Ninety days after former county manager Dennis Hunt pulled up stakes and moved to greener pastures in Montrose County, Archuleta County remains without a manager. Hunt's last work day was March 23.
And as far as East is separated from West, that is how far the county commissioners are divided on the issue of replacement. On one side, with a desire to hurry up and hire a new manager, is Commissioner Bill Downey. On the other side, commissioners Gene Crabtree and Alden Ecker are in no hurry, maybe not even convinced the county needs a manager.
"What's the rush?" says Gene Crabtree, chairman of the board of county commissioners. "We're doing a good job without one."
"That's not true," says commissioner Bill Downey. "Ninety days later is not a rush and we're not doing a good job. We're not taking care of county business as we should."
The hiring issue flared up again at Tuesday night's regular meeting of county commissioners. One result was that the commissioners set a date to establish protocols for hiring a county administrator. After threshing around with several proposed dates, Aug. 1 was chosen. On that date, the commissioners will discuss qualification requirements and possibly decide to invite a select few from among 32 applicants to come in for interviews.
Igniting Tuesday night's confrontation concerning hiring a county manager - the commissioners have decided the job title will be "county administrator" - was a question from local resident Windsor Chacey.
Chacey asked if the commissioners have adopted criteria and a time line for hiring a county administrator.
"Give me one reason why we need one," Crabtree said. "We are asked all of the time if we are looking."
"It's important that the community understand the time line," Chacey said. "The community needs assurance that we will have a professional manager."
"Can we get another work session, prioritize applicants?" Downey asked. "We have asked the selection committee to submit their choices. It's time to start interviews."
"Speaking for myself, I don't know what the job of the county administrator is," Crabtree said. "Since we haven't had one, the four of us have taken the reins, we've done everything. If someone can show me where we've gone wrong . . . We've been approved by the auditor, we're turning in our reports, we're doing the things we need to do. I have faith in our department heads. Yes, we did have one, but everything does not have to be the same. If something is not broken, you have to show me we need to fix it."
A give-and-take ensued between people in the audience and commissioners Crabtree and Ecker. Some people in the audience supported the commissioners, others opposed them.
Fred Ebeling, from the audience, said the previous county manager was not that well-liked and suggested replacement is not vital. Also from the audience, Linda Van Patter said just because the previous county manager was not liked is not a good reason not to hire another one.
"When you get rid of someone who is not doing the job, that doesn't mean you end the position," Van Patter said.
Another man from the audience, George Esterly, accused the board of crisis management. "It's been one crisis after the other," Esterly said. He implied that having a county manager would end what he sees as crisis management.
"Before you speak, find out the facts," Ecker said to Esterly. Ecker pointed out he has been busy discovering and correcting mistakes, he called them "discrepancies," made during the previous administration under a county manager.
Crabtree argued that the experience the commissioners have gained over the last 90 days while they've acted as liaison with the various department heads has made them better qualified to understand the qualities desired in a new county manager.
"Four capable people can make the assessment," Crabtree said. "I want to make sure we don't have the problems we've had before. We had one style, that person another style."
"Are you developing criteria?" Chacey asked. "I'd like to have closure on the process you are in . . . the community needs to be reassured."
"When we get ready to get down to it, we'll get criteria from the interviewing committee," Crabtree said. "We have common ground."
Mary Weiss, the county attorney and a member of the selection committee said, after reviewing the applications, she knows of several applicants she'd like to interview.
"I have a list I think looks good," Weiss said. "So does Downey."
"I was looking at Aug. 1 for a meeting to have an understanding on what we should do," Crabtree said.
From the audience, Jim Carson suggested that because the current commissioners have spent time with each department, they probably know more about how the county works than did previous commissioners.
"Previous boards did that, too," Downey said. "That's why they hired a manager. We will too, when we learn our lesson. Unfortunately, it's taking a great deal of time to learn."
"When you look for a miracle guy to solve all of the county's problems, I doubt if he's out there," said Ecker.
Both Crabtree and Ecker suggested that, with a county administrator, commissioners have nothing to do but show up at meetings and sign checks, be a "yes man" for the county manager.
Ecker repeated that he is busy trying to track discrepancies. He urged people to "quit pushing."
"I take the opposite approach," Downey said. "Keep pushing."
In the end, agreement was reached establishing the Aug. 1 meeting date to define criteria for future actions concerning hiring or not hiring a new county administrator.
The commissioners have a list of 32 applicants for the position. The first advertisement for replacements went out March 1 when Hunt handed in his 30-day notice of leaving.
Included with the advertisements was a job description. Ads were placed in the Pagosa Springs SUN, Durango Herald, an Albuquerque newspaper, Colorado Counties On Line, and a publication of North American Counties Inc. The CCI on-line advertisements are still running.
In connection with the vacancy, on Tuesday morning prior to the evening commissioner meeting, The SUN asked each of the county commissioners the following questions:
1. What progress is being made in order to hire a new county administrator?
2. When will you stop accepting applications for the position? Do you have a deadline for acting on this matter?
3. What attributes are you looking for in a county administrator?
4. Do you expect to hire a person with prior experience in government administration?
4. What is your evaluation of how things have gone during the past three months without an administrator?
5. Do you personally believe it is important to hire a county administrator?
Gene Crabtree is chairman of the board of county commissioners. His answers follow:
1. Everyone on the screening committee has gone over the applications. The door has been left open regarding the next steps. We're still accepting applications.
2. Crabtree doesn't have a specific deadline, but said something should be done by mid-July.
3. "Personally, for myself, I feel we should hire someone with some experience in government, budgets, someone who can work with groups of people. I'd like someone with experience in grant writing."
4. "Personally, I feel things have gone quite well," Crabtree said. "The auditor gave us a clean bill of health. We're getting our state reports in on time. Department heads are stepping up to the plate and taking an active role in running the county government. We meet every month with department heads. They meet weekly with the designated liaison commissioner. Kathy Wendt has done an excellent job of representing us."
5. "Personally, maybe we should do that some time in the future," Crabtree said. "It depends on what you expect a county commissioner to do. If you believe we are hired to work full time, then we don't necessarily need a county manager. Either we will be in the office full time or someone else will be in the office full time. I prefer . . . until I see a great need for a county manager. I want to be involved day-to-day. If we hire someone, I don't expect them to understand the entire job right away. I'm still trying to figure out what the job is. I'm reluctant to rush in. By waiting, we're adding $80,000 to the budget. We're saving that right now. Personally I'm not looking at a deadline."
Crabtree suggested that he gets mixed responses from constituents concerning the desirability of hiring a county manager. He says realtors and ranchers say a county manager is not needed. People who worked on the community plan say a manager is needed.
"For myself, I want to be sure before we make a decision. We need to explore more. Maybe we could use the administrative aide we have, Kathy Wendt. The head of the finance department (Cathie Wilson) is working with me to put things together for next year's budget."
1. The county hasn't made a lot of progress, according to Ecker. The selection committee has reviewed the applications.
2. There is no date set at this time to act.
3. Ecker wants someone capable of taking over the administrative duties of the county. He wants someone who can look after county financial concerns and someone capable of grant writing. He wants the proposed county manager to act as liaison between the commissioners, the public, and the county work force.
"If we hire someone, I don't expect him to be a miracle man," Ecker said. "He needs to help the commissioners and they need to help him. He should have past experience in budgeting and grant writing, be able to take advantage of everything. He should have experience in government administration."
4. The county has been functioning very well without a manager, Ecker said.
"I have learned how county government works," Ecker said. "I take the responsibility seriously. I'm always looking for ways to solve problems. I'm not trying to please so much as to solve problemsí roads, airport, transportation, everything."
5. "Personally, I'm still weighing everything," Ecker said. "I'm looking at other changes. Some counties bigger than us do not have a manager and some smaller counties do. I'm not convinced if we do or don't need one. I'll go with the other guys. There is no deadline."
1. "Little or none. We haven't done anything for the past two or three weeks," Downey said. "The last time I brought this up, it was suggested by Crabtree that we don't need to hurry, that we don't need to do anything right now."
2. "We said we would accept applications until the position is filled," Downey said, "or until we make an official determination or call it off. I think there is a good chance it will be called off."
3. "I'd like someone fairly strong in public administration," Downey said, "who also has a strong accounting background and experience in personnel management. I think the more experienced the better, but with the $50,000 to $65,000 we're offering, we won't get the top candidates."
4. "I don't think we've done well," Downey said. "We've had issues come up that would not have surfaced with an administrator. Nothing serious has happened yet, but it could get worse. We've had a couple of minor personnel issues, some confusion over who is in charge. We need an administrator in order to maintain a chain of command. A number of things are not getting done or are being done by someone who shouldn't be doing it. A lot of things are pushed off on the attorney that are not legal matters. I'm afraid we're overburdening the administrative assistant."
5. "Absolutely without qualification. We need to reestablish the chain of command. We can't have three chiefs. We need the board to set policy and the manager to carry it out."
At the request of the Archuleta County Sheriff's Department and the Pagosa Fire Protection District, the county commissioners enacted a county-wide fire ban Tuesday night.
The ban means absolutely no open fires except in designated campground areas, no burn barrels and absolutely no fireworks, Pagosa Fire Chief Warren Grams said. It will remain in effect until further notice.
"Fire danger is very high right now and will continue to be high because of lack of moisture and dry fuels," he said.
Phyllis Decker, visitor information specialist with the Pagosa Ranger District, said the fire ban does not extend into National Forest lands at this time, but that it is important to keep fire safety in mind as conditions continue to dry.
She advised people to watch for posted warnings, continue to check with the local forest office for fire closings and to be particularly careful with campfires.
"Fireworks are not permitted anytime within the San Juan National Forest," she said.
A black mark for the Town of Pagosa Springs is on its way to removal.
After spending 11 years working to bring air quality levels in line with Environmental Protection Agency standards, the town is possibly just weeks from being reclassified as an attainment area - one that meets EPA guidelines for inhalable airborne particulate matter including road dust, automobile and diesel engine by-products, and soot.
Town Administrator Jay Harrington said even though air quality issues remain, the redesignation will remove the negative stigma of being a non-attainment area.
"This is a step in the right direction," Harrington said. "It's nice to know that all the money and efforts put into air quality have paid off to date."
Those efforts included paving 6.5 miles of unpaved roads, restricting material used in street sanding, increasing street cleaning efforts on U.S. 160 through town from U.S. 84 to 14th Street, and requiring new developments within town boundaries to have paved streets.
During the paving and clean-up process, the level of particulate air quality was checked daily by monitoring equipment located on the old Town Hall. In order to receive the redesignation, the town, in cooperation with Archuleta County and the state Department of Public Health and Environment had to demonstrate the standard had been met, implement a state plan for Pagosa Springs, demonstrate that the improvement in air quality was permanent and enforceable, and develop a maintenance plan to carry the community through 2012.
Monitoring of air quality, as far as total suspended particles, began in the Town in 1975. In 1990, Pagosa Springs was classified as a PM10 "moderate" nonattainment area with regard to National Ambient Air Quality Standards. PM 10 is a classification used to describe tiny particles of solid, or semi-solid materials suspended in the air with a diameter small enough to enter the human respiratory system.
According to the Pagosa Springs PM10 redesignation request adopted by the Colorado Air Quality Control Commission, March 16, 2000, studies have shown that inhaling those particles can aggravate existing respiratory and heart diseases, damage lung tissue, impair respiratory function, alter immune system defenses or even cause premature death.
Daily monitoring equipment was moved from the high school to the top of the old Town Hall, a central traffic area for the community, shortly after the designation as a non-attainment area. To prove the EPA standard had been met, samples taken from that location could not exceed a 3-year average of 1.0. According to the monitoring record for 1992-98, the levels rose above the standard only twice - on two days in 1994.
The EPA approval of air quality redesignations for both Pagosa Springs and Telluride will take effect on Aug. 14, providing no adverse comments are received during a comment period. If adverse comments are submitted, approval will be delayed several months while the EPA addresses the concerns.
