"The most important thing I can tell you is, it is critical for the financial health of the county that you continue the sales tax as it has been," Tom Breed, Archuleta County's independent auditor, said Tuesday night at the regular meeting of the board of county commissioners.
Breed was delivering his "state of county finances report" following the annual audit of county financial practices by Haley, Breed & Crom, LLP, a Durango accounting firm. Breed is the on-site auditor. The audit chronicles actual expenditures as opposed to budgeted expenditures.
The sales tax cited by Breed was approved by voters during 1994, implemented during 1996, and expires Jan. 1, 2003. The levy amounts to 2 percent of most retail sales in the county, including sales by businesses within the town. The county retains 1 percent of that amount, the town the other 1 percent.
Currently, the county is studying options for placing renewal of the expiring tax on the November ballot. The commissioners meet with town authorities today at 1:30 to discuss future actions concerning the tax.
"That tax generates about $1 million, 21 percent of county tax revenue," Breed said. "If you lose it you will have to radically change the scope of county services."
The financial condition of the county improved during the Year 2000, Breed continued.
"Your financial institutions are improved. You can be confident in the information furnished you by your financial department," he said.
Breed then reviewed the county's largest funds, the $3.6 million general fund and the $2.6 million road and bridge fund.
Actual revenues in the general fund exceeded the amount budgeted by $616,000, according to Breed. General fund revenues for 2000 exceeded general fund revenues for 1999 by $837,000. Most of the growth is due to increased income generated by sales and property taxes, Breed said.
Even though general fund actual expenditures for 2000 were about $850,000 under the amount budgeted, according to Breed some departments spent more than was budgeted.
An example is the sheriff's department, Breed said, which was $115,000 over budget.
General fund actual expenditures were up $938,000 when compared with 1999, according to Breed. The increase was attributed to increased transfers from the general fund to other funds, higher administration costs related to recording all insurance costs as a lump sum in the general fund instead of in individual budgets, and the increase in the sheriff's department.
Breed recommended establishing an accounting policy centralizing all transportation costs in one fund. The change should attach departmental expenses to the department generating the expense, said Breed. For example, under the current system, automotive and transportation expenses, including fuel, accrued by the sheriff's department or other departments, do not show up in the departmental budget. Breed thinks they should.
Concerning fund balances, an amount of money retained for unforeseen circumstances, Breed reported the general fund balance is increasing in volume, but decreasing as a percentage of the total fund. He recommended retaining a fund balance large enough to cover at least three months' expenses.
Actual revenues in the road and bridge fund exceeded budgeted revenues by about $79,000. They were up $543,000 over 1999 road and bridge revenues.
Road and bridge actual expenditures for 2000 were almost $800,000 below the budgeted amount. Money in this fund is accumulated for capital expenditures. Expenses in this fund were down 3 percent when compared with 1999.
Looking to the future, Breed recommended that:
- All paperwork related to construction contracts, change orders, and force accounts be retained in one place to facilitate project tracking and accounting
- All grant expenditure reports be routed through the county's finance department to ensure that reported and actual expenditure amounts agree
- The county should plan to purchase new accounting software designed specifically for governmental accounting procedures
- The county should try to gain control of personnel hiring practices so that the number of people hired by various departments not exceed the number planned for in the budget
- Escrow accounts, such as those generated through the planning office, should be opened by and retained under the jurisdiction of the county treasurer.
In conclusion, Breed pointed out the county has done a good job of complying with recommendations made following last year's audit.
With the help of satellite mapping and with computer-age speed, Archuleta County is well on its way to redrawing boundaries for its three commissioner districts.
"What used to take 30 days, we did in 30 minutes," said Bill Downey, commissioner acting as liaison with the county planning department.
The county planning department is responsible locally for census data. Census 2000 data created the need for rearranging commissioner district boundaries. According to the census, District 1 contained 3,171 people, District 2 contained 4,150 people, and District 3 contained 2,577 people. State law requires commissioner districts to contain approximately the same number of people.
Downey and county planner Marcus Baker hovered over Baker's computer with newly-obtained census data with the object of coming up with new boundaries. Mapping software in the computer and a GIS mapping program of the county soon produced new district boundaries with nearly equal populations.
The proposed new districts contain populations of 3,287 people for District 1, 3,329 people for District 2, and 3,282 people for District 3. Currently, Downey represents District 1, Alden Ecker District 2, and Gene Crabtree District 3. Crabtree could face an election in November of 2002, Downey and Ecker during 2004.
"We only considered population, we didn't consider ethnicity or other factors," said Downey.
The new boundaries will not become law until approved by the board of county commissioners. Before the proposal reaches the commissioner table, a draft resolution must be written by June Madrid, the county clerk, recorder, and chief elections officer. Madrid is in the process of drafting the resolution now.
The biggest change in the proposed new boundaries is the shifting of the Arboles area from District 2 to District 1. Formerly, it could be said that District 1 generally represented the northwest third of the county, District 2 the southwest third, and District 3 the eastern third.
Now, District 3 represents the eastern third of the county and all land south of Trujillo Road stretching to the La Plata County line. Consequently, most of the folks living in the Allison-Arboles area in Archuleta County are in District 1.
Districts 1 and 2 remain much as they were except for a small portion of District 2 in Fairfield-Pagosa that has been moved to District 1. That is the portion west of Piedra Road where Dutton Creek was the northern boundary of District 2. The proposed new northern boundary of District 2 has shifted south to Aspenglow Boulevard.
A key administrative position in Archuleta School District 50 Joint was filled during a special school board meeting July 19 with the appointment of Kahle Charles - veteran coach, assistant high school principal and athletic director - as principal of Pagosa Springs Elementary School.
That move, however, leaves vacant the high school post for assistant principal and athletic director.
At the same time, following a 63-minute executive session, the board accepted the resignation of transportation director John Rose and tentatively agreed to his request to be transferred to a mechanic's position.
The latter action hinges on completion of an "ongoing investigation into allegations made against the director."
That probe was initiated at the July 10 school board meeting on a motion by Director Russ Lee who, a month earlier, had told the board he wanted the issue on the next agenda "because of repeated disturbing reports."
School officials cannot, under law, reveal the type or source of the complaints.
The appointment of Charles fills the vacancy created early this month when Cyndy Secrist announced her resignation after nine years because her husband was being transferred to a new job near Eagle.
After the meeting, Charles said he is "challenged by the task ahead."
"I kept trying to find reasons I didn't want the job," he said. "But the more I searched my mind, the more I realized it is what I wanted . . . it's an expansion step in my career in education."
In several other personnel moves during the special session, the board accepted the resignation of fifth-grade teacher Betsy Thompson and named Melanie Cowan to replace her; hired Mrs. Cowan's husband, Justin, as a sixth-grade teacher; named Cynthia Toner as the newest member of the business education department at the high school; and said there still are several positions to be filled before the opening of school next month.
Superintendent Duane Noggle said the vacancies yet to be filled include two first-grade teaching positions (one of them new this year) for which there have been 30 applicants; a junior high school music teacher and two halftime personnel, one in the administrative offices and one in maintenance.
With reference to filling the spot vacated by the selection of Charles for the elementary school post, Noggle said he would be meeting with all the principals this week to see if there are any persons on staff who may be qualified for the assistant principal/athletic director post. "If I find there is no one either interested or qualified," he said, "we'll advertise the post."
The board was scheduled to hold another special meeting at 5 p.m. Wednesday to deal with receiving bids and possibly awarding contracts for planned upgrading of facilities at Golden Peaks Stadium; and to deal with some of the vacancies.
Any action from that session, which came too late for today's issue, will be reported next week.
County voters will be asked in a special question on the November ballot if they want to impose term limits on members of the board of education for Archuleta School District 50 Joint.
The move to put the question on the ballot came on a unanimous vote during a special school board meeting July 19 but only after some serious discussion about wording of the proposal.
Under the accepted wording, voters will be asked if they want school board directors limited to two elected terms. The wording issue revolved around the suggested use of the phrase "authorized to serve" in the resolution, and an alternate wording calling for "unlimited service."
Directors felt both terms would give the wrong connotation and struck agreement on terminology which will ask: "Shall elected school board directors be able to serve more than two consecutive elective terms in office?"
Superintendent Duane Noggle said the district's legal counsel has advised him the change from current two-term limitation, if approved, would take effect in 2003.
"Does that mean Jon (Forrest) can run again this time?" asked director Carol Feazel.
"Indeed, it does," was the reply.
Forrest, who had earlier believed he could not run again, having served two terms ending in November, was pressured to say he would seek reelection but did not go that far.
"I'll have to give it serious thought," he said.
Director Russ Lee's motion to put the issue on the ballot was seconded by Clifford Lucero and adopted on a unanimous vote.
Directors terms expiring this year are those of Forrest, Feazel and Lucero
I wonder if Mr. Walter and I were at the same PLPOA Board meeting on 12 July. I was quoted as saying "... but also as a ski resort and that's sure not allowed here." I never even thought those words, but less said them. Also, Fred Ebeling and Jim Carson did say that they were at the County Commission meeting when the liquor permit was issued, but they did not elaborate about the drinks only being served with meals - they did say there were some stipulations, but did not remember what they were. Maybe they elaborated on the particulars later to Mr. Walter, but did not do so during the public meeting.
The Webster definition of a Gadfly is "a person who annoys others or rouses them from complacency." Since Mr. Walter identified me as "Pagosa Lakes Gadfly," I will continue with my quest to annoy others and rouse property owners from complacency. Since Pagosa Lakes, consisting of 26 subdivisions, have Declarations of Restrictions by which property owners must comply, violations must be enforced. Prospective buyers of property within the Association are made aware of these restrictions. No commercial or business activity other than the conducting of a farm, ranch, dude ranch or horse stables shall be permitted. Therefore, Bed and Breakfast establishments are not allowed in the residential subdivisions, much less liquor permits.
If Mr. Walter needs a recorder to ensure that he correctly quotes the public, I have an extra one I will gladly donate for his use.
I would like to take this opportunity to offer my deepest and sincerest apology to each and every one who has been inconvenienced by the road construction on Piedra Road.
I realize that this has been a very trying time for all concerned. My job is to insure the safe and expeditious travel for the public and to insure the safety of the construction crew.
Sometimes it doesn't make sense but I have to have things ready for the next phase in advance. For the most part, everyone has been gracious and understanding. There have been a few instances where someone has either ignored, been confused or just felt that they deserve "special" treatment.
If I allowed my emotions to get the best of me and perhaps said or did anything to offend someone I offer my deepest apology.
Someone once said "Walk a mile in my shoes." This is not an excuse. Bottom line - there is no excuse.
Traffic control supervisor
As private and commercial pilots, albeit inactive ones, we feel compelled to respond to last week's letter from Deborah Evans regarding the grass landing strip at Lake Navajo. To those unwitting souls who might sign her petition, we thought we might offer a differing opinion. And to the author(s) of the aforementioned letter, and the group calling itself S.N.A.P. we apologize in advance for what we're about to say, for we know there is no scorn worse than that of angry pilots.
