Front Page

August 23, 2001

Frenzy for food before hibernations triggers bear woes

By Karl Isberg

An incident Saturday serves to remind everyone that bears in the region are short of natural food, and in a frenzy to gain weight for upcoming hibernation.

A bear tagged in New Mexico made its way Saturday to the Alpha subdivision west of downtown Pagosa Springs and wandered perilously close to U.S. 160 - attracting the attention of a crowd of spectators and, eventually, of Division of Wildlife officer Mike Reid who lives nearby.

Reid said a unidentified man came to his door and informed him a bear was chasing horses near the highway. Reid jumped on a small motorcycle, sped to the scene and worked the bear away from the highway. The animal was treed and, while town police and a Colorado State Patrol Trooper directed a "Yellowstone-like bear jam" on the highway, Reid's wife brought him his tranquilizer dart gun.

As DOW officer Doug Purcell was summoned from another part of the county with a bear trap, Reid tranquilized the bear. A La Plata Electric bucket truck was on its way to the scene when the bear fell to the ground, it's descent broken by tree branches.

Reid checked the animal while it was on the ground, then administered his last dose of tranquilizer as the bear started to rouse from its slumber. When Purcell arrived with the trap, the show was over. The bear was loaded and transported to a wild animal rehabilitation center at Del Norte.

"This guy had missed a few meals," said Reid of the bear. Reid reported officials at the Del Norte facility called and reported the bear suffered no injuries in the fall, was eating and, when enough weight is gained, will be released into the wild.

This bear is not alone in its desperation.

"Its tough on bears this year," said Reid. "There are shortages of their natural foods. Frosts in mid-June killed off acorns and choke cherries and these bears are hyperphagic - driven to eat as much as possible and put on as much weight as possible."

Reid said he and Purcell know of bears foraging on the edges of Pagosa Springs, in the Lake Forest, Alpha, Rockridge, Twin Creek Village, Piedra Estates and Meadows subdivisions, near Chromo, in the Upper Blanco area, at the base of Wolf Creek Pass and at Williams Creek.

"They've also been in Aspen Springs, said Reid, "where we had a resident shoot a bear a couple weeks ago. The animal later died of its wounds and we would like to find out who did the shooting."

Reid's advice: Until bears hibernate, precautions should be taken to remove temptations for the animals. "If a bear is just there, we can't do much about it if people are still providing food in the form of trash, or bird feeders, compost piles, vegetable gardens or pet foods," he said. "If a property owner or neighborhood does everything possible to shut off food sources and the bear is still there and doing property damage, we'll trap it."

The DOW has a "two-strike" policy in effect for bears: the first time a bear is trapped, it is tagged and removed to a distant location. If it returns or finds its way to trouble again, the animal is destroyed.

"We like to try to live together with bears," said Reid. "It doesn't take much. Anything that smells interesting to them or is food for anything else, will attract the bears. Remove the temptations, and we can coexist."

Reid said reports about bears destroying property or posing any type of threat can be called in to Central Dispatch at 264-2131 and a DOW officer will be contacted.

Hospital board approves basis for levy hike bid

By Tess Noel Baker

The Upper San Juan Hospital District board has approved the blueprint on which it will base its November plea for a mill levy increase.

The 18-page Upper San Juan Hospital District 2002 Financial Plan presents an overview of the district's past, present and future financial situation - starting with the need for more tax revenues to maintain current services.

"I promised you last month I would bring you a definitive and defensible planning package," Dick Babillis, board chairman and interim district manager, said at Tuesday's regular meeting. "Thanks to the efforts of everyone on the budget committee, I feel this is a reflection of that."

As a bottom line, the committee came up with an estimated $346,000 in additional operating fund revenue as the base number for figuring a mill levy request, nearly double its levy in 2001.

Under the current general mill levy of 1.854, the district would receive an estimated $305,000 in operating fund revenue in 2002. Those revenue figures are based on 2001 property valuations plus 5 percent, a conservative estimate for 2002, Babillis said. When the assessor's office releases a preliminary certification of values for this year on Friday, those numbers will change. The board agreed to wait until after the preliminary certification is released to set the question for voters in November.

In other business, the board approved an agreement with the Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Foundation regarding requests for funds to cover operating costs until the November vote. A maximum of $100,000 is available, a short term solution only.

In July, foundation board members agreed to offer financial assistance to the district by establishing a line of credit using the foundation endowment. In return, the district agreed to make its "best" effort to return any funds used once the financial status returns to solid footing.

Reporting on the current situation Tuesday, Babillis said, as of July 31, the district had $51,800 in the bank and a total of $104,000 in bills to pay.

Projecting how to make the revenues, including the available line of credit from the foundation, cover the shortfall is Babillis' next task.

"It's not all due right now," he said in a subsequent interview. It's also not expected to jump by the same amount each month. Some of the bills include malpractice and insurance premiums - one-time requests for payment that won't be seen again the rest of the year.

Increased revenue is also expected to close some of the gap, Babillis said. For instance, charges based on ambulance fee increases earlier this summer are expected to begin hitting the books in September.

Rod Richardson, EMS operations manager said, even in June, the difference was evident. Although there were just 13 more calls in June 2001 over last year, revenue jumped by $18,000 after the fee increases.

Recouping some money from previous writeoffs is another option, Babillis said at Tuesday's meeting.

"We've gone back over some old billing and found $45,000 in writeoffs," he said. "There might be some possible recovery there."

Shannon Price, receptionist/accounts payable, reported that EMS billing efficiency is improving, speeding up the time gap between service and payment.

"We're getting it all in the computer so we can do everything in one fell swoop - billing and coding."

With efforts to cull current spending and increase revenue in place, Babillis said, things are starting to turn around.

"We are in a get-well phase right now," he said.

But the health of status-quo for the district can only be diagnosed through November. Then, it's in the hands of the voters.

"I think if this mill levy doesn't pass, well, people don't realize what they'll face," board member Bob Huff said.

"We're going to have to cut services," board member Bill Downey replied.

"We're going to have to cut it until it bleeds," treasurer Sue Walan said.

The level of service the board is attempting to maintain includes:

24 hour a day in-quarters EMS services centralized in Pagosa Springs with satellite Quick Response Vehicles located in the western and southeastern portions of the district

the Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Center open five days a week from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. by appointment, and

an Urgent Care Facility located at the center offering weekend and walk-in care.

Ditch closes Valle Seco Road: Is it public or private?

By John M. Motter

Local sportsmen and wildlife watchers will be surprised to learn that Valle Seco Road is closed. The road is blocked by a huge ditch ordered dug by the owners of a private parcel of land located at the south end of the road.

Also known as Forest Service Road 653, Valle Seco Road meanders through miles of prime wildlife habitat in the south central part of Archuleta County. Mule deer, elk, bear, mountain lions, turkeys, and other native fauna call the area home.

The road leaves U.S. 84 about 15 miles south of Pagosa Springs and winds over hill and dale in a southwesterly direction until uniting with Montezuma Road. During its journey, Valle Seco Road crosses public and private land. Therein lies the issue. Is Valle Seco Road a public road, or can private landowners put a locked gate across the road and prevent public entry?

The road crosses two pieces of public land, the first a land-locked parcel near the center of the area, and the second located at the south end near its intersection with Montezuma Road. The central property is owned by relatives of Gene Crabtree, chairman of the board of county commissioners. The southerly property is owned by members of the Garcia family. Sandwiched between the private parcels is Forest Service property accessible only by using the road.

Twice in a span of less than a year, the issue of public rights on Valle Seco Road has been on the table for county commissioner consideration.

The issue first came to the commissioners during January of this year. At that time a complaint was lodged with the commissioners because a gate with a lock had been placed across the road during the previous hunting season. At that time, the commissioners took no action, but promised to investigate the matter.

More recently, a ditch was dug across a section of the road on the Garcia property, prohibiting passage.

Several members of the local sportsman's organization appeared before the commissioners this week protesting closure of the road. All said they have driven over the road for years without being stopped. Among the group were Eddie Archuleta, who said he has used the road at least 50 years; Judd Cooney, who said he has used the road since 1970; and Dick Ray, who said he has used the road since 1970 during all seasons.

Commissioner Bill Downey opened Tuesday's session by announcing, "This issue was before the board last fall when we were asked why the road was closed. At a January meeting we felt that more information was necessary (before making a decision)."

The issue, according to Downey, is whether the public has right of access across the private land through prescriptive easement. Prescriptive easement is a legal process wherein the public is granted right of way across private property under certain conditions related to unchallenged public use over a period of years.

Colorado statutes place responsibility for settling prescriptive easement issues in the laps of the board of county commissioners, according to Downey.

"This board has statutory authority to rule on these issues," Downey said. "It is a public process. The board can rule one way or the other. If the board's decision is challenged, the issue can go to the courts."

The land owners who ordered the ditch dug across Valle Seco Road were not present at Tuesday's meeting. Speaking on their behalf was local realtor and land developer Todd Shelton.

"My biggest question is, why should the county get into civil matters?" Shelton asked. "This is not a county road."

The commissioners have a letter from the Forest Service stating that they do not have a right of way across the private land, Ecker said. In the letter the Forest Service says they recognize that public access across the public land has been through courtesy of the land owners.

"Despite my personal feelings, I will act according to the facts in the issue," Ecker said.

Pagosa District Ranger Jo Bridges says the Forest Service letter was written last year in response to a request from Commissioner Crabtree. She said the Forest Service does not have, and to her knowledge never has had, a written agreement with the property owners concerning access. She said the letter acknowledges the current access situation as she understands it. Attributing more importance to the letter than that may be overstating the letter's intent, Bridges said.

Lease negotiations about 15 years ago connected with a proposed timber sale fell through, Bridges said, because the landowners offered a 35-year right of way lease. The Forest Service rejected the offer, she added.

No bar to use of the road is currently in place on the property owned by Crabtree's relatives.

Near the end of Tuesday's meeting, Archuleta asked that, somehow, access be maintained to Forest Service property sandwiched between the private properties.

No action was taken at Tuesday's board meeting. Crabtree was not present because he is on vacation. A public meeting to discuss the issue has been scheduled Sept. 11 at 7 p.m. in the commissioners' meeting room.

Wednesday pass closure was used to clear high slide threat

By Richard Walter

The regular overnight closure of Wolf Creek Pass for tunnel construction operations lasted a little longer than usual Tuesday night, and there were initial reports it might be closed up to 36 hours.

Nancy Shanks, with the Colorado Department of Transportation, said the problem was a high-altitude accumulation of slide rock not directly due to construction or blasting, but regarded as a danger to traffic below.

By 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, she said, on-scene personnel were aware they would not have the road open by the normal 7 a.m.

When they realized the stones were loose and posed a hazard to passing traffic below, the crews began removal efforts.

Shanks said the result was a delay in opening Wednesday morning "but by 10 a.m., the road was reopened and we did not foresee any additional problem." She said the site manager indicated some of the stones removed were "larger than the field office trailer. "

It marked the third time this season the pass has been closed because of slide problems, but the first not directly related to the construction activity.

Involved in the project is a nearly 1,000 foot tunnel on the west side of the Pass in the area now known as the Narrows (oldtimers will recall it being called the Chute).

Editorial

Too much chaff

La Plata Electric Association will conduct a mail ballot election soon in order to elect directors and, more important, to allow members to vote on six proposed amendments to the cooperative's bylaws.

Directors, management and staff of the company vigorously oppose the proposals, asserting that approval of the amendments will put major, if not insurmountable, obstacles in the way of effective management in what is likely to be an unpredictable future for rural power delivery systems.

Unfortunately, the mail ballot removes the need for members to gather at a single event - the Sept. 8 annual meeting - to hear a detailed debate about issues before casting their votes. Members can attend the annual meeting and vote after, but the majority of voters will choose the mail option; they will make decisions based on a reading of the text of each issue and of brief, written pro and con statements concerning the proposed amendments.

The difficulty for the voter, and for LPEA, is that some of the proposals are constructed around core concepts that are legitimate, and attractive.

Most of the proposals soon depart from the core, however, and prescribe solutions too extreme, too cumbersome, unnecessary or expensive. The wheat must be separated from the chaff. When all is said and done, the body of most of the amendments is too much chaff.

But, these proposals are a warning shot, fired with legitimate powder. If they fail the vote, as they should, the legitimate ideas that curl in the heart of several of the amendments must not be ignored by LPEA directors and management. There are points made the directors must understand, and they must display their understanding in a convincing manner.

For example: there should be no conflict of interest for directors, of any kind. No relative of a director should be paid a salary or should work as a contract employee for the co-op. If there are instances of conflict of interest or nepotism, they must be eliminated, in a publicly visible way.

The organization should provide an easier way for members to recall ineffective elected leadership. While the proposed amendment unwisely locks a director's focus on a small number of members living within his or her district, there is no way to justify the current requirement for the signatures of over 2,000 members on a petition to recall a director.

Business contracts, well defined, should be awarded only to lowest bidders. The proposed amendment does not define types of contracts well enough to be acceptable; the directors can.

There should be no secret meetings of directors. Names of directors making or seconding motions and the names of board voters yea or nay on issues should be recorded in the minutes, and be available to the public. All materials provided to directors prior to meetings, except those appropriately deemed confidential, should be available to any member, but not 10 full days before a meeting, as stated in the proposed amendment. This handcuffs the ability of a board to react quickly to situations and problems.

LPEA directors should pay heed to what the current amendment modification process signals. They need to work to have the current crop of proposals defeated at the polls, but they must examine the core ideas and do what they can to remedy any situations that gave rise to them.

Cooperatives exist in a world of their own, somewhere between the universe of private business and the realm of government. LPEA should emulate the model of conduct and accountability demanded of public bodies, and move farther from the model of private enterprise.

And the directors must know, if current attempts to modify bylaws are unsuccessful, and the company does not act to assure its membership it is responsive, there will always be a next time.

Karl Isberg

Dear Folks

By David C. Mitchell

It's not what they had hoped to get

Dear Folks,

Being reminded that we usually get what we asked for is never fun.

Folks never asked for all of these bears or for a shortage in teachers and nurses, but through their actions or attitudes it's what they requested.

Most folks agree that a combination of late spring frosts and mid-summer droughts stunted the usual growth and availability of acorns, chokecherries and service berries this season. This in turn depleted the bears' normal food supply. So the bears naturally turn to unnatural food sources such as bird feeders, trash bags, garbage cans, dumpsters or such human handouts.

But the shortage of food sources isn't the only factor contributing to the abundance of bear sightings. In the November 1992 general election, Colorado's metropolitan and urban voters determined the outcome of a statewide initiative, Amendment 10, regarding bear hunting in Colorado.

By prohibiting the hunting of black bears "by any means" between March 1 and September 1, the amendment eliminated the spring bear hunt. It also prohibited hunters from using bait to attract bears or dogs to locate bears. The resulting reduced number of kills tended to increase the bear population at just about the same time an increasing number folks started migrating to Colorado. Many of these folks settled in previously undeveloped bear habitats.

Though no longer being hunted, bears are being killed between March 1 and September 1 due to the Colorado Division of Wildlife's "strike two" policy. Any bear that DOW officers have trapped and tagged as a garbage scavenger is killed following the bruin's second offense. Thus we have the "a fed bear is a dead bear" axiom. It's not what the voters wanted in 1992 when they supported Amendment 10, but it's what they're getting.

The same is true of folk's out-dated concept that those who become teachers or nurses are responding to a "calling." Therefore, America's age-old fallacy that teachers' and nurses' salaries don't have to be commensurate with those of other professions that require similar educational qualifications is starting to pay negative dividends.

