Front Page

September 6, 2001

Levy increase vote requested by hospital dist.

By Tess Noel Baker

After months of crunching numbers, struggling for stop-gap measures and questioning the level of services needed, the Upper San Juan Hospital District board voted in a special meeting Tuesday to request an additional $345,899 from voters in November.

At that level, Dick Babillis, board chairman and interim district manager said, the district can maintain the current level of services, including 24-hour in-house EMS teams. The additional tax dollars would bring the amount of revenues up from $1,878,243 to $2,224,142 based on anticipated property evaluation.

"We've done our best job at coming up with an accurate picture of our financial needs," Babillis said. Since the 2001 budget shortfalls were first predicted in June, the board has been scrambling to pull the district back together financially. After first looking to make personnel and services cuts, the board eventually changed tracks, finding a short-term solution in the form of a line of credit from Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Foundation and planning for a levy increase request in November.

From there, a budget committee and staff at the Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Center and Emergency Medical Services went to work on a defensible financial plan for 2002. The result was an 18-page document outlining specific budget needs to maintain current services.

"In the 12 years I've been on the board, this is the most thorough, the most professional document I've seen," Bob Huff, a board member, said. "This is a good piece of work explaining what we need for the future."

Gaining the additional funds will mean a levy increase of 2.030 mills, bringing the total general fund levy to 3.884 up from 1.854 last year, if voters approve the measure.

"This is a big issue for us," Huff said. "It's kind of a watershed issue."

That does not include the bond fund levy which will be adjusted to produce a payment of $118,298 due in 2002. The bonds were issued Sept. 1, 1996 and approved by voters to construct the new Dr. Mary Fisher Clinic and Urgent Care facility located on South Pagosa Boulevard. The schedule of payments extends through 2013, and last year's levy was 0.790.

The current budget shortfall has been blamed on misinformation, typographical errors in the 2001 budget and a long-term increase in services to meet the needs of a fast-growing public without an equal build-up of revenues.

It is the second major budget crisis the district has faced in as many years. In 2000, a $125,000 accounting error was uncovered, resulting in the release of two paramedics. A pair of donations kept the district afloat.

Three held for school burglary

By Tess Noel Baker

A few leads and a little luck led Pagosa Springs police to make a trio of arrests in the case of a recent high school burglary.

The two juveniles and one adult, Carl Espinoza, 18, of Cortez, were arrested between Monday and Wednesday this week, Officer Chuck Allen said. Both juveniles are from Pagosa Springs.

The three are accused of breaking into the Pagosa Springs High School, damaging windows, a wall, an office and the teacher's lounge, even attempting to start a fire in the building by putting cans of paint in a pair of microwaves sometime on the night of Aug. 26.

They are also thought to be behind damage to the Vocational Technology building, as well as some thefts and broken windows on three vehicles which occurred the same night.

A window on the east side of the main high school building was broken to gain entry, Allen said. Windows were also broken at the Vo Tech building. But the mischief didn't end there.

Evidence of attempts to hot-wire at least one vehicle and a Bobcat was found at the scene. A fire, started near the automotive shop in the parking lot, was hot enough to melt pavement, Allen said.

All three suspects are being charged with second-degree burglary, criminal mischief, second degree arson and attempted motor vehicle theft. Espinoza will also be charged with two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, Allen said.

So far, the officer said, a camcorder and several baseball bats stolen the night of the break-in have been recovered. The bats had been thrown in the river.

Bill Esterbrook, high school principal, estimated the total damage to the school at between $2,000 and $3,000.

Light Plant Road project expected to improve area traffic flow

By John M. Motter

Road work in Archuleta County goes on forever, in a seemingly endless cycle.

Just as the Piedra Road-U.S. 160 intersection stoplight work nears completion, a new major construction project is launched. And just as the new project is launched, the county commissioners are appointing an advisory committee to help plan future road work.

Yellow lights have been blinking for days at the Piedra-160 intersection, a warning to motorists to pay attention. The old days of driving through the intersection in an east-west direction without stopping are gone. Colorado Department of Transportation has had the yellow lights blinking to alert motorists to the coming change. Red and green lights took over control of traffic through the intersection starting yesterday.

Almost complete is the widening of Piedra Road from the intersection north to Pepper's Restaurant and relocation of Eagle Drive. Although Piedra Road was a county project and Eagle Drive a town project, the two entities cooperated on bidding and supervising the joint venture.

Except for a little work on the north side of Piedra Road and more wetlands mitigation connected with Eagle Drive, both projects are nearly finished. Both are coming in very close to budget.

Light Plant Road

Reconstruction of Light Plant Road is scheduled to begin within the next couple of weeks, even as the Piedra-160 project comes to a close.

Light Plant Road is also a county-town cooperative project paid for mostly from sales tax revenues. The portion of Light Plant Road stretching from the town limits to U.S. 84 will be entirely rebuilt, resulting in a paved surface. That portion of the road located within town limits, now named Hot Springs Boulevard, has already been rebuilt and surfaced.

The coming work will be accomplished in two phases. Phase 1 begins at the south town limit and continues past the old, abandoned electricity generating plant and around the corner to a bridge across Mill Creek. Phase II continues from Mill Creek to U.S. 84.

This is a historic route into Pagosa Springs from the south that once bore the weight of stagecoaches connecting Pagosa Springs with the narrow gauge railroad in New Mexico.

Low bidder for Phase I from among three contractors is SLV Earthmovers, Inc., with a bid of $445,409. Next were Strohecker Asphalt and Paving, Inc., with a bid of $505,905, and Weeminuche Construction Authority with a bid of $593,970. The engineering estimate for the project was $545,298.

Total project cost for Phase II is $517,685. SLV Earth Movers, Inc. was again the low bidder; the San Luis Valley firm's bid was $512,484. The Strohecker Asphalt and Paving, Inc., bid was $622,371; Weeminuche's bid was $654,478.

Local officials expect that paving Light Plant Road will encourage vehicles now entering town from U.S. 84 by way of U.S. 160 at the east town limits to try the new route. Especially benefiting will be motorists driving to the high school. Vehicles coming from U.S. 84 can use the new route, cross the Apache Street bridge, and reach the school without driving through downtown Pagosa Springs.

Work on the Light Plant Road projects is expected to be completed next summer.

Road Advisory Committee

Meanwhile, the county commissioners are looking farther down the road in connection with future road capital improvement projects and with the maintenance of county roads.

A first maintenance task is identifying county roads, classifying them based on traffic and function, and assigning a level of maintenance determined by the classification. Classifications could include arterial, collector, and other titles descriptive of the road's function and traffic-bearing history.

A citizen's ad hoc advisory committee was named at the Tuesday night meeting of county commissioners. The committee is charged with developing a classification system for county roads.

"I don't want a standing committee that goes on and on," said Commissioner Bill Downey. "I want a committee to accomplish this specific task. When that is done, we can decide on the future of the committee. There may be others who want to get involved at that time."

Named to the committee are Jim Carson, LuAnn Baker, Troy Ross, J.R. Ford, Ike Oldham, Dennis Walker, Debbie Shaw, Bill Ralston, Allen Bunch, Kevin Walters, and Alden Ecker.

Ecker is the county commissioner liaison for road and bridge, Walters is county road superintendent. Among the qualifications of the other board members is the fact that they are all volunteers and each represents a particular geographical area in the county.

Future road capital improvement projects were the subject of a commissioner workshop last week. Among the capital projects being considered are graveling in the Upper Blanco Basin, widening a portion of Lower Blanco Road, and additional work on Pagosa Trails, South Pagosa Blvd., and Meadows Drive.

No decisions have been made on which capital projects to tackle. Decisions will probably be made in conjunction with development of the 2002 budget, a task to be completed before the end of the year.

Ond dead, many hurt in area holiday motorcycle accidents

By Tess Noel Baker

A series of motorcycle accidents over the Labor Day weekend left one man dead and several people injured.

Joe D. King, 49, of Los Alamos, N.M., died of massive chest injuries after being thrown from his motorcycle Aug. 31. According to Colorado State Patrol reports, King was driving west on U.S. 160 near milemarker 118 when he lost control of his 1998 Harley Davidson.

The motorcycle skidded along the shoulder before dropping over a steep embankment, colliding with a boulder and overturning. According to reports, it came to rest on top of a fence about 42 feet from the roadway. King was not wearing a helmet.

In a string of five other motorcycle accidents investigated by the Colorado State Patrol in Archuleta County over the weekend, five

The first was reported Aug. 30 at about 3 p.m. Diana J. Rangel, 47, of Littleton was driving 1999 Harley Davidson Sportster west coming down Wolf Creek Pass on U.S. 160 when the motorcycle hit a small bump in the road, causing her to lose control. According to state patrol reports, the motorcycle left the road and rolled onto its side, ejecting Rangel as it slid to a stop on the shoulder.

The next day, a motorcycle versus deer accident left John W. Wilson, of Arkansas City, Kan., injured. According to reports, Wilson, 61, was driving a 1998 Honda Shadow east on Colo. 151 when the cycle collided with a deer in the roadway. The driver was thrown into the westbound lane, and the motorcycle came to rest on the eastbound shoulder.

On Sept. 2, troopers investigated a pair of injury-accidents on Archuleta County roadways that occurred just over two hours apart.

Robert L. Berardinelli, 52, of Santa Fe, was driving east on U.S. 160 close to the site of Friday's fatal crash, when the kickstand on his 1991 Harley Davidson dropped onto the roadway causing the bike to lurch out of control. According to state patrol reports, the motorcycle went over the south side of the highway, traveled along a steep embankment and overturned. Berardinelli fell off the motorcycle as it tumbled down the embankment.

The second accident occurred on United States Forest Service Road 667. Brinton D. Castolenia, 17, of Pagosa Springs was northbound on the road and passed another vehicle. According to reports, he continued on the left side of the roadway into a blind curve, colliding head-on with a 1999 Ford Expedition.

Castolenia, who was wearing a helmet, was thrown from the 1976 Honda and received arm injuries, Trooper Randy Talbot said. A passenger in the expedition, Sarab Shakti Khalsa, of Espanola, also received minor injuries. Castolenia was cited for passing when his view was obstructed.

The final accident occurred Sept. 3 at the intersection of U.S. 160 and Vista Boulevard. Russell L. Taylor, 37, of Pagosa Springs, was driving a 1981 Suzuki, east on U.S. 160 when the vehicle in front of him slowed to make a left turn onto Vista Boulevard. Taylor's motorcycle rear-ended the vehicle in front of him driven by Larry B. Bradshaw, of Pagosa Springs. According to state patrol reports, the motorcycle overturned and skidded into the middle of the intersection, throwing Taylor from the bike.

Trooper Randy Talbot said alcohol was involved in the fatal accident and the accident on Labor Day at the intersection of Vista Boulevard and U.S. 160.

Air search spots two marijuana groves

By Tess Noel Baker

Members of the Archuleta County Sheriff's Department netted a pair of illegal marijuana groves in an annual fly-by over the county.

Undersheriff Otis May said about three weeks ago the department used an Army National Guard helicopter to search the county for the illegal groves.

"We found two groves with over 50 plants total," May said. One planting was found along the San Juan River; the other was located in Aspen Springs.

"Both were very well hidden," May said. "The plants were spread out and covered a wide area, making it much more difficult to find." Total value of the plants was around $50,000.

Charges are planned against at least one person, May said. He declined to release the name until after charges were filed, sometime in the next couple of days.


September 6, 2001

One chance remains

Local politics is a fascinating and frustrating study. Politics here, and surely at many other places, is at one and the same time a comforting and confounding aspect of our political system.

It is comforting because local politics - up to the level of county government - is, at least in theory, an arena in which individual voices and reasonable collective effort can have a real effect on our state of affairs. Anyone can get involved in local politics. Take a look around: it's obvious.

It is a shame the system often fails to work this way.

Sometimes it fails because residents who fancy themselves clever political operatives make it difficult for authentic activity to occur.

In the recent past, reason took a back seat to more careless and self-absorbed methods. We witnessed crudely Machiavellian attempts to engineer the caucus process, and equally insincere manipulation of the roster of candidates on primary election ballots - a manipulation designed to prevent certain candidates from garnering sufficient votes, not to promote the free exchange of ideas and advance the most qualified individuals to public office.

But, most often when there is failure, it occurs at a more basic level.

Our local situation is weakened by the unwillingness of citizens to participate in the process, to enter public service when remuneration is absent.

Provide a handsome salary and candidates come rushing from the woods. When there are nothing but transient accolades or the feeling of a civic duty fulfilled as rewards, few show up for service.

Such is the case with the now suspended race for seats on our school board. As of last Friday's deadline, only the three incumbent board members whose terms expire had followed through with petitions. They will now move back to the seats they occupied, unchallenged, and business will go on as usual.

Given the importance of our schools, where is the competition?

It is simplistic to assume the absence of candidates is an endorsement of the school board. No board that makes important decisions is without critics.

This is not to say the incumbents would not have been re-elected, nor is it to say they shouldn't be put back in office. In fact, they must be congratulated for stepping up to the plate. The problem is that most local residents do not respond to the need, on the school board and elsewhere, for a constant turnover of personnel, for a regular reshuffling of ideas and standards. Without it, in any local government, stagnation and complacency can become the rule of the day, comfort and ease the foundation of activity.

One chance remains to make local government work this year - one other way is left to participate in the process.

On Nov. 6, mail ballots are due back to the county clerk's office. At least three local governmental entities will ask for money in tax-related issues; two of these issues will be colored by controversy and questions. There will be other items up for a vote as well, including a term-limitation measure concerning the school board.

We need a decent voter turnout on Nov. 6. The issues are too important to leave the decisions to a small percentage of eligible voters.

Questions on the upcoming ballot will be covered thoroughly, and discussed; ignorance of the items on the ballot will be no excuse. Mail ballots should be completed and returned in timely fashion.

In order to vote, a resident of legal age must be sure he or she is registered. If you moved to Archuleta County recently, you must register at the county clerk's office by the end of the business day, Oct. 9.

If you moved within the county, have a new address and changed precincts, you have until Oct. 9 to record that information with the clerk.

Keep the promise of local government alive. Register, and vote in November.

Karl Isberg

Dear Folks

By David C. Mitchell

'One of thes days' finally arrived

Dear Folks,

For years, the "picnic grounds" at the At Last Ranch has been the site for a variety of conservation or preservation rallies, seminars or membership meetings.

Saturday morning's gathering will differ from those of the past in that Betty Feazel will not be in attendance. However, her absence will intensify her presence in the hearts and minds of her friends and others who have known and admired her through the years.