All private pilots are required to learn soft and short field take-off and landing procedures for licensure. We, as former aircraft owners, on several occasions made landing approaches to the grass field at Lake Navajo in our Cessna T-210. On final approach, with landing gear down, flaps out and proper air speed, we had such a thrill performing this technique, except for one important detail-we could not actually land on the grass field for one simple reason. Our aviation insurance prohibited soft field operations due to the inherent risks (e.g. damaging a prop or landing gear). Certain aircraft can and perhaps should land on grass, but it seems to us that the issue of parking at the park takes precedence versus, a few aviators who avail themselves of this less-than-popular mode of flying. Landing on or taking off from a soft field is part of the historical fabric of aviation-it was once the only way to fly. And no one can argue against the convenience of hopping out of your airplane and into your boat. We hope this closure is temporary and perhaps someday that the landing strip will be paved so a greater number of pilots could actually land on it. In the meantime, there are airports nearby to serve your needs.
Dawn and Scott Hollenbeck
What is happening to our beautiful Pagosa? When I go down the road I see a lot of junk. I call it eye pollution and I hope we can work together to clean it up.
Some suggestions I have are:
1. Clean up your yard well
2. Don't dump trash in your yard or out the window
3. Get rid of junk cars
I might be just a kid, but I care about where we live.
I feel the need to comment on the use of those "power blaster" water guns at the parade. My children and I were enjoying the parade when all of a sudden I noticed, to my horror, that my two month old son, who had been sleeping soundly in his carrier, was turning bright red and not breathing. I grabbed him quickly and had to try to make him breathe. When he finally caught his breath and began to scream, I noticed that he and all his bedding had been soaked with water. This is a tiny little child. Too tiny to be hit in the chest with something having that much power behind it.
Near me was a family with an 18-month-old child who was hit also. They ended up having to leave the parade because the child was screaming. A six year old on the back of a Curves for Women float was hit and in pain. Then there was a grown woman in the parade who was hit and she said it really does hurt to be hit with one of those.
Where is the fun in that? If a parent is going to arm their child with such a thing they had better be prepared to monitor how their child uses it. It has gotten well out of hand and these should be banned from use during the parade, or any other time. What happened to the good old squirt guns we used to have which didn't hurt anything but one's pride when hit?
These "power blasters" should not be considered toys. In the chest of a two month old infant they are weapons. What does it say about a child who would think it is OK to shoot an infant with such a thing?
My plea is to ask parents to realize just what these are capable of and to instruct their children in appropriate use, or better still, let's not arm our children at all.
Last week I wrote that the Humane Society of Pagosa Springs was the only animal welfare organization servicing Archuleta County. What I meant to say was that we were the only animal welfare organization servicing dogs and cats in Archuleta County.
This county is fortunate to have another excellent facility dedicated to the welfare of wolf and wolf hybrids. Paula and Craig Watson have dedicated their lives to WolfWood and its philosophy. The Humane Society has been fortunate to be able to call on them for their advice and help.
Paula and Craig, please accept my sincerest apologies for not recognizing you in my letter to the editor.
Julie Paige, President,
Humane Society of Pagosa Springs
As my acquaintances know, sacrifice for the common good is my greatest pleasure and learning that about a quarter million dollars of our county road money will be directed to upgrading Steven's Field taxiway instead of wasted on South Pagosa Dusty Washboard Boulevard and similar roads has given me unbridled pleasure.
A pleasure unsurpassed, until I read that Nan Roe deliberately went after my friend Mojie by calling your Dude Ranch a "B & B." Nan, how can you be so mean? And then implying that you charge for drinks. Believe me, you couldn't get 10 cents for that chintzy stuff you serve; no wonder you have to give them away.
Perhaps being married to a Marine has distorted your sense of humor - I know it has mine.
Visit by-gone days
This is an invitation for all folks to visit the by-gone days at the San Juan Historical Society Museum. Artifacts of early-day life in Pagosa Springs and Archuleta County are on display.
All are invited to spend some time looking at the wonders and tools of the past. The museum is located at the corner of First and Pagosa Streets on the eastern side of town and is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Remembrances Volume 6 is now available. Remembrances is a series of books celebrating early life in Archuleta that is published by the San Juan Historical Society.
Each volume contains stories relating to early life in this area along with family histories provided by family members interested in helping to preserve our history. For more information about purchasing your copy of Remembrances, please visit the museum.
Jean Taylor, President,
San Juan Historical Society
I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the Archuleta County Commissioners for their decision to replace the taxiway at Steven's Field. The decision was based on fact, and the fact was that the county was responsible.
It is always comforting to experience good results when they are handled by competent elected officials. I congratulate the citizens of Archuleta County for their election of competent commissioners.
The pulse of a city can be taken at the city airport, and we can be proud of ours.
Fidel S. Herrera Jr., 85, a resident of Pine Ridge Nursing Home, died July 18, 2001 at Mercy Medical Center in Durango following a short illness.
Born May 9, 1916, Mr. Herrera had been a resident of Pagosa Springs for six years. Prior to that time he lived in Salida.
He is survived by sons Dan of Salida, Leonard of Denver, and Tito of Oklahoma City; one daughter, Martha Mott of Florida; nine grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren; and four sisters, Cora Molenaar of Camarillo, Calif., Cleo Rivas of Denver, Beatrice Espinosa and Grace Quintana of Ignacio.
Funeral mass was celebrated July 21 at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church with Rev. John Bowe C.R. and Deacon Tom Bomkamp officiating. Burial was in Fairview Cemetery in Salida with Rev. James Williams doing the graveside services.
Jody Lane Feil
Pagosa resident Jody Lane Feil died Sunday, July 22, 2001 in her home. Born in Fullerton, Calif., on Oct. 3, 1957, she was 43 and had lived in Pagosa Springs since 1988.
A graduate of high school and secretarial college, she was front desk manager at the Spa Motel and later a shipping clerk for Exodus Shipping, both in Pagosa Springs. She enjoyed gardening, oil painting and fishing.
She is survived by her parents, Gerald and Sally Feil of Pagosa Springs; son Jason and his wife Sheri of Colorado Springs; son Jesse Feil of Pagosa Springs; a brother and his wife, Josh and Jennifer Feil and a niece, Jordon Taylor Feil all off Fort Myers, Fla.; a nephew, Adam Wolf Feil of Haiku, Maui, Hawaii; and her maternal grandmother, Ruth Ann Newlin of Grass Valley, Calif.
A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. Aug. 1 in Grace Chapel at Pagosa Funeral Options with Rev. Louis Day of Servant Ministry presiding.
Memorial contributions can be sent to Hospice of Mercy, 3801 North Main Street, Durango, CO 81301.
Dennis and Robin Niehaus celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary July 7, 2001 renewing their vows in the presence of family and friends at Williams Creek Reservoir. The couple has lived in Pagosa Springs for 16 years.
Tiffany Brook Wiggers was united in marriage to Corim Ian Carey on July 21, 2001 at Community Bible Church with a reception following at the PLPOA Community Center.
Tiffany and Corey will reside in Gunnison after their honeymoon trip to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Tiffany is a 1998 graduate of Pagosa Springs High School and is the daughter of Curt and Lynell Wiggers of Pagosa Springs. Corey is a 1997 graduate of Custer County High School of Westcliff, and is the son of Lynn and Dennis Carey, of Westcliff.
Travis and Carol Golden joyfully announce the marriage of their daughter, Suzanna, to Keith Gronewoller, son of Don and Paula Ford of Pagosa Springs and David and Donna Gronewoller of Lewisville, N. C. The ceremony will be 1 p.m. Saturday at Community Bible Church. The couple will reside in Winston-Salem, N.C.
Kira Staggs and Brent Murray are planning a spring 2002 island wedding. Kira is the daughter of Bruce and Bonnie Staggs of Pagosa Springs and Brent is the son of Brent Sr. and Naomi Murray of Monte Vista.
Erne Woodley would like to announce the engagement of his daughter, Kelly Abresch, to Steve Martinez, the son of Eugene Lucas Martinez. A Sept. 1 wedding is being planned. The happy couple will reside in Pagosa Springs.
Natalie Ortega of Pagosa Springs, competed in the recent American Coed pageant in Denver, and received the Miss Personality award and trophies for program participation, sportswear modeling and fulfilling the Spirit of America. She is the daughter of Jim and Isabel Webster and the late Louie Ortega. SUN photo
Charles L. Rand
Air Force Airman Charles L. Rand has graduated from basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas.
During the six weeks of training, the airman studied the Air Force mission, organization, and customs and received special training in human relations.
In addition, airmen who complete basic training earn credits toward an associate degree through the Community College of the Air Force.
He is the son of Charles Rand of Pagosa Springs and Chavella Keokuk of Baker, La.
Kayla Mackey, a student at Fort Lewis College in Durango has been named to the Dean's List. An economics major, she is the daughter of Butch and Debbie Mackey of Pagosa Springs.
The Connie Mack World Series Parade will be held Aug. 3 starting at American Plaza in Farmington. Line-up begins at 9:30 a.m. at the Murray entrance with the parade starting at 11:30 a.m. proceeding east on Main Street throughout downtown.
U.S. Sen. Pete Dominici will serve as grand marshal of this year's parade. Team floats, bicycles, vehicles, clowns and marching bands are encouraged to enter. There is no entry fee, however an entry form must be completed and returned to the Chamber of Commerce; 500 W. Main, Parks and Recreation Department, 901 Fairgrounds Road; or mailed to Farmington Chamber of Commerce, 105 N. Orchard, Farmington, N.M., 87401.
Deadline for entries is Aug. 1 at 5 p.m.
Entry forms are available at the Farmington Chamber of Commerce, Department of Parks and Recreation and the Farmington Convention & Visitors Bureau at Gateway Park.
All interested groups and youth organizations are encouraged to be a part of the 37th annual Connie Mack Parade and World Series.
The first official practice for the Pagosa Springs High School Golf team is scheduled Monday, Aug. 6.
This first meeting will be held at 4 p.m. in the Pagosa Springs Golf Club maintenance facility.
Coach Kathy Carter said all interested in being golf team members should attend that meeting.
No player will be allowed to practice until a sports physical is turned in to coach Carter. Those interested in being a team member should bring their clubs to the first meeting.
The team will have only two weeks to practice before the first match of the season, an Aug. 17 clash at Alamosa.
Carter will be evaluating available talent and putting the candidates through tough practices for the next two weeks. She hopes to have several players qualify for state competition this year and expects the team to be anchored by senior returning letterman Josh Postolese, with several second-year players expected to contribute.
The balance of the Pirate varsity links schedule includes:
- Aug. 23 at Cortez
- Aug. 24 at Durango
- Aug. 25, the Pagosa Invitational, the only home appearance of the season
- Aug. 31 at Delta
- Sept. 5 at Monte Vista
- Sept. 10 at Ridgway
- Sept. 9 at Gunnison
- Sept. 14 at Montrose
- Sept. 17 at Canon City
- Sept. 20 state regionals in Alamosa.
