Front Page

August 2, 2001

Pagosa students struggle to meet low state CSAP test averages

By Richard Walter

Pagosa Springs students appear to have kept pace with state averages at every grade level where Colorado Student Assessment Program (CSAP) tests were administered to 700,000 students earlier this year.

The CSAP results will be used to calculate school ratings on the state's first school accountability reports, due out Sept. 17. The top 8 percent of schools will be rated "excellent" and awarded $5,000 to $15,000 each. The bottom 2 percent of schools will be rated "unsatisfactory" and face conversion to charter schools if they fail to improve in successive testing years (three-year limit).

Those schools falling in the middle will be rated "high", "average", or "low."

State officials say it is impossible to determine ratings from the test results because, by state law, some scores will be exempted, including those of students on the new CSAP-alternate, a test for disabled students, as well as the scores of some non-native English speakers and the scores of students who arrived in Colorado schools after Oct. 1.

While the scoring level achieved locally seems commendable on the surface, some say keeping pace with lower than expected state averages is not really an admirable achievement.

Supt. Duane Noggle said he has scheduled a meeting with building principals Aug. 13 to review the various scores and to determine what, if any, changes need to be made in the local curricula and whether new emphases seem required.

He said he has intentionally not reviewed the scores because, coming on board only recently, he is not yet totally familiar with Colorado testing procedures and comparisons and wants principal input before reaching any conclusions.

Sophomore results

Take, for example, sophomore level mathematics tests. Statewide, 42 percent failed and only 39 percent were partially proficient.

In Pagosa Springs, with 132 students tested, the failure rate was even higher &emdash; 48 percent &emdash; than the statewide average. The number rated partially proficient, however, actually topped the state average by a point, at 40. The upper level scores were almost exactly the same &emdash; 10 percent here and 11 percent statewide rated proficient or better. Both statistical sets showed two percent of those tested achieving an advanced level.

Sophomore reading levels, too, were close to state averages.

Twelve percent failed the test locally while the statewide failure average was 9 percent. Pagosa's partially proficient group stood at 25 percent, three points better than the state average. In each case, the number rated proficient or above was 56 percent. Pagosa had 6 percent at an advanced level while the state average was 8 percent.

Writing provided the best showing for Pagosa sophomores in comparison to the rest of the state.

Five percent failed locally and four percent statewide. In the partially proficient category, Pagosa outpaced the state 49-45 percent while the number rated proficient or above stood at 31 percent in each list. Pagosa had 15 percent at an advanced level while the statewide average was 13 percent.

It was the first time math tests have been administered to high school students as part of Gov. Bill Owens' education reform program. The test focused heavily on algebra and geometry which, some officials said, many high school students have chosen not to study.

Bill Maloney, state education commissioner, said the low scores should not be blamed on students, parents or teachers. He said the fault lies with policymakers who have allowed high school students to opt out of math.

"We let those kids down," he said.

Freshman tests

Dropping to the freshman level, Pagosa and the state both had 9-percent failure rates (150 students tested locally) in reading. Pagosa had 31 percent partially proficient compared to only 22 percent statewide and the number rated proficient or better was 55 percent here and 56 percent statewide. Advanced level was achieved by 5 percent in Pagosa and 8 percent statewide.

Eighth grade results

At the eighth-grade level, 13 percent of the 117 students tested in Pagosa failed, compared to a statewide average of 11 percent.

Pagosa had 32 percent rated partially proficient, compared to the state average of 22 percent. The scoring for proficient and above reflected the worst grade level comparison &emdash; 37 percent locally and 56 percent statewide. Six percent of Pagosa's eighth graders ranked as advanced in reading while the statewide average was 8 percent.

In eighth grade science, 12 percent of Pagosa students and 18 percent statewide, failed. In the partially proficient ranking, Pagosa held an edge of 41 percent to 29 statewide. Pagosa had 34 percent rated proficient or above while the statewide average was 43 percent. Three percent of Pagosans tested were rated advanced while the statewide average was 6 percent.

The math woes shown at the sophomore level were equally evident in eighth grade test results where fully one third of the 117 tested locally failed. The statewide average reflected 28 percent failure.

Pagosa had a six percentage point edge &emdash; 38-32 &emdash; over the statewide figure in number of students partially proficient but only 14 percent locally were rated proficient or better and nine rated advanced compared to statewide figures of 24 and 13 percent respectively.

Seventh grade tests

Seventh grade writing was a strong level locally.

Only two percent failed (statewide average was the same); 58 percent were rated partially proficient (52 percent statewide); 37 percent were proficient or above (40 percent statewide) and no one received an advanced rating at either level.

Seventh grade reading also had Pagosans close to statewide averages with 13 percent of 111 tested failing here compared to 11 percent statewide. Pagosa had 23 percent partially proficient (22 percent statewide); 57 percent proficient or better (55 statewide); and 6 percent rated as advanced (8 percent statewide).

Sixth grade results

Only reading was tested at the sixth grade level and Pagosa comparisons fared well.

There was a 5 percent failure rate locally (130 students tested) compared to a statewide failure rate of 12 percent. Twenty-nine percent were rated partially proficient locally (22 percent statewide); 58 percent were proficient or better here (52 percent statewide) and 5 percent were rated advanced here (8 percent statewide).

Fifth grade math

Fifth graders were tested in mathematics and reading, but the reading scores were not yet available Tuesday for Pagosa Springs.

In math, Pagosa fifth graders (104 tested) had an 8 percent failure rate compared to a statewide average of 14 percent. Pagosa had 62 percent partially proficient (state average 32 percent); 26 percent proficient and above (38 percent statewide); but had only 1 percent rated advanced compared to 13 percent statewide.

Fourth grade tests

Fourth graders (113 tested) found statewide averages close to their own performance with failures totaling 13 percent both here and statewide. Pagosa had 59 percent rated partially proficient (46 percent statewide); 31 percent locally rated proficient (35 percent statewide); and there were no students rated as advanced here compared to 2 percent statewide.

On reading tests, Pagosa fourth graders had a 7-percent failure rate compared to 13 percent statewide; 36 percent rated partially proficient (23 percent statewide); 51 percent proficient or better (56 percent statewide); and Pagosa had 2 percent rated as advanced compared to 7 percent statewide.

County's voters will be asked to renew sales tax

By John M. Motter

Archuleta County voters will likely get a chance this fall to say yea or nay on renewing a 2-percent sales tax last approved by voters in 1994. But, the issue might not be that simple.

By general agreement, the county commissioners decided to put renewal of the sales tax on the November ballot, couched in terms that describe it as a continuation of the status quo. The existing 2-percent tax is scheduled to expire Jan. 1, 2003.

As it exists now, the tax is levied on most retail sales in Archuleta County, including within Pagosa Springs, and divided evenly with the town. The 2-percent levy was first approved by voters in November, 1988 and renewed in November, 1994.

The county's portion of the tax is dedicated to a road capital improvement fund. The town's half is dedicated to a capital improvement fund. According to the commissioners, wording on this fall's ballot will continue dedication of the receipts as in the past.

Both town and county officials say they want to continue the status quo.

Complicating the issue is an election held by the town last April. At that time, the town electorate authorized the town to levy in perpetuity "up to a 3 percent sales tax" on retail sales within town boundaries. The town's sales tax will kick in when the existing 2 percent tax currently shared with the county expires.

Pressuring the issue are a thwarted initiative and series of court decisions over the past few years attempting to force reallocation of sales tax receipts by giving 75 percent to the county, 25 percent to town.

At the time of the proposed ballot initiative, commissioners refused the petition on procedural grounds. The petitioners appealed to the courts, the district court upheld the commissioner position, the state appeals court upheld the petitioners' position, and the state supreme court upheld the commissioners.The town supported the county as the issue progressed through the courts.

Mindful of the court process and fearful that citizens might again bring action threatening town's share of the sales tax revenues, town officials put the question to town voters last April and received overwhelming support.

"Based on advice from our attorney, we feel last year's election was the best way to protect the town's sales tax revenue stream," said Jay Harrington, the town manager.

The action assures that revenue stream for the town, even if the proposed county election fails, Herrington said. In addition, it eliminates the possibility that any citizen living outside town can, by initiative, interrupt the town's sales tax revenue by attacking either the town or the county.

Because town voters approved the sales tax within town last year, voter approval of the county's proposal in November of this year will force someone to decide which sales tax will be levied &emdash; that approved by town voters last year, or that approved in the November county-wide election.

The situation is paradoxical, because leaders of the town and county agree that both want to continue the present situation. A joint workshop on the sales tax issue last Thursday was attended by all of the county commissioners &emdash; Gene Crabtree, Alden Ecker, and Bill Downey. Also attending were Mayor Ross Aragon, Trustee Darrell Cotton, and Town Manager Jay Harrington.

"We want to continue the status quo, but we want assurances from you that protect our sales tax revenue stream," the town told the county.

The county's response was that the county, also, wants to continue the status quo, but does not know how to guarantee the town's sales tax revenue.

One suggested guarantee is language on the November ballot confirming an equal split of sales tax revenues between the town and county.

County alternatives include the course probably chosen which centers on continuing the 2-percent tax though voter approval this fall. Another county choice involves rescinding either the 2-percent sales tax at issue or the entire 4-percent sales tax (there is an aditional 3 percent that goes to the state) now in effect across the county, then levying a 4-percent tax in the county outside of town limits and a 1-percent tax within town limits. In that case, the town could still levy a 3-percent sales tax within town limits.

An intergovernmental revenue sharing agreement between the town and county would then take care of dividing the income between the two entities in a more equitable fashion.

A feature of the town's current position is the town's approved tax is set to take effect upon the county's sales tax being repealed, repealed and readopted, determined not to be effective, or expiring in whole or in part in an amount greater than 1 percent. This town sales tax will take effect Jan. 1, 2003, in the amount of 2 percent.

The town's position is that, regardless of what the county does, the town's tax automatically goes into effect Jan. 1, 2003, unless the town takes legal steps to stop it. The county's position will be, if voters approve the county 2-percent proposal in November, that approval constitutes continuation of the present tax and takes precedence over the town's tax. If the issue comes to head, a court decision would be required to determine which election prevails.

In any case, both town and country are happy with the sharing and working partnership they have enjoyed over the past few years. They want the partnership to continue and have pledged to attempt to work out an intergovernmental sharing agreement, regardless of how the situation develops.

"We need each other," said Harrington. "People in the town use county facilities and people in the county use town facilities. If the county gets hurt financially, it will hurt us. We could be required to furnish services now furnished by the county. It obviously could work the other way, as well."

In addition to the 2-percent sales tax scheduled to expire Jan. 1, 2003, an additional 2-percent sales tax has been in effect in the county since 1983. The original 2 percent has no expiration date and is also divided evenly with the town. An estimated 90 percent of all sales taxes collected in the county are collected by businesses located within town limits. Last year, the town and county shared $4,588,854 in revenues from the 4-percent sales tax levy. Currently at issue is about $1.2 million in sales tax revenue.

A workshop on the subject for the county commissioners was scheduled for 10 a.m. today.

Hamilton named to fill assistant principal &emdash; AD post

Three other teaching spots filled but vacancies remain

By Richard Walter

A veteran Pagosa Springs Junior High School mathematics teacher and wrestling coach has accepted a post on the administrative ladder.

David Hamilton was named July 25 to replace Kahle Charles as assistant principal and athletic director at Pagosa Springs High School.

Hamilton, a 16-year school district employee, is also a former member of the Town Board of Pagosa Springs and is president of the town's Parks and Recreation Commission.

The action by the board of education for Archuleta School District 50 Jt., came after Charles was given the elementary school principal's post following the resignation of Cyndy Secrist whose husband is being transferred to a new job near Eagle.

The Hamilton appointment was one of four personnel moves made by the board following a 31-minute executive session. Two other personnel moves on the agenda were delayed.

Appointments in addition to that of Hamilton included Lisa Hudson as a half-time counselor at the high school; Sally Capistrant as a half-time language arts teacher and half-time year book teacher at the high school; and Norma Shaffer to fill one of two first-grade teacher vacancies.

A second first-grade vacancy has yet to be filled and action to name an interim transportation director in the wake of John Rose's resignation, was tabled. Rose had asked to be retained as a mechanic, but the board will not act on that request until an ongoing investigation of accusations against him has been completed.

The appointment of Hamilton leaves two major vacancies on the junior high staff. Principal Larry Lister had already been searching diligently for a music teacher at the junior high level.

After the appointments had been made, Director Randall Davis, board president, wondered aloud, "Is there any way to revise policy with respect to determining those who are eligible for acceptance as teachers."

He cited the case of a former teacher, gone several years, who would like to come back and pick up at the same advancement level he had when he left. Under school board rules, he must come back without the five-year guarantee (subject to discretion of the superintendent).

Supt. Duane Noggle said the five-year format is fairly common in regional school districts but some are considering raising the five-year level to seven years in order to give teachers a higher degree of stability.

"That can cause dissent, however," he said. "Some teachers given the five-year option might object if a new teacher is given more."

Noggle also told the board the administration is considering advertising nationally for the remaining vacancies. "With Pagosa's reputation, we should be able to find quality candidates but it might be close to the beginning of school when we do."

Heavy rain, funnel clouds usher in new month

By John M. Motter
Monsoon rains accompanied by a crashing thunderstorm here late Tuesday dumped 1.13 inches of rain, ending a 
10-week dry spell, spawning possible tornadoes, and confirming a decision to remove the fire ban instigated by the county some weeks ago. At the regular meeting of county commissioners 
Tuesday morning, the commissioners ratified a request by Sheriff Tom Richards and Fire Chief Warren Grams to lift a ban against open fires in the county. U.S. Forest Service fire regulations remain unchanged. The Forest Service has not called for a ban this year in this area.
Angry clouds and flashing lighting lumbered into Pagosa Country from the southwest late Tuesday loosing a deluge of rain lifting July's total rainfall to 1.93 inches. Tuesday's downpour was the first substantial precipitation in Pagosa Country since May 4 when 5 inches of snow containing 0.75 inches of precipitation was recorded. Accompanying Tuesday's storm were two unconfirmed reports of small funnel clouds sighted northwest of Stevens Field, according to Tim Smith. Smith is the airport manager and the operator of weather measuring devices placed at Stevens Field by the National Weather Service. Tie-down ropes lying on the north ramp were extended full length and arranged in a circular pattern following the wind, according to Smith. "If the wind had been a micro-burst, it would have arranged the ropes in a pattern radiating out from the center," Smith said. One of the observers was Mike Short, owner of Doors and More, located in the Cloman Industrial Park adjacent to Stevens Field on the north side. "I don't know for sure, I'm not an expert in such things," Short said. "I saw this dark thing come down from the clouds, then pull up again. "Short's plane, tied down on the 
north ramp of Stevens Field, was damaged at about the same time. "It broke the mooring rope, tore the nose wheel and fork loose, and blew it 48 feet away," Short said. Wing damage to Short's plane was also reported.
Forecasters located at the National Weather Service office in Grand Junction say the annual monsoon season has finally arrived in Pagosa Country. "Look for mostly cloudy Thursday (today) with a 30-percent chance of afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms," said 
Jerry Smith, one of the forecasters. Smith predicts partly cloudy conditions tomorrow and Saturday with a slight chance of afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms. The same conditions should prevail through next Tuesday. Weather patterns controlling the monsoon season include an upper level high-pressure area in the Texas-Oklahoma Panhandle area surrounded by clockwise winds, and a low pressure area off of the Southern California coast surrounded by counterclockwise winds. The combined winds pick up moisture from the Gulf of Mexico and lower California Pacific Coast and carry it up the Continental Divide from Mexico to Pagosa Country. Monsoon conditions should prevail here for several weeks. High temperatures for the coming week should remain in the 80-degree range with low temperatures hovering between 45-55, according to Smith. Last week between July 25-31, 1.38 inches of moisture were measured at Stevens Field. High 
temperatures ranged between 84 and 77 degrees with an average high of 81 degrees. Low temperatures ranged between 50 and 53 degrees with an average low of 52 degrees.

Inside The Sun

August 2, 2001

Sen. Allard schedules Aug. 10 meeting here

U.S. Sen. Wayne Allard of Colorado will host a town meeting from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Aug. 10 at the Pagosa Lakes Club House, 230 Port Ave.

The senator said the purpose of the meeting is to provide Archuleta County constituents a first-hand look at how our government works and to give them a chance to voice their concerns and thoughts regarding current legislation and issues facing Congress.

