You're native Coloradans, so you know precautions are necessary when you live in a remote area filled with wildlife.
You think you've taken all the necessary safety steps.
And then one morning, just after 1 a.m., you awaken to a loud noise and find a full-grown, apparently hungry black bear in your bedroom.
That was the frightening experience last week of Gary and Linda Grauberger who live in the Alpine Lakes Development off Coyote Park Road.
Gary said they were asleep when he heard a loud crash and awoke to see a bear with one paw up on the bed and leaning toward Linda on the opposite side.
"I yelled, What the hell is that?" he said, and then realized the other presence in the room was much larger than he.
His yell, however, awakened his wife who asked what was going on.
"There's a bear in here," he answered. The bear leaped over his wife and landed on him. He yelled and clapped his hands and the animal jumped off and ran into the master bath. Grauberger ran behind it and pulled the door shut. His wife said the animal was huge. "I was still at bed level as he ran past and his head was way above me," she said.
Yelling at his wife to call 911 after he secured the bathroom door, Grauberger raced to the garage to get a gun. When he came back with a weapon, he realized it was only a shotgun and not much help against a bear. He told his wife to go into the living room and close the hallway door so the bear could not get to her location.
When she did, he opened the sliding doors to the outside and warned her he was going to let the bear out of the bathroom and then run to join her.
In the meantime, both said, the bear was going wild in the bath. It was clawing at walls (there was one giant paw print on the wall about four and a half feet from the floor) and at the window, banging into the door, and trying to escape.
When Grauberger first tried to open the door, the bear was apparently backed against it. When he banged on the door, he said, the bear moved and he could then open it slightly. He did so, then ran to join his wife. Moments later they went to the garage and looked out a window from which they could see the area outside their bedroom.
The bear, they said, exited the building and stood a few feet away, surveying the scene.
"And then," the Graubergers said, "He loped off across the property toward the south."
"You've never heard anything like that," he said. "It was so big it sounded like a couple of horses running."
Still, aside from extensive evidence of the bear's presence inside the home, there was very little trail outside. One paw print about six feet from the building was well-defined, but there were only a few partial prints elsewhere in the yard.
The bear entered through a living room window that had been open about six inches. It apparently ripped off the screen and then used its head to raise the window enough so it could enter.
A statue standing directly in front of the window was not moved and there was no sign the bear was injured.
Examination of the premises indicated the bear must have been in the home for several minutes but the Graubergers heard nothing until it was in the bedroom.
There were paw prints on a center service counter in the kitchen where a bag of pretzels had been ripped open and a few peanuts in the shell sampled. There were more prints on the counter along the outer wall, on the kitchen sink and on the window above it.
Additional sign of the bear's presence was found in the utility room where paw prints were evident atop both washer and dryer. Scat left on the bedroom floor was bagged for DOW investigators but, said Grauberger, "It appeared he'd been eating mostly grass."
In two other locations inside the house there were spots where the unwelcome guest had urinated.
The Graubergers said the bear apparently smelled humans because it walked right past another unoccupied bedroom to get into theirs.
When they called their property owners association president the following morning, they said they were informed there had been several other incidents involving bears in the development in the previous week.
"We just weren't aware of them, or might have taken even more precautions," Grauberger said.
The couple have no children at home, have no pets, raise no stock, have no bird feeders, and carefully bag and stow their garbage every night.
They also have a motion sensor system that turns on a series of outdoor lights when activated. It, however, had been turned off because of problems the two previous nights during severe electrical storms.
"I'm going to hook it back up now," he said. "And I'm going to put in an alarm system."
The couple want others in the area to know of the threat. In addition to the other reports in their development, The SUN was told by a nearby rancher who was asked for directions, that he had seen a bear and her cubs stalking his calves about half an hour earlier and had driven them off before moving the calves into the barn.
Also, in the past week, there have been reports involving damage by bears on Blanco Road, in an orchard at Pagosa Junction, twice involving entry into and consumption of goods in a bakery on the lower Blanco, and sightings and evidence of raiding throughout the subdivisions of the Pagosa Lakes community, on Mesa Heights and along Hermosa Street in downtown Pagosa Springs.
The Graubergers were comforted by the thought the bear came, if it had to come, at a time when they did not have company.
"Last weekend," Mrs. Grauberger said, "we had visitors with small children. The kids were sleeping in a room at the top of the stairs directly across the room from where the bear entered. The stairs are carpeted and if we didn't hear the bear get in this time, certainly wouldn't have heard it on carpeted stairs if it had been drawn to the children."
The couple, who moved into the home in May after living in Nevada several years, are natives of Colorado and thought they were being diligent in their defense against animal invasion.
While the bear was in the bath, she said, "I could hear it growling, screaming and fighting to get out. Gary's had experiences with bears before; he's a geologist and has to work outdoors. But I hadn't. I was petrified part of the time, angry part of the time and, I guess, just too upset to be scared while it was happening.
"Then," she said, "I saw that paw print on the bed right next to where I'd been sleeping and began to shake. I guess that was the fear catching up with me."
A sheriff's office representative was on the scene about 25 minutes after the 911 call, but could find no sign of the animal in the area. Department of Wildlife officer Larry Garcia arrived at the scene at about 10:45 a.m. Thursday.
Mrs. Grauberger said she begged her husband not to shoot the bear. "I felt the animal would only be enraged by a shotgun," she said. "I didn't want it to attack him &emdash; or me &emdash; I just wanted it gone."
She said she had heard a noise outside two nights earlier but did not check to see what it was. "I guess I just assumed it was a deer," she said. "They're around here all the time."
Her last comment was, "We didn't go back to that bed last night."
Longtime Archuleta County resident and noted environmental activist Elizabeth "Betty" Feazel passed away at her home Aug. 26.
Born in Dayton, Ohio, in 1916, Betty studied at Wellesley College and summered at the At Last Ranch in Archuleta County, acquired by her parents in 1922. She graduated in 1938 with a degree in philosophy. In 1944, she married attorney and TWA pilot Ernest Feazel at a spot near her mother's ranch house.
Together Betty and Earnest raised four children on a farm near Kansas City. Betty returned to the At Last Ranch and full-time ranching upon her husband's death in 1976. Over the years, she collected people &emdash; artists, scientists, political activists and family. Her family reunions were the stuff of legend, renting whole train cars for the ride to Silverton, reserving several floors in the Strater Hotel in Durango.
Betty is survived by sons Turner of Newburgh, Ind., and David and John of Pagosa Springs; her daughter Lucy Baizel; and six grandchildren.
Plans for a ski development in the East Fork Valley galvanized her conservationist leanings and Betty organized, wrote, spoke and led efforts for preservation and open space.
She was recognized for her preservationist positions in "Audubon" magazine, "Sports Illustrated," and on the front page of the "New York Times," accomplishing all this from her desk at the At Last Ranch. Betty was instrumental in forming the Adult Literacy Program in Pagosa Springs, in establishing the Southwest Land Alliance and Colorado Coalition of Land Trusts, and was known for her support of the local library and her participation in local clubs and organizations. She received numerous lifetime environmental achievement awards including the George M. Cranmer Award for her encouragement of preservation, and the Blue Valley Ranch Award for her work to protect open lands in the county.
In keeping with her wishes, her ashes will be scattered over her grandmother's daffodils above the ranch house during a private family ceremony.
There will be a memorial service Sept. 8 at 11 a.m. at the picnic grounds at the At Last Ranch (1/4 mile up the East Fork Road). All are welcome and are urged to bring their stories of Betty.
Rather than flowers, donations can be made to the Lucy Turner Book Endowment, c/o Ruby Sisson Library, P.O. Box 849, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147 or to the Betty Feazel Open Space Fund, c/o Southwest Land Alliance, P.O. Box 3417, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.
A 30-year-old man was killed Aug. 23 while competing in a bull riding event at a Pagosa Springs rodeo.
Derek Jesus Esparza, 30, was pronounced dead at the scene after being kicked in the chest by the bull, Archuleta County Coroner Carl Macht said.
According to witnesses and a home video of the accident, the coroner said the bull came out of the shoot bucking, with its head down and heels up. Esparza was thrown, tumbled to the ground and was starting to rise when the bull's back hooves caught him square in the chest, killing him almost instantly.
"Dr. Bob Brown was on the scene in seconds," Macht said. He and local EMTs attempted to resuscitate the victim, calling for an Air Care helicopter, but were unsuccessful.
Esparza, of Chama, was wearing a protective vest, Macht said, but the pressure and force displaced over his chest from a direct hit by the 1,600 pound animal was too much.
"They work (the vests), and we want people to be wearing helmets, but in this case it wasn't meant to be."
The vests worn by rodeo riders are similar to Kevlar vests used by law enforcement officers, but with more padding and less Kevlar, the coroner said. They are a protective measure and work to prevent or limit injury in most cases.
"It's an incredibly dangerous sport," he said. "Part of it is the attempt to master and be part of all that explosive power. Most people do understand the danger, but they never want to see something like this happen."
Richard Hodgson, owner of the Bad Moon Rodeo, said it was a situation where precautions had been taken, the ground was solid, the facility good, emergency personnel were on hand, but an accident happened anyway.
"The bull didn't come back and get him, he just sort of fell underneath him," Hodgson said. "It's extremely unfortunate. You feel bad for them and their family. It's terrible chances they take, but I think, I hope, everyone realizes the dangers. You kind of just have to go on and pray to God it never happens again."
The death was the first suffered by a bull rider at a Bad Moon Rodeo.
With a 4 p.m. Friday deadline for filing of nominating petitions, the November race to fill three seats on the board of education for Archuleta County School District 50 Joint shapes up &emdash; barring last-minute developments &emdash; as no race.
All three incumbents whose terms expire &emdash; Carol Feazel, Clifford Lucero and Jon Forrest &emdash; have picked up candidate packets but had not filed by SUN deadline time Wednesday.
The county clerk's office could not confirm if anyone else had secured a candidate packet, saying they do not keep such records, just hand out packets if requested.
Under Colorado law, if there is no opposition to the incumbents, and they have filed their own petitions, the election does not have to be held, thus creating a cost-saving for the school district.
In the meantime, individual building principals were asked if there are any last-minute instructions they have for students or parents before classes begin for the fall term Tuesday.
At the Pagosa Springs Intermediate School, staff recommended all parents be reminded there will be an orientation session for sixth graders and their parents at 8 a.m. Tuesday in the junior high school library. Teachers will be introduced and a short presentation on class expectations will be given.
Fifth graders will report directly to their assigned classrooms at the same hour.
At the elementary school, staff suggested the necessity of a warning to parents who bring their youngsters to school by car. Every year, the first day or two are utter chaos, one person said, "with people wanting to make sure their children get to school safely and creating a massive traffic jam on U.S. 160 outside the school by so doing.
"Please, have your children ride the assigned buses," she said.
At the junior high school, principal Larry Lister said an unusually large seventh grade class (145 enrolled as of Wednesday) has necessitated adding extra sections in English, geography and the sciences.
As a result, he said, classroom teachers will be focusing on solid subjects and the school is looking for a teacher to handle elective courses during one period each day.
The final message to students, he said, is that "we'll be teaching to state standards; they're very important."
Bill Esterbrook, high school principal, asked that parents be aware "we'll be emphasizing safety in the parking lot much more this year, and the speed limit of 15 miles per hour will be strictly enforced.
"When students enter Tuesday morning," he said, "They should look for their respective class table, check in and be assigned a locker. Then they'll go into the auditorium for about a half-hour presentation on what is expected of them, prior to attending their first class."
Dolly Martin, interim transportation director for the district, asked that all parents be assured every bus was inspected by Colorado State Patrol on Aug. 25 and all passed every safety feature. Four buses had burned out lights of one form or another but all defective bulbs were replaced.
"Every bus we put on the road Tuesday will be as safe as we can make it," she said.
She noted there are no route changes and no route time changes this year, but there are several new drivers who may need a few days to fully familiarize themselves with individual students at each bus stop.
Administrative personnel said there have been no changes in free lunch or reduced-rate meal programs this year and that all parents have been notified by mail of qualifying factors.
Some are...Some aren't
Mistakes. Everybody makes them. The problem with mistakes made in a newspaper is their effects are often more profound than those radiating from an ordinary error.
Workers in the newspaper business go to great extremes to guard against preventable blunders: writers check information; editors ask for additions or deletions to stories; proof readers review copy to check for faults.
We made a mistake last week but, first, let's clarify what is meant here by a mistake.
Journalists are accused of making mistakes with quotes. Assertions are then checked, with recourse to tapes, sources, and other parties to a conversation. More often than not, the offended party discovers it is more intelligent to say nothing than to try to revise what was said after the fact.
Then, there's the "mistake" made when a person's name is reported in conjunction with an arrest or a conviction. If the name is in the public record, the mistake is made when the crime is committed, not when it is reported.
There is the "mistake" decried by some politicians and public officials. This "mistake" is made when a newspaper reports "half the story," or editorially acts as a "Monday morning quarterback" &emdash; criticizing actions and opinions of the official.
Contrary to the complaint, there is no mistake made in missing the "half" of a story that remains unspoken, invisible &emdash; that exists only in the mind of an official where it undergoes remodeling until it is released at an advantageous time to pacify a targeted group of people, to promote a comforting and reinforcing response.
There is no error in editorial criticism that is not factual in nature. The purpose of the editorial voice is to render an opinion, to spark thought and public discussion. This is no mistake: this is a necessity in a world in which most people are too occupied with everyday concerns to attend meetings, to gather information about government and its workings, to form workable opinions without the aid of the editorial stimulant.
With the upcoming school season, it is wise to remember it is no mistake to refuse to print names of student athletes when overly-avid parents demand it. No mistake is made when a local newspaper refuses to reprint names of youngsters named to unsanctioned all-star teams by part-time reporters at big city dailies, ordered by their editors to compile lists to fill empty pages.
This said, know that last week it was reported voters in the ongoing LPEA election can attend a public meeting on Sept. 8 and cast votes for directors, and for or against proposed amendments to organization bylaws. That information was taken directly from a missive sent by, and signed by, the LPEA directors. Since that time, we received information from LPEA sources obfuscating the situation. It seems you can attend the meeting and vote, but it is unclear whether it is wise to wait to fill out your ballots. Just in case, fill them out and send them back by mail so they are received prior to Sept. 8. Do this, and make sure your vote is counted.