Folks who gather at the At Last Ranch picnic grounds at 11 Saturday morning to share in the memorial services for Mrs. Feazel are sure to find themselves among a "Who's Who" gallery of representatives from a variety of national and worldwide conservation organizations.

In the tourism industry, Pagosa is known for its Great Hot Springs, San Juan Mountains and powder skiing at Wolf Creek.

Among national wildlife and nature conservation movements, Pagosa is known for being the home of Betty Feazel.

For some editors of weekly newspapers in this region, Betty Feazel is known for volunteering her authoritative services as the last line of defense for preserving the proper use of the English language. Pity the inept editor who split infinitives, misused homonyms or erred with the plural endings of Latin-root words such as alumnus, stadium, or as in my case the misuse of criteria - the one she corrected me on a few months ago.

I was warned of Betty's penchant for preserving the English language during my first month at the SUN. The then-editor of the Jicarilla Chieftain, a biweekly newspaper for the Jicarilla Apache Tribe in Dulce, one evening asked me if I had received any mail from Betty Feazel. She then told how after one of the Chieftain's earliest editions had been circulated, Mrs. Feazel had mailed her a copy that she had corrected in red ink. My friend said that along with the pages that now resembled "a road map," Betty had included a few choice comments about how the articles had, or had not been edited.

After I became more involved with reporting on local events and public meetings along with writing a weekly column, I soon started receiving hastily written missives from Mrs. Feazel. Somewhat like missiles, her accurate corrections were short and on target.

Apparently I was one of the few to phone her in order to thank her for taking the time to correct my mistakes. I honestly knew I needed all the help I could get.

One of my favorite notes from Betty stated: "Unless you're writing about the two-headed calf, you don't use the plural form of a verb with a singular noun."

However, Mrs. Feazel was as gracious as she was grating.

She once sent a complimentary note regarding a page 1 photo of a winter landscape. I had taken the shot from alongside the log fence that borders the East Fork Road. She claimed it was the best photo she had seen of "the ranch."

When she learned I had waded through hip-deep fresh snow in order to cross a ditch and reach the fence line, she paid me one of her patented compliments - "you've got grit."

She later borrowed the photo's negative in order to have the scene printed on a note card. Thereafter she would use one of the cards when writing to me about my latest affront to the English language.

In time, it became apparent that like her concerns about conservation, Mrs. Feazel was not so much against my efforts, it was more that she was strongly for the correct or best usage of the English language. She was its staunch protector.

She will be missed. She will not be replaced.

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



By Shari Pierce

100 years ago

Taken from The Weekly Times of September 5, 1901

It is a hard matter for the ranch men to find time to put up their hay as it is raining so much of the time. Much hay is being spoilt by the frequent showers. If this weather keeps up much longer good hay will be nearly as scarce as it was last winter.

As soon as Banker F. Collins struck Pagosa Springs he began to study the formation and was sure he could get hot water on the west and north side of the river, he was not contented until he got a drill to work. Some little time was required. He drilled only twenty feet when he began finding evidence of mineral water and gas in the shale formation. The prospect looks good for either hot water, gas or oil, either of which would benefit the town of Pagosa Springs.

75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of September 10, 1926

One of the most disappointing announcements this county has had in several months was made Tuesday when it was given out that the Wirt Franklin Sullenberger Well No. 1, which has been drilling on the Sunetha structure, five miles southwest of Pagosa Springs, since June, would abandon the hole owing to the fact that granite had been encountered and further drilling would be useless.

Adequate wiring of the home itself is the first essential for obtaining full satisfaction from electrical appliances, according to the New Light & Power Company. The modern home should contain electrical conveniences and, to be practicable, sufficient outlets must be provided both for lighting purposes and for connecting appliances.

50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of September 7, 1951

Ray Acuff and his entire cast will be in Pagosa Springs Tuesday, September 11 to give the show that has made them famous in Nashville, Tenn. After the show, the band will furnish dancing music. Both square and round dancing will be featured and Acuff and his musicians promise to play the kind of dance music that appeals to all. Their appearance here is being sponsored by the rodeo committee and all profits will be used for improvements at the Red Ryder Round-Up grounds.

Artist Fred Harman, local resident and creator of the famous comic strip, 'Red Ryder,' was given an Indian name and made an honorary chief of the Navajos recently in a unique ceremony. Mr. Harman's Indian name is Asah-Le-Chee, and this means Red Eagle.

25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of September 2, 1976

The Colorado State Department of Highways has announced that a new project has been added to the 1976-77 fiscal year budget. The department describes it as a major project, providing complete new construction where- in large amounts of new right of way, and possible relocations of businesses or people are required. It provides for preliminary engineering for eventual construction of four and three lane facilities on a 19.5 mile stretch of U.S. 160, beginning at the top of Wolf Creek Pass and proceeding easterly to South Fork.

Afternoon and evening rains continue in this area, although most are brief. Total precipitation for the month of August is 2.10 inches and this is just a little above average. The rains are expected to continue through Labor Day.

Inside The Sun

September 6, 2001

Trustees approve zoning on newest annexations

By Tess Noel Baker

The Pagosa Springs Board of Trustees approved zoning designations for its three newest properties, annexed along U.S. 160 and U.S. 84 at its regular board meeting Tuesday.

Sites include the Goodman property, located on U.S. 84 just southwest of the intersection with U.S. 160; the Sawmill property on the southeast corner of the same intersection; and the Harman property on the south side of the intersection of U.S. 160 and Piedra Road. All were annexed into the town by request of the property owners.

Of the three properties, two - the Harman and Sawmill - were designated D4, a corridor business zone attached to the town's most detailed review process resulting in better planned and more attractive development, Christ Bentley, town planner, said. The D4 designation allows town staff the leverage to review nearly every aspect of design plans for the site, including, among other things pedestrian flow, landscaping, traffic circulation, lighting and site planning.

Attaching the Harman property to the D4 designation required a two-step process. First, a rezoning of the front portion of the property, annexed and zoned D3 in the early-1990s, and then approval of the new designation of D4 for the balance of the property.

The addition of the Harman property to the more restrictive zone gives the town a belt of D4 control that extends from Alpha Drive to Majestic Drive on the south side of U.S. 160, Bentley said.

On the Sawmill property, to be developed under the name Mountain Crossing, board members approved three preliminary zoning designations - D4, a corridor business district fronting U.S. 160; B2 mixed-use residential with access off U.S. 84 south of the D4 zone; and C, a mixed-use development for the remainder of the property. The Sawmill annexation also includes a small strip of land across U.S. 160, which is included in the D4 designation.

The Sawmill site, over 100 acres of land, will eventually be developed under even more narrowly-defined guidelines, using both current zoning and a special zoning overlay to define the street and block network, limit uses and direct development to match a specific design concept for the property, Bentley said.

The overlay, currently being written by architect Al Moore under direction of the developer, is expected to be on the trustees' agenda in the next couple months. The overlay will become a permanent part of the zoning requirements on the property without requiring the town to create a whole new zone, Bentley said.

The Goodman property was assigned a D3 designation, a flexible zone allowing commercial, service and industrial uses. In discussions with the land owner, Bentley said, the D3 designation seemed to fit with both current and historical uses on the site and land uses present on adjacent areas.

The trustees approved the zoning designations unanimously with the condition of some final modifications by the town attorney, Bob Cole.

In a related topic, Town Administrator Jay Harrington said several other businesses west of the town's current boundaries had approached him concerning possible annexation and asked the board for direction.

Although the consensus from the board was to hold off on any more western annexations for the time being and focus on finishing up the details of the newest annexations, it was clear that the hiatus would be only temporary.

"I think if we have serious interest from the landowners we should look at it, but I trust your recommendation," Rick Kiister, a board member, said.

Board member Stan Holt said he would rather see the town work toward filling in the remaining gaps between former annexations before extending west of the current boundaries.

Mayor Ross Aragon said whether the annexations were made now or later, the town would continue to expand.

"In my mind, it's inevitable."

No foes file; no school board election

By Richard Walter

Complete confidence or abject apathy?

Those were the choices given Randall Davis to explain the fact no challengers filed for positions on the Board of Education for Archuleta School District 50 Joint.

Davis, board president, said, "I'd like to think it was the former."

When the deadline for filing arrived at 4 p.m. Friday, only the three incumbents whose terms expire this year - Carol Feazel, Clifford Lucero and Jon Forrest - had filed their nominating positions in the offices of County Clerk June Madrid.

That means the school district does not have to hold a board election this year, although one school issue, the question of whether or not term limits should be imposed, will remain on ballots to be distributed by Madrid.

Davis said he was pleased, but a little surprised that there were no opposition candidates.

"I think we have a very diverse board now," he said, "and each member has his or her own field of expertise. That way we are able to feed off each other for information specific to particular circumstances."

On the other hand, he said, "I think we need to encourage people to seek positions of responsibility in the community and the school board is certainly one such opportunity."

The November election will be conducted by mail, with ballots going out to all registered voters in the county.

High School accountability panel to meet

The Pagosa Springs High School Parent Accountability Committee will meet at 5:30 p.m. Monday in the administrative conference room.

Along with a review of progress made toward achieving state-mandated goals, agenda items Monday will include selection of officers (president and vice president); selection of one member to serve on the District Accountability Committee; review of the 2001 CSAP scores and a report on the plan formulated to meet state-mandated benchmarks for student achievement as indicated by the Colorado School Assessment Program; initial discussions on the 2001-2002 Career Day; and discussion of possible goals for the current school year.

The Colorado Department of Education requires each school building to have an accountability committee. Such committees are charged with reviewing state-mandated goals concerning improved attendance, reduced dropout rates, increased graduation rate, and enhanced student achievement.

By state law, the committee must be made of up parents, students, staff members and non-parent taxpayers.

The committee can make advisory recommendations to the building staff and administrators or develop supplemental goals and programs that directly support the goals mandated by the Colorado Department of Education.

Anyone interested in attending a meeting or becoming an active member should contact Bill Esterbrook at 264-2231, ext. 229.

Board approves first step in demolition

By Tess Noel Baker

Demolition of the old Town Hall building on the corner of Lewis and San Juan streets will be predicated by a little asbestos removal.

According to a report submitted by Anti-Asbestos, of Cortez, about 2,000 square feet of textured sheetrock contains some asbestos. The town board of trustees approved a request from staff to go ahead and hire sub-contractors to remove the sheetrock at a cost of between $4,000 and $10,000.

Following the removal, the town will be free to demolish the remainder of the structure which the board originally planned to sell to help pay for the new building. The board reconsidered after negotiations fell through with the lone bidder on the old building.

Current plans call for development on the site to include some two-hour parking, a possible bell-tower, public restroom and meeting marquee.

After demolition, still set for sometime this fall if possible, redevelopment is scheduled to begin next year according to the town's preliminary capital improvement plan.

In other business, the board approved:

a conditional use permit allowing Ken Brookshier to construct a storage unit on property at 15th Place in the Pinecrest Subdivision with the condition that he work with town staff to choose an earthtone color for the structure

resolution 01-26 updating mobile home regulations and enforcement according to state law. Town Building Administrator Mark Garcia was appointed as the town's official inspector

a contract accepting Jill Seyfarth's proposal for a historic survey of the town. Around 100 buildings will be surveyed in the year-long project that will be completely paid for by a grant

transfer of ownership on conditional water rights from the West Fork of the San Juan River. The rights were left out of an earlier inclusion agreement with the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District.

the sale of the old light poles removed from downtown. First, the poles will be offered to those who donated to the original downtown project in 1990 when the poles were erected. Any remaining will be offered to residents at a cost of $50 each. This vote will have to be ratified at the next regular meeting because it was inadvertently left off the official agenda.

resolution 01-27 outlining wetland construction required as part of mitigation on the Light Plant Road project. The wetland mitigation was first outlined in the contract specifications for the project, but the Colorado Department of Transportation requested the separate resolution, Harrington said. This vote will have to be ratified at the next regular meeting because it was inadvertently left off the official agenda.

County stumbles over sidewalk requirements

By John M. Motter

County land use requirements connected with sidewalks and trails have been a stumbling block over the past few weeks.

Regulations governing sidewalks and trails are contained in Section 8 of county land use regulations. Section 8 deals with conditional uses.

Land uses with unusual characteristics are considered under the special use process which allows the county to consider each proposal on its specific merits, and to exercise a certain amount of judgment in order to reach a conclusion.

Formerly, county oil and gas regulations were contained in Section 8. Because of the anticipated expansion of oil and gas activity in Archuleta County, the county has decided to rewrite Section 8, omitting oil and gas regulations which will be included in their own, newly-created section of county land use regulations. A result of this decision is that Section 8 minus oil and gas regulations must be rewritten.

At least two draft versions of rewritten Section 8 have been considered by county commissioners during at least two workshops attended by county planning staff and the Upper San Juan Regional Planning Commission. The end of revising Section 8 does not appear to be in sight.

Underlying the problem is language defining sidewalk requirements at certain new development sites in Archuleta County. Current regulations require sidewalks at new developments if there appears to be a need to connect with sidewalks on adjacent property.

If there does not appear to be an immediate sidewalk need, planning staff can waive the requirement. In lieu of the sidewalk, the developer must contribute money to an escrow fund. The escrow fund is used to finance trails within five miles of the development. If it does not appear that a trail system will be located within five miles of the new project within five years, the builder can obtain a refund.

All kinds of problems attend this process, particularly perceptions of private versus public property rights.

A question asked is, "Why should a property owner in one remote part of the county contribute money for a trail system in a far-removed part of the county?"

Another question is, "Why should new development contribute money for trail systems that past developments have not helped pay for?"

Yet another question is, "Should the owner of, for example, one mile of highway frontage, have to construct sidewalk or contribute to the escrow fund for the entire mile when only a short section of that frontage is being developed?"

The five-mile requirement drew particular criticism from commissioners Gene Crabtree and Alden Ecker. They suggested the requirement be reduced to one mile. Commissioner Downey defended the five-mile requirement, or even a countywide escrow fund not limited to five miles or any restriction. Downey argues that trail systems will be increasingly important to future Archuleta County residents.

Downey, Larry Lynch of the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association environmental control department, and others argued the need for a pedestrian-biking trail connecting the Fairfield Pagosa collection of subdivisions with Pagosa Springs.

Ecker argued against requiring developers in the commercial core area of Fairfield Pagosa to contribute money to trails located more than one mile from the core area.