The Denver newspapers reported Tuesday that a shortage of teachers is causing Colorado school districts to search coast to coast for qualified teachers. According to a survey by the Colorado Association of School Personnel Administrators, about 2,600 prospective teachers graduated from Colorado colleges last year while at the same time the public schools statewide need to fill about 5,000 teaching positions.

State lawmakers heard a similar report Monday on the shortage in the nursing profession. The shortage was attributed to low salaries and poor working conditions. The term "crisis" was echoed by many health professionals who discussed the nursing shortage during the hearing at the state Capitol.

Teaching and nursing are two of the few professions that show little or no response to the economic factors of supply and demand. The salaries in both professions remain low regardless of increasing demands and diminishing supplies for their services.

No one should be surprised. Though it might not be what they wanted to get, it's what folks continue to ask for with their outmoded pay standards for both professions or "callings."

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 March 21, 1901

The Colorado State Bank of Durango is pleased to advise its patrons and the public that it has opened a branch at Pagosa Springs, Colorado, under the title of "First Bank of Pagosa Springs," being the first and only bank established in Archuleta County. We would introduce and commend to the trade, Mr. F.A. Collins, a banker of sound experience and judgment, who, as the bank's cashier will be the local manager.

A bad wreck occurred near Navajo last week, resulting in the smashing of several cars and an engine. Engineer Warring was killed.

Abe Howe was down from his ranch on West Fork for the first time since the thaw, Tuesday, and says the roads are very bad.

 

75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of March 19, 1926

John Duncan and R.A. Dunn were arrivals in Pagosa Springs Monday. Mr. Duncan was the successful bidder on what is known as the West Fork federal aid project, which consists of about two miles of grading and gravel surfacing between Turkey Creek and the West Fork bridge. The project will cost about $22,000 and will be completed about the middle of July if favorable weather prevails.

State Engineer C.W. Harkness arrived from Durango this week and will supervise the construction work. Mr. Harkness brings the pleasing news that the two state projects knows as the "Catchpole Mistake" and "Laughlin Hill," both north of Pagosa Springs and on the Wolf Creek Highway and which seem to have gone a-glimmering are now slated to receive attention the coming season.

50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of March 23, 1951

The county commissioners announced the appointment of a three-man County Fair Commission this week with H. Ray Macht, Woodrow Dunlap and Glenn Kimball being named to the board. Mr. Macht will be chairman of the group. The commissioners stated that it was their intention for the committee to draw up a plan for a county fair this fall.

Dr. L. S. Andrus, local physician, and Fred Kipp, formerly of Denver, announced this week that they had entered into a contract for the lease of the Spring, with an option to buy. The property is at present owned by the Lynn family, which has owned and operated the resort for the past twenty years. Andrus and Kipp state that their plan is to make as modern and as attractive a resort on the property as is to be found anywhere.

 

25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of March 18, 1976

April 6 will be town election day in Pagosa Springs and there will be six candidates contesting for the three vacancies. Candidates that have filed nomination petitions are: Bennie Johnson, Edward (Butch) Madrid, Ross Maestas, all incumbents; and Roy Vega, Ross Aragon, and Nolan Emert.

Kurt Laverty, member of the Pagosa Springs High School ski team placed third in skimeister points in statewide competition. This is an accumulation of points in all four competitive events in high school skiing. These include cross country, jumping, slalom and giant slalom. Kurt has been a consistent point winner for the ski squad and will be counted on again next year as a mainstay of the ski team.

 Inside The Sun

Proposed LPEA bylaw changes draw stiff opposition

By Richard Walter

A series of proposed amendments to La Plata Electric Association bylaws, to be submitted to membership via mail-out ballots, are stirring strong feelings on both sides.

Six separate petitions seeking amendments have been certified by the LPEA board as meeting the necessary requirements for submission to voters. This came after the resignation July 2 of David Potter as chief operating officer, and followed a year of charges of mismanagement in connection with a failed subsidiary operation.

Ballots can be returned by mail or can be cast in person at the LPEA annual meeting scheduled Sept. 8 at the LPEA offices at 8th and Apache Streets in Pagosa Springs.

Specifically, the proposed amendments would:

(1) Amend wording of Article II, Section 2, to say special meetings may be called by a majority of the directors or upon a written request signed by at least 10 percent (of all members is deleted) of the total number of votes cast in all districts for the election of directors at the last annual meeting; and amends Article III, Section 6, to provide the same voter percentage for seeking removal of a director. It also specifies voting would be "in-person" only and declares a vacancy exists at the moment the vote is certified, which must be within one hour of the vote.

Petitioners say the current wording makes it nearly impossible to call a special meeting or petition for recall of a director, noting requiring signatures of 10 percent of the total membership would mean collecting about 2,600 signatures. The change reduces the total number of signatures needed to about 492 for a special meeting and to about 100 (10 percent of the vote in the district of the director sought to be recalled) to get the proposition on the ballot.

An LPEA statement of opposition says, "The proposed amendments are not in LPEA's best interests. Once elected from a district, a director's responsibilities include consideration of the LPEA cooperative as a whole. Removal of a director should permit involvement of all members. Recall of a county commissioner, for example, would involve all voters in the county, not just the voters in a geographic district from which the commissioner was chosen. Even though LPEA has over 20,000 member/consumers, the proposal would make it possible for a director to be removed by fewer than 100 members (based on last year's election records), whose special motivations may not be consistent with the overall best interests of the cooperative.

10-day notice

(2) Bylaw Amendment Ballot Issue No. 2 would amend Article IV, Sections 1 and 5, and add new sections 6 and 7.

The changes would require posting notice of time and place of a board meeting and a copy of the agenda for said meeting on the cooperative's web site at least 10 days before the meeting and must include a copy of the text of any resolution, rule, regulation, policy or contract proposed for adoption at the meeting and all attachments to such must be available at each service office; the manner of casting a board vote would be amended to have the names of both the maker of a motion and the seconder recorded as a part of the minutes, specifies all votes must be taken by roll-call only and the minutes must record the names of all voters for, against or abstaining. Secret ballots would not be allowed.

A proposed new Section 6 would deal with executive sessions.

It prohibits any executive session, closed committee meeting, board retreat or other gathering of the board closed to members except on such matters as authorized by state statute. Specifically, the section would prohibit LPEA executive sessions for receipt of (1) any information concerning an agent, servant or employee of any entity in which LPEA holds a legal or equitable interest; (2) any financial information concerning any entity in which LPEA holds a legal or equitable interest; or (3) To accept any matter in confidence with a pledge to keep it confidential even after relying upon the information for an official board action.

Whenever there is to be submitted to the board for action, following an executive session, any resolution, rule, regulation, policy or contract, then action shall not be taken thereon until after it has been posted on the web site and made available at service offices for at least 10 days.

Once the board has taken official action on any matter which was, in whole or in part, discussed in executive session, any written materials submitted to the board for consideration on such matter must be opened at once to member examination and copying.

Information access

The proposed new Section 7, dealing with members' access to information, specifies: (1) All written materials furnished the LPEA board for consideration at any regular or special meeting, committee meeting, executive session or board retreat, shall be available to the board members at least 10 days in advance of the meeting at which the material will be considered, hereafter referred to as "board packets"; (2) Simultaneously with delivery of packets to the board, copies of the same minus any materials marked "confidential" by the preparer must be available for inspection and/or copying (without cost) by any member of LPEA.

The materials made available must also include a statement concerning materials marked "confidential" sufficient to allow the reader to understand in general the nature of the matter being claimed as confidential; and (3) Any item contained in a prior board packet cannot be considered confidential if it was not marked so at time of receipt or related to bids submitted to LPEA, material related to personnel matters, or materials related to settlement of threatened or pending litigation.

Petitioners believe the amendments proposed make the board's action more public, prohibit secret ballots, limit secret sessions and make more records available to members. Questions about business ventures in the past, they say, resulted in "blacked out" board minutes, possibly denying members access to meetings of subsidiaries and that millions of dollars of members' money may have been lost.

The utility's position is that many of the proposals are unrealistic and unreasonable and notes agendas already are posted 10 days in advance, board actions are taken in open session and minutes of meetings are posted on the web site following board approval.

Often, the firm said, final documentation related to an issue is not available at the time of agenda posting. To delay action another 30 days so all related documents could be posted would be an extraordinary burden that could adversely affect the cooperative's business interests. It believes the proposal would subject the LPEA board to greater restrictions on executive sessions than those imposed on local governments; and that the disclosure of information about employees would arguably violate employee privacy rights guaranteed by federal law.

Meeting tapes

Bylaw Amendment Ballot Issue No. 3 calls for creation of a new section to Article IV with reference to minutes of board meetings and would require all regular and special meetings of the board, including committee sessions and retreats, to be audio/video taped and that each person speaking must identify themselves by name.

Tapes, except those of executive sessions, would have to be made available for review within 24 hours of the meeting's end and members could acquire copies for the actual cost per tape. It requires all tapes be maintained for seven years and if a discussion in any meeting becomes subject of a protest or legal action, tapes must be retained until disposition, ruling or settlement of the action.

It would require tapes of executive sessions upon any suit in challenge, be given to the judge of the court for "in camera" review within 30 days of the suit or action being filed; and would require minutes of all sessions, regular and special, to be posted on the web site within three business days of the meeting . . . although minutes will not be official until approved at the next meeting.

The board's statement of opposition says the proposals are too burdensome and expensive; the time frames for computer posting of hard-copy documents would in some cases be impossible to meet; existing laws provide for disclosure of records to members and court inspection when necessary; to the extent the proposals differ from state law and court rules, they may be invalid; rather than tying LPEA's hands and mandatorily requiring all of the members to bear the costs of the proposal, the matter is better left to existing law and the sound discretion of the board members elected by the membership.

The petitioners supportive argument is that the proposal creates a precise record of all activities of the board, makes it available to members, and guarantees quick access to all resolutions, rules, regulations, policies, and contracts adopted.

Contract controls

Proposed Amendment No. 4 adds the following language to Article VI:

LPEA shall not enter into any contract except by an open bidding process, and no business entity substantially controlled by LPEA shall be awarded a contract unless it is the lowest qualified bidder in that open bidding process.

The supportive argument says LPEA has formed for-profit subsidiaries with which it does business. Proposed additional language requires LPEA to do contracting through a bidding process so that subsidiaries stand on an equal footing with all other contractors.

The board's position is that not every contract should or can be subject to bids. Its contract with union employees, for example, is governed by federal labor laws, not bidding procedures and detailed federal regulations already govern LPEA procurement practices. LPEA should be allowed the flexibility permitted by those regulations in furthering the best interests of the members.

Property disposal

Proposed Amendment No. 5 would reword Article IX - Disposition of Property, to remove the bar against selling properties, allowing tangible assets that are not now and will not be necessary or useful in operating and maintaining the cooperative's electrical system and facilities to be sold only at public auction but limits such sales to not exceed in value 10 percent of the value of all assets of the cooperative (new wording follows) unless such sale, mortgage, lease or other disposition or encumbrance is authorized at a meeting of the members by the affirmative vote of at least two-thirds of the members voting thereon at such meeting in person or by mail vote, and the notice of such proposed sale, mortgage, lease or other disposition or encumbrance shall have been contained in the notice of the meeting.

It would also allow sale of services of all kinds (new words) related to electric energy; and specifically includes personal property acquired for resale (new wording follows) including stocks, bonds, debentures or investments in other organizations, shall be sold only at public auction; provided that stocks traded on a recognized stock exchange may be sold upon that exchange rather than at public auction. The proposal then would delete the following wording (in part): unless such sale, mortgage, lease or other disposition or encumbrance is authorized at a meeting of the members by the affirmative vote of at least two-thirds of the members voting.

Petitioners say the changes will make it clear when sales of LPEA assets must be submitted to members for prior approval and prohibits LPEA from borrowing money for anything other than the purposes directly related to providing electric services.

The corporate position of opposition says the proposal unduly restricts the board's ability to manage LPEA's property and that the proposal, as drafted, provides no specifically identified mechanism for the sale of electric energy.

The board says public auctions do not necessarily mean the firm would get the best possible price for surplus equipment and that even if it is in the utility's best interest to do so, the board could not borrow or pledge any LPEA funds not related to use of electric energy.

Finally, the board statement says "given the difficult decisions the LPEA board must make to preserve the value of LPEA's investments, significant restriction of board powers is unwise at this time."

Indemnification

The final proposed amendment would change wording of Article XVI with reference to indemnification of officers and directors by adding the following:

Within 30 days following each annual meeting of LPEA, every director the chief executive officer, and such other employees of LPEA as the board of directors may from time to time determine, shall file with the board a statement setting forth the name of any entity in which they or any "person related to" them holds any legal or beneficial interest, or an entity in which they or a "person related to" them is a director, officer, or with whom they have a contract relationship.

For purposes of this provision, a "person related to" means:

1. Spouse

2. Descendent, ancestor or sibling

3. Spouse of a descendent, ancestor or sibling; and

4. Estate or trust in which the director or other designated employees or "person related to" them has a beneficial interest.

Petitioners say the proposed additional language guarantees the LPEA board can recognize all possible conflicts of interest, insider trading, nepotism, and favoritism in those upon whom the board relies for information and advice and would assist in enforcing the Colorado conflicting interest transaction statute.

The LPEA statement of opposition says the proposal is unworkable and unnecessary; existing law already protects the members against decision-making based on a director's private financial interests. In the interest of exposing potential conflicts of interest, the proposal goes too far. Everything from a director's magazine subscriptions to the private financial dealings of a director's distant relatives would have to be reported under this provision. It is impractical and serves no useful purposes not already served by existing law.

Pagosa position

Members of the board of directors, including Harry M. Cole, J. Robert Formwalt and H. Ray Macht of Pagosa Springs, have signed a unanimous resolution opposing all of the proposed amendments.

Their statement says the amendments would:

Discourage qualified members of our communities from becoming candidates for the board of directors in the future because of unreasonable and excessive financial disclosure requirements, including disclosure of financial activities of the directors, their "ancestors," "descendants," and "persons related to" them;

The amendments would disrupt and delay the ability of the board to conduct business; they would impose upon all members significant costs in manpower, money and time needed to satisfy new requirements for video-taping and making available records for copying; would prevent the board from receiving in executive session any information submitted confidentially and prohibit the board from taking any action in which confidential or privileged materials were considered without disclosing the same to the public; force the board of directors to procure all services and equipment only through open bidding and compel disposal of tangible property only through public auction regardless of the best interest of the cooperative and the communities it serves; and would exclude most members from participating in the petitioning or election process needed to remove a director.

The resolution was signed by all 12 directors on Aug. 15 in Durango.

Sales tax an important county road

funding source

By John M. Motter

County sales tax income has pumped about $5.9 million into Archuleta County's Road Capital Improvement Fund starting with 1995, according to a report compiled from information supplied by the county's road and bridge and finance departments.

One-half of a two-cent sales tax last approved by voters during November of 1994 is devoted to the RCIF. That 1 percent levy has financed a multitude of road projects, equipment purchases, and equipment leases. Language on the ballot when the tax was approved by voters dedicates the county's 1 percent portion to the RCIF.

Since the 1994 two-cent tax was approved for seven years only, it will expire Jan. 1, 2003. With the thought of that expiration at the front of their minds, the county commissioners are considering a renewal election before the expiration date.

Without the income from that tax, we are dead in the water, all of the commissioners say. As justification for the statement, they point to road projects and equipment purchased since 1994 using the 1 percent sales tax.

Capital construction projects have consumed about $4.2 million since the 1994 tax was initiated. Another $1.2 million has been invested in capital equipment purchases and lease payments for capital equipment.