We did made a mistake last week that was ours alone, and regrettable.
We printed a date in error &emdash; the date of an important fundraising auction for the local Humane Society. We printed the inaccurate date in a headline and in a calendar entry. We blew it. Despite our precautions, we failed.
It seems the auction was a great success, but if our mistake caused anyone to miss the Auction for the Animals, we apologize &emdash; to them and to event organizers.
If you did not attend the auction because of our gaffe, make sure you pass your donation along to this worthwhile entity and its many dedicated volunteer supporters. The fault is not theirs and the Human Society's need for all types of assistance is as great as ever.
'One of thes days' finally arrived
There, I've started. I'm not putting this off any longer. I'm going to write about procrastination.
Had it not been for Dorothy and Larry Christine graciously inviting Cynthia and me to climb Pagosa Peak with them Sunday, I'd still be putting this off. Procrastination is the parent of my nebulous time frame known as "one of these days."
I started to start this column by stating: "Hello. My name is David. I am a procrastinator. . . ."
I can't remember when I started developing my skills at procrastination, but once I started I've never been able to stop. I've been going down hill ever since." Strangely, it wasn't until I started going up hill to Pagosa Peak Sunday that I realized how procrastination can produce such painful penalties.
When I moved to Pagosa 27 years ago, one of the first things I promised myself was that "one of these days I'm going to climb Pagosa Peak." Once my cramped thighs are no longer stiff and sore, I'm going to kick myself for not doing it sooner. It probably would have been much easier on me had I done it 10, 20 or 25 years ago.
For most folks, hiking the Black Mountain trail to the top of Pagosa Peak is nothing more than a walk in the woods. For me, during that three-tiered stretch above tree line, it became a technical climb. Technically I was climbing &emdash; actually I was crawling.
I hike mountain trails much like I pedal my Schwinn up mountain passes &emdash; slowly. But slow pays dividends. I found a dime on the ground as I started up the trail and a nickel as I was coming out Sunday. There was another dime on the ground beside a fire pit near the old logging road where Larry had parked his pickup.
The true benefit of slow is that it provides solitude. Rather than engaging in the conversation the others up ahead are carrying on, I spend the time talking to myself as I trudge along. Sunday morning's hike also afforded me an opportunity to make new friends and to reminisce about old ones.
As the route became steeper and higher, the needled branches of the spruce trees bordering the trail indeed became my friends. More than once, being able to briefly grasp a soft branch of spruce needles at an opportune moment kept me from falling. Their willingness to offer a helping hand enabled me to continue upward when gravity started flexing its muscles. Their cool, resilient needles likewise helped me control my rate of descent whenever the trail's steep angles changed directions or its surface started emulating greased ball bearings.
The firm but gentle bristles of the needled branches reminded me of the many times Dad literally or figuratively extended a huge helping hand just when one was most needed during various stages of my life. The welcome handholds likewise brought to mind the encouraging faces of other folks, who either through their guidance, patience, forgiveness or generosity at one time or another enabled me to take some important steps or to maintain my balance on some of the uneven paths of my life.
The trail itself bore testimony to the countless folks who decades earlier had made their way to the summit of Pagosa Peak for no other reason that to scan the surrounding valleys and mountain ranges that span the horizons. Thanks to them I was able to enjoy the calm satisfaction of standing atop the peak. As Larry said later, "It's Sunday and we might not have made it to church, but we surely had an excellent opportunity to worship."
My only disappointment is that even though it was much more than a 12-step venture, I don't imagine my long-delayed hike will actually end my habitual procrastination, but possibly it's a start.
Know you are loved and please keep us in your prayers.
100 years ago
Taken from The Weekly Times of August 29, 1901
Joseph Hersch, one of the oldest residents of Santa Fe and a pioneer of this territory, passed away peacefully yesterday morning, having been ailing for some time. He was 86 years of age. Mr. Hersch was born in Poland, but at the age of 13 removed to Prussia and in 1837 came to the United States. Mr. Hersch built and operated the first steam flouring mill west of the Mississippi, and also erected a distillery at Santa Fe, showing his enterprise. Mr. Hersch took an interest in all public movements. His integrity was never questioned, his word always being considered as good as his bond.
Gean Gross has fixed up the old restaurant building on the corner of San Juan and Pagosa street and will live there in the future as it brings him much nearer to his business.
75 years ago
Taken from SUN files of September 3, 1926
The children of this town and vicinity are wearing those pleased expressions that won't wipe off &emdash; all caused because Tuesday is the opening of the 1926-27 session of the Pagosa Springs grade and high schools.
With the open season on sora rails commencing on September 1st, and which will continue until November 30th, the fall hunting seasons commence. The open season for deer with two or more points on each horn is from Oct. 12 to 15. There is no open season on elk, mountain sheep, antelope, beaver, turkey, etc. Coyotes, mountain lions, wolves, bobcats and lynx are not considered big game.
Four out of seven students who last week took the Archuleta County eighth grade examination were successful in their efforts to pass .
50 years ago
Taken from SUN files of August 31, 1951
Work was started this week on straightening out the parking problems on the town's main street, with the first step being a change to parallel parking and in the near future a two hour parking limit.
The Archuleta County Cowbelles are planning a beef cutting demonstration at the High School gym. The demonstration will start at 8 p.m. and all housewives, who are interested, and their husbands are cordially invited to attend. There will be a meat cutting demonstration and the Cowbelles are sponsoring a beef cut identification contest for the ladies present and a panel discussion of the meat industry. The ladies are performing a fine public service in sponsoring the demonstration and discussion which are both well worth the time of any homemaker.
25 years ago
Taken from SUN files of August 26, 1976
Enrollment in the local schools is up 56 students after the first two days of school to a record high of 843. More students are expected to enroll during this week and next. The schools, especially the high school, are bulging at the seams and it is a full house for the district.
Football practice is in full swing for the Pagosa Pirates and a very good year is forecast by Coach David Mitchell. There are now 37 prospective players out with the possibility of more joining the squad next week. The team does have depth and a large number of returning lettermen.
Rain has fallen often the past week and as a result some of the streams are muddy or roilly. Rainfall at lower elevations has been scattered and not too heavy, but there have been some heavy rains high up in the mountains.
Nippy morning temperatures this past week reminded local residents that fall is just around the corner.
Already hunters are entering the woods, football teams face third and long, and black bears humor insatiable appetites in preparation for months of hibernation. Soon the surrounding hills will be mantled with the golden aspen hues. Snow won't be far behind.
Last week's average high temperature was 81 degrees. The thermometer never reached 90 degrees this summer. Last week's average low temperature dipped to 48 degrees with a chilly 39 degrees Aug. 23.
With the addition of 0.12 inches of rain last week, the August precipitation total reached 3.25 inches. Average precipitation for August is 2.52 inches.
Next week's weather conditions should mirror the week just passed, according to Dan Cuevas, a forecaster from the National Weather Service office in Grand Junction.
Today is to be partly cloudy with isolated showers and thunderstorms, Cuevas said. By tonight the chance for showers increases to 20 percent. The mercury should top out at 85-90 degrees today, then falls to 50-55 degrees tonight.
Partly cloudy conditions are expected from tomorrow through Tuesday with high temperatures in the 80s and lows in the 40s, according to Cuevas.
Monsoon conditions characterized by rainshowers supported with Gulf of Mexico moisture are almost, but not quite, finished for this year, Cuevas said. Westerly and northwesterly winds from the Pacific Coast will dominate Four Corners weather during the coming week. The winds will contain little moisture, but could be substantial in their energy level, according to Cuevas.
At this time of loss, in memory of Betty Feazel, the Southwest Land Alliance and the Feazel family announce the formation of the Betty Feazel Open Space Fund.
Betty was one of the founders of the Alliance and unfailingly contributed her time, energy and resources toward the growth of the land trust movement, which owes her a great debt of gratitude.
Contributing to this fund is one way to express appreciation of Betty and what she valued.
The fund will be used for the preservation of open space, primarily through assisting landowners who wish to donate conservation easements. The Southwest Land Alliance is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit land trust working to preserve open space, wildlife habitat and agricultural lands on private properties in the Upper San Juan River Basin, through voluntary conservation easements.
Tax-deductible donations dedicated to the Betty Feazel Open Space Fund may be made to the Southwest Land Alliance, PO Box 3417, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.
For more information on the alliance and conservation easements, call Ron Chacey at 264-6275 or visit the Web Site at http://www.southwest landalliance.org.
"My role is to try to get different parties together," Greg Comstock, the new Director of County Development said Tuesday. "The best development plans make sure everyone is heard, that decisions are based on complete understanding of issues."
Comstock moved into his Archuleta County office Monday, bringing with him a bulging portfolio based on 26 years of service in public and private planning and development sectors. He has seen growth and been party to its successful management.
"I see Archuleta County in transition," Comstock said. "Historically there was slow growth and a relatively stable economic base."
Now there is an influx of newness including retirees, second-home folks, and a number of new entries in the work force, he added.
"The population has doubled in the last 10 years," he continued. "As it is everywhere else when this happens, there is conflict, new versus old. Some want strict regulations, others want very little regulation."
Comstock's predecessor, Mike Mollica, resigned as director of county development during March of this year. Since then, the position has been vacant. An advisory hiring committee helped the county commissioners choose Comstock. Commissioner Bill Downey represented the board of county commissioners on the selection committee.
"It seems the highest priority of those who interviewed me is to implement the action steps contained in the community plan," Comstock said.
"I've heard of it, but I'm not personally familiar with it," Comstock replied when asked what he knows about Landowner Initiated Zoning. LIZ is a Montezuma County program used to implement that county's master plan. At least two local commissioners have indicated interest in adopting LIZ locally.
Comstock sees substantial differences between growth patterns in Archuleta County and her sister county to the west, La Plata County.
"They handle new development similarly," Comstock said. "The difference is, La Plata County is getting new subdivisions. In Archuleta County we see residential growth on lots platted years ago. Archuleta County is filling in vacant lots located in existing developments."
Comstock graduated from high school in Danville, Calif., a small community near Oakland. At Fresno State University he acquired a B.A. in economics and geography, then worked on a master's degree in urban planning from the same school.
His wife, Gay Weiss, is executive director of La Plata Family Coalition. The couple's three children are Bryan, 24, Melissa, 21, and Adam, 20. Comstock's major hobbies include skiing, golf, hiking, and softball.
And his personal goals as planning director in Archuleta County?
"I want to do a good job for the county, make sure that change occurs with the least disruption. I want to see new growth blend in as well as possible, to see the area steadily improve without degrading the quality of life."
It takes a community to raise a child.
The Child Assault Prevention Program (CAPP) is seeking motivated individuals to present safety workshops in area elementary schools and preschools.
Volunteers need to complete a training session planned Sept. 28-30. The only requirements are a love of children, interest in teaching prevention and some weekday morning availability.
CAPP is part of a national project working to keep children safe from all forms of abuse through school workshops and community education.
For more information, call 259-3074.
Work on the U.S. 160 corridor will be suspended for the Labor Day holiday on Monday, Sept. 3, and construction schedules for the three area highway projects will continue as follows:
Wolf Creek, east side
Work will end, as usual, at 3 p.m. Friday. All work will be suspended until 7 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 4 (no nighttime closure on Monday night). The regular construction schedule will continue into winter, with delays of up to one hour at times during the day, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and full night closures from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. Monday through Thursday. Project hotline is (719) 873-2221.
Wolf Creek, west side
Minimal or no delays expected until Phase II begins following the Labor Day holiday. In mid-September, nighttime closures are expected to begin, Monday through Thursday, 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. Updates/project information will be provided (project hotline not yet installed).
West of Bayfield
Crews will be working until noon Friday; construction will then be suspended until Tuesday. Road conditions in this construction zone may include rough pavement, bumps, uneven lanes and loose gravel. Motorists are urged to pay attention to roadway conditions and obey all traffic warning signs. Project hotline 884-0374.
Changes to work schedules will be updated through area media and on project hotlines, on CDOT's toll-free hotline at (877) 315-ROAD and on the CDOT website at www.dot.state. co.us.
"Intense pressure is being put on the area's wild2life, especially the bears, by development," said Frank Chavez.
"People don't seem to realize that we have to coexist with the bears and that they were here long2 before people were," he added during a tour of his orchard Friday.
And, a day later, at precisely the spot where he was talking, Chavez was confronted by a cinnamon bear sow coming right at him at full speed, chasing his dogs.
Chavez said he had gone into the orchard with two dogs and they immediately began sniffing and ran into the interior of the trees.
And then, he said, "one of the dogs came out of the trees moving as fast as it could go and the bear was right behind it, on all fours."
"I didn't have even a rock or stick," he said. "And the dog ran right past me leaving me to face this charging bear.
"I didn't know what to do . . . it happened so fast . . . and I was scared to death. I started hollering and waving my arms and the bear stopped about 10 feet from me, stood up to full height, and then turned and went back into the orchard."
He surmises the dogs spooked the bear's cubs and she came to their defense. "She may have been as surprised as I was when she saw me," he said. "I think she went back to make sure the cubs were all right."
Chavez said he's not going into that portion of the orchard for a while, "Unless the dogs are with me and I have a clear path to safety."
He had said on Friday that bears have been a particular problem the past two years &emdash; particularly this past month &emdash; in the orchard off County Road 500, three miles south of Pagosa Junction.
"We have to deal with the damage the bears cause," he said, "but the newcomers need to be aware of the problem, too, and face the consequences of building in their (the bears') natural habitat.
"There have always been bear on the orchard property," he said, "but never before has there been damage like this."
As he led the way to the orchard, he pointed out a flock of wild turkey cavorting on the edge. And then we came to what had been a section of golden plum trees. Dozens of them were stripped, broken down to the ground and dead or dying.
"The bear found them particularly tasty," Chavez said. "They started in there and then worked their way back." As we circled those first plums, we came to a huge section of what the natives call Apache plums, small golden-red fruits.
The high branches were still loaded with fruits but those near the ground were stripped; higher branches had been pulled down and stripped back about four feet.
