other.

Albuquerque PBS sells local translator
By Tess Noel Baker

After 20 years, Albuquerque's PBS station, KNME-TV, has sold its three Colorado translators, including one in Pagosa Springs, to a FOX affiliate.

According to a press release from KNME-TV, the cost of technical maintenance was prohibitive for the PBS station which owned translators in Pagosa Springs, Ch. 62; Bayfield/Ignacio, Ch. 61; and Sunetha, Ch. 68.

Eric Steffens, vice president and general manager of KASA-TV - Albuquerque's FOX affiliate, said plans were to have the FOX signal begin broadcasting on the translators by the end of May.

"According to our engineers, there's a little bit of work that needs to be done on these translators, but there's not major repairs needed," Steffens said.

KASA-TV also owns translators in Arizona and the northern border of New Mexico.

Steffens said the biggest challenge in operating translators was not maintenance, but geography.

"The longer a distance you go, the more hops the signal has to make, the more problems you incur."

PBS programming can still be viewed in the Pagosa area. The local cable television company carries KRMA-TV (PBS, Denver), and PBS affiliates are also available via satellite.

USJHD and EMTs selling house markers, too
By Richard Walter

Upper San Juan Hospital District and its emergency medical technicians were pleased with last week's story detailing a Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association discussion on the need for reflective address signs at all locations.

They were, however, surprised their own sign program was not mentioned.

The EMT organization is selling 6-by-18-inch signs with reflective back and reflective numbers for $15. They are much larger than those PLPOA director Jim Carson noted are available from the county planning office and, a spokesman said, "are much easier to see."

They are made to be post-mounted at the roadside entrance to properties where their reflective nature makes site location much easier for emergency personnel, particularly on night calls.

"We are not in competition with the county to sell signs," the spokesman said, "but the board felt we should remind people that we have larger, more visible signs available."

They may be purchased at EMS offices off North Pagosa Boulevard.

The USJHD also has "Emergency Light Bulbs" available for $10. These are standard light bulbs designed for porch lights which begin flashing when the switch is turned on and off twice.

Terri Clifford, USJHD public information officer, said these are just two of the projects EMS has launched in its effort to locate patients in event of an emergency.

"The new markers sold so far have helped greatly," Clifford said, "but a large number of residents have not realized that the small numbers posted on their homes are simply unreadable, especially in the dark."

County retail sales continue at record pace
By John M. Motter

Retail sales in Archuleta County remain at a record setting pace through the end of the first quarter of 2001, as evidenced by a sales tax collection report released this week by the county.

Because sales taxes are directly proportional to retail sales, they are considered a good indicator of the amount of retail sales in a given area. Additionally, increased retail sales are considered one measure of a healthy economy, since increased sales indicate the availability of spending money and consumer confidence through their willingness to spend money.

In Archuleta County, a 6.9 percent sales tax is levied on most retail sales. Of that amount, 4 percent is retained locally, and the remainder taken by the state. Sales taxes collected in Pagosa Springs are included in the total. The county and town divide the local portion equally.

March collections amounted to $313,862, up 6.34 percent over March of 2000. For the first quarter of 2001, collections total $1,151,121, a gain of 21.31 percent over the $948,901 collected through March of 2000.

The county's portion of sales tax collections is divided equally between the general fund and road improvement fund. So far this year, $287,780 has been placed in the general fund and the same amount in the road improvement fund.

Pagosa Springs devotes its sales tax income to capital improvement projects.

February, March, April, and May are historically the lowest months for sales tax collections in the county.

Pair accused of securities fraud arrested, freed on bond
By Tess Noel Baker

When the development of a healing and conference center planned for Pagosa Springs fell through, it appears one investor was left high and dry.

Now, the Pagosa Springs couple behind this proposed development - Sacred Springs, Inc. - have been charged with two counts of felony securities fraud.

According to the affidavit for arrest warrants filed with the Archuleta County Court, Puja and Udgar Parsons persuaded William Stewart to invest $20,000 in the deal in the spring of 1996 without disclosing their knowledge of possible "insurmountable difficulties."

These difficulties, according to the affidavit, included acquisition of sufficient geothermal water rights, the uncertainty of longevity of the water, the need to acquire more land or that physical access to the hot spring from public roads was problematic.

A search warrant for the seizure of Sacred Springs business records located in a business office in downtown Pagosa Springs was issued Feb. 3, 1998 by a 6th Judicial District judge.

Documents seized showed that prior to May 1, 1996, the Parsons were aware that land needed for the project was not accessible by public streets, that ongoing negotiations to form a pipe company with all individuals with rights to water from the Pagosa Hot Spring affected the ability to move forward and that the negotiations to form a pipe company, which could have helped conserve water available from the hot spring had reached an impasse as of April 26, 1996, according to the affidavit.

The Parsons were arrested in Pagosa Springs April 16 and have since bonded out. State prosecutor Vic Reichman of the Colorado Attorney General's office, said the Parsons now have the right to request a preliminary hearing in the case.

Work session May 9 on proposed dog control law
By John M. Motter

A dog control resolution drafted by County Attorney Mary Weiss was presented to the Archuleta County Commissioners at their regular monthly meeting April 24.

The resolution proposes to govern the control, licensing, and vaccination of dogs in the county outside of the Pagosa Springs town limits.

Under licensing, the document asserts that the owner of any dog over three months of age must obtain a license from an Archuleta County Animal Control Officer. The owner will receive a metal tag as evidence that licensing has been accomplished. License renewal shall be required each year. Owning and possessing an unlicensed dog is prohibited.

Under prohibitions, the draft states that dogs shall be kept under control by their owners at all times. The running at-large of any dog is prohibited. It will be unlawful for anyone to own or possess a nuisance dog or a vicious dog.

Any dog running at-large may be impounded. The impoundment facility will notify the owner if possible.

The owner of any offending dog may be subject to summons and complaint and be required to pay a fine and/or face imprisonment in the Archuleta County Jail.

Dogs working livestock, retrieving game, or assisting in law enforcement are exempted from the resolution.

A work session has been scheduled May 9 at 9:30 to review the proposed dog law.

In other business, the commissioners:

- Approved a salary increase in excess of the budgeted amount for an employee of the county extension agent

- Authorized funding for a new entrance carpet and other work in the county extension building

- Agreed to sponsor an employee picnic June 15 after work, with the county commissioners paying the estimated $2,000 price tag from their own pockets

- Approved a routine intergovernmental agreement to provide medical services for jail occupants

- Approved a routine intergovernmental agreement with the Upper San Juan Hospital District for ambulance service and approved ambulance permits

- Approved an agreement with the Humane Society of Pagosa Springs and boosted this year's county financial support for that organization from $34,500 to $42,780. Voting for the boost were commissioners Crabtree and Ecker. Voting against was commissioner Downey

- Approved an intergovernmental agreement between the county and town concerning road work near the intersection of Piedra Road and U.S. 160. The town has yet to approve the agreement

- Accepted departmental reports from Cathie Wilson, the finance director; Kevin Walters, the road and bridge director; Tim Smith, the airport director; Erlinda Gonzalez, social services director; David Sedgewick, transportation director; Musetta Wollenweber, Senior Citizens director; and Bill Nobles, county extension agent.

Evening rains expected here through Saturday
By John M. Motter

Look for rain or snow showers in Pagosa Country today, tomorrow, and Saturday, said Doug Baugh, a forecaster for the National Weather Service office in Grand Junction.

Through Saturday, local skies will be partly cloudy with a chance for late afternoon and early evening rain and thunderstorms, Baugh said. High temperatures should range between 60 and 75 with lows ranging between 30 and the mid-40s.

"A high pressure ridge is sitting over the area," Baugh said. "The moisture is creeping up from Mexico, almost like monsoon season."

Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday should see dry skies, Baugh added.

Two inches of snow and 0.72 inches of precipitation over the past two weeks boosted the April precipitation total to 1.83 inches. In town, snowfall amounts to seven inches for the month, slightly above the longtime April average of 5.5 inches.

High temperatures last week ranged from 68 degrees April 18 down to 46 degrees April 22. The average high temperature in town for the week was 57 degrees.

Low temperatures for the week ranged between 27 degrees April 23 and 34 degrees April 24. The average low temperature was a sub-freezing 30 degrees.

Meanwhile, the seasonal snowpack in the Upper San Juan Basin is 100 percent of average as of March 31, 177 percent of last year's total.

April 26, 2001

Poor excuses

Dear Editor,

People that illegally park in the handicapped parking spaces are the poor excuses of human flesh stinking in the gutters of humanity that we have on the earth. In the past 30 years I have soaped windows, let the air out of the tires, publicly chastised Hells Angels, package delivery drivers, and people with new BMWs and Cadillacs for parking in the spaces. Not calling the cops because the driver might have a gun never entered my mind. I'll be looking for the two-seater BMW or any other degenerate that I see illegally parked.

Make my day,

Ron Alexander

County sidewalks

Dear Editor,

In yesterday's work session on local trails, I raised the question to commissioners Ecker, Downey, and Crabtree regarding something I had read about the county considering reduced requirements on development of sidewalks within a certain defined radius. None of you, nor John Motter, nor Kathy Ruth, were aware of where I might have picked up what was considered inaccurate information.

I have researched past issues of The Pagosa Springs SUN and would like to call to your attention Volume 92 - No. 24, dated Thursday, March 29, 2001. On the front page is an article entitled: "Commissioners split anew on hiring actions," by John M. Motter. The source of my question appears to be this paragraph (about filling the county engineer position), which I quote in its entirety.

"'We've put that position on hold for a little bit,'" said Crabtree. "'The projects we're looking at coming on have an engineer built in. Kevin (Walters, superintendent of the road and bridge department) says hold. Concerning plats, we're going to rewrite the regulations,'" Crabtree continued. "'We want them more like the town has. Ours are too stringent. We're catching a lot of flack from builders, things like requiring sidewalks in a five-mile radius.'"

While researching this issue, I spoke to Mark Garcia of the town planning department to see if I had mistakenly attributed this intention to the wrong entity. Mark assured me that the town had no such intentions, and, in fact, has actually developed "pedestrian impact fees" that require escrow money be placed into an account as insurance that funds will be available when sidewalks are needed.

Hope this jogs everyone's memories regarding county sidewalks.


Karen Aspin

Fond memories

Dear Editor,

John Motter's article in the March 29 Preview - "Pagosa Pugilists Sparred with Olympians" - brought back some fond memories. At the time, I was working as a physician at the Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Center in town and served as the volunteer "ringside doc" for the event.

Fortunately, the only casualty was some transient discomfort suffered by one of the Olympians from a low blow (Leon Spinks as I recall). My wife and I became good friends of the Yamaguchis and spent many happy hours with them, often gathering firewood in the fall while Mac, Hoppo's wife, added to her arrowhead collection. She had an uncanny ability for finding them.

Hoppo and Guchi were (actually Guchi still is) two of the most community-spirited individuals I have ever met.

Gary Janssen

'Justice for all'

Dear Editor,

April 22-28 is National Crime Victims' Rights Week, a time to reflect upon the significant accomplishments of America's victims' rights discipline, and to pay tribute to the millions of Americans whose lives have been irrevocably marred by crime. Today in our nation, over 10,000 community and justice system-based programs provide services and support to victims of crime. More than 30,000 laws at the federal, state and community level help to ensure that victims can participate in justice processes and that individuals and communities are safer.

The year 2001 also marks the 5th anniversary of the "victim impact statement" - a powerful tool that allows victims to define the harm they endured as a result of crime and delinquency and make sure that the justice system and offenders know about the physical, emotional, and financial losses they have suffered. The voices of victims tell us of the control and degradation that confront victims, often at the hands of someone they know and trust.

For nearly 30 years, countless volunteers and professionals have dedicated their lives to helping victims of crime and making our communities safer for us all. It has not been an easy journey. As victim advocates we are confronted on a daily basis with the human devastation and destruction violence wrecks on our society. The road to victim justice has led its travelers toward creative, collaborative approaches that recognize the domino effect of crime on individuals, families and communities, and promote cooperation to ensure that victims no longer fall through the cracks in systems that must be designed to protect them.

During National Crime Victims' Rights Week and throughout the year, every person in La Plata County can join in the crusade for victims' rights, victim services, and victim justice. Our individual and community safety depends on such involvement, and our journey toward "justice for all" cannot be successful without the commitment of everyone. Make a positive difference in the lives of countless victims who need and deserve your support.

