Front Page
June 7, 2001

Accident ratio growing at U.S. 160, N. Pagosa Boulevard; two injured
By Tess Noel Baker

Drivers beware - the intersection of U.S. 160 and North Pagosa Boulevard has been the site of three accidents since Saturday, two involving injuries.

The string of accidents began June 2 about 8 p.m. when two vehicles driven by Pagosa residents collided at the busy intersection.

According to Pagosa Springs Police Department reports, Annette Martinez, 40, was driving west on U.S. 160 when Robert Kearns, 59, headed south across the highway on North Pagosa Boulevard, pulled out in front of her. The two vehicles collided. Kearns was cited for failure to yield when proceeding from a stop sign.

The force of the crash caused major damage to the 2000 Mazda driven by Kearns and only moderate damage to the 1992 Mercury driven by Martinez. No one was injured.

One Pagosa Springs resident was injured when another pair of vehicles collided Monday just before 6 p.m.

In that accident, Michael J. Fairley, of Inspiration, Okla., was southbound on North Pagosa Boulevard, attempting a lefthand turn. According to police reports, Lee Payne, of Pagosa Springs, was headed west on the highway, and the two collided. Payne, 74, was taken by ambulance from the scene. Fairley, 57, was cited for failing to yield at the stop sign.

Both Fairley's 1991 Chevrolet Lumina and Payne's 1988 Ford received heavy front-end damage in the crash.

About 14 hours later, another attempted lefthand turn from North Pagosa Boulevard resulted in major damage to two vehicles and minor injuries to one driver.

This time, according to police reports, another vehicle turning right off U.S. 160 onto North Pagosa Boulevard blocked a 19-year-old Pagosa Springs driver's view of the danger.

Richard Dreyer, 74, of Arizona, was driving a 1995 Buick Park Avenue west on U.S. 160 when George Kyriacou pulled out into the highway in a 1997 Subaru Outback. The two collided in the intersection. Dreyer received minor injuries.

Concession-restroom bids too high; redesign ordered
By Richard Walter

Back to the drawing boards is an oft-used cliche, but one which specifically describes the action taken in a special meeting Monday by the Board of Education of Archuleta School District 50 Joint.

After reviewing bids for the construction of a new concession stand-restroom facility and the addition of ramps for the handicapped at the sports complex adjacent to Golden Peaks stadium, the board rejected the quotes as too high, directed architect Julia Donoho to redesign the structure and to readvertise for bids.

Acknowledging the action will preempt having the project completed for this football season, the board opted to amend the schedule to have the ramps for handicapped done first, possibly along with utilities installation.

Donoho was directed to change the building design to a simple rectangular structure and eliminate the dressy exterior. Bidding is expected to be by July 15, with an Aug. 1 starting date if a contract is awarded.

Board directors were a little concerned that only two bids had been received on the project. PQC Builders quoted a cost of $290,560 and a combination bid by Don Ford and Jim Pechin came in at $260,674.

Both quotes were substantially over the cost estimates for the job which had been estimated at $100 to $125 per square foot but actually totaled nearly $170 per square for the proposed 1,300 square foot structure.

Before the decision to reject, Donoho told the board there are normally three elements to consider: Quality, price and schedule.

"If the schedule is an issue," she said, "you might want to consider relaxing the time elements and asking the original bidders what difference it would make in their quotations if they were not faced with meeting a specific construction completion date just two months away."

"You might get enough of a reduction to make these bids workable," she said.

The board, however, led by Randall Davis, president, was aghast at the bids submitted.

"It seems just too expensive to me," said Davis. " I don't know how we could justify spending that much of the taxpayers' money. It is, after all, just a bathroom. We don't need fancy toilets."

Donoho told the board redesign could be done but that it would take more time. And, she cautioned, "If you want to bid the second phase next year as planned, you need to have specific elements in place first, particularly the utilities service lines."

That second phase of the sports complex improvement plan includes complete track facilities and rebuilding the soccer field, with additional lighting and elimination of a four-foot drop-off currently making it unusable for competitive events.

"Whatever you do with the contract," she said, "you'll want to keep the second phase in mind. A contractor with familiarity with the scene and with work already done in the area might be more disposed to bid low on the first project because of the possibility of getting the second phase, too."

Asked if the rebidding and subsequent delay of the project would have any serious effects, athletic director Kahle Charles said, "It would not be a huge problem We can overcome it. But I do think we should try to have the handicapped ramps in place in time for this season."

When Davis again said the cost factor was too high, Donoho said she could simplify the design to cut the cost some. "That wouldn't hurt my feelings at all," Davis said, "if a significant saving can be made. If we can save $20,000 to $30,000 by redesigning and rebidding, then I think we owe that to the taxpayers."

"At the end of the regular building season," said Director Russ Lee, "we might find someone hungry enough for work to give us an additional bid. Two bidders seems awfully low, even when it is peak building season and everyone is busy."

Board director Jon Forrest, a builder himself, said, "I suspect you'll get a better price if you have a longer period of time for the construction to be completed. "

Lee suggested if the second bids also are too high, "we could just do the handicap ramps this year and the rebid for the whole complex development next year. In the long range, he said, I think we'd be better off with a lower-maintenance building. This design is pleasing to the eye, but there would be problems with upkeep."

Director Carol Feazel was the most reluctant to drop the original plan. "If we do the ramps this year and push the whole project to spring do you think we can save enough to go back to the original design?" she asked.

"We could talk to the bidders," Donoho replied, "but you also have to keep in mind the fact that if you push the project off to next year the cost will be higher."

"Is there consensus to soften the schedule, redesign the facility and rebid?" asked Davis.

On a motion by Lee, seconded by Forrest, the die was cast. Director Clifford Lucero was absent for the 55-minute session.

Downey demands that Crabtree pay for mag chloride
By John M. Motter

A shouting match between county commissioners Gene Crabtree and Bill Downey elevated sound levels considerably at the first night meeting of county commissioners Tuesday.

Tuesday night's meeting was the beginning of a series of regular commissioner meetings scheduled at 7 in the evening instead of 9 in the morning. The purpose of night meetings is to induce larger numbers of the public to attend.

Approximately 20 people filled chairs Tuesday night, but they may have come for a special purpose and not because the meeting was at night.

A high percentage of the audience was from the Upper Blanco Basin. All voiced support for Crabtree's action last week when he ordered road crews to spray magnesium chloride on the roads in front of their homes. Crabtree's action was precipitated by Ike Oldham, who, according to a road and bridge radio scanner report at the time, was "blocking the road."

Crabtree's action was condemned by Downey at the commissioner meeting last week and again Tuesday night. While speaking loudly, Downey read from the state county commissioner handbook, pointing out that state law only allows action by vote of the entire board of commissioners, not by individual commissioners.

Crabtree's action was unilateral and violated a contract signed by all of the commissioners, including Crabtree, Downey said. He said such incidents of unilateral action by Crabtree have been going on for a couple of years and each incident is worse than the one before.

After pointing out that the mag chloride cost $799.25 for 2,565 gallons, Downey asked that "Crabtree stand for the expense since it was not authorized by the county."

Crabtree's reply was to point out that the commissioners were elected to solve problems and "we're acting as children." He said he recalled flagging that area last year for mag chloride application. He said he met Oldham at the scene last week after the radio call and was told the road crews were not going where they were supposed to go. He said he then talked with the road crews and was told they had applied mag chloride last year to the road in question. He said the road crews did not want to admit what was done last year because they were afraid to say so in front of their boss. He then ordered the road crews to apply mag chloride to the disputed section and they did.

"I believe you have to act on things," Crabtree said. "I act on situations when they come up. I think we did the county a service. We were supposed to do that road the year before."

Downey did not disagree with applying the mag chloride, but disagreed, he said, because Crabtree's decision to act at that time without waiting for a board decision was unilateral.

"I'm tired of you taking things in your own hands," he told Crabtree. "I don't appreciate it. I ask you to act as a member of the board."

Alden Ecker, the third commissioner and county road and bridge liaison, pointed out that he and Kevin Walters, the road superintendent, were riding together at the time the call about blocking the road came in. He said Crabtree called them and was told to go ahead and handle the situation. He suggested that proves Crabtree did not act unilaterally.

"I applaud Crabtree for solving this through diplomacy," Ecker said.

After identifying himself as the "culprit" Oldham said he was not blocking the road, but waiting in his pickup beside the road. He objected to being referred to as a terrorist and affirmed that the county applied mag chloride last year to the road in question and promised to continue to do so.

Several residents from the Upper Blanco Basin area supported Oldham, said mag chloride had, indeed, been applied to their road last year, and demanded that Downey apologize for referring to Oldham as a terrorist.

Downey refused to apologize.

Walters was not at the Tuesday night meeting. He has said that the county did not apply mag chloride to that section of the road last year. As proof, he says the company contracted to apply mag chloride last year did not bill the county for that section of road. He says his foremen support his claim that mag chloride was not applied in that location last year. He also says the commissioners approved a mag chloride plan for this year that does not include that section of road.

From the audience, J.R. Ford supported Walters and Downey. He said that Crabtree's arbitrary actions make it impossible for county employees to know what to do, and creates confusion among citizens and everyone else. He said Crabtree's response to Oldham's confrontation encourages everyone in the county wanting road help to employ the same tactics.

Crabtree did not offer to pay for the unbudgeted mag chloride.

No foes, transit plan approved
By John M. Motter

Following a June 5 public hearing during which no one commented, the Archuleta County Commissioners approved the Archuleta and Montezuma Counties Transit Development Plan.

As a result of the approval, the TDP will be forwarded to TPR Region 10 for concurrence. Region 10 is a Colorado Department of Transportation entity for Southwestern Colorado. It includes Archuleta, La Plata, Montezuma, Dolores, and San Juan counties.

The regional transportation planning process includes a provision for recognizing transit projects as part of the regional planning process. In order to secure funding from any of the Federal Transit Administration funding programs, the project must be recognized in the regional plan.

By 2004, CDOT is pushing for regional direction for public transportation entities in Region 10.

The Archuleta and Montezuma Counties Plan was researched and drafted by RAE Consultants, Inc., and Ostrander Consulting, LLC. The plan contains profiles, inventories of services, and a transit demand and needs estimate for Archuleta County. Also included are an evaluation of existing services versus needs, an overview of policy, funding, and management issues, transit alternatives for Archuleta County plus a recommended transit plan. The plan includes the same elements for Montezuma County, as well as a chapter on regional transit considerations.

Transit-related activities in Archuleta County are united in one department under the leadership of Dave Sedgewick, Archuleta County Transportation Manager. Included are the Mountain Express public transportation system, provisions for special transportation demands, and a number of transportation options for senior citizens - including meals on wheels, shut-in services, medical runs including those to Durango and Farmington, and special runs to various locations.

The Mountain Express has provided bus service in Pagosa Springs for about two years, with hourly excursions as far west as Turkey Springs.

Sedgewick is working on improving the profitability of this service. He anticipates adjusting Mountain Express runs to match traffic demands. His experience as a Mountain Express driver for one and one-half years leads him to believe that runs to Turkey Springs and Aspen Springs should be limited to morning, noon, and night. He is recommending a slight increase in fares for those longer runs.

Sedgewick also advocates increased promotion of Mountain Express, pointing out that it is a public service and not limited to senior citizens or other special groups.

Consumers continue record spending pace
By John M. Motter

Consumers spent money at a record pace in Archuleta County through the first four months of 2001, according to a sales tax collection report released by the county this past week.

April sales tax collections in the county amounted to $389,229 this year, an increase of 21 percent over the $321,648 collected during April of 2000. Last year was a record year for sales tax collections in the county.

Because sales tax collections are directly proportional to retail sales, they are considered a good tool for gauging the health of a local economy. People spend money when they have confidence in the economy. Increased sales means increased confidence, a good sign.

April is indicative of the trend for the current year. For the year through April, $1,540,351 dollars in sales tax revenues were collected in the county. That is an increase of 21.23 percent over the $1,270,550 collected through April of 2000.

The county report includes sales taxes collected within the town limits of Pagosa Springs as well as sales taxes collected in the remainder of the county. Approximately 90 percent of sales taxes collected in the county are collected from stores located within Pagosa Springs' town limits.

A 6.9 percent tax is levied on most retail sales in the county. Of that amount, 4 percent is retained locally and the remainder goes to the state.

The amount retained locally is divided equally between the county and the town. The town's portion is committed to capital improvement projects. The county's portion is divided equally between the general fund and the road and bridge fund.

Town Hall site's fate is in limbo
By Tess Noel Baker

The Pagosa Springs Board of Trustees weighed the fate of a pair of downtown buildings, one municipal and one private, at their regular board meeting Tuesday night.

The future of the current Town Hall structure at the corner of San Juan and Lewis streets continues to hang in limbo. Negotiations with Fred Schmidt of FS Development, the lone bidder when the property was advertised, continue. However, the board also asked Town Administrator Jay Harrington to present some additional options at a June 26 special meeting.

Harrington gave the board a couple options to start the discussion Tuesday: going ahead with the sale to FS Development, or retaining the property and demolishing the building at the town's cost. The second option would allow the town to utilize the property for some other municipal need or attempt to sell it on the market at a later date.

Because of some deferred maintenance issues outside the scope of the current budget, keeping the building on the property was a less-than-favorable option, Harrington said.

"Parking, parking, parking, that's all I hear about," Mayor Ross Aragon said, asking the town staff to prepare some conceptual designs for creating downtown parking on the old Town Hall site.

Harrington said, although a lot of people complain about parking, there are some sites, including the junior high parking lot on Lewis Street and the former Mary Fisher Clinic lot on San Juan Street, within walking distance of downtown that remain under-utilized.