Largest of the construction projects funded from sales tax income was the 1997 Piedra Road overlay, a $946,704 project that included repaving Piedra Road from its intersection with U.S. 160 to the cattle guard at the north end of the Fairfield subdivisions.

The next most expensive construction project was $796,450 for paving a portion of South Pagosa Blvd. and Meadows Drive during 2000.

Three construction projects came in at over $300,000 including $370,494 for graveling connected with Cat Creek bridges during 1996, $331,552 for Cat Creek bridges spread from 1995 through 1998, and $301,667 for construction of a Navajo River bridge during 2000.

Projects costing at least $100,000 but less than $300,000 include $283,000 for paving a portion of North Pagosa Blvd. during 2000-2001; $203,875 for construction on South Pagosa Blvd. during 1998; $153,500 for graveling Piedra Road during 1996; about one-half of $145,315 expended as of Aug. 17, 2001, for the Piedra Road/Eagle Drive project; $142,336 to chip and seal county roads during 2001; and $118,059 for construction of an Edith bridge during 1995, 1997, and 1998.

The remainder of the $4.2 million spent on road construction was allotted to 12 projects including the Pinion Causeway spillway, chip and seal on the Upper Navajo Road during 1996, Trujillo Road culverts, Snowball Road graveling, Blanco Basin graveling, Edith bridge graveling, Cemetery Road, Gallegos bridge, a road impact study, Light Plant Road, Eight Mile Mesa Road, and transition paving.

Including 1995, the county has spent $676,350 from the 1-percent sales tax on payments for lease or lease purchase of road maintenance equipment. Another $516,573 has been spent on the purchase of a wide variety of road maintenance equipment.

Purchases in excess of $70,000 are normally executed through lease purchase programs, according to Kevin Walters, county road and bridge superintendent.

Finally, the RCIF has a fund balance of $1.5 million. Since 1994, the fund has received income from other sources amounting to $978,000. Of that amount, $405,580, all from sales tax income, was used to initiate the RCIF in 1997, according to Cathie Wilson, the county finance director.

Commissioners agree to study right of

way policy

By John M. Motter

The county should adopt a policy dictating terms for the acceptance of road rights of way, County Attorney Mary Weiss told the board of county commissioners at their regular Tuesday meeting.

"The planning department is trying to deal with people who want to give the county rights of way," Weiss said. "We need to adopt a written policy or procedure."

Bill Downey and Alden Ecker, the only commissioners present, agreed with Weiss. They urged her and Kevin Walters, the county road and bridge director, to draft a policy, then bring the draft back for commissioner approval.

In other business Tuesday the commissioners:

Agreed to allow Jaynes Construction Company to park equipment on county land. Jaynes is erecting the new community center building on Hot Springs Boulevard. The county owns land across the street which they agreed to let Jaynes use for parking

Agreed to continue contributing $700 to provide meals for Arboles area senior citizens

Based on a request from citizens living on Butte Drive, agreed to initiate a study which could lead to lowering the speed limit on Butte Drive from 30 to 20 miles per hour

Approved spending about $1,600 to purchase additional storage space for finance department computers

Gave conditional approval to a contract for Phase II of Light Plant Road reconstruction

Approved a resolution changing the name of Highline Court to Vision Crest Court

Gave final approval to the improvements required under the Conditional Use Permit granted Hard Times Concrete, and released the bond securing the agreement

Approved a final replat for South Village Lake Parcel 4

Granted a time extension for completing the landscaping of Teal Landing, Phase II, Building 12, to coincide with the completion of Building 13

Listened to a monthly progress report given by senior citizens director Musetta Wollenweber.

Community Facilities Coalition okays

furniture pact

By Tess Noel Baker

The future Pagosa Springs Community Center on Hot Springs Boulevard remains little more than dirt and rock, although the building's footprint is beginning to take shape.

But for members of the Pagosa Springs Community Facilities Coalition, the group responsible for management of the future family center, the excitement builds with each load of earth.

"I encourage all of you to go out and look at it and think of all the dishes we washed," board member Sylvia Murray said. "Every time that backhoe digs in, think of all the grunt work that went into it."

Members of the coalition heard reports on progress on the site, updates on grant writing and approved a contract with Donoho and Associates Architects for furniture and equipment specifications at a meeting Thursday afternoon.

Mark Garcia, town building administrator, said work continues on a comprehensive drainage program for the site because of the amount of saturated material uncovered. Still, construction is progressing.

"Foundation work has begun," he said. "Hopefully, they will be done fairly quickly so we can start to see some structure."

Estimated cost of the project after bids is $2.9 million, without furnishings or bid alternates, Garcia said. That equals about $140 per square foot. Because the bids came in below budget, some alternatives have been added, including landscaping, an irrigation system and a resilient gym floor with basketball and volleyball striping, bringing the total to just under the projected cost of $3.1 million.

Members of the coalition are still working to close the funding gap for finishing touches, but did vote Thursday to begin work on furniture and equipment needs for the structure. Julia Donoho, a local architect, presented a preliminary list of furniture.

"We certainly want your feedback," she said. "There's a lot of things that need to be more detailed."

Outfitting the community center includes: desks, chairs, folding tables, couches, benches, volleyball equipment, a portable stage, pool/ping pong table, computers and printers.

When completed, the center will provide recreational facilities, a teen center, a senior center, computer room, art and culture areas, meeting and banquet facilities.

Growing pains, pilot pleasure in struggle

over airstrip

By Tess Noel Baker

A plain dirt and grass strip 2,950 feet long and 36 feet wide ending at a cliff overlooking the Navajo River near Arboles sits squarely in the center of a recreational controversy.

According to some small-engine aircraft pilots, it is a one-of-a-kind piece of Colorado history that should be maintained for its original use - an airfield.

On the other hand, state management and construction plans outline a rebirth of the dirt field at Navajo State Park for overflow parking and dry storage as a response to the increasing numbers of boaters and campers.

Right now, the airstrip is closed and has been since mid-May, about nine years after the state parks board first voted to remove the airstrip as part of a 1992 management plan.

"They allowed us to keep it open until we needed it for other facilities," Park Manager John Weiss said.

A combination of safety concerns, low use by aircraft and the need for overflow parking at the park made this year seem like the right time to implement closure, he said.

"I'm just following what the management plan said," Weiss added. "I knew by Memorial Day weekend we'd need this for parking."

Parking is at a premium at Navajo State Park which is halfway into a $7 million "recreation rehabilitation" to improve facilities. In 2001, the park opened its first new campground, Rosa, cutting out what used to be overflow parking.

More changes are planned. Caracas Campground, set to be opened by 2002, will add another 40 campsites with electrical hookups, while Tiffany, the original campground will be renovated, dropping from 71 campsites to 30. Construction on a new visitor's center begins this fall.

In another part of the rehabilitation, the current dry storage space behind the marina will be moved to allow for an addition 50 to 60 parking spaces, Weiss said, but it won't be enough.

"It might cover current need, but trends are showing we're going to get a lot more people," Weiss said. "As people realize it's been renovated and the Front Range parks get more crowded we're just going to get busier and busier."

Currently, the park gets about 120,000 visitors per year, about 90,000 boaters and 30,000 campers, Weiss said. In comparison, the number of planes landing on the airstrip dropped to 44 in 2000. Rangers kept statistics on the airfield by counting planes visible on the field as they drove by during regular activities.

"Camping and boating has increased 40-50 percent in the last 10 years, but the airfield usages have gone down," he said.

Safety and liability are other issues with the airfield that concern Weiss.

For instance, one third of the strip is over the New Mexico state line, and officials from that state have refused to acknowledge an airstrip on their land, Weiss said. The airstrip also falls short of Federal Aviation Administration standards on several counts.

For instance, he said, a distance of 125 feet from centerline on both sides of the airstrip is supposed to be an object-free zone. A 230-foot, 6-foot high fence adjacent to the strip already cuts into that zone. Parking planned near the mooring balls and permanent slips will further encroach into the airstrip's space.

Even the main park road which takes traffic past the north end of the runway is against regulations, Weiss said.

A local pilots' group, Support Navajo Airstrip Preservation, started by Deborah Evans, who, along with her husband Shane, owns a home near the airfield and flew into the park frequently from Carbondale, is fighting to have it reopened.

The uniqueness of having the only backcountry site left in the state is just one of the key issues at work here, she said.

"How many state parks could boast an airstrip at the water's edge?" she asked.

Having the airstrip there also improves property values of the surrounding area and gives pilots a spot in-state to train for landings on grass, she said. Evans also believes the strip gets more use than what is reflected in the park's statistics.

"Quite frankly, there is room for coexistence," she said. "Everybody should be able to play in the state park, not just those who have a boat and trailer."

John Huft, of Pagosa Springs and another member of SNAP, said liability issues could be overcome. The entire airfield is located on land owned by the Department of the Interior and leased to the states. By simply putting Colorado in charge of the airfield maintenance, the dual-state liability issues could be addressed.

Huft said other states have recognized the potential grass and dirt airstrips have to draw in tourists. As an example, he said, Idaho has about 30 such "backcountry" airstrips, some with developed campgrounds nearby.

The strip at Navajo State Park could be a similar draw, he said.

"This strip was right next to a state campground," he said. "I go down there and practice, but it's really there for tourists. People living in Denver or Colorado Springs can fly down for the weekend."

Using a plane saves both travel time from the Front Range and avoids hang-ups like the construction on Wolf Creek Pass, he said.

In the quest to save the airstrip, members of SNAP and the Colorado Pilots Association met with Parks Director Tom Kenyon Aug. 10 to request that the airfield be reopened for a one-year trial period. Now, Huft said, it appears the fate of the airfield is in the hands of the federal government, more specifically the Department of the Interior, which must sort out the liability issues related to having the airstrip cross state lines.

"It needs support from the Department of the Interior, then I think he (Kenyon) would open it back up again to give us a chance to show that people care about it and want to use it," Huft said.

Besides writing Colorado senators about the issue, Huft said, it appears little more can be done to help locally.

"I feel like it's kind of out of my hands," he said. "At some point all you can do is raise the issue. I think they thought nobody cared."

Letters

Mail box vandals

Dear Editor,

I find it very puzzling that news of the first cluster box vandalism (Buttress location), occurring on 4 July, '01, was not reported in the SUN. Evidently the Sheriff's department did not find it important enough to publicize this egregious federal offense that could still have adverse affects on all residents who receive their mail at this location.

Since you did report the subsequent vandalism, which occurred on 7 Aug., '01, at the same cluster box, everyone can be on the alert for missing mail and/or fraudulent charges on credit cards, etc. However, this news article should have been "above the fold" on page one of Section 1 of the SUN to alert all postal patrons who are at the mercy of these scumbags.

How about the residents that do not read the SUN (yes, there are lots of them) or do not read the SUN as far into the paper as page 10 of Section 1? The local Post Office should have sent notices to all patrons of these cluster boxes immediately after the 4 July, '01 vandalism.

Since these acts of vandalism occurred within the first weeks of two contiguous months, it appears to be thieves looking for pension, dividend, tax rebate, etc. checks that they know will be in the cluster boxes of some people. The first week of another month is fast approaching, so be alert!

Mojie Adler

SUN kudos

Dear Editor,

I have just perused the SUN and, as always, enjoyed reading about the Pagosa Springs community. The SUN continues to maintain a standard of excellence which raises the bar for others in the industry. I especially enjoyed David's "Dear Folks" column. With each anniversary, you focus on, and bring fresh insight to, what is clearly an ongoing celebration for you and Cynthia. Accolades to Sally at the Chamber of Commerce. She continues to provide such enthusiasm and accomplishment to that organization. The business community is truly fortunate to have her at the helm.

Have a great day.

Carla Chadwick

Good works

Dear Editor,

Last Monday we had a super storm in Pagosa that knocked out power for about three hours. Thanks to the good work of La Plata Electric and Tri State Generation, the power came back on about 6:30 p.m.

Another of our local utilities also needs to be acknowledged and that is PAWS. Not all of the sewer systems in Pagosa are gravity flow. At about 5:30 p.m., in the middle of the rain and storm, a PAWS crew brought a mobile generator to a lift station close to my home to make sure that it was functioning properly.

Water and sewer are probably the most forgotten utilities and the ones we take most for granted. Serving on the board of directors for a small non-profit that does water and sanitation projects in Nicaragua, I know that clean water is a luxury that most of us in the developed world take for granted.

So thank you, PAWS crews, for the great work that you do even though we are not aware of it.

Raymond P. Finney

Fine performances

Dear Editor,

Last night Herman and I attended the play put on by the Pagosa Pretenders at the Fred Harman Museum. There was a great meal before the show and lots of camaraderie. The weather was beautiful and the setting perfect. This is the Pagosa Pretenders' first attempt at dinner theater and I would surely call it a success.

But what I really want to say is not about the weather, the fine food or the lovely setting. What was wonderful last night was the marvelous performance of fine actors and actresses of all ages, the fun they obviously were having and the way Susan Garman, Addie Greer and Clay Pruitt wove the stories of Fred Harman and Red Ryder and Little Beaver into a play that was both interesting and truly entertaining. The sets were just right, the costumes were great and the terrific ideas that portrayed the actual comic strip (you must see this to know what I mean) were amazing.

I know they battled rain, changing rehearsal sites mid-stream, no pun intended, the constant challenge of having sets, lighting, sound, costumes, make-up and good weather all come together at once. But the end result is one that nobody should miss and you have two more opportunities, Aug. 24-25. Tickets are available at the Ruby Sisson Library, Wolf Tracks Coffee Shop and Bookstore, the Chamber of Commerce, the Arts Council building in town park and the Plaid Pony.

So, thank you to everyone involved in "Life of a Legendary Local: A story about Fred Harman and Red Ryder." We had a wonderful evening!

Sincerely,

Herman and Joan Hageman

Parking situations

Dear Editor,

Early Friday evening I drove into the new City Market parking lot and noticed several vehicles parked along red-painted curbs directly in front of the store.

These are the same curbs that have "No Parking" painted on the road alongside them. These are the same curbs that are identified by "No Parking" signs. With vehicles parked on both sides of the road, traffic was having a difficult time getting through.

Since one of the aforementioned vehicles was an Emergency Medical Services vehicle, I was expecting some type of incident happening in the store. With sudden anticipation I parked next to an unoccupied Handicapped Parking space and began my lengthy 20-yard excursion to the store entrance. To my surprise and amazement, nothing unusual was taking place in the store. I then decided the first order of business was to search for a movie.

I made the 10-yard trek to the video department and noticed the three occupants of the Emergency Medical vehicle enjoying a spirited search for videos as well.

My first thought was: "Shouldn't these EMTs be healthy enough to not require a parking spot adjacent to the front door?"

Then I realized the error of my ways and realized these EMTs were thinking far beyond the level of normal human reasoning. They too had noticed several cars parked so near the entrance to the store and had surmised there were, no doubt, several very unhealthy people in the store. In their infinite wisdom they were conserving their energy in case any of these people suddenly required their services.

Now, I realize the EMTs may, indeed, need quick access to their vehicle. However, the traffic situation they helped create would have limited their ability to make a quick exit.

As to the other vehicles: Handicapped parking permits are available to those needing them. I, however, have not yet been made aware of the "I am special" permit for those who feel they are not required to follow rules and regulations, submit to common sense and common decency, or feel that they are just so darn special.

Sincerely,

Mitchell L. Koentopf

LPEA concerns

Dear Editor,

As a member of La Plata Electric Association I have some real concerns. LPEA has just lost on of the best coop managers in the United States. Good coop managers are in great demand. Most of my career with General Electric was working in the electric utility market. I knew most of the Coop managers in Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico. I attended many of their annual membership meetings. I attended 25 consecutive annual National Rural Electric Coop Association meetings while I was with General Electric Company. I attended six or seven while on the board of directors of LPEA. I saw the results of good, medium and poor management. It was easy for Mr. Potter to get more money than we were paying him from other coops, which he did. Mr. Potter is highly recognized in both State and National organizations of Electric Coops. He is also highly respected in the State and National political arena. It is going to be hard for us to replace him and it will probably cost much more to attract a good manager.