Allard, elected to the Senate four years ago, makes visits to each county in the state every year. He is a member of the Strategic Subcommittee; the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee where he is ranking member of the Housing and Transportation subcommittee; the Senate Budget Committee; and the Senate Agriculture Committee.

"From past experience," he said, "I believe it is safe to say that these meetings are very informative for the attendees as well as for myself."

Anyone with questions may call Beth Washburn in the senator's Grand Junction office at 970-245-9553.

Seven bylaw changes adopted by PLPOA members Saturday

By Richard Walter

In what many participants referred to as the most non-contentious annual meeting in years, Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association members whipped through a short agenda in less than two hours Saturday.

Director Richard Manley, board president, set the tone for the session when he told members, "We think we have accomplished a great deal" in the past year.

"We've looked at the issues," he said, "and continue to steer the course. Our committees now better understand their roles, our directors have been deliberative and fair, and we intend to keep this organization running in a businesslike manner."

After director Thomas Cruse confirmed there were sufficient voters present (53) to constitute a quorum under association bylaws, he announced a total of 1,757 ballots had been cast for the election. (Results are in a separate story in this edition.)

Don Aries, the new in-house accountant for the association, said returning financial activities to local control "produced no deleterious effects, and produced many positives, not the least of which is improved public relations."

"We're able to resolve questions on the spot for people who once had to wait days, or even weeks, for an answer. Most property owners," he added, "like to talk to a live staff member instead of an unidentifiable voice of someone in Denver."

When the session was opened to public comment, Dallas Johnson moved for adoption of a resolution which would formally name the 26 contiguous platted subdivisions in the association as "Pagosa Lakes, Archuleta County, Colorado."

Told the proposal could not be adopted by the voters as a mandate, but would have to go to the board for consideration, Johnson disagreed saying, "The property owners have a right to pass their own resolutions."

Ron Clodfelter, designated parliamentarian for the meeting, though being interrupted several times, said the action sought could only be achieved by a vote to suspend the rules.

Manley, however, informed the audience that association rules require a two-thirds vote and prior notice. "Since there was no prior notice," he said, "there can be no suspension of the rules."

Director Fred Ebeling, sitting in his final meeting, said, "It seems to me the resolution is redundant as we are already known as Pagosa Lakes. It asks the 53 people present to do something for about 25,000 members. I don't think that's fair. It should be something put on the ballot for the next property owners' meeting."

Johnson argued, "It doesn't make any difference if it is passed at an open meeting or at an election."

He said the Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act, under which the resolution was drafted, does not require prior notice.

Mojie Adler, who had seconded Johnson's initial motion, asked, "If everyone knows, why does the newspaper refer to us as something else? If everyone knows, why don't they? We're still referred to as Fairfield in the newspapers and by others. We want people to know Fairfield no longer exists."

Finally, the resolution was allowed to be read and a voice vote taken. When it was inconclusive, members voted again by showing cards for or against the proposal, it was approved.

When asked what had just occurred, Manley said the effect of the vote is that it (the resolution) "is adopted temporarily until we can get a legal opinion on whether it needs formal board action. We will get that legal ruling as soon as possible."

Other questions:

Mary Seely of North Village Lake, suggested the problems with Fairfield recognition go deeper. She was unsatisfied with the Fairfield settlement achieved several years ago after bankruptcy proceedings, and urged the board to "fight them again. We didn't get what we should have and many of us are still paying FUSA fees of $15 per month."

Manley said one of the many board achievements over the past six months has been to establish amicable negotiations with Fairfield representatives on many common interests.

"We're working on ways to end those fees," he said. "Your interests are in our minds and we believe there is room for negotiation. We would prefer to stay out of court if we can."

Adler urged the new board (elected later during the meeting) to rescind Resolution 2001-03 which sets a property title exchange fee of $15. "That is an administrative duty and we (property owners) should not be charged a damn dime to transfer title to our own property."

"Thirty two percent of our budget goes to administration," she said, "and that staff should handle this."

Manley thanked her for her suggestion and said the board will consider the action, noting that $3,700 to $3,800 had been collected in title transfer fees in the last year, through mid-July. It was noted that most of that time the fee was $50 and went to the firm in Littleton then handling PLPOA financial activities.

As various annual committee reports were presented, there were few comments.

Seely, however, asked after the lakes, fisheries and parks report, that some means be established to keep fishermen off private property. "We need to post signs designating areas where fishermen are not allowed, and this needs to be communicated to those utilizing the time shares operated by Fairfield."

At the recommendation of Treasurer David Bohl, the membership voted to carry over any 2001 ending fund balances to the 2002 budget for the purpose of dues fee reductions.

In answer to a question from the audience, Walt Lukasik, general manager, said the board had completed nine of 11 legal actions which were pending at last year's annual meeting. Pressed by Johnson, he said one of those suits remaining is in settlement negotiation and the other settlement has been conceptually agreed upon.

As Johnson demanded, "Be specific," Lukasik said one is a personnel matter involving an employee whose discharge is being contested, "And I will be no more specific," and the other "involves a subdivision, Ranch Community, which wishes to withdraw from the association and take with it a portion of the settlement funds."

PLPOA seats two new directors

By Richard Walter

The board of directors for Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association gained two new members Saturday and retained an appointee who was elected to serve a full term of his own.

Despite that action, there remains one vacancy on the board &emdash; for a three-year term &emdash; and board members are inviting anyone who is dues-paid and interested in serving to contact the administrative offices.

Returned to the board by vote of members at the annual meeting was director Gerald Smith who received 726 votes.

Added to the board were Jerry Medford with 677 and Ken Bailey with 800. Directors who did not seek reelection were Jim Carson, Fred Ebeling and Francesco Tortorici.

In a special meeting of the board immediately following the annual meeting, Richard Manley was reelected president by acclamation; Tom Cruse was elected vice president; Smith was chosen as board secretary; and David Bohl was returned to the treasurer's post.

Medford is a retired special agent for both the Justice and Treasury Departments and has served similar boards in the past, most recently in Sun City West, Ariz.

Bailey, a resident of North Village Lake, is a retired educator who moved here from Colorado Springs where he had a 31-year career as teacher, assistant principal and principal.

Both new members were designated as board representatives to the ECC hearing panel.

In other ballot action, voters approved all seven proposed bylaws amendments, with only one result being reasonably close.

Specifically approved were amendments changing the wording of the preamble (carried 715 to 258); a clause requiring 24-hour advance notice of special meetings (carried 921-29); changing word "may" to "must" in requiring petitions to be submitted, signed by at least 25 members in good standing (carried 892-52); adding a subparagraph requiring submission of any proposed special assessment to the voters (carried 868-55); changing the insurance liability coverage levels to higher amounts (carried 731-204); restructuring the limitation on capital expenditures to $100,000 or three percent of membership equity, whichever is less, without vote of the full membership (carried 501-423); and a clause which limits purchase of association properties by staff or employees "until public notice of intent to sell or accept bids for purchase has been published."

Finally, Manley saluted the three directors who did not seek reelection, saying "it has been a pleasure to work with people who can disagree and still keep within the bounds of decency and decorum and stay progressive in our deliberations."

"The times of radical precepts at PLPOA are over," he said. "These people have led that fight and the association is the better for their service."

District boundary remap in progress

By John M. Motter

County commissioner district boundary changes are in the laps of County Clerk June Madrid and County Planner Kathy Ruth. The task at hand is to write a legal description of the proposed new boundaries.

When the boundary description is complete and coupled with a resolution being drafted by County Attorney Mary Weiss, the entire package will be presented to the board of county commissioners for approval.

Driving the need for new commissioner district boundaries are the results of the Year 2000 census which show populations in the three districts out of balance.

According to the census, District 1 contains 3,171 people; District 2 contains 4,150 people; and District 3 contains 2,577 people. State law requires a population balance among the districts.

In accordance with the proposed boundaries, population balance is reached by shifting the Arboles area from District 2 to District 3 and a portion of District 2 located between Dutton Creek and Aspenglow Boulevard.

District 1 will contain 3,287 people, District 2 will contain 3,329 people, and District 3 will contain 3,282 people. Four-year terms for William Downey, representing District 1, and Alden Ecker, representing District 2, expire in 2004. Commissioner Gene Crabtree's term expires in 2002.


In a front page article last week, the SUN erroneously stated that the Arboles area is being shifted from Commissioner District 2 to Commissioner District 1. In fact, the Arboles area, based on the current draft of proposed commissioner districts, is being shifted to District 3. The SUN apologizes for the mistake and hopes that no one was inconvenienced.

Board updated on several ongoing projects

By Tess Noel Baker

Tuesday's meeting of the Pagosa Springs Board of Trustees was littered with review, discussion and update, but few action items.

Although the board acted to pay bills, approve a conditional use permit, adopt a new building fee scale, and granted liquor licenses for the Hunan Restaurant and Folk West for the Four Corners Folk Festival, many agenda items were strictly talking points on past or future action.

Town Administrator Jay Harrington presented the board a laundry list of construction updates starting with the new Town Hall. Finishing touches, including a walkway down from the street and some remaining woodwork items on the new facility should be completed within the next month, Harrington said. Meanwhile, at the old Town Hall, inspectors are going over the building in search of asbestos. It is the first step in the town's recent decision to consider retaining ownership and demolishing the building to make room for parking, restrooms and possibly an events board.

Next door to the new Town Hall, at the site of the future community center, contractors have removed about 8,000 yards of material in an attempt to get through the clay and organic matter in order to rebuild a solid base for the foundation work expected to start Aug. 13, Harrington said.

Screen rock will be laid once a solid base is uncovered. The screen rock will fill up to the top of the water table, allowing water to flow under the structure.

Town work on relocating Eagle Drive to facilitate the state's street light project at U.S. 160 and Piedra Road is nearly complete, Harrington reported. Remaining work includes some shouldering and wetland mitigation. A second joint county and town road project to pave Light Plant Road south of the new Town Hall is expected to begin in about a week.

The U.S. 160 east sewer project, stuck in the engineering phase for several months, is also moving ahead. Currently, alignment concerns expressed by neighbors are being addressed, and at the end of the month bills will go out for tap fees. Once those fees are collected, the project should be ready to roll, Harrington said.

The board also briefly discussed sales tax issues stemming from a work session between town and county officials last Thursday.

"All in all I thought it was a fruitful discussion," Mayor Ross Aragon said. "We gave them information as far as where we stand and they gave us feedback on their plans."

Since the county commissioners first passed a one percent sales tax in 1968, the town and county have shared revenue from sales tax receipts. In the intervening years, three more countywide sales tax resolutions raised the tax to 4 percent. Those resolutions include a 2-percent sales tax set to expire Jan. 1, 2003.

A town emergency ordinance passed by voters in April, 1999 provides for up to a 3-percent perpetual sales tax within town limits to take effect when the shared county 2-percent sales tax is repealed, repealed and readopted, determined ineffective or expires.

Harrington told the board Tuesday that the town presented county officials two options regarding the current sales tax situation.

The first option would be to continue to revenue-share as they have in the past. Under this option, the town is asking the county to guarantee that the revenue stream to the town cannot be interrupted. Otherwise, Harrington said, the town might open itself up to the risk of losing revenue through lawsuits or citizen referendum from outside town boundaries.

Under the second option, Harrington said, the town asked the county to consider repealing all 4 percent of the county sales tax currently shared between the two governing bodies and, instead, implement a 4-percent sales tax on business outside town boundaries. At that point, another revenue-sharing agreement between the county and town might be arranged to distribute a part of the town sales tax back to the county.

Depending on how the county decides to move forward regarding sales tax issues, the town may need to schedule a special meeting sometime in August, Harrington said.

In other business, the board approved a conditional use permit for Jim Willingham, owner of Colorado Mini-Storage. The permit allows construction of four additional buildings, a total of 120 storage units, at the business along Rob Snow Road south of U.S. 160, with three conditions.

Under the conditions, Willingham must work with road users along the private drive leading to his facility to create a plan for dust control and signage, construct a security fence, and work with town staff to create an acceptable landscape plan and color scheme for the new buildings to mitigate visual impacts on the property.

The board also passed a resolution updating building fees based on the 1997 Uniform Building Code. The new fees represent about a 10-percent increase over the old numbers.

Planning Commission

The Upper San Juan Regional Planning Commission will hold its regular meeting at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 8 in the Archuleta County Commissioners' Meeting Room in the Archuleta County Courthouse. Public comments are encouraged and welcomed.

The agenda includes a call to order, discussion on a sketch plan, a replat, preliminary plan, a request for extension of a deadline, review of minutes and other business.

The meeting begins with a request for a sketch plan review of the Quintana Minor Impact Subdivision. This is a one-lot subdivision that involves dividing a 5.0-acre parcel from their 86.5 acre ranch.

The property is located at 1585 and 1565 CR 973 and U.S. 151 near Arboles. The property is legally described as a portion of Section 6, Township 32 North, Range 5 West, N.M.P.M., Archuleta County, CO.

The next item is a review of the replat of Parcel 4 in South Village Lake. This Replat would legally subdivide Parcel 4 into two parcels &emdash; 4A and 4B. Parcel 4A would contain the Mountain Meadows Townhomes CUP, and 4B would contain the recently conditionally approved Capstone Village Subdivision.

The parcel is located at 195 Lakeside Drive approximately 1,000 feet from the junction of Lakeside Drive and Park Avenue. The property is legally described as Parcel 4 in the 2nd Replat of the South Village Lake Subdivision, SW 1/4 Section 17 and NW 1/4 Section 20, Township 35 North, Range 2 West, N.M.P.M, Archuleta County, CO.

The commission will also review the Preliminary Plan for the Reserve at Pagosa Peak. The proposed subdivision would be located on a 239-acre parcel, which would be subdivided into 140 single-family parcels of varying sizes. One hundred thirty-five of the lots would range from 1/3 to 1/2 an acre; the other five lots will be 4-18-acre lots.

The property is located at 6101 CR 600, approximately six miles north of the intersection of U.S. 160 and CR 600 (Piedra Road). The property is legally described as the SW 1/4 SE 1/4 and SE 1/4 SW 1/4 of Section 24, that portion northerly of County Road 600 (Piedra Road) in the E 1/2 NW 1/4 and W 1/2 NE 1/4 of Section 25, and a tract of land consisting of 19.5 acres, previously known as the Rendezvous Lot 12, in Section 25, all in Township 36 North, Range 2 1/2 West, N.M.P.M., Archuleta County, CO.

The last agenda item before review of past minutes begins is a request for an extension of time from the Preliminary Plan review to the Final Plat submittal for a 35-acre parcel that the developer is proposing to subdivide into four parcels and an additional parcel for open space.

The property is generally located 1 1/2 miles South of the intersection of U.S. 160 and U.S. 84, on the East side of U.S. 84. The property is legally described as the S 1/2 SE 1/4 of Section 19, and the NW 1/4, NE 1/4 of Section 30, Township 35 North, Range 1 West, N.M.P.M., Archuleta County, CO.

Big Apple flight: Time for 'home' issue reflections

Rep. Larson's Report

Flying at 37,000 feet listening to our United pilot converse with all the various FAA centers (Channel 9 on the headset) on our way to New York City for conferences, it was very difficult to break open the computer in-flight to bang out my article.

I scanned the past few weeks for items of interest and became overwhelmed again. With all of the wonders the Big Apple holds for us westerners running through my mind, concentration vacillates between the Broadway shows, shopping and all the fun things my wife and I plan on doing and the demands of back home. I will persevere long enough to keep you informed and then go back to daydreaming and scheming.

During the interim, which is getting continually smaller given all of the special sessions this year, legislators should be busy working on proposed legislation for the next session while keeping up with all the meetings, interim committees and constituent issues. This interim has been very interesting thus far.

I am fortunate to have incredibly involved and capable constituents who are genuinely interested and involved in the legislative process. Through their involvement, I am able to be kept appraised of the plethora of topics important to our quality of life.

One such group came together when the Bighorn Center, a non-partisan think tank based in Denver, came to Durango to conduct training in the political process (particularly from the state perspective) and to motivate more locals to better understand the "system" and assist in the promotion of issues and candidates in the future. The Bighorn Center brought presenters in from around the state and Denver to teach this select group of constituents from around the region.

One project connected with this group has been keeping me very busy. The participants proposed ideas that they wanted to see moved forward into legislation. They then were required to form "coalitions" of interest, if you will, and vote on which projects were deemed worthy.