"Us moving out of here, and Social Services moving will free up some spots behind the courthouse," he said, estimating that only about 8-12 spaces would be gained on the old Town Hall site because of its irregular triangular shape.

It's also important to remember that estimated profits from the sale of the building and property were added into the budget, Harrington added.

"That money is important to us in completing the year," he said.

In some related business, the United States Forest Service came one step closer to eliminating parking and office space problems of its own when the trustees approved a variance requested by Ray Ball of Abracadabra Management.

Ball is proposing to purchase the St. Patrick's Episcopal Church at Second and Lewis streets and lease the approximate 3,000 square feet of space to the USFS for five years, giving the agency needed room to expand from the current office site at U.S. 160 and Second Street.

"We want to echo that our intention is to be a good neighbor," Jo Bridges, Forest Ranger for the Pagosa Ranger District said at a Planning Commission public hearing on the issue in May. "We need to expand somewhere. In the current enclosure, along with adding new positions, we have added vehicles. We are currently double-parked and shuffling the vehicles adds to the noise."

Bob Woodson, a representative of the church, spoke in favor of the variance at the commission hearing.

"We're very pleased with Mr. Ball's proposition," he said. "We think it's the perfect solution for the forest service and for us." The church building has been on the market for about a year because the congregation has outgrown it and is looking to construct a new building on South Pagosa Boulevard.

Tuesday, the town board approved the variance with eight conditions covering landscaping, storage, parking, lighting, pedestrian access, and mud and dust issues as recommended by the planning commission. The variance will be reviewed at the end of the lease with the forest service, is limited to offices and is non-transferable.

In other business, the trustees:

- Approved a resolution setting the annexation hearing on the Harman, Goodman and "Sawmill" properties along U.S. 160 for June 26 at 5 p.m. This will be the first Pagosa Springs Board of Trustees hearing held in the new Town Hall at 551 Hot Springs Boulevard

- Granted a conditional use permit for a produce stand along U.S. 160 east of the San Juan Motel

- Authorized Town Administrator Jay Harrington and Mayor Ross Aragon to continue negotiations and enter into a one-year contract with Authorized Floor Services for cleaning services at the new Town Hall

- Approved Ordinance 570 updating town ordinances regarding road cut requirements

- Approved liquor licenses for a Chamber of Commerce wine and cheese special event Sept. 21, the Pagosa Bar, Squirrel Pub and Pantry and a special event for the Upper San Juan Builders Association in July.

Inside The Sun
Biblical study unit built into Pagosa Christian curriculum
By Tess Noel Baker

Academic excellence. Character development. Spiritual training.

Twenty students, two supervisors and one aide focus on this mission throughout the school year. Spread between two classrooms in borrowed space, they are the Pagosa Christian School.

The school, a second through 12th grade facility, has been in operation for 17 years, serving between 20 and 50 students annually. Although a supervising teacher is present in each classroom, all students use an Accelerated Christian Education curriculum that relies heavily on independent study.

The self-taught structure of the program means students set goals each day and work at their own pace, asking for one-on-one help when needed.

"Our school is perfect for those students who might feel held back in a classroom full of kids," Tom Riedberger, classroom supervisor said. "We don't stand in front of the class and teach, we're supervising and administering the program."

Riedberger and his wife, Carolyn, who has a 15-year background in both public and private education, moved to Pagosa Springs last year to take on administrative roles at the school. They are assisted by Sharon DeBoer, who has seen one child graduate from Pagosa Christian, and has a fifth grader currently attending.

"For our own children, it has taught them about self-discipline, and making personal choices and we appreciate just the atmosphere, the Christian atmosphere, the kids are in," DeBoer said.

Core course

Pagosa Christian students take five core courses, including: math, English, social studies, literature, science and word building (a combination of spelling, vocabulary and grammar). They tackle the more difficult subjects, math and English, in the mornings. Most days include a sack lunch and physical education class before going back to the books in the afternoon, Riedberger said. Twice a month, the school provides hot lunch, and, sometimes, families of the students bring ingredients for a potato bar, pizza bar or taco bar.

This type of structure allows students the opportunity to work at their own pace, to learn accountability and to develop good goal-setting and time management skills at a young age, Carolyn Riedberger said.

"They have to process it (the lesson) and make the effort," she said. "We won't always be here to teach it to them. We want them to want to learn." In addition, the class size provides a ready-made opportunity for multi-age interaction.

"We have that built into our classroom," Riedberger said. "Parents like the fact that their kids have been around older and younger kids. It also gives the older ones that chance to become leaders in the class. That's how life is. We're not grouped by age in our jobs. This is more like reality."

Every year, students are required to work through about 72 PACE booklets, representing six courses, to move on to the next grade. Each booklet has 30-40 pages with a test at the end. In high school, students can choose between three different curriculum programs: general, college preparatory, or honors.

Challenged to learn

Fifth graders Chase Moore and Shannon DeBoer said the opportunity to work ahead is one thing they enjoy about Pagosa Christian.

"It'll always challenge you, and you can go ahead at your own pace," Moore said. "Like in math, I'm in fifth grade but doing sixth grade math."

DeBoer said having God's word taught in school was important to her as well.

"I think I like it because there's not a lot of kids," Dusty Bauer, a seventh grader said.

David Yerton, another seventh grader, said it is a school where everyone's opinion is considered when it comes to field trips and other things. Five field trips are scheduled throughout the year.

Students have the opportunity to participate in sports and other extracurricular activities within the Pagosa Springs public school system, and create some of their own competition within Pagosa Christian or other local schools.

"Amongst ourselves the kids are having a chess tournament right now," Tom Riedberger said. "Once or twice we've sent kids over to the Lutheran school to play volleyball."

Shorter Fridays and the opportunity to do other things in the afternoon once goals are achieved add to the list of positives for Pagosa Christian according to the students.

Bible basics

Biblical study is built into each school day. Besides using a curriculum written against a Biblical backdrop, students participate in a group 30-minute morning devotional and prayer. Once a week, a local pastor or church leader visits the school to talk with the students.

In 2000-01, students took on the special challenge of being a "blessing school," based on Ephesians 4:32, "Be ye kind to one another," Carolyn Riedberger said. That meant absolutely no put-downs and working to say and do kind things for each other.

"It was really neat to see the kids trying to catch each other being kind," Carolyn Riedberger said.

Just the facts

Pagosa Christian holds classes Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. with open time Friday mornings for those students who may need it. The calendar generally follows the public school schedule to accommodate families with children split between different schools, Tom Riedberger said.

To have their students attend, families pay about $2,000 a year in tuition collected over 10 months. In addition, parents are responsible for purchasing the curriculum booklets and paying a registration fee.

Pagosa Christian School is operated under the umbrella of the First Baptist Church and governed by a school committee made up of about five church members, some with students in the school, some without. However, the cost of operation and maintenance is generally covered by tuition fees, not the church.

"We're trying to be self-sufficient and for the most part we've been able to do that over the year," Riedberger said.

About half the current students are from First Baptist Church member-families, Riedberger said. The others are members of Christian families from different churches. Evangelism is not a mission of the school.

"This is a Christian school for Christian students," he said. "We are not here to present Christ for the first time for students."

Future growth

It is a school looking to grow.

This spring, the board adopted a mission statement, an important step in looking toward the future, Riedberger said. The statement reads: "The mission of the Pagosa Christian School is to effectively prepare Christian students for life by providing a biblically based environment for developing God-given gifts in the areas of: academic excellence, character development and spiritual training.

"This is kind of a transitional year," Riedberger said. "We're without a home, but next year we hope to be in our new facilities."

Those include 5,000 square feet of space in the basement of the new First Baptist Church currently under construction on the south side of U.S. 160 across from the golf course. Another goal is to increase enrollment to 35 for the 2001-02 school year.

Carolyn Riedberger said as more funds become available, they will work toward adding programs in art, drama and music. Over the summer, she will be working on ways to add some hands-on projects, especially for the older students, and plans to integrate a few more group learning opportunities.

"We kind of create those times, now," she said. "Times when I can stop and review for everybody. I think the whole group benefits from something like that."

Coming next week: Our Savior Lutheran School

Contractor violations plague PLPOA subdivisions
By Richard Walter

A Twin Creek Village resident set the tone for others attending the third quarterly town meeting for Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association members Monday when she questioned control of construction area violations by contractors.

The session's theme was the Environmental Control Commission and its enforcement of rules, regulations and covenant compliance.

The Twin Creek resident said, "I see lots of issues. There are lots of houses going up and I see irregularities going on all the time."

Specifically, she cited "what appears to be illegal removal of trees, construction equipment parked on other peoples' properties, piles of debris left to make neighborhoods ugly, and commercial signs advertising the builders posted in residential zones."

"If I see all these things in just one subdivision," she asked, "how many more violations are taking place in the association when all the subdivisions are considered?"

"Who's looking at these sites for violations? Are fines being levied? Does anyone follow the rules?" she asked.

Margaret Gallegos, of the ECC enforcement office, said, "Trees in construction areas are marked prior to construction and we pursue violations. We're actively looking for those kinds of violations. We have three field inspectors and an animal control officer who doubles as an inspector, too, when not on patrol."

PLPOA director Gerald Smith, from the audience, asked how many such violations have been turned up in the last three months. Gallegos said there have been 80 cases so far this year, "which represents about a 20 percent increase over the same time last year."

She said the ECC does a drive-around every two weeks, looking for possible violations. "When we see one, we add it to the list for the commission to consider."

Fred Ebeling, an outgoing PLPOA director in the audience, noted " there may be as many as 100 new dwellings going up at any one time and it is hard for ECC reps to be everywhere."

"This is where the property owners, like you, come in" he said. "We encourage property owners to make reports of illegal actions. If they (ECC) get a complaint, they'll do something about it."

Several in the audience noted there is a long delay from the time of a report until the time of action.

"If you proceed aggressively right from the get-go," said one, "you might see the problem go away. If the contractor knows he faces a fine or a stop-work order for violations, he might be more motivated to clean up after himself and to watch out for unintended violations."

"Under the law," said Walt Lukasik, general manager, "the violator has to be told the amount of the possible fine up front when enforcement is started. The violator has a right to a hearing before the commission. When the panel makes a determination in an individual case, the property owner has the right to appeal. Since the panel meets only once a month, already you're 45 days down the road toward a settlement."

Unfortunately, it was pointed out, the contractors, with exception of some spec builders, are not the PLPOA members or the property owners.

All the regulations require the property owner to be the target of any action. If there is a fine levied, it is added to the owner's dues and he or she is left to deal with their contractor to recoup the loss.

Craig Givens, a member of the ECC staff, said, "We operate on the theory the property owner is responsible, even if they are absentee. By law we can't fine the contractor unless we go to civil court, but we can fine the property owner and leave it to them to get satisfaction from their builder."

He cited one incident in Meadows in which a contractor installed a 12-foot road over half a mile long destroying hundreds of trees in the process.

"He did it all without permission of either ECC or the property owner," Givens said. "He was stopped and eventually fined $3,700, but that certainly didn't replace all, those trees."

Thomas Cruse, PLPOA director who conducted the meeting, said "our purpose is to get compliance, not to create a morass of restrictions. But when we have an incident like this, we need to be sure all the parties are properly informed and disciplined."

Ebeling noted the ECC hearing panel was scheduled to meet this week on 38 such complaints, eight of them on appeals of fines levied.

Another outgoing director, Francesco Tortorici, said one of the problems is that some builders start projects without a permit even knowing the fee will be doubled if they're caught. The problem comes when they are caught and brought in for a hearing.

"If the structure meets codes, even if no permit was secured, it has been customary for ECC to approve the project after the fact. That takes the teeth out of the restrictions imposed on the property owner."

Director Smith agreed, perhaps summing up the feelings of the audience when he said, "It's just too easy for them to thumb their nose at us."

"It seems it's easier to build and pick up the pieces of the law afterward than to get the permit as the law requires," he said.

Jim Carson, another outgoing director, said, "It seems like we don't lean on perpetual offenders. We need to start taking into account past performance of some of these builders.

"Maybe," he said, "we need to have the hearing panel meet weekly instead of monthly so that more expeditious handling of complaints can be realized."

Meadows resident Mojie Adler, citing a Texas community she once resided in, suggested the possibility of amending subdivision rules to make them restrictive communities in which only certain approved builders have access.

Ebeling responded, "I don't think we could legally tell people what builder to use. And, if we limited the number of contractors allowed to work here, it is likely they'd raise their prices because they would recognize themselves as a select group with a cornered market."

Carson said the time lapse between complaint and action seems too long. "I have an idea we're not sizing the length of time for correction to the size of the offense," he said. "Compliance time should be relative to the seriousness of the problem."

Cruse asked ECC staff, "Given the intensity of building activity we're seeing now, do you have enough staff?"

Gallegos replied, "We never have enough staff, but I think we're doing a good job right now. We've divided the area into quadrants and inspectors each are assigned a quadrant to inspect four times a month.