"I own property on Bastille Drive in the core area that I would like to develop," Ecker said. "Because of county regulations I can't afford to develop it. The county is stopping me from developing. I'm waiting to annex into town. When we're in town, I can develop it a lot cheaper."

Planning department staff returned to the drawing board after last week's workshop, charged with the responsibility of finding language that will meet commissioner approval.

Planning Commission

The Upper San Juan Regional Planning Commission will hold its regular meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 12, in the Archuleta County Commissioners' meeting room in the county courthouse. Public comments are welcomed and encouraged.

The agenda includes:

Call to order/roll call

Reserve at Pagosa Peak - Preliminary Plan: This is a review of the Preliminary Plan for the Reserve at Pagosa Peak. The proposed subdivision would be located on a 239-acre parcel which would be subdivided into 140 single-family parcels of varying sizes; 135 of the lots would range from 1/3 to 1/2 acre, the other five would be 4-to-18-acre lots.

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

One Hidden Meadow - Minor Impact Subdivision - Sketch Plan

This is a Sketch Plan review of a proposed two-lot subdivision that involves dividing a 24.14 acre lot and a 32.50-acre lot from a 161-acre parcel, which would leave an approximate 105-acre parcel on the southern border of the subdivision reserved for three 35-acre lots not considered by the County's land use regulations.,

The property is located at 800 Dolese Avenue. The property is more generally located south from the intersection of Hersch Avenue and Dolese Avenue. The parcel is legally described as E 1/2 GLO 2, GLO 1 Section 6; W 1/2 GLO 12, W 1/2 GLO 17, GLO 16, GLO 15, E 1/2 GLO 14 Section 5, T34N, R2W, N.M.P.M. Archuleta County, Co.

Crowley Ranch IV Subdivision - Final Plat

This request is for a Final Plat review of Crowley Ranch Reserve Phase IV Subdivision with 34 lots. This subdivision has been developed in four phases, with Phase II being a 35+-acre development.

This parcel is generally located east of Crowley Ranch Reserve Phase I and north of Crowley Ranch Reserve Phase III. Access will be from Crowley Drive and CR 382, each having access from Highway 84. The property is legally described as Section 21, Township 32 North, Range 1 East, N.M.P.M., Archuleta County, Co. (Located within the Tierra Amarilla Land Grant).

McKeown - Minor Impact Subdivision - Sketch Plan

This application is for the correction of an improperly subdivided parcel of land which is 8.16 acres in size. This process would not change the parcel's boundaries. An approval would allow the applicant to obtain a building permit. Access would be needed onto Hwy. 160.

The property is located at 4691 East Highway 160, and is legally described as NW 1/4 of Section 33, Township 36 North, Range 2 West, N.M.P.M., Archuleta, County, Co.

Review of the Aug. 22, 2001 Planning Commission Minutes

Other business that may come before the commission - Draft 5 of the Oil and Gas Regulations


County commissioners protest census results

By John M. Motter

Archuleta County commissioners are protesting Year 2000 census results.

"We need to write a letter putting the census bureau on notice that we may protest their census count as low," said Gene Crabtree, chairman of the Board of County Commissioners.

Fellow commissioners Alden Ecker and Bill Downey voted to enact Crabtree's suggestion.

At this time the protest is merely a notice to the census bureau that the county may protest, not an actual protest, according to Crabtree.

The commissioners should delay filing an actual protest until after they learn what steps the state legislature may take concerning growth during the special session now in progress, Crabtree said.

"They may adopt some legislation that is negative for counties over 10,000 in population," Crabtree said. "It may be to our advantage to remain below 10,000 people. I think we should wait and see what the legislature does before we file a formal protest. We might not want to protest."

Pagosa Springs has already filed a letter of protest.

Bureau of Census figures for the 2000 census show Archuleta County with a population of 9,898 people. The actual population could be as much as 13,240, alternative methods for estimating population suggest. Those alternatives include use of voter registration figures, Pagosa Lakes Property Owner Association data, school-age population figures, and data from the assessor's office.

More people could result in more money for the county from state and federal sources using county population as a basis for funding county programs.

In other business Tuesday the commissioners:

listened to a presentation by Dick Ray, a local guide and outfitter, reporting the creation of an organization dedicated to helping wildlife by preserving migration routes and critical winter habitat. The organization is still in its formative stage, but contemplates using Archuleta County as a pilot area, Ray said.

"Being realistic, I know we can't save all of the migration routes or winter range," Ray said. "I do think we all will be better off if we could save even one meaningful migration route."

Ray said he will update the commissioners as development of the organization continues.

"I would like to see the commissioners support this," he said.

Migration routes and winter range could be purchased in the form of conservation easements, Ray suggested, thereby reimbursing landowners for any property rights surrendered

in executive session, received from County Attorney Mary Weiss an update on the lawsuit brought against Hard Times Concrete and the county by citizens concerned with the process by which the county provided a permit allowing the batch plant to operate.

Hard Times Concrete has filed a summary judgment, according to Weiss, pointing out that the county complied with all of the conditions originally established for approval. Now, the county and Hard Times are waiting for a response, Weiss said. The plaintiffs could move to dismiss the suit, a judge could dismiss the suit, or the suit could continue on to trial, Weiss said. A plaintiff contention that the county violated its own regulations has not been addressed, according to Weiss

agreed to consider a new predator control contract with Hody Ewing of Wildlife Services, Inc. The existing agreement includes Archuleta County, La Plata County, Montezuma County, and Southern Ute tribal lands. Ewing proposes eliminating Montezuma County from the contract. Such a move will allow more time to service the needs of the remaining counties and properties, Ewing said. The change could boost Archuleta County's cost from $4,000 to $10,250

moved to pay grant writer Pauline Benetti $25 an hour to prepare a Great Outdoors Colorado grant application for the county. The county is seeking funds to create plans for developing park facilities on county property near Cloman Industrial Park. The time allowed for Benetti to complete her project is from Aug. 28 through Sept. 17

postponed action on a request for a hotel/restaurant liquor license for Paul's Place because approval from the county building department has not been obtained

appointed Danita Lucero to the county fair board

agreed to place on next week's agenda consideration of joining La Plata County and other counties in a lawsuit against the Colorado Oil and Gas Commission for usurping county land use regulating authority.

Pagosa Country evolved from ocean of molten lava

By Tess Noel Baker

On a sunny Friday, a group of three people gathered around a picnic table in Town Park.

They came to hear a story - a tale of the ages that focuses around setting. It begins in an ocean of lava, travels through a chain of tropical volcanic islands, a temperate beach, down to the bottom of a muddy ocean, through the jungle, into a land of bubbling hot springs and geysers, a searing salt desert, coastline and finally, a mountain valley.

Along the way, four or five cataclysmic events provide violent, sudden action that shifts the plot dramatically, keeping the audience trapped in the magic of the story - the geologic literature of Pagosa Springs.

Pagosa Ranger District Geologist Glenn Raby led this storytelling which included a walking, driving and sitting tour of geologic features, part of a summer series of free presentations on local history, culture, biology, horticulture and ecology sponsored by the Interpretive Alliance.

He began with a series of picture-pages depicting the earth's internal structure and the natural forces that combined to create Pagosa Springs as it's seen today.

Geologic forces

"Pagosa started life somewhere out in the ocean, then along comes North America and smashes it up," Raby said. "The continent blunders along, crashing into other things, and Colorado becomes glued to North American sometime between 1 and 2 billion years ago."

He was describing the theory of plate tectonics based on the idea that the earth's crust, the very thin, top layer of fractured pieces, is actually floating on a slow-moving ocean of semi-solid material that makes up the layer below - the mantle. Under this theory, the broken pieces of plates are continuously shoving against each other, breaking away and moving around, very, very slowly.

"We're still rising and we're still going west," Raby said. The rate of movement is about 1 inch a year.

Book of rocks

Then came a longer lesson on the basic 310 million-year history of the area as it settled closer to its current location. The research material for this epic tale is a rock and fossil record studied and interpreted by geologists, and it has several chapters missing - some as long as 70 million years, Raby said. In these places, the record is lost, either because it was washed or blown away, or, perhaps, because it never existed.

The oldest rock uncovered in the area is located along the Piedra River Canyon, Raby said. These 300 million-year-old sandstones, conglomerates (a mixture of different kinds of rock cemented together) and shales, were once sediments, settling to the bottom of an ancient sea floor. Back then, amphibians would have been the dominant land animal.

But the area was on the rise. Uplift and erosion buried the sea floor and Pagosa became a region of rivers and swamps. Conifers appeared for the first time around 260 million years ago, and the first mammals, probably small rodents, followed, Raby said.

Some scientists believe that the Permian Extinction Event, probably massive volcanic eruptions, supercontinent creation or asteroid impacts, came next, around 251 million years ago, wiping out 97 percent of life.

Pagosa Springs' history has several up and down turns from there, transforming from an arid area of desert to a region of rivers and floodplains, back to a shallow sea floor and up to its current mountain valley state. Along the way, species came and went, advanced and declined, lived and died facing periods of intense volcanic eruption, asteroid impacts and dramatic shifts in climate.

The whole discussion takes about two hours, a time so minute in the scope of the earth's history, it doesn't even count.

"Imagine a movie you had to sit through for 500 years - where every frame equals one year of the earth's history," he said.

Rock in hand

With some basics in hand, it was on to the cars and a short drive to a rock outcropping exposed by highway demolition. Here, Raby gave a shorter lesson on unraveling the mysteries contained within the rock.

"It's screaming about how it got here," he said.

From the south side of the highway, it's easy to see the line separating two different types of rock. On top is Lewis Shale, an 80 million year old formation made up of sediment deposited by an ancient inland sea. Pushing up underneath the shale is an intrusion - a younger body of rock that shoves its way into an older deposit - of dense gray rock with large single crystals and orange stains scattered throughout.

The single crystals are evidence that the magma had started to cool before an explosion of gas forced it upward, Raby said. The orange stain is rust, evidence of iron crystals exposed to oxygen.

Where the gray rock meets the shale, a contact zone is in evidence. This is the spot where the hot lava actually baked the Lewis shale, transforming it into hornfels, a natural ceramic, Raby said. He also explained the white veins snaking through the intrusion - calcite and milky quartz - rock deposited in the cracks of the igneous intrusion after it cooled.

For a few minutes, members of the tour put rock hammer to work, inspecting pieces of the rock for complete crystals and examining surfaces and textures before heading to the overlook below Wolf Creek pass.

From this vantage point, fascinated tourists and probably some amateur geologists look down on evidence of the last 30 million years of geologic activity around Pagosa Springs - mountain-building.

Spreading out below is a single chapter in the history of the world.

Pages, paragraphs in that chapter and what might come next are being debated at all levels, and at times, can be presented by two sides, each with their own seemingly untouchable evidence, Raby said.

"There's no right answer except that the earth will continue to do what it wants to."

Tours available

Anyone wanting to explore the geology of Pagosa Springs for themselves can pick up directions for a pair of self-guided driving tours written by Raby at the Pagosa Springs Ranger District offices on U.S. 160 and Second Street. One of the tours is a basic introduction to Pagosa area geology which begins at the Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse on Vista Boulevard and journeys east, ending at the overlook below Wolf Creek pass, a trip of 24 miles.

The second self-guided tour covers the East Fork Valley and the San Juan Glacier. This trip covers 18.1 miles beginning at the Pagosa Springs Chamber of Commerce and ending at the Silver Falls Guard Station along East Fork Road. A high clearance vehicle is required for some spots.

Traffic fells bear tagged in Blanco, moved to Mosca

By Richard Walter

A wandering bear, trapped 10 days earlier in the Blanco area and transplanted into the Mosca Wilderness above the Piedra Valley, was put down by a wildlife officer Friday after it had apparently been hit by a vehicle on U.S. 160 near Trails Drive.

DOW officer Mike Reid said the animal was one which had been trapped after invading homes in the Blanco area, tagged and given a second chance by being moved as far away as possible.

"I believe he was probably on the way back (to the Blanco) when he was hit," Reid said.

Witnesses said the bear was first spotted lying along the highway and struggled to get about 100 yards out into a field northwest of the intersection.

Reid said the bear was bleeding profusely from the head and could not stand. "The humane thing was to put him down and stop the pain he was suffering," he said.

Asked if there is a bear population boom this year, Reid said there is not.

"Bear population doesn't boom," he said. "They have a life span of over 20 years and don't usually breed until after they're five years old. Forty percent of the cubs born every year survive less than two years. And, while twins are common, there just aren't a substantial number more bears every year."

"What we do have," he said, "is more people moving into the area and more people who don't know what it takes to live in bear country."

"During this hyperphagia stage, the bears need 20,000 calories a day - from any source at all. They need to store energy to survive the hibernation season," he said.

In order to make people more aware, the department has a group of volunteers circulating in areas where bear sightings have increased, trying to spread the word about the animals, how they survive, and how to survive with them.

"Too many people assume the bears are out, but 'they won't come here,'" Reid said.

"We'll probably have about two more weeks of problems," he added. "It generally begins to slow in mid-September and the hibernation begins in early to mid-October.

Reid said this bear was the fifth he knows of which has been hit on the highways in the county this year. "Last year, there were 10."

And, he said, "the number of sightings was down last year, but we had a record harvest (over 1,000 in the state). The elimination of the spring season by voter initiative was also a contributing factor."

"People," he said, "must be aware of the bear habitat, the bear habits, and be sure they have emergency numbers handy should they have a bear problem."

New director starting the school year at ACHS

By Tess Noel Baker

When the 30-some students attending the Archuleta County High School entered the doors this year, they were greeted by a familiar curriculum, but a few staffing changes.

Bob Hemenger, who has taught at the school for two years, takes on the director's role. He steps into a position vacated this summer when Mark DeVoti resigned to take the job as intermediate school principal.

"I'm really excited," he said. "It's a great opportunity, a great program, and I'm working with a great staff. We get good support from the community and the school district."

The Archuleta County High School, started as a dropout recovery program in 1997, focuses on 14- to 19-year-old students struggling with grades, attendance or discipline in the public school system. The high school is opened to a limited number of students based on applications and the approval of the Pagosa Springs High School administration, a requirement for admission.

It is partially funded on a per-student basis through a contract with the Archuleta County 50 Joint School District, and supplemented by grants and donations. Instructors are paid through the Archuleta County Education Center, and classes are held in that building.

Hemenger, who earned a bachelors of science degree and his secondary education certificate at Central Michigan University, has seven years' experience running a wilderness survival school. He will teach in the mornings and cover the administrative bases in the afternoons.

His staff includes full-time teacher Sally High who handles social studies, language arts and cooperative learning classes, and new recruit Alicia O'Brien, a part-time science and physical education instructor.

