Front Page

August 16, 2001

County sales tax vote is assured

By John M. Motter

Archuleta County's commissioners are determined to place sales tax renewal on the Nov. 6 general election ballot. What they've not agreed on so far is, should they ask for renewal for seven years only, or for perpetuity?

Currently, a 6.91 percent sales tax is levied on most retail sales in Archuleta County. Colorado takes 3.91 percent of the total revenue, leaving 4 percent to be divided between the county and town.

Of the 4 percent retained locally, 1 percent to be divided equally with the town was first approved in perpetuity by voters June 25, 1968. An additional 1 percent to be levied in perpetuity and split with the town was approved by voters Sept. 6, 1983. The final 2 percent currently at issue and an addition to the 2 percent already in effect in perpetuity was first approved by voters for a 7-year term during November of 1988. Renewal of this 2 percent levy was approved for a second 7-year period during November of 1994.

The coming Jan. 1, 2003, expiration of 2 of the 4-cents-per-dollar local sales tax has elevated the sales tax issue to the top of the commissioners' agenda. Even though the 2 cents is split evenly with the town, the remaining 1 cent stuffs about $1 million a year into the county budget.

All of the county's income from its 1-cent portion is spent on road capital improvement projects, a practice the commissioners hope to continue. In fact, the commissioners hope to continue the 2 cent sales tax just as it was approved by voters during November of 1994.

At that time, voters okayed renewal of the 2 cent tax first initiated in 1988. The 1994 ballot question approved by voters stipulated that the tax would be split evenly with the town, all county proceeds dedicated to the road capital improvement fund, and that the tax would expire Jan. 1, 2003.

Expire it will. While seeking renewal, the commissioners have informally agreed to place the proposition on the Nov. 6 ballot with one stipulation not agreed upon. Should they seek a seven-year extension, or should they seek voter approval in perpetuity?

At the Aug. 14 regular meeting of county commissioners, Commissioner Bill Downey said he favors a seven-year renewal, Commissioner and Chairman of the Board Gene Crabtree said he favors levying the tax in perpetuity, and Commissioner Alden Ecker was ambivalent.

To help resolve the issue, Kathy Wendt, the administrative assistant, was instructed to draft language as it may appear on the Nov. 6 ballot and forward that draft to the Colorado Department of Revenue. The CDR response will help the commissioners make a decision.

Complicating the issue was town voter approval in April of 1999 of an issue concerning an "up to 3 percent" sales tax. The town's action is independent of anything the county does. The town tax is scheduled to become effective when the existing 2 percent tax shared by the town and county expires Jan. 1, 2003. Colorado law limits sales tax levies to a total of 7 percent by all entities, with a few minor exceptions. If the town's 3 percent goes into effect and is added to the state's 2.91 percent, no room remains for a county levy within town limits.

Consequently, if voters approve the county tax, a confrontation appears to be in the offing between the county and the town as to which entity's tax will prevail.

The county position is, if it can show voter approval is a continuation of the existing tax, then it becomes obvious the existing tax will not expire Jan. 1,2003, and the town's tax will not automatically kick in. The county position is supported by Colorado Counties, Inc. attorneys, according to Crabtree. The county intends to word the ballot question to support the idea that this will be a continuation and not expiration of the existing tax.

The town's position, supported by the town's attorney according to Town Manager Jay Harrington, is that the existing tax will expire, to be automatically replaced Jan. 1, 2003, by the town tax.

Town officials say they put the issue before the voters in order to ensure their sales tax revenue stream is not interrupted. The town has asked the county for guarantees that any action by the county not interfere with that revenue stream. The town is also seeking to avoid any activity by county citizens to change the distribution of sales tax income. Such an activity occurred when county citizens tried by initiative to change the current 50-50 county-town split. That attempt failed, but similar attempts could recur.

In any event, the county and town pledge fidelity to each other. Each says it enjoys the harmonious working relationship shared over the past few years. Each promises to share with the other in the future, regardless of whether voter action Nov. 6 leaves the county or the town in the driver's seat as far as the sales tax is concerned.

The county promises to make a final decision on ballot wording either next week or the following week, after receiving advice from the CDR. The county hopes that advice will give them confidence their ballot wording will establish the Nov. 6 results as a renewal or extension of the existing tax, if voters say yes.

Ballot information must be submitted to County Clerk and Chief Elections Officer June Madrid by Sept. 12, Madrid said, in order to be placed on the Nov. 6 ballot.

School superintendent outlines

focus for board of education

By Richard Walter

Where does our school district stand now and where is it headed?

Those questions were put somewhat into perspective Tuesday night by Superintendent Duane Noggle as he outlined for the board of education for Archuleta School District 50 Joint his concept of a District Focus.

Using a slide presentation which already had been screened by principals, Noggle said the basis of the concept is a Belief Statement which includes these precepts:

€ All people are of inherent and infinite worth. For example, Noggle said, "the bus drivers are the Mickey Mouse of our schools. A smile and a welcome from them make it a place where dreams and fantasies can be fulfilled. They are the first 'teachers' the students meet

€ All students have the right to receive effective instruction. "If our teachers are not prepared," Noggle said, "how can they expect the student to be?"

€ Developing self-esteem and self-reliance is a prime responsibility of our school

€ Honest and effective communication is vital to positive human relations

€ Everyone is entitled to be treated with dignity and respect

€ Evaluation provides feedback to improve teaching and student progress

€ All students have the right to develop their individual potential and to assume responsibility for their decisions and actions. "We can't discipline education or mandate learning," Noggle said

€ Education is the responsibility of the school and the student in cooperation with the home and the community. "Everyone must work together to make the schools live up to their responsibility," Noggle said. "That's one reason I came here . . . I saw every evidence that this is a district that cares about the kids

€ Everyone has the right to learn and function in a safe and appropriate environment, and, finally

€ All students can learn.

Noggle told the board he has based his plan on effective team building - with well-versed and productive personnel in key leadership positions and referred to a four-stage plan involving Forming, Storming, Norming and Performing.

"We've accomplished the forming stage with our new principals and assistants," he said. "The storming phase will come when there are times that we do not agree. The norming will involve eliminating the extremes in educational philosophies to find a common track and the ultimate goal will be performing."

The superintendent said a district support team representing business, transportation, maintenance and food service divisions will meet every Thursday and make recommendations to the administration.

Noggle told the board he intends to have regular Superintendent Chat Sessions. "I'll go to every school," he said, "so all members of the staff have an opportunity to meet with me and discuss programs and/or problems," and an accountability committee will meet monthly to review program progress.

He also said he plans to have regular Superintendent's Forums - "an open office to the people of the community . . . leaders, parents, public officials . . . for open exchange of ideas . . . for public engagement in the school process."

He said school should be fun, safe, exciting, interesting and well-organized.

To make the system work, he said, some revisions in curriculum are needed.

For example, he said, we need to take a stronger look at vocational education. "We should start preparing them much earlier than high school - perhaps even at upper grade school levels."

Special education, too, needs a hard look and perhaps most important, is fully realizing and utilizing the rapidly increasing field of computer-assisted instruction. "The time is coming when the teacher won't just lecture," he said. "The instructor will have a full-blown presentation with animation, music and focus of purpose," he said.

"Our website home page," he said, "could become an important tool in education. We're going to make it much more interactive. Parents will be able to see their students' current grades, students will be able to log on to get help with a homework question. We will change the form of interaction so that all can be involved."

Interscholastic activities, he said, will remain a prime focus. Noting "nearly half the junior high school enrollment is out for fall sports, we need to strengthen these programs. Sports is a learning process and we don't want that learning to stop once they've reached a given performance level. We wand them to be encouraged to be lifelong learners."

"Our students," he said, "must be allowed to experience both success and failure. Experimental education should challenge them to try new things and not be afraid to fail. They can use failure as a basis for striving higher . . . as a learning tool, not something to be ashamed of."

He told the board staff development will be based in part on Alfie Kohn technology and instruction strategy. Technology will be an education key and site-based decision making will be emphasized (parameters will be set, organizational structure determined , and decisions made on that basis).

A lone reference to recent Colorado Scholastic Aptitude Proficiency (CSAP) test scores, involved his note that "training will be made available for staff, not by teaching to the test, but by teaching concept understanding."

He advised the board its goals should be:

To provide a program of safety and health instruction for living in a change world

To offer understanding and appreciation of the creative arts and science in the modern world

To provide, through experiences in democratic living, understanding and appreciation of our form of government, emphasizing obligations of citizenship and social responsibility

To develop understanding of and respect for all people, emphasizing their rights as world citizens and their responsibilities as such

To encourage participation in community living by sharing in leadership and service experiences. (At some point, he said, seniors should be required to have a service requirement for graduation . . . working in a fire station, cleaning ambulances, assisting in traffic control . . . for example)

To provide individual counseling to assist each student in selecting and preparing for a career though a program of higher education, vocational/technical or work immediately after graduation

To maximize parent/community involvement in education

To make most effective use of time in the classroom, increasing percentage of instruction/learning time

To maximize cooperation in the use of district facilities and programs

To maximize communication in the school system so that teachers, students, administrators, parents and the public are fully aware of what is being done to educate children and adults.

"Our ultimate goal," he said, "is to assist every child in performing to their maximum potential and talents. Their performance depends upon our performance."

Development director post to

Bayfield man

By John M. Motter

Greg Comstock, a Bayfield resident, accepted employment Tuesday afternoon as Director of County Development for Archuleta County.

Comstock's hiring is based on a recommendation from an advisory committee appointed by the county commissioners which interviewed candidates for the position. At the Tuesday morning regular meeting of county commissioners, the board entered executive session to discuss hiring Comstock.

The item was not listed on the meeting agenda. Colorado law allows executive sessions, even if not listed on the agenda, if a majority of the governing board involved vote to do so. Tuesday, the commissioners voted unanimously to enter executive session to discuss this subject and other subjects noted on the agenda. After adjourning from the executive session, they instructed Administrative Assistant Kathy Wendt to make an offer to Comstock.

Wendt disclosed Tuesday afternoon that Comstock accepted the county's $45,000 a year offer. Comstock replaces former County Director of Planning Mike Mollica, who resigned in March of this year.

Comstock will be in charge of the county planning department responsible for developing and implementing regulations connected with county growth and development.

He hopes to report for work Aug. 27, but could be delayed until Sept. 4 because of prior work obligations.

Comstock has been employed in the planning field since 1975 when he accepted a position with the city of Fresno, Calif. From 1999 through 2000, Comstock was a principal planner with Durango. From 1995 to 1999, Comstock was city planner for Spanish Fork, Utah, and from 1992-1995 a planning consultant for High Country Planning of Heber, Ariz.

The new county director earned a bachelor of arts degree in economics and geography from California State University at Fresno in 1973. He added a master's degree in urban and regional planning at the same university in 1976.


Inside The Sun

Teaching vacancies filled by

School Board

By Richard Walter

At long last, Archuleta School District 50 Joint has a nearly full complement of teachers for the beginning of the school year Sept. 4, and there is one surprise in the mix.

Veteran Intermediate School Principal Butch Madrid, who retired at the end of the last school year, was named Tuesday night as the new Dean of Students at Pagosa Springs Elementary School.

Madrid was not at the school board meeting and was out of town Wednesday and unavailable for comment on his return to the school system staff.

Also at the elementary school level, the board named Carolyn Riedberger as a first grade teacher.

At the intermediate school/junior high level, Shawna Bolt was named to the vacant music teacher position and Pam Miller hired as a resource teacher aid.

At the junior high school level, Susan Garman was appointed to fill a mathematics department vacancy, Mike Blum was named an assistant football coach and Melanie Cowan appointed an assistant volleyball coach.

In the high school, Jim Shaffer was named an assistant varsity football coach and Troy Persson an assistant varsity golf coach.

In other personnel action, Errol Hohrein was hired as a half-time person in maintenance, former transportation director John Rose was transferred to a mechanic's position (after a one-hour board executive session to hear the final report on an investigation of charges against Rose) and Bruce Knudsen was named to the transportation director post, pending his approval of the contract.

After the meeting, Superintendent Duane Noggle said the staff is now 99.9 percent complete, with only one vacancy possibly remaining under the Title 1 Program.

Non-resident owners protest FUSA fees to PLPOA board

By Richard Walter

It is an issue that won't go away.

Despite at least two prior lawsuits which went against the complainants, the question of recreation fees levied by Fairfield USA against some properties in the Pagosa Lakes communities has risen again.

And this time, a protagonist against the fees is hoping to garner enough support among others being assessed, to bring a class action suit to suspend efforts to collect.

Robert G. Schmideler of Longmont told Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association directors Thursday that he has owned property in Lakeview Estates, off Lighthouse Drive, since 1990.

"I am a victim of Fairfield Association," he said. "A victim of recreation fees being billed since 1991."

At time of purchase, he said, "no one, not Fairfield representatives, the title company or anyone else ever mentioned the recreation fee. It was my belief our only obligation was to pay taxes and association dues. No one mentioned the $15 monthly recreation fee nor the $14 monthly fee for having a water line past the property." (Editors note: Fairfield's FUSA fee does not include a water availability fee. It is assessed by the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District.)

He told the board he initially paid the fee, even though he was unaware of the codicil in his deed outlining it. "That was my fault," he said, "for not reading the fine print closely. But finally, I decided, the property is vacant, I don't occupy it and there is no structure on it. There is no reason I should have to pay a monthly fee for nothing in return."

When Fairfield went into bankruptcy, he said, "we were told PLPOA will take over operation of recreation facilities and I withheld payment thereafter, assuming my PLPOA dues were inclusive of such fees."

Then, he said, "I started receiving letters from Fairfield threatening suit. At present, I am over $3,000 in arrears on a fee that has no purpose. Every contract should be bilateral. If a fee is required, something should be provided for that fee. In this case there is no service."

Schmideler told the board he decided to sell the property and, after an engineering feasibility study, was told it would cost $25,000 to $30,000 to bring it up to grade. A neighbor, hoping to stop construction on the lot and protect her view, he said, made him an offer of $11,000 (roughly 60 percent of what he paid for the property). "I drew up a temporary purchase-sale agreement and went to a local title company proposing consolidation of the two lots. I had the deed with me. I was told no title firm could issue a title policy or handle the case in any way until the amount in arrears is paid.