The Pagosa Springs Board of Trustees approved annexation of three properties along U.S. 160 at a special meeting Tuesday night.
The annexations include the remainder of the Fred Harman Property at the top of Put Hill, the old Sawmill site at the intersection of U.S. 84 and U.S. 160 and Bob Goodman's property across U.S. 84 from the Sawmill Site.
Approval followed a public hearing and the testimony of Allen Bunch.
Bunch, who was in favor of the overall annexations, asked the board to consider including all of Mill Creek Road in its annexation agreements, instead of just a portion of the roadway to lessen the road burden placed on the county.
"We don't take in the entire road until both sides are annexed," Town Administrator Jay Harrington said. "We will make an agreement with the county to cost-share proportional to the traffic on the road."
As discussion continued, he added that the town has a history of working with the county to improve roads, assisting with money for projects including, among others, this year's Light Plant Road paving and past improvements on North and South Pagosa Boulevards.
"We've spent over $100,000 on county roads in the last few years," Harrington said.
Bunch continued to ask the board to consider going beyond what was done in the past and what was required by law in light of the rising development concerns faced by the county.
"What I'm here for is not so much what is allowed, but what could be done," he said.
Following Bunch's comments, the board gave a unanimous nod to the annexations as initially presented.
Annexation agreements for both the Sawmill and Goodman properties included some clean-up provisions, Mark Garcia, town planner, said in an interview the following morning.
Regarding the Goodman property, the agreement outlines a timeline for clean-up to begin at the time of redevelopment. In another provision, a billboard on the property must be removed when the zoning is implemented, the next step in the overall process, Garcia said.
The agreement on the Sawmill property, which includes both a large block of land on the southwest corner of the intersection and a narrow area between U.S. 160 and the river on the opposite side of the highway details development of a reclamation plan for one of the lots - the actual site of the old sawmill.
In preparation for future development on the site, the town and property owners are also jointly funding an economic impact statement with help from a grant from the Department of Local Affairs.
The study, done by the Rural Planning Institute and set to be complete sometime in July, will outline impacts relating to a variety of issues, including police, schools and infrastructure, Garcia said. No special provisions were attached to annexing the Harman property, a move made to allow the town to close the gap in an area already surrounded by town boundaries.
A waiting period of a month's time remains before the annexations are official, Harrington said. In the meantime, staff will work with property owners to determine possible zoning designations.
Jaxon Quick, 23, of Pagosa Springs is in intensive care in St. Vincent's Hospital in Santa Fe where he was taken May 31 with a brain aneurysm.
On June 21, he spent eight hours in surgery performed by the hospital's brain surgery team and then returned to intensive care.
His parents, Valerie and Scott Quick of Pagosa, have no way of knowing how long he will be hospitalized.
Valerie is staying at a motel near the hospital at a cost of $100 a day which includes a major discount for families of ICU patients. Her room charge includes full breakfast and dinner, all local calls and has a full kitchen. It is large enough to sleep six when others in the family can join her during this ordeal.
Anyone who would like to assist the family may send or deliver checks made out to Community Bible Church or to the Quick family, with a card if desired, to WolfTracks Bookstore and Coffee Company where they will be picked up daily.
The family also asks for your prayers.
Rain, the first in 34 days, dropped on Pagosa Country Friday and again Tuesday, cooling sweat-beaded brows and perking up grasses already tinged with brown.
Friday's 0.15 inches of precipitation was the first measured here since May 19. June precipitation now amounts to 0.35 inches, far below the June average of 0.91 inches. June is historically the driest month of the year in these parts. April, May, and June are the driest three months with total precipitation averaging 3.41 inches. During April, May, and June so far this year, precipitation totals 3.18 inches.
The local rainfall pattern normally changes during mid-July when the monsoon season sets in. July rainfall averages 1.63 inches, August rainfall 2.52 inches, and September rainfall 1.89 inches. August is normally the wettest month of the year.
"Monsoon season" is the title given the onset of rain during July. During monsoon season, winds sweep in a northerly direction along the Continental Divide from Mexico, bearing air full of moisture supplied by the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific Ocean.
Last week's rainfall was a preview of the coming monsoon season, according to Becky Klenk, a forecaster from the National Weather Service office in Grand Junction. Monsoon-like conditions temporarily brought in moisture, but the westerly flow pattern common to spring in Pagosa Country is returning for the coming week, Klenk said.
From today through next Thursday, Pagosa skies will be partly cloudy with a slight chance for afternoon and evening thunderstorms and even rain showers starting Friday, Klenk said. Temperatures will range from 80 into the low 90s with the best chance for surpassing 90 degrees happening tomorrow and Saturday, according to Klenk.
The hottest temperature captured in Pagosa Country this year is 86 degrees, a reading reached three times during June. The hottest temperature ever recorded here during June was 98 degrees June 12, 1946. The monthly mean June temperature is 57.6 degrees making June the third warmest month of the year. June temperatures are exceeded only by July's mean temperature of 64.2 degrees and August's mean temperature of 62.7 degrees.
Local high temperatures last week ranged between 86 degrees June 20 and June 23 down to 77 degrees June 26. The average high temperature for the week was 84 degrees.
Low temperatures last week ranged between 48 degrees June 21 and 51 degrees June 25. The average low temperature for the week was 50 degrees. The last freezing temperature this year was 28 degrees June 14. The coldest June day of record was 17 degrees June 8, 1950.
Official weather measurements for Pagosa Springs are made at Stevens Field.
Members of the Upper San Juan Search and Rescue Team used ATVs with 2,000 pound winches to haul a horse out of a muddy bog at Opal Lake Sunday.
Archuleta County Deputy Karn Macht, said search and rescue was called to the scene about 8 a.m. Sunday after the horse, April, had been stuck in the bog all night. Others at the scene attempted to raise the horse, but couldn't swing her free of the mud.
Two ATVs, four search and rescue personnel and three mounted rangers responded to the scene at the lake near the Upper Blanco Road, Macht said. The ATVs were tied to nearby trees and winches used to raise the horse, owned by Jody Unger, onto the bank, where April stood up, shook off the mud and walked out.
Macht said the horse evidently became stuck in the mud while attempting to cross a small stream feeding Opal Lake during a trail ride.
A veterinarian stayed with the horse throughout the night, administering medication and steroids, the deputy said.
The Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service are asking visitors to the public lands and National Forests to be careful with fire during the next few weeks. High temperatures, hot, dry winds and a lack of precipitation have driven the fire danger into the "very high" rating for southwest Colorado.
Steve Ellis, BLM/USFS Fire Management Officer, said that the last week of June and first week of July are the most dangerous time for human-caused wildfires.
"June is typically one of the hottest and driest months of the year, so we almost always have high or very high fire danger at this time," Ellis said. "We're asking folks to be very careful with fire and use common sense when it comes to fire prevention," he added.
Use a camp stove instead of a campfire, said Ellis. Not only is it less likely to cause a wildfire, it won't make all the cooking gear black. If you do use a campfire, make sure it is completely out when leaving the campsite.
Smoke only in a vehicle, on bare rock or in an area that is clear of vegetation. Use an ashtray to discard matches, cigarettes, cigars or pipe tobacco.
Be sure to have an operating spark arrester on chainsaws, motorcycles or other off-highway vehicles.
Ellis reminded all visitors that fireworks are prohibited on public lands and National Forests. Anyone visiting the National Forests or BLM administered public lands, leave fireworks at home.
For more information, about the fire danger in southwest Colorado, contact the Montrose Interagency Dispatch Center at (970) 249-1010.
To report a wildfire, call the dispatch number or (800) 253-0522. Additional fire information, including fire danger and restrictions, if any, can be found at: http://www.fs.fed.us/r2/fire/mtc/mdofireinfo.htm.
Archuleta County has adopted a hands-off policy concerning new mobile home laws adopted by the Colorado Division of Housing.
The new rules require foundations under new mobile home installations or older mobile homes being moved. Also new are regulations requiring mobile home installers to be registered with the DOH. Mobile homes already in place are not affected by the changes.
Lawmakers have allowed counties to decide if they want to enforce the new regulations themselves or allow enforcement to remain a state responsibility.
Archuleta County is leaving enforcement in state hands, after hearing chief building inspector Mike Howell explain the new regulations at the regular Tuesday night meeting of county commissioners.
Howell explained that new people will be needed in his department if the county shoulders the responsibility. Howell also pointed out that county building officials will continue to make a final inspection of each mobile home installation prior to issuing a certificate of occupancy. The final inspection gives the county oversight of mobile home installation.
In other business Tuesday night the commissioners:
- Approved plans for the coming reconstruction of Light Plant Road. A joint venture with Pagosa Springs, the project involves rebuilding and paving the road from town limits to U.S. 84. Bids will be let as soon as right of way acquisitions are finalized
- Approved final payment for work recently completed on North Pagosa Blvd. Final payment of $201,846 includes a cost overrun of about $45,000 because of unforeseen transition contingencies
- Approved change order No. 1 of the Piedra Road-U.S. 160 widening project allowing payment of $15,275 for work on the northwest corner right turn egress from Piedra Road to U.S. 160
- Adopted a new job description for Kathy Wendt, the administrative assistant to the commissioners. Wendt's job description, originally adopted for the position in 1992 before she was hired, calls for her to perform the duties of county manager in the absence of the county manager. Commissioners believe the new job description will better enable Wendt to carry out her duties while the commissioners decide if they do or don't want to fill the vacancy created when former county manager Dennis Hunt resigned in late March
- Tabled action on a request that the county pay for an outside pay telephone at the county fairgrounds costing $100 a month plus any coins received
- Listened to a Fair Board progress report
- Granted a county-wide, open fire ban requested by Sheriff Tom Richards and Fire Chief Warren Grams
- Approved a release of the improvements agreement and a final plat for Teal Landing Phase II
- Approved a conditional use permit for Aspenwood Townhouses
- Set the price for purchasing a copy of the newly adopted Community Plan at $12. Free copies will be available at the Archuleta County Library and Chamber of Commerce office
- Agreed to ask for new bids for engineering firms desirous of contracting to perform county engineering requirements connected with land use regulation compliance.
The nation's capitol is a magnet for visitors to Washington, D.C. but for a group of Pagosa Springs High School students, the capitol building became an unexpected adventure.
Seven students from the school visited the offices of our various representatives in Congress and apparently passed Sen. Hillary Clinton in a subterranean passageway without recognizing her.
But, for most of the Pagosa visitors, one unexpected highlight was getting lost in the capital building.
"We ended up in the mail room," said Joetta Martinez. "It was embarrassing, but fun."
She and Scott Wallace told The SUN about their experiences in an interview last week. The five others from Pagosa who made the trip - Alena Mendoza, Andrea Dean, Heather Beye, Holly Candelaria and Amanda Snyder - were either working or out of town and not able to appear for the interview.
The students had been chosen on the basis of a short essay and an application explaining why they felt it would be beneficial for them to visit the seat of national government.
The Educational Talent Search program is administered through Fort Lewis College in Durango and the Pagosa youths were among 18 juniors and seniors from Four Corners area schools who were chosen.
Others on the weeklong trip were from Cortez, Mancos and Ignacio. Three collegiate chaperones accompanied the youths.
Participants were required to pay $200 for their own flight fare, but all other costs were borne by the sponsoring organization. That included meal money and tours of a number of memorials and museums, a tour of Catholic University and housing at George Washington University during their stay.
The two interviewed were most impressed by the scene at Arlington National Cemetery, the various war memorials and for Wallace, a highlight was touring the Smithsonian.
"None of us had been to Washington before," said Martinez, "so we were both visually and educationally challenged."
The Hillary Clinton incident happened as the youngsters had visited the offices of Sen. Scott McInnis.
A receptionist asked them which way they had come and when told, remarked, "Oh, then you got to see Senator Clinton."
"If we did we didn't know it," said Wallace.