Adrienne Newman

No answers

Dear Editor,

We were out of town last week when the county commissioners voted 2-1 to allow the concrete batch plant northeast of town on Highway 160 to open before all mitigations have been met. This decision for the conditions for their opening was passed by the commissioners last October and now they were changed. Where is our protection as neighbors to this plant? How can we depend upon our commissioners to hold to any decisions made? Where is their integrity?

We did not agree with the land use of an industry at this site and fought the battle all last summer and were not even happy with the final decision in October and now this has happened, which has us at a "lost-lost" situation as a neighbor to the plant. We will wait for 18 months for a fence on our side (where we look at the plant). Do we have any guarantee that these provisions will be met? We have no guarantee at this time that there is a cement pad in the mixing building to safeguard the river water or ground water. We have two wells that provide water for our business and one well on our other acreage and would like some guarantee that this water will remain uncontaminated. Are we considered in this recent decision of Mr. Crabtree and Mr. Ecker?

We have many questions and no answers. We are on record as not agreeing with the decision to open the concrete batch plant voted on April 17, 2001 by the Board of County Commissioners.


Barbara and Don Palmer

owners of Elk Meadows Campground

Keep it small

Dear Editor,

My name is Kenneth Smith and I live in Chandler Ariz. My family and I enjoy coming to Pagosa to visit my brother-in-law and his wife and boys, Michael and Gena DeWinter. My family enjoys the small town feel that we used to feel in Chandler. When we come up there, people are actually polite enough to wave or say hello to a stranger. Your movie theater is just big enough, out here we have 24 theaters under one roof. I hear there is going to be a new signal light added to help with the traffic. Out here we have a light every two blocks or so. I hear there is going to be a new resort go in just down the road. I know all of this because my brother-in-law bought us a subscription to your local paper. The only reason I put my two cents worth in is because I watched my small town of Chandler, a small farming community be turned into a computer capitol area. We have every electronic manufacturing company in the world right here, you name them, they're here. Another Silicon Valley California. It stinks. They call it progress.

But that is your city fathers' job, to run the city and sell it to anyone to come and build in your small town. That is the Chamber of Commerce's job, to make your small town inviting to the rest of the world. I only have this to add: be careful what you wish for, you just might get it, but then it will be too late to do anything about it. There is an old saying: That's Progress. Well, sometimes progress isn't worth it.

I know, I am just a visitor to your small town and I should keep my nose out of your city politics, but don't let your small town be exploited and become exploded, the way my small town did. Keep it small, keep it safe, keep it clean. Keep it Pagosa.

Kenneth Smith

Contract resolved

Dear Editor,

After numerous meetings and negotiations, the Humane Society of Pagosa Springs and the County have entered into a service contract for fiscal year 2001.

Since 1986, the HSPS has been the sole subcontractor to the county to provide housing for the homeless dogs that the county is required by law to protect. The HSPS of Pagosa Springs is a private, non-profit organization whose mission is to provide a safe haven for animals in need, to promote adoptions, to reunite lost animals with their owners and to humanely reduce pet overpopulation through community education and aggressive spay/neuter programs. The HSPS services all of Archuleta County. It does not receive funds from any state or national organization, and relies on private donations and fundraising for the majority of its funding.

Annually, the HSPS estimates the number of animals it will handle for the county and submits its budget request. This past year, the County cut the Society's request by 25 percent. The HSPS makes no profit on what it charges the County. A 25-percent reduction in payment for services translates into subsidizing the deficit from donations made by HSPS supporters.

Once the county has paid for the first five business days of support, the HSPS must foot the bill for the dog thereafter. Most dogs are at the shelter for at least 21 days before adoption, making the county's contribution minimal. Further, the County does not help with owner-surrendered dogs, nor does it pay for sheltering and caring of cats.

The HSPS has felt that to subcontract its services to the County for a 25-percent loss would be fiscally irresponsible. While meetings and negotiations have continued, HSPS has accepted the county's animals in good faith for the past four months, hoping to resolve the negotiations fairly.

Conservative estimates show that for the county to provide minimal services (no health care, adoptions, sterilization services, etc.), it would cost taxpayers twice as much as what the County pays to the HSPS. The county would have to build and staff an animal shelter and any dogs unclaimed after five days would be euthanized. Such a facility would also turn away all cats and owner-surrendered dogs. Taxpayers should consider whether they would want to support such a facility at twice the cost and with such high euthanasia rates. Last year, the HSPS placed 80% of the homeless dogs and 99 percent of the cats. This is a phenomenal success rate.

The HSPS has pioneered innovative spay/neuter programs. The Fix-It-Free program pays for the sterilization of 45 owned dogs and cats within the community each month - at no expense to taxpayers! This program, and many others, are paid for by grants, donations and support from donors. We are pleased that the contract negotiations with the county have been successfully resolved and that services can continue as usual. Taxpayers can feel confident that the county's animal care costs have been handled in the most cost effective manner by having the HSPS subcontract its services.

Julie Paige, President

Humane Society of Pagosa Springs

Apology wanted

Dear Editor,

At the April 17 meeting of the Archuleta County Commissioners, Chairman Crabtree treated a county employee in a very rude and mean-spirited manner.

Kathy Ruth of the planning department was reviewing information regarding the Weber concrete batch plant when Mr. Crabtree angrily erupted with the statement that "if it was up to you you'd require sidewalks and trails out there" referring to the concrete batch plant.

The fact is, if Mr. Crabtree had looked at documents that were right in front of him he would have known that his accusation was just flat-out wrong.

Any county commissioner that treats his staff in such a disrespectful manner in a public meeting is a poor leader. How can we hope to attract and keep county employees when they are subjected to this unprofessional behavior by Mr. Crabtree?

I believe that Chairman Crabtree owes Ms. Ruth an apology.


Jeff Greer

April 26, 2001
Donald E. Reed

Local resident, Donald E. Reed died Thursday, April 12, 2001 at his home near Pagosa Springs.

Born in Erie, Pa. on June 24, 1943 to Robert and Marion Reed, he was 57 years old. Donald and his wife, Bonnie, moved to Pagosa Springs from Bainbridge, Ohio in 1996. He was the owner of Sportsman's Supply Campground and Cabins. Don had also worked as a manager for General Electric Company. He was an avid fly fisherman who greatly enjoyed the outdoors.

Don was preceded in death by his wife, Bonnie.

He is survived by his son, Jonathan Reed, of Pagosa Springs; and his daughter, Jennifer Reed, of Savoonga, Ala.

A memorial service was held April 20 at the Community United Methodist Church. Rev. Don Strait officiated.

April 26, 2001
Tara Franklin

Tara A. Franklin, daughter of Ben and Linda Franklin of Pagosa Springs has been selected to receive the La Plata Electric Association Fort Lewis College Scholarship.

David L. Potter, LPEA chief executive officer, said, "La Plata Electric is proud to award this four-year scholarship to a student who will be such an outstanding representative for the Cooperative."

The selection of Franklin, who will graduate this spring from Pagosa Springs High School, was made jointly by the LPEA board of directors and its scholarship selection committee.

Judd Cooney

In Las Vegas on Feb. 24, Pagosan Judd Cooney was inducted into the National Bowhunters Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony took place in a penthouse on the top floor of the Riviera Hotel, overlooking the famous Las Vegas Strip.Two other men received awards that Saturday evening - Len Cardinale and Bob Barrie.

The event was part of the three-day World Archery Festival and Shoot. Thousands of tournament shooters, their guests and spectators, were in attendance.

Cooney's plaque reads: "For his literary and photography excellence that have advanced the sport of bowhunting and as a bowhunter who has maintained the highest ideals and traditions of those previously so honored and have brought credit and recognition to our sport."

Cooney's wife, Diane, accompanied him to Las Vegas, as did Lisa and Mike Kraetsch, Cooney's daughter and son-in-law from Pagosa Springs. Cooney's sister and brother-in-law, Cloyce and David Smith from Luverne, Minn., also flew to Vegas for the weekend.


Richard Fulton

Parking Enforcement Officer

Town of Pagosa Springs

Pagosa Profile

Get to know the people who make Pagosa work.

The Profile puts a face to the name of one of the many neighbors who serve our community.

Where were you born and raised?

"I was born in Lynn, Massachusetts. I was raised there and in North Reading , Massachusetts."

Where were you educated?

"I graduated from North Reading High School in 1960. I went to East Coast Aero Tech in Lexington, Massachusetts for two years and I received an airframe and power plant mechanics license. I had jet engine training with the Air National Guard and I went to Air Force Jet Engine School."

When did you move to Pagosa country?

"We moved here in 1997."

Tell us about your domestic situation.

"I have two daughters: Andrea, 36, and Michelle, 34. My wife Camille and I have been married four years."

What do you like best about your work?

"All the people I meet-locals, tourist, shop owners."

What do you like least about your job?

"Wind and dust aren't fun. Its hard to write tickets in a 40 mile-per-hour wind. Of course, most people would probably think that's pretty good."

Sports Page
April 26, 2001
Pirates sweep twin bill from Ignacio; clinch 2nd seed
By Richard Walter

You might call it the sweet spell of success.

You could spell it Lister, or Janowsky.

You could spell it Kerns, or Wagle or Lopez.

But for sheer drama, you'd have to spell it Kern - as in Robert Kern.

There were many keys to Pagosa's doubleheader sweep of Ignacio on the Bobcats' baseball field Tuesday.

On a team with two Kern brothers and a Kerns, Robert drew varsity action for the first time Tuesday when a regular starter was ejected in the first inning and another came down with a migraine headache.

A junior rehabbing from a rotator cuff injury, Kern has been seeing designated hitter duty with the junior varsity but not playing much afield because of problems throwing.

On Tuesday he became a right fielder - and a hitter - going 3-for-3 in the first game, all singles, and 3-for-5 in the second, including a double, scoring two runs and picking up three runs batted in for the day.

Coach Tony Scarpa was very pleased with the performance. "I knew he could hit, he just needed a chance to play," he said.

That chance came in the second inning of the first game when center fielder Nathan Stretton was ejected after bumping the Ignacio first baseman while running out a pop fly on the infield.

Stretton and Scarpa protested that the fielder was in the basepath. The base umpire ruled Stretton had lowered his shoulder intentionally to impede the fielder's access to the ball.

The ejection meant Stretton also had to sit out the second game. State high school rules require an ejected player to miss the next regularly scheduled game.

Justin Kerns gave the Pirates a short-lived first inning lead with a home run over the left field fence after pitcher Darin Lister was out on a screaming line drive to the shortstop. After Kerns' blow, catcher Ben Marshall grounded to short and Ronnie Janowsky flied to left.

Ignacio took the lead 2-1 in the bottom half of the inning with two Pagosa errors contributing to the Bobcat effort.

The inning began innocently enough with Ray Cundiff grounding out to short. The second baseman, C. Holladay, sent a routine fly to left but the fielder dropped the ball, Holladay going to second. Catcher Lawrence Cloud singled to drive in Holladay, stole second and scored from there when Marshall's throw to third went wild. When Kevin Hronich walked, it appeared Pagosa's fortunes were declining.

But Lister bore down and recorded the first two of his 12 strikeouts for the game, getting LeRoy Martinez on a called third strike and S. Waymen swinging.

Pagosa went meekly in the second, with Wagle fanning, the Stretton incident, and Brandon Charles grounding out to third.

Ignacio threatened to add to its lead in the bottom half of the inning.

After pitcher Duane Reynolds struck out - the third in a row for Lister - Abeyta singled but was cut down 6-to-4 on a fielder's choice ground ball by Jesse Hererra. Cundiff singled him to third and Holladay walked to load the bags for Cloud. Lister bore down again and got him on strikes to end the uprising with no damage.

The big inning has been a Pagosa trait this season and it was about to come into play.

Robert Kern led off the inning and drew a walk. His younger brother, David, followed with a single but Robert was out when he overslid the bag at third and the fielder dived to tag him before he could get back.

Lister reached on a fielder's choice and Kerns singled to drive in one and set the stage for Marshall. The freshman catcher responded with a ringing double, driving in two runs; Janowsky reached on an error by the first baseman and Ross Wagle singled to drive in a pair. The 5-run inning ended with Lawren Lopez popping to first and Charles grounding to second.

The third for Ignacio seemed to have some steam building, thanks to another Pagosa error, but the momentum quickly dissipated. Hronich reached on an error by Janowsky who dropped a throw at first. Hronich was out at second when Martinez grounded into a fielder's choice. The stage was set for damage when Waymen drew a walk. But again, Lister went into high gear and fanned Reynolds and Abeyta in order.