After six concepts were selected, the coalitions researched and developed their legislation and then presented it to a mock legislative committee made up of local elected officials including me. I was very impressed at the quality of issues that were proffered. Every topic was worthy of potential legislation. This was the first in a series of such training to be held around the state by the Bighorn Center.

Durango was selected to be the first location for this training because of you &emdash; the active, involved, committed and informed citizens of Southwestern Colorado . . . just one more reason in a long list of examples why I am so proud to represent you.

Another issue that is taking form is the assessment of our post secondary facilities for the region. Fort Lewis College has served the four-year mission in Southwestern Colorado very well. Unfortunately, and for a variety of reasons, the community college presence and capability could be a lot better. This is not any particular system's fault or blame. It is simply how the technical-vocational infrastructure and programs evolved.

Pueblo Community College has fulfilled the mission it was allowed to fill very well. San Juan Basin Area Vo-Tech has also filled its mission very well. However, the time has come to explore the next level of community college program delivery while assuring that technical-vocational programs are also continued and expanded throughout the area. The working group that is moving forward with the development of our very own community college is combining the significant successes of the past with a vision of all it can be. The combined boards of PCC and Vo-Tech are to be commended for leading this endeavor.

District travel proves people, area spectacular

By Sen. Jim Isgar

We have the most beautiful Senate district in the country. The last few days I drove from Durango to Montrose to Gunnison. The mountains are truly spectacular with the clouds and green colors. There are days when I spend more time driving than I do in meetings. I've had days where I've driven 300 miles for three hours of meetings.

The geography is truly spectacular, but what I really enjoy is meeting the people of our district. I need to learn to enjoy the food a little less, however. You don't burn up many calories sitting in a car and listening to peoples' concerns. And everywhere I go they feed me.

I was appointed recently to an interim committee formed to hear and address rural health issues. I have been trying to learn all that I can about these issues. I have made a few initial observations:

Our health care is good, but expensive

More and more people cannot afford either health care or insurance

The people involved in health care are dedicated, compassionate, and concerned about providing health care to their patients

There is far too much paperwork, which increases costs and decreases patient contact time

And, too little is done in the areas of prevention and wellness.

I think investments of time and money in these areas could result in significant long-term savings and a higher quality of life for our citizens, especially those living in rural areas. We need to free up our agencies and the market to allow for more innovative solutions.

The next meeting of the interim committee will be held in Durango Sept. 5. As I get more details I will report them in this column.

Brenda and I have traveled to many communities throughout District 6 and will continue to do so. As we've listened to community leaders and citizens we have discovered several areas of interest from water system improvements in Norwood to waste water needs in Nucla. I have attended meetings almost every day around our district and find that the main issues seem to focus around transportation, growth and health care.

I am also learning of innovative solutions to problems that are common to the entire district being used by local agencies.

These are the types of programs that can be replicated around our district, especially in the more tourist oriented towns like Pagosa Springs, where housing is expensive relative to earnings.

Sept. 20 is the special session of the Legislature called by Gov. Owens. The three items on the call are women's health issues, redistricting and growth. I have been receiving many suggestions regarding growth, and most feel that it is an Eastern Slope issue. Please begin to think about the issues we are going to try to act on in the special session and contact me at the Capitol by phone, (303) 866-4884; by fax (303) 866-2012; or by e-mail at

Piedra Road &emdash; U.S. 160 project considered to be 'nearly complete'

By John M. Motter

Relief is in sight for motorists weary of being flagged to a stop, then waiting 45 minutes before proceeding through the construction zone at the Piedra Road-U.S. 160 intersection.

"The state should be finished by Aug. 13," said Kevin Walters, county road superintendent. "In fact everyone should be finished by then. Eagle Drive is open this afternoon (Tuesday) and the county's work is finished except for some work along the side."

Finished includes operating traffic signals, Walters said.

Work at the intersection has involved the Colorado Department of Transportation, Archuleta County, and Pagosa Springs. The state is installing traffic control signals with attendant turn lanes, the county widened Piedra Road as far north from the intersection as Pepper's Restaurant, and the town moved the Eagle Drive-Piedra Road intersection north and opposite the entrance to the Corner Store.

Motorist delays this past week were caused by lack of understanding between two of the entities involved, according to Walters. A CDOT supervisor failed to take into account traffic backing up on Piedra Road while directing flaggers along U.S. 160 at the intersection. Consequently, traffic on Piedra Road backed up as far north as Stevens Field before the situation was remedied. The result was a 45-minute delay for motorists crossing the intersection from any direction.

"The problem has been corrected and we shouldn't see any more delays like that," Walters said. "At least two lanes of U.S. 160 will be open at all times."

County jail faces growing space problems

By Tess Noel Baker

Through a series of metal doors just past the Archuleta County Sheriff's Department office in downtown Pagosa Springs is 5,400 square feet of space used to house the area's convicted criminals.

Lately, it's been a busy place, running almost at capacity since January 1. In fact, on a recent Thursday through Sunday, a total of 12 people were booked into the facility.

"During the first part of the 1990s we were pretty excited to have 10 bookings in a month, now we average two bookings a day," Jail Captain Mencor Valdez said.

The jail houses a maximum of 30 adult prisoners &emdash; a combination of 28 men and two women, or 24 men and six women.

Both Valdez and Archuleta County Sheriff Tom Richards said the increase in inmates is related to the area's population as a whole.

"It's very simple," Richards said. "We've had an increase since it opened and an increase in population over the same time."

Projected to last 20 years when it opened in 1990, the jail may have just five years to go before becoming obsolete if population trends continue, Valdez said. Already expansion has been necessary. Initially, the facility held 22 prisoners. Since then, space planned for use as a kitchen was transformed into a dormitory for trustees and work-release prisoners. Bunks have been added to one cell per block. Still, space is tight. The dormitory has just one bathroom and four or five beds, limiting the number of work-release slots available. Recently, Valdez received permission to add two more transportation officers to his staff to handle the prisoner load.

"Over the next five years we're going to need to be considering another facility," Richards said, "and we're going to have to have more foresight. It's going to have to be designed so we can add on."

The current facility is limited, he said. Although expanding the building upward has been considered, studies have shown that the construction and design don't allow it to go any higher.

Accommodations in the jail, constructed as part of a $1.7 million courthouse expansion, are clean, but stark. A metal bed, toilet, table and chair, and towel rack securely fastened to floor or walls complete the furnishings of each cell. The only outdoor light filters through a small rectangle covered with a metal screen.

Each five-bed cell block also has a day room where shower, table and stools are once again firmly bolted to the floor. A small box containing short pencils and a few erasers rests on the table.

A prisoner starts with a 3-inch plastic bed pad, linens, a cup, toilet paper, some travel-sized hygiene products and a few towels. Add a bright-orange jumper and shoes and the standard issue for prisoners of the Archuleta County jail is complete.

"This is their life while they're here," Valdez said, surveying a small cell and day room.

Three times a week, for an hour at a time, prisoners in the general population are taken to a small recreation area. Another three hours a week of library time is allowed. Then there are weekly Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and Christian Ministry services prisoners can attend.

No matter what the activity, the snap of locked doors and the single-eye of video cameras follow them everywhere.

A few, those serving time for misdemeanors, can become eligible for trustee and work-release programs.

The trustees receive the most privileges, said Valdez. These prisoners, responsible for cleaning the jail, are allowed outside within range of cameras and have access to television. Inmates on work release are allowed to leave the jail during scheduled work hours.

In both cases, there are no second chances.

"We've had a few minor incidents," Valdez said. "When they violate any rule or privilege, they are revoked immediately and there is never, never a second chance. They do it right the first time or never at all."

In the case of the work-release program, inmates are required to pay the county $20 per day, even on days off, in order to remain in the program. Random alcohol and drug testing is performed and officers will periodically check on the work-release prisoners at the job site.

Despite the spartan accommodations and fairly quick turnaround &emdash; prisoners average about a three-month stay &emdash; running a jail, even a small one, isn't cheap.

Valdez estimated it costs around $55 to house a single prisoner for 24 hours. Of that, $15 is for meals catered through the senior center kitchen.

Staffing the facility takes eight full-time detention officers, one administrator and four transport officers. A minimum of two people are working in the building at all times, Valdez said. Of course, add to that wear and tear on vehicles. In one month, transport officers travel an average 3,000 miles, including court appearances, transporting mentally ill prisoners, sick inmates, and juveniles.

"We try awfully hard to keep costs down, but it's amazing how much it costs to keep this facility running with all the supplies you need," Valdez said.

Working toward that goal, the jail recently signed an agreement with the Upper San Juan Hospital District to provide a "Safe Room." This is a place to house prisoners who require a medical evaluation because of drugs, alcohol or other mental or physical condition. By providing a place to keep these people out of the general population until they can be evaluated by medical professionals, it reduces the cases that have to be taken to detox, as well as night transportations. Before, transporting prisoners at night was more common, a requirement that added danger and increased liability to the jail staff. Cost of housing a person at the detox center in Durango was a $200 blow each trip.


August 2, 2001

'Way to go, Kelsey!'

Dear Editor,

I am encouraged to see one of our fine young community members step up to the responsibilities of good citizenship in a letter to you last week.

Kelsey Lyle, age 8, can teach us all a thing or two. The writer's comment, "I might be just a kid, but I care where I live," was prefaced by a thoughtful list of suggestions on how common-sense solutions might be applied to address one of our area's growing concerns - "eye" pollution.

Way to go, Kelsey! I look forward to meeting you one of these days. Think about coming to the next Archuleta citizens forum in September, we need folks like you!

I can only hope others will follow this leader.

With hope for the future,

Karen Aspin

Show appreciation

Dear Editor,

I'd like to give my warmest thanks to the people of your country, and in particular to the people of Pagosa Springs. I have just recently arrived back in my homeland (Australia) after a wonderful time in your country. I found the people of Pagosa Springs to be very warm and friendly &emdash; and I'd like to show my appreciation to all of the residents through this letter.

Thank you very much, I'm looking forward to the next time I can come and visit.

Aidan Boreham

County Manager

Dear Editor,

I had a bad dream the other night. It involved an effort by the County Commissioners to move a local crony into the position of County Manager (or was it the other way around?). You can never be sure with dreams or nightmares in the light of the next day. I am always more hopeful after a night like that when the sun breaks over the eastern mountains.

I hope that other Archuleta County citizens will join me and others in an effort to make sure the Commissioners will treat the issue of hiring a County Manager with the necessary level of leadership and wisdom. An honest search focusing on the qualifications for a quality person to fill that important position is required. The citizens of this county must be assured that the person selected has the education, training, and prior experience in county administration that we need. To do otherwise is wrong.

Perhaps the Commissioners do not fully appreciate the degree of concern by a significant body of voters in the County. I hope that they are not misjudging us. We need to hear from them that a professional and open search with published criteria has been initiated and that only a highly qualified candidate will be hired. We need to hear that soon.

Tom Cruse

Being gouged

Dear Editor,

If a station west of Pagosa Springs can sell gas for $1.47, so can the stations in town. I don't know about everyone else, but I am tired of being gouged by local businesses cause they want to make lots of tourists dollars to hold them through the winter.

Everything is going up here except my wages. Just for the record, my husband isn't the only one with an opinion or an attitude!

Lisa Mettscher

Relay for Life

Dear Editor,

It was my privilege again this year to participate in the ever-growing Relay for Life for the American Cancer Society. It was so wonderful to see how much it has grown and how many more people are willing to let their concern be recognized.

I want to congratulate the Rotary Club for its victory in raising the most money this year. As manager of Curves for Women, I want to say that it has been our great honor to have held the trophy from the year 2000. We have certainly enjoyed being caretakers of the "pig." We got a lot of mileage out of it and had a lot of fun.

Thanks also to Cheryl and John Nelson for their tireless efforts in making the Relay the success it was. They worked so hard and it was clearly evident that their efforts were not in vain. I know other people were working hard also and I wish to thank them for all their hard work. Thanks also to the other teams for helping go beyond the goal for monies raised.

Thanks also to Rochell Ward who was team captain of the other Curves team. She worked very hard and hung in there for the duration. Her energy and commitment were contagious.

Thanks, too, to those who remained undaunted by the unfortunate sprinkler incident at 2 a.m.

Once again I am proud to be a Pagosan. This is a community which is not afraid to get involved and make a commitment. With devotion like ours, cancer will surely be a dreadful thing of the past some day.

Just a quick note to the pig:

Don't worry pig, we'll see you soon. The Rotary Club has to sleep sometime.

Kathryn Nelson


Dear Editor,

Bureau of Reclamation owns the land within a measured perimeter around Navajo Reservoir. It leases to Colorado Parks Board and New Mexico Division of Parks and Recreation. The recent closing of the Air Strip is of concern to many area residents who were here before the Navajo Dam was built and watched the lake form. A main reason it has not been used as much in recent years as formerly is the lack of maintenance and concern by management that it be kept in a usable condition. Yes, there are more boats and boaters, hence more chances for accidents. Air search is often a good way to view such an area. The Park Management at Navajo Dam State Park are assigned care of the area within New Mexico, more than twice the Park area in Colorado.

Why should new management (1991-2001) need to make decisions to change what was established 25 or 30 years ago? Funding should be provided to maintain a usable airstrip-paving on the airstrip?

In June our legislators Mark Larson and Jim Isgar met there with concerned pilots and management. At that time John Weiss said it is the only Colorado Park with an airstrip. Wouldn't that be more reason to keep one in this Park at Arboles? John Weiss is an able park manager but his vision is only for the Colorado Park, not the whole surrounding area, second home owners, search and rescue and patrol operations. His home is not in the Arboles area, but at Pagosa Springs.

Genevieve Phelps

Pave own way

Dear Editor,

Since the citizens of Archuleta County own Stevens Field; now is the hour to "get out" of the aviation business. It's time to turn over "all" monies that the county receives from the airport hangar leases, taxes, etc. to the airport manager, the airport board, and tell them &emdash; it's all yours. Make it profitable or the people will close it and we'll give you 18 months to show us a positive bottom line. A majority of the commissioners will do what they please, but it is "we, the people," who have to pay.

Raise the landing, parking, rental, or fuel fees &emdash; even the price of a coke. Do what you will; just get this horrific monkey off the back of the local taxpayer. And I think commissioners Ecker and Crabtree have some up-front influence with a local concrete company. Here is their chance to get those aircraft owners a "good old boy" deal set in concrete. They could do it right. No more Band-Aid solutions.

There is absolutely no doubt in my Naval Aviation background mentality that there is more than enough organizational talent and corporate money in the area to make Stevens Field a profitable and safe operation. Believe me. Those addicted to the "aviation fix" have the funds and will always find a way to keep their toys in the air even if they have to "pave their own way."

It should be left up to the county voter to decide if any commissioner has the right to waste almost a quarter million of their hard earned tax dollars on this continually unprofitable fiasco and also see if they honestly desire to be held liable for an unsafe enterprise. As some letters to the editor have stated in the past, "the taxiway has been deteriorating for years." Yet, the current/past commissioners and boards allowed it to remain open. I find that decision for all concerned beyond incompetence.

Actually, I'd like to see if our commissioners have the guts to place this very major issue on the next ballot where it belongs and let the taxpayer decide. Why not? Stevens Field belongs to them. Either show a profit &emdash; or close it. If it's closed &emdash; sell it. The airport property is worth multi-millions to the land sharks. And I sincerely hope that is not considered to be a specious assertion.

Just wondering, does commissioner Ecker still have his aircraft parked in that hanger he used to have at Stevens Field years ago? I surely hope not. Personally, just that thought scares me!

Jim Sawicki

Sports Page

August 2, 2001

Soccer will open with two-a-days Aug. 13

By Richard Walter

Two-a-day practices for the 2001 Pagosa Springs High School Boys soccer team will get underway Monday, Aug. 13, with daily sessions from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. and from 6 to 8 p.m. at Golden Peaks Stadium.

Coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason said many of the prospective players have been working out all summer, running, lifting weights and participating in various skill camps.

He reminded all players that they must have physicals signed by their doctor and permission to participate slips signed by parents before the first practice session begins. Those who had spring physicals need not have a new one because they are good for a year.

Before a player can participate in an organized scrimmage or an official game he must have participated in at least nine full practices.

Kurt-Mason said he hopes to set up a four-team, all-day scrimmage session in Pagosa Springs before the actual season gets under way Sept. 1 when the Pirates host Montezuma-Cortez at 1 p.m.

The coach thinks he has a strong nucleus returning from last year's squad which surprised many by advancing to state playoff action.