"There's no way you could have missed her," said the senator's aide.
"But we did," said Martinez.
Applicants for the trip had to be either juniors or seniors this coming school year and were screened by the sponsoring organization on the basis of their essays and how they answered the questionnaire.
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.
The Archuleta County Fair is a returning theme in the pattern of our country's history, changing a little every year, growing with our country and keeping true to some of the very same values held dear 50 years in the past. When looking back to the first fair in the county, one may discover those ideals born in the first fair exist to this day.
Our fair's Founding Father, Ray Macht, called for a fair meeting in 1951 to initiate the first Archuleta County Fair.
After a meeting with the County Extension Agent, Macht and other local cattle ranches decided to organize the first fair. According to Ray's wife, Genelle Macht, one primary reason for starting the fair was to create an effective showplace for registered cattle. In raising registered cattle, the Machts were in good company. As it happens, there were even more local cattle ranchers who wanted a place to show their registered cattle and who wanted a showcase for the 4-H animals the children were raising.
Along with the 4-H exhibits, the first fair had many categories of displays. Superintending the various categories were: Woodrow Dunlap for horses; Dailey Hott for cattle; Harmon T. Clark for sheep and swine; Mrs. A.L. Decker for fruits and vegetables; Arch McCabe for crops and grains; Virginia Dunlap for foods; Virginia Decker and Betty Woods for needlework; Bill Adams and Ann Alice Seavy for junior exhibits; R.C. Connelley for races; and Olin Crowley for the junior rodeo. There was also a category for flowers, although there is no record of who the superintendent may have been.
Among those in charge of grounds and organizing the original fair book were Stanley Belmer, Edward S. Freienmuth, Lloyd Jones and Glen Edmonds. Other "big supporters" of the fair were Woodrow Dunlap, Stanley Belmer, Babe Shahan, Eddie Shahan, Jim Bramwell, Russell Crowley and Terry and Ruth Robinson.
These folks worked on constructing a livestock shed at the rodeo grounds, made arrangements for other exhibits, and organized contests like the catch-it-calf contest. They did all of this on what the Aug. 10, 1951, edition of the Pagosa Springs SUN called "an extremely small budget."
September 28-29 were the dates of the first fair. Cattle and livestock contests were held at the rodeo grounds. Judges from outside the county, usually La Plata County or Farmington, gave ribbons to the outstanding livestock. In an interesting side note, the cattle were judged for outstanding heifers, bulls, calves and cows. The housing of all of these animals proved problematic, and constructing pens with safety and animal welfare in mind became a constant concern. For all of this effort, winners were awarded ribbons. "There were no cash prizes then," recalls Genelle Macht.
The first day of the fair was comprised of a football game, exhibits and judging. On the second day of the fair, there was a junior rodeo including the thrilling catch-a-calf contest. These events, primarily geared toward youth involvement, were not the only events in which children took part. Youth and children were also involved with showing and the sale of their 4-H livestock. This made for an entertaining and novel event in Pagosa Springs with the contrast between quite small children and their very large animals.
Genelle Macht remembers a photo of her son Carl when he was four or five years old looking very small while showing a huge steer. Children in 4-H and those at Piedra Grange displayed their exhibits in the high school gym along with exhibits from the Rod and Gun Club of Pagosa Springs.
How glad we are that our fair's founding father and all of the local cattle ranchers took steps to establish the tradition. Of course, this year's fair will be different from its predecessors. But as was said of the first fair in the Aug. 10, 1951, SUN, "The fair is for benefit of the entire community, townspeople and ranchers alike." This sentiment has endured for the first 50 years of the Archuleta County Fair as it will for the next 50 years.
It was a great day for all concerned - and that included kids, adults, mini-hamsters, ferrets, dogs, llamas, cats, alpacas, snakes, macaws, lizards, hawks, tropical fish and more.
Town Park bore some resemblance to Noah's Ark for most of Saturday. The Humane Society's sixth annual "thank you" to the community for its support throughout the year was pulled off in grand style with the help of some 50 volunteers who spent 600-700 hours preparing for and carrying off this annual event.
The day included hamburgers, hot dogs, lemonade, games, fun things to have done to face and hair, and contests of all kind with lots of winners - all of whom will receive proper recognition in short order.
An inoculation clinic run by Gretchen Pearson of Elk Park Animal Hospital, handled about 40 animals. The Humane Society microchipped 11 animals. Spectators learned about raptor rehabilitation, how acupuncture can be used with animals and what a herpetologist is. They were also treated to a canine personal protection demonstration and a training demo with shelter dogs. Something fun was going on from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
And now for the winners.
The Canine 9K Race began sharply at 8 a.m. The top male was Scott Anderson with his son Keenan, finishing in 36:39. The top female was Sheila Salazar with a time of 42:33.
Second places went to Reed Kelly who finished in 36:59, and Emily Deitz, crossing the line in 43:24.
Winners running with their pets were Jack Searle with Lucky, finishing in 30:28, and Salazar with Albert Einstein.
In the youth class, Tiffany Thompson, 15, came in first with a time of 46:17. In the youth short run, winners were Kelsea Anderson and Hillary Matzdorf. The youth long run winners were Ryan Searle and Emily Shur.
Our top walker was Ella Vaughn with a time of 1:14:33.
The Paws Parade gave children a chance to show off their pets. The prize for Most Money in Pledges and Number of Pledges went to Adrienne Young and her black lab Dixie. Young collected $300 from 16 people and has been the winner in this category for the past three years.
The Best Pet Costume award was shared by Stephanie Zenz and her cat Chances, and Hayley Hudson and her dog, Charlee. Chances was dressed in a white dress with ruffles and a headband. Had there been a category for most laid-back cat, he would have won that too. He sat in the grass, quietly observing the commotion - his ruffles totally unruffled. Hayley and Charlee, the golden retriever cross, were dressed as Hayley the magician with top hat and cape, and cartwheeling Charlee with bandana and skirt. In the Celebrity Animal Look-Alike contest, Amber Larks' collie, King, was shining. He looked ready to save someone in true Lassie fashion.
Best Owner/Pet Costume Combo went to Cody Stone in overalls, a straw hat and face makeup and Moe the Bassett hound in suspenders, shorts and a T-shirt. They were a pair of Beverly Hillbillies.
In the All Pets Class, Most Colorful went to Pam Stone's Bubba, a three-year-old female blue and gold macaw. Best Canine Vocalist was awarded to Betty Schwicker's Katie, a miniature Schnauzer. Second place went to Sean Riley's Monto, a Bernese Mountain dog. In the Face Only a Mother Could Love, first place went to Oreo and Little Digger, both mini-hamsters shown by Samantha and John Hunts. Second place went to Pugsley, a black pug (what else!) shown by Colin Belt.
In the Dogs Only Class, the best tail wag award went to Pagosa Jake shown by Bob Albers. Longest dog with shortest legs honors went to Shay, a Dachshund shown by Cheryl Nelson. Second place went to Mo, a Bassett Hound shown by Cody Stone. The smallest dog (over 6 months) award went to Pockets, a Chihuahua weighing 1 1/2 pounds shown by Joie Zielinski. The tallest dog award went to Tigger, a Great Dane shown by Kim Jensen. The curliest tail award went to Pugsley, the two category winner black pug shown by Susan Wilson and Jerry Fields. In the agility challenge, first place went to Fritz, a miniature Schnauzer shown by Aliya Haykus; second place went to Dixie a black lab mix shown by Adrian Young.
In the Cats Only Class, the fattest cat award went to Flopsie weighing 18 pounds who presented her owner Aliya Haykus with the challenge of getting her out of and putting her back into her carrying case.
In the funniest photo contest the dog dyed bright blue except for one eye was definitely the winner.
In the games contests, Dylan Granquist won the ring toss and basketball toss, and Ryan Searle won the bean bag toss.
Safe to say that a grand time was had by all.
At a meeting with Bob Locken and me in about 1992, or when the town hall was renovated, Jay Harrington said when asked about commercial business ADA violations, "We enforce all the building codes except those pertaining to the disabled." This is a fact. In other words, if they see a violation of ADA and it is not corrected, nothing happens. I had to step down six inches to get into his office! He said they would change that if the town hired a disabled town manager. That statement alone was a violation of ADA. Yet, if any other building codes are violated the building site is shut down. If it looks like a duck. . . Discrimination is alive and well in Healing Waters. As a physically challenged person, I have not used Pagosa since they were free. I now proclaim this town Stinking Waters.
To the Editor,
The amount of commissioner/planner/official bashing going on around here is a pretty good indication of the number of people in Archuleta County who have too much time on their hands.
Let's look at some of the facts:
We live in a county/town(s) with fuzzy boundaries. We have families who have been here for generations and people who have been here 15 minutes. We have people who are content to have a small place with a porch facing the river next to those who think they need a large spread with all the trimmings.
We have people who know they may have to snowmobile it from road to house now and then (and who are content with that) next to people who want to live out in the country and think the county/city should not only build them a smooth road to get there, but should plow it every five minutes. And they live next to people who think their roads should be plowed every five minutes, but only during the hours that are convenient for them.
We have people who want to control growth and preserve as much of the area as possible next to people who want to level the entire valley, pave it, and build shopping centers and huge medical/office complexes. The thought doesn't seem to occur to them that if they want that kind of development they can move to Albuquerque or Denver, areas that are also growing faster than a 12-year-old boy.
We have people who live in areas with no zoning whatsoever, and who are content with that, close to people who think everything from fence type to dog size/breed to toilet tank capacity should be protected by "covenants." We live in an area that's growing so fast that an accurate map would have to be printed on a weekly basis to keep up. And those of us who live in Pagosa are dealing with the fact that we have two sides of town which are completely different, and which are often at odds with each other.
Now, I ask you - would you want to be in the hot seat right now? Then run for office yourself in the next election or shut up and try to come up with some ideas to make the growing pains easier to deal with.
Maggie Valentine Inskeep
Please let me thank you and all your "town folk" for being so considerate of your bike riding public. But like the days of old, my old bones (78) are tired and sore, not from a horse saddle, but a bike saddle. Several hours in the Springs and a massage did wonders. I have only one small suggestion which I am sure you can support.
You need some real old time mud baths. I can see the buffalo grazing on the nearby hillsides. As you know - the newest and authentic mud is buffalo chips - I recommend city supervision, licensing, inspection etc. to make sure the buffalo are washed every day. This will insure you get the finest chips. Add some color of the days of the past and get some happy tourists and happy buffalo too.
"Just passing through."
Tears came today for a mother who lost her son.
Tears came today for a mother whose son was killed.
Tears came today of the thought we're all in a hurry to get somewhere.
Tears came today of the thought we have no regard for others.
Tears came today of the thought we only think of ourselves.
Tears came today of the thought a mother's son was killed 'cause we're all in a hurry to go somewhere and have no regards for others, 'cause we only think of ourselves.
Let's take the time to think of others as we would think of ourselves so we can see the smile of our mother, instead of her tears.
I see so much discourteous driving, folks are always in a hurry to get somewhere, not caring about others or how they feel.
This town is a beautiful place to come for vacation, or just passing through. So let's think about others and keep our roads safe so that folks may come back and visit again.
Jessie Dalton Bilbo
Jessie Dalton Bilbo, a part-time resident of Pagosa Springs, was called to the arms of her Lord early in the morning of June 9, 2001 after a long and courageous battle with chronic illness.
During this time of trial she was attentively nursed by her loving husband "Bilbo" and longtime companion, Callie, the cat.
Jessie was a loving mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and wife. She will be remembered for her indomitable spirit, love of life and abiding religious faith.
Born Aug. 11, 1926 in Texarkana, Ark., as Jessie Kathryn Arnold, she married her first love, Marcus Lafayette Dalton Jr., on Dec. 29, 1943. He preceded her to glory on June 23, 1974. She was blessed to later marry Victor Clifford Bilbo Jr., on July 2, 1977 and they had shared their strength and joy with each other since that time.