High, a second-year teacher at the Archuleta County High School, has 12 years of teaching experience. She has degrees in sociology and anthropology from the University of Memphis and a teaching certificate from Fort Lewis College.

O'Brien recently moved into the area from Denver where she worked as a teacher at Arapahoe Community College in Littleton.

"I've always wanted to live in the Four Corners area," she said. O'Brien holds a bachelors degree in geological sciences from New Mexico State University in Las Cruces and is certified in secondary math and science.

Hemenger said he is excited about the coming year but has no plans for big changes.

"I'm sure we'll make a few adjustments along the way, but I don't think we're going to change much," he said.

The school focuses on a curriculum that helps build relationships, character and trust as well as academics. Classes at the Archuleta County High School began Tuesday and will follow the Pagosa Springs public school calendar.


September 6, 2001

Citizens forum

Dear Editor,

I hope you and your local readers have marked the calendar for the Archuleta Citizens Forum, this coming Monday, Sept. 10, 7 p.m., at the Archuleta County Cooperative Extension building, at the fairgrounds, located on U.S. 84.

Thanks to some great community participation, we'll have lots of valuable information to share with our citizens at the free forum next week. Many local citizen and organization efforts are regularly initiated in the area and the forum gives us an opportunity to learn about some of these great projects that can benefit our community.

I am so pleased to announce that the Recycling Committee, Southwest Land Alliance, League of Women Voters, Region 9 Economic Development Council, Office of Community Services and the U.S. Forest Service, Operation Healthy Communities, Upper San Juan Hospital District, Colorado Housing, Inc., Habitat for Humanity, Trails Council, People of Archuleta County Together, San Juan Citizens Alliance, and others will all host tables at the September forum.

We can learn about the community plan and its implementation process, a new study group on Home Rule that is forming, a citizens website that's being developed, a new leadership program that's under development, how we might begin identifying future community leaders, a community wildfire plan study that could protect your neighborhood, Archuleta County "indicators" that measure our community's health, a new conservation fund to protect open space in memorial to of one of our greatest local legends - rancher/conservationist, Betty Feazel, new recycling efforts, affordable housing opportunities, how to register to vote, tax ballot issues, and regional and local economic development strategies that will shape our future.

The Archuleta Citizens Forum's mission is to promote citizenship and community in Archuleta County, Colo. To do this, the Archuleta Citizens Forum conducts local public forums, keeps citizens connected to information through e-mail and telephone networks, provides limited facilitation support for selected community project meetings, and will soon host an on-line Internet forum at The forum is in its infancy, but we are already seeing wonderful things happening since its birth this summer.

The Archuleta Citizens Forum encourages good citizenship, so we can all ultimately enjoy living in a healthy community of our own making. When all citizens become informed about the various aspects of their community and actively participate in the decisions being made, their future quality of life is more apt to reflect the overall community's desired vision.

For more information, call me at 731-3130. And don't forget to join us next week and see why we're "Better Together in Archuleta!"

See you there,

Karen Aspen

Membership picnic

Dear Editor,

You and all friends of the Upper San Juan River Basin are welcome to attend the annual membership picnic of the Southwest Land Alliance, which will take place at 5 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 14. Come and join in an enjoyable and informal evening with food and drinks, and meet with other folks who are interested in the preservation of open space, wildlife habitat and the family ranching way of life, through voluntary conservation easements.

A presentation will be made in memory of Betty Feazel, and we will be introducing the Betty Feazel Open Space Fund. This is a fund that will receive tax-deductible donations, which will be used primarily to assist landowners who choose to donate conservation easements on their properties.

The picnic will be held, as usual, at the picnic area of the At Last Ranch, thanks to the generosity of the Betty Feazel Family. We all want to extend many thanks to the Feazel Family for inviting us to use their beautiful facilities, particularly during this time of great pain and sorrow in their family and among their friends.

For those who have never been to the picnic area, go east on U.S. 160 and take a right on East Fork Road which is just after the CDOT facility and well before you begin the climb up Wolf Creek Pass. On East Fork Road, take the first right, and then immediately turn right into the woods. There will be signs.

Two-wheel drive vehicles are OK, and you may want to bring some lawn chairs with you, as well as a good appetite. If you so choose, you may pay your 2002 Southwest Land Alliance membership dues while you are there, so that you can receive their quarterly newsletter. If you would like more information, you can pick up a Southwest Land Alliance brochure at the Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center, visit our website at or call Ron Chacey at 264-6275.


Ron Chacey

Poverty here

Dear Editor,

Wait until your lose your industrial job and have to try to support your family on a seasonal job and then apply for welfare and have to feed your family on $3 a day in food stamps; your wife has to work for less than minimum wage as a waitress; you take your child to the doctor and you get turned away because you don't have the money.

You might have a different attitude toward the airport.

What if you never got a vacation while others got a tax-deductible vacation?

It all depends on how much weight you have to pull while others get a free ride.

Those pictures of poverty in China and Mexico: They are coming here.

Don Reid

Here they go again

Dear Editor,

Recent ads and Letters to the Editor pleading with the politically astute former Democrats to switch back to their liberal dominated party, based upon the bipartisan decision made by Congress to return some of the overpayment of taxes to the hard-working citizens who have been making the over-payment, is ludicrous.

Thinly veiled meetings in Pagosa Springs to promote liberal activism is further indication of the determination displayed by these types to try to get a political toehold in our county, one of the remaining bastions of sanity.

Perhaps there are thinking ex-Democrats whose consciences have prompted them to leave the party which actively promotes taxpayer provided abortions, including partial-birth abortions, upon demand.

They may have fled the party that actively supports giving special rights to practicing homosexuals and the party responsible for creating the energy debacle in Democrat controlled California through its "tree-hugging" refusal to develop any new energy sources in the past 10 years, then expecting neighboring states, including Colorado, to build the plants to provide the needed energy.

California exhibited the ultimate in "Not in My Back Yard" (NIMBY) thinking.

God help us if we allow these incoming liberals to achieve their desired end.

Gene Takach

Sports Page

September 6, 2001

Pirates bury Dolores 42-26 in gridiron opener

By John M. Motter

Pagosa Springs unleashed a potent aerial attack against the Dolores Bears Friday, enabling the Pirates to bus home with a 42-26 victory in their season opener.

"We played about how I expected," said Pirate Coach Myron Stretton. "I'm happy with the attack. We have a lot of weapons."

The Pirate offense moved through, around, and over Bear defenders for 441 yards, 269 yards on the ground and 172 yards through the air. Kicker Darin Lister was a perfect four-for-four on extra point tries. Lister missed a field goal attempt.

Spicing the Pirate attack were several big plays including a 46-yard touchdown run by Caleb Melette and passing strikes of 44 and 37 yards by quarterback Ron Janowsky. Lister pulled down the 44-yarder and Jason Schutz the 37-yarder. Janowsky completed seven of 11 passing attempts for 152 yards.

Adding to the offensive barrage were a 37-yard punt return by Lister and a 36-yard kickoff return by Brandon Charles.

Stretton promised to attack through the air this season. That's what happened at Dolores Friday, but not before Bear quarterback Cullen Zion danced 80 yards on the second play from scrimmage to put Dolores ahead 6-0. Luke Ragland's extra point kick made the score 7-0 Dolores before one minute had disappeared from the scoreboard clock.

Janowsky gave the Bears a taste of things to come when he launched a pass on the season's first play from scrimmage for Pagosa. That first pass skidded incomplete along the turf. Just two minutes later, a Janowsky bullet found Schutz on the right sideline. Number 80 clutched the bullet and bulled into the end zone. Pagosa trailed only 7-6. A try for two on the extra point effort failed, but Pagosa was on the hunt, driven by the scent of victory.

Pagosa crossed the scoring stripe three times during the second period. By the half, the Pirates were on top 28-7. During the period, running back Charles tallied twice on short runs and caught a pass from Janowsky for the third Pagosa score. Charles also ran for 2 points on an extra point try. Darin Lister kicked the other two extra points.

Melette racked up the next Pirate touchdown with a 46-yard gallop early in the third period. Melette was the leading Pagosa ground gainer for the game with 161 yards on nine totes.

Finally, Janowsky found a leaping Schutz deep in the end zone giving Pagosa yet another TD and a 42-7 lead. From that point on, Stretton substituted freely, giving almost every Pirate wearing pads a chance to play. Pirate mistakes down the stretch allowed the Bears to close the final score to 42-26.

Stretton cited the defensive play of Ross Wagle who denied the Bears any pass completions in his part of the defensive secondary.

"Defensively, I thought we played with a lot of intensity," Stretton said, "even though we didn't always take care of our responsibilities."

Pirate backup players got a lot of game time Friday night, an opportunity not lost on Stretton.

"It's good to have backups," Stretton said. "They need playing time if they're not starting. We have a lot of players going both ways. It helps if they can catch a breather."

Tomorrow night at 7, the Pirates host Kirtland, N.M., under the lights in Golden Peaks Stadium. Last year the New Mexico 4A school located a few miles west of Farmington blanked Pagosa Springs 37 to zip.

"They'll be big, they always are," said Stretton. "They lost most of their skill players, but they are always deep. Their offense changes just a little from year to year to match the available talent."

Pagosa should be at full strength for the Kirtland contest, Stretton said. The Pirates came out of the Dolores game without injuries.

In other games played by Intermountain League teams, Mancos beat Ignacio 48-35 and Monticello, Utah, beat Bayfield 31-21. This week Bayfield plays at Dove Creek, Ignacio plays at Norwood, Monte Vista plays at Delta, and Centauri hosts Rye.


Pagosa Springs 42, Dolores 26

Pagosa Springs6 22 14 0 - 42 Dolores 7 0 6 13 - 26D: Zion 80 run (Ragland kick failed). PS: Schutz 15 pass from Janowsky (pass failed). PS: Charles 2 run (Charles run). PS: Charles 1 run (Lister kick). PS Charles 13 pass Janowsky (Lister kick). PS: Melette 46 run (Lister kick). Schutz 20 pass Janowsky (Lister). D: Ragland 5 run (Ragland miss kick). D: Fane 18 intercepted pass (kick good). D: Ragland 39 run (kick miss).

Spikers oen strong, then fade in loss to cortez

By Karl Isberg

Last year, the Lady Pirate volleyball team began what would become a stellar season with a loss to Cortez.

Different year, same start.

The 2001 Pagosa volleyball season opened with a 15-10, 14-16, 7-15 loss to the Panthers, but there were bright spots showing through the clouds.

During most of the first game of the match, both teams played as if the season was well underway - both units showing the positive effects of club play in the off season. The Ladies jumped to a quick 5-1 lead and eventually proved the steadier team as Cortez errors allowed the home team to take a 12-4 lead.

Pagosa's tandem blocks seemed effective against a predictable outside attack by the visitors, but when the Panthers' Casey Bauer was left isolated on a single blocker, she was able to do damage, helping her team close the gap to 14-10. Finally, a Cortez pass went to the Pagosa side of the net, Katie Lancing stuffed the ball, and the first game was over.

Despite the Lady Pirate victory, two things became apparent in the first game, and they would haunt the Ladies during the remainder of the match. This was to be a match determined in large part by the chess-like matchup of rotations. If and when Cortez could isolate its experienced outside hitters against a weak Pagosa blocking scheme, the tide would turn against the home team. Cortez also showed a tenacious back-court defense, one that made it difficult for Lady Pirate hitters - when they hit the ball - to put a ball to the floor in mid-court.

If Pagosa's blockers were late to the point of attack, Cortez was ready to score. If the blockers were in place, the Panthers used the tip over the block to good advantage.

Pagosa fell behind in the early going in game two but tied the score at 5-5. Cortez forged ahead again, going up 12-9 and 13-10 before the Ladies made a run and shifted the momentum. Chances were there to win the game and match; the score was tied 13-13, and Cortez committed a setting error to put Pagosa on the edge of the win. It wasn't to happen. Two Lady Pirate hitting errors and a kill by Bauer gave the visitors the win.

The wheels fell off Pagosa's wagon in the deciding game. One mistake after another plagued the Lady Pirate defense and Cortez went out to an overwhelming 12-1 lead. The home team struggled and managed to close the gap 7-12 before the Panthers retook the momentum and cruised to the win.

Injuries put the Ladies in an unfortunate situation prior to Tuesday's home opener. Junior setter Amy Young is out indefinitely with a serious knee injury and Young was counted on to perform as one of two setters in a newly-installed 6-2 offense. Lancing injured the arch of her foot prior to game time and her mobility was noticeably hampered, as was her ability to get maximum air when on the attack.

Nicole Buckley, however, showed no signs of injury and no lack of aggressiveness in her play against the Panthers. The senior outside was the only consistent force at the net and played a strong match in the backcourt, working well in the new two-person serve-receive scheme - well enough that the Panthers seemed eager to serve away from her spot on the floor.

Another bright spot in the Ladies' lineup was freshman setter Lori Walkup. The freshman was a surprise last-minute addition to the starting lineup and played an exceptional match considering the circumstances.

"We started real strong," said Lady Pirate coach Penné Hamilton, "and played a solid first game. The second game, the girls started playing safe and lost their aggression. During a timeout, I told them to talk to each other. Communicating raises their intensity, and they weren't communicating; they were too quiet. In the third game, we got too far down. We managed to get some momentum, but it was like we were playing not to lose. You can't do that."

Hamilton was happy with many aspects of her team's game, and singled out the two-person serve-receive as a notable addition to the team's arsenal.

Next up for the Ladies is another non-league match, against the 5A Durango Demons.

Durango rolls into the Pagosa Springs gym tomorrow following a two-game win over Farmington and brings a tall and diverse team to Pagosa that will show the Ladies a different package than Cortez.

"Durango runs more of a mixed offense than Cortez," said Hamilton. "They tend to set tight on the net, hit sharp angles and run a lot of quick sets to their big girls. We're going to have to put our blocks up quicker and play honest defense. They hit from all areas."

Matches tomorrow against Durango are set to begin with a C-team competition at 4 p.m. Varsity action should begin at approximately 6 p.m.


Cortez def. Pagosa Springs 10-15, 16-14, 15-7.

P.S. highlights. Kills Buckley 13, Gronewoller 8, Lancing 8. Assists: Lancing 14, L. Walkup 9. Aces: S. Walkup 1, Buckley 1.

Devil's Thumb leaves its print on varsity golfers

By Richard Walter

The Devil's Thumb left its print on Pagosa Springs High school golfers Saturday.