Keys to success of the team could be high-scoring striker Kyle Sanders, sharpshooting Brian Hart, midfielder Jordan Kurt-Mason, striker Zeb Gill and Matt Mesker who performed feats of magic at times last year in goal.

Kurt-Masons' team lost two key players in striker Mike Pierce, and all-purpose, do everything attacker Daniel Crenshaw.

The balance of the Pirate schedule includes:

Sept. 4 vs. Piedra Vista here

Sept. 13 vs. Bayfield here

Sept. 15 vs. Ridgway there

Sept. 21 vs. Telluride there

Sept. 22 vs. Crested Butte there

Sept. 29 vs. Ridgway here

Oct. 5 vs. Bayfield there

Oct. 6, vs. Crested Butte here

Oct. 10 vs. Telluride here.

Telluride is the defending league champion. Pagosa lost to them last year after defeating favored Bayfield in a shootout during league playoffs at Golden Peaks Stadium. The Pirates then lost to Denver Christian on the latter's home field when Jordan Kurt-Mason suffered a broken ankle and mid-field defense could not adjust to his loss.

Junior High football to begin

All students interested in playing junior high football must report to the junior high school gym on Monday, Aug. 13. Practice starts at 4 p.m. and will go until 6 p.m.

Players should come to practice with a physical and parent permission form completed. This form can be obtained through a local physician, and it must be given to a coach before a student can practice. Students should come to practice in shorts and T-shirts and with enthusiasm to play football.

If there are any questions regarding practice, call Chris Hinger at 264-5802 or Jason Plantiko at 731-9592.

Pagosa Sting hosts MLS Soccer camp next week

By Richard Walter

The Pagosa Sting Soccer Club will host its sixth annual MLS Camp Monday through Friday at Golden Peaks Stadium.

MLS camps are officially endorsed by Major League Soccer.

As has been the practice in the past, a number of British coaches will be on hand to teach American youngsters the aspects of a game which is their nation's primary fan attraction.

The coaches will stay with host families in Pagosa Country and for coaches, players and hosts alike, the event promises to be a valuable cultural exchange.

The camp will be organized by age level, with those 5 and 6 involved from 9-10:30 a.m. daily; those 7 through 11 will be in camp from 9 a.m. to noon daily; and those 12 through 18 will participate from 5 to 8 p.m.

For the lower age group, the daily 1.5 hours training involves non-directive coaching methods in a fun environment; 7 and 8-year-olds will concentrate on fundamental techniques taught through small-sided play; those 9-11 will learn application of techniques in conditioned settings and game specific areas of the field; goalkeepers 9 through 18 will learn positioning and handling, shot stopping and deflections, crosses and high balls, diving, captaining the defense and team play; and advanced players in the 12-18 category will work on skill and technique development, functional and tactical knowledge, creating space as an individual and as a team.

Anyone interested can pick up registration forms from the Town of Pagosa Springs Park and Recreation Department or can find them in the foyer at Sisson Library.

Costs are $70 for the lower age bracket, $110 for the two other age brackets, and $150 for a team. All players receive a ball, T-shirt, gift and an evaluation of talent following the camp. All participants must bring their own shin guards and a water bottle to each session.

Lindsey Kurt-Mason, speaking for the host club, said anyone needing additional information can call him at 731-2458. He said there are currently 58 youngsters signed up for the camp.

Pagosans third in Ryder

Three events in the Four Corners Ryder Cup Challenge &emdash; at Hillcrest, Riverview and Pagosa Springs &emdash; have already come and gone.

The Pagosa teams consisted of Bobby Hart, Russ Hatfield, Robin Elder, Lee Smart, Lou Bollini, David Prokop, Norman Utz and Hal Haltom.

Bobby Hart led the July 26 event with a 68 which included four birdies and an eagle.

The next two contests will be Aug. 9 at Pinon Hills and Sept. 5 at San Juan Country Club.

League standings through three events as follows:

San Juan Country Club 76.5

Pinion Hills 58.0

Riverview 57.0

Pagosa Springs 52.5

Hillcrest 42.5

Tamarron 37.5

Prep golf practice Monday

By Richard Walter

Pagosa Pirates golf players will start swinging their clubs for real Monday when the first formal team meeting of the season takes place at 4 p.m. at the Pagosa Springs Golf Club maintenance facility.

Coach Kathy Carter reminded all potential players they must have a completed sports physical form turned in prior to the first practice.

She also advised those who hope to become team members to bring their clubs to Monday's meeting.

The team will have only two weeks to practice before the season opener scheduled Aug. 17 in Alamosa.

League Results

Men's Competitive

July 23

Ken's Performance 27, At Your Disposal 8

Clifford Construction 13, P.P.P. Playboys 12

July 24

U Can Afford 25, P.P.P. Playboys 24

July 26

At Your Disposal 19, U Can Afford 18

Men's Recreation

July 23

Bears forfeit, Stray Dogs

Black Sox 19, American Legion 18

July 24

Black Sox 20, Bears 9

Tigers 22, Stray Dogs 7

Tigers 10, Bears 0

July 25

At Your Disposal 14, P.P.P. Playboys 8

American Legion forfeit, Bears

Final standings

Ken's Performance 11-2

P.P.P. Playboys 8-4

Clifford Construction 8-5

U Can Afford 8-4

At Your Disposal 7-5

American Legion 6-7

Dulce Black Sox 5-8

Dulce Tigers 5-8

Stray Dogs 4-9

The Bears 1-13

Coed League

July 23

Jann Pitcher 10, Ken's/Paint 8

Radio Shack 12, Rowdy Bunch 10

July 24

Club 15 22, Fairfield 19

Wells Fargo 17, UBC/KWAL 10

July 25

Paint/Ken's 17, Rowdy Bunch 7

Radio Shack 12, Club 15 11

Jann Pitcher 18, UBC/KWAL 3

Wells Fargo 15, Fairfield 7

July 26

Jann Pitcher forfeit, Club 15

Radio Shack 17, UBC/KWAL 2

Rowdy Bunch forfeit, Fairfield

Ken's/Paint 13, Wells Fargo 1

Coed standings

Jann Pitcher 10-1

Paint Comm./Ken's 9-2

Rowdy Bunch 8-3

Radio Shack 6-5

Wells Fargo 4-7

Club 15 3-8


Fairfield 2-9

Men's Competitive

July 23

Ken's Performance 27, At Your Disposal 8

Clifford Construction 13, P.P.P. Playboys 12

July 24

U Can Afford 25, P.P.P. Playboys 24

July 26

At Your Disposal 19, U Can Afford 18

Men's Recreation

July 23

Bears forfeit, Stray Dogs

Black Sox 19, American Legion 18

July 24

Black Sox 20, Bears 9

Tigers 22, Stray Dogs 7

Tigers 10, Bears 0

July 25

At Your Disposal 14, P.P.P. Playboys 8

American Legion forfeit, Bears

Final standings

Ken's Performance 11-2

P.P.P. Playboys 8-4

Clifford Construction 8-5

U Can Afford 8-4

At Your Disposal 7-5

American Legion 6-7

Dulce Black Sox 5-8

Dulce Tigers 5-8

Stray Dogs 4-9

The Bears 1-13

Coed League

July 23

Jann Pitcher 10, Ken's/Paint 8

Radio Shack 12, Rowdy Bunch 10

July 24

Club 15 22, Fairfield 19

Wells Fargo 17, UBC/KWAL 10

July 25

Paint/Ken's 17, Rowdy Bunch 7

Radio Shack 12, Club 15 11

Jann Pitcher 18, UBC/KWAL 3

Wells Fargo 15, Fairfield 7

July 26

Jann Pitcher forfeit, Club 15

Radio Shack 17, UBC/KWAL 2

Rowdy Bunch forfeit, Fairfield

Ken's/Paint 13, Wells Fargo 1

Coed standings

Jann Pitcher 10-1

Paint Comm./Ken's 9-2

Rowdy Bunch 8-3

Radio Shack 6-5

Wells Fargo 4-7

Club 15 3-8


Fairfield 2-9

Sports-related eye injuries a growing concern

Every year, approximately 37,000 people suffer sports-related eye injuries serious enough to require emergency room care, says the Colorado Optometric Association.

The sports that cause most of these injuries are basketball, baseball and racquet sports, but any sport with a projectile is considered eye hazardous.

To help prevent sports eye injuries, athletes should use protective athletic eyewear whether or not prescription eyewear is needed.

Choices include: any sturdy eyeglass frame with polycarbonate lenses (used for non-contact sports such as golf, biking, archery); sports frames with such features as padded bridges; rubber bridges; deep-grooved eyewires, so lenses won't fall out if the frame is hit hard; a face-formed shape for a wider field of view; and headband attachments to keep them in place; one-piece plastic sports frames with prescription or non-prescription polycarbonate lenses (used for baseball/softball, racquetball, tennis, handball, squash, badminton, basketball, volleyball); goggles designed primarily for protection and able to hold either prescription or non-prescription lenses (used for swimming, water skiing, snow skiing, scuba diving, skydiving); eye face guards designed for wearing over other glasses (used primarily for football, ice hockey, and similar high-risk sports).

Contact lens wearers need protective athletic eyewear also, the association said. Contacts alone do not provide sufficient protection.

The other side of sports eye safety, the association says, is playing defensively. To do this, sports participants must be aware of the potentially eye hazardous situations in their sport.

Racquetball players face the greatest risk from the racket and the body of an opponent. To play defensively, they need to be visually aware of the opponent's position at all times and should not look back when the ball is hit.

In tennis, the greatest eye injury risk is from the ball. So having vision skills to follow the ball, judge its speed and get into position to hit it not only helps to score a point but also to protect the eyes.

Tennis players also should use only one ball during warm-up and should control their temper. Several tennis players have suffered serious eye injuries from being hit by a ball fired in anger or frustration.

Athletes who are hit in or near the eye or suffer a blow to the head should seek immediate care at a hospital emergency room or from an eye doctor. Although some may see stars or spots or notice a change in their vision, damage may not be immediately apparent. Prompt attention can be vitally important, particularly in treating a detached retina.

Weather Stats

August 2, 2001



















































August 2, 2001

Dylan Cole Young-Poston

Dylan Cole Young-Poston was born June 22, 2001 at Mercy Medical Center in Durango. Dylan, who weighed 9 pounds, 9.2 ounces and measured 20 inches, is the son of Chad Poston and Sherry Young. Grandparents are Joe and Martha Young of Pagosa Springs, Jim Poston of Pagosa Springs and Toni Poston of Fort Worth.

Morgan Katherine Young

Suzette and Kevin Youngs are proud to announce the birth of their daughter, Morgan Katherine. Morgan was born at Mercy Medical Center on July 6, 2001. She weighed 7 pounds, 8 ounces.

Krystin Eustacia Vye Ronish

Krystin Eustacia Vye Ronish, was born in Aurora, on March 7, 2001. She came to Pagosa Springs with her parents Bill and Elizabeth Ronish to spend a weekend visiting her grandparents, Albert and Elsbeth Schnell. Visiting also were her uncle Jean Schnell and her mother's and Jean's cousins from Germany, Horst and Ulli Doebler with their spouses.

Business News

August 2, 2001

Land Sales

Seller: John and Burel Welch

Buyer: Billie Jo Welch

Property: 3-34-3W

Price: Not listed


Seller: Thomas E. and Beverely H. Evans

Buyer: Thomas D. and Saundra K. Easley

Property: Pagosa Meadows, Unit 4, Lot 32

Price: $545,000


Seller: Petra I. Wasinger

Buyer: Douglas L. Saley and Katheryn E. Frye

Property: Piedra Park Subdivision, Unit 3, Lots 4, 5, 6 and 7, Block 5

Price: $145,000


Seller: Daniel V. Piraino

Buyer: Phillip M. and Lyna K. Slusher

Property: Pagosa Highlands Estates, Lot 386

Price: $7,000


Seller: Timbered Canyon LLC

Buyer: Donald L. Devries

Property: Elk Park Meadows Subdivision, Phase 1, Lot 16

Price: $97,500


Seller: Liza Price-Rappaport

Buyer: MTB Quality Consultants I LTD

Property: Alpine Lakes Ranch-Alpine Meadows No. 1, Tract 7

Price: #314,000


Seller: Liza Price-Rappaport

Buyer: MTB Quality Consultants I LTD

Property: Water shares

Price: Not listed


Seller: Battaglia Revocable Living Trust, Judith M. Battaglia

Buyer: Daniel B. and Sandra L. Howe

Property: 22-35-2W

Price: $299,900


Seller: Roger L. and Elnora Mae Loupe

Buyer: James A. and Jean O. Pierce

Property: Pagosa In The Pines, Unit 2, Lot 1/3 of 42

Price: Not listed


Seller: W.H. Calavan Trust

Buyer: James A. and Jean O. Pierce

Property: Pagosa In The Pines, Unit 2, Lot 41X

Price: Not listed


Seller: James A. and Jean O. Pierce

Buyer: Wallace W. Lankford

Property: Pagosa In The Pines, Unit 2, Lot 41X

Price: $135,000


Seller: George Richard Byers Trust

Buyer: Thomas L. and Susan D. Byers

Property: Pagosa Meadows, Unit 2, Lot 45

Price: $65,000


Seller: Daryl Boone

Buyer: Eric Wayne and Nancy Joann Bard

Property: Pagosa In The Pines, Unit 2, Lot 368

Price: $12,800


Seller: David L. and Diane Ousterling

Buyer: Ousterling Family Trust

Property: Meadows Unit 3, Lot 70X

Price: Not listed


Seller: Cooney and Associates Inc.

Buyer: Ronald E. and Anne Owen

Property: Holiday Acres Subdivision, Unit 2, Lot 1, Block 3

Price: Not listed


Seller: Roger K, and Sandra J. Hill

Buyer: Sandra J. Hill

Property: Colorado's Timber Ridge, Phase II, Lot 98

Price: Not listed


Seller: Whetten Living Trust

Buyer: James M., Michele R., James H. and Sharon A. Thatcher

Property: Pagosa Highlands Estates, Lot 149

Price: $179,000


Seller: Colorado Timber Ridge Ranch

Buyer: William G. and Dolores M. Wilson

Property: Colorado's Timber Ridge, Phase II, Lot 88

Price: $80,700


Seller: Marlene L. Meiners

Buyer: H.F. and Marlene L. Meiners

Property: Colorado's Timber Ridge, Phase One, Lot 3

Price: Not listed


Seller: Willie and Debbie Williams

Buyer: Edwin J. and Kelly Johnson

Property: Piedra Park Subdivision, Unit 4, Lots 1, 2, 3 and 8, Block 3

Price: $194,500


Seller: Clyde D. Brown and Julie A. Chalrson

Buyer: Clyde D. Brown

Property: Twincreek Village, Lot 798

Price: Not listed


Seller: Clyde D. Brown and Julie A. Chalrson

Buyer: Clyde D. Brown

Property: Twincreek Village, Lot 798

Price: Not listed


Seller: Bernice F. Cooper Revocable Trust, Charlie B. Cooper Testamentary Trust

Buyer: John E. and Diane E. Rieck

Property: 11-34-5W

Price: Not listed


Seller: Pagosa Lakes Ranch Inc.

Buyer: David J. and Rita A. Giorgis

Property: Pagosa Lakes Ranch Custom Home, Lot 7

Price: $72,100


Seller: Edward H. and Elizabeth A. Mergens

Buyer: Mergens Family Living Trust

Property: Log Park Subdivision, Lot 18, Block 1

Price: Not listed


Seller: Archuleta County Public Trustee, Barbara J. Jetley

Buyer: Federal National Mortgage Association

Property: Aspen Springs Subdivision 2, Lots 13 and 14, Block 6

Price: Not listed


Seller: Cooney and Associates Inc.

Buyer: Len E. and Linda J. Tontz

Property: Mallard Point Estates, Lot 2

Price: Not listed


Seller: Larry Bass

Buyer: Rick and Deborah Kay Bass

Property: Pagosa Pines, Unit 3, Lot 29

Price: Not listed


Seller: Rick and Deborah Kay Bass

Buyer: Ricky L. and Deborah Kay Bass

Property: Pagosa Pines, Unit 3, Lot 29

Price: Not listed


Seller: Navajo River Ranch LLC

Buyer: Navajo River Ranch POA Inc.

