Front Page

May 10, 2001

Third graders' reading scores put school in state's top third

By Richard Walter

Parents of 109 third graders in Pagosa Springs Elementary School, should pat them on the back - and get them another book.

Those youngsters distinguished themselves, just as their predecessors did last year, with high scores in the reading tests administered in February as a part of the CSAP (Colorado Student Assessment Program) testing sequence.

Pagosa's score actually dropped one point, from 83 to 82 percent of those tested ranking at or above the state mandated proficiency level.

However, the number of Pagosa students receiving a top score, compared to all of the 55,200 who took the test statewide, increased from 7 percent in 2000 to 12 percent this year.

The Pagosa scores put the school in the top third of the 891 schools in which the tests were administered statewide.

For comparison purposes, here's how other area schools performed:

Del Norte - reading proficiency fell from 63 percent at mandated level or better in 2000 to 61 percent this year with the top score level rising from 4 percent of those tested to 7 percent.

Bayfield - 81 percent proficiency level stayed the same, but its top score percentage went up from 8 to 14 percent.

Durango - proficiency level increased from 82 to 84 percent and its top score percentage stayed at 13 percent.

Monte Vista - proficiency level dropped from 76 to 72 percent, but its top score percentage increased from 9 to 11 percent.

Ignacio - the most dramatic increase in the state in proficiency, from 47 to 81 percent, and its top score percentage increased from 3 to 4 percent.

Mancos - proficiency up from 67 to 81 percent with top score level holding at 3 percent.

Cyndy Secrist, principal at Pagosa Springs Elementary School, was excited by the scores released Friday but believes they can go even higher in future testing periods with the staff's continuing commitment to reading programs at every level.

"The most exciting thing about these scores," she said, "is the increase in the number of children who scored at the advanced level."

"A big key to the success of our program," she said, "is that our teachers communicate with each other and it's not just on the reading program. We have a tendency to look at an individual child and pass information about that child from one teacher to another.

"It's all about what's best for the child," she said.

"If you know of a problem or a talent in one child and can share that with the child's next teacher," she said, "you've paved the way for more progress in that child's educational experience.

"That," she said, "is what we're here for."

Sheriff, fire aides want county fire district

By John M. Motter

Archuleta County's commissioners are being urged by Sheriff Tom Richards to launch a county fire district.

Richards' pitch for the fire district was made at a Tuesday workshop conducted by the commissioners. He was supported by Pagosa Fire Protection District Chief Warren Grams and County Fire Marshal Karn Macht. Macht is also a deputy sheriff.

The creation of a county fire district is long overdue, Macht said. The fuel load in the county is critical and a major fire is only a lightning stroke away, he said.

When referring to the critical fuel load, Macht spoke about the proliferation of easily combustible trees, brush, grass and other undergrowth that would feed a fire. Adding to the problem is a growing number of homes being constructed in forested and brushy areas - areas with substantial fuel loads.

In Colorado, the county sheriff is responsible for fighting fires in unincorporated areas and in areas not protected by fire districts, Macht said. For years that task has been undertaken by individuals from the country road and bridge department who volunteer to fight fires.

Equipment owned by the county is outdated and inadequate, Macht said, and training for road and bridge firefighting volunteers is almost non-existent.

Macht implied that the lack of training endangers the lives of those who volunteer.

He also pointed out the difference between a runaway fire and a small fire is often the response time.

"If road and bridge people are working down in the southeastern part of the county and a fire breaks out in the northwestern part of the county, it takes a long time for those people to get there," Macht said. "The time delay could allow the fire to become big."

In addition to equipment and training, heated housing for equipment is needed, according to Macht.

Existing county firefighting equipment is housed where water tanks would freeze. Consequently, the tanks are drained. When a fire call comes, the trucks must first be filled and made ready to run before starting for the fire scene. Hours might be required just to get a truck ready to roll.

Help from the Pagosa Fire Protection District is available, but insufficient to combat a large fire, Macht said.

"We have a fire plan," Grams said. "It contains a one-mile buffer (beyond the limits of fire district boundaries). We will respond during the initial attack during the first 12 hours. My people are volunteers and they have to leave their paying jobs in order to fight fires. There is a definite limit to what we can do."

The county has budgeted about $10,000 this year to fight fires. A major portion of that amount will be spent replacing gear burned while fighting fires last year.

"Another consideration," said Kevin Walters, county road and bridge superintendent, "is that we don't pay standby. Sometimes it is hard to find people to fight fires, especially on weekends."

The county pays its road and bridge firefighters, including time and a half if they go over eight hours, Walters said.

About 1,397 square miles are included in the county. Of that amount, 158 square miles is protected by the Pagosa Fire Protection District. The remainder is county responsibility.

Each of the county commissioners voiced support of a county fire district if a means of providing financial support is discovered.

In conclusion, Richards urged the commissioners to:

- Create a county fire district

- Contract with the existing fire district, or

- Require subdivisions to dedicate land for fire stations.

"This is something we can't sit on," Richards said.

Choice: Mag chloride or pot holes and dust

By John M. Motter

It's either magnesium chloride or potholes, washboards, and dust, said Kevin Walters, the county road superintendent.

Walters is referring to choices the county faces concerning application of the controversial salt to gravel roads in the county.

Over the past several years, Archuleta County has applied magnesium chloride to more and more county roads. The Colorado Department of Transportation uses magnesium chloride as a de-icer during the winter snow season.

The county's goal differs from the state's, according to Walters. The county wants to stabilize non-paved roads and cut back on dust, he said.

"We're aware of the controversy surrounding magnesium chloride," Walters said, "but frankly there is no good alternative. It is corrosive, especially when it contacts aluminum alloys and copper. Still, the Forest Service, CDOT, and the federal government swear by it. They've all conducted studies and concluded to continue its use. The alternative effects of not using it, increased dust and icy roads, are probably worse than the effects of using it. There is no way we can afford to pave all of the roads in the county."

The annual, countywide mag chloride application should begin some time this week, Walters said. The first application will probably be made in the Chromo area because county equipment is already in action down there.

County crews do not normally apply mag chloride. The county contracts the application with an outside firm. This year, Desert Mountain, a Kirtland, N.M. firm, has the contract.

About 600,000 gallons will be applied to 135 miles of county roads at a cost of $190,076 - about 31 cents a gallon. Mag chloride is applied once a year, but road surface bonding characteristics of the substance can be rejuvenated by the application of water after the initial application wears off in six weeks or so, Walters said.

"We've reduced the concentration over the last couple of years," Walters said. "We were spreading one-half gallon per square yard. Now we're doing three-tenths of a gallon."

Residents of Holiday Acres, a subdivision just south of Pagosa Springs and west of U.S. 84, have asked the county to not use magnesium chloride on their streets except in isolated instances where no trees border the right of way. The county has complied.

This year the county will experiment with a sodium silicate alternative on a stretch of road in Holiday Acres. The county has tested other alternatives, mostly petroleum-based, in the past. None has been satisfactory and all cost two or three times more than magnesium chloride, Walters said.

"The thing is, most of them were cut with magnesium chloride," Walters said. "Those products we used in Coyote Park two or three years ago still contained 60 percent magnesium chloride."

Evidence that magnesium chloride kills trees appears to be inconclusive so far, Walters said.

"We hear about an occasional tree, maybe a tree with tap roots in a barrow ditch, but a lot of trees still thrive along the roads where mag chloride is used," Walters said.

While admitting the corrosive qualities of mag chloride, Walters points out it probably remains a superior alternative to using nothing and ending up with "pot holes, washboards, and dust."

New avalanche control method, utility structure proposed at ski area

By Richard Walter

Rio Grande National Forest officials are proposing two projects designed to make winter activities safer and more comfortable at Wolf Creek Ski Area, and are inviting public comment on the proposals.

Included are installation of a GAZEX Avalanche Control System in the Horseshoe Bowl and Knife Ridge areas and construction of a restroom/warming area, snack bar/ski patrol room at the top terminus of the Alberta Lift.

The GAZEX system consists of fixed tubes permanently installed in avalanche slide paths with approximately eight tubes in Horseshoe Bowl and six in Knife Ridge.

The tubes are filled with a mixture of oxygen and propane which is ignited by remote control creating an air blast to initiate snow release. Oxygen and propane tanks would be located in small shelters in inconspicuous areas near the ridge top.

The GAZEX system, widely used in Europe, is also being used in Utah, California, Wyoming and Nevada.

At present, Wolf Creek Ski Area uses high explosives for avalanche control.

Forest officials said the purpose of this project is to reduce dependence on a single form of control (high explosive) and initiate the use of a more effective system. GAZEX, they said, has proven to be more effective than conventional methods for avalanche control.

The proposed multi-purpose structure at Alberta Lift would be located under the bull wheel at the top terminal. The footprint of the proposed facility would remain within the area disturbed during construction of the lift.

Forest agents said the purpose of the project is to provide the public and employees with adequate restrooms, a warming area, and snacks and beverages.

The facility would use hybrid composting toilets and water-free hand washing stations. The patrol room would provide more storage for patrol gear.

Officials said ski area employees have received numerous requests for such a facility for the Alberta Lift area.

Anyone with questions or wishing more information may call Steve Brigham at (719) 657-3321 or send written comments to Divide Ranger District, 13308 W. Highway 160, Del Norte, CO 81132.

The comment period for the project will close in approximately 30 days.

Brigham told the SUN the Forest Service has no intention of forcing the projects on the skiing public but, after numerous requests, has seen merit in the proposals. He said the service wants to know specifically what the public thinks of the proposals and to hear their ideas on implementation or on alternatives.

"The people's voice will be heard," he said. "We'll accept all comments and weigh them heavily before the environmental assessment of the ideas is even contemplated."

"We want public input," he said. "We've determined the ideas have merit. We want to know what the public response is."

And, he said, "Lest the public suspect some link, these proposals have absolutely nothing to do with the proposed Village at Wolf Creek development. There is no connection," he said. "The Village plan has not even been submitted to us yet."

Two fugitives captured almost simultaneously

By Tess Noel Baker

The Pagosa Springs Police Department arrested two fugitives Wednesday morning - one headed for New Mexico, the other away from there.

According to police reports, Darren Begay, 28, who is suspected of taking $500 from the local McDonald's bank deposit, was headed to New Mexico on U.S. 160 near Yellow Jacket Pass when he was stopped by a Colorado State Patrol trooper.

Trooper Kim Christianson held Begay, of Farmington, until Police Chief Don Volger arrived. He was subsequently taken into custody on charges of theft and failure to provide proof of insurance.

The theft was first reported to police Tuesday, after the bank discovered a shortage from a deposit made May 4 and reported it to McDonald's employees. Police investigation showed that only two employees had access to the safe prior to the theft - a manager and Begay.

Volger said following an interview Wednesday morning, the suspect immediately quit his job at McDonalds and left the premises.

Almost simultaneously, Officer George Daniels was arresting Rebecca Watts on a San Juan County New Mexico felony warrant. Volger said detectives from that state had faxed information on the case to PSPD after receiving a tip that Watts was in this area.

Following the arrest, Watts attempted to escape custody, fleeing from the police car. After a short foot-chase, she was apprehended again. According to Archuleta County Jail records, she is being held on the warrant as well as charges of resisting arrest and escape.

As of 3 p.m. Wednesday afternoon, both suspects were still in Archuleta County Jail.

Leaving town this summer? Head South

By Richard Walter

Go south, young man, go south, to misquote Horace Greeley, might be the guide words for people trying to go anywhere from Pagosa Springs this summer.

Full weekday nighttime closures have resumed on Wolf Creek Pass with passage barred Monday through Thursday from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.

Daytime work also is resumed, with periodic delays of up to 45 minutes in effect Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The closures are necessitated by ongoing construction which will involve blasting and excavating to construct a new highway alignment on the lower east side of the pass through a 950-foot tunnel.

Updated information is available through the project hotline at (719) 873-2221 or by logging onto the Colorado Department of Transportation web site at

Work is expected to continue throughout the summer and fall months.

At the same time, CDOT announced another U.S. 160 project beginning May 21, involving removal, widening and resurfacing that portion of the highway from Saul's Creek, three miles east of Bayfield, west to the Florida River Bridge, a total of 11 miles.

Periodic traffic stoppages are expected at this construction site also, with lead cars being provided to escort one lane traffic during peak hours.

Wolf Creek nighttime closures mean a rerouting of traffic southward on U.S. 84 to Chama and then north over Cumbres-LaManga Pass into the San Luis Valley and access to routes north and east.

Drivers hoping to avoid delays between Pagosa Springs and Durango due to the Bayfield area project, should use Colo. 151 south through Arboles and then west to Ignacio where routes bypassing the construction area can be accessed by following signs leading to Durango-La Plata County Airport.

This project, too, is expected to last most of the summer.

Inside The Sun
Building first designated Historic Landmark

By Tess Noel Baker

On Saturday, the single-story structure housing the Taminah Gallery at 414 Pagosa Street will become the first building in town to be awarded the designation of Pagosa Springs Historic Landmark by the local Historic Preservation Board.

A celebration complete with music, art, an official presentation, a bird release and refreshments will start at 1 p.m.

It's also an opportunity to relive the building's glory days, including its 20-plus years as the county courthouse, its time as a liquor store, the busy hours as the local, independently-owned telephone company and, more recently, its displays of fine art.

As a special treat, Mr. and Mrs. Jud Thiele of Arboles, who operated the telephone company from 1945-1957 and lived in an apartment in the building, will be honored guests.

"We're very interested in preserving the history of the county," Karen Cox, building owner, said. "We want this to be more than a site for commerce; it's a learning center."

Town planner, Chris Bentley said the goal with this first designation, a kick-off to Historic Preservation Week, May 13-19, is to raise public awareness concerning local preservation programs. To celebrate this first designation, members of town staff and the Pagosa Springs Historic Preservation Board will be offering a historic tour of downtown at 3 p.m. following the reception at the Taminah Gallery.

"We're trying to get some visibility," Bentley said. "We want to preserve some of the old buildings in town while we still can. To appreciate what's really unique about Pagosa, we need to keep it standing."

Development of historic structures can also be a boon for the economy.

"The development of heritage tourism is something that's become, in Colorado, a really good way for towns to boost their economy," said the town planner.

To encourage owners of historical property to consider landmark designation, Pagosa Springs became a Certified Local Government in October 2000, joining 27 other towns, cities and counties in the state, including Durango. The CLG status, given by the state historical society, allows owners of property designated a local historical landmark to apply for a tax credit on preservation or restoration projects on the structure.

Cox said restoring the historical sense of the structure's facade is very important.

"Absolutely," she said. "We are going to restore the front of the building to a period of history according to the guidelines of the state, but that will take some time." She hopes to reach a point where the building can receive state and, possibly, even federal designation.

Under the town's ordinance, a building must be at least 50 years old, meet one of 10 factors for historic significance listed in the ordinance and have the property owner's written consent in order to qualify for the designation. To have the building at 414 Pagosa Street designated as a local landmark, Cox had to apply with the Pagosa Springs Historical Preservation Board. The board reviews applications and makes a recommendation to the town board which can either approve or deny the designation.

Cox's application for 414 Pagosa Street was completed first and reviewed by the Historical Preservation Board at its April 20 meeting. The board recommended approval to the town board and the Pagosa Springs Board of Trustees voted to make the designation at their regular meeting May 1.

Right now, the gallery meets four of town's ten criteria for historical significance:

- As a former county courthouse, it has value as part of the "development, heritage or cultural characteristics of local, regional or national significance"

- As the site of the Fort Lewis enlisted barracks, it is "the site of a significant historical event"

- Once owned by State Senator Charles F. Rumbaugh, who was instrumental in improving roads in the area for tourism in the first half of the 1900s, it has an "identification with a person or persons who significantly contributed to the culture and development of the town"

- And as the site of an early telephone company, it is an "exemplification of cultural, economic, social or historic heritage."