Besides her husband, she is survived by her children, Mark David Dalton and wife Sally, Robert William Dalton, Samuel Christopher Dalton and wife Judy, and Lucenda Catherine Morgan and husband, Trey.
Robert Brunson and Yvonne Candelaria will wed July 7 at 2 p.m. at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in Pagosa Springs. Yvonne is the daughter of David and Margie Lucero and Robert is the son of Rod and Mary Brunson. They will make their home in Durango.
Larry and Karol Novak of Pagosa Springs announce the engagement of their daughter Amy Nadine Novak of Lake Arrowhead, Calif., to Christopher Brian Huff of Abilene, Texas. Mr. Huff's parents are Coy and Jan Noles of Abilene and Wayne and Cheri Huff of Pagosa Springs.
Amy is a second-year law student at the Denver University College of Law. Luff is employed by Galloway, Romero and Associates, an engineering/architectural firm in Denver. The engagement was announced this month and the couple plan to wed on June 8, 2002 in the Denver area.
Terry and Shorty Smith of Texas Creek, are proud to announce the engagement of their daughter, Sandra Smith, of Pagosa Springs to Nate Mendoza of Pagosa Springs. Mendoza is the son of Henry and Connie Medina. The couple plan to marry on July 21, 2001.
Former Pagosa Springs resident Brent Cleveland Slough recently graduated from New Mexico Military Institute at Roswell, N.M., after two year's training.
Upon graduation, Slough received an Offer of Admission to the United States Military Academy at West Point for the Class of 2005.
Slough is the grandson of Wade and Audrey Slough, of Pagosa Springs.
Indians 5, Indians 2
Braves 10, Rockies 8
Twins 16, Braves 11
Rockies, Orioles Tie
Durango 17, Orioles 8
Orioles 15, Ignacio 7
Ken's Performance 12, American Legion 7
U Can Afford 16, Stray Dogs 1
Clifford Construction 30, Black Sox 14
P.P.P. Playboys 21, At Your Disposal 17
Ken's Performance 18, U Can Afford 4
Clifford Construction 28, American Legion 13
P.P.P. Playboys 34, Dulce Tigers 18
At Your Disposal forfeit, The Bears
Ken's Performance 5-0
At Your Disposal 3-1
Clifford Construction 5-1
P.P.P. Playboys 5-1
American Legion 2-4
U Can Afford 4-2
Stray Dogs 2-3
Dulce Black Sox 1-5
Dulce Tigers 1-4
The Bears 0-7
Jann Pitcher Real Estate 21, UBC/ KWAL 11
Rowdy Bunch 14, Ken's Performance/Paint Connection 4
Fairfield 14, Club Fifteen 13
UBC 16, Wells Fargo 6
Rowdy Bunch 3-0
Jann Pitcher 2-1
Paint Conn./Ken's 2-1
Radio Shack 1-2
Wells Fargo 1-2
Club 15 1-2
Susan Dennis, Barbara Boggess and Marilyn Smart tied for low gross last week in Women's Golf Association Play Day action.
First place low net went to Benny Lohman. Jackie Ford took second, and third place was a tie between Debbie Hart and Marilyn Pruter-Young.
Carrie Weisz made a great shot on Meadows three after removing her shoes and socks to stand in ankle deep water. However, the following shot went into more water and Weisz would have needed diving gear to hit from that lie. Oh, the woes of golf.
Just a reminder - the largest ladies association golf tournament, the Pine Cone Classic will be July 10-11 with a practice round set for July 9. This is a fun, four-person team tournament with lots of socializing. Deadline for entry is July 2.
For more information, call the Pagosa Springs Golf Club at 731-4755.
Bull rider Josh Ray of Pagosa Springs finished in ninth place in the annual State High School Rodeo, June 13-17 in Greeley.
After winning the first go-round in the state finals, Josh found some tough bulls and did not qualify for the nationals.
However, his finish in the top 10 earned him a spot in the Silver State Internationals for high school competitors this weekend in Fallon, Nev.
William Clark of Pagosa Springs finished 11th in saddle bronc riding and barely missed placing for the Fallon event. Brandon Baker of Pagosa was expected to compete but was injured the weekend before at the Lamar rodeo and was unable to go at Greeley.
Lots of people, activities and 4th fun
It's official: summer is finally here. Although our Diplomats will tell you that summer arrived several weeks ago.
Diplomats are currently assisting over 200 visitors a day during the week and more than they can count on the weekends.
This is the week leading up to the Fourth of July and we all know what that means in Pagosa: lots of people, lots of activities and lots of fun! With that in mind, Sally has made a mad dash to Indiana for a Stout family reunion and left the inmates in charge of the asylum. So let's take a look at what's happening in the coming week.
Holiday activities get underway June 30, when over 80 vendors from 11 states descend upon Town and Centennial Parks for the 23rd annual Park to Park Arts and Crafts Festival.
This year's festival has been sold out since late May and promises a little of everything for visitors. You can watch a flint knapper hand-craft stone knives, choose from carved wooden rocking chairs and benches, see wrought-iron sculptures or select from paintings and pencil drawings of all types. Oh, did I mention there will be some jewelers in the show? Jewelry made from gold, silver, copper, brass, pewter and more will be on display to tantalize the bargain seeker in all of us.
Plan on making your visit to the arts and crafts fair an all-day trip to make sure you see it all. There will be plenty of food and drink available from vendors in the parks. Po' boys, Jambalaya, German brats, and strawberry shortcake will vie with perennial favorites: hotdogs, kettle corn, shaved ice and lemonade to tempt the taste buds of everyone at the parks.
Entertainment will be provided in Town Park over the weekend with the Hopi Indian Dancers highlighting the bill. They will provide tribal dances in Town Park at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. for the public's enjoyment. The dancers will be in authentic ceremonial costumes and each performance will last about one hour. This is something no one should miss, as visits to the town for performances are rare. Also providing entertainment will be Tom Perry, a fiddle player from Angel Fire, N.M., and our own local (but not yet confirmed) Mark DeVoti and Bruce Andersen.
Fun for the Fourth
When it comes to celebrating the Fourth, Pagosans know how to do it in style.
As always, festivities get underway on July 4 with the Rotary Club's Fourth of July Parade through downtown at 10 a.m. This is an event that draws crowds every year, so stake out your spot on the route early so you won't miss a thing. Anyone wishing to take part in the parade can pick up an entry form at the Chamber. Completed entries must be turned in by tomorrow. If the entries coming in to the Chamber are any indication, this year's parade will be a blast.
July 4 also marks the start of the 52nd annual Red Ryder Roundup Rodeo at the County Fairgrounds. Events begin at 4 p.m. Wednesday. The Rodeo continues on July 5 and 6, with events scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. each day. The Red Ryder Rodeo is truly a piece of Pagosa's history and continues to provide family entertainment to locals and visitors alike.
Of course, no Fourth of July celebration is complete without fireworks and Pagosa really knows how to light up the night sky to honor our country's independence.
This year's show will take place at the Sports Complex, near the high school. The Pagosa Hot Strings will introduce their new album, "Window of Opportunity," as well as play the favorites Pagosans have come to know and love. The concert will get underway around 6:30 p.m. with fireworks following at dusk.
I'm exhausted just writing about everything happening during the holiday, but believe me, every one of these events is a must-see. Just get lots of rest on July 3 and Pagosa will give you a Fourth to remember.
If you've still got some energy after July 4, head out to Chimney Rock for their Full Moon Program July 5.
Take a short hike up to the Great House Pueblo site and listen to the intriguing history behind the Chimney Rock Archeological Area while you wait for the incredible sight of a full moon rising over the landscape. This is a great way to combine history and a quiet evening with friends and family. Reservations can be made by calling 883-5359.
Don't forget to cruise out to the Spitfire Creek Ranch in Allison Saturday for the Pagosa Youth Foundation Auction and Open House. The Pagosa Youth Foundation\Spitfire Creek Ranch provides at-risk youth and individuals with leadership, discipline responsibility and positive life skills. To RSVP, contact Debra Ewing at 731-9110 or Larry Bass at 731-5660. Help them make a difference in the lives of our future leaders.
As Pagosa Springs continues to grow, so does our "little" chamber. This week we add four new members to the roll.
We lead off with Coastal Sites, Inc., owned by Curtis Roderick. Coastal Sites, Inc. is located at 56 Talisman Drive, No. 4. They offer top quality web site design and positioning on the major search engines. Coastal Sites offers guaranteed results and is the industry leader in positioning.
Next up is K.K. Paddywhack's Embroidery and owners Toby and Renae Karlquist. K.K. Paddywhack's offers custom, digitized in-house embroidery services. They will happily work with your existing logo, or they can design one for you. Their specialty is custom embroidery, logos and monograms on a wide variety of garments including shirts, caps, towels and robes. Give them a call at 731-4001.
The Morales Cigar Company of Pagosa Springs features Key West Handmade Cuban Seed Cigars, pipes and pipe tobacco. They will also have Southwest Indian Jewelry, gifts galore, and quilted items. You'll find them at 511 San Juan, Suite No. 2.
Finally, The Pagosa Clothing Company has opened its doors in the River Center. They offer a wide variety of women's clothing.
Our renewals include John Montoya with Special Runs Daily, and associate members Angie and Ken Gayhart, and Mr. And Mrs. Jack C. Threet.
Our thanks to the membership renewals. Make sure to stop by our new members and thank them for being a part of this great community.
Picnic at Casa de los Arcos before fireworks
We are proud to honor Lena Bowden as our Volunteer of the Month. Lena is a mainstay of our group. We are happy that Lena is getting to leave on vacation, but will also be happy when she returns.
It's hard to believe that this year is almost half over. It seems like I just got the Christmas decorations stored away and now it is time for July Fourth celebrations. I hope all our seniors will attend the picnic and fireworks observance to be held in front of Casa de los Arcos at 6:30 p.m. on July 4. Hot dogs, tea and lemonade will be furnished. The rest is potluck so bring your favorite summer food items. Since the fireworks will be launched from the sports area near the high school, we will have a perfect viewing place. Also, we thank David Sedgwick for his efforts in making our two new buses available for entering the July 4 parade - everyone watch for them.
The wonderful folks at the Spa Motel and Pool (Marsha Pruitt) have offered senior members a discount for use of their facility, and they will offer a water therapy class Tuesday mornings for those who sign up in advance. The sign-up sheet is in the lobby of the senior center so please take advantage of this benefit.
We have had several visitors this week - Dale Warner and Charmaine Galion joined us on Wednesday; and on Friday we were pleased to have new member Josiphine Paluch and visiting members of Dorothy Million's family (Phil and Marian Perfeho and their children) join us for lunch. Our new members and visitors are very special to us and we hope you can all return again soon.
Max and Ester Peralta joined us on Friday and Max's name was drawn to be our Senior of the Week. Congratulations Max.
Each Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 9 a.m., members of our group swim free of charge at the Pagosa Lodge, a benefit we greatly appreciate. You may contact Cindy or Musetta at 264-2167 to obtain more information about transportation to and from the lodge.
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. It is quite popular with our folks. Wear loose clothing and bring a towel if you wish to join this group.
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 potluck dinner will be at 5 p.m.
Please keep all these events on your calendars.
Rotary's Freedom Run will precede parade
The recreation center will be closed on July 4. The staff wishes all its members an enjoyable and relaxing Independence Day.
I hope to see you at the third annual Rotary Freedom Run on July 4. This 1K run or walk will precede the Fourth of July Parade. Runners and walkers of all ages and ability levels are invited to participate. Each participant will receive a beautiful commemorative T-shirt (as long as the supply lasts - so be among the first 35). Registration forms are available at the Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center and Pagosa Lakes Recreation Center.