That's the name of a new golf course in Delta where the Pirate preps competed against 21 other squads and found their 259 total good for only 17th place.

The Pagosans were paced by Jesse Trujillo who carded an 85 on the par 72 layout and Ty Faber one stroke behind at 86. The normally low-scoring Pirates, Luke Boilini and Garrett Forrest, had scores of 88 and 89 respectively.

Coach Kathy Carter said there were a number of trouble spots on the new course - areas labeled as environmentally sensitive - where penalty strokes were mandatory if a ball went in and the player was not allowed to go in the area to recover an errant shot.

In fact, she said, one player from another squad was disqualified for entering a marked area. A number of new courses, she said, are incorporating areas of native grasses and plants in their roughs and making them out of bounds to players, requiring more accurate tee shots to keep balls in the fairways.

Carter said Trujillo "has become my 'Steady Eddie' in the past few weeks," shooting consistently in the low top mid 80s "while I just keep waiting for the other three to break their game open."

The Pirates were scheduled to play Wednesday in the Monte Vista Invitational, a tournament they've captured the last two years. In fact, Carter said, "We've beaten Monte Vista and Alamosa in every tournament we've played this year."

She said a part of the poor showing in Delta might have been the long trip and timing of the start.

"We left Pagosa at 4 a.m. and were scheduled for a 9 a.m. start," she said. "We arrived at 8:30 expecting to have 25 to 30 minutes for warmups, but five minutes later they were called to the tees for a shotgun start."

"My players," she said, "were still trying to stretch out the kinks from the long drive when they had to start play. Most said they didn't really get loose until about the third hole," she said.

The Pirates will take their game to Ridgway Monday, Gunnison on Sept. 13, Montrose the following day, and close out the regular season at Canon City on Sept. 17. Regional competition is scheduled in Alamosa Sept. 20.

Boilini was a state playoff qualifier last year and Carter is hopeful all four of her regulars will get hot at the right moment and qualify as a team this year.

Mees, Thompson pace Pirate runners at Wolf Creek

By Tess Noel Baker

The Pirates debuted on the cross country turf at home with a race on Wolf Creek pass Saturday. The course took 180 runners from 14 schools over dirt roads, logging roads and through some trees under beautiful skies.

"The weather ended up being perfect," coach Scott Anderson said. "The course was a little damp, but dried up well. Despite being difficult, the course seemed to be well liked by the participants."

Kimmie Murphey, of Farmington, finished first in the varsity girls competition, crossing the line in 21:37, a time good enough to place her in the top 10 of the boys race. She was followed by Rachel Gioscia, of Buena Vista, who finished in 23:19, and Jackie Shaw, of Bayfield, who crossed the line in 23:45.

On the varsity boys course, Clint Sewards, of Centauri, led the pack with a 19:53 finish. Frederick Jones, of Red Mesa, Ariz., finished second in 20:28, followed by Kenrick Jim, of Farmington, who crossed the line in 20:31 to steal third.

Leading the Pirates' efforts was Junior Todd Mees, who finished in 21:02 to take fifth place in the varsity boys race.

"He (Mees) might have been a little disappointed," Anderson said, "but by the middle of the year he should be closing the gap and finishing at the top of the pack."

Pagosa's team faced a few challenges beyond just the course. The varsity girls team competed without No. 1 runner, senior Aubrey Volger, who was out with an injury. On the boys' side, just two runners were eligible at the varsity level.

Besides the strong showing by Mees, Senior Trevor Peterson competed, finishing 13th overall with a time of 22:10.

"The boys did well, and we'll get another two runners this weekend, and two others the week after that," Anderson said. "I'm anxious to see how they run as a team." Attendance at practice, with a minimum nine practices required before a runner can compete, led to the shortness in numbers on opening day.

Senior Tiffany Thompson finished at the head of the varsity girls' Pirate pack Saturday, running 17th with a time of 26:47. On her heels was Amanda McCain, a junior, crossing the line in 27:15 to capture 18th. Senior Joetta Martinez finished 41st in 30:28. She was followed by junior Tiffany Noggel who completed the race in 31:25 for a 45th place finish.

Anderson said it's possible Volger might also return to the team this weekend.

"We're taking it day by day, but I'm hoping to start running her this week. If that happens, she could compete with the team in Lake County Saturday."

Kickers ice Cortez offense, record 2-1 upset

By Richard Walter

It would normally be seen as sports nepotism for a coach to herald the performance of his son on the high school soccer field.

But Pagosa Springs Pirate soccer coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason can be excused for being effusive about son Jordan's role in his team's 2-1 upset of Class 4A Montezuma-Cortez Saturday at Golden Peaks Stadium.

While it was, the coach said, "a team effort in which everyone played great, a very physical contest, Jordan was the heart and soul of the team today. He had an awesome game."

Fans will back that assessment. The junior midfielder was continually in the mix, intercepting Panther outlet attempts, tackling the ball away from frustrated Cortez attackers, and, setting up his own team's offense with key passes.

The game was not a runaway by any means. It was, however, a rare early season display of few mistakes on either side and a surprising performance from the defense the coach had been worried about.

In fact, the contest quickly developed into a defensive struggle with neither team able to mount a consistent offense. The first half was scoreless, with each club getting only four shots, and for each, only two on goal.

After the break - immediately after the break - Pagosa broke on top with a center crossing pass from Brian Hart tipped forward by Trent Sanders to his brother, Kyle on the left wing.

Kyle faked a break to the right, used a nifty crossover step to go left and left a defender standing there alone as he ripped a blast past Cortez keeper Garret Andrews and into the right front corner of the net.

With rain, hail and lightning threatening the game and fans running for cover, Cortez got the equalizer in the game's 52nd minute.

Sophomore striker Juan Soto, on a breakaway after a Pirate defender slipped to the ground on the wet turf, ripped a right-footer at Pirate keeper Matt Mesker. Matt came out to cut down the attacker's angle and made the stop. The slippery ball, however, slipped through his hands and Soto leaped over him to ram the ball into the open net.

Coach Kurt-Mason, after the game, said that was the scary moment for him.

"These kids could have let up then, but they didn't," he said. "We came right back after they scored and increased the attack. We were first to every loose ball. These kids showed their character in that half, coming back after the score to shut down Cortez' normally swarming offense."

There were three key moments in the second half.

The first, in the 59th minute, found Ty Scott for the Pirates six yards in front of the net as Hart ripped a shot the keeper stopped but couldn't hold. Scott fired in the rebound to give Pagosa the lead and his first varsity goal. Andrews was injured on the play and replaced in goal by senior Dusty Bell.

The second came in the 66th minute when Mesker dived to his left for a brilliant stop on a breakaway drive by Soto.

And the final key was on the last play of the game when Mesker leaped high to snare a long looping Cortez drive as the final buzzer sounded.

Coach Kurt-Mason said the one adjustment he made at the half kept Cortez off balance for the rest of the game. That move was to have either a midfielder or wing - generally Hart - drop back into the defensive zone and provide an additional presence to close off attack lanes.


First half - scoreless; Second half - PS-Kyle Sanders, assist by Trent Sanders, 41st minute; C-Soto unassisted, 53rd minute; PS-Scott, unassisted, 59th minute; Penalty kicks - PS-Kurt-Mason. Shots on goal PS-7; C-6; Saves: PS-Mesker, 5; C-Andrews 2, Bell 2.

Home |

Weather Stats

September 6, 2001


















































Community News

September 6, 2001

Chamber News

By Sally Hameister

La Plata Electric crew keeps flags flying

Auction for Animals judged huge success Once again we thank the gentlemen at LaPlata Electric for bringing their trusty cherry picker and putting up brand new Chamber flags.

The heroes this time were Mike Alley, Steve Lynch (our very tall Santa) and Darin Rome. I truly can't say enough about how gracious and willing these guys always are to accommodate us with our flag issues. They arrive with big smiles and never seem to mind regardless of how many times we call. Thanks so much, LaPlata gang.

While we're on the subject, please come down and see our new flags with a new look. We have a heck of a time with keeping those flags in one piece and hope that this new design will work for us.

Fiddlin' around

I don't know about you, but I am getting very excited about the upcoming Music Boosters' production of "Fiddler on the Roof."

I have seen numerous versions of this classic musical, and I just can't seem to get enough.

John Porter was good enough to drop off a cast list, and over 80 people are involved in this production which is nothing short of astonishing for a town this size. The cast includes many, many of our local gifted actors, singers, dancers and musicians with Steve Rogan playing the irrepressible lead role of Tevye.

Performances start this evening at 7:30 p.m. at the high school auditorium and tickets can be purchased at Moonlight Books for your reserved seats. Adult tickets are $12, and children 12 and under are $8. It is indeed all reserved seating, but any remaining tickets for the various performances will be available at the door.

You can catch other performances on Saturday, Sept. 8 at 7:30, Sunday, Sept. 9 at a 2 p.m. matinee, Thursday, Sept. 13, Friday, Sept. 14 and Saturday, Sept. 15 all at 7:30 p.m.

Don't miss "Fiddler on the Roof" - what we know is that we can always count on our Music Boosters to present the very best in entertainment. We are lucky indeed to boast such a talented group of professionals in our midst.

Please call the Chamber at 264-2360 with any questions.

Rio Jazz inserts

For those of you who might have come in to pick up your pre-purchased "Rio Jazz, Live at the Timbers" CD and left without an autographed insert, please come back and pick one up. The guys (Bob Hemenger, Lee Bartley, D.C. Duncan and John Graves) have provided us with a nice little stack to accompany their CDs, so y'all come. We also have the CDs on sale at the Visitor Center, so feel free to visit any old time.

MDA Lock-Up

Get ready to become a jailbird or to post bail for a jailbird on Tuesday, Sept. 18, when the Muscular Dystrophy Association of Southern Colorado will be holding their annual fund-raising Lock-Up at the Bear Creek Saloon & Grill on Lewis Street.

Funds raised during this drive help support patient service programs in Southern Colorado. The Association uses the dollars raised at the Lock-Up to continue funding research projects, assist in the purchase of wheelchairs and leg braces, provide regional clinics and offer a week of summer camp to children. Open your hearts Sept. 18, and don't be surprised to receive a call from someone in the slammer asking for your help.


Because of the short week, we have only three new members and 10 renewals to share with you, so look out for next week.

You're going to love this first new member business name and hopefully get the chuckle I did. We warmly welcome Kurt Raymond with Raymond Rent-A-Nerd. Ya gotta love this. Kurt (who is not at all a nerd, by the way, but a charming, bright young man) provides customer-centered expert computer assistance, to include network configuration, trouble shooting, web site development, marketing, search engine positioning, Windows PC trouble shooting and consultation, instruction, tutoring on Windows applications and Internet. Please give Kurt a call at 731-NERD (6373) for more information. We thank our Chamber prez, Ken Harms, for the referral and like anyone and everyone who recruits a new member, he will receive a free SunDowner pass and our eternal gratitude.

Our second new business this week is Yoga for the Young at Heart brought to us by the lovely Susan Winter Ward. Yoga for the Young at Heart is an award-winning and inspiring instructional collection of CD-ROMs, videos, audiotapes, books and television programs by Susan Winter Ward, internationally recognized yoga instructor, author and video producer. (If someone could guarantee that we would all look like Susan if we participated in the program, they couldn't make enough videos.) For more information, please call 800-558-YOGA (9642).

Susan teams up with Nancy Pfeiffer (of JJ's fame) to bring us Yoga at the Springs, LLC, located on Hot Springs Boulevard right at the hot springs. Accessible Yoga comes to Pagosa for all levels and ages. They offer gentle beginning classes through advanced as well as Pilates, QiGong, Yoga for the Young at Heart and Anusara.

Please call 264-YOGA (9642) for more information. We are grateful to Joy Willett at Coldwell Banker for recruiting Susan and Nancy and will reward Joy with a pass to a Chamber SunDowner and our sincere gratitude.

Renewals this week include our own (board director) Bonnie Masters with Lone Eagle-Pagosa; Captain Wayne Straus with the Colorado Mounted Rangers-Troop F; Jim Sutherland with J.E. Sutherland Construction; Gerlinde Ehni, D.D.S., P.C.; April L. Matthews with Colorado Skies; Tammy McDowell with San Juan Timberwrights, Inc.; Kathie Lattin with Vectra Bank Colorado; Roger Horton with Fairfield Pagosa Realty; Dr. Jim Pruitt with Pagosa Springs Family Medicine and Georgia Dick with Pagosa Fone.

We thank each and every one for your continued confidence and support. We will always try to be the best we can be, I promise.

Senior News

By Janet Copeland

'Waitress' Kelly deserves tips, named Senior of Month

Our Senior of the Month award goes to our Clara Kelly - Congratulations Clara!

This wonderful lady has more energy than the law should allow and waits on us constantly (and I should mention that she is a little older than some of us so we should be waiting on her).

If we tipped, our "waitress" would be financially well off.

We were happy to have Bill and Helen Tarver, Susie Kleckner, Nancy Giordano, Pat Cornell and Marie Owens back with us this week, and to have Marie's daughter, Joyce Bodewig, visit with us on Monday. Also, we were glad to have Sandy Cardosa helping on our bus.

John and Shirley Finn and Bob and Florence Mason have left for the winter - we will miss these fine folks and look forward to having them back with us next summer.

A big Thank You to EMT Terry Clifford who spoke to us Monday on diabetes types, causes and treatment. Many of our folks are afflicted with this ailment so we appreciate her helping them deal with it.

Special Thanks go to the following folks for their donations to the Senior Center: Mary Ann Martinez for the wheelchair; Sharon Colby for decorations and partyware; Bill Nobles and staff from the Extension Building for food left over from the fair; the Rotary Club for eggs donated to our kitchen; Dick and Neva Akin for the microwave and television set; and the anonymous person(s) who dropped off cartridges for our computer printer and who donated flour and baking supplies for Seniors lunches. This community is the most generous I have been involved with and we certainly appreciate these donations.

The National Council on Aging has established a Web site for seniors:

This is a free, easy-to-use service that identifies federal and state assistance programs for older Americans so I hope folks will take advantage of it.

A reminder that on 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, our members may swim free of charge at Pagosa Lodge.

Sunday, Sept. 9 there will be a 2 p.m. matinee performance of "Fiddler on the Roof" at the high school. Tickets are $12. We will not be operating the bus for this, so we hope that everyone will use the "buddy system" to get folks transported.This should be fabulous entertainment.

Beginning this month, our talented Kent Schaffer will teach free 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.