The Pirates threatened again in the fourth but Reynolds wiggled free.

The Kern brothers opened with successive singles and the Pirates had runners on first and third with no outs. But Lister popped out to second, Kerns struck out and Marshall bounced back to the pitcher to end the inning.

Ignacio got one run back in their half of the inning, aided by three more Pagosa errors.

After Herrera popped up to the first baseman, Cundiff rapped one to third. Wagle misplayed the hop for an error, then threw wild to first for another error on the play. Holladay struck out but Cloud singled to drive him in and Charles dropped a throw attempting to cut down Cloud at second. Hronich ended the threat grounding into a fielder's choice.

Janowsky opened Pagosa's fifth inning with a single and promptly stole second on the first pitch to Wagle who later grounded out to second. Lopez drew a walk and Charles grounded to first, Janowsky scoring. Robert Kern singled again driving in Lopez but David struck out to end the inning with two runs scored and the lead at 8-2.

Lister was at his pinpoint perfect best in the bottom of the inning, fanning Martinez, Weymen and Reynolds on a total of 12 pitches.

Pagosa got another run in the sixth when Lister opened drawing a walk. Kerns flied to left, but Marshall responded with his second double of the game to drive in Lister before Janowsky flied to center and Young popped out to first.

Lister opened the bottom of the sixth walking Abeyta who was wiped out when Herrera hit into a fielder's choice. Cundiff popped to short and Holladay fanned for the second consecutive time.

The Pirates weren't done yet.

After Lopez popped to second to open the seventh, Charles doubled and went to third on a passed ball. Johnny on the spot was Robert Kern again. He singled to drive in Charles. His brother then tripled to drive him in and David scored himself when a wild throw from the right fielder went into the Ignacio stands. Lister and Kerns both grounded out to third to end the inning.

In the bottom of the seventh, no earned runs given up by Lister to this point, Cloud ended that statistic with a long home run. When Hronich followed with a single, Lister appeared to be tiring. But he still had some gas in the tank.

He induced Martinez to ground into a 6-4-3 double play and then got Waymen on strikes for the third time in the game.

Final score, 12-4 for Pagosa.

Game 2

A new mound version of Ronnie Janowsky took the field for Pagosa in the nightcap. For the past week coaches had been working on his delivery, removing excess motion and helping him focus on the target.

He responded with an 11 strikeout performance and, like Lister in the first game, gave up a lone earned run in a 15-3 Pagosa victory halted by the mercy rule after six innings.

Lister opened the game reaching on an error by the first baseman who dropped his popup. Darin stole second and stayed there as Kern drew a walk. Marshall hit into a fielder's choice with Lister moving to third. Both were left on base when Janowsky popped to short and Charles grounded out to second.

Cundiff popped to second to open Ignacio's first and Holladay followed with the first of his three consecutive strikeouts. Hronich doubled and went to third on a wild pitch by Janowsky and scored on an errant throw. Cloud walked but Martinez popped to Lopez at first and Ignacio took a 1-0 lead.

By now, you might expect it was time for another Robert Kern hit. It was - a double to open the Pagosa half of the second. But Lopez, Jaret Frank and David Kern all struck out to leave him on base and Ignacio clung to the lead.

Pagosa took a 3-1 lead in the third with Lister and Kerns both drawing walks. After Marshall was out on a fly to left, Janowsky doubled in a run to tie the score and Charles followed with a double plating two runs. He, however, was out attempting to steal home.

Showing a nasty curve and gaining more and more confidence, Janowsky got Cundiff on a pop up, fanned Holladay, gave up an infield single to Hronich and fanned Cloud in the bottom of the inning.

The Pagosa fourth was another three-run outburst keyed by Wagle's long home run to right following a walk to Lopez. After David Kern struck out, Lister drew another walk. Kerns, too, walked and but was cut down at second as Marshall grounded into a fielder's choice. Janowsky, however, singled to drive in Lister with the third run before Charles bounced out to the pitcher.

The Bobcats got a run back in the fourth on a home run to left by Reynolds, but Janowsky recorded two more whiffs in the inning, cutting down both Cruz and Abeyta.

Pagosa went scoreless in the fifth despite getting another single by Robert Kern who also stole second and was wild-pitched to third but was left there when Lopez flied to short right. Wagle walked, but David Kern struck out and Lister popped to short to end a scoreless frame.

Ignacio got their final run in the next frame when Herrera walked to lead the inning and scored on Cundiff's double. Holladay and Hronich both went down on strikes and Cloud flied to right to end the mild uprising.

The Pirate's sixth would not be so mild. Pagosa sent 14 men to the plate in the inning, scoring nine runs on seven hits, three walks and three stolen bases.

It began with Kerns being hit by a pitch and promptly stealing second. Marshall followed with an RBI double and scored on Janowsky's single. Charles hit into a 4-3 force play, drawing an RBI, and Robert Kern followed with another single and RBI.

That set the stage for the muscular Lopez who ripped a massive drive to left that cleared the fence by at least 30 feet. Wagle and Lister both drew walks and Kerns singled for another run. Marshall picked up two more RBIs with another single. Janowsky walked and Charles singled for another run before Robert Kern grounded out to end the damage.

Could Ignacio come back in the bottom of the frame to avoid a mercy ruling end of the game?

Not likely with Janowsky on the hill.

He fanned Martinez and walked Cruz. But Marshall cut down Cruz at second on an attempted steal and then Janowsky struck out Reynolds and Martinez with three of the meanest curves you'd ever want to see.

Mercy ruling enacted, Pagosa won 15-3 with the game called after six innings.

Janowsky gave up only four hits in his route-going performance and his control made him appear to be a totally different hurler from the one bounced around two weeks ago by Monte Vista.

Pagosa's 15 runs came on 13 hits and a happy bunch of Pirates headed home to prepare to host the league tournament Saturday.

Pagosa hosts IML district tournament Saturday
By Richard Walter

The Intermountain League will bring its playoff tournament to Pagosa Springs this weekend, with the top two teams advancing to "extended district" playoffs.

Bayfield's Wolverines, with a 7-1 league mark, come in as the top seed. Pagosa Springs, at 6-4, is the second seed and will play Monte Vista. Pagosa swept a double-header from the San Luis Valley Pirates two weeks ago with Darin Lister picking up both victories.

Bayfield's foe, the fourth seed in the tournament, will be Centauri, with that game opening the playoffs at 10 a.m.

Immediately following that game there will be a one-hour intermission for selection of the All-League team.

At approximately 1 p.m. Pagosa Springs will host Monte Vista. The two winners will play for the league championship at about 3:30 p.m.

Both of those teams will advance to "extended district" play the following Saturday in Monte Vista.

Kahle Charles, Pagosa athletic director, said the state this year, for the first time has combined the IML and the Southern League for district playoff activity.

The two first place teams will play each other for state playoff seeding position. Both will advance. The two second place teams will meet to determine which will be the third combined district team to advance.

Teams in the Southern League are La Junta, Las Animas, Lamar, Rocky Ford, Rye and Trinidad.

The schedule has the IML No. 2 team playing Southern's No. 2 at 1 p.m. and the two No. 1 seeds playing at 3 p.m. The winner of the second game will advance as a first seed, the loser as the second seed. The winner of the first game will advance to regional play as the No. 3 seed while the loser of the first game is eliminated.

Lady Pirates push 4-A Cortez to the limit in 3-0 loss
By Richard Walter

They came to town as underdogs, especially when judged on the basis of an early season scrimmage in which they were sorely outclassed.

Even the officials were wary of the outcome, one asking coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason before the game if he was familiar with how the 'mercy' rule works.

And then the Lady Pirates soccer team took the field for Pagosa Saturday in Cortez and it soon became clear this was no pushover and was a far cry from the team the Panthers had handled so easily early in the year.

In fact, shots on goal in the first half were about even with just one finding the net for either team and that one coming on a questionable no-call by officials. Amber Beye, in net for Pagosa, had stopped a Cortez shot and had control of it with her hand atop it as she moved to position it for an outlet kick.

A Cortez striker attacked what Kurt-Mason believed was a controlled ball, kicking Beye in the hand and forcing a substitution in goal, with Sierra Fleenor coming in for her first varsity action in the nets.

Within two minutes after the change of goalkeepers, a Cortez striker chipped one over Fleenor's head and moments later Fleenor, on the ground after a stop, was kicked in the head.

"I don't want to say their attack was dirty," Kurt-Mason said, "but when a goalkeeper is down and has possession of the ball, and gets kicked by an attacker, that doesn't say much for sportsmanship."

The coach said Fleenor's injury came on another chip shot when she went down trying for the save and was kicked in the head, forcing him to return Beye to goal in the second half.

The shot margin was definitely in favor of Cortez, 24 to 8, but the control of the game "was all ours in the first half," said Kurt-Mason.

"In fact, had it not been for that questionable goal, we'd have been knotted at nil at half time."

Beye turned in 17 saves and Fleenor two before she was injured.

For Pagosa, the shots on goal were by the most recent offensive threats Meagan Hilsabeck (3), Tricia Lucero (2) and Tiffany Diller and Cassie Pfeifle, each with one.

The Pirates played without regular sweeper Alysha Ranson who has been nursing a leg injury but Kurt-Mason was ecstatic about the play of Aupperle in the position.

"She was easily the fastest person on the field," Kurt Mason said, "and time after time she broke up Panther attacks. They'd think they had a breakaway working and suddenly, as if from nowhere, there was Sara sweeping the ball away from them."

The 3-0 score is not indicative, he said, of the type of game his Pirates played. "They expected a blowout and we controlled the ball. They expected to run over us and we stood our ground. These girls played a great game, never letting up even when scored upon."

"Their shots were not deadly and all their goals came off breakaways," he said. "If they had been counting on our defense to crumble, they soon learned they were wrong."

The coach also had high praise for Amy Moore who, he said, "played absolutely her best game of the year. She was awesome at midfield, continually being the aggressor."

The contest against the Class 4A Panthers for Pagosa's 3A Pirates was a non-league contest setting the stage for Pagosa's final two league contests this week.

The Ladies meet Ignacio's Lady Bobcats in Ignacio at 4 p.m. today then travel west again Friday to confront the Bayfield Lady Wolverines in a game scheduled for 3 p.m.

Then it will be on to the Region's tournament Tuesday with the top two seeds as host teams. Pagosa was tabbed the third seed and was to play the number six, Center.

However, Kahle Charles, Pagosa athletic director, was notified Tuesday that winless Center has dropped out of the competition. Thus, he said, it appears Pagosa will not play Tuesday but will advance by default.

The Lady Pirates next game, time and location, cannot be determined until after the games which are played Tuesday. Telluride and Ridgway are the two seeds.

Schutz, Rolig, Volger pace track squads at Bloomfield
By Tess Noel Baker

The Pagosa Pirates faced some fierce competition Saturday at the Bloomfield Invitational, competing against about 20 other schools, including some Class 4A and 5A squads.

Under the added pressure, Jason Schutz scored the team's only first place award, continuing to improve his personal times in the 400 meter run. The sophomore captured this one in 50.96 seconds.

Assistant track coach Connie O'Donnell said, because of the addition of preliminaries in the 400 individual run, Schutz had to run the 400 three times at the meet. Twice for the individual medal and once as a leg of the relay team.

"He was really worried, but he did a great job," O'Donnell said.

Other strong efforts from the Pirates included two individual top four finishes for the girls and a pair of relay places for the boys.

Senior Annah Rolig ran the 400 in 66.15 to take third place, and teammate Aubrey Volger captured fourth in the long jump with a leap of 14-feet 10.75 inches.

The boys 4x400 relay team, including Schutz, senior Josh Postolese, freshman Aaron Hamilton, and sophomore Ryan Wendt, finished sixth in 3:47.62.

The 4x200 relay team of junior Caleb Mellette, junior Tyler Kirtley, sophomore Brandon Rosgen and Postolese, captured fifth in 1:37.48. The four probably would have placed higher, but had to recover from a dropped exchange, O'Donnell said.

This Saturday, the team travels to Adams State College for the San Luis Valley Meet. O'Donnell said as the season has advanced, effort at practice continues to pay off.

"We're getting to the point where you can see that the people who have worked hard at practice are really starting to come through for us," O'Donnell said.