The Taminah Gallery is not alone in its effort. So far, six other building owners have shown an interest in having their property designated as a historic landmark. These include: the Pagosa Hotel Mall and Liberty Theatre, the Heritage building, Jerry Venn's building on Lewis Street, the Clancy residence on Lewis Street and Bob Goodman's building.

Right now, documenting a landmark's significance for the application currently means some legwork for the property owner, but a grant from the Colorado Historical Society will change that in many cases.

The $23,700 grant will fund a year-long survey and inventory of about 100 historic structures within town boundaries, Bentley said. An independent consulting firm will be hired, hopefully yet this summer, to begin the work.

Instead of waiting for the survey to fill in all the holes in the past of some of the town's most historic buildings, Bentley said the town board is encouraging property owners to apply now.

"Right now we're really trying to facilitate people getting designated by not requiring volumes of information because that will be presented in the survey," Bentley said.

Property owners who receive designation can then begin working toward approval of a tax credit for any planned preservation or restoration work. The available credit equals 20 percent of rehabilitation projects up to a $50,000 maximum credit per qualified property. Some other state or federal grants are also available for preservation efforts, Bentley said. Town staff and the historic preservation board plan to work with building owners to apply for some of those monies.

Landmark has escaped two downtown fires

By Tess Noel Baker

The single-story building with metal sides and a roof constructed at 414 Pagosa Street has housed a rich history over the past 107 years.

Its walls have harbored county government, a liquor store, telephone company, living quarters for at least one family, an auto parts store, general mercantile and more than one art gallery. It has escaped at least two fires, in 1919 and 1942, that tore through a large chunk of the downtown area.

According to old newspaper accounts, the building, situated on Block 21, on the south half of lot 28 on the original town plat, was constructed in the fall of 1894 by J.V. Blake who purchased the land for $500.

Just five years later, a March 9 article reported that Blake was going out of business. H. R. Bowling purchased Blake's stock, and the building was leased to Archuleta County to serve as the courthouse. For the next 28 years, county business was conducted in a single big front room with supplies stacked around the walls.

In 1928, after the completion of a new courthouse at its current location, the building on lot 28 was sold to Charles F. Rumbaugh, a former state senator, and it became known as the Rumbaugh Building.

According to the Sept. 7, 1934, SUN, "Chas F. Rumbaugh is preparing the south half of the former garage and county courthouse building for the installation of licensed liquor store." The same article noted that the courthouse vault left behind would be getting new use as storage for "liquids." Mrs. Florence Preston, of Casper, Wyo., was hired to manage the venture.

"Mr. Charles Rumbaugh has just installed a new Neon sign on his liquor store. The sign is of a special type that changes from blue to red every minute," reported the SUN July 5, 1935.

Shortly after that, Rumbaugh expanded his business interests by purchasing the Pagosa Springs Telephone Company from Mrs. A.T. Sullenburger. According to the Oct. 18, 1935 SUN, Rumbaugh planned to have a new work force in place within a week and "undoubtably the office will be moved to the Rumbaugh Building near the liquor store and a new switchboard and other up-to-date equipment put in." To manage the telephone company, Rumbaugh hired Mrs. Emmett Martinez.

Improvements didn't stop there. On Jan. 15, 1937, the paper reported:

"According to Chas. Rumbaugh, the inauguration of a 24-hour phone service by the Pagosa Springs Telephone Company Jan. 1 has met with popular approval."

The new service meant that emergency calls were answered 24-hours a day. Monday through Saturday regular hours were 7 a.m.-10 p.m., and Sunday service covered 8 a.m.-8 p.m.

And it appears at least one pet was welcome in the store. On Jan. 24, 1936, the SUN reported that Rumbaugh possessed a "vest pocket dog, anyway the dog would almost fit in your vest pocket. He is quite a pet and very much an attraction at the store."

The exact date Rumbaugh sold the building is unknown, one of the many current gaps in the building's history that will most likely be filled during a planned historical survey and inventory.

The trail picks up in the SUN again on July 13, 1945 when J. F. Thiele, of Fulton, Mo., purchased the Pagosa Springs Telephone Company from Wilbur Neely. Mr. and Mrs. Thiele took possession of the company on August 1.

According to the same article, "Mr. and Mrs. Neely, who came here from Houston to take over the telephone company Jan. 1, 1945, plan to return to Texas."

On Friday, Aug. 3, 1945, the paper reported:

"Mr. and Mrs. J. F. Thiele, their 4-year-old daughter, Judy, and baby son, Fred arrived here Saturday from Fulton, Mo., and have been busy all week getting settled in an apartment adjoining the telephone company.

"The SUN bespeaks the business interests of the community in extending a hearty welcome to the newcomers and hopes that their residence in Pagosa Springs will be both pleasant and profitable."

The Thieles, who now live in Arboles, ran the company for 12 years.

Karen Cox, who bought the building six months ago, said in a recent interview, Thiele, 90, remembered that when he ran the telephone company, monthly phone rates were: $5 for a business, $2 for a town residence and $1 for a rural residence. When he started, the phone company had 150 subscribers. When he left, subscriptions were up to 450.

In its more recent history, the building has housed the Superior Auto Parts store and the Milton Lewis Gallery among other businesses.

Near 80 this weekend as area leaves snow behind

By John M. Motter

Pagosa Country residents can look forward to warm and dry conditions through the coming week after surviving a sneaky snow storm that dumped six inches of the white and chilly last Thursday and Friday.

"Thursday (today) will be partly cloudy with a temperature near 80 degrees," said Brian Avery, a forecaster for the National Weather Service office in Grand Junction. "You'll see clearing tonight, then dry and warm through next Wednesday. High temperatures should be 80 or so with lows in the upper 30s or low 40s."

A Pacific low stalled over the Four Corners last Thursday and Friday, substituting six inches of snow for the scattered showers that had been forecast.

"It just stalled out over the Four Corners," Avery said. "If it had kept moving, you wouldn't have received so much snow. The snow in your area was a last-minute thing. One place near Manila, Utah, near the south end of Flaming Gorge Reservoir, received 33 inches of snow."

A high pressure trough sitting over Western Colorado should divert any storm fronts to the north, bypassing Pagosa Country through the coming week, according to Avery.

Last week's snowfall boosted May's total to six inches, well above the historic average of one inch for the month. The water content was relatively high producing 0.93 inches of precipitation.

High temperatures last week ranged between 72 degrees Tuesday and 35 degrees Friday during the snow show. For the week, the average high temperature was 61 degrees.

Low temperatures ranged between 28 degrees Friday and 41 degrees Tuesday with an average low of 33 degrees.

One county vacancy near being filled; administrator; engineer posts argued

By John M. Motter

The Archuleta County commissioners continue to meet while exercising government by liaison.

Government by liaison means the three commissioners have apportioned the various county departments under commissioner control among themselves. Each commissioner maintains liaison with his area of responsibility, then reports to the other commissioners. Decisions are said to be made as a group.

Government by liaison was established when former County Manager Dennis Hunt resigned. The concept is designed to enable the commissioners to accomplish tasks previously performed by Hunt.

Meanwhile, three holes created by resignations early this year remain unfilled. Those holes formerly contained the county manager, director of county development, and county engineer. The following steps are being taken to fill the vacancies.

County Development

This position is nearest being filled. The position has been offered to Mark S. Smith, who promised last week that he would let the commissioners know this week if he accepts. Smith said he is also considering an offer from Clear Creek County in Colorado.

County Administrator

The commissioners decided to change the title of this position formerly held by Dennis Hunt from County Manager to County Administrator. They have received 31 applications for the position and conducted a work session Monday to define the process for choosing a replacement. Advertising for the position continues on the Web, announcing the position as open until filled.

A selection committee has been appointed including the three commissioners, County Attorney Mary Weiss, Administrative Assistant Kathy Wendt, and County Assessor Keren Prior. The selection committee configuration was decided by general agreement of the commissioners at a Monday workshop. They allowed the other elected officials to choose a representative; that is why Prior's name was added to the list.

It was also decided at the workshop that the selection committee will review all of the applications and narrow the list to five top choices. A backup list of five may be chosen in case a connection cannot be made with the first five choices.

Commissioner Bill Downey and Weiss pressed for an early interview date with the finalists in order to fill the void as quickly as possible. A specific date was not firmly established, but June 7, 8 and 9 have been targeted.

While pushing for the early interview date Downey said, "It has been 11 weeks since Dennis notified us of his resignation, six weeks since the position became vacant, and three weeks since the advertising (newspaper) closed. We need to begin the process, to establish the process. We don't need to put it off, then have to scramble at the last minute."

Crabtree agreed, pointing out he wants someone with good public relations skills and someone who will keep all of the commissioners informed on everything going on in the county, "so everybody is in the loop."

That's why he wanted the commissioners to get hands-on experience with each department before hiring a replacement for Hunt, Crabtree said.

"On surface, I think it's gone good," Crabtree said. "Maybe we've overloaded Kathy (Wendt) a little bit. Have we had major problems here?"

"There have been no crises," Weiss said, "but we have advertised and we need to get on with filling the position."

Wendt pointed out a number of things are happening that need the attention of an administrator, things such as planning for a new courthouse.

"I definitely like what we are doing," said Commissioner Alden Ecker. "I appreciate Kathy. The commissioners need to be available. With us acting as liaison, I have more appreciation and respect for department heads. We don't interfere, just have a daily working relationship.

"I think it important that the commissioners stay involved," Ecker continued. "The problem is with the position description. It's too big a load for one person. I don't know why everyone thinks we don't have enough brains to do the job. We need an administrator, but we don't need to put the whole burden on him."

"You advertised this way," said Weiss. "The big issue I see is you have to act as a board. You cannot make individual decisions. That person (county administrator) can. That's what the weekly meetings are all about. He informs you and you make the decisions. I've done things this past month I wouldn't have done, such as negotiating on the Piedra Road thing. Normally, I would take information presented to me and draft a contract, not be involved in the negotiations."

"As I see it, we are better informed," Ecker said. "As liaison, we keep each other informed."

"From my standpoint I feel less informed now," Downey said. "Before, I was always in the manager's office or he came to me. There is a responsibility on our part to ask."

"Part of the problem in the past," Crabtree said, "was you and the other commissioner were informed. The rest of us were left out."

"He's gone," Downey said. "Let's deal with now."

"We need to meet once a week or when necessary," Crabtree said.

"It will have to be an open meeting," Downey said. "I have questions I don't want in an open meeting."

"I think we all agree," Crabtree said. "These were things that needed to be said."

All of the commissioners agreed they had not read all of the applications and agreed to allow time to complete that task.

Crabtree agreed to call the 31 applicants to learn how many are still interested in light of the passage of time.

The Monday workshop adjourned at about noon. By noon Tuesday, Crabtree reported he had made the 31 calls and 27 of the prospects were still interested in the position.

Crabtree pointed out that there are some people in the county who do not believe a county administrator is needed. "They say the three of us (commissioners) should be able to do the job," Crabtree said. "I hear this in coffee shops and around the county," Crabtree said.

"There are two schools of thought on that," Ecker said, "on whether we need the position filled or not. Not everyone thinks we need a county manager."

Both Crabtree and Ecker affirmed that the county should be open to all options, including the option of not filling the position, allowing the commissioners to continue to perform the daily tasks of supervising the various county departments in a liaison capacity.

Downey pointed out the process of hiring a county administrator is well underway.

"It seems to me we are moving forward to fill the position," Downey said.

County Engineer

The county advertised for replacements to fill this position after former county engineer Roxann Hayes resigned in February. Seven applications have been received. A selection committee has not been appointed and no interviews had been conducted as of Tuesday.

Crabtree and Ecker have expressed the general opinion that a county engineer may not be needed at this time, since county road contracts contain a requirement that the contractor conduct engineering tests by a state-licensed engineer.

Not only did the county engineer inspect road construction, the county engineer was also responsible for inspections and approvals connected with subdivisions and other development issues.

The need for someone in that position surfaced at Tuesday's commissioner meeting. Kathy Ruth, the planning director, and a local developer pointed out county regulations relating to subdivision and development including improvements agreements specify inspections and sign-offs by the county engineer.

Crabtree and Ecker noted that, since developers are already required to meet certain standards and retain registered engineers to certify those standards, hiring a county engineer could be considered an unnecessary duplication of effort and expense.

They agreed informally to contact the applicants for the county engineering position and see if one might perform the work for the county on a contract basis, at least temporarily, in order that subdivision development not be brought to a standstill.

No formal decision was made to hire or not hire a county engineer on a permanent basis.

School Within a School returns to its roots

By Richard Walter

The School Within a School program, a six-year experiment in educational philosophy being viewed as a success in Pagosa Springs schools, will return to its roots next year.

The Board of Education of Archuleta District 50 Joint approved the establishment of first/second and third/fourth grade level classes next year at their May 8 meeting.

The concept was initiated at the grade school level six years ago and advanced with the children then involved into the Intermediate School where it has been viewed as an outright success.

In the SWS classes, children are viewed as intelligent individuals who learn by constructing meaning from the world they live in and their experiences in it. Within certain guidelines, the students help select what they want to study and are allowed to make their own leaps of discovery.

Cyndy Secrist, elementary school principal, told the school board the question of reestablishing the program in her school first arose about three months ago when a parent, Jamie Sharp, urged a resumption at the elementary level.

Sharp and Suzette Youngs - now teaching the SWS classes in the Intermediate School - shared their philosophies with the elementary staff, Secrist said, noting there was initially strong support for the third/fourth grade class but less for the lower grade class.

When three teachers volunteered to handle the courses, she said, the program had its initial boost within the staff.

"We had to overcome some hurdles with the staff," she said, "because there were some less than positive opinions. Our open forum on the program resolved, for the most part, a lot of the negative stuff."

Anticipating 20 children enrolled in each first and second grade class next year, Secrist said, "we proposed putting 10 from each class into the School Within a School program on a first-come, first-served basis."

Using the same 10 per class formula for the third/fourth grade special class, the regular third grade classes would retain 17 and 18 students and the fourth grade classes would each retain 20 students.

"We had two immediate concerns," Secrist said. "One was a capacity of no more than 20 students per class and the recognized probability we'd have to turn some away and add them to a waiting list.

"Second was a perception among some staff that the rules applying to everyone else in the building would not apply to School Within a School classes. We had to show staff that the rules will be the same for all."

"We cleared that hurdle and some concern over multi-ages in special classrooms," Secrist continued, "and it appears the staff is now convinced we'll maintain equitable state standards for all students in all classrooms if you approve the program."

"I think we're ready to proceed," she said, "and I'd like to recommend the board approve return of SWS to the Elementary School with a few changes in administrative guidance."

(1) "There is no board policy statement in other fields in the district and should not be in this one. In the beginning, it was necessary as a control factor should the program fail. Now, however, it has proven its worth and should be controlled by school rather than board policy."

(2) "Since School Within a School has monthly parent board meetings, natural leadership will evolve and there is no need for a Parent Board."

Youngs told the school board she considers the Parent Board "more a voice to me than a policy group. They have never gone against policy set by the district."

Randall Davis, board president, said, "If the Parent Board has a desire to circumvent policy, that is skirting the Board of Education. It is the responsibility of the school board and administration to set such policy,"

Secrist said the monthly parent meeting with teachers can effectively replace a Parent Board and allow discussion of developing issues, if any, as well.

She said a main goal in program development has been cohesion in the school. "I'd like to see no strict limit, no barring of a Parent Board at some later date, just no mandate that it be employed as a class tool."