There seems to be a very small minority of the membership that are determined to disrupt the successful business operation of this coop which the coop has enjoyed for many years. This has been one of the most profitable, high tech, best managed coops in the State and Nation. Not only is this group disrupting but they are costing the membership thousands of dollars in legal fees and profits. Profits are used to pay out capital credits and reduce debt. LPEA has been one of the most profitable electric coops in the state and nation. LPEA also has a higher equity than most electric coops. It concerns me to see this good record destroyed by a small minority of our membership. After the bad publicity this group has caused, it will be hard to attract a good manager.

There is one weakness of the coop membership and that is the poor attendance at our annual membership meetings. I hope we can get better attendance at our September meeting. This is a democratic organization and I hope the majority will take control.

Holice Pruett

Setting higher goals

Dear Editor,

We are former residents of Archuleta County, now living in Johnson County, Tenn. This is a rural county with a population of about 15,000. It consists of mostly low and middle income families. Unemployment is high. The county seat here is Mountain City, and it is about equal to Pagosa Springs, except there are no developments remotely close to Fairfield.

In this year's Relay for Life which Betty participated in as a survivor, we raised $80,000, and came close to that amount in the previous two years.

Archuleta County should hang its head and set a higher goal. Remember that part of that money stays in the home county. Surely you can do better.

In closing we would like to say hello to all our old friends there. We are fine, life is great and God is good.

Harry and Betty Rose

Contested fees

Dear Editor,

As a property owner of 11 years in Pagosa Lakes Development, I attended the last meeting of the PLPOA Board of Directors. At the meeting during the time allotted to public opinion, I was permitted to express my opinion to the board and other property owners in attendance.

The fact is that only a minor portion of the property owners (who purchased their homes or property from the Developer and Promoter since 1983) have incorporated a covenant in the deed requiring an annual payment of $180.

On inquiry from the property owners, none of them were informed, advised or verbally told of Fairfield's assessment for recreational facilities. We did not know about this assessment until the day we closed, if we carefully read the small fine-print for these fees.

During our ownership these were transferable to new buyers, if we were able to sell our property with the attachment of these unfavorable charges.

After the meeting I was approached by several other property owners who were displeased with the fees, and asked me to set up a committee to form a legal defense group to support a legal team to defend our rights.

On further investigation I was advised that there is an upcoming proceeding to be held in Archuleta County courts to determine the validity of the FUSA Rec. Fees. There will be some court costs and other expenses to proceed with the matter and the PLPOA board cannot offer any financial support but will cooperate with our group in pursuit of this case and a new case to be filed.

The upcoming hearing will have to make a decision for the affected property owners as to the legality of the deed covenant since it only affects 20 percent of the owners. Any purchases prior to 1983 do not have to pay any Rec. fees to FUSA as the Eaton Company excluded the Rec Fees from his Deeds.

As you are aware, the Developers Eaton and Fairfield assigned control, management and expenses of most recreational facilities to PLPOA or others. Fairfield has little or no expense, yet assesses a fee to only a portion of the owners.

An essential facility for Pagosa Lakes, the Golf Course was sold to outside interests.

The committee for the Legal Defense Group needs the support of every interested owner in the removal of this invalid fee. If you would like to be an active or passive member of this group, call us and leave your name and phone number for complete information.

Our phone number is 970-731-1909.

Robert G. Schmideler

Committee chairman

By-law changes

Dear Editor,

A situation has to be dealt with. A group of people, small in numbers, has proposed some by-law amendments changes for LPEA.

Review of these changes by LPEA members is needed. Most of the changes are not beneficial to the business or the members of the COOP. Most of the changes will be time-consuming for the directors and also will cost the members money - money better spent on finding better ways to deliver electrical energy to you, the consumer.

Vote no on the amendments to the by-laws.

Sincerely,

Jean M. Taylor

Meeting planned

Dear Editor,

The Concerned Citizen meeting last June 25 brought people together to identify ways citizens can become more involved in our community and positive actions that can be taken. Since that night, one group has been working on connecting people by telephone and e-mail to inform them of public meetings, along with agendas and follow-up reports. Another group has been developing a Citizens' Forum website to make staying informed and connecting with projects and community organizations and volunteer opportunities even easier.

Other groups have come together to explore ways of developing leadership, identifying candidates, and studying the county budget process.

More citizens are attending public meetings to listen, ask questions, and give public officials a broader exposure to diverse views.

The consensus at the June meeting was to meet again on Sept. 10. That meeting, now called a Citizen Forum, is planned for 7 p.m. in the Extension Building. The various groups will report on their activities, new groups can form, and, hopefully, the network will enlarge. If you missed the June meeting but would like to participate, please attend on September 10. All are welcome. Even the press.

Sincerely,

Lynda Van Patter

Habitat losses

Dear Editor,

We have been spending a couple of weeks each summer in a beautiful home in the Fairfield area. Each year a few more homes are built. As this occurs the native plants and wild animals of the area lose some of their habitat. This loss is inevitable but can be kept to a minimum.

By not landscaping, homeowners can do much in all of the suburban areas to retain the natural beauty we all come here to enjoy. Why turn Pagosa Springs into another city when most of us come here to get away from the urban environment? Some may need to mow a 10-foot strip around their house to reduce fire and rodent hazards, but why not leave the rest of your land in the native grass, shrubs and trees that drew you here in the first place? You can plant native species to enhance your space while not destroying the natural environment.

Noise and lights are other urban intrusions we can do without. I encourage those of you who live here and love the area to seek limits on outdoor lighting, particularly lights which project up and outward. You can also encourage your law enforcement agencies to ticket overly loud car radios and inadequately muffled vehicles. These urban nuisances come on slowly and insidiously. It is easier for a yearly visitor to see the creeping loss of mountain life.

The golden eagles that live in the middle of Fairfield thank you for not planting urban yards and mowing them incessantly and for not lighting up the night.

Sincerely yours,

Mark Wassenich

Obituaries

Silviano Archuleta, Jr.

Silviano Ronmaldo Archuleta Jr., lifetime area resident, died Aug. 21, 2001 at Mercy Medical Center in Durango. He was 56.

A graveside service will be held tomorrow at Canyon Bonito family cemetery in Middle Mesa, N.M., seven miles south of La Boca. Father Eddy Andary will officiate. Those attending are asked to meet in Tiffany at the St. Juan Catholic Church at 10 a.m., then proceed to the place of burial. Mr. Archuleta's request was for casual dress and no flowers, please.

Mr. Archuleta was born Feb. 19, 1945 in the Santa Rita area of Durango. He married Bernice Edwards on June 25, 1976 at Aztec. He was a cattle rancher throughout his life, was a hard worker, and enjoyed hunting and riding horses.

He is survived by his wife Bernice Archuleta of Bloomfield, N.M.; sons, Silviano Archuleta III of Arboles, Samuel Dallas Archuleta of Durango, Ruben Archuleta of Bloomfield, Quentin Archuleta of Bloomfield and Blas Salazar of Ignacio; daughters Rosanna Archuleta of Ignacio, Elizabeth Gurule of Arboles; brothers Victor Archuleta of Allison, Fred Archuleta of Ignacio, Andy Archuleta of Ignacio and Joe S. Archuleta of Tiffany; sisters Bernice Martinez of Durango, Duby Gallegos of Tiffany, Amelia Archuleta of Montrose and Ursula Davies of Allison; and granddaughter Savanah Gurule.

His parents, Silviano and Seferina Archuleta, and a brother, Beltran Archuleta, preceded him in death.

Viktors Eichvalds

Viktors E. Eichvalds, a resident of Pagosa Springs, passed away Aug. 21, 2001. He was born in Valtaiki, Latvia Nov. 11, 1925. He lived in Latvia until he joined the U.S. Special Forces and became a U.S. citizen in 1951. He was stationed in Fayetteville, N.C. with many tours overseas, of which he served four active years in combat duty in Vietnam and Laos. He served a total of 20 years, with his final four years stationed out of Ft. Monmouth, N.J. After retiring from the Army he served as a civil service computer specialist for 15 years at Lakehurst Naval Air Station. He retired to Pagosa Springs in Feb. 1988.

He was an active member of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, Special Forces Association, National Rifle Association, the Retired Enlisted Association and the Gray Wolves.

His special interests were hunting, fishing, skiing, hiking and golf.

He was preceded in death by his parents Kristaps and Ieva Eichvalds and his first wife, Bernadette.

He is survived by his wife Dorothy Ruppel Eichvalds of Pagosa Springs; his daughter, Nora Eichvalds of Ocean, N.J.; his stepson, Lonny Rhoades and wife Karen of Spring Lake, N.J. and five grandchildren; his first cousin, Velta Burton and her husband Gilbert of Mountainside, N.J. his nephew, Steven Burton and wife Laura and great nephew Chad, also of Mountainside, N.J.

His surviving relatives in Latvia are his brother, Zanis Eichvalds and wife Alida; a niece, Barba Leite and husband Agris, and a great niece and nephew.

There will be a rosary at 7 p.m. tonight at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church and funeral Mass at 10 a.m. Friday, Aug. 24. Graveside services following Mass at Hilltop Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Mercy Medical Center, Hospice of Mercy at 3801 North Main Ave., Durango, CO 81301.

Virginia Hubbard

Virginia LaNelle McClellan Hubbard was born in Amarillo, Texas, on April 18, 1937, and died August 14, 2001 after a short illness in Albuquerque, N.M.

LaNelle is survived by her husband, Charles C. Hubbard; daughter LaNee Hood Allison of Albuquerque; son Robert McClellan Hood of Norman, Okla; and three grandchildren.

LaNelle graduated from High School in Borger, Texas in 1954, and attended Stephen's College in Missouri. She moved to Norman, where she raised her children and owned and operated LaNee's Antiques with her mother and her daughter.

She moved to Pagosa Springs from Amarillo in 1996, then moved to Albuquerque in 2000 where she wed Charles Hubbard.

LaNelle enjoyed playing contract bridge (she was a Life Master) and reading. Her family and friends will miss her tremendously as she was sweet, kind, generous and loving.

A celebration of her life and Memorial Service will be held 2 to 5 p.m. on Sept. 2 at the Vista Clubhouse. Please bring a photo and/or a story.

Shannon LaRue

Shannon LaRue, 23, of Longview, Texas, passed away Aug. 10, 2001 at his residence. Shannon was born Aug. 13, 1977 in Westminster, Calif., and had lived in Longview for the last 10 years.

Throughout his life, Shannon enjoyed spending time in Pagosa Springs visiting his grandparents and his many friends.

He recently worked at Studio 160 in Pagosa and was a member of the Pagosa Springs Area Chamber of Commerce.

Survivors include his mother, Rene Avery Stevenson and her husband, Kent, of Crockett; his father, Gary LaRue and his wife, Laurel, of Longview; brothers Brad LaRue of Richardson and Trey Slinkard of Longview; a sister, Lacy Slinkard of Longview; his grandparents, James Avery of Crockett and Mr. and Mrs. John H. LaRue of Lovelady, Texas, Dr. and Mrs. J. Richard Cook of Pagosa Springs and Mr. and Mrs. Louis Bodden of Port Mansfield, Texas; one great-grandmother, Mrs. C.J. "Clara" Fuller of Lovelady, and numerous aunts, uncles, cousins and other relatives.

Services were held Aug. 15, with burial in Pennington, Texas.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Pennington Cemetery Association, c/o Sandra Henderson, HC2, Box 133, Pennington, Texas, or your favorite charity.

Wilfred Madrid

John Andrew Wilfred Madrid, 67, a resident of Cortez, and a former resident of Pagosa Springs, passed away at his Cortez home on Aug. 14, 2001. He had returned that day from Heart Hospital of New Mexico to recuperate from heart surgery.

Mr. Madrid was born Dec. 21, 1934 in Pagosa Springs. He attended schools in Pagosa Springs, graduating in 1952. After graduation he entered the U.S. Navy, trained in San Diego, Calif, toured throughout the Pacific, and was discharged in 1957.

He attended Adams State College, graduating with a business degree and a teaching certificate. He taught at schools in Milo, Alberta, Canada; Dulce, N.M.; Silverton; and Miami, Fla.

In March of 1970 he married Bertha Campuzano and they left Pagosa to start their life together in Johnstown, Pa., where Wilfred took the position of Director of the Community Action Project. He also performed these same duties here in Pagosa Springs where one of his greatest joys was starting the Head Start Program.

Wilfred returned to Colorado to begin a long working relationship with the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe in Towaoc. He worked his way up from accountant to chief finance officer to a position as Executive Director of the Tribe.

Ute Mountain Ute chairman Ernest House credited Wilfred with much of the stability and economic development of the tribe. With Wilfred's efforts and foresight, the tribe initiated education and health services, the Ute Mountain Casino, the pottery business and the new travel center.

Mr. Madrid lobbied hard at state and federal levels for Ute water rights with the Animas-LaPlata Project and irrigation for Ute lands from McGhee Reservoir.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Ann and Joe Madrid of Pagosa Springs.

He is survived by his wife Bertha at home in Cortez; sons Kevin of Portland, Ore., and Omar and Andre of Cortez; a sister, Sally Cogan and her husband, Jake, of Savannah, Ga., and numerous nieces, nephews, in-laws and other relatives.

A memorial service was held in Cortez Aug. 17 in the Cortez Middle School gymnasium. Ernest House, Terry Knight and Loren Kerr were officiates of the service.

Wilfred will be missed by many in all the communities where he has lived and served.

Christian & Joseph Manzanares

Christian Danielle, 5 and Joseph Manzanares, 4, grandchildren of Gerald Manzanares of Pagosa Springs, were killed around 7 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 19, when trapped by fire in their mobile home near Homer in Claiborne Parish, Louisiana.

Leslie and Matthew Manzanares were awakened by the screams of their children. They were asleep on one side of the trailer and the children on the other. The parents tried to reach the children but were driven back by the flames.

In addition to their parents and grandfather, the children are survived by their grandmother, Lily Morgan, who lives in Louisiana. Their father, Matthew, was born and raised in Pagosa Springs.

On Monday, funeral services were still pending for the children. They were expected to be held later this week.

The town of Homer has established a relief fund for the family. Anyone wishing to contribute may send donations to Gibsland Bank & Trust, P.O. Box 995, Minden, LA 71055 (Attn: Matthew Manzanares).

 People

Sonny Montoya

U.S. Air Force Colonel and Pagosa native John Orlando "Sonny" Montoya was honored at a June 11, 2001 retirement ceremony at Kelly Air Force Base in Texas.

Montoya is the son of Pagosa natives Henry and Nellie Montoya and the nephew of Bessie Montoya, of Pagosa Springs. Montoya has numerous cousins and extensive family ties in the Pagosa area.

During the retirement ceremony, Montoya was awarded the Legion of Merit for his exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services.

Sports Page

Pirates cross country team hosts Wolf Creek Challenge

By Tess Noel Baker

The Pirates will test their cross country skills for the first time at home in the Wolf Creek Challenge Saturday, Sept. 1 at 9:30 a.m. The Challenge will be one of two high-altitude meets the team takes on under a slightly different schedule this year.

"To do something better than someone else, you have to do the same thing better or do it differently than them," Coach Scott Anderson said. "We're going to do both."