The Four Corners Stroke Play Golf Championship has set the 2001 36-hole Colorado Golf Association Medal Play tournament for Sept. 29-30 at Dalton Ranch Golf Club north of Durango.
Players representing Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona will vie for some of the highest paying tournament stakes in the area. All players must have a current GHIN number and a USGA handicap.
The tournament, sponsored by Touchstone Energy and the Durango Rotary Club, benefits the local chapter of The American Cancer Society and combines a Colorado Golf Association sanctioned event with social events and other fundraising endeavors.
Sponsorship opportunities are available at several levels: Tee-box sponsorships at $200; Birdie sponsor at $500; Eagle sponsor at $1,000; and Hole-in-one sponsor at $1,500. Sponsorship packages and information are available by calling Fal Wood at 247-8774.
After a two-week break to accommodate the July 4 holiday and the ladies' Pine Cone Classic tournament, the Pagosa Springs Men's Golf League resumed play July 18 with an individual low-gross and low-net event.
Forty players were divided into two flights (one for the golfers with the 20 lowest handicaps and one for the other 20). "Using flights gives the higher handicap players a better chance of winning since they are competing with players whose handicaps are closer to their own," said Lou Boilini, league president.
In the first flight, first through fourth places (gross) were taken by Troy Persson, Don Ford, Malcolm Rodger and Wayne Huff. Net winners were Gene Johnson, Bob Chitwood, Fred Campuzano and Sean O'Donnell.
Second flight gross winners were Kim Winston, Dennis Yerton, Rich Broom and Jon Bower, with the top four net places taken by Dick Zitting, Ray Henslee, Ed Day and Ben Lynch.
In the June 27 league event preceding the two-week break, the format was the second Team Stableford competition of the season. In this format players earn positive points (1 for bogey, 2 for par, 3 for birdie and 5 for eagle). The team of Sam McNatt, David Cammack, Bob Pacharzina and John Weiss took first place followed by the team of Ward Lawrence, Bobby Hart, Fred Campuzano and Bob Howard in second.
Harold Stokes won the individual honors, Fred Campuzano place second and Bob Pacharzina took third.
The Men's League is open to golfers of all levels. League dues are $25 for the season, payable in the pro shop. Competition begins every Wednesday at 1 p.m. Sign up in the men's locker room before 5 p.m. the Tuesday afternoon before each play day.
Hailee Crouse was born June 2, 2001 at Mercy Medical Center in Durango, weighing in at 6 pounds, 8.2 ounces and measuring 18 3/4 inches. Hailee is the daughter of Stephen Crouse and Pam Moore. Grandparents are Deena Moore and Barry Kelly of Pagosa Springs and Steve and Sydney Crouse of Pagosa Springs.
Stacey and Emzy T. Barker IV announce the birth of their son, Emzy (Tay) Taylor Barker V at 9:06 p.m. June 16, 2001 in Mercy Medical Hospital, Durango. The lad weighed in at 6 pounds 1.5 ounces and was 18 1/4 inches tall.
He was welcomed home by sister Shelbi Jo Barker.
Grandparents are Jessie and Bob Formwalt of Pagosa Springs and Ava and E.T. Barker III of Elgin, Texas.
Keith and Judy Chastain own and operate LHI - Log Homes Incorporated.
The Chastains have been in the business of building and selling log homes for more than 10 years and LHI uses cedar logs, with standard sizes and an exclusive aluminum dovetail spline system.
LHI offers custom-design service with in-house CAD and tailor-make packages to the customer's needs. Sierra Pacific windows and doors are available from LHI and the company currently operates its own cutting facility in the Cloman Industrial Park. A local milling facility is planned within the next couple of years.
Call LHI any time at 731-9522 to schedule an appointment.
Lot left awash with job well done
The all-time wettest, silliest car wash crew ever somehow managed to wash 69 cars, trucks and all kinds of four-wheeled things last Saturday, and I assure you there was never a dull moment.
We had a wonderful time and did some mighty fine work even if I do say so myself - and I do. We, as always, have many folks to thank for a great day and will begin by thanking Jim Downing with Hydro-Force who actually volunteered for this tour of duty even after doing it last year. Jim is always the hit of day, especially among the guy-group, who just love to watch him power wash their tires until they can read the white letters again.
Along with Jim, I just have to give special mention to those who worked so tirelessly and were there because they wanted to be or couldn't say "no" to someone. Don and Mary McKeehan were sweet-talked into coming by Ken Harms who couldn't be there, and, frankly, I don't even want to know what Ken promised them. Anything short of a new automobile or a cruise would be criminal. Mary was overheard humming, "I'm Just A Girl Who Can't Say No" more than once during the day when she wasn't sobbing.
Also, Jennai Bachus was there in all her glory sporting some very interesting "temporary teeth" along with husband and board director, Matt, who had obviously gone to the same bargain-basement dentist. Teeth or no, we were delighted to have Jennai share the day with us. We also are ever-so grateful to Matt for the power washer loan. We had no idea that it would save so much time and effort and have requested said loan for the next 50 years or so.
As always, we thank staffers Morna and Doug Trowbridge, and our ever-wacky directors Mark DeVoti, Liz Marchand, Bonnie Masters, Robert Soniat, Will Spears, and Lynnis Steinert for their very hard work and great attitudes about giving up a Saturday to wash everyone else's cars.
We thank John Schoenborn and Leslie Montroy for taking pity on this pathetic group and bringing special libations. We also want to thank Domino's Pizza for providing a delicious lunch of many pizzas, for this unruly, hungry group. Thanks to Marsha and the folks at The Spa at Pagosa Springs as well as Ming and Sam at the Pagosa Lakes Recreation Center for the loan of towels. It takes a lot of towels to dry 69 cars, and these people gave us a hand in that department.
I would be remiss if I didn't thank all of our loyal members who lined up to make this event such a great success. I have to say that I enjoyed the day more than someone outside of an institution should enjoy anything. I laughed well more than the legal limit, and I learned an invaluable lesson: overalls weigh about three or four-hundred pounds when they are wet and become extremely uncomfortable.
Member Barbara Husbands with Media America was thrilled to pieces to learn that she had won a free Chamber membership for the 2001-2002 year when I called her this morning. Clever girl that she is, she bought two chances for said membership when she was here to have her car washed. We had a number of members who bought these chances, and it's a heck of a deal for $5. Last year's winners were Chile Mountain Cafe owners, Carolyn Feller and David Hammer. Congratulations, Barbara.
Speaking of winners, and we were, congratulations to members James, Debra and Tegan Brown and the whole gang at Colorado Dream Homes for winning the first-ever "Most Energy-Efficient Home of the New Millenium" presented by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Energy Star Program. The lovely ceremony took place at Colorado Dream Home offices Monday morning when the award was presented to the Browns by a representative of the EPA's Energy Star Program. Congratulations, folks - we're always delighted to hear about it when Pagosa Chamber members "do good" and especially when it's for something so environmentally commendable as saving our precious energy.
Once again our hard-working fair board is looking to the community for volunteers of all ages, needed for a variety of assignments during the Archuleta County Fair (dubbed by Michael DeWinter as "The Best Little County Fair in the County!") Aug. 2, 3, 4, and 5.
Volunteers are also needed to help with open class registration Aug.1 (1-8 p.m.) and to set up the Extension Building Exhibit Hall on July 28, and take down the exhibit space Aug. 6. If you are interested in helping, please fill out a volunteer registration form, available at the CSU Extension Office at the fairgrounds and the Chamber of Commerce. Completed forms can be dropped off at the same locations.
Volunteers under 18 years of age require parental consent, and kids 10-13 years of age must be accompanied by an adult. Contact Marti Gallo at 264-3890 or 946-1278 if you have questions about volunteer activities during the fair. Sign up now to volunteer and be part of the fun and excitement of the Archuleta County Fair 50th Anniversary.
Queen City Jazz
The Pagosa Springs Music Boosters invite you to join them for "Celebrate Jazz Weekend," a first in Pagosa Springs, tomorrow, Saturday and Sunday, July 27-29.
Featured during this exciting weekend will be Colorado's premiere Dixieland Band, Queen City Jazz Band, recreating the great sounds of the 1920s Dixieland era. Vocalist Wende Harston will front the seven-piece band with a rich and lustrous voice reminiscent of the legendary Bessie Smith. QCJB has twice been honored by the Colorado State Legislature for their cultural contributions to our state, have recorded eighteen CDs and tour internationally as well as throughout the United States and their home state of Colorado.
This special weekend begins tomorrow at the Timbers of Pagosa with Moonyah Arkestra (Pan American Jazz) from 8 p.m. until 10:30 p.m. From 11 p.m. to closing, E-JAY the DJ, the award-winning DJ from Boulder's popular dance club, SOMA, will appear. Admission for the Timbers show will be $5.
Saturday, July 28, Queen City Jazz Band will appear at the high school auditorium at 7:30 p.m., and admission for this performance will be $15 for adults and $12 for those 12 and younger. Following this performance, you can head to the Timbers and "Meet the Musicians" followed by The D.C. All Stars (Be-Bop, Hard Bop - Be Bop with a Blues flavor) in what promises to be a great jam session. Admission will be $5.
Sunday, July 29, at the Timbers, Pagosa's own Rio Jazz will complete this spectacular weekend with their own special brand of jazz and charm. They hope to have their CD, "Live at the Timbers," available that evening ready to autograph.
An all-event ticket that will admit you to all of the above throughout the weekend is $22 and represents a savings of $8. Tickets can be purchased at the Chamber of Commerce, Diamond Dave's, and Moonlight Books in the downtown area and at the Timbers of Pagosa and Wolftracks Bookstore and Coffee Company on the west side of town. Sponsors for this event are the Pagosa Springs Music Boosters, the Timbers of Pagosa and KWUF Radio. Proceeds from these events will benefit the Pagosa Springs Music Boosters who fund their support of local performing arts by presenting and performing entertainment events.
Name the Bear
You have just one more day to name the irresistible carved bear that greets all of our guests at the Visitor Center and encourages them to sign in by holding the guest register in a particularly engaging way.
We are so grateful to the kind folks at the Happy Camper RV Park and to carvers Rick and Lynette Hudson, for contributing this unique addition to the Chamber and encourage you to go out there and check out the other carved bears who live at Happy Camper. You have until closing time tomorrow to enter your name for this big guy. I am frankly astonished at the number of entries we have received and hope you will share your clever idea for a name.
Last week I shared a story with you about some guests in our Visitor Center who were so grateful for the assistance they had received from our Monday afternoon Diplomats that they brought a plate of snacks to the Visitor Center before they left town to show their appreciation.
Looks like our Diplomats are on a great roll because I have another "happy customer" story to tell you this week. Seems long-time Diplomats, and husband and wife team Dick and Lorraine Raymond were working their usual weekend tour of duty when a woman from Austin who was visibly distracted came in.