She told the board immediate approval or denial was necessary because class lists for next year must be done by May 25 and that alerting parents to the openings (especially at the third grade level) for the School Within a School must be completed before that time if approval were granted.

On the recommendation of Superintendent Terry Alley that the board consider approval of the program with a "high level of parent involvement, without class size limits and with no mandate of a Parent Board," the school board voted unanimous approval on a motion by Russ Lee, seconded by Carol Feazel.

Afterward, Davis said it is his opinion the return of the program to the Elementary School "is a good idea in cumulative education. It is neither greater nor less than any of the other options we offer."

And, after the vote, Secrist told the board, "We don't want the program to be an appendage. It must be part of the overall educational opportunity. The teachers are excited and willing."

"The kids are what it's all about," said Lee. "If we make it exciting for them, it will be exciting for the rest of the school population and for us as a board."

State-mandated school programs outlined

By Richard Walter

Several state-mandated programs which will require board action next month were outlined for the Archuleta School District 50 Joint board of education Tuesday.

Superintendent Terry Alley told board members the approval of Senate Bill 133 last year mandated the district to create a safety plan. While a local plan was already in use, he said, the Senate mandated several special characteristics to be added in the wake of the Columbine High School incident.

The basic changes, he said, deal with community (school) response to crisis situations and he urged board members to study the mandated changes before they vote on the plan next month.

Also scheduled for a vote next month will be a Technology Standards Plan mandated by the state. It involves upgrading computers and technology at each school building, outlines what students at each grade level should be able to do with computer science, and requires adding equipment to meet the standard.

Some costs, Alley said, will be met by state funding but others may be necessitated in the upcoming local school budget. Again, he urged board members to carefully review the mandate before casting their votes.

Finally, Alley described a new mandated district accreditation contract required by the Department of Education which must be enacted before July 1.

Under the agreement, he told the board, the district must guarantee that CSAP scores will show improvement each year, that sub-population students who score low on the tests will show improvement within one year, that the district will maintain at least a 90 percent graduation rate and will strive for a 97 percent attendance level.

Alley said the administration drafted and sent to the state a sample contract which the State Board of Education returned as acceptable. He said it will be ready for board approval next month.

In other action Tuesday, the board:

- Learned the administration is working on a consolidated grant application totaling $250,000 which will include funding for mandated Title I programs, a classroom relief teacher in the elementary school, and utilization of school safety and crisis teams in each building

- Agreed with Randall Davis, board president, that the district's music program should be reviewed to be sure it is coordinated between schools and that it meets all state standards. Alley told the board the budget to be submitted next month may well include funds for additional music staffing

- Learned the signed contract with Duane Noggle, the man selected to replace Alley as superintendent when he retires July 1, was received this week and the "deal is sealed." Noggle hopes to attend at least one board meeting before his contract begins

- Approved contracts for five probationary teachers going into regular status for next year and pacts for 12 others who will remain in probationary status for one more year.

Boys basketball coach position remains open

By Richard Walter

A number of personnel contracts were approved in school board action Tuesday, but the one hoped-for appointment of a new boys' varsity basketball coach fell through.

With that lone exception, all existing coaches' contracts were renewed for the 2001-02 school year, and an administration recommendation to appoint Connie O'Donnell as head track coach to replace Kyle Canty was approved.

Kahle Charles, athletic director, said as late as Monday evening he had believed he had an "extremely qualified candidate" lined up for the basketball coaching position. He was informed by Superintendent Terry Alley, however, that the candidate had called to withdraw from consideration.

Charles has been advertising the job and has received no applications.

The Pirates advanced to state playoffs this season and, despite losing several starting seniors to graduation, are expected to challenge again next year.

Charles invited anyone interested in the job to contact him at 264-2231 ext. 224.

In other personnel actions Tuesday, the board accepted the resignations of Shelly Frye, junior high and Intermediate School librarian, and Sheryl Bogert, junior high secretary; approved an administration recommendation to hire Rebecca Howe as a special education teacher for the high school; and granted sixth grade teacher Dianna Hill a one-year sabbatical leave to secure her master's degree.

And, the board learned a screening committee has settled on two of three candidates for the Intermediate School principal's post being vacated at the end of this school year by Butch Madrid.

Alley told the board the screening panel will meet again tomorrow to pick a third candidate from the field of 17 applicants before making a final recommendation to the board next month.

In the meantime, board members are individually reviewing all the applications and will come up with their own recommendations to compare with the screening committee suggestion before a final candidate is named and negotiations begin.

Neither of the two initial committee recommendations involve current residents or employees of the district.

All-day blood drive set May 21

United Blood Services is conducting a special, all-day blood drive May 21, to commemorate the upcoming Memorial Day holiday.

"This is one of the most important weeks in our blood drive schedule," said Randy Hubbs, community relations representative for UBS. "The availability of blood going into the first long weekend of summer determines whether we face shortages or have a consistent inventory available to our hospitals."

The May 21 blood drive will take place at the UBS offices at 146 Sawyer Drive, Bodo Park, Durango.

UBS will conduct a blood drive in Pagosa Springs May 31, at Mountain Heights Baptist Church, 1044 Park Avenue, 2-6 p.m.

An ID is required for all prospective donors.

For more information, call UBS at 385-4601.

Building permits decline

By John M. Motter

The number of new building permits issued by Archuleta County for 2001 continues to trail the number issued to date last year.

Through April of this year, the Archuleta County Building Department has issued 142 building permits, a 16.5 percent slide below the 170 permits issued through April last year.

"I don't know why the number of permits is down this year," said Julie Rodriguez, a spokesperson for the county building department. "Maybe this winter, with more snow than in recent years, slowed things down a bit. That would be my guess. It still seems like a lot of applications cross my desk."

Reports estimating building costs are released at the end of each year by the county building department. Even though builders are required to estimate building costs when applying for building permits, monthly reports detailing building costs are not available. Nevertheless, Rodriguez affirmed a trend toward larger, more expensive homes in the county.

"We've been using the same $75 per square foot for estimates for four or five years," Rodriguez said. "That number is probably not realistic any more. The number should average closer to $100 a square foot."

Rodriguez said some very large homes are being built this year.

"We just got an application for a 9,000 square-foot house with a 5,000 square-foot garage," Rodriguez says.

Leading the slide this year are the number of permits issued for single family residence construction. By this time last year, 107 single family residence permits were issued. This year on the same date, only 87 single family residence permits have been issued.

Also down this year are the number of permits issued for mobile homes. This year's mobile home permit total is eight, down from 18 last year. Commercial permits are up this year - five compared with one last year. "Other" permits this year total 42, up from 37 last year. No timeshare permits have been issued for 2001. Last year, seven time share permits were issued by this time.

Between March 31 and April 30 this year, 63 permits were issued, including 38 single family residence permits. Over the same month a year ago, 69 permits were issued, including 43 single family residence permits.

Forest Service parks provide a boost for local economy

By John M. Motter

Almost 250 camp sites maintained by the U.S. Forest Service serve as a powerful magnet attracting outdoor adventurers to the Pagosa Springs area.

Forest Service camping facilities, along with private camping facilities, state administered campsites at Navajo Lake, and unimproved Wilderness Area campsites, cater to the love of nature that attracts many people to Pagosa Country.

Spectacular alpine scenery, rushing mountain streams, and an abundance of wildlife make camping in Pagosa Country an adventure cherished for a lifetime.

Three congressionally designated Wilderness Areas adorn Southwestern Colorado. The Weminuche Wilderness is the largest, covering almost a half-million acres in the San Juan and Rio Grande National Forests. The Lizard Head Wilderness is north of Dolores, and the South San Juan Wilderness is southeast of Pagosa Springs.

Wilderness Areas are generally used by those who want to experience the land the way it was before civilization. By law, only foot and stock travel are allowed in Wilderness Areas. The Forest Service advises back country travelers to:

- Prepare

- Camp and travel on durable surfaces

- Pack it in, pack it out

- Properly dispose of what can't be packed out

- Minimize use and impact of fires.

Campsites in the Pagosa Ranger District are located mainly along Williams Creek, the First Fork of the Piedra, U.S. 160 near Chimney Rock, the San Juan East and West forks, and the Blanco River.

Amenities provided range from water, sewer collection and electricity for modern mechanized camping, to tent pads for primitive camping.

The local camping season ranges from mid-May through September, but may vary according to weather conditions.

Dispersed camping is allowed in most areas, but this means no toilets, treated water, or fire grates. The Forest Service recommends camping on bare soil, if possible, to avoid damaging vegetation. Do not camp within 100 feet of water because plants growing near water are especially fragile. Never try to level a tent site or dig trenches. Pick a level site with good drainage.

Included among Forest Service rules governing camping etiquette are the following:

- Enjoy natural surroundings, but don't make noise, especially at night. Respect others

- Maintain dogs on a leash within campgrounds

- Keep campfires in fire grates at camp grounds. Put camp fires out completely before leaving camp. Watch bulletin boards for fire restrictions

- Use the dumpsters or trash cans provided. Leave campsites clean. Do not burn trash in the fire grate

- Do not break off the limbs or carve into the bark of trees in campgrounds. This allows insects and disease to enter and weaken trees and shrubs. Try not to step on plants. Do not pick wildflowers.

A few general rules relating to fire and interaction with wildlife apply to all campsites, primitive or otherwise.

Concerning fire, be sure to check with local authorities before going to a camping destination. Depending on weather and the dryness of the season, fires may either be prohibited or restricted. Check for fire restrictions posted at the entrances of campgrounds.

Wildlife in many forms is abundant in Pagosa Country. A good general rule is to look, but don't touch. The young of some wild animals may appear to be in distress and need help. Just remember that it is illegal to have almost any form of wildlife in your possession without a permit. If you spot such an animal, call a Colorado Division of Wildlife officer.

Several forms of wild carnivores inhabit Pagosa Country, animals such as black bear, mountain lions, bobcats, coyotes, foxes and members of the weasel family. Bear and mountain lions, in particular, are often larger than humans and can be extremely dangerous.

Campers normally avoid problems with bears by keeping food in bear-proof containers. Avoid leaving anything with an enticing smell or taste where a bear can reach it. Mountain lions are extremely secretive and seldom seen. If one is encountered, experts urge the hiker or camper to face the lion and try to appear as large as possible. Fight back if attacked.

Campgrounds northeast of Pagosa Springs are all reached from U.S. 160 and include Wolf Creek Campground, West Fork Campground, and East Fork campground. Wolf Creek Campground is densely forested with four sites on the east side of Wolf Creek and 22 sites on the west side of Wolf Creek. Potable water is available and a fee is charged. Fishing and hiking are available. In addition to tents, RVs and pull-throughs are accommodated.

A fee is also charged at West Fork Campground, just up the road from Wolf Creek Campground. Offered are 28 sites in a forested area. Fishing and hiking are available, along with tent, RV and pull-through camping.

East Fork Campground is located at the entrance to the East Fork of the San Juan and offers fishing, hiking, and potable water along with camping sites for tents, RVs and pull-throughs. A fee is charged.

South of Pagosa Springs is the Blanco River Campground and Picnic Site. This seldom used site is 15 miles southeast of Pagosa Springs and two miles east of U.S. 84 along the Blanco River. Four campsites and two group picnic areas are available. Fees are charged and reservations are required for the picnic areas. Hiking and fishing are available.

The Piedra Picnic area is located 16 miles northwest of Pagosa Springs just off of Piedra Road after crossing the first bridge over the Piedra River. Hiking, fishing, and picnicking are possible. There are no amenities other than tables, fire pits, and rest rooms. Fees are not charged.

Among the camping areas north of Pagosa Springs is the Bridge Campground located on Piedra Road 19 miles north of town and containing 19 camping sites of all kinds, fishing, and camping. A fee is charged.

Continuing north on Piedra Road from the Bridge Campground are the Williams Creek, Teal, and Cimarrona campgrounds, all in the vicinity of Williams Creek Lake and providing access to the Weminuche Wilderness Area. All kinds of camping areas are provided. Fishing and hiking are among the outdoor activities. A fee is charged.

Ute Campground lies on the north side of U.S. 160 17 miles west of Pagosa Springs. This is a dry campground, but provides spectacular views of Chimney Rock and access to Anasazi site. A fee is charged.

By continuing west on U.S. 160, one crosses the Piedra River 25 miles from Pagosa Springs. Lower Piedra Campground is located along the west side of Piedra River just north of U.S. 160. Fishing and hiking are available. A fee is charged.

Many Forest Service campsites offer guided tours or other activities at specific times.

To learn about available tours, call the Pagosa Ranger District office at 264-2268.

Internet problems

Dear Editor,

This is an open letter to town and county leaders as well as to the management of Century Telephone.

A major impediment to businesses in this area is the primitive state of our electronic communication to the outside world. Businesses encounter major delays in processing credit card charges because they can't get an outgoing line. For those of us who use the Internet for our business activities, the problem is perhaps even worse.

There are two major issues: bandwidth (or speed, if you like) and reliability. Century Telephone scores poorly in both areas. We are linked to the outside world by copper wire and by microwave. If one doesn't get you, the other one seems to. The "data pipeline" is constrained by the copper wire to low speeds (by today's standards elsewhere). The two modes in sequence assure that anyone trying to maximize speed under this limited capacity system will go off-line with a high degree of regularity due to electronic noise, equipment failures, weather, construction cuts, etc., often in the middle of a major data transfer out of or into Pagosa Springs.

The current answer is, of course, to use fiber optics. High speed, high bandwidth data access is not possible using the fiber optic backbone that has recently linked Durango to the outside world. Granted, the expense of putting in fiber optics to Durango is significant, whether under ground or strung along existing power poles. But if we are ever to be a part of significant electronic commerce, we must have this type of service.

I hope others will join with me in bringing pressure for a joint town, county, Century Telephone commitment to quality information services.

Tom Cruse

Tribute to mothers

Friends may come and friends may go, and their memory may grow dim, and we may forget all the good times and things we shared with them. But there's one thing that we won't forget, through good days or stormy weather - the unforgettable memories of a sweet and precious mother.

Though our friends may all forsake us and they may turn to another, there's one on whom we can depend - the love of a precious mother. Her love will stick through good or bad, through trouble and disgrace. There will never be a prettier picture than of a loving mother's face.

So Mother, here's a tribute just for you, though you be near or far away. Thanks for all the love you've given. And happy Mother's Day.

Bonnie Evans

Personal opinions

Dear Editor,

As a retailer, a member of the Chamber of Commerce, and the president of the Downtown Merchants Association, I would like to address the letter written by a local resident who had a bad experience shopping in Pagosa Springs. The following are my personal opinions.

You're right! Don't stand for it. People in Pagosa work hard for their money, and deserve a good shopping experience. But don't disregard all Pagosa businesses based on a few bad experiences.

Savvy retailers or service providers, whether they are in uptown or downtown Pagosa, realize that you can pick and choose where to spend your money, and that you will spend your money where you have an enjoyable experience, discover value and uniqueness, and get what you pay for.

Successful retailing for a small business in Pagosa is a challenge. Compared to a large city our costs for retail space, insurances, taxes, and utilities are just as high. Freight is higher due to our remoteness, and our buying power is low compared with large stores or chains. On the customer side of the equation, our customer traffic is low compared to a town even the size of Durango, so our opportunity to make a sale is limited. We need to please our customers.

Why do we do it? There are many different answers to that question, but the one common answer is to make a living like everyone else. A healthy community needs a strong local economy. In most cases, goods or services are provided at as low a price as possible that will still provide the shop owner a salary, and in many cases employment for folks in town. Over-pricing goods or services is not to anyone's advantage, especially the shop owner.