"There are approximately 1,900 of your PLPOA members who are victims of the Fairfield covenant," he said, and "we believe it is incumbent upon you to make a move to get this fee set aside."

He asked directors to support a move to form a local legal defense fund to help victimized property owners fight the fee assessment through a class action suit, saying he intends to advertise for any such property owners who want to be party to the suit.

PLPOA board president Richard Manley told Schmideler the same type of suggestion was broached during the annual meeting last month and that then, as now, the board has no jurisdiction in such actions.

There is some agreement, he said, that proportionately few of those being assessed the fee get any service for it. "The recreation center is now ours, and the golf course is a private enterprise. Some Fairfield members get reduced rates there, but those mostly are timeshare and condo users."

"It is a general feeling of this board," he said, "that something needs to be done. We have determined areas where we can negotiate with Fairfield and we are working on putting the question of FUSA fees into that negotiation equation. Any question of litigation would be well down the road. We'd much prefer to settle amicably on a negotiated answer.

"That doesn't mean that you, as a property owner, can't enlist others in the same situation to join in your quest," he continued. "I'd be willing to bet the left half of my house, however, that if litigation is enacted, all negotiations on our part would be down the tubes."

Director David Bohl said, "People paying the fee have a very legitimate complaint and have a right to take legal action. But, this board has to be neutral. The property owners should have been advised of the fees, should have read it for themselves, but still have the right to seek relief."

Director Thomas Cruse asked to be put on record "that I'm opposed to this board becoming involved, as a board, in this issue."

From another section of the audience, Schmideler's quest was taken up by Edie Cook who told the board she is a California resident but owns two lots on Beaver Circle in Lake Forest Estates and leases out a home on the property.

"I, too, was never notified by Fairfield or anyone connected with it - or by the title company - at the time of purchase that such a fee existed. I got a letter from Fairfield in 1994 saying I owed $600 in back fees . . . an amount that is now up to several thousand dollars.

"Those of us being assessed this fee represent about 20 percent of PLPOA membership," she said, "and we feel you should be acting on our behalf to put a stop to this.

"As you can tell, I'm really distressed by this. I was told there would be an attorney here tonight with answers for us but I don't see one. I, too, want to sell, but cannot do so with the unpaid fees - for which I've received no benefit - hanging over me.

"Since I, and most of the others pay our PLPOA dues regularly," she said, "I should think you'd be obligated to represent us in our predicament."

Bohl reiterated, "This was all the result of a court decision. The courts upheld the fee. I was warned when I first came to town that the courts had ruled against the property owners. It was a matter of public record. PLPOA is not and should not be a party to the fee dispute except in negotiation. It was a contractual obligation."

Director Gerald Smith said "it is not PLPOA's place to represent you in this issue. You signed the documents."

Still, Cook was adamant. "There's something wrong if you negotiate with them without taking up our interest," she said.

When Schmideler asked the board if members were aware "some of the court decisions have been set aside here in Archuleta County?" general manager Walt Lukasik said, "One such case has been appealed by Fairfield."

Manley told the fee payers, "We appreciate what you have said. I don't know how we can express ourselves on title agencies or realtors who did not do their job. Buyer diligence is required. It has gone to court several times and the FUSA fees have been upheld.

"It is out of our hands," he said. "We choose not to get into litigation. It may be that through our negotiations on other matters we can achieve a trade-off on FUSA fees, but that is not a promise. It is something we are working on. And, we're aware it is an issue which won't go away."

Schmideler thanked the board for its time and "the great job you've been doing. I will push this issue independently and hope to garner support of other fee payers.

PLPOA orders property appearance guidelines

By Richard Walter

It is an issue that won't go away.

Despite at least two prior lawsuits which went against the complainants, the question of recreation fees levied by Fairfield USA against some properties in the Pagosa Lakes communities has risen again.

And this time, a protagonist against the fees is hoping to garner enough support among others being assessed, to bring a class action suit to suspend efforts to collect.

Robert G. Schmideler of Longmont told Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association directors Thursday that he has owned property in Lakeview Estates, off Lighthouse Drive, since 1990.

"I am a victim of Fairfield Association," he said. "A victim of recreation fees being billed since 1991."

At time of purchase, he said, "no one, not Fairfield representatives, the title company or anyone else ever mentioned the recreation fee. It was my belief our only obligation was to pay taxes and association dues. No one mentioned the $15 monthly recreation fee nor the $14 monthly fee for having a water line past the property." (Editors note: Fairfield's FUSA fee does not include a water availability fee. It is assessed by the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District.)

He told the board he initially paid the fee, even though he was unaware of the codicil in his deed outlining it. "That was my fault," he said, "for not reading the fine print closely. But finally, I decided, the property is vacant, I don't occupy it and there is no structure on it. There is no reason I should have to pay a monthly fee for nothing in return."

When Fairfield went into bankruptcy, he said, "we were told PLPOA will take over operation of recreation facilities and I withheld payment thereafter, assuming my PLPOA dues were inclusive of such fees."

Then, he said, "I started receiving letters from Fairfield threatening suit. At present, I am over $3,000 in arrears on a fee that has no purpose. Every contract should be bilateral. If a fee is required, something should be provided for that fee. In this case there is no service."

Schmideler told the board he decided to sell the property and, after an engineering feasibility study, was told it would cost $25,000 to $30,000 to bring it up to grade. A neighbor, hoping to stop construction on the lot and protect her view, he said, made him an offer of $11,000 (roughly 60 percent of what he paid for the property). "I drew up a temporary purchase-sale agreement and went to a local title company proposing consolidation of the two lots. I had the deed with me. I was told no title firm could issue a title policy or handle the case in any way until the amount in arrears is paid.

"There are approximately 1,900 of your PLPOA members who are victims of the Fairfield covenant," he said, and "we believe it is incumbent upon you to make a move to get this fee set aside."

He asked directors to support a move to form a local legal defense fund to help victimized property owners fight the fee assessment through a class action suit, saying he intends to advertise for any such property owners who want to be party to the suit.

PLPOA board president Richard Manley told Schmideler the same type of suggestion was broached during the annual meeting last month and that then, as now, the board has no jurisdiction in such actions.

There is some agreement, he said, that proportionately few of those being assessed the fee get any service for it. "The recreation center is now ours, and the golf course is a private enterprise. Some Fairfield members get reduced rates there, but those mostly are timeshare and condo users."

"It is a general feeling of this board," he said, "that something needs to be done. We have determined areas where we can negotiate with Fairfield and we are working on putting the question of FUSA fees into that negotiation equation. Any question of litigation would be well down the road. We'd much prefer to settle amicably on a negotiated answer.

"That doesn't mean that you, as a property owner, can't enlist others in the same situation to join in your quest," he continued. "I'd be willing to bet the left half of my house, however, that if litigation is enacted, all negotiations on our part would be down the tubes."

Director David Bohl said, "People paying the fee have a very legitimate complaint and have a right to take legal action. But, this board has to be neutral. The property owners should have been advised of the fees, should have read it for themselves, but still have the right to seek relief."

Director Thomas Cruse asked to be put on record "that I'm opposed to this board becoming involved, as a board, in this issue."

From another section of the audience, Schmideler's quest was taken up by Edie Cook who told the board she is a California resident but owns two lots on Beaver Circle in Lake Forest Estates and leases out a home on the property.

"I, too, was never notified by Fairfield or anyone connected with it - or by the title company - at the time of purchase that such a fee existed. I got a letter from Fairfield in 1994 saying I owed $600 in back fees . . . an amount that is now up to several thousand dollars.

"Those of us being assessed this fee represent about 20 percent of PLPOA membership," she said, "and we feel you should be acting on our behalf to put a stop to this.

"As you can tell, I'm really distressed by this. I was told there would be an attorney here tonight with answers for us but I don't see one. I, too, want to sell, but cannot do so with the unpaid fees - for which I've received no benefit - hanging over me.

"Since I, and most of the others pay our PLPOA dues regularly," she said, "I should think you'd be obligated to represent us in our predicament."

Bohl reiterated, "This was all the result of a court decision. The courts upheld the fee. I was warned when I first came to town that the courts had ruled against the property owners. It was a matter of public record. PLPOA is not and should not be a party to the fee dispute except in negotiation. It was a contractual obligation."

Director Gerald Smith said "it is not PLPOA's place to represent you in this issue. You signed the documents."

Still, Cook was adamant. "There's something wrong if you negotiate with them without taking up our interest," she said.

When Schmideler asked the board if members were aware "some of the court decisions have been set aside here in Archuleta County?" general manager Walt Lukasik said, "One such case has been appealed by Fairfield."

Manley told the fee payers, "We appreciate what you have said. I don't know how we can express ourselves on title agencies or realtors who did not do their job. Buyer diligence is required. It has gone to court several times and the FUSA fees have been upheld.

"It is out of our hands," he said. "We choose not to get into litigation. It may be that through our negotiations on other matters we can achieve a trade-off on FUSA fees, but that is not a promise. It is something we are working on. And, we're aware it is an issue which won't go away."

Schmideler thanked the board for its time and "the great job you've been doing. I will push this issue independently and hope to garner support of other fee payers.

Forest Service invites comment on proposed land swap

Public comments are now being accepted on an environmental assessment of a land exchange whereby the U.S. Forest Service would acquire 160 acres of private land within the boundaries of the San Juan National Forest in Dolores County.

In exchange, Robert D. Lindner Ranches would acquire 104 acres of National Forest adjoining its private property in Hinsdale and Mineral counties, northwest of Pagosa Springs.

Paul Beaber, San Juan National Forest land surveyor and realty specialist, said Forest Service acquisition of the private inholding two miles northeast of Rico is in the public interest.

"It will protect the Town of Rico's watershed in the Silver Creek drainage, secure legal public access to the Circle Trail and Forest Development Road 551, and enhance recreational opportunities," Beaber said.

Under the proposed exchange, Lindner Ranches would consolidate land ownership by acquiring public land intermingled with private lands near the East Fork of the Piedra River. The ranch is adjacent to the Pagosa Ranger District of the San Juan National Forest.

"Private acquisition of these federal lands would allow Lindner Ranches to undertake important river restoration activities," said Adam Poe of Western Land Group.

Public comments will be accepted until Sept. 6. Written comments may be mailed to Paul Beaber, San Juan National Forest, 15 Burnett Court, Durango, CO 81301 or e-mailed to: pbeaber@fs.fed.us.

For more information, contact Beaber at 385-1205.

Nov. 6 election will be conducted exclusively by mail

By John M Motter

Archuleta County voters are restricted to casting ballots by mail for the Nov. 6, 2001, general election.

Colorado law allows mail ballot elections during odd years, according to June Madrid, the Archuleta County Clerk and chief elections official. The county commissioners approved a resolution May 1 specifying that this year's election be by mail ballot. Consequently, all elections in the county this year must be by mail ballot, Madrid said.

Local taxing entities, excepting the school district, may conduct elections apart from the county, according to Madrid, but they still must be mail ballot elections. The school district and the state must conduct their elections through the county election office. Other entities may choose to let the county conduct elections for them.

At this early stage, it appears the county, school district, hospital district, and the state will have issues on the Nov. 6 ballot, according to Madrid. School board candidates will also be on the ballot. The hospital district has chosen the county to conduct its election.

Madrid is currently looking at three or four ballot styles. Special districts must certify ballot information to Madrid by Sept. 12.

Madrid will then order ballots printed. Ballots will be mailed to voters no earlier than Oct. 12 and no later than Oct. 22. No early voting is possible under the mail-out process. Voters may return ballots directly by dropping them in a ballot box located in the county clerk's office.

In order to receive a ballot, voters who move or change address must give Madrid a correct mailing address by Oct. 5.

Only active voters receive a ballot to vote Nov. 6. Those who voted in the 2000 general election are considered active voters. Even so, if they have changed addresses since the 2000 general election, they must provide Madrid with a current address.

Persons who did not vote in the 2000 general election are not considered active voters. Consequently, they must visit the county clerk's office in the county courthouse and update their record. The last date to register or update a record and be eligible to vote is Oct. 5.

Registration can be accomplished in person by visiting the county clerk's office in the courthouse, or by mail if using the correct form. The correct form must be obtained from the clerk's office.

Currently, 8,063 voters are registered in Archuleta County. By party affiliation there are 4,414 Republicans, 2,007 unaffiliated, 1,623 Democrats, 12 Green Party, 5 Libertarian, 1 Reform Party, and 1 American Constitution Party.

During the 2000 general election, 4,814 votes were cast in Archuleta County.

Postal Service agents probing cluster box vandalism

By Tess Noel Baker

A local cluster mailbox was the victim of vandals last week.

According to Archuleta County Sheriff's Department reports, the cluster box at the corner of Meadows Drive and Buttress was pried open from the back. The incident was reported Aug. 7.

Sheriff Captain Bob Grandchamp said the case is under investigation.

Pagosa Springs Postmaster Richard Love said at this time no mail has been reported missing and the Postal Inspection Service has been notified.

Postal Inspector Randy Stokes, of Colorado Springs, said it may take some time to uncover whether or not fraud is involved.

Letters will be sent to all the people with boxes in the cluster from the inspection offices in Denver, he said. Generally that occurs about two weeks after the break-in because people don't usually notice missing credit cards or checks until after they receive a bank statement, he said.

"From here we just follow the paper trail," he said. "We wait to see if anything is cashed. Sometimes there will be no fraud if nothing of value was found in the box."

Although incidents like this are rare in Archuleta County, Lowe said, the back of the mailbox that was hit has been changed to provide more security.

However, around the state, the number of cluster mailbox thefts is on the rise. So far this year, over 400 cases have been reported.

To help prevent mail theft, Love gave these tips:

€ Pick up delivered mail from mailboxes as soon as possible

€ Do not leave outgoing letters in neighborhood cluster box units

€ If possible, take outgoing mail directly to the post office or to a blue collection box prior to last pick-up of the day

€ Report suspicious activity or mail theft immediately to a local law enforcement agency and to the Colorado Postal Inspectors' 24-hour line at (303) 313-5320

€ Have the post office hold mail if planning to be gone for long periods of time.

Theft of mail is a felony. Conviction can result in a fine of up to $250,000 and up to five years imprisonment.