To make a long story short, the woman left her wallet in the ladies room with everything in the world in it and didn't make the discovery until she arrived in Durango.
Dick and Lorraine secured the wallet, checked for the owner's name and promptly called the Pagosa Police Department to report the lost wallet and owner information. The police picked up the wallet for safekeeping, and Morna got the call from the woman on Monday morning and was able to report that it was safe and that the woman could claim it at the police department.
The woman was relieved beyond belief and stopped by the Visitor Center after she had retrieved the wallet and wrote the Raymonds a very nice note of extreme gratitude and included some cash that she insisted the Raymonds spend on ice cream, cokes or a "treat."
The Raymonds tried to donate the money to the Visitor Center, but I wouldn't have it. The woman was very clear and correct in her designation, and I know she would have been very upset if they hadn't used the money for something fun. Just another example of your Chamber Diplomats in action. Thanks, Dick and Lorraine, for once again making all of us look so good.
Just a reminder that you will be treated to real, live Vaudeville at the Archuleta County Fair this year, compliments of the Pagosa Springs Music Boosters.
There will be three performances presented under the big tent on Saturday afternoon, Aug. 4, and you can check for exact times closer to the fair.
For those of us long enough in tooth, vaudeville was always performed live on a stage and included song and dance routines, comedy and wonderful short sketches. Don't miss the re-creation of this unique performance art genre at our very own "Best Little County Fair in the County."
We're delighted to welcome one new member this week and four renewals. We do indeed appreciate each and every one of you.
Annalisa Hodgkins joins us with Golden Eagle Lodge located at 960 County Road 335. The Golden Eagle Lodge is a European-style bed and breakfast ideal for small conferences as well as overnight stays and retreats. You will enjoy delicious home-baked breakfasts in the smoke-free atmosphere, and your pets are welcome to join you during your stay. For more information about the Golden Eagle Lodge, please call Annalisa at 264-6285.
Renewals this week include Scott and Margaret Brush with Starlight Custom Homes; Angela Atkinson with The Pagosa Kid; Lawrence (Larry) Page with Anco Southwest Insurance; and Susan Stoltz, Vice President of Stoltz Construction, Inc.
Kitchen staff outdid themselves for second picnic
The folks who attended our second picnic of the summer last Friday really enjoyed a treat. Dawnie and the kitchen staff went all out serving barbecued chicken, corn on the cob, macaroni salad, bread, watermelon and cupcakes.
We appreciate them so much. I am sure we must have the best cooks of any senior center and I'm sure the 61 folks who attended will agree.
It was good to have Jimmie and Vernon Day with us at the picnic and to know Vernon is feeling better. I didn't get to mingle around during the picnic so know that I missed visiting with many guests, but we do welcome those who came and hope they will join us at the Senior Center Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
Last Saturday, several members of our group traveled to Silverton to attend the 15th annual Silverton Barbershop Music Festival. What a glorious experience. It was especially nice having our Pagosa Mountain Harmony Barbershop Chorus - the only ladies group - as one of the featured groups. They gave a wonderful performance. Other very talented groups came from across the state, ending with a 95-person chorus of folks from throughout the nation.
The Senior of the Week is Dorothy Million - what a very deserving lady. Dorothy is our resident photographer and has documented many of the events that have taken place with out seniors. Congratulations, Dorothy.
On July 17, Ann Egli presented a program of poems she had written - what a talented lady. Thank you Ann, for sharing your talent.
We thank Marian Swanson for her donation of books for our library. Also, there are some Readers Digest books at the Center that are available to our members to take home.
On Monday, we welcomed several guests: Marianne Scoggins (who worked at our center many years ago), Joan Miller (the state dietitian), Susan Cornajo and Steve Evans.
The lucky winner of the drawing for a 13-inch TV was Jane Martinez. Congratulations, Jane.
Don't forget jazz performances begin tomorrow night with the Moonyah Pan-American Jazz Band; on Saturday the Queen City Jazz Band is at the high school auditorium; and on July 29, our local group, Rio Jazz plays at The Timbers. This is a rare opportunity to enjoy music not always available locally.
Our monthly board meeting will be held at 12:45 p.m. Friday and the potluck/dance at 5 p.m. at the Senior Center. This is a fun time to share your favorite food dishes and visit, so be sure to join us.
Cancer Walk Survivor's Lap signifies progress
Pagosa's third annual Relay For Life - a local effort to raise money for American Cancer Society and a unique way to increase cancer awareness in our community - will begin tomorrow at 6 p.m. in Town Park.
Many of you have already committed to participating as a walker on one of the 14 teams (so far confirmed but that may change as one or two new teams get pulled together at the last minute). You and at least 10 of your friends have worked hard to raise pledges and you've also planned on having a swell time during the course of the event.
Relay For Life organizers are working on presenting 13 hours of varied activities that will keep the event fun, lively and memorable. Teams will start setting up their campsite between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. tomorrow. The relay will begin at 6 p.m. with the Cancer Survivor's Victory Lap around the track. Come out and celebrate this happy occasion with the survivors.
The Survivor's Victory Lap is an affirmation of the progress in the battle against cancer. At 6:30 p.m. local cowboy poet Bob Huff will present a poem on his survival. Bob is witty and the poem will no doubt both entertain and educate. Following Bob's poetry, a group of local musicians will come together for a jam session. Please bring your instrument if you wish to be jamming with them.
From 7 to 9 p.m. Joe Donovan and Buzz Gillentine will barbecue hot dogs to serve a picnic supper for participants. Chile Mountain Cafe is donating sandwiches for those allergic to nitrates. During these two hours, teams will be organizing themselves to create an award winning costume from a kit provided that evening. I don't know what's in the kit. You'll have to hypnotize Joe Donovan or Cheryl and Jolin Nelson to tell you what's in the costume kit.
Equally as beautiful and poignant as the Survivor's Victory Lap is the celebration of hope. At 9 p.m. luminarias will be lit. Hot air balloons will glow and HOPE will be spelled out on the side of a hill with luminarias. It will be beautiful.
With all that walking or running, by midnight food will be needed again. The San Juan Outdoor Club will serve a chili supper and award prizes for best pajamas. Between 5 to 6 a.m. the Spring Inn has graciously offered to open up the hot tubs to all participants at no charge. You'll need a soak by then if you've been up all night walking and socializing. The 2001 Relay For Life T-shirt is your ticket into the soothing tubs.
At 6 a.m., the Rotary Club of Pagosa Springs will serve breakfast to all participants. Breakfast will be on the table through 8 a.m. Modeling of the costumes made from the kits supplied the night before will take place at 7:30 a.m. Prizes will be awarded to best costumes. The Relay For Life will finish at noon with a closing ceremony and awarding of the winning pig to the team that raised the most money. Hope to see you at the Relay - as a participant, a spectator or a supporter.
The PLPOA annual meeting will be held Saturday at the Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse. Voting will be from 9 to 10 a.m., with the meeting starting at 10 a.m. Juice, coffee and donuts will be served before the meeting. All property owners are invited to attend, to vote and to be given updates on financial and committee reports.
Nature field guide set as child's activity Aug. 7
Come by the library and see the outstanding baskets made by Nettie Trenk and Carrie Weisz.
There are some baskets that incorporate elk antlers and other natural objects. These baskets are truly extraordinary and we are honored to display them. The baskets will be here until Aug.11.
Nettie and Carrie are also volunteers at the library, and help with the children's area. They are truly talented ladies, and their skills are most appreciated at the library.
Children are invited to come join Sheila Salazar, U.S. Forest Service Interpretive Specialist, Aug. 7 at 11 a.m. Sheila will help them make a nature field guide and learn about our local wildlife. This is for children of all ages including parents. It will be the last weekly activity for the summer.
We thank Sheree Grazda for arranging all of the volunteers who did storytime for us this year, and thanks to all of those volunteers: Lili Pearson, Barb Elges, Michael DeWinter, Char Neill, Bill Nobles, Phyllis Decker, Faith Richardson, Nancy Mackensen, Eugenia Hinger, Sheila Salazar, Debbie Barrett, and Smokey Bear. Thanks to Cathy Dodt-Ellis who did such a wonderful job arranging this entire event. We had 305 children participate and appreciate the variety of activities:
Garret Lyle came closest on the jellybean guessing contest. We'll have a final check on how many books were read later.
Readers of the Week were Katie Laverty, Ben Miller, Carson Laverty, Mele LeLievere, Billy Baughman, Julia Nell, Haleigh Zenz, Kelly Crow, Courtney Spears and Tate Hinger.
Aztec Code writers were Anne Townsend and Magan Kraetsch.
Picture of Us winners were Amanda Kerr, Anne Townsend, Barrie Bliss, Kyle Anderson Andresen, Michelle Bliss and Tarah McKeever.
Our Coloring Contest was won by Tawny Zellner, Misha Garcia, Amanda Oertel, Kelsey Lyle, Amanda Kerr, Ben Miller Andi Miller, Colby Anderson Andresen, Anne Townsend, Jennifer Mueller, Magan Kraetsch, Leslie Baughman, Maegan McFarland, Sarah Vining, Gabrielle Winter, Wendy Webster, Sierra Monteferrante, Michelle Bliss, Elizabeth Bliss, Tarah McKeever, Samuel Bliss, Traci Bliss and Brianna Bryant.
Congratulations to all of the parents and the children who participated in the reading program. There is one constant in the success of students throughout school and life - the love and desire to read.
It begins at home very early on. Once instilled, it lasts forever.
Try out www.chimneyrockco.org when you have a chance. Glenn Raby will be doing an archaeoastronomy tour at Chimney Rock Aug. 18. That is quite a title. The seven-syllable word is loosely defined as a study of ancient astronomical beliefs and practices. Two of the most famous archaeoastronomical sites are Stonehenge and Chichen Itza. But our Chimney Rock ranks right up there with the best. There are many more sites in our Four Corners area where astronomical alignments are studied.
One motive for the early rituals might have been the need to accurately predict the changes in season for agricultural purposes.
We have a report that measures the health of Southwest Colorado presented by Operation Health Communities.
Pathways is an indicator report that monitors five Colorado Counties including ours. This document has up-to-date information on over 100 quality of life indicators including housing, families, livable wages, health care, environment, education and the economy. This is a valuable tool for research on our way of life. The report may be checked out.
A huge research tool came from the Region Nine Development District of Southwest Colorado. This tome also compiles economic data for the five counties and the two Ute Indian Tribes. It outlines the economic challenges facing us as well as collective concerns of the entire region. This also may be checked out.
Thank you for financial help from Elizabeth Anderson in memory of Punkin. And thanks for materials from Bob and Carole Howard, Fred Zeder, June Geisen, Barbara Carlos, B.J. Meek, Shirley Alley, Evelyn Kantas, Denis Riddiford and Marti Gallo.
Patient education tapes now available
There's good news at the Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Center. They now have a set of medical video tapes that can be checked out to the public.
Nurse Ruth Vance purchased the tapes at a great discount through the Jackisch Drug Store.