Give your local businesses a chance. They are owned and operated by your friends and neighbors. We all work very hard, and most of us are in it for the long haul. If you have a good or bad experience, tell a friend (and the owner.) You are our best and worst advertising depending on your experience. Those businesses that aren't sensitive to the customer will either fold, or have to sell and pass the torch to someone who will hopefully have the right mind-set. But generalizing poor treatment at one shop to all shops in Pagosa, would be unfair.

Harry Kropp

'Chairman's rules'

Dear Editor,

Thought I'd share a few of the "chairman's rules" that I've observed over the past year. 1) You sit there, hold your gavel, and when citizens bring you legitimate concerns you tell them they should handle it in "the way of the west" (more on that later), 2) You tell Animal Shelter reps that dogs should be euthanized "the way we do it on the ranch," 3) You fence off public roads, 4) You hold secret public meetings, 5) rather than upholding the law (the CUP) you manipulate it, without any public input, to serve special interests.

Now back to that "old west" part. Well, as I understand it, back then a man kept his word. It was a matter of honor, and a man's word was his bond. If that man was in a position of authority, he lived the law and did what was fair and just. He didn't break his bond to further a friend's situation. He didn't manipulate the law or develop "chairman's rules" to fit the scene.

So, I suggest that Chairman Crabtree drop the ol' west persona; he is falling way short of the myth.

E. Allison McKinney-Smith

Out of control

Dear Editor,

The machine is out of control.

We the subjects are overgoverned and overtaxed. I just got my new tax assessment for our 1 acre of land on Hot Springs Boulevard. They went up 320 percent. This means $5,000 a year for an empty lot. What happens when I want to build? We waste money on three commissioners that close their eyes, regardless of what kind of development comes in. Government is supposed to encourage good growth, not put so much financial burden on small businesses so you cannot make a living. This is not Aspen, yet the tax is only on commercial properties.

The county needs to wake up, think outside the square and work with people - Not - "it costs money to be a developer and that's what other towns charge." Quality projects are being blocked in this town because of hook up fees, road costs and a 320 percent tax increase. You make people go out of business instead of opening their doors.

The government machine is out of control and the pockets of your subjects are empty. Enjoy your new palaces. Oh yeah, I have to pay for my For Sale sign on my property now.

Sean McMullen

(Editor's note: Chances are quite good the property Mr. McMullen refers to is located within the Pagosa Springs town limits. As a result, the county commissioners are not responsible for development limitations put on the property. Nor are they directly responsible for assessed valuations of properties and attendant tax increases on the properties. For Sale signs are exempt from fees under the town sign code.)

Only democrat?

Dear Editor,

My husband and I bought property in Holiday Acres last August. We have been coming to Pagosa to play for many years and are ready for the move. We have enjoyed reading the news and seeing the photocam every week on the net.

While we were there last August we enjoyed a soak in the springs and met an older man and several of his friends talking politics. I asked if there were any Democrats in town and he said he thought there were one or two and that the editor of the SUN might be! My husband says I will be the only one, is this true?

Thanks for the news.


Joan Polulech

Apologies owed

Dear Editor,

The April 26 apology of David Mitchell, referencing myself and others, is gracefully accepted with an appreciation for the courage of David to do so.

It is the county commissioners who owe an apology to the folks of Archuleta County.

In the recent commissioner's "Green Light" approval of the Hard Times concrete batch plant, they broke the promise and the agreement they shoved down our throats, last fall. This was all done in a fall "hearing" in which they allowed no public comment while they cooked the decibel numbers, traffic trips, and all other criteria to cover their tracks.

As in the case of the previous seated commission, the current commission broke every rule necessary to facilitate the approval of the batch plant. It is just business as usual. A self-serving, I'll do it my way, please shut up, we make our own rules, board.

The batch plant permit approval process was no more than a charade, which the commissioners grudgingly tolerated in order to cure their own self-inflicted wound. After having allowed the owners to completely construct this heavy industrial use, without first applying for the required Conditional Use Permit, it was a predetermined outcome. The chairman, who daily commuted past the batch plant during its construction, always intended to have it his way.

No matter what. Just find a way to do it. Our citizen participation was a joke on us.

The members of the Weber family who own the batch plant owe an apology to the folks of Archuleta County.

In light of the substantial adjacent land holding the owners have in this previously unspoiled San Juan River valley corridor, the placement of a batch plant on the banks of the river corridor is not even in the owners' best interest. This action shows absolutely no regard for the San Juan River valley nor Colorado.

Recalling that the owners' attorney stipulated in the planning hearing that they would "never" mine rock below Elk Meadows R.V. Park, across the highway from this batch plant, then why would the owner haul aggregate, from their existing rock pit, four miles to this remote site? You're not planning to change your plan, are you?

If the owners had built this concrete plant at their existing mining operation, they would have been pouring concrete last fall, with likely few questions asked. They would also saved themselves and all others from this divisiveness inflicted on this valley.

I ask the owners to move their "portable" batch plant and cure the wound.

I also owe the folks of Archuleta County an apology.

I did not intend to move here and get involved in a nasty, divisive public battle. It certainly takes the fun out of being here.

Thank you for your apology David. Hopefully others named herein will do their proper share of repairing this rift.

Christopher Smith

Joseph D. Archuleta

Joseph D. Archuleta

Joseph Donald Archuleta, J.D.A. to his many friends and family members, passed away April 30, 2001.

Born March 2, 1933, in Lumberton, N.M. to Lionel Maximiliano Archuleta and Reuben Gomez Archuleta, he was baptized, confirmed and made his first Holy Communion at St. Francis Catholic Church in Lumberton. He went to school in El Rito, N.M. and attended the Abbey Catholic School in Canon City.

Donald graduated from Pagosa Springs High School in 1951. He served in the United States Army as a member of the 101st Airborne Division, Screaming Eagles Battalion during the Korean War. He was decorated for bravery while serving in the military. Joseph Donald was married to Martha E. Gallegos in 1954 and they had eight children together. Joseph Donald made his home in Pagosa Springs, where he retired from the United States Forest Service.

Joseph D. was preceded in death by his father Lionel and his mother Reuben; a son Joseph D. Archuleta and two brothers, Charley and Lionel. He is survived by sons Donald, Dennis, Charley, Kevin, Mike, Lionel, Raul and his wife Liz; a daughter Nina Anastasia and her husband Richard Stotlar; five grandchildren, two great grandchildren; brothers Manuel and Alfonso; sisters Margaret and Paulette.

Rosary services were held May 4 in the Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in Pagosa Springs. Funeral services were held in Pagosa Springs May 5 followed by interment in Ignacio at Ignacio Cemetery.

Jimmie Farrell

Jimmie Farrell, 84, of Pagosa Springs, formerly of Austin, Texas, died April 27, 2001.

Jimmie took over Jimmie Farrell Electric in 1945 which his father, James "JJ" Farrell, had founded in 1930. Jimmie retired in 1982 and moved to Pagosa Springs.

During his career in Austin, in 1950 Jimmie founded what was to become South Austin Little League when his six and eight year old sons wanted to play baseball.

After contacting National Little League offices, he found that there were no specifications for accomplishing this endeavor, so he decided to "wing it" and built the field himself with the help of volunteers. He also organized Austin's Babe Ruth Leagues and the Babe Ruth World Series in the early 1960's.

Jimmie was an avid hunter and fisherman which took him on many trips to Alaska. He also enjoyed traveling to such places as Russia, China, Australia, South America and Egypt.

Jimmie was preceded in death by his son Joe Farrell.

He is survived by his wife, Lois Farrell; son, Chuck Farrell and his wife Agnes; five grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.

Memorial services were held April 30 at Austin.

Cheryl L. Tothe

Cheryl Lee Romanelli Tothe, 40, died May 2, 2001 in her Pagosa Springs home.

Born Aug. 24, 1960 to Patsy and Audrey Romanelli, she moved to Pagosa Springs in 1986 from Phoenix and married Steve Tothe in Pagosa Springs on Dec. 29, 1997.

Cheryl worked her way up from housekeeper to site manager for MasterCorp and was regarded as a wonderful wife and mother. Her favorite activities were traveling with her husband fishing and gambling.

She was preceded in death by her grandmother and grandfather, George and Iva Toner and an uncle, Ivan Toner.

Survivors are her husband of Pagosa Springs; stepdaughters Jennifer Lynn and Kacey Rose Tothe, both of Pagosa Springs; her mother, Audrey Kelton of Phoenix; her father, Patsy Romanelli of Berwick, Pa.; a sister, Patti-Lu Mitchell of Lakeside, Ariz.; and brothers Frank Romanelli of Vista Calif., Patrick Romanelli of Taft , Calif., and Robert Romanelli of Silver Springs, N.Y.

Cheryl was loved by all who knew her and will be greatly missed.


The wedding of Julie Ann Hines, of Fort Worth, and William Allen Branch of Pagosa Springs, took place April 21, 2001, at the Robert Carr Chapel, Texas Christian University in Fort Worth. Dr. Eric Mckinney of the Overton Park United Methodist Church of Fort Worth performed the ceremony.

The bride is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Jerry Lee Hines of Ft. Worth and Pagosa Springs. The groom is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Michael C. Branch of Pagosa Springs.


Laura L. Kelley

Marine Corps Pfc. Laura L. Kelley, daughter of Donna and Charlie Kelley of Pagosa Springs recently completed basic training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, S.C., and was promoted to her current rank.

Kelley, a 2000 graduate of Pagosa Springs High School, and fellow recruits began their training at 5 a.m. daily with a three-mile run followed by calisthenics. In addition to the physical conditioning program, Kelley spent numerous hours in classroom and field assignments which included learning first aid, uniform regulations, combat water survival, marksmanship, hand-to-hand combat and assorted weapons training.

Sports Page
Track laurels grow; Schutz gains two more state berths

By Tess Noel Baker

The Pagosa Pirates track team landed two more state berths at the IML competition in Bayfield Saturday despite windy and cold conditions.

In individual events, junior Jason Schutz outclassed the rest of the IML field by over three feet with his winning discus throw of 139 feet 4 inches. He also helped pace the boys 4x200 meter relay team to a third place finish, and a state qualifying time of 1 minute 33.5 seconds. The other members of the squad included seniors Josh Postolese, Daniel Crenshaw and Tyrel Ross, pulling the number of Pirates going to state to five.

Mellette, a junior, ran away with Pagosa's other first place finish with a 15.81 effort in the 110 meter hurdles, shaving some time off previous efforts.

The state-qualifying performances, no rain, and the added competition from two other area divisions made for a successful meet, Assistant Coach Connie O'Donnell said.

As a team, the boys ended up with nine top three finishes on the day. Mellette added a third place finish in the long jump with a leap of 20-4.5, and a 44.40 run good for second in the 300 meter hurdles. In the discus, Ross threw 129-4 to claim third behind Schutz and John Gurule, a sophomore from Ignacio.

Schutz, a sophomore, finished second in the 400 meters in 52.14. Senior Travis Laverty's time of 5:21.80 in the 1600 was good for another third, and senior Daniel Crenshaw stole second in the 800 with a 2:10.20 finish behind Ryan Jobes of Bayfield.

The efforts of junior Hank Wills, freshman Brandon Samples, junior Trevor Peterson and freshman Aaron Hamilton earned the Pirates a second place finish in the 4x800 relay with a time of 9:29.61.

In the 4x400 relay, sophomore Ryan Wendt, Postolese, Crenshaw and Schutz came up with a second place finish in 3:37.70. The boys 4x100 team of Mellette, sophomore Brandon Rosgen, Ross and Postolese finished forth, crossing the line in 45.70.

In other individual efforts, Ross' time of 24.20 claimed a fifth in the 200. Wendt added to the team's points with a sixth place finish in the same event. Juniors Hank Willis and Jason Skeens placed sixth and ninth in the 400 meter to give the team another boost.

In the 800, Hamilton claimed a seventh place finish, and Samples crossed the line ninth. At one mile, Trevor Peterson was just a few paces from fourth, finishing fifth in 5:22.80 just seven tenths of a second behind Wes Willett of Monte Vista. Andrew Martinez placed sixth in the 3200.

Coy Ross claimed his fifth place finish in the 100 meter hurdles, clearing the track in 20.58. He also picked up a sixth place in the 300 hurdles.

Postolese, senior Clint Shaw and Rosgen crossed the finish line seventh, eighth and ninth respectively in the 100 meter dash. Jimmy Iverson added a sixth place finish in the shot put, and a ninth place throw in the discus. Teammate Andrew Knaggs threw for eighth in the shot put.

In the triple jump, Crenshaw led the Pirates with a sixth place finish followed by Shaw in eighth and Wendt in ninth. Junior Hank Willis added another eighth place finish in the long jump.


Pacing the efforts of the Lady Pirates was Meigan Canty with back-to-back top three finishes in the 300 meter hurdles and the 400 meter dash. The senior won the 300 meter hurdles, posting a 51.50 time, and then captured third in 1:04.30 in the 400 edging out teammate Annah Rolig, who claimed fourth in 1:06.60.

In other top three finishes, junior Katie Lancing tied for third with Andrea Cusick of Bayfield in the high jump clearing 4-6, and junior Aubrey Volger leaped 15-6 for a second place finish in the long jump.

Ashley Gronewoller threw 29-1 in the shot put to finish fourth behind winner Terra Pugh of Monte Vista and two Ignacio competitors.

Four of the Lady Pirates five relay teams finished second on the day. These included: The 4x100 team of Rolig, Lancing, senior Tiffanie Hamilton and Canty who finished behind Centennial with a time of 54.20; the 1:55.89 effort in the 4x200 by senior Andrea Ash, Hamilton, Katie Bliss and Volger; the team of Hamilton, Lancing, Volger and Canty finishing the 800 sprint medley in 2:00.12; and the 4x400 team of sophomore Amanda McCain, Volger, Ash and Rolig crossing the line in 4:37.20.

The 4x800 team - Ash, Makina Gill, Rolig and McCain - outpaced the competition with a time of 11:26.06 for a third place finish.

In other individual events, Hamilton ran a 28.90 to capture fifth in the 200 meter dash ahead of Bliss in seventh and junior Michelle Ferguson in ninth. Gill added points with a seventh place finish in the long jump and a ninth place in the 800.

A 19.14 finish in the 100 meter hurdles gave Lancing a fourth place finish. On her heels was Joetta Martinez who finished fifth in 20.51. Martinez also claimed sixth in the 300 meter hurdles.

In the 800 meter run, Pirates placed fourth paced by Ash with a 2:44.70 finish, fifth and ninth. McCain crossed the line fifth in 2:45.10, and Gill finished ninth. McCain added to her efforts with a sixth place time in the 400.

Bliss crossed the line sixth in the 100 meter dash, followed by Gill in eighth and Ferguson in ninth.

A total of 15 girls teams and 13 boys teams from three divisions - the Inter-Mountain League, Mountain and San Juan - competed in the meet. However, in the official placings, teams finished according to their division, not the entire field.

In the Inter-Mountain League, the Pagosa Pirates faced Centauri, Bayfield, Ignacio and Monte Vista. Against that competition, the girls finished third with 64 points, and the boys clinched second with 78 points. Centauri captured first place in both the girls and boys IML division with the girls earning 137 points to top the boys total of 134.5.

Friday, the team travels to the regional meet at Adams State College in Alamosa. Assistant Coach Connie O'Donnell said team goals include qualifying at least two other relay teams and some of the girls for state events.

Soccer playoff spot eludes Lady Pirates in 4-1 loss

By Richard Walter

Some things, apparently, just aren't meant to be.

For Pagosa's Lady Pirates, a state soccer playoff appearance was one of those elusive goals which just didn't materialize.