Other topics broached during the hour and a half session included:

- The parks and recreation committee is meeting this week with legal counsel to investigate the possibility of establishing a recreation district for the Pagosa Lakes area with taxing authority to raise funds for land purchase and development and bonding power to finance projects therein

- In the near future there will be new regulations pertaining to dog control administered by Archuleta County as a countywide control system

- Outdated sections of existing codes will be studied and replaced or amended, as appropriate, to reflect current conditions

- Study of the question of what constitutes commercial activity in a residential zone is ongoing and awaiting a legal opinion from corporation counsel. "The fact that someone works at home on a computer in the basement, and makes money so doing, shouldn't make that action illegal. But it apparently is under current code," Cruse said

- Height and area of structures in specific subdivisions should be regulated by development, said Dallas Johnson from the audience. Citing specifically several subdivisions with 5-acre lot minimums, he said the current 35-foot height limitation should not apply unilaterally, but construction should be adaptable to lot surface shape and topography

- If a homeowner installs several 100-watt or higher outdoor spotlights, can they be fined? The answer: It is a direct violation of ECC rules and requires only a signed complaint for action to be taken

- Saying, "the windmill I'd like to tilt is the use of setbacks," Carson said too many people are being allowed to install cement or gravel pads "right up to their lot lines so they can park their Greyhound buses next to their house." He was told there is nothing in the current declarations which would prevent people from parking such vehicles on their property "but they cannot be occupied"

- There is a perceived problem with T-111 siding (grooved plywood) which, if not properly maintained, doesn't stand up to area weather. "It is not a question of material, but of maintenance," said Givens, noting "spec houses often have it on some exteriors."

Lukasik said "the most important thing for all property owners to remember is that the impact of covenants and restrictions is tempered by the right of each property owner to participate in the appropriate solution of the issue."

Treasurer sees state's economy strong, but budget surplus fading
By John M. Motter

Colorado Treasurer Mike Coffman was featured speaker at the annual Archuleta County Republican Party picnic and fundraiser, held Saturday.

"Colorado's economy remains strong," Hoffman told about 50 folks enjoying a balmy spring day under the cottonwoods in Pagosa Springs Town Park.

The budget surplus which Colorado has enjoyed over the past few years may disappear, Hoffman said, even though the state's economy is among the most vital in the nation. Legislative rebates and the effects of Tabor and other statutory revenue limits may end the series of annual revenue overruns.

Attending the party's annual fundraiser were State Rep. Mark Larson from the 59th Congressional District, all local Republican office holders, and representatives of other officials elected to represent this area. Included among the local Republican elected officials were June Madrid, the county clerk and recorder; and Traves Garrett, the county treasurer. Both recently switched party affiliation from Democrat to Republican.

Money-raising endeavors included funds from the catered barbecue plates, an auction of donated items conducted by Sheriff Tom Richards. Included were items provided by Gov. Bill Owens, U.S. Sen. Wayne Allard, and U.S. Rep. Scot McInnis. Restaurant meals with elected officials were also auctioned. Allard is taking Medray Carpenter to dinner; McInnis is taking Mason Carpenter; Sheriff Tom Richards is taking Will Spears; Commissioners Gene Crabtree and Alden Ecker are taking Jerry Rayburn; Commissioner Bill Downey is taking Jim and Joanne Hansen; Assessor Keren Prior is taking Jim and Joanne Hanson; Treasurer Traves Garrett is taking husband Derall Garrett; and Clerk June Madrid is taking Andy Donlon.

Joanne Hanson is the Archuleta County Republican Party Chairman. The vice chairman is Mason Carpenter, the secretary Pat Ullrich and the treasurer is Linda Delyria.

A color guard from the local American Legion Post 108 presented the state and national flags. Phyllis Stefanowicz sang "God Bless America." Local cowboy poet Bob Huff entertained with his own special brand of humor.

Commissioners say neigh to horses
By John M. Motter

Horses will not be pastured on Zinser Minor Impact Subdivision grounds adjacent to Lake Hatcher.

Archuleta County commissioners refused to approve the development if horses are allowed to graze on the property. Following a passionate argument that horses be allowed, the owner agreed to remove language allowing horses from the development's Statement of Concerns, Conditions, and Restrictions.

Lake Hatcher is a primary source of drinking water for many subdivisions west of Pagosa Springs. The water source is managed by the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District, which submitted a letter protesting the possibility of resident horses along the lake's shoreline.

A portion of the proposed development slopes toward the lake with a grade of 20 percent or more. Led by Commissioner Bill Downey, the commissioners argued that the combination of horses, horse excrement, steep slopes, and rain risks contamination of the lake. They therefore required the developer to change language in the CC&R so as to ban horses.

This issue was tabled a week ago at the regular meeting of commissioners allowing Mary Weiss, the county attorney, time to determine if the county can legally oppose conditions permitted in the CC&R. Weiss submitted her opinion that the county does have jurisdiction in this instance.

In other business Tuesday night the commissioners:

- Conducted a public hearing concerning a Transit Development Plan prepared by RAE Consultants, Inc., and Ostrander Consulting LLC. After hearing no comments from the public, the commissioners unanimously approved the plan

- Under the consent agenda heading, approved a letter to House District 59 Congressman Mark Larson urging that Archuleta County remain coupled with Montezuma and La Plata counties as the state redistricts to compensate for population changes discovered in the 2000 census

- Approved the expenditure of $4,066 to publish a condensed version of the county budget. The pamphlet explains the budget, provides facts about the county, and looks at how various county departments function

- Approved a special event 3.2 percent beer license for the TARA Historical Society June 30 celebration at Arboles

- Approved an amended improvements agreement, release of an improvements agreement, and final plat approval for Teal Landing Condominiums. The development is being changed from one phase to multiple phases

- Approved an additional $5,000 for striping certain roads in the Core Area subdivision commercial development adjacent to the western boundary of Pagosa Springs, and north of U.S. 160.

'Hello sunshine' is our forecast
By John M. Motter

Lots of sunshine is forecast for the coming week in Pagosa Country by John Kyle, a forecaster from the National Weather Service office in Grand Junction.

"Thursday (today) and Friday there is a chance for isolated showers," Kyle said. "Through the weekend and early next week conditions will be dry."

Isolated showers means a 10 percent chance of rain, Kyle explained.

A high pressure ridge over the Southwest is controlling local weather, Kyle said. "Temperatures should remain in the 80s with low temperatures dropping into the low 40s.

"Actually, I'll be surprised if you get any rain," Kyle added.

Four Corners weather is in an in-between mode, according to Kyle, in-between winter weather from the Pacific and summer monsoon rains from the subtropics. The monsoon season should arrive about the second week of July and last for seven or eight weeks.

No moisture dropped on Pagosa Country this past week. The last measurable precipitation in town took place May 19 when .02 inches was trapped in the rain gauge at the official National Weather Service gauging station located at Stevens Field. June precipitation averages 0.91 of an inch with an all-time maximum June precipitation of 4.26 inches during 1941. During 1950 and 1980, no precipitation took place during June.

May precipitation totaled 0.95 inches with six inches of snow. May's average precipitation is 1.21 inches with one inch of snow.

While 57.6 degrees is the average monthly mean temperature for June, on June 12, 1946, the mercury soared to 98 degrees, tying with July 13, 1939, for the highest reading of record in town. During the 55 years of record keeping in Pagosa Springs, June temperatures have failed to penetrate the 90-degree range during 39 years.

The 80 degrees recorded Friday was the highest temperature measured this year. Highs last week between May 30 and June 5 ranged between Friday's 80 degrees and 73 degrees recorded Monday and May 30. The average high temperature was 76 degrees. Lows last week ranged between 35 degrees Tuesday and 45 degrees May 31. The average low temperature for the week was 41 degrees.

Ten junior high students named to all-A honor roll

Five seventh graders and an equal number of eighth graders were named Friday as the representatives of their respective classes on the All A Honor Roll for the 2000-2001 school year at Pagosa Springs Junior High School.

Seventh graders listed were Rachel Hansen, Jim Guyton, Heather Dahm, Sara Baum, and Heather Andersen.

Eighth graders topping the honors list were Victoria Stanton, Molly Kraus, Hannah Kraus, Levi Gill and Randi Andersen.

Two members of each class had perfect attendance for the whole year - Tadd Quiller and Victoria Stanton in the eighth grade and Sara Baum and Daniel Aupperle in the seventh grade.

Principal Larry Lister said the seventh grade had 49 students named to the combined A-B honor roll for the year while the eighth grade had 52.

Seventh graders listed include:

Jessica Haydel, Jennifer Hilsabeck, Amanda Lattin, Efrain Marinelerena, Alexander Price, Tess Taylor, Jesse Weddle, Joshua Hoffman, Travis Marshall, Brandon Reid, Damian Rome, Cody Thull, Makayla Voorhis, Jessica Blesi, Jesika Brule, Pier Madore, Derrick Monks, Meghan Montoya, Naquita Rivas, Ursala Hudson, Elijah Olachea, Emmalynn Smith, Emily Buikema, Karl Faber, Caitlin Forrest.

Also, Kody Hanavan, Roxanne Lattin, Nichole Marchand, Logan McLellan, Yolanda Quezada, Emilie Schur, Casey Schutz, Craig Schutz, Charmaine Talbot, Brea Thompson, Daniel Aupperle, Christopher Baum, Nikolos Carrizo, Sandra Griego, Elizabeth Kelley, Christopher Mueller, Matthew Nobles, Katherina Vowles and Veronica Zeller.

Eighth graders listed were:

Delta Buck, Caleb Forrest, Bradley Horning, Alvin Lessel, Benjamin Loper, Junior Turner, Kyrie Beye, Jacob Blum, Brett Ford, Danae Holloman, Meagan Martinez, Nacona Martinez, Jacob Smith, Alexander Tapia, Brittany Corcoran, Colton Hutcherson, Mallorie Mackey, Krista Milburn, Marcus Rivas, Landry Ward, Paul Armijo, Kelly Bartholomew, Amanda Huang, Esther Lloyd, Marlena Lungstrum.

Also, Manuel Madrid, Kelcie Mastin, Christine Morrison, Jeremiah Postolese, Brianna Scott, Courtney Steen, Kyle Wiggers, Brett Garman, Jessica Harms, Daren Hocket, Caitlyn Jewell, Audrey Miller, Daniel Quanz, Tadd Quiller, Derrick Rader, Ryan Ranson, Laura Tomforde, Lori Walkup, Kelli Ford, Christena Lungstrum, Chris Nobles, and Rachel Schur.

Management team monitoring Second Box Fire

The Second Box Fire continues to burn slowly above the Piedra River one mile east of Hunter Camp in a remote portion of San Juan National Forest about 20 miles northwest of Pagosa Springs.

This lightning-caused fire began May 25 and has since grown to an estimated 100 to 150 acres. Early estimates projected the size to be much larger, approximately 300 acres.

The low-intensity fire has been burning underneath stands of mature ponderosa pine and white fir. As a ground fire, it is consuming mostly pine needles and other dead and downed materials. The fire burned actively weekend before last, scorching portions of the existing stands, but few trees were killed. Since then, it has continued to burn slowly under pine stands that reach into stands of aspen. The fire has not burned into the aspen, because of the high moisture content of the aspen ecosystems.

Smoke that was initially noticed in the O'Neal Park and Pagosa Springs areas has dispersed and not been noticed since the fire's start.

Following direction in the U.S. Forest Service National Fire Plan, local managers decided not to suppress this remote, low-intensity, high-elevation fire, but to manage it for resource benefits.

A fire-use management team was brought in on June 2 to develop a management plan specifically for the Second Box Fire. This team consists of nine individuals with specialized skills in fire behavior and fire management. With assistance from local managers, the fire use management team has been collecting data about the fire, weather patterns, potential fuel sources, smoke dispersal and the terrain in which the fire is burning, to produce a long-term management plan with specific resource objectives.

The fire will continue to be managed in this manner until established objectives are met or until the fire behavior changes and warrants suppression efforts.

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

The facts

Dear Editor,

Karl must be on some kind of medication that causes delusions - the distortions contained in his editorial was beyond belief! First, I would like to know how many PLPOA Board meetings he as attended in the past 10 years - I personally have never seen him there - so he must be getting fed some sort of misleading propaganda.

The facts are: (a) Two of the current departing Board directors are/were the leading cause of all the dissension and discord against the past Boards. After these two were appointed (not elected) to the current Board, the number of hecklers and organized protesters in the audience at Board meetings magically disappeared.

(b) "Operated under varying degrees of delusion" - now I know you are delusional. Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association (PLPOA) is a chartered "planned community" under the Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act (CCIOA) guidelines and legally established and governed by Colorado Revised Statute 38-33.3-117 which applies to common interest ownership communities like Pagosa Lakes that were formed prior to July 1, 1992. The U.S. Postal Service assigned the zip code 81157 to Pagosa Lakes several years prior to 1992 and when the new downtown post office opened, Pagosa Lakes was informed by the postal service that the 81157 zip code could still be applicable to Pagosa Lakes. I have in my possession an official publication of the Pagosa Springs Chamber of Commerce - a map of the Pagosa Area with Pagosa Lakes indicated as a separate entity. Since this is a legitimate map, what is an illegitimate map?

(c) PLPOA is not a "loose collocation of subdivisions" - it is a planned community of subdivisions under a legally chartered master association with property which is deed restricted with the Declarations of Restrictions duly filed with Archuleta County and the State of Colorado. We are a legal entity, as recognized by the Federal and State Courts.

(d) Who, under the "previous regimes picked fights, were abrasive, thumped chests, and rattled sabers?" If Karl had known his facts, he would have assigned those antics to the instigators (not the Boards) of all the ruckus of the past.

(e) The "often incompetent and dishonest actions of a pretend police force" - was more highly trained, professional, competent and knowledgeable of the entire area than the other county deputies and were deputized to perform all duties of regular sheriff deputies. Current staffing of the sheriff department does not allow for even minimum coverage of the PLPOA area. The illegal discontinuance of the PLPOA Public Safety Office (PSO) (by the dissidents on the Board) has put the entire community in the perilous position of vulnerability to break-ins, speeders, the widespread illegal drug trade, and delay in reaching victims of accidents, strokes, heart attacks, etc. - due to the lack of knowledge of the area by the current county deputies and EMS personnel. In the "good ole days" past, the PSO was usually the first to arrive at the scene of an emergency, perform first aid and direct EMS to the right location. It is unacceptable when a stroke/heart attack victim cannot get immediate help because the emergency crew is not familiar with the streets within the subdivision and cannot find the location of an emergency.