Dr. Mark Wienphal has been interested in patient education for a long time. This was discussed in the early planning days of the Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Center, but the subject was set aside because of the loss of funds caused by trying to satisfy the Tabor Amendment.
The tapes are free and can be checked out or viewed at the clinic.
The TV at the clinic was a donation some years ago, paid for by the proceeds from a Hunter's Hospitality Party at the Hog's Breath Saloon. Future plans for patient education include a computer and internet service specifically intended for accessing the wealth of information on the web by patients and the medical staff. Anyone wishing to contribute to this cause should contact Ruth Vance at the Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Center.
Betty Slade is starting a Women's Bible Study, Wednesday mornings from 10-11:30 a.m. at Mountain Christian Fellowship in the Ridgeview Mall located at 535 Navajo Trail. Please call her at 264-2824 for more information.
The Mountain Harmony Ladies are up to their usual entertaining ways, done in a simply charming manner, with their up-and-coming presentation of a "Grand Ole Opry" show. The date is Aug. 10 at Our Savior Lutheran Church.
For history's sake, the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville got its name this way: The announcer for radio station USM was presenting the news that followed the Texaco-sponsored Metropolitan Opera Saturday afternoon presentation. He was lining up the evening schedule and he said, "You've been listening to the Grand Opera, now you can listen to the Grand Ole Opera." This show was known as the Saturday Night Barn Dance.
About town II
No Whistle Pig programs are scheduled for August. They resume in September.
A letter in last weeks' SUN from Gov. Bill Owens reminded us that, this weekend, Colorado will be celebrating its 125th anniversary of admission into the United States. The Territorial Daughters is an organization for descendants of Colorado pioneers. Applicants have to prove descent from one who lived in Colorado before it became a state.
Pagosa Springs is included in the Southern Chapter. It meets the third Saturday of the month at different locations within the designated area. Please call Becky Thompson at 264-6318 for more information.
Fun on the Run
A cowboy from way out in the country was telling his fellow cowboys back on the ranch about his first visit to a big-city church.
"When I got there, they had me park my old truck in the corral," the cowboy began.
"You mean the parking lot," interrupted his friend Charlie, a more worldly fellow.
"I walked up the trail to the door," the cowboy continued.
"The sidewalk to the door," Charlie corrected him.
"Inside the door, I was met by this dude," the cowboy went on.
"That would be the usher," his friend explained.
"Well, the usher led me down the chute," the cowboy explained.
"You mean the aisle," Charlie said.
"Then, he led me to a stall and told me to sit there," the cowboy continued.
"Pew," Charlie retorted.
"Yeah," recalled the cowboy. "That's what that pretty lady said when I sat down beside her."
In danger of loving Wilderness to death
Hotshot and I just got back from a four-day backpack in the high country. It's the first time we've been up there in five long years. We took the fishing poles. We've had these since Christmas, so we're still learning how to use them.
Plus, we're re-learning some basics for the high country, like staying dry in the daily storms. It doesn't leave much energy for practicing wilderness ethics. Fortunately, those are pretty ingrained.
Walk Softly in the Wilderness - that was a wilderness ethics slogan many years ago. Here's another maxim you probably remember - Take Only Pictures; Leave Only Footprints.
That's a nice thought, but even footprints make a tremendous mark, if there are enough of them. There are a lot of trails in the Weminuche Wilderness, including stretches of the Continental Divide Trail, that are so heavily impacted that hikers basically walk in a knee-deep trench. Usually it's full of rocks, too. You have to walk, not softly, but carefully, to avoid a twisted ankle.
And at your campsite, if you're backpacking, footprints have an impact. I try not to walk around too much, but it seems that every trip to the pack, to the water jug, to the tent, flattens another dozen little plants - ferns and bluebells and Parry's primroses. The wonder is that they come back, year after year.
We love our Wilderness so much, we're in danger of loving it to death.
The current slogan is Leave No Trace/Wilderness Ethics. This is actually a trademarked term, and a whole organization, with a web site - www.lnt.org. Subaru has provided a lot of funding, and we won't go into the irony of that.
The organization has articulate, dedicated young people who travel the country to promote the Leave No Trace message.
In order to keep things simple for all of us, Leave No Trace has seven main points to keep in mind when you take to the woods. Of course, each of these contains lots of suggestions for implementation.
Some of the main points are pretty general. Be considerate of other visitors. Respect wildlife. Plan ahead and prepare. Leave what you find. The other three get more specific: dispose of waste properly, travel and camp on durable surfaces, and minimize campfire impacts.
All of them are intended to help us think about leaving the wilderness as much as possible like we found it. The U.S. Forest Service expends a lot of energy and money trying to keep the Wild in Wilderness, and it's for our own benefit if we can help out a little bit.
Hotshot and I have usually practiced walking softly and leaving as little trace of ourselves as possible when we go backpacking. We tried to teach these principles to the Explorer Scouts when we went backpacking with them.
With the kids, we took apart fire rings, scattered the ashes, and covered the burned ground with fresh duff. We washed our dishes far away from streams and lakes. We picked up and carried out pounds of trash, our own and found trash. We even packed out our used toilet paper so that others wouldn't have to admire those unlovely traces.
But now, Hotshot and I have a new hobby - fly fishing. Here's the image I have in mind: A lake high in the Rockies and a freshly caught fish frying in the pan at our campsite.
Granted, we're just starting. It may take a while to get to that point.
Fishing, however, leaves a trace. At least the way I fish, it does. "How?" you might ask. It would seem to be a minimal impact activity.
Well, here's how.
In the evening, after supper at our first campsite, we strung the poles and practiced casting. We were the only people in the area, and the trail right there was long and straight as the airport runway. Well, almost. A perfect place to whip that line back and forth, keeping our wrists straight, working on our loop cast.
Not much impact there. Just two people standing on the trail.
Next morning we followed a faint trail around the lake to an ideal fishing spot. No trees to snag, just a wide grassy slope down to the water.
"Which flies do you think we should use?" I asked Hotshot, looking at the assortment in my little fly case. Then I answered my own question. "I'm just going to use one of the smallest ones." I worried that the fish in that little lake might not be able to get their mouths around any of the bigger lures.
I shouldn't have worried. The fish were quite safe.
Here's how it went. I started a series of casts, paying out a little more line with each one. Then came the cast that went too far behind me, and the hook snagged a blade of some mountain flower, possibly the western bistort, on the slope behind my back. You wouldn't think that a little leaf could be that strong, but it was stronger than the knot I'd tied.
So there went my first little fly. The fly had a bit of white, but the ground was covered with little white flowers, so I never found it.
I tied on a new fly and started casting again. Same thing happened, only this time the knot held and the line snapped ... I hunted around again in the likely snag area behind me. I got down on my knees to try and see the monofilament line. No dice.
By then I'd been beating the water for about 40 minutes. It was time to quit.
I hated leaving the flies there. It means admitting I've left a Trace in the Wilderness. Even if it is such a little trace.
Visitor center disappearing (temporarily) for facelift
Navajo's facelift is continuing. In a few short months, some of you may see the Visitor Center disappear. Don't panic. There will be either a construction trailer at the site, or the small glass entry station will be refitted to take care of passes, licenses and other concerns.
This will be temporary as the new Visitor Center is being constructed. If you want a preview of what the new building will look like, drop by the old VC and take a look at a photograph of a similar one at another park.
The new VC will have central air conditioning, more desk space, and new exhibits chronicling the history of the area. It promises to be as nice and complete as the other new buildings.
This little flower is so profuse that I can't resist telling you about it.
Most species of sunflowers thrive in open, disturbed areas, where there is a little extra water available. Roadsides, abandoned gardens and fields are ideal habitats.
The large, domesticated sunflower is apparently the only aboriginally cultivated plant to originate north of Mexico. Although very few archaeological remains have been discovered, it appears that sunflowers were camp-following weeds, spreading from one village to the next, eventually carried out onto the Great Plains during trading forays.
This was when the western and eastern varieties finally met and selection and domestication began. If you were an early traveler to the West, you might have noticed some temporary buildings made of logs with dirt roofs where grasses, purple asters and sunflowers sprouted, giving the house a colorful toupee.
Native Americans used this plant for decorative purposes. The women of San Ildefonso pueblo in New Mexico put the flowers on their dresses for decoration during corn dances. The ladies of San Juan Pueblo, N.M., not only wore sunflowers in their hair but would weave the flowers into circlets that would fit the hats worn by their men during the harvest dance. There is even a sunflower kachina seen at many puebloan seasonal festivals.
In addition to decoration, the sunflower's light, strong stems could be made into bird snares and arrows. The stalks can be hollowed out and made into flutes. Medicinally, the stem juice of the sunflower is still used as a cleanser for cuts and small wounds while the root has been associated with treating rattlesnake bites.
Finally, the seeds are an important season food. Sunflower seeds are a rich source of vitamins and minerals. They can be parched and eaten whole, or ground into flour. Put through a grinder or food processor, the seeds may be mixed with wheat flour or cornmeal for mush, bread making or soups. Since sunflower seeds are a commodity carried by food stores, you can purchase your supply there.
This will leave the seeds of our wild sunflowers for our birds and bears to enjoy.
The Civil War encampment and battle scheduled for Navajo State Park July 27-29 will not be held, for lack of participants.
Conflicts with the Battle of Manassas in Virginia and an event at Four Union, N.M., meant there are few actors available, while the current fire ban made the use of cannon impossible. We apologize for any inconvenience this change may cause.
Top to bottom health care review promised
Calling himself a "veteran's activist," Veterans Affairs Secretary Anthony Principi vowed to conduct a major top-to-bottom review of his department's health care and claims processing systems and it's use of information technology.
He said the VA's entire system is being examined to ensure the needs of active duty service members are being met when they become veterans and file for benefits. For instance, he said, smarter use of modern technology is critical to VA.
"We spend about $1.5 billion a year on information technology, but the outcomes are not anywhere near commensurate with the investment we make," Principi noted. "We need to be smarter about how we procure technology and how we use it."
He said taking up to two years to reach a decision and abstract theories of veterans benefits and healthcare are not acceptable. "I want practical, hands-on solutions as to what we need to do better to provide high-quality, timely evaluations on claims," he emphasized. "I want to ensure we have uniform access to high-quality healthcare."
One of the major reasons for current delays in decisions of applications for service connected disabilities and pension claims is the fact the VA is re-evaluating many previous claims. Until recently claimants were required to provide medical or other background information for their claims, that often was difficult or impossible to obtain from military and other medical records sources. Often these claims were denied because of the lack of supporting evidence. Recent changes in VA policies have set aside this claimant requirement, and placed more burdens on VA to provide this information. Many older claims that were denied because of this are being re-opened and re-evaluated. This moves these older claims back to the top of the stack and new claims often experience additional delays.
I personally visited the state and regional VA facilities this spring and I can attest to the mountains of backlogged claims being either evaluated or re-evaluated. I was able to meet and talk with many of these VA Claims personnel and I can assure you they are dedicated persons working hard for our veterans.