Property: Not listed

Price: Not listed


Seller: Jesus Lomeli

Buyer: James P. and Jennifer Harnick

Property: Lake Forest Estates, Lot 127

Price: $14,000


Seller: Donald Kasen

Buyer: PICA Vet Trust

Property: Alpine Lakes Ranch-Ponderosa Hills 2, Tract 65

Price: $120,000


Seller: Edmond D. Johnson II

Buyer: James E. and Cheryl L. Timmins

Property: Lake Hatcher Park, Lot 280

Price: $10,000


Seller: MTM Affordable Homes Inc. and David E. Maynard

Buyer: Morgan W. Thompson

Property: Lakeview Estates, Lots 70 and 71; Lakewood Village Lot 250; Pagosa Highlands Estates, Lot 171; Pagosa Vista, Lots 100, 338, 349, 407, 549, 521, 550 and 402

Price: Not listed


Seller: Thompson/Maynard Joint Venture, Morgan W. Thompson and David E. Maynard

Buyer: New Horizons International

Property: Pagosa In The Pines Unit 2, Lots 265 and 201; Lake Forest Estates, Lots 178 and 399; Pagosa Vista, Lots 378, 553, 376 and 369

Price: Not listed


Seller: MTM Affordable Homes Corp.

Buyer: David E. Maynard

Property: Pagosa Vista, Lot 363

Price: Not listed


Seller: Morgan W. Thompson

Buyer: David E. Maynard

Property: Pagosa Vista, Lots 100, 349, 402 and 550

Price: Not listed


Seller: Morgan W. Thompson

Buyer: Kent C. and Jamie C. Lord

Property: Lakeview Estates, Lot 71

Price: $11,000


Seller: Samuel and Anita A. Strauss

Buyer: Daniel M. McCabe and Maureen P. Quinn-McCabe

Property: 4-32-5W and 9-32-5W

Price: $119,000


Seller: Daniele Sechaud

Buyer: Jack W. and Susan M. Topoleski

Property: 14-32-1E

Price: Not listed


Seller: Lynn K. Zeinert-Hagerty

Buyer: Todd K. Hagerty

Property: Navajo River Ranch, Unit 4, Tract 62

Price: Not listed


Seller: Cloman Family Partnership LLLP

Buyer: Archuleta County Airport Authority

Property: Not listed

Price: Not listed


Seller: T and T of Pagosa Springs LLC

Buyer: Michelle A. and Ray D. Tressler

Property: 13-36-1W

Price: Not listed


Seller: Michelle A. and Ray D. Tressler

Buyer: Alchemco LLC

Property: 13-36-1W

Price: $610,000


Seller: Michael P. and Janet M. Allen

Buyer: Caroline W. King, Nathan B. Kelsay, Liza J. Seabourn and Tara L. McGowan

Property: Lake Hatcher Park, Lot 144

Price: $8,000


Seller: Timothy C. Hagerty

Buyer: George C. Hagerty

Property: Navajo River Ranch, Unit 2, Tract 24

Price: Not listed


Seller: Pagosa/Colorado Properties LLC

Buyer: George V. and Jan V. Love

Property: Town of Pagosa Springs, Lot 11, Block 52

Price: $17,500


Seller: Centurytel of Colorado Inc.

Buyer: Kenneth R. and Anita J. Mathers

Property: Twincreek Village, Lot 576X

Price: Not listed


Seller: Archuleta County Public Trustee

Buyer: Bank One NA (Trustee)

Property: Pagosa Hills Subdivision, Unit 3, Lot Eat 1/2 of 6

Price: Not listed


Seller: Mangurian Partnership

Buyer: Whispering Pines Development Co. LLC

Property: Central Core Subdivision Lots 5E and 5F, Pagosa In the Pines, Lot 14, Block 11

Price: $245,000


Seller: Lisa E. Brown

Buyer: Mark W. Brown

Property: Aspen Springs Subdivision 3, Lot 1, Block 8

Price: Not listed


Seller: Mark W. Brown

Buyer: Mark W. and Lisa E. Brown

Property: Aspen Springs Subdivision 3, Lot 1, Block 8

Price: Not listed


Seller: Donald and Barbara J. Zepp Family Trust

Buyer: David C. and Catherine C. Wright

Property: Aspen Springs Subdivision 6, Lots 138, 139 and 140

Price: $6,000


Seller: Suzette N. and Gregory T. Odom

Buyer: James K. D. and Kathryn G. Mills

Property: Lake Forest Estates, Lot 226

Price: $148,000


Seller: Alan G. and Katherine B. Stanley

Buyer: Ari D. Kamesar

Property: Loma Linda Subdivision, Unit 5, Lot 128

Price: Not listed


Seller: Alan G. and Katherine Burris Stanley

Buyer: Ari D. Kamesar

Property: Pagosa Meadows, Unit 3, Lot 89

Price: Not listed


Seller: Susan M. Adelsperger

Buyer: JP Family Revocable Trust

Property: Aspen Springs Subdivision 5, Lot 238

Price: $8,000


Seller: Diana L. Cole

Buyer: Great Divide Investments Inc.

Property: Aspen Springs Subdivision 5, Lots 351 and 352

Price: $11,000


Seller: P. Neil and Janice M. Rylander

Buyer: John E. and Mary F. O'Brien

Property: Twincreek Village, Lot 889X

Price: $232,300


Seller: Nancy T. Matranga

Buyer: Jo Mack Carol

Property: Piedra Park Subdivision, Unit 3, Lots 1 and 10, Block 5

Price: $38,000


Seller: Robert and Patricia Heuck

Buyer: Richard L. and Cindy L. Fox

Property: North Village Lake, Lot 74

Price: $23,500


Seller: Cardwell Living Trust

Buyer: Kevin M. and Linda A. Nordstrom

Property: Pagosa Meadows, Unit 2, Lot 98

Price: $100,000

Community News

Chamber News

By Sally Hameister

Taste opens Golden Anniversary Fair

We have just been told that the Relay for Life held last weekend more than doubled their expected donations, and we heartily congratulate all the folks who worked so hard to make that happen.

Wouldn't it be phenomenal if we could see a cure for cancer during our lifetime? There is great hope for this, thanks to programs like Relay for Life that provide the funds for research and the people who are willing to work so hard to assure the success of such programs. Thanks to all who did so much.

Congrats again

I want to commend John Porter and the Music Boosters on their first-time Celebrate Jazz Weekend and fervently hope that it will become an annual event in Pagosa.

The Queen City Jazz Band featuring the absolutely irresistible Wende Harston, the D.C. All-Stars and our own Rio Jazz combined to create a musical experience I won't soon forget. I had a marvelous time along with all the other folks who came out for some or all of the events and was particularly pleased with the Rio Jazz CD release party at the Timbers on Sunday night. The guys were great and busy all night during breaks autographing CDs for their fans. You'll be so pleased with the CD &emdash; its beautiful and sounds great &emdash; much like the musicians themselves. Great job, Rio Jazz.

Taste of Pagosa

Today marks the beginning of the Golden Anniversary celebration of the Archuleta County Fair, and you certainly won't want to miss the "tasty" opening festivities.

Taste of Pagosa will begin at 3 this afternoon and will continue until 9 this evening. This is always a very popular and well-attended event offering not only the best of the best food offerings from many of our local eateries, but ample opportunities to see just about everyone in Pagosa and catch up on the latest. It has become quite the Pagosa tradition and something we all look forward to every year. Please join us tonight for Taste of Pagosa  &emdash; a great way to begin the County Fair experience.

County fair

The exhibit hall will open tonight at 6 p.m. for you to see all the wonderful things that people have created, baked, photographed, quilted, etc. This is one of my favorite things to do, and I'm looking forward to my walk-through this year.

Tomorrow offers games and contests during the day, a rodeo at 7 p.m. and a dance featuring the Narrow Gauge Band at 9 p.m.

Saturday, you will be able to enjoy the games and contests again all day as well as a 4-H chuckwagon dinner at 5 p.m. and a 4-H livestock auction at 7 p.m. You also want to watch for times for the Music Boosters' three performances of Old Time Vaudeville under the big tent. This promises to take us all back in time to the wonderful days of song and dance and comedy sketches performed on stage. Another dance featuring a live country western band will be held at 9 p.m.

Sunday morning at 9 a.m. you can attend a pancake breakfast and a worship service at 10 a.m. The kids' rodeo is at 1 p.m. and the chili cookoff will be held between 2-4 that afternoon. At 4:30 p.m., the second annual Demolition Derby will take place in the arena next to the carnival.

One thing you can count on is that the fair will, as always, offer something for everyone in the family and lots of things for everyone. To me, there's nothing quite like a county fair to take you back to your roots and childhood, and I think that's a very good thing. Hope to see you all there.

Gardening tour

The Pagosa Springs Arts Council is sponsoring a first-ever Home and Garden Tour, Aug. 12 from noon to 5 p.m. The selection of homes to be toured include mountain style, French country with craftsman details, Victorian, Santa Fe with unique art collection, rock gardens and yard art, and a complete solar home. A greenhouse of vegetables and flowers will also be included. Refreshments will be at the PSAC Gallery in Town Park from 11-4 that day.

Tickets for this event are $10 each and $8 for arts council members. The discounted tickets can be purchased at the gallery in Town Park and all others are available at the Chamber of Commerce, Moonlight Books, Taminah Gallery and Gifts, and Wolftracks Bookstore and Coffee Company. With our rather short growing season in Pagosa, we could benefit from the secrets that successful gardeners are willing to share with us. Learn their secrets and enjoy a beautiful day on the garden tour.


Reader's Digest recently printed a pretty astonishing statistic concerning the immigration population growth in the U.S.

The tiny blurb stated that it's not surprising that most of America's immigrants can be found in cities like Los Angeles, New York, Miami or Chicago but that some unexpected states have the fastest growing immigration population growth. Colorado has experienced a 190-percent immigration growth from 1990 through 1999. Other states that have gone a little wacky with growth during this time period are North Carolina at 189 percent, Nevada at 190 percent, Georgia at 99 percent and Virginia at 69 percent.


I'm happy to bring you doubles this week &emdash; two new members and two renewals. We love it all whether it comes in singles, doubles or triples.

Beth Gillich brings us a rental, Rivers Run, located five minutes out of town here in Pagosa. This picturesque home is nestled within the Sunset Ranch overlooking the San Juan River with mountain views of the valley. Rivers Run is modern, fully maintained and sleeps four. You will find a spacious bathroom, gas fireplace, a surround-sound stereo and TV, and a VCR. Laundry facilities are available as well as a large garage for your vehicles. No pets please. To learn more, call Beth at 264-6760.

Our second new member this week is John Hartman with Durango Internet Resources located at 17897 Highway 160 in Durango. is the No.1 city site for Durango and the surrounding area. It offers information on local businesses, things to do, current events, national parks and reservations. offers reservations for the four-state region. Please call John at 970-259-3100 for more information.

Our renewals this week include Marilynn Bunch with The Malt Shoppe and Derek Farrah with Plantax (Accounting and Tax Services). Many thanks to all.

Senior News

By Janet Copeland

Volunteers, birthday honorees warrant plaudits

As we all know, our volunteers are the backbone of our organization.

We are so proud to honor June Nelson as our Volunteer of the Month. June is always willing to help on a moment's notice, and is a regular at our front desk. Thanks June.

Alice Young has been recovering from illness &emdash; we miss her and hope she will be able to return to the Center soon.

There weren't very many of the birthday honorees at the celebration on Friday but we wish all those who had birthdays in July the very best.

Those honored were R.L. (Hoppy) Hopson, who treated us to several old-time songs; Jerry Sager, Mae Boughan, Shirley Finn, George Ziegler, Gerry Driesens, Lena Bowden, Bob Cooper, Pat Foster, Abel Martinez, Lou Ann Waddell, Norman Richardson and Bill Downey.

Lena Bowden, who always prepares the birthday cards and presents them, was away on vacation so she missed her own celebration. We miss her and look forward to her returning soon.

We are happy to welcome Jewell and Hershal Riddle, from Springfield, Mo., and Wilma and Charlie Weber to the Center this week. It is also a pleasure to have Jan Hartzell back for the summer &emdash; we have missed her.

As we welcome folks, we also will miss those who are leaving. Gerry and Ruth Driesens and Martha and Ray Trowbridge left this week so we probably won't get to visit with them again until next summer. Best wishes and happy traveling, folks.

Our Senior of the Week is Gene Copeland, my inspiration and helpmate in all that we do, so I am happy to announce that he is the honored one this week.

Several folks have graciously made donations to our Senior Center. We would like to thank Brenda Stretton for the encyclopedias; June Nelson for videos, books and her time inventorying them; Linda Muirhead, Bruce and Mary Muirhead for the video tapes; Dick and Pat Robbins, Dale Warner, and Marion Swanson for books; Dee Shank for the puzzles; the San Juan Motel for window cleaner; and Richard Harris for teaching the yoga classes. We appreciate these gifts very much.

There is a change in the swim schedule at the Pagosa Lodge. In the past, seniors were granted free access to the pool any time &emdash; but now, the benefit will only be allowed on Wednesdays.

There are several sign-up sheets in the lobby of the center for upcoming social events. On Aug. 2 is the Durango shopping trip; On. Aug. 9 we'll see "Drills and Bits" at the Farmington Outdoor Theater (bring a sack lunch for a tail gate meal before the show); on Aug. 11 the bus will provide transportation to Creede for a day of fun visiting the Underground Mining Museum, lunch at a restaurant, and then attending the presentation of "The Nerd" at Creede Repertory Theater that afternoon; and, on Aug. 23, we play to go to the Bar D Chuckwagon in Durango for dinner and entertainment.

Please note prices and sign up soon if you wish to attend any of these events. You may call 264-2167 and talk to Cindy or Musetta if you have questions.

The San Juan National Forest, together with several agencies/individuals, under the title "Interpretive Alliance" will conduct several interesting events in August, beginning with a geology tour Aug. 3, beginning at 10 a.m. in Town Park.

Each Tuesday morning in August, at 8:30 a.m., there will be a 90-minute presentation on Bill Moyer's series "Death and Dying" &emdash; one video presented each time, four total. This is very informative, especially as it relates to Hospice care, etc., so we hope folks will take time to attend these presentations.

The August bulletin, which is very informative with tentative menus and social events details, is available at the Center. Musetta and Cindy do a great job with these bulletins and we hope everyone will take advantage of them.

Pagosa Lakes

By Ming Steen

Fair Fun Run a warmup for Pagosa Lakes Triathlon

Off-road triathlons have been lurking on Colorado's wooded trails for a good decade, but only recently have the muddy multi-sport events popped out of the woods.

The Pagosa Lakes Triathlon, started in 1992, is beginning to have greater appeal. Since mid-May I have received on-line enquiries &emdash; all wanting to find out more about our race and its non-traditional format of putting the swim at the end.

But don't worry, we will always be a race with less profile and more peace and quiet.

We are still the folks who want to keep the event enjoyable by limiting registrations, by not getting too hung up on splits, transition times, and drafting rules. We are the people who just want to go out, do the best we can and cross the finish line with a huge smile.

The Pagosa Lakes Triathlon is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 11. It includes a 7.2-mile run, a 14.4-mile mountain bike ride and a half-mile swim. The run will start at 8 a.m. from the recreation center and the final leg, the half-mile swim, will be in the recreation center pool.

While the course itself is pretty flat, competitors are aware that it takes place at an altitude of approximately 7,500 feet. The mountain-biking portion of the course, which involves three technical sections, follows the same loop trail as the run, though bikers cover the course in the opposite direction and complete two loops. During this circuit, participants go past Lake Pagosa, through some residential areas, then drop into Martinez Canyon for some pretty scenery. I'm expecting a large number of teams this year. Participating as a team is definitely a lot more spirited and fun.

An awards ceremony follows the race, during which ribbons are handed out for first through third places in the different divisions. As always, there will be plenty of wonderful door-prizes, thanks to our generous local merchants.

Post-race refreshments will be donated by Peak Physical Therapy &emdash; Lisa Raymond, Julie Allison, Lisa Boelter and Deanna Elges. These ladies, besides being superb physical therapists, are talented cooks and bakers. It will be a delightful finale for a physically demanding morning.

The Pagosa Lakes Triathlon's best individual time was set in 1999 by Dr. Scott Anderson at one hour, 45 minutes and 25 seconds. Scott is a six-time winner of this triathlon. The team record of 1:42.43 was also set in 1999 by Kim Eggert (former U.S. Olympic skier), Brian Dameworth and Greg Brumley, all from Creede. The rest of us take just a little longer to finish but the same huge sense of accomplishment is still there when you cross that finish line.

Come join me and the rest of Pagosa's runners, bikers and swimmers. If you would like for the recreation center to help you pull together a team, please call us at 731-2051. We keep a list of interested folks.