(f) We have some semblance of stability now that we have a very competent on-site manager, who was recruited from the Denver area and moved to our beautiful area. Also, we have in-house accounting again instead of having to deal with the Littleton, Colo. contractor. The chaos caused by the dissidents-in-charge after July 1998 cost the PLPOA untold amounts of frivolous expenditures and support for our property owners. During the time that the "inmates were running the asylum," most of the caring property owners became disenchanted with the entire operation, stopped attending association meetings, and some have moved, or have plans to move, out of the area - which means a loss of some of the finest, knowledgeable, and dedicated professionals any community could dream of being privileged to have as residents.

So, Karl, on second thought, maybe it was the mushrooms that affected your thoughts when you wrote your editorial.

Mojie Adler

Migrating people

Dear Editor,

People have been migrating in and out of Pagosa for at least 10,000 years. Walls won't keep them out.

Ron Alexander

Respect earned

Dear Editor,

Commissioner Crabtree should be applauded for his actions in the magnesium chloride "Tempest" of last week's headline. He is indeed, a man of decision and action. Unfortunately, his breed is dying fast.

I suggest we find two more Crabtree types and "plant" them on the commission. I don't know anything about Oldham; but his immature actions could have led to disastrous results. Suppose he had a firearm in his vehicle, decided to be "dead right" in his convictions, and the law was called in?

Is a thousand dollars over budget worth the possibility of a dead man in the middle of a dusty road?

Commissioner Crabtree defused the situation in a positive way. You earned my respect, Mr. Crabtree; and my vote for any office. Ever consider running for Governor? Colorado might amount to something then.

G.H. "Jack" Barlow

Legion of angels

Dearl Editor,

On Monday, June 4, when the wind was blowing hardest, human error caused a ground fire to erupt on our four acres in Aspen Springs and away it went through the dead pine needles and brush.

I called 911 and within a very short time Tony Stevens came driving in on a backhoe from the metro. He went right to work and within minutes five pieces of equipment were in our drive manned by nine other volunteers: John Brundard, Roy Stevens, Duwayn Ramey, David Hartman, Greg Oertel, David Vega, David Durfee, Tom Torrey and assistant fire chief Manny Trujillo. What a job they did. Lots of digging, chopping, sawing and spraying went on. These men join my legion of angels along with Lina Graham and her home health nurses.

Thank you so much.

Cindy Gustafson

Wrong for America

Dear Editor,

Just wondering when Jim Sawicki will toss his respectable Republican cloth cap into the ring of politics? After all he knows how to run everything from the White House to the county court house. The Archuleta county republican party should love to have such a qualified and articulate man run for commish in what should be a landslide victory.

I do respect Jim's words in honoring the veterans of our nation's wars. Thank you, Jim. I would, however, like to take a moment to also thank those yellow bellied Vietnam war protesters and draft evaders whose efforts saved countless American and "enemy" lives for having the nerve to expose an unjust and unnecessary war and thereby shortening the carnage. We must never be so complacent to submit to such nonsense as, "My country right or wrong." Unfortunately there will always be "just" wars but that war was wrong for America. There are non-violent freedom fighters too. Some laid down their lives so that other lives were saved. What holiday commemorates the tragedy at Kent State? So I hereby recognize them as well on Memorial Day.


Ron Levitan

Shame on you

Dear Editor,

Made the trip downtown to pay my respects and noticed that the crowd seems to be a little older and smaller each year. I take issue with the statement in the SUN "The crowd of 200 or more ..." I did a quick count before the ceremony and came up with 108 and at the end I came up with 117. These counts included the American Legion Delegation of 15-20. I have only one thing to say to you arm chair patriots who had more important things to do rather than take the 25 minutes to honor those men and women who gave us all their tomorrows, shame on you! Maybe we will see you next year?

Note: Did see that the two controversial Commissioners found time from their "Hidden Agenda" to pay their respects. Thanks Gene and Alden.

Don Papierniak

Airport problem

Dear Editor,

I was recently at a meeting of the board for the Archuleta Airport Authority. We are fortunate to have such a group of fine representatives who serve without pay and are sincerely interested in our mutual cause. We all desire to have a clean, well maintained facility, and we want it to be in safe condition at all times. I really feel the board has this same desire.

Our airport board reports to the county commissioners of Archuleta County. Any funds committed from that board to improve the airport here in Pagosa Springs, must be released by the county commissioners. Thus, we have a problem.

The taxiway is beyond saving, according to the board. The base is not substantial enough to maintain a hard surface and so we have movement, which is causing the taxiway to breakup. All the patching they could do will not save the taxiway. The disintegration is creating loose gravel, as well as pieces of asphalt as large as a baseball. As we use the taxiway to access our hangers, we are destroying our propellers and ingesting stones into our engines and turbines that will totally destroy our power plants. Unfortunately, we are unable to see the power plant destruction, and it can cause pilots to lose power at the most inopportune times.

The county has leased property to all of us to construct our hangers for our airplanes and now denies us access to our own property. We all have a major investment at Stevens Field, which we cannot safely access. Our county commissioners are flagrantly breaking the law and show no concern for their crime. Every time we land at Steven's Field, they literally stand in our path with a drawn gun saying, do not enter your own property. Our forefathers went to war with the land barons of the west for the very same reason. The land barons leased them land and then cut off the water to their leases. I ask you is there any difference in our plight?

Possessing control is a very ego inflating experience and controls should only be given to those who possess the ability and desire to serve without involving their individual egos.

I have no reason to believe this situation is any different than our airport board reports it to be. They say the county commissioners will not address the problem. I say to the county commissioners, you have chosen to go to war with the wrong group. They are breaking the law and denying access to our property, and we should be ready to fight. They should consider this as our declaration that we will not accept their weak excuses any longer. We want action now before we kill ourselves, our friends and our families in an unnecessary aircraft disaster that they cause.


Lew Webb

C. Wayne Farrow

Lifelong resident, C. Wayne Farrow died in his home May 30, 2001, with his family by his side.

Born in Bayfield on Aug. 11, 1923, he was 77.

Wayne was the son of Rocky Mountain Farrow and Amy Judith Hammond Farrow. He graduated from high school in Pagosa Springs and on Aug. 22, 1946 he married Betty Marlene Denton.

Wayne lived and worked in the area as a realtor, a rancher/farmer and a cowboy. He was a member of the Pagosa Springs and Piedra school boards. Wayne loved his grandchildren and took a special interest in them. He attended the Assembly of God Church in Pagosa Springs.

He is preceeded in death by his parents; a half sister, Mable Chapson; two half-brothers, Mason Farrow and Elton Tunnel.

He is survived by his wife, Betty Farrow of Chimney Rock; his daughter and son-in-law, Marla and Paul Ebarb, of New Caney, Texas; his son and daughter-in-law, Alan and Joyce Farrow of Pagosa Springs; his sister, Ilah Franks of Grand Junction; his granddaughter and her husband, Nelda and Shawn Kane of Goodyear, Ariz.; his granddaughter and her husband, Mindy and Erik Potter of Durango; his granddaughter, Tracey Farrow of Pagosa Springs; and his stepgrandson, Ray Ebarb of New Caney.

A memorial service was held June 1 at the First Assembly of God Church in Pagosa Springs.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Hospice of Mercy, 95 S. Pagosa Blvd., Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.



Wed 50 years, couple will renew vows in IHM Church

On April 2, 1951, friends and family accompanied Father Bernard to celebrate the joining of a young couple in marriage at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Pagosa Springs - the second such couple to exchange vows in the newly built church.

Amadeo (Andy) Martinez was supported by his brothers, sisters and parents, Lucas and Maria Martinez. Eva Espinosa was supported by her brothers, sisters and parents, Jose and Clarita Espinosa. Porfirio and Corina were the padrinos and the exchange of vows were witnessed by many friends. The reception was held in her parents' home at 267 South 8th Street, the house where they still live, where they raised a family of three and where they became grandparents to Alyssa, Palmira, Estralla, Jose and Tristen.

Eva was born in Pagosa Springs and Andy in Trujillo. Both have been lifelong residents of this area and have contributed in many ways to the local culture, appreciated by so many.

As active parishioners of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church, Eva and Andy participated in the building of the church parish hall and residence and participated as members of the parish council, Knights of Columbus, the Fatima Society, the Guadalupana Society and currently serve as Eucharistic Ministers.

Andy was a barber for many years, cutting hair and sharing stories with a couple of generations of customers. As charter members, they have been active raising scholarship funds and helping sponsor the Spanish Fiesta. Both were honored to serve as the Grand Marshals for the Fiesta recently. They continue to serve on other civic and social boards and engage in politics for the betterment of the citizens of Archuleta County, especially the seniors.

Andy and Eva have shared their hopes, dreams, values and their lives with many others and, as such, have served as a model for friends and family alike. Their brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews and children will be joining them to honor their vows Saturday at 2 p.m. presided over by Deacon Tom Bomkamp and Father Murphy at the same Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church where they were married. There will be a private reception that same day at the Ridgeview Mall.

Later, that day, a dance celebrating the union will be held at the Ridgeview Mall. This is a change from the previously announced location at the rodeo grounds.

The Ridgeview Mall is located 4.8 miles west of town on Navajo Trails Drive, a half mile west of North Pagosa Boulevard.



Jason Sanders and Kim Strickland are proud to announce their intent to marry on June 30, 2001.

Sports Page
Charles tapped for Italy Open hoops tournament
By Richard Walter

Brandon Charles, a junior student athlete at Pagosa Springs High School, has been invited by the People to People Sports Ambassadors program to compete in the Italy Open Basketball tournament.

The Italy Open is a special 10-day tournament for youth teams from throughout the world.

Charles was nominated by the coaching staff at Pagosa Springs High School and was interviewed and evaluated by People to People staff before his acceptance.

During the tournament, Brandon will compete with international athletes on the court. Off the court, he will have the chance to interact on a person-to-person basis to form friendships and gain a global perspective as he visits the historic monuments of Italy.

The program is intended to complement traditional education in a special way. Because of the program's educational nature, Charles will have the opportunity to earn transferable high school and college credits for his participation.

Brandon will leave for Italy June 20 and said he's looking forward to the rewards of representing his community and country.

Brandon and his family thank all the people whose donations made this opportunity possible.

High point golf tournament goes to team with nine

Normally you win a golf tournament by posting the lowest score - but not in the Stableford Scoring System, where the highest score wins.

In this format, golfers receive points on each hole according to how well the hole is played: five points for an eagle (two under par); three points for a birdie (one under par); two points for par, and one point for a bogey (one over par). Scores of two over par or worse get no points at all. Each golfer's final score is the sum of the points plus his handicap minus 36.

This was the format for the Men's Golf League May 30 when the team of Sam McNatt, Bob Howard, Bob Howenstine and Dave Prokop took first place with a combined team score of plus nine. Dave Cammack, Ward Lawrence, Ed Day and Troy Persson were second at plus three. Third place went to the team of Bob Hart, Dean Gray, Larry Waddell and Bob Pacharzina at zero.

Dave Cammack won the individual honors at plus nine. Fred Campuzano was second with an individual score of plus six.

Bob Howard and Sean O'Donnell took home closest-to-pin prizes.

Forty-two men participated in this league event.

Although not common in professional golf, the Stableford system is used in one notable men's PGA event: the Sprint International Golf Tournament, played each year in Colorado at the Castle Pines Golf Club near Denver.

The Men's League is open to golfers of all levels. League dues are $25 for the season, payable in the pro shop. Competition begins every Wednesday at 1 p.m. Sign up in the men's locker room before 5 p.m. the Tuesday afternoon before each play day.

Junior golf clinic will highlight basic skills

The Pagosa Springs Golf Club 2001 Junior Golf Clinic is set for June 25-30. The clinic is open to all juniors, ages 8-17 who are interested in learning the basic skills of golf.

Two clinic sessions will be held each day: 9-10 a.m. for ages 8-11, and 10:30-11:30 a.m. for ages 12-17.

Anyone interested in participating needs to sign up at the Pagosa Springs Golf Club golf shop or call 731-4755. The price for the clinic is $35.

The Pagosa Springs Junior Golf League is open to juniors ages 8-17. The junior leaguers must be dedicated golfers, interested in competitive tournament play. They must have a basic understanding and respect for the rules and etiquette of golf.

Junior Golf League will be held each week on Thursday. There will be one hour of instruction beginning at 3 p.m. and this will be followed by nine holes of golf. Parents of golfers must be willing to volunteer their time during the 9-hole play and at tournaments. The cost of Junior League is $50.

Any junior who fits the criteria can sign up in the Pagosa Springs Golf Club golf shop.

A ladies golf clinic is offered every Monday at 5:30 p.m. The clinic is open to all women. The cost of the clinic is $10 per week. To get involved, just show up at the golf shop by 5:25 p.m. on a Monday.

Smart, Martin, Lohman, Hoover win Ladies event

The team of Marilyn Smart, Susan Martin, Benny Lohman and Bonny Hoover were first place winners in May 21 Ladies Gold Association competition.

Second place went to Barbara Sanborn, Kathy Giordano, Marti Capling and Carrie Weisz.

Third place team was Audrey Johnson, Julie Pressley, Barney Storm and Nancy Chitwood.

The game of the day was One and a Two. A four-person team had to designate a team member to play a specific hole prior to teeing off. That person's score along with the two lowest balls made up the score for the team.