You may also register the morning of the run/walk in front of Ruby Sisson Library at 9-9:30 a.m. Cost is $7 per participant and families with children are encouraged to be a part of this pre-parade event. Children under the age of 10 get to participate at no charge but will not be eligible for a race T-shirt. For more information, call Joe Donovan, race director, at 731-9296. Go red, white and blue.
Last Friday's PLPOA sponsored fishing derby for all local and visiting youngsters was pretty popular. The last head count had over 50 anglers casting for the largest, ugliest or thinnest fish. With a prize for every child, the categories and descriptions had to get quite creative. Many thanks to KWUF for announcing the event. Equal thanks to Ponderosa Do It Best for providing all the prizes at cost.
The Pagosa Springs Rotary Club's Chuck Dorman Memorial Golf Tournament will take place Saturday. It has certainly stirred up a great deal of interest. The generous donations of hole sponsors for this golf tournament make it possible for the Pagosa Springs Rotary Club to hold this major fund-raiser annually. A huge portion of the money raised supports the Rotary Scholarship Trust Fund.
The Pagosa Springs Rotary Club awarded its first scholarship to a Pagosa Springs High School graduate in June 1982. To date, the club has awarded $127,500 in scholarships to 72 graduates of Pagosa Springs High School. Each year the club awards one $6,000, four-year scholarship; one $4,000, four-year scholarship, and two $1,000 one-year scholarships. For the first time last year, one additional vocational scholarship of $1,500 was awarded. In total, $13,500 is awarded annually.
This year's recipients of the Pagosa Springs Rotary Club scholarships are Travis Laverty, $6,000 scholarship to be awarded over eight semesters; Hope Koppelman, $4,000 to be awarded over eight semesters; Andrea Ash, $1,000; Tiffany Hamilton, $1,000 and Josh Ray, $1,500 vocational/technical scholarship.
In 1990, in order to create a perpetual source of funds for the above scholarship awards, the club formed the Pagosa Springs Rotary Club Scholarship Trust. The principal of the trust is not to be spent but instead it is invested in government-insured instruments. This trust is administered by three trustees. The earnings of the trust must be spent each year for scholarships awarded to graduates of Pagosa Springs High School.
The Pagosa Springs Rotary Club now has $202,000 in the trust. Individual Rotarians are donating money to the trust in addition to working very hard at raising money through the annual golf tournament, the Casino Royale, the Winterfest Follies and a number of other events.
Time for Friends of Library to renew memberships
It is time to renew your membership in the Friends of the Library organization so you can attend the annual meeting and private book sale July 13.
Annual tax deductible memberships are $10 for a family, $5 for an individual, $2 for a student. Lifetime memberships are $100.
The Friends hold a short annual meeting, elect officers and refreshments are served. The meeting is held at the Extension Building on U.S. 84. Friends get first chances at the many interesting bargains.
The public book sale will be Saturday morning, July 14.
We appreciate donations for this annual event, but we can't use old textbooks.
The state put out a pamphlet on what to expect of a baby's intellectual development from six months through four years. All children develop differently. You can find out more about your own child's development at a free screening. Call 1-888-777-4041 for more information.
We only have one copy of the pamphlet, but we will be glad to make free copies for anyone.
Another document from the state tells what standards to use when choosing daycare programs. The standards are divided by age. Ask for a copy at the desk.
The David and Lucile Packard Foundation sent a copy of "The Future of Children." The publication provides objective analysis and evaluation of how children are now using computers, whether they enhance education, and how unmonitored use can place children at risk.
The study calls for public and private initiatives to ensure that all of the children benefit from positive uses of technology. This is an important document to be read by everyone interested in this subject. It may be checked out.
On the other end of the age spectrum, we are now receiving "Secure Retirement," the magazine for mature Americans put out by the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare.
The lead article discusses new Medicare benefits and protections.
Two hundred and fifty-seven ardent readers are now signed up as we enter our third week of "Once Upon a Time."
Remember Tuesday and Friday story times at 11. Be sure and mark your party calendar for July 25 for the final party.
Readers of the Week were Mele LeLievre, Rose Quintana, Chance Adams, Barrie Bliss, Seth Rizzo, Nolan Stretton, Daryn Butler, Spence Scott, Katie Bliss and Joshua Neuleib.
Worry Doll Contest winners were Desiree Pastin, Magan Kraetsch, Anne Townsend, Demi Pastin, Julia Williams, Kitman Gill, Kara Schlosser, Jessy Maez, Lydia Gallegos, Katie Smith, Sandra Salas, Kellie Florek, Haden Sharp, Emily Bryant, Briana Bryant and Megan Bryant.
Winners of the Legend Contest: Caitlin Rivas, Isaiah LeLievre, Shelby Stretton, Magan Kraetsch and Anne Townsend.
Our Coloring Contest winners were Amber Lark, Jaden Hinger, Tate Hinger, Andie Miller, Emily Bryant, Danielle Beserra, Ben Miller, Barrie Bliss, Derek Lorenzen, Kitman Gill, Breezy Bryant, Megan Bryant, Jordan Valdez, Mackenzie Kitson, Rose Quintana, Traci Bliss and Christopher Mueller.
According to one of our health newsletters, you need to make sure you are properly immunized if you are traveling abroad.
The website www.cdc.gov/travel will tell you everything you need to know about various countries, traveling with kids, and it also has an excellent "travelers checklist."
Thanks for materials from Anita Schwendeman, Liz Morris, Yvonne Walters, Ralph Williams, Evelyn Kantas, Eugenia Hinger, Chris Gerlach, Ralph and Lyn Frank, Kent Schafer, Louis Chavez and Alice Chavez.
The library will be close on Wednesday, July 4. Enjoy our wonderful parade sponsored by the Rotary Club.
Coast Guard flag carrier needed
A member of the United States Coast Guard is needed to carry the USCG flag in the Fourth of July parade. If anyone can do so, please call Robert Dobbins at 731-2482, the American Legion Post at 264-4884, or appear at the Post at 9 a.m. the day of the parade.
Robert Dobbins, USMC (Ret.) calls cadence for the color guard.
There are parade rules to follow. Facing front crossways from the right, the order is the American flag, the Colorado flag, the American Legion flag with guard flags on each end.
Columns follow, the service flags are first. Then the missing in action flag, a black flag with a picture of a POW on it.
Next comes the military veterans' units, the Commander of the VFW and then the chaplain at the post. After that are the legionnaires dressed in uniform (if possible) or wearing their hats, white shirts and dark pants.
The formations depend on the number of people who show up.
Basically the cadence Dobbins calls is "hup two, three, four." A note here: the sung cadences are just that, cadence songs.
A few years ago, members of the Mullins-Nickerson American Legion Post 108 started visiting the elementary schools to teach students the proper respect for the American flag and, ever since, the parade crowd has improved greatly in its saluting the American flag as the earlier color guard goes by.
(Children are wonderful teachers.)
The correct procedure is to stand at attention and place the hand over the heart, not the stomach or the shoulder as the American flag goes by in the color guard. After that, one does not have to salute, or rather the flag code has no provision for "follow up" salutes.
The theme of this year's parade is "The Land that I Love." It will be a good one, see you there.
Fun on the run
A young man excitedly told his mother he's fallen in love and going to get married.
He says, "Just for fun, Ma, I'm going to bring over three women and you try and guess which one I'm going to marry."
The mother agreed.
The next day, he brings three beautiful women into the house and sits them down on the couch and they chat for a while. He then says, "OK, Ma, guess which one I'm going to marry."
She immediately replied, "The one in the middle."
"That's amazing, Ma. You're right. How did you know?"
"I don't like her."
Boats galore: Are they yachts, sloops or ketches?
There are a lot of people in Southern California. I'm sure this is a surprise to many of you.
Hotshot and I are in Newport Beach, which is shielded from the Pacific Ocean by the Balboa Peninsula. The harbor has a couple of islands, Balboa Island and Lido Island. This makes a lot of waterfront for mooring boats. And there are a lot of boats here, over 9,000 of them according to my guide book.
I think you're not supposed to call them boats. Probably you should say yachts. If they have sails they're sloops, or schooners, or ketches. Or something.
We've seen a lot of yachts this week, and they all seem to fall into two groups - big ones and bigger ones. You could get a real attack of boat envy if you stayed here very long.
We're attending a conference, which means work for Hotshot and play for me. Hah! This play stuff is hard when you're out of practice. Let's see, what shall I do today? Take a walk and look at boats? Go to the beach (and look at boats)? Sit by the pool (and not look at boats)?
I shifted into vacation mode. I took long walks. I sat by the pool. I painted my toenails with glittery polish so that they sparkled in the right light.
A ferry connects Balboa Island to the outer peninsula. Three little ferryboats run continuously. Each one carries three cars and any number of pedestrians. The ride takes five minutes.
Along the oceanfront, between the sand and the continuous row of little beach houses, there's a wide paved walk, with a double yellow line painted down the center. Signs say, Speed Limit 8 miles per hour. Pedestrians, roller bladers and people riding creaky one-speed rental bicycles all share the road.
Our hotel on the harbor is also a private club. The conference organizers got a great deal on rooms for us all, because the place is being expanded. There's a lot of construction going on, but not outside our window. Instead we overlook the parking lot entrance and the Pacific Coast Highway. You think U.S. 160 through town is busy? You ain't seen nothing!
When the new additions going up on either side are complete, I guess they'll tear down this part in the middle and upgrade it. So I won't bother to alert the management about anything I think might need their attention. So what if the toilet has a slow leak? They'll replace it soon. So the lock on the patio door doesn't catch? Next year it's history.
The club works hard to maintain decorum. The dress code got two full pages in the Welcome to the Club message from the manager. A polite variation on No Shoes, No Service. I guess you have to watch those drop-in yacht people, or they'll really lower the standards.
Every business around here with a parking lot - restaurant, hotel, yacht broker - has a parking valet. Or several of them. There are three or four at our hotel-club-resort. No self-parking is permitted. Our valets work 8-hour shifts. They're nice young men. Polite and friendly. They tell me parking is a good job. "Why?" I ask. The exercise ranked high.
Andy estimated he runs 8 miles on a busy day.
I ask if he prefers parking at a hotel or at a restaurant. "A hotel," he says. Why? "There's more variety. And the people are really nice." Okay Andy, you get a bigger tip.
A lot of the club members drive here to swim in the pool or eat in the First Cabin dining room. They arrive in their Mercedes Benzes or their BMWs. We've also seen a fair number of Porsches and Jaguars and even a Rolls Royce. Well, hey, if you've got a $10,000,000 yacht, what's a Mercedes or two? Then we pull up in Ol' Paint. There are a fair number of SUVs here, but Suburbans are not plentiful. And nothing is as old and dirty as our car.
At first, I thought the valet parked her out back with the construction vehicles so that nobody would see her. Maybe the manager had come running out, snarling, "Get that thing out of sight!" But no, she just doesn't fit in California-sized parking spaces. One day I took her to the Car Spa for a wash. Got her cleaned up, so she didn't look quite so disreputable. I swear she was the only car that didn't arrive already sparkling. What are those Californians thinking of, washing clean cars? Don't they have something better to do with their time?
When the Car Spa men were finished washing and wiping and spraying and scraping bugs off the windshield, she gleamed. Sort of. But she still looked like a beached whale next to all the others in the parking lot. She still didn't fit in.
And I don't fit in California. Don't get me wrong. It's a great place to visit. The palm trees are numerous. The climate is delightful. The ocean is cold and the waves are bracing.
But, it's not home. It'll be good to back to Pagosa.
VA doesn't loan, but does co-sign
Veterans Affairs guaranteed loans are made by private lenders, such as bank, savings and loans, or mortgage companies to eligible veterans for the purchase of a home, which must be for their own personal occupancy. To get a loan, a veteran must apply to a lender. If the loan is approved, VA will guarantee a portion of it to the lender. The guaranty protects the lender against loss up the to the amount guaranteed and allows a veteran to obtain favorable financing terms.