There's a warm-up race before the Aug. 11 Triathlon. The Fair Fun Run, an annual 5K run/walk that is a part of our Archuleta County Fair, will be held Saturday. The short but uphill course to the top of Reservoir Hill and back to Town Park is not an easy one but it is very beautiful. The good news is the pain, like the course, is short.

Interested runners and walkers are asked to register at Town Park at 8:30 a.m. The race will start at 9 a.m. Registration is $10 and all proceeds will benefit the high school cross country team. For the first time, there will be a short course for the youth division this year. Make this a family affair by bringing your children.

Jerry Sager will celebrate his 79th birthday today with a brisk hike up to Pagosa Peak. What a way to celebrate life and the good things in life, like robust health, appreciation for the God-given beauty around us and loyal friends.

You all enjoy your hike and happy birthday to you Jerry.

Library News

By Lenore Bright

Sphinx moth population soaring in Pagosa Area

We have a number of copies of the Archuleta County Community Plan adopted by the planning commission back in March. They may be checked out.

Sphinx moths

No, that is not a furry hummingbird. It is a big moth that is quite abundant this year. The caterpillars have been quite prolific, and it must be a good year for them. The moths lay eggs on the underside of plants, and their life cycle from egg to moth is all in one season. They have been so numerous, Pagosa Springs was even mentioned in the Denver Post for the large numbers of moths found here this year.

Bear story

The Division of Wildlife has updated its report on bears, and it couldn't be more timely. The Bear Facts pamphlet may be copied or checked out. It covers many aspects of the Colorado black bear population.

Bears are intelligent and have good memories. If a bear has ever learned that ice chests contain food, any ice chest is fair game &emdash; even if it is in the back seat of your car. One bear learned to use rocks to trigger traps. They'll eat anything when hungry but prefer vegetable material, and berries. Come read up on bear facts &emdash; we all need to know more about living with our neighbors.

Summer reading

Children who didn't come to the final party but did fulfill their reading contracts have prizes waiting for them at the library. Please come by and pick these up as soon as possible.

Electronic suggestion

It is reported that if you have works or music on magnetic tapes, you should run the tapes every so often or they begin to "leach" and will become unreadable. We've also heard you should not store tapes on metal shelves as that can also ruin the magnetic field.

Keeper of books

Dick Van Fossen brought in this excerpt: "What a vapid job title our culture gives to those honorable laborers the ancient Egyptians and Sumerians variously called Learned Men of the Magic Library, Scribes of the Double House of Life, Mistresses of the House of Books, or Ordainers of the Universe. 'Librarian' &emdash; that mouth-contorting, graceless grind of a word, that dry gulch in the dictionary between 'libido' and 'licentious' &emdash; it practically begs you to envision a stoop shouldered loser, socks mismatched, eyes locked in a permanent squint from reading too much microfiche. If it were up to me, I would abolish the word entirely and turn back to lexicological wisdom of the ancients, who saw librarians not as feeble sorters and shelvers but as heroic guardians. In Assyrian, Babylonian, and Egyptian cultures alike, those who toiled at the shelves were often bestowed with a proud, even soldierly title: Keeper of the Books. I think most librarians still secretly view themselves in this way."

Dick tells us this excerpt is from "The Island of Lost Maps, a True Story of Cartographic Crime," by Miles Harvey. All of us who work in the Sisson Library prefer to be known as Keeper of the Books.


Financial help came from Mavis and Merton Burkard; George Reeves in memory of Dorothy Reeves; Bill Queen. Materials came from Community Resource Center, Natalie Gabel, Eugenia Hinger, Donna Anderson, Rita Werner, Cary Valentine, Jennifer Novack, Carol Gilliland and Nicholas Afaami.

Local Chatter

By Kate Terry

United Blood Services is almost 50

United Blood Services held its annual banquet at the Strater Hotel in Durango on June 21. It was the first time I'd been invited and I was certainly glad that I went, because the time was well-spent. Not only was the program full of important information but the food was excellent.

All the cute references to food set aside, I'd like to tell you what I learned.

To begin with, this coming fall United Blood Services celebrates 50 years of service.

It takes approximately four months of training and on-the-job experience for a new employee to be a completely functional member of a team. Keeping a full staff is difficult at times. Since August of 1999, the Durango Center has had two complete turnovers, but now there is a full staff. And they hope it remains so.

Each United Blood Services Center has a goal and so far in 2001, the goal for the Durango Center has only been met once, back in the month of April.

Paula Archuleta, the Satellite Center Manager, spoke about the difficulty of keeping a blood drive running smoothly, despite any problems. And Paula told her own story about blood transfusions.

In 1987, her son, who had leukemia, needed blood transfusions. She said that in her naivete, she was afraid the blood would be contaminated, that it would make him sicker. He received many blood transfusions over the next 3 1/2 years before she lost him.

Paula now works for United Blood Services and knows how carefully the blood is cared for.

At the present time, the Federal Drug Administration is working hard re-evaluating the safety of the blood supply.

Paula ended her talk with this:

"Every day is a constant struggle. Every unit of blood that we collect at the drives is given to someone like my son. Each slot on our appointment sheet that is left open and every donor that fails to come in for their appointment could make the difference in whether someone like my son will live another day."

If you have an questions regarding giving blood, the staff at United Blood Services in Durango will be happy to answer them. Call them at 385-4601 and talk with Christie Gotchall or Randy Hubbs, the Durango Area Community Relations Representative.

About town

The baskets on exhibit at Sisson Library have been made by Nettie Trenk and Carrie Weisz. Nettie came to Pagosa Springs from Newburgh, Ind., and Carrie from Rochester, Minn. They met in Pagosa.

A lot of people have been looking forward to the opportunities of "Pagosa Baking Company." The proprietors, Kathy Keyes and Kirsten Skeehan, are famous for their breads. Having eaten one of Kathy's wedding cakes, I can appreciate knowing that one of her "teachers" was the White House Pastry Chef Roland Messinier at L'Academie de Cuisine, and that she created cakes and hors d'oeuvres for receptions at the Smithsonian.

About town II

It's way ahead, into September, but you have to hear &emdash; if you haven't already done so &emdash; that the next presentation by the Music Boosters is "Fiddler on the Roof."

The performance dates are Sept. 6, 8, 9, 13, 14, and 15. A shortened version will be performed at Lake City at the end of September.

Fiddler will be directed by Joan Hageman with Andy Donlon as assistant director.

Pagosa is so rich in musical talent and Music Boosters is a splendid showcase.

The cast has been selected. Steve Rogan, Tevye; Kathy Isberg, Golde; Cindy Neder, Tzeilel; Norah Fabris, Hodell; Amber Farnham, Chava; Trish Davis, Yente; Michael DeWinter, Motel; Justin Smith, Purchik; Gene Tautges, Lazar Wolf, Clay Pruitt, Fyedka; and Pam Spitzler, Fruma Sarah.

Fun on the run

A local man sent a joke from Fun on the run to his friend in Portsmouth, England, and the friend sent back this one from "James's Joke," a column in his newspaper. This is it:

The bloke had a dreadful divorce. Leaving the court he said: "It's time I had some good luck." A genie appeared.

"You have three wishes but whatever you wish for, your wife will get double." The man agreed and asked for $5 million. The genie pointed out his wife would get $10 million.

The man asked to be 10 years younger. The genie said his wife would become 20 years younger. Asked for his third wish, the man said: "Beat me half to death."

Cruising with Cruse

by Katherine Cruse

Rely for Life: A spirit-raising event

When I first called up Sandy Mion of the San Juan Outdoor Club to volunteer to work on the annual American Cancer Society's Relay for Life fundraiser, I really didn't know what I was volunteering to do.

You ever have that experience? You want to help, but you don't quite know how. Maybe, like me, you've never been part of the event before. You don't know what the possibilities are.

I thought maybe I could make vegetarian chili. Sandy thought I wanted to walk. So I walked. Hotshot didn't want to be left out, so he walked too.

We (the Outdoor Club) had 15 walkers, one for each hour of the Relay. The best way to get to be a walker on the team is to volunteer for the wee hours. This event goes on all through the night. If you suffer from insomnia, it's the perfect activity.

But the real work of this event is the fundraising for cancer research. If you belong to certain organizations, if you move in certain circles, you got hit up by a lot of your friends. It was like a bunch of people all trying to milk the same cow.

"Support my walking," I said to Lee.

"I'm trying to raise money, too," he countered.

"Okay," I said. "I'll give you $5 if you'll give me $5."


At Hotshot's suggestion, I went outside the community. I asked my friends across the country, the ones who get my column by email every week. My great and wonderful friends responded with overwhelming generosity, emailing back pledges and actually putting those checks in the mail.

We gathered at Town Park late Friday afternoon. The different organizations were raising big tents, and scattered about were the small tents of those hardy and dedicated individuals who were planning to spend the night. Girl Scout Troop #5098, the Angel Wings team, had already set up their tents close to the river's edge.

A band was hauling amps and cable onto the porch of the park gazebo building.

The festivities began at 6 p.m. with introductions of the survivors, those who have survived treatment for cancer. We learned their names and their various types of cancer. We heard how long they've been cancer-free, from 3 months to over 20 years.

A couple of people were still in treatment &emdash; "works in progress."

The cancer survivors introduced their caretakers &emdash; spouses and best friends and parents. Studies have shown that being supported by loving friends and relatives can greatly increase your chances of beating cancer. Caretakers are really important people.

The band struck up the first song, the survivors did a victory lap around the makeshift track, and then the walking, the relay for life, began. Hotshot and I hung out, waiting for our first half-hour laps. It was like being at a party, or a picnic. People kept arriving, some of them bearing pots of chili for the midnight supper. There were a number of dogs, all of them well-mannered. There were family groups, and church groups, and people meeting people for the first time.

There was a lot of hugging.

An evening rain came up for a while, but nobody minded. We admired the rainbow. In the west the sky looked like it was raining gold.

A sudden enormous gust of wind picked up several of the large tents and threatened to carry them away, and just as suddenly it backed off. We all got our stakes and guylines repositioned.

Members of the Rotary Club wore yellow T-shirts with the slogan, "Get the Pig." Others, from the Curves for Women team, urged "Keep the Pig."

"What pig," I asked.

Turns out that there's a prize for the team that raises the most money. It's a Mexican pottery pig, an enormous piggy bank style of pig with bright flowers painted on its back and sides. The Rotary Club won the pig two years ago, at the first Relay for Life. Last year Curves for Women took it away from them.

Rotary wanted it back in the worst way.

"We're going to get the pig," several of them assured me. "We're GOING to get the pig!"

Hotshot and I walked our stint between 10 and 11 p.m., keeping each other company on his second and my first half hours. And then, since it was way past our bedtime, we headed home.

The next morning, when I did my second half-hour walk, a 5-foot wide swath of grass at the end of the park had been flattened by thousands of footsteps crossing in the night.

The people who had spent the night were looking a little drawn, but still cheerful. Even the sprinklers going on at 2 in the morning, soaking grass and tents, hadn't dampened their spirits

The dogs however, were a little out of sorts and crabby. They didn't have the advantage of knowing what a good cause they were supporting. They probably just wanted to go home.

As for the fundraising, it was neck-and-neck between the Outdoor Club and the Rotary. At 10 a.m. we were ahead by about $600. But Rotary was not to be denied. They really wanted that pig!

By 11:30 Saturday morning, when the race for the pig closed, members of the Rotary Club had dug into their pockets and found another $1,500. There was great rejoicing when the final numbers were announced - the pig was theirs.

The real winners, though, were the people who'll benefit from this money. Archuleta County raised over $31,000 for the American Cancer Society's work.

Some of it goes to support research for cures.

A lot of it goes to help spread the word. Get mammograms. Get prostate tests. Check out suspicious fatigue or bleeding. Finding cancer early is still the best hope for treatment.

And if you missed a chance to support the Relay for Life, that's okay. You can still make a donation.

All you'll feel is good.

Navajo State Park

by Sue Taylor

Welcome new faces appearing in park's staff

By Sue Taylor

Many of you coming to the park recently may have noticed a different face among the rangers.

You all know Mike Carpenter, Rebecca Martinez and Rob Galin, who also works for the Archuleta County Sheriff's Department when he is not here.

One staff member you may not know is Scott Elder, senior ranger for our newly acquired park at Lone Mesa. Like Mancos, Lone Mesa is administered from Navajo. Scott came on board early this winter and has had his hands full patrolling this vast, fairly undeveloped area. His office is located in Dolores, where he welcomes visitors interested in finding out more about this not-yet-open park. Take a spin on up to Dolores. The scenery is worth the drive.

Another new face has not yet arrived but soon will be here. Chris Holm, who will replace Doug Secrist as senior ranger at Navajo, will be coming to us from Grand Junction. He is slated to start in August, so let's give Chris a warm welcome and wish him luck in his new position.

Being served?

If you need a campsite, fishing license, boating registration, or just a place to complain, where do you go? To the Visitor Center front desk.

There have been times when the lines at the desk are four or more people deep and it seems to take forever before your turn comes. But you wait patiently, knowing it takes time to fill out the voluminous paperwork for registration and licenses. When your turn finally comes, you do your business and are on your way to enjoy the lake.

But who was that person who helped you? For many people, the faces behind the counter are just that. These folks are the unsung heroes of the front line and perhaps now is the time to introduce them to you.

Let's begin with Linda Ritchey. A short, pert blonde, Linda is a ball of energy. Working like a hummingbird, she sees that everyone is served as quickly as possible.

Skip Williams may appear taciturn, but his cool exterior belies the warmth within. A former Navy pilot turned Insurance Agent, Skip couldn't wait to leave Denver and make his home in Bayfield.

Kristina Cruz used to be the youngest member of the crew. Now attending Ft. Lewis College, she is majoring in Psychology where she may eventually pursue either a teaching or counseling career. Those she helps never miss her bright smile and winning ways.

Alice Palmer has taken over as being the "youngest." A very serious 14-year-old, she has jumped with both feet into the real world of work and responsibility and has held her own.

You all know Carol Zink who is a permanent seasonal employee here at the park, where she can enjoy her two daughters and one grandson.

Finally, the mother hen of this brood is Susan Snyder. A tireless worker, Susan keeps the accounts of this park straight and made sure everyone's concerns are met. Let us sing the praises of these hard-working folk who make sure your visit to Navajo is a good one.

Blue skies, flowers

Have you noticed the sudden profusion of blue all along the byways? This Chichorium intybus, more commonly known as chicory. If you have ever had coffee from Louisiana, you know that chicory is one of the primary ingredients. The root of chicory can be roasted in an oven until dark brown and brittle, then ground, and prepared like coffee. Use 1 1/2 teaspoon of chicory per one cup of water. The white underground parts of the young leaves are a welcome addition to salads and the above-ground parts are excellent boiled for 5-10 minutes in just enough water to cover. But you have to hurry: The leaves must be gathered early or else they become too bitter to use. If you decide to harvest some for your campfire or coffee, be sure of identification first.

Saying goodbye

This will be my last article. Greener pastures have called and so we are leaving. To all of the people who have graciously given of themselves to present programs here at Navajo, I extend my deepest gratitude. To all our friends, until we meet again, so long.

For future programs, please talk to either John Weiss or Chris Holm.

Veterans Corner

by Andy Fautheree

Check out VSO booth at the fair

The Archuleta County Veterans Service Office will have a booth at the Archuleta County Fair this weekend. At the time of this writing, members of the American Legion and perhaps the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) will join me to greet and meet veterans.

Look for lots of red, white, and blue to find our booth. I will have information on veterans' benefits and a portable computer to look up veteran records in our county database. We are hoping we will meet many new veterans as well as say hello to many familiar faces. Good chance to meet the families too. I will also be able to enter new veterans data in our computer and even fill out veteran benefit forms, such as the paperwork for the great Veterans Health Care program.

American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars will hopefully have a representative there to tell veterans about their great organizations. Plans for tying the VSO, American Legion and VFW together for the fair are still pending at the time this article was written.

I plan to be at the county fair booth Thursday 3-7 p.m. Friday hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, I will be at the booth 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Please stop by and say hi. I will be glad to visit with you and tell you all about some of the great veterans' benefits we have and answer any questions you might have. Obviously the Veterans Service Office at the Archuleta County Court House will be closed while I am at the fair.

Speaking of the American Legion I want to salute the American Legion Auxiliary in Archuleta County. They recently conducted a work party to make "Ditty Bags" for veterans to use at the VA Nursing homes in Colorado.

