Front Page

June 21, 2001

Piedra-160 motorists urged to use alternate route for two days
By John M. Motter

Motorists traveling southbound on Piedra Road through the U.S. 160 intersection are urged to use an alternate route today and tomorrow, said Kevin Walters, the county road and bridge administrator.

Construction crews will have a trench dug across Piedra Road between its intersection with Eagle Drive and the entrance to the Corner Store while they install a culvert, said Walters. A single lane of traffic through the construction zone will be maintained, but preference will be given to northbound traffic on Piedra Road. The reason for giving preference to northbound traffic is the close proximity to U.S. 160.

"We don't want cars backed up onto 160," Walters said.

Also closed today and Friday will be the western exit of Eagle Drive onto Piedra Road, Walters said. The Eagle Drive closure is being made in the interest of traffic safety while Piedra Road passage is restricted to one lane.

The Piedra Road work is part of a three-entity cooperative effort centered around installing traffic control lights at the Piedra Road-U.S.160 intersection. Colorado Department of Transportation is installing the traffic lights.

In conjunction with the traffic light installation, Pagosa Springs is moving the Eagle Drive intersection with Piedra Road to the north and away from the intersection of Piedra Road and the highway. The county is widening Piedra Road from the CDOT work north to just beyond the entrance to Pepper's Restaurant.

Movement of Eagle Drive is necessary in order to increase the distance from its intersection with Piedra Road and the new stop lights. Piedra Road is being widened to make room for the addition of turn lanes.

In other road and bridge business considered at the regular Tuesday meeting of Archuleta County Commissioners, the commissioners were urged to call the warranty bond of Weeminuche Construction Co. for work on North Pagosa Boulevard, and Walters gave a progress report on county road work in progress.

Concerning North Pagosa Boulevard, area resident Glenn Bergmann urged the county to begin proceedings against the bonding company used by Weeminuche Construction Co. to guarantee endurance of work performed on North Pagosa Boulevard. As part of the $6.5 million bankruptcy settlement between Fairfield Communities Inc., Archuleta County, and the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association.

Bergmann argues that, except for one mile of North Pagosa Boulevard that was rebuilt, the remainder of the work is falling apart because the road base was not rebuilt to match county standards. He argues that, according to the bankruptcy agreement and according to the contract between the county and Weeminuche, the county should require the contractor to bring the road up to county specifications, including rebuilding the base.

Walters said that the contract with Weeminuche was not a standard construction contract, but involved upgrading or restoration as well as new construction. He said the approach to the work on North Pagosa Boulevard was to blacktop as much of the surface length as possible without regard to the road base.

Before work began, the scope of work was discussed by an advisory committee staffed with appointees from the Pagosa Property Owners Association and from the county commission. After discussing recommendations from the Road Advisory Committee at a commissioner meeting, a decision was made to pave as much of North Pagosa Boulevard as possible without regard to the condition of underlying road base.

Former County Manager Dennis Hunt admitted the decision was a gamble, but later said the gamble seemed a success since only one mile of the boulevard has required rebuilding. That one mile of rebuilding cost about $700,000. Rebuilding all of North Pagosa Boulevard would have used nearly all of the $6.5 million, leaving no money for other road work in the subdivisions.

At Tuesday's meeting, the commissioners directed Mary Weiss, the county attorney, to review the various contracts involved with the project and return with a recommendation suitable for guiding county actions on the topic.

In other road business Tuesday, Walters reported the application of magnesium chloride to county roads is 58 percent complete. About four more weeks will be needed to finish the application throughout the county. Crews expect to start applying magnesium chloride to Trujillo Road (CR 500) early next week, Walters said.

EMS running in deficit; district cuts eyed
By Tess Noel Baker

Less than a year after a $125,000 donation bailout shored up a major Upper San Juan Hospital District budget shortfall, the district board is facing some distressing numbers and possible budget cuts to stay on track in 2001.

This time, an internal accounting error is not to blame, Dick Babillis, board chairman and interim district manager, said. Instead, it's a matter of over-budgeting without an equal return in revenue.

By taking the cash in the bank and plugging in average monthly income and average monthly expenditure, Babillis said, the numbers show the Emergency Medical Services side of the district could be out of cash as early as next month. Expected June and July tax revenues might extend that to August. According to year-to-date figures handed out at the regular board meeting Tuesday night, EMS is presently running at a $50,000 deficit.

On the Dr. Mary Fisher Clinic and Urgent Care Center side of the ledger the situation is better, with projections showing it's still possible for them to break even this year. Still, Babillis said, when the goal is to reflect a healthy business status and build reserves, the trends should show positive numbers by this point in the year.

"This is ultra-crude," Babillis said, describing the formula based on averages, "but if you're short and you can't find a real good rationale for change, you've detected a trend."

A trend that needs immediate attention, the board members and Babillis agreed.

"We need to make some mid-course corrections," Bob Huff, a board member, said.

Babillis pointed to three reasons for the shortfall based on suggestions made in the 2000 audit report presented in February. According to the report, EMS could break even in 2001 by cutting expenses by $30,000, increasing operating revenue, and adding a jump in tax revenue.

"Number one, we didn't get expenses cut," Babillis said. "Number two we aren't meeting operating revenues, and number three, items on the 2001 budget were totally omitted or significantly under-quoted. A gross conclusion is that we can't continue to provide the current level of EMS service without substantial additional revenue."

Rod Richardson, who took over EMS operations in March, said changes are in place that address the problem.

"We know it doesn't look good, but we're going to have to wait and see what happens with the new fees," he said. "It's going to take us a month and a half to catch up."

Last month, the board approved a increase in ambulance service rates effective June 1 to bring them more in line with state and industry standards. Under the new structure, advanced life support rates jumped from $350 to $550; basic life support moved from $300 to $425, and the EMS response rate increased from $50 to $75. The rate per-mile for patient-loaded mileage went to $11 per mile from $9 per mile.

In other savings efforts this year, EMS part-time pay remains cut in half, an interim measure put in place in 2000, and some unbudgeted extrication equipment has been returned for a refund.

Richardson also reported that EMS recently received an estimated $23,000 grant from the state to cover some training equipment, intermediate EMT training and continuing education for the next year. A local $2,500 donation was also made to equip one of the area's Quick Response Vehicles.

In the past few months, several operating procedures have been implemented at the clinic in an attempt to improve cash flow but, again, realizing the return takes still longer.

For instance, any bills over 120 days past due have been turned over to a collection agency, Babillis said.

"We want to start the processing early so we have as good a chance as any at getting the money back," he said.

The Dr. Mary Fisher Clinic billing department was moved into its own space last month, and an additional part-time staff member hired in an effort to recoup more of the money tied up in denied insurance claims.

Babillis said he, along with other staff, are working to move away from a manual billing process to a computer-generated system in an effort to speed up the turnaround between service and revenue using already available software.

The district board set a special meeting to discuss the 2001 budget on June 29 at 5:30 p.m. in the EMS building conference room, 189 North Pagosa Boulevard.

Only one partial solution &emdash; to raise the local ambulance subscription rate &emdash; was discussed Tuesday because the extent of the budget problem was uncovered only hours before the meeting, giving EMS and clinic staff little time to analyze the situation. Hard figures for exactly how much needs to be cut this year were also unavailable.

For the past several years, Babillis said, the hospital district board has taken a "hands-off" track in regards to budget. At least in part, he said, because of misinformation or lack of information, that policy has resulted in the current situation.

"I've been wanting to see something like this for 3-4 years &emdash; maybe 12 years," Huff said looking at a one-page handout indicating some overall 2001 budget trends titled "Avast, Iceberg ahead."

"Thank you for the ugly truth."

Plan would keep county in District 59
By John M. Motter

Archuleta County could remain in its traditional House District 59 alignment with La Plata and San Juan counties, and parts of Montezuma County, if preliminary recommendations by the General Assembly Redistricting Commission make it through the entire process.

"It will be a very long process and the results right now are pretty preliminary," said a spokesperson from the commission's Denver office.

After completing redistricting recommendations for House and Senate districts on the Western Slope at a June 13 meeting, the commission has shifted its attention to the more populous Eastern Slope, the spokesperson said. The commission meets again June 27 to consider the Denver area.

The process calls for the commission to reapportion Senate and House districts throughout the state, then conduct public hearings across the state before submitting recommendations to the Colorado Supreme Court by Dec. 7. The Supreme Court will make a binding redistricting decision "in time for the next election" the spokesperson said.

Rep. Mark Larson, R-Cortez, representing the 59th District, has voiced concern that Archuleta County might be pulled from its historic alliance with La Plata and Montezuma counties and moved to a district across the Continental Divide in the San Luis Valley. Larson opposes that proposal and has suggested as an alternative that the line in Montezuma County separating the 59th District from the 58th District be shifted. The line shift would move excess population from the 59th District to the 58th District. Archuleta County would then remain with La Plata, Montezuma, and San Juan counties.

Larson's suggestion, called the Hillman Plan, was adopted by the commission June 13.

A side effect of Larson's proposal is the separation of the Ute Mountain Utes with headquarters in Towaoc from the Southern Utes with headquarters in Ignacio.

Despite the commission's adoption of the Hillman Plan which retains the Archuleta County attachment to District 59, Larson urges vigilance.

Concern has been expressed by the commission that the Indian tribes should not be separated. As a result, representatives of the tribes will be invited to testify to the commission, either now or when public hearings are conducted in the area, the spokesperson said.

"The issue is still up in the air," Larson said. "During the process and under the rules adopted by the Commission, any segment can be brought up for review and changed. Even though they voted to adopt the Hillman Plan, they can revisit it."

Larson urges Archuleta County citizens to continue to provide local input for the commission.

Colorado's population growth as measured in the 2000 census has precipitated the need for redistricting.

On June 13, the Commission approved a preliminary plan for seven House districts on the Western Slope. The total population of the Western Slope involved in redistricting is 467,235. The ideal district population would be 66,173. As recommended following the June 13 commission meeting, populations of the proposed seven districts will range between 66,265 and 67,722. Included are Districts 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, and 61.

Within District 59, Archuleta County has a population of 9,898, La Plata County 43,941, a portion of Montezuma County 13,325, and San Juan County 558. The total district population after redistricting should be 67,722.

News of $220,000 in special grants produces smiles at Community Center groundbreaking
By Tess Noel Baker

The proposed Pagosa Springs Community Center received a dose of pomp and circumstance and the pledge of additional cold, hard cash this week.

About 40 people gathered Saturday morning under blue skies and bright sunshine to applaud the beginnings of the center's construction phase and to ceremonially break ground.

The tough sod proved a bit of a challenge for some of the Pagosa Springs Community Facilities Coalition board members, but they struggled with smiles to turn the crumbling dirt, knowing that what began as an nearly impossible dream was on its way to reality.

Mayor Ross Aragon, chairman of the coalition, spoke briefly before the groundbreaking began, inviting several people forward to speak and thanking several others for years of hard work on the project.

State representative Mark Larson said Pagosa Springs is a "shining example" of community spirit and cooperation.

"Mayor Aragon, you've done it all," County Commissioner Gene Crabtree said, adding that the town had set a standard for quality and cooperation along Hot Springs Boulevard that the county would have to follow when it comes time for construction on land it owns across the street.

Sylvia Murray, a member of the community facilities coalition board, said Pagosa Springs is truly a caring community evidenced by a willingness to involve everyone and work through differences to get things done.

"The first day I came to Pagosa I met Mayor Aragon, and the next day I think I was on two committees, including this one," she said.

Colorado Governor Bill Owens praised the community for its efforts and commitment the project in a letter dated June 16.

"I congratulate all of you on our efforts to make this dream a reality," he wrote. "It sounds as if it will be a terrific center, and I am sure it will serve your community well."

The excitement brewing over the community center didn't end there. Two foundations have approved grants totaling $220,000 toward construction of the estimated $3 million structure.

A $170,000 grant was approved by the Gates Family Foundation after review of the application and a site visit last month, and the trustees of the El Pomar Foundation approved a $50,000 grant, also for construction.

Mark Garcia, town building administrator, thanked the two grant writers, Bonnita Lynne and Pauline Benetti, for their efforts in preparing information for the foundations.

"They worked hard to learn the depths of the project and produced a good product," he said.

Fund raising

With the business of building underway and a pair of grant applications approved, members of the coalition are looking toward raising the final dollars needed to complete the project.

Well over $2 million, including $500,000 in a state grant, a $1.7 million lease purchase agreement with the Town of Pagosa Springs and Wells Fargo Bank, and money raised from private donations, is already in the bank.

For the past few months, members of the community center non-profit organization have been formulating ideas for fundraisers to close the gap. On Thursday, Richard Faubion, chairman of the Community Center Fund-raising Committee, brought several of the final ideas to the board for approval.

The lynchpin of the plan is an Aug. 25 radiothon on KWUF AM/FM from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The project is a cooperative effort between the community center board, Rotary Club, Kiwanis Club and concerned citizens.

The fund-raising committee also plans to work to collect the balance of funds already pledged to the center and to sign up an additional 1,000 businesses and families.

"We're going to try to raise $250,000," Faubion said. "Now I know that's quite a chunk of change." The goal, he said, is to create public awareness through education, personal testimony and advertising so that the project becomes personal for Pagosans of all ages.

Efforts to this point have netted contributions from about 83 businesses and 87 families in the community. That's out of a possible total of around 1,000 businesses and close to 3,000 families, Faubion said.

In the past, a couple board members pointed out, some people approached for donations were skeptical about the project ever getting off the ground. Now, with construction underway, the response might be different.

The board is also considering an entertainment fundraiser where money could be raised through ticket sales for a locally produced night of music, drama and dancing. Plans for this are still tentative and no date has been set.

Bid opening

The bid opening for the community center project, including everything except landscaping, takes place today, Town Administrator Jay Harrington said. After review of the bids is complete, a fairly solid figure for the amount still needed to raised should be available. Construction on the 20,000 square-foot facility to include a senior center, youth center, multipurpose room, kitchen and offices is expected to be complete sometime in 2002.