The VA does not loan money. Think of a VA loan guaranty as a "co-signer" for the veteran, sort of like when you helped a young person buy their first automobile or some other contract. You co-signed to guaranty re-payment of the loan or contract, in case the principal person fails to meet the terms of the loan. The VA guaranties the veteran will repay the home loan, or the VA will. Of course if it comes to that, rest assured the VA will collect from the veteran. But it is one of the very early benefits offered to veterans to help them get a start.
There is no maximum VA loan but lenders will generally limit VA loans to $203,000. This is because lenders sell VA loans in the secondary market, which currently places $203,000 limit on the loans. For loans up to this amount, it is usually possible for qualified veterans to obtain no down payment financing. A veteran's maximum entitlement is $36,000 (or up to $50,750 for certain loans over $144,000). Lenders will generally loan up to four times a veteran's available entitlement without a down payment, provided the veteran is income and credit qualified and the property appraises for the asking price.
Lenders who sell VA loans in the secondary market or place these loans into Ginnie Mae (GNMA) securities must limit the size of those loans to the maximum prescribed by GNMA. GNMA currently limits the size of VA loans acceptable for its program to $203,000. While the VA funding fee can be added over and above this amount, no other closing costs can be included on purchases and cash out refinances.
Because VA loans can be for the full reasonable value of the property as evidenced by a VA appraisal, no down payment is required by VA except in the event the purchase price exceeds the reasonable value of the property. In this case, a down payment in the amount of the difference must be made in cash from the borrower's own resources. If a veteran has less than full entitlement available, a lender may require a down payment in order to make the veteran a loan that meets GNMA or other secondary market requirements. The "rule of thumb" for GNMA is that the VA guaranty, or a combination of VA guaranty plus down payment and/or equity, must cover at least 25 percent of the loan.
The VA no longer prescribes interest rates for VA guaranteed loans. The interest rate and points are negotiated between the lender and the veteran. The veteran and seller may negotiate for the seller to pay all or some of the points. The points must be reasonable and may not be financed into the loan except for IRRRL's.
The veteran must pay a funding fee to help defray costs of the VA home loan program. The following persons are exempt from paying the funding fee: veterans receiving a minimum of 10 percent VA compensation for service connected disabilities or surviving spouses of veterans who died in service or from service connected disabilities.
This information should only be used as a guideline. Excellent information on this and other VA programs can be accessed online at http://www.homeloans.va.gov.
On another note, I am now hosting the "Bill Miller Show" on our local radio station KWUF 106.3 FM on Tuesday evenings from 6-9 p.m., saluting all veterans of Archuleta County. Bill Miller show features nostalgic music of the 40's, 50's, and 60's, big band sounds, comedy and other features of interest to many of our veterans and their families.
For information on these and other Veteran's benefits please call or stop by the Archuleta County Veterans Service Office located on the lower floor of the County Courthouse. The office number is 264-2304, the FAX number is 264-5949, and E-mail is email@example.com. The office is open from 8 to 12 and 1 to 4, Monday through Thursday, or Friday by appointment. Bring your DD Form 214 (Discharge) for registration with the County, application for VA programs, and for filing in the VSO office.
Bambino tourney starting July 10
The youth baseball season for T-Ball, Coach-Pitch and Rookies leagues concludes tonight.
Our Bambino all-star team will conclude its league season with a game against Dulce tomorrow at 6 p.m.
A season-ending picnic, for all baseball and girls softball teams, will be held Monday in South Pagosa Park at 6 p.m. Players, families, coaches and sponsors are invited to attend, bring a potluck dish and sit with your teams for dinner. With the exception of players in the Bambino League, all participants need to return pants, socks and team equipment at the picnic. The Bambino team will begin tournament play July 10.
Tournament brackets are available at Town Hall and are posted at the Sports Complex. The league all-star team has been invited to the Monte Vista tournament scheduled for July 20-21.
A baseball instructional league, held on Friday mornings, will begin July 13 and go through Aug. 10. The instruction, for players ages 8-12, will take place at the Sports Complex 8:30-10:30 a.m. on Friday mornings. Questions about the clinic can be answered at Town Hall, 264-4151 ext. 232. Registration forms are also available at Town Hall, and participants must register for this clinic by July 11. T-shirts are included in the registration fee of $25.
Our two girls fast-pitch teams - the Red Sox and the Astros - saw their seasons end this week. The Red Sox lost to Durango last Monday 22-11. They finish the season with a doubleheader over the weekend in Alamosa and Monday night with another game against Durango.
The Astros end their season with a tournament in Bayfield tonight.
When the action is over, we conclude Pagosa's first 12-and-under softball season. The two fast-pitch teams, coaches, parents and sponsors are invited to attend the season-ending party scheduled for Monday in South Pagosa Park. All socks, pants and team equipment can be turned in at that time.
The Pirates won their last home game against Durango 12-9 last Tuesday. The team began tournament play in Durango Saturday morning winning their first game 17-4. Their next game was Monday night in Durango.
The A's ended their season with a home game Saturday against Ignacio, losing 18-16. Sunday they hosted Alamosa and Durango, and the scores were not available at our deadline. The A's closed their season Wednesday hosting Ignacio at 6 p.m.
The adult softball league schedule is half complete, and no games will be scheduled during the first week of July because of the Fourth of July celebration being held at the Sports Complex. Action will resume July 9, with games being played on Monday though Thursday evenings.
The Town's Park Fun program will continue through June, but will not run July 2-6. The program is been limited to 21 participants. To remain in the Park Fun program, parents need to pay for the next week's registration the previous Friday. Participants are accepted on a first-come basis and only payment for a week of Park Fun will hold your child's spot in the program.
Fourth of July
This year's July 4 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. The Pagosa Hot Strings will start playing at 7 p.m. on the high school baseball field. Families attending the event are encouraged to bring a picnic for supper, but the local Kiwanis Club will serve hamburgers and hot dogs. Members of the Pagosa Springs Volleyball Club will \be vending soft drinks throughout the crowd. Other non-profit groups interested in selling refreshments at the site should contact Doug Call immediately, 264-4151, ext. 231. The Sports Complex is a school-owned property and no alcohol or tobacco products are allowed on the premises.
Council sponsoring birdhouse building
The Pagosa Springs Arts Council is pleased to announce the opening this evening of a new exhibit titled "Horses and Sunsets." The artist proud to call these works his own is none other than Pagosa resident Shaun Martin.
Shaun is a self-taught artist whose medium of choice is acrylics. He says, "I like to paint one or two subjects and explore them from different perspectives." Shaun creates his work using a contrast of techniques and styles to interpret a moment in time or a particular light pattern.
His show will feature about 30 of his paintings. The theme is bold, spectacular horses with characteristics all their own, as well as vivid, breathtaking sunsets with brilliant hues seen from afar.
Join us this evening for the opening reception, a chance to meet the artist, and the opportunity to rub elbows with some of Pagosa's finest.
"Horses and Sunsets" will run through July 12.
The PSAC had its first handmade birdhouse contest June 23 during Pet Pride Day. Congratulations to the winners: Lydia Sumaya, adult category; Kyle Aragon, 10-18 age group; and in the under 10 category, Jade Garcia. A special award was given to Julia Nell for her very extraordinary dolphin birdhouse.
Don't miss the Whistle Pig dance concert tomorrow night. Performances includes Boot Hill, the Graves Family Band, with special guests John Graves and D.C. Duncan. The fun begins when you arrive, about 7 p.m., at the Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse. A $6 donation is requested at the door. Kids and teens are free.
Thank you to all the folks who generously donated items for our silent auction, and the PSAC SunDowner held yesterday at the gallery in Town Park. Also, thanks to all the volunteers who contributed to making the evening a big success.
A safe and fun Fourth
The upcoming week is the busiest of the year in Pagosa Country.There is no other time when there are as many people in the area, doing more things, and doing them in as many places.
Our local Independence Day holiday offers great potential for activity and entertainment: there is something for everyone.
The holiday also offers a variety of opportunities for damage to body, environment and property.
During the next week, in particular on July 4, a legion of visitors will join local residents in the pursuit of Independence Day fun.
Reasonable restraint should be the rule of the day.
A majority of visitors arrive in cars and trucks and RVs, on highways already crowded with vehicles. Less-than-wise choices are made by some drivers, often with disastrous results.
Many people come to fish, to raft, to boat on lakes and reservoirs. A significant number of people take trail rides or drive motorized off-highway vehicles. Done intemperately, any of these activities can result in problems.
Visitors and locals use the holiday period to flee the "congestion" of Pagosa Springs and environs to the forest. Without sensible precautions on the part of backcountry hikers and campers, local Search and Rescue members spend their holiday away from family and friends.
There is a primal celebratory urge that hits on Independence Day: an impulse often accompanied by the explosion of illegal fireworks. EMS personnel would rather enjoy a legal fireworks display than tend to injuries caused by illegal and unwise use of explosives.
The holiday provides some people yet another excuse to overindulge in myriad ways, forgetting there is a clear line between enough and too much. When the line is crossed, the result is seldom good and usually involves the police.
Despite recent showers, there is still serious fire danger in Pagosa Country. That danger exists in the wilderness and on lands immediately adjacent to residential areas. Wildland blazes, caused by careless use of fire, smoking or the use of fireworks, pose a very real danger to health and happiness.
Accidents of all types - caused by carelessness or impatience, fueled by the use of alcohol - can mar the holiday and profoundly affect lives. Accidents occur because of reckless boat and OHV use, because someone doesn't use a seat belt when in a car, or neglects to wear a helmet when riding a motorcycle.
This holiday is a time for caution.
With the injunction in mind, enjoy a special week in Pagosa Country.
Start Saturday with a road trip to Navajo Lake, Arboles and Allison. The drives down Trujillo Road or Colo. 151 are delightful. A parade in the morning at Arboles is a prelude to a day of fun on the lake, or a meandering jaunt through the countryside. A chicken dinner at the Allison Community Church precedes the Parade of Lights boat parade on the lake after dark and fireworks at Navajo State Park at 9:30.
Go to the carnival set up on the field next to Pagosa's Town Park; enjoy the arts and crafts festival at Town and Centennial parks beginning Saturday. Hopi dancers will entertain Saturday and Sunday in the parks.
Take in a Red Ryder Roundup rodeo performance, or two. The world-famous rodeo event takes place July 4, 5 and 6.
On the morning of July 4, the Rotary parade, bigger and better every year, kicks off at 10 a.m. in downtown Pagosa Springs.
Find your way to the Sports Complex in South Pagosa for food, music and fireworks the night of July 4. Rejuvenate yourself at the Full Moon Program at Chimney Rock at sunset on July 5.
Take it all in.
It is a true American small-town holiday: an experience that should not be missed. Make it a safe one.
A new angle on 'putting to bed'
During the past 20 years I've developed an appreciation for the journalism term "putting the paper to bed." Last week, tthe grandfatherly task of putting a granddaughter to bed provide a whole new experience.
Folks who own weekly or small-town newspapers usually write extensive accounts about their exotic vacations. This won't fit that pattern. Driving and riding in a pickup truck for 1,200 miles as you travel west from Pagosa across the middle of Utah and Nevada in order to reach Gilroy, California, hardly fits the exotic category. But believe me it can make for a great vacation when you can pig out on hugs and kisses with your youngest grandchildren.
Last Thursday provided some notable high points. Swimming in the motel pool proved to be a winner for Macey and Payton. That evening we feasted on one of America's favorite meals, take-out food from a Chinese restaurant. Supper was topped off with a great dessert &emdash; I got to baby-sit.
Since I had heard the original version on the radio when I was 7, Danny and Jen took Grandma Cynthia and Uncle Drew to see Walt Disney's version of "Pearl Harbor" and left me behind to baby-sit Macey and Payton. Once the little ones were down I would get this column done a whole week in advance. Putting the little ones to bed would be no problem, I thought.
Payton was ready to go down at 8 p.m., the time his mom had prescribed. It was a snap, figuratively and literally, to get him into his pajamas. I'm not sure if it was the rocking chair, his favorite thumb or my humming "Edelweiss," but he was fast asleep in no time.
