Big game rifle season Round Two starts at the crack of dawn Saturday.
Big game license sales have been little affected by the Sept. 11 Twin Towers terrorist bombings, spokesmen for local license agencies say. A decline in the number of licenses sales is attributed to a stiff hike in the cost of out-of-state licenses.
Local license agencies are upbeat about results from the recently completed archery, muzzle loading, and rifle elk-only seasons, and are looking forward to the first rifle combined season beginning Saturday and lasting through Oct. 26. During a combined season, both deer and elk can be killed.
Hunting during the elk-only season was good in the San Juan Basin, according to Scott Wait, of the Colorado Division of Wildlife. More bulls were killed than cows. Because of light snowfall, elk remain at an elevation between 9,500 and 10,500 feet, Wait said, and are dispersed in dark timber and small groups.
Only elk could be hunted the first season and those only with licenses already purchased. That meant no across-the-counter sales of deer or elk tags at local license agencies. In addition, the cost for out-of-state deer licenses is up to $273.25, for out-of-state elk licenses up to $453.25. Last year the cost for out-of-state deer tags was $150, for elk $250.
Two rifle seasons follow the first combined season, both combination seasons allowing the taking of deer and elk. The third season starts Nov. 3 and ends Nov. 9. The final season starts Nov. 10 and ends Nov. 14.
"We can't complain about business," said Larry Fisher, owner of Ski and Bow Rack, Pagosa's volume leader in big game license sales. "We are down about 25 percent in the number of out-of-state license sales. I don't think the decline is due to the Sept. 11 bombing. I think it is the increased cost of out-of-state licenses."
Fisher declined to make a detailed comparison of sales this year with last year until his bookkeeper gets a chance to compile numbers and compare data.
"I have noticed that our dollar volumes compare favorably with last year, even if the number of people is down," Fisher said. "They seem to be willing to spend more money."
Hunters involved in the first three seasons report seeing a normal number of big game animals, according to Fisher.
"It's kind of funny," Fisher said. "Some of them say the elk are all up high and the next bunch of hunters to walk in here say the elk are all down low."
The number of elk hunters was down for the first rifle season, according to David Gottlieb, employed in the sporting goods department at Ponderosa Do It Best Hardware.
License sales during the first rifle season have been lower than expected, Gottlieb said, but sales dollar volumes are holding, just as at Ski and Bow Rack.
Bears are attracting a lot of attention, according to Gottlieb.
"They're (hunters) going out into the woods, seeing a lot of bears and bear sign, and coming back here for a bear license," Gottlieb said. "We can't sell them one after the season starts. They have to go to a Division of Wildlife office to buy tags after the season starts. The nearest DOW office is in Durango."
Archery and muzzleloading season hunters reported more success than during past years, Gottlieb said. He says hunter success is up this year, as measured by the number of hunters killing game.
"All of the hunters are friendly. They don't seem upset about the out-of-state license increases. They are all talking about the Twin Towers bombing Sept. 11, but I don't think that has affected license sales. If there is any measurable effect, it will be because of the increased cost of licenses."
"We have certainly seen a reduction in the number of hunters for archery and the first season," says Art Million of Sports Emporium. "At the same time, retail sales are holding up."
Increased out-of-state license fees have more impact on the number of hunters than the Twin Towers bombings, according to Million.
"We were told by hunters last year that they wouldn't be back, and they aren't," Million said. "The bombings probably reinforced that, but I think the main cause is the cost of licenses."
Hunting success was down for the archery and first seasons, according to Million.
"We are getting some reports of success yesterday and today," Million said Tuesday. "It's hot and dry and the elk are up high."
The coming season is the biggest of the year, "Our Christmas," according to Million.
Out-of-state license sales are down about 25 percent, said Todd Malmsbury of the Colorado Division of Wildlife public information office in Denver.
"We expected the number of licenses sold to be down," Malmsbury said. "Across the board, license sales are down from 10 to 15 percent."
At the same time, in an effort to see the bright side of things, Malmsbury says the hunting experience should be better this year because not so many hunters will be in the field.
"There is a down side to that," Malmsbury said. "Some times if there aren't many hunters, the game just stays in thick timber with nobody to push them out."
License sales could continue to fall from year to year, Malmsbury said, because the average age of hunters is increasing and not as many young people seem to be hunting.
"The average age of a hunter in Colorado is now 40 years and it is going up," Malmsbury said. "Fewer young people are taking up hunting."
Reconstruction of a Stevens Field taxiway serving 30 hangars has been completed, even as crews launch work on Phase I of a $3 million project calculated to upgrade the county airport over the next few years.
In a project originally estimated by County Commissioner Alden Ecker to cost $200,000 plus the use of county crews and equipment, the old runway at Stevens Field has been rebuilt from the ground up as a taxiway.
The final cost of the project with under $5,000 yet to be counted is about $288,000, according to Kevin Walters, the county road superintendent. Costs include $129,000 for Strohecker's paving; $65,000 to purchase lime, rent equipment, and other hard costs; and $94,000 for county labor and equipment.
County commissioners decided to rebuild the taxiway after receiving complaints from hangar owners that potholes and loose debris threatened damage to their aircraft. Because the county owns the taxiway and leases space for the privately owned hangars, the commissioners decided county liability could be mitigated only by rebuilding. Much of the work was done by county road and bridge crews and equipment.
That work included milling and removing the original asphalt surface, reconstruction of the underlying base using the milled asphalt, and including the addition of lime to create a largely waterproof foundation. Strohecker Asphalt and Paving of Durango was chosen to apply the surface asphalt.
The county borrowed $225,000 from Wells Fargo Bank to finance the taxiway project. Through a contract described as a lease-purchase agreement, the county has obligated Nick's Hangar and the new taxiway as security for the loan. In a general sense, the county leased Nick's Hangar to Wells Fargo for a nominal sum, such as $1 a year. In turn, Wells Fargo leases the hangar and taxiway back to the county in exchange for a series of payments from the county calculated to repay the $225,000 plus interest.
When asked if diversion of county road crews and equipment for the unplanned project has thrown road and bridge crews behind in other areas of the county, Walters said no.
"I was worried because the airport project used more time than we thought," Walters said. "In fact, we seem to be caught up around the county, even with other unforeseen projects. We're busy now cleaning culverts and barrow ditches, getting the roads ready for snow plowing."
One of those unforeseen projects is graveling certain roads in the Upper Blanco Basin, a project for which the commissioners recently allocated $49,000. Anything left over from the Blanco project will be used to upgrade Mill Creek Road, Walters said.
The overall Stevens Field project just beginning is designed to upgrade facilities making them acceptable for corporate jets. Commercial service is not anticipated. Work in progress includes clearing trees and brush from runway access areas in order to improve visibility.
The Upper San Juan Hospital District board wrapped their hands around the preliminary 2002 budget for the first time Tuesday.
They now have 24 days to review the 12-page document, give feedback to the budget committee and await the election results before determining a final budget - a question set for the Nov. 20 meeting.
Dick Babillis, board chairman and acting district manager, said the budget should look familiar as it's very close to the district's 2002 financial plan approved by the board in August for use in determining the amount of levy increase on the upcoming ballot.
The biggest change, he said, occurs in the capital and emergency reserve funds which have been adjusted to allow the district to return funds "borrowed" from the Dr. Mary Fisher Foundation in September. The Foundation extended a $100,000 credit line to the hospital district as a stopgap measure to carry it financially through to the November ballot. Under that agreement, the district, which has withdrawn $45,000 so far, is not required to return the money, but promised to make a good-faith effort to do so.