Following the opener, the Pagosa Springs runners will be on the road for six weeks. On Sept. 8, the team will compete at Lake County in Leadville, its second high-altitude meet, then head to Durango Sept. 15. The Ramble at the Reservoir will be in Ridgway Sept. 21 starting at 4 p.m.

"We're trying to do harder courses at the beginning of the year and progress on to faster courses," Anderson said. The goal is to build endurance and then speed. The schedule changes also add difficulty and will expose the team to a variety of competition.

The Pirates come closer to home Sept. 29, competing in the Bayfield Invitational. On Oct. 6, they head to the Mancos Invitational, followed by the Eric Wolf Invitational at Monte Vista at 9 p.m. on Oct. 13.

On Oct. 20, the team will be back home for regionals. Pagosa Springs High School will host regionals for the first time in 10 years, Anderson said. State qualifiers will compete at Kent Denver on October 27. Unless times are listed above, they will be announced as available.

Pirate gridders looking for line on IML repeat

By John M. Motter

Anyone looking for a line on this year's Pirate football squad is in the same position as head coach Myron Stretton. Stretton is looking for a line on the Pirates.

"I'm anxious to see how our line comes together," Stretton said. "If it does as well as I think it can, we'll be better than we were last year."

Better than last year is pretty good. The Pirates have been the best team in the Intermountain League for two years running. Another league championship will be a three-peat.

Pagosa's season record last year was 7-2, its IML record 4-0. The Pirates outscored IML opponents 110-39. During the year before, Pagosa was 7-2 for the year, 5-0 in the IML. The Pirates lost first-round, post-season playoff games both years, but have not lost an IML encounter since Oct. 3, 1998, when Del Norte rocked them 42-20.

A tough preseason schedule carries Pagosa to the first league game each year with an unimposing record. Aside from their opener with the 1A Dolores team, the Pirates tangle with four New Mexico schools that outsize them considerably. Even so, 2A Pagosa was 3-2 when IML play started last year.

After beating Dolores 28-7 in last year's opener, Pagosa fell to 4A Kirtland 37-0, fell to 4A Piedra Vista 35-6, topped 4A Bloomfield 35-19, and buried 4A Taos 42-0. In IML action, Pagosa topped Ignacio 41-7, Centauri 22-7, Bayfield 33-12, and runnerup Monte Vista 14-13.

"Each year you get people with different kinds of skills," Stretton said. "This year we have several people with good hands, people who can hang on to ball. I expect to throw the ball more than we have in the past."

This is Stretton's fourth year at the helm. Many of his players have had four years to learn his system.

"Most of them should understand what we're doing," Stretton said.

Pulling the trigger for Stretton's multiple offense is senior quarterback Ronnie Janowsky. Janowsky started some games as a freshman and has started at quarterback the last two years. In addition to passing proficiency, he has shown ability as an option runner. Currently backing up Janowsky is sophomore David Kerns.

Carrying the ball during early practice this season have been juniors Brandon Charles and Brandon Rosgen, along with senior Darin Lister. Lister is a returning starter. Charles and Rosgen both have varsity playing time. Also returning in the backfield is Caleb Mellette. Mellette and Lister may also play at end this season.

The failure of three linemen to return as expected this season has Stretton experimenting with his linemen.

"As always, the line is the key," Stretton said. "We have the material if these guys show me they want to play. Everyone has a chance of making the starting lineup. Even if they don't start, they'll get playing time. In order to win we not only need starters, we need backups to give the starters a break."

Pagosa exchanges pad pops with Alamosa Saturday at 9 a.m. in a controlled scrimmage.

"We'll play under game conditions, with quarters," Stretton said.

The game will be played on the old Alamosa High School field.

The Pirate season opens Aug. 3 at 7 p.m. on the Dolores turf.

Pirate volleyball dynasty building on veterans

By Karl Isberg

The season starts next week and, at this point, Lady Pirate volleyball coach Penné Hamilton is sure of only two things.

First, the upcoming schedule is formidable, with matches against a bevy of excellent 4A and 5A teams from Colorado and New Mexico, a trip to the always daunting Fowler tournament, and battles against improved league opponents with their sights set on ending an impressive Pagosa dynasty.

Second, she knows half of last season's starting lineup was lost to graduation and, with three outstanding players returning, the coach must now find suitable replacements for her missing starters and make changes in strategy to ensure the team remains on the winning track.

That track includes domination of Intermountain League foes that goes back to 1995. The Ladies have not lost an IML match since mid-season 1995 and have won nine district championships during the last 11 seasons. It includes trips to the Colorado Class 3A State Tournament in all but one year since 1994, with five Regional titles in 10 years.

To keep the engine running, Hamilton looks to the nucleus of three senior players.

Ashley Gronewoller, at 6'3" will continue as a force at middle hitter/blocker, coming off an IML first-team season last year.

Katie Lancing, at 6'1", comes back as an all-IML first-teamer and as IML co-Player of the Year. Lancing is ready for work as a hitter when she rotates to the front row in the offense and will come from the back row to set.

Nicole Buckley was tabbed as an honorable mention IML selection last season and promises both fireworks from her outside hitter position and senior-level back-court work.

Hamilton needs to build on this foundation with three new starters and must assemble a strong bench to ensure staying power through the tough schedule.

The coach picked eight players for her varsity and has decided to try different combinations of swing players up from her junior varsity to round out the bench as the season begins.

To join Gronewoller, Lancing and Buckley, Hamilton selected junior setter Amy Young, who brings some varsity experience to the court, senior setter Emily Finney, senior hitter Jenny Printz, junior outside hitter Katie Bliss and junior outside hitter Shannon Walkup.

"We've got our returning varsity players," said the coach, "and two of them have started since they were sophomores. We are going to need to join them and we need to take advantage of our height and become a strong blocking team."

Hamilton has several other improvements in mind, including changes in the style of game played by the Ladies.

"We have to become a stronger serve-receive team," said the coach. "We will go to a two-person serve receive, and we have altered our defense to address some problem areas. We're still working on it, but it seems to be the right move."

Hamilton wants to run a 6-2 offense, utilizing two setters, but the dynamic of that system was interrupted Monday when Young went down with a knee injury. The junior's status is uncertain and Finney is working to take up the slack. The 6-2 offense will allow the Ladies to use Lancing's skill as a hitter when she is in the position to go on the attack. "We need to try to use each player to the best advantage," said the coach.

It is undecided who will join Buckley as a starting strong-side outside hitter. Hamilton must also determine who will fill the all-important weak-outside hitter/blocker position crucial to mounting an effective tandem block against the powerful outside hitters the Ladies will face this season.

"We are trying to get settled in to some of the changes in style and personnel," said Hamilton, "and we will scrimmage at Durango Monday against Durango and Cortez. That should tell us a lot about what we have and what we need to do."

The Ladies open the 2001 season Aug. 30, at home, against Cortez.

Pirate golfers finish in mid-pack at Alamosa Invitational tourney

By Richard Walter

"I'm really pleased with the first time performance," said Kathy Carter.

She was commenting on her Pagosa Springs Pirate varsity golf team's performance last week in the 25-team Alamosa Invitational, a match which drew a number of big schools from the Colorado Springs and Denver areas.

Par for the course, on which the Class 3A Regionals will be played later this fall, is 72 and the low score for the day was 68.

For the Pirates, finishing in the middle of the pack was considered an outstanding performance for the first match of the season.

Pagosa, as was expected, was paced by Luke Boilini's round of 84. The team's Number 1 swinger was a state playoff qualifier last year.

Sophomore Garrett Forrest, who scored three aces in junior varsity competition last year, chipped in with a round of 88, the same total carded by Ty Faber. Rounding out the scoring for Pagosa was sophomore Casey Belarde, making his first varsity appearance with a 91.

The Pirates will be in competition today in Cortez, Friday in Durango, and then will host the annual Pagosa Springs Invitational Saturday on the Pagosa Springs Golf Club Course.

Carter said she is conducting qualifying rounds this week for her 24 varsity hopefuls and the winners will be the Pirate representatives in the Thursday and Friday matches and in Saturday's tournament.

Twenty teams, including some big schools from the state's two major metro areas, will be in competition on the Pagosa links.

There will be a shotgun start at 9 a.m.

This will be the only home appearance for the Pirates this season and Carter urged the public to come out and support the team, see some really good golf at the high school level, and get a feel for what these prep competitors have to go through just to make the team each week.

The course is on Pines Club Place, most easily accessed by Pinon Causeway off U.S. 160 just west of Pagosa Lodge.

 Weather Stats

Date

High

Low

Precipitation

Type

Depth

Moisture

8/15

74

46

-

-

-

8/16

71

48

R

-

T

8/17

72

45

-

-

-

8/18

74

48

-

-

-

8/19

73

47

R

-

.03

8/20

71

49

R

-

.10

8/21

75

50

R

-

.03

 Business News

Biz Beat

Sherry Waner has joined Bank of Colorado as Vice President and Branch Manager for two Pagosa Springs offices.

Waner has seven years experience in branch management, operations, and all phases of commercial, consumer and real estate lending, including construction and SBA lending. She previously served as Vice President and Commercial Loan Officer at a Nevada bank.

Waner moved to Pagosa Springs with her husband, John, and their two children and will manage bank branches at 205 and 165 Country Center Drive.

Real Estate Transactions

Seller: Ralph F. Faircloth Sr. Revocable Trust, Ralph Faircloth Sr., Ralph F. Faircloth Sr.

Buyer: Ralph F. Faircloth Sr. Revocable Trust, Deborah F. Grandey Rev. Decl. of Trust and Peter Vander Dussen

Property: 13-14-1W

Price: Not listed

 

Seller: Cooney and Associates Inc.

Buyer: John E. and Anne Owen

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

Price: Not listed

 

Seller: Charles and Charles R. Bowman

Buyer: Michele M. Munson-Bowman

Property: Rio Blanco Valley Subdivision, Unit IV, Tract 50

Price: Not listed

 

Seller: Donald E. and Randall N. Whelan

Buyer: Kordian and Marcia Pastuszek

Property: Rio Blanco Cabin Sites, Unit II, Lot 7, Block 1

Price: $18,000

 

Seller: Peter Adams

Buyer: Smith Family Trust

Property: Pine Crest Subdivision, Lot 6, Block 2

Price: $60,000

 

Seller: Lois Anne Frank

Buyer: Louis F. Frank

Property: Pagosa Vista, Lot 71

Price: Not listed

 

Seller: Norman S. and Diane M. Day (Trustees)

Buyer: Diane M. Day

Property: Piedra Park Subdivision, Unit 10, Lot 1, Block 1 and Tract 2

Price: Not listed

 

Seller: Norman S. and Diane M. Day

Buyer: Norman S. and Diane M. Day Trust

Property: Piedra Park Subdivision, Unit 10, Lot 1, Block 1 and Tract 2

Price: Not listed

 

Seller: Doris Marie Watson

Buyer: Wolfwood Inc.

Property: Aspen Springs Subdivision 2, Lot 28, Block 7

Price: Not listed

 

Seller: Mark A. Devoti

Buyer: Jeffrey and Breanne Adams

Property: Twincreek Village, Lot 1006

Price: $156,400

 

Seller: Paul and Lisa Hudson

Buyer: Snowshoe Log Construction LLC

Property: Lakewood Village, Lot 185

Price: Not listed

 

Seller: Snowshoe Log Construction LLC

Buyer: James and Dale Morris

Property: Lakewood Village, Lot 185

Price: $202,000

 

Seller: Alexander and Linda M. Weaver

Buyer: Donald Wayne Chippindale and Christine Toni Figliolino

Property: Lake Pagosa Park, Lot 18, Block 6

Price: $8,000

 

Seller: Billie Jean Bahn

Buyer: Theodore J. Dick

Property: Pagosa Vista, Lot 65

Price: $67,000

 

Seller: Daniel A. Rivas and Lena A. Lucero

Buyer: Joel Granquist

Property: Garvin Addition, Lot 5, Block 1

Price: $120,000

 

Seller: Marjory A. Jordan

Buyer: Don E. and Patricia D. Craigen

Property: Rio Blanco Valley Subdivision A, Lot 8, Block 2

Price: Not listed

 

Seller: Don E. and Patricia Diane Craigen

Buyer: Earl and Sue Ernst

Property: Rio Blanco Valley Subdivision A, Lot 8, Block 2

Price: $138,900

 

Seller: Joe R. Vialpando

Buyer: Dustin L. Hemauer

Property: Town of Pagosa Springs, Lot 17, Block 38

Price: $10,000

 

Seller: Thomas T. Reiley and Linda Cobb-Reiley

Buyer: Cooney and Associates Inc. (Qual Interim) and Patrick H. Keigher

Property: Ranch Community, Lot 29

Price: $110,000

 

Seller: John G. and Cecilia Haviland

Buyer: James H. Patterson

Property: Loma Linda Subdivision, Unit 4, Lot 177

Price: $70,000

 

Seller: Archuleta County Public Trustee, Tracy K. Richards

Buyer: Wells Fargo Bank West NA

Property: North Village Lake, Lot 157

Price: Not listed

 

Seller: Fairfield Communities Inc.

Buyer: Aspenwood Star LLC

Property: Aspenwood Townhomes, Unit 3, Bldg. 47

Price: Not listed

 

Seller: Aspenwood Star LLC

Buyer: Fairfield Communities Inc.

Property: Aspenwood Townhomes, Unit 3, Building 47

Price: Not listed

 

Seller: Countrywide Home Loans Inc.

Buyer: Julie R. and Homer L. III, Hoe

Property: 12-34-1W

Price: Not listed

 

Seller: William E. Stupp

Buyer: Steven E. and Kim O. S. Loyd

Property: Twincreek Village, Lot 729

Price: $9,000

 

Seller: Volker W. and Barbara Bahnemann

Buyer: David H. and Carolyn D. Hibner

Property: Navajo River Ranch, Unit 3, Tract 39

Price: $225,000

 

Seller: Dennis W. and Susan M. Kleckner

Buyer: Dennis W. Kleckner Trust

Property: 11-36-2.5W

Price: Not listed

 

Seller: Dennis W. Kleckner

Buyer: Dennis W. and Susan M. Kleckner Trust

Property: Mountain View Subdivision, Lots 6 and 7, Block 2

Price: Not listed

 

Seller: Dennis W. and Susan M. Kleckner

Buyer: Dennis W. and Susan M. Kleckner Trust

Property: Town of Pagosa Springs, Lots 5, 6 and 7, Block 1; and Lot A, Block 1 a portion of

Price: Not listed

 

Seller: Dennis W. Kleckner

Buyer: Dennis W. and Susan M. Kleckner Trust

Property: 11-36-2.5W

Price: Not listed

 

Seller: Dennis W. Kleckner

Buyer: Dennis W. and Susan M. Kleckner Trust

Property: 11-36-2.5W

Price: Not listed

 

Seller: Archuleta County Public Trustee, Toni Rogan

Buyer: Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation

Property: 23-35-2W

Price: Not listed

 

Seller: Evelyn S. Crawford

Buyer: Crawford Family Limited Partnership

Property: Pagosa In The Pines, Lot 17, Block 4

Price: Not listed

 

Seller: Evelyn S. Crawford

Buyer: Crawford Family Limited Partnership

Property: Pagosa In The Pines, Lot 15, Block 4

Price: Not listed

 

Seller: Patrica Ann Stewart, Patricia Ann Stewart Declaration of Trust

Buyer: Julia A. Stephens Revocable Living Trust

Property: Peregrine Townhouses, Unit 7863-7864, Phase VII, Bldg. 32

Price: Not listed

 

Seller: Eaton Pagosa Properties Inc.