"Soon," Chavez said, "they'll be pulling those down to the ground, too."
DOW personnel are aware of the problem and hoping to catch the bears in action. But, said DOW officer Larry Garcia, "This isn't the only area orchard being hit. The next ranch south has a huge apple orchard and they're (bears) apparently in there every night."
Chavez said he's keeping the young stock on the farm closer to the barn where activity might keep the bear away. "I sure don't want them near the house," he said.
This reporter saw two cubs running up the center of the road, north of the entrance to Shenandoah Ranch, while driving to the Chavez property. Logic would say there was a sow nearby, but none was seen and the cubs scampered up the hillside into heavy brush.
Chavez said the animals live during the day in the bluffs to the west and come down to feast on the fruit at night.
As we drove back up the hill from the orchard, we met Garcia headed downstream to answer another bear complaint.
"Seems like they're just everywhere," he said.
Larry Garcia credits the quick thinking of Gary Grauberger with saving the man and his wife from serious danger when a bear invaded their Alpine Lakes home early Thursday.
"If I had to write a scenario on how a homeowner should act, this would be it," he said.
The animal, which Garcia estimated was between 250 and 300 pounds, "was probably attracted by scents from inside the house. Even things like personal deodorant or air freshener can tell the bear humans live here, and humans have food," he said.
"This was a mature bear, but it couldn't find anything outside because they'd done an excellent job of keeping foodstuffs which might attract animals away from their access," Garcia said.
Asked if the bear's being able to open the window so quietly might indicate it had done so before, Garcia said, "On the surface that might appear to be logical, but bears are so unpredictable . . . I wouldn't want to say it was a veteran intruder . . . just that it was intent on getting in."
Still, he said, the actions the Graubergers took were the proper steps. "They got the bear into a closed area, removed themselves from a threatening position, and called for help immediately," he said. "And when it was feasible to do so, they made it possible for the bear to escape and remove itself as a threat."
DOW officers returned to the area Thursday night watching for the animal's possible return, but found nothing, Garcia said. A bear trap was put at the site.
A bear suspected of killing stock on Rob Snow Road just outside town limits was shot and killed by the property owner early Wednesday.
Steve Voorhis said bears had killed four pet ducks on the property in the last 10 days, and late Tuesday, killed his daughter's pet goat.
He said Division of Wildlife and sheriff's office personnel responded to the scene and stayed for over an hour but the bear did not return.
Shortly after they left, Voorhis said, the bear returned and was stalking other livestock.
That was at about 2 a.m., he said, "and I shot and killed it.
"In fact," he said, "there were three bears on the site Wednesday morning."
When Voorhis told officials he would shoot any other bears which came on his property, he said he was urged, instead, to notify the authorities. They also gave him some rubber pellet shot to use to stun and frighten any bears that return.
Voorhis said the slain animal was a brown bear, probably weighing about 250 pounds. The others spotted Wednesday were smaller, but not cubs.
The Rules Committee of Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association will hold a town meeting at 7 p.m. Sept. 17 in the clubhouse at 230 Port Ave.
Purpose of the meeting is to hear views of association members regarding two issues:
€ Enforcement and regulations regarding exterior maintenance of property, and commercial use of residential property.
All interested members have been urged to attend the meeting beginning with a social and refreshments at 6:30 p.m.
An earlier session was unproductive because severe weather conditions limited attendance.
Since the issues are two key problems which have confronted the PLPOA board, the committee has been mandated to prepare recommendations for board action, hopefully within a year.
Slider Gilmore has been an active motorcyclist since 1960, has been an active paramedic at the Sturgis Rally and Races for years, and was inducted into the Sturgis Hall of Fame in 1997 for his leadership skills.
Gilmore will teach an accident scene management course at the Four Corners Iron Horse Rally at 10:30 a.m. Friday in the Rolling Thunder Hall of Sky Ute Casino in Ignacio.
The class will consist of safety and first aid information for riders who may someday deal with a real life motorcycle accident scene.
Slider considers the first hour after an accident as "The Golden Hour." It is within this time period that knowing exactly what to do, quickly and confidently, can mean the difference between life and death. The main focus of the class is heightened riding vigilance to avoid accidents and powerful "what to do actions" if you come upon or are involved in an accident.
Slider will be available at 9 a.m. tomorrow to meet and visit with class participants. He said this is a fast-paced class with each piece fitting perfectly into the next. Participants gain a dynamic, complete picture and take with them solid, usable, common sense knowledge. Only one class will be offered. Register by calling Nanci Moore at (970) 259-0375 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Registration after the start of the rally can be made at the information booth on rally grounds.
The class is being offered free by the Four Corners Iron Horse Motorcycle Rally Board as a public service for motorcyclists and the general public.
For more information on Slider Gilmore and his classes, visit the Motorcycle Museum website at www.nationalmcmuseum.org
The Pagosa Springs High School was the target of a burglary sometime Sunday night or early Monday morning.
A window on the east side of the building was broken to gain entry, Pagosa Springs Police Officer Chuck Allen said. Before the night was over, the criminals wrote on one wall and did other damage to two other areas of the main building &emdash; an office and the teacher's lounge.
Windows were also broken in the Vocational Technology building and smashed out of three vehicles parked near the school. At the Vo Tech building, Allen said, tools were taken out and scattered both inside and outside the structure.
No suspects have been identified, Allen said. The case remains under investigation.
Bill Esterbrook, high school principal, said windows have been fixed and the wall re-painted. Cost of the damage was estimated at $3,000.
She's a Queen all right.
But this Pagosa Springs woman claimed the title a teaspoon at a time, rather than being born royalty.
Jean Brooks is the 2001 Colorado State Fair Queen of the Kitchen, crowned after earning 290 points for top three finishes in the competition &emdash; more than any other participant in the contest's 25-year history.
"It's like the Academy Awards of cooking, at least in Colorado," she said. The 1995 runner-up went after the 2001 crown with a simple formula &emdash; cook and keep cooking.
Brooks entered 256 individual categories, a 131-entry increase over her previous attempt and 244 above the minimum needed to qualify. Of those, she placed in 18 food-preparation divisions and earned enough top-three finishes to win the sweepstakes award in 14 of them.
The winning recipe
To reduce the competition, she entered every canned fruit class (14); every canned vegetable class (10); every jelly class (13); all the preserves and marmalade classes (9); all the butters and jams classes (16); all the pickles and relishes classes (20).
In the dried food category, the entries climbed to 100. "Max out here," was the note in Brooks' well-worn copy of the fair book. And the list goes on.
Brooks also entered all five classes of nutritious snacks; all the quick breads (14); all the yeast breads (13); eight of the 10 "Round the World" baked goods classes; all the pie classes (10); six of the 13 cake classes; 14 of 16 cookie classes; three of six microwave classes; all classes of baked goods made with honey (6); and eight of 10 classes of candy.
Brooks left little in her quest for the title to chance, starting a year before the fair and working on her entries from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. seven days a week, even on a bad knee. Since 1995, Brooks has undergone five surgeries finally having a knee cap removed to correct a genetic problem. She paused only on Thursday mornings &emdash; for a trip to the chiropractor while a housecleaner tore through the rest of the home. By Thursday afternoon, Brooks was back in front of the stove.
"I started with all the canned food and all the dried food," she said. "You have to do that in-season."
Using only produce from her own garden, or from a local organic farm, Brooks went through her normal canning, pickling and preserving, setting apart what looked to be the best jar of each. Those jars were labeled and went into a box under her bed marked "State Fair &emdash; Do not eat."
The rest went to her three children and their families or on her own pantry shelves.
"I don't just can one pretty thing for the fair," she said. In fact, her children and their families choose to drive home just to have more room to take bake homemade foods.
Cookies and breads, which could be frozen until fair time, were next.
In between came a lot of trial and error, testing out different recipes or perfecting a technique. Oh yes, and winning at the Archuleta and La Plata County Fairs.
"You don't just make one perfect thing, anyone who cooks knows that," she said. "We had a lot of what we called eaters. Those were the ones that tasted good, but didn't look so good." Anything that couldn't be consumed at home were loaded into a big basket and taken to church.
The final day of cooking included the pies, 10 in all.
Then, Brooks, and her husband, John, loaded all the entries into the back of a pickup, covered them with blankets and drove to Pueblo after dark the night before the competition to keep the entries cool.
After only a few hours of sleep, Brooks was up and frosting the cakes in her motel room the morning of the competition to ensure freshness. When the chocolate chip cookie category alone has 125 different entries, every little advantage helps.
Plan, plan, plan
Pulling it all together was Brooks' speciality.
"I am a list maker," she said. "I am very, very organized. My husband says I have an assembly-line mind."
Her Colorado State Fair book for 2001 is faded and worn, the pages outlining rules for the pantry division speckled with food from the year's many experiments and marked with pink and orange highlighter. Pink means finished, orange equals "to do" and those with a star in pen were considered "good chance." Notes about cookbook pages, recipe titles and ingredients are in the margins and squeezed between fair regulations.
Daily chore lists, like the ones below, were posted on the refrigerator.
€ Sunday &emdash; Gugelhopft 1, white dinner rolls, white bread (State), bread machine &emdash; French
€ Monday &emdash; raisin bread, sourdough, carrot cake, Gugelhopft 2, Gugelhopft 1 again, Jewish dill rye!
€ Tuesday &emdash; coffee cake, cinnamon rolls &emdash; muffin tins, special rolls
€ Wednesday &emdash; Linzer torte, pain champagne &emdash; 3, Jewish rye &emdash; finish three layers, carrot cake
€ Thursday &emdash; Linzer torte, jelly roll, type up entry form and send in
€ Friday &emdash; pie crusts, 4 pies, mold candy, dip caramels
€ Saturday &emdash; pies &emdash; 6 State, 1 Archuleta (peach), and two for La Plata (peach, pineapple).
"John would come home from work and I would literally look like the wrath of God in my corrective shoes, housedress, no makeup," she said. "I'd look awful and be exhausted and he would say 'Let's go out to eat.'"
His help, along with that of neighbors, was invaluable in her quest, she said.
"It really was a community effort."
The ultimate goal
Still, when it came time for the reading of the winning name at the Queen competition, Brooks wasn't sure how she'd fared.
"I went home the first day with just a few firsts, mostly seconds and some thirds," she said. Of course Brooks' speciality, the canned and dried foods, was still to come. After day two, she was a little more confident.
"I thought if someone else had won, they deserved it," she said.
All of that just to achieve a step toward her ultimate prize &emdash; becoming a state fair judge in preserved foods and canning classes.
"I really want to encourage young people to keep canning," she said. Passing on what her own mother and grandmother taught her about cooking 30 years ago is important.
"It's kind of like giving love in a jar," she said. "You've grown something and gone to all that work canning and preparing it to make something better and more healthy."
Next, she plans to take Master Preservation Class from Colorado State University in March, a qualifying step to judging at the local level. Her competition days, at least in foods at the Archuleta and La Plata County fairs are over.
"I said, OK ladies, it's your turn. I'm done."
The new technologies are here. Hydrogen fuel engine was announced last year by Bill Clinton in his last news conference. The German made BMW has a fleet of hydrogen cars. A man in Los Angeles has been running a hydrogen car for ten years. It runs on 80 percent hydrogen and 20 percent gasoline. The hydrogen comes from water, H2O, and is converted into hydrogen fuel. This is our near future if the oil corporations let it happen, but I think they will squelch it for more oil profit, but what do you expect of a Corpocracy, a government run by Corporations and President Dick Cheney.
You and all citizens of Archuleta County are invited to visit the Archuleta Citizens Forum that will take place on Monday, Sept. 10 at the Fairgrounds Extension Building at 7 p.m. This will not be a sit-down meeting. There will be introductions and announcements made, but the primary focus will be the opportunity to visit with groups and organizations who will share their various civic plans and projects. I hope to see you and your friends there.
Groups of concerned citizens have been working on what is called the Archuleta Citizens Forum, as a way for people in the community to get together to work on what ever projects they feel are important to their quality of life. The Archuleta Citizens Forum intends to support citizens and the community in civic projects of their choosing. It will provide networking, support, information and facilitation to diverse groups that are working on issues of their own choice.
Communications networking, including a community web site is under development. Groups are forming to work on landowner rights and the implementation of the Community Plan. Facilitator training, tax issues, and home rule are some of the other issues that various groups are currently focusing on. There is no limit to what civic concern a group might choose to work on.
The Archuleta Citizens Forum is interested in diverse views, needs, desires, ideas and/or concerns that may exist in Archuleta County. The belief is that when people work together with respect and a desire to find common ground, the solutions to community problems can be found, and we can have a quality of life that reflects the desires of the whole community.
I recently returned to Pagosa from a trip home to Nebraska to retrieve items belonging to my mother who passed away a time ago.
It was a rainy evening before the rock slide on Wolf Creek with lightning everywhere. I stopped at the last gas station just before going up Wolf Creek. With all the memories running through my mind on the 12-hour drive home I completely forgot Wolf Creek was closed at 7 p.m.
With only 40 miles to go, a quarter tank of gas and $5 in my pocket, I was distraught, tired and ready to cry myself and my two children to sleep on the roadside.
Then heaven provided two managers of the station who offered, completely on my word alone that I would repay, a room complete with kitchen, two beds and even food for the evening. You can't imagine how I felt with the generosity of two complete strangers that stormy night. They were like guardian angels to me.
Driving 187 miles around on another route was just not an option at that emotional time in my life. I just want everyone to know that our neighbors on the other side of Wolf Creek are truly angels in the mountains. I deeply appreciate everything Mr. and Mrs. Huffman did for me.
I also want to thank that truck driver I never saw or met who overheard my story and left me some cash in the office that night for who knows what reason.
Maybe mom had something to do with the "guardian angels" who helped me that night. I don't know, but my deepest gratitude goes out to them.
Thank you for the comfort,
I appreciated Ken Berg's excellent letter in the Aug. 16 issue of your newspaper.