VA compensation and pension claims are normally filed by the Archuleta County Office to the Colorado State VA office, where they are reviewed, logged for follow-up checks, and then passed on to the Regional VA office for adjudication. This gives our local claims the most focused attention at every level and assures they are given the best possible evaluations. The Colorado State VA office keeps copies of all of our local claims and often is very helpful when I need to do follow-up work. In many cases they can make suggestions or give helpful guidance to maximize the claim.
Please note I will have a booth at the Archuleta County Fair Aug. 4-5 and look forward meeting and visiting with all veterans of the area. Please be sure and stop by and see me.
Also, this office will be closed Aug. 12-18 for vacation.
For information on these and other veteran's benefits please call or stop by the Veterans Service Office located on the lower floor of the Archuleta County Courthouse. The office number is 264-2304, the FAX number is 264-5949, and E-mail is vsoarch @pagosa.net. The office is open from 8 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m., Monday through Thursday, or Friday by appointment. Bring your DD Form 214 (discharge) for registration with the county, application for VA programs, and for filing in the VSO office.
The baseball instructional league takes place at the Sports Complex 8:30-10:30 a.m. each Friday until Aug. 10. Cost is $5 which includes a T-shirt. Questions about the clinic can be answered at Town Hall, 264-4151, ext. 232.
The Bambino tournament started July 10 with the all-star Rookies team (10-year-olds) winning their first game against the Indians 7-6. The second game of the night had the Rockies beating the Braves 9-6. The second round of the tournament, played Thursday night, saw the Twins beat the Rockies 10-3 and the Orioles beat the Rockies by forfeit.
Last Tuesday the Rockies beat the Indians 7-5 but lost to the Braves 21-5. The Twins and Orioles played for championship-game seeding Wednesday, with the Orioles winning 2-1.
On Thursday night the Braves beat the Rockies 16-5 and the Twins beat the Braves 12-9. The championship game was scheduled for Tuesday night and the "if necessary" game was scheduled Wednesday. Thanks and congratulations to all this year's teams.
The league all-star team traveled to the Monte Vista tournament last Friday where they played at noon and 3 p.m.
Softballs games are being played Monday through Thursday evenings. Separate league games for the recreation and competitive men's divisions began July 16. The competitive league is comprised of At Your Disposal, Clifford Construction, Ken's Performance, P.P.P. Playboys and U Can Afford Landscaping. The recreation league includes American Legion, the Bears, Dulce Black Sox, Dulce Tigers and Stray Dogs.
Men's leagues wrapped up play last night and begin tournament play tonight.
In the Competitive Division, U Can Afford and At Your Disposal face off at 7:45 p.m. and Ken's Performance will take on Clifford Construction at 9 p.m. Monday. In the Recreation Division, the Bears and Black Sox play at 7:45 p.m. tonight and the American Legion and Tigers will collide at 9 p.m. Monday.
Tournament brackets for the men's divisions are available at the games, posted at the Sports Complex and Town Hall. Tournament games will continue until Aug. 7. The coed tournament will start Aug. 2 and tournament brackets will be available Monday.
Fall soccer registration is underway with $10 registration through Aug. 10. The coaches' organizational meeting will beheld Aug. 21 in Town Hall at 6 p.m. Practices begin the week of Aug. 27 and games begin Sept. 11. The season will conclude with tournament play Oct. 19 and 20. Games will be played on Tuesdays and Thursdays starting at 4:30 p.m. Registration forms are available at Town Hall.
The recreation department is looking for sponsors for the upcoming season. The sponsorship fee of $200 provides teams with a sponsor's shirts and new soccer equipment. Call the recreation department at 264-4141, ext. 232 if you're interested in coaching, sponsoring or officiating games.
The monthly Park and Recreation Commission meeting was held last week with a July 4 debriefing, a Folk West update and a Reservoir Hill update.
Folk West reported pre-sale tickets for the Four Corners Folk Festival going faster than ever before and concerts on Labor Day weekend will probably be sold out with 3,500 festival goers. Preparations for the weekend include work on the road, which started last week. Other work on Reservoir Hill includes a month-long tree thinning project on the new property section.
Logs from this project will be sold to the public and people interested should contact Town Hall at 264-4151, ext. 231.
Child care facts, myths need to be separated
Truth needs separation from rumor when considering immunizations for ourselves and for our children. Facts and myths need to be clarified before deadly diseases resurface without warning.
A local group called the Immunization Coalition meets regularly to address the needs and concerns in Archuleta County. They are geared toward keeping children in our community up-to-date on vaccines and providing education about those vaccines to parents, schools and health care professionals.
The coalition examines existing community tendencies with regard to providing immunizations. They identify current barriers in preventing full immunization of children.
Additionally, they find and develop strategies to provide outreach to under-immunized populations in the community.
One of those strategies recently became very successful. During National Infant Immunization Week, a prize drawing was held. Children with current shot records were able to put their names in a glass bowl and, on a designated day, Dr. Pruitt joined in to pick the lucky winners. Over 60 children were registered and many prizes were distributed. Several members of the Coalition worked hard to attain prize donations.
Campaigns like this are fun for the community and provide an opportunity for parents to learn more about preventive measures for their families as well as making it fun for the kids.
In a conversation with a local nurse, the subject turned to the topic of young parents in our country with no experience of serious infectious diseases. These young parents begin to question the continued need for vaccines. In reality, the decision not to get a vaccine could also be the decision to get a deadly disease.
Where do you go to learn more about immunizations? A good start is the San Juan Basin Health Department. Striving to eliminate as many barriers as possible to assist families, SJBHD runs a clinic each Wednesday, 3-5:30 p.m. They accept CHP+ as well as Medicaid. If you do not qualify for either program, all shots are based on donation. A $12 donation is requested.
San Juan Basin Health is aware of school-required immunizations as well. They work well with local medical providers and school personnel, collaborating to meet these specifications.
Furthermore, SJBHD is a strong support system for the Immunization Coalition. Their facilities are used for monthly meetings and many staff members attend to provide valid information and valuable input on community activities.
Upcoming plans for the coalition include ideas for August which is National Immunization Awareness month. A focus will be on back to school issues.
If you would like more information regarding the coalition, or immunizations and vaccines, the SJBHD personnel would be glad to answer any questions and can be reached by calling 264-2409.
Let's solve a road problem
Archuleta County has a road problem. Not the road problem our county commissioners and the county road and bridge department deal with on a daily basis.
It's worse than that.
This problem is one that can be solved by individuals, not government. If only individuals will do so.
The key road problem in the county is motorists - those who make life on the roadway dangerous for other drivers, for passengers, cyclists and pedestrians.
The flow of traffic has been heavy this summer, with several highway and road construction projects jamming the process. It's easy to assume the increasing number of traffic-related incidents - those cited by local law enforcement authorities as well as those witnessed and experienced in everyday transit - are caused by the many tourists who flock to Pagosa Country.
Talk to local law enforcement officers; you'll be told otherwise.
The majority of our road problems are caused by local motorists. Many of these drivers migrated here during the past few years, and they brought their high-stress freeway driving habits with them. But a lot of our nuisance motorists are homegrown.
It's not hard to find the problem. Sometimes all you need to do is look in a mirror.
Take a motor trip around the county. Drive from one end of the county to the other on U.S. 160. Take U.S. 84 from town to the New Mexico border. Drive down Colo. 151 from 160 to Allison. It is guaranteed you will find drivers irritated that anyone drives at the speed limit - they honk their car horns, make significant gestures with fingers, yell and pound their steering wheels. You'll see drivers heedless of a double-yellow line; drivers who tailgate other vehicles. You'll witness foolishness, road rage. You'll find yourself wondering what goal is served by speed and recklessness.
Drive the major county roads. Observe the behavior of drivers on washboard roads, on roads in subdivisions. Watch cars speed through residential neighborhoods, drivers heedless of danger, captivated by cell phone conversations, overloaded by loud music on the car's sound system.
Our road problem will be compounded once the school year begins in little more than a month. Hordes of parents will again spurn a safe school bus system and insist on driving their young ones to school. The highway will be clogged with private taxis and, when snow falls, the situation will be ridiculous. Winter brings out the worst drivers; without winter driving skills, without the ability to determine proper speed for particular conditions, they are an ever-present danger.
Add to all this the spectre of motorists who drive while intoxicated. DUI and DWAI arrests are up. People insist on driving after imbibing and their erratic behavior is a danger to all.
Our number-one road problem does not need to grow more serious. Get off the cell phone while behind the wheel. Send the kids to school on the school bus. Stop speeding (where are you going?). Drive with the proper space between cars. Exercise courtesy and patience.
And, when you see others driving dangerously, driving under the influence, exhibiting road rage, losing control, pull to the side of the road and use that cell phone safely, for a good purpose.
Call the Colorado State Patrol and report the offender.
There are two numbers to call to report driving offenses, and neither of them is 9-1-1. Do not use the emergency 9-1-1 number for traffic offender reports. Instead, call *DUI or *CSP. Both are free cell phone calls that connect you to Montrose CSP dispatch.
Provide as much information as you can - license number, make, model and color of vehicle, driver description - and have the courage to give your name and a phone number where you can be reached. Without your assistance as a witness and complainant, officers can do no more than issue a warning. With your help, they can cite an aggressive, reckless or drunk driver.
Let's get to work on our road problem. It's one we can solve.
Lance and I have a lot in common
Talk about wasted space and spilled ink. I was delivering copies of the fresh-off-the-press SUN to the Elkhorn Cafe last Thursday morning when a page 1 report in The Denver Post made that day's Dear Folks column obsolete.
"Clipped eagle: Changes slow mail delivery across West" read the headline in the upper left hand corner of the July 19 Denver Post. It was the second time in six days that the Denver Mail Processing Center had made the front page of the Post.
While the July 13 article reported on the undelivered mail that had idly sat in a trailer parked outside the U.S. Postal Service Service facility in Denver for 14 weeks, the July 19 article reported that postal officials had confirmed that mail from Denver which formerly required two days to be be delivered to much of the West was now taking three days to arrive. The delay is being experienced by "Denver letters bound for Washington state, most of Arizona, El Paso and Dallas."
Also, whereas the July 13 Post stated that by sending out 10 million pieces of mail daily the Denver Mail Processing Center is one of the nation's largest processing facilities, the July 19 article contends "United Airlines, which dominates air travel at Denver International Airport, also carries the most freight and air mail."
The story said the time frame for mail delivery schedules had been revised across the U.S. "because of poor, undependable airline service that often left mail sacks on the tarmac."
However, by Thursday my mind had already locked in on the 2001 Courage Classic fund-raising bicycle ride for The Children's Hospital in Denver and the riders on "Team Pagosa" who planned to ride in the fund-raiser.
This year's team consisted of 10 riders: Doug Call, Connie Chubuck, Tim Decker, Gary Hopkins, Chantelle Kay, Suellen Loher, Steve and Karen Monjaras, and Michael and Nancy Ray; and one writer. Gary's wife, Pam, provided the team with some much-appreciated moral support.