Convincing Macey that going to bed was a reasonable way to end the day was another matter. She seemed to instinctively sense my lack of experience at putting little girls to bed.
Her mom had said Macey should go to bed by 8:30 &emdash; 9 at the latest. It was nearing 9:30 before we completed matching the 48 "Curious George" cards into 16 sets of thee-panel cartoons and putting together the 10-car circus animal-train jigsaw puzzle. (The number for car No. 2 was the only missing piece.)
Macey was reluctantly between the sheets with her teeth brushed, nightgown on, her bedroom light off by 10. At her request, I left the hall light left on. Her bedroom light went back on around 10:10. She was sitting on her pillow patiently using her thumbnail to scrape the nail polish off her toenails.
I'd never been confronted with such a well thought-out stall. Neither her dad or any of her three uncles on the Mitchell side had ever used the removing-nail-polish-alibi as a delaying tactic when trying to avoid going to bed. The light was back on by 10:20 &emdash; there was still nail polish on the toes of her other foot. It went back on at 10:30 &emdash; she thought she had heard Mom and Dad open the front door.
It was becoming a battle of the wills . . . will I fall asleep before Macey does?
So it was time to use a little grandfatherly wisdom. "Macey, did you ask me to turn the hall light on?" "Yes." "Did I turn it on?" "Yes." "Did I come back and turn it off?" "No." "Did I ask you to leave your light off?" "Yes." Did you leave it off?" "No." "Would you like it if I turn the hall light off?" "No." "Do you think you can leave your light off if I leave the hall light on?" "Yes."
One more hug and kiss signalled it was VOLS Day &emdash; victory over the light switch. With a little practice I could get good at being a grandfather.
Know you are loved and please keep us in your prayers.
100 years ago
Taken from The Weekly Times of June 27, 1901
The park is gradually filling up with campers. It certainly is a delightful place to pass a few weeks.
The dog poisoner tried his hand again last week, but as far as we are able to learn, no lasting results were obtained. Just a couple of very sick dogs.
The ball boys are earnestly requested to meet each evening to practice for the coming ball game.
A couple of Italians and a bear were in the city Saturday. The bear danced and turned somersaults to the delight of the small boy while his master performed by passing his hat for the edification of grown up folks.
Postmaster Campbell of Piedra is attending court in town this week. He says the grass is ready on his ranch for cutting. And he is anxious to get back to work.
75 years ago
Taken from SUN files of June 25, 1926
Now that the weather is fine and the roads are so good, the country people especially should take advantage of them and come to church. We see some from several miles out but many could come much farther. Try it and see how fine it is.
W.E. Colton reports that the thermometer dropped to 23 degrees here Sunday, the freeze nipping several of the more tender garden plants and the alfalfa in several sections of the county.
School District No. 7 of Hinsdale Country, which comprises the upper Piedra section, has let the contract for a new cement block school house. The building will be 24x32 feet in size, the school district furnishing all materials and delivering the same on the ground.
50 years ago
Taken from SUN files of June 29, 1951
Everything is in readiness for the big Red Ryder Round-Up on July 3 and 4 of this year with entries for rodeo events already being received from as far away as Arizona. The race program is complete and with the added Red Ryder Derby feature over other years, spectators are sure to see some good races.
The ball game in the Town Park last Sunday may not have unearthed any unusual talents in ball playing but it certainly developed some undiscovered muscles on many of the players. That's not a stoplight son, Morehart forgot his hat.
The band is preparing for the Red Ryder Round-Up on July 3 and 4. This will be their first appearance of the summer in the parade and they will ride on a truck instead of marching due to lack of time for marching practice.
25 years ago
Taken from SUN files of June 24, 1976
It was a week of rescues last week. An injured mountain climber had to be carried down off the back side of Pagosa Peak after he suffered a broken neck and broken arm in a fall. A 13-year-old boy was trapped in a truck on Wolf Creek Pass after it rolled and rescuers worked for more than three hours to free him. He suffered a broken arm.
A record crowd jammed the district court room Tuesday night of this week at a public hearing. The hearing pertained to the revision of building permit regulations and the revision of subdivision regulations. Most of the interest was centered around the building permit regulations, and there was considerable opposition to any type of building permit.
Lighter moments for a serious birthday
As we move toward the long July 4 celebration of our nation's independence, we need to keep an eye on the things which make the date of such importance to us, even 125 years after that milestone was achieved.
American men and women have defended liberty and a democratic freedom as our way of life more times that we want to remember.
They have died on foreign soil so that other nations might have a chance at the same freedoms. They have given their lives so that we might enjoy the independence our forefathers created with a war against tyranny and lack of self expression.
Today we can criticize freely. We can agree or disagree with our national leaders without fear of retribution. We have the opportunity to vote secretly for those we wish to be in charge of our constitutional government.
These are serious responsibilities.
But, there also are lighter moments associated with the celebration.
For example, we learned in a recent mailing that Independence Day weekend is the biggest U.S. hot dog consumption holiday. The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council (yes, everyone has their own publicity bureau) estimated Americans consumed 155 million hot dogs in the last Independence Day celebration.
And, they're looking for bigger and better (hot) dog days this year.
You might never have known (or cared) that three U.S. presidents - John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe - died on July 4 while only one of our presidents - Calvin Coolidge - was born on that day.
Since the flag of the republic is the national symbol of our freedoms and is glorified in patriotic music, we'll bet you didn't know that the nation's tallest flagpole - stretching 200 feet skyward - is in Dorris, Calif., just below the California-Oregon state line.
Since it is our flag, we make our own, right?
Nope. Census figures indicate we import $1 million in American flags each year with exports totaling less than half that amount. And, guess which nation is the biggest importer of American flags.
If you said the United Kingdom, the land from which our ancestors gained our independence, go to the head of the class.
Fireworks are always a big part of the celebration, both legally and otherwise. They add the mystic rockets' red glare to our holiday evening sky. And they often add fire and injury when used illegally or carelessly.
It is our independence celebration but where do our own manufactured fireworks go? The U.S. Census Bureau says we export $15.5 million in fireworks every year with Taiwan the primary recipient. Note the incongruity when the same government service tells us the U.S. also imports $131.1 million in fireworks every year - from China.
Now I know the Chinese are said to have invented firecrackers and that miniature explosives are a part of every snake dance celebration, but I wonder why we have to import so many fireworks if we're also in the business of exporting them to an offshoot of the land we buy from.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 8,500 people suffering fireworks related injuries are treated in hospital emergency rooms nationwide each year.
And get this. The estimated annual cost of fireworks-related injuries is $100 million. What a way to observe our independence.
Some people just never learn the lesson. They think, "It can't happen to me" . . . and then boom, no fingers, no eyes - or no life.
The Declaration of Independence is regarded as one of the greatest documents ever penned. It spells out those things which our nation's founders believed to be of utmost importance to a fledgling nation sounding its own horn for the first time.
The Library of Congress says 24 original copies of that momentous writing are known to exist and two of them - including that known to have been George Washington's personal copy - are housed there.
It might be an interesting family-oriented thing to do this week to pick up your encyclopedia, go to the library or go on the Internet and refresh your memory with what that document says. I'll bet many of you have forgotten, or will get a different slant on it than you had the last time you read it - probably back in high school.
It concentrates on liberty and the Census Bureau tells us that is the most common patriotic name for a United States community. Twenty seven U.S. cities have "Liberty" in their name - four of them in Iowa.
Let me present just a portion of the Declaration and suggest we all should keep these statements in mind and analyze them with respect to today's place for the United States in the world's family of nations:
"When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dispose of the political bonds which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation." - Preamble to the Declaration
" We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." - The Declaration of Rights
"That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed." - Establishing the fact governments receive their power to rule only through agreement of the people
"That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety, and Happiness.
"Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments so long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shew, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed." - Here was born the right of the American people to alter their form of government.
Happy Birthday, America!
Transition: Wilderness to real homes
Pagosa Country during the 1890s was in transition from wilderness to home for a cadre of restless frontier wanderers looking for a place to grow roots. A generation of Americans accustomed to obtaining land at a negligible cost tried Pagosa Country, a mountain retreat where homesteads were still available.
Settlement of Pagosa Country lagged several years behind settlement of most of the remainder of the West. Why? First, the area was remote and land-locked, surrounded on the north and east by an almost impassable range of mountains. Secondly, most of Pagosa Country is at a high elevation, averaging more than 7,000 feet above mean sea level. High elevations translate into short growing seasons. The United States of the 1890s was an agricultural nation. Thirdly, until the Brunot Treaty became effective in 1874, Pagosa Country was part of the Southern Ute Indian Reservation and not legally open for settlement.
During the 1860s and 1870s, prospectors ignored reservation boundaries and found precious metals in the San Juan Mountains. A stampede of fortune hunters followed. In the years before barbed wire, frontier cattlemen also ignored reservation boundaries and grazed tens of thousands of cattle on native grasses in the San Juan Basin. The Utes moved west, out of Pagosa Springs. Entrepreneurs started a railroad from Denver to the Animas River Valley. The railroad crossed the San Juan Mountains by way of Cumbres Pass, rattled through Chama to Dulce, then crossed the southern part of Archuleta County on its way to Durango.
A wave of Hispanic and Anglo settlers moved in to help build the railroad, then remained in Pagosa Country. Encouraged by huge stands of ponderosa pines blanketing Pagosa Country, lumbermen took advantage of the railroad to move in. Jobs provided by the lumber industry attracted more settlers. And so, by the mid-1890s, we discover the following newsworthy items in the Pagosa Springs News.
Newspaper item, July 6, 1894: One more of those mysterious fires for which Pagosa Springs has become noted the past eight months occurred shortly after midnight last Friday night. The building owned by J.M. Archuleta and known as the Pagosa House and occupied by W.L. Willoughby's stock of general merchandise was nearly completely enveloped in flames when the fire was discovered and the stock of goods and the building are a total loss. A.H. Sanders and wife occupied the rear end of the building as a dwelling and, the fire having its origin in the front part, the Sanders saved all of their household effects.
Motter's comment: Fire was the bane of frontier villages with no central water systems. Fire was generally fought a bucket of water at a time. In most instances, the fire won. A major fire destroyed most of the frame, false-front buildings along Pagosa's main business block during January of 1893. A series of fires followed. In this instance, we believe the Archuleta Store was located where the Pagosa Hotel is today. Willoughby had come from fast-fading Creede the previous year. He operated a general store in Archuleta's building.
Newspaper item, July 20, 1894: "Washington" the toughest of the tough Utes, flashed up at the agency Monday with his Winchester "heap mad." "Wash's" squaw had left his bed and board, and he was on the warpath. Bets are seven to one that the squaw has gone to the Blue Mountains and ninety to one that "Wash" will not follow her, as the Weminuches have it in for the veteran horse thief and pitted sinner. A good, thorough killing would be a great benefit for the "Pirate of the Piedra." A week later, according to the newspaper, Washington, the toughest of the Utes, is still camped on the Stollsteimer with his squaw. Col. Day must have drawn upon his imagination when he wrote that Washington's squaw had left him.
Motter's comment: Washington was a Ute living near the location of today's Capote Lake. That entire open area is referred to today as Washington Flats. Oldtimers remember Washington's wife as Martha. Col. Day was the Ute Indian Agent and former newspaper editor. During the 1890s, locals lobbied heavily to have the Utes moved to San Juan County, Utah, hence the reference to the Blue Mountains. The Weminuche band of Utes now live on the Ute Mountain reservation south of Cortez.
Newspaper item, Aug. 10, 1894: The express office and depot still remain at Amargo. It is a great inconvenience as the mail goes to Lumberton and nearly all the business is transacted at that place.
Motter's comment: Amargo and Lumberton were located along the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad between Chama and Dulce. Amargo was dying, Lumberton, founded by lumberman Ed Biggs, was growing. Pagosa News editor Daniel Egger was urging the postal service to catch up with the times.