After reading letters from some of your readers who are opposed to the idea of tax dollars being used for taxiway repairs at the Archuleta County Airport, it is apparent that many folks are not aware that nearly all of the airports in this country are operated by county or city governments. Now why do you suppose these public entities are willing to spend money operating a facility which is seemingly used by only a small percentage of the population? Could it be that they recognize that the public airport is a needed part of the community? That it benefits not just the wealthy, as some think, but all members of the community, though indirectly for most of us? Many local businesses are dependent to some degree on the access afforded by the presence of a local airport for their clientele. These clientele bring money into the local economy. Many local residents (who, by the way, pay local taxes) are employed by several businesses which operate on the airport, none of which receive public funds. Fees and taxes which go to several public entities are paid by pilots flying in and out of Pagosa. The airport is used by medical evacuation flights, NFS firefighters, Archuleta County Search and Rescue, Colorado Division of Wildlife, law enforcement officials, and other public servants &emdash; the list is much longer.
The local airport is an integral part of a growing and healthy community. So please, people, no more about it being only for the rich.
I've saved the best part for last. These benefits are available at a bargain price for the local community. A large percentage of the cost of having an airport is paid by the FAA &emdash; something nobody has mentioned yet.
Are there expenses involved in having a local public airport? Yes.
Are these expenses outweighed by the benefits obtained? Yes.
Are there some in Pagosa who seem to have nothing better to do than complain about the latest issue? You answer.
P.S. I still love Pagosa Country.
In recent years it seems as if the differences between the two major political parties, at least on the national level, have faded together towards the center. But now the current administration is bringing some of those differences into focus. Recent policy and decisions on health care, education, taxes, and the environment are examples.
On the local level, the dominance of one party over another has limited our choices. If perhaps you are someone who has switched parties (for any number of reasons), maybe it is time to switch back. A strong two-party system in our community is necessary for healthy debate and increasing choices for everyone.
Lynda Van Patter
Rogerio "PaPa" Sanchez, 93, of Aztec, N.M., died Friday morning, Aug. 24 in Aztec. PaPa was born in Walsenburg, to Pedro and Refugito Lovato Sanchez on March 16, 1908.
Visitation was at Cope Memorial Chapel in Aztec from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday.
Funeral Mass was said at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2001, in Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Pagosa Springs, with burial in Hill Top Cemetery, Pagosa Springs.
Doris Marie Watson, mother of Craig Watson, passed away after her year-long battle with cancer.
She was laid to rest in Farmington Aug. 25 next to her beloved husband.
Doris was a frequent visitor to Pagosa Springs. She was loved dearly and will be missed by all.
The Pagosa Springs cross country team is 14 strong and includes a nucleus of experienced runners looking toward a bid at state.
Senior Aubrey Volger, the team's top state finisher last year, is back and should be a top-five contender in October, Coach Scott Anderson said. Volger, along with seniors Joetta Martinez and Tiffany Thompson and junior Amanda McCain give the girls' team both strength and experience.
The girls also welcome junior Tiffany Noggle, a recent addition to the district, who shows promise for the year, Anderson said.
Backing them up is a promising group of freshman and sophomores.
"Out of the young runners, we're hoping to see a few of them step up to the varsity level," Anderson said.
Sophomore Lauren Caves is one who just might fit that bill, he added. Caves, along with Amber Farnham and Genevieve Gilbert round out the sophomore contingency for the team. Marlena Lungstrom is the lone freshman.
On the boys' side, the team of Ryan Beavers, Trevor Peterson and Todd Mees, who represented Pagosa at the state meet at Kent Denver last season, return for a second shot at a top finish.
"Todd Mees was 23rd at state last year," Anderson said. "We're expecting a top ten finish from him this year."
Good things are also expected for the other two.
"Trevor has made great strides in his running and will be a force to be reckoned with this year."
Rounding out the boys field will be a team newcomer Nick Hall.
Good practices thus far verify that many team members have been doing some work in the off-season, Anderson said.
"A number of the kids put in the time they needed to during the summer," Anderson said. "The injury bug is showing up a little early this year, but we should be able to adapt to that."
The second-year cross country coach has set a number of goals for the team.
"By the end of the year I hope the kids can say they accomplished individual goals, they accomplished team goals, and that they will be able to say they learned things that they can take on for the rest of their lives," Anderson said.
The Pirates will open season at home in the Wolf Creek Challenge &emdash; set to travel over old logging roads, skid roads and some improved game trails around the Wolf Creek Ski Area. That race begins for Saturday at 9:30 a.m.
Continuing what is to be a season-long routine, Pagosa Springs Pirate golf went on the road Thursday and Friday, competing in Cortez and Durango.
Pirate coach Kathy Carter, despite the fact her squad had already competed in the Alamosa Invitational, said, "This (Cortez) was our beginning point. Cortez has a course which looks easy and the players may have thought they'd have no problems."
But, she said, "they soon learned that it is an unforgiving course, very deceiving with greens that are very fast and hard to hold."
Jesse Trujillo, playing his first varsity match, paced the Pirates with an 88 on the par 72 course. Tying for second were Luke Boilini and Ty Faber who both carded 89s, Danny Lyons with a 93 and Dan Coggins with a 96.
Overall, the Pirates placed 10th in a 13-team field at Cortez.
The following day, the Pirates were westbound again, playing the always tough Hillcrest Course in Durango where, Clark said, "the greens were the fastest we've seen."
Still, she said, the players seemed more attuned to the challenge than they had the day before and responded with an eighth place finish in a field of 15 at the varsity level.
Pacing the Pirates were No. 1 swinger Boilini with an 80, a total matched by sophomore Garrett Forrest.
Carter said the two are playing neck and neck and neither can seem to break away from the other for the team leadership role. Trujillo and Coggins each carded a 91 and Faber checked in with a 96.
The Pirates will hit the road again tomorrow, heading for the new Devil's Thumb course in Delta for a Western Slope invitational.
Carter said neither her nor any of her team members have seen the course which just opened July 1, but have heard it is a highly competitive layout with long fairways and heavy rough to trap those errant shots.
There were 17 teams, nearly 100 individual players looking for prep golf supremacy at the Pagosa High School Invitational Saturday.
A veteran Durango squad was the favorite and lived up to its reputation, capturing both team and individual honors.
But the host Pirates, playing on their home course, served notice they can be a team to be reckoned with as the season progresses.
Senior No. 1 player Luke Boilini and sophomore Garrett Forrest continued their dual battle for team leadership, each firing an 83 on the par 72 Pagosa Springs Golf Club layout. Ty Faber and Jesse Trujillo were close behind with rounds of 84 and 86 respectively, and Dan Coggins had a 102.
"We needed to play well on our own course," said coach Kathy Carter, "and we seemed to respond to the challenge.
"We worked hard all week on putting and chipping and it paid off. But," she said, "we need more work on playing the fairways and holding the greens. But I see progress every tournament.
"We have a bunch of players shooting at just about the same level right now," she said. "No one seems ready to break away from the pack. But I'm sure someone will and then we'll see how the others can respond to a team challenge."
Carter said the key for her squad is "practice, practice, practice. We can't be nonchalant. We can't go in thinking we're world beaters. We have to approach every tournament as both team and personal challenges."
She said she's beginning to see that kind of an attitude. "This is a fine bunch of youngsters, a group really dedicated to learning more and playing better. They want to be good, both as individuals and as a team. I think that can only be a boon to us the rest of this season and am really looking forward to having most of these young people back next year."
Carter likes the spirited competition going on between Boilini and Forrest for team leadership and said it challenges the others to want to be in the mix.
"When we get everyone understanding their role and respecting leadership," she said, "we'll be well on our way."
While the team has not won a match, it is performing at mid-pack level in every tournament, just about where the coach expected them to be in competition with bigger and more experienced schools.
"That means we're just a stroke or two away from challenging every week." she said. "And the time will come when we climb the results ladder, when every player puts the game in perspective. Then, we'll be a team, one others will have to consider a challenge."
The Pirates will play in Delta Friday and in Monte Vista Wednesday.
They've spent a night camped out on their playing field, "bonding with their turf," according to coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason.
They've converted practice field energy into a run up Wolf Creek Pass Aug. 22 &emdash; from San Juan Overlook to the summit &emdash; to understand "what it means to soar above the norm."
And now, it's time to transfer the two-a-day practices and special bonding events into on-the-field performance.
Pagosa Springs Pirate soccer opens officially Saturday with a 1 p.m. home field clash against the visiting Class 4A Montezuma-Cortez Panthers. The Pagosa varsity lineup was announced by the coaching staff Tuesday after an impromptu scrimmage against the Aztec Tigers Monday.
Kurt-Mason was highly pleased with his offense in the Monday scrimmage, but said defense was a problem and probably will be for a while. That's because three veteran defensive players from last year do not yet have enough practices in to be eligible for varsity competition. And, two players are nursing injuries which will keep them out of the season opener.
Since scrimmages are under game conditions, but without many of the penalty situations, it is hard to analyze performance. But, Kurt-Mason said, his offense was clearly in charge of the field against Aztec.
"I mixed in junior varsity players with the varsity and we still scored five goals to their three," he said. "But our defense left a lot to be desired. I need to do some patchwork on that side of the ball, but we have good depth and will develop when all the players are eligible."
One defensive highlight Monday, he said, was the play of B.J. Jones in the sweeper position. "He made several key plays and one outstanding play in which he ran down an attacking striker with a burst of speed I didn't know he had, and tackled the ball away."
On offense, he singled out striker Kevin Muirhead for the best offensive play of the day. "He was in perfect position for a deflection off the cross bar of a long drive from Trent Sanders, and headed it into the net before their keeper had time to react. He's been really aggressive in preseason and has learned situational positioning well."
Following the Monday scrimmage, Kurt-Mason named his varsity lineup for this week.
Wearing the home colors, in addition to Jones and Muirhead, will be Trent Sanders, Justin DeWinter, Reuben Coray, Ty Scott, Zeb Gill, Jordan Kurt-Mason, Matt Mesker, Brian Hart, Travis Reid, Ryan Goodenberger, and last year's leading scorer, left wing Kyle Sanders.
Looking at prospects for the season, Kurt-Mason said, "We need to quicken the tempo of our game. No matter how much you practice against your own teammates, you can't anticipate how foes will react to your game plan."
In the remaining practices this week, he said, defensive positioning and play reaction will be stressed. "We have to be sure each player recognizes attack patterns against our defense and reacts to position himself for team support.
"Our midfield performance has been solid all preseason," he said, "and I see no reason to think it will not perform well. The question we all have is how well the defense will perform until we get the hurt and ineligible players back."
He also is looking forward to the possibility of have two foreign exchange students turn out for the squad once school has opened, one from Germany and the other from South America.
The Pirates, who surprised foes last year by advancing to state playoff competition before being ousted by Denver Christian, hope to return to that play level again this year.
As usual, Kurt-Mason said, Telluride has to be considered the regional favorite, but other teams also may be stronger this year.
Kurt-Mason said he feels depth on the junior varsity squad may be a key to success of the overall program this year. "If we have anyone injured or ineligible," he said, "there are several JV players who are ready to challenge for playing time, and we intend to get them plenty of field experience against area C team and junior varsity squads."
Kurt-Mason is again being assisted in the coaching ranks by Dorman Diller and has named Meagan Hilsabeck and Melissa Diller from the Lady Pirate soccer team as student managers for the boys' squad this year.
Action starts tonight for the Lady Pirate volleyball team, and it features one of the more difficult opponents on this year's schedule.
Montezuma-Cortez comes to the Pagosa Springs High School gymnasium tonight for matches that begin at 6 p.m. The Panthers figure to be as strong a team as they were last year when they advanced to the Colorado 4A State tournament.
The Lady Pirates lost a three-game match to the Panthers last season, one of three losses Pagosa suffered during the regular season (the others being to 3A state competitor Lamar and 5A state competitor Rampart).
Cortez, meanwhile, kept up a head of steam last year, going 10-0 in conference action, 5-0 at the district tournament, and 3-0 at regionals before losing two of three matches in the first round of the state tournament.
Tonight's is the first of two meetings with Cortez this season, the other date being in Cortez, Oct. 2.
Following a Monday scrimmage with the Panthers at Durango, Lady Pirate coach Penné Hamilton thinks her charges have a reasonable chance to emerge with a victory this evening.
Everything depends on Pagosa's ability to stop a Cortez attack that features two experienced and strong outside hitters.
With 6'3" Ashley Gronewoller at middle blocker, and 6'1" setter/hitter Katie Lancing patrolling the net, the foundation is in place for a solid Pagosa blocking scheme. The question is, who will provide help on tandem blocks? The answer will have to be Katie Bliss, who makes her first start in the middle, with help from outside hitters Nicole Buckley, Shannon Walkup and Jenny Printz. Lady Pirate blockers must get their hands on the ball in order to allow the backcourt players to make the digs. If this happens, the Ladies should be in the midst of a battle they can win.
The 2001 schedule stays difficult with 5A Durango making an appearance in Pagosa Sept. 7. The Demons are looking for revenge following Pagosa's victory at Durango last year &emdash; a victory that initiated a difficult 7-10 season for the Demons. Durango has a new/old coach this season, as Robin Oliger returns to the helm. The team features impressive height at the net and returns all its starters from the 2000 squad.
Three Intermountain League matches, all on the road, follow the Durango games, with battles set against Bayfield, Monte Vista and Centauri.
Bayfield had a shaky season last year and barely squeaked into the district tournament. No doubt, the Wolverines will be improved and eager to finish high in the league standings.
Monte Vista has been the weak sister in the IML the last several seasons and fortunes are due to take a turn at the school from the Valley.
Centauri's Falcons had an on-and-off season last year, finally living up to some of their potential at year's end. Coach Brian Loch's team has played in summer tournaments and appears ready to mount what might be the most formidable threat to Pagosa's IML dominance. The Falcons include height and hitting ability in their attack and the two regular-season matches with the Lady Pirates will be critical.
Montrose comes to town Sept. 22 and the 4A team is looking to avenge a loss to the Ladies on its home court last year. Likewise, 3A Olathe, which saw a 10-0 win streak end with a loss to Pagosa at Montrose last year, will play the Ladies Sept. 22 on an unusual two-match day.