The Friends of the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad have invited us to join them Oct. 4 for a ride to enjoy the fall colors. Bus pick-up begins around 7:30 a.m. and return is expected by around 6 p.m. The tickets are $36 per person, with transportation costing $15 per person. The trip requires an early commitment of at least eight persons with tickets and transportation deposits paid at sign-up. Deadline for sign-up is Sept. 19. This should be a beautiful time of year for a train ride so we hope everyone will take advantage of it.

A reminder that the AARP 55 Alive Driver Safety Program will be conducted Sept. 12 and 13 at the Methodist church. Contact Don Hurt, 264-2337, for information and sign-up.

Local Chatter

By Kate Terry

Daughter of Pagosans featured in Forbes

The United Way is the most convenient way to make a financial donation to needy causes. What you give can be in one lump sum, or as a pledge, or as a payroll deduction.

The payroll deduction plan is a practical way of giving and, of course, depends on the employer, whether a small business or a large one.

Kathi De Clark is the Archuleta County Coordinator for the United Way of Southwest Colorado, and she would like to interest people in the payroll-deduction way of donating to the United Way. As she says, "fifty cents (or more) a pay period really adds up when everyone helps." She can be reached at 731-9920. All she needs is fifteen minutes to talk to a group of employees.

In Archuleta County, 99 percent of your donation stays right here. The organizations helped by the United Way are Archuleta County Education Center, Archuleta County Victim Assistance Program, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Boy Scouts of America, Great SW Council, Community Connections, Girl Scouts of Chaparral Council, Rape Intervention Team, San Juan Basin Area Agency on Aging, Seeds of Learning Family Center, Southwest Community Resources, Southwest Youth Corps and Volunteers of America Southwest Safehouse.

Around town

When the Southwest Land Alliance holds its annual membership picnic Sept. 14 at 5 p.m. at the At Last Ranch, a welcome is extended to anyone interested in preserving open space, wildlife habitat, and the family ranching way of life through voluntary conservation easements.

Members invite you to join them for refreshments and to meet other interested people in this cause, so bring a chair and an appetite. At this time the Southwest Alliance and the Feazel Family will announce the formation of the Betty Feazel Open Space Fund.

About town

Sign up now for the third annual United Way Golf Tournament. This year's format is a ABCD 4-person scramble. Everyone is welcome to participate in this fun event. The tournament starts at 9 a.m. Saturday. The team can't have more than one player below a 10 handicap, there can't be more than two players below a 15 and more than three players below a 20 handicap.

The Pagosa Springs Golf Club will help you put your team together. If you don't have a team or a handicap, the golf shop will place you on a team. For golf club members the entry fee is $40 with $20 going directly to United Way of Archuleta County. For non-members the fee is $75 which includes the greens fee, cart and a donation of $20 to the United Way. Everyone will receive lunch, coffee and donuts, and range balls. There will be various contests and golf giveaways at this fun event. Sign up a team, or get put on a team today, at 731-4755.

Fun on the run

"Hello, is this the FBI?"

"Yes. What do you want?"

"I'm calling to report about my neighbor Billy Bob Smith! He is hiding marijuana inside his firewood."

The next day, the FBI agents descended on Billy Bob's house. They searched the shed where the firewood was kept. Using axes, they busted open every piece of wood, but found no marijuana. They swore at Billy Bob and left.

The phone rang at Billy Bob's house

"Hey, Billy Bob! Did the FBI come?"


"Did they chop your firewood?"


"Merry Christmas, Buddy,"

Veteran's Corner

By Andy Fautheree

VA to seek 2.5% cost of living adjustment

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is calling for a cost-of-living adjustment effective December 1, 2001 that is estimated at 2.5 percent for monthly payment provided to more than 2.5 million veterans and survivors. The VA endorsed legislation before the committee that bases the exact amount on other federal programs including Social Security and veterans pension that are linked to Consumer Price Index formulas.

Early on, President Bush covered the need for a cost-of-living adjustment in veterans programs in his proposed budget for next year. The VA called on Congress to join in seeing that compensation increase through the legislative hurdles.

Affected by the proposed legislation would be veterans receiving disability compensation and veterans survivors, including widows or widowers of veterans, dependent Unlike the automatic adjustments in the veterans pension program, which provides income to wartime veterans who have become disabled in their civilian life, the basic compensation program for service-disabled veterans and eligible survivors must be changed by law at regular intervals.

The VA has endorsed enhancement to several other programs benefiting veterans. These include home loan policies, housing loan program for reservists and National Guard, increasing the burial and funeral expense allowance, accelerated payment of Montgomery GI Bill education benefits, expansion in the overall value of the Montgomery GI Bill, increased Agent Orange analysis and reporting, improvements to Gulf War Syndrome studies, streamlining processing of veterans applications for benefits, and several other programs.

Changes to the VA home loan policies would allow eligible veterans to finance homes for up to $252,700-up from the current $203,000 limit imposed by lenders based on VA's current loan-guarantee limits. Lenders will generally lend up to four times a veteran's available "VA-guaranteed entitlement without requiring a down payment, depending upon income, credit and the property appraisal, and proposed legislation backed by VA would raise the guaranty from $50,750 to $63,175.

Congress was urged to extend the housing loan program for reservists and members of the National Guard who would otherwise have no eligibility for a VA-guaranteed home loan.

VA supported increasing the burial and funeral expense allowance for veterans whose deaths were related to their military service, either directly in service or due to a disease that has been connected with the time of their service. The last increase, from $1,000 to $1500, was in 1988. VA supports raising this to $2,000.

VA expressed support for allowing accelerated payment of Montgomery GI Bill benefits. This new education benefit would provide flexibility to veterans who are eligible under the Montgomery GI Bill and who wish to pursue certain high-tech courses. Also, an expansion in the overall value of the Montgomery GI Bill educational benefit from the current $650 monthly rate for full-time studies to $1,100 by October 2003 earlier was endorsed by the administration under strict budget resolution commitments.

The other areas of legislative support by the VA are more technical in nature to continue or add funding to existing programs.

I would like to remind all my veteran readers to send me an e-mail to so that I have your e-mail address for future plans to expand outreach of information on VA programs, news and benefits. I will be publishing my Veterans Corner articles to e-mail addresses the same day of publication in The SUN for starters. Later, other VA information I think would be of benefit will be sent. No junk e-mail I can assure you. This way those of my readers who are on the road and get email from remote connections can still read the latest Veterans Corner articles. Also, please include your current mailing address and phone numbers so we can make sure our records are up to date.

Also, don't forget to tune in to The Bill Miller Show on our local radio station KWUF 106.3 FM. I host and dedicate the program to our local veterans. The program consists of mostly '40s, '50s and '60s music, comedy and celebrity interviews. The program usually airs on Tuesday evenings from 6-9 p.m., however for the next few weeks we are going to air the program on Wednesday evenings at the same hours.

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 email is The office is open from 8 to noon and 1 to 4 p.m., Monday through Thursday, or Friday by appointment. Bring your DD Form 214 (Discharge) for registration with the county, application for VA programs, and for filing in the VSO office.

Parks & Rec

By Douglas Call

Deadline tomorrow for youth soccer sign-up

The registration deadline for the youth soccer program is tomorrow. Youth still interested in registering can do so. A $20 registration fee can be paid at Town Hall.

Players will need to be put on a team immediately, as games start Tuesday. Coaches needing practice times should call the recreation department at 264-4151 ext. 232.

Team pictures have been scheduled and will be taken during the first week of play. Time for each team's session is listed on the game schedule. Game schedules are available at Town Hall and are posted at the middle and elementary schools.

Games will begin Sept. 11, and will be played Tuesday and Thursday evenings at 4 p.m., 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. The Kickers League, ages 5-6, will play through Oct. 11, with other leagues' games lasting through Oct. 18. Season-ending tournaments will take place Oct. 19-20.

Sponsors for this year's youth fall soccer league are The Pagosa Veterinary Clinic, Edward Jones Investments, Century 21 - Wolf Creek, The Liberty Theatre, The Corner Store and Source Realty. Other sponsorships are available for $250. Contact Summer at Town Hall.

The Town is currently looking to hire experienced personnel, including officials, and field supervisors. Each position is paid according to experience, and interested parties need to contact Summer at Town Hall, 264-4151 ext. 232.

Flag football

The adult flag football season is on hold until a minimum four teams have submitted rosters and paid the $250 fee. Rosters can be submitted through tomorrow, Sept. 7, and are available at Town Hall. Games will be played Tuesday and Thursday evenings at 6:30 and 8 at the Sports Complex.

For more information, contact Summer at the recreation department

Coed volleyball

This fall's adult coed volleyball league will start Monday with a mandatory managers' meeting at Town Hall at 6 p.m. All rosters and team fees are due at the meeting. This year's team fee is $200 with a per-player fee of $10. Games begin Sept. 17 and continue through mid-November. If you have questions about the adult volleyball league, contact Summer at Town Hall.

Pedal Fest

This year's Color Fest mountain bike race will be held Sept. 23. The mountain bike race will be held in the Turkey Springs area and will include the Chris Mountain ride for sport and expert riders. This year's course will start at the cattle guard on Piedra Road, just before the Turkey Springs turn, cross Newt Jack and continue onto the new ATV trail to Brockover Road. From Brockover Road the course returns back to Newt Jack via different routes for sport and expert riders. The course is currently marked and distances are set for beginners at 10 miles, 27 miles for sport riders and 32 miles for expert and pro riders. A novice/kids race will also be held and will consist of only three miles, with all participants being awarded medals.


There are several piles of free firewood on Reservoir Hill available for public cutting. People wishing to obtain this wood can obtain a key to Reservoir Hill at Town Hall. Free cutting will take place for the public Sept. 10-16.

For more information, contact the park and recreation director at 264-4151 ext. 231.

Extension Viewpoints

By Bill Nobles

4-H county fair winners, state qualifiers

Sept. 6 - Shady Pine, Extension Office, 7 p.m.

Sept. 7 - Colorado Mountaineers, Extension Office, 2:15 p.m.

Moth problems

Pine tip moths feed on and destroy new growth (terminals) of pines grown throughout most of Colorado. Injury often is quite conspicuous, and infested plants may appear unattractive. Although little real injury to the health of the infested tree results from pine tip moth attacks, tree growth can be delayed and the form altered to a bushier appearance.

Tip moth injury can be diagnosed during early to midsummer by examining suspect shoots that have dried and shriveled. At this time, the damaging stage of the insect or old discarded skins can be detected. If the insect is not present, examine the damaged terminal growth to see if there is evidence of the internal tunneling typical of most tip moth injuries.

Insects involved

The southwestern pine tip moth, Rhyacionia neomexicana, is the species mainly responsible for damage to young ponderosa, mugho and Scotch pines. Other tip moths in the same genus (R. bushnelli, R. zozana, R. fumosana) are found in the state but are much less common and damaging than the southwestern pine tip moth.

A different set of tip moths infests pinon pine. Tip moths in the genus Dioryctria (primarily D. albovitella) damage pinon in a manner typical of other tip moths, although it often is associated with a pinkish mass of pitch. Damage by another species, the pinon pitch nodule moth (Petrova arizonensis), is more distinctive and produces a large, smooth nodule of purple-brown pitch as it feeds on pinon terminals.

Life history

Pine tip moths have typical moth life histories, passing through four life stages: egg, larva or caterpillar, pupa and adult moth. It is the feeding of the larval stage that damages the trees. New infestations originate with eggs laid by the adult female moths, one generation per year.

The southwestern pine tip moth lays its eggs on buds and new shoots of pines in April and May. Eggs hatch about the time new shoots emerge from buds. The tiny larvae immediately begin to bore into the fresh young shoot tissue. The larvae feed and grow within the developing shoots through May, June and July, causing tip growth to die back beyond the feeding site.

When feeding is completed, the full-grown caterpillar leaves the shoot to crawl down the trunk. On the side of the trunk, just below the soil line, it forms a white, paste-like, silken cocoon for pupating over the winter. Adult moths emerge the following spring on return of warm weather.

Tip moths infesting pinon overwinter as partially grown larvae either in stem tissue or on the bark. The common tip moth (D. albovitella) lays its eggs during midsummer. The larvae emerge shortly afterwards but do not feed. Instead, they form a silken cocoon (hibernacula) on the bark for the winter.

The larvae resume activity in May, boring into the base of unopened buds. Often the larvae destroy the initially infested bud and move to a new shoot or developing cone, which they also mine. Irregular pitch masses often form at the injury site, superficially resembling those of the pinon pitch nodule moth. Pupation occurs within the infested area, with the adult moths emerging to mate and lay eggs.

The pinon pitch nodule moth lays eggs on the base of needles during early summer after the new growth has formed. Eggs hatch by early August, and the young caterpillars tunnel into a new shoot. While feeding, they form a distinctive, smooth, silk-lined pitch nodule and spend the winter as an almost full-grown caterpillar. They pupate wedged in an opening in the nodule.


Numerous natural enemies of tip moths exist and often reduce infestations to acceptable levels. In particular, various parasitic wasps develop within tip moth larvae, killing a large percentage of the population. As a result of these natural controls, tip moth infestations can vary widely from season to season. Trees taller than 10 feet often become less susceptible to tip moth injuries.

If necessary, tip moths can be controlled with insecticides. The systemic insecticides acephate (Orthene) and dimethoate (Cygon) appear to be particularly effective for tip moth control. Chlorpyrifos (Dursban) also is effective for pine tip moth control.

Proper timing is very important. Apply treatments for the southwestern pine tip moth when new shoots are elongating but before the needles are more than 1/2 inch long ("candling stage"). For most pines, this typically occurs from late April through early May.

Treatment timing for the pinon tip moth is less well known. Thorough insecticide treatment in May should be effective if applied to new growth before overwintering Dioryctria larvae enter buds. Somewhat later treatments can still be effective at killing larvae moving from buds to developing shoots. Midsummer applications coinciding with egg laying in late July appear to be most appropriate for pitch nodule moth control.

Library News

By Lenore Bright

'Jonathan's Garden' illustrated by Joy

How to remember what you're forgetting Suzan Joy brought us a copy of her latest book, "Jonathan's Garden." It was written by Susan Ruck and illustrated by Joy.

An artist from birth, Joy has spent much of her life painting and teaching. Her love of children and nature has been expressed in several other books.

Having left behind her East Coast "life in the fast lane," Suzan currently resides in Pagosa Springs having come en route from Iowa.

"Jonathan's Garden" tells the tale of a boy full of mean thoughts. "Think them high, think them low - What you think is what you grow."

We each have a garden of thoughts; here is a good object lesson to share with your children.