August rainfall mounting fast but record seems safe

By John M. Motter

August rainfall in Pagosa Country totaled 3.13 inches by 7 a.m. yesterday, below the maximum ever recorded for August of 5.36 inches, but well above the August average of 2.52 inches.

This past week 1.27 inches of precipitation were measured at Stevens Field from Aug. 8 through Aug. 14. Almost one-half an inch, 0.46 inches, fell Sunday night and Monday morning. Stevens field is the official local National Weather Service gauging station.

On the average, more precipitation falls during August in Pagosa Country than any other month of the year. The August average of 2.52 inches enjoys a substantial lead over the next highest average, in October, with its 2.03 inches. October leads all months for maximum precipitation with 7.8 inches, followed by January with 7.79 inches.

Temperatures last week were on the cool side. Highs averaged 77 degrees, lows 53 degrees. The highest temperature, 78 degrees, was measured three times. The local thermometer has not reached 90 degrees this season. Last week's lowest temperature was 51 degrees.

Local weather should dry out over the coming weekend, then return to the wetter monsoon pattern early next week, according to Gary Chancy, a forecaster from the National Weather Service office in Grand Junction.

"Skies will be partly cloudy with a 20 percent chance for afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms through Thursday evening," Chancy said. "The chances for rain are slight over the weekend."

A high pressure area over Eastern New Mexico fostering the monsoon conditions which have dominated local weather recently will move out over the weekend, according to Chancy. Over the weekend, monsoon conditions will be replaced by a high pressure area west of Colorado creating northerly wind flows with drier air content.

By Monday afternoon monsoon conditions created by the high pressure area over Eastern New Mexico should return, Chancy said.

Light Plant Road bids under estimate

By John M. Motter

Three bids were opened Friday for rebuilding Light Plant Road from the Pagosa Springs town limit south and eastward to Light Plant Road's intersection with U.S. 84.

The project has been divided by Davis Engineering, the county's contract engineer, into two phases. Phase 1 extends from the town limits southeastward to the Mill Creek bridge. Phase 2 extends from the bridge to U.S. 84. Work on Phase 1 begins this fall. Completion is expected some time next spring.

Low bidder on the project was SLV Earthmovers, Inc. of Monte Vista. SLV Earthmovers bid $445,409 on Phase 1, $512,481 on Phase 2. Also attempting to get the contract were Strohecker Excavation, Inc. of Bayfield, and Weeminuche Construction Authority of Towaoc. Strohecker bid $505,905 on Phase 1 and $622,476 on Phase 2. Weeminuche bid $593,969 on Phase 1 and $654,477 on Phase 2.

The bids averaged about 12 percent lower than Davis Engineering's estimated construction cost.

Bids will be reviewed by Davis Engineering, contract engineers for the county. The county commissioners will not select a bid until they've reviewed Davis' recommendations. Following acceptance of a bid, the county and successful bidder will negotiate a contract.

When the project is complete, conversion of the road from gravel to asphalt pavement will facilitate entry into town from the southeast. Access to the high school complex by way of the Aztec Street bridge across the San Juan River will also be improved.

Archuleta County and Pagosa Springs share responsibility and funding for the projects. Much of the money comes from a 2 percent countywide sales tax divided equally between the county and the town. The county's portion is allocated to a road and bridge capital improvements fund, the town's portion goes to a capital improvement's fund.

In other business, the commissioners:

€ Following a public hearing, adopted changes to the limited impact section of county land use regulations

€ Approved a beer and liquor license renewal for the Bavarian Inn

€ Approved an agreement with the state, shifting responsibility for Beanpole funding in Southwest Colorado from Archuleta County to La Plata County. A separate, but related, contract stipulating conditions of agreement among the involved counties was also approved. The involved counties are Archuleta, La Plata, San Juan, Montezuma, and Dolores. Also included are the Southern Ute and Ute Mountain Ute reservations

€ County Emergency Management Coordinator Russell Crowley was granted $7,739.51 with which to upgrade county road maps by hiring a contractor with a ground position locater

€ Approved $6,000 for use by the county finance department for purchasing additional computer memory

€ Listened to a monthly progress report presented by Social Services director Erlinda Gonzalez. Gonzalez was authorized to spend $6,304 for installation of wireless computer/telephone equipment. Installation of the equipment will allow County Social Services to move from the courthouse to contracted facilities in the new Town Hall building.

Gonzalez reported a district court judge has ordered Archuleta County Social Services to provide services for two delinquent minors. The estimated cost of the services is $3,000 a month for one and an estimated $13,500 a month for the other. A meeting between county officials and the involved judge is being arranged in an attempt to work out a solution which won't break Archuleta County's budget.

Haitian students go 'Old West' in Pagosa Visit

Trip winners: Landscapes leave youngsters in awe

By Tess Noel Baker

"It's like going to heaven for them."

That's how Hugues Bastien, director of Institution Univers, a private Christian school in rural Haiti, describes the experience four of his students will have over the next few weeks as they explore three American destinations.

These students, age 8-10, who started their vacation in Pagosa Springs this last week, earned a trip to the United States by achieving top scores on their annual academic tests.

Bastien said the competition is a major incentive for families in Ouanaminthe who make a sacrifice just to send a child to school at a cost of $45 a year. Because of economic conditions in the rural town of 84,000, including a 90-percent unemployment rate, many students' parents are uneducated, struggle to provide the basic necessities and have little chance to help their students academically.

"There's no way they would ever dream of coming to the states," he said. The competition at Institution Univers provides the push many of them need to encourage their children to excel. After the first of these trips two years ago, the excitement only grew and test results showed marked improvement for many, Bastien said.

Another hope, he said, is that the visit to the United States will open the children's eyes to the possibilities of prosperity and encourage them to bring these ideas back to their own country.

Nearly everything on the trip has been new to them. The journey to secure their visas, a distance of less than 200 miles that takes 12 hours over the country's bad roads, was the first time they had seen Port au Prince, Haiti's capital. Taking an airplane was another story.

"The plane is almost like a house," Rose Saica, age 8, said, wide-eyed even describing the experience.

"Once in Albuquerque, they asked, 'Where are all the people?' because they are used to seeing everyone walking," Bastien said. They also had fun learning to ride an escalator, an experience that resulted in a few falls and a lot of laughs.

During their stay in Pagosa, from Aug. 8-15, the new experiences continued to pile up. The children attended a rodeo, saw an old west show, met a United States senator, took a train ride, rode horses, viewed water falls and went to the top of Wolf Creek Pass. Of course, things like Pizza Hut, Alco, washing machines and television were all new as well.

Food firsts are accruing quickly with both good and bad results.

When asked to name their favorites, the children quickly switched from their native French to English.

"Chicken," Rosa Saica said. "Ice cream."

"They are eager to try new things," Char Neill, one of the children's hosts, said. "They tried the lemonade, and it was awful. But they trusted us enough to try it a second time."

"Even the beauty of the country is overwhelming to them," Bastien said.

Alan Raphael, age 11, was impressed by the water running out of the mountains at Treasure Falls. Both Rose Saica and Rose Judith, 8, said the trees and flowers were their favorite parts of the landscape here.

"All the country is mountainous at home," Bastien said, "but bare. Here you see the beauty with the water coming out of the mountains and the trees."

Shopping has been a big hit. In fact, the United Methodist Thrift Shop was one of the first stops.

"Things here are very precious to them," Bastien said. "They bought clothes for themselves, their siblings." Other purchases included watches, purses, sunglasses, backpacks and other school supplies.

People in Ouanaminthe have no electricity and must walk or ride horses. Homes are made of concrete blocks, plywood, or sticks and mud. Many of the students come to school without having had breakfast. They bring nothing for lunch, and may go home to no dinner, he said. Medical conditions are also poor with one doctor and two nurses attempting to serve everyone. The life expectancy holds at about 53 years of age.

Bastien, who returned to Haiti to start the school after spending 15 years in the United States, said equipping the children of Haiti with a knowledge of God and a solid education was the best way to help them gain the tools to improve conditions in their own country.

The school began in 1994 as a kindergarten "L'Univers Des Petits, Kindergarten" with 84 children and three teachers. Each year since then, Bastien and his staff have attempted to add an additional classroom so that the children who started at the school will graduate from high school and, hopefully, go on to higher education. Currently the Institution Univers serves 640 children (300 girls, 340 boys) ranging in age from 2 1/2 to 11 years. The staff includes 18 teachers, two assistants, one supervisor, one secretary, three custodians, one driver and five administrative directors. Teachers are paid $960 per year.

The students to teacher ratio was key to Bastien's vision for the school. Other private schools in the region, are too expensive for local families, follow no standard of education and are crowded, having as many as 105 children per classroom per instructor. Failure in government exams at the end of high school is high.

At the Institution Univers, courses are offered in Bible studies, writing, reading, languages (French and English), math, social studies, music and arts, sports, geography of Haiti and history of Haiti.

A student's day begins at 7:20 a.m. Monday through Friday with an assembly around the flag. Bible study is first and lasts about 30 minutes. Then students are released to their classrooms for the regular academic program which lasts until 1:30 p.m. From 3-5 p.m., an after-school program is offered. On Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon, students return for a sports program, videos, Bible study and arts and crafts. On Friday afternoons, music is added and students learn songs and study English.

The school year starts Sept. 1 and runs through June. In July, the school offers a summer camp, leaving just one month for vacation.

All four of the academic achievement winners, two from 2000 who weren't able to get visas last year, and two from 2001, said math was their favorite subject. When asked why, Alan said "solving problems," and Ruth Saica added "division."

The four students began their United States experience in Pagosa Springs because of John and Char Neill, members of the United Methodist Church, who met Bastien while touring Israel in March of 2000.

"We have great respect for what he and his staff are trying to accomplish in what can only be described as deplorable conditions in all areas of employment, government, medical and transportation. Yet their faith that their dream will be realized is so strong’ we can't help but be affected and desirous to help in any way we can," the Neills said.

Having the children around for just a few days taught them both a lot.

"Simplicity," John Neill said. "We don't need all this stuff to be happy people."

"Joyfulness," Char Neill added.

As for the children, the three girls admitted to missing siblings and family. Alan's response to whether or not he was missing home was an immediate, "No."

When asked what they'd like to take back to Haiti with them, Alan said, "a car, $1,000 dollars."

Rosa Saica and Katiana Agrand, said, "motorcycles."

Rose Judith said, "a television."

"But then she would need power for the T.V.," Bastien said, smiling at their enthusiasm.

In the next year, the school staff will be working to secure the funding to complete a new multi-purpose room on the campus. When finished, the space will be used for an auditorium, gymnasium and cafeteria.

"Next we're trying to start a feeding program for the students," he said. Other projected 2001 needs include playground equipment, a basketball/volleyball court, finishing supplies for the sixth grade classroom and a large school bus.

Members of the United Methodist Church in Pagosa Springs have pledged to build a pair of new classrooms for the school at a cost of around $7,000. The local Christian Men's Group has agreed to sponsor a teacher for one year.

From here, the students traveled to Cleveland, Ohio and then on to New York City before heading home.

"We return on Friday and on Monday they must be back in class," he said. "Vacation over."

Waterfowl bag limits left intact for new season

The Colorado Wildlife Commission approved waterfowl regulations for the 2001-2002 season Aug. 9 including bag and possession limits similar to those of last year.

The commission also approved a walk-in access hunting program that will open up small game and waterfowl hunting on private land in northeastern Colorado for hunters who purchase a $20 permit.

Waterfowl hunters will be able to hunt ducks in the Central Flyway from Sept. 29 through Nov. 21, Nov. 3 through Nov. 29 and Dec. 7 through Jan. 20, 2002. In the Pacific Flyway, duck seasons will run from Sept. 29 through Oct. 14 and Oct. 24 through Jan. 20, 2002.

Canvasback ducks may only be harvested during the first segment of each season to assure that populations do not fall below Continent-wide objectives.

The general goose season in the Central Flyway will run from Nov. 17 through Feb. 17, 2002 for both dark and light geese. In the Pacific Flyway, the season will run from Sept. 29 through Oct. 9 and Oct. 24 through Jan. 20, 2002.

The bag limit in the Central Flyway is five dark and 20 light geese. In the Pacific Flyway, the bag limit is two geese in aggregate.

Numerous special seasons were also approved and will be available in the Division of Wildlife’s 2001 Waterfowl Brochure.

The walk-in access program will begin with the start of the pheasant season in November and end on the last day of February. In future years, the access program will begin on Sept. 1.

The division is working with community groups and private landowners in northeastern Colorado who will participate in the program. The program, modeled after successful programs in other states, will open private land previously closed to many hunters.

The $20 fee will pay for the costs of the program including signs and publications listing the properties.

The commission also approved an emergency regulation reducing the sage grouse season from 16 to 7 days in North Park and Middle Park. The season will now run from Sept. 8 through Sept. 14.

Division staff members requested the change at the request of local groups working with the Division to conserve and protect sage grouse and their habitat.

This message can be found online at http://www.dnr.state.co.us/cdnr_news/wildlife/200181383032.html


Letters

Brilliant idea

Dear Editor

I have been following the SUN for the past six years since purchasing a residence in this beautiful town. Having been involved in some of the local county and city government issues in other locations in the past, it is with interest that I notice each location has its own self-appointed monitor of how their taxes are being spent and who is benefiting the most. I have read most of Mr. Sawicki's letters to the paper on a wide variety of issues and he certainly keeps up with what's going on around town.

His latest letter he wrote about the cost of repairing the taxiways at the airport was most interesting. Normally I don't agree with a lot of what he says but I think he might have a brilliant idea about making the users pay for the airport. In fact, it is so good that I want him to push for not only the airport being privately run but all of the other public facilities also. We should start with the roads and streets. I have never used all the streets that exist in town. Just think if we could make each street a toll-road, privately ran and operated. Of course the toll charge would be higher for the roads that lead to those big homes that have those beautiful views. It would save me a bundle of tax money as I am sure it would others. I have never used the fire department or emergency medical facilities either. These should also be private and just charge us when we actually use them . . . and what about the police department. Only the 'bad guys' should pay for their services. That is primarily why they are here. Oh and the most costly to me for taxes is the public schools. I have no children in the school system in Pagosa. Let's make it a private school and just those that have children would be required to support it. I suppose we could adjust the cost for the school based on how much each child's car cost that they drive to school. Go get 'em Jim, I think I see a way to save myself a bundle of money. Next time I am walking from the airport to my residence I can laugh at all those silly folk that are paying toll to drive their cars around.