A trip to the Fowler Invitational is next up for Pagosa. Fowler is a perennial 2A power in Colorado and after a down year last season (if a 14-7 record is considered "down") and a loss to Pagosa at last year's tourney, the Grizzlies are expected to be back in top form. If the Fowler tourney lineup remains consistent, the Ladies will likely see 3A foe Lamar as part of the action.
Ignacio is the next IML opponent for Pagosa. The Bobcats put a surprisingly tough team on the court last year, nearly defeating the Ladies in one regular-season match. This year's team figures to mirror those of the past &emdash; not possessed of great height, but well drilled, enthusiastic, and excellent on defense.
Each IML team has two chances to end the Lady Pirate league win streak and the second round of matches is broken only by a visit by the Farmington Scorpions on Oct. 13. Last year, Pagosa traveled to Farmington and forged a victory in the best-three-of-five New Mexico format. The teams will play best-of-three at Pagosa.
When the regular season schedule is over, Pagosa will host the district/IML tournament Oct. 27. The two top teams travel to a Front Range site for regional play this year.
If the Ladies pull off another successful season, advancing through district and regional competition, the Colorado 3A tournament is Nov. 9-10 at Denver.
Pagosa Springs' varsity Pirates bump football helmets with Dolores tomorrow at 7 p.m. The preseason matchup is the first game of the new season for both squads.
Head Coach Myron Stretton's charges are coming off back-to-back Intermountain League championship seasons. Stretton will not settle for less this year.
After exchanging bruises last Saturday with the Mean Moose from Alamosa High School, Stretton and his assistant coaches are getting a picture of what to expect from the local gridders.
"I am pleased. The offense looked good against Alamosa," Stretton said, "maybe the best it's looked at this point of the season since I've been coaching. We outscored them four touchdowns to two."
"On the other hand," Stretton explained the down side, "we failed to stop their offense. They stopped themselves on a fumble and an intercepted pass. We have to work on the defense before Friday night."
Cutting down on penalties is another major goal of this year's coaching staff.
"Penalties have really hurt us over the last two or three years," Stretton told his huddled troops. "Stupid penalties. Most penalties can be avoided. We get a call and instead of third and two, we're second or third and 15. That didn't happen against Alamosa, I'm happy to say."
Only four starters are returning for the Pirates this year, so the coaching staff is faced with a rebuilding challenge. The inexperienced Pirates are also a little short on size.
"Maybe we'll make up with athleticism what we lack in size," Stretton said.
Tomorrow's foe, Dolores, is loaded with experience. Returning for long-time coach Don Story are 10 starters going each way. Only two seniors are missing from last year's roster. The Bears play in the San Juan Basin A-League. That league's champion last year, Nucla, captured the Colorado A title.
"We have good skill players," said assistant coach Scott Story, "but our meat and potatoes guy is Derek Thompson, a 6-3, 245 linemen."
Thompson is pure mayhem going both directions, according to Story. Also returning for the Bears are starting quarterback Cullen Zion, running backs Casey Garvin and Garrett Nielson, and both ends.
In last year's opener, Pagosa topped Dolores 28-7, but not before the Bear blitz caused the Pirates some anxious moments.
Pagosa opens tomorrow night with a 49-man roster. The roster includes seven seniors, 11 juniors, 14 sophomores, and 17 freshmen.
Leading the Pirates are All-IML quarterback Ronnie Janowsky, running back Brandon Charles, fullback Brandon Rosgen, and all-purpose back Darin Lister. Leadership in the line will be shared by Ethan Sanford, Lawren Lopez, Michael Vega, Pablo Martinez, Ben Marshall, and Jason Schutz.
Lister, the only returnee in the defensive secondary, is likely to handle kicking and punting for Pagosa.
"Not all of the starting positions are nailed down yet," Stretton said. "We still have some problems to solve."
Following the Dolores game, Pagosa hosts Kirtland Sept. 7 under the lights in Golden Peaks Stadium. Game time is 7 p.m.
The Pagosa Springs Men's Golf League event Aug. 22 was the second two-man best ball competition of the league season.
This format, in which the team records the lower of the two players' scores, often features very low total scores, since only one player has to score well on each hole for the team to do well.
Bob Chitwood and John Dennis took first place in the net competition with a 12-under-par 60, followed by Alan Leo and David Prokop at 61, Don Ford and Dennis Yerton at 62, and Ward Lawrence and Bob Howard at 63.
Jim Patterson and Bobby Hart won the gross competition, shooting a 69. Herb Hensley and Wayne Huff were second with a 71, followed by Gene Johnson and Fred Campuzano at 73 and Jim Payne and Russ Hatfield, also at 73.
Closest-to-the-pin prizes on two par-three holes went to Ken Yount and Jim Patterson.
The Men's League is open to golfers of all levels. League dues are $25 for the season, payable in the pro shop. Competition begins every Wednesday at 1 p.m. Sign up in the men's locker room before 5 p.m. the Tuesday afternoon before each play day.
To celebrate the completion of three new courts and the arrival of a new tennis pro, the Fairfield Tennis Center is hosting a mixed doubles tournament Sept. 8-9.
"This compass draw tournament will allow every team to play a minimum of three matches," stated Dale Schwicker, the new pro. "We are looking forward to a lot of great tennis." Play will begin at 8 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. Trophies will be awarded to the winners and runners-up.
Registration is $20 per team and can be made by calling 731-8060.
Diego Jose Rivas
Joseph and Guadalupe Rivas and big sister Chasstidy Rivas are proud to announce the addition to their family of Diego Jose Rivas. Diego was born Aug. 14, 2001 in Durango. He weighed 6 pounds 8 ounces and was 18 inches long.
The proud grandparents are Joseph and Wanda Rivas of Pagosa Springs and Lucio and Josefina of Boulder. Diego's great grandparents are Ramona Montano, Amanda Stollstimer and Earnesto Rivas, all of Pagosa Springs.
Alexander Reinholt Nuce
Alexander Reinholt Nuce was born July 12, 2001 in Portland, Maine. The young man weighted in at 7 pounds, 14 ounces and measured 20.5 inches. His parents are Tim Nuce and Julie Parisean.
Grandparents are Bob and Sue Walan of Pagosa Springs, and Victor and Jill Parisean of Auburn, Maine. Alexander's father is a research biochemist and his mother recently retired as a professional ski racer and is studying to become a nurse anesthetist.
Devin Joshua Maez
Devin Joshua Maez was born Aug. 1, 2001 in Durango. The youngster weighed in at 6 pounds, 9 ounces and was 19 inches long. Parents are Ernie Jr. and Brooke R. Maez. Devin was welcomed home by siblings Saydee and Makenna. Grandparents are Tony and Shauna Kop and Ernest and Della Maez, all of Pagosa Springs.
Jazelle Estelle Karen
Daisy Jeanne Jones is proud to announce the birth of her sister, Jazzelle Estelle Karen on Aug. 6, 2001 at 7:51 p.m. at Mercy Medical Center in Durango.
Jazzelle weighed 7 pounds, 6.7 ounces and was 19 3/4 inches long.
Her parents are Stephanie and Andrew Jones of Pagosa Springs. Grandparents are Karen and Randy Jones of Cincinnati, Ohio, and Marilyn Henry of Belleville, N.Y.
Dina Williams owns and operates the Talisman Studio at 190 Talisman Drive, Unit D2. The studio opened Aug. 15 and patrons can paint their own pottery, rent the kiln, and utilize studio space for their work.
The Talisman Studio offers a full range of supplies, including stained glass supplies and provides customers with stained glass instruction. The studio is available for birthday parties, and there are hand-crafted gifts for sale.
Hours at the Talisman Studio are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and 6 to 10 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. For more information, call 731-2529.
Seller: Ismael and Margaret D. Dieppa
Buyer: Dieppa 1990 Declaration of Trust
Property: Teal Landing Condominium, Building 11
Price: Not listed
Seller: Habitat For Humanity of Archuleta County
Buyer: Adrienne A. Barnett
Property: Lake Pagosa Park, Lot 5, Block 4
Seller: Morgan W. Thompson
Buyer: Morgan W. and E. Ruth Thompson
Property: Pagosa Vista, Lot 549
Price: Not listed
Seller: Mark Jehnzen
Buyer: John R. and Sara A. Essig
Property: Twincreek Village, Lot 747
Seller: Elmer Weaver (Estate of)
Buyer: Susan Jane Elfritz
Property: Lake Pagosa Park, Lots 46 and 47, Block 13
Price: Not listed
Seller: Marion F. Weater (Estate of)
Buyer: Leon E. Macklem
Property: Lake Pagosa Park, Lots 46 and 47, Block 13
Seller: Richard H. and Carol A. Nichols
Buyer: James A. and Marjorie G. Smith
Property: Pagosa Highlands Estates, Lot 61X
Seller: Eric O. Alarcon (Revocable Living Trust)
Buyer: Hannu E. and Hannele M. Miettinen
Property: Colorado's Timber Ridge, Phase One, Lot 24
Seller: W&A Company
Buyer: John Ross
Property: Pagosa In The Pines, Lot 8, Block 8
Seller: Sybil/J.C. Martin Jr. Children's Trust
Buyer: William E. and Eileen E. Ide
Property: Pagosa Pines Condominiums, Unit 21C, Building 17
Seller: Robert and Betty Winsell
Buyer: Gregory and Magda Winsell
Property: Lake Forest Estates, Lot 447
Price: Not listed
Seller: Stephen and Emily Tholberg
Buyer: Stephen Tholberg
Property: Lakewood Village, Lot 17
Price: Not listed
Seller: Stephen C. Tholberg and Emily Dubner-Tholberg
Buyer: Emily Tholberg
Property: Pagosa Vista, Lot 131
Price: Not listed
Seller: Timothy Grose
Buyer: Jeffrey Moore
Property: Pagosa Highlands Estates, Lot 408
Price: Not listed
Seller: Pagosa Lakes Ranch Inc.
Buyer: Marilyn N. Lager Trust
Property: Pagosa Lakes Ranch Custom Home, Lot 12
Seller: Slavinski Revocable Trust
Buyer: Harold T. and Joan M. Slavinski
Price: Not listed
Seller: Geary and Rhonda Taylor
Buyer: Conni Pfendler
Property: Lake Pagosa Park, Lot 44, Block 14
Seller: Peter G. Pfendler
Buyer: Conni Pfendler
Property: Lake Pagosa Park, Lot 44, Block 14
Price: Not listed
Seller: Fairfield Communities, Inc. (Ben Owner)
Buyer: Moses R. and Judith L. Morrow
Property: Village Pointe Condos, Unit 7530, Building 6
Seller: 21st Century Builders Inc.
Buyer: Leon and Sophia Karandreas
Property: Lakewood Village, Lot 286
Price: Not listed
Seller: Roy D. and Kathleen M. Vega
Buyer: Joan M. and Harold T. Slavinski
Property: Not listed
Price: Not listed
Seller: Great Divide Investments Inc.
Buyer: Erik P. Smith
Property: Aspen Springs Subdivision 6, Lot 364
Seller: Dinnen Family Trust
Buyer: Nancy Snively
Property: Continental Estates, Unit 2, Lot 46
Seller: Richard A. and Rebecca N. Barone
Buyer: Kenneth L. Laskey
Property: Aspen Springs Subdivision 4, Lot 12, Block 8
Seller: Steven W. Walston
Buyer: Thomas W. and Christina L. Councilor
Property: Aspen Springs Subdivision 6, Lots 521 and 522
Seller: Oscar E. and Betty T. Hopkins
Buyer: Stephanie A. Clemons
Property: Lake Hatcher Park, Lot 113
Seller: Colorado Timber Ridge Ranch
Buyer: Stephanie Clemons
Property: Colorado's Timber Ridge, Phase One, Lot 1
Seller: Mark P. Kinard
Buyer: M. Carroll Family No. 1 Limited Ptnshp.
Property: Martinez Mountain Estates, Lots 122 and 123
Seller: Jerry Allen and Kay Kristine Fulton
Buyer: Imel Living Trust
Property: Pagosa Meadows, Unit 2, Lot 69
Seller: Charles Patrick Neely and Patricia Lynn Virden
Buyer: Stephanie A. Clemons
Property: Pagosa Highlands Estates, Lot 267
Seller: Ronald E. Morris
Buyer: Patricia J. Savich
Property: Westwind Condominiums, Phase 2, Unit 33, Building 5
Seller: Ronald E. Morris
Buyer: Patricia J. Savich
Property: Westwind Condominiums Phase 2, Unit 33, Building 5
Seller: Bell Country Land Co.
Buyer: Susan G. Baker
Property: Pagosa Vista, Lot 228
Price: Not listed
Seller: Construction Portfolio and Funding Inc.
Buyer: Eagle Peak LLC
Seller: Jack V. Peterson Declaration of Trust
Buyer: Vaughn Bradley Jacobson
Price: Not listed
Seller: Kenneth W. and Debra L. Ford, Archuleta County Public Trustee
Buyer: Washington Mutual Home Loans Inc.
Property: Aspen Springs Subdivision 6, Lots 9 and 1, Block 25
Price: Not listed
Seller: Robert W. and Carole M. Howard
Buyer: Carl D. and Donna J. Carman
Seller: Chris Scarpa
Buyer: Anthony Scarpa
Property: Pagosa Highlands Estates, Lot 362
Price: Not listed
Seller: Douglas C. Raglin
Buyer: Susan E. Raglin
Price: Not listed
Seller: Robert W. and Leslie D. Kern
Buyer: Billy D. and Brenda M. Cox and Shirley Y. and Gerald G. Eagleston
Property: Lake Hatcher Park, Lot 162
Seller: Thomas and Nancy Malone James
Buyer: Bill L. and Imaleta Hunt
Property: Lakeview Estates, Lot 51
Seller: Lois A. Booth
Buyer: Raul Garcia
Property: Pinonwood Condominiums, Unit 28E, Building 28
Price: Not listed
Auction for Animals judged huge success
No question about it &emdash; the four-legged furry ones scored a huge success last Friday evening at the Auction for the Animals sponsored by our local Humane Society. What a grand evening it was for all who attended, and that certainly seemed like just about everyone in Pagosa.
Auction Chairwoman, Nancy Ray, and all the HS members as well as the countless volunteers are to be commended on conducting an exceptional function at the Ridgeview Mall.