Buyer: David E. and Shirley A. Hunter

Property: Eaton Pagosa Estates Subdivision, Lot 19

Price: $50,000

 

Seller: Kathleen D. Petrie

Buyer: Joseph W. and Kamy L. Ingels

Property: Aspenwood Townhomes Unit 2, Unit 231, Bldg. 39

Price: Not listed

 

Seller: Joseph W. and Kamy L. Ingels

Buyer: Joseph W. and Kamy L. Ingels

Property: Aspenwood Townhomes Unit 2, Unit 231, Bldg. 39

Price: Not listed

 

Seller: Lois A. Booth

Buyer: Raul Garcia

Property: Pinon Condos, Unit 28E, Block 28

Price: $40,000

 

Seller: Bonnie Griffith

Buyer: Belenda Lee

Property: Aspenwood Townhomes Unit 2, Unit 223, Block 38

Price: $55,000

 

Seller: Archuleta County Public Trustee, Martin and Rebecca Kumler

Buyer: Long Beach Mortgage Company

Property: Aspen Springs Subdivision 3, Lot 16, Block 14

Price: Not listed

 

Seller: George R. and Judith A. Baise

Buyer: Ray Harvey

Property: 7-35-2W

Price: $585,000

 

Seller: Leslie M. Lister

Buyer: Delfina R. Lister

Property: Town of Pagosa Springs, Lots 10 and 11, Block 43

Price: Not listed

 

Seller: Bank of Colorado

Buyer: Dennis L. and Elizabeth N. Godfrey

Property: Not listed

Price: Not listed

 

Seller: Perri Brabec

Buyer: Kenneth and Dinah J. Rogers

Property: Lake Forest Estates, Lot 527

Price: $185,000

 

Seller: Sunrise Construction Inc.

Buyer: Jason Adam Laydon

Property: Chris Mountain Village, Unit 2, Lot 112-113

Price: $15,000

 

Seller: Sunrise Construction Inc.

Buyer: Daniel M. and Rilla Janice Paris

Property: Chris Mountain Village, Unit 2, Lot 40-41

Price: $20,000

 

Seller: Bruce D. and Rebecca A. Smith

Buyer: Frank J. and Rose L. Barta

Property: Pagosa Lodge Condos, Unit 28, Bldg. 6

Price: Not listed

 

Seller: William K. and Rosslynne H. Bohn

Buyer: Frank J. and Nancy L. Thomas

Property: Lake Forest Estates, Lot 407

Price: $12,000

 

Seller: Donald H. English

Buyer: Michael R. and Ofelia Wolf

Property: 3-32-1E

Price: Not listed

 

Seller: Donnie Robert

Buyer: James Elliott Hibbs

Property: Lake Hatcher Park, Lot 201

Price: $8,700

 

Seller: Marvin and Betty Thom

Buyer: James Elliott Hibbs

Property: Lake Hatcher Park, Lot 200

Price: $8,000

 

Seller: Timbered Canyon LLC

Buyer: Glenn and Jodi Abel

Property: Elk Park Filing No. 1, Parcel 2

Price: $245,000

 

Seller: Archuleta County Public Trustee, Terry D. and Patricia B. French

Buyer: Bank of America FSB

Property: Town of Pagosa Springs, Tract 3A

Price: Not listed

 

Seller: Richard L. and Carol J. Quillin

Buyer: John P. Dawson

Property: Loma Linda Subdivision, Unit 2, Lot 45

Price: $56,000

 

Seller: Betty A., Betty Anne and Bryan L. Jr. Cotton

Buyer: Cotton Family Trust

Property: Crowley Ranch Reserve, Lot A-11, Phase 1

Price: Not listed

 

Seller: Joseph J. and Mary M. Sealy Revocable Trust

Buyer: Joseph J. and Mary Sealy

Property: North Village Lake, Lot 132

Price: Not listed

 

Seller: Mary, Mary M. and Joseph J. Sealy

Buyer: Joseph J. and Mary M. Sealy Revocable Trust

Property: North Village Lake, Lot 132

Price: Not listed

 

Seller: Boyd H. Metcalf, FACS LTD Profit Sharing Plan, Boyd H. Metcalf Living Trust

Buyer: Jacqueline J. Paton and Jim A. Tiner

Property: Lake Hatcher Park, Lot 75

Price: $18,100

 

Seller: Lawrence and Florence Shelter

Buyer: John C. and Michele F. Piccaro

Property: Teyuakan, Lot 5, Phase II

Price: $279,000

 

Seller: James A. and Anita Matrician

Buyer: Dana Lynn and Donald Hanson Simmons

Property: Pagosa Hills Subdivision, Unit 3, Lot 60

Price: $17,000

 

Seller: Dana Lynn and Donald Hanson Simmons

Buyer: James A. and Anita Matrician

Property: Pagosa Hills Subdivision, Unit 3, Lot 60

Price: Not listed

 

Seller: Larry, Lawrence and Florence Shelter

Buyer: Michele F. and John C. Piccaro

Property: Teyuakan, Lot 6, Phase II

Price: $40,000

 

Seller: Betty Sue Etheredge (Estate of), Betty S. Etheredge (aka) (Estate of)

Buyer: Jess F. Clarke III

Property: Pagosa In The Pines, Unit 2, Lot 33

Price: Not listed

 

Seller: G.H. Pat Etheredge and Robert E. Broyles

Buyer: Jess F. Clarke III

Property: Pagosa In The Pines, Unit 2, Lot 33

Price: $8,000

 

Seller: Babillis-Masters Revocable Trust

Buyer: Richard and Mary Kay Clark Redfield, Richard & Mary Kay Clark Redfield Trust

Property: North Village Lake, Lot 107

Price: $25,000

 

Seller: Kalei Tayra Pitcher

Buyer: John H. and Carole M. Webb

Property: North Village Lake, Lot 111

Price: $44,000

 

Seller: Petra I. Wasinger

Buyer: Douglas J. Saley and Kathryn E. Frey

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

Price: Not listed

 

Seller: Teresa B. Powell

Buyer: Stanley R. and Ellen F. King Gidley

Property: Lake Forest Estates, Lot 494

Price: $190,000


Archives | Births | Business | Classifieds | Community | Editorial | Features

Front Page | Inside | Letters | Obituaries | People | Sports | Weather

Community News

Chamber News

By Sally Hameister

Ethel Poma's appearance highlight of ride

A perfectly wonderful time was had by all who attended the United Way sponsored "Ride the Weminuche" held at the fabulous 960-acre Poma Ranch Saturday and, hopefully, United Way made some nice bucks for their cause.

I was astonished by the number of people who attended, most of whom took advantage of the riding opportunity, but some, like me, just went for the delicious lunch prepared with the predictable culinary expertise of Tina and the cookin' crew at Poma's.

One of the special treats of the day, among many, was the appearance of the Poma Grand Dame, Ethel. I felt, as many did, that I was in the presence of Pagosa history, and it was a real pleasure to see this woman about whom I had heard so much.

At any rate, Matt and his crew provided an exceptional experience for all who attended this event, and created just the first of what I assume will become an annual affair. Thanks again, Pomas, for sharing that gorgeous acreage with all of us.

Auction tomorrow

There's still time to get your tickets for a terrific annual event - the Humane Society Auctibon for the Animals - to be held at the Ridgeview Mall with the silent auction beginning at 5:30 p.m. tomorrow. The live auction will begin at 7:30 with the inimitable Bill Nobles as our auctioneer.

Admission for the wine/beer tasting with the souvenir glass/stein is $25 in advance and $30 at the door. Regular admission is $15 in advance and $17 at the door, and tickets can be purchased at the Chamber of Commerce, the Pack Rack Thrift Store, the Humane Society Shelter and from many volunteers. Sponsoring this year's event are Wells Fargo Banks, KWUF AM/FM Radio, and The Durango Brewing Company.

The list of items is far too formidable and luscious to list here, but you can check it out at www.humane societyofpagosasprings.org or look elsewhere in this issue of the SUN for a complete list. For further information about the auction, contact Nancy Ray at 731-3122, e-mail at mnray@frontier.net or call Amy Jo Bishel at the Humane Society administrative offices, 264-5549. I hope to see you all at the Ridgeview Mall for one of the year's best-attended and fun events beginning at 5:30.

Inserts due

Another reminder that our quarterly newsletter, The Chamber Communiqué, is in the works and will be printed and distributed the first part of September.

Once again, this is an inexpensive, very effective way to get the word out about your new business, your new location, a new product, a special or anything you want to get out to our 778 members. There just isn't a more economical, efficient way to reach that many folks, and many of our members take advantage of it time and again. All you need to do is bring us 725 copies of your (unfolded) flyer with a check for $40, and we'll take it from there. Just bring those to us by Aug. 29, or give Doug a call at 264-2360 with any questions. Don't pass us this market opportunity.

Sidewalk sale

Along with the Four Corners Folk Festival, the Sidewalk Saturday Sale has become a time-honored tradition in Pagosa, and we invite you to take advantage of all the end-of-season bargains that will be offered at all participating stores on Sept. 1.

For the fifth year in a row, all of our local member merchants have been encouraged to participate in this event and, due to the fact that this is the fifth year, we can only assume that past years have been successful for all involved. You will be seeing posters all around town announcing this event and ads in this newspaper. We invite you to take advantage of this opportunity to save lots of dough while "Shopping Pagosa First" and supporting all of our local merchants.

Please call us at 264-2360 with any questions. Hope to see you all at the Four Corners Folk Festival and the Fifth Annual Sidewalk Saturday Sale.

Chamber credibility

I just received a call from a local resident asking for the names of Chamber members in a particular segment of the service industry. I dutifully picked up my current Chamber Business Directory and gave her every member name in that category. She said that she wanted to make sure that she dealt with ONLY a Chamber member.

It occurred to me that I needed to share this information once again because I don't know that anyone has any idea how many times this occurs during our week here. There are so many obvious benefits to Chamber membership, but this one sometimes slips by unnoticed as one of the most powerful. Chamber membership gives you a credibility that just about nothing else can offer.

The woman who called this morning wanted to work with a business whose commitment to the Chamber represents their deeper commitment to the well being of the entire business community of Pagosa Springs. Some Chamber benefits are much more "quiet" than others, but they exist and work for you on a regular basis as surely as the sun will come up tomorrow morning. 'Nuf said?

Membership

Okey-dokey, then - we have two new members to introduce to you this week and thirty-six renewals, so please make yourselves comfortable and prepare to enjoy a good read. Some folks prefer John Updike, but as for me, the Chamber membership and renewal list reads like poetry.

Our first new member this week is Dr. William Thornell, D.D.S., who brings us Pagosa Dental located at 75 South Pagosa Boulevard, No. 300. Pagosa Dental offers a complete line of dental services for the entire family with the emphasis on prevention and education. Dr. Thornell proudly offers comprehensive quality care that specializes in you. You can call these folks for more information at 731-6600. We thank Kathryn Heilhecker for her recruitment of Dr. Thornell and will reward her with a free pass to one of our wonderful SunDowners. Kathryn has become a mighty fine recruiter with many new members to her credit. Keep it up, girlfriend - we love it.

Our second new member this week is Jump River Lodging with Mike and Becky Shields, owners, at the helm. Jump River Lodging is located at 169 Pagosa Street just two blocks east of the hot springs and a block from the San Juan River launching area for kayaking, rafting, canoeing, tubing or just plain getting wet. This 1,200 square foot apartment in the heart of Pagosa will sleep eight comfortably and is located only twenty miles from the Wolf Creek Ski Area. This unit will be available after November 1 when you can call 264-1900 for reservations and information.

Our renewals this week include: Jere Hill with United Oil and Village Texaco; Jerry Driesens with Associated Brokers of Pagosa/Jerry Driesens Real Estate; Scott Allen with Mountain Snapshots; Sally Bish with Cruise Planners; Michel and Shirley Albouy with the Blanco River RV Park, LLC; Christina Knoell with Colorado Housing; Carrie S. Campbell with Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District; Teddy A. Finney, Seeds of Learning Family Center; Robert and Debbie Sparks with the Fireside Inn; Julie Schmidt with Parelli Natural Horse-Man-Ship; Gary Hodges with Grandview Cabins and R.V.; Martha Garcia with Colorado Workforce Center; Alex Mickel with Mild to Wild Rafting, Inc. in Durango; Sylvia Lenberg with Dahl of Durango; Stan Zuege with The Spring Inn; Barbara Husbands with Media America, Inc. in Las Vegas; Dan Aupperle, President, Citizens Bank of Pagosa Springs; Phillip R. McClendon with McClendon & Lynch, CPA, LLC,; James (Buz) Gillentine with Silver Lining Productions; David Maley with Davis Engineering Service; John Zwisler with Xerographics Plus in Durango; Tim Smith with the Archuleta County Airport Authority; Rick Taylor with AAA Propane; Rocque McClennan with Airport Self Storage; Bob and Susan Kanyur with Barnwood Crafts; Sharon Robinson with Cool Pines RV Park; Susan Hampton with Black Bear Custom Homes, LLC; Curt Christensen, CPA, and Jim Kahrs with The Kahrs Insurance Group.

Wow.

Our Associate Members this week include Richard and Ann Van Fossen; Diplomats Paige and Jean Gordon; Ron (Diplomat) and Cindy Gustafson; Ken and (Diplomat) Anita Mathers; Diplomat Sylvia Murray, and Gene and (Diplomat) Joan Cortright. Tune in next week for yet another riveting chapter of "Those Who Really Care About Pagosa Springs."

Whew.

Senior News

By Janet Copeland

Third summer picnic slated Friday in Town Park

The last picnic of the summer on Friday was a huge success with 81 folks attending.

These events require a lot of extra effort on the part of our kitchen staff and we sincerely thank Dawnie and the gals for the great job they are doing. It is amazing how they always seem to have enough food, even when they have no idea how many they will need to feed.

I understand Bruce Muirhead was the winner of the Frisbee contest between himself and Musetta. Congratulations Bruce.

Patty Tillerson will be taking blood pressures before lunch at the Center tomorrow. We so appreciate Patty volunteering her time and expertise to do this for us and hope folks will make use of this service.

This has been a wonderful week for guests and returning members at our meals. A big welcome to Lucille Arrington; Gale and Cathy Hindman (from Arizona); James and Roby Fox; Fran Shelton; Marietta, Howard and Debra Adams; Jackie and Jamie Harris (from Texas); Dorothy and Bill Reynders; Russell Burwell; Mary Guynn; Benny Hensen; Tony Perea; Press Valdez; Erna Bone; Jody Myer; Charlotte Archuleta; Rudy and Vera Diason; Shane and Cody Madsen; Johnnie and Leo Vogt; Aline Clark; Marion Swanson; Melisa and Tara Schweyer; Sylva, Gerry, Glen, Guy and Tasha Rayburn; Marian Dean; Cindi Van Andel; and Joanne Holiday. If I have missed anyone, I sincerely apologize but just know we appreciate all of you and hope you will join us more often.

I am very remiss in not mentioning earlier that we are so appreciative of the computer printer donated by Dick and Pat Robbins. Also, we are very grateful to Dan Balsinger for his donation of a 25-inch television to the Center. Thanks so much, folks. These items will certainly be put to good use.

A reminder that on Wednesday mornings at 9:30 a.m. there is a free Yoga Class at the Senior Center taught by Rich Harris. Also on Wednesday mornings at 9 a.m. our members may swim free of charge at the Lodge.

Tonight several members of our group will travel to Durango to attend the Bar D Chuckwagon meal and entertainment. For those driving their own vehicles, ask for Reservation No. 56 when purchasing your ticket. This is always fun and we look forward to it.

Our monthly Senior Board meeting, usually held on the last Friday of the month, will be on Wednesday, Aug. 29 at 10:30 a.m. Board members please note this and be present.