Ken Berg

Believable reasons

Dear Editor,

Let me preface this letter by saying that I know Alden Ecker, I like him and I voted for him. I also think that all in all he has done a pretty good job as a commissioner. Unfortunately, in the past few weeks he's made a couple of blunders that I think need to be addressed.

First, the idea that the taxiway at the airport can be fixed for $250,000 is absurd! To think that you can take out six inches of clay, and fill it with gravel and thereby create an adequate base is ludicrous. I see this as a bottomless money pit over the next few years.

Second, the decision to spend $11,000 to build a guardrail along Piedra Road on the pretense that a fence wouldn't stop people from entering the road illegally would be laughable if it weren't so expensive. I've been out of town quite a bit during the past month, but I don't recall hearing of a rash of incidents involving people driving through fences to keep from having to drive 50 feet to get to a driveway. Come on, you have to come up with something better than that.

Please commissioners, don't think that your constituents are brainless. Stop insulting our intelligence and give us believable reasons for your decisions.

Sincerely,

Phil Bogert

Doesn't understand

Dear Editor,

It seems our commissioners need to be reminded who actually pays the taxes in this county. They did not hesitate to give $200,000 to the airport - a constant drain on county coffers, serving less than 1 percent of the county population. But, when a group of taxpayers approached the county for sponsorship and less than 1/10th that amount of money, they are told they just do not know how "modern government" operates.

It is evident, from their performance that the commissioners do not have the vaguest notion of how government operates. Then again, what can we expect from a commissioner who illegally cuts the lock and dumps questionable waste in the county landfill and another who illegally closes the maintained portion of a roadway that has been in use in Archuleta County for close to 100 years then dares the county to take him to court over the matter. It is evident the agenda of at least two commissioners is either self-serving or serves the interest of the wealthy at the expense of the taxpayers. Why is it a commissioner who could find funds for unbudgeted road work, couldn't find funds to do something constructive for a change?

Proponents requesting sponsorship and funds should have asked for an airport, cut the locks on the landfill and closed Turkey Springs Road - then all three commissioners would be in their corner.

Mr. Crabtree again stuck his foot in his mouth by stating that a commissioners' meeting was not an open forum or the place to discuss a park. If proponents of the park were scheduled to be on the agenda then any discussion regarding the park was in order until the matter was voted on or tabled by the board. I did not see where either happened.

For the commissioners' information, they can form a Park District without it being on a ballot. A change in the service plan of the Aspen Springs Metro District, however, would require that the district petition the county, which would then be required to hold a public hearing on the matter and, if approved, refer it to the 6th Judicial District. The court would schedule and hold a hearing to determine the validity of the request and could decide to place the question on the ballot for approval by the Aspen Springs electorate. Now, let one of the commissioners say which method is most feasible.

Mr. Crabtree's suggestion that the county attempt to imitate the "City" could be construed to say that perhaps we should have the Town Board and town planners replace the sitting county government. Leadership is the key, the Town of Pagosa Springs has it, the County of Archuleta does not.

It is not that the people do not understand modern government, it is that the sitting "Modern Government" does not understand its people, or itself for that matter.

Thanks,

Leroy Oldham

Two concerns

Dear Editor,

Two of the concerns before our county commissioners affect us all. I would encourage others to express their opinions on these issues.

1) The Community Plan needs to be implemented in full, with no further delays. Every day we do nothing causes the loss of the uniqueness and beauty of our community, and the reduction of our value to tourists, on whom our economy depends.

2) Controls on sound emissions should be for both day and night, 24 hours. A dog that frequently barks for hours, or a neighbor that most of the day plays very loud music whose sound goes beyond their property, ruins the peace we need. The occasional loud celebration should be allowed, or a small construction project by a handyman, or the occasional weed whacker use (my least favorite irritant), but not what I would call chronic noise.

A time-limited construction project should of course be allowed. There must be a common sense way to write such a law.

Thank you for your consideration.

Sharon Porter

New technologies

Dear Editor,

Because of the price of fuel and its volatility in price, we need to start to develop new technologies that do not use natural gas or oil.

We use such energy sources in agriculture, home heating and transportation.

We need to develop new technologies that don't depend on oil for such purposes.

Don Reid

Piles of manure

Dear Editor,

Now, isn't it commendable: The Archuleta County Board of Commissioners has decided to involve the local taxpayer in their continuing search for solutions to county road classification dilemmas by asking for volunteers to staff their new Standing Road Committee before they further task County Road and Bridge and take them off tearing up taxiways.

Now, isn't it also sad that those same commissioners did not desire any public input on the Stevens Field paving fiasco from other folks in the county before they go out for bids? I wonder why they believe that elected officials can do as they please on the issue? The people who pay the bills can just fund this turkey on a continuing basis and learn to "love it!"

Well, I smell "Manure" commissioners - piles of it. And what a magnificent display of genuine, dedicated and compelling hypocrisy.

I guess that's just the way things are done here in the "Ol' West."

Ridin' da brand,

Jim Sawicki

Parade of gardens

Dear Editor,

Now and for the last three years, the house on the northeast corner of Apache and Ninth has had an amazing array of perfect flowers and lawns. Too bad they were not included in the recent parade of gardens.

Lee Sterling

Thanks again

Dear Editor,

After more years than I want to remember, I am not renewing my subscription to your fine paper.

I have not been diligent in reading it, nor do I use the ads since I live in Ft. Worth. Also, I have discovered another area in the west that I have adopted - Taos. Being a native born New Mexican, (Lovington, November of 1934), I've decided when I win the lottery that I'll have a summer place near Taos, and not Pagosa. Your influx of westerners that don't like their native place of California or Arizona has discouraged me from further plans to settle in your area. I'm returning to my roots in New Mexico, although I'll be several hundred miles north of my birth place.

Thanks again for publishing an outstanding weekly second only to the Wise County Messenger, Decatan, Texas.

Thomas H. Watkins


Obituaries

Elizabeth Anderson

Elizabeth Anderson passed away Aug. 5, 2001 at her home in Pagosa Springs.

Mrs. Anderson was the maternal aunt of Lenore and Gil Bright.

She is survived by a nephew, William Cox of Montrose; grand nephews David and Steven Bright; grand niece Kristina Embree and their families.

Elizabeth was a member of the Woman's Civic Club and Daughters of the Nile. She was preceded in death by her beloved sister, Hazle Neill of Pagosa Springs.

Memorials may be made in her honor to the Sisson Library or the Humane Society.

Francisco Gomez

Francisco Orlando Gomez Sr., 74, a resident of Dulce, N.M., passed away on Friday Aug. 10, 2001.

Mr. Gomez was born Aug. 27, 1926 in Parkview, N.M., and attended Dulce Public School, St. Francis Elementary in Lumberton, and Lourdes Academy in Albuquerque. He graduated as valedictorian in 1945 from the El Rito Normal School.

He joined the Army in 1951 and was trained at Fort Meade, Md., Fort Houston, Texas and Fort Bliss, Texas. He was discharged in 1953 as an Army medic.

He was a prominent businessman in Lumberton and Gubernador, N.M., and in Coyote Park in Archuleta County. He served as Rio Arriba County treasurer for four years, was active in the Rio Arriba County Sheriff's Posse for many years and was an active Democrat his entire life.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Juan Lino Gomez Sr. and Elena Lopez Gomez of Lumberton; sisters and brothers Miguelito, Abel, Gene and Juan Lino Gomez Jr. of Lumberton; Helen Gomez Romero of Parkview; Isabelle Gomez Eaton of Daly City, Calif.; and Dolores Gomez Luna of Tierra Amarilla.

He is survived by his wife, Cora Vigil Gomez at the home in Dulce; children Donna Gomez Elote and husband Erwin of Dulce; Frances Gomez Garibay and husband Pablo of Lumberton; Sylvester Gomez and wife Rosie and Frank Gomez Jr. all of Dulce; Patrick Gomez of San Diego, Calif.; Andrew Gomez and wife Yvette and Augustine Gomez and wife Lisa, all of Dulce; Orlin Gomez and wife Rhonda of Farmington; Yolanda Gomez Toya and husband Greg of Albuquerque and Michelle Gomez Archuleta and husband Tony of Lumberton; 20 grandchildren; a sister, Theresa Gomez Godwin and husband Glenn of Lumberton and Sun Lakes, Ariz.; sisters-in-law Lupita Gomez of Bloomfield and Adela Gomez of Lumberton; brothers-in-law Salomon Luna of Tierra Amarilla and Everett Eaton of Nevada; numerous cousins, nieces, nephews, godchildren and many other relatives and friends.

Visitation was at 4 p.m. and a rosary at 7 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 12, 2001 at Saint Francis Church in Lumberton. Mass of Christian Burial was at 10 a.m. Monday at St. Francis and interment followed in the Gomez Family Cemetery in Dulce.

Assisting as pallbearers were his six sons. Honorary pallbearers were Celso Gomez, Ray Garcia, Dennis Lucchetti, Manuel Archuleta, Michael Gomez and Jose Abeyta.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Saint Francis Church Building Fund in Lumberton. Arrangements were entrusted to the Salazar family of Block-Salazar Mortuary, Espanola.

Ivy Turner

Ivy Lou (Mobley) Turner passed into heaven Aug. 5, 2001. She was born Sept. 27, 1939 in Pagosa Springs and attended schools there, graduating Pagosa Springs High School in 1957.

She had lived in Aztec the past 35 years where she worked alongside her family in the family business, Bea's Greenhouse.

Ivy was preceded in death by her father, her brother, Leroy Mobley; her hero and stepfather, Leland Minium; and a nephew, Chad Jones.

She leaves her family who loved and cherished her: her mother and best friend, Beatrice Minium; son, Kenny Turner; daughters Melody Ahlgrim and husband Ken, and April Turner; brothers Billy Mobley and wife Lavenda and Les Mobley and wife Debbie; a sister, Joyce Jones and husband Clayton; five grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.

Ivy was adored by all who knew her. She leaves gifts of much love and many memories, but can now rest.

A memorial celebration will be held at 2 p.m. Aug. 25 in the garden of the home of Joyce and Clayton Jones in Flora Vista, N.M.

Memorial contributions, in lieu of flowers, may be made to the Word of Life Christian Center, Building Fund, 317 E. Murray Dr., Farmington, N.M., 87401.


People

Cabaret Diosa

Audience members at the Four Corners Folk Festival are in for a Latin treat. Put on your dancing shoes, because you won't be sitting down when this band is through. Don't know the steps? Don't worry, the band will show you how to Mambo like there's no tomorrow.

Contrary to what you may have heard, Cabaret Diosa is not a subversive cult planting the seeds of free love and fierce fashion consciousness among today's wayward youth. They are not a traveling freakshow or spiritual revival. Cabaret Diosa is merely a band.

Yes, they are known for propagating what has come to be called "Hi-Fi Latin Exotica." And yes, this music has become associated with behavior considered by some to be taboo. However, Cabaret Diosa claims no responsibility for the actions engaged in by their throngs of devotees once the music takes over.

Simply put, Cabaret Diosa is a nine-piece musical ensemble. A little big band if you will. Their passion is Latin music and the "real big sound." Their mission: to make you dance. To dance as if it were your last night on earth, as if your very pants were aflame. This may explain the allegations of audience impropriety, etc.

If you are offended by the Mambo or the Rumba or the Cha Cha Cha the band is sorry and truly saddened. But if you are free, join in the new mambo revival as the caravan races headlong toward paradise. Be not afraid, they come in peace.

The festival takes place Aug. 31-Sept. 2 on Reservoir Hill. Tickets for the Four Corners Folk Festival are on sale at Moonlight Books and Howlin' Wolf Music at advance prices through Aug. 29. After that they many be purchased at the gate at higher prices. Information is available by calling 731-5582.


Sports Page

Gridiron Pirates are preparing to put IML title on the line

By John M. Motter

Pads are popping at Golden Peaks Stadium as Head Coach Myron Stretton's Pirates begin defense of their Intermountain League 2A football title.

This year, for the first time, Pagosa gridders play all games, home and away, under the lights. All games start at 7 p.m. Friday night with the exception of Bloomfield and Piedra Vista. The Bloomfield game starts at 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 22 in Pagosa Springs. The Piedra Vista game starts at 7:30, Friday, Sept. 14, on the Piedra Vista turf.

Stretton and his assistant coaches pushed 37 padless, grunting, first-team candidates through a series of wind sprints, jumping jacks, and special team exercises on Monday, the first day of two-a-days.

Players wriggled into pads today for the first time this season. Contact with opposing gridders is scheduled Friday or Saturday next week against the Alamosa Mean Moose.

In his fourth season at the Pirate helm last year, Stretton was chosen Coach of the Year by fellow IML coaches. Last year, the Pirates were 7-2 for the regular season, 4-0 in league play.

Repeating as league champs will require all of Stretton's coaching skills. Only five starters return from last year's champions. Missing are most starters from last year, including league most valuable player, Tyrel Ross.

Leading the returnees on the offensive side is senior Ronnie Janowski, All IML at quarterback last year. Joining Janowski on the offensive eleven are all-purpose back Darin Lister, a senior, and defensive end Jason Schutz, a sophomore. Lister also handled most of the Pagosa punting and kicking chores last year.

Returning starters on the defensive side of the ball are junior linebacker Pablo Martinez, an all-league honorable mention, and senior lineman Ethan Sanford.

"It's too early to predict how we'll turn out this year," Stretton said. "I haven't evaluated the other teams, yet. Our preseason schedule appears to be brutal again."

Stretton expects to continue the multiple-offense attack he has employed with success during his four-year tenure as head coach. On defense, he will continue the 43-D, a defense dictated by personnel.

Assisting Stretton with coaching duties this year are Sean O'Donnell, who will work with the offensive line and defensive backs; Scott White, who will work with offensive backs and defensive ends; Randy Sorenson, who will work with receivers and defensive backs; and Jim Shaffer, who will work with the defensive and offensive lines. Volunteer helpers are Mike Marshall and Chris Kelley.