County delays airport project pending decision on loan bid
By John M. Motter

County commissioners here delayed action on a proposed $200,000 Steven Fields repair job while they try to learn next week if Wells Fargo Bank will loan money to finance the venture.

The action was taken Tuesday after a number of persons with hangar leases urged the commissioners to launch repairs as soon as possible.

At issue is the condition of a taxiway connecting the principal runway at Stevens Field with approximately 24 hangars. Hangar owners lease land from the county, but have built and maintain their own hangars. They argue that, since the county receives rent money for hangar space, the county is obligated to provide access to the hangars.

Safety is also an issue, according to the hangar owners. They say the surface roughness causes propeller-driven planes to dip and waddle, sometimes bending or chipping propellers. They say rocks and chunks of asphalt launched by the propellers could hit people on the ground, causing physical injury. They say turbo-prop aircraft could ingest rocks causing interior damage expensive to repair and leading to in-flight failures.

Commissioner Alden Ecker, the county airport liaison, sided with the hangar owners. Ecker argued for rebuilding the taxiway.

"There is no question this is a safety issue," Ecker said. "The next issue is, what do we do next? Income from the hangars pays for 80 percent of airport maintenance."

"Something needs to be done," said Gene Crabtree, chairman of the board of county commissioners. "Speaking for myself, I have been in contact with Colorado Technical Services Incorporated. We will meet with them next week. I see a workable solution, but it needs to be explained to my compadres." CTSI manages the county self-insurance program.

The issue has two factors, said Commissioner Bill Downey: establishing the need for repairs, and how we pay for it. Downey expressed concern that spending money at the airport will take away from the road program in other parts of the county.

Ecker suggested that, through the CTSI program, the county can borrow the money and deposit it in a bank. The new bank deposit will earn more interest than the county is being charged for the loan, Ecker said.

"Besides solving a problem, it gives the county a chance to make a little money," Ecker said. "I want to see us do it as soon as possible. That's my recommendation."

A minimum of four to five weeks will be required, according to Kevin Walters, superintendent of county road and bridge. County road crews are tied up for as long one and one-half weeks with the rented asphalt milling machine. Then, four weeks will be needed to mill the taxiway surface, depending on how many men from the road and bridge department are diverted to the project. Another two weeks will be required for paving, time to arrange financing, and time for soliciting and awarding the asphalt paving bid.

About $200,000 will be needed for the project, not including the cost of county labor and equipment. Most of the expense will go toward paying a contractor for applying a new layer of asphalt. The existing asphalt would be removed by county crews.

Money for the project is not included in the 2000 budget. Wells Fargo is the lending institution connected with the CTSI proposal. Both Crabtree and Ecker report that the proposed lending arrangements avoid TABOR problems or the need for voter approval.

The commissioners balked at a suggestion that Walters put county road and bridge crews to work milling taxiway asphalt before financing is arranged.

After hearing Downey ask if the taxiway should be closed now because of liability, Ecker said the taxiway has been swept and will be okay for awhile if everyone takes it easy. He then suggested that aircraft be moved to the north ramp, and if the board approves, the milling machine be moved in and work started.

Because Downey objected, and Crabtree agreed, action was postponed Tuesday pending a meeting next June 27 with the prospective lender.

Inside The Sun
South Dakota man dies in
cycle crash
By Tess Noel Baker

A June 20 motorcycle accident on West U.S. 160 near Meadows Drive resulted in the death of a South Dakota man.

According to Colorado State Patrol reports, Roger Stratton, 65, was driving westbound on the highway when he maneuvered to avoid a westbound vehicle attempting to make a left turn from the highway onto Meadows Drive.

The motorcycle went down on its left side and skidded before coming to a stop, Trooper Nick Rivera said. Both Stratton, and his wife, Lorraine, 64, suffered head injuries in the crash. Roger Stratton later died from his injuries, and Lorraine was airlifted to San Juan Regional Medical Center Wednesday afternoon.

The couple, of Marion, S.D., was not wearing helmets. According to reports, they had helmets with them, but had removed them about 10 miles before the accident because of the heat.

Wolf Creek, Bayfield road jobs taking holiday break
By Richard Walter

If you're traveling out of Pagosa Country for the holiday week, you'll get a break from the Colorado Department of Transportation and contract road builders.

Construction activity on three area projects will be suspended for varying lengths of time.

On Wolf Creek Pass, the east-side tunnel project and the west-side reconstruction will halt at about 3 p.m. Wednesday July 3, and will remain inactive until July 9. The Bayfield area project will be suspended June 30 through July 8.

Work on the entire Wolf Creek Corridor - from Pagosa Springs to South Fork- won't be finished anytime soon, however - in fact, not until 2006.

But don't despair, the seemingly interminable delays will ease long before then.

And when the whole thing is complete, travelers will have more stable year-round roadway and travel time and accident danger will be reduced because of a 950-foot tunnel through solid rock.

The separate projects on the pass, the tunnel site preparation and boring on the east side and a reconstruction of frost-heave barriers and pavement substrata from Treasure Falls on the west side to the chain station area both went under contract to Kiewit Construction Co.

Add to the delays caused by these projects the Bayfield widening and resurfacing from Saul's Creek three miles east of Bayfield to Florida River, eight miles east of the community, and you have a series of potential halts that could affect your travel in either direction.

One state Department of Transportation representative likened it to - if all the stops were for the maximum duration - being stopped three times on a trip from Del Norte to Durango for about the same length of time the whole trip would normally take.

A representative of Nielsen Construction, with the contract for the Bayfield project, said it is actually running a little ahead of schedule. Right now the remixer crew is working in Gem Village and a pilot car operation is being utilized to guide traffic through one-lane configuration. Crews are working the intersection of La Plata County Road 501 and U.S. 160 widening shoulders and preparing for paving. Next Monday, CDOT crews will make signal adjustments for new traffic alignment. Motorists can expect delays of up to 20 minutes through this zone from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Motorists are cautioned to stay in the lane of travel until directed by flaggers to do otherwise. This is to allow access for emergency vehicles and construction crews. Wide load haulers should call 884-0374 for information before attempting to proceed through this construction zone.

The Wolf Creek jobs, said Nancy Shanks of CDOT, are both right on schedule.

The tunnel project is entering the drilling phase, with the majority of the higher level blasting completed.

That is not to say there won't be additional blasting during the summer months and that there could not be more longer than normal delays. Such blasting assumes there will be faults not found prior to the concussion that will bring down tons more rock than anticipated.

A June 4 blast, for example, provided "more than 4,000 cubic yards of rock . . . that's the equivalent of 49 average size (2,400 square foot) homes. Traffic was stopped for six hours," Shanks said.

She said major blasts are done two to four times daily and others are sometimes necessary to break up materials which have accumulated on the roadway.

"We bring down between 1,500 and 2,000 cubic yards of rock in an average blast," she said. "We are stopping traffic at least once an hour right now," she added, "but few of those stops would be for the maximum 45 minutes."

"It's an enigma working with the geology up there," said Shanks.

Electronic road warning signs will be activated with up-to-the-minute warnings as soon as possible when such an incident takes place. "We usually post warnings within 20 minutes of any slide," Shanks said.

"We're working to make that notification a knee-jerk reaction every time," she said.

Once the tunnel path is completed through solid rock, a new contract will be awarded for the tunnel completion phase including inside widening, shoring and surfacing, construction of portals at each end, installation of electrical service and construction of a control room.

That phase of the project will be advertised for bids in December.

Shanks said the 2006 completion date for the "corridor project" results from combining the existing contracts with several smaller jobs that will complete the redesign and resurfacing of approximately 65 miles of U.S. 160.

Impacts on traffic will begin to lessen later this year and by next year, following the winter layoff, will be less frequent on the east side of the pass. The west-side project's phase one and the Bayfield project both should be complete this fall if everything falls into line and weather cooperates.

"All in all," she said, "motorists appear to have taken the closures in stride. There have been a few who denounced the inconvenience and others who demanded to be let through, though it was obvious nothing could get through.

"Our personnel on the scene say the traveling public has generally been very cooperative, with little flak about the delays they encounter," Shanks said.

The dual projects on Wolf Creek involve about 45 persons right now, mostly at night, but that total will rise to near 60 next month when the tunnel drilling proceeds deeper into the mountain.

"We've been very aggressive and had some good weather," Shanks said. "As a result we are way ahead of schedule right now."

Phase one of the tunnel project will be completed by April, 2002, with the interior tunnel project to start soon thereafter.

As a result, night closings of the pass will continue at least through April.

"But even when the work is underway inside the tunnel," she said, "there will likely be periodic daytime delays for the removal of accumulated waste from inside. And, vibrations from any blast can trigger other rock falls outside and cause a problem.

CDOT still recommends that travelers find an alternate route to their destination. For those leaving Pagosa to go upstate, that would mean traveling U.S. 84 south to Chama and then utilizing New Mexico Route 17 over Cumbres-LaManga Pass and picking up alternate routes in the San Luis Valley of Colorado.

For those needing to go west, the primary alternate route is Colorado 151 from U.S. 160 south and west through Ignacio where the driver can follow airport signs to arrive atop Florida Mesa and connect with U.S. 160 beyond the construction site.

Mobile home foundation ruling will hike costs
By John M. Motter

Foundations will be required under mobile homes installed in Colorado after September 1 under rules adopted by the Colorado Division of Housing. Mobile homes already in place are not affected.

The new requirement could add from $4,000 to $6,000 to the cost of a new mobile home or to the cost of a used mobile home being moved, according to Mike Howell, Archuleta County's chief building inspector.

Helping run up the cost is the stipulation that the foundation must penetrate to the frost line. In Archuleta County, the frost line for building purposes is set at 42 inches.

Since 1998, 269 mobile home permits have been issued in Archuleta County, almost 25 percent of the total number of single family residence permits.

In addition to requiring foundations, after July 1 all installers of new and used factory manufactured homes must register with the DOH and comply with new Colorado Manufactured Housing Program requirements. The only exception is for property or home owners who install no more than one home in any 12-month period.

The new rules force Colorado counties to decide if they want to retain mobile home enforcement regulations themselves, or defer to the state. Archuleta County has not made a choice one way or the other.

The purpose of the new rule seems to be to insure that mobile home frames do not warp because of improper installation.

"In my opinion, I'm not aware of any damage to a mobile home in this area because of not having a foundation below the 42-inch level," said Howell. "The damage I've seen is usually due to improper drainage."

"We've always installed according to county regulations, but we've never done a foundation that would meet the new regulations," said Melina Rayburn, an owner of Timber Homes and Fleetwood Homes. "This will add to the cost for home owners, probably put a lot of people out of the ball park. Sometimes when you go down 42 inches you hit rock or water. I don't know what can be done about that."

Mobile home park owners also are concerned.

"I'm calling around, trying to find out exactly what this means," said Todd Shelton, owner of a mobile home park. "I've got 49 empty spaces. If what I'm hearing is true, this kind of housing may not be affordable. The state would have been smarter to require insurance requiring proper installation."

Affected by the new rules are mobile homes, but not modular homes.

A mobile home is a structure designed to be transported after fabrication and exceeding either 8 feet in body width or 32 feet in body length. A mobile home is built on a chassis and retains the chassis on which it was built whether or not it is placed on a permanent foundation. All mobile homes placed in Archuleta County must be HUD-approved and Colorado-coded with a minimum 30-pound snow load.

Modular homes are also described as manufactured homes. A modular home is a structure designed to be transported after fabrication and located as a permanent addition to, and becoming a part of, the real property. Modulars must meet minimum construction requirements of the Uniform Building Code, must be set on a permanent foundation, and are subject to all local building, zoning, and house regulations. A modular is not a mobile home.

Elementary principal resigns; husbands reassigned
By Richard Walter

Duane Noggle will have a substantially different administrative staff to work with when he takes over as superintendent of Archuleta County School District 50 Joint on July 2.

The district hired Noggle to replace the retiring Terry Alley, and had named Mark DeVoti to replace the retiring Butch Madrid as Intermediate School principal.

And then, on Monday, Elementary School principal Cyndy Secrist submitted her resignation.

Upon learning of her decision, Kahle Charles, assistant principal and athletic director at the high school, said he would apply for the elementary school post and the school district began advertising his high school job as a protective measure if he were to get the principal's post.

Alley said Secrist's husband, Douglas, is being promoted and transferred by the state's park service from Navajo Lake to a new position in Eagle County.

The school district began an immediate search for a replacement for the veteran elementary leader, with a July 5 deadline for applications. That will give the school board time to make a selection and allow the person chosen at least a brief period to acclimate to the job before the school term opens in late August.

Secrist took the elementary principal's post in 1992 and has been in charge through expansion and remodeling programs and continuing growth in both enrollment and staff.

Efforts to contact the Secrist family Tuesday and Wednesday were unsuccessful.

Charles was leaving Tuesday for Italy but confirmed his interest in the principal's post.

Building permit total down 18.3 percent
By Richard Walter

Duane Noggle will have a substantially different administrative staff to work with when he takes over as superintendent of Archuleta County School District 50 Joint on July 2.

The district hired Noggle to replace the retiring Terry Alley, and had named Mark DeVoti to replace the retiring Butch Madrid as Intermediate School principal.

And then, on Monday, Elementary School principal Cyndy Secrist submitted her resignation.

Upon learning of her decision, Kahle Charles, assistant principal and athletic director at the high school, said he would apply for the elementary school post and the school district began advertising his high school job as a protective measure if he were to get the principal's post.

Alley said Secrist's husband, Douglas, is being promoted and transferred by the state's park service from Navajo Lake to a new position in Eagle County.

The school district began an immediate search for a replacement for the veteran elementary leader, with a July 5 deadline for applications. That will give the school board time to make a selection and allow the person chosen at least a brief period to acclimate to the job before the school term opens in late August.