Next week the game will be Alternate Shot. This should be a fun game and will probably find several ladies playing shots from areas of the course never seen before.

Pagosans win Ruckus
By Richard Walter

Sometimes the urge to compete can't be stilled by the end of the prep basketball season.

A group of four Pagosa Springs High School boys, three of whom are expected to be starters on the Pirate basketball team next year, and a fourth who was a mainstay on this year's state playoff team, typify that urge.

On a whim, the Pagosa players entered the Roundball Ruckus tournament in Farmington last weekend and came home with the trophy for their age bracket.

Participants were David Goodenberger who recently graduated, Darin Lister who will be a senior next year, and juniors-to-be Jason Schutz and Brandon Charles.

More than 400 players from across the region converged on the San Juan College site for the tournament which tours the nation annually, stopping in more than 75 cities in 40 states and averages about 300 teams in competition at each location.

The competition is in a 3-on-3 format with each team allowed one substitute.

Community News
Chamber News
By Sally Hameister

Screws loose chaos overcome by diplomats

The saying goes that "Good help is so hard to find," and I confess that it just isn't so in the world of Diplomats and the Pagosa Chamber.

Both Morna and Doug needed to attend Morna's parents' 50th anniversary and that basically wiped out my entire staff for a couple of days. Thanks to our amazing crew of Diplomats, I wasn't alone for a minute and had excellent assistance in answering the phone and all the other odd various and sundry tasks that seem to show up here all the time.

My heartfelt thanks go out to Angie Gayhart, Nettie Trenk, Jean Sanft and Sheila Hunkin. When I asked all of them if they would want the position on a permanent basis, they individually demurred in the name of sanity asking how anyone could maintain theirs in this "zoo" of ours. I have said many times that you have to be a certain type of person to work for a chamber, and I will maintain that position forever.

Thankfully Doug, Morna and I seem to have several screws loose and enjoy the chaos and frenetic activity most of the time. I think we could sweet talk these ladies into doing temporary tours of duty in the future again, and I can't thank them enough for their help last Thursday and Friday.

Hanging baskets

We have a record number of requests for hanging baskets this year and thank each and every business and individual for your orders.

We hope to deliver said baskets to your place of business (or residence in a couple of cases) some time around the second week of June. Kendall at Ace will contact me as soon as they arrive, and we will get them to you as soon as possible. As I write this on Monday, the wind and chilly temperature remind me why we wait until around mid-June to hang these babies.

Fiesta Parade

The Pagosa Springs Spanish Fiesta Club invites you to "Become part of the tradition" by participating in the 21st annual Spanish Fiesta Club Parade June 16 beginning at 10 a.m.

This year's theme is "Fiesta de Colores - Fiesta of Colors" which has the potential of being the most colorful parade ever on record. The parade will begin on 8th Street and end on 2nd Street, and line assignments will begin at 8:30 a.m.

Cash prizes of $100, $50 and $25 will be awarded to the most colorful entries, and entry forms are available at the Chamber of Commerce and the Pagosa Springs Arts Council Gallery at Town Park. Entry fee is $5, and the deadline for entering is June 15, no later than 10 a.m.

Be creative, have fun and become a part of this wonderful Pagosa tradition.

New Web site

Just another reminder that our brand spankin' new Web site is up and running, and we encourage all of you to check it out.

We have had many, many kind comments and are perfectly delighted with the result. We can thank Sam Rose, John Warner and Collin at WebDurango for all their hard work to create this site and for being such a pleasure to work with. They could not have been more accommodating or anxious to create exactly what we wanted, and they certainly accomplished that.

We are delighted that we now have the new Web site as well as a working kiosk that folks can access 24-7 for information about Pagosa Springs. We are indeed moving rapidly right along the information highway here in Pagosa.

No falling asleep at the wheel in this little town.

Pagosa Fourth

Once again this year, the July 4 celebration will be the exceptional event that we have come to expect, and more.

We'll be talking much more about it, but for the moment just know that the 23rd annual Park-to-Park Arts and Crafts Festival will be held over a five-day period with 93 vendors in Town Park and Centennial Park.

There will be music from several local musicians as well as four performances in Centennial Park by Hopi Indian Dancers. We are honored that they will be with us this year.

There will also be the fabulous Rotary July Fourth Parade, and the Pagosa Hot Strings Concert, "Windows of Opportunity," followed by the fireworks display at the Sports Complex. And, of course, the ever-popular and always-anticipated Red Ryder Roundup Rodeo on July 4, 5 and 6. It's going to be quite the party for several days, so be sure and catch up on your sleep.


We have two renewals to share with you this week and are happy as clams to do so.

Charlie and Emily Rogers renew with Aquila and Pricilla Tents and we also welcome renewal, Louis E. Mannatt, who brings us Pagosa Roofing and Construction.

Thanks to both for their continued support.

Senior News
By Janet Copeland

Kudos to volunteers, donors; more help needed

The Senior Center is so blessed with all our volunteers and folks who donate items/services. This week we thank Jerry Sager for his continued year-after-year maintenance of our flower beds. Also, we thank Sharon and Ron Cairns for their donation of a computer to our facility. And thank you to Daylight Donuts for their continued donation of donuts to our group. It's folks like these who keep our Center going and we appreciate them so much.

Speaking of volunteers, we desperately need folks to help out at the front desk and with setting tables, etc. Please call Musetta or Cindy at 264-2167 or stop by the Center if you are willing to help out.

Our Senior of the Week is Eleanor Jones. Congratulations, Eleanor. We love having Eleanor and Jack back with us during the summer.

We are happy to have Bud and Audrey Whitman, daughter and son-in-law of our Dorothy Million, visit us on Wednesday. Dorothy is our ace photographer who records our activities on film and does a beautiful job of it. On Friday we welcomed back Art and Lucille Lemmon from Durango, and John and Shirley Finn. Monday we were happy to have Diana and Jack Dawn, daughter and son-in-law of Bobbie and Carroll Carruth, and Lynn Cluck join us for lunch. We hope all you folks will visit us regularly.

Upcoming activities

Our picnic in the park will be tomorrow. This is always a fun event so we hope all seniors will join us.

Yoga classes take place Wednesday mornings at 9:30 at the center. Rich Harris is so generous to donate his time and talents for this and the people who participate really gain some health benefits so everyone come and try it.

Thursday, June 14, is our outing to the Wildlife Park. The bus will provide transportation for those who want to take advantage of it. Please sign up at the Center.

Seniors, please put on your calendars that we will be having a picnic July 4. It will take place in front of the Case de los Arcos building across from the Senior Center at 6:30 in the evening. From this vantage point we will be able to enjoy the city fireworks display, which will originate from the sports area near the high school. Hot dogs, tea and lemonade will be furnished. Attendees can bring potluck items to go with this if they desire (desserts, chips, etc.).

Also, there will be flower arranging classes at the center June 12 and 19, at 9:30 a.m. at a minimal cost of $2 per person. Some supplies will be furnished. We really appreciate the folks at Plaid Pony for providing these classes.

Pagosa Lakes
By Ming Steen

Recreation center expansion plan hearing Monday

The Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association board of directors and the recreation center advisory committee will host a public meeting June 11.

The 6 p.m. meeting will be held at the Pagosa Lakes Recreation Center which is located on 45 Eagles Loft Circle. The meeting is for information sharing, questions and answers and any and all concerns related to the physical congestion of the recreation center during peak usage times.

The board of directors, acting under advisement from the recreation center committee, set up a building expansion fund in 1998. There is now slightly over $195,000 in that fund. The board has contracted the services of Dean Brookie Architecture for initial studies and investigation of possible expansion plans. Brookie is a member of the team involved in the design of the $15.1 million Durango Community Recreation Center. He will be present at the meeting.

In January and July of each year, PLPOA's Department of Covenant Compliance, Building and Population publishes a population report of the Pagosa Lakes area. In July of 1987, when the recreation center first opened for business, there was a permanent population of 1,491. In January of this year the permanent population had risen to 4,874.

This permanent population growth and the accelerating increase in timeshare owner usage brings large numbers of patrons into the recreation center. School vacations and weekday evenings see congested conditions in the locker rooms and the weight room. Give us your input on what you would like to see done to alleviate the situation. Your presence at the Monday night public meeting will be valued. Refreshments will be served.

Pagosa Springs Volleyball Club is having a car wash and bake sale with refreshment stand to raise money to go to a national tournament in Salt lake City. Come and support your team Saturday at the downtown Wells Fargo Bank parking lot at 9 a.m. The car wash and bake sale will go on until the last suds and double fudge brownie have disappeared. Be a part of the action. . . show the young ladies you care.

Library News
By Lenore Bright

Resource book details long-term care issues

We have about 50 copies of the 2001 Resource book.

This is an important publication explaining the Medicaid Qualifying Trust, and other long-term care issues. It lists a variety of independent living facilities and retirement communities here in Colorado, reverse mortgages, home health care, prescription medicine and advanced directives.

Do you qualify for any of these benefits, or want to know some resources to help you make important decisions? Get your questions answered with this free booklet.

Home educators

Christian Home Schoolers are holding a state conference June 21-23 in Denver. William Bennett will be a special guest.

For more information, pick up a copy of a registration form, and check out the information booklet at the desk.

Student loans

The Colorado Student Loan Program's latest guidelines, "What to Know Before You Owe," covers the true basics and even gives suggestions on how you will have to pay back the loans.

China market

Colorado Business Review discusses the marketing difficulties in China even though that nation now has permanent normal trade relations. Colorado businesses need to be aware.

China's population of 1.25 billion looks like an enormous market. However, only 25 percent of the people live in urban areas. Copies can be made of this latest report.

Busy computers

Summer visitors are upon us. Our computers are busy all day long. For internet access, it is first-come, first-served. We do not take reservations, and please remember a parent must accompany anyone under the age of 18.

Once upon a time

The week of June 11 will be a busy one at the Sisson Library as children of all ages join the six-week summer reading program.

Readers may sign up any time during the program. Every reader fills out a contract stating how many books he or she plans to read. Parents are encouraged to discuss what a contract means.

Everyone signing up will receive special items including a button and a book bag. They will also get their name on the Reading wall "Catch a Dragon by its Tale."

Parents may read to small children, or older siblings may read to younger siblings for extra credit. There will be prizes each week along with take home activities crafts and puzzles. Each week, names are drawn for prizes for Reader of the Week.

We also have two weekly story times on Fridays and other programs on Tuesdays.

Come in the week of June 11 and find out all of the details. Summer reading should be fun for the children, not a chore. That is what we want to provide - a fun summer adventure with books. And we have many new books to entice all ages.

It has been proven beyond a doubt that children, who continue using reading and writing skills during time off from school, become the best students. We encourage all parents and grandparents to help children discover the fun and joy of reading.

Staying asleep

The latest Tufts Health Newsletter has some ideas for people who wake up frequently during the night and have trouble falling back to sleep. This report also discusses finding relief from chronic pain.

Aspen music

The summer season calendar for the Aspen Music Festival is available at the desk. It runs June 21 to Aug. 19. There will be more than 200 musical events in the nine weeks.


Thanks for materials from Kate Petley, Anita Schwendeman, Liesl Jackson, Judy Schifiliti, Kay Grams, Theresa Marie Emmerich, Julie Gates, Mr. and Mrs. Touloumis, John Farnsworth, Margaret Rouke, Joan Rowher, Carol Hakala, Billy White Evans, Mary Lou Sprowle, Ben and Mae Rose Bergeson, Cawne LeNorth, Larry Bartlett, Sue Ellen Lohr, and Jody Nehring.

Local Chatter
By Kate Terry

Kentucky hoops scene makes perfect column

The college basketball season is officially over, but unofficially it keeps on and on: who got fired, who got hired, who went with the NBA, and of course how much money is paid out.

One of the hot items (other than what Bobby Knight was going to do) was what Rick Pitino was going to do. Knight went off to Texas and Pitino went to the University of Louisville, the arch rival of the University of Kentucky, the school Pitino walked out on a few years ago. And the sparks flew and thunder roared in the state where basketball is a religion.

Bob Hill, who writes a column for the Louisville Times, wrote one that had 178 repetitions of Rick Pitino's name, his way of satirizing all the attention given Pitino. Hill, a past president of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists sent them the following, which they have included in their recent newsletter, giving it the title of the Perfect Column:

"1. It was conceived in two seconds, written in 15 minutes. I was back in the parking lot barely 30 minutes after arrival.

2. It confused editors, perhaps even gave them pause about the column's efficacy, but not to the point where it could - or should - be killed.

3. It required - save opening and closing sentences - use of only two vowels and six consonants - saving others to fight another day. Once the 'i' was mastered, the upper case 'R' and 'P' flowed like an oil leak.

4. The Perfect Column could be - and was - taken any way the reader wanted: Pitino haters loved it, Pitino lovers loved it.

5. Spelling and punctuation - the twin banes of my existence - were not a problem, the copy desk took a full night off.

6. It received tremendous, sustained reaction, zillions of phone calls and letters, even the comments of the toughest critics of all, our peers, most of whom I'd thought had long since quit reading any newspapers, particularly our own."

Around town

This Skunk Smell Removal Recipe is from the current issue of Paw Press: 1 quart three-percent hydrogen peroxide, 1/4 cup baking soda, 1 teaspoon liquid soap.

Combine the ingredients in a spray bottle. Wash the affected pet with shampoo first, then rinse, spray with the skunk removal recipe, wait five minutes and rinse. This recipe can be used on people and clothing as well.