Community News
April 26, 2001
Chamber News
By Morna Throwbridge

Free business counseling on agenda

Just a reminder, Jim Reser, the Director of the Small Business Development Center at Ft. Lewis College in Durango, will be here tomorrow offering free business counseling. If you would like to schedule a free consultation, please call the Chamber at 264-2360 to set up an appointment.

Shop Pagosa

Don't forget, this week is local appreciation week, April 23 - 28. Just look for the hot pink poster in the windows of our local merchants or see their ads in the newspaper for those merchants participating. You'll find bargains galore, register for prizes, and enjoy free snacks. This not only includes retails merchants but also some of the local eateries as well. So shop 'til you drop and "Shop Pagosa First."

Chili supper

There are still plenty of tickets for Saturday's Archuleta Senior Citizens Annual Chili Supper and Silent Auction. This event will begin at 4:30 p.m. at the Senior Center on 8th and Zuni streets. Beverages and dessert are included in the price of a ticket: $5 for adults and $2 for children. The silent auction will begin at 4:30 p.m. and close at 7:30 p.m., when successful bidders will be announced. If you would like to donate items to the auction, please call Phil Heitz at 731-2558 or the Senior Center at 264-2167 to arrange for your item(s) to be picked up. And our own Chamber Executive Director will be there to auction off those goodies again this year. So pick up your tickets from either a member of the Archuleta Senior Citizens group or at the door.

Rio Jazz

Hurry while tickets are still available at a discount for an evening of great local music from Rio Jazz as they record their first CD. This will take place May 6 at the Timbers of Pagosa, and the doors will open at 4:15 p.m.

Advance tickets are $7 and at the door they will be $10 each. You can also pre-purchase the CD for $8, and on the night of the event for $10. Both include a special autographed insert. Tickets can be pre-purchased at the Chamber of Commerce, Diamond Dave's, and WolfTracks Coffee Company and Bookstore. This event is sponsored by KWUF Radio, The Timbers of Pagosa, Pajamas Division of A.R.S.E., and Diamond Dave's Jewelry and Pawn Shop.

Fiber arts

Fast approaching is the first Pagosa Furry Friends and Fiber Arts Festival, May 26-27 at the Archuleta County Fairgrounds.

Dave Belt of Echo Mountain Alpacas, Inc. and the Colorado State University Cooperative Extension bring us this Memorial Day weekend event. There will be at least 52 vendors from around the country showing both their fiber goods and their animals during the two-day event. And there is still plenty of time if you want to have a booth at this event. Please contact Dave or Suzy Belt at 731-2729 for more information. More on this later as the time grows near.

Music in the air

On May 28 local pianist Melinda Baum will accompany Oregon cellist Phillip Hansen at the Pagosa Springs High School for a concert to benefit the Archuleta County Senior Citizens, Inc. Tickets will go on sale the end of this month for $10, and watch for ticket sale outlets to be announced.

Also, there is still time to see "Elvis at Sixty" by The Pagosa Players and The King's Men tomorrow and Saturday. "Coping" dates are being rescheduled. Performances of "I Take This Man" are set for May 18-19. Tickets for these performances are $8 each and the evening starts at 7:30 p.m. at the Pagosa Lodge. You can purchase tickets at the Chamber of Commerce, WolfTracks Bookstore and Coffee Co., or at Pagosa Lodge.

Grand opening

Join our friends at Cool Water Plumbing and Piping, LLC Saturday for the grand opening of their beautiful new facility at 2045 U.S. 160. From 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. there will be free food, prizes, and plenty of suppliers with loads of freebies just for visiting Cool Water Plumbing's grand opening. The Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts will be there too. For more information, call John or Linda DiMuccio at 731- 0988.

Thank you

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank all of our Diplomats who have helped on weekdays at the Chamber over the last month while we have been in transition. Without your help, both Sally and I would have had to take out more stock in a hair coloring company. Those who were so gracious and helped us out were Charlotte Overley, Ron and Sheila Hunkin, Jean Sanft, Dalas Weisz, Mary Hart, Carol Gunson and Ann Graves. Thanks again for always helping us out in our time of need.

Diplomat training

It's that time of year again when we get to see our friends that we have so dearly missed over the winter months and meet new friends as well. Sally will hold three diplomat workshops this year and anyone who has ever wanted to volunteer at the Visitors Center is welcome to join in on the fun (and we do have quite a lot of fun here). Workshops are scheduled for May 1, 9-11 a.m.; May 3, from 1-3 p.m..; and May 4, 9-11 a.m. in the conference room at the Visitors Center.

You'll learn all about the new Chamber members we have acquired over the winter months (and there have been quite a few new ones), changes in membership, changes in Chamber staff, and additions to the Visitors Center. We invite everyone who would like to be a Diplomat, either on a regularly scheduled basis throughout the peak months ( from May through October), or if you would like to participate on an as-needed basis.

This is a great way to learn all about the Pagosa Springs area and meet new friends. During the summer months, we'll see over 300-plus visitors a day and without our wonderful Diplomats, we could not greet visitors and do the Chamber's business at the same time. So, if you'd like to join our Diplomat team, please call me at 264-2360 to reserve your space for the training. We're really looking forward to seeing all of you soon.


We have three new members to report this week and one renewal.

Our first new member is Ron Copple with Foundation Stabilizer Co. at 65 Peak Court. They specialize in residential and commercial foundation repair and leveling, new construction Helical-Pier installation for deep foundation stabilization, retaining wall tie-backs and caisson drilling. So give Ron a call at 731-6132, and welcome.

Second is Rick Russell with Sidekick Off Road, from Chino, Calif. They publish maps, guidebooks and videos of backcountry trails for 4x4's and ATV's. Products include map and video of roads between Silverton, Ouray and Telluride, and hopefully the Pagosa area coming soon. These products will be offered locally and look for outlets coming soon. You can contact Rick at 877-628-7227 if you'd like to carry his products, and welcome Rick to the Chamber.

Third is Steve Kinsey with Skinsey JetCraft, LLC at Navajo State Park in Arboles, CO. They offer quality boat and wave runner rentals on Navajo Lake. You can contact Steve at 505-325-1251 for further information. Thanks and welcome.

Our renewal this week is Nannette Colaizzi with Pinon Park Campground and RV Resort.

I'd also like to thank Warren Grams, Hilary Wilson and Marilyn Gurule of the Pagosa Fire Protection district for listening to me and coming to the Chamber to check out a funny burning smell that ended up being of no significance.

Happy spring and Happy mud season.

Senior News
By Musetta Wollenweber

Countdown begins for Saturday chili supper, auction

By Musetta Wollenweber

It is countdown time for the annual Chili Supper and silent auction fundraiser, Saturday at 4:30 p.m.

Have you bought your tickets yet? You may contact Phil Heitz at 731-2558 or Musetta at the Senior Center at 264-2167. Tickets are $5 for adults and $2 for children. Remember, your contribution is tax deductible.

We are looking forward to a great time and yummy food. Come early and start thinking about which items you would like to bid on. The donated auction items have been rolling in, and I will be finding myself in a lot of hot water with my husband with all the wonderful things that I would like to bid on, please come and out-bid me.

This week the lucky senior of the week and recipient of free lunch all week is Bev Evens. Congratulations Bev.

Lunches at the senior center are available for folks of all ages who would enjoy a hot, nutritious meal. Membership is not required to participate. Cost for seniors age 60 and above is just $2.25; 59 and younger pays $4.25; 12 and under are $2.25. Wondering what's for lunch? Just tune to KWUF AM and FM each morning before 8 a.m. or dial 264-NEWS and select the Senior Center information. Of course you may always stop by, say "hi" and pick up a menu and calendar of events.

Memberships are available year-round for $3 and are renewable each January. Membership entitles anyone 55 or older to a wonderful host of discounts, services and information. For further information, please contact Musetta at the Senior Center, 264-2167.

This week we want to thank Paramedic Terry Clifford for her presentation on signs and symptoms of heart attack and stroke. Her presentation was very informative and we appreciate her taking the time to come see us. Also this week, Elsa Lucero from the Bank of the San Juans came to the Senior Center and spoke with us about managing a personal bank account. Elsa has also offered to help any of our seniors that may have questions about their account regardless of where they bank. Thank you, Elsa.

On Monday, Wednesday and Friday, the week of April 30, join us at 9 a.m. for swimming. On Tuesday, come on in and participate in our craft circle. Do you have a craft project you started and didn't finish? Well, get to your closets and drawers, pull out one of those projects and join in some fun, friendship, conversation and a cup of coffee at 10:30 a.m. and then stay for a great lunch served at noon.

On May 4 Andy, our local Veterans Service Officer, will be here at noon for any questions you may have. Also, a representative from Social Services will be available for questions and information.

Remember to check the bulletin board in the lobby for information and don't forget to check the brochure rack for useful information and resources. If you have other needs that you can't seem to find the answers to, please stop in my office and I will help you find what you need.

Pagosa Lakes
By Ming Steen

Porpoises log 71 miles in swim-a-thon fundraiser

Last Thursday, the Pagosa Lakes Porpoises logged over 71 miles at their annual fund-raising swimathon.

The youngsters had a great deal of moral support from parents, relatives and friends who cheered them on. Most of the older swimmers - 10 and older - completed the maximum 3 miles. The young ones swam less distance. All the swimmers are grateful to their many sponsors for their financial support. The team will represent Pagosa Springs at the Farmington Long Course Swim Meet this weekend. May you swim fast; let the other swimmers eat your bubbles.

Dr. Yung - Sen Chen started Tai Chi lessons at Town Park last Saturday. A group of over 20 showed up. Lessons will continue every Saturday morning, beginning at 8 a.m. Other Tai Chi classes are also being offered by Roxane and Lynnis at the recreation center on Fridays, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

There's no shortage of weight-loss diets available to the public. Here's a new one that someone recently shared: When the market goes up, I eat regularly for 24 yours. When the market goes down, I fast for a day. This gentleman has lost 130 lbs. This diet works only in a bear market.

Want to take some of the sting out of wrinkles? Here are a few good reasons to look forward to your next birthday and even the ones after that: You're getting friendlier, more dependable, and more generous. After following 236 people over several decades, researchers at California State University, Fresno, and the University of California, Berkeley, found that psychological health - ie., being productive, straight forward, genuine, and compassionate, and having good relationships - steadily improves from age 30 on for men and women. Sounds like this research blows the notion of midlife crisis or that some people get crabby, lonely and depressed as they get older. What the researchers believe is that - as you go through life, experience really does teach you to cope in more healthy and satisfying ways. Now, that is good news.

The spring of 2001 is shaping up to be one of the best fishing seasons in a couple of years. With ample snow pack in the mountains and a long winter, the fish are ready to feed, and are quite active right now, especially in inlet areas.

All four lakes - Hatcher, Pagosa, Village and Forest - were stocked in mid-April with both warm and cold water fish species including rainbow trout, largemouth bass and crappie. Of course there are also self-sustaining populations of green sunfish, yellow perch and western white suckers. PLPOA will be stocking into June of this year and has plans to stock this fall as well.

Please feel free to contact Larry Lynch at the PLPOA Administration Office if you have any questions or comments about fishing in Pagosa Lakes. Also, he has put together a "How-to-Fish" brochure for beginning anglers this year. The brochures will be available in May at the recreation center and at the administration office. Included in the brochure are tips on how and where to fish for the different game species of Pagosa Lakes. There are also descriptions of the different techniques of spin and bait fishing, knot tying and most effective lures.

There's hope yet for lousy adult anglers. . . like me.

The PLPOA's adopt-a-street program, which was started last year, is turning out to be a very popular and successful program. Roadside trash was particularly bad this spring, but through the efforts of a number of individuals and groups things are shaping up nicely.

The adopt-a-street program is administered through the PLPOA Department of Property and Environment. Interested families or individuals are provided with trash bags and a small sign that is posted on their adopted street. The PLPOA will then pick up full bags of trash that are left along the roadside and will dispose of them free of charge.

The following is a list of all the property owners who have signed up: Joe Donovan, Sheila Hunkin, John and Cheryl Nelson, Ray Pack, Mojie Adler, Jean Carson, Julie Bissell, David and Margie Lucero, Linda Sapp, Jim and Eva Iwicki, Chile Mountain Cafe, and Village Texaco. A special thanks to these people who are helping to keep Pagosa Lakes a clean place to live. If anyone is interested in the program please call Larry Lynch at the PLPOA Administration Office, 731-5635.