Secrist took the elementary principal's post in 1992 and has been in charge through expansion and remodeling programs and continuing growth in both enrollment and staff.

Efforts to contact the Secrist family Tuesday and Wednesday were unsuccessful.

Charles was leaving Tuesday for Italy but confirmed his interest in the principal's post.

Timeshare users not overpaying for recreation: Board
By Richard Walter

A perceived inequity in amounts paid by timeshare owners for recreation center use was explained June 14 by Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association, but discussion continued on what happens to funds paid by association members who are also members of Fairfield USA (FUSA).

Director Jim Carson initiated the discussion when he questioned a report indicating income from timeshare associations already is up $30,000 this year. When he was told it was because of additional timeshares being added, he said the report indicates timeshare owners paid $60,000 for recreational amenities while PLPOA members had paid less.

"They (the timeshare associations) feel they are paying a disproportionate share of the costs of operation," he said.

Walt Lukasik, PLPOA general manager, explained the $60,000 figure Carson was quoting was "our advance budget amount. Actual amounts paid in to date have totaled $64,000 by PLPOA members and less than $60,000 for timeshares."

Director Thomas Cruse reported 50 persons attended a special recreation committee meeting June 11 to hear an overall summary of recreation center needs and problems with respect to anticipated expansion.

He said, "We plan to develop some conceptual site ideas that will lead to ameliorating the progressive overuse of facilities we are now experiencing."

He said a number of ideas were presented, including tennis courts and more outdoor facilities and fees for usage. He said the committee expects to hold another public meeting in early July and "anticipates having some tangible ideas to present at that time."

Director Fred Ebeling, who attended the meeting, said there were a lot of good ideas presented, "but there was also concern on how to pay for them."

Lukasik noted there are several design flaws with the current building, most serious being retention of moisture in areas below the floor.

He also said PLPOA members who also pay FUSA fees were upset that there has been no explanation of how those fees are used.

Board president Richard Manley said, "I'm not subject to FUSA fees myself, but I am fully aware of the problem. I think those people, and there are an estimated 2,000 such properties that could be involved, should know and be able to keep track of how the money is spent."

Cruse said he had received data indicating the bulk of such money is used for the golf course.

"Do you mean," Ebeling asked, "that they are making contributions to a private operation (the golf course) that they sold?"

"It appears so," said Cruse. "They do it to obtain discounts for the dual association members."

"Fairfield doesn't own the golf course or the recreation center," said Manley, "but the use of those funds should stay in any discussions we have with them regarding use of facilities we develop."

In other action, the board:

- Learned there may be a problem with a recently approved collection agency hired to capture overdue fees from members. Ebeling said the firm's fee is 30 to 50 percent higher than the 8-percent fee allowed in the declarations. Lukasik said the board's attorney does not think this restriction allows for fees over and above the actual cost of collection. He said the pact with the Carlton Company was approved subject to legal opinion. It appears it may be difficult to use Carlton with its fee structure, he said

- Heard Ebeling report that when a declaration of change was approved by central core voters recently, it allows use of a slightly under 2-acre PLPOA-owned tract for different purposes. Lukasik said the association will get a broker's price opinion on the property and they will attempt to sell if it appears logical. A long-standing restriction says any funds realized from such sale must go directly into the recreation center expense fund

- Learned Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation district has made initial requests for an easement for a sewer line across association-owned property to allow development of lots on Port and Vista avenues. "Their plan would take it right through the middle of our property," Lukasik said, "and we think there would be a better route available for their line and accompanying lift station." He noted the land is designated for commercial use and that, "say 20 years down the line we wanted it used for that purpose, a dividing easement could be a problem. We want to keep the land marketable and will pursue an alternative route for the easement."

Lack of engineer slows planning
By John M. Motter

The lack of a county engineer is slowing work completion at the county planning office.

While presenting the final plat for Elk Park Meadows Phase I to the county commissioners for approval Tuesday, County Planner Kathy Ruth could not provide information normally supplied by a county engineer in accord with county subdivision regulations.

Ultimately, the board of county commissioners approved the plat with conditions connected to engineering approval at a later date when the county has obtained engineering services. A major condition was that Elk Park Meadows Phase II will not be brought in for approval until conditions connected with Phase I requiring engineering approval are met.

The county is negotiating an engineering contract with Alpha Engineering and with Davis Engineering as backup. The county formerly had an engineer on salary. Alpha Engineering will be retained on an as-needed basis to help the county comply with subdivision regulations and other engineering needs.

In other business Tuesday the commissioners:

- Approved the expenditure of about $56,000 plus benefits allowing the sheriff to hire two new employees and buy a vehicle. The new people and vehicle will transport prisoners for a variety of reasons including taking juveniles to the Durango juvenile facility, prisoners to District Court in Durango, persons to the state hospital in Pueblo, and returning persons picked up in various parts of the country because of Archuleta County warrants. The demand on county transportation capabilities has increased dramatically, said Sheriff Tom Richards

- Approved installation of a solar powered, concrete-building-housed radio repeater site on Sandoval Mesa. Costing an estimated $30,622, the new facility will allow law enforcement radio communications in the southwestern part of Archuleta County where communications were not previously available

- Canceled the July 3 commissioner meeting

- Postponed action on a request that the county allow certain road signs promoting businesses. The signs are put up in state highway rights of way by a private organization working in conjunction with the Colorado Department of Transportation. The commissioners are seeking more information before acting

- Unanimously approved financing arrangements contained in a wildlife management contract between Archuleta County, La Plata County and the U.S. Wildlife Service

- Approved a bed and breakfast liquor permit for Oso Grande Ranch, and a special events liquor permit in connection with the county fair

- Under a planning department agenda heading, approved two accesses for the Reserve at Pagosa Peak subdivision on Piedra Road; allowed conditional use permit variances for Mountain Meadows Townhouses; approved the final plat for Elk Park Meadows Phase I with conditions; and extended a performance bond for Ridgeview Mall one month

- Agreed to transfer Beanpole funding management responsibilities to La Plata County, with conditions

- Set a July 10, 7 p.m., public hearing in the commissioner meeting room concerning a proposed county dog control resolution

- Listened to citizen Karen Aspin announce a June 25 public workshop concerning county issues

- Said about 30 applications have been received for the county administrator position - a couple received this past week, with more expected. An application cutoff date has not been set, nor have conditions or dates for employment interviews

- Attended a workshop with District Attorney Sara Law regarding the DA's 2001 budget. Archuleta County pays 18 percent of the budget, sharing the DA with La Plata and San Juan counties.

Relay for Life July 27

The third Annual Relay for Life is July 27 at Town Park.

As in years past teams seek pledges prior to the rally with the goal of supporting a cure for cancer. A member of each team will walk, run or rock through the night until noon the following day.

It has been decided a few activities are needed to help keep the night young. So there will be a Pajama Party, best looking contest, which will be judged at midnight during the chili supper provided by San Juan Outdoor Club.

Also, through the night, each team will be given an assortment of materials (so no hints) for a costume that will take place at 7 a.m. during breakfast provided by the Rotary Club. If you want to get involved, or to obtain a Relay for Life Team packet contact Cheryl Nelson at 731-2277 or Joe Donovan 731-9296.

A true community

Dear Editor,

Archuleta's census figures - 85-percent population increase from 1990-2000 and 35.9 percent vacant housing - concern me. Yes, the county commissioners did adopt the community plan, but until it's implemented, are we in danger of becoming a virtual community of uncontrolled growth?

At the recent La Plata community summit, Dr. Art Gomez, a National Park Service regional historian, remarked, ". . . a community of second homes is not a true community; it is a virtual community." Sounds like we have the potential.

Our challenge of uncontrolled growth must be dealt with soon. For some folks, the challenge to respect and appreciate the differences of our wonderfully diverse local population seems an even greater challenge than that of rampant growth. If we would all come together with the intention of finding common ground, we could make this a true community once more, the way it used to be before growth started to strangle it.

A true community, to me, is a place where everyone cares about their neighbors and their neighborhood knows no boundaries, which brings me to NIMBYs (Not in My Back Yarders). I guess, in a true community, people wouldn't place labels on other folks, they'd get involved in the issues more, take more responsibility for what's going on, and stick together to find solutions that everyone could live with. If your neighborhood knew no boundaries, you'd consider your neighbors' problems to be your problem, you'd give 'em a helping hand. Maybe you're not concerned about the oil and gas industry running over your property and making your life miserable, but if your neighbors 50 miles away are living with that fear, I bet they'd be grateful you helped the county write regulations to protect all landowners or assisted when a united front was needed. One good turn deserves another; maybe they'd even join your fight when it comes (don't be so sure it won't).

I still have mixed emotions about last year's community planning process. It was a great display of community with so many people laboring to define a future vision for Archuleta. And although our turnouts exceeded what nearly any county might hope for percentage-wise, it was disappointing to me that more folks did not choose to exercise their civic duty on such a critical issue - one which affects each and every one of us who now lives here.

William F. Halsey said, "There aren't any great men. There are just great challenges that ordinary men, like you and me, are forced by circumstances to meet." Isn't it time for all our ordinary citizens to meet each other and start to face our challenges together?

I'm convinced that a unified community effort of all caring, concerned citizens in this county could meet most any challenge. Let's try - meet your neighbors at the Concerned Citizens Workshop at the Archuleta County Cooperative Extension, on Monday, June 25, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. There are solutions. They begin with you.

Your neighbor,

Karen Aspin

Concerned citizens

Dear Karl,

I want to encourage all citizens who are concerned about the recent activities of county government to attend the meeting of concerned citizens on Monday, June 25 in the Extension Building.

Are you concerned about the effects upon the community by growth and development, oil and gas wells, and incompatible industry? Is development paying its own way? Are the economic base, quality of life, and rural environment being preserved for you and your family?

Is your local government as effective and responsible as you like it to be? Do your County Commissioners act as though they represent you and your community with your best interest in mind? Are they utilizing professional staff to give us the best possible government? Is the County road system being well managed? Do you like the way your taxes are being spent? Do you think that the Community Plan which hundreds of folks worked on last year, will ever actually be implemented? If it is, will it reflect the needs of all segments of our community?

Come join with others in your community to plan workable solutions in an efficient and effective manner. No one will be left out of the process. For a community to be healthy and functional, it must take into consideration all segments of the community.

Join with your neighbors to work for the betterment of your community. Make a commitment. I hope to see you there.


Ron Chacey

Deeply concerned

Dear Editor,

The following letter was slipped thru a crack in my car window:

"Please have the decency to first get permission to enter into our own private yard before you start taking anything out of it! The rocks you stole belong to God, the Lord Almighty anyway, but we are stewards of the place and buying it from the bank. If you had asked us, I probably would have even helped you load up a couple of free ones. However, even we have plans to use many of our rocks. This makes one wonder if there is anything else you are coveting off our place? This is not a good state in which to go trespassing on people's land, especially in broad, open daylight and in full view of all the people in the house. For example, in Aspen Springs, you might get shot at - ever think of that? They would figure that if you take their rocks, just what else are you coming back after?"

I must say I am deeply concerned about this letter. I live where I have plenty of rocks to do with as I please, and I have no desire to take any rocks from anyone.

I find it interesting that the author of this letter failed to talk with the person who took the rocks as they were doing so, or the fact that they failed to sign the letter.

Just think, I could have been shot (as they mention in the letter) just for driving a vehicle that looks like someone else's. This is how untimely deaths/mistakes happen. What a tragedy that could have been. Someone dead, and someone in jail for life all because I drive a car that looks like someone's who took your rocks.

I will be the better person and accept an apology from you if you have the integrity to do so. I only question it because you failed to sign your letter.


Barbara Jackson


Dear Editor,

What a refreshing letter from Carla Shaw, a breath of fresh air from the predominantly negative letters that we regularly read.

This letter made me reflect on what I appreciate about living in our wonderful little town.

I appreciate living in a town with quality people running our town, notably Ross Aragon and Jay Harrington.

I appreciate living in a town with a first rate school system that produces first class students as well as first class athletes.

I appreciate living in a town that has one of the finest Chambers of Commerce in the country, headed by Sally Hameister.

I appreciate living in Meadows II, with a fine dedicated board that is truly there to help its homeowners.

I appreciate living in a town with citizens like Ron and Cindy Gustafson, who champion every worthwhile cause that they can jam into every waking hour.

I appreciate living in a county that is headed by elected officials and a county attorney that give 100 percent to their jobs, while enduring endless scorn and criticism.

I enjoy living in a community that welcomes newcomers and calls everyone friend.

I appreciate living in a community that has a dedicated and fair sheriff, and staff.

Come to think of it, the only negative that I can think of is negative letters to the editor that criticize all the above mentioned.

Curt Johnson

P.S. The view ain't bad either.

'Guardian angels'

Dear Editor,

My husband and I recently traveled to Pagosa and were involved in a two-car accident on Highway 160 by North Pagosa Blvd.

Within minutes of the accident, several policemen and paramedics showed up to assist us. Fortunately, other than being extremely shook up, no one was injured. However, our rental car was seriously damaged and determined "undriveable."

Not only were your policemen and EMTs extremely professional, but very caring as well. Officers Valdez and Rockensock gave my husband and I a ride back to our hotel (unheard of in the Northeast). Paramedics Dan Roberts, Mason Sharp and Terri Clifford thoroughly checked out everyone involved in the accident before leaving. Terri called us the following day at our hotel to check on my husband (unheard in most places these days), as he suffered a slight bump on the head. Our new Pagosa friend, Diane Rieck, drove us to Durango the next morning to pick up another rental car. There was also a gentleman who stopped to help seconds after the accident and kept everyone calm and called the police. Unfortunately, we never found out his name.

We always knew the people of Pagosa Springs were great folks, but the experience above reinforced that fact. Many thanks to Pagosa's "guardian angels," Officers Valdez and Rockensock, Terri Clifford, Dan Roberts, Mason Sharp, Diane Rieck and the anonymous Good Samaritan who stopped to help us.