Jack Hanson, who lived here in the 1980s, had a dance band called the Trilogy that played at the Best Western Oak Ridge. Now Jack is back in Pagosa to stay through September. He has a partner, Bob Hart, and they have a combo. They'll be playing at Loredana's Restaurant for a public dance June 16; at Bob's Cabin, June 13 and 27 ; and at The Greenhouse June 26.

Cruising with Cruse
by Katherine Cruse

Forest Service grants require soul searching

Just out of curiosity, what comes to your mind when you hear the words "Forest Service?"

Maybe it's the neat uniforms. The great hats. And the ubiquitous pale green trucks.

Then again, you might think of all the roads heading off into the public lands that say Forest Service Road to this place or that. Or the campgrounds. Or the list of rules posted at the boundaries of the Weminuche Wilderness.

One thing I'll bet you don't associate with the U.S. Forest Service is giving away money to rural communities.

That's right. The service operates a small grants program. The operative word here is small. But for communities impacted by federal policies concerning the public lands, the national forests, it's money that they might not get any other way.

Let's have a little history here. I know, I know. I can hear the groans already. But bear with me. We'll only go back to the time after World War II, when housing construction was booming, a lot of timber was being "harvested," and communities next to the national forests were thriving.

Then came the 60s and 70s and the swelling environmental movement. The Wilderness Act was passed in 1964. Public pressure caused policies to change. Less timber was extracted from the woods.

The result was economic slowdowns in towns all over the west. Especially in the regions where there's as much public land as there is private. Hinsdale County for example, is 95-percent public land. Hard to make a living there any other way than timber or grazing.

Around Mancos sawmills shut down, businesses closed, and half the stores on Main Street stood empty. People thought they'd lose the school. Things were that bad for a lot of communities in the rural west.

The Rural Community Assistance program grew out of the 1990 Farm Bill. The program recognizes the link between rural communities and public lands, and it authorizes the Forest Service to be a part of the local communities.

The program is aimed at "building community relationships that sustain community vitality and healthy ecosystems and enhance the quality of life."

Not bad goals.

I'm telling you all this because I was recently asked to sit on the panel that recommended which grants the San Juan National Forest should award this year. Up until last month, I hadn't a clue about the program.

Over the past 10 years, the yearly pot that the San Juan National Forest has been able to distribute has varied from $10,000 to $100,000. This year we had $28,000 to hand out. There were 24 applications requesting over $120,000. State, tribal and local governments, local communities, and non-profit organizations were all notified in the request for proposals. And on a warm spring day, I met with eight other people at the Public Lands Building in Durango to go over the proposals and make recommendations. Four of us were private citizens; three worked for the Forest Service, and one was an employee of the USDA. A couple of people, myself included, thought this meeting would be over by noon - one at the latest. Wrong. It took all day.

There were several different areas that we had to consider and rank. Did the applicant have at least 20 percent of the project coming from non-federal dollars or contributed by other partners? Partners contributing money or in-kind services were important.

How necessary was the project? We ranked them from "this is a nice thing to do" all the way up to "this is important for safety."

There were criteria having to do with developing a community's leadership and its capacity to solve problems. We looked at how the project would contribute to business development, job creation, community stability or resource stewardship.

We looked at whether the project benefited underserved populations. And, finally, we considered how many years the project might last.

The projects ranged from small to large, from building a trail to hiring a consultant, from completing a community center to developing a web page.

Some requests wanted funding for buildings such as community centers or visitor centers or downtown restoration; others were related more directly to the land, such as a reseeding project or a hunter cleanup project.

We went through the applications one by one, adding up points for each of the criteria. Some of the applications had to be rejected because the organization didn't meet that first requirement, the one about 20 percent of the funding coming from somewhere else. That was hard.

For the most part, I sat and listened. And learned. The other people at the table were much more knowledgeable than I about the various groups that had applied for money. Some of them were able to explain a request more clearly than the application.

They knew if a community or an organization was likely to get funding from some other source. They were sensitive to the issue of using public money on private land.

We made a list of the top point-getters. We looked at the geographic spread of the recipients; the hope was to spread the money across the region impacted by the SJNF and to include all the different groups of applicants.

Then we went round the table and each of us added one more to the list - one that really grabbed at our hearts or imagination. And then we evaluated some more.

We finally recommended funding for about 10 of the 24 applications. Even then, the amount of money requested far exceeded our little pot of $28,000. Our solution, in almost every case, was to award less than what had been asked for.

The people I met that day took this work very seriously. At the end of the day, we made some recommendations. One of them was that the Forest Service might sponsor a workshop next year on how to write a better application.

And I hoped that next year there would be a little more money to distribute.

Veterans Corner
by Andy Fautheree

Duty to assist' creates catchup effort for VA

Most veterans with pending VA claims have noticed that rating decisions and other documents are taking longer and longer to come from VA offices. Why?

Many of the VA's current problems can be traced to the Veteran Claims Assistance Act (VCAA). Statistics and comments from VA friends indicate that a large number of cases are being sent back to the regional offices for re-adjudication based on the enhanced "duty to assist" from the VCAA. While this new law was a great step forward and long overdue, there is a noticeable catch-up effect in the VA.

Veterans should be prepared for delays. It takes time to train new people and to re-adjudicate claims. New claims keep coming in, and the pressure is on.

With the change in the law, veterans will now have a much better chance of having their claims service-connected. The price we all pay is delay.

If veterans are seriously ill (life-threatening) or in serious financial difficulty (verge of bankruptcy), they can ask the VA to "advance their case on the docket." This means an individual's case jumps the queue and goes ahead of another who does not have these problems. But, it is a tough standard to meet, and the veterans must prove they are seriously ill or in financial trouble; but if they convince the VA they should move the case forward, it can save a lot of time. The VA is very sensitive to these special conditions and considerations.

In other VA Health Benefit issues, the VA has a new national toll-free telephone information and referral service to help Vietnam veterans with questions and concerns about Agent Orange exposure and VA benefits. The Veterans Benefits Administration (VIA) expanded the help line operation at the St. Louis VA Regional Office that has served Gulf War veterans since 1995. The number is (800) 749-8387, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. CST.

The Archuleta County Veterans Service Office has a wealth of information on this topic on hand to answer questions. Feel free to give me a call or drop by and I will assist you anyway I can.

The VA has added adult-onset (Type II) diabetes to the list of presumptive diseases associated with Agent Orange exposure. A regulation to provide monthly disability compensation to Vietnam veterans with adult-onset diabetes is expected later this year. VA estimates that around 200,000 Vietnam veterans will receive service-connection for diabetes within the first five years under the new policy.

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

Parks & Rec
by Douglas Call

First BMX races drew a crowd Saturday

Last Saturday, more than 50 people attended the first BMX race at the new South Pagosa Park BMX track.

Big winners at the race were Jordan Valdez in the 8-9 age category, Josh Yager in the 10-year-old category, Brad Rivas in the 11-year-old group, Mike Vera in the 12-13 group and Alvin Lesseo won the 14-15 group event.

Brad Rivas also won the "big air" contest, out-distancing all others by at least a foot. The next BMX bike race will be held later this month, with more events scheduled throughout the summer. For more information, or to get on the BMX mailing list, contact the Town recreation department, 264-4151.

Adult softball

The adult softball season is officially open and all teams played their first games this week.

Games are played on Monday and Wednesdays at 6:30, 7:45 and 9 p.m. Three leagues are scheduled this year: two men's and one coed. Game schedules are available at Town Hall, at the games, and are posted at the Sports Complex.

Girls softball

The two girls fast-pitch teams - Red Sox and the Astros - were in action last week. The Astros played the Durango Red Birds Wednesday, and lost by 19 runs. The Astros lost to Bayfield last week, 13-7.

The Red Sox lost to Ignacio last week, 19-9, but won a doubleheader in Durango beating the Durango Red Sox 15-8, and Cortez 19-18. The next home games for the Red Sox are Saturday against Alamosa and Gunnison.

Youth baseball

Senior league baseball, for players ages 13-14, is underway, with two Pagosa teams involved - the Pirates and the A's.

Last Thursday the Pirates played Kroeger's and lost 22-8. The Pirates played Bayfield Monday night, and will play a doubleheader in Durango Saturday. Their next home games are June 11 against the A's and June 13 against Bayfield.

The A's played Durango June 2 and lost 16-6.

Rockies Challenge

Over 40 participants took part in the June 2 Youth Baseball Skills Challenge competition hosted by the Town of Pagosa Springs. The following youngsters earned first-place honors in their respective age groups: Boys 8-9, Riley Aiello; 10-11, Chase Moore; 12-13, Saber Hutcherson. Girls 6-7, Katie Blue; 8-9, Briana Bryant; 10-11, Megan Bryant.

These eight winners now move to a sectional competition to be held July 15 in Pueblo. They could qualify for the state championship held at Coors Field in conjunction with a Rockies games against the Philadelphia Phillies.

The Rockies Baseball Skills Challenge program allows youngsters to showcase their talents in base running, batting and throwing, with scores based on speed, distance and accuracy. The Rockies Baseball Skills Challenge is a youth program of the Colorado Parks and Recreation Association. The Colorado Rockies and Robert R. McCormick Tribune Foundation provided a grant in support of the program.

Park Fun

The Park Fun program started Monday and is currently full. All preregistered entrants will be taken. People wishing to join the program this summer need to register at Town Hall. The program is being held at the junior high school and participants enter through the doors on Fourth Street.

Trail Day

The Wolf Creek Wheel Club, the Pagosa Area Trails Council, and any volunteers who show up Saturday at 9 a.m. will get to participate in Pagosa's annual Trail Day on Reservoir Hill. The workday will run 9 a.m.-2 p.m., with a free lunch provided. The trail being built will access a new area on the Hill, named after the Park and Recreation Commission president, David Hamilton. Hamilton Hill is a newly acquired area along a fence line currently under construction.

Hamilton Hill is a beautiful setting and currently needs trails to access the area. The proposed trail has been cut and volunteers will build a three foot tread to the Overlook. All in attendance will receive a free lunch, this year's Trail Day T-shirt, trail maps and other goodies.

For more information contact Doug Call at 264-4151 or show up at the cabin on Reservoir Hill at 9 a.m.

Fishing Day

A free day of fishing for youngsters 15 and under will be held June 16, hosted by the Division of Wildlife and the Town of Pagosa Springs. The day will start at 9 a.m. and go until noon when the Town will offer free lunch for all in attendance. A free rod and reel will be provided to youngsters, along with bait needed to catch fish.

For more information, contact Town Hall, 264-4151.

Arts Line
By Marlene Taylor

Youth summer arts camp begins Monday

Summer Arts Camp for youngsters in grades one through nine takes place June 11-29, Mondays through Thursdays, 9 a.m. to noon in the Pagosa Springs Elementary School art rooms.

Instructors Lisa Brown, Tessie Garcia and Michele Smith will encourage the students' love of art, teach art techniques and methods, and stimulate each child's creativity.

Tuition cost is $115 for one session. Scholarships are available based on financial need. Registration must be mailed by tomorrow, June 8. Spaces cannot be held without full tuition.

Mail registration and payment to: PSAC Summer Arts Camp, PO Box 533, Pagosa Springs, 81147.

Contact Tessie Garcia for information at 731-9244.

Birdhouse contest

PSAC is holding a handmade birdhouse contest June 23 - Pet Pride Day.

Each exhibitor may submit two birdhouses for display. All birdhouses must be original works, built by the exhibitor. Assembled kits will not be accepted.

The three contest categories are under 10 years, 10-18 years and adult. The fee is $5 per entry. Prizes will be awarded for each category and winners in each category will be displayed for two weeks at the Pagosa Springs Arts Council Gallery at Town Park. All entries must be received by 5 p.m. on June 22. Judging will take place at 2 p.m.

For more information contact PSAC at 264-5020.

Gallery exhibits

If you haven't yet seen the current exhibit at the Town Park gallery by Donna Cooper then, by all means, do so.

A very talented artist with Down Syndrome, Donna has been drawing since childhood, when she started to produce images of animals. About 10 years ago she started taking private lessons with Carol Kinsey. These were followed by work in pastels under the guidance Soledad Leo. Since then Donna has attended oil painting classes held weekly at the Extension Building.

Donna's postcards and Christmas cards have been in most of the local shops. She has had two previous exhibits in Pagosa but this one shows clearly the extent of her growth as an artist.

Donna sees the world as a wonderful place due to the love and concern of her parents Bob and Peg Cooper, who never treated Donna as handicapped. Her friendly and outgoing personality is a reflection of how she views herself and the world around her. Her artwork mirrors her perception of life which she sees as colorful, beautiful and vibrant. The love and support of her family and community have given her a life of creativity and personal growth which many "normal" people will never achieve. Don't miss the opportunity to experience the joy of life which Donna communicates through her paintings. The exhibit continues through June 13.

PSAC Vice President Clare Burns is our second June exhibitor. Her Pagosa Portrait Project embodies her love of painting, people, and Pagosa Springs. This project is a series of portraits of people in Pagosa who have contributed in some way to our community. Working from her own photographs, Clare documents the life blood of our community through her portraits. This is her way of giving something back to the community she loves.

Clare's opening reception will be June 14 from 5-7 p.m. at the Town Park gallery. These portraits will be among many art pieces auctioned off at the Chamber of Commerce SunDowner June 27 hosted by PSAC and held at the gallery. Attend the reception to share in Clare's tribute to the people who make Pagosa a wonderful place to live. Her exhibit continues through June 26.

Items needed

PSAC is looking for silent auction items such as donated quality art or gift certificates of any kind for our special June 27 SunDowner. Please call Jennifer Harnick at 731-3113 if you have items to donate. All proceeds will benefit PSAC and fund projects such as the Petroglyph, the Summer Arts Camp, the Pagosa CD sampler and the fall studio/gallery walk.