To head in that direction, total reserves were reduced from $202,046 in the financial plan to $164,020 in the preliminary budget. The reduction puts reserves slightly below 7 percent of the total budget, an original goal, Babillis said, but well over the 3 percent required by law.
Currently, the district has no reserves, a critical need, and rebuilding those funds by $164,000 will take up 47 percent of the mill levy increase revenues if passed by voters.
The preliminary $2.4 million budget presented to the board does include the estimated $346,000 in additional revenue, from a 2.030 mill levy increase to be decided at the polls next month.
"I take it if the mill levy isn't passed, we throw this away," board member Bob Huff said indicating the preliminary budget.
"Oh yeah, it's a different world," board member Sue Walan said.
When asked by an audience member why a worst-case scenario plan wasn't also presented in case the ballot question failed, Babillis said the goal was to avoid scaring the public.
The district's stand is that the level of services the community needs and wants, including 24/7 in-quarters staff, an urgent care facility offering weekend care and a primary care practice operating five days a week, is already being provided. The problem is, he said, the district can't afford it.
Approving the ballot question will allow everything to continue as is. Without the boost in revenue, things will have to change - somehow.
"I'm just not going there," Babillis said. "That's a personal decision. I have the support of the board to play it positive, positive, positive."
In an earlier phone interview, board member Patty Tillerson said, no matter what happens with the vote, ambulances will not stop running.
"I do believe with the board members we have now, whatever happens, whatever the voters give us, I know we can provide service if we have to."
In other business:
€ Babillis announced the names of the members of the District Manager Screening Committee. From the district, Laura Rome and Dr. Bob Brown will represent the Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Center, Mike Farrell and Carol Curtis will represent EMS and Sue Walan and Patty Tillerson will represent the board. The two public at-large members of the committee are Bud Brasher, also a member of the Dr. Mary Fisher Foundation, and Dan Ackerly.
Although the actual process to interview and select a district manager was voted on and approved by the board several months ago, the board did not vote on the members selected to serve. The at-large members were chosen by Babillis.
"I asked them, and they said they would be willing to do that," he said.
The committee will begin reviewing applications in mid-November. Once applications have been screened, and the initial telephone interviews completed, a list of finalists will be invited to come for a round of interviews on-site. The goal is to have a manager in place by the first of the year
€ Rod Richardson, EMS operations manager, reported construction on the Devil Mountain repeater installed near Chimney Rock is complete. The new repeater is intended to improve communications in "dead" spots. Over the next month, Richardson said, all radios must be programmed in a final step toward completion of the summer-long project
Equipment for the repeater was purchased using an $11,000 grant from the Colorado State Department of Pre-Hospital Care and Emergency Services. Much of the construction done by EMS volunteers
€ Shannon Price, EMS bookkeeper/receptionist, and Laura Rome, DMFC office administrator, reported on the HIPPA conference attended by both.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 was enacted by the federal government during the Clinton Administration to ensure that entities responsible for maintaining health information have adequate security measures in place to guard the confidentiality of such records. The district has until April 14, 2003 to comply with HIPPA regulations.
Both Price and Rome cautioned the district to avoid waiting until the last minute.
To comply, a committee must be appointed to perform a risk analysis on the district, determine how to repair problems and then train, test and revise all security improvements.
Richardson said security in Price's office space, which has no walls or door to lock, must be addressed soon. He suggested either moving her into the old district manager office or building walls around her desk
€ Rome reported that the Dr. Mary Fisher Foundation board approved $1,750 for the purchase of a patient education computer to be installed at the medical center. The computer with internet access will be installed at the clinic and available for patient education and physician research.
Law enforcement officers made safety a priority Saturday when they backed off of a pursuit of a suspected burglar on a high-speed tear down Put Hill.
According to Archuleta County Sheriff's Department reports, the suspect was driving at speeds over 100 miles per hour, crossing the center line and forcing other cars to yield during the brief chase.
It all began at Greenbriar Plaza on North Pagosa Boulevard at about 8:30 p.m. According to reports, Deputy Bob Brammer spotted a man at the service entrance to Pagosa Power Sports during routine checks of businesses in the area. Although the man subsequently disappeared, Brammer found bolt cutters near the door and noticed a white Dodge pickup parked nearby with its engine still warm.
Making note of the vehicle's license place number, Brammer, with Deputy Jeremy Hardy, pulled back and parked across the street to observe the pickup. Later, reports said, a man returned to the Dodge and drove off.
When the deputies attempted to stop the suspect for a headlight violation, the truck took off at high speed eastbound on U.S. 160. With lights and sirens on, the deputies followed, calling for other law enforcement officers in the area to respond.
Pagosa Springs Police Officer Bill Rockensock spotted the suspect's vehicle at Piedra Road and joined the chase. However, once officers lost sight of the pickup, the chase ended.
Captain Bob Grandchamp said the case remains under investigation.
As the SUN rises for the 93rd year, politics remains a prime concern.
One of the inevitable consequences of growth is a rise in the crime
rate, an increase in the number of arrests, more pressure on the judicial system. As the number of cases goes up, we need more prosecutors, court clerks, courtroom space. More judges.
Nowhere is this more obvious than in the load of cases flowing into Sixth Judicial District Court.
Recent statistics show at least 20 percent of cases in the three-county District Court system originate in Archuleta County. Up to now, however, the majority of these cases are handled in Durango courtrooms. There's a chance this will change soon. How it changes might be affected by local public opinion.
It seems money will be available to add a judge to the district by mid-summer 2002. Archuleta County freed courthouse space occupied by Social Services and will remodel it for use by district court clerks, records storage and a judge.
Signals have been sent that a new judge will split time between Archuleta and La Plata counties, perhaps with the Archuleta County Judge, as now, serving as a District Magistrate.
Three points should be made prior to the appointment of a judge and the determination of a schedule by the Chief Judge of the District, Greg Lyman.
First, a candidate for the seat on the bench will be nominated by the Sixth Judicial District Judicial Nominating Committee. Archuleta County has one member on the seven-person committee: Mamie Lynch. There is a vacancy on the committee and it should be filled by an Archuleta County resident. The commission meets next in November to nominate a candidate for San Juan County Judge and the topic of a new member could arise. It is time to put another local representative on the commission.
Second, if possible, the new judge should be a resident of Archuleta County. A judge familiar with and linked with the area in which the court is located has a deeper understanding of cases that come before the court. In terms of flexibility in sentencing, among other things, this can be a great advantage to the judge, to the defendant, to the public.
Third, a schedule should be set for a new district court judge that requires an average number of days per week in Archuleta County, regardless of case load. No matter where the next judge resides, time will be apportioned between courtrooms in Pagosa and Durango and there must be assurances a significant amount of that time is spent here.
These points can be expressed to three key groups and individuals in the process.
Letters can be sent to nominating committee members as well as the committee's presiding Supreme Court Judge Nathan Coats, indicating the advisability of appointing an Archuleta County resident to the commission and working to nominate an Archuleta County resident as a candidate to be considered by the governor.
Governor Owens will appoint a new judge. To date, it appears Owens prefers to select judges from among the ranks of attorneys with experience as a prosecutor. This is unnecessary in Archuleta County. Once appointed, a judge could be on the bench for a long time, and a full range of qualities should be taken into consideration by the committee and the governor. Owens could benefit from input from Archuleta County residents concerning the appointment.
Third, public opinion should be expressed to Lyman indicating that, whoever the appointee, prior to the fact of appointment, a commitment must be made to Archuleta County guaranteeing a judge works here at least an average two days per week. We do not need a judge who has the latitude to spend less and less time commuting to Pagosa Springs, preferring instead to deal with paperwork and other non-trial or hearing issues from the comfort of a Durango office.