Clearly there were more items than ever before, and they were the best yet. Bill Nobles, Debbie Steele and all the wacky spotters did an outstanding job and worked very hard at milking every possible cent out of each auction treasure. Congratulations to all, and thanks for the generosity, blood, sweat and tears that result in the preservation and care of all our orphan dogs and cats. As a personal postscript, I adore the Whoopi Goldberg autographed picture and T-shirt I acquired along with a few other jewels.
The official end of the summer season is a bittersweet affair because as much as we may hate to bid adieu to the lazy, hazy daze, Labor Day weekend brings what has become one of Pagosa's premiere events, the Four Corners Folk Festival.
Each year is bigger and better than the previous one, and the lineup continues to just blow our socks off. This year is no exception with talent which, of course, includes our own Pagosa Hot Strings keeping company with Tim O'Brien, the Sam Bush Band, Eddie from Ohio (Pagosa has pretty much adopted this group), Nickel Creek and the Alison Brown Quartet, just to name a few. Festivities this year begin Friday and continue through Sunday evening replete with workshops conducted by the musicians and special activities for kids. We hope to see all of you up atop Reservoir Hill this weekend to give summer a proper send-off with the Four Corners Folk Festival.
Remember to get those inserts in for The Chamber Communiqué, our quarterly newsletter, which we hope to distribute sometime the first week in 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 Wednesday, Aug. 29, or give Doug a call at 264-2360 with any questions. Don't pass up this economical advertising opportunity.
Saturday, you can score some incredible bargains at the annual Sidewalk Saturday Sale traditionally held in conjunction with the Four Corners Folk Festival.
Six years ago, it occurred to us that this weekend presented a great opportunity for both the merchants and bargain hunters. Merchants can reduce seasonal inventory to prepare for winter, and customers can save lots of dough while "Shopping Pagosa First." I believe it's known as a "win-win" situation. Take advantage of this once-a-year event and get a leg up on your Christmas shopping. It's never too early to save some money. Break open that piggy bank and get out there and shop.
One new member to introduce to you this week and 17 renewals. Picking up the mail is such fun these days.
Our new member joins us as an Associate, and it is a pleasure to introduce Bonnie Davie as a new member as well as new to the community. I've chatted with Bonnie a couple of times, and she is happy to be in Pagosa and looking forward to settling in. We're happy to have her and think we may be able to convince her that Diplomat work would be fun from time to time.
Our renewals this week include Jim Smith with Jim Smith Realty; Bobby Hart with the Pagosa Springs Golf Club; Charlotte Westby with the Pagosa Springs Area Association of Realtors; Jim Mudroch with Land Properties, Inc.; Jim Harnick with Pagosa Custom Homes located at 18 Cove; Ron Chacey with Southwest Land Alliance; Father John Bowe with the Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish; Mark Holladay with Holladay Auto and Truck Repair; Mike Dalsaso with Dalsaso Associates located in Mancos; Sally (The Cookie Lady) Theesfeld with The Daily Scoop; Steve Butler with Studio 160; Art Million with The Sports Emporium; Margaret Gray with Big Brothers Big Sisters of La Plata County in Durango; Diane Pollard with Wells Fargo Bank; Kathey Fitz with High Country Lodge; and Matt Yoksh with Pagosa Ski Rental. Associate Member renewals this week are Charlotte and David Overley, and Charlotte is one of our valued Chamber Diplomats.
Cuckwagon trip called festive pleasure for 21 seniors
Our trip to the Bar-D Chuckwagon last Thursday was a huge success &emdash; 21 people made the trip, requiring a bus and a van, and all had a wonderful time. The food was delicious, the weather was perfect, and the entertainment was superb. I'm sure we will be scheduling this again next summer.
Our Senior of the Week is Jan Hartzell. Congratulations Jan!We love having Jan spend her summers with us.
We were thrilled to have Ladislav and Jirina (Louie and Judy) Zunka visit with us on Wednesday. They live in Houston, Texas now but are originally from Czechoslovakia and are very interesting folks. We hope they will come to eat with us again soon.
The owners of various businesses in Pagosa are very good to our seniors. We are happy to announce that Jace and Kelly Johnson, new owners of the Liberty Theater, will have special matinee presentations of movies for seniors at a charge of $3, at 1:45 p.m. Wednesdays beginning in September. They have requested that we clean up after ourselves (don't leave cups, popcorn, etc. in the theater) so we hope everyone will honor their request and express our appreciation for their thoughtfulness.
Also, we are eternally grateful to Daylight Donuts for their contribution of donuts to our folks. Thanks a lot.
A reminder that Wednesday mornings at 9:30 a.m. there is a free yoga class at the Senior Center, usually taught by Rich Harris; but while he is vacationing we appreciate Nancy Dackhoff from Yoga at the Springs filling in last Wednesday. Also on Wednesday mornings at 9 a.m. our members may swim free of charge at the Pagosa Lodge.
Tomorrow, we will celebrate August birthdays of our members at noon. At 5 p.m. is our monthly potluck and dance. Bring your favorite food dish, and tapes for dancing. We hope for a large turnout.
There will be a Blood Drive at the Senior Center 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.
As of now, we need four more folks for the trip to Ignacio Sept. 6, where folks may attend a luncheon buffet and try their luck gambling. Please sign up soon so Cindy will know whether there is enough interest to proceed with plans.
On Sept. 9, there will be a 2 p.m. matinee performance of "Fiddler on the Roof" at the high school. We will not be operating the bus for this so we hope everyone will use the "buddy system" to get folks transported. This should be fabulous entertainment.
Beginning in September our talented Kent Schaffer will teach art classes to seniors. If anyone has art supplies (paints, canvas, etc.) they would like to donate to the center for these classes, please contact Musetta or Cindy at 264-2167.
There has been a delay in our weekly presentations of "Death and Dying" because a lightning storm destroyed our VCR. Once we obtain a new VCR, we will continue this Bill Moyer's 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, so we hope folks will take time to attend these presentations.
For you who read Forbes magazine &emdash; and there are many around who do &emdash; Joseph G. Garber's column on Technology (July 9, 2001 issue) had to do with young women entrepreneurs. One of those featured was Christine Lamasney, a 27-year-old Vassar graduate and the daughter of Jane and Henry Lamasney who have had a house in Pagosa Springs for over 12 years.
Christine is a solid-state physicist developing software for automatic esoteric aspects of semiconductor design. She has formed her own company and calls it "IsoChips Network." She is a member of Forum Women Entrepreneurs, a company started by Denise Brousseau who thought that women entrepreneurs needed guidance and so connected with them on e-mail. What started out as a hobby turned into a not-for-profit company with 1,300 members and offices in Silicon Valley, Denver, Los Angeles and Dallas.
Forum's programs train aspiring business creators (with the help of many professionals) in the basics needed for success including raising capital. In February, 24 of its members were selected to appear before an investment community called "Springland" at its annual show-and-tell held at the Oracles Conference Center in Redwood, Calif. Christine was one of those selected.
Garber writes about her: "You'd expect her presentation to be a barrage of geep-speak. Instead, she gave a talk that was so persuasive and businesslike that I almost reached for my wallet."
When asked how much time she spent preparing her talk she said there were countless days in writing and editing, plus four dress rehearsals in front of a video camera.
"In my first draft all I talked about was the technology. Eilisha made me change everything, God bless her." Eilisha McCaffrey is her mother.
In the fall, Christine will pursue her Ph.D. in physics through a grant which will allow her the flexibility to continue as CEO of IsoChip with university participation in the corporation's research and development. Her thesis will encompass the core of IsoChip's function.
Christina is presently in Russia (her company works in partnership with the Russian Academy of Science) after which she will travel to France and Switzerland. She is fluent in Russian, French and Spanish.
The turnout for the Pretender's production at the Fred Harman Museum was good and the weather held, although it got a little gusty Saturday night. A highlight was the way Fred Harman's comic strips were shown. They were acted out. As Fred drew while seated at a table, characters (off to the side) acted out the scene by posing against a lighted white sheet. Delightful stuff.
All tickets to "Fiddler on the Roof" are reserved. They can be purchased ahead of time at Moonlight Books. Any leftover tickets will be sold at the door. The cost is $12 for adults and $8 for children.
The hunting season has begun.
Archery season is Aug. 25-Sept. 23; muzzleloader season Sept. 8-16.
In all season designations "limited" means licenses are procured by draw. "Unlimited" means licenses are sold over the counter. All deer seasons are limited.
First rifle season, Oct. 13-17: separate limited elk.
Second rifle season, Oct. 20-26: combined deer and elk.
Third rifle season, Nov. 3-9: combined deer and elk.
Fourth rifle season, Nov. 10-14: combined deer and elk.
The second, third and fourth seasons elk tags are sold over the counter.
If you have a deer or elk tag you can buy a bear tag for the same season.
Limited bear season is Sept. 2-30, rifle, either sex.
To contact the Colorado Division of Wildlife, call (303) 297-1192.
Fun on the run
With football just around the corner, I'll pass along these.
The question: Why do the University of Texas fans wear orange? The answer: So they can go to the game on Saturday, go hunting on Sunday and pick up trash along the roadway the rest of the week.
And this: At long last, the good-humored boss was compelled to call Smith into his office.
"It has not escaped my attention," he pointed out, "that every time there's a home game at the stadium you have to take your aunt to the doctor."
"You know you're right sir," explained Smith. "I didn't realize it. You don't suppose she's faking it, do you?"
New Tricare benefits take effect October 1
Tricare is a health benefit program for military retirees and their families. New benefits recently enacted by the U.S. Congress will go into effect Oct. 1, 2001 and will ensure those military retirees and their families will get health care for life.
Access to Tricare as a second payer to Medicare begins Oct. 1. The Tricare Senior Pharmacy Program began April 1, 2001. The Uniformed Services Identification (I.D.) card and your Medicare card are all you need for Medicare to pay first, and Tricare to pay second on your claims. This summer, potentially eligible beneficiaries should receive a Tricare For Life package that will included an information care letter, benefit comparison chart, brochure, survey form, and return envelope for notifying Tricare if you intend to cancel other health insurance.
Tricare For Life will become a permanent program for Medicare-eligible beneficiaries on Oct. 1 of this year. The law establishes entitlement called the Department of Defense Medicare-Eligible Retiree Health Care Fund. Tricare For life will not require annual renewals by Congress.
The first step to insure that you and your family are eligible is to update your Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) record to show any changes of address or family status changes (such as marriage, divorce, birth or adoption). Each family member's eligibility is independent and must be updated. Home address is important because DEERS uses them to send out information on health benefits. Also, health benefits could be denied if DEERS is not updated to reflect new information. For details on how to update your DEERS information, call 1-808-538-9552.
The second step to take is to make sure that you and your Medicare-eligible family members are enrolled in Medicare Part B. If you are not sure of that, check your Medicare Card for that information.
If you are not enrolled, you must submit an application to enroll in Part B directly to the Social Security Administration (Durango 247-3128). The general enrollment period for Medicare Part B is held Jan. 1 through March 31 of each year, and part B coverage starts July 1 of that year. You may also call SSA toll-free at 1-800-772-1213.
I personally have dealt with the Durango SSA office and find those folks very helpful and efficient and would rather work with our local people then some national office.
Beneficiaries do not need to provide Medicare Part B information to the Department of Defense (DOD). The DOD will work with the agency that administers the Medicare program to obtain evidence of Part B coverage for all beneficiaries.
Tricare For Life recommends you should not wait for October to check DEERS and enroll in Medicare Part B. The quicker you update your paperwork, the better your chance of making a smooth transition to Tricare For Life for you and your eligible family members.
For information on these and other veterans' benefits please call or stop by the Veterans Service Office located on the lower floor of the Archuleta County Courthouse. The office number is 264-2304, the FAX number is 264-5949, and e-mail is email@example.com. The office is open 8 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 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.
This year's youth soccer program began last week with a coaches' meeting and the formation of teams. All coaches were given practice schedules and uniforms.
This year, players were provided with uniforms with a sponsor's name on the back. Sponsors are Pagosa Veterinary Clinic, Edward Jones Investments, Century 21, the Liberty Theatre and The Corner Store.
Program registration will continue until Sept. 7 at the $20 registration rate. 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, 5 and 6 p.m.
The town's soccer program is looking for people interested in officiating and supervising soccer games. Positions are paid and interested parties should contact Summer at Town Hall, 264-4151 ext. 232.
Adult flag football
The adult flag football season is on hold until enough teams are signed up to form a league.
The team sponsor fee is $250 and the player fee is set at $15. Games will be played Tuesday and Thursday evenings at the Sports Complex. Rosters are available at Town Hall. For more information, contact Summer.
This fall the adult volleyball league will kick off Sept. 10 with a mandatory 6 p.m. managers' meeting at Town Hall.
All rosters and team fees are due at the meeting. The team fee is set at $200 and the player fee is $10. Games will begin Sept. 17 and will continue through mid-November. If you have questions about the league, contact Summer.
At the last Park and Recreation Commission meeting, events on Reservoir Hill were discussed along with a 300-signature petition to build a skateboard park in Pagosa Springs. A committee was formed to deal with the skate park request and report back to the Commission.
The next meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Sept. 18 in Town Hall. The commission meets monthly to discuss all park and recreation issues. Meetings are open to the public and pizza is served for all attending.
Color Fest-Pedal Fest
This year's Color Fest mountain bike race will be held Sept. 23. The Pedal Fest race will be held in the Turkey Springs area and will include a 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 the new ATV trail to Brockover Road. The course is currently marked and distances are set for beginners at 10 miles, for sport riders at 27 miles, and for expert and pro riders at 32 miles.
A novice/kids race will be held on a three-mile track, with all participants awarded medals.
Coffey's one-man show reception Sept. 6
Put it off no longer: The exhibit featuring photography by Denise Mudroch and Pat Francis at the arts gallery at Town Park ends Sept. 5.
Denise displays both black and white and color presentations with attention to contrast. Her photo of a barn door, matted beautifully in a barnwood frame, captures the detail of years of weathering. Her work entitled "Remember the Wonder" is a contrast of black and white, innocence and wisdom, wonder and joy.