The Pirate schedule is the same as last year. August 29 Pagosa journeys to Dolores to engage the 1A Bears at 7 p.m. Following the Dolores game are successive preseason games against powerful New Mexico schools.

Pagosa hosts Kirtland Sept. 7, travels to Piedra Vista in Farmington Sept. 14, travels to Bloomfield, Sept. 22, then hosts Taos Sept. 28.

IML action begins Oct. 5 on the Ignacio Bobcat field. The Centauri Falcons come to Pagosa Oct. 12, Pagosa plays at Bayfield Oct. 19, and closes the regular season by hosting the Monte Vista Pirates Oct. 26.

Four local winners in first

tennis mixer

Four local men and women were named winners of Saturday's tennis mixer at the Fairfield courts. A draw of 14 played four pro sets of eight games each before the winners were determined.

Bob Priess and Maurice Allen each won 23 games of the possible 32; Tina Rolig won 21 games; Christine Wyman won 19. After each pro set was played, players changed partners, allowing everyone to play with a different teammate for the next set.

"For the first event of the season, the mixer was a great success," said Dale Schwicker, tennis pro.

Schwicker also announced a mixed doubles tournament scheduled for Sept. 8 beginning at 8 a.m. Awards for the winning team and runner-up will be given.

For registration information, call 731-8060.

United Way sets golf tournament Sept. 8

By Bob Eggleston

Start getting your team together for the third annual United Way Golf Tournament scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 8.

The format will be a 4-person ABCD Scramble. A team can't have more than one player below a 10 handicap, there can't be more than two players with handicaps below 15, and more than three players below a 20 handicap.

The Pagosa Springs Golf Club, 731-4755, will host and help put teams together. If a person doesn't have a team or a handicap, the golf shop will place them on a team.

Everyone is welcome to participate in the event. It is a major fundraiser for Archuleta County United Way.

The goal this year for Archuleta County Untied Way is $60,000. United Way supports 12 local health and human services agencies in the county.

Persson takes gross honors in Men's Golf League

By Bob Howard

The Pagosa Springs Men's Golf League event Aug. 8 had no complicated format, no unusual scoring system, just good, old-fashioned quality golf in an individual low gross and low net competition.

Troy Persson took the honors in the gross competition with an even-par 71, followed by Sean O'Donnell at 75, and Gene Johnson at 80.

Bob Chitwood bested the field (and his handicap) by a wide margin, winning the net competition with an 11-under-par 60. Alan Leo was second with a 66 and Ray Henslee was third with 69.

"We're now halfway through the league season and many of our golfers are in mid-season form, playing better than their handicaps," said Alan Schutz, assistant course professional. "Net scores in the 60s by mid- and high-handicappers prove that everyone has a chance to win in our league."

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

'Special talents' developing on soccer field

By Richard Walter

The always effervescent Lindsey Kurt-Mason is as enthusiastic as ever about his team's chances, but seems a little more reserved this year.

The Pagosa Pirates soccer coach thinks his squad can be a challenger for honors but he's not going overboard with predictions.

Gone from the 2000 squad, which surprised many with an advance to state quarterfinal play against Denver Christian, is all-everything midfielder Daniel Crenshaw, the player Kurt-Mason counted on as his inspirational leader, and striker Mike Pierce who was a constant offensive threat.

But returning are a cadre of experienced juniors who were starters in 2000, including Kurt-Mason's son, Jordan, a key to the Pirate defensive scheme, Zeb Gill, who roamed at left striker, and team scoring leader Kyle Sanders. The latter was injured in a boating accident last weekend, was present but unable to perform Monday, but was in action Tuesday.

Add to that mix returning senior Trent Sanders, veteran goalkeepers Matt Mesker and Josh Soniat, both of whom can also play attack positions, and defensive stalwarts Ryan Lister and Reuben Coray, and you have the makings of a standout squad.

Kurt-Mason had 20 players on the field for the first day of practice Monday morning, 26 Tuesday afternoon, and expected several more to straggle in as family vacations and summer jobs end.

"They've been working hard and I've seen some strong leadership from the veterans," Kurt-Mason said. "I see some special talents being exhibited on the practice field and evidence of melding together as a team already."

In the first week, he said, "the kids are normally sucking wind. But this group came in great shape. Many have participated in summer camps and have worked out on their own in order to be ready for the season."

To put his feelings about the team into one word, Kurt-Mason said, "Call me 'happy.'"

Colorado High School Activities Association has placed Pagosa Springs in a league that may exist mostly on paper.

In addition to the Pirates, the league includes Bayfield (which Pagosa ousted from playoff contention in a home field shootout last year), Center, which withdrew from participation late last season, Sierra Grande (which did not field a team last year and probably won't this year), and LaVeta, which fielded a coed team last year and gave several others a run for their laurels.

The Pirate schedule shows home and home against Bayfield, and no games against any of the other teams in their league.

Instead, they are scheduled for home and home matches against perennial state contender Telluride, Crested Butte and Ridgway and home contests against Cortez from Class 4A and Piedra Vista of Farmington.

Kurt-Mason, if the rains subside enough to allow practice fields to dry, hoped to get into full scale intra-squad confrontations by the end of this week.

That will leave two weeks of conditioning and play making practice before the Sept. 1 home and season opener against the Cortez Panthers.

Kurt-Mason said he will not name varsity starters for at least another week, preferring to work different combinations of players to develop team play concepts.


Weather Stats

Date

High

Low

Precipitation

Type

Depth

Moisture

8/8

78

52

R

-

.30

8/9

77

54

R

-

T

8/10

78

51

-

-

-

8/11

78

52

R

-

.15

8/12

76

53

R

-

.17

8/13

77

55

R

-

.46

8/14

76

51

R

-

.19

Births

Hanning

Steve and Kerri Haning are happy to announce the birth of their son, Sterling Craig Haning. Sterling was born July 16. He weighed 6 pounds, 8 ounces and was 19 inches long.


Biz Beat

Dr. Bill Thornell opened Pagosa Dental Aug. 1, with offices in the Pagosa Family Medicine Center, 75 South Pagosa Boulevard, near the intersection of South Pagosa and U.S. 160.

Pagosa Dental provides patients with a full range of services to meet all dental needs, including cosmetic and restorative dentistry.

Office hours at Pagosa Dental are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Thursday.

Call Pagosa Dental at 731-6600 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

Real Estate Transactions

Seller: Alicia Marie White

Buyer: Kevin R. Alford

Property: 11-34-1W

Price: Not listed

 

Seller: Carl Pitts 2000 Separate Property Trust

Buyer: Ronald L. and Donna M. Rosa

Property: 13-34-1W and 14-34-1W

Price: $256,000

 

Seller: Sally High and Jerry Smith

Buyer: Ruth B. Smith (Estate of)

Property: 10-33-5W and 11-33-5W

Price: Not listed

 

Seller: Donald G. and Fern Delight Shahan Living Trust

Buyer: Don and Fern Shahan First Family L.P.

Property: See document for legal description

Price: Not listed

 

Seller: Donald G. and Fern D. Shahan Living Trust

Buyer: Don and Fern Shahan First Family L.P.

Property: See document for legal description

Price: Not listed

 

Seller: Donald G. and Fern D. Shahan Living Trust

Buyer: D. and F. Shahan Family Limited Partnership

Property: 19-32-2E

Price: Not listed

 

Seller: Donald G. and Fern Delight Shahan Living Trust

Buyer: D. and F. Shahan 1st LLC

Property: 15-32-1E, 22-32-1E and 23-32-1E, II Tracts

Price: Not listed

 

Seller: Bank One NA (Trustee)

Buyer: Donroy and Judith Ann Hafner, Vance G. and Jennie M. Youens

Property: Pagosa Hills Subdivision, Unit 3, Lot 62, East 1/2

Price: $83,500

 

Seller: Derossett Family Limited Partnership, Archuleta Mesa Ranch LLC

Buyer: Archuleta County

Property: See document for legal description

Price: Not listed

 

Seller: Dermod and Diana Kelleher

Buyer: Kelleher Revocable Trust

Property: Navajo River Ranch, Unit 1, Tract 4

Price: Not listed

 

Seller: Michael P. Allen

Buyer: Soterios and Shelley D. Gastouniotis

Property: North Village Lake, Lot 115

Price: $39,500

 

Seller: Duane and Linda Parrie

Buyer: Joshua Lee Wagner

Property: 29-33-5E and 32-33-5W

Price: $175,000

 

Seller: Duane and Linda Parrie

Buyer: Joshua Lee Wagner

Property: Not listed

Price: Not listed

 

Seller: Colleen Susan Richter Liescheidt

Buyer: Gary P. and Colleen Susan Richter Liescheidt

Property: 32-34-1W

Price: Not listed

 

Seller: First National Bank of Chicago (Trustee)

Buyer: Charles M. Thomas

Property: Aspen Springs Subdivision 3, Lot 13, Block 13

Price: $61,000

 

Seller: Margaret Martinez

Buyer: H. J. and Kathleen F. Jackson

Property: Town of Pagosa Springs, Lot 4, Block 48

Price: $75,900

 

Seller: Bell Country Land Co.

Buyer: Dorothy Bell

Property: Not listed

Price: Not listed

 

Seller: David Gustafson

Buyer: Rebecca Gustafson

Property: Aspen Springs Subdivision 2, Lot 1, Block 7

Price: Not listed

 

Seller: Eugene and Margaret Lodes

Buyer: Steve Graham and Ohea Dawn Bealmer

Property: Pagosa Highlands Estates, Lot 748

Price: $4,000

 

Seller: Ernest W. and Mary Ann E. Miller

Buyer: Tyler M. and Amanda M. Chamberlain Reynolds

Property: Lake Hatcher Park, Lot 133

Price: $3,900

 

Seller: David Charles and Violet Jane O'Connell

Buyer: John D. and Karla J. Ostroski

Property: High West Subdivision, Unit 11, Lot 12, Block 1

Price: $19,500

 

Seller: Kari L. Montagriff and Greg Ruttum

Buyer: Glenn D. Bayger and Lorri J. Hill-Bayger

Property: Not listed

Price: Not listed

 

Seller: Lincoln Trust Company (Custodian)

Buyer: Raymond J. Elliott

Property: Aspen Springs Subdivision 5, Lots 185, 186, 187, 188, 189, 190, 191, 192, 193, 194, 195, 196 and 197

Price: Not listed

 

Seller: Gold Creek Enterprises Inc.

Buyer: Flatland Resources LLC

Property: Aspen Springs Subdivision 2, Lot 46, Block 15

Price: Not listed

 

Seller: Flatland Resources LLC

Buyer: Carl Krauter

Property: Aspen Springs Subdivision 2, Lot 46, Block 15

Price: $5,900

 

Seller: Jack W. and Susan M. Topoleski Living Trust

Buyer: Gerald A. Werner

Property: Spring Valley Ranches, Ranch 3

Price: $740,000

 

Seller: Richard W. and Adele Roberts, Roberts Family Trust

Buyer: Roberts Family Trust

Property: Piedra Estates, Lot 36

Price: Not listed

 

Seller: Robert J. and Judy Cecka

Buyer: Roberts Family Trust

Property: Hangar No. 510H, Archuleta County Airport

Price: Not listed

 

Seller: Barbara J. Smith

Buyer: Thomas M. and Terri M. Shelton

Property: Wildflower Subdivision, Lot 25

Price: $50,000

 

Seller: K Partners VI LTD

Buyer: William E. and Sheri D. Arnold

Property: Meadows Golf Villas, Unit 8

Price: $237,000

 

Seller: James M. Jr. and Patricia D. Latham (Trustee)

Buyer: Lincoln Trust Company (Custodian)

Property: 15-35-1W

Price: Not listed

 

Seller: Pagosa Springs Enterprises Inc.

Buyer: Archuleta County Board of Commissioners

Property: Fairgrounds Minor Impact Subdivision, Lot 1

Price: Not listed

 

Seller: Martin and Claudia Margulies, FD Development Inc.

Buyer: Peter Adam Heist

Property: Town of Pagosa Springs, Lot 17, Block 52

Price: $17,000

 

Seller: Ernest W. Harris

Buyer: Charles B. Hawkins

Property: Twincreek Village, Lots 940 and 941

Price: Not listed

 

Seller: Andrea L. King

Buyer: Burleson T. and Joyce E. Collyer

Property: Aspen Springs Subdivision 6, Lot 799

Price: Not listed

 

Seller: Robinson Family Limited Partnership

Buyer: Earl R. Jr. and Deborah W. Bruno

Property: Pagosa Alpha Section, Lot 5, Section 21

Price: $500,000

 

Seller: Archuleta County Public Trustee, Jimmy R. and Juanita J. Lewis, Rodney W. and Kerrie L. Helmuth

Buyer: Daniel B. and Beverly Z. Johnson

Property: Not listed

Price: Not listed

 

Seller: Colorado Timber Ridge Ranch

Buyer: Fred and Kay Olson

Property: Colorado's Timber Ridge, Phase II, Lot 97

Price: $80,700

 

Seller: Gabriel V. and Josefita Chavez

Buyer: Jonathan K. Weyer and Ramona A. Chavez

Property: Candelaria Subdivision, Lots 8 and 9

Price: Not listed

 

Seller: Lisa K. Steward

Buyer: Page K. Steward

Property: Pagosa Meadows, Unit 4, Lot 64

Price: Not listed

 

Seller: Page K. Steward

Buyer: Timothy and Gloria Jean Shumaker

Property: Pagosa Meadows, Unit 4, Lot 64

Price: $51,500

 

Seller: Dennis M. and Marcilee D. Custer

Buyer: James E. Poirier and Marianne R. Caprioli

Property: Lake Hatcher Park, Lot 197

Price: $9,000

 

Seller: A. Robert Cox

Buyer: Anthony Robert and Dixie Laurita Cox, Anthony Robert and Dixie Laurita Cox LT

Property: Lake Pagosa Park, Lots 8 and 9, Block 15 and 7W 1/2 Block 15

Price: Not listed

 

Seller: John E. and Patricia Diehl

Buyer: John E. and Patricia E. Diehl

Property: Piedra Park Subdivision, Unit 1, Lot 3, Block 4

Price: Not listed

 

Seller: John E. Diehl

Buyer: John E. and Patricia E. Diehl

Property: Piedra Park Subdivision, Unit 1, Lot 42, Block 4

Price: Not listed

 

Seller: Barry D. and Pamela P. Hurt

Buyer: Barry D. and Pamela Hurt

Property: Spring Estates, Lot 1

Price: Not listed



Community News

Chamber News

By Sally Hameister

Local photos needed for screen saver plan

United Way of Southwest Colorado is offering a unique opportunity to spend a day on horseback in the stunning San Juan Mountains, witness the wildlife in their natural habitat and raise money to support our community all in one fell swoop.