For the first eight minutes of each half Thursday they dominated play at both ends of the field in a league playoff between the number-3 seeded Pirates and the number-2 seed, Ridgway.

In the end, it was a lesson in mathematics: Number 2 comes before Number 3 and four is greater than one.

The game, played on a neutral field in Cortez while Number-1 seed Telluride was taking on Number-4 seed Bayfield on a nearby field, was contested in snow, rain, sleet and windy conditions that made turf slippery for both teams.

Pagosa had scoring opportunities early, with Amber Mesker's drive stopped at 1:34 and 40 seconds later a point-blank kick from Meagan Hilsabeck snared by Ridgway's keeper.

At 7:18, Pagosa goalkeeper Carlena Lungstrum had her first test of the day and was up to the challenge, stopping Ridgway's high-scoring Carley Moran on a midfield breakaway.

Lungstrum wasn't so fortunate on Ridgway's next drive and Moran scored behind her after taking a crossing pass from Kelsey Bennett at 9:15, giving Ridgway a lead it would never relinquish.

The next offensive effort with a chance came just over five minutes later when Pagosa's Jayme Lee intercepted an outlet kick, cut to her right and then fired a left footer which was stopped just outside the goal mouth.

Exactly two minutes later, it was Lungstrum again to the fore, stopping a drive from the corner by Ridgway's Randi Latham.

At 23:31, Ridgway upped the lead to 2-0 when Bennett scored unassisted from behind a double screen which blocked Lungstrum's view of the ball.

Lungstrum came up big in a concentrated Ridgway attack from 32:27 to 32:56, stopping three consecutive drives on net before her defensive teammates were able to clear the zone. But, at 39:34, with just 26 seconds remaining in the half, Moran scored again, this time on a breakaway right up the middle following a botched Pagosa outlet pass, and Ridgway was on top 3-0 at the break.

Pagosa returned with a vengeance in the opening minutes of the second half, keeping the ball in the attack zone for nearly seven minutes, with shots by Hilsabeck, Mesker, Sara Aupperle and Tiffany Diller stopped in Ridgway's goal mouth.

At 14:12, on only their second scoring opportunity of the half, Ridgway hiked its lead to 4-0 when right wing Parker Fregreluis scored unassisted on yet another breakaway.

Twenty five minutes into the half, after exchanging wet, nearly frozen gloves for dry ones, Lungstrum had to come out of goal with toes "so cold I can't feel them." She retreated to the team bus with Amber Beye taking her place on the field.

And again, Pagosa pressed the offense with drive after drive turned back deep in the zone but no shots on goal until 30:25 when Tricia Lucero's blast from the left was stopped after she cleared her defender and took a perfect crossing pass from Cassie Pfeifle.

With Ridgway seemingly comfortable defending its lead and loathe to press an offense, Pagosa struck repeatedly but was turned back each time.

The shutout ended, however, when Hilsabeck scored on a penalty kick at 37:10 after a Pirate teammate was roughed on a sideline drive by an overzealous Ridgway defender.

With just 40 seconds left in the game, Hilsabeck found herself free again and drilled a blistering drive that was turned away as time ran out on the Pagosa season.

The 2001 edition of the Lady Pirates loses six seniors to graduation this month: Cathy Thorpe, Hope Koppelman, Kelli Patterson, Tiffany Diller and Amber Mesker who played the entire season, and Jennifer Gross, an all-conference player as a junior who was limited to one league appearance this year as the result of a string of injuries.

That gives coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason a strong nucleus for next year's squad, with leading scorer Hilsabeck, left wing Tricia Lucero, sweeper Alysha Ranson, defensive standout Cassie Pfeifle, midfielders Sara Aupperle, Lori Whitbred, Amy Moore and Chelsea Masanz, wings Lindsey Schmidt, Jayme Lee and Sara Smith, goalkeepers Lungstrum, Beye and Lacy Ream who all saw playing time.

They have a supporting cast including Melissa Diller, Amanda Snyder, Emily Finney, Jessica Quick, Jenna Fenney, Heather Beye, Hannah Lloyd, Randi Pierce, Sierra Fleenor, Amy Tautges, Jolynn Rader, Autumn Snyder, Arlie Johnson, Ashley Wagle and Skye Fehrenbacher who will challenge for game action next year.

Ridgway and Telluride each advanced to represent the district in state playoff action this week, Telluride capturing a 2-1 double overtime thriller over Ridgeway in the seeding game.

Relay for Life slated

June 27-28

The American Cancer Society's Relay for Life will return to Pagosa Springs July 27 and 28 at Town Park.

The idea of Relay for Life is to have fun while raising money to fight cancer and provide local services to cancer patients and their families. The Relay brings together friends, family, businesses, doctors, nurses, schools, churches - people from all walks of life.

Joe Donovan joins Cheryl Nelson as co-chair for the third Annual Relay Event.

It will begin at 6 p.m. July 27 with the Cancer Victory Lap, followed by the Light of Hope Ceremony to honor and remember those lives that have been impacted by cancer.

Teams of eight to 15 persons will walk through the night until noon the following day when the event will end with an Awards Ceremony Each team's members seek sponsorship prior to the rally, all with the goal of supporting a cure for cancer.

If you want to get involved, or to obtain a Relay for Life team packet, call Cheryl Nelson at 731-2277 or Joe Donovan at 731-9296.

Community News
Chamber News

By Sally Hameister

Rio Jazz draws 300 fans to session

If you didn't make it to the Rio Jazz live recording session Sunday evening at The Timbers Restaurant, you missed one of the most exciting events I've attended in years.

We're thinking that about 300 people were there to support, whistle, applaud, encourage and basically pay homage to this popular, talented local quartet in their first CD recording endeavor.

Bob Hemenger, John Graves, D.C. Duncan and Lee Bartley have never been so incredibly "on" and the audience responded with all the enthusiasm and excitement normally reserved for the likes of The Grateful Dead and The Beatles.

Our congratulations to John Porter who decided that it was high time that Rio Jazz produce their own CD and made it happen, and to all the sponsors. Thanks, too, to all the wonderful folks who attended this special premiere and who so cheerfully lent their wholehearted support to this group.

If you would like to order a CD of this live performance to commemorate a piece of Pagosa history, just stop by the Chamber with your $10, and we will be happy to place you on the list of lucky future owners of the CD. For those who did purchase the CD, just watch this column and listen to KWUF Radio for the announcement that the CDs are in. Onward and upward, Rio Jazz, with our congratulations for a fabulous success.

Newsletter inserts

Time flies when you're having fun, so it's hard to believe that it's time for another quarterly newsletter to come out the beginning of June.

Yep, our new administrative assistant Doug Trowbridge will be taking on his first Chamber Communiqué and invites you to bring in your inserts by May 25.

Due to the hike in postage rates, we have been forced to up the ante on the insertion fee to $40 and ask that you bring us 725 copies on regular weight paper. Our last newsletter taught us a rather expensive lesson: i.e., card stock paper costs twice as much to mail which we would have to pass along to you. If you would ever get that wild and crazy, it will cost you $80 for inserts - ouch.

At any rate, currently the price is $40 for 725 copies of your insert for a new location, new products, a special you're running or just general information you would like to get out to the entire membership. Even with the $5 increase, this remains the best marketing bargain around, and we invite you to take advantage of it. Please give Doug a call with questions at 264-2360. As always, we encourage you to use colorful (regular) paper with your message on both sides, if your choose, and please don't fold.

Cello concert

Another first in Pagosa will take place May 18, when Portland cellist Phillip Hansen, accompanied by local pianist Melinda Baum, comes to the Pagosa Springs High School for a concert to benefit the Archuleta County Senior Citizens, Inc.

Mr. Hansen is the artistic director of Fear No Music, Oregon's premier contemporary ensemble and was featured with this ensemble last September in New York's famed Merkin Hall.

Before moving to Portland, Hansen was principal cellist of the Knoxville Symphony and was frequently featured as a soloist. He has also played with the Eugene Symphony, the Colorado Music Festival, the Carmel Bach Festival and the Oregon Festival of American Music where he appeared as guest conductor. He has also performed in soundtracks for major motion pictures in Hollywood. The Portland newspaper, The Oregonian, had acclaimed his playing as "dazzling," "honed" and "indefatigable," and the Los Angeles Times praised him for his "admirable virtuosity."

Tickets for this event are available at the senior center and the Chamber of Commerce for a minimum donation of $10, $8 for senior members and children, and children under five are free. Proceeds from the concert will be used for programs to assist seniors in need.

Historic landmark

You are all invited to attend a ceremony to dedicate Pagosa Springs' first historic landmark, The Taminah Gallery building, Saturday beginning at 1 p.m.

This is going to be quite "the happening" and we hope you will all attend to experience all the many festivities of the occasion. Sponsors for this event are gallery owners Karen and Dean Cox, and the Historic Preservation Board of the Town of Pagosa.

Immediately following the dedication and plaque presentation, there will be a reception in the gallery featuring the fine, fine culinary creations of Vincenso Sencich, along with music, art demonstrations and good storytelling. Joining the celebration will be local artists Claire Goldrick, Wayne Justus and Randall Davis, local Native American flutist Charlie Martinez, and Zuni/Navajo fetish carver DuWayne Turpen. There is also a wonderful surprise for those who are there for the 1 p.m. ribbon cutting.

Following the reception at 3 p.m. there will be a downtown walking tour of Historic Pagosa Springs. There will be buffet supper in the gallery following the walking tour. Please join us Saturday for what promises to be an entertaining, informative and delicious occasion beginning at 1 p.m. at The Taminah Gallery located at 414 Pagosa Street.

Furry friends

We're all looking forward to the first-ever Furry Friends and Fiber Arts Festival being held over Memorial Day weekend, May 26-27 at the Archuleta County Fairgrounds.

This event is co-sponsored Dave Belt and friends at Echo Mountain Alpacas, Inc. and the Colorado State University Cooperative Extension.

Dave had this great idea to fill the existing void of activities over this weekend, and we are delighted to include it in our calendar of events for the year and hope it will become an annual thing. This will present a unique opportunity for all of us to see and experience all aspects of the fiber industry and, for me in particular, to see all the "furry friends" up close and personal. I do love those critters. Dave has had a remarkable response to this first-time event and will have lots of vendors for your information and enjoyment.

We will all have ample opportunities to see fiber artists demonstrate how they transform fiber from these animals into finished goods, and further to purchase a wonderful array of fiber-related products to include raw fleece, yarn, spinning wheels and one-of-a-kind handmade fashions.

A new and exciting development for this festival is that they have added a Navajo weaver - Sarah Natani, from Shiprock - to the program. Sarah will demonstrate Navajo weaving throughout the day as well as share different cultural aspects of weaving. How cool is that?

Hours for this event are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days, and admission is free. Visitors can see the entire process from fleece to fashion.

Please call Marcia at 264-6680 with questions.

Death, dying and the law

Tonight the Pagosa Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, in conjunction with the Pagosa Springs Health Partnership, Mercy Home Health and Hospice and the Southwest Colorado Mental Health Center will present a seminar addressing the complexities of death, dying and the law.

Pam Kircher, M.D., and attorney Mary Weiss will be the presenters and will guide participants through the completion of their personal Medical Durable Power of Attorney and Declaration as to Medical or Surgical Treatment.

This meeting is open to the community and will be held in the county commissioners meeting room at the courthouse at 7 p.m. Sponsors will need to know in advance if a participant wishes to have legal documents available to complete, so please call Biz Greene at 264-5181.

Clean-Up Week

You will be happy to know that we have orange bags aplenty for you and yours to fill with all the existing debris and junk left over from our winter months during, before or after the designated Clean-Up Week, May 13 through May 20.

We are delighted to encourage you to clean up your street, your neighborhood, the highway, major and minor roads - whatever.

When you walk the dog at night, take an orange bag along to clean up; when you go jogging, ditto. You can combine business with pleasure and make our community ever so much more appealing and clean. Some organizations have specific dates, but we want you to feel free to do your "spring cleaning" anytime at all. Just come by the Visitor Center between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. during the week to pick up your orange cleaning aids and be a part of making our beautiful little town even more so.

Kiosk building

Check out our photo of three very special gentlemen who were so generous sharing their time and talents with the construction of our new kiosk building.

We are very grateful to Dusty Pierce of Pagosa Springs Frame and Finish, Steve Schwartz of Spectrum Construction and Roy Melius of Roy Melius Construction for the work they donated on the kiosk "house." They donated time and effort that they really didn't have due to their own workloads but cheerfully gave us what it took to complete the building. We are ever so grateful to them and to the Upper San Juan Builders Association and plan to place a permanent plaque on the building honoring this special group.


We're happy to present four new members this week and two renewals. Just keep those cards and letters coming in.

Mark Prouty joins us with SOS Staffing Service in Durango. Mark provides employment services to the community including temporary, temp to hire and permanent employees covering workman's compensation, unemployment insurance and taxes. He can provide full-time, part-time or seasonal workers. To learn more about SOS Staffing Service, please give Mark a call at 259-3131.

My neighbor Lili Pearson joins us next with her at-home business, Shutterbugs Photography located right here in Pagosa. Lili is a professional photographer who welcomes photographic assignments and mats and frames her own work or yours. Lili's beautiful photographic note cards and framed photos are currently available locally and will soon be available at the Visitor Center. If you would like to learn more about Shutterbugs Photography, please give Lili a call at 731-5159.

Our next new member is Lauren Walkup who joins us as a Realtor Associate with Coldwell Banker, The Pagosa Group. Lauren would like you to contact her, and she will help you find your piece of heaven right here in Pagosa. Please give her a call at 731-2000 during the day or 731-1205 at night.

We're delighted to welcome new Associate Members, John and Char Neill, and thank Malcolm and Joan Rodger (also Associate Members) for recruiting John and Char. We will be happy to send the Rodgers their free SunDowner pass along with our thanks for promoting the Chamber of Commerce.

Renewals this week include Garth LeClaire with Enchanted Deer Haven B & B located ten miles southeast of Chama, NM, and the same gentleman at the same location with his second business, Gone Fishing Express Guide Service (fly and lake fishing).

Many thanks to one and all for your continued support.

Senior News

By Janet Copeland

Bazaar grosses $3,154 for building care, aid

I owe a great big thank you to Musetta for writing the Senior News while we were away for three weeks, and to Phil Heitz and all the folks who helped him with the Senior Bazaar, which we hear was an outstanding success. Phil is president of our senior group this year, so the job of putting on the bazaar fell on his shoulders primarily, but we really regret that we were unable to be here to help out much. We will try to ensure that we are never away during bazaar time again, though sometimes family matters dictate otherwise.

I also thank all the contributors and workers who helped make this important event such a success. At this point it appears we took in around $3,154 (not all bills are paid yet), were supported by 82 vendors and individuals, and had over 325 persons attend. These funds will be a big help in supporting our center, maintenance of the building as well as help for individuals who need assistance.

We have another wonderful fundraiser May 18. Cellist Philip Hansen and pianist Melinda Baum will perform at 7 p.m. at the Pagosa Springs High School. This will provide our community with the opportunity to hear beautiful music of a more classical nature. Tickets are $10, $8 for senior members and children, and free for those 5 and under. They may be purchased at the senior center, Chamber of Commerce, or from some of our senior members. Seniors will be provided transportation for $1 round trip.

Rich Harris will be starting a yoga class May 16 from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. at the Senior Center. There is no charge for seniors, and this will help to strengthen and tone our bodies, as well as energize us. I hope a lot of folks will sign up and attend this class.

We are happy to introduce Cindy Laner as our new office assistant. She will definitely be a big asset as Musetta has been doing the duties of two and sometimes three persons for the past several weeks and definitely needs some help.