Pat Francis draws out the many colors of Italy, from the aerial view of rooftops to the close-up of stony alleyways, evoking an emotional response to the people and culture of the Old Country.
The opening reception for the one-man show of Greg Coffey, twice blue ribbon winner in the Professional Watercolor Class at the Archuleta and La Plata county fairs, is Sept. 6, 5-7 p.m.
Coffey resides in Ignacio and has donated paintings to the arts council's silent auction as well as the Humane Society's Auction for the Animals. His work has adorned the cover of the Pagosa Springs Arts Council's quarterly magazine, The Petroglyph.
Businesses who sponsor The Petroglyph benefit with a flyer in the center of the newsletter. Thank you to those who have sponsored in the past. The Petroglyph is seeking a creative layout person. To sponsor the newsletter or volunteer services, contact Joanne at the gallery, 264-5020, or Jennifer at 731-3113.
PSAC would like to thank all of the businesses and individuals who devote time to enriching the community through the arts. Thank you to Wells Fargo Bank for providing the use of its copy machine, and thank you to Marguerite at Mountain Greenery for providing complimentary floral arrangements for the open house exhibits.
To volunteer time at the gallery or for any of the PSAC events, call Joanne 264-5020.
The Pagosa Springs Music Boosters will perform "Fiddler on the Roof" at the high school auditorium Sept. 6, 8, 9, 13, 14 , and 15. Pick up reserve seating tickets at Moonlight Books. The Pagosa Springs Arts Council is seeking volunteers to help with the snack booth during this musical production. Call Joanne to offer services, 264-5020.
Lost and found
Thank you to all who removed their shoes to view homes on the Home and Garden Tour. If you mistakenly walked out in a pair of E-Z Spirits at the Hatcher Circle House on Aug. 12, please call Joanne at the gallery, 264-5020 to arrange a swap.
The Timbers of Pagosa is hosting a celebration of the release of Pagosa Springs' Vol. 2 CD Sampler, "A Local Gathering," Sept. 29 at 7 p.m. Local artists will perform the music they have contributed to the CD and the Sample CDs will be available for purchase. There is no cover charge for this evening of varied entertainment. The CD Sampler is sponsored by the Pagosa Springs Area Chamber of Commerce, Connections Magazine, JLM Records and Distribution, and the Pagosa Springs Arts Council, as well as many other local businesses. Jeff Laydon of Pagosa Photography provides the picturesque cover for the CD Sampler.
Upcoming Whistle Pig house concerts will feature Bruce Hayes, mandolin virtuoso, Sept. 30; and Buddy Tabor, Alaskan songwriter, Oct. 13. Call Bill and Clarissa Hudson for reservations and information, 264-2491.
The Pagosa Springs Arts Council is a nonprofit organization that relies on membership, donations and volunteers to help provide meaningful and educational cultural programs for locals and visitors. PSAC recently qualified for the City Market Cares Electronic Fundraising Program. When you shop at City Market, the arts council earns money to provide scholarships, support arts activities in the community, and to allow other organizations to sponsor arts events for their groups.
To contribute, bring your Value Card to the gallery in Town Park, 314 Hermosa Street, and sign up.
The gallery in Town Park provides a location not only for special exhibits, but for local artists to display and sell their creations. Visit the gift shop to see a variety of note cards, jewelry, wall hangings and other creations.
Hours of operation through Labor Day are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. From Labor Day through Memorial Day, the gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m.-3:30 p.m. For more information, call the gallery at 264-5020.
4-H county fair winners, state qualifiers
Sept. 6 &emdash; Shady Pine, Extension Office, 7 p.m.
Sept. 7 &emdash; Colorado Mountaineers, Extension Office, 2:15 p.m.
The following are some of our 4-H winners at the 2001 Archuleta County Fair.
Emilie Schur &emdash; Blue and Grand Champion &emdash; qualified for State Fair; Rachel Schur - Blue and Reserve Champion.
Unit 1: Katairena Bliss &emdash; Red; Traci Bliss &emdash; Red; Camille Rand - Red; Bethany Wanket - Blue and Grand Champion &emdash; qualified for State Fair.
Unit 2: Rachel Carrell - Blue; Diane Condon - Blue and Grand - qualified for State Fair; Megan Condon - Red; Charmaine Talbot - Blue; Brea Thompson - Blue and Grand Champion - qualified for State Fair.
Unit 3: Stacy Dominguez - Blue and Reserve Champion; Misha Garcia - Blue and Grand Champion - qualified for State Fair.
Unit 1: Riley Aiello - Blue and Grand - qualified for State Fair.
Unit 3: Michael Caves - Blue and Reserve Champion - qualified for State Fair.
Anna Ball &emdash; Blue and Grand Champion - qualified for State Fair.
Chad Condon - Blue and Reserve Champion - qualified for State Fair; Trenton Maddux - red; Joshua Trout - Red.
Matthew McFarland - Blue and Grand - qualified for State Fair.
Aliya Haykus - Blue and Grand - qualified for State Fair; Adam Jelinek - Blue and Reserve Champion - qualified for State Fair.
Unit 1: Brooke Cumbie - Blue and Reserve Champion; Tamara Gayhart - Blue; Lauren Loewen - Blue; Marissa Maddux - Blue and Grand Champion - qualified for State Fair.
Unit 2: Kiva Belt - Blue and Grand - qualified for State Fair.
Unit 1: Dylan Caves - Blue; Emmi Greer - Blue and Grand Champion - qualified for State Fair; Michael Heraty - Red.
Unit 2: Chris Nobles - Blue and Grand - qualified for State Fair.
Hank Wills - Blue and Grand Champion - qualified for State Fair.
Anna Ball - Blue and Grand Champion - qualified for State Fair.
Decorate Your Duds
Anna Ball - Blue and Reserve Champion - qualified for State Fair.
Unit 1: Trenton Maddux - Blue and Grand Champion - qualified for State Fair.
Unit 2: Dylan Caves - Red.
Unit 3: Alex Baum - Blue and Grand Champion - qualified for State Fair, Chris Baum - Red.
Trace Gross - Blue and Grand Champion - qualified for State Fair.
Knitting: Zachary Arnold - Blue and qualified for State Fair.
Needle Arts: Sara Baum - Blue and Grand Champion - qualified for State Fair; Elizabeth Bliss - Blue and Reserve Champion - qualified for State Fair; Emmi Greer - Red.
Patchwork/Quilting Traci Bliss - Blue and Reserve Champion - qualified for State Fair; Melissa Wollenweber - Blue and Grand Champion - qualified for State Fair.
Jesse Powe - Blue; Charmaine Talbot - Blue and Reserve Champion; Melissa Wollenweber - Blue and Grand Champion.
Zachary Arnold - Blue; Michael Caves - Blue and Reserve Champion; Matt Nobles - Blue and Grand Champion.
Hannah Arnold - Blue and Reserve Champion; Keturah Class-Erickson - Blue and Grand Champion; Danelle Condon - Blue and Grand Champion; Brea Thompson - Blue and Grand.
Jessica Espinosa - Blue; Emily Finney - Blue and Reserve Champion; Jenna Finney - Blue; Kelli Ford - Blue and Grand Champion; Del Greer - Blue; Aliya Haykus - Blue; Amanda Huang - Blue and Grand Champion; Saber Hutcherson - Blue and Reserve Champion.
Next week, we will list other winners.
How to remember what you're forgetting
Here is a new book that "Modern Maturity" says is the finest handbook they've seen on the subject.
"Improving Your Memory, How to remember what you're starting to forget," by Janet Fogler and Lynn Stern, explains what to expect, and what not to worry about when forgetfulness begins to be an issue. The book clearly explains how memory works and gives a variety of simple strategies to use. The book was quite reassuring to me personally.
Shirley Snider's daughter frequently sends wonderful things to the library since she works for the Hit Corporation that sponsors many children's TV and Movie programs. Jill deals with "personalities" such as Wishbone the Dog, and Barney the Dinosaur. The company was getting rid of some of the Barney materials. Jill kindly sent many books and activities to us, which we will use for next summer's reading program. Jill even took care of the sizable postage. We are thankful to both Shirley and Jill for these gifts. Wishbone photographs were given to the children in this summer's program.
We want to give special thanks to John Graves and the folks who continue to support the monthly film viewings. Part of the proceeds go into our library book fund. We thank John for all the many cultural gifts he gives our community. We're glad he chose to retire here.
Last week we happened to see "When the Legends Die" with Richard Widmark on the movie channel. It was a special treat as it was filmed around here and many of the beautiful scenes were recognizable.
The movie was taken from Hal Borland's book which we feature at the library. Borland's father was once editor of the Pagosa SUN. Hal knew this country well. The story is a bittersweet tale of a Ute Indian boy who was betrayed by both his own people and by the white man.
I encourage everyone to read the book, and maybe we could get the film society to show the movie sometime. It is a story of what happens to a person when he tries to stamp out the heritage of his fathers. "When the legends die, the dreams end. When the dreams end, there is no more greatness."
Our good friend and loyal supporter, Betty Feazel, left us last Sunday.
She will be missed by all of us at the library. Betty was a legend, we trust her dreams won't end.
We'll be closed Labor Day
We appreciate financial help from Liz and Albert Schnell in memory of Elizabeth Anderson, as well as from John Graves and the Film Society. And thanks for materials from Ruth Newlander, E.W. Schwartz, Larry and Joan Blue, Cynthia Sharp, Peggy Shipman, Dick Hillyer and Carol Mestas.
Day Treatment Program aids needy kids
What is a day treatment program?
Many people have heard there is one in the community, but few know what this service is really all about. That is because Pagosa Springs has only had a day treatment program two years. The Pagosa Springs Community Day Treatment Program, located in the junior high school, is a collaborative effort between the School District 50 Joint and the Archuleta County Department of Social Services. The program's purpose is to provide intensive behavioral health treatment services to children ages 9 to 14 who otherwise might by placed outside the county in a variety of residential treatment facilities.
Students who are chosen to participate in the day treatment program are those who have had difficulty finding success in a regular classroom setting. Reasons for this lack of success may include various behavior problems in the classroom, problems with other community systems, as well as difficulties within their own home. The program goal is for the students to successfully transition back to their home school classroom.
Erlinda Gonzalez, county director for the Department of Social Services, worked with the state for five years to secure funding for this program and in October of 1998 she got it. Then for three months, representatives from Southwest Colorado Mental Health Center, the school district and social services met to brainstorm ideas on how this county could develop policies and procedures for their own day treatment program.
Several programs were examined and modifications were made to fit our community. Finally, in January, 1999, the Pagosa Springs Community Day Treatment Program opened its doors. The school district furnished the classroom space and the teacher for the program, plus the required support staff and services.
Southwest Colorado Mental Health Center provided a therapist and clinical supervision for the program, and social services provided the case manager/teacher's aide in addition to all the program funding. Social services has overall responsibility for the program, but Larry Lister, the junior high principal, supervises the day-to-day operations, as the program is located on the school grounds. Although Southwest Colorado Mental Center, now called Pagosa Springs Counseling Center, is no longer clinically responsible for the program, the agency still has a vital role in providing therapeutic services to the students and their families.
Currently the day treatment team members are Dan Stephanus, the special education teacher, Mary Baldwin, the case manager, and Jeff Versaw, the therapist. Dan is responsible for developing each student's educational plan, which includes talking with other teachers and staff to discuss ways to integrate a student back into the mainstream classrooms. Mary's job is to assist the teacher and the therapist and to ensure all client and program records are in compliance with licensure. Jeff's job is to work with students in the classroom setting and to provide private individual counseling to students and some family counseling as well. The team concept is a critical part of the program and gives each student the best possible chance of success.
Many of the students who have been in the day treatment program over the past two years came in with issues such as poor social skills, criminal offenses in the community and multiple school suspensions. With lots of work on their part, and the help of the team, many students were able to return to their mainstream classes and some became employed in the community.
Referrals to the day treatment program come primarily from school personnel; however, parents are encouraged to contact any of the day treatment staff if they have questions about whether their children can benefit from the program.
For more information about the Pagosa Springs Community Day Treatment Program, contact any of the team members by calling the junior high school at 264-5988.
August rain? Oh well, we'll hike next week
When I wrote this, it was raining. Again. Our sump pump seems to be running constantly. But this is August. I didn't think it was supposed to do that. I thought August was supposed to be a continuation of July.
Before we moved here, we were "summer people." The arts council noted it with our annual membership: summer people. At the library I was on file as Katherine Cruse, summer person.
But obviously, not for the whole summer. Not for August. Not for the rainy part.
Well, this is only our third August here in Pagosa Country. Maybe this year is a fluke, not part of the normal weather pattern. August 1999 was also wet. Does two out of three make a trend? And there must be other years.
I remember one August, six or seven years ago. Our daughter and I went backpacking, following the Continental Divide Trail from Wolf Creek Pass into the Weminuche Wilderness. It started raining the first afternoon before we reached our intended campsite. We put up our tent in the rain. When things let up a little, we took advantage of the lull in the downpour to cook dinner. We managed to finish eating and get things packed away before the heavens opened up again.
The second day started out cloudy. It was just a matter of time before the rain started again. Back on the trail and halfway to Archuleta Lake we met three college-age hikers, resting beside their heavy packs.
"Does it always rain like this?" they asked, "Have you had a lot of rain?" We countered.
"Oh, man," said one. "We're so tired of sitting in the tent and playing cards."
"Yeah," said another, "we're pulling out. This is no fun. We're heading up to Rocky Mountain National Park. Maybe it'll be better there."
"Well, I don't know," I said. "Where are you from, anyway?"
"Isn't it supposed to rain a lot there?"
"Not like this," they said.
It must be hard, when you only have a week, and it rains most of the time. What can a poor family on vacation do?
Well one thing they seem to do is wander around the shops and the grocery store. I overheard a father and teenage daughter the other day, wandering down the cereal aisle. Obviously they were doing the shopping for the family. This was a quality bonding moment.
Dad was clearly bewildered with the array of choices. You could tell he didn't spend much time making important decisions like which box of cereal to buy. But Daughter knew the score. Her voice rang out loud and clear. "I say you can't go wrong with Fruit Loops."