Patti Kearns

East Hartford, Conn.

In over their heads

Dear Editor,

The front page of your newspaper last week said it all. Problems with oil and gas, problems with roads, problems with the airport. And promises, promises, promises from our County Commissioners - but no plans or actions - unless you count haphazard Commissioner crisis micro management.

And the answers we get to our mounting problems are: "you need to borrow money" (airport); "form your own Metro District (Arboles); and "streamline the oil and gas filing process." Brilliant answers from these deep thinkers!

What happened to our every year increasing tax money? And aren't these things the responsibility of our County Commissioners - to fix our roads, keep our airport in decent condition and have long range plans for the future? These guys are crisis management oriented. And as this county grows, the crisis will grow in volume and complexity. They are in over their heads.

We can all continue to be NIMBYS, or we can join together and demand good, intelligent, businesslike government. Government where the studies already done are utilized to form intelligent and viable long range plans for zoning, roads, oil and gas development, etc. Government that observes other places where these growth problems have occurred and borrows some of their positive solutions. Government that has mandatory plans and rules that they have to follow. Government that is able to hire and keep trained staff and that trust them to get the job done.

We know good government is possible in this county by observing the school board and the City of Pagosa Springs. We also know that the solution to each of our NIMBY problems resides in one place - the Board of County Commissioners. We need some Commissioners that are up to the job. Soon!

Jim Knoll

Ongoing problem

Dear Editor,

Although writing to the newspaper is a very rare occurrence for me, I felt that I should respond to last weeks' letters.

First, Mr. Sterling, when you called our home and asked for our email address, you failed to tell me that you were going to publish it. I was (wrongly) led to believe that you needed it to be able to ask Jim's advice.

Secondly, yes, I have been compared to a saint many times for not only staying married to Jim all these years, but also for putting up with all the Old Coots with whom he comes in contact.

On a more serious note, I am among the many concerned people of this county who are wondering that we no longer have a commissioner's "board," as it appears that Mr. Crabtree and Mr. Ecker have taken it upon themselves to make any decisions they wish - as individuals.

At this time I am referring to Mr. Ecker deciding that the county "will" spend the money to repair/upgrade the taxiway at the airport. My concern here is that there is an ongoing problem with having enough money to maintain our county roads that all of us use. Let alone the fact that some of us are unfortunate enough to belong to a Metro District and are taxed extra because of it (not all of us "profit" from said district). And yet, he alone decides the county has the money to spend on a taxiway that only a few use. My solution to that would be: Let those few who use the taxiway pave (pay) their own way.

Sincere, but always smiling,

Sharon Sawicki


Rod Dornbusch

Rod Dornbusch, 62, of Pagosa Springs, died of a sudden heart attack Jan. 23, 2001 in Tomball, Texas while on a trip to visit relatives.

He was born in Paullina, Iowa on May 21, 1938 to Jarke Bruno and Catherine Rohner Dornbusch. Both parents preceded him in death.

Rod was regional manager for Howard Johnson's Restaurants for 16 years and then owned and operated Big Ben's Bar-B-Que & Seafood Restaurant in Houston, Texas for several years before retiring. He and his wife, Gayle, traveled full-time for 10 years before settling in Pagosa Springs in 1995.

Most vacations were spent here among the beautiful mountains and their many friends. Rod spent the past five years building their home and helping others. The environment and wildlife conservation were of great importance to him.

He was a member of Christ Lutheran Church in Augusta, Kan., and attended both the Lutheran and First Baptist churches here in Pagosa Springs. He walked with God and was granted a happy life.

He is survived by his wife Gayle of Pagosa Springs; son and daughter-in-law Keith Alan and Jennifer Dornbusch of Tomball; daughter and son-in-law Debra Kay and David McKinney of Cypress, Texas; daughter Lori Leianne Floeck and son-in-law Montie Miles of San Pedro, Calif.; daughter and son-in-law Judith Gayle and Dennis Dunlap, also of San Pedro; five grandchildren; one sister, Betty Miller of New Waygo, Mich.; and two brothers, Jack of Albertville, Ala., and Jim of Wichita, Kan.

A memorial service was held in Tomball in January before Gayle returned to Pagosa Springs where she will reside.

Once asked how he would like to be remembered, Rod referred to this poem:

After Glow

I'd like the memory of me

To be a happy one.

I'd like to leave an after glow

Of smiles when life is done.

I'd like to leave an echo

Whispering softly down the ways,

Of happy times and laughing times

And bright and sunny days.

I'd like the tears of those who

Grieve, to dry before the sun

Of happy memories that I leave

When life is done.


Gay Bohn

Gay Bohn was born on Sept. 8, 1946. She died suddenly on June 12, 2001 of heart failure.

Gay was a loving mother to Michelle Voelker, a caring grandmother to Melissa, David and Nicholas, an understanding mother-in-law to Herman Voelker, a loyal sister to Debra Brown and Bill Rinkor. She was a loving aunt and in-law to her very large family here in Pagosa.

Services were held June 16 in Pagosa Springs.

Donations are requested to be made to Special Olympics care of the Bank of the San Juans.




Jerry and Debi Hilsabeck and Matt and Lynne Bridges are pleased to announce the upcoming marriage of their children, Kendra Hilsabeck and Jack Bridges. The couple plans an outdoor wedding at the Lobo Overlook on Aug. 4 in Pagosa Springs.


Molly Driesens

Molly Driesens graduated magna cum laude from California Baptist University on May 5, 2001. Driesens was the top graduating senior in the college of business. She received a degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Accounting.

Driesens attended CBU on a volleyball scholarship, earning Golden State Athletic Conference All-Conference and GSAC Scholar Athlete honors as well as NAIA Academic All-American honors. She has been hired back by her alma mater to work in the financial aid office and lives in Riverside. She is the daughter of Jerry and Joanie Driesens, of Pagosa Springs.

George Kyriacou

George Kyriacou, a Class of 2000 graduate of Pagosa Springs High School is one of three recipients of $500 scholarships awarded annually by La Plata County Cowbells and La Plata/Archuleta County Cattlemen to students attending a Colorado college.

Sports Page
Two Porpoises qualify for Junior Olympics competition
By Steve Elges

The Pagosa Lake Porpoises Swim Team participated in the second and third competitive swim meets of the 2001 season in Cortez June 8-10 and Santa Fe June 16 and 17.

The team performed well at Cortez Each swimmer achieved personal best times and received many medals and ribbons.

One of the greatest benefits of being the swim coach is being able to watch as the swim team members compete and see how the hours of dedication at practice has paid off for them.

During the Cortez meet, it was obvious Chris, Sara and Alex Baum, along with Megan and Brianna Bryant had done a tremendous job learning and refining their starts, strokes and turns as well as learning the legal way to swim events to avoid the dreaded DQ (disqualification). Each team member's hard work is paying off with great races, great event times and personal best times.

Five swimmers attended a week-long swim camp in Phoenix. Chris and Matt Nobles, Aaron Miller, Chris Matzdorf and Michael Caves brought a wealth of swimming knowledge back with them from this camp. The five arrived fresh from camp to join the rest of the team for Sunday's events at Cortez.

Twenty-five teams from Colorado and New Mexico competed in two full days of races at Santa Fe. The high level of competition motivated Pagosa's swimmers. Some of the most exciting events were relays. The porpoises were represented by two newly-formed relay teams. Kyra Matzdorf, Heather Dahm, Katelynn Little and Laural Reinhardt are the girls' 11-12 relay team. Chris Matzdorf, Chris Baum, Matt Nobles and Chris Nobles are the boys' 13-14 team.

The teams swam in the 200-meter free style relay and the 200-meter medley relay. Our relay teams did very well and the boys team set a new Pagosa Lakes Porpoises record.

Top qualifiers

Porpoises Chris Nobles and Laurel Reinhardt have achieved qualifying times for the Junior Olympics, to be held in Colorado Springs later this summer. Many Porpoise swimmers have posted qualifying times for the Western Slope Championship meet to be held in Cortez.

Swim lessons are a great start for those children who would benefit from future participation in competitive swimming programs. Instructors are currently teaching lessons in the first summer session. For information on upcoming sessions, please stop by the Pagosa Lakes Recreation Center at 45 Eagles Loft Circle and pick up a swim lesson flyer at the front desk. Remember to sign up early - classes fill up quickly.

Outdoor recreation hotline reopens

The outdoor recreation hotline is open for information.

Start off a backcountry exploration prepared and informed with a quick call to the popular summer service.

The San Juan Mountains Association updates the recording weekly with the help of the San Juan National Forest and the Bureau of Land Management.

Hikers, horsemen, climbers, cyclists, campers and other outdoor enthusiasts can call 247-8187 for current trail, road, campground, fire and snow conditions.

This is the tenth year for the hotline, designed to assist people in a safe backcountry experience.

Pagosa's Ladies golf team clings to second in league
By Sally Bish

The second tournament in Four Corners Ladies Golf Team Play was held June 7.

An early departure and a long drive to Cortez did not keep Pagosa's women from playing great golf. Carrie Weisz and Sally Bish picked up 11 points as the Pagosa ladies maintained their second-place standing in area competition.

The golfers from Pinon Hills managed to retain first place in the standings. The Pinon team played hard and widened the gap between first and second place. At the start of the match there was only a half point separating the leaders; by the end of the day Pinon had gained a 3-point lead.

The next match will be played in Pagosa. Pagosa golfers are optimistic about gaining the lead with a home course advantage.

Twelve ladies attended a June 12 tournament at the San Juan Country Club in Farmington.

Only two of the Pagosa competitors ended the day with smiling faces: Audrey Johnson and Kathy Giordano finished in a three-way tie for third place in the second flight. Johnson and Barbara Boggess won closest to the pin. Johnson also won a nice door prize. As for the rest of the contingent . . . the food was great!

Play Day results for June 12 were: First-place low gross - Marilyn Smart first, Jane Day second and Maxine Pechin third. First-place low net went to Lynn Allison, Marilyn Young-Pruter second, and Benny Lohman third.

The Pine Cone Classic will be played July 10-11. This is always a fun tournament. Get a four-person team assembled and sign up.

One other tidbit: Dottie Eichvalds is considering wearing a bathing suit on play days. It seems she was hitting a shot that was a little close to the water's edge and she ended up going in - the water that is. What a true golfer.

Golfers beat the surprise cold of spring

To paraphrase the postal service motto: Neither rain nor sleet nor freezing 30-knot winds can stay a keen golfer from the swift completion of his round.

Thirty-four hardy souls toughed out some winter-like conditions in the Men's Golf League event June 13, putting up with weather that would send most golfers straight to the locker room.

In spite of these nasty conditions, Wayne Huff carded a 75 to win the low gross competition, followed by Troy Pearson with a 79, Bob Chitwood at 83 and Sean O'Donnell at 85.

Ken Yount won low net with a 68. Second, third and fourth spots went to Lindy Bauer (71), Kim Winston (72) and Mike Giordano (73).

The Men's Golf 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.

2,400 riders expected for MS Bike Tour

The Colorado chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society is expecting more than 2,400 riders July 14 and 15 for its annual MS 150 Bike Tour which starts in Highlands Ranch and ends at the Royal Gorge in Canon City. As the state's original benefit bike tour, the MS 150 is expected to top last year's fund raising total of $1.25 million.

Proceeds from the tour fund internationally coordinated MS research and local programs for the 5,500 Coloradans living with MS - a disease of the central nervous system, which can cause a range of symptoms from debilitating fatigue, to blindness and paralysis. Nearly a third of a million Americans are living with MS, with a new case diagnosed every hour.

As one of the most popular routes for the tour, riders will "Go for the Gorge" by riding from Highlands Ranch through Palmer Lake and the Air Force Academy to Colorado College in Colorado Springs on the first day. The second day's route goes from Colorado Springs to the Royal Gorge Bridge in Canon City.

"We get a lot of repeat riders for the tour - once they see how well organized the ride is and how much fun it is, they're hooked," said Leslie Caimi, MS 150 Bike Tour manager.

Riders are asked to pledge a minimum of $200 to participate in the fully-catered, fully-supported ride. Last year's top fund raiser contributed $20,000 to the cause, and the average pledge per rider was more than $600.

Helping to coordinate the safe travel of this mobile community during their 150-mile ride is a corps of dedicated volunteers. More than 800 volunteers are needed for medical support, sag vans, refreshments, road marshaling and registration, just to name a few.

If you'd like to help end the devastating effects of MS by riding or volunteering for the MS 150 Bike Tour, call the chapter at 1-800-FIGHT MS or visit online at www.fight

The National Multiple Sclerosis Society recommends that people with the most common form of MS consult with their doctors as soon as possible about using Avonex®, Betaseron®, or Copaxone®. Experts in the management of MS agree that these three medications may delay or reduce future disability for many people with multiple sclerosis.

Community News
Chamber News
By Sally Hameister

Flowers, flowers put beauty everywhere

I don't know about you, but I'm seeing flowers in my sleep and, frequently, during waking hours these days and do appreciate that they certainly brighten up the place.

I also appreciate Doug Trowbridge for his good-natured acceptance all the extra work said flowers create for him on an almost-daily basis.

It is Doug's task (among the hundreds of others) to water the flower boxes in town along Pagosa Street about every other day and, in addition, to keep an eye on all the bloomin' things around the Visitor Center. The only ones he truly loves are the silk fern and geranium baskets on the lampposts - they require no care whatsoever and add a touch of color with no upkeep.

We want to thank Kendall McAllister at Ace Hardware for ordering the gorgeous flower baskets we distributed last Friday. They are the prettiest we've ever seen, and it was a total joy to see the faces of those who were on the receiving end.