If you care about this issue, about the quality and character of the District Court system and wish to make your opinion known, there is a list of names and addresses printed on page 6 of Section 1.
Repeatedly confronted by changes
I'm still not used to the changes I've initiated toward my own responsibilities and those of other folks on the SUN staff. But I'm repeatedly reminded that changes are an inevitable part of life.
A briefly reported item in this week's news made me very aware of how much the world I was used to and comfortable with has changed.
My latest phase of parting with the past started Monday afternoon as I was driving home from work. While listening to the evening news on KWUF, I was surprised to hear that earlier that day Bethlehem Steel Corp. had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The corporation's leadership tried to sound confident with its contention that America's third largest steelmaker hoped to resolve its financial problems while operating under Chapter 11.
Based on the broadcast, I was looking forward to reading about Bethlehem's bankruptcy situation in the Tuesday Rocky Mountain News. Like so many times when my mind looks forward, it's based upon my experiences or remembrances of the past.
So I was surprised when the Rocky's page 1 had no mention of Bethlehem Steel's Chapter 11. A page-by-page search of the news section failed to find what I had expected to see. So I went to the "Business" section. There, buried on the bottom of the only column of news on page 3, was a brief, three-paragraph report by the Associated Press wire service.
The article stated that Bethlehem Steel, "once a symbol of the country's industrial might" was reeling financially following 15 straight months of losses due to competition from low-cost foreign imports coupled with high labor and retiree-benefit costs. The third paragraph stated: "The company was founded in 1904. By the 1920s, it employed 60,000 people and could produce 8.5 million tons of steel a year." Times have changed.
My first awareness of the company occurred in the early '40s when I started hearing about Bethlehem Steel, U.S. Steel, Kaiser and Frazier shipyards and the other major manufactures who helped the United States and its allies win World War II. At that time, it was the foreign countries that were unwillingly importers of American steel in the form of attacking battle ships, aircraft carriers, bombers, fighter planes, tanks, artillery, bombs, shells and other weaponry. No one dreamed that a company such as Bethlehem Steel would help win a world war and then suffer defeat in the world's economic arena 55 years later.
The irony of history was illustrated in another way Tuesday when anthrax probably made the lead headline of every daily newspaper in the United States. With the War on Terrorism, anthrax has invaded the minds of many Americans. Because of its elusiveness, the fear factor of the biologically-manufactured white powder can have as an effective impact as did the armaments that Bethlehem Steel and its counterparts manufactured during World War II.
With Afghanistan growing the poppy plants that produce about 70 percent of the opium in the world that is converted into heroin, it will be interesting to see if precautions similar to those being taken with mail from uncertain sources will be followed by folks who buy the popular "recreational" white powders such as heroin or cocaine. For the terrorists to be mailing anthrax at the same time they are depending on heroin and cocaine to finance their terrorism could be counter productive.
Just as many folks never dreamed Bethlehem Steel would file for bankruptcy, I don't suppose anyone ever thought the fear of anthrax would be an incentive for folks to kick their drug addiction. It's an unexpected change.
It doesn't matter whether we agree with or are accustomed to change, the continuum of change is an unchanging characteristic of life.
Know you are loved and please keep us in your prayers.
91 years ago
Taken from Pagosa Springs New Era of October 14, 1910
Last week Joe Macht sold his Star Bakery to Walter McConnell, who took charge of the business Sunday. Mr. and Mrs. Macht will remain in the store until Mr. McConnell learns the baker's trade and then will go to their ranch.
Game Warden Melton was taking a peep around Archuleta County a few days ago. Found all the boys on their good behavior so far as contraband game was concerned.
Sheepmen are more and more deserting the practice of fall shearing. The fall clip is light in quantity, not so good as the spring clip in quality and leaves the sheep in poor condition to stand the winter cold.
Lorin Catchpole has purchased one of the McMullin houses on Lewis Street and is fixing it up preparatory to occupying it.
75 years ago
Taken from SUN files of October 22, 1926
Miss Lillie May Toner of Pagosa Springs, a sophomore at Aggies, is one of the fourteen co-eds who have finished their requirements necessary to the awarding of their American Red Cross Life-saving certificates. Each candidate must pass both a written and practical examination. The latter includes swimming, diving, carrying, methods of breaking holds and of administering artificial respiration.
Charlie Stollsteimer of Arboles is painting the interior of the new Catholic Church, St. Andres, which is to be dedicated November 10th. A big feast will be served on that day, followed by a dance at the schoolhouse at night.
A fine Windsor range, provided by the Juanita school board, is a recent addition to the teacher's apartment at the back of the school room.
50 years ago
Taken from SUN files of October 19, 1951
The crowd of hunters flocking into Archuleta County this year certainly is a record breaker with nearly twice as many licenses being sold prior to hunting season as last year.
The Red Cross swimming badges and certificates are here. Mr. Mike Giordano, water safety chairman announced this week that all the boys and girls who passed their requirements may obtain their certificates from Mrs. Ben Lynch.
Arrangements are being made to begin the annual Library drive next week. Members of the Woman's Civic Club will solicit donations and also sell Christmas cards to obtain funds for the improvement and maintenance of our public library.
25 years ago
Taken from SUN files of October 14, 1976
Highway construction on the east side of Wolf Creek Pass is holding up travelers when blasting is underway. Traffic has been delayed as much as four hours several times the past couple of weeks.
Elk season opens here Saturday morning and hunting should be good. Local game wardens say the elk are more plentiful than last year, but they are also more widely scattered. Hunting conditions are dry and noisy, weather is very nice and elk are scattered over far more area than last year.
Former Pagosa Springs High School athletes were much in the sports news this week. A Denver Post story said, "Jim Goodenberger carried the ball 10 times and scored three times as the University of Northern Colorado ran roughshod over Southern Colorado 38-7 Saturday."
There is a vacancy on the PLPOA board, one trustee was out of town, another received news on the day of the scheduled board meeting last Thursday that his brother had died, and another is recovering from back surgery.
With those circumstances in mind, the board session was abbreviated with the surgery victim, director David Bohl, staying long enough to give the board a quorum so action items could be handled.
Two applications have been received for the board vacancy and interviews with the applicants will be scheduled after Oct. 25.
The projected 2002 budget will be discussed at an open meeting yet to be scheduled again after Oct. 25. The date and time will be posted at the association office and will be open for all property owners.
During General Manager Walt Lukasik's report to the board, directors approved the request from staff to forego the annual staff Christmas party funded by the board and, in turn, to donate the amount of $1,000 to the American Red Cross Liberty Defense Fund for victims and families of the New York and Washington tragedies.
His report also indicated:
€ The resolution presented at the annual meeting to officially name the area encumbered within the association as Pagosa Lakes, Archuleta County, Colorado has been sent to corporate counsel for review and comment but no written opinion has been received
€ Mike Branch of Pagosa Springs was selected as the board's auditor for this calendar year
€ A comparison of delinquent accounts for the year to date periods ending Sept. 30, 2000 and Sept. 30, 2001 shows the total approximately $27,000 less this year. Accounting personnel began recording liens of properties for which an outstanding balance has not been paid on Monday. The office plans to send 91 accounts with outstanding balances of approximately $76,000 to collections in the near future. To date this year, 53 lots have been consolidated, thereby reducing projected billable accounts by that number. If that pattern continues, by year's end, 70 accounts will have been lost to consolidation
€ Recent approval of an amendment changing the land use designation for association owned property in the Central Core has started preparations for sale of the site. In order to increase potential gains from the property, staff is investigating elimination of the wetlands area by exchanging the wetlands designation with another area that has not yet been converted to wetlands. A developer has approached the association with a plan for adding channels to Village Lake which would expand the lake area and be designated as wetlands. The wetlands area of the current core property is being surveyed to determine its exact size. After survey completion and the area of the lake is defined, an application will be presented to the Army Corps of Engineers for approval of the exchanged areas.