Of course, the summer visitors wander around the shops no matter what the weather. A couple of weeks ago, before the monsoons began in earnest, I was on the streets of Durango, making my way through and around the packs of visiting families. You can tell which ones are the visitors; they move slowly and have a slightly dazed expression. They're trying to remember where they saw the perfect gift for Aunt Mildred, but after several blocks of stores, looking at more T-shirts and turquoise jewelry than they knew existed, they've lost it.
In pre-monsoon days they're slumped on one of those Durango street benches, bright pink with sunburn, slurping frantically at melting ice cream cones. You want to ask, "Are you having fun yet?" But you don't.
Sitting on one of those same benches myself, two summers ago, I chatted with a visitor from New York, maybe Long Island, where one town runs into another and they all go on for miles. She and her husband and another couple had come to the southwest together, because the guys wanted to ride the train. But now the heat, the altitude, the lack of familiar food and the fatigue that comes from looking at new things all day threatened to wear her down.
She fanned herself frantically with some restaurant menu. I think she just wanted to get this over with and go home.
"We drove out from Denver," she told me. And then she said, "It's so desolate here!"
"Desolate?" I wanted to say. "What's desolate? The streets are packed with people. The highways are non-stop cars and trucks." But I didn't. I kept my cool. Remembering that I'm lucky enough to live here year-round. We're not locked into some timetable. If it rains this week, we can hike next week.
Hotshot and I have lived in several different parts of the country in our marriage. According to the natives, no matter where we were, the weather was unusual. "It never used to be this hot," they'll say. Or this cold. Or wet. Or dry.
I say they have faulty memories.
We even used to live in Seattle, noted for its rain. We made jokes about the weather. "It's really nice when summer comes on a weekend," we'd tell our friends. Or we'd announce, "It only rains 36 inches a year. Of course, that's a tenth of an inch a day."
I wanted to laugh, when those hikers from Seattle said they were leaving because of the rain. I wanted to say, "I used to live in Seattle. I know how much it rains there. You call this wet?"
But I didn't say a word. I kept quiet.
After all, I might have remembered it wrong.
Summer's approaching end doesn't mean fun's over
It's hard to believe that August is drawing to a close.
There are highlights to this time of summer, namely the Four Corners Folk Festival and the beginning of training for a number of high school and junior high school athletic teams. But this time of the summer also reminds me that our children will be back in school in a matter of days. It also signals the end of happy, noisy crowds at the recreation center, the end of Colorado peaches and Olathe sweet corn and the beginning of colder mornings and nights and definitely. . . most definitely fewer daylight hours to play outdoors.
Growing up in Malaysia I remember long hot humid days, long hot sticky nights, every day of each year. The mosquitoes, like the tropical flowers, were big and abundant. Oh, how I longed for cooler climates. To this day, 18 years later, winter is still my favorite season. Although I'm saddened by the impending end of summer, my spirit rises as the mercury drops.
Richard Beaudry, a conservation officer with Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association, puts out a newsletter each week to report on what's hot and what's not on each of the four lakes. His latest report for Lake Forest indicate this is the best lake to catch a bunch of yellow perch and crappie. Best bet is from the new dock and the dam area on worms, mini-jigs or curly tail jigs. From Village Lake, some nice perch and bluegills are being taken in the Eagles Loft and boat launch ramp areas. A few trout have been caught on power bait or worms from the PLPOA public dock on North Pagosa Blvd. Bass have started to show in the shallows of Lake Pagosa. The best for people fishing from the bank are on spinner baits or lures used along the dam face, or near shoreline vegetation. With clearing water conditions, a few trout are also beginning to show up in creels. From Lake Hatcher some nice catches of yellow perch are being taken from the dock and dam areas. As with the other lakes, trout action is beginning to pick up with a few being taken each day on worms and power bait. Richard's tip of the week &emdash; if the trout are not biting try fishing for bass or crappie. These warm waters species are fun to catch and are great to eat.
Here are some tips on love from those who know: that is, children ages 5 to 10.
What do most people do on a date? "On the first date they just tell each other lies, and that usually gets them interested enough to go for a second date," Mike 10.
When is it okay to kiss someone? "Never kiss in front of other people. It's a big embarrassing thing if anybody sees you. But if nobody sees you, I might be willing to try it with a handsome boy, but just for a few hours," Kally, 9.
Is it better to be single or married? "It's better for girls to be single but not for boys. Boys need someone to clean up after them." Lynette, 9.
Falling in love is like. . ."an avalanche when you have to run for your life!" Roger, 9. "If falling in love is anything like learning how to spell, I don't want to do it. It takes too long," Leo, 7.
Personal qualities necessary to be a good lover? "One of you should know how to write a check, because even if you have tons of love, there is still going to be a lot of bills!" Ava, 8.
Frost chilled Pagosa area July 4, 1897
Expectations were high in 1897 as Pagosa Country folks faced the coming 20th Century.
The original pioneers had been living in the vicinity of the Great Pagosa Hot Spring since 1877-1878, about 20 years.
Fort Lewis had come and gone. Archuleta County was organized in 1885 and the Town of Pagosa Springs in 1891. The first settlers dreamed of a railroad into town, a railroad bringing in goods and tourists, a railroad taking out the products of the community. Finally, 20 years later in 1897, the railroad was approaching.
E. M. Biggs, a New Mexico logging industry tycoon, had built a narrow gauge railroad from Lumberton, N.M., about six miles or so north to Edith, on the Navajo River. By 1897, Biggs survey crews were driving stakes identifying a route through Coyote Park and into Pagosa Springs.
We pick up that story, and other items related to the history of Pagosa County from the pages of The Pagosa Springs News as seen by editor and owner Daniel Egger. In 1897, Pagosa was agricultural, with lots of cattle and sheep grazed on local grass. Most folks raised a garden. Many cultivated grain and other crops, especially potatoes. And Biggs' lumber mill in Edith supported the biggest payroll in the county.
News item, April 30, 1897: Parr Bros. went south last Saturday to a point near Albuquerque where they will receive about 500 head of steers that they will drive across New Mexico and bring them to this county to fatten for the market next fall.
Motter's comment: The three Parr brothers ranched up what we know today as Four Mile Road. They were not the original homesteaders on that property, but appeared in Pagosa Country during the 1890s. From then until their name disappears from the news circa 1920, they had a big impact on the community.
Notice that the Parrs rode horseback to near Albuquerque in order to buy cattle. We don't know what route they followed. A railroad into town would have allowed them to ship cattle in and out, changed things dramatically.
News item, May 28, 1897: Parr Bros. arrived with their bunch of steers on Tuesday evening. The bunch consists of 500 head of yearling steers, and are pronounced the best cattle that was ever brought into this county from the lower country. They are shorthorns and herefords, and we predict that the Parr Bros. will make a handsome profit on their investment.
Motter's comment: Notice that about one month has elapsed since the newspaper reported that the Parrs were on their way to New Mexico. We can only guess at the adventures faced by the Parrs and their drovers. We don't see many shorthorns these days.
News item, May 7, 1897: Besides the thousands of sheep that have already gone into the parks northwest of town about 3,000 head of cattle will be turned loose in that section of the county.
Motter's comment: Cattle and sheep both reveled in Pagosa Country grass. Pagosa Country ranchers and sheepmen, in common with the rest of the West, often bumped heads. A great many unverified stories of conflict survive. At least two fatal shootings are on record, including the 1892 Montoya-Howe sheepmen/cattlemen's war. It is commonly accepted that cattle grazed below 10,000 feet, sheep above that elevation. Sheep could be driven across cattle pasture, but heaven help the sheepherder if sheep were allowed to graze too long while crossing cattle country.
Newspaper item, May 28, 1897: Mr. Perry arrived with several hundred head of cattle from the south Monday. The cattle will range about 17 miles northwest of Pagosa Springs.
Newspaper item, July 2, 1897: Geo. West turned 500 more head of cattle into O'Neal park last week.
Newspaper item, Oct. 8, 1897: West & McGrew, McNicolas & Perry, and J.S. O'Neal drove 700 head of steers through town Sunday morning. The first two named firms sold to Bailey & Duff of Denver, to be delivered at Alamosa. Mr. O'Neal is shipping his steers from that point.
Motter's comment: These dates range from May through October, recording the comings and goings of cattle on this part of the O'Neal Park range. West, Perry, and O'Neal all ranged cattle in that part of Pagosa Country as did others. The O'Neals are still local residents. The park is named for their ancestors. West was an early Southwest Colorado rancher who was later elected to the Colorado Senate from this part of the state. I don't recognize the McGrew and McNicolas names.
These folks were still cowboying; that is, they climbed on horses and drove the cattle through town, then they drove them overland from Pagosa to Pueblo to market. I expect housewives in town used kitchen towels and maybe even sheets to shield pies and other goodies from the clouds of dust kicked up by hundreds of cattle tramping across town streets. That cattle drive from Pagosa to Pueblo across the San Juan Mountains, the San Luis Valley, and the Wet Mountains must have been some adventure.
Newspaper item, June 18, 1897: Sheep shearing being about over, the shearers are beginning to return to their homes in other parts.
Newspaper item July 23, 1897: J.M. Archuleta of Lumberton last week sold 160,000 pounds of wool at 11-1/2 cents a pound.
Newspaper item, Sept. 24, 1897: J.M. Archuleta turned over 20,000 lambs to Stephenson and Rockwell of the B & M. railroad this week and Hatcher Bros. will turn over 11,000 more to the same parties in two weeks.
Motter's comments: From the first mention of sheep May 7 through shearing June 19, we learn something about the profitability of sheep. As is noted, Archuleta sold 160,000 pounds of wool for $18,400, then picked up more money when he sold 20,000 lambs during late September.
Newspaper item, May 28, 1897: The news is of the opinion that settlers have some rights which sheepmen are bound to respect. In the past few days we have seen sheep herded right up to the door of the residence of ranchmen, and to say that the sheep have ruined a large part of the county for grazing purposes is simply telling the truth. A majority of the large number of sheep grazing in this county are owned by non-residents who never pay a cent of taxes, and it is that class that is generally the most hoggish in taking away from the settler the pasture for his few cows. Some of these days the settlers will assert their rights, and they will be less bothered with sheep.
Motter's comment: Egger, in a not too direct way, is threatening the sheepmen on behalf of cattle raisers. Cattlemen commonly believed that sheep ate grass down to the roots, killing it.
News item, May 14, 1897: Work on the completion of the Snowball ditch will be resumed in the near future. The ditch heads on Turkey creek and water was run through it into Four Mile last fall. A ditch to convey the water out of Four Mile must now be constructed.
Motter's comment: Our pioneer forefathers shed a lot of sweat transforming Pagosa Country from a wilderness into human-supporting habitat. Here we learn of early work on irrigation ditches we take for granted today. The ditch mentioned here is part of the system providing potable water today for the Fairfield communities west of town.
News item, May 14, 1897: The following buildings are now under construction in this town: Leon Montroy, two-story business house; Lee Patrick, two-story business house; H.R. Bowling, residence; F.W. Blake, residence; M.E. Church; Keith Bros. barn; W.H. Harpst, barn; C.S. Triplett, residence.
Motter's comment: Putting up buildings was another task performed by our pioneering ancestors. The Montroy family were pioneers. Montroy's two-story building stood on the lot supporting the south one-half of today's SUN building. Patrick managed the Great Pagosa Hot Spring for many years. I suspect his building was near the southeast corner of San Juan Street and Hot Springs Blvd. on property today owned by the Spa. Ads in The News say Patrick's building was one block from the hot spring.
News item, May 14, 1897: Business at the New Mexico Lumber Co's mill at Edith is increasing. Nineteen cars of lumber were shipped one day last week.
Motter's comment: Local mills had turned out lumber in Pagosa Country from the day soldiers moved in to build Fort Lewis in 1878. Their output was consumed by the local market, partly because no railroad existed to carry lumber to the outside world. The Edith mill was the first in the county to cut lumber on a large scale and ship it to outside markets.
News item, May 21, 1897: Four new settlers located on the west fork of the San Juan last week, Walter Himes and the Kleckner Bros., from Montezuma County; and Mr. Ross from the Cherokee Nation.
Motter's comment: Homesteading was still going on in the 1890s. In fact, homesteads were registered in Pagosa Country as late as the 1930s. Kleckners are still prominent in Pagosa Country. The Himes' are gone. I know almost nothing about these Rosses.
Newspaper item, June 18, 1897: The Baptists of Chromo have purchased the commissary building at that place from the New Mexico Lumber Co. and will remodel and fit it up for a church building.
Motter's comment: The building mentioned in this item could have been the first church building in the county.
Newspaper item, July 9, 1897: Considerable snow fell in the mountains north and east of Pagosa Springs on July 3. In fact snow covered the foothills, and on the morning of the fourth there was a heavy frost, but owing to the dampness prevailing not much damage was done.
Newspaper item, July 9, 1897: The snow storm on July 3 was general throughout the higher altitudes in Colorado. Gunnison, Leadville, Telluride, and Silverton, and many other towns had several inches of the beautiful (snow).
Newspaper item, July 9, 1897: The oldest inhabitant has no recollection of ever seeing such a frosty Fourth of July as the one of July 4, 1897.
Motter's comment: We've all heard talk about Fourth of July snow in Pagosa Country. Here is evidence, that, if snow didn't fall in town, at least there was a freeze on the Fourth. And snow fell not far from town.
Newspaper item, July 9, 1897: Fred Harmon, (Harman), a brother of Kos, arrived Sunday from St. Joseph and will make his home here.
Motter's comment: Harmans homesteaded up the San Juan River on property now contained in San Juan River Village.
Newspaper item, Sept. 24, 1897: Mr. Beal of Edith was in town Tuesday delivering potatoes. He will dig about 75,000 pounds from his patch this year. Potatoes of his raising weigh as high as 2-3/4 pounds each.
Motter's comment: Sounds to me like a lot of spuds, as the eyes would have it.
Newspaper item, Dec. 24, 1897: A gentleman and lady, husband and wife presumably, passed through town last Sunday. They traveled through snow on foot and led a burro, on whose back were packed their belongings. That woman has grit.
Motter's comment: They don't make 'em like they used to.