Remember, next year when the order forms arrive, that the baskets are available to you only through the Chamber. They are ordered early in the year so that the nursery can plant and nurture them until they arrive in June. They are raised in the best of homes under the most ideal conditions so that they arrive here in near perfect condition. Thanks to Doug, Bonnie Masters, Will Spears, Matt Bachus, and Lynnis Steinert for taking time out of very busy days to deliver our lovelies.

Photography Exhibit

Plan to be a busy, busy bee this Friday night because you'll need roller skates to hit all the events, including Jeff Laydon's opening night party at Pagosa Photography located at 480 San Juan Street, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

This exhibit features the work of local photographer J.D. Kurz with photographs of "Pagosa, Colorado, and the West." You will be challenged to correctly guess the location of 10 photographs taken in the Pagosa backcountry, and the winner will receive a 2002 Pagosa Springs Calendar. Five calendars will be awarded to those who score the highest in the order that entries are received (on opening night only). Plan to join Jeff and J.D. on Friday night.

PYF Auction

The Pagosa Youth Foundation/Spitfire Creek Ranch is proud to announce its second annual Fundraising event and Open House at the Spitfire Creek Ranch, June 30.

The Pagosa Youth Foundation was incorporated in 1994 as a non-profit 501-C3 for the education, vocational training and counseling of Colorado youth. Spitfire Creek Ranch works to provide at-risk youth and individuals with special needs with leadership, discipline, responsibility and positive life skills. Through a structured program using horses, mentors, counselors and horse professionals in a proven therapeutic setting, the equine-assisted growth and learning technique is utilized. If you would like to donate items or services, please call Debra Ewing at 731-9110 or Larry Bass at 731-5660. Your help will make a difference so please plan to join the PYF June 30.

Grand opening

Join us tomorrow for the Grand Opening of the Red Lion Inn and Suites Pagosa Springs from 5-7 in the evening. Formerly the Pagosa Inn and Suites, the 97-room property is located at 519 Village Drive. Russ Willstead is general manager of this newest member of the Red Lion and Hilton family hotels and is very excited about bringing "a well-known brand reputation and a dynamic worldwide sales and marketing infrastructure" to attract more tourism business to the Pagosa Springs area.

The folks at Red Lion are anxious to show off their new flag to the residents of Pagosa Springs and plan to celebrate with live music and hors d'oeuvres for all who attend tomorrow night.

Our very own Mark DeVoti will be there to entertain you with his wild sense of humor and wonderful music. You can always count on Mark to make any occasion extraordinary and tons of fun. Vince Sencich with Enzo's Catering will be there with his culinary magic with food fit for kings and queens. You just never know what Vince has up his sleeve for new and different gourmet treats - don't miss it. Also, Will Spears will be there with the KWUF team conducting a live remote with all the festivities and fun. There will be proper ribbon cutting, of course, with a proper ceremony in celebration of the new name for this property. Please plan to join Russ Willstead, Willie Payne, the Chamber staff and all the local folks who love to party tomorrow night at the Pagosa Springs Inn and witness the transition to the new, improved Red Lion Inn and Suites Pagosa Springs. Hope to see you there.


One new member to introduce to you this week and nine renewals. We are extremely grateful to one and all for your continued loyalty and support. We renew our pledge to you to maintain a high standard of performance for our Chamber and to continue to embrace our philosophy that you just can't have too much fun.

Our new members this week are Walter and Doris Green who join us as Chamber Associates. We are delighted to welcome the Greens and thank Sylvia Murray for recruiting these fine folks. Sylvia will soon be able to paper one of her rooms with free SunDowner passes earned from bringing new members to the Chamber table.

Our renewals this week include Rusty Hinger with Bruce-Spruce Ranch; Helena Gunther with Market Value Appraisal Services; Andreas Berger with Budget Host Inn in Cortez; Harold R. Thompson D.M.D., Dentistry; Jessie Formwalt with Appraisal Services, Inc.; Janet Allen with Juice 'n Scoop (Mountain Man Nut & Fruit Co.); Caroline Brown with Friends of Native Cultures; Dick Bailey with Durango Coca-Cola; and, last, but way far from least, our wonderful friends, Sam and Ella McNatt renew their Associate Membership. Ella has a special place in our hearts because she has served as one of our Chamber Diplomats for many moons and, hence, has made a considerable contribution to our organization.

Rotary Parade

Don't forget to pick up your registration form for the Rotary Club July 4 Parade, "Land That I Love."

We have the forms at the Visitor Center and encourage you to pick them up because there are a couple of changes this year.

The biggest of said changes is that the registration and staging area have been relocated to the high school parking lot to alleviate crowding at the corner of Eighth Street and the highway.

Registration is at 9 a.m. and the parade will be lined up and ready to roll promptly at 10 a.m. You are asked to enter the lower driveway of the high school lot from Fifth or Sixth streets, and from there a Rotarian will get you registered and lined up.

There will be cash prizes in three categories plus a special new award this year for the Most Patriotic entry. This new award is not limited to any category, so the sky's the limit on your creativity.

Please call 731-9279 evenings or weekends for more information.

Senior News
By Janet Copeland

Anonymous elves leave computer for senior's use

Our Senior Center is so blessed in so many ways by the generosity of our citizens.

A brand new computer magically appeared at our facility last week and is now up and running. The "elves" who donated it wish to remain anonymous so we will honor their wishes but we surely send them a great big thank you. Hopefully we can get another phone line installed and Internet service connected in the very near future (are there any elves out there interested in donating these services?)

This is a week of good news and bad news. The good news is that Marian Knowles is back with us for the summer. We miss Marian when she goes south for the winter. We were also happy to have Lilly Gurule back with us last week. We are glad for her that she can get away to visit family but always happy to have her back with us. We welcomed James Mollender, Charlie Martinez and Donna Colwell who joined us for lunch on Wednesday and hope they return soon.

The bad news is that Vernon Day took a bad fall and severely injured his shoulder and face. He underwent surgery last week to reconstruct his shoulder and is expected to be back home in Pagosa this week. We pray for his complete recovery.

Hannah Foster had no sooner returned to town when she was selected as Senior of the Week for this week. Congratulations Hannah, we are happy to have you and Pat back with us for the summer.

Upcoming events

Each Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 9 a.m. members of our group swim free of charge at the Pagosa Lodge, a benefit we appreciate so much.

On Wednesday mornings at 9:30 a.m. Rich Harris conducts a free yoga class at the Center. This is a low-stress exercise to help keep our bodies toned and flexible and is quite popular with our folks.

On June 28, members are invited to go to lunch at the Branding Iron Restaurant. Transportation will cost $5 per person and cost of the meals will be based on menu prices.

On June 29 we will celebrate June birthdays at the noon meal. The Archuleta Senior Citizens, Inc. board will meet immediately after lunch, and our monthly pot luck dinner will be at 5 p.m.

Please keep all these events on your calendars.

Pagosa Lakes
By Ming Steen

PLPOA fishing derby Saturday at Hatcher Lake

Bring the kids out tomorrow for a free fishing derby.

Hosted annually by the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association, the derby will be held at Hatcher Lake, near the east boat ramp and jetty from 9 a.m. to 11 or 11:30 a.m.

Children 16 and younger are eligible. Every child will receive a prize, with categories to include largest fish, most fish, smallest fish and first fish caught in four age brackets. With creative categorizing, each child will go home with a prize. No one will be left out. Is this an equal opportunity event? You bet.

Fishing for derby entrants will be done from the shoreline as no floats or boats will be allowed. Parental or adult supervision is required. A PLPOA issued lake-use permit is not required. When fishing with youngsters, the most popular bait is garden worms or night crawlers. Bring a pocketful.

Plan on bringing the children to a morning of fishing, food and fun. Don't forget the caps and sunscreen. Remembering that most youngsters have a short attention span, we'll keep the derby short and lively with plenty of hot dogs, chips and juice to keep hunger pangs away. In the event of inclement weather, please call the Pagosa Lakes Recreation Center at 731-2051 for an update.

Paws Parade in the Park invites your participation Saturday. Where - Town Park of course. When - starts at 8 a.m. and goes on through the morning. Menu of happenings includes: a Canine 9K run at 8 a.m., Paws Parade at 9 a.m., Pet Fair starting at 9 a.m., blessing of the animals and pet contests at 10 a.m. and, while all the above is going on, an inoculation and microchip clinic will be available at a discount.

Helena Granquist from PLPOA will be present from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. issuing free dog licenses to PLPOA members. The value of the dog license is between $15 and $25. Please have proof of vaccination to obtain the free dog license. Pagosa Springs Arts Council is sponsoring a birdhouse building contest.

I enjoy the whole morning every year. I think of it as a fair for pets and their owners, with a lot going on and a great deal of interaction between the dogs. Last year, my pound-puppy escorted me to the event, and he was so thoroughly exhausted by mid-morning that he slept the rest of the day and the next.

Many thanks to the 60 volunteers who helped with Monday's newsletter mailing to 18,000 property owners and timeshare owners. I couldn't have done it without your help. It was a massive job made easy because of your donation of time and willing spirit.

Library News
By Lenore Bright

Paintings a 'parable' for inner growth

We are honored to display some recent oil paintings by Carolyn McCullough. The paintings stay unsigned because Carolyn doesn't feel she creates them alone.

The surrealistic images are each a "parable" for inner growth. Carolyn says, "Their unusual combination of elements hopefully speak to each person individually of the possibilities extended to them by the Divine."

Carolyn's paintings will be at the library for several weeks.

Glenn Raby will be sharing some of his rock collection with us for the next few weeks. Glenn serves on our library board of trustees, and works as a geologist with the U.S. Forest Service here in Archuleta County. Glenn is well known for his work at Chimney Rock.

Good investment

We just heard of a great bargain for anyone who takes advantage of hiking in our beautiful surroundings.

You now have the opportunity to buy a one-year CSRF Hiking Certificate for $3, or a five-year certificate for $15. If you become lost or injured in Colorado's backcountry, the Colorado Search and Rescue Funds (CSRF) will pay your rescue expenses incurred by local government and its volunteers.

Remember this is not just for hikers, but is also good for backpackers, canoers, kayakers, cross-country skiers, technical climbers, photographers, and more. You are already covered if you have a fishing or hunting license, or a boat or snowmobile registration.

How does the certificate work? If you become lost or injured in the backcountry, emergency teams will be dispatched. Upon your rescue, present your hiking certificate to the local law enforcement agency. A bill will be sent to CSRF and the cost of search and rescue will not be billed to you.

CSRF also pays for training and equipment for search and rescue teams.

For more information, come by and get a list of the many places you may purchase the hiking certificate.

Neglected resource

We have what is called the "Vertical File." It is a collection of papers, pamphlets and other items that don't fit on the shelf.

Two new examples were just added: A history of the oil and gas boom in the Four Corners, including highlights of one hundred years of the oil industry, and information on renewable energy in the West. And thanks to Cathy Dodt-Ellis, we have information on the human genome project including the actual map of the sequence of the human genome - an incredible piece of work.

We are cataloging the vertical file so its resources will be on the computer and can be more easily found. You're welcome to browse the file anytime you wish.

Consumer guide

The state provided us with a copy of a guide to Colorado's Higher Education Institutions. It gives critical information for anyone planning to attend college in Colorado.

We have 12 four-year schools and 15 two-year institutions in the state. This guide gives profiles of each school. It is very comprehensive and a publication that has been needed for a long time. A copy may be checked out.

Reading winners

We're well into the second week of Summer Reading.

More than 225 children of all ages have signed up. There's room for more, so sign up anytime in the next few weeks. And don't forget story time every Tuesday and Friday at 11 a.m.

We've had many winners in the various contests. Please check at the desk to see if your name is on the lists.

Readers of the Week were Randye Taylor, NaCole Martinez, Sierra Suttles, Madison Greenly, Jennifer Richards, Lucas Chavez, Anna Ball, Ayriana Rackham, Brave Furman and Sydney Aragon.

Winners in the Royal Crown Contest were Anne Townsend, Danielle Beserra, Kelly Crow, Marissa Lovato, Megan Bryant, Jessy Maez, Kelli Florek, Sandra Salas, Emily Bryant, Becca Stephens, Briana Bryant, Julia Nell, Desiree Pastin, and Tyler, Abbey and Tiana Johnson.

Best Friends Portrait Contest winners were Tyler and Tim Johnson, Julia Nell, Briana Bryant, Desiree Pastin, Kitman Gill, Anne Townsend, Emily Bryant and Sierra Monteferrante.

Winners in the Squirrel Coloring Contest were Trey Spears, Matthew McFarland, Spencer Sharp, Jennifer Mueller, Maegan McFarland, Tiana Johnson, Tarah McKeever, Desiree Pastin, Tyler Johnson, Derek Lorenzen, Eli Stephens, Tyler Greenly, Sierra Monteferrante, Kelsey Yager, Christopher Mueller, Amanda Oertel, Hayden Sharp, Lyndsey Yager and Re'ahna Ray


Thanks for financial help from Don and Ethel Rasnic, and Gil and Lenore Bright in memory of Wayne Farrow.

Materials came from the Chamber of Commerce, Anna O'Reilly, Scott Hollenbeck, Mary Lou Bartolomei, Molly Cruice and Ramona Murphy. Julia Elizabeth Nell donated the book "Frindle," for the summer reading program, and Kate Terry donated "The Gift to be Simple," in memory of Ezra Brown.

Local Chatter
By Kate Terry

Cancer can't stop victom's dream

Rick Majors left Bowling Green, Kentucky, on May 14 headed to Pagosa Springs. He's riding his Tennessee Walking Horse and plans to reach this area by the end of August.

Majors has been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer and in February was given three months to live. But Majors, 48, has had a dream since he was a boy, and that is to travel to the Rocky Mountains on horseback.

He told this to C.J. Frew, with whom he rides occasionally, and when the diagnosis was made, Frew decided to help Majors get to the Rocky Mountains. He knew the Pagosa Springs area and it would be their destination.