In other action, the board appointed Bruce Ellis chairman of the Lakes, Fisheries and Parks Committee and approved guidelines, policies and a charter for the Board of Appeals Hearing Panel. The panel is being reorganized and will consist of members from the various association committees.
The Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association has been served a summons on a complaint filed in District Court of Archuleta County by one of its property owner members.
Glenn Bergmann's suit seeks to involve the association's board of directors in "correcting the poor quality of construction of roads which took place as a result of the Fairfield Bankruptcy settlement" with reference specifically to work on North Pagosa Boulevard.
A one-mile stretch of that project had to be redone because of problems with insufficient road base for the work completed.
Richard Manley, association president, announced the action at Thursday's abbreviated board meeting (see separate story).
He directed Walt Lukasik, general manager, to schedule a work session between the board and the Road Committee to discuss allegations contained in the complaint.
After a date and time is established, a meeting will be held that is open to all interested property owners.
Bergmann actually filed Notice of Claim against both PLPOA (on Aug. 15) and Archuleta County (on Aug. 8). Since PLPOA is not a governmental entity, his suit against the association board could be filed immediately. The county, however, cannot be sued until 90 days after the Notice of Claim and Bergmann intends that suit to be filed as soon as it is legal.
His notice of claim against the county indicates the filing date was to keep action within the three-year statute of limitations on the county's contractual obligations in approving and awarding a failed general contract on Aug. 10, 1998.
Bergmann has said over the past year that the county erred in not requiring an engineering study of the road base before allowing construction to take place and did not order it corrected from contractor bond, but from the same settlement fund which allowed the paving work.
The county has contended the settlement fund might not have been sufficient to cover other roads in the area had such an engineering survey been conducted and shown the base to be insufficient.
In effect, the contractor did what the county directed. His bond could not be used, therefore, to correct insufficiencies with the resultant product.
Former County Manager Dennis Hunt had recommended the board forego the engineering survey in order to get work done on as many roads as possible with the amount of funding available under court order. The commissioners and an advisory committee (which included PLPOA representatives) agreed, or at least did not object to that recommendation.
Bergmann's action against the PLPOA board of directors asks specifically for:
€ Damages for failure of the association board to perform its duties as required under association bylaws
€ Cites violation of a PLPOA-Board of County Commissioners agreement which, he says, stipulated no funds would be distributed from the construction account without written approval from PLPOA, and says the board of commissioners had control over a separate $6.9 million to be used only for road and utility improvements. Included in that agreement was "joint indemnity" and "mutual default remedies" and gave PLPOA the right to receive and review all recommendations with relation to fund expenditures
€ That PLPOA's board of directors failed to exercise any of the contractual rights that would have provided oversight on the job
€ Asks judgment in excess of the minimum jurisdictional limit of the court in order to cover property value loss, increased property tax obligation for future costs for road repairs and personal damages for being subjected to safety hazards created by substandard road construction.
On Monday, representatives of Orten and Hindman of Wheat Ridge, legal counsel for PLPOA, filed a motion for dismissal of Bergmann's action, saying the plaintiff lacks standing to file such a claim, fails to state a claim on which relief can be granted, fails to satisfy the requirements for derivative action, and that PLPOA should be entitled to recover attorney fees required by his action.
Bergmann's Notice of Claim against the county says the $6.5 million Federal Bankruptcy Court settlement with Fairfield was to be used by Archuleta County "solely to fund the construction of roads and other improvements at the Pagosa site. . ."
It says the county approved the award of the contract to the low bidder, authorized the county manager to sign all contract documents after review by county attorney but that the invitation to bid and contract documents were prepared without consultation with a professional engineer or any site investigation; and that there was no preparation of engineering drawings for the project . . . violating all standard engineering practices.
It says county personnel permitted the contractor to pave North Pagosa Boulevard, Saturn Drive and Lake Hatcher Circle without sub-base preparation or stabilization other than grading and compaction; the project was not inspected or supervised as required by both the contract documents and state statutes; county personnel approved contractor requests for payment for work that was either not performed up to specifications and drawings within the contract document or, in at least one case, not performed at all.
He charges the value of his property has been diminished by deteriorating conditions of recently paved access roads and by the failure of the county to complete access roads to the quality level promised by "Fairfield" and county specifications.
Additionally, the notice says, safety hazards have been created by failure to provide shoulders on roads as shown in county drawings; and that any increase in property tax liability for Road and Bridge Department repair or replacement of damaged roads will be an additional injury to the claimant as a direct result of the county's breach of contractual obligations.
A Pagosa Springs couple originally charged with two counts of felony securities fraud for not disclosing certain knowledge regarding a planned healing and conference center in town - Sacred Springs Inc. - accepted a plea agreement Sept. 28.
Under the agreement, all charges against Udgar Parsons were dismissed, according to court documents. Puja Parsons plead guilty to selling an unregistered security, a Class 6 felony, and received a deferred judgment from District Court Judge James Denvir. Because it is a deferred judgment, the charge will be erased from Parsons' record provided she meets several conditions set forth in the agreement. The conditions include: four years probation, 270 hours of community service to be performed within 18 months, restitution of $28,457.55 and costs of $2,090.
The restitution is for William Stewart, who, according to the affidavit for arrest warrants filed in Archuleta County Court, was persuaded by the Parsons to invest $20,000 in the Sacred Springs development in the spring of 1996.
According to the affidavit, when Stewart invested, the Parsons failed to fully disclose knowledge of possible "insurmountable difficulties" in regard to the proposed development.
A pair of house trailers in Aspen Springs burned to the ground early Sunday morning.
Fire Chief Warren Grams said firefighters had no chance to save the structures.
"The buildings were almost on the ground by the time they called us," he said. "At that time in the morning nobody realized there was a fire until they saw a big glow in the sky."
The Pagosa Springs Fire Protection District received the page at 3:47 a.m. and arrived on-scene 11 minutes later. Firefighters extinguished the blaze and returned to quarters at 7:30 a.m. A total of 22 department members and nine pieces of equipment were taken to the site to help fight the blaze.
The two house trailers, placed side by side on Retreat Lane, were a total loss, Grams said. Both belong to Loyce and Amos Lane of Sallisaw, Okla.
The cause of the blaze remains under investigation. As of Monday, Grams said, the department had been unable to make contact with the owners.
Archuleta County has linked arms with four other Colorado counties in a civil suit filed against the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission in a typical state versus local control controversy.
At the heart of the issue is whether rules adopted by the COGCC should prevail over certain surface land-use regulations adopted by counties in regard to the installation and operation of oil and gas well sites.
Counties named as litigants in the suit in addition to Archuleta County are La Plata, Las Animas, Routt, and San Miguel. The suit is filed in Colorado District Court.
A news item released by San Juan Citizens Alliance asserts that GOGCC is "industry dominated."
"Historically, the GOGCC has been dominated by members that either contract with the industry or work directly for it," states the release. "Currently, five of the commission's seven members work for the industry they are entrusted to regulate. The GOGCC's decisions, past and present, raise the question of whether this public body is fraught with conflict of interest. The commission has supported industry's attempts to stop counties from adopting their own regulations. In 1988, the Colorado Oil and Gas Association, or COGA, and the COGCC challenged La Plata County's authority to implement oil and gas regulations, and more recently COGA, an industry group, and two national oil and gas companies have launched a similar suit against Animas County."