Brain cells

According to NewsScan, scientists have electronically linked multiple snail neurons onto transistor chips and demonstrated that the cells communicate with each other and the chips. According to the author of the article, "It's very primitive, but it's the first time that a neural network was directly interfaced with a silicon chip. It's proof-of-principle experiment." The combination of biology and technology eventually may lead to such things as artificial retinas or prosthetic limbs that are extensions of the human nervous system, and the development of robots possessing far more intelligence than the current generation of such machines."


Last week I wrote about a book that can help those of us who want to train our memory for better results.

I hate it when the words won't come at the appropriate time. A friend commiserated and sent the following poem. "There is a little gremlin, that lives within my house; He snitches things and hides them, as quiet as a mouse. He sometimes takes my mem'ries, Of words and names and such, And spirits them away, as well, It's really just too much! So, if this little gremlin, Would just go on his way, I'd find those little treasures, And know the words to say!"

Auditor's report

We have a number of legal documents that are deposited at the library to make public access easier. The latest is the county audit report for the year 2000. All governments have to be audited in accordance with specific standards issued by the Comptroller General of the United States. The audits are done to give reasonable assurance as to whether the financial statements are free of material misstatement. The county is a government. The library district is a government. All special districts are governments. The county audit report may be read at the library.

Financial help

We subscribe to Value Line, Wall Street Journal, and several other periodicals that help patrons keep up on money matters. A recent Kiplinger Letter gave some statistics from Census 2000. Some of the trends impacting business included the fact that by 2020, close to one-third of the population will be over age 55. This will be a strong market for financial planning, longterm-care insurance, retirement homes, leisure-time pursuits, health and fitness items and more. Looking around, the trend is already here in Pagosa.

Independent study

The Colorado Consortium of seven state colleges put out a catalog that promises "there are no boundaries to independent study for the coming school year. You may look at the catalog at the library, or check out their web page at:" The members of the consortium are committed to removing boundaries and to providing access to courses, programs and services that are not bound by geography, the academic calendar, or by family responsibilities and professional demands. This is what education ought to be about.

Colorado water

The League of Women Voters has published an excellent resource on how we will use and manage our water in the future. We live in a semi-arid region. Problems stemming from lack of water will continue to plague us. The historical conflicts will no doubt surface again. This report is important to all persons interested in building in the area, or starting a business.


Thanks for materials from Walt Snyder, Sarah Eckrich, E.J. Colton Jr., June Geisen and Carol Mestas.

.In Sync

By Isabel Willis

PSEC helps youth form new life views

Pagosa Springs Education Center is located at the Green Briar Plaza off North Pagosa Boulevard.

The main objective of the school is to help young people of all ages grow in integrity and character. They work hard to give children a complete and well-balanced education.

One of the main objectives of the program is to help their students look at life differently. A number of youth admit they are not able to enjoy life because they are too busy trying to prove that they're something they're not. The Pagosa Springs Education Center strives to help them change their way of thinking.

The most valuable resource of the center would have to be the kids, themselves.

"Kids motivate kids," said Nelson DelBianco, co-leader of PSEC. "Seeing their success will help others want to work harder." Last year, 28 of 34 students finished on the honor roll.

The most often asked question from parents coming into the center is, "Can you help us?"

On the other end of the spectrum, kids ask why they have to do this. When will they ever use all of this in their life. The staff is quick to answer by telling the youth they may never use it again, but the integrity they use to do the work today is the integrity they will use in life.

PSEC has a five-core curriculum program with four staff members, Nelson and Patricia DelBianco, Tom Lokey and Ruby Honan.

The program is a non-profit organization and has a 501(C)3 status.

Nelson DelBianco said funds to run the Center come from parental tuition and private sources. This year an additional $1,500 a month is needed to make the program operate to its fullest. Currently there are 37 students enrolled, with a capacity of 39.

Community collaboration is done through close contact with each family involved. Parents help make all decisions. A monthly newsletter keeps everybody up to date on what's new. The referral system for the school is simply world of mouth. Those who have children enrolled speak highly of the program and what it has to offer their families.

If you would like to learn more about Pagosa Springs Education Center, you can call 731-3274.

Crusing with Cruse

By Katherine Cruse

Fest music washes over, scrubs you clean

I love the Four Corners Folk Festival. Maybe all music festivals feel this friendly. But after three years of living here, this is the one I know.

We're all there to have a good time and mellow out to the music.

There are lots of children at the festival. Babies galore. Babies in arms, babies in backpacks. Small children on their dads' shoulders. Older kids drifting around in clumps.

There are lots of opportunities for little kiddos to get stressed, but they didn't. I think in the whole weekend, I saw one crying child.

Probably it's the music. It washes over and through you, scrubbing you clean. You go into a kind of fugue state, where the only thing that seems to be possible is to listen to the music.

And move. Tap your feet. Snap your fingers. Clap to the rhythm. Some kind of physical expression seems imperative. Get up and dance.

At times there are hundreds of people moving to the rhythm. Some people must come to the folk festival just to dance. Some dance together, focused on each other. Others are lost in their own private reveries, their bodies moving tirelessly, their eyes fixed on some distant vision.

I guess they stop sometimes. To eat. To refuel so they can get back to dancing.

Obviously, their knees are in better shape than mine.

Last year there was a hula hoop area off to the side of the music tent. People who hadn't put one of those things around their waists in decades were giving it a try. The hoop would circle twice, or three times, on its way to the ground. Followed by laughter.

This year that space was filled with more dancers. Hacky sack was this year's non-dance occupation.

You see a lot of different clothes at the festival. Tie dye shirts. Flowing dresses. Teva and Birkenstock sandals and hiking boots. A few bare feet. Backpacks. Beaded jewelry. Plenty of hats. Lots of T-shirts from other festivals.

Not much leather, though. All the leather clothing was over in Ignacio.

Although, two bikers did come to the Folk Festival. They rumbled up Reservoir Hill about 2 a.m., waking half the camp. Apparently they had turned left too soon, on their way to Ignacio.

They rumbled out again early the next morning, not even stopping for the pancake breakfast. "I guess they're not going to buy tickets," said the festival organizers.

We missed the bikers' arrival, because we went home each night. Some year, though, I'd like to camp there and take in the impromptu music sessions around the campfires.

With about 3,000 people crowded together on top of Reservoir Hill for three days, getting progressively more tired, you'd think the folks at the first aid tent would be busy. But when I wandered up there on Saturday afternoon, they were sitting in lawn chairs, enjoying the music, as mellow as everyone else.

"What's the most common complaint that might bring people here?" I asked. I expected them to say cuts, scratches, maybe smashed toes. Sunburn. All wrong.

Mostly people ask for cotton balls, to plug their ears.

Well, yeah, a couple of the groups were a little loud. But really, only a couple of them fit the category where you have to scream to be heard. The rest were great, even for fussy listeners like me.

Last year, and the year before that, it seemed that almost every group had one member who played a stringed instrument called the dobro. This year, like the hula hoop, the dobro was out. Instead, it was back to basics - guitar, banjo and mandolin.

And drums. Clearly, the favorite drummer was Eddie, in the group Eddie from Ohio, which is really from Virginia. Eddie was the only drummer who did an entire number solo. The rest of the band left the stage. He played snare drums and bongos. With bare hands.

"That must be hard on his hands," Joan and I said.

Later at the CD merchandise booth, we asked Eddie if we could see how callused his hands were. If Eddie thought we were a little weird, he didn't say it. He obligingly held out a hand and we marveled over the bumps on his fingers. The calluses weren't nearly as big as you might think.

Hotshot and I, with others from our church, were staffing the festival merchandise booth. We sold T-shirts, sweatshirts, fleece pullovers. The ones with the festival logos.

We told ourselves, "We're not going to buy anything. Well, maybe one thing. One T-shirt."

"And one CD."

"Well, maybe two."

But then it rained on Friday afternoon. Well, as you probably know, it was cloudy all day. The rain pelted down and continued for over an hour. By the time it stopped, the ground was a quagmire. Out came the bales of straw, which festival staffers spread around. And the people spilled out of the tent and started dancing again.

Since I wasn't dancing, I needed one of those sharp new micro-fleeces, just to keep warm. By the end of the festival, our strong resolve had dissolved. Whatever we saved on admission, we more than made up for in purchases.

Christmas in September. A couple more T-shirts. A vest. A few CDs to keep the music and the dancing going back home.

Until next year.

Pagosa Lakes News

By Ming Steen

Rotary student exchange promotes understanding

For the past 10 years, the Pagosa Springs Rotary Club has sponsored incoming foreign exchange students through Rotary's International Youth Exchange program.

Starting in 1991, the students have been Vigo Henningson from Norway; Andreane Vecchione from Italy; Aurelia Voyette from France; Erin Wells from Australia; Torsten Feys from Belgium; Erika Johanssen from Sweden, Mykhailo Antafijchuk from Ukraine; Iben Westergaan Rasmussen from Denmark and currently, Henrique Dias from Brazil.

Pagosa Springs Rotary Club has sponsored, in addition, "out-bound" Rotary youth exchange with students from Pagosa Springs High School. The first "out-bound" student, Seth Mallamo, went to Sweden in 1994. In 1996, Melissa Buckley spent a year in Australia. In 1997, Pagosa sent two young ambassadors, Olivia Renner to Turkey and Dreely Tabor to Sweden. The following year, Gwen Lewis went to India and Laura Kelley to New Zealand.

Rotary Youth Exchange is a club-to-club program which promotes peace through better understanding via the exchange of high school students who are hosted by local Rotary clubs and families. The program aims to enable students to acquire knowledge of life in their host community and to promote the general interest and good will of international exchanges.

The exchange program was the brain child of Danish educator and youth advocate Dr. Sven Knudsen. In the summer of 1928, 300 American boys spent five weeks visiting families in Denmark, Norway and Sweden.

These boys were called "Youthful Pilgrims of World Peace." The exchange was completed with the arrival of 61 Danish youths in the United States that summer. So successful was the 1928 exchange that Dr. Knudsen, on behalf of the Rotary Club of Copenhagen, invited the U.S. Rotary Clubs to participate in an international conference for exchange of youth, held in Denmark in June, 1929.

From those beginnings, youth exchange has continued to grow, attracting the participation of clubs, districts and multi-district collaborations around the world. It's now regarded as one of Rotary's most popular and enduring programs, standing as a perfect example of what the organization is all about: elevating the human condition by promoting friendship and understanding among people of all nations and cultures.

In 1999-2000 alone, just over 7,000 young people participated in exchanges supported by Rotary clubs in 80 nations and regions. Participation that year included about 180 disabled youths.

A number of host families in Pagosa have participated and supported Rotary Youth Exchange programs by opening their homes for four months to the exchange students (the student's one-year stay is hosted by three families).

These host families include Jann and Todd Pitcher, Tracy and Karen Bunning, Tom and Ming Steen, Carl and Gloria Macht, Bunk and Marsha Preuit, Karl and Kathy Isberg, Lee and Laurie Riley, Jerry and Kerry Dermody, Jack and Patti Renner, Jerry and Muriel Buckley, David and Mary Helen Cammack, Ken and Linda Morrison, Betsy Thompson, Rita Werner, Henry Lomasney, Jo Bridges, Joe and Janet Donovan, Dick and Bonnie Babillis, Reid and Debra Kelley, Maggi-Dix Caruso, Ben and Linda Franklin, and Kim and Walt Moore.

Without the enthusiasm and hard work of Jann and Todd Pitcher, this program would not have been so successful. The Pitchers' experience with the Rotary Youth Exchange program dates back to 1991. Jann has single-handedly coordinated this exchange program since its inception.

In addition to making all the logistical arrangements, Jann and Todd have opened up their hearts to the students. They'll tell you their experiences have been rewarding and enriching. In fact, many of the students were back in Pagosa this past July to celebrate Chris Pitcher's wedding. These kids are part of the Pitcher family.

Pagosa Springs Rotary Club is encouraging local families who are interested to participate in the exchange program to call Jann Pitcher at 731-4065.


September 6, 2001


By John M. Motter

Frost chilled Pagosa area July 4, 1897

Pagosa Country settlement started during the mid-1870s. Archuleta County was formed in 1885. The town of Pagosa Springs incorporated in 1891. Through it all, one of the prime building blocks of civilization was missing until January of 1898. Pagosa County had no church building.

To be sure, God fearing folks had been holding services, sometimes in the school house and other times in folk's homes. We know Methodists and Baptists had been meeting from the beginning of settlement. Catholics could have met across the border in the Tierra Amarilla area. Catholic priests might have conducted in-home services north of the New Mexico border.

Still, there were no church buildings in the county. Methodists constructed the first building and opened the doors in January of 1898. The Baptists and Catholics were not far behind. Pagosa News editor Daniel Egger played a prime role in the Methodist drive for a church building. That building was erected on the site of the current building on a lot donated specifically for that purpose by Dr. Newton Hover.

An announcement of the Methodist Church dedication service complete with a 15-point program appeared in The Pagosa Springs News Jan. 21, 1898. Egger's account of the service appeared a week later under a headline reading, "First Church in Archuleta County."

The News wrote: "The First Methodist Episcopal church of Pagosa Springs, Colorado, was dedicated last Sunday morning, January 23, by Rev. Dr. R.A. Carnine, presiding elder of the Rio Grande district.

"Programmes indicating the order of service found in the Methodist discipline were handsomely prepared and kindly donated by our enterprising editor, Judge (county judge) D.L. Egger, so that all in the crowded church were supplied.

"The service opened with a voluntary most creditably executed by Mrs. J.C. Dowell.

"Dr. R. Carnine then read from the discipline, after which the choir, composed of the following members, namely, Mrs. Effie Blake, Mrs. S.B. Cockrell, Mrs. Myrtle Mott, Mrs. Mattie I. Deller, Mrs. Anna Byrne, Miss Alma Walker, Mrs. J.C. Dowell, Mrs. Henrietta Barnhart, Miss Gertrude Dowell, Mr. Charles Hendrickson, Mr. P. McDonald, Mr. E.H. Chase, Mr. Elliott Halstead and David Kidd, rendered, to the delight of all, hymn No. 865 from the Methodist hymnal.

"A duet by Mrs. Myrtle Mott and Mrs. Henrietta B. Barnhart, followed the prayer.

"The pastor read the first scripture lesson, and Dr. Carnine the second.

"The congregation then joined in singing hymn No. 869.

"Just before the sermon Mrs. J.C. Dowell sang a solo- 'O For a Closer Walk With God.'