They talked to horse clubs and 4H groups, and Jo Anne Pearson who works for Cumberland Trace Legal Services provided a lot of help. The donations have included pack horses and money.

To begin with, Frew rode with Majors. When he dropped out, Majors' good friend Joe Blair rode with him until he had to go back to work (intending to join again along the way).

Now Donna Broner is riding with Majors. The route runs through Kentucky, Missouri, Oklahoma and New Mexico to Colorado. They are about half way, just about to get through Missouri and ready to enter Oklahoma.

Rick Majors' wife Lori talks to him about once a week. She tells me that, "people have opened their homes, hearts and barns" to the riders, and that her husband is in good spirits. Although they started out with four pack horses, the riders are down to bed rolls and the horses they are riding. Connections have been made for stops all along the route and, when they get to Pagosa Springs, the connection is Pat Parelli.

Lori Majors intends to join the riders this weekend. She's an excited woman.

I'm on her e-mail list and can keep the readers updated.

Around town

If you would like something different to do, then volunteer at the annual Shearing Day at Echo Mountain Alpacas that will be held starting at 9 a.m. on July 5. You can watch or be a participant, helping to shear 50 lamas and alpacas - mostly alpacas. This is not an occasion for small children for they might not understand procedures, possibly thinking the animals are being harmed, but this would be a great time for teens.

Some of the chores will be sorting the wool and putting it in bags. Alpaca lovers come from out-of-town, and the neighbors help as well as anyone else who would like to volunteer. Dave and Susie Belt are the proprietors. They put on the recent Fiber Festival together.

Fun on the Run

We have all learned to live with voice mail as a necessary part of modern life. But you may have wondered, What if God decided to install voice mail? Imagine praying and hearing this:

"Thank you for calling My Father's House. Please select one of the following options:

- Press 1 for request

- Press 2 for thanksgiving

- Press 3 for complaints

- Press 4 for all other inquiries."

What if God used the familiar excuse:

"All the angels are helping other customers right now. Please stay on the line. Your call will be answered in the order it was received."

Can you imagine getting these kind of responses as you call on God in prayer?

"If you would like to speak to Gabriel, press 1 now.

If you would like to speak to Michael, press 2 now.

For a directory of other angels, press 3 now.

If you would like to hear King David sing a Psalm while you're holding, press 4 now.

To find out if a loved one has been assigned to heaven, enter his or her social security number now.

For reservations at My Father's House, press the letters J-O-H-N and then 3-1-6.

For answers to nagging questions about the age of the earth and where Noah's Ark is, please wait until you arrive here.

Our computers show that you have already called once today. Please hang up and try again tomorrow.

This office is closed for the weekend. Please call again on Monday after 9 a.m."

Cruising with Cruse
by Katherine Cruse

Fly fishing's knot for the beginners

"If you really want to catch fish," a long time Pagosa resident told me recently, "put a worm on the hook." This guy sells both worms and the fancy flies, so I guess he doesn't care which I buy.

Hotshot and I bought ourselves fishing equipment last December. We also picked up a vest and a lanyard and clippers and hemostat-like clamps. Oh, and tippet line in various weights, and flies. And a net. And probably some other important fly fishing stuff.

Then various things intervened, like snow, and unexpected travel, and so the rods and reels and all the other equipment languished on a shelf.

Until last week when our friend Bruce called up and asked if we wanted to come over to Lake Pagosa and fish with him. In the morning. Seven o'clock in the morning. Gotta go when the fish are biting, you know.

So Hotshot got out our fly fishing book, an enormous tome that tells you everything you want or need to know to get started, and a lot you don't want or need to know.

We assembled the sections of the rods. We attached the reels. We threaded the line through the little loops along the rod.

Fishing line has different parts. There's the main line on the reel; it's pretty hefty and brightly colored.

At the end of the line you tie on the leader. Leader is tapered. It's hard to imagine that this fine monofilament stuff could be thicker and thinner, but apparently it is.

The leader is about 6 feet long. But you're not finished yet. You have to tie a short piece of another really fine line, called a tippet, to the end of the leader. Finally you're ready to put the fly on the end of the whole shebang.

You tie the tippet onto the leader with a special fisherman's secret knot, called a blood knot. It's probably called a blood knot because by the time you've tried tying if for an hour, you're ready to draw a little blood from the sadist who invented it.

All the knots seem to involve wrapping one of these microscopically thin, almost invisible plastic hairs around the other for 3 or 6 twists and then poking the end back through the loop. "What loop?" You try it and see how far you get.

See’ is the operative word. I couldn't see the darn stuff. Heck, I could barely hold it. My fingers felt thick as sausages.

We got the blood knots tied and picked out some flies from our starter assortments. Flies come in two main groups; dry flies that float on the surface and wet ones, called nymphs, that sink. With the nymphs you have to fasten a little bundle of fluff called a strike indicator on the tippet, so you'll know if a fish is nibbling on the fly.

Real fisherman pay attention to what's swarming in the area, because they want the flies to look like what the fish are eating that day. We just picked something that wasn't too big or too small. Wet flies, with shiny little beads for heads.

There's a different knot to master, in order to tie on the fly. More squinting, more false starts, more dropped monofilament, more bad language.

But we finally got everything put together. We were ready for the morning's adventure. Now, we haven't gone fishing since our trip with an outfitter over a year ago. Everything seemed so easy then. Watch while the guide selects the fly and magically attaches it to the line. Put the hook in the water and wait for the fish. Anything goes wrong, call for help.

In real life it's not quite like that.

Hotshot hadn't been casting 5 minutes, when he lost the tippet. And the indicator and the fly, of course. Whoops! Seems the infamous blood knot had parted. He spent the next half hour trying to attach a new piece of tippet.

If you think it's hard doing it at home, try working with that invisible monofilament outdoors, on a floating dock that bobs up and down, with your friend who's been doing this sort of stuff for years standing nearby.

I moseyed on down the edge of the lake and started casting. Casting takes practice. You'll sometimes see people on that nice lawn down by Town Park, practicing their casting. My neighbor cast up and down his driveway to learn.

I practiced at Lake Pagosa that morning. The line didn't go very far out. The fish would have to come to me; I sure wasn't getting the fly out to the fish.

Every third cast the line would wrap itself around the end of the pole. In spite of our lack of experience and skill, I caught two little bass.

Bruce kindly released them, under the pretense of showing me how, so that they could swim away and grow bigger. Hotshot had five nibbles, but no catches.

Larry Fisher told me that women often have better luck than men when they're learning to fly fish - something about women being more patient and sensitive to the little tugs on the bait that a fish makes.

Did I feel those little fish nibbling away, tasting that bit of bristle on the end of the line? Nope. Did I notice anything different that caused me to set the hook? No way. It must have been beginner's luck.

We finished our morning's experience with a shopping list. We need Polarized sun glasses, to see the fish in the water. We need more flies, to replace the ones we lost beside (or in) the lake. And we definitely need those little clip-on, flip-up magnifying glasses, so that we can see to tie the darn knots. Or maybe, we should just pick up some worms.

Veterans Corner
by Andy Fautheree

Verified Purple Heart exempts some co-pay

Veterans awarded the Purple Heart may submit appropriate documentation (i.e., DD214 annotating receipt of the Purple Heart, DD215, official service records, and military orders of award) for inclusion into the veteran's Consolidated Health Record (CHR) folder. A certificate of award, in and of itself, will not suffice for verification purposes without the submission of supporting documentation.

As an interim measure, the Health Eligibility Center will provide each Department of Veterans Affairs healthcare facility with a partial listing of Purple Heart recipients to assist facilities in manually exempting these veterans from co-payment requirement associated with hospital care and outpatient medical services. The Office of Information will develop software to capture data on veterans awarded a Purple Heart and effect other changes in the VHA information systems necessary to accommodate provisions to Public Law 106-117 relating to Purple Heart Award recipients.

Healthcare facilities must ensure that those veterans awarded a Purple Heart who were previously, or would be, classified in enrollment priority groups 4 through 7 are placed in enrollment priority group 3 and not charged co-payments for their medical care.

Prescription co-payments will continue to be charged to veterans awarded the Purple Heart unless they meet the low-income exemption criteria, are service-connected 50 percent or greater or the medication is for the service-connected condition.

Veterans awarded the Purple Heart are to be reimbursed for any medical care co-payments paid for VHA care provide on or after November 30, 1999. VHA officials must have verifiable evidence that veterans received the Purple Heart before reimbursing any co-payments or changing veterans' enrollment status.

Manual tracking is necessitated until Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture software modifications are implemented to ensure these veterans are not inappropriately billed medical care co-payment charges.

For information on these and other veterans benefits please call or stop by the Veterans Service Office located on the lower floor of the Archuleta County Courthouse. The office number is 264-2304, the FAX number is 264-5949, and E-mail is The office is open 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

Youth leagues will end with picnic July 2

The youth baseball season will conclude next week for all leagues except Bambino. The Bambino all-star team will conclude its regular season with a game against Dulce Friday night.

The season-ending picnic, for all baseball divisions, will be held July 2 in South Pagosa Park at 6 p.m. All players, families, coaches and sponsors are invited to attend, bring a pot luck dish and sit with their teams for dinner. Players can also return pants, socks and team equipment at this time.

The Bambino league will begin its tournament July 10. This league has also been invited to the Monte Vista All Star Tournament scheduled for July 20-21.

A Friday baseball instructional league, for players 8-10, will begin July 13 and take place at the Sports Complex Friday mornings through Aug. 10.

If you have questions about any upcoming events come to the new Town Hall or call 264-4151 ext. 232.

Girl's softball

The season is coming to an end for the two girls fast-pitch teams - Red Sox and Astros - with the last Red Sox games Saturday and Monday. The Astros will play a makeup game against Bayfield Saturday and end their season with a tournament in Bayfield the same day.

Senior League

The Pirates play their last league game tonight in Durango, with the season-ending tournament in Durango, starting Saturday.

The A's will be at home Saturday and Sunday - against Ignacio on Saturday and against Durango and Alamosa on Sunday. The A's will finish their season next Wednesday with a home game against Dulce at 6 p.m.

Adult softball

Games continue on Mondays and Wednesdays through the end of the month. No games will be scheduled the first week of July in observance of the Independence Day holiday. Games will resume July 9 with games played Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights. Game times in July will be 6:30, 7:45 and 9 p.m.

Park Fun

The town's Park Fun program will continue through June, but will not run the first week of July (2-6). The program has been limited to 21 participants. To remain at Park Fun and "keep your spot" in the program, parents need to pay for the next week's registration on the Friday before. Participants will be taken on a first-come basis and only payment for a week of Park Fun will hold a child's spot in the program.

July Fourth celebration

This year's July Fourth celebration will take place at the Sports Complex on South Fifth Street. Fireworks will go off at 9:30 p.m. over the baseball field and the Pagosa Hot Strings will start playing at 6 p.m. on field No. 3. Non-profit groups interested in vending at the site should contact Doug at Town Hall immediately.

Arts Line
by Pamela Bomkamp

Council sponsoring birdhouse building

The Pagosa Springs Arts Council is proud to sponsor the First Annual Pet Pride Day Birdhouse contest. There are three categories for participants: Under 10 years old, 10 - 18 years old, and adult. Prizes will be awarded in each category.

All entries must be original works. Each contestant may submit two entries. All entries need to be received by tomorrow at 5 p.m. Judging will take place Saturday at 2 p.m. So bring in those birdhouses today. If you are not the "hands on" type, come on down Saturday and view the judging.

Dance concert

The Graves family band known as Boot Hill will be performing at the Whistle Pig Dance Concert June 29.

Singer and guitarist Sandi Graves leads the band. Her husband Kim, was once the youngest working professional musician in Los Angeles. He plays bass and harmonica. Also performing on guitar, drums and vocals are Taylor and Davis. Make sure to join the fun at the Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse. The performance starts at 7 p.m. with special guest appearances by John Graves and D.C. Duncan. There will be a $6 donation at the door and kids and teens are free, so bring the whole family.

Fiesta sponsors

A great time was had by all who participated and attended Pagosa Fiesta activities. We would like to thank our sponsors the Pagosa Springs Arts Council and the Pagosa Springs Spanish Fiesta Club. A special thanks to Jenny and Kacey, Sandy and Kayla Lewis, Cassie Hovak, Tera Ochoa, and Bethany Lopes for volunteering their time at the PSAC snack booth.

Exhibit space

We still have a few time slots available for your art exhibit. You can pick up an exhibit application at the PSAC Gallery in Town Park, Moonlight Bookstore, or WolfTracks Coffee House. Don't miss your chance to shine. Drop off your application to the gallery ASAP.

Relay for Life

The Pagosa Pretenders Family Theater, a division of the Pagosa Springs Arts Council is getting a team together for the Annual Relay for Life July 27 and 28. The event will be located in Town Park. We are looking for people to donate their time to walk and show their support. Cancer has touched everyone's life in some way.

If you are interested in more details please contact Joanne at 264-5020, or Susan Garman at 731-2485.

PSAC business

We are looking for silent auction items such as quality art or gift certificates of any kind for our special June 27 SunDowner. Please call our PSAC president, Jennifer Harnick, at 731-3113 or Joanne at 264-5020.

Anyone interested in donating a couple hours maybe a few times a year to write the Arts Line column? It is not hard at all and can be very rewarding. We need someone to write when there is that fifth week in an occasional month. Please give us a call at 264-5020.


Community of interest

The phrase "community of interest" is heard when discussion turns to impending reorganization of House District 59.

Community of interest is the glue that supposedly holds elements of a district together, binding them with shared projects and problems. Community of interest is a key consideration for members of the General Assembly Redistricting Commission as they ponder what limb of District 59 to lop off in light of recent census figures, in order to lose approximately 2,919 voters.

One option is to send land in an already-divided Montezuma County to the 58th district - including Ute Mountain Ute tribal land contiguous with the western edge of Southern Ute tribal land. This is the option championed by Rep. Mark Larson and one tentatively approved by the commission.