What's at issue is the ability of local government to minimize the impacts caused by oil and gas development. Archuleta County is in the process of developing land-use regulations for the purpose of mitigating the impacts of oil and gas wells and their operations on surrounding residents, county roads, and other issues.
Many other counties already have land-use regulations in place relating to oil and gas wells.
Budget sessions and other meetings will absorb the attention of Archuleta County's commissioners during coming weeks.
The county's ruling board did not meet Tuesday in regular public session, but plan to meet this coming Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the commissioner meeting room. Regular commissioner meetings will be conducted on the fourth Tuesday of each month for the foreseeable future. The remaining regular meetings are held at 9 a.m. each week.
During budget sessions starting Oct. 29, a series of workshops will be held with other elected officials plus department heads reporting to the commissioners. So far, the commissioners have in their possession budget requests submitted by the other elected officials and department heads.
The task at hand is to hammer out a budget in which income equals expenditures, a requirement mandated by state law. In its preliminary form, this year's budget totals $25 million, about $5 million more than the budget adopted last year.
Also challenging will be the task of protecting the two-month reserve required by TABOR restrictions.
What form the budget takes remains to be seen, given that this is the first budget in years not prepared by former county manager Dennis Hunt. Commissioner Gene Crabtree has been though one budget cycle, Commissioner Bill Downey two budget cycles. This is the first for Commissioner Alden Ecker. Organization and compilation of the budget has been entrusted to Cathie Wilson, county director of finance.
Tomorrow the commissioners meet with the citizens road and bridge advisory committee at 10 a.m. The meeting will be held at the road and bridge maintenance building on U.S. 84. Members of that committee are Allen Bunch, Jim Carson, Alden Ecker, J.R. Ford, Ike Oldham, Troy Ross, Debbie Shaw, Dennis Walker, and Kevin Walters.
Establishing ground rules for hiring a new county manager is the subject of a meeting scheduled Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. At that time, the commissioners meet with Ken Charles, Director of the Department of Local Affairs serving this part of the state, and members of a county manager hiring advisory board. Those board members are Kathy Wendt, Keren Prior, and the three commissioners.
All county commissioner meetings attended by a quorum, two or more commissioners, must be announced at least 24 hours in advance by an agenda posted in a public place. The public is entitled to attend each meeting unless executive session is announced on the agenda or declared at the meeting. Even if executive session is declared, the meeting must begin and end in open session.
Budget hearings are scheduled to begin Oct. 29 and last from 9 to 3:30 throughout the week. Discussions with the various department heads will be conducted during the budget hearings.
On Oct. 30 at 10 a.m. in the commissioner meeting room, the commissioners meet with Colorado Department of Transportation officials concerning plans for highways in Southwestern Colorado.
With another two weeks of clear weather, the Pagosa Springs Community Center construction will reach a point where work can continue throughout most of the winter.
"That's what we're shooting for," Jay Harrington, town administrator, said at a meeting of the Pagosa Springs Community Facilities Organization Thursday.
Concrete decking is nearing completion, and framing has begun.
Although the dirt-work will probably come in somewhat higher than expected because of the amount of backfill needed, the budget is projected to hold steady at about $3 million without furnishings, Harrington said. So far, about $700,000 of that has been spent.
The community facilities group, with help from the town in the form of a $1.7 million lease purchase agreement with Wells Fargo, has raised nearly enough to cover construction through grants, fundraisers and private donations. But a gap remains.
In September, the Boettcher Foundation grant for $125,000 boosted numbers, but not as much as expected.
Group chairman Ross Aragon said they had originally requested $250,000 from the Boettcher Foundation, but that the difference was understandable considering the foundation board met after the Sept. 11 attacks.
At the same time, the group is working to raise money for furnishings by targeting local families and businesses, private donors and some smaller grants. Recently, the Bacon Family Foundation came through with a grant to furnish the senior center dining room. The Archuleta County Senior Citizens have promised another $10,000 to help furnish their part of the center, and other donations for equipment total around $8,375.
According to a proposed schedule presented to the board by architect Julia Donoho, equipment and furnishings need to be ordered in April for delivery by July 1. With the grand opening set for sometime between Aug. 1-15, that order date could be pushed back slightly.
The next big step, Harrington said, will be creating a management plan. The goal is to have a facilities coordinator hired by February. At that time, members of the community facilities organization will by asked to help line out all of the rules and regulations. Computer room access, facility fees and reservation procedures are just some of the items to be addressed.
Harrington said although no reservations are being taken at this point, people are already calling town hall and asking about dates for next year.
Hear ye! Hear ye! Pagosa Springs SUN read on tape weekly. Clients needed to partake in free service.
Call the criers, this news is big. There's a free service of volunteers reading the local news on tape that's not being used as much as it possibly could be.
Muriel and Paul Cronkhite, organizers of the service, said recently their client list dropped to five - down from around a dozen.
"We'd love to have more people use the service," Muriel Cronkhite said. "We've lost a few recently."
The service is simple. Anyone with a vision problem is eligible to receive an audio copy of the Pagosa Springs SUN for free. The paper, or at least everything that will fit on a 120 minute cassette tape, is generally read Thursday mornings, Cronkite said. Then it's copied and mailed the same afternoon, reaching clients Friday or Saturday. The listeners generally provide their own recorder for listening.
Over the years, Cronkhite said, informal surveys have been done to determine what people want on the tape. Some people will send notes giving their opinion of tape quality and content. Others, some who have used the service for years, she's never heard from.
"We don't read the sports because we have only 120 minutes of tape," Cronkhite said. "We will say if the high school team won and the score, but we don't go into minute details. They like the library news and the Chamber of Commerce, local chatter. They like the obituaries read. We don't read the police blotter. We definitely read the front page. We just have to think of what they would like."
After listening to the tapes, clients send them back through the mail so the equipment can be used again. Because the program is coordinated through the Southwest Center for Independence in Durango, postage is free as well.
Most of the clients requesting the service are elderly. Some remain active within the community, others are homebound. But, anyone with vision problems can qualify by calling 731-4727, Cronkhite said.
"It isn't only the older people who might need this service," she said, "and we've never required a medical document of any kind. We just take people's word for it."
About 12 volunteers take turns reading the paper, a task that takes about two hours, maybe a little more. It's a solitary job, requiring a quiet place, some water to wet the whistle and little else.
"This is not a difficult thing to do," volunteer Robbye Reedye, said, pausing during a recent Thursday reading session. It is, however, an invaluable service to a few.
"I haven't met any of the people who use the service," Reedye said, "but I feel as though there are some who view this as their only way of keeping up with the news in town."
The program began in 1992 after members of a St. Patrick's Episcopal Church women's group read an article about a similar program in Durango. Later, the Cronkhites took over the service, opening it up to the community for volunteers because of the number of people outside the church who wanted to help.
The equipment needed to record the paper and then copy tapes is stored at the Sisson Library for easy access by volunteers. Still, it's Muriel who makes the copies, sends the cassettes and overall organizes the service. Her husband, who led the reading program until health problems forced him to stop, still helps out by faithfully cleaning the tapes to extend their usefulness.
They operate on virtually no budget, Muriel said. The newspaper is provided free. Over the years, grants from the United Methodist Church and the Lions Club have helped purchase equipment, including a couple extra recorders to loan out to people who don't have their own. Focus and Sound has also helped out with repairs or replacement parts. Otherwise, Muriel said, everything, including tape cases and tapes, are recycled as long as possible.
What do a videographer, a hypnotherapist, a computer programmer and an outdoor shop employee have in common?