Library News
By Lenore Bright

Law forces library Internet use changes

"Are you against pornography?"

This is the loaded question, as the argument about Internet filtering becomes more than just a political debate.

As of last Friday, the federal government's Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) now limits your access to information in your library. You would be well advised to research and understand the ramifications of this action by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC.) Your civil rights are in question.

Some well-meaning citizens deplore the fact that sex sites and other adult materials are available on the Internet. They've used this polarizing question, "Are you in favor of pornography?" to mount attacks on libraries offering access to the World Wide Web. If a library doesn't filter the Internet, in their minds, this is proof that the library is actively pushing pornography on children.

Many politicians are using this blatantly false premise to their advantage. After all, blaming librarians for "pushing pornography" lets them off the hook. How often have you heard someone running for office publicly voicing approval of pornography?

The easy out for politicians is to tie funding to government mandates, then announce that if the library doesn't filter, the library will get no funding - even though filters don't work and are being challenged as unconstitutional. So much for reasonable debate and rational attempts to find truly workable solutions to this growing problem.

The library, as an institution, has always had credibility. Even people who seldom use the library understand that the library is a public good. We try to be fair; we are neutral, we present all sides on issues. We try to offer a "safe" place for everyone - not just children.

Ninety-five percent of public libraries already have policies regulating public use of the Internet. Our library has had such a use policy since we got our first computer in 1989.

Librarians have always done their best to protect children. We promote child safety with parents, and we give the ultimate responsibility to the parents to determine what their children can read or view at the library. And that is where the responsibility belongs.

But during recent years, a determined minority have worked very hard to paint the library, and librarians, as willing purveyors of pornography. Not just with the Internet access, but with print material as well.

Our mission is to gather, organize and provide public access to the vast resources of the world. It is not our mission to govern and police the world's communication network. This task is totally beyond anyone's capabilities.

We abhor the filth on the Internet, and limiting children's viewing of this filth seems to be a very easy, simple answer. But your government didn't stop with blocking children's viewing, they want to monitor and limit your viewing too.

As of April 20, the FCC announced it will enforce CIPA. (Child Internet Protection Act.) CIPA mandates that your access to the Internet will be limited as to what you can see while using computers at your library.

CIPA gives enormous power to Washington bureaucrats and the large software companies who see a new captive market for their unreliable Internet filtering software.

CIPA can force libraries to install expensive and unreliable filtering software, or be stripped of important financial assistance. No filtering software successfully differentiates constitutionally protected speech from illegal speech on the Internet. Even the federal commission appointed to study child safety on the Internet concluded filters are not effective in blocking all content that some find objectionable. And they found that filters block much useful and constitutionally protected information.

CIPA requires filters to be used whenever "anyone" is using the computer. Minors may not use unfiltered computers with Internet access, even if a parent gives permission, or a teacher deems the site to be wrongly filtered. The irony is that we can turn off filters for adults engaged in "bona fide" research or for other lawful purposes. They fail to give a definition of "bona fide."

In other words, if an adult - that would be anyone 18 years or older - wants to do research on such subjects as venereal disease, homosexuality, or the sexual misadventures of elected officials, they will have to explain this to a librarian first? How likely is that? Is this not an invasion of privacy? And children can't even ask to do "legitimate" research.

CIPA sets librarians up as "thought police." Adults must now ask permission from government employees to look up things that are, in themselves, perfectly legal. CIPA is a law that is based on a profound lack of understanding of the current technology. It is also an attack on the important mission of the public library.

Our library board of trustees has wrestled with the implications of filtering for many years. The trustees are against filtering because it does not work and was found to be unconstitutional. In 1996, the Supreme Court overturned the Communications Decency Act, declaring that the Internet deserves the same high level of free speech protection afforded to books and other printed matter. CIPA is trying to sneak this scheme back in to block controversial online material. The operative word is "controversial."

CIPA is being challenged in court by coalitions of civil liberties groups. CIPA failed to receive strong support and passed only after being tacked onto another bill during last year's lame duck session of congress. The lawsuits will ask that CIPA be struck down on First Amendment and due process grounds. The upcoming legal challenge is the latest in a string of battles regarding decency laws in the digital age.

Until now, the local library policy read that anyone under 18 had to have parental approval to use the Internet. In light of the FCC's April 20 ruling, this will no longer be adequate. At its last meeting, the board unanimously, but with heavy misgivings, voted to change the policy to read that from now on, anyone under the age of 18 must have a parent with them while using the Internet. When funding questions come up, we'll find out if this is enough to satisfy the CIPA dictate.

In the meantime, we encourage you all to think about the long-term ramifications of this law. It affects you in important ways and opens the door for the governments to deny your access to all kinds of information both digitally and in print.

The board will soon be holding a public hearing on your risks in this matter, and other privacy issues. If you would be interested in taking part, please let the library staff know. Staff is also available to give programs on this subject, and we will be doing a public survey.

In the meantime, let your legislators know how you feel about this assault on your rights. Only your legislators and eventually the courts can turn around this edict.

As a final chilling aside - It was recently exposed that a major company providing a filter used by many schools, has secretly monitored students' viewing habits, and has sold their names to various commercial companies so they could target the students' interests.

Local Chatter
By Kate Terry

Fire District qualifies for 'local appreciation'

This is local appreciation week and what better group is there to talk about than the Pagosa Fire Protection District.

Last week the district mailed out its first newsletter. (The fall issue will come out in October.) In case you threw your copy away without reading it duplicates can be obtained at the district office.

The information in the newsletter includes how to protect your house if you live in a wooded area, and a reminder to get burn permits; they can be obtained at the district office.

The ISO, Insurance Service Office, is the company responsible for grading fire departments. It evaluates on a scale of 1 to 10, one being the best grade and 10 for no protection. In March 2001, ISO gave PFPD a grade of 5 through the whole district. PFPD is to be commended. The hard work required to reach this grade shows the care the PFPD staff and volunteer firemen have for the community as well as being a reflection of their professional pride.

But most important for the pocketbook is that the grade influences the insurance premium, and this new grade should reduce premiums for local properties. But, be sure and remind your agent.

Good record keeping is a part of the requirements by ISO. Recently someone said to me, "what does the fire department do besides put out an occasional fire?"

Well! What does it do? Last year PFPD made 334 emergency responses. There are 19 categories. The newsletter defines them and includes the year's monthly spread. I found this enlightening. As a matter of fact, all the information in the newsletter is good.

War memorial

There is a hitch in the plan to start construction on the National World War II Memorial that will be built on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. It's best to quote the website of Richard Friedman, the chairman of the National Capitol Planning Commission to tell why:

"Construction of the National World War II Memorial has been delayed indefinitely pending resolution of a lawsuit filed by a small opposition group in Washington, D.C., and a procedural issue involving the National Capital Planning Commission, one of the agencies required by law to approve the memorial."

Other quotes explain the "procedural issue" as this: When the NCPL chairman's term expired, he was asked to remain until replaced. But this time extension was not recorded correctly and so procedures have to start all over again.

This is a good example of the importance of correct reporting and what can happen when information is not reported correctly.

But the Memorial will get underway, sooner or later. All the government agencies and veteran's groups are for it.

Bill Clark, the chairman of local fundraising for the Memorial, has been commended for his dedicated efforts for the National World War II Memorial.

Rio Jazz

Besides those who protect us and those who help us retain our heritage, there are those who entertain us, and so its fun to tell that Rio Jazz is making its first CD this Sunday at the Timbers of Pagosa (formerly the Sports Page). Doors open at 4:15 p.m.

The band will play until the taping starts at 5 p.m. Taping will run until 7 p.m. There is a cost. Band members are Lee Barley on piano, DC Duncan on drums, John Graves on bass and Bob Hemenger on sax.

Fun on the run

Bernie had never been on a deep-sea fishing boat, and he was now thinking it was the stupidest thing he'd ever done in his life. Who would ever have believed that seasickness could be this awful?

With every pitch and roll, Bernie wondered how he was going to survive the remaining two hours of the trip. One of the deckhands said, "Don't worry, young fella. Nobody ever died of seasickness."

"Oh noooo!!" Bernie wailed. "You've just taken away my last hope for relief."

Cruising with Cruse
by Katherine Cruse

'Go back to your 'normal' life: Oncologist

Some of my friends were a little concerned when my column did not appear two weeks ago. Not to worry. A certain editor, who shall be unnamed but whose initials are KI, said there was no room in the paper.

People asked if I had skipped a column that week because I was ill. Nope, I sent in a column. There was just no room in the paper.

In fact, I'm feeling great. My last radiation treatment was Tuesday April 17. Altogether, I made 34 trips to get zapped. Hotshot took me on the last trip, when we had an exit interview with my oncologist. I said to the doctor, "I'm wondering if there's life after treatment."

I had in mind a short-lived musical play called, "Is There Life after High School?" I think that was the name of it. I don't remember much about the show, but it had one song with this great title, "There are a Million Trumpets in a Million Closets that Don't Get Played Any More." I'm sure if I hum a few bars you'll remember it.

When I asked about life after treatment, my oncologist gave me a funny look and said, "Well, that's the whole idea, isn't it?" No room for any chuckles there.

But he was great. He told me what I had already read and heard, that cancer patients tend to be very suspicious of any new pain that comes along, afraid it's the cancer returning.

"But you had aches and pains long before you had cancer," said my doctor. "You'll have those again, and most of them will go away in a day or two, just like they always did.

"If something comes along and stays for a couple of weeks, then call us," he said. "Just pay attention to your body."

He told me to come back in a month for a checkup. And now, I should go out and start living a normal life again.

Right. A normal life. Hotshot and I are still trying to figure out what a normal life is.

Back in the dark ages, the mid-60s, when Hotshot and I were just a couple of kids and not long married, I read Betty Friedan's book and other icons of the newly emerging feminist movement.

Hotshot and I both were fired up by this new concept, that women might have a professional life, something beyond the post-war '40s and '50s model of, you guessed it, housewife.

That, in addition to families, women could have not just jobs, but careers!

I know this sounds old-hat, antiquarian, dated, passé. But, at the time, it was revolutionary. I tried to put these ideas forward to my in-laws.

Now, we'd been married a year or two. Hotshot was about to head back to graduate school and I was planning to go to work. Later it would be my turn for higher education. Well, sure, we'd have kids, eventually, but what was the rush?

And Mom and Dad, those paragons of middle-class virtues, listened very patiently. And then they said, "Balderdash." Or maybe, "Hogwash." Or some other word meaning, You don't know what you're talking about.

They gave us the rundown on why women should stay home and make raising the children and keeping the house their primary jobs.

And they added this final sentence, "When you've lived a Normal Life for five years, you'll know what we're talking about."

A normal life. Think about that.

Do you know what a normal life is? Neither do I. In fact, by sending their children to college, as my parents sent me, Mom and Dad were already changing the definition.

Right now, after cancer treatment, I'm trying to rediscover what a normal life is. Here are some ideas.

A normal life includes taking a pot of soup to a friend who's been sidelined with knee surgery. A normal life includes running errands without having to rush, without having to fit them around a trip to Durango.

A normal life includes visiting with friends and not being afraid to hug them lest I catch something before my immune system is back up to par.

A normal life includes doing the laundry and ironing shirts and sewing on buttons. Changing the sheets on the bed.

A normal life includes planning a trip to see the canyons and arches around Moab. A normal life includes heading east this summer to visit our children and to attend a family wedding. Later this summer, when I'm no longer anemic, a normal life will include a little hiking in our wonderful mountains. There's even a small backpack trip in the plans. Maybe two.

I'm taking time to look at the mountains and the sky and the redwing blackbird on the utility pole with fresh eyes. I'm listening to spring peepers singing in the meadow. It's all beautiful, exciting, new.

I can marvel at the haze that came all the way from the Gobi Desert to obscure our mountains. The spring wind moaning around the corners of the cabin feels good to me. Right now I can even admire bold behavior of the magpies.

Right now, a normal life reinforces the truth of some old clichés, things like "It's the little things in life that are important" and "When you have your health you have everything."

Maybe those are the things Mom and Dad really had in mind, all those years ago.

Veterans Corner
by Andy Fautheree

Key to quick action on benefits is form DD-214

Last week we started a review of VA benefits.