It is always great to have our snow birds return, and this week we welcome back Jack and Eleanor Jones. Jack is also our Senior of the Week. Congratulations, Jack.

Our local Veterans Service Officer, Andy Fautheree, visited us Friday and announced he will be announcer for the Bill Miller Show, which plays Big Band Music on Tuesday nights, 6-9 p.m. on the KWUF radio, 106.3 FM. This should be good entertainment and I hope everyone will listen in.

Patty Tillerson will be at the center tomorrow to take blood pressures. We really appreciate this service, which Patty has so generously provided for many years.

Please join us May 22 between 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. for refreshments, or stay for lunch at noon and find out first-hand what we have to offer. Transportation will be provided at no cost to seniors to and from the senior center May 22. Advance reservations are required for this great event. All aboard!

Pagosa Lakes

By Ming Steen

Several Porpoises record personal bests in opener

Twenty-five members of the Pagosa Lakes Swim Club - the Porpoises - competed in their first meet of the season this past weekend in Farmington. Held at the Farmington Aquatic Center, an eight-lane 50 meter pool, the competition included 168 athletes from 12 teams.

On Friday, Aaron Miller swam the 50 meter freestyle and achieved a personal best time for this event with a respectable 32.2 seconds. This was two seconds faster than his previous personal best of 37.38. Aaron sure set the tone for his teammates.

Over the weekend, 16 other Porpoises achieved personal best times in different events. Laurel Reinhardt, a second-year swimmer, swam five events and beat her time in every race. Laurel took third place in the 11-12 girls 100 freestyle and 50 backstroke. Heather Dahm, Kyra Matzdorf, Katelynn Little, and Aliya Haykus all set personal best times in four events. The most outstanding time cut belongs to Laurel Reinhardt in the 200 individual medley. Her previous personal best from last year was 3:30.19 and this new time of 3:07.45 meant a whopping cut of almost 23 seconds.

Competing for the first time, some of the swimmers set out to establish official times for upcoming races. These new swimmers performed very well and coach Steve Elges is mighty proud of their efforts.

Megan and Brianna Bryant, and Evan Greer swam the 50 freestyle and 50 back at their first swim meet. That 50 meters is a long ways across the pool for these little tykes. Brianna Bryant competed in the 8 and under 50 breast and placed first. New swimmers, Chris, Sara and Alex Baum also gave it their all in their races and were rewarded with great times. New team members are discovering that their hard work in the pool during practices is paying off.

Veteran team members Matt and Chris Nobles held their own in the New Mexico swim arena. Competing in the 11-12 age division, Mat Nobles placed third in the 50 back and the 50 breast. Older brother, Chris Nobles, swimming in the boys' 13-14 age division, also captured two third place finishes in the 100 back and 100 fly.

Also representing Pagosa in Farmington were the following Porpoises: Audrey Miller, Kala Matzdorf, Chris Matzdorf, Hillary Matzdorf, Dylan Caves, Michael Caves, Emi Greer, Della Greer, Allison Hart, Casey Hart and Courtney Steen. The team is back in the pool training hard for the next swim meet in Cortez, June 8-10.

A reminder about the volunteer trail workday Saturday. The Pagosa Area Trails Council, the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association and volunteers will be working on a section of trail in the Vista Lake area. This will complete a 1.5 mile loop trail that will be open to non-motorized use. Please come help. Bring gloves, water, good work boots and rain gear. Lunch will be provided. Please meet at 9 a.m. at the high-pressure gas line easement off of Prospect Avenue in Vista. Access from U.S. 160 is on Trails Boulevard, a right turn on Bonanza and then a right turn at the top of the hill at the stop sign on Prospect. Call John Applegate at 731-9325, or Larry Lynch, PLPOA, at 731-5635 for more information.

Perfect mother rules. Perfect mother haunts us because no matter what we do for our children, it will not - cannot - be enough. And maybe that's the mark of true and deep motherly love, but we can't say for sure. Nevertheless, I'm going to celebrate Mother's Day on Sunday with my family and enjoy their praises. You do the same.

The PLPOA monthly board meeting will be held tonight at 7 in the Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse. Members and observers are encouraged to attend. Public comments are heard at the beginning of the meeting.

Library News

By Lenore Bright

Water laws outlined as growth issue

Water issues in our area are, and will probably continue to be, the most critical we face in the years to come.

WIP, the Water Information Program, was created to educate us on water law, management, conservation and other subjects. Please come by and see the current exhibit. Everyone living here, or planning to move here should understand the complex water laws.

New books

The 20th Century witnessed change unparalleled in history. From wars, conflicts, political upheavals and social developments, to advances in medicine, science, and technology, the pace was truly dramatic.

The Dorling Kindersley book "20th Century - Day by Day" makes 100 years of history instantly accessible. This is a unique record that is both a nostalgic memento for the not-so-young, and a perfect introduction to modern history for the student.

While nuclear power and space travel were prominent milestones, the microchip and the computer were epoch-making. Every part of our life will be changed because of this invention. Not even Jules Verne could imagine the things to come. Don't miss seeing this great book.

Which brings us to our next new addition, "Digital: Photography: Handbook." By Tim Daly. Digital photography is now an accepted part of the making of commercial, creative, artistic, and personal images. It enables images to be altered and manipulated. This handbook is an excellent reference guide for readers of different skill levels.

Every aspect of digital photography is covered, from which equipment to purchase, to how to capture, store, manipulate and print images. Step-by-step sequences of 40 techniques are covered.

This will inspire you to go digital if you haven't already. And if you have, it will advance your skills still further.

Now for the truly nostalgic: "Mary Englebreit's Home Companion on Collections." Whether scouring a flea market or junk store for a specific item, half the fun is truly in the hunt. Discovering a perfect pot in a box of old china is what makes collecting so much fun and so addictive.

A collection is waiting to happen in virtually ever object you own.

This little book will inspire you to transform your most beloved treasures into beautiful displays.

The many concerns over meat products are producing more interest in vegetarian menus. "The New Vegetarian Epicure," by Anna Thomas offers 325 new recipes. The first Thomas book produced in the seventies remains a classic. We have several other new books on the subject.

"The Skinny on Fat: Our Obsession With Weight Control" by Shawna Vogel separates fact from fiction. It deals with recent research on how our bodies work, why we gain weight and whether we should diet.

It is essential reading for anyone, regardless of weight, who is interested in this subject. This is not a miracle program for weight loss. It is a discussion of what specialists in the field think about why we gain weight, and how to understand your own body much better. The identity of the "obese" gene in 1994 was the landmark. The word "obese" describes anyone who weighs 24 percent more than their medically ideal weight. One of four Americans is obese now, and it is calculated the United States is heading toward 100 percent obesity by the year 2230. Help may be on the way, and this book is a start.

Final word, maybe

We've been talking about the government attempts to regulate the Internet.

My dear husband always says, "look behind the note." Well, we did and, voila, a commercial aspect is exposed.

We are going to see the start of many new privately-owned Internets called "Splinternets." You will pay to belong. They will all be filtered and digested for you. So it all comes down to money in the end.


We thank the following for their gifts of materials: John Porter and John Graves for the audio tapes of their radio show "Boom Bust and Battle." (These may be checked out.) Kate Terry for the Congressional Directory.

Thanks also to Katy Maxcy, Donald Mowen, Sue Hill, Ron and Windsor Chacey, Kay Grams, Susan Durkee, Ann McDonald, Dahrl Henley, Wes Huckins, Bruce Muirhead, Tara Romero, Joan Seielstad, Addie Greer, Marty Capling, Evelyn Kantas, Jan Harris, Francis Goodman, Donna Hallford, Chris, Sara and Alex Baum.

Local Chatter

By Kate Terry

Stuff abides in every nook and cranny

I hope that you will enjoy this piece on "stuff." After showing it to a friend, she said, "run it in Chatter and call it 'Ode to Spring'."

Every fall I start stirring in my stuff. There is closet stuff, drawer stuff, attic stuff, and basement stuff. I separate the good stuff from the bad stuff, then I stuff the bad stuff any where the stuff is not too crowded until I decide if I will need the bad stuff.

When the Lord calls me home, my children will want the good stuff but the bad stuff, stuffed wherever there is room among all the other stuff, will be stuffed in bags and taken to the dump where all the other people's stuff has been taken.

Whenever we have company they always bring bags and bags of stuff. When I visit my son, he always moves his stuff so I will have room for my stuff. My daughter-in-law always clears a drawer of her stuff so I will have room for my stuff. Their stuff and my stuff - it would be so much easier to use their stuff and leave my stuff at home, with the rest of my stuff.

This fall I had an extra closet built so I would have a place for all the stuff too good to throw away and too bad to keep with my good stuff. You may not have this problem, but I seem to spend a lot of time with stuff - foodstuff, cleaning stuff, medicine stuff, clothes stuff, and outside stuff. What ever would life be life if we didn't have all this stuff?

Now there is all that stuff we use to make us smell better than we do. There is stuff to make our hair look good. Stuff to make us look younger. Stuff to make us look healthier. Stuff to hold us in, and stuff to fill us out. There is stuff to read, stuff to play with, stuff to entertain us, and stuff to eat. We stuff ourselves with the food stuff.

Well, our lives are filled with stuff - good stuff, bad stuff, little stuff, big stuff, useful stuff, junky stuff, and everyone's stuff. Now when we leave all our stuff and go to heaven, whatever happens to our stuff won't matter. We will still have the good stuff God has prepared for us in heaven.

Around town

It's party time for a bunch of locally famous golden retrievers, for Max is once again having a birthday party for his siblings Saturday at his and Mama Shirley Mateer's house. This is the fifth birthday for Atticus, Duchess, Saffron, Ellie, Shandy and Max. Their mama, Calsen, will be present seeing that they behave. As in other years, there will be a doggie cake, games, prizes and gift exchange. As always, everyone will be dressed "formal."

Fun on the Run

Moms - Real Mothers.

Real Mothers don't eat quiche; they don't have time to make it.

Real Mothers know that their kitchen utensils are probably in the sandbox.

Real Mothers often have sticky floors, filthy ovens and happy kids.

Real Mothers know that dried playdough doesn't come out of shag carpets.

Real Mothers don't want to know what the vacuum just sucked up.

Real Mothers sometimes ask "why me?" and get their answer when a little voice says, "because I love you best."

Real Mothers know that a child's growth is not measured by height or years or grade - It is marked by the progression of Mama to Mommy to Mom.

The Images of Mother

4 years of age - My mommy can do anything!

8 years of age - My mom knows a lot! A whole lot!

12 years of age - My mother doesn't really know quite everything.

14 years of age - Naturally, mother doesn't know that either.

16 years of age - Mother? She's hopelessly old-fashioned.

18 years of age - That old woman? She's way out of date!

25 years of age - Well, she might know a little bit about it.

35 years of age - Before we decide, let's get mom's opinion.

45 years of age - Wonder what mom would have thought about it?

65 years of age - Wish I could talk it over with Mum.

Cruising with Cruse

by Katherine Cruse

'An amphitheater? Here in li'l ol' Ogden?'

There's more to Utah than canyons and arches. There's the city of Ogden, where Hotshot attended the meeting that was the reason for our recent trip. Where, you may ask, is Ogden? Try about 30 miles north of Salt Lake City.

Ogden was a trading fort in 1847, when advance scouts for Brigham Young bought up the land rights from the owner. The Mormons were nothing if not thorough; they wanted no arguments from the neighbors when they moved lock, stock and barrel to the desert. They'd had enough of that kind of trouble back east.

Ogden seems kind of a poor relation to Salt Lake City. Our hotel was near the center of town, and in all directions there were empty storefronts, private clubs (you have to be a member of a private club in order to get liquor by the drink in Utah) and tiny businesses scratching out a living. Even the Ogdenites don't seem to think their town has much to offer. Passing a fenced-off block of new construction, I overheard this exchange.

She: "What are they building there now?"

He: "An amphitheater, so we can have Shakespeare in the Park."

She, scornfully: "An amphitheater? Here in li'l ol' Ogden?"

The town is trying. There's a brand-new conference center with a renovated 1920s Egyptian theme theater. The oldest hotel in town, two blocks away, has also been recently renovated. There's a nature center, hiking trails, a dinosaur park.

The Historic District, two blocks long, ends at the former railroad station, now a museum. It seems like almost every old railroad station is now an historic museum. Well, what else can you do with them? They're landmarks; we don't want to tear them down. They're also dinosaurs; the trains don't stop there anymore.

There are actually three museums here: one for trains, one for natural history, and one for guns. One ticket, $3, three museums. A bargain, right? Natural history. Here in the middle of Utah you'd expect dinosaur bones or footprints, a geologic explanation of ancient Lake Bonneville and the salt flats, something about the birds that pass through. You'd be wrong.

This natural history museum was the creation of the local gem and mineral society. Rockhounds. Case after case held stunning displays of every mineral known to man, I'm sure. In that one room there was enough polished jasper and onyx and agate and tourmaline and what-have-you to make a piece of jewelry for everyone in Pagosa.

The displays are attractive. The lighting is good. Every case has nice hand-lettered little signs telling us who donated the minerals, who prepared them, information like that. But for the most part we don't have a clue whether any of these stones came from Utah or Brazil, or how they fit into the natural history of the region.

A lot of the items were prepared or donated by Jean and Helena Case. Jean taught shop at the Ogden High School, back in the 20s. His wife Helena taught gym. Childless, they willed their collections of minerals and other items made by Jean to the city, in hopes that this would be the seed for a museum.

Jean Case was a skillful artisan. I saw examples of his work in stone, wood and metal. There was a collection of polished balls, spheres the size of billiard balls, with a picture of the machine Jean Case designed and built in order to create them.

My favorite Jean Case creation, though, was a stand made entirely out of World War I items: shells and mortar casings, uniform insignia, European coins, bullets of all sizes welded or soldered together, polished and shiny.

I wonder what it weighs. The structure is about 2 feet wide and 2 feet high, and it holds "are you ready?" a clock. I love it.

The design is meticulous, the workmanship flawless (to my eyes). But what would you do with it? I can imagine Helena saying, "Not in MY house, thank you very much!"

There were some other fascinating rocks on display. There were suiseki, Japanese spirit stones, which resemble miniature mountains, trees, or people. There were Chinese chrysanthemum stones that look like flowers embedded in shale.

And there were castings of anthill tunnels. I guess you pour molten metal into the hole at the top of the anthill and let it harden. Interesting, but are they from Utah?

There are also three or four larger displays of Indian artifacts, blankets and metates and pottery, presumably from Utah, but we don't really know, because there was no information with them.

From the natural history museum I went back into the vast cavern of the 1924 train station, designed to hold probably hundreds of people waiting to go somewhere. The lobby had wonderful photographs of an older Ogden and a coherent account of its history.

Three volunteer conductorsí perked up; did I want to see the train museum? I told them I'd think about it.

Next year a lot of people will be attending the Olympic Games. Some of them are bound to stay in Ogden. I hope they check out the train station and its museums. They'll meet some friendly folks.

And they'll get to see that clock.

Veterans Corner

by Andy Fautheree

Military funeral honors available on request

The Department of Defense (DoD) provides military funeral honors at the burials of veterans. When requested, funeral honors can be given at any cemetery, private or government operated. Most funeral directors make the arrangements with DoD on behalf of family members

While military funeral honors are a long-standing tradition, it wasn't until 1999 the rights of veterans and the responsibilities of the federal government were written into law. That law, which took effect January 1, 2000, was the National Defense Act of 2000 (Public Law 106-65).

Under the new law, at a family's request, every eligible veteran will receive military funeral honors, to include the presence of a military funeral honors detail, which will oversee folding and presenting the U.S. flag and playing "Taps," either by a high-quality recording or by a bugler. Our local American Legion often can provide this service.