A love of the trail, a desire to see the country, and to do it all on foot - border-to-border.
The four hikers following the Continental Divide Trail from the Canadian border to the Mexican border, were in Pagosa Springs last weekend.
In a brief interview as they were packing gear and preparing to leave Monday morning, they talked about their adventure.
Jeffrey "Seehawk" Ferrell and Elise "Sunshine" MacGregor, both of Santa Cruz, Calif., began their trek June 7 at the Canadian border in Glacier National Park. She said they both had done the Pacific Crest trail and were inspired to the thrill of the trail by Roy Jardine's book.
He's the hypnotherapist and she the videographer.
Anthony "Rockfish" Rodriguez, of Detroit, Mich., left the Canadian border June 27 and Tod "The Stranger" Bachman, the computer programmer from Greensboro, N.C., began his trek three days later. The two paired up a few miles south of the border and have been traveling together since then.
"Sunshine" said the two pairs knew the others were on the trail and that each planned to complete the 3,100 mile walk, but had not paired up until they reached Pagosa Springs. She said they expect to reach the Mexican border Dec. 8.
Asked if they'd had any threatening experiences so far, she said they had avoided a few "scary spots by finding a way around them."
The hikers said they average about 20 miles per day, each carrying a full pack weighing 40 to 50 pounds.
Ballots for the Nov. 6 election should have been mailed to Archuleta County voters this week, according to June Madrid, the county elections official.
The ballots were to be mailed by the firm in the Denver area hired to print the ballots.
"We have until Oct. 22 to get them mailed out," Madrid said. "We hoped to save time by having them mailed from Denver rather than have them mailed to the courthouse, then mailing them a second time ourselves," she added.
As of Tuesday afternoon, no ballots had been returned to the clerk's office, Madrid said. At that time she had been unable to learn from the printer if the mail-out had been made.
One misunderstanding has resulted from the mail-only balloting process adopted this year, Madrid said. A list of pros and cons concerning tax issues mailed locally has confused voters, who are returning the lists to the courthouse.
"The ballots will be mailed in an official envelope with a return envelope," Madrid said. "Pro and con statements were mailed by the county, are in a separate envelope, and are not to be returned."
Counting of ballots takes place after 7 p.m. Nov. 6 when balloting closes.
Ballots are to be mailed to all active voters, voters who voted in the last general election. Voters not on the active list may still be qualified to vote if they have registered since the last general election. To be considered active and able to vote, qualified voters must visit the courthouse and fill out certain paperwork.
Voters who have changed address since the last general election and are therefore considered active may still not receive a ballot because of the address change. Voters who have moved but are considered active are therefore requested to stop at the county clerk's office in the county courthouse and obtain a ballot.
Ballots may be returned by mail or in person at the county clerk's office.
No elections of people are on this year's ballot. On the ballot are a county commissioner request for approval of renewing a 2-percent sales tax due to expire Jan. 1, 2003; a property tax increase sought by the local hospital district; the removal of term limits for School District NO. 50 Jt. school board members; and two statewide issues.
The statewide issues are Initiative 26, a proposal to fund research and development work on a monorail system connecting Denver International Airport and the airport at Vail, and Referendum A, a proposal allowing Greater Outdoors Colorado directors to issue bonds to secure funds for purchasing conservation easements.
In response to Willie Swanda's letter, I'd like to thank Mr. Swanda for reading my columns. That's always nice to hear. I'd also like to thank Mr. Swanda for including further information from the National Wilderness Act. I didn't mention other reasons for designating federal Wilderness lands because I was focusing only on the "untrammeled" aspect.
I don't mean to "badger" outfitters. I may need them someday, when my knees get too rickety to carry me and a pack into the mountains. But, when I see large pieces of metal, such as fireplace grills or stovepipes, left at heavily used sites, I know that they were brought in on the backs of large animals. Naturally I assume the culprits, careless or deliberate, are hunters or outfitters, and not backpackers or dayhikers.
Finally, I agree with Mr. Swanda that it is the responsibility of everyone who goes into the Wilderness to minimize the human impact, so that we can all continue to enjoy this wonderful resource. And this means, among other things, carry out what you bring in.
I am a parent of one of the Cortez (Junior High) Jaguar players that you played against on Thursday, Oct. 4, 2001.
I felt compelled to write this letter on the way home last night to tell you how impressed I was with most of your team members. I saw some real gentlemen and sportsmanship last night. When my son and a couple of our other players were laid down for a while by a play, I saw some of you help them up and shake their hand.
Whether it derives from your leadership on the field, parents, coaching or from within yourselves I don't know, but I do know that it impressed me. Although it is the way it should be, we don't see it often enough. Thank you. It is such a good feeling to find those qualities in kids your age.
My hat is off to you. Congratulations on the win, you played very well.
Good luck in the future.
Mother of No. 17
After looking over the expenditures for the last five years and the projected spending for 2002, I find it difficult to see any urgent necessity for doubling the property tax for the Hospital District.
The total dollar increase for the five years of $1,096,031 or 157 percent actually occurred in the four years 1998 through 2001. The projected increase for 2002, without the requested tax increase of $201,045, brings the total increase to $1,297,076 or 185 per cent.
Presumedly income matched spending through 2000 and is projected to match through 2001 and 2002, again without the increase. Apparently the district has been able to fund all programs and intends to through 2002 without help from the proposed increase. The increase is to take effect Jan. 1, 2002 and will not provide any additional funds until the 2002 property taxes are collected in 2003.
There seems to be a considerable lack of information as to any program being dropped, if any, or to what extent any have been curtailed or will be dropped or seriously curtailed if the tax is not doubled.
Will additional money be used only to continue what we have or are there plans for greatly increased, or added new services?
Aside from the above, Referred Issue 4A is a poorly conceived attempt to get voters to approve measures they have no authority to approve. Local voters cannot approve the waiver, deletion, changing, avoiding or ignoring the provisions of Article X, Section 20 of the Colorado Constitution or Section 29-1-301 of Colorado Revised Statutes.
Voters can only approve specific options allowed by these laws. They can approve tax increases, new taxes or other increases noted in Art. X, Sec. 20 (4) (a) of the Colorado Constitution. Under sub-section (7) (d) they may approve the retention, by the district, of the excess revenue collected beyond the spending limits mandated by subsection (7) (b). The excess is a specific amount for a specific fiscal year and must be refunded in the next fiscal year, unless voters approve a revenue change as an offset.
The Colorado Supreme Court has ruled this revenue change is the offset to the refund. Voters decide whether to receive the refund or not receive it; that is - let the District spend the money.
The approval of this specific revenue change does not in any sense or manner, waive or otherwise nullify the limits set by (7) (b). Section 29-1-301 C.R.S. also allows options which, if approved by the voters, do not change the provisions of that section of the law.
Yet, the Hospital District persists in asking the voters to approve the impossible thereby, perhaps, endangering the whole thing. A simple request for a tax increase without all the extraneous conditions could be legally approved and likely would be.
As previously reported in the Pagosa SUN, the lawsuit against the HardTimes Concrete batch plant and the county commissioners has been dropped by the FFE.
Basically, our lawyers told us we could win because the county commissioners had not followed their own rules (which they subsequently changed). However, it would be a Pyhrric victory in that it would cost us more money and time and really gain us nothing that we had not already accomplished.