Most benefits are available to veterans with some military history. The amount of benefits can depend on the type of military service. One basic element is that most benefit requirements include the veteran having served some amount of time on active duty - as opposed to reserve duty with time in reserve duty training - and some degree of honorable discharge. There are often additional benefits available if the veteran is career military service. Veterans who have a service-connected disability may have additional benefits available to them. It is best to discuss the details with the Veterans Service Office.

The key to quickly applying for any veteran's benefits is the Veterans Separation Paper, commonly called DD-214. Applications usually require a copy of this document as proof of eligibility. The DD-214 contains a history of service with pertinent dates and other information of service history. If lost, this document can be replaced from military records archives, though it can take a lengthy amount of time for this process. The VSO urges all veterans to bring their discharge papers to our office and have them recorded with the Archuleta County Clerk's office in case the original is ever lost.

Dependents and survivors benefits, dependency and indemnity compensation, is payable to survivors of service members who died on active duty, veterans who died from service-related disabilities or certain veterans who were being paid 100 percent VA disability compensation at the time of death.

Death pension is payable to some surviving spouses and children of deceased wartime veterans. The benefit is based on financial need. VA civilian health and medical program shares the cost of medical services for eligible dependents and survivors of certain veterans. There is no time limit for applying for these benefits.

The VA offers certain benefits and services to honor our nation's deceased veterans. These can include headstones and markers to mark the unmarked grave of an eligible veteran, an American burial flag to drape on eligible veteran's casket and reimbursement of burial expense allowance of $1,500 for veterans who die of service-related causes. For certain other veterans, the VA can pay $300 for burial and funeral expenses and $150 for a plot. Most veterans and some dependents can be buried in a VA national cemetery. There is no time limit for claiming reimbursement of burial expenses for a service-related death. In other cases, claims must be filed within two years of the veteran's burial.

Veterans Administration can help with certain service-disabled veterans to get and keep suitable employment. Some of the services provided include: payment of training costs, monthly payments to help with living expenses, vocational and personal counseling and medical and dental treatment if needed. A veteran generally has 12 years from the date the VA notifies you of your eligibility. You may have longer if certain conditions prevent you from training, or if you have a serious employment handicap.

Home loan services are offered to eligible veterans, some military personnel and certain spouses. The VA can guarantee part of a loan from a private lender to help you buy a home, a manufactured home, a lot or certain types of condominiums. We also guarantee loans for building, repairing, and improving homes. If you have a mortgage, we may be able to help you refinance your loan at a lower interest rate. Certain disabled veterans can receive grants to have their homes specially adapted to their needs. There is no time limit for a VA home loan, except for eligible reservists. Currently, their eligibility expired Oct. 28, 1999.

There are other benefits available to those who have served our nation in the military and I encourage all Archuleta County veterans to call or drop in to see me at the Veterans Service Office.

For information on these and other veteran benefits please call or stop by my office located on the lower floor of the Archuleta County Courthouse. The office number is 264-2304, the FAX number is 264-5949, and E-mail is The office is open 8 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4, 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

Coaches clinic tonight at sports complex

Youth baseball started Tuesday night with individual tryouts for Bambino age players. Teams were formed Wednesday evening at the coaches' meeting.

A clinic for all coaches will be held at the Sports Complex tonight, 6-8 p.m. Participants are asked to bring their mitts for the numerous drills and demonstrations. All coaches and assistant coaches are encouraged to attend.

Coaches with teams not scheduled for practices can contact Town Hall to reserve a field. Leagues games will start May 14 and continue through June. The season-ending party will be held at South Pagosa Park July 2.

Pagosa Springs will sponsor two baseball teams this year for the 13-14 age group. The first team, already in the Durango Sandy Koufax league, will be playing against Bayfield and Durango this year. The first game for these players will take place May 6 in Pagosa. A second boys baseball team, ages 13-14, will be formed. Registration forms can be picked up at Town Hall and need to be turned in immediately for this team to be formed.

Girls softball

Pagosa Springs will have two girls fast-pitch softball teams this summer. The two teams - 12 and under, and 14 and under - will play against teams from Bayfield and Durango. Both teams still need players and girls can register at Town Hall until the first games in May.

Skills Challenge

This year's baseball clinic will 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 Saturday afternoon following the baseball clinic. Both events are free and no preregistration is required.

Adult softball

The adult softball league is currently accepting registration forms for this summer's program. Team cost this year is $250, with an additional $15 per-player fee. The $250 entry fee and registration forms are due by 6 p.m. May 23 at Town Hall. A mandatory meeting for all coaches will take place May 23 to inform all teams about this year's program. Team registration forms are available at Town Hall and can be picked up weekdays, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Indoor soccer

The indoor soccer league for youth and adults will continue tonight and next Tuesday. Youth play 6-7:30 p.m. and adults play 7:30-9 p.m.

Park Fun

Park Fun, the Town's summer day camp, will start June 4 and continue through August. This year's program is tentatively scheduled at the junior high gym. More information and a registration form will be available in May. Cost this year will be $65 per week for youngsters 5-8 years old.

Four Corners Cup

The second race in the Four Corners Cup mountain bike point series took place April 21 at Farmington on Piñon Mesa. Two Pagosa racers, Doug Call and Holly Langford, finished high in their respective standings. Holly took second and Doug finished fourth.

The next race in the series of 11 events will be held at Bayfield May 12. This course is set at the Ponderosa Pines of Saul's Creek, a half hour from Pagosa. For more information, contact the Bayfield recreation department at 884-9034 or pick up registration forms at Town Hall.

Pagosa parks

With daylight savings time in effect and the days now warmer and longer, the Town parks will remain open until dark. Bathrooms at the parks will be closed at dark and irrigation will be turned on shortly after. Enjoy your parks this spring and summer.

The upper pond at the River Center Park was stocked with more than 600 fish last week. The fish stocked were 11-13 inches long and are perfect pan size. Remember, the limit for keeping fish taken from the Town pond is two per day. The fine for having more than two fish on a stringer at a time is $100 per fish.

Fourth of July

This year the July 4 fireworks celebration will be held at the Sports Complex south of Town. A variety of activities are planned for the Wednesday event including music and fireworks. Non-profit groups interested in vending at the Independence Day events should contact Park Director Doug Call for more information at 264-415.

The Town is currently searching for a vendor to work at the snack bar at the Sports Complex during the youth baseball and adult softball seasons. Interested parties should contact Town Hall for a bid request. Bids are due May 4 and concession work can start as early as May 7.

In Sync with Isabel
by Isabel Willis

Minor drinking a growing county problem

April is Alcohol Awareness Month and it is everyone's responsibility to become more knowledgeable about the problems of underage drinking in Archuleta County.

Interestingly, lack of knowledge, or education about the effects of alcohol consumption, is the primary cause of why our youth use alcohol, says Angelika Kalem, substance abuse counselor for the Pathfinder Clinic.

She would like to see more educational programs about alcohol awareness conducted at our four schools, especially at the elementary school because the younger the child is when exposed to alcohol awareness education, the less likely the child will be to succumb to peer pressure and be tempted to use alcohol.

Angelika commended the Prevention Education Program conducted at the Archuleta County Alternative High School and would like to see such a program replicated in all the schools.

She is willing to help any school or youth organization develop an alcohol awareness program at little or no cost. She says the information children share with their parents is an excellent way to educate parents and foster effective family discussions. The more parents are informed about substances, and the activities their children are involved with, the less likely children will be to use substances.

Angelika has worked as a substance abuse counselor for four years in Pagosa Springs and is currently employed at the Pathfinder Clinic located at 422 Pagosa Street. Pathfinder referrals come from the District and Municipal Courts, the Department of Social Services, Pagosa Counseling, and private counseling practitioners.

A primary referral source for youth in need of substance abuse treatment is Candace Dzielak, juvenile probation officer and Municipal Court administrator employed by the Town of Pagosa Springs. Candace's job is to work with youth, ages 10-18, who are adjudicated through Municipal Court for criminal offenses.

During the year 2000, Candace said, there were 11 juveniles charged with underage drinking and 13 charged with drug and drug paraphernalia offenses.

I thought numbers would be higher. Candace clarified, though, that out of 135 total offenses in the year 2000, 85 percent of young offenders admitted that, if tested, they would be positive for alcohol or drugs. These figures only include offenses committed in the town, not the county.

Candace concurred with Angelika that alcohol and drug awareness education needs to start with elementary school age children.

Youth who are charged with an underage drinking offense are usually ordered to participate in the 8-hour substance abuse education course facilitated by the Pathfinder Clinic. The topics cover alcohol' s effects on the body, the addiction process, anger management, cognitive restructuring (changing beliefs in order to change behavior), and HIV and AIDS.

Angelika says youth are most impressed with the effects of alcohol on the body, especially how intellect can be impaired when alcohol destroys brain cells. They are also amazed about what happens to people in other countries who are charged with a DUI, the most extreme being execution in El Salvador.

Many youth are prone to alcohol addiction due to heredity and because their parents are currently using the substance.

Angelika is pleased to report the 8-hour course will be expanded to three months starting in May, a service the courts have been requesting. Some youngsters desire treatment either for their own issues, or dealing with their parents' issues, but their parents are not supportive.

Angelika is presently seeking funding to help these youth. The Department of Social Services does fund substance abuse treatment for youth but requires parental consent. She says networking helps her do her job better: finding out what the needs are in the community by sharing information with others in order to provide the most appropriate services for anyone wanting substance abuse education and treatment.

Candace remarked that collaboration with other agencies - the police department, schools, social services, counselors and other services providers in the community - is essential to her program's success.

Clearly a partnership between those who enforce and those who treat is the key, and our community is off to a good start. What can make services to our youth even better is more participation from local citizens to push for alcohol and drug awareness programs in this community.

To get In Sync by starting an alcohol and drug awareness program for youth, or referring youth and/or their parents for treatment call Angelika Kalem at the Pathfinder Clinic at 264-6072.

To find out about financial assistance for substance abuse treatment for a youth, or treatment for parents of minor children, contact the Department of Social Services at 264-2182.

Arts Line
by Jennifer Galesic

Opening reception tonight for Sokolenko

Currently on display at our quaint Pagosa Springs Arts Council Gallery in Town Park are the inspiring photographic works of Dr. William A. Sokolenko.

Inspiration comes to mind while viewing this exhibit titled "Images from Russia." Partly because of the obvious talent that Dr. Sokolenko shares with us, and the other side of this awe is created with a realization of this man's travels, stories and life experience.

His photographic images contain rare insight into nature, encompassing all seasons. Take a walk through the gallery and you will be treated to a mini-tour of such far-away places as Krasnoyarsk City, Stolby National Park, Lake Baikal, and the Sayan Mountains, as well as several Orthodox Churches. Dr. Sokolenko was also careful not to exclude the good old Western Hemisphere, with some pictures of Arizona, Colorado and Utah in the array.

There are a number of photos categorized as art photography, with a myriad of colors bouncing and splashing about the canvas. I'll be sure to ask Dr. Sokolenko about this technique when I see him. This fantastic show will continue through May 16. Be sure to stop by the gallery and enjoy this photogenic feast for the eye.


CD Sampler Volume 2 is currently in the making. The first CD was a great success, so why stop there? CD-2 will feature local musicians. The CD will only be available to businesses via pre-sale. Over 500 copies have already been spoken for.

A release date is scheduled for the end of July. Businesses or groups interested in purchasing nine or more CDs will have their logo featured on the cover. Ah, a little you-scratch-our-back, we'll-scratch-yours.

Deadline for the pre-sale of CD-2 is April 30. Please contact the gallery at 264-5020 to purchase.

Artists interested in exhibiting at the PSAC gallery this year can still possibly do so; there are a few choice dates left. Applications can be picked up at Moonlight Books , WolfTracks Bookstore and Coffee Company and, of course, at the PSAC gallery.

Thank you to Nancy Green for doing a fabulous job keeping the PSAC scrapbook creative and intact.

Extension Viewpoints
by Bill Nobles

Vitamin E: What consumers need to know

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

Friday - Entomology, 2 p.m. junior high science lab

Friday - Wildlife Habitat Evaluation Program, Extension Office

Friday - Leaders Appreciation Dinner, 6 p.m. Extension Office

Saturday - Dog Obedience, 10 a.m. Extension Office

April 30 - Private Pesticide Applicators training, free, call to RSVP 264-5931

May 1 - Livestock Committee Meeting, 5:30 p.m. Extension Office

May 2 - 4-H Woodworking, 5 p.m. Extension Office

May 3 - 4-H Oil Painting, 4:30 p.m. Extension Office

May 3 - Shady Pine 4-H Club meeting, 7 p.m. Extension Office

It is not too late to order seed potatoes. Contact the Extension office to order red or white potatoes by May 4 at 264-5931.