The law defines a military funeral honors detail as consisting of two or more uniformed military persons, with at least one being a member of the veteran's branch of military service.

Our local veterans organizations may provide military funeral honors or may assist the military members rendering the honors. Veterans' groups regularly provide funeral honors serve at many VA national cemeteries.

I can attest to the dignity and attention to detail that is given by the VA National Cemetery in Santa Fe when I attended the burial there of long-time resident and proud veteran Rueben Marquez in 1999. The honors detail was very well organized and even provided a uniformed squad firing a salute to their fallen comrade. The local American Legion also provided a very nice and dignified funeral ceremony. It consisted of local veterans participating with readings, taps, flag ceremonies and also a squad firing a salute.

The VA will provide a headstone with several choices offered when a veteran is buried in a local cemetery. The VA will also provide an American Flag to be used in the ceremony and presented to the family. The funeral director can handle these arrangements.

The VA will also provide a head stone for unmarked or "memorial" veteran burials when requested.

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

Parks & Rec

by Douglas Call

Hershey's track meet at Golden Peaks

The annual Pagosa Springs Hershey's track meet will take place Saturday at Golden Peaks Stadium.

The meet for boys and girls ages 9-14 will start at 8:30 a.m. with registration; the first event will begin at 9 a.m.

The first event of the day will be the 50 meter dash followed by the 100, 200, and 400. The final event will be the 4X100 meter relay.

Two field events, standing long jump and softball throw, will take place at the same time as the running events. The meet should be finished by noon with awards and selection of state participants decided at the end of the meet.

Winners of the Pagosa Springs meet will advance to the state meet on July 7 at the Jefferson County Stadium. State finalists are then entered into a regional pool and become eligible for selection to a regional team, which will travel to Hershey, Penn. to compete in the North American final, held Aug. 13.

For more information, or to volunteer help with this week's track meet, contact the recreation department at 264-4151.

Youth baseball

Youth baseball games start Tuesday. The game schedule for the entire summer is available from team coaches or the recreation department. A schedule has also been posted at the Sports Complex.

Games will continue until the last of June with the season-ending party July 2.

Senior league baseball, for players ages 13-14, involves two teams - the Pirates and the A's. The Pirates played their first game last Sunday in Durango and lost 12-1. The A's will play Bayfield and Durango this month on the same nights as the Pirates.

Girl's softball

This year, our Pagosa Springs young women have put together two girls' fast pitch softball teams.

The 12 and under Astros will start their season May 18 at 7:30 p.m. in Bayfield. The 14 and under Red Sox start their season May 17 at 6:30 p.m. in Ignacio. Both teams still need players and assistant coaches. Girls and adults wishing to play or help need to contact the recreation department immediately.

Skills Challenge

This year's baseball clinic will again be held in conjunction with the Colorado Rockies Skills Challenge. The clinic will take place June 1-2. The Rockies Skills Challenge will be held on Saturday afternoon following the baseball clinic. Both events are free and no preregistration is required.

Adult softball

Adult softball leagues for the upcoming summer are being formed now and there will be a mandatory managers' meeting May 23 at 6 p.m. at Town Hall.

A women's softball league is being formed this year and women needing more information or wanting to get on a team can contact Pam Lloyd at 264-4270.

Cost this year for all softball teams will be $250 for the team fee with $15 per player fee. The $250 entry fee and rosters are due at the May 23 coaches' meeting. Team registration forms are available at Town Hall and can be picked up during normal working hours, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Teams wishing to practice can do so by scheduling fields at the recreation department at 264-4151.

Park Fun

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

Four Corners Cup

The next Four Corners Cup mountain bike race is scheduled Saturday in Bayfield. Race time is 10 a.m. with "day of race" registration taking place 8-9 a.m. Registration forms are available at Town Hall and will be available at the course Saturday morning.

This year the course will add a new, 10-mile single track, true cross-country trail ridden in combination with last year's seven mile course. This course is set in the cool pines of Saul's Creek, a half hour from Pagosa.

For more information, contact Bayfield's recreation department at 884-9034.

Sports Complex

Youth baseball is underway and adult softball will soon be in full swing.

Additional information about field conditions, rain-outs and other field information can be obtained at the "Sports Complex Hot Line," 264-6658. This recording is updated daily and people wanting information about field conditions need to call this number after noon.

The Town is currently searching for a vendor to work the snack bar at the Sports Complex during the baseball and softball seasons. Interested parties should contact Town Hall, 264-415.

South Pagosa Park

South Pagosa Park, is taking on a new look with new grass and landscaping. Last Tuesday, Mrs. Davis' fourth grade class planted trees in honor of Arbor Day. Financial help to purchase the trees came from a Colorado Park and Recreation Association and a Leanin' Tree grant.

The BMX track is taking shape and a race will be held on the first Saturday in June. A day-long work day to clean up the track and start racing is scheduled June 2 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. People wishing to help or to race need to show up and take place in the day-long activities. All in attendance will be served hot dogs and hamburgers, compliments of the South Pagosa Park Committee. For more information about the first race on the South Pagosa BMX tract, contact the recreation department at Town Hall.

In Sync with Isabel

by Isabel Willis

Aviod out-of-home child placement

May is Family Support Month.

As the Archuleta County Family Advocate, I'd like to explain what I do for the community.

For starters, I assume a grant that is a regional initiative designed by the State of Colorado. I work under the Department of Social Services. The primary goal of this grant is to collaborate with local agencies, families and community members to strengthen families and keep children safe. I help families and youth design individualized plans based on their strengths, capabilities and assets. We work with those plans to resolve the immediate crisis and move on to their long-term goals and objectives.

My program is designed to avoid unnecessary, out-of-home placement of children, assure the protection of children, and enhance parents' abilities to provide safe, stable, nurturing homes. I also work to assist families in resolving crisis, promote community collaboration and develop meaningful partnerships.

An example of a typical client would be a family that is involuntarily displaced. In most cases I receive a referral from another agency and we set up a family meeting. Anybody can attend to support the family.

The scenario could involve eviction, with no place for mom and children to go and no money to get them there. I begin by sharing with the family all the community resources available to them. We research affordable housing for the family, then search for a funding source. Maybe mom qualifies for LEAP which would help with her heating costs and allow her to save more for monthly rent. Perhaps the family needs information on how to acquire child support from the absent parent. Another circumstance could involve mom needing transportation to work and being unaware of our public transportation route, in need of guidance to follow the right steps. If mom is in need of a job or child care resources, I am able to make appropriate referrals.

To help with this referral system, I have created a resource guide of services available to our community.

Additionally I serve on the Adult Resource Team. Our mission is to help and protect the elderly and at-risk adults through resource and referral. To link my resource guide to this program, we have created a guide for the elderly population and we plan to print it in the fall. It will contain large print and colored paper for easier reading.

Another program I spearhead as family advocate is the Car Seat Club. I provide education to the community about car-seat and seat-belt safety. I work closely with San Juan Basin Health Department and the Colorado State Patrol to host checkpoints available throughout the year in our community. This program is funded primarily through grants and donation.

Furthermore, I work closely with the Healthy Kids program. Together we present community resource information to new parents. I provide nurses with bags containing goods donated from the community. Local groups donate blankets, diapers, stuffed animals, and even baby booties. Parents are able to learn more about the importance of immunizations, breast feeding, and other compelling topics related to their newborn.

My program also allows me to work closely with Habitat for Humanity families, at-risk youth and even the Miles for Smiles Dental Clinic. All of these programs offer support to families in need.

Something that was very exciting to me was put in place this year. Many times when families are involuntarily displaced, they are left without furniture and other household items. Recently, I was able to gather funds from donations to rent a local storage unit. This enables me to collect and store items such as couches, a few beds, dining room sets, etc. All of the items listed are contributed by the community and go to families in need. Volunteers help distribute items when needed and retrieve items donated to the program.

My most valuable resources are the staff at the Archuleta County Department of Social Services, community members, the families themselves, and every agency I come into contact with. Together we are able to unite with families to create the best possible solution to meet their needs in a crisis or on-going situation.

Lastly, I write this column to provide outreach in the community. I research topics I feel are helpful to families then pass on the information. If you have any questions regarding any of the topics I touched on in this article or would like to make a donation to families in need, the disabled, or the elderly, please call me at 264-2182 ext. 212.

Arts Line

by Marlene Taylor

PHS students will exhibit artwork

Pagosa Springs High School Students will exhibit their latest original works in the gallery at Town Park beginning May 17.

The young artists, all seniors, are under the instruction of high school art teacher, Charla Ellis,

These talented teens are alive with enthusiasm and creativity. Be sure to attend the 5-7 p.m. reception on opening day to show your support of their efforts. The students of today are the artists of tomorrow.

Pagosa Fiesta

PSAC and the Pagosa Springs Spanish Fiesta Club are sponsoring this year's Pagosa Fiesta. There will be a parade and lots of entertainment, including an open mic, arts and crafts and food booths. The date is June 16 the time is 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Anyone interested in participating in the parade or renting a booth (food or non-food) should call 264-5020 for an application or stop by the gallery in Town Park.

Final week

Dr. Sokolenko's outstanding exhibit of photos of Krasnoyarsk City, Solby National Park, Lake Baikal, the Sayan Mountains and many Orthodox Churches of Russia will close May 16, so be sure to take advantage of this opportunity to see these amazing photos.

In his desire to make the viewer's experience as meaningful as possible, Dr. Sokolenko has complied a brochure containing historical synopses of the areas pictured. It is the same attention and care in color, composition, and presentation which make these photos so outstanding. He depicts a beauty of nature not normally associated with the USSR.

In the book, "How I Escaped From the Soviet Union, Dimitri Sokolenko, the photographer's son, relates how at the age of 25 he planned and executed his escape from the Soviet Union by joining a tour to India. This book reveals the social conditions of the Soviet Union and the effect it has on its citizens. It is available at the Gallery.

Volunteers needed

Anyone interested in writing the Artsline column on months that contain five Thursdays should contact the gallery. Volunteers are also needed to help with publicity occasionally. The hospitality committee which oversees the snack booth at PSAC functions is seeking volunteers to help at these events. Call 264-5020 for more details.


Pagosa Players and King's Men will open their newest production, "I Take This Man" on May 11 in the Ponderosa Room at the Lodge. Curtain time is 8 p.m.

This is a two-act outrageous concoction of wild, warm and lightning-paced hilarity that is perfect for the whole family. The play runs May 12, 18 and 19.

Make a plan decision

It's time to make a decision.

It's been more than a month since a window opened to allow our county commissioners to make a decision regarding the Community Plan.

Two weeks ago, the response from the commissioners was somewhere between "I need to read it," to "I need to study it."

There's been plenty of time. The plan was not created overnight. This is not rocket science; it does not involve advanced math.

It is hard to believe our commissioners had not read the plan and formed opinions concerning its contents. If a commissioner did not follow the plan's evolution over the course of a year, and did not read the plan, we need to ask why such a potentially important document has been ignored.

If the plan has been read and analyzed, if opinions have been formed, then let's get down to business.

There are two questions awaiting decisive action.

First, whether the plan is viable in the minds of our commissioners. They do not need to adopt the plan - legally. But the only way the plan can be put into effect, the only way the work of the residents who created the plan can be validated, is if the commissioners devise regulations to implement the particulars of the plan. Many of those particulars have the muscle to control the impact of growth on a county changing at an impressive rate. Will the muscle be flexed?

Will this happen or, as in so many communities in this part of the country, will the plan sit on a shelf gathering dust, a mute testament to the time, energy and money expended to create it?

If the plan is doomed, then make the death mercifully quick. Kill the thing, then let people know why, and what will replace it. If anything.

Make a decision.

If the plan is deemed worthy of implementation, a second decision awaits. The baby is born; how will it be raised?

This should not include forming committees that, in reality, postpone action and deflect responsibility. As trendy as committee-forming has become in increasingly weak representative governments, there is not time to indulge the urge.

It does not mean waiting until two of the commissioners decide whether or not they will hire an administrator with the expertise and experience needed to deal with a wide spectrum of problems facing county government. Who knows how long that decision will take?

The writing of draft regulations cannot be heaped on the shoulders of a new Director of County Development. That person will have more than enough to do handling an already overburdened office.

If the plan is of merit, the commissioners should consider hiring a consultant practiced in tailor-making an implementation scheme for plans like the one generated by the citizens of Archuleta County. It would be wise to hire an expert who, unlike the average county commissioner, knows how to write workable regulations to translate principle to practice.

If the plan moves ahead, the process of developing regulations is an expensive one. The expense should be shouldered, seen in relation to the long-term value of the plan to current and future residents of the county.

It's time for a decision.

Let the plan live, let the plan die.

Whatever the choice, make it now.

Karl Isberg

Dear Folks

By David C. Mitchell

Caretaking a local institution

Dear Folks,

A piece in the May 2001 edition of the Colorado Editor, the official monthly publication of the Colorado Press Association, reported Richard Ballantine of The Durango Herald purchased the Dolores Star early last month. The article included a history of weekly newspapers in Dolores.

Included in the chronology was the mention of the various individuals or husband-and-wife teams who had owned and operated the Dolores Star since its inception.

The name of the fifth owner, Fred Bradshaw, caught my attention. Whereas Bradshaw was listed as having owned the Dolores Star from the late 1920s "until the 1940s," I remembered that he had been involved in a rather unique aspect of the history of The Pagosa Springs SUN.

A gentleman by the name of Reef Egger owned, edited and published the SUN starting with the Aug. 22, 1919, edition.

The Egger name was well known in the newspaper business in Pagosa Springs and the San Juan Basin. His father, D. L. Egger, published one of the earliest newspapers in Pagosa, the Pagosa Springs News, staring on April 10, 1890, and continuing to as late as September 1910.

Reef Egger also published weekly newspapers in Ignacio and Bayfield, but his connection to the SUN from Nov. 16, 1934, until May 31, 1935, provides one of the more interesting chapters of the SUN's long history.

A page 1 story in the Nov. 16, 1934, edition, Volume 26 - No. 9, reported that "Jack Stevens, publisher of the Ignacio Chieftain, has purchased the Farmington Republican from the estate of the late Frank Hartman, and will conduct both newspapers. Anent the purchase the Durango Herald-Democrat gives this little summary of a country newspaper man: 'Jack Stevens is a typical old time newspaper man. There is nothing around a newspaper that Jack can't do. From writing up the church notices to rushing the growler on Saturday nights, Jack is there. He can stick type, write editorials, rustle ads, nose around for news, keep books, read proof, price job work, stand off creditors, report ball games, write satisfactory obituaries, welcome the new born babes, soft soap important visitors, tangle up in politics, absorb a certain amount of praise without getting swell-headed, and take a kick in the behind with a smile." The article about Stevens remained on the front page of the SUN for the next 25 weeks.

Reef Egger apparently died shortly after the Nov. 16, 1934, edition of the SUN came off the press. The Nov. 16 SUN was Volume 26 - No. 9. The content of the four-page publication remained virtually unchanged for the next 25 editions. Except for changes in the edition number and the date at the top of page one, subsequent editions of the SUN were identical to the Nov. 16 newspaper. This was done so that the SUN could satisfy its weekly second-class mailing permit requirements with the then U.S. Post Office. It was not until the May 24, 1935, edition of the SUN, Volume 26 - No. 35, that the content of the newspaper differed from the Nov. 16, 1934, layout.

Mr. Bradshaw entered the picture with the May 24, 1935, edition of the SUN. A page-one story reported: "Fred Bradshaw, editor of the Dolores Star, has recently taken over the publication of the Pagosa Springs Sun, and has enlisted the services of John R. Dunham, experienced newspaper man, to have active charge of the plant and paper."