The batch plant is now operating, but with all the mitigations that we insisted they have - and which they resisted until the lawsuit. And while we still regret that it exists at the present location on a major highway and on the banks of the San Juan River, we did make sure that it is not a major eyesore. Check out other asphalt and batch plants for comparison. Especially the one at the junction of 84 and 160. We also assured, to the best of our ability, that it will not pollute the river or valley with chemicals, noise or dust. We were not able to do anything about the traffic problem; and already a tragic accident has occurred there as Brian Lewis formerly of the planning commission and also our FFE predicted. However, we did achieve over 80 percent of our goals. And in a democracy, that is not a bad statistic. We plan to continue to monitor the situation to make sure the mitigations will continue to be followed.
Most all citizens of Archuleta County do benefit from these enforced improvements and will continue to do so in the future. Your drinking water is now more protected. Also, had we not taken this stand then, in a short period of time, we would see more commercial development leapfrogging to the north of the San Juan River Village and into other places where commercial ventures should not exist.
Our stand against this issue did awaken and arouse other people and organizations that then made sure that the County Plan was passed. Hopefully this type of thing will not easily be done again in the future. The county citizens are now informed and aware and no doubt will move these issues to the political arena in the next election.
Remember - awareness and involvement are the keys to good and honest government.
Great Hot Spring
The purpose of this letter is to discuss relevant facts regarding the "Great Pagosa Hot Spring" or "Hidden Spring," as some folks like to call it.
The main hot spring is a private spring, owned by the Pagosa Spring Inc. For over 20 years it was inaccessible to the public, surrounded by a Cyclone fence. The only access for visual observation was a private walkway designed and paid for by the owners of the Spring Inn. The "Pagosa Hot Spring," in its long history, never had public access.
The town's desire to extend the Riverwalk and build a footbridge across the San Juan River involved negotiations with us, as owners of the Spring Inn, resulting in a land donations for access to the footbridge and a 12-foot wide Riverwalk to the U.S. Post Office. Pagosa Springs Inc., then owner of the hot spring, was not willing to participate.
Three years ago, we purchased Pagosa Springs Inc., along with water rights and the main spring. A study of the main spring measured its depth: 75 percent of its area ranged from 1 to 5 feet in depth and the other 25 percent about 40 feet in depth. The source of the spring was located and a calibrated line was dropped 1,500 feet into the hole without touching bottom. Sustainable water outflow of the spring is eight times what is currently delivered to supply pools at "The Springs". The aquifer is not being damaged. There are other naturally free-flowing springs used to supply the pools. Temperatures range from 100 to 140 degrees F.
The hot spring is a also a legal liability. People used to visit the spring at their own risk. Today we are confronted with someone throwing a dog in the spring, getting burned retrieving his scalded dog, then suing for damages. Our insurance carrier is going to settle, but premiums go up. How do we keep children or adults from climbing over a fence when we live in a litigious society? At some point, further restrictions may be necessary.
We donated a significant part of the property where the Town Hall stands and where the Community Center will stand. We donated 11 acres behind the Center, including the river and water rights for a future Town Park, all part of another major commitment by the town to provide an environment that all members of our community can enjoy for generations to come.
Is it better to focus on a shallow spring with water too hot for human benefit, or the healing waters flowing from the source which support 15 to 20 geothermal pools, provide heat for buildings and return water to the river? "The Springs" provides an anchor for a dynamic downtown economy.
Water that comes to the surface today, used in healing and recreational pools, has not seen the surface of the earth for over 10,000 years. Our plan is to fully utilize the potential of the aquifer, and at the same time, preserve this cherished gift for future generations.
Sheri Peed's letter to the SUN of Oct. 11 also surfaced some personal memories and only reinforced my "Proud American" feeling. But those emotions were not stirred because of the events of 9-11. Unlike Ms. Peed, I never lost my pride in America because of the Vietnam War.
It wasn't too many months ago that Bob Kerrey, the former Democratic senator from Nebraska and Medal of Honor recipient, was a large target of the left wing. Because of a 1969 incident in which Vietnamese civilians were accidentally killed, the ex-SEAL team leader was crucified by self-righteous elements of the New York media.
I think the real news here wasn't Bob Kerrey and his conscience. The real story is why so many liberals wanted to turn the tale into a cause celebration to justify their own opposition to the Vietnam War. Kerrey was just one more historical prop which liberals could exploit to try to reclaim their moral authority. But what tortures the conscience of anti-war liberals to this day is that the American public never agreed with them.
Americans now revere the men and women who fought more than those who fled to Canada. Maybe liberals were so hard on Mr. Kerrey because his service reminds them how wrong they were to oppose the cause he personally sacrificed so much for. (Kerrey lost a leg in Vietnam).
The body language and word choices of many media commentators indicates clearly that a larger issue - how history will judge our involvement in Vietnam - is still very much in play, and a big part of that issue is to continue to demean the American sacrifices in that war. Will that same media also now demean our warriors fighting terrorism who accidentally killed Afghanistan civilians because of weapons gone haywire? I sincerely hope not.
For many who went through extensive combat in Vietnam, such parsing brings back anger caused by memories not of the war, but of the condescending arrogance directed at them upon their return, principally by people in their own age group who had risked nothing and microscopically judged every action of those who risked everything and often lost a great deal.
I am sure there are many who still carry some of those scars.
Never lost pride,
Common sense call
I live in a small town in Harper, Texas. My family's dream is to some day live up there in the most beautiful country we have ever seen, but for right now we have to settle for pictures and reading your newspaper. This is what brings me to the main subject. In the Oct. 4 issue, Missy Rodey, of the United Way made a comment that shocked me. By reading the article, she has already shown that she is not capable of reading statistics, or does not have the common sense to figure out what "drop out rate" is, but she is now assuming that 9 out of 10 Pagosa Springs people are as ignorant as she is. Buck-up Ms. Rodey, admit that you made a mistake, correct it and move on, don't try to cover it up by assuming 90 percent of Pagosa Springs people are stupid.
Pagosa Springs' varsity football team blitzed Centauri 68-12 last Friday to the delight of an overflow crowd of Homecoming fans.
The win boosts the Pirates into a familiar position, tied atop Intermountain League standings with those other Pirates, Monte Vista. Both teams have 2-0 IML records. Pagosa hosts Monte Vista Oct. 26 in the final IML game of the season for both teams.
Centauri fell from the unbeaten ranks to a 1-1 IML record with their loss to Pagosa last week. Centauri and Monte play tomorrow night. Bayfield beat Ignacio 15-6 last week, improving their league record to 1-2. The Wolverines host Pagosa tomorrow night.
Pagosa coach Myron Stretton is happy with the Pirate victory last week, but he is concerned about the game with Bayfield. Rivalry between the two schools has been intense over the years. Prior team records going into the game have little to do with each game's outcome. Every year the game is a nail-biter.
"I look for Bayfield to do pretty much what they did last year, run the ball," Stretton said. "They always play us tough, especially over there."
Bayfield has been a ball-control team all season, attempting to control the game by controlling the ball. Pagosa, on the other hand, has been a quick-strike team, scoring by land or air from anywhere on the field, as they did against Centauri.
"The big thing about the game was, early on Centauri gave us a short field to play on," Stretton said. "We rushed their punter a couple of plays and they quit punting. As a result, we were getting the ball on their end of the field."
"I think we did a better job of concentrating and executing than we have done in the past," Stretton continued. "That's what we have to do if we expect to reach the state finals and advance."
"Our defense is improving each week," Stretton added.
The Pirate defensive secondary picked off four Centauri passes. Junior linebacker Pablo Martinez covered a fumble on the first Falcon play from scrimmage setting up Pagosa's second score. On 12 possessions, Centauri scored twice, was forced to punt three times, was intercepted four times, turned the ball over on a fumble once, and turned the ball over on downs twice.