Ride the Weminuche will take place Saturday, beginning at 9 a.m. at the historic Poma Ranch located 27 miles north on Piedra Road from U.S. 160.

Matt Poma will be your host on this wonderful adventure and I can assure you, based on my own experience, he is the "host with the most." No one loves the land quite like Matt, and he relishes opportunities to share it with other folks. If you have never seen the Poma Ranch, I encourage you to do so - it will simply take your breath away.

The day will include morning and afternoon horseback riding, a real chuckwagon lunch including brisket, chicken, ribs and beans, and a live auction for western merchandise including a $3,000 scholarship for the Pat Parelli International Study Center and an original print from the Lori Salisbury Gallery.

Cost for this day will be $45 if you bring your own horse and tack, or $75 if you need to rent same. Registration fees include lunch.

Please call Kathi DeClark at (970) 946-2057 to register or for information on available lodging or overnight accommodations for you and/or your horse. Don't miss this opportunity to see the 960-acre Poma Ranch, spend a glorious day outside, experience a bona fide chuckwagon lunch and support the United Way program all at the same time.

Photographers needed

We need all of our talented local photographers to submit slides and pictures (with negatives) to us by the end of the month for consideration to be featured on our upcoming Chamber of Commerce screen saver.

Thanks to a thoughtful Pagosa resident who found a screen saver in another Colorado town and brought it in for us to see, we decided this would be a great project for us.

After some initial research, we discovered we could create a wonderful screen saver and make it very affordable. It will be the perfect stocking stuffer for Christmas this year or just generally a great gift for any occasion. But, I digress - before we can put the screen saver together with 32 images, we need the images. We're concentrating on Pagosa scenes, things that make us unique even in beautiful Colorado.

The Chamber screen saver committee spent some time brainstorming on what those images might be and came up with, just to name a few, the following: Chimney Rock (all seasons), balloons, main street scenes, special events, Williams Creek, Four-Mile Falls, Treasure Falls, rodeo, county fair, all winter and summer activities and wildlife. Once again, this is not an exclusive list, and we are open to any and all suggestions. Naturally, your name will accompany your image on the screen saver.

Please contact us with any questions at 264-2360 or just bring us your slides or pictures (with negatives) on or before Aug. 31. This will be just another cool way to make all your friends and relatives jealous that you live in such a beautiful place.

Newsletter inserts

Believe it or not, it's once again time to bring us your inserts for the September quarterly newsletter, The Chamber Communique.

For those who may not be familiar with this economic marketing tool, you simply bring us 725 copies of your insert (please do not fold) and a check for $40, and your message will reach the over 765 Chamber members. We encourage you to use colorful paper and both sides if you like. There is just no better way to reach more people with fewer dollars. Please bring those to us by Aug. 29 for inclusion in the newsletter. We try to get the newsletter out some time the first week of September, and we would love to include your insert. It's a terrific way to let people know more about a move, a special you're offering, a big sale or clearance, new owners, a new service - just about anything.

Call us at 264-2360 with any questions.

Membership

As September approaches, more and more renewals come with it, and this week it seems that new members are heading our way as well. We have six new members to introduce to you this week and fourteen renewals. Grab a cup of coffee, curl up and relax.

Three of our new businesses are connected to the Ridgeview Center with busy lady Betty Slade at the helm of two. Betty brings us The Ridge at Pagosa Springs located at 525 Navajo Trail Drive in the Ridgeview Center. The Ridge offers the largest year-round convention and banquet facility in the Four Corners area with complete meeting amenities. This facility boasts 6,400 square feet and with the capability of serving 700 guests. Vince Sencich with Enzo's Catering acts as the in-house caterer for all functions. I personally attended a Club 20 meeting at The Ridge last week and can attest that this is a lovely meeting place. Please call Betty at 731-3883 for more information about The Ridge of Pagosa Springs.

Betty also brings us the Four Corners Gallery of Pagosa located in the Ridgeview Center as well. This is an art gallery featuring traditional and Southwest art, pottery, jewelry, sculptures, and hand-painted silk scarves. The work of many Four Corners artists appears in the Four Corners Gallery of Pagosa. Betty Slade would be happy to answer any questions you might have at 731-3800.

The third business to join us in the Ridgeview Center is the Antique and Collectible Mall with Pamela Suneby as the contact. You will find antiques and collectibles ranging from glassware to furniture sold by dealers hailing from all over the Four Corners area. I expect word any day that they have opened their doors and will share that with you when it comes in. In the meantime, please contact Pamela at 731-3800 with any questions.

Our old pal, Eddie Dale, joins us with a brand new business, 3-D Inspection Services (a Division of Dale Construction, Inc.). In addition to Dale Construction, Inc. 3-D Inspection Services is your source for home inspection needs providing a full, comprehensive, professional, objective visual examination of the condition of a home. Eddie brings to this business twenty years experience and invites you to give him a call at 731-4724 for more information about 3-D Inspection Services.

John and Sara Essig brings us our next new business, Sara's Kitchen Cabinets located at 20345 West U.S. 160, Unit 105, in the Mountain View Plaza. Sara's Kitchen Cabinets offers a wide range of cabinetry ranging from economy to full custom. They also carry a large selection of woods, knotty woods, stains and paint colors. You will receive free measurements, designs and estimates. For more information, please give John and Sara a call at 731-1056.

Nina Allen joins us next with her home business, Essence of Earth. I ran into Nina recently at the Fairfield Arts and Crafts Show and picked up a few of her products, and quickly thereafter became addicted to her almond lotion. Nina offers all natural handmade soaps, lotions and bath products and will create gift baskets for each and every occasion. She will also do custom requests for you. Nina offers all natural handmade soaps, lotions, and bath products and will create gift baskets for each and every occasion. She will also do custom requests for you. Someone at the craft show had asked her to create something for them that didn't appear in her inventory and she whipped it up for them right away. You can give Nina a call at 264-6570 to learn more about Essence of Earth.

Renewals this week include Ron and Julia Jones with the Pagosa Riverside Campground; Victoria (the Vicksters) Appenzeller with Land Properties, Inc.; Jerry and Rose Zepnick with Lantern Dancer Gallery and Gifts; Gary Lucas with Rio Grande Savings and Loan Association; Judy Nicholson with Civil Design Team, Inc.; Steve Wirth with Village Interiors Carpet One; Bernard R. Martinez with Pine Valley Rental and Sales, Inc.; Radine Downey (new owner) with the Best Western Oakridge; Shirley Luhnow with Just Gourd-Jus; and Eddie Dale with Dale Construction, Inc.

Our Associate Member renewals this week include Rich and (Diplomat) Carol Gunson; former Chamber Director, Mamie Lynch; longtime Diplomats Richard and Lorraine Raymond; and Don and (Diplomat) Patsy Braune. Our Diplomats have a way of contributing both time and monet to the Chamber for which we are eternally grateful.

Senior News

By Janet Copeland

Third summer picnic slated Friday in Town Park

Our third picnic in the park for the summer is tomorrow. We hope for a large turnout - bring your family members along if you would like. Suggested donations are $2.25 for folks over 60 and a required fee of $4.50 for others.

Patty Tillerson, who takes blood pressures for us has rescheduled to Aug. 24 because of the picnic tomorrow.

We thank Mary O'Neil, AAA Ombudsman for Archuleta County, who spoke to us on Wednesday referencing the Colorado Ombudsman Program.

This program is concerned with protecting the civil and human rights of elderly persons in long-term care facilities, solving and mediating problems and investigating complaints.

To report problems or concerns, to learn more about the Colorado Ombudsman Program, or to seek information about long-term care facilities, you may contact Mary at 259-1967.

The AARP 55 Alive Driver Safety Class will take place at the Methodist Church Sept. 12 and 13. Individuals ages 50 and above need to take this course, which may reduce automobile insurance premiums. Cost of the class is $10. Contact Don Hurt at 264-2337 for further information and to sign up.

We welcome Agnes Maez who recently joined our kitchen crew.

It was good to have Norm and Anna Denney, Kevin Warner, Arthur and Ramona Ruiz, Rosemary LaVigne, Maz and Esther Peralta, and Kurt and Shirley Killion's sons Cliff, Brad and Wes Killion and their guests Michele Johnson and Boni Etter with us this week. We welcome all guests and returning members and hope they will join us more often.

Our Senior of the Week for last week was Kent Shaffer, and for this week is Medina Hamilton. Both of these folks are important members of our senior family and we are happy to honor them.

Musetta needs volunteers to label photos and place them in albums, and to fill membership packets. Please contact her if you are willing to help.

We plan a fun evening Aug. 23 at the Bar D Chuckwagon in Durango for dinner and entertainment. Please note prices and sign up soon if you wish to attend. You may call 264-2167 and talk to Cindy or Musetta if you have questions.

Each Tuesday morning in August at 8:30 a.m. there will be a 90-minute presentation at the Senior Center on Bill Moyer's series "Death and Dying" - 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.

Pagosa Lakes

By Ming Steen

Littleton, Englewood contestants win triathlon titles

Last Saturday's tenth annual Pagosa Lakes High-Tri Triathlon - a 7.2 mile run, 14.4 mile mountain bike and a half-mile swim - went smoothly. In spite of the consistent late afternoon monsoons, the trail was ridable with a couple of boggy sections. The morning was cool. In short, mother nature cooperated.

There were 60 participants. Twenty-five of them were from out of town. Visiting participants commented on the friendly, family-oriented nature of the event and the beauty of the course. The triathlon course includes some single-track trail with a couple of technical spots, some woods, some meadows, some gravel roads and some asphalt. Occasionally it takes someone from outside to remind us of the specialness of this place we call home.

Local athletes who participated in Saturday's triathlon did enjoy the opportunity to pit their athleticism against other participants, particularly the unknown competitors from outside of Pagosa. There is, in general, a good sense of everyone being there to share the day with each other. Enjoyment is partly enhanced by a low stress, but not lightly competitive attitude of organizers and participants.

In the men's overall division, Matt Kattensette from Littleton finished in first place with a time of 2 hours 1 minute, 37 seconds. Local triathlete Bob Kimber finished in second place with a time of 2 hours 2 minutes, 6 seconds. Following in third place was Mark Campbell with 2 hours 3 minutes, 11 seconds. Mark is from Ophir.

In the women's overall division, Debbie Maloney from Englewood crossed the finish line with a 2:18.45. Maloney was followed by two Pagosans: Tammy Holcomb who finished second in 2:30.13 and I came in third with a 2:30.54.

In team competition, Reid Kelly, Chantelle Kay and Molly Enright topped the field with a 2:00.44. Jack Searle, Carolyn Feller and Chris Nobles came in second with a 2:01.14. Byron Monterosso and Courtney Steen, a two-person team placed third with a time of 2:03.33. All three teams are from Pagosa. Byron recently moved back to L.A., but came back for the triathlon.

It was a good triathlon - a fantastic success for the 60 smiling, exhausted athletes. Everyone was applauded, not just those finishing first.

Many volunteers offered logistical support the entire morning. These volunteers gave form, order and direction to the event. Local businesses, as usual, threw in generous prizes. I thank you all from the bottom of my heart.

United Way benifit

"Ride The Weminuche," a four-hour horseback ride in the beautiful mountains surrounding the Poma Ranch will take place Saturday. Cost for the ride is $45 if you rent a horse, $45 if you bring your own horse and $15 if you have lunch only. This event will raise needed funds for United Way. Jim Harris, a musician who recently moved here from New Mexico, will entertain on his fiddle.

Please come out and enjoy the morning and support United Way. Call Kathi DeClark (1-946-2057) for additional information. The ride starts at 9 a.m. at the Poma Ranch.

Local Chatter

By Kate Terry

Horse felled: Bitten by snake in Oklahoma

Rick Majors, the man from Bowling Green, Ky., who had a dream to ride a horse to the Rocky Mountains won't make it. He's back home again. T.J., his Tennessee Walking Horse, was bitten by a snake near Cherokee, Okla., and it was four days before they knew if T.J. would live.

But Rick, who was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer last February and started his trek west in May, is philosophical. He says: "It was an adventure I'll never forget, but I don't want to have another. I made a lot of friends I'll never forget."

And, he continues, "It really restores your faith in mankind, the way that people treated me, people I didn't even know. People would take us in, do our laundry, give us supper, put us up in hotels, all at their own expense. If we offered to pay, they wouldn't take it."

But the trip has a silver lining. While passing through Neosho, Mo., T.J. injured his foot and the party spent 10 days there. While in Neosho, Rick befriended a young boy who was having problems at home and at school. According to the boy's mother, who wrote Rick a letter, Rick turned her son around.

Rick, whose great-grandfather, Alexander Majors, was one of the founders of the Pony Express - the others being William Waddle and William Russell - wanted to visit the Rocky Mountains. A friend suggested Pagosa Springs as a destination. They were to have connected with Pat Parelli upon arrival in Pagosa Springs.

I think that people will agree it would have been great fun to welcome Rick Majors, but in the meantime he says, "I'm glad to be home again. I don't think I'll ever leave again."

And we can say, "We're glad you thought of us as a destination."

Around town

The San Juan Outdoor Club won an award for Most Volunteers in the Adopt a Highway Program, "Spruce Up Colorado," sponsored by the state of Colorado.

Forty-one people turned out. The PLPOA staff helped, with 10 members volunteering. They closed their office to do so.

Jean Carson was the chairman of the endeavor. Her prize was a small carrying bag containing a water bottle, first aid supplies, antiseptic wipes and sun screen.

About town

The Humane Society is looking for donations of hors d'oeuvres for the Auction for the Animals to be held Aug. 24 at the Ridgeview Mall. Please call Nancy Ray at 731-3122 or Annie Jo Bishel at 264-5549 if you can help.