Reading about Jack Stevens and the characteristics of being a newspaper man reminds me that rather than being an editor, I am the curator of one of Archuleta County's long established institutions. It's an institution that was made possible by the likes of newspaper men such as Reef Egger and the late Editor Emeritus Glen Edmonds.

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


By Shari Pierce

100 years ago

Taken from The Weekly Times of May 9, 1901

L.C. Patrick, W.E. Colton and Dr. Clock spent Saturday hunting on and beyond Jackson Mountain. They got a cinnamon bear weighing about 300 pounds, of which the boys were very proud. W.E. Colton fired the death shot.

Chas. Schaad has reopened his bottling works at the old stand. Go and get his new prices. He solicits the patronage of his old customers and all those desirous of getting good goods.

Billy Diedrich arrived in town yesterday evening with his surveying outfit. Mr. Biggs has employed surveyor Diedrich to survey a railroad line from Coyote Park to Pagosa Springs. The work begins at once. The road will run through the most suitable proposed oil district and will surely be a benefit to the county.

75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of May 7, 1926

Harold Chapson of Pagosa and a student at the State Agricultural college at Fort Collins, is still winning first place in the two-mile runs on the track. In the dual meet at Boulder Saturday with Colorado University, Harold's time in the two-mile race was 10 minutes 27 1/2 seconds.

During the past week Pagosa and Archuleta County have been about as "wet" as they ever were in past year. Scarcely a day has passed without some moisture falling, and this morning we were "greeted" with a light fall of snow. The roads are in horrible condition, and practically all auto traffic has ceased.

Two new diphtheria cases developed the past week. The first was George, son of Mr. and Mrs. Axel Nelson, and the other Worthe, son of Mr. and Mrs. George Crouse.

50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of May 11, 1951

There will be some matched horse races at the Red Ryder Round-Up rodeo grounds this Sunday with Percy Chambers, Rube Connelley and others running their horses. The races are scheduled to start at 2 p.m. and a 50¢ admission charge will be made. The benefits are to be turned over to the rodeo committee for use in improving the grounds.

Many improvements have taken place in the water department and several changes made. The water this spring is less muddy than ever before and this is due largely to the efforts of Jud Thiele, town board member and Elmo Lowell, water commissioner. The water plan has been worked over, given a complete cleaning and several important changes made.

25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of May 6, 1976

Approximately 145 interested citizens were in attendance at the public workshop on the South San Juan Mountains Planning Unit last Thursday night. Most of these were local residents with honest concerns and thoughts about the future of the area. The prevailing sentiment expressed at the workshop seemed to be that the multiple use concept, with proper restrictions and safeguards, was the more desirable of the alternatives presented.

Eugene Martinez was selected by the Archuleta County 4-H Council to participate in the Colorado Citizenship Short Course. In July Eugene will be traveling by bus with 100 other Colorado 4-Hers to Washington, D.C., where they will study the history of the United States by visiting our nation's capitol.

Pacing Pagosa

By Richard Walter

Abuse of alcohol destroys lives

Vanquishing the demons of our minds can be a daunting task.

Every one has fears which lie dormant, waiting only to be teased by an unexpected event, a confrontation with the unknown perhaps, to trigger either unusual panic or unheard of feats of strength.

How many times have you heard of sounds in the night sending a person into full cardiac arrest from fear of the unknown?

How many times has a tiny woman lifted the body of a car from a pinned victim beneath it simply by utilizing the strength she never knew she had?

How often has a lost person found direction in the midst of feelings of hopelessness and suddenly known he or she was on the right trail?

Man has a distinct ability to focus on the worst of scenarios while performing beyond his known abilities.

But he also has a dumb side. He'll do over and over the things he is fully aware are dangerous to himself and others.

Take for example, the chronic alcoholic. He knows he can't drink without being dangerous. He knows he can't drink and drive because he could kill someone. He knows he has a disease that isn't being cured.

Yet, time and again, he tempts fate. Just one drink, he thinks, to calm the nerves, to get him home. Just one is never an answer. There is not just one for him. It is more likely to be just one quart, just one gallon.

How many times have you heard of a drunken driver killing an innocent in another car or a pedestrian unlucky enough to cross his path? How many times have you learned it wasn't the first such mishap? How many drunk driving convictions does it take to prove to the offender that for him, and for anyone else, drinking and driving are a deadly mixture?

Why are three, four and five time offenders back on the street, back behind the wheel and back into the bottle? Only the troubled mind of the offender has the answer to that question and it is so clouded from years of inebriation and alcoholic side effects that it can no longer function normally.

Abuse of alcohol doesn't just make one feel good and brighten dreary days. It destroys - destroys brain cells, impairs vital body functions and almost inevitably, destroys if not ends lives.

Trauma can produce the need for pain relief, for mental relief that the alcoholic beverage is believed to offer. After all, one will say, doctors prescribe a glass of wine in the evening for potential heart attack victims. What harm can possibly come from a drink or two to help one relax from a tough day at work?

For most people, that occasional one or two drinks would not be a problem.

For the alcoholic there is no occasional one or two drinks.

For that person there becomes a need for a steady flow of intoxicant, with liquor concealed everywhere so that employers, coworkers and loved ones supposedly won't be aware of the growing problem.

Bottles are secreted inside couches, under the car seat, behind the kitchen range, inside spare tires stored in the garage, or consumed as coffee or tea from a thermos.

I once knew a man in a responsible position in a major production facility who had devised a back holder for a liquor bottle with a slim rubber hose curling over his shoulder from the flask. He claimed to have developed a bad cold and every once in a while he'd have a severe, hacking cough and duck his head ("to keep from spreading germs").

What friends eventually discovered was that every time he ducked his head he was sipping from the end of the hose just under his lapel. His need had become constant. But he couldn't be convinced he had a drinking problem. Instead, he talked of his nerve problem, or a job pressure problem that the alcohol could assuage.

On the day he drove another person's car home from work and didn't realize it wasn't his own until he reached under the seat for his bottle - and found it wasn't there - he finally had an inkling that he might have a problem.

And after years of such behavior, he had enough mental acuity left to know he had to seek help.

He was one of the lucky ones. He hadn't killed anyone while driving drunk, hadn't totally alienated his family and hadn't caused an at-work injury to someone under his direction.

He had done irreparable harm to his reputation, to his own psyche, and to his perceived value to the community.

Those with an alcohol addiction who don't realize in time that it is destroying them are the ones who are dangerous to us all.

Road rage is blamed for many instances of what more likely is drunken driving, involving persons addicted to alcohol who honestly believe they are alert and in full command of their faculties behind the wheel.

In fact, they have no idea how fast or how recklessly they are driving nor how much of a road hazard they have become to both themselves and every other driver on the road at the same time.

No one can tell an alcoholic they have a problem. Denial is the key word of their existence. Only personal recognition of the severity of their dependence can lead them to seek help.

No court order, no police presence, no family chagrin, no employment dismissal by itself can force recognition.

It must come from within. An alcoholic needs to recognize the disorder inherent in their behavior and understand it can only get worse if they don't seek help.

From "Ninety nine bottles of beer on the wall" to the deleterious hazards of "demon rum" described by the visiting preachers of old Pagosa days, the attraction to imbibe has been as ingrained here as anywhere else in the nation.

The problem continues today in Pagosa Country.

May we pray that everyone with alcoholic dependence, whether realized or not, awakens to a sober day tomorrow and a full realization they need help and that it is available.


By John M. Motter

This year's town was often next year's pasture

If history teaches us anything it repeats loud and clear and over and over, "Nothing is permanent." Good examples are the homes and communities we live in. If you don't believe me, just drive around the county and look at the piles of rubble that were once someone's home. The folks who built those homes had the same hopes and dreams we have today.

Better yet, take a look at Amargo, once a thriving city. Well, maybe you better forget the Amargo thing. Even people who live adjacent to the old Amargo townsite don't know it was there, past tense. Today cows graze on land that once supported two or three hotels, general stores, saloons, livery stables, a train depot, and all of the people it took to make a town work. That particular town was Amargo.

Amargo was located on the sage brush flats north of U.S. 64 about midway between Monero on the east and Lumberton on the west. If you can't find Monero, don't despair. That old coal mining community is about to go the way of Amargo. I don't know when Amargo started. I know it was a center of activity when crews of men were building Gen. Palmer's narrow gauge railroad from Chama to Durango during 1880-1881.

I know during those years, it served as agency headquarters for Southern Ute and Jicarilla Apaches. That means members of the two tribes camped around Amargo while waiting for government rations. I know Amargo was the railroad terminal for stage coaches connecting Pagosa Springs with the outside world.

I don't know who the last person to live in Amargo was or when that person left. I know folks in Pagosa who drove cattle to Amargo and loaded them on the train there during the 1930s. I do know what caused the death of Amargo and we'll report that during coming weeks in this column. The following items about Amargo and Ed Vorhang relate to that demise.

Newspaper item: Mrs. J.H. Voorhees of Amargo was transacting business in town on Tuesday. While here she purchased a number of valuable town lots.

Motter's comment: Mrs. Voorhees was fixin' to leave Amargo and move back to Pagosa. She was the late-in-life widow of James Voorhees. He is buried in the old pioneer cemetery in Pagosa Springs. He was representative of the class of frontier merchants who moved from boom town to boom town. He had operated general stores in Fort Garland, Del Norte, and Pagosa Springs before opening his store in Amargo. Margaret Voorhees was described as very beautiful She was said to have been one of Brigham Young's wives. Voorhees' estate was bitterly contested. One of his daughters back in Minnesota claimed that he had picked up Margaret when she worked as a lady of the night and she should not have been entitled to any of his considerable estate. After returning to Pagosa, she recited nuptial vows, yet again, this time with William Ewell of Chromo. She outlived Ewell as well, and died in Pagosa Springs in 1920 at the home of Mr. and Mrs. C.V. Minner. Margaret Voorhees is one of the intriguing characters of Pagosa Springs history.

Newspaper item: Ed Vorhang of Amargo was transacting business in town last week.

Motter's comment: Vorhang is one of the central characters connected with the demise of Amargo. He's in Pagosa Springs crying on editor Egger's shoulder.

Newspaper item, July 7, 1893: Ed A. Vorhang's hotel at Amargo was destroyed by fire last Sunday night, and all of the contents and wearing apparel were destroyed. Mr. Vorhang had retired and Mrs. Vorhang was writing letters; the former escaped without even a pair of pants. There is no doubt that the fire was started by an incendiary. In fact, the people seem to know just who did it, yet there is no proof to convict. Mr. Vorhang has just recently obtained title to the land on which Amargo is located, and for years there has been trouble between him and the people of the town. The burning of his house is directly due to this ill feeling. There was no insurance.

Newspaper item, July 14, 1893: Letter from Amargo - Mr. D.L. Egger, Referring to enclosed clipping taken from the last issue of the Pagosa Springs News, we the undersigned, citizens of Amargo and the Amargo Town Company, protest against the charge implied against us and pronounce the statement that the burning of Mr. Vorhang's house was due to ill feeling on our part against Mr. Vorhang, as a malicious falsehood and calculated to create a prejudice in favor of Mr. Vorhang and against us in the suit now pending in the U.S. land office, in which we do not know that you are interested.

The incendiary was not in sympathy with the town company from the fact that the fire threatened the whole town with destruction and Mr. Kutz lost a building himself.

We request a retraction of the charge implied, in your next issue or demand the name of your authority for the statement.

If Mr. Vorhang has a title to this town site, we have not been informed of the fact.

It is our intention to prosecute the incendiary, be he who he may be, and he will be found out sooner or later. G.W. Kutz, J.W. Noland, Emmett Wirt, D. Gallegos, David Morgan, J.M. Archuleta.

Newspaper item, same date: The foregoing communication is the first information the News ever received that any other building was destroyed than Mr. Vorhang's, and that such a company as the Amargo Town Company was in existence. There was no malice intended in last week's notice of the burning of Mr. Vorhang's property. The writer is not interested in the least in the squabble over the Amargo town site. We were also under the belief that the controversy had been settled in favor of Mr. Vorhang, and did not know that a suit was now pending. If we mistake not Mr. Vorhang imparted that information to the writer a few weeks ago.

Our informant named the person on whom a strong suspicion rested, and also intimated that other citizens of the place knew more about the fire than they wished or dared to tell.

The News implied no charge against the Amargo Town Company, nor against any individual member thereof.

Motter's comment: Stay tuned. The above articles document the beginning of Mr. Vorhang's woes and the beginning of the end for Amargo. Meanwhile, J.M. Archuleta, who signed the letter as a member of the Amargo Town Company, is putting up a business on Pagosa Street in Pagosa Springs. I think, but am not certain, that the Archuleta store was on Pagosa Street on the lot later occupied by Sullenberger's Hotel, now known as the Pagosa Hotel (Mall). The business was run by J.P. Archuleta. Pres was J.M. Archuleta's son.

Newspaper item: The carpenters and painter are putting the finishing touches on the Archuleta building. The stock will be moved into the new building in a few days. It is a well arranged building for the business.

Newspaper item May 12, 1893: All the old fort buildings on Pagosa street have been sold and will be removed at once. Their removal will add much to the appearance of that part of town, and a few neat cottages erected on the ground would look still better. There are other old shacks and barns which the owners should remove before being compelled to do so by order of the town board.

Motter's comment: Does this newspaper item document the end of the old Fort Lewis buildings on Pagosa's main business block? I think not. My guess is this was the end of the five enlisted quarters along the Pagosa Street side of Block 21. I think the four buildings erected as officer's quarters and located where the Mamie Lynch Gym is today may have remained in place until the early 1900s. I don't know about the five enlisted men's barracks along Lewis Street. An interesting question is, if those Army buildings were sold as the newspaper article says, where did the new owners move them?

Art, concerts highlight Creativity Celebration

By Tess Noel Baker

Music is in the air this May as many Pagosa Springs students finish final practices for a series of concerts designed to delight both the eye and the ear.

At Saturday's Creativity Celebration in the high school commons area, visitors will have the opportunity to browse among hundreds of pieces of art created by K-12 graders in the district while listening to various musical performances.

"It's a chance for us to showcase the work that our students have done all year long and an opportunity for the public to support the arts in the schools and see what our students can do," Charla Ellis, high school art teacher, said.

On the art side, it also provides one last chance for junior high and high school students to receive ribbons and feedback. Refreshments will be served throughout the event.

Then, on May 15, three bands will take the stage at 7:30 p.m. in the high school auditorium for the Junior High Concert. This event will include selections from the fifth grade band - performing their first concert of the year - the sixth grade band and the combined seventh and eighth graders.

The program will include selections from "Carmen" complete with an interpretive dance performed by Amanda Huang, "Build Me Up, Buttercup," "American Patrol," and others, Lisa Hartley, music teacher, said.

Two days later, May 17, the high school choir and band claim the high school auditorium stage at 7:30 p.m. for their own combined concert.

A peek at the program shows the band will play "Divas and Boy Bands," a medley of contemporary pop band tunes. They are also set to play music from "Gladiator."

The choir has a Disney-themed line-up to impress both young and old. Favorites from "The Little Mermaid," "The Lion King," and "Beauty and the Beast" will be performed among others.

Hartley said the band and choir are working very hard to prepare one more selection, "Hymn to the Fallen" from Saving Private Ryan, a joint effort complete with slide show, for a finale. However, it is a difficult piece and may not be ready in time.

The Senior Recital is scheduled for May 19 at 7 p.m. in the high school auditorium. This event is an opportunity for the Class of 2001 to showcase its talents one more time.

The public is invited to support these local talents by attending one or all of the area concerts.

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