Another option involves putting Archuleta County into a district with counties in the San Luis Valley or with counties to the north, all across the Continental Divide - a divide defined by more than mere elevation.

Last week, "community of interest" was introduced to the commission in a bid to keep Ute Mountain Ute lands in District 59 and further consideration could alter the commission's preliminary decision.

While the historic nature of the tribal community is obvious (but debatable considering the split of the tribes in the past) and contiguity of lands is clear, it is hard to imagine a community of interest as strong as that between Archuleta and La Plata counties, or between Archuleta County and the Southern Ute Tribe.

The community of interest between these parts of the current district is practical, extensive, and of long standing.

These elements share a related geography: all are part of the San Juan River Basin and deal with the problems and demands that entails. The importance of Southern Ute decisions concerning water quality in the San Juan River is profound for an upstream Archuleta County.

Involvement of the tribe in oil and gas production could be a big part of future development in the area.

The possible impacts of Southern Ute gaming operations in our county are of extreme importance.

Archuleta County is linked to district neighbors to the west by a variety of key services: Region 9 economic development, which administers an enterprise zone that includes Archuleta County and parts of La Plata County; San Juan Basin Health Department; San Juan Basin Mental Health: a common electric utility with offices in Pagosa Springs and Durango. Hospitals to the west are utilized by our emergency medical services and by local patients.

How many local businesses and financial institutions maintain offices in both towns?

The immediate future of telecommunications development lies in creation of a fiber optic network connecting Pagosa Springs to Ignacio, Bayfield, Durango and Cortez. Not to Del Norte or Creede or Center.

In terms of education, Fort Lewis College serves as our regional institution of higher learning - not Adams State at Alamosa.

The Area Agency on Aging operates in the district and counties share a Safe House operation, a homeless shelter and engage in joint predator control. The Violence Prevention Coalition serves the area with a base in Durango, and the Sixth Judicial District has its epicenter in La Plata County. The all-important Colorado Department of Transportation office serving the area is based in Durango - not in the San Luis Valley or in counties to the north.

In fact, we share little if anything with the Valley or counties to the north except intergovernmental agreements that compensate for ill-drawn lines that put parts of Mineral and Hinsdale counties on our side of the Divide, rendering them nearly unserviceable by their own county governments.

To move Archuleta County to another district is to ignore the true community of interest that exists on this side of the Divide.

With the introduction to the redistricting discussion of a "community of interest" between the Ute Mountain Ute and Southern Ute tribes, there is a need for local politicians, business owners and citizens to express their displeasure with the possibility that Archuleta County still might be the expendable element in the redistricting effort, that our community of interest will be damaged.

Make your opinions known, while your opinions still count.

The best way to do make your voice heard is to e-mail Susan Liddle, care of Karl Isberg

Dear Folks
By David C. Mitchell

County government is no party

Dear Folks,

I've never known effective county government and adequate provision of county services in Pagosa to be tied to party affiliation or to profit.

It was surprising recently when a letter to the editor appeared to be rallying folks to register as affiliates of the Archuleta County Democratic Party. I'm uncertain as to whether or not it was an attempt at reverse psychology, but the writer implied the rumor mill contended that the editor of the SUN might be a registered Democrat. Had the writer taken the time to check the public records at the county clerk's office he would have learned I'm registered as an unaffiliated voter.

Some of the neighborly advice I received when I moved to Pagosa in 1974 covered a variety of topics. One, don't use more than your allotment of irrigation water when setting the cuts in your ditch. Two, wait until after June 13 until you transplant tomatoes into your garden. Three, drive slow on the gravel roads - your vehicle and the roads will last longer.

Here's a couple of other local axioms related to weather and county roads. One, heavy snows accompanied by numerous or extended below-freezing temperature readings are good and bad. They are good in that there should be a good spring runoff and sufficient irrigation water during the summer. They are bad in that wet winters accompanied by below-freezing temperatures turn paved roads (or taxiways) into asphalt mosaics.

Two, hot, dry summers are about as hard on gravel roads as wet, freezing weather is on asphalt roads. Without sufficient rainfall during the summer, the "binder" or clay content in the gravel roads turns to dust. The absence of moisture results in most of the gravel being driven off the surface and onto the shoulders or into the ditches. The redistribution of the gravel causes the reappearance of washboard surfaces or potholes. (Extended periods of dry weather conditions also have an adverse effect on the magnesium chloride solutions that are spread on many of the gravel roads. The chemical mixture needs adequate moisture in order to regenerate its effectiveness.

Also, the problems with the gravel roads are intensified when drivers exceed the speed limit or drive faster than existing road conditions warrant. Speeding, along with the fact that Pagosa's summer months produce an increased number of vehicles being driven on the county roads accelerates the demise of the gravel roads.

Whereas the increasing number and nature of the registered voters in the county might determine the outcome of a local election, the even greater increasing number of registered vehicles in the county and the nature of the vehicles are the determining factors on the condition of the county's roads. This is especially true during a hot, dry summer; it's not the elected county officials' party affiliation.

The same is pretty much true of a taxiway that originally was built as a landing strip for a limited number of single-engine private airplanes. No one should be surprised that an increased amount of traffic on the taxiway along with increased weights of the aircraft using the taxiway will definitely increase the rate of deterioration on the surface of the former landing strip.

There are no easy answers regarding county roads, only difficult decisions. The task might be easier if the county was a private business. However, rather than produce a profit, the purpose of municipal government is to provide services to the areas of greatest need in hopes of benefiting the greatest number of citizens.

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

By Shari Pierce

100 years ago

Taken from The Weekly Times of June 20, 1901

Quite heavy frosts have been experienced the past week.

If you go fishing these days you may not catch many fish, but one of those big fellows are worth working for a day.

Harpst & Kyle have purchased a horizontal boiler for their mill and will have it set up and ready for work by the end of the week. This is a decided improvement over their old boiler and is capable of furnishing power enough to run the mill. We are glad to see this improvement and hope the boys will continue to prosper.

The Pagosa & Northern ran an extra train up from the Junction Monday morning bringing our Sunday mail and taking out several passengers.

75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of June 18, 1926

As an example of what can be accomplished in this county in the way of exterminating the prairie dogs from the ranches, we cite the results obtained last week in an extensive and systematic campaign conducted on the lower Whitney Newton ranch in Burns and Taylor canyons by the U.S. Biological Survey. It is figured that they cleaned up the ranch to the extent of killing 95% of the pests, for a total of 118 dead ones were actually counted on the surface of the ground. It is believed that these represented only about 25% of the actual number slain, the remainder having died underground.

Preparations are going steadily ahead for the big three-day Fourth of July celebration. Manager Hall is quite enthusiastic over the attractions he has been able to secure for the delectation of the visitors here during that period.

50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of June 22, 1951

H. Ray Macht, chairman of the parades for the Red Ryder Round Up, announced this week that entries are starting to be made for the two big parades on July 3 and 4, during the rodeo. The parade will follow the same route this year as it did last year, starting on the street by the old depot, coming down the highway through town to the corner by the Lynn George Cash Market and turning down into the park on that street, where the parade will end.

The Pagosa Baseball team went over to Ignacio Sunday for revenge over Ignacio after losing to Ignacio the previous Sunday by a 2 to 1 score. They came out victorious this time by a 15-6 score for a season record of 5 wins and 1 loss.

25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of June 17, 1976

While some parts of Colorado received snow over the weekend and other areas had high winds, this area had clear skies but some very cool nighttime temperatures. Many flowers and gardens were blackened by frost and out in the cool breezes wasn't exactly shirtsleeve weather for a couple of days.

An important meeting is scheduled for next Tuesday night in the courthouse. The meeting and hearing is for the purpose of presenting proposed revisions to the county subdivision regulations and the building permit regulations.

Title X employees have made a good start on the construction of an administration building at the airport and are winding up the enlargement of the courthouse.


Pacing Pagosa
By Richard Walter

Give youth a chance to be themselves

It has often been said that our youth are our future.

What we teach them today is what they'll offer the world in terms of leadership, environmental protection, growth control, territorial rights and world peace.

Control of the diseases which threaten the world today lies in their hands. Decoding the genome of human ancestry has given geneticists the possibility of planning a child's future by rerouting genes to avoid a family-carried trait.

Teaching teamwork through athletic endeavor helps our youth learn to operate as a single element of a programmed whole, yet allows them to display their individual talents.

The learning process cannot begin too soon.

Photos taken recently illustrate my point.

At the recent Rockies Challenge at the south side sports complex, youth in various age levels were tested for accuracy in throwing, speed in running bases, and expertise in hitting for distance off a tee.

But even as those entered were trying their best, there were others observing. One such youngster seemed chagrined that he, at age 2, could not participate. The subsequent photo showed him somewhat dejected and trailing his tiny bat, leaving the practice area.

It was a lesson learned early. Not everyone gets into the game when he or she wants to.

Sometimes our entry into the competition of life is dictated by circumstances beyond our personal control.

The youngster with the bat will get another chance. It wasn't his fault he wasn't yet old enough to understand the limitations of his age. He saw older kids participating and felt it was something all children should do.

The same was true of a young lady captured enjoying the ride of her life on a rocking horse at the recent Power House auction. Her smile told the story. Freedom from worry, and exhilaration of spirit, a free-flowing happiness in her own two-year-old's world.

Examples of disappointment and of joy - key elements in the growth of psyche for any youngster. Understanding and experiencing both happiness and sadness go strongly into development of the child's personality.

A great deal of national press coverage has been given recently to the growing exhibition of sports rage by parents of participants.

They have told the stories of a father who attacked an umpire physically for an alleged "wrong call"; the father-coach who sought to have an official fired from his real job for "undermining" his son's chance to be a star; and the mother who lied about her 12-year-old's age so he could perform at a "star" level against younger players.

It's the kind of lesson you don't want your child to learn - you might call it a form of parental panic. These people want their child to be the very best performer available for public view, no matter what the cost.

Its a kind of relief for these parents. Many were unable to perform, others were stars of their era. But for each, it is a means of reliving what was - or might have been - had they had the same chance as the child of today.

The reality is that they did have the same chance. Opportunity to learn is always there, despite the age of the person involved.

How often have you seen items concerning an octogenarian's return to school for the degree they never had a chance to acquire while young?

I'm sure every one of you knows a person who overcame a severe health problem to undergo training in a difficult profession, a person who lost hope but gained guidance from an unexpected source and became a community leader, or a person whose middle-age profession change led to a new insight and new sense of accomplishment.

The idea is that to learn, a child must be exposed to both the good and bad. They must have both opportunity and denial in order to gain a sense of understanding of right and wrong, of winning and losing, of success and failure.

When the parent or guardian tries to take that pressure off them by bullying the people giving the child an opportunity, the lesson learned by the child is not one of fairness and objectivity.

Fine tuning an educational program is as challenging as fostering a winning attitude in a child while at the same time teaching the elements of fair play.

The students must be exposed to all facets of a learning experience, the challenges of creating their own ideas and projects, the reality of understanding obscure but necessary facts and how they apply to modern life, and the realization that learning a subject does not make you an expert in it but only a person with understanding and a modicum of applicable intelligence in the field.

Teachers are not daytime baby-sitters. They have studied long - and hard - to be the sources of wisdom for our youngsters.

Some will say the teacher has it easy, working only nine months of every year. It is interesting that the length of school term coincides with the period in which a mother carries her child before its birth.

The simile of birth and progression of learning is one too often ignored. I'm sure no new mother would tell you giving birth was easy and that she got three months off after the birth.

Neither will teachers tell you that three months off takes away from their chosen task. Most will need to restore energy, reevaluate teaching methods and the ever-changing field of knowledge. Many go back to school to learn more themselves.

For the tiny youngsters pictured with this column, learning is just beginning. Let us hope it is an ongoing, evenly handled, stress free time which leads them to chances to be our thinkers - and consequently - the teachers and leaders of their own generation.

Youth is not, as someone once opined, wasted on the young.

It is, in fact, the beginning of a lifestyle which only the recipients can hone and develop into a fair and evaluative understanding of their own and others challenges and accomplishments.

By John M. Motter

A look at lifestyles in old Pagosa

Newspaper item, May 4, 1894: At the residence of J.V. Blake on Saturday evening, April 28, 1894, Mr. Frank W. Blake and Miss Susie Dyke were joined in matrimony by Rev. W. R. Weaver. Mr. Blake is the popular clerk at J.V. Blake's store and Miss Dyke is the daughter of Commissioner William Dyke, and taught the primary department of the Pagosa schools this past winter. They are two popular young people and The News wishes them all the happiness that can be gained in this world. Mr. and Mrs. Blake are living in the house formerly occupied by Mr. and Mrs. J.V. Blake.

Motter's comment: These names would have been recognized by anyone living in Pagosa Country during the 1890s. William Dyke was born in England during the 1840s and had lived on his ranch west of Pagosa Springs 35 years by the time he died in 1918. He served the county first as sheriff and later as commissioner. A general store and post office called Dyke marked the location of Dyke's ranch. Dyke's substantial two-story home stood approximately where the Radcliff house is today, just west of Aspen Springs. The house burned several years ago. A new home was erected on approximately the same site. The Dyke barn still stands across the road from the house as does the red, false front building that housed the Dyke store and post office.

The Pagosa & Northern narrow gauge line connecting Pagosa Springs with Pagosa Junction ran in front of the Dyke store. The stage road between Pagosa Springs and Durango ran adjacent to the barn and through what is now Aspen Springs joining the present U.S. 160 route near the old shingle house occupied by Elaine Nossaman. Highway 160 did not follow its present route along Stollsteimer Creek through Aspen Springs until the 1930s, although the railroad followed the present route just south of Stollsteimer Creek.

It's interesting that memories of the Dyke family survive in this community, while the Blake family name is long forgotten in these parts. The Blakes were prominent Pagosa merchants active in public service during the 1890s.