As I was pedaling along Sunday morning it dawned on me that Lance Armstrong was likewise riding his bicycle that same day and that the two of us have a lot in common. I was riding in my seventh Courage Classic. Lance was in all liklihood winning his third consecutive Tour de France. Yes sir, Lance Armstrong and I have a lot in common - we're both from Texas.
Whereas the Tour de France solicits worldwide coverage, the Courage Classic goes mostly unnoticed. But as I neared the finish line at Leadville High School Monday, I spotted my annual date with Erica Hostetler, a beautiful blonde. It's the fifth year Erica, 13, supported by her walker, has been at the finish line to hand commemorative medallions to the finishing riders .
The value of the medallion lies in the hundreds of thousands of dollars that the Courage Classic raises toward providing the medical needs of Erica and hundreds of other youngsters like her.
Whereas Lance Armstrong races with the premier cyclists in the world, riders in the Courage Classic pedal along with parents whose children have undergone heart transplants, brain surgery, spinal operations, liver implants and countless other advanced medical procedures. Thanks to Children's Hospital, Erica and many other children can experience continued progress towards living active, healthy lives.
This year's Courage Classic provided some spectacular scenery, wonderful camaraderie and a meaningful reminder of the countless blessings most of us all too often take for granted. For me, once again seeing Erica at the finish line provided the incentive to prepare to ride in the 2002 Courage Classic. I'll leave the racing to Lance.
Know you are loved and please keep us in your prayers. David
100 years ago
Taken from The Weekly Times of July 25, 1901
Stanley A. Day of the Hermosa Fish Hatchery brought 20,000 fish to stock the San Juan. They were put in the river just below the upper bridge. Mr. Day will give us another shipment soon as he is able. He is much pleased at the action of our county commissioners in protecting the fish in this county.
The regular quarterly examination for the teachers of Archuleta County will be held in the school house in Pagosa the 16th and 17th of August, 1901.
Tompy and son are painting and papering the Sparks dwelling this week.
The Ladies Aid Society of the M.E. Church will serve ice cream and cake in the park tomorrow, Friday evening, beginning at 6:00. Proceeds go to fixing up the church front.
75 years ago
Taken from SUN files of July 30, 1926
A deposit of concentrated lime, three-quarters of a mile from Dyke, is being developed. This lime, when ground up, makes an excellent outside and inside finish for buildings. It adds luster, reflecting natural and artificial light in a most pleasing manner. The lime in its beds is in the form of quartz-like boulders, almost pure white in color. The Dyke deposit covers more than 160 acres of land.
We learn today that J.B. Patterson of Pagosa Springs is a possible candidate for the Democratic nomination of representative for the counties of Archuleta, Hinsdale and Mineral, which office he creditably held three and a half years ago.
Whitney Newton will take charge of the Arlington Hotel on Sunday, August 1st.
50 years ago
Taken from SUN files of July 27, 1951
The Town Board announced yesterday that restrictions for the hours of sprinkling had been lifted. Other restrictions as to irrigating and waste of water still apply, however, and violations will bring fines. If the water use does not reach extreme limits and if there is no further breakdown of water pumping facilities, water hours will not be necessary for the rest of the summer.
The County Commissioners have received notification from the state that no funds are available to Archuleta County for the fiscal year for County Agents's expenses. This means that no agent will be hired for the county this year.
The Courtesy Patrol has issued a warning that new inspection stickers for cars and trucks must be secured not later than July 31.
25 years ago
Taken from SUN files of July 22, 1976
Thirty-three young men passed through here last week on a trip that takes them into all 50 of the United States. The men run, in relays, night and day carrying a lighted torch as a symbol of deeper spiritual values and the human ideals upon which this nation was founded.
Restoration work is underway on the railway facilities at Pagosa Junction. The work is being accomplished by YCC members, Forest Service personnel, and several youths from the Southern Ute Tribe. The work is aimed at restoring the water tank, an old railway car, several buildings, and the grounds, to early day condition.
The Archuleta County Fair will start Friday, August 6 with 4-H projects being exhibited and judged as well as the open horse show.
Required 'status symbol' endangered
First, let me set the stage with my own history of pet ownership: We have always had pets. First a cat, then a cat and a dog, then a cat and two dogs. Then, just individual cats. There's always been a pet in the Walter household.
In recent years, the pets have been those which have had serious health problems and were basically almost unadoptable. We felt those animals deserved a good home as much as those which could fend for themselves - but were unwanted.
That said, it is unconscionable to me that so many people care so little for members of the pet world and one of the most distressing of such actions is the transport of untethered dogs in the backs of open pickups.
Too often there are reports of animals seriously injured because of unexpected emergency stops, or pets jumping from moving vehicles and being injured on landing, or attacking a pet or person on the ground.
A Denver television station reported the story last week of a dog being transported in a pickup bed. When the owner made a quick stop, the dog flew forward against the cab and was seriously injured. The owner took the dog to a shelter and dumped it. He didn't want an injured dog.
HE DIDN'T WANT AN INJURED DOG!
ISN'T THAT GOOD LUCK FOR THE DOG?
A person like that should not be allowed to own a pet!
The dog didn't ask to be injured. The pet was the victim of an owner's insensitivity and open intent to disregard animal welfare. In this particular case the owner was traced and will face charges, the station reported.
That is as it should be.
But, the argument will go that this is, after all, the west - open range land, frontier, an area where man and his dog ride the range together, bonding all the while.
The key word in that last sentence is "is". In the days of the horse and buggy and earlier, the days of real pioneering, the dog was a valuable member of the land team, patrolling for enemies of the livestock, helping herd the flocks and providing company in the wild for the man striving to develop and maintain his land.
The pickup flying down the road at 60 miles per hour with an untethered pet in the bed was not even a vision on the horizon. And the pet in the pickup wasn't the "required western status symbol" it seems to have become today.
Simply put, pets have feelings - and rights - too.
The television report said transporting an unrestrained animal in a pickup bed is a violation of state law.
However, a check of Colorado statutes in the Sisson Library produced no indication of such a law on the books. And both a Colorado State Patrol spokesman and Sheriff Tom Richards said they know of no such law on the statute books.
"We've heard of moves toward such action," Richards said, "but to our knowledge, it has never been passed."
Legal or not, I can't perceive of any caring, understanding dog owner allowing a prize pet to ride untethered or uncushioned in an open pickup bed where they are endangered by the actions of their owner.
If this stance qualifies me as an animal rights activist, so be it.
More important, it qualifies me as a human being with the inbred need to worry about the care and treatment of those animals we call pets but which are really just additional members of our immediate family.
"If it were illegal," I told Sheriff Richards, "authorities could make 50 arrests a day right in downtown Pagosa Springs."
While I don't personally believe a dog should be forced - or allowed - to ride in an open pickup bed, that is not the point. The point is that if such action is contemplated, the fate of the animal should be considered before it is allowed.
A short tether which would allow the animal to stand but not pace the bed; a cushioned section between the area where the animal is and the cab of the vehicle to absorb the energy of a forward flying animal in an emergency stop; a padded area for the animal to lie in; and a special permit for such transport all are things which should be legalized.
Anyone then found guilty of violating the law should be fined and lose points on their license.
And I don't think it should be limited to pickups. I've seen similar incidents with dogs riding on flat beds and on tankers.
These canines have great balance, but they can't overcome the force of their own body in motion at a speed equal to that of the vehicle on which they're riding.
We need to consider them as well as the driver transporting them and the drivers of other vehicles which could become involved with them.
Without such action, cases like the ones in Denver will become the norm in Pagosa Country, too. And heaven knows there already are enough growth-related problems here.
At the very least, I urge dog owners to leave the animals at home if they can't transport them in safety.
Racial interaction key in county history
Interaction between Indian, Hispanic, and Anglo had a huge bearing on the early history of Pagosa Country.
As in other parts of the United States during the last half of the 19th century, governmental Indian policies vacillated from bad to worse through a series of treaties. For one thing, the government never seemed to understand that several bands of Utes existed, and none could speak for the other. The government consummated treaties with whatever Utes could be stopped in one place long enough to sign a document. For example, at an 1868 Conejos treaty, the dominant Ute band present seems to have been Tabaguache Utes who historically frequented the Montrose and maybe Grand Junction areas.
Not represented were the Moache, Capote, and Weminuche bands, the Utes inhabiting southern Colorado and Pagosa Country. The 1868 treaty opened the high mountains of the San Juans to the whites. The Utes retained control of lower elevations, including Pagosa Country.
Another treaty was signed in 1874 after Ute and government representatives met at Pagosa Springs. This treaty, called the Brunot Treaty, established a Ute reservation stretching east to west from Utah to the San Juan River and from the New Mexico border on the south, north 15 miles to an east-west line paralleling the border. This treaty allowed white settlers to move into Pagosa Country, Bayfield, Durango, and other parts of the Four Corners Country.
A glance at today's map reveals that the Utes no longer possess the 15-mile high block of land. The reason is a governmental policy adopted during the early 1890s allowing Indians to take land in severalty, a homestead law for Indians. The downside of the severalty idea from an Indian perspective was: a) all land not claimed by Indians was opened to whites for settlement-that's why the Allison-Arboles area is not inside the reservation, and b), it was not difficult for unscrupulous whites to obtain title to Indian allotments.
The following newspaper item documents the beginning steps of allocation for the Ignacio Utes.
Newspaper item, Sept. 27, 1895: The land along Pine river on the reservation has all been taken by the Indians and allotted to them by the commissioners (Indian land allotment commissioners). About one hundred Indians have been accommodated on that stream. Surveying is now being done on the Piedra, and before leaving this portion of the reservation allotments will be made on the lower San Juan and on Cat Creek. From here the Commissioners will go to the Florida, Animas, and La Plata. By the time the Indians have all been accommodated there will be little land of value left as the remaining lands do not border streams. One family of thirteen got 2,160 acres of valuable land on Pine river.
Motter's comment: Judging from the tone of his comments, editor Egger seems amazed that the government is allowing the Utes to claim any land. In fact, this severalty business amounts to snatching land from the Utes since, according to the Brunot Treaty and earlier agreements, they had it all to begin with.
Newspaper item, Oct. 4, 1895: Washington, the renegade Ute, with his family, is now in possession of about 1,200 acres of land on Stollsteimer creek.
Motter's comment: This item documents the Ute named Washington and his family receiving their allotments. Washington's allotment was generally located along Highway 151 in the vicinity of Capote Lake.
Newspaper item, Sept. 27, 1895: The frame of E. T. Walker's handsome residence is up. It will undoubtedly be the most complete building of the kind in the county.
Newspaper item, Sept. 27, 1895: J.S. O'Neal's residence now being completed is one of the handsomest in town.
Motter's comment: Both of these buildings remain today. The Walker house stood at the intersection of highways 160 and 84 for many years. It served many owners, including San Juan Lumber Co. as an office. It has been moved to Holiday Acres where it is being restored.