"Dr. Carnine's sermon on the providence of God was most suggestive, hence uplifting and very helpful.

"Notwithstanding the fact that the building committee together with the pastor had taxed the people very heavily with a subscription paper for fourteen days preceding this service, one hundred and fifty dollars by this self sacrificing people was soon donated, covering the indebtedness.

"It ought to be remembered that after all in this part of the country, representing people of various denominations, had given about as much as it was possible for them to give, a debt of three hundred and fifty dollars still stared the building committee in the face. But true to the noble timber that characterizes this generous people they came to our relief, and now we can boast of the best public building in this county.

"We have neither Jewish nor Pagan temple.

"There is not a Roman Catholic church in this county.

"Religion in this county is represented alone by this edifice, which in turn represent a great denomination that builds an average of more than one church a day.

"That those interested in the Lord's work are inspired by the same spirit and working for the same end is shown by the way representatives of other denominations have helped us.

"Before the farmer can till the soil in this country, trees and brush must be cleared away and ditches made to lead water to the land.

"Before a Methodist church was possible here, similar pioneer work in the Lord's vineyard had to be done.

"For years men devoted to God's work came here and endured hardness as good soldiers of Jesus Christ, and counted not their lives dear unto themselves that they might finish their course with joy, and the ministry they had received of the Lord Jesus, 'to testify the gospel of the grace of God.'

"Among these may be named, Rev. Henry Harpst, Rev. S.H. Kirkbride, Rev. E.V. DuBoise, and Rev. W.R. Weaver. Just how prominently each of these figured, the writer has not sources of information to determine. It is generally conceded however that Rev. Henry Harpst was the early pioneer and first advocated and labored hard for a building for Christian worship.

"The seed time soon ripened to harvest under the indefatigable and faithful labors of Rev. J.N. Tomlin, the former pastor.

"Brother Tomlin had the pleasure of seeing the structure erected and almost completed during the second year of his pastorate.

"The complete contract of the work was centered in the hands of a building committee composed of the following: Mr. J.V. Blake, Mr. Wm. Mott, Mr. A.N. Hatcher, Judge D.L. Egger and Rev. J.N. Tomlin.

"This committee selected Mr. E.H. Chase to superintend the erection of the building. As a result we have a building which is in every sense substantial, and a credit to the town.

"Its unique construction makes it the most churchly small building I have ever seen.

"The building is frame, fifty feet long, twenty-eight feet wide, and twenty feet high.

"A tower stands at one corner sixty-five feet in height awaiting a bell to call the people to worship.

"It has twelve colored windows.

"The outside of the church, including roof, is nicely painted.

"The inside of the building is well, but not elegantly, finished or furnished.

"It is well lighted.

"It stands on a well made stone foundation.

"Whole cost was $1730.55.

"Of this amount Ladies Aid society raised $300, the Church Extension society donated $250, and the balance, $1,180.55, was raised by individual donations.

"May all the worshipers be consecrated to God. J.M.B. (The Rev. Barnhart)"

Pacing Pagosa

By Richard Walter

Be happy with customer service you get

Getting out of town for a few days is an easy way to find that things are not nearly so bad here as we sometimes think.

Spending three days in the Denver metropolitan area can make one fully aware of the vast array of entertainment venues they have that we do not - and of the cost attendant thereto.

But more importantly, it can give the visitor a genuine reason to be thankful for the persons we have meeting and dealing with the public in the commercial enterprises we support in Pagosa Country.

Our clerks are generally friendly, competent, smiling, and knowledgeable about what they are doing and how to get help if something doesn't work.

That isn't the case in the big city.

On several occasions during a shopping trip with a 16-year-old senior to be, we were treated to incompetence of the first degree. One clerk didn't know how to get the cash drawer open after ringing up a sale.

When her supervisor told her to enter the transaction again, she did something which stopped their entire system from operating. He came back and moved her to another register, taking over the transaction himself.

Unfortunately, he could not get the register open, either. He then discovered the initial clerk had entered the wrong amount of cash tendered and realized he couldn't make the proper amount of change.

After more than 10 minutes of waiting for a three-item purchase to be recorded, he acknowledged there was a problem and that he'd have to make change from his own pocket.

That done, we escaped with our sanity and a feeling of consumer distrust.

That wasn't the only experience souring us on customer relations, however.

At another store, two lines of customers waiting to have their purchases checked out had to stand idly by while clerks discussed when they'd be going back to school, how their boyfriends behaved the previous night and what a sourpuss their boss was.

When they deigned to cast a glance toward the counter, it was as if they had no interest in getting the customers' money and getting them on their way.

I've never seen service like that in Pagosa Country.

The one place where service was friendly and prompt was at Coors Field where we took in a Rockies-Atlanta Braves game. The prices, of course, were outlandish - three bratwursts, two soft drinks and a bag of peanuts for $25 - but the degree of service was outstanding. From the ticket-takers to the seating assistants, everyone showed genuine concern for the customer.

The only big hangup to the whole evening came after the game. Following the signs out of the reserved parking area in order to get back on Interstate 25, we were halted at an intersection by a traffic policeman rerouting traffic onto another street - and into a non-moving, unending, traffic jam.

Getting out of that mess and then out of downtown Denver took some dexterity and dredging the memory for routes used nearly 50 years ago.

It took some careful maneuvering through old warehouse and manufacturing districts, but finally we had a street to ourselves and found our way easily onto a route back.

Since the teenage girl is one of the greatest Atlanta fans outside the Peach City itself, the game was a great success. The Braves won and her hero, Tom Glavine, answered her call from the stands, waved to her and saw her go bonkers with a repeating shutter on her camera.

Crissy is my second cousin, daughter of Stan and Ramona Uptain, who somehow have managed to survive her Atlanta fixation. They have reared a young woman with a strong success ethic, an unending creative spirit given an outlet through high school drama group participation, and a competitive spirit that makes her keep after success even when injured (torn ligaments in a knee while weight lifting).

Despite her age, she too was chagrined by the handling of the purchases in the various stores we visited.

She started her first job that week (in a costume shop) and the first thing she planned to do, she said, was to familiarize herself with the store's stock, what it is used for, the pricing for both purchase and rental, and how the cash register works.

"I'll always smile, even if the customer's wrong" she quipped, ignoring the old traditional "the customer's always right" credo. And, she said, "I'll never just leave the customers standing at the counter while discussing my personal or private life, like they did with us."

Sounds like a revolutionary concept to me.

I think she should be hired as an instructor for others of any age who have no concept of customer relations. And I think she'd make a welcome addition to any store's sales staff. In fact, there are least three stores where she would have been an instant improvement to what passed as customer service during our shopping spree.

The retail clerks you encounter here in Pagosa could, too, teach their counterparts in the big city how to deal with the public. We need to be aware of their service whenever we shop.

We may be a tourist-oriented community, but we're one with a service flair which the big city clerks can't begin to match.

Food For Thought

By Karl Isberg

Trolling electronic infowater for nourishment

I'm reclining on a bed in a hotel room in Denver, after a long day at a seminar at the Press Club.

The topic at a seminar during the day was - could you guess? - news.

So, what do I do when I get back to the hotel?

I turn on the television and watch the news. I do this often. To relax.

Television news channels - CNN, Fox News, etc. - are like streams or rivers: powerfully moderating, relaxing. I love to sit on the electronic riverbank, listening to the non-stop sound of the infowater as it rushes past. For a while, I zone out, ignoring the fact the sound is language; I meditate.

Refreshed, I then focus on the particulars of the rushing flow of info, and the sounds begin to take form, meaning bubbles up, percolates to the surface.

There's a lot of trouble going on in this world. Nothing new; it's always been the case. Only now there's more of it, there are more of us. It happens at a faster pace, in greater magnitudes and we hear about it, or flit about its televised veneer, as part of a daily regimen. Fortunately, it is not displayed in its full, fleshy, agonizing reality. The telestream is not deep; its flow courses through a shallow channel, all sparkly surfaces, highlights leaping and jumping in the glare of hype and celebrity. And to deflect a substantial engagement, between the slivers of newsnoise are commercials - enticements from the corporate world designed to keep an entertained public ready to consume, to immediately gratify urges, to possess cars and highly processed foods and electronic devices.

The problems flash past, transient, all on the surface: I throw in a line and I hook Bosnia, Macedonia, Tanzania, Sudan, Kenya, Myanmar, Indonesia, Israel, the West Bank. Bombs thrown by Basques, volcanoes, Muslim rebels, famine, jihad, retaliation, drought, slavery, stupidity.

I wonder: what are they eating in those places? This is a question that can be asked only by the most indulged, the safest, of persons. By someone dangling his feet in the infostream. Someone like me.

After a tough day of enforcing Mugabe's edicts and appropriating white-owned farms, what does an angry and testosterone-fueled tribesman order at his favorite restaurant before settling in for an evening of simplistic diatribes about the evils of colonialism?

Shortly after chucking a molotov cocktail at a cheap tourist hotel on the Costa del Sol, what does a Basque separatist like to eat?

It's been a rough day invading the Christian sector of the Sudan. What seems tasty to a Muslim slaver?

Serbs and Croats, Serbs and Croats. Toss in a proud resident of Herzegovina and a Macedonian or two, and what do we serve at the awards banquet?

Myanmar? You skulk around in abject fear of your government all day, ducking drably-uniformed soldiers with automatic weapons; what do you want for dinner?

The end of another fine sunny day on the West Bank, and everyone is exhausted from the task of beating each other, shooting each other, advancing stupid arguments conceived over a thousand years, vaporizing patrons of pizza restaurants, and it's time to eat. What's on the menu?

I drive home - to peaceful Pagosa, a community where nearly every property has big views and borders national forest, a place where we will never have trouble - and I hit the Web in search of recipes from the places I fish from the TV inforiver.

I find some interesting foods. If these folks spend an eighth the time cooking that they do shooting and causing pain, they experience some genuine taste treats. But, they probably don't share.

I found recipes from nearly every trouble spot in the world, including Cincinnati (the goofiest chili recipe in the universe). The Web is incredible.

The one geographical area with no recipes on the Web was Bosnia. Fortunately, according to a frequently aired television commercial, a large American tobacco company sends an occasional planeload of supplies to Bosnia, accompanied by a well-dressed female executive who looks suspiciously like a supermodel. The supermodel exec brings Bosnians boxed macaroni and cheese, beer and cigarettes.

All's well in Bosnia. There'll be no more strife there.

Most of the troubled world eats a lot of vegetables; protein is in short supply and is used as a supplement to dishes. But, more often than you'd think, there are still animals available to be stolen and slaughtered for the feast.

There is a prototypical African dish, a vegetable stew that can be thrown together very quickly, just in case you need to leave your village to avoid a massacre. You toss a chopped onion and chopped up pieces of greens into a pot - chard, mustard or collard greens -and fry them for a while. Then you add garbanzo beans, tomatoes, chiles or hot pepper sauce, yams, raisins, a bit of broth or water and you cook it for about a half hour. If you can find some rice, you cook that and serve the stew with the rice. If you find anything else nearby, with fur or without, toss it in too. No need to worry about how much of each ingredient to use; you chuck in what you can get, and you're glad to have it.

Many African dishes use peanuts - either ground or in a paste - and peanut butter suffices as a substitute in several recipes, including a peanut butter stew.

Stewing beef is marinated in spices and garlic then browned in oil. Water or broth is added to the pot and the beef is cooked slowly until tender. The meat is removed, the broth is reserved, chopped green pepper and onion are sauteed, a couple of diced tomatoes are added, as is a quarter cup or so of peanut butter which has been mixed with a bit of water to thin its consistency. The meat is popped back in with a bit of the broth, and the mix is simmered. A dash or two of hot sauce or some form of hot pepper is desirable and the stew is served over rice. If you can find it.

The Afrikaaners have a couple of interesting looking desserts - Melktert and Heerlike Poeding - which, no doubt, they enjoy after their shifts on guard duty.

A Burmese (excuse me, Myanmarese) chicken curry recipe looks great. It's called Kyethan Hin and includes chiles, garlic, ginger, lemon, tomato, potato, pumpkin, shrimp paste, turmeric, cardamom seed and parsley. Some of the ingredients are pureed to provide a flavor base for the dish.

Another Burmese dish (excuse me, Myanmarese), Akyaw, seems easy and flavorful. Essentially it involves a variety of chopped and julienned vegetables fried in a wok with ginger, with the addition of either fish sauce or oyster sauce. It seems the perfect dish - quickly made and consumed, light enough not to weigh heavy in the stomach - something to eat if you plan to flee a bevy of intelligence agents.

Those wacky Basques have a fascinating culinary history, melding the best of several of the world's great cuisines - including the French and the Spanish.

I found a complex and promising concoction called Bilbao stew. it tells you something about the Basque mentality when you read that the stew is categorized as a "vegetable stew" yet a scan of the ingredients reveals chicken, tenderloin of pork, and sirloin of veal.

Come winter, I intend to whip up a batch of Bilbao stew. If, after consuming several portions, I'm seized by an uncontrollable urge to ignite my car in front of a property owners association office, I'll know why.

Of course, for just plain, eight-cylinders in high gear foolishness, nobody tops the folks in the Middle East. Surely they must eat something besides dates.

I found a delightful site on the Web, run by a woman named Nadia. There is a caricature of Nadia on the site and, though her image is rendered in cartooney fashion, I sense Nadia is not only lovely, but rational.

Nadia has a recipe on her site called Fassoulia khadra, and I think it would be a fine dish to serve the next time the PLO and the Israelis get together to work out a new set of agreements they'll turn around and break the next day.

I'll cook Fassoulia khadra soon, since it uses an ingredient now in full fruit in Kathy's garden - green beans.

I'll brown cubed beef or lamb (lamb, in a nod to authenticity) then cover with water. Into the pot I'll pop a bouquet garni - a cheese cloth packet containing a small onion, a bay leaf, a hunk of celery and some parsley). I'll bring the mix to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the meat is tender. I'll remove the meat and throw away the bouquet garni and liquid.

Next, I'll saute a chopped onion in olive oil, add cut green beans and saute for five minutes or so then cover with beef broth and add a half can of tomato paste, salt, pepper, a bit of allspice and a teensy dash of cinnamon. A cover will go on the pot and the brew will simmer for 45 minutes to an hour. I'll adjust spices and reduce to desired consistency.

This will be good with couscous or rice (if I can find it), and with warm pita bread, used as a scoop. A salad with a simple dressing, and we've got it made - a meal of appeasement, of friendship, of peace.

I'll throw a "Hands Across the Sea Party" and we'll eat while we watch CNN.