PSAC Radio

KWUF hosts PSAC interviews and info on the second Thursday of each month at 8:05 a.m. Keep current with the many activities and events scheduled.

Pagosa Fiesta

A June 16 parade will be one of the highlights of Pagosa Fiesta 2001 sponsored by PSAC and the Pagosa Springs Spanish Fiesta Club. The entertainment will include an open mic, arts and crafts, and delicious food. Anyone wishing to participate in the parade or interested in renting booth space at the Fiesta can call for an entry form at 264-5020 or stop by the Town Park gallery.

Other business

If you donated a Harold Larson or Lois Silver print to the garage sale in March, please contact Joanne at the gallery at 264-5020.

If you would like to write the Artsline column for the SUN when there are five Thursdays in a month (about four times a year) or do publicity on occasion, call PSAC at 264-5020.

Less contact, more tact

There was opportunity during the last two weeks to feel both relieved and worried when confronted with the activities of one of our county commissioners.

Relief, when an action by Commission Chairman Gene Crabtree did not expose the county, and him personally, to serious liability.

No doubt, there will be some who believe the chairman's Lone Ranger act on the Blanco Basin Road two weeks ago was commendable. Certainly, anyone who had a section of road sprayed when the work was not scheduled will think this way.

Some will consider it tactful that the chairman told county employees not to contact law enforcement when a report came in that a resident had blocked a public access, demanding a stabilizer and dust control compound be sprayed on his road.

If you don't ponder the consequences of a county commissioner deciding when and if the laws of the State of Colorado are enforced, it is possible to view the directive in a positive light.

If you do not wonder what other situations could induce the commissioner to act as legal arbiter - in place of law enforcement and the courts - appreciation of his action is plausible.

However, if you consider all the ramifications, including potential negative impact on the county's ability to procure adequate insurance in the future, his action loses its luster.

We do not elect county commissioners to determine whether or not the law will be enforced - they are not certified to do so, nor are they competent to do so.

The chairman went on that day to unilaterally order a crew to spray the roadway - sections of road which, at a subsequent public meeting, were shown by the Supervisor of the Road and Bridge Department not to have been sprayed last year, not to have been part of the budgeted county plan for this year, and not to be well enough constructed to benefit from spraying.

The chairman's action was taken without a change of policy and expense discussed and decided by all three commissioners at a public meeting, as required by Colorado law. Such a solitary action in the face of dire emergency is feasible; this was not an emergency situation, by any reasonable standard.

Deeper worry yet comes when you think about a comment made at a meeting last week, when the commissioners considered raising building permit fees in order to fund the needs of an overburdened department.

Discussing the issue with two local builders and opponents of increased fees, the chairman told them: "You work with us, we will work with you. We're going to need help selling a sales tax issue we need to take to voters this fall."

The comment smacks of a questionable kind of politics, the open trade of influence.

Does the comment indicate a greatly-needed fee increase, one that would benefit the whole county, could be modified if political assistance is provided by a small group opposed to raising fees?

Does this comment mean that anyone who disagrees with the commissioner or commission, who does not cooperate politically, damages chances of making a successful case when presenting a request to our elected leaders?

Relief and concern give rise to disappointment. This is followed by the recognition that we again have reason to hope for a better circumstance - one in which county leaders obey the law, step away from micromanagement, work at the job of policy development, set a course, and let trained, skilled professionals steer the ship while acting as a political and administrative buffer between the commission and the day-to-day operation of the county.

Karl Isberg

Dear Folks

A 'piece of suburban paradise'

Dear Folks,

It's time to write about a few items I've been intending to mention for the past few weeks.

Charlotte Archuleta dropped in a while back to share an article that had appeared in the Rio Grande Sun of Española The article reported that Pagosa native Joe Valdez was recently sworn in as postmaster of the Santa Cruz Post Office in New Mexico.

Joe and his wife Martha moved to Albuquerque in 1989 when Joe was assigned to its main post office. (Martha was our county clerk prior to June Madrid assuming the responsibility.) During his 15 years in Albuquerque, Joe worked as a clerk, carrier and front desk staff.

Last month's mail also included a letter from summer resident Terry Hershey. It reminded me of the letters Mom used to send. It contained one part letter and five parts newspaper clippings and other materials.

Whereas Terry and her late husband, Jake, spent much of their time relaxing when in Pagosa, she was actively involved in just about every worthwhile conservation effort she could find when at their home in Houston. And if she couldn't find a conservation effort that she thought was needed, she would start it.

Terry and Jake both lent their support in the development of the Southwest Land Alliance voluntary conservation program that's actively operating in Pagosa Country.

In recognition of her involvement with conservation on the "local, state and national levels," the Garden Club of America earlier this year presented Terry with the "2001 GCA Frances K. Hutchison Medal for Distinguished Service in Conservation."

With concrete batch plants making the news in Pagosa, Terry sent me an article titled "Mixing It Up," that she had clipped from the Houston Press. The story chronicled the 20-month battle a "chipper housewife . . . turned warrior" has waged against a concrete batch plant that is invading her "piece of suburban paradise."

The controversy in Texas and the disagreement here in Pagosa are somewhat indicative that regardless of setting, climate, or concentration of population, people are people, homeowners want undisturbed neighborhoods, businesses need to make a profit, landowners demand their right to do whatever they please with their property and politicians want to get re-elected.

It raises some interesting questions.

Of the 7,800 to 8,000 registered voters in Archuleta County, how many operate, are employed by, a batch plant operation? How many are contractors or in some way are involved in the construction business? How many homeowners are registered voters who are strongly concerned about the scenic natural aspects of Pagosa Country?

It also raises the question as to how much importance do our local politicians place on the concerns of the majority of the voters?

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

By Shari Pierce100 years ago

Taken from The Weekly Times of June 6, 1901

Decoration Day was cloudy, cold and threatening and in consequence the crowd was small.

The ladies of the M.E. Church cleared about $25 at their ice cream social last Thursday evening.

Pagosa Flour. Dr. Clock, our local Health officer sent a sample of flour from a sack which he had bought from A.D. Gallup to the state chemist for analysis. He was assured that it was unadulterated by alum or other injurious substances often used in flour to make it appear white.

Pagosa and vicinity was treated to a nice shower Friday.

Ike Cox came in Monday from I.W. McGraw's camp with a load of hides.

A.D. Garvin moved into his residence property on Lewis street Friday.

75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of June 4, 1926

A total of 57 pupils in Archuleta County took the 8th grade examination recently held, of who 15 were members of the 7th grade. County Superintendent M.R. Thomas today announces that 37 succeeded in attaining a passing grade that entitles them to a diploma for entrance into high school.

An effort will be made by Pagosa people tomorrow to open the Wolf Creek Pass highway to the top, when a crew of men will go up and join the A.A. Miller forces. It is said that a day's work will accomplish their objective.

C.D. Thayer, mail carrier on the Debs route, on his trip to Pagosa last Friday brought, in addition to the mail and many other articles, 108 gallons of cream, which weighed over 1,000 pounds net and averaged $1.00 per gallon when delivered at the local creamery.

50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of June 8, 1951

The mystery of the disappearance of Dr. John Button and Durango attorney Robert S. Eakes was cleared up this week with the discovery of their plane Monday and their bodies Tuesday. The plane was found on the northeast side of Piedra Peak and the two men were discovered within a radius of about three miles from the light aircraft. The two men had been missing since February 27.

The two men came through the emergency landing in five feet of snow unhurt only to freeze to death later in an attempt to reach shelter. This information was gathered from a diary kept by Dr. Button.

Miss Norma Rae Johnson, who is now employed at the SUN office will handle the local and society news items in the future.

25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of June 3, 1976

A study committee, composed of local residents has recommended to the school board that the present school facilities be expanded to the point where they will be capable of handling the growth that is anticipated. The committee recommended that a new addition to the elementary school should be ready by the fall of 1977 and a new high school by the fall of 1978. The report indicated a 25% growth in school population within the next four or five years.

The Navajo recreation area on Lake Navajo at Arboles had a record number of visitors over the Memorial Day weekend. Park officials said that total visitor days during the three day holiday numbered 11, 981. Most of the available space was in use all weekend.

Pacing Pagosa
By Richard Walter

Promises-and laws-are just words

Regional dialect can be confusing.

For example, during the 40 years I lived in Illinois dreaming of returning to Pagosa Country, I could never understand why people said, "I'm going by Jack's house."

If I'd said that here, everyone would have known I was taking a route which would take me past Jack's house, thus indicating that if anyone needed to go to Jack's, I could give them a ride.

In Illinois, it meant they were, in fact, going to Jack's house, not by it.

If you've ever traveled to Great Britain, someone may have asked you to knock up a friend. It certainly did not mean what you would suspect, based on Colorado lingo. You were being asked to contact the friend, not impregnate her.

Anyone who's from the southwest can't understand why everyone doesn't use the collective y'all in every sentence. It is as apropos of the area as pristine once was in our mountains.

Sometimes words sound the same - or are close - and have totally different meanings.

In a recent press release from the state's Department of Wildlife, for example, a sentence contained the word ridged, as in potato chips. In fact, the person who wrote the release intended to use the word rigid, as in strict or unbending. Two words which sound vaguely alike yet have totally different meanings.

Words which sound exactly or closely alike when pronounced, such as been and bin, pin and pen or aisle and isle, have widely differing definitions.

All this illustrates the fact we can't always know what the other person is talking about if we don't take the time to try to understand the nuances of their level of conversation.

Sometimes it isn't what is said as much as how it is said that can be confusing. Most illustrative of this are campaign promises made by politicians who are merely giving lip service to a local or regional concern in order to win support. Many times a candidate who is elected will have no recollection of what was said, or where it was said.

The fact it was pronounced as a promise gives lie to the intent of the statement because a promise involves commitment to act. There are, of course, promises made with the best of intentions, with understanding of a problem and a sincere desire to help correct it.

But when the method of insuring the fulfillment of the promise involves violation of the laws by which the country is run, no matter how much one might disagree with those codes, it makes achievement of promise-keeping an empty success.

It might, in fact, be perceived as attempting to establish one's own little kingdom, a place where personal gratification and glorification takes the place of proper leadership.

No degree of parsimonious pontificating can make correct a unilateral decision to force action without following prescribed rules of conduct, however much one may disagree with them.

James Wilson perhaps said it best when he - a signer of both the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution - intoned on the floor of the U.S. Supreme Court, "Laws are made to be broken." And this was a man who served nine years as a justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Wilson was not advocating the breaking of the laws of the land, but simply noting that man has a propensity to violate laws which do not suit his fancy or his need at the moment - or of which he is ignorant.

If one were able to ask any of the more than 280 American War veterans who were honored in Memorial Day ceremonies last week to express their understanding of the law of life, I don't believe you'd get the answer: "Let him do it. He seems to want to set the law for us all . . . to be the leader."

Military personnel cited for bravery, men and women who have met death at the hands of an enemy, who have given their lives to defend a democratic way of life, would be aghast at the abuses that democracy allows in the name of "serving the people."

There are, of course, two sides to every story. Two people can witness the same incident and give totally different analyses of what they saw.

And the telling of the story is often embellished each time it is repeated, various details added because they would seem to lend credence to the story though there is no legitimate evidence they are accurate.

A governmental leader who repeatedly tells groups of citizens or cliques of vendors in special venues that," If you'll help us, we'll help you," is including in his comment acts which must be supported by others who are not necessarily attuned to his brand of independent governing.

Promises, just as laws, are made of words. But if the words of a promise have no legally workable meaning, they are as inaccurate as is use of the word pristine to describe our beautiful area of residence.

One man rule may once have been the way of the west. But when that man took a step outside his legal jurisdiction, the law ceased to be meaningful. If he was the first to step into an unvisited area, that area was no longer pristine, simply due to his footprint.

The law can no longer be effective if it is either ignored or bent to the need of the moment by an individual who does not understand - or chooses to ignore - it.

By John M. Motter

Bye, Bye Amargo, Hello Lumberton

Most of us in our comfortable American lifestyle find it is easy to assume that things as we know them will last forever. It is hard to imagine that the stores we shop in, streets we drive down, and neighbors we wave at, won't be there from now on. Yet, that is what happened to the town of Amargo.

I'm not sure when Amargo started, maybe 1880 when crews building the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad called Amargo home during the construction process. Amargo might have existed before the railroad, maybe as a stopping point on one of the Indian trails connecting Pagosa Country with New Mexico settlements before Gringos came into the land.

After the Gringos entered, along with their railroad, Amargo was so wild one man passing through said the sounds of gunshots rent the air continuously, day or night. Amargo was located in New Mexico along today's Highway 64 midway between Monero and Lumberton. In those days there was a Monero with her coal mines, but no Lumberton.

After the railroad came Amargo continued to grow, acquiring hotels and general stores and the stagecoach connection with Pagosa Springs. It's future never looked better. Then Ed Vorhang claimed Amargo as his homestead right and the government gave him a patent. By 1893, Amargo was doomed. We learned last week that in 1893, logging mogul Ed Biggs purchased 40 acres west of Amargo, land on which he planned a town.

This week we learn of the beginning of that town, Lumberton, and the beginning of the end for Amargo. Ironically, as we read the hype touting Lumberton, we see the same old pattern of thought: Lumberton will become a thriving metropolis and last forever. Sure enough, 107 years later, Lumberton is still alive - thriving no, but alive yes. Metropolis, hardly. You can see Lumberton with your own eyes. The following newspaper items describe the birth of Lumberton.