The idea came from Anita Dailey when she attended the American Legion convention this May at Cortez. Some of the attendees were expressing the need for these bags for the veterans at VA nursing homes to use to carry their toiletry and other personal items in. Betty Willet filled me in on the details of their project last week. Of course I sort of had an inside track on what they were doing since my wife Mary Kaye and my 8-year-old daughter Andrea also helped with the project. By the way, my daughter is the youngest official member of the Archuleta County American Legion Auxiliary. Other ladies helping with the ditty bag project were Dee Shank and Ruthe Marquez.

Thank you ladies for your efforts. I know our Colorado veterans will appreciate your generosity and thoughtfulness.

Please be advised the Veterans Service Office will be closed for vacation the week of Aug. 12-18.

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

Parks & Rec

by Douglas Call

Portnell fared well in Hershey meet

Congratulations to Drew Portnell on his July 7 trip to the State Hershey Track Meet at Jeffco Stadium in Denver. Drew took sixth place out of 74 in the standing long jump, eighth place out of 64 in the 200 meter dash and sixth out of 62 in the 50 meter dash. Drew did not qualify for the national meet in Hershey, Penn.

Instructional league

The Friday league is into its third week and takes place at the Sports Complex from 8:30-10:30 a.m. Friday mornings. Cost is $25 and activity will conclude Aug. 10.

Youth baseball

This summer's youth baseball league crowned a new champion last Tuesday night. The Orioles came away as tournament champions defeating the Twins 14-10 in extra innings. Thanks and congratulations to all this year's teams, coaches and sponsors.

All-star tourney

The Bambino all-star team traveled to the Monte Vista tournament July 20-21. Congratulations to our Pagosa team that came home with third-place honors. Thanks to all the coaches and parents, and congratulations to all the players.

Adult softball

Men's adult league tournament games began last Thursday.

In the competitive division At Your Disposal beat U Can Afford 19-18 and At Your Disposal and played P.P.P. Playboys Tuesday night. Ken's Performance and Clifford Construction played Monday night.

In the recreation division the Black Sox beat the Bears by forfeit. The Bears were eliminated from further play and the Black Sox were scheduled against the Stray Dogs Tuesday night. American Legion and the Tigers played Monday night.

Tournament brackets for both Men's and Coed divisions are available at games, posted at the Sports Complex and Town Hall. Men's tournament games will continue until Aug. 7. The coed tournament will start Aug. 2.

Youth soccer

Youth soccer registration is underway with $10 early registration through Aug. 10. The organizational coaches' meeting is scheduled for Aug. 21 at 6 p.m. in Town Hall. Practices will begin the week of Aug. 27 and games will begin Sept. 11. Games will be played on Tuesdays and Thursdays starting at 4:30 p.m. Registration forms are available at Town Hall.

The Town Recreation Department is currently looking for sponsors for the upcoming soccer season.

A sponsorship fee of $200 provides teams with shirts, complete with sponsor's name, which players keep. Call the recreation department at 264-4151 eat. 232 if your business is interested in sponsoring a team this year.

In Sync

by Isabel Willis

CHI: A hands up program for Pagosa youth in need

Have you been noticing more young teenagers working on construction sites this summer? If you have, you are seeing youth volunteers from Colorado Housing Inc.'s Youth Program working with homeowners in the self-help housing program.

Clare Burns, youth program coordinator, says this is the first summer since the project began five years ago, that they've have had a full-time youth mentor to assist youth at the construction sites. Emzy Barker now mentors no more than eight youth at a time to help them achieve a greater work ethic and increase their job skills. The objective of CHI Youth Program is to provide a quality intervention program geared to the needs of Archuleta County's youth.

Clare said Emzy is the program's most valuable resource because he is the communication link between homeowners, youth, parents and community agencies involved in the youth's life. Strong community partnerships are vital to the success of the Youth Program because CHI has to work very closely with community agencies &emdash; especially the courts &emdash; schools, mental health counselors and social services in order to better serve the youth. CHI is always seeking feedback from the community, so do not hesitate to let them know how they are doing.

The CHI Youth Program this past year has come up with evaluation tools to measure how effectively they are helping their youth. Successful results equate to young people staying focused in school, staying out of trouble and increasing more meaningful relationships with others in the community. Parents give their permission for CHI to obtain copies of school report cards and court records and to conduct pre- and post-performance evaluations with the youth in order to measure progress. The evaluations were modeled after those utilized by the Pagosa Springs Community Day Treatment Program at the junior high school &emdash; yet another community collaboration.

CHI has big plans for the future of Archuleta County's young people and is in the process of becoming a fully-funded Youth Build affiliate. In partnership with the Archuleta County Education Center, CHI hopes to implement an educational/vocational program that will serve 12 students at any given time. The program cycle will follow Pagosa Springs' building cycle from February to November.

Students can earn educational bonus "cash" for excelling in their academics, aside from earning a stipend for the construction training. The goal for all participants is to earn a GED or high school diploma and be competent to work in a construction trade. Local employers often approach CHI to refer youth to fill job openings, so there is a great future in store for those youth motivated to achieve.

With the addition of Emzy Barker as full-time mentor for the present youth program, the youngsters have worked many hours this summer, significantly depleting the stipend funds. Knowing the benefits of this program, we should do all we can to better ensure this program's survival. Although CHI receives some financial support from the Town of Pagosa Springs, Upper San Juan Builders Association and the Archuleta County Commissioners, more funding is needed to continue to improve the services and have them available to more youth.

The CHI Youth Program is definitely a program that provides a hand-up for our youth, so if you feel inclined to make a donation send it today to Colorado Housing Inc. P.O. Box 2981 Pagosa Springs, Col. 81147.

For more information about the Youth Program call Clare Burns at 264-6950.


August 2, 2001

The up side of growth

Considerations of recent growth in Archuleta County can lead to gloomy perceptions, predictions of dire circumstances and consequences.

But, not always.

Growth fuels most of our community's serious problems, no doubt; but there are occasions when elements of change combine with tradition in a pleasing way, and the blend produces positive effects.

One such occasion is the Archuleta County Fair, the 50th anniversary edition. It starts today at the fairgrounds on U.S. 84. with an event born of recent change: the Taste of Pagosa, an affair that 15, 20 years ago &emdash; much less a half century ago &emdash; would have been unimaginable, impossible to engineer. The fair that follows is an admixture of old and new, a mirror and measure of what our county was and what it has become.

Anita Hinger wrote a series of articles for the Preview, giving an indication of what fairs of old were like and how the nature of the fair experience has changed over 50 years. Ask oldtimers, and they will illuminate what has changed about the fair in a half century, and what has remained. What they say will reveal a great deal about the evolution of our community.

During the past 15 years or so, the fair developed rapidly to reflect significant changes in the community. Where once the fair embodied the elements of the rural lifestyle, it now signals an amazing number of interests, provides a forum for the display of various skills, and adds entertainments previously reserved for other, more urbane places.

A glance at the schedule of summer events in Pagosa presents a similar picture of our ever-more busy situation.

Two decades ago, the summer season was bracketed by three main events: the Spanish Fiesta (now Pagosa Fiesta), the Fourth of July celebration with parade and Red Ryder Roundup, and the county fair in August. There weren't 5,000 residents in the county, the economy was less than stellar, and the three events were the main highlights of the season.

This year, there was a builders' and home improvement show at the fairgrounds, followed by a Fiber Arts Festival that included entrants from around the region.

Pagosa Fiesta drew people to a parade, activities at the park, a pageant, a concert and a dance.

Then, there was Pet Pride Day, filling Town Park with a crowd of residents and their pets.

Our Independence Day celebration included the parade, three rodeos, a carnival, a large arts and crafts fair in two parks, and a fireworks display at the Sports Complex.

Soon after, another arts and crafts festival took place at the west end of town.

Relay for Life produced a record-setting amount of money for the American Cancer Society with its annual overnight fundraiser at Town Park

Pagosa Springs Music Boosters began what they hope will be an annual event with three days of Celebrate Jazz last weekend.

Following the golden anniversary of the fair, residents of Pagosa Country can look forward to the Pagosa Lakes Triathlon. The Humane Society Auction for the Animals comes on the heels of the triathlon.

Pagosa Pretenders present their summer production in late August, involving local children and members of their families.

The Music Boosters' production of "Fiddler on the Roof" will captivate local audiences in early September .

Over the Labor Day holiday, the Four Corners Folk Festival again brings a world-class lineup of artists to the venue atop Reservoir Hill, to entertain fans who come from across the nation.

The summer schedule tells us we have many more people here, that there is a diversity of interests and, despite all the problems the growth and change bring, that there is something positive in the air.

It's not little ol' Pagosa any more. There's a lot to do, and a lot of it is good.

Make sure you attend the fair this year. Attend the rest of the summer's signature events. Sample the essence of Pagosa, old and new.

Sometimes change benefits us all. Enjoy it when you can.

Karl Isberg

Dear Folks

By David C. Mitchell

Lance and I have a lot in common

Dear Folks,

A few isolated remnants from last winter's snowpack remain visible in some of the neighboring San Juans.

Besides much-needed moisture, the low temperatures and resulting frozen ground that accompany a hard winter act as a natural deterrent to the grasshopper population. However, due to the unexpected snowfall and its accompanying freeze in early June, the wild flowers that usually bloom along the roadways and in the pastures are rather minimal this summer.

Besides providing tourists and vacationers the unique opportunity to tell their friends back home that they saw snow in the mountains during the first weekend of August, the snowpack is a pleasant reminder of the wonderful storms the locals enjoyed last winter. It's also encouraging that there should still be a little bit more melt-off for the Blanco and San Juan drainages. However, after Tuesday night's rainfall, most of the county should be pretty wet.

Used to be, the summer rains would hold off until the ranchers started haying their pastures. Seemed like it never failed that whenever the Mascos, the Valdezes, the Shahans, the Machts, the Browns, the Crowleys, the Martinezes, the Nossamans, the Formwalts, the Taylors, the Gomezes, the Bramwells, the Hotts, the Kleckners, the Schutzes, the Archuletas or whoever had started their haying, the rains started falling. Sometimes it would rain while the mowed hay was left laying in the fields to dry. Sometimes it would rain after the dried hay had been raked preperatory to baling. Or sometimes it would rain after the raked hay had been baled but left in the field until tomorrow.

Nowadays many of the former ranches have been sold, subdivided and developed. So not that many folks cut their own hay. The bales of hay that fill most of today's barns have been trucked in from somewhere else rather than being hayed, bucked and hauled from the fields by wagons. Therefore afternoon thunderstorms or nighttime showers are no longer that much of a concern. Registered horses now graze within smooth-wire electric enclosures in fields that once pastured registered bulls that grazed alongside barbed wire fences. Llamas or alpacas now occupy fields that once provided a home on the range for cow-calf operations.

I'm sure Pagosa youngsters who used to buck bales for $3.25 an hour (plus all the fresh-cooked lunch you could eat) never dreamed that only a couple of decades later their counterparts would be paid twice that for sacking groceries or pushing grocery carts. Or that their counterparts would be able to stop by a McDonald's on their way home from work rather than needing to drive 60 miles to Durango in order to enjoy a "Big Mac."

Used to be, the only folks who complained if it rained during the Archuleta County Fair weekend were the ones who still had their hay in the fields. Now the rain is a concern because the walkways between the "big top" tents and the parking areas will turn to quagmires if there's too much rain. It also would throw a damper on many of the entertainment activities scheduled for the upcoming busy weekend

However, there's one thing that hasn't changed. This weekend, with Pagosa still being Pagosa and Pagosans still being Pagosans, regardless if the rains fall and the creeks rise, folks from throughout the county will turn out to enjoy celebrating the 50th annual Archuleta County Fair. Like all of its predecessors, thanks to the tireless efforts of the dedicated fair board and countless volunteers, the 2001 Archuleta County Fair is sure to be "the biggest and best one ever."

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


By Shari Pierce

100 years ago

Taken from The Weekly Times of August 1, 1901

W.A. Patrick will bring from Emerald Lake hatchery tomorrow fish to stock the streams of this county.

Adam Harem, of Ohio, purchased the Thompson ranch north of town Monday for the sum of $2300.

Esty Parr, while hauling a load of posts from the woods to his ranch, Monday, had a runaway which resulted quite seriously. Some of the posts rolled from the load, striking the horses and throwing him off under the wagon. It was going downgrade. The team at once began running. The wagon ran over his arm cutting it badly, and across his chest. Dr. Winter was at once called, but was unable to tell how badly he was hurt. Mr. Parr suffered much pain and could not lay down.

75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of August 6, 1926

The 30th annual meeting of the San Juan Pioneer Association will be held at Pagosa Springs on Friday and Saturday of next week, August 13th and 14th, and a heavy attendance is expected from the membership in the San Luis Valley and San Juan Basin.

Mr. and Mrs. Roy Mooney have commenced the construction of three tourist cottages, 10 by 12, on their newly purchased lots at the baseball grounds, acquired from J. P. Lynn, owner of the Springs tract. They plan to later erect five additional cottages.

Today marks the 31st anniversary of the arrival in Pagosa Springs of Dr. Mary Fisher, and her countless (and we mean just that) friends are hoping that she may be spared to serve this community another thirty-one years.

50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of August 3, 1951

The current issue of the Red Ryder comic magazine contains a large photo of Mr. Fred Harman and Mr. Dave Hersch on the inside of the back cover. In addition to showing the fine picture of Mr. Harman and Mr. Hersch, the caption gives the local rodeo and the county some mighty fine publicity. Mr. Harman consistently uses his ability and efforts to further the enterprises of the county and its citizens. The picture and article are a fine tribute to Mr. Hersch and the part he plays every year in the rodeo.

The past month has been an unusually dry one. There have been scattered showers throughout the county but no real rains. Streams are low and all timber is very dry. Some local ranchers are finding it necessary to ship their cattle due to a lack of feed and pasture.

25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of July 29, 1976

The new county ambulance, purchased for the county, arrived this week and is now available for service. The vehicle is completely equipped to handle all types of emergencies where an ambulance is called for. It has oxygen and respirator apparatus, splints, first aid supplies, room for four injured persons plus room for attendants. The vehicle and equipment cost $15,480.

An old pioneer cabin has been moved from its original location at the west end of the Sunetha Flats to a location near the Pagosa Lodge. As near as can be determined from old records, the property was bought by Samuel Hatcher in 1891. It is assumed that the cabin was built that year. The place was referred to as the Six Mile Ranch, that being the distance to Pagosa Springs.


August 2, 2001

Pacing Pagosa

By Richard Walter

Computers are not Richard literate

Tried 'em all: From pacemaker erasure to gladiator image

I am not computer literate.

Oh yeah, I work at a computer terminal and somehow have managed to struggle through it year after year, system after system.

The problem, as I see it, is not that I don't understand computers, it's that computers are not Richard literate.

I've worked with the basic models of every new newspaper computer system to come along and never have understood how or why they work or don't work.

I've existed with a system that had a main frame taking up an entire wall in the production department, a state of the art development that promised to revolutionize newspaper operations.

A look at that system today would prove it to have been more than archaic.

It actually required more action by the user than the old "type it and send it to the compositor system." And it had some vary strange quirks, not the least of which was its electronic frequency.

The owners of the newspaper were so excited about their new system that they invited a Chamber of Commerce group to tour the facility and see the "latest technology" first hand.

As the group of 60 or more business representatives walked through and marveled at the wall-covering monstrosity with all its spinning disks and flashing lights, there was a sudden stoppage of action and then everything went dark.

The designer of the system, a prototype for the industry, and two of his technicians scampered about trying to find out what had caused it to stop. They were thwarted as every trouble-shooting effort came up empty. Not only was the system stopped, it was totally erased.

As they began the time-consuming and laborious task of reprogramming an entire newspaper operation system, they finally discovered the cause. One of the persons in the tour group had a pacemaker. And by some strange stroke of fate, the electronic frequency for his heart-support system was exactly the same as that for a portion of the computer system. The pacemaker, it seems, had erased all the computer coding and halted its operation.

The system had other inordinately time-consuming and frustrating characteristics.

For example, static electricity caused by a person walking across the room could halt operation of an editing terminal linked to the computer system. To combat this, the designers recommended a specific type of static-resistant carpeting. It was installed &emdash; and the problem continued.

One of the most disconcerting sights I've ever seen in a newsroom is the building maintenance supervisor walking through the copy control desk area with a garden sprinkling can, watering down the static-free carpet to prevent static.