On Friday, Aug. 31, we will celebrate August birthdays of our members at noon. At 5 p.m. is our monthly potluck/dance - bring your favorite food dish and tapes to dance to. We hope for a large turnout.

The next Durango shopping trip is scheduled Aug. 30. Please sign up if you wish to go along (a minimum of six persons must sign up beforehand if the trip is to go).

There will be a blood drive at the Senior Center on Wednesday, Sept. 5 from 2-5 p.m. by reservation. Please call Musetta at 264-2167 to make an appointment and be sure to bring your ID when you come to make a donation.

Plans are in the making for a daytime trip to Ignacio Sept. 6 - where folks may attend a luncheon buffet and try their luck gambling. Please sign up early so Cindy will know whether there is enough interest to proceed with plans.

Beginning in September, our talented Kent Schaffer will teach art classes. Please visit with Kent and let him know what kind of classes you are interested in and what days would work out best for you to attend. We really appreciate Kent's offer to do this.

There has been a delay in our weekly presentations on "Death and Dying" because a lightning storm destroyed our VCR. Once we obtain a new VCR, we will continue this Bill Moyers series each Tuesday morning at 8:30 a.m. There will be a 90-minute presentation, 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.

Local Chatter

By Kate Terry

First home-garden tour huge success

The 2001 Home and Garden Tour, a first-time event, was sponsored by the Pagosa Springs Arts Council. Three hundred tickets were sold and the crowd was so appreciative and respectful. The tour was informative, relative to what grows well in the mountains, and a lot of people, in the process of building, were anxious for ideas.

Doris Green, co-chair for the event, said after the tour, "Wow! It is a similar feeling I had when once while traveling south on U.S. 84. We turned just before getting to Navajo Peaks and a huge rainbow came down in front of us."

This will be an annual event. Mark your calendar for July 21, 2002 for the next Home and Garden Tour.

Auction action

The annual Humane Society Auction for the Animals is tomorrow night at the Ridgeview Mall, and once again it will be a festive occasion, make a lot of money for the society's shelter, and show off what this community can do.

The auction is the main fundraiser for the society's work with animals. Last year it netted close to $43,000. This year expenses at the shelter have already reached $115,635 as of June 2001.

"This year's auction promises to be more exciting than ever, thanks to the generosity of our donors," said Nancy Ray, auction chairman. "We have already received some real show stoppers." And they have everything from a 1950 Willys Pickup Truck Street Rod to fine jewelry. And a nice thing about it all is that you can wear whatever you want to, and you can go by yourself (if you need to) and for sure you'll have fun. And, of course, the money goes for an important cause.

Around town

The Pagosa Pretenders' performance at the Fred Harman Art Museum is down right good. (Of course, all their shows have been!) See calendar for details.

The Pretenders' performances are based on an old theater style - one that goes back to the time when very few people read and touring groups depended on the audience. A story was told and the actors made up their own lines to fit the story. The process can be called "improvisationally created theater." Bill Hudson started Pretenders and Susan Garman and Addie Greer have continued. They do a marvelous job of coordinating things. Most of the actors are kids, but everyone who wants to be a part of a show can be, and adults are needed. One does not audition. Everyone does something.

Pagosa Springs is fortunate to have Pretenders Family Theater. Their shows are ideal ways to entertain visitors as well as locals.

Around town

The Community Christmas Choir is being organized in preparation for Dec. 8-9 performances. Registrationis Aug. 28 and 30 from 6:30-8 p.m. and Sept. 4 from 6-6:45 p.m. at Mountain Heights Baptist Church. Rehearsals will be every Tuesday evening, 7-9 p.m. This year's program is planned to last an hour. There won't be pre-concert music, interlude music, solos or music from the "Messiah." Dr. Al Landes and Marie Martin Jones will co-direct.

Fun on the run

As part of the admission procedure in the hospital, patients were asked if they were allergic to anything. If so, it was printed on an allergy band, which was then placed on the patient's wrist.

Once, when an elderly woman was asked if she had any allergies, she said she couldn't eat bananas. Several hours later a very irate son came out to the nurses' station demanding, "Who's responsible for labeling my mother 'bananas'?"

Veterans Corner

By Andy Fautheree

Lost, stolen military decoration can be replaced

Military Awards and Decorations serve as tangible evidence of and appreciation for heroic, extraordinary, outstanding and meritorious acts, achievements, and service.

The medals and certificates of recognition presented to members of the military are meant to be cherished by the recipients, their comrades, and their families, and they serve as a reflection and memory of a veteran's service to the Nation.

The first authorized U.S. military decoration was The Badge of Military Merit, established by General George Washington on Aug. 7, 1782. Formed by a piece of cloth shaped like a heart, this decoration was intended to recognize servicemen who displayed unusual gallantry or extraordinary fidelity. Only three are known to have been awarded, and the Badge of Military Merit fell into disuse after the Revolutionary War. General Douglas MacArthur revived it as the Purple Heart in 1932.

The Medal of Honor was the next decoration to be specifically designed and authorized for U.S. service members. It was established on December 21, 1861, by President Abraham Lincoln for enlisted men of the Navy and Marine Corps. Its use was later expanded to include enlisted men and officers of all services. More than 3,400 men and one woman have received this prestigious award.

Since that time, many defense and service decorations have been developed. Changes in eligibility criteria have been made over the years, and, in some cases, decorations have fallen into misuse and disuse. However, the basic hierarchy remains unchanged.

The Medal of Honor remains the highest military decoration that this nation can bestow upon a service member, and lesser degrees of recognition are acknowledged by other decorations in descending order. Most recently, the Defense Department approved the Prisoner of War (POW) Medal; the French Government approved the French Jubilee of Liberty Medal; and the South Korean Government approved the Korean War Service Medal for issue to eligible U.S. service men and women.

A veteran or next of kin can replace lost, stolen, destroyed or unissued medals with a written request to the service or department with whom the veteran served. The official process takes about a year from application to receipt of medals. This administrative action can be accomplished by visiting the Archuleta County Veteran Service Office. Alternatively, replacement medals can be purchased from any of a number of commercial stores or web sites specializing in official military memorabilia.

For information on this and other veteran benefits please call or stop by the Veterans Service Office located on the lower floor of the Archuleta County Courthouse. The office number is 264-2304, the FAX number is 264-5949, and E-mail is vsoarch@pagosa.net. The office is open 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 underway, practice sessions slated

This year's youth soccer program is underway with $15 registration continuing through tomorrow. Coaches have scheduled first practices and will start as early as Monday.

At the coaches' meeting Aug. 21, coaches discussed rules and practices, and obtained uniforms for their teams. Coaches can continue scheduling practices by calling the recreation department at 264-4151, ext. 232.

Game schedules will be available Sept. 5 with games set to begin Sept. 11. Games will be played on Tuesday and Thursday evenings at 4:30, 5:30 and 6:30 p.m.

For players not yet registered, forms are available at Town Hall. Deadline for registration is Sept. 7.

The soccer program is looking for youth and adults interested in officiating and supervising soccer games. Positions are paid and interested people need to contact Summer at Town Hall.

Adult football

The adult flag football season will get underway with a mandatory manager's meeting at 6 p.m. tonight at Town Hall. All rosters and team fees are due at the meeting. Team fees are set at $250 per team and the player fee is $15.

Schedules will be out tomorrow and games will begin Tuesday, Aug. 28. For more information, contact Summer at the recreation department number listed above.

Park Commission

The Park and Recreation Commission met Monday and discussed Reservoir Hill activities, park and recreation updates, and skateboarding ideas.

The next meeting is set for 6 p.m. Sept. 18 in Town Hall. The commission holds monthly meetings to discuss all park and recreation issues. Meetings are open to the public and pizza is served for all attending.

Colorfest race

This year's Colorfest mountain bike race will be held Sept. 23. The Pedal Fest bike race will be held in the Turkey Springs area and will include the Chris Mountain ride for sport and expert riders.

This year's course will start at the cattle guard on Piedra Road just before the Turkey Springs turn, cross Newt Jack and continue on to the new ATV trail to Brockover Road.

The course is currently marked and distances have been set for beginners at 10 miles, sport riders at 27 miles and expert and pro riders at 32 miles.

A novice/kids race will also be held and will consist of three miles, with all participants awarded medals.

Arts Line

By Pamela Bomkamp

Last chance to see Fred Harman story

This is your last chance to view the Pagosa Pretenders Family Theatre presentation of "The Legendary Life of a Local, A Story About Fred Harman and Red Ryder".

Tomorrow night will be a special performance and tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for children under twelve. The show starts at 7 p.m. Please note that there will be no dinner served at this show. Tickets can be purchased at the door.

If you would like to have dinner with the show, you must attend Saturday's performance. Tickets for this performance are $15 for adults and $8 for children under twelve and must be purchased in advance. This larger ticket price includes the show, dinner, and dinner entertainment by John Graves and Warren Big Eagle.

Tickets for either night can be purchased at the Chamber of Commerce, Sisson Library, Wolf Tracks Bookstore and Coffeehouse, The Plaid Pony, and the PSAC Gallery. A discount is available to arts council members when tickets are purchased at the PSAC Gallery. All proceeds from the show will be donated to support our community. For additional information, contact Susan Garman at 731-2485.

Local exhibitors

If you have not seen the latest art exhibit at the PSAC Gallery in Town Park, you are missing out.

Pat Francis has some beautiful photographs of one of my favorite places - Italy. For those of you who have never been to Italy, just viewing Pat's work will leave you longing for the atmosphere and beauty she has captured.

Pat's photos are complemented by Denise Mudroch's photography of local landscapes. A constant student of photography since high school, Denise captures the true essence of local scenery that has probably brought each one of us to this beautiful place.

This artwork will be on exhibit through Sept. 5. Make a point of stopping in while you are in town. You might even get lucky and visit with one of the artists.

The gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m.- 5 p.m.

"Fiddler on the Roof"

Pagosa Springs Music Boosters will perform" Fiddler on the Roof" at the high school auditorium Sept. 6, 8, and 9 and again Sept. 13, 14, and 15. Reserved seating tickets are now on sale at Moonlight Books only. PSAC will be doing the snack booth and we are looking for a few volunteers to help. Please call Joann at the gallery, 264-5020.

Extension Viewpoints

By Bill Nobles

Caffeine gives 'energy' drinks their kick

Blue Ox, Red Bull, Adrenaline, Power House, Atomic Energy . . . all are derivations of the hip-looking canned or bottled energy drinks gaining popularity among weekend warriors and party-goers.

Unlike sports drinks such as Gatorade and PowerAde, which supply optimal amounts of carbohydrates and sodium for endurance exercise, energy drinks claim to boost alertness and stamina. People drink them before workouts, when dancing all night (often mixing them with booze), or just as an afternoon pick-me-up. Energy, in this case, usually means caffeine.

These sugary soft drinks are typically fortified with lots of caffeine and occasionally guarana, a South African plant that supplies a caffeine-like substance. Many also contain various amino acids, vitamins and herbs such as ginseng. A few even contain ma huang or ephedra, an amphetamine-like substance used in many supplements and diet aids, which has been linked to more than 100 deaths.

But mostly, the kick comes from the caffeine. For example Red Bull, the best-known stimulant drink, contains as much caffeine as brewed coffee and as much sugar as cola. It tastes a little like carbonated cough medicine. The product also contains taurine, an amino acid that your body makes on its own. The manufacturer claims that taurine, combined with some of the other ingredients, boosts physical and mental performance. And indeed, there is actually an Austrian study in the literature showing that 10 graduate students given cognitive performance tests in the late evening did better when drinking Red Bull with the three active ingredients, caffeine, taurine and glucuronolactone. Again, caffeine is a well-known stimulant.

So, what's the downside of these energy drinks, and why are so many of them banned in Canada? In general it comes down to overuse and misuse of the products. According to the University of California-Berkeley Wellness Letter, adverse effects and at least one death have been reported among young athletes consuming energy drinks, notably Red Bull.

The high levels of caffeine found in these drinks are not suitable for children. High levels of caffeine can boost heart rate and blood pressure, causing palpitations. Mixing these drinks with alcohol further increases the risk of heart rhythm problems. If caffeine makes you jittery, the drinks may actually impair performance.

Avoid any beverage or supplement that contains ephedra (ma huang), especially if you have high blood pressure or heart problems. There also may be some safety questions with other herbs and compounds found in some of these drinks.

Be careful about downing these drinks with alcohol to get high without getting sleepy. Fatigue is the body's way of saying it's had enough to drink and it's dangerous to continue to try to fool your body that you're not as drunk as you are.

Finally, be aware that several stimulants, when put together, can amplify each other and become dangerous. A long list of herbs and vitamins in a product does not ensure a healthful product.

The bottom line: Don't fall for the hype. If you drink iced tea, coffee or cola, at least you know what you are drinking.

Library News

By Lenore Bright

Scanning some of the new books

There are several interesting new books available at the library.

"The Paper Decorator," by Kerry Skinner explores all aspects of paper and how it can be used in decorating. "The paper crafts employed range from skills to ingenious recycling techniques. Paper is a liberating medium for those too nervous to work with more precious materials, and as such, is the perfect vehicle for creative experiments."

"The Four Elements of Financial Alchemy," by Jacques Vallee provides a new formula for personal prosperity. "We are living in an era dominated by economic forces that shape our opportunities, and constrain our activities. Even those who claim not to care about money are periodically reminded of its role by life itself ..." Vallee, in the ancient tradition of alchemy, can help you turn your base metals into gold. He teaches new and previously unsuccessful investors how to reach overall financial life goals.

In "The Scalpel and the Silver Bear," Dr. Lori Alvord and E. Van Pelt tell the autobiographical story of the first Navajo woman surgeon who combined western medicine and traditional healing. Tony Hillerman recommends this insider's look. "This is the spellbinding journey of the struggle to bring modern medicine to the Navajo reservation in Gallup, New Mexico - and to bring the values of her people to a medical care system in danger of losing its heart."

Susan Herbert's "Cats History of Western Art" is a clever spoof of famous paintings recognizable to art buffs and casual museum-goers. This is for cat lovers. Leonardo and Michelangelo would have approved.

"Cracking Creativity," Michael Michalko gives us secrets of creative genius. Michalko has researched and analyzed over 100 of our greatest thinkers - from Da Vinci to Edison. He explains their idea-generating process in simple steps that can help anyone become more creative in their thinking process.

Tom Brokaw continues with personal histories from his Greatest Generation in "An Album of Memories." This second book grew out of the many responses he got to the first one. "It was a common trait of the Greatest Generation not to discuss the difficult times. Now, in their twilight years, more and more members of that remarkable group are determined to share their experiences." This album is a way of celebrating more of those lives.

Careers

The Department of Labor sent us a copy of "Improving Career Outcomes for Youth." High unemployment and weak systems of career preparation are continuing concerns for modern societies. Over the last two decades, youth unemployment has become less of a priority issue in the United States, as policy makers focus on the quality of training and education. We need to continue to emphasize the problem of youth joblessness even among workers in their early 20s. This document reviews the lessons and the diagnosis of these problems and what policies have worked to help young people obtain jobs and enter productive careers.

Security concerns

According to Newscan, travelers plugging computers into the networks now found in airports and coffee shops should be aware that these networks can easily be intercepted. When you sit in an airport and use your laptop, you are actually broadcasting to anyone within listening distance. Anyone on the Internet should know it is wide open to everyone.

Internet problems

The down time continues. We apologize for the inconvenience caused by circumstances beyond our control. This may be the time to get your own internet connection to avoid these delays. If problems continue, we may have to re-think the value of offering this unreliable service.