Newspaper item, Dec. 1, 1893: Amargo may soon be moved east about 2-1/2 miles, where Ed Biggs will locate his mill. The road to Archuleta County will be started from there. The people are still undecided whether to move or not. The new town is to be called Lumberton.

Motter's comment: The road mentioned by editor Daniel Egger is probably the long-promised logging railroad to Pagosa Country. Ed Biggs, with his logging empire, was one of the most important people in northern New Mexico at that time. Logging, lumber mills, and the railroad meant payrolls, the lure that attracted many settlers to this area during the 1880s, 1890s, and early 1900s.

Newspaper item, Dec. 22, 1893: It is more than probable that the people of Amargo will move to the new town west of there. The Railway Age of recent date says that the D.&R.G. will move the depot there.

Motter's comment: The move to Lumberton is about to happen, but things are still iffy. The "Railway Age" sounds like a Denver and Rio Grande publication. The depot from Amargo never went to Lumberton, it ended up in Pagosa Junction, bullet holes and all.

Newspaper item, Dec. 22, 1893: There is some talk of organizing a telephone line between the Springs and Amargo, or the new town of Lumberton. The News is in favor of the scheme if the money can be raised for it.

Motter's comment: Talk is cheap.

March 30, 1894: Lumberton Notes. If Pagosa people are skeptical of Lumberton's importance and stability, a short visit will convince them. In a little park among the hills about three miles west of Amargo, where three months ago was nothing but a waste of sage brush our town has sprung up like magic. The New Mexico Lumber Co.'s mill, hotels, stores, saloons, dwellings, and shops have been put up as rapidly as lumber and carpenters could be secured and still the building goes on.

Kutz & Co. occupy two large stores and are putting in a fine stock of goods; in Archuleta's store can be found a variety of all sorts of merchandise; Salazar & Co. have in course of construction a large fire proof store; the commissary connected with the mill carries not only a good stock of groceries and clothing but almost everything needed in building and furnishing a house.

A lot, lumber, and $200 bonus have been subscribed and we shall soon have our own newspaper.

The Catholics have organized and will have a church soon.

A Union Sabbath school is to be organized next Sunday.

The town of Amargo has donated the schoolhouse there and in due time school privileges will be afforded the children.

A temporary railway station will be put up soon by E.M. Biggs to accommodate the public until the railway company erects its permanent depot.

Carloads of lumber are shipped daily. The hotels are crowded and everyone is rushed with business.

Lumberton is no temporary lumber camp, but a wide-awake town that has come to stay.

Motter's comment: We don't know the name of the author of this information on Lumberton's beginning. Pagosa newspapers between Dec. 22, 1893, and March 30, 1894 are missing. It seems safe to assume that Lumberton started during those first three months of 1894. More notes on Lumberton were included in the Pagosa Springs newspaper about a month later.

News item, April 20, 1894: Lumberton notes. The latest arrivals are Harry Wentz and son of Pagosa.

James Fowler and family have moved into their cozy new home.

D. Gallegos was taken suddenly sick at his place of business a few days ago. He is somewhat better now but still unable to leave the house.

A ten-pound boy made his appearance at the home of Mr. and Mrs. W.H. Burt a short time since. He is a fine fellow and Lumberton is proud of its first baby.

Since last writing a number of buildings have gone in. Mr. Clutter of Amargo has a large, two-story house; A.H. Peterson a house, barn, and corral; James Fowler has completed very pretty dwellings for himself and Mr. Martinez of Amargo; J.M. Archuleta has had another business building moved here from Amargo; the large house of Felix Lucero is nearly finished, and improvements in the way of sidewalks, fences and ...?... have been added in other places.

Mrs. Geo. Roof has been seriously ill for several days. At this writing her condition is somewhat improved.

The large store of Salazar & Co. is completed and open for business. Their stock is varied and complete and offers a very tasteful appearance.

Last week a young boy appeared in town with one arm crippled and in bad condition. He appealed for help to reach Mercy Hospital at Durango. Some of the citizens interested themselves in raising funds to send him there. It now transpires that the youngster is a fraud and supports himself and two other tramps by the exhibition of his infirmity. The laugh is now on the tender-hearted citizens.

Motter's comments: What strikes me as interesting is the number of Amargo-Lumberton people who ended up in Archuleta County. In this item we note Clutter. Is he the man for whom Klutter Mountain is named, that low range between Coyote Park and Valle Seco? We note that a Clutter or Klutter delivered vegetables, especially potatoes, to Pagosa Springs during the 1890s.

The Fowlers ended up with a ranch on the Navajo in the Chromo area, and I believed the Burts moved to Pagosa Springs, as did A.H. Peterson. The Archuletas went back and forth. I don't which Martinez or Gallegos family is indicated here, and do not know about the Salazars. Many of the original Hispanic families still live in the area. Never heard about Mr. Roof again.

News item, April 27, 1894: The writer spent a few hours at the new town of Lumberton this week, and while there observed that a good meal can be obtained at the Pound hotel, which is a nicely furnished little hotel; that C.F. Thompson & Co. have a commodious and elegant saloon building; that the town has three large stores; that Harry Wentz of Pagosa has completed a very neat place for a short-order restaurant, bakery, and confectionery; he will serve ice cream in season. The mill is running continually and it is the support of Lumberton. The expected newspaper for the town failed to materialize.

Motter's comment: Pound was an early name in the San Juans, especially in the Tierra Amarilla area. I don't know what happened to Wentz. Thompson was an early name in Pagosa, but I don't know if this is the same Thompson.

News item, April 27, 1894: A Mexican from Santa Fe has taken the mail route between here and Lumberton for $750 a year. He will no doubt render extraordinary service for that amount.

Motter's comment: Egger is being sarcastic and racist, not uncommon for his time.

News item, April 27, 1894: Charlie Byrne, recently returned from Kansas, is now driving the mail between here and Lumberton while Geo. Hallet is taking a rest.

Motter's comment: Charlie was Fil Byrne's brother. Fil owned the stage line and apparently the Halfway House. The Hallett family were among the earliest Pagosa Country settlers. Today, I know of no descendants of either the Hallets or the Byrnes.

News item, Dec. 1, 1893: Amargo had a grand ball on Thanksgiving night. Many persons attended.

Motter's comment: By Dec. of 1893, folks in Amargo must have known their town was doomed. Could this have been a goodbye party, or maybe a wake?

News item, Dec. 1, 1892: A son was born to Mr. and Mrs. J.M. Archuleta at Amargo last Saturday.

Motter's comment: Life goes on.

News item, Dec. 1, 1893: The Archuletas shipped 1,600 head of cattle and 30,000 head of sheep this fall.

Motter's comment: Doctors for delivering babies don't come cheap, although a mid-wife may have performed the duty in this instance. That is a lot of cows and sheep.

News item, Dec. 1, 1893: A Catholic priest from Santa Fe is now making efforts to build a church at Amargo.

Motter's comment: He's a little late, I'd say.

News item, Dec. 1, 1893: A boy was born to Mr. and Mrs. H.B. McLean at the half way house on the 23rd of November.

Motter's comment: More talk about the stage stop between the railroad and Pagosa Springs, where it was okay to do things half way.

Newspaper item: April 13, 1894: Don Archuleta transacted business at Amargo this week.

Motter's comment: I guess Amargo is not dead yet. Don Archuleta was head of the entire clan.

Food for Thought
by Karl Isberg

Anyone (?) can be a gym-kitchen expert

Preparing food.

Lifting heavy objects and putting them down again.

Sense any similarities?

Allow me to explain.

The first similarity is that each activity - lifting weights and cooking - is a remarkably simple thing to do.

These are dog-level things.


If my yellow Labrador Arnie could talk, he could quickly explain strength training and he could provide information about the basic techniques of cooking. With his noble but frightfully limited dog mind, Arnie could dispense enough information that, with a smidge of practice, anyone could become a respected practitioner in both gym and home kitchen.

Weight lifting is basically a matter of picking up heavy things and putting them back down. Cooking is a matter of frying (sauteing, stir-frying, deep frying), baking, roasting and grilling, and cooking with liquids ( poaching, steaming, braising, boiling). If you understand the fact that heat can be higher or lower, if you have a serviceable set of implements and you don't slash an artery cutting ingredients into pieces, you're home free. Utilize a methodical base, add a dash of improvisation, and you're taste-treat royalty around the old homestead.

Easy, right?


As with all simple-minded pursuits, some geek will feel compelled to render the situation falsely complex, ambiguous, imposing. Every simple pursuit permits this phenomenon: simplicity is the natural home of morons and many have an overwhelming need to appear more knowledgeable than they really are. This kind of person is severely restricted and works constantly to disguise an array of limitations by pretending to know a whole lot about nothing.

In the gym, this type of bozo usually appears with a companion we will call "Spaghetti Boy." Our hero brings Spaghetti Boy to the gym in order, so it seems, to help Spaghetti Boy bulk up, gain muscle mass - to be a ripped and cut stud on whose brawny arms can hang a variety of toothsome mating opportunities.

In reality, Spaghetti Boy is at the gym so the bozo can pretend to know esoteric things then dispense that arcane knowledge - about techniques, nutritional nuggets, special loud attention-getting breathing styles, etc.

Bozo likes to be important, to mentor Spaghetti Boy and, simultaneously, to be enough of an exhibitionist to enlighten everyone else in the room.

He is sure he is impressive.

He is also an idiot.

Ask Arnie; this is dog-level stuff.

You pick up a heavy thing - you put it down again. If it's too easy, you make the thing heavier.

Dr. Einstein, it's time for your Nobel address.

Same thing with cooking.

Ever read one of the myriad magazines dealing with food and its preparation?

Dear heavens.

You need a Ph.D in Romance Languages to understand the list of ingredients.

Recipes run for column after column, involving preparation spread over four days time, and an institutional kitchen's worth of utensils.

Ask Arnie how tough it should be.

Not at all, if you have solid technique, know about heat, and are willing to experiment. Use fresh, quality ingredients and cook them simply. This is dog-level stuff. No need to make it difficult.

Recipes should be a template. After a plan is drawn, the template should be discarded, the plan serving as a mere platform for adventure - a launch pad for an invigorating gustatory voyage.

As you experiment, with a bit of traditional advice guiding how you combine certain tastes (licorice, for example does not go particularly well with scallops or oysters) you can flex your muscle. Just like, after a few months of lifting heavy objects and putting them down, you add new movements, vary your program in the gym. Certain spices best complement certain meats, vegetables. Certain ways of lifting heavy objects and putting them down again makes a particular muscle stronger, makes it feel better.

No mystery, no need for a bozo to make it appear difficult, like String theory or Neo-Platonic metaphysics.

I used a foundation of technique and a bit of invention on some pork loin last night.

I bought a massive piece of pig at the store, cut it into five sections, put four in the freezer and cooked the fifth.

The hunk of loin was substantial, one side covered with a nice layer of fat. I cut it into two very thick pieces, about three inches thick, and cut a pocket in each piece (without slashing myself). I salted and peppered the meat liberally, inside and out.

I prepared a mirepoix of equal amounts of finely diced white onion, carrot and celery (which I cut without slashing myself) softening them, salted and peppered, over low heat in olive oil (see, there's sauteing). I tossed in an equal amount of finely diced red pepper.

When the savory veggie mix was to my liking, I added some chopped fresh parsley and four cloves of garlic, finely chopped, then took the pan from the heat to let the mixture cool.

Into the pockets in the hunks of loin went the vegetables and the seams were sutured with toothpicks. With the contraction of proteins with the application of heat, the seals would be complete.

In the same oven-proof pan I used for the mirepoix, I heated olive oil and, over high heat, I browned each side of the pieces of meat (see, frying). When the meat was browned, I added a bunch of chicken broth and some lemon juice, covered the pan and popped it into a 350-degree oven (see, braising).

Some time before, I had peeled a couple of sweet potatoes and sliced rounds about a quarter inch thick (without slashing myself). I put the rounds on an oiled baking sheet, applied kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper and put them in the oven (see, roasting). They were half done when meat met heat.

I set a crown of broccoli on a rack above gently boiling water and covered the pan (see, steaming). When it was al dente, I drained the cooking water, took the broccoli from the rack, melted butter in the pan, added a bit of fresh-squeezed lemon juice and ground black pepper and popped the broccoli back in the covered pan, turning off the heat and shaking the pan to distribute the fat.

When the meat was done medium well (it is a myth you need to cook pork until it's as dry as shoe leather) I took the loins from the pan, tented them with foil and reduced the liquid over high heat until it was nearly a glaze. I threw in a bit more chopped parsley and nailed the remaining liquid with a half stick of cubed butter, took the pan from the heat to keep the sauce from breaking, adjusted the seasonings and added the meat to the pan, turning the pieces to cover them with the sauce.

Not hard.

Getting the cork out of a bottle of cheap but fruity-good pinot noir was the most difficult task I faced.

When I'm at the gym tomorrow, I'll tell Wally and Tony and Luke about dinner, about the relationship of cooking and strength training, about how darned good my little experiment with pork loin worked out.

Then we'll bark a bit, scratch ourselves, and get back to lifting heavy objects and putting them down. Sans advice.

Business News

Biz Beat

Jace and Kelly Johnson became the new owners of the Liberty Theater and Liberty Video on April 23. Since that time, the Johnsons have increased the services offered at the downtown location. The Liberty Theater shows feature films at 6 and 8 p.m. nightly, with afternoon matinees and Winter Westerns. The concession stand has been enlarged and now offers ice cream, nachos and pretzels.

Liberty Video offers home viewers a full selection of rental videos including new releases and is open 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Saturday and 5 to 9 p.m. Sunday.

To reach Liberty Video call 264-4578. To reach the Liberty Theater, call 264-SHOW.

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