If you take vitamin E supplements you're not alone. According to a recent survey, more than 37 million Americans take vitamin E supplements every day.

What is so special about vitamin E? Do we need to take vitamin E supplements or can we get all we need through foods? These and other questions about vitamin E are discussed in a recent report issued by the Food and Nutrition Science Alliance, entitled "What Consumers Need to Know about Vitamin E." The following is a look at some of the questions the FANSA report addressed.

What is vitamin E? Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that works to protect cells in the body from damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are highly reactive substances that result from normal metabolism as well as from exposure to factors in the environment like cigarette smoke and ultraviolet light. They cause damage to body cells by attacking the cell's membranes, proteins and DNA and ultimately contribute to the development of health problems such as heart disease and cancer.

Vitamin E is especially important in protecting blood cells, the nervous system, skeletal muscle and the retinas in the eyes from free radical damage.

Are some forms of vitamin E better than other forms? There are two main groups of vitamin E compounds: the tocopherols and the tocotrienols, each containing four isomers. Of these, the alpha-tocopherol isomer is the only form of vitamin E that the human body can use. While the body can absorb both natural and synthetic forms of alpha-tocopherol, natural forms, either from foods or natural-source supplements, are used more efficiently.

How much vitamin E do you need? A person's daily requirement for vitamin E varies with age, gender, overall health status and the amount of polyunsaturated fats consumed in the diet. Polyunsaturated fats tend to be easily oxidized; thus, if a person's diet is high in foods containing polyunsaturated fats, their need for vitamin E is increased.

The recommended dietary allowance for vitamin E is 15 milligrams of alpha-tocopherol daily. On average, American adults consume about 8 to 12 milligrams of vitamin E each day through their diet.

Supplements list vitamin E in terms of international units, or IUs. Because of differences in potency, 15 milligrams of alpha-tocopherol is equivalent to 22 IU of d-alpha tocopherol (natural form) or 33 IU of d,l-alpha tocopherol (synthetic form).

What are the possible benefits of vitamin E? Results from scientific studies suggest that vitamin E may help lower the risk of several chronic conditions including heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cataracts. An increased intake of vitamin E may also slow the oxidation of bad (LDL) cholesterol, prevent blood clot formation, enhance immune response and benefit the nervous system. However, while the potential benefits of vitamin E seem promising, they have not been proven conclusively.

Much still remains unknown and under investigation.

What are the best dietary sources of vitamin E? The best sources of vitamin E are vegetable oils such as sunflower, canola, corn, soybean and olive oil. Nuts, sunflower seeds and wheat germ are also good sources. Other sources of vitamin E are whole grains, fish, peanut butter, and green, leafy vegetables.

Do you need a vitamin E supplement? Due to a lack of sufficient evidence, no national scientific bodies have recommended vitamin E supplements. If you choose to take a vitamin E supplement, be sure to tell your health care provider because of possible drug interactions. Dosages greater than 1000 milligrams daily are not recommended because they may cause bleeding disorders in people taking blood-thinning medications.

The complete FANSA report on vitamin E can be viewed online at

April 26, 2001

Backward, to the future

Things are rushing forward, in reverse. Archuleta County government, with a few fits and starts, became increasingly professional, well-organized and effective during the last decade. It had to, in the face of problems that won't go away and are certain to grow.

Recently, however, it appears county government is regressing to a style last practiced in the mid-'80s: a style shaped by personal relationships and allegiances, by a reluctance to hire adequate professional staff and rely on their advice, by a "hands-on" good-old-boy approach that ignores the tenets of fair process.

This seemed to be the case last week when two county commissioners - Alden Ecker and Gene Crabtree - voted to alter conditions in a Conditional Use Permit for a proposed concrete plant northeast of town. Commissioner Bill Downey was the sole dissenter.

The changes allowed plant owners to begin operation without completing two conditions of the permit, bonding satisfaction of those conditions within a generous year and a half time frame. The way the decision was reached was reminiscent of an old style of business in the commissioners' office.

What was possibly right about the action was the notion honestly held by the two commissioners that some county regulations are unduly burdensome.

What was arguably wrong is that the changes were expedient only for the owners of the plant and this expediency was a major factor in the deliberation. At times during the proceedings, the two assenting commissioners acted as advocates for the business owners, rather than as representatives of all residents of the county who, with professional staff presenting both sides of the case, ponder all relevant points in an unbiased manner.

What was certifiably wrong was the manner in which the action was taken: without benefit of timely public notice that the changes would be discussed and decisions made at the meeting.

The action was taken contrary to the advice of the county attorney who suggested at least a week's delay, with the public given proper notice - this in light of the fact that proposed changes to a Conditional Use Permit should, probably, be taken to the Upper San Juan Planning Commission for review and recommendations before coming before the county commission. The attorney's suggestion was an acceptable way out of a dilemma but the two commissioners chose to ignore the advice. Their course was obviously set before the meeting began.

Even if the decision process did not flaunt legal requirements, it crossed the boundary of good sense - another omen that county business could retreat to the old style. The two commissioners knew how controversial the batch plant issue was when it was debated during hearings and meetings last year. They knew there is a sizable contingent of county residents opposed to the plant, who grudgingly accepted the conditions set forth in the permit. They believed in good faith the conditions would stand, with no operations at the plant, until they were satisfied.

Crabtree and Ecker ignored the advice of counsel, failed to give credence to these residents of the county - also their constituents - and determinedly set a course toward additional problems and concerns.

Several questions come to mind, questions no one would ask if county government was still on track.

Was a signal sent that rules that apply at the beginning of a commission-approved process are non-binding, dependent on what is expedient to a property owner, business person, developer? Are the rules dependent on personal acquaintance, a visit with commissioners in unannounced meetings at a site or a coffee shop?

Was a signal sent that some county leaders have no intention of doing their business with proper notice, giving anyone interested time to prepare a response prior to a well-rounded deliberation conducted for everyone to hear?

Was a signal sent that some of our commissioners regard professional staff and advice, legal or otherwise, as insignificant and unnecessary? What bearing will this have on other permitting processes, on land-use action, on complex growth and road issues?

Are we moving full-speed ahead, in reverse?

Karl Isberg

Dear Folks
By David C. Mitchell

In search of consistent impartiality

Dear Folks,

Anytime John reports that the county attorney advises one thing and two commissioners choose to ignore the advice, it's time to listen to the tape.

Listening to the tape of the April 17 commissioners' meeting caused me to recall some comments of two local real estate brokers. The first comment came a number of years ago at a public forum conducted by the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association. The PLPOA Environmental Control Committee was the focus of the session.

During the meeting, a prominent broker asked for the ECC to develop some consistency. It wasn't a matter of her agreeing or disagreeing with the group's decisions, she was simply asking them to eliminate the unpredictable and arbitrary nature of the ECC's decisions. She expressed a concern about the ECC apparently having a different set of rules for a different set of people. She said the situation was such that she had drawn up a special disclosure statement for sales involving property within the domain of the ECC. Along with normal real estate contracts, she required customers buying property in Pagosa Lakes to sign a disclosure agreement that released her from being responsible for any and all decisions involving construction or remodeling that the ECC had or might impose on the property.

Also, I recalled that within the last month or two, another prominent broker stopped me as I was leaving a local coffee shop. He was wanting to know if the situation with the county commissioners was as bad as it sounded in the SUN. He went on to say how he and his wife had moved here a number of years ago and became involved in the real estate business. Eventually they were able to invest in establishing their own business, assembling a competent staff and opening their own office.

He went on to say that the success of his business depended on having a sound county government and consistent, impartial implementation of the county regulations related to land development and residential and commercial construction. He said a sale could hinge on whether or not the potential buyer or developer could know that consistent enforcement of county regulations would ensure the quality and compatibility of future development or construction on neighboring undeveloped properties.

As I listened to the April 17 tape, I also recalled a concern Commissioner Gene Crabtree had expressed earlier this year regarding the town "gobbling up" (annexing) all of the commercial property along the western portion of U.S. 160. In reality, rather than being gobbled up, owners of these commercial properties have petitioned the town and requested to be annexed into the town.

Beforehand, these applicants probably asked themselves, "What can the town government offer me that the county can't?" The town's timely, consistent, impartial manner in applying its established policies, procedures and regulations could be the decisive answer.

If ever it was a time that the county needed a county engineer, a county planner and a county manager it is now. The county currently has a competent attorney, but she is of little value to the tax payers if two of the commissioners choose to ignore her advice.

It's also time for Commissioner Crabtree to thoroughly read the county's building regulations so that he doesn't become unglued when county planning personnel try to enforce the regulations that he, along with two other commissioners, approved and signed into force.

And it's time for me to apologize to Barbara Palmer, Doyle Smith, Addie Greer, Christopher Smith and others who last summer expressed concerns regarding Hard Times Inc. At that time I encouraged them to let the county officials take Hard Times' application for a conditional-use permit through the county's established process and procedure. I had not anticipated that two of the commissioner would change the conditions of the agreement at a later date while playing by the "chairman's rules."

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


By Shari Pierce

100 years ago

Taken from The Weekly Times of April 25, 1901

We would judge that dandelions are in full season from the way the women are seen dodging around carrying tin pails, baskets and long knives.

J.P. Archuleta was up from Edith over Sunday. He is looking for a residence lot and the prospect of beginning work on the Archuleta building which will be erected this summer.

The dog-poisoner got in his work again Sunday and succeeded in killing two dogs.

Much prospecting is being done in the hills and we are given to understand that some are meeting with excellent results.

Monday was well spent in putting the ball field in shape to play on.

75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of April 23, 1926

All are looking forward to the anniversary ball and banquet to be given by the Odd Fellow and Rebekah lodges at the I.O.O.F. hall tomorrow night. The invitations and programs provide for thirty dance numbers, both modern and old-time, with the grand march beginning at 8:30 p.m.

Prairie dog pre-bait and poisoned grain, prepared by the U.S. Biological Survey, can now be purchased from County Clerk Philip R. Johnson at the courthouse.

Notice is hereby given that in the future all loose livestock within the corporate limits of the Town of Pagosa Springs will be impounded at the San Juan Livery & Transfer Co. barn and corral in said town, and that the proprietor, John H. Lattin, is herby authorized to collect all legal fees for the release of impounded livestock.

50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of April 27, 1951

Due to the fact that the editor (Glen Edmonds) is in Mercy Hospital in Durango and the helper is going to Denver the SUN office will be closed this weekend. We pray for your indulgence in the matter and assure you that next week it will be business as usual.

The annual GI Seed and Livestock Show put on by the veterans participating in the Veterans Related Training Program will be held in Pagosa Springs this year on the 17th and 18th of November.

The Pagosa Junior High softball team defeated the Ignacio Utes Junior team by a score of 16-6 in a good game Saturday evening. Fernando Trujillo turned in a good pitching game which coupled with well balanced fielding, added up to the difference in the game.

25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of April 22, 1976

Congressman Frank Evans visited here Tuesday of this week and discussed with local officials and civic leaders the problem of the boundaries of the study area for the Piedra Wild and Scenic River designation.

A Forest Service sponsored public workshop is scheduled for Thursday April 29. The workshop is for the purpose of discussing progress and alternatives on the proposed South San Juan Mountains Wilderness Study Area. This is a large area and this is an important meeting for this area.

There were six auto accidents in this area the past week and there were injuries in one. This was the truck wreck at the San Juan Overlook. The heavily loaded vehicle would undoubtedly have gone on over the steep cliff had it not been stopped by the guard rail.

April 26, 2001
Pacing Pagosa
By Richard Walter

Shark teeth told story of Pagosa area sea

Pagosa Country might have been an inland sea port.

Like it's neighbor across the mountain chain, the San Luis Valley, it was covered at one geologic period in history by an inland ocean.

And, researchers say, some of the mountain peaks which surround us today were originally volcanic eruptions from the depths of the sea. As the magma heated and grew upward, the giant slabs of rock thrust through the water's surface met cooling winds which chiseled them into the formations now visible in a since-eroded form.

As a child in Pagosa Country, one of the thrills was finding teeth from tiger-toothed sharks. No one could believe such denizens had ever existed at this altitude.