Donations

Thanks for financial support in memory of Elizabeth Anderson from Judy Wood, Kate Terry, and the Bright family; and to Dr. J.R. and Jane Cook in memory of Dorothy Hancock. Thanks for materials from Carol and Richard Quillin, Bev Pruitt, Janice O'Hare, Anna Harris, Dr. Dohner and Nancy Miquelon.

In Sync

By Isabel Willis

Children depend on adults for safety

The school year is approaching quickly and safety is a big concern as the already busy streets of Pagosa get busier.

We need to keep in mind that every year children suffer from injuries received in motor vehicle crashes.

Many of these injuries and even deaths can be avoided if parents transporting their children would take the time to secure them in safety seats that are properly anchored to their vehicle.

If the child weighs enough to be in a booster seat or secured by a seat belt alone, it is important that the belt fits across the chest and over the lap properly. If there is an air bag present in the vehicle, children should never be seated in front of that air bag.

The center rear position of automobiles is generally the safest position for a child safety seat, provided there are belts available and the seat fits securely in that position. If the safety seat does not fit well in the center, try installing it by the window.

Statistically, one side of a vehicle is not safer than the other. In vans, the middle row of seats may be preferable in terms of both crash protection and accessibility.

Parents know they are required by law to make sure their school-age children are immunized against infectious diseases, but do they also think about being required to immunize them against motor vehicle crashes? Children depend on adults to make them safe while riding in motor vehicles. If children notice a parent is not wearing a seat belt, most often they feel like they don't have to wear one either. We need to start setting good examples.

Society blocks out the idea of children without protection from child safety seat systems becoming "flying missiles" during a crash. Even an adult's arms cannot hold back a child in a crash. In fact, if you are holding your child on your lap and are in a crash, your weight times the speed of your car equals the amount of force your child will sustain in hitting the dash.

The best preventative measure you can take as a parent or guardian is to correctly use approved child safety belt systems. To do that you have to understand your vehicle's safety belt system. Every vehicle is different. Always refer to your owner's manual if you are ever unsure.

Members of local agencies such as the Department of Social Services and San Juan Basin Health Department are also available to you as a resource. They can identify what kind of system your vehicle has and how to properly install a safety seat. They can also make sure that your school-age children are wearing their seat belts safely over their chests and laps.

Be sure to watch your school bulletin for information on the next Check Point provided free to parents in September. If you attend a Check Point it will make sure your family is traveling as safely as possible for the upcoming school year.

Let's come together as a community and make sure that Pagosa Springs "clicks."

Crusing with Cruse

By Katherine Cruse

Are sleepless nights a sign of normalcy?

A while back a friend sent me a questionnaire via the Internet. It was making the rounds, as those things do, faster than garbage going through a bear. If you received this questionnaire you were supposed to answer the questions and send it on to five friends. Or maybe 20 friends.

The questions were pretty simple. The kind you might find in a Sunday supplement magazine. What's your favorite color, flavor of ice cream, song or book? Is the glass half full or half empty?

But one question stopped me. "What's the first thing you say (or think) when you wake in the morning?"

Which time?

If it's as late as 6 a.m. I tend to say - "thank goodness." If it's earlier, well - it depends on how much earlier.

The poet Sylvia Plath called 4 a.m. the hour of the wolf. The small dark time of night when all your fears and regrets haunt your mind, as persistent as my neighbor's barking dog. When it's too early to get up, and too late to hope that you'll get back to sleep.

It can be 3 a.m. or 4 or even 5 o'clock, when my night wolves come snuffling and skulking around, with their yellow eyes and hot breath. Every chore that I've put off crowds my mind. Every slight I've received repeats itself. Every harsh word I've said comes back to haunt me. Every future confrontation looms large.

And then there are the worries. The What-ifs. What if the sump pump in the crawl space fails? What if Ol' Paint's transmission goes out? What if my mother has to go into assisted living? What if the cancer returns? And finally there are the aches and pains - the cramp in the calf muscles, the rumbling stomach, that slight niggling little twinge behind your eyelids. During the day you don't notice them, but when there are no other distractions, the body's complaints can sure get loud and insistent.

I tell you, it's a lonely time, lying there in the dark. Wondering if you might as well turn on the light and read, because this is going nowhere. Not wanting to turn on the light and wake the sleeper next to you.

In Nashville, when the night wolves came around with their whimpering and snarling, I'd go downstairs to read a book and nibble on crackers, until the ticking of the clock began to sound like a jackhammer and drove me back to bed.

Here, if I get up to read in another room, at least in our cabin, I might die of hypothermia. All right, that's an exaggeration. It's really possible only in the winter, when the night cold just flows in through the logs. I used to think that I could control this, somehow, if I would just get my life in order. If I didn't procrastinate. If I paid bills and wrote thank you notes on time. If I minded my tongue and didn't say things hastily that I later regretted. Then the wolves wouldn't be hanging around the edges of consciousness waiting until the gatekeeper dozed off.

And then I read a most wonderful article, an account of living among the Kalahari Bushmen. The author was a woman whose parents were anthropologists, and when she was a child, the family spent weeks and months in the Kalahari Desert while her parents made observations and took notes.

The Bushmen, at least back in the '70s, were nomadic. They had few material possessions. That was probably good, since they had to carry everything from place to place. At night, they made rough little shelters out of brush, scooped out hollows in the sand to fit the contours of their bodies, and went to sleep. In the middle of this makeshift village they kept a fire going.

And here's the good part. People got up during the night! It was considered normal.

They'd wake up and go sit by the fire for a while. Chat with whoever else was sitting there. Let the aches subside - and I'll bet there were a lot of them. I've slept on the bare ground. I've hollowed out a place for my hips in the sand. I know that comfort is a relative term.

And after a while, they'd leave the fireside and go back to their sleeping places. No lying alone in the dark, wrestling with their own private worries. Let the night wolves tackle something their own size. Let 'em go out and fight with prowling lions. Chase away elephants. Whatever.

A friend reports reading about another primitive people, not the Kalahari Bushmen, who actually have a word for the wakeful night. They break that period between dark and dawn into First Sleep and Second Sleep. They assume that normal people sleep for a while, wake up for a while, and go back to sleep again.

What a concept! Maybe we're not supposed to sleep an uninterrupted eight hours. Maybe that's a modern idea, like the assembly line. Maybe the whole idea was thought up by some mattress company. Maybe everybody used to get up in the night and wander around for a while.

Maybe you and I and all the others who wake in the night, worried about bills and teenage children and aging parents are, well, normal. So here's wishing you a good night's sleep. Both of them.

Features

Food for Thought

By Karl Isberg

Editors need pasta to relieve the sorrows

I went to an editor's conference in Denver last week. My first. To pick up some tips from the pros about how to be an editor.

The conference provided an excuse to get out of town and see my granddaughter Ipana, my daughter Aurora Borealis and my brother Kurt and his family.

The trip also gave me an opportunity to eat some food unavailable in Pagosa Springs. I chose Japanese, supping alone the night I arrived in the city - on gyoza, tonkatsu, and otoro sashimi, gorgeous slabs of tuna sliced from the fatty belly of the fish. Yikes.

After a fitful rest at a hotel, it was off to the Press Club for the conference, held in a dark, second-floor meeting room in a club considerably worn around the edges.

Like the editors.

I ended up in a room full of pencil chewers. They came from huge papers and small papers and the tone was gloomy from the outset.

I was the only one in the room without a bag full of problems so, as we introduced ourselves, I lorded it over the others. I told them how great things were going at the SUN, how fantastic it is to work in the community, with the best-darned staff in the universe, riding the crest of a wave of growth, basking in perpetual journalistic sunshine.

When the participants griped about their publishers, I told them about David and how he meanders in at odd hours now he is semi-retired and wants to chat about the Broncos, or biking, or his grandkids.

When a guy moaned about his relationship with other departments at his paper, I regaled him with tales of "hands across the sea" cooperation between the folks in advertising and the folks in the newsroom at the SUN.

Complaints about marginal staff members were met with gloating about my three compatriots and the crew of stellar part-timers who labor weekly to produce our copy.

Then, I faded.

With my ADD problem, my attention disintegrated, my mind wandered. Ten minutes of focus is pretty good for me.

As conversation among the pros continued, I thought about the circus. I thought about paper clips. I considered taking a trip to the family grave sites in Central City. I wondered what the temperature was in Oslo.

I was lost in the ozone, so when someone asked me a question, barely cognizant of the flow of the conversation, I invented, then exaggerated my answer.

"What's the circulation of your paper, Karl?"

"Good question, Mary. Glad you asked. You know, it varies wildly. Offhand, I'd say it was 16,000 last week, not counting the 4,000 copies of our tabloid center section, which everyone and his mother wants to read. Next week, we expect a dropoff to 7,000 but that always happens the week before the motorcycle rally comes through town. You know how bikers affect distribution. It's nasty, but what can you do?"

Everyone nodded.

One poor editor from a small mountain weekly- let's call her Cassandra - came close to tears as she recounted her hassles with her publisher and with a staff that was cut to two elderly columnists and one full-time writer who refused to go out on any story assignment that required use of a car or involved someone she didn't like.

As Cassandra talked, and talked and talked and talked, I wondered what the cost of pure-bred samoyeds is on the open market. I pondered the fate of the Lady Pirate volleyball team over the course of what promises to be a tough schedule.

Another editor sat across from me and ate her necklace. She was the City Editor at a large daily and when the group took a morning break, she hustled downstairs to the bar for a bracer and a smoke. Whenever she made a comment, every third sentence or so was broken midway with a groan and her fingers flew up impulsively to tug at a strand of hair.

People kept grousing about their existence and, before I knew it, song lyrics were going through my mind. Random thoughts piled one on another as the drone strengthened.

Raindrops keep falling my head . . .

Advice about how to deal with disaster and dire times was proffered from all corners and my attention continued to ebb.

"You need to be strong - stand up to your publisher, let him know the problems he's caused."

Oooh baby, baby, it's a wild world . . .

"I swore I'd never get back into the business," cried Cassandra. "First, I moved to a small town. It was so beautiful. Then, I bought a dog. Next thing I knew, I had a house and a mortgage. I needed the income." She looked to the ceiling, her eyes filling with tears. "I wanted to be a potter. Maybe buy a loom and learn to weave."

Why does Donna Douglas still wear her Ellie May Clampett hairdo? Has she looked in a mirror lately? Is she Sally Struthers' sister?

Cassandra paused to take a breath and the managing editor from a West Slope daily filled the void. "We've got competition," he yelled. "Do you understand? I can't deal with the competition with a staff of eighteen. I can't. Do you hear what I'm saying? Give me some ideas. I can't breathe."

Okay, you've got Tony Orlando. But, did anyone really know that much about Dawn?

"I've lost half my staff since 1999," said the emaciated editor of an I-70-corridor weekly. "I'm working 80-hour weeks and I've got a peptic ulcer the size of Utah." He coughed: a raspy, too-many-cigarettes and not-enough-sleep cough.

Do rodents have dreams?

A Senior Writer, ex-managing editor of a large metro daily, tells a fascinating story about a congressman calling her at two in the morning. She complains about her inability to sleep, what with the stresses and strains of her work.

"Flintstones, they're the Flintstones, they're the modern stone age family. From the town of Bedrock. . ."

The editor of a agricultural journal published somewhere out on the endless plains gripes about a suggestion box idea backfiring and causing widespread rebellion in the newsroom.

Is green really the ideal color for the walls of an institution?

"My publisher is driving me crazy and the advertising people think they know something about newswriting. They don't want copy that offends their big clients."

If A, then B: A, therefore B.

"We stand in grave peril of losing significant readership. People can't read anymore or they don't think they have time for newspapers, and there's that inane television news and we have less and less staff to. . ."

Let's all sing like the birdies sing . . . tweet, tweet-tweet, tweet-tweet.

Finally, another break. It was time for lunch. We dutifully left our chairs and slogged stoop-shouldered to a table containing a single large chafing dish, a bowl full of wilted salad greens, a smaller bowl with separated vinegar and oil dressing, and a basket containing day-old slices of French bread. The cover of the dish was removed to reveal the entreé: a slightly gray mess of overcooked pasta floating in watery tomato sauce and dotted with a dozen or so buy-it-frozen-at-your-bulk-food-store meatballs. A fluorescent light flickered above the table.

Dear heavens.

We returned to our seats to continue the discussion while we ate.

The mood grew more oppressive. Ominous.

Our moderator responded to the depression in the air and he went around the table asking each editor what he or she did to relieve the incredible pressure and distress of day-to-day life.

There was ceramics, community theater. Never out of reach of a cell phone or beeper.

"I shampoo the cats," said one. "I always have my cell phone nearby."

"I go to primal scream therapy," said another editor. "And I take my beeper."

"Skiing, hiking," said one frantic looking chap. "With my cell phone, of course."

There was heavy smoking, drinking, hair ripping, in the company of a cell phone.

When it was my turn, I replied, "Lifting heavy objects and putting them back down. And cooking."

It was then that I snapped back to the moment and realized what a decent meal could do for these poor wretches. Granted, pasta is a cheapo way to feed a lot of people, but it can be the base of a very good meal. It needn't add to the somber atmosphere; it could, in fact, be a palliative.

I sketched out a few menu ideas on my note pad, right next to a crude rendering of the city editor - you know, the one ripping out her hair and gnawing on her forearm.

I decided on a relatively simple baked rigatoni with a meat sauce. Cheap, easy, delicious. Great for a crowd. An angry, frustrated crowd.

I boil rigatoni until they are al dente and drain.

In a frying pan, I saute chopped onion, diced green and red bell pepper, and some minced carrot and celery in olive oil. When the vegetables soften, I add a mess of crushed garlic, chopped fresh basil and some fennel seed. After a minute or two, I put the mixture in a bowl and saute half Italian sausage and half ground beef in the frying pan, draining the grease as the meats cook. When the meats are browned I add a splash of white wine, a can of tomato puree and a couple of tablespoons of tomato paste. I cook this, stirring frequently, tasting and adjusting seasonings, then I put the veggie mix in the pan with the meats and I cook for a few minutes more over low heat. I mix in the rigatoni.

I grease a baking dish with olive oil and add the pasta, meat and vegetable mixture. Into a 350 oven it goes for about thirty minutes. Fifteen minutes into the cooking, I liberally coat the top of the pasta with freshly grated Parmesan or romano cheese.

My salad is, likewise, simple, rustic, with torn greens, and chunks of the same peppers, celery, and carrot I used in the baked dish. I add cherry tomatoes and some rings of red onion and I make sure my vinaigrette is fresh and emulsified, with fresh herbs and a bit of garlic added to the olive oil/red-wine vinegar dressing. Bread has to be fresh, for crying out loud, and I whip up a pot of compound butter to go with it (soft butter mixed with a bit of minced basil and parsley, for example). For dessert, fresh fruit. A bit of a fruity red wine - pinot noir, gamay beaujolais? - for the drinkers in the crowd, and, oh boy, there are some at the conference!

As I walked to my truck in the parking lot, I saw Cassandra leave the Press Club. She stopped, put the back of one frail, pale hand to her forehead and her knees buckled slightly. She steadied herself against the wall, took a deep breath, dabbed at her eyes and moved on down the sidewalk.

I wanted to rush over and hug her, tell her everything will be all right. "Buy that loom, girlfriend. Weave. Weave."

I think, in my scattered way, I learned a lot.

I was back at work Monday.

I felt lethargic, oppressed.

I was in a bad mood, flush with anxiety. I was stressed about the fact we've got an extra four pages in the main and I sensed conspiracy in the composition room.

I realized I could use a cell phone.

I'm an editor.

I need pasta.