Newspaper item, Aug. 17, 1894: A bridge on the Amargo road two miles this side of Amargo has been removed and the freighters compelled to travel around by Lumberton when going to Amargo. Why the wherefore?
Motter's comment: Sounds like something a Lumberton resident might do to hasten the transfer of mail and stage services from Amargo to Lumberton.
Newspaper item, Oct. 5, 1894: Rev. W.R. Weaver preached his last sermon at this place for the present on Sunday evening. Mr. Weaver has accepted the pastorate of the Methodist Church at Saguache.
Motter's comment: Weaver preached at Chama, Amargo, Chromo, on the Blanco, and in Pagosa Springs. Pagosa Springs still had no church, Methodist or otherwise. Methodists in Pagosa conducted church services in the school house at this time.
Newspaper item, Oct. 5, 1894: At the special school meeting last Saturday the proposition to levy a special tax of 10 mills was defeated by a vote of 60 to 8. The other proposition to furnish books free to the children received three votes.
Motter's comment: During my elementary school years in Oregon starting in 1940, my parents were still required to purchase school books. Archuleta County had a county-wide school system at that time (1890s) with a county school superintendent. School funding went through the board of county commissioners. A large proportion of the school budget was derived from ad valorem taxes on railroad property.
Newspaper item, Nov. 9, 1894: Mason Farrow threshed 1,000 pounds of alfalfa seed this season. We believe this is the first alfalfa seed ever raised in this county.
Motter's comments: History nuts are always proclaiming this or that "first." We throw this "first" in for free.
Newspaper item, Dec. 14, 1894: The D. & R.G. railroad company should move its depot from Amargo to Lumberton. The present arrangement is simply outrageous, so far as this town is concerned, and the Lumberton people don't fare much better.
Motter's comment: Egger is persistent.
Newspaper item, Dec. 14, 1894: The Archuletas shipped seven hundred head of one and two-year-old steers from Amargo on Tuesday. The cattle were purchased by residents of the San Luis valley, who will winter them on straw.
Newspaper item, Dec. 14, 1894: R.J. Chambers, the Brown Bros., M.O. Brown, and E.T. Walker shipped two train loads of beef cattle the first of the week.
Motter's comment: Cattle raising was still big business in Pagosa Country of the 1890s. Having a railroad as near as Chama or Lumberton or Pagosa Junction helped. Prior to the coming of the railroad, cattle were herded across the San Juan Mountains to market, maybe Pueblo, a considerable task.
Newspaper item, Jan. 4, 1895: Pagosa Springs received the addition of a number of new building houses during 1894, among them being the following: Business houses- Leon Montroy, store room; J.M. Laughlin, cigar store and factory; J.H. Hallett, store; J.V. Blake, store ware room, etc.; J.M. Archuleta, store and saloon; Freeman and Deller, meat market; Dr. Parrish, drug store; E.F. Harpst, jewelry store; residences- S.E. Hatcher, P.A. Deller; Louis Desautel, Mrs. Cynthia Laughlin, the missionary ladies; substantial barns- A. Ruder, J.E. Colton; P.J. Fisher, D.L. Egger.
Motter's comment: We don't know how much of the 1894 building spurt represented new buildings and how much was merely replacement of buildings lost through fires. Barns were common in town, since even people who lived in town needed a place to keep their horses. Many in-town residents also kept a cow.
Newspaper item, Feb. 1, 1895: The Rio Grande and Pagosa Springs railroad company has been incorporated. This line of road is to be built from Lumberton to Pagosa Springs through Coyote park. It will undoubtedly be built as far as the park the coming season, and perhaps the whole line will be completed by next fall.
Motter's comment: Finally, the long-awaited railroad will start for Pagosa Springs. Note that it started from Lumberton and not Amargo.
Newspaper item, Feb. 8, 1895: In the Pagosa Springs News, but copied from the Denver News, we find the following item. "Yesterday articles of incorporation were filed with the secretary of state for the Rio Grande and Pagosa Springs Railroad. The incorporators of the road are Denver people, C. McPhee and J.J. McGinnity of the firm of McPhee and McGinnity being the promoters of the project. The road is capitalized at $100,000.
"The Rio Grande and Pagosa Springs railroad will extend from Lumberton, a point on the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad in New Mexico, to Pagosa Springs in Colorado, a distance of fifty miles.
"Lumberton is seven miles from the Colorado state line. The new road will be built from that point north, running along the banks of the Navajo river a greater part of the distance, into Colorado, thence along the west base of the Cumbres chain of mountains to the terminal at Pagosa Springs.
"The country through which the road will pass is a wilderness which has scarcely been explored. After the Colorado line is reached the road will penetrate a forest of splendid timber that is owned by the incorporators. It is to reach this timber that the road is being built.
"In speaking of the road, Mr. McPhee said that it was not the intention of the company to reach the Springs at once. As soon as spring opens the work of grading will begin from Lumberton, and rails will at once be laid to a point seven miles north of the Colorado line, into the thickest of the timber, a total distance of 14 miles. Lumber camps will be established along the line. It is thought the road will pay from the beginning as a means of transporting lumber."
Motter's comment: McPhee remained a big name in the Southwest Colorado lumber business for years. A small community near Dolores is named for him. Eyewitness accounts of Pagosa Country before logging started describe huge, "yellow-barked" pines interspersed with grass-covered openings supporting grass to the horses' bridles. Much of the open space we take for granted now was covered with timber. After the timber was cut, farmers moved in, removed the stumps, and grew crops, especially grains. Folks were still trying to make a home in Pagosa Country. More in the future concerning New Mexico Lumber Co. railroad progress into Archuleta County.
Focusing on strengths to help youth build confidence in skills
In 1997, some concerned parents in Pagosa Springs, frustrated at the lack of success their children were having in other traditional and non-traditional classroom settings, decided to make a change.
The outcome was Summit Christian Academy - a school for students with learning differences including dyslexia and attention deficits that utilizes a variety of curriculum tools to teach toward individual learning styles.
"Everybody learns a little differently," Donna Loper, a teacher at Summit Christian said. "Here we can teach it in a different style so they can catch the concept. We may teach the same concept to two students in two different ways."
"I think it's Pagosa's best kept secret," Brenda Wanket, school board chairman said.
Brain Integration Therapy exercises, hands-on spelling and math activities, positive reinforcement and individualized learning centers are some of their keys to success.
But in the beginning, it's usually a matter of building confidence.
Most students entering the school have low level of self-esteem stemming from a lack of success at other places, Loper said.
"They don't catch a concept and end up thinking they're stupid. Eventually they stop trying. We start by focusing on their strengths, which also helps build confidence and then we tackle the weak areas."
In the classroom
Students at Summit Academy begin the day with the Pledge of Allegiance and Brain Integration Therapy Exercises.
These exercises, including simple movements crossing the mid-line of the body, help strengthen the connections between right brain and left brain, assist listening abilities and allow the brain to process information better, said Loper, who has a background in teaching and counseling.
The morning rotation, including memory building (spelling), visualization and verbalization (vocabulary), phonetic awareness (reading) and creative writing (twice a week), seatwork and computer, begins at about 8:20 a.m. Once a week, an art, cooking or brain stretching center is added.
Students rotate through six centers each morning. The spelling, reading and vocabulary centers are individualized, providing students with multi-sensory activities using blocks, tiles, write-on boards and other manipulatives, Loper said.
For instance, she said, one student may learn a math concept by looking at it written on paper. Another may need something more visual, like blocks stacked and unstacked to represent problem and answer. In vocabulary, children may draw words and letters in the air or in flour spread on a baking pan to make them more tactile. Tests can be given orally for those who struggle to master written English.
After lunch and physical education, teachers read aloud to students for 15-20 minutes before math class begins. Math classes are generally taught in small groups. An afternoon break is followed by grammar/creative writing and history/science classes taught as a group with lecture, activities and discussion.
When students' seatwork is complete, they are encouraged to read quietly, Loper said. Each one is responsible for one book report per month.
About four times a year, students come together to create a program for their parents. In 2000-01, that included an American Heritage night when students dressed up as figures from history and made oral reports; an Invention Convention; Thanksgiving Dinner made and served by the students and a Closing Program with a drama and awards banquet.
Meeting the standards
The basic curriculum and structure of Summit, including the use of the Lindamood-Bell phonics program, was originally modeled on the Denver Academy, a nationally-known institution serving about 350 students with learning difficulties in grades K-12.
That curriculum, plus the individual attention, has made a real difference for Sherri Forrest's son who has been in the program for two and a half years.
"The Lindamood-Bell program has been the best thing for him in reading, spelling and writing," she said. Although public schools also use the program successfully, the smaller class sizes at Summit mean the teachers have more time to work individually with her son.
Adapting the curriculum to meet each student's needs means pulling together a lot of ideas, school board chairman, Wanket said.
"We pull things from all different areas so it meets the pubic school standards," she said. Students are in class from 8 a.m.-3:15 p.m. Monday through Thursday with a half day on Friday.
Parents and guardians of the students at Summit are an integral part of the school. Most participate in a volunteer program. By donating eight hours of time a month, they receive a tuition break. Loper said some parents actually teach a class in their area of expertise. Others help with reading, and some assist in decorating the classroom or in other projects that can be completed outside regular work hours.
Christian values are also part of the curriculum.
"For our family and Andrew, we really like the Christian aspect, he enjoys chapel and the Bible lessons that they do," Forrest said.
Tuition at Summit Christian Academy runs $250 per month for 10 months, plus the volunteer commitment. Tuition for those who don't choose to volunteer is $300.
Three year plan
Summit Christian started small, serving just 12 students in grades 3-9 last year, but the enrollment is expected to reach 30 by fall under a new plan adopted by the board of directors in June.
"We're really working on getting a high school class going next year," Wanket said. "We started small to get teachers trained and our curriculum in place, and now we're ready to expand." Under the new scenario, classes would be broken up into grades 3-5, 6-8 and high school.
"We want to keep our student-teacher ratio absolutely no more than 10 to 1. That gives a real opportunity for individual attention," she said.
The space is already available, and the need apparent.
Wanket, board chairperson, said preventing the plummeting self-esteem is one of the catalysts driving the board to think bigger.
"When you get a bad self-image and low self-esteem, you become accepted as a troublemaker. When you're young, school is your life. When your not succeeding there, you're not succeeding in life."
Through the 2000-01 season, the academy was using just two of the four classrooms available at Community Bible Church. Currently, the board is negotiating with a candidate for the high school teaching position and searching for a 3-5th grade teacher.
At the high school level, a project-based curriculum will be added. This curriculum, modeled on a program at the West Hawaii Explorations Academy, uses broad-subject projects that integrate several different academic areas to introduce real-life applications to study material.
The short-range plan is to increase the student body to 50, serving K-12 in three years, but that can't happen without securing some grant money.
"Our tuition does not cover our expenses," she said. "We are submitting a lot of grants this summer and that grant money will determine what we are able to do."
The board of directors has written a $100,000 grant request which would cover startup costs for expanding to a K-12 facility and adding the project-based curriculum for high schoolers. They will be presenting it to about 30 individuals this summer. Wanket said, although a single donation covering the full amount would be wonderful, it will probably take several smaller donations to get everything done.
In addition, Wanket said, the board is asking people to donate some materials just to help get the high school program off the ground. These include: old aquariums and any kind of carpentry tools. Sports equipment for the physical education program is also needed.
Fred Sutton owns and operates Sutton Automotive, recently moved to a location behind the NAPA parts store on U.S. 160, just west of the downtown area.
Sutton Automotive provides quality service and repairs on all makes and models, with ASE-certified technicians. The shop is one of 29 in Colorado recognized by the Automotive Excellence Service.
Sutton automotive provides towing and transport as well as guaranteed repair service with quality parts and is open Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Phone 264-4159.