The O'Neal house was located on the southwest corner of Lewis and Third streets. It, too, has had many owners, including the Herman Willet family. The building has recently been renovated.
Newspaper item, Oct. 4, 1895: The New Mexico Lumber Co. of this county has about 100 men on its payroll.
Motter's comment: The New Mexico Lumber Co. located at Edith began operation in 1895. If the company employed 100 men, it must have supported 400-500 people altogether. Pagosa Springs has always been the county seat and leading city of Archuleta County, but there have been challenges. Edith during the late 1890s probably had almost as many people as Pagosa Springs.
Newspaper item, Oct. 25, 1895: The New Mexico Lumber Co. desires to state that the company will pay $1.00 per hundred for oats at the mill, one-half cash the other half merchandise. The company can secure the oats for less money from the San Luis Valley.
Motter's comment: Notice that lumber/logging operations provided employment for persons other than those working for the lumber moguls. Large numbers of horses and oxen were employed by the lumber making businesses. These draft animals ate a lot of oats and other grains providing employment for local farmers.
Newspaper item, Oct. 25, 1895: The ball at Edith on Saturday evening was the largest gathering of its kind it has been our pleasure to see for years. It is estimated that over three hundred people participated in the affair. Notwithstanding the immense crowd everything passed off in the most pleasant manner, and the friendliest feeling prevailed. The dance took place in the new store building which is 25 by 80 feet. At one time there were 89 couples on the floor. Excellent music was furnished by Mayor Lewis, F.J. Brumly, Editor McCarthy, and other names we failed to learn. At midnight a delicious supper was prepared for all those present and dancing continued to daylight Sunday morning.
Motter's comment: The dance was held at the company store, also known as the commissary. Many a mill worker received a paycheck, only to learn that the amount of credit run up for groceries at the company store exceeded the paycheck. It was truly as Tennessee Ernie Ford sang, "I owe my soul to the company store." Maybe that's why the folks of those times partied hearty by dancing until daylight.
Newspaper item, Nov. 1, 1895: The two mills of the New Mexico Lumber Co. are manufacturing lumber at a rapid gate (gait?). The planing mill at Edith is in full operation and turning out dressed lumber, mouldings, etc.
Motter' comment: The Biggs' mills are busily devouring pine trees from the Edith, Coyote Park area.
Newspaper item, Nov. 8, 1895: Edith post office has been established in the southern part of the county and E.M. Biggs commissioned postmaster.
Motter's comment: Biggs got about anything he wanted, being the biggest man in the county. The Edith post office joined Pagosa Springs, Chromo, and Piedra (Chimney Rock) as Archuleta County post offices of the time.
Newspaper item, Nov. 1, 1895: There is talk of another paper for Pagosa. From the appearance of the news we think they need one more. They seem to be heavy advertisers over there-eh, Bro. Egger. Lumberton Independent.
Motter' comment: We repeat this item merely to show that Lumberton had a newspaper in 1895.
Newspaper item, November 8, 1895: A man went into his cow stable the other night, and by mistake, mixed up for his cow a nice mash in a box full of sawdust instead of bran. The cow, supposing the hard times were the cause of the economy by her master, meekly ate her supper, and the man never discovered his mistake until the next morning, when he milked the cow and she let down a half gallon of turpentine, a quart of shoe pegs, and a bundle of lathe.
Motter's comment: Humor similar to that iterated in the above news item was common in newspapers of an earlier day.
Motter's comment: Humor similar to that iterated in the above news item was common in newspapers of an earlier day.
Antebellum twosome knew their eats
I hate it when friends move away.
It's not easy to make good friends; it takes time, investing in an account of shared experiences, constructing the type of relationship that can incorporate and withstand everything from laughter to anger, and continue to grow.
It's work. It takes years.
Then they up and move.
Friends are like a great meal. You shop around, find the right ingredients, prepare them with attention to detail, cook the ingredients in the right order and the right way, and plate them aesthetically. You eat, you sit back, the meal is over, the food is gone.
My wife and I had a couple of close friends leave Pagosa last week. Russell and Joan are bound for the Deep South, that odd humid land from which they came nearly fifteen years ago, clawing their way uphill like strange, foreign organisms, speaking in a strange tongue, recounting stories that involved unfamiliar reptiles and ornate social circumstances.
If you had told me twenty years ago some of my most cherished friends would be from the heartland of the Confederacy, I would have laughed. A nervous laugh.
To make things stranger, Russell was a cop. And not just an ordinary cop. He was the kind of cop who, not all that long ago, would have booked me. With a smile on his face.
But now, Russell and Joan are gone - him, gruff, mercurial, intellectual; her, a vision out of a Tennessee Williams play, able and willing to display the full range of human emotion in a half-hour's time.
We had some marvelous times together. Much of our activity centered around meals, always at their house. Both Russell and Joan knew their eats.
He is a Cajun (egad!) and was raised with a particularly sharp sense of what constitutes good food. A francophile's sense. She is a prototype University of Mississippi deb, unnaturally well-acquainted with finery and style.
There are snobs who have no right to be snobs, and there are snobs who emit their effrontery from a firm foundation of knowledge and skill. The first type of snob usually ends up as a salesperson deluded into a sense of superiority by the brute fact of income.
I'll take the second type, thank you. Like Russell and Joan.
First and foremost, they love fine food and drink; they are smart people, experienced, cynical, well read - who love to eat.
Discussing Jean Genet or contemporary pickpocket technique is one thing; discussing Genet over a superbly composed cheese plate, sipping excellent wine is quite another.
Further, Russell is a great cook. (Joan is too delicate to spend a lot of time over a stove.) As a Cajun, he is adept in his native cuisine.
I believe he served me the best etouffé I ever had - on two occasions. Once, it was the classic, with crawfish. The second was a shrimp etouffé so deep in flavor, so rich, that I snuck into the kitchen to spoon the last of the sauce from the pan.
A master of meat, Russell handles a grill with great skill. A simple Porterhouse is turned into peppered protein gold. Served with asparagus sauteed soft in butter (he cooks his until it nearly disintegrates - contrary to my standard of steamed crispness) and a well-tempered cabernet, it is transcendental.
One notable New Year's Eve that included Roy and Mindy Starling - our other now-departed-for-the-South friends - it was a seven-rib roast: An entire meal: Something not often seen in this part of the woods, each course of the meal accompanied by the appropriate libation.
Russell makes a wicked mint julep and knows his champagne.
We took pride in finding eminently drinkable wines at bargain basement prices, and rarely agreed on the drinkability. He developed an unexplainable and eccentric fondness for a common Chilean merlot. The winery had one good year in 1994, producing a vintage rendered stunning by a sub-ten-dollar price tag. After that, the product tasted like old shoes. Russell kept buying it. He refused to admit it was garbage.
I was unable to convince him of the sterling quality of several cheapo Australian admixtures: pleasant combos of grenache and shiraz, cabernet and shiraz.
He mocked me because I relished a pinot grigio while trapped one demented, scorching day in the wine cellar of a house on the uppermost street of Alta Dena. And yet, pinot gris was acceptable.
Say bad things about anything French around the man and you were in for a fight. His tormented genes forced him into untenable positions. A French wine is bound to be better than any other, even if it reeks of rotten cork or tastes like weak vinegar. The same holds for French food and French cooking methods.
Fortunately, I'm a snob too.
Some of our finest hours were spent perusing food catalogs from importers, in preparation for a feast.
The challenge of finding a way to hustle unpasteurized cheeses through Customs was met successfully. Milk-based treasures arrived by overnight mail in concert with saucisson of many kinds, with patés and terrines layered with all manner of folksy foodstuffs. With brie en croute, stuffed with mushrooms redolent of a wet forest.
It was the cheese that established the poles of our food spectrum. There were times we hit the nail right on the head: An unpasteurized Brie was extraordinary, a Tete de Moins was a staggering experience.
At the other end of the spectrum, however, was an unfortunate run-in with a robluchon. How the folks at Customs didn't smell it is a mystery. Perhaps they did, and were terrified at the thought of opening the package. The stench was unbelievable. Russell opened the package and the effect was immediate, like a blast of phosgene gas on the Western Front. I was forced to take the uneaten cheese home after dinner. I put it in two zip-lock plastic bags, wrapped the bags in foil and covered that with a layer of plastic wrap. I placed the package in a sealed garbage can in the garage before taking it to the dumpster the next morning.
Russell also fancied himself a hand with curries. He used the standard Madras powder and gussied it up with raisins and whatnot, adding coconut extract to get the coconut flavor he desired.
This is the one place I drew the line, where his insufferable snobbery crumbled.
Coconut extract? Hah!
I never had the opportunity to make a curry for Russell and Joan but I experimented with a variation the other night that is perfect. When Kathy and I visit the antebellum twosome in the near future, I'll whip it up.
I had a hunk of pork loin in the freezer. I took it out, put it in loose plastic wrap on the kitchen counter and several hours later, when it had begun to thaw, I capitalized on the semi-icy state and cut very thin slices of the meat.
I marinated the slices of meat in a mixture of a splash of Japanese shoyu (Yamasa - please), some fish sauce (nam pla) several cloves of garlic crushed, a batch of minced fresh ginger and a small bit of finely minced cilantro. I put the meat and marinade in a covered dish in the fridge and set off for the store to see what, if anything, was fresh. I scrounged a bunch of snow peas, a carrot and a relatively firm zucchini squash. I bought a white onion and a package of shrimps.
I made a pot of jasmine rice and when the rice was cooked, steamed and fluffed, I added a bit of butter and a small amount of chopped flat-leaf parsley.
The meat marinated for two hours or so. In the meantime, I julienned the carrot, the squash and half a red pepper I found in the vegetable drawer. I thinly sliced the onion, minced more fresh ginger and mashed up four or five more cloves of garlic.
First, I sauteed the onion until translucent and removed it to a dish.
I stir-fried the veggies with half the garlic, half the onion and a smidge of the minced ginger. Simultaneously, I stir-fried the pork, with marinade, on high heat just until the pink of the meat disappeared. I tossed in the remaining onion, garlic and ginger, splashed a bit more fish sauce on the mess, added a can of coconut milk and a bit of black pepper. As the crowning touch, I put in a tablespoon of my favorite Malay curry powder. If you don't have a pal like Ming who can retrieve this delight from an inaccessible village in Malaysia, use regular curry powder and suffer the consequences. I cooked the mix over medium heat until the sauce reached the desired thickness, then added the shrimps and continued cooking for a minute or two until the little devils turned pink.
With a salad of mixed greens from Kathy's garden, dressed simply with lemon and olive oil, the curry spooned over a mound of rice, the meal was terrific.
I'll duplicate it in Louisiana.
We'll do it with the freshest of shrimps. Russell promised he'll procure a shrimp boat soon. If Kathy and I make the trip to Lafayette, he said we'll take a voyage out to the deep blue in search of crustaceans. A perfect excuse to one-up him with the curry.
In the meantime, I have only the catalogs to fill the void.
Or I can go to the garage.
It's been two years but, on a hot day, you can still smell the robluchon.