Needless to say, the prototype of a long-range system was inadequate for its designed purpose.

The next phase put a static-arrestor into every editing terminal to stop the blown programs. That solved part of the problem, but the next step in the progression created new ones.

Copy from reporters was printed from special keyboards which produced a coded line document which was fed into the computer process through a data reader. If the keyboard was even a fraction of an inch off coordinated scale, the codes were not read accurately.

Assuming the reporter's story was accepted into the system, it could be edited on the computer screen. When it was ready to go to the main frame, however, one did not just push a button and send it electronically.

The production step involved printing a tape of the story on the screen. The tape was labeled in white ink with the subject and a code number. The slot man would hold the tapes on a long yard stick until there were a dozen or so ready to go, and then walk them back to that same old wall-filling main frame.

I don't know how many times a startled employee from another department was seen cringing from the nut with a long ruler tromping through the halls like a gladiator displaying the skulls of his enemies.

Once in the computer room, the tapes were run into the system and were ready to follow another tortuous route to production. Once accepted by the computer &emdash; and not all tapes were &emdash; the stories could be re-edited on the copy desk terminals and then finalized back into the main frame.

Headlines still were written on standard typewriters, however, because the head type formats were not yet a part of the system program. Each head had to be coded with the designated size for the headline, the planned location within the paper, and the code name given on the original tape sent out. Production workers had to match them up when the stories and headlines finally reached the composing room floor.

We went through several modernizations of computer systems as the booming field transmorphed itself from field studies and model systems to those which actually &emdash; usually &emdash; worked.

Nothing can be more frustrating to a reporter than to be writing an article &emdash; or for an editor working a nearly finished story &emdash; than to have it suddenly be locked in with all the corrections or changes in some sort of electronic limbo.

All the surge protectors and system command security panels in the world can't overcome the capricious actions of a computer board gone wild.

The most logical thoughts and the greatest sentences ever written can be turned into illegible computerized junk on your screen as you helplessly watch it happen.

It is, however, a long way from the columns I used to write in the 1950s while still in high school here.

They had to be edited by a journalism teacher before they could be sent to the newspaper office. There they were handed to a Linotype operator who produced lines of type &emdash; one line at a time &emdash; and a compositor which lined them up in a galley so that sequence was captured.

Simplifying the process greatly, those galleys of lead type were then handed to a page builder who moved them into a chase (a man made device to hold the stories and advertisements in place) which was then moved to a stone (not actual rock, but a waist-level carrier for pages to be moved from point to point in the production process) or final page composition.

Today newspapers produced in New York can be sent electronically to systems in other cities where they are converted into regional editions at the flip of a switch.

Electronic newspaper production has come a long way since those days of the wall-filler main frame, and it continues to change almost daily.

Still, with all the advances and all the production genius involved, it is the initial reaction of the reporter to a breaking story, the judgment of the editor on its importance to the reader when compared with the other available stories for any specific edition, and the way it is presented to the reader that will determine the value of an item.

Computer chips are constantly evolving. News changes by the minute. But the basic need for every edition of every newspaper is understanding what is and is not news and presenting it in a readable form &emdash; if the computer will allow it.


By John M. Motter

Were hot springs fraudulently transferred into private hands?

As 1895 drew to a close, Pagosa Country folks harbored high expectations for the future. After all, Ed Biggs' Rio Grande & Pagosa Springs Railroad had entered Archuleta County at Edith. Biggs promised the railroad would soon reach Pagosa Springs and survey crews were sent out to plot the route.

With the railroad came logging and lumber mills, both with payrolls and bank accounts to purchase local goods. This was the first promise of a stable local industry since the county formed in 1885. The town organized in 1891.

Maybe with a railroad into town, visitation to the Great Pagosa Hot Spring would increase, another potential shot in the arm for the local economy.

Meanwhile, issues that required "tidying up" remained. Included among those issues was disposition of the Southern Ute Indians.

At least one question remains from those earliest years. How did the Great Hot Springs end up in private hands? Our first newspaper item provides a clue &emdash; just a maybe &emdash; as to why.

Newspaper item, Nov. 15, 1895: The following from Major Henry Foote's diary is clipped from the Del Norte Prospector: Nov. 2, 1878 &emdash; Arrived at Pagosa at 10 o'clock p.m. Found a number of troops camped above the spring. Part of the 15th infantry arrived here October 15th, commanded by Captain Hartz. Engaged in hauling logs, erecting buildings near the spring and across the river. Major Peabody is Post-trader and furnishes the needs for the officers and others. I walked about a mile to Joe Clarke's store with Judge McFarland. Pfeiffer, the interpreter, just drove up as we arrived at the store. He had come from the agency, and reported that the Indians would come in three days. Talked with McFarland about locating the land below the spring with Valentine scrip. He was favorable to it. Proposed to take Gen. Hatch in with us. In the evening before the campfire I proposed it to Gen. Hatch; said it would not do for him to be known in the transaction. He appeared to be indifferent about it, however. This camp is called Camp Lewis in honor of Lt. Col. Lewis of the 19 Calvary who was killed by Indians, in a raid across the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe and Kansas Pacific railroad.

Motter's comment: Major Henry Foote of Del Norte obtained title to 40 acres containing the Great Pagosa Hot Spring in 1883, using Valentine Scrip. Three investors also used Valentine Scrip to purchase the 40 acres immediately south of Foote's 40 acres. The value of the Valentine Scrip for the entire 80 acres is said to be $5.09.

The president of the United States, in May of 1877, had set aside one square mile centered on the hot spring as a townsite. The purpose of the president's action was ostensibly to protect the hot springs while a decision was made as to its future ownership. Foote was one of many claimants.

In 1879, shortly after Foote visited Pagosa Springs as quoted in the above article, Army engineer Lt. C.A.H. McCauley wrote, in part, "Wrested from its hereditary possessors by perjury, misrepresentation, or fraud, in the Brunot convention of 1873 for the cession or purchase of what is known as the San Juan Region, the location of the springs was subsequently claimed by various squatters, as agricultural land, omitting the springs on their plat prepared for file and record. To doubly hold the place, it was entered by a confederate as a mill-site, and lest this too should be invalidated, the ground was taken up as a placer claim. To establish the latter, at a convenient point to the springs, the ground was duly "salted" in the most approved manner, by firing gold-dust from a shotgun into the earth, after which, in the presence of a witness, a pan of earth was washed and "color" found by the merest accident. The last and strongest claim, and still in litigation, was the placing of Valentine scrip upon some forty acres of land including the most valuable springs."

The 1878 article does not tell us what Foote, Gen. Hatch (commander of the Department of New Mexico), Pfeiffer, McFarland, a Ute delegation, and who knows who else, were doing in Pagosa Springs at this particular time. It certainly seems as if they were attending a planned meeting.

Because Foote sold his 40 acres to the buyers of the south 40, and because that group then formed the Pagosa Springs Company with headquarters in Leavenworth, Kan., and because Leavenworth was headquarters for the Army of the West, and because Hatch was present, I've always suspected some combination of high-ranking Army officers arranged for the hot springs to enter private hands. Just a guess.

Newspaper item, Nov. 15, 1895: Three Utes, including Mancos Jim, are reported to have been murdered in Lost Canon on the Dolores. Their bodies were discovered last Sunday and the indications are that they were murdered at least two weeks. It is believed that the Indians were killed by members of their own tribe. But should the killings be traced to others trouble might ensue. Probably the enmity existing between Ignacio and Severa's (Severino?) bands had something to do with the killing. If the Utes would just begin to annihilate each other in earnest it would be considered a blessing.

Motter's comment: In 1895, the Utes were on the reservation, but many Utes survived who remembered the good old days when the mountains of Colorado had been their private sanctuary. One generation had not yet passed and even one generation was not enough time to get over "the good old days." Notice Egger's prejudicial final comment.

Newspaper item: Nov. 22, 1895: The Durango Herald of Sunday had the following: From District Attorney Tarsney, who came in from Montezuma County last evening, we glean the following particulars regarding the killing of two Indians near Lost Canon:

After the bodies were found it was thought best to hold an inquest which was done by the coroner. Only the bodies of the two bucks were found, although it is believed one squaw was also killed, as a squaw's moccasins and other wearing apparel was found near by although no trace has been found of her body. The coroner's jury and those who heard the evidence are fully convinced that the crime was committed by old Juan Tobias or his son, or that they knew who did the crime. It was Tobias who first informed Agent Day of the killing telling the agent that his son was with him at the time of discovering the bodies. At the inquest Tobias declared that he was alone at the time, thus mixing his story somewhat. Friday night Deputy Sheriff Smith, Stanley Day, the four Indians who went from the agency, Ignacio, and a number of other Indians from the western band were at Cortez and yesterday the entire party intended starting on a searching expedition in the hopes of finding the body of the missing squaw. There is no excitement among the Indians over the affair and from their demeanor it is evident they believe the crime was committed by one of their number.

Motter's comment: It took some years before Anglo and Ute lived amicably side by side, even after the Utes were confined to the reservation. In San Juan County, Utah, incidents between the two groups occurred regularly into the 1920s.

Newspaper item, Nov. 29, 1895: The murderer of the two Utes on the Mancos was captured a few days ago in San Juan County, Utah, near the Blue Mountains. His name is Toh Me-Up and he has confessed to the murder of the two bucks but denies any knowledge of the whereabouts of the squaw who is supposed to be missing.

Motter's comment: I have the impression that this incident was unusual in that white authorities bothered to investigate to conclusion the cause of an Indian's death.

Newspaper item, Nov. 15, 1895: If you failed to lay in a supply of fuel when the roads and weather were favorable, you are simply out of luck. The roads will probably not be good again until they are in condition for sleighing.

Motter's comment: We complain about roads today, but current road conditions are fantastic when compared with the good old days. Egger is telling people, that serious snow has fallen during the season, the snow has melted, and the roads are a mess, even for the horse, buggy, and wagon era before autos. If your wood isn't cut, forget it until enough snow falls to support the use of sleighs.

Food for Thought

By Karl Isberg

Speriment: Key to gastric success


That's what cooking's all about.

Risks. After you master a few basics.

So, here's the story: my friend Tess is anticipating the arrival of her husband's mother and father. Following the parents' visit, an aunt is making the scene.

What it boils down to is Tess must prepare a couple of meals and, devoted spouse that she is, she wants the meals to please and, if possible, to impress. It's the in-laws, after all. A potentially big moment.

So, here's the problem: Tess doesn't do a whole lot of cooking. She's young; she's a newspaper reporter. Most reporters are content with saltines and sparkling water. Their idea of haute cuisine comes in a bun, with pickles and lettuce.

Reporters use microwave ovens.

In my experience, unless mom and dad are destitute and starving, and the aunt has been on a forced march of some kind, nothing &emdash; absolutely nothing &emdash; that comes out of a microwave oven is going to do the trick.

Tess had some learning to do. Pronto.

The solution was a maximum immersion cooking experience. A culinary blitz that involved an introduction to some basic cooking techniques and ingredients that would eventually lead to good things, and the creation of at least one meal that could please the folks.

To enliven the afternoon, I thought some good old sperimentation would gild the lily. Nothing ventured, etc.

We were partly successful.

Tess learned a bit about knife technique (mincing a shallot is a rare accomplishment), and something about braising, sauteing, roasting, steaming and baking.

And sperimenting.

Tess learned to cook a steak ( we used ribeye, but, for max effect,when mom and pop arrive, she will cough up the big money for filet). We did the beef with a reduction of broth, a smear of tomato paste, chopped portobello mushroom, shallot and parsley. Steamed asparagus and roasted wedges of potato and sweet potato rounded out an array that included fresh greens lightly dressed with lemon juice, garlic and olive oil. When the big day comes, a loaf of fresh-baked French bread wouldn't hurt. Dessert can be anything, but some fresh fruit, maybe a bit of whipped cream, finishes this combo off nicely.

The afternoon was somewhat confusing for Tess, (after all, great art grows out of chaos) and the wine we drank didn't help clarify matters. We'll review the components and the methods soon, and Tess can attempt a test run before the big day. Everything will be fine.


But, it was the speriment that was interesting.

I introduced Tess to the signal phrase of all great cooking:" Who needs recipes?"

In truth, the joy of cooking, once basics are in hand and the cook is familiar with ingredients, their tastes, their possible combinations, is in walking the wire, standing on the edge of the precipice, as it were.

When you stand on the edge of a terrifying chasm, there are times you balance precariously, when you take the chance and you live to tell the story.

There is also the time you plummet to a speedy, hideous end.

Our speriments resulted in one triumph and one plunge. Fortunately, our fall was a short one and, with what we learned from the mini-disaster, success is certain the next time around.

By the time our four-hour effort was complete, we had completed the meat and potatoes meal for the in-laws and we had a special chile relleno, made with phyllo dough, and a salmon en croute &emdash; one version in phyllo, the other in a puff pastry bundle.

We also had an enormous mess in the kitchen. The joint looked like a kitchenette at the Berlin Arms, 1945. But we had Kathy to clean up. In typical fashion, she shouldered the burden smiling and humming a happy tune. Or, at least I think it was a happy tune. Wine will do that to you.

First, the mini-disaster: the salmon. Overcooked. The phyllo was fine, but we used a sheet too much in the packet surrounding the filet of salmon. The puff pastry went soggy on the bottom, though the tops of the pastry packet, glazed with egg wash, were golden good. Next time: less phyllo, more herbs with the salmon, perhaps some slices of seeded roma tomato inside the pack, deep-six the puff pastry.

We used a double-boiler technique and whipped up a bernaise to go with the salmon and it was spectacular, though we used enough butter in the amalgamation to serve a French village for a year.

All in all, the salmon speriment was disappointing.

But, when a speriment goes right, it is glorious.

Thus, the relleno.

Miracle of miracles, the local market had a few poblano peppers in the produce section. These babies look like an elongated green pepper, the skin darker than a Bell pepper. We bought four of the beauties. This pepper has a husky, full flavor and it roasts as well as any, the flesh gaining character in the process.

We also found a round of Mexican queso fresca &emdash; crumbly, delicious, mild cheese, similar in some ways to a less-salty feta. We purchased a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, some heavy whipping cream and a can of chicken broth.


I fired up the grill and put the peppers over high heat, charring the skins on all sides. Skin blackened, the peppers went into a sealed bag until the steam loosened everything up. The skins were then stripped and the peppers were opened, the seeds and ribs removed.

The queso fresca was crumbled and Tess added minced shallot, two cloves of pulverized garlic, a bunch of minced cilantro, salt and pepper. She stuffed the cheese mixture into the peppers till the hefty beauties bulged.

This was sublime science! Alchemy.

Tess took a sheet of phyllo, buttered half of it and folded the other half over. The surface was then buttered. (Butter keeps the thin sheets from sticking, allowing them to separate and get crispy as they cook). A second sheet was added to the first, completed in the same way. When I make this dish again, as with the salmon, I intend to work with just one sheet of the dough, making for a thinner crust and a more manageable cooking time.

The pepper was placed on the phyllo and rolled, with the exposed dough buttered as the folding progressed. At the end, we had a phyllo-wrapped relleno. We put a damp towel over each packet as it was finished to prevent the delicate dough from drying out. A bit of egg wash was brushed on top of each relleno and into a 395 oven they went.

While the rellenos baked, I concocted a sauce: the capstone of the project.

I started with a velouté/bechamel hybrid. To a butter and flour roux, cooked until the floury taste disappeared, I added heavy cream. To a stiff base, I added chicken broth until I achieved the desired consistency. Tess stirred with a whisk. In went a clove of brutalized garlic, a smidge of finely minced shallot, one finely chopped chipotle (you can add more once you get an accurate reading on the heat-o-meter) and a spoon or two of the adobo sauce. Salt and pepper, a bit of chopped cilantro and it was ready. I have a hunch a similarly tasty, cold sauce can be made with half whipped cream (stiff peaks, please), half sour cream and the rest of the ingredients.

The relleno packages emerged from the oven golden brown, fragrant cheese swimming inside the pepper. On top went the sauce &emdash; lots of it. To finish: slices of avocado, some dressed greens.


All we needed for the dish to be perfect was ears of Olathe sweet corn and slices of real, ripe tomato.

We had plenty to eat, what with one complete meal and two additional entrees. Tess called her husband Marcus and, hollow leg and all, he hardly put a dent in the piles of food.

Perhaps there was another lesson in this for Tess:

if you can't impress picky eaters with a masterful dish, serve enough that they eat themselves into a coma

serve plenty of wine

speriment, take risks.

And use lots of butter.