Skunk relief

This remedy for treating skunk infected dogs has been contributed: one bottle peroxide, one small box baking soda, one quart water, and a few drops of dish detergent.

And this remedy to unclog a drain comes from the Colorado Extension: Make a solution of equal parts of salt, vinegar and baking soda. Pour down drain and let set for 15 minutes. Then flush with boiling water. (Years ago a plumber told me that using this solution once a week would keep drains open).

Fun on the run

Old age advantages

€ Kidnappers are not very interested in you

€ In a hostage situation, you are likely to be released first

€ No one expects you to run into a burning building

€ People call at 9 p.m. and ask, "Did I wake you?"

€ People no longer view you as a hypochondriac

€ There is nothing left to learn the hard way

€ Things you buy now won't wear out

€ You can eat dinner at 4 p.m.

€ You enjoy hearing about other people's operations

€ You get into heated arguments about pension plans

€ You have a party and neighbors don't even realize it

€ You no longer think of speed limits as a challenge

€ You quit trying to hold your stomach in, no matter who walks into the room

€ You sing along with elevator music

€ Your eyes won't get much worse

€ Your investment in health insurance is finally beginning to pay off

€ Your joints are more accurate meteorologists than the national weather service

€ Your secrets are safe with your friends because they can't remember them either

€ Your supply of brain cells is finally down to a manageable size

€ You can't remember who sent you this list.

Veterans Corner

By: Andy Fautheree

Death benefits help ease family's pain

Throughout the year 2001, it is estimated that an average of 1,500 American veterans will die each day.

While a majority of veteran deaths will come from the aging population of those who served in WW I, WW II, and Korea, a disproportionate number will come from those who served in Vietnam and the Gulf War. In addition to the many lifetime benefits afforded to veterans discharged under other than dishonorable conditions, several death benefits are offered to ease the pain of surviving family members and to recognize the memory and sacrifice of those who served.

Who is eligible? Any veteran who served their required term of service and received an appropriate discharge. Benefits include free burial in a National Veterans Cemetery, an appropriate headstone or marker, a Presidential Memorial Certificate, military funeral honors, a burial flag, and possible reimbursement of some burial expenses.

While burial in a national cemetery is an option to consider, all other benefits are available to the family of those interred in community, church or private cemeteries. Spouses and minor children of eligible veterans may also be buried in national cemeteries without cost. Preparation of the body, transportation and the cost of a casket are not normally covered.

The VA provides headstones or markers for the unmarked graves of veterans anywhere in the world and of eligible dependents of veterans buried in military post, state veteran or national cemeteries. When burial occurs in other than a military post, state veteran or national cemetery, the headstone or marker must be applied for from VA. It is free and shipped at government expense; however, the VA does not pay the cost of placement. The family must also apply for the Presidential Memorial Certificate, the burial flag, and for Military Honors.

VA reimbursement for burial expenses ranges from $0 to $1,500 depending on the status of the veteran. If death was the result of a service-connected disability rated by the VA, up to $1,500 in expenses are reimbursed. If the veteran was eligible to receive VA compensation or pension, or the veteran died in a VA facility, up to $300 in expenses are reimbursed. If the veteran was discharged from active duty due to a service-connected disability, was eligible for VA compensation or pension, or died in a VA facility, the VA will also pay a $150 plot allowance for internment in other than a government cemetery.

Burial benefits are generally available to a veteran's family up to two years after the death of the veteran. If you, a family member, friend or acquaintance, have experienced the tragic death of a veteran, please call or stop by the Veterans Service Office to determine eligibility and to complete the appropriate paperwork.

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

Parks & Rec

by Douglas Call

Youth Soccer coaches to meet Tuesday

This year's youth soccer program is underway but the $10 early registration ended last week. Children can still register at $15 until Aug. 24. There will be a coaches' meeting at 6 p.m. Aug. 21 in Town Hall and first practices will be Aug. 27.

Following the Town Hall meeting, coaches for the Scorer's League will form their teams through a draft process and practices will be scheduled.

Games will begin Sept. 11 and will be played at 4:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Registration forms are available at Town Hall.

The Town Recreation Department is seeking sponsors for the upcoming soccer season. A sponsorship fee of $200 provides teams with shirts bearing the sponsor's name, which players keep.

Call the recreation department at 264-4151, ext. 232 if your business is interested in sponsoring a team. The department is also looking for persons interested in officiating soccer games or field supervising for the season.

Adult softball

Adult league tournaments ended last week for both men's and coed leagues.

In the competitive tournament, Ken's Performance came away with both league and tournament championships, beating P.P.P. Playboys 28-8 in the "if necessary" game. In the recreational league, the Tigers of Dulce came away as tournament champions, beating American Legion 14-11 in the final game.

Ken's Performance/Paint Connection took the coed tournament championship beating Radio Shack 14-3 in the final game. Congratulations to all players and a big thanks to all the sponsors who made this year's season a success.

Adult flag football

The adult flag football season will start in mid-September. A meeting is scheduled later this month to form teams, discuss rules and develop a schedule.

For more information, contact Summer at the recreation department at 264-4151, ext. 232.

Park Commission

The next Park and Recreation Commission meeting is scheduled at 6 p.m. Monday in Town Hall. The commission holds monthly meetings to discuss park and recreation issues.

Monday's agenda includes an update on the tree-thinning program on Reservoir Hill, renewal of a rental agreement for a radio tower on the Hill, a recreation update and more. All commission meetings are open to the public.

Arts Line

by Helen L. Richardson

Photgraphic show opens at Gallery

Tonight, tonight won't be like any night.

Join fellow Pagosans tonight in premiering a new exhibit at the Pagosa Springs Arts Council Gallery in Town Park. The opening reception for photographic works by Patricia Francis and Denise Mudrock is from 5-7 p.m. at the gallery and their images will be on display until Sept. 5.

Denise Mudrock has made photography an important part of her life since she received a 35mm camera for her 16th birthday. She began honing her skills with photography classes in high school and, since moving to Pagosa Springs 15 years ago, continues learning through local workshops and classes and a great deal of shooting.

While Denise finds much enjoyment in creating the images, she also likes to push herself to improve. She especially likes the challenge of entering the local arts council photography contests and analyzing the competition.

Enjoy the familiar as you study Denise's images of the diverse southwest; then journey afar with Patricia Francis as she expresses her vision of Italian landscapes.

Patricia also was introduced to photography in her teens. She has spent her life in Colorado and New Mexico and the magic scenery inspires her to continue developing her photography skills. She studied at the Santa Fe Workshops on the Saint John's College campus and, more recently, with Kit Frost at Smiley Studios in Durango. These classes have included slot canyon workshops, black and white processing, and advanced black and white technique courses.

When you visit the gallery, allow time to stop in the gift shop which features locally created arts and crafts.

Home and Garden Tour

The Aug. 12 PSAC Home and Garden Tour was a big success thanks to all the generous people who opened their homes and gardens and to all ticket holders. We plan to do it again next year.

Special thanks to the following for opening their homes and gardens: Ranza and Barbara Boggess; the PAWS Xeriscape Demonstration Garden; John and Sandra Applegate; John and Cheryl Nelson; Laurie Breckinridge and Julie Wilif; Jack and Katy Threet; Anthony and Ronnie Doctor; and Walter and Doris Green.

Pagosa Pretenders

The Pagosa Pretenders Family Theater presents "The Legendary Life of a Local: A Story About Fred Harmon and Red Ryder." Bring an umbrella to chase away raindrops for this outdoor dinner theater held at the Fred Harmon Art Museum at U.S. 160 and Piedra Road, Aug. 17, 18, and 25.

On August 17 and 18, dinner entertainment will be provided by Mountain Harmony Ladies Choir. On August 25, John Graves and Warron Big Eagle will provide dinner entertainment.

A barbeque-style dinner will be served from 5:30-6:30. The menu includes beef barbecue brisket sandwich, mixed green salad with house dressing, baked beans, and fruit cobbler. If you prefer a vegetable sandwich, please make the request when you purchase the ticket.

No dinner will be served Aug. 24 so tickets for that performance are $5 for adults and $3 for children under 12. Tickets for the Aug. 24 performance may be purchased in advance or at the door.

All performances are at 7 p.m. Tickets for dinner and performance will be sold in advance only, at least 24 hours prior to show time. Dinner and performance tickets are $15 for adults and $8 for children under 12 and can be purchased at the Chamber of Commerce, Sisson Library, Wolf Tracks Bookstore and Coffee House, The Plaid Pony, and the PSAC gallery. A discount is available to arts council members when tickets are purchased at the gallery.

Pagosa Pretenders Family Theatre is a non-profit division of the Pagosa Springs Arts Council. All proceeds from the show will be donated to support our community.

For additional information, contact Susan Garman at 731-2485.

House concert

The Whistle Pig house concert Sept. 30 will feature Bruce Hayes, mandolin virtuoso, songwriter, guitarist, and vocalist. A $7 donation is requested and includes homemade desserts and coffee or tea. Call Bill and Clarissa Hudson at 264-2491 for reservations and information or visit the Whistle Pig website at www.hudson hudson.com/whistlepig.

Tole painters

Angel Box Painters, a division of the PSAC, meets every Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. to tole paint small boxes which are sent to hospitals to be given to parents who have lost infants in death.

For more information, call Rosie Hatchett at 264-6987.

Exhibit schedule

Applications for exhibits in the year 2001 are still available at the Moonlight Book Store in town and Wolf Tracks Bookstore and Coffee Co. as well as at the arts council gallery in Town Park. There's one two-week exhibit time slot available that is bound to be filled quickly, so turn in your application to the gallery ASAP.

Calling writers

Writers, give us a call if you would like to write the PSAC Artsline column in the SUN when there are five Thursdays in a month. "Petroglyph," the PSAC quarterly newsletter, is in need of a layout person.

The Pagosa Springs Arts Council Gallery and Gift Shop are located in Town Park. Summer hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and winter hours are 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Phone 264-5020.

Extension Viewpoints

By Bill Nobles

Use windfall to increase investments

Friday - Colorado Kids, Extension Office, 5 p.m.

It's your money

If you want more money to travel, pay for education for you or your children, and have adequate funds to enjoy retirement, now is the time (no matter how old you are) to start an investment program by saving those dollars that seem to slip away each day.

One way of achieving your financial dream is to use windfalls such as gifts, tax refunds and garage sale earnings to increase your investments. Here are several tips on using windfalls to make financial progress.

€ If you are getting a tax refund every year, change your withholding exemptions so less tax is withheld from each paycheck. Put extra money into an automatic savings plan

€ Invest in yourself. Upgrade your work skills by taking classes

€ Pay off your credit cards or car loan. Put what you were paying each month into a savings plan or mutual fund instead

€ If you need better transportation, use a windfall to make the largest possible down payment on a vehicle

€ Consolidate all your loans into a single home equity loan. Apply your windfall to the amount financed. When you've paid off the home equity loan, keep saving. Cut up your credit cards and live on your paycheck

€ Review your home mortgage. There are three ways you can save over the life of your mortgage. You can apply the windfall to your principal, which could save months of mortgage payments in the future; you can refinance the loan at a lower interest rate and add your windfall to the equity, which can lower your payments and save thousands of dollars; or you can refinance as a 15-year mortgage. On a $100,000 fixed-rate loan at 8 percent interest, you will pay $90,000 less over the life of the loan than you would with a 30-year mortgage

€ Establish an emergency fund by putting your windfall in a money market mutual fund

€ Sign up for a class to learn about smart ways to manage money

€ Take your windfall to a consumer credit counseling office and work out a total budgeting/debt reduction plan

€ Check out the American Savings Education Council Web site at www.asec.org/toolshm.htm <http://www.asec.org/toolshm.htm.> Use their interactive Ballpark Estimate to calculate what you might need for retirement. Then start your retirement plan right away.

Library News

By: Lenore Bright

Library Internet - World Wide Wait

WWW really stands for "World Wide Wait."

At least that how it has seemed the past few weeks. The library Internet connection has been down sporadically due to circumstances beyond our control. The local Internet service providers are jockeying for position. Until some bankruptcies and other financial problems are settled, this situation probably will not get any better.

The library connection is part of a network and we are at the mercy of many other players - none of which wants to take responsibility for the glitches. We apologize for the inconvenience but don't see it being fixed very soon.

Boom, bust and battle

Just a reminder that we have this fine KWUF radio program on tapes that can be checked out. John Graves and John Porter provide this material. They bring us the tapes after the programs. These are good music and history episodes.

Auction for animals

The Humane Society's annual "Auction For The Animals," is coming up on August 24. We have many of the items on display at the library that will be auctioned. Come by and see what you'd like to bid on. We urge you to support this worthy cause at the Ridgeview Mall. Enjoy an evening of food, drink and excitement. Tickets are available at the library, the Chamber and the Pack Rack.

New books

Cathy has a stack of great new books for the ladies to process. You may want to get your names on the hold list.

Andrew Greeley's new mystery, "The Bishop and the Beggar Girl of St. Germain," finds Bishop Blackie Ryan in Paris.

"The Colorado Guide," is the best selling and ultimate guide to our state. It gives regional history and attractions, scenic drives, shopping and restaurants among other tips. It is well done and fairly up-to-date.

"Every Mistake in the Book: a Business How-Not-To," by F.J. Lennon is a lifesaving guide to help you learn from other peoples' mistakes in business. This is a funny, easy read to help anyone avoid mistakes from a man who says he has made them all.

"The Catsitters," by James Wolcott is an adroit comedy about an unmarried man - bartender by day, actor by night - who lives with his jukebox and cat. Wolcott is the cultural critic for Vanity Fair. He's written for Village Voice, Esquire, Harper's and the New Yorker. The blurb on the cover says that this is a novel even Wolcott could love.

In our growing collection of medical books, we find "What you Really Need to Know About Moles and Melanoma," by Drs. Jill Schofield and William Robinson. This is the latest information on prevention, diagnosis, treatment, prognosis, and follow-up.

Donations

Thank you for materials from Vivian Rader, Ann Dancer, Mare Perouty, Janet Donavan, Walt Snyder, Mary Jo Hannay, Marsha Preuit, Dee McPeek, Laurie Walston, Barbara Carlos, Anita Hinger, Normand and Claire Cyr, Vicki Buck, Carol Hakala, Barbara Lindley, Robert Kamrath, Carol and Richard Quillin, Jack Koppelman, Wendy Valentine, and Jack Farris.