Newspaper item, May 18, 1894: It is said that the Biggs mill at Lumberton has orders on file for lumber to keep the mill running for three months.

Motter's comment: We've been documenting the death of Amargo and the birth of Lumberton for some time. We've established that Lumberton pretty much started in January of 1894, largely populated by people and merchants who moved from Amargo. Amargo was located about three miles east along the Denver & Rio Grande railroad tracks. Lumberton and Amargo, both in New Mexico along U.S. 64 between Dulce and Chama, are important to Pagosa history because that was the stage terminal connecting Pagosa Springs with the outside world. Amargo apparently died a slow death, as the following newspaper item indicates. Margaret Voorhees had been married to James Voorhees who ran a business in Pagosa Springs at a very early date. Voorhees later established a business at Amargo, but died of old age. He is buried in the Pagosa Springs Pioneer Cemetery. She was reputed to have been very beautiful and much married, including one nuptial attachment to Brigham Young. The following item documents yet another marriage. Ewell ranched in the Chromo area where Margaret lived until he died. Then she returned to Pagosa Springs where she, too, is buried.

Newspaper item, May 18, 1894: Married at Amargo, April 26, 1894, Mr. William T. Ewell and Mrs. Margarita Voorhees were united in the holy bonds of matrimony in the presence of a few relatives and close friends. The groom is a well known businessman, while the bride is a former resident of this town, having been engaged in business here for several years. The newly wedded couple will make Amargo their dwelling place and are at home to their friends.

Newspaper item, June 1, 1894: An artesian well is being put down at Lumberton. Unless that place secures water, I fail to see how it can become a permanent town.

Motter's comment: No water no town. Drinking water was being carried into Lumberton on the railroad. One of the Archuletas was trying to subscribe interest in a company to dig a ditch carrying water from the Navajo River to Lumberton, but I don't think Archuleta's efforts succeeded. Nevertheless, Lumberton's water today comes from the Navajo.

Newspaper item, June 1, 1894: Lumberton notes: Price and Co., have brought their machinery down from the Navajo and put it in place near the mill. The townspeople are anxiously watching the drilling as the water question is a serious one with us.

Amargo Creek is almost dry and the adobe makers are finding it difficult to find the water necessary for their work.

Additional Lumberton comments: Geo. Kutz has a large house in course of construction.

William Stephens and family of Pine River have taken up residence here.

James Fowler has just completed a large residence for D. Gallegos.

Reverend R.W. Weaver of Chama conducted divine services in the Cope & Thompson hall Tuesday evening.

We are sorry to note that T.S. Pound of the Pound hotel is about to move away with his family. He has sold out his establishment to Messrs. Hoyt of Cleveland, Ohio.

J.M. Archuleta's commodious adobe residence is nearly completed. The woodwork is being done by W.P. Underwood of Chromo. With its large verandas and spacious rooms, it will be the handsomest place in town when finished.

Motter's comment: Weaver was a Methodist minister living in Chama. He seemed to work a circuit consisting of Chama, Chromo, Pagosa Springs, and Lumberton or Amargo. As far as we know, Pagosa had no church building of any kind in 1894.

Newspaper item: Mr. Cope (Coape) of Amargo has completed his residence and barns. He expects to move his family in this week.

Motter's comment: Amargo continues to hang on. They don't have water, either.

Newspaper item, May 25, 1894: Ed A. Vorhang, who is now making his home at Creede, was in town two days the past week. Mr. Vorhang's arm is not quite cured yet from the effects of a shot he received some months ago.

Motter's comment: Vorhang has moved from Amargo to Creede for the purpose of adding as many years as possible to his life span, hoping to increase the value of his corporal estate to something in excess of a "plugged nickel." His Amargo wounds are healing, however slowly.

Newspaper item, May 18, 1894: A warrant was issued from Judge Conless' court Wednesday for the arrest of H.D. Rockafellow on the charge of assault with intent to kill. On the morning of that day when Charles Schaad and some others was in the store of Hallett & Richmond, Rockafellow walked in and struck Schaad on the head with a claw hammer, knocking him down, and cutting angry gashes in his head. The hammer was finally secured after Schaad had also used it on Rockafellow's head. Rockafellow waived examination and was bound over to District Court.

Motter's comment: Violence was not unknown in early Pagosa. Hallett & Richmond's store was probably one of those false front frame buildings located along Pagosa Street. It likely burned in one of the many fires that ravaged the downtown block during the early days. Schaad was a former Silverton miner known as the "Dutchman." He operated a bar on San Juan Street east of the river near the San Juan Hotel and later bottled his own particular beverage. Schaad seemed able to take care of himself in a fracas, seeing that he took away Rockafellow's weapon and used it on it's owner. We don't know what caused the problem with Rockafellow, a name not well-known in Pagosa history.

Newspaper item, May 25, 1894: Decoration Day occurs next Wednesday. The graves of the soldiers buried at this place will be decorated. Everybody is invited to participate and meet at the school house at two o'clock, where Judge Price will deliver an address. There will be good music. The line of march to the cemetery will start from the schoolhouse after the closing of ceremonies there.

Motter's comment: Decoration Day was a big deal in 1894. So was Barzillai Price, a semi-retired lawyer who pioneered in Pagosa Country and on the Navajo River. What was a patriotic gathering without a declamation? The march from the school house near the corner of Third and Lewis Street to the Pioneer Cemetery on 10th Street would have been a long one.

Newspaper item, June 1, 1894: Lemuel L. Laughlin passed away May 29, 1894. Deceased was one of the most prominent men in Archuleta county, having greatly assisted in shaping the affairs of the county from its organization. He served as treasurer for two years and was one of the earliest settlers. He was born in Pennsylvania in 1834, served in the Civil War three years entering as a private and being promoted to commander of his company in Sherman's famous March to the Sea.

The funeral took place on Decoration Day and was attended by all of the old soldiers. The corpse was escorted to the school house and there exercises were held. E.M. Taylor, Judge Price, and Dr. Parrish delivered appropriate messages.

The funeral procession to the cemetery was the largest of the kind ever seen in Pagosa Springs

Motter's comment: Laughlin is another of those pioneer names we don't see much of these days. Laughlin's granddaughter still lives here. Laughlin Park is located on Jackson Mountain. The bridge across the San Juan about three miles north of town is called Laughlin Bridge because of the nearby Laughlin homestead.

Newspaper item, June 1, 1894: The Chama New Mexican says there are 100,000 head of sheep grazing within a radius of ten miles of Chama. That must be a wonderful place in which to reside.

Motter's comment: Editor Daniel Egger is being his usual, sarcastic self. This item points out the tremendous significance of sheep in the early economy of Pagosa Country. In those days hundreds of thousands of mutton factories munched San Juan grass. It doesn't take much imagination to understand why cattlemen would be irritated by an ovine invasion of these proportions. Since there was no Forest Service at the time, sheepmen and cattlemen vied for the privilege of grazing their livestock on the lush mountain grasses. Vying included the deadly exchange of gunfire on more than one occasion. An unwritten rule in Pagosa Country decreed that sheep remain above 10,000 feet, cattle below that elevation.

Newspaper item, June 1, 1894: Henry Born of Platoro is at the Springs.

Motter's comment: Born, with the possible exception of Red Ryder, is Pagosa Country's best-known personage. His criminal exploits created newspaper headlines across the West during the 1870s. He was once arrested at Trinidad by Bat Masterson. He stood trial in Dodge City where he was exonerated, only to be picked up by U.S. marshals for trial by Hanging Judge Parker in Fort Smith, Ark. He obviously escaped Parker's noose. This is one of the earliest mentions of Born in Pagosa Country. He later settled here, raised a family, and lived an exemplary life. Born's Lake on the West Fork is named for and by "Dutch Henry." His daughter and grandchildren still live in Pagosa. Platoro was a gold mining camp located near the head of the Conejos River. It never amounted to much.

Newspaper item, June 29, 1894: B. Spence was up from the ranch on Wednesday. He informed the scribe that he is now caring for a Frenchman at his home who was badly wounded last Saturday in a fight with another gentleman. It seems that a gun and a knife were effectively used in the contest. The Frenchman fired his gun while he was being carved with the knife in the hands of his opponent, but the ball struck a knife in his pocket and he was but slightly injured. The Frenchman was severely cut but is out of danger.

Motter's comment: It's handy to be ambidextrous.

Newspaper item, July 6, 1894: The new contractors on the Pagosa Springs mail route took possession on Monday and F.A. Byrne will take a much needed rest. The latter and family have moved to Pagosa. Mr. Burkett, who handles the ribbons, has moved into the half-way house. Sanderson & Burkett will endeavor to give satisfaction to the patrons of the route. They have purchased Mr. Byrne's coach and some of the teams used on the route.

Motter's comment: Even though Lumberton has sprouted and Amargo is dying, the stage still turned around at Amargo.

Options in Learning
Third in a series
by Tess Noel Baker

Relationships, life skills, service, teamwork advance education

It starts by building a relationship.

Add in life skills development, discussion of current events, academics and a pinch of community service, and the result is a high school achieving success at pulling some kids back from the cracks.

"We've got an over 95-percent graduation rate for seniors coming into the program," Mark DeVoti, high school director from 1998-2001 said. "We're smaller, we can look at what works for the individual kid and kind of point them that way."

The Archuleta County High School focuses on 14 to 19-year-old students struggling with grades, attendance or discipline in the public schools.

"They (the public school) have 1,700 students," DeVoti said. "To be able to educate as many as they do is amazing. They reach most of them, but there are a few they can't reach."

Although each student struggles for a different reason, at least one common denominator exists, DeVoti said. To reach these students means breaking down their defenses. That's achieved through open communication, individual attention, discussion and lots of activities based on trust.

"Everybody's involved here," he said. "A lot of these kids had problems with each other before and you have to overcome that. We've never had a fight in here in four years. There's never been a punch thrown or a push."

In one trust-building activity, small, soft balls are used in a circle. The activity begins with one ball being thrown around a circle. As each student throws it, the student must call out the name of the person who threw it to them, and the name of the person to whom they are throwing it. Once the pattern is established, it remains the same throughout the activity.

In order to keep multiple balls in the air simultaneously - the goal - the students must work as a team, spacing throws to allow others to catch up, speaking loudly and watching others.

At first, balls flew everywhere, but as the game continued, more and more students in the circle spoke up, slowed down and worked together.

"If you saw us the first week of school, that's all we do, and a lot of discussion, a lot of talking," DeVoti said. "After the first week, we try to rein them in."

Class structure

Students at Archuleta County High School gather around tables in rooms at the Archuleta County Education Center for four 90-minute classes four days a week, DeVoti said.

"One of the things that makes this such a success is that we're off campus," he said. "We give them a fresh start. We give them a lot of ownership too."

In an average day, math, English and cooperative learning follow breakfast. Then, after lunch, students tackle a combination of physical education, science or social studies. During the last ten minutes of the day, the students work to clean up their part of the building, rotating jobs.

Options for field trips, class projects and the daily schedule, are discussed as a group. One year that included a project with the Chamber of Commerce to build a rock wall around the Welcome sign.

"In the beginning of the year, when we did a group activity, we'd kind of get frustrated. Now we work as a team, we get through it," student Lucas Jones, 19, said.

"Everything we do, we agree on as a group, as a team," Ashley Snow, 16, said. "There's no Mr. and Mrs. Everything is on a first name basis. We don't have to ask to go to the bathroom."

DeVoti and teacher Bob Hemenger instruct most classes. An additional teacher, Sally High, comes in once a week for a half day to teach outdoor education and social studies, and Jim Mathison heads up the GED program through the county education center, DeVoti said. For the first time last year, social services brought a life skills program to Archuleta County High School Mondays and Wednesdays as part of the cooperative learning time.

Life skills

"Beyond math and science and English they need to know about life," Carmen Hubbs, executive director of the social services victim assistance program, said.

In life skills classes, students studied topics including drugs, alcohol, domestic violence, sexual harassment, healthy relationships, single parenting and respect. Guest speakers, videos and group discussion helped students better understand these and other contemporary issues.

"Since the course is based on discussion and an interactive format, the smaller numbers work a lot better," Hubbs said. At the end of the year, students applied their knowledge to a final project, expanding on one of the subjects discussed throughout the year. Social services has been asked to return with the class again next year and is working to expand it into other schools.

"This semester was about seeing what works and what doesn't," Hubbs said.

For accountability, students at the Archuleta County High School are required to adhere to the 90-80 policy - being in attendance 90 percent of the time and passing 80 percent of classes.

In the beginning

Started as a dropout recovery program in 1997, the high school is opened to a limited number of students based on applications and the approval of the Pagosa Springs High School administration, a requirement for admission. It is partially funded on a per-student basis through a contract with the Archuleta County School District 50 Joint, and supplemented by grants and donations. The instructors are paid through the Archuleta County Education Center.

Twenty students enrolled in the school's first year. Six earned a high school diploma and four left with a GED (General Educational Development) Certificate. The second year, nine graduated from high school and another nine earned GEDs.

In 2000-01, the school opened with around 50 students, DeVoti said. Of those, 12 graduated with their GEDs through the high school program, nine received high school diplomas and another 24 graduated with GEDs from the Archuleta County Education Center.

The success has been maintained, DeVoti said, because of the close cooperation with Pagosa Springs High School in identifying students who fit the style and structure of the alternative program

"If we didn't have that strong relationship we might get all the discipline problems," he said. "I've seen it in other places where the alternative school becomes the dumping grounds."

Stepping down

DeVoti's term as director of the Archuleta County High School ended last week with his acceptance of the intermediate school principal position with Pagosa Springs public schools. Cynde Jackson, community education director for the Archuleta County Education Center, said the search for a new Archuleta County High School director is underway.

Students may continue to pick up applications for the 2001-02 school year from the Archuleta County Education Center between 9 a.m. and noon Monday through Thursday.

Coming next week: Summit Christian Academy

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