Prime spots for the search, if you weren't afraid of the locale, were the developing Hilltop Cemetery and an abandoned slaughterhouse site up Fourmile Road. Others, I've heard, were along the Mill Creek ridge three to four miles east of current Route 160.

Ronnie Willett, Wilfred Madrid, Henry Smith, George Crouse and I often made trips up the hill to seek the elusive teeth around the cemetery.

Through the late 1940s we found probably at least a hundred of them. Neither Ronnie nor I know what happened to the teeth, only that neither of us has any of them now.

The thought of inland seas was spurred by stories last week describing attempts to divert more water from Archuleta County into New Mexico to help protect the environment of the silvery minnow, a native of the Rio Grande River Valley.

Most students of geology agree there were, at one time, several inland seas in the Rocky Mountains. The San Luis Valley's myriad artesian springs and its vast underground aquifer are all traced to the sea which once covered it.

The many hot springs in Archuleta County are believed remnants of the volcanic activity and are considered direct links to the earth's core where the molten rock heats the water.

The call of the sea has long been heard in Pagosa Country. Hundreds of its young people have joined the U.S. Navy to see the world. Few realized they might be answering a call which nature had intended for the very area they were leaving.

Today's nationwide cry for more and more water, less and less irrigation, and conservation methods to preserve almost everything, might have served well the non-humanized era when water was everywhere.

Floods in the Mississippi River Valley and other areas of the nation are in great part traceable to modern human diversion of water from its natural course into channels not designed to handle nature's overflow.

Dams, dikes, canals and diversion walls have moved river runoff into flatlands for irrigation and under mountains (like the diversion of Navajo River water by tunnel from Archuleta County to the Chama River in New Mexico), to supply areas far away from their source.

We live in an area where we can stand in four states at one time, where we can climb to a point on the Continental Divide and watch water drain toward both the Colorado River drainage which supplies water to southwestern states and Rio Grande River drainage.

The latter eventually ends up in the Gulf of Mexico and the Colorado into the Gulf of California, but at nowhere near the rate of flow they once had. In fact, there are times when they are, for all practical purposes, dry river beds. It might, therefore, be said, that we are the fount of life dependent on water for a vast geographic area encompassing at least six of the United States and the nation of Mexico.

In the days of the inland sea that most likely would have been the case. Today, however, the water is siphoned off at well in excess of governmentally apportioned amounts.

The result: You have development of rolling brownouts in California where there is insufficient electrical power despite the massive importation of water; and arid lands across Arizona and Nevada because the water which would turn them green is promised elsewhere.

A nation running out of cropland sufficient to feed its residents is expected to utilize the remaining water to feed a starving world.

Crops have been cloned to produce genetically similar but fake grain. The government hasn't stopped the production, but has forbid its use in foodstuffs we consume because the long-range effects of such consumption have not been - and cannot yet be - determined. It takes, scientists say, at least 20 years and preferably more to determine effects of consumption of a specific food form.

We humans are choking ourselves out of existence as a life form just as we have the hundreds of lower life forms now extinct thanks to man's "development."

The sea has produced the shell fish and sea food man believed he needed to survive but at the same time he is polluting that water. Raw sewage from shoreline towns, old factories and seagoing vessels turn once thriving fish colonies into minuscule supply farms for the sailors who have made their living catching fish to market.

Gulf shrimp beds are dying from industrial pollution. Vast areas of fish habitat have been wiped out by runoff from man's fertilized crop fields. Huge forests have disappeared as man sought material to build his dwellings, forests that would have helped retain the moisture necessary to life.

Today we're probing the universe, looking for new sources of life-giving water, hoping some planet - or one of its moons - will suddenly be found to have the same type flows once existent in Pagosa Country.

Let's hope that if they find it, the first plan developed is to save it, not to drain it away in order to feed another human dream development.

Many rivers left when the inland sea waters receded have also disappeared. We don't need to let that happen to the ones we have left. The San Juan, Piedra, Navajo and Blanco are current lifelines reaching out to us and our neighbors. They are fed by dozens of small mountain streams which sometimes become only a trickle but are part of the vast intramountain ecosystem of survival.

We need to protect them by controlling, not stopping development; by using wisely that water we are able to store; and by resolving to be conservators of our survivors' future.

Without water, they won't have a future.

By John M. Motter

Namesake played key role in county history

During Archuleta County's pioneer years, the Archuleta family was always news. The Archuleta name, after all, was the source of the county name. Archuletas were among the first settlers in Pagosa Country. They planted roots in the Edith-Dulce-Amargo area by 1876.

The Archuletas were an enterprising lot. They were also active politically. The political history of Archuleta County for its first 20 years or so is a record of conflict between Hispanics and Anglos. The Archuletas purportedly led the Hispanic faction.

Settlement of Archuleta County began about 1876-1877, not quite 30 years following the conclusion of the Mexican-American War. The truth is, the United States took New Mexico and the rest of the Southwest by force of arms during that war. Consequently, in the beginning, New Mexico was occupied territory. New Mexico remained a territory until Jan 1, 1912, when it became the 48th state to join the union.

During the early years of Pagosa Country settlement, racism was more pronounced locally and across the nation than it is today. Some rancor remained from the Mexican-American War. It was not politically incorrect at that time to refer to Hispanics as Mexicans, although the designation is historically inaccurate. The Hispanics of New Mexico were as American as citizens of the United States. Their lineage had probably been in North America longer than any of the U.S. invaders.

Still, Jose Manuel Archuleta from the San Luis Valley was a Colorado State Senator. His family had moved to the San Luis Valley in 1855. He sponsored the legislation creating Archuleta County from Conejos County. Known as A.D., the Senator had four sons, Jose Marcelino Jr. known as J.M., Jose Prescilino known as J.P., Jose Don known as Don, and Jose Delfido.

From the time Archuleta County was created in 1885 until well into the twentieth century, local elections were hotly disputed as zealots from both sides fought for control of the county government. Witness the following newspaper items penned during the early 1890s.

Newspaper item Oct. 13, 1892: New store, new goods. I have just opened a large stock of general merchandise in the Sanders building, and respectfully invite the people of Archuleta county to call and examine my goods and prices. My stock is the largest ever brought to Pagosa and comprises everything usually kept in a first-class store. My aim shall be to please customers. J.M. Archuleta, Sr.

Newspaper item: It will pay you to trade at the store of J.M. Archuleta, Sr. Goods sold at the lowest margin and for less money than they can be purchased elsewhere.

Newspaper item: The Archuleta saloon will be open tonight, and Jewett Palmer will act as dispenser.

Elections: The News hereby calls attention to the fact that there is at present a movement on foot to repeat the election fraud of 1889 in this county. It will be remembered that in that year about eighty Mexican votes were recorded in this county, and it has always been a mystery where they had their habitation. The election was contested and right won except in one instance. At the last two elections the Mexican vote in this county numbered about twenty and people familiar with the lower part of the county have no hesitancy in declaring that they represent the full Mexican vote.

In the Boone precinct 52 names were registered last week, of which 12 are Americans and 40 Mexicans, and it is reported that an attempt will be made next week to register as many more.

The Archuletas control the Mexican vote of this county. They know personally every Mexican in the county. A.D. and J.M. Archuleta Jr. are both authority for this statement that but fifteen Mexican voters reside in this county. About three weeks ago A.D. Archuleta in talking over the political situation with two staunch and prominent Republicans of this town made the statement that there are but fifteen Mexican voters in the county. If it be necessary, the names of the two gentlemen will be disclosed and they will make affidavit of the truth to this settlement.

Assessor Loucks has fifteen Mexican names on the tax schedules as being subject to the military poll tax. J.M. Archuleta Jr., at present county judge of this county, gave Mr. Loucks the list of Mexicans on his schedule with the remark that included all of them. To the query of Mr. Loucks how they managed to cast 80 votes in the past when they had but 15, Mr. Archuleta replied, "That's politics."

Here we have the statement of two men that they have but 15 votes, and they are trying to run in from 50 to 80.

Do these men think that the Americans of this county will again submit to such an outrage and fraud

Will the decent Republicans of the county sanction the outrage by their votes on November 8?

Motter's comment: Egger ran Archuleta's denial of these statements the following week. He also ran affidavits from Charlie Schaad and Barzillai Price attesting to the statements. Price had been Archuleta's losing opponent in the 1890 election.

The Archuletas, at various times, operated businesses establishments in Amargo, Lumberton, and Edith. At Edith, they built the first flour mill in Archuleta County.

A recount of the various elections noted is impossible in the space available here.

That the Archuletas had important political connections across the state is attested by the following information obtained from Page 1, Book 4 of Miscellaneous Records of Archuleta County and entered in 1885. On June 24,1885, A.D. Archuleta, along with H.A.W. Tabor and J.A. Meyers incorporated a firm known as the Archuleta Cattle and Land Co. The corporation was to undertake many tasks, including raising cattle, horses, and other stock, and various other kinds of agriculture. The seven trustees were A.D. Archuleta, H.A.W. Tabor, J.M. Archuleta, J.H. Meyers, J.P. Archuleta, John C. Abbott, and H.W. Bennett. The initial capital stock was $500,000 divided into 5,000 non-assessable shares of $100 each.

It is known that the Archuletas were taking care of one of the Colorado governor's prize horses at Amargo, at least until the nefarious Allison gang appropriated the horse without benefit of a bill of sale.

Agriculture was important in Pagosa Country during the 1890s, as evidenced by the following newspaper items.

Newspaper item: E.T Walker's grain crop threshed 2,000 bushels. That is some less than Mr. Walker expected.

Newspaper item: Chromo is very much better after the severe threshing she has just had. Three machines were here at one time. The winter wheat is good; so are the oats, but they are a light crop. Potatoes are not as plentiful as last year.

Motter's comment: E.T. Walker's crops were raised on the property at the intersection of highways 160 and 84 east of town now covered by the remnants of a sawmill built during the 1950s and closed during the 1970s.

Newspaper item: A Chama dispatch of Oct. 4 says "Last week two Jicarilla Apaches shot at Cole Lyndon, superintendent of this division of the Denver & Rio Grande, near Amargo, two bullets going through his hat. Today Mr. Lyndon swore out warrants for their arrest before Judge Tice, and will endeavor to have them apprehended. It is presumed that the reason they shot at Mr. Lyndon was that he was on the engine that last winter ran over an Apache.

Motter's comment: Seems to me to be an appropriate response.

Newspaper item: H.J. Campbell is a young man residing in the western part of the county, and is engaged in ranching. He is highly esteemed by his neighbors, but his acquaintance throughout the county is limited. The writer has known him but a few months. Mr. Campbell is well qualified for the position to which he aspires.

Motter's comment: Mr. Campbell was placed on the 1892 Republican ticket for commissioner from the first district in Archuleta County, a race he lost. Since learning that U.S. Sen. Ben 'Nighthorse' Campbell has roots in Pagosa Country, we've been noting references to H.J. Campbell. We don't know if he is a predecessor of the current Senator.

'Sherlock Holmes' brings detective to stage
By Tess Noel Baker

Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson will face off against the notorious Moriarty on stage at Pagosa Springs High School May 4-5 in the annual school play.

English teacher Sean Downing directs a cast of 20 in "Sherlock Holmes," a script based loosely on the Holmes' classic, "The Scandal in Bohemia."

The cast members, who have been honing British accents and constructing sets since the beginning of March, are prepared to stage a mystery with true Holmes flair. Clues abound, but Moriarty double-agents are everywhere attempting to thwart the efforts of the crime-fighting duo.

Downing said both Clay Pruitt as Holmes and Brett Khan as Moriarty bring a fresh approach to the who-done-it.

"This is the first time I've seen someone from their generation play these characters," he said. "It's a little different take on some old stories. It's going to be pretty entertaining."

In other lead roles, Cindy Neder plays Alice, and Mike Smith is Dr. Watson. Downing said audiences should also keep a close eye on the shifty safe-cracker Sid Prince, a character to say the least.

This is Downing's first year directing a play at Pagosa Springs High School, although he assisted in the production the last three years. His assistant is Lisa Hartley.

Choosing "Sherlock Holmes" for the 2001 production was based simply on preference and numbers.

"It had a lot of parts and I liked Sherlock Holmes," Downing said, adding that allowing the students to take the script and make the classic their own has been the most rewarding part of preparation.

And the most challenging?

"The same thing."

The curtain rises at 7 p.m. both nights. Cost is $5 for adults and $3 for students.

April 26, 2001

There are no birth announcements this week.

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April 26, 2001