In Sync

by Isabel Willis

Early Childhood Center - the right start

Young children have important tasks to practice that will eventually provide them with a solid base for learning. Each experience they encounter with the environment offers a new opportunity to increase their understanding of the world.

The important aspect of their discoveries is how the experience fits into their life - how it connects.

At the Pagosa Early Childhood Center, the belief is that a high quality, early childhood program provides a safe and nurturing environment that promotes physical, social, emotional and cognitive development of young children while responding to the needs of families.

The main objective is to promote and provide developmentally appropriate activities, materials and expectations for children 3 to 5 years old within the scope of all comprehensive services of the Head Start performance standards.

They currently have several preschool program options, the first of which is the Colorado Preschool Program and Head Start program which both include part-day (morning) and part-year plans. They go four days a week, Tuesday through Friday, with free breakfast and lunch.

Families must meet income guidelines.

Another option is Head Start and Colorado Child Care Assistance (CCAP). This is a full-day, full-year program that runs five days a week. Parents must be working, in training, or going to school. Families may have a co-payment every month, but their children are given free breakfast, lunch and afternoon snacks.

Program similarities include all children receiving the same age-appropriate education. They all receive developmental and dental screening. Parents receive information and a list of programs on topics including child development, child abuse, parenting, etc. They are then assisted in obtaining any services suffered by the community.

Although there are income guidelines to be followed, income is not the only major factor for qualifying at Pagosa Early Childhood Center. Margie Lucero, area eligibility and program support technician, works with each family to thoroughly assess its needs and offer guidance that will help the family attain eligibility.

The main focus of the center right now is meeting target enrollment and providing childcare for as many families as possible. Parents are their most valuable resource because they are the main source of information concerning all aspects of their children. They also inform teachers at the center of community needs, from a different point of view. This can reveal a need to create and pursue new avenues.

If you would like to learn more about The Pagosa Early Childhood Center, you can call 264-2484 or 264-2512.

To give you a heads-up for enrollment, you can start gathering your child's birth certificate or baptismal record, locate their record of immunizations, social security numbers, TANF and Medicaid card (if applicable), proof of family income for the past 12 months or the previous income tax year, and names and phone number of emergency contact people.

Crusing with Cruse

By Katherine Cruse

The Buzz about bears and King's bees

When I told people I was going out to see Charlie King's beehives and learn about bees, the burning question on everybody's lips was - "What about bears? Don't bears get into the hives?"

So, of course, that's the first thing I asked Charlie.

Charlie is an amateur beekeeper. His grandfather was a professional beekeeper, back in Pennsylvania. His granddaughter is keeping bees.

Apparently the beekeeping gene skips a generation.

Charlie says he does it for fun. "When it quits being fun, then I'll quit keeping bees."

My own question, when I first learned that Charlie was a beekeeper, was, "Do you leave the bees enough honey to make it through the winter, or do you let them starve to death and buy more bees in the spring?" Some beekeepers do that, although it seems a cruel practice.

"No," he said, "I leave them enough honey. The important thing though," he said, "is that they get enough air."

The first winter he kept bees here in Pagosa, the hives were covered, heaped high, with snow. Charlie thought, "Well, that's the end of the bees." Came spring, he went out to brush the snow off the hives and check out the losses. And heard a faint buzz, buzz, buzz, coming from inside the boxes.

The bees had weathered the winter just fine.

How do they do it? They gather in a ball, and the ones on the inside are warm. They keep changing position to let the bees on the outside come in out of the cold and warm up. This is why they need honey over the winter. It takes a lot of calories to keep those little bee bodies shimmying and warming each other up.

Temperature control is just as important in the summer. Bees spend a lot time fanning air through the hives. They take water into the hive and leave little drops all around. The evaporating water helps maintain the hive temperature at a steady 96 degrees.

That's why the hives you see, maybe driving to Durango, are usually painted white. The light color reflects sunlight, so the boxes don't heat up too much.

Beehives are composed of boxes stacked on top of each other. The bottom two are usually where the bees live and raise their young. The ones above those, called "supers," are where the honey is stored. The beekeeper hangs empty forms inside the supers, forms that have the suggestion of a honeycomb structure. The bees do the rest, making honeycomb cells out of wax and filling them with honey.

All the opening slots between the boxes and between the racks of honey are a standard width, about 5/16 of an inch, called "bee space." Bee space was discovered by a fellow named Langstroth, a 19th century Congregational minister.

If the openings are wider or narrower than bee space, the bees will fill them with a kind of resin they make, called "propalis." They also cement the boxes together with propalis. The beekeeper has to pry the supers off with a flat metal tool.

Beekeeping is not high-tech. A beekeeper carries his prying tool and his smoke pot, and that's about all, when he goes to visit the beehives.

"But what about those bears?" I asked.

And the answer? Of course the bears get at the hives! What did you expect? Charlie showed me pictures of earlier years, when the bears had gotten into his beehives. There had been four hives in a row, and the bear had torn one of them apart. Bee cement, the propalis, was no match for a hungry bear.

"I had to move the undamaged hives the next day," Charlie said. "Before the bear came back."

After he had given me the standard show and tell that he gives visiting 4-H kids and other groups, Charlie asked, "Do you want to see the bees?"

"Of course," I said. "That's why I'm here."

"Okay," he said. "Put these on." And he handed me a white heavy canvas jacket with a zip-on hood. The front of the hood, which stood well out from my face, was mesh. There were leather and canvas gloves, too, with long cuffs.

I was all covered up, like a character in a disaster movie. Charlie, on the other hand, wore a short-sleeved shirt. No gloves, no hat with the little screen. No cover-up at all. Briefly, the thought flashed through my mind that maybe this bee thing was all a giant hoax. But then he set a little cloth on fire in the smoker, and off we went to the bee yard.

The bee hives are inside a fence. A sturdy bear-resistant fence, with heavy wood poles and bars at the corners and lots of wire. An electrified bear-resistant fence, enclosing a square space about 10 feet on a side, containing four beehives. The bears come around, leave a little sign, and maybe get their noses zapped, but they don't get inside the fence.

Charlie turned off the juice, unhooked the electric wires, and we went in. The bees buzzed around us, but a few whiffs of the smoker calmed them right down.

With the bees groggy and slow, Charlie pried off the top super from one of the hives and took out a frame of honey. Back at his house, he gave me a round section of honeycomb. He wrote out a label for it, "Produced by Charlie King's bees on the flanks of Pagosa Peak, Colorado."

"All honey used to come in the comb like this," he said. "You just scoop out a bit and chew it."

I did. The sweet honey filled my mouth and flowed down my throat. I chewed the wax. It tasted, well, waxy.


Editorials

All's well...isn't it?

Our county commissioners are championing a sales tax initiative in

November almost certain to cause some conflict with the Town of

Pagosa Springs. There are other options but the commissioners seem unwilling to exercise them.

Hopefully, the situation will turn out for the best, for the greatest number of people. But, the more adversarial the situation becomes, the less chance for success.

To prevent outright hostility, the commissioners must be sure of several things and act accordingly.

Certainly, the commissioners understand the town has a law on the books, approved by voters more than a year ago, that goes into effect if the current 2 percent sales tax, split 50/50 over 7 years between town and county, expires or is altered in any way. This law, allowing the town to take up to 3 percent sales tax in town along with its perpetual 1 percent outside town limits, was passed following a failed attempt by several non-town residents to put an initiative on a ballot calling for the town's share of countywide sales tax to be reduced. In taking the issue to voters in 1999, trustees were clear then about attempts to dictate town business by anyone living outside town. The commissioners must realize the town is not going to back down now, and allow voters outside town boundaries to arbitrarily dictate affairs within its statutory boundaries.

Certainly, the commissioners know, too, the town is a statutory entity of no less legal status than the county - that there is no political hierarchy in place, with county government at the top of the pyramid.

Surely they realize that at least 70-percent of sales tax, and probably more, is collected within the boundaries of the Town of Pagosa Springs and that town trustees have an obligation to work in the fiscal best interests of their constituents to protect as much of that revenue as possible. They realize that, legally, it doesn't matter whether sales tax is paid by in-town residents, county residents, or tourists.

Surely the commissioners realize, if they proceed with their apparent plan, there will be opposition to the measure. There will be opponents who urge defeat of the measure and a return to the polls in November, 2002, with a remodeled issue that reflects increased communication and cooperation between town and county - entities that, for the last decade, have enjoyed an unusually positive relationship. There has been scant communication between town and county thus far, and there are people in the community who would feel more comfortable if a ballot issue was supported openly and fully by both entities.

They know this. Of course they do.

The plan on the commissioners' table relies on the use of the word "extension." If passed, the issue will "extend" the current 2-percent tax - not allowing the current tax to expire. Yet, one commissioner, as late as Tuesday, was pondering the prospect of asking the "extension" to be "in perpetuity." Another allowed as how he is on the fence regarding the "in perpetuity" proposal.

Surely, the commissioners understand what the words "altered in any way" mean.

They know, when combined, the phrases "in perpetuity" and "altered in any way" buy a token on a bus heading straight to court.

They have thought this thing out in detail, haven't they? They've crafted a plan suitable to one and all, one that is going to succeed because of mutual support. They've represented the situation accurately to numerous legal authorities through their county attorney, and received positive responses.

Haven't they?

They would never take a poorly conceived gamble - one that, if it backfires, could destroy relations with the town and face residents of the county with the specter of reduced sales tax revenues.

Would they?

Karl Isberg

Dear Folks

By David C. Mitchell

It's a great day for an anniversary

Dear Folks,

Whaddya think?

I don't know. Whadda ya think?

Well right off I think someone is going to question the misspelling of "What do you think?"

At least some readers will.

Others won't think a thing about it.

For about the past three years Mr. Crouse and I periodically talked about what would follow the final Weld Spatters.

We knew it wasn't a "when or if" proposition. It was only a matter of when.

There would be no Weld Spatters II or an attempt to imitate Mr. Crouse's approach or style.

Some younger native old timers had considered taking up their pens as "The Next Generation," and sharing their memories of Pagosa Springs past.

They could have provided a revised version of many of the same episodes Mr. Crouse shared with his readers. They would have had their own hunting and fishing stories. Being from a later era, they would have experienced a somewhat different school and social life. They probably would have recalled some escapades about the blacksmith and welding shop that Mr. Crouse had forgotten or failed to mention.

Whereas Mr. Crouse eased into Weld Spatters with an on-again-off-again approach of periodically submitting a column, his potential followers knew a weekly column would be expected.

Whereas it's easy to write a column; it's work to write a weekly column.

One of the first things I learned at the SUN is that there are no byes, no open spots on the schedule, no vacations . . . the season lasts 52 weeks and you've got to start fresh every week.

I can't blame the next generation for not wanting to commit to producing a weekly column.

So I asked Karl what he thought about "Whaddya Think?"

After all, an endless number of legitimate issues, reasonable concerns and inane ideas surface in Pagosa Springs. There could be something new every week.

And in Pagosa Springs, you don't have to ask. Most folks give you their opinion whether you ask for it or not.

So it seemed like a good idea to ask folks what they thought about a specific issue . . . limiting the answer to a brief response.

Not knowing he was the one I planned to dump the assignment on, Karl said he thought it could be interesting.

Even after I said he would have to take mug shots along with asking the questions, Karl was ready to hit the sidewalks.

So don't be surprised if in the future someone comes up to you and says, "Hey, Whaddya think about. . .?

And no, you don't have to buy a copy of your photo or sign up for a subscription.

It's just a chance to let folks know what you think about what's happening in Pagosa springs.

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

David

Legacies

By Shari Pierce

100 years ago

Taken from The Weekly Times of August 15, 1901

Monday evening about eight o'clock fire was reported, it was in the Santa Fe Cafe. The damage was very light as the flame was very soon extinguished. This would be a very dangerous place for fire to start since it is the only solid built portion of town.

J.H. Hallett came down from the mountains with many fine samples of ore rock, some of which runs very well in minerals.

Ben Minium is cutting several acres of fall wheat which is reported to be of the very finest quality and will yield about 20 bushels per acre.

The little child of Mr. and Mrs. Lewis swallowed a pin Monday causing considerable alarm to the parents. Fortunately no harm was done.

75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of August 20, 1926

An offender appeared before Justice Herbert Loucks last Saturday evening to answer to the charge of leaving a camp fire burning on the forest reserve. His defense was that he had no such intent and had considered the fire out when he left. He was fined the sum of $25 and costs, but the fine was remitted.

The Community Health Conference, held in Pagosa Springs Monday under the auspices of the local Parent-Teacher Association and the Women's Civic Club, was successful in every way. A total of 62 children were examined at the clinic, 36% of which were found to be more than 7% underweight for their heights. This is close to the average for the state. The doctor advised tonsil and adenoid operations in 23 cases, or 37% of the children examined.

50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of August 17, 1951

The town dump grounds on the Trujillo road has been cleaned up and a road built to the rear of the area. Town authorities are making signs and have served notice that anyone dumping in other than authorized places will be subject to arrest and a heavy fine.

The Woman's Civic Club was entertained by Mr. and Mrs. Clee Woods at their Double Quill Ranch on the San Juan River on Aug. 9. Following the business meeting Mr. Woods entertained the Club with an intensely interesting talk on the making of a movie. His emphasis was placed on the movie, "The Battle of Apache Pass," which was recently filmed at Moab, Utah. Mr. Woods acted as technical advisor on the Indian customs, costumes, and dances used in this movie. He also worked with the cavalry used in this picture.

25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of August 12, 1976

The first freeze of the season was reported the morning of August 8. The weather station thermometer registered exactly 32 degrees, but this was enough to nip flowers and gardens. This is one of the earliest freezes in recent years. Since that time the weather has been pleasant with almost daily evening showers.

The Archuleta County Fair this year was down in number of general exhibits, up in attendance, and in livestock exhibits. The bidding at the livestock auction was more competitive than for some years and all livestock sold well.

TV movies were in the Chromo area at the Harold and Ernie Schutz ranches last week filming Marlboro Country cigarette commercials.