Stretton cited the passing of quarterback Ronnie Janowsky and the improved running of fullback Brandon Rosgen. Janowsky completed nine of 17 passes for 125 yards, three touchdowns, and no interceptions. Rosgen ran six times for 80 yards.
Pagosa's line also turned in a Herculean effort, according to Stretton. Most of the linemen double up on offense and defense. Included among the regular linemen are Martinez, Ethan Sanford, Michael Vega, Ben Marshall, Lawren Lopez, and Andrew Knaggs. Knaggs didn't play last week because of an injury.
It was a cold, blow on your hands and put them in your pockets kind of night for the overflow crowd at Golden Peaks Stadium. Were the rosy cheeks caused by chilling temperatures or from the excitement of cheering for their Pirates?
Pagosa's gridders gave their fans plenty to cheer about. The Pirate offense, as hot as the night was cold, rang up 27 unanswered first-quarter points and trotted to the locker room at halftime with a 54-6 margin. Before the game ended, they'd crossed the goal line 10 times for TDs.
Centauri won the opening coin toss, the last advantage the Falcons experienced that night. The visitors chose to kick off to Pagosa, opening the door for a first-period Pirate offensive onslaught that shoved Centauri in a hole from which they couldn't see daylight, let alone climb out.
On their opening drive, the Pirates used 11 plays to march 85 yards and scratch paydirt. Punctuating the drive were runs of 8, 10, 9, and 14 yards by Caleb Mellette. Janowsky consummated the march when he found Jason Schutz ambling from left to right in the Falcon secondary, put the ball on Schutz' No. 80, and watched the Pirate junior high step into the right corner of the end zone. Darin Lister split the uprights and Pagosa was on top 7-0 with 9:17 remaining on the first quarter clock.
On Centauri's first play from scrimmage following the kickoff, Pagosa's Martinez covered a fumble on the Falcon 21 yard line. Three plays later, Mellette slammed into the end zone. The Pirate senior, No. 23, scored four touchdowns for the night and picked up 133 rushing yards on 16 carries. Lister's extra point kick zoomed wide. With 8:13 remaining in the period Pagosa's lead climbed to 13-0.
Pagosa's D forced Centauri to punt on their next possession. On successive plays, Janowsky passed to junior Brandon Charles for 20 yards, then again to Charles for 23 yards and a TD. Charles turned in a big night, rushing twice for 12 yards, catching four passes for 52 yards and a TD, and returning an interception 45 yards for a TD. Lister ran for two on the extra point try, building the Pirate lead to 21-0 with 6:40 of unused first period clock time.
The Pirate D forced yet another punt on the next Falcon possession. Following the punt, Pagosa Springs put the ball in play on Centauri's 36-yard line. Seven plays later, Mellette sped 9 yards around the left side of the line for Pagosa's fourth touchdown of the period. Lister missed the EP, but Pagosa's lead stretched to 27-0. The clock showed 3:14 remaining in the initial period.
The period ended when Cord Ross intercepted Kenneth Schell's pass, giving Pagosa a first down on the Centauri 18-yard line. Rosgen bulled across the goal line two plays later for the first of his two touchdowns. Lister kicked the extra point, and Pagosa led 34-0 with almost half of the first half remaining.
Pagosa kicked off to start the second half, then forced Centauri to punt in four downs. Pagosa fumbled the ball back to Centauri, then again held the Falcons on downs. Four plays later Rosgen scored from the 24, Lister's kick was good, and Pagosa led 61-6.
Pagosa's final scores came on a run by Rosgen and a pass from backup quarterback David Kerns to Jeremy Caler. Pagosa reserves played much of the second half.
Through two IML games Pagosa Springs has averaged 60 points a game while holding opponents to an average of 16.5 points a game.
Pagosa Springs 68, Centauri 12
Pagosa Springs 27 27 7 7 68
Centauri 0 6 0 6 12
PS: Janowsky 37 Schutz (Lister kick). PS: Mellette 1 run (Lister kick wide). PS: Janowsky 23 Charles (Lister run for 2). PS: Mellette 9 run (pass inc.). PS: Rosgen 18 run (Lister kick good). C: Schell 5 Crowther (kick wide). PS: Mellette 23 run (Lister kick miss). PS: Mellette 10 run (Lister kick). PS: Charles 45 intercept. (Lister kick). PS: Rosgen 24 run (Lister kick). Kern 26 pass Caler (Lister kick good). C: Booth 6 run (pass inc.).
Consider it a warmup for a week of intense league action.
Consider it a prelude to the Homecoming dance.
Consider it a win for the Lady Pirate volleyball team, 15-1, 15-13 over the Farmington Scorpions.
Farmington came to town Saturday with no pressure to win the non-league match and the Scorpions' coach responded by putting only two of her starters on the court for the first game.
It was a mistake.
Ashley Gronewoller started the match by returning serve to Pagosa, smashing a Scorpion overpass to the floor. It would be the first kill in Gronewoller's most impressive offensive performance of the season.
Katie Lancing went to the serve and by the time she relinquished the ball Pagosa had an 8-0 lead. Lancing started the run with an ace, one of three she would hit in the game. Lori Walkup provided a point with a kill. Gronewoller scored with a tip over the Scorpion block, and two powerful kills - one on a quick back-set from Lancing that left Farmington blockers flatfooted and an inept Scorpion backcourt defense in disarray.
Farmington got its single point in the game on a ball hit out by the Pagosa attack.
Gronewoller led the charge to the finish line in the first game, scoring once with a stuff block and four times with ace serves. Senior outside hitter Nicole Buckley, returned from a three-match layoff due to illness and scored with a cross-court kill. Shannon Walkup added a point from the outside and the Scorpions surrendered a point with a serve-receive error.
Farmington's strategy changed significantly in the second game of the match. For one thing, the Scorps returned to their regular starting lineup. Secondly, the New Mexicans shifted their offense to the outside, forcing Lady Pirate blockers to move to the point of attack.
Pagosa took a 2-0 lead, but the visitors stormed back to go ahead 4-2.
Farmington held leads of 7-5 and 9-6 before giving up three consecutive points with errors.
Gronewoller and Lancing broke the 9-9 deadlock with a tandem block, but the Scorpions were handed a charity point on a hitting error and the teams were knotted 10-10.
Gronewoller put her team out front again with a kill and Shannon Walkup hit an ace, but Farmington evened the score, relying on Pagosa mistakes. A ball sent out of bounds by a Lady Pirate hitter put Farmington in the lead 13-12.
Then, it was the Scorps' turn to make the mistakes: two hitting errors put the Ladies on the verge of the win. Farmington got the ball back on a Pagosa passing error, but Lancing allowed the Scorpions no time to capitalize as she returned serve with a kill down the line.
The game ended when Buckley put an ace serve down for a point.
Lady Pirate Coach Penné Hamilton said work done during practice seemed to pay off in the match against Farmington.
"One of the things we worked on during the week was our defense and our communication on defense," she said. "The coaching staff watched the girls closely during the match and they did a lot better; they were talking to each other. I was also pleased with the way Ashley played on offense against Farmington. She was playing at a level where she should be. She had 10 kills in 12 attempts."
Every member of the team will need to fire on all cylinders this week as Pagosa faces all four Intermountain League rivals in a space of five days to end the regular season. Three of four matches are scheduled for the home court, including the Tuesday against Bayfield, with Ignacio coming to town tonight and a surprising Monte Vista squad visiting tomorrow. Saturday, the Ladies travel to Centauri for a key match against the Falcons.
Pagosa Spgs. def. Farmington 15-1, 15-13
Kills: Gronewoller 10
Aces: Gronewoller 4, Lancing 3
Assists: Lancing 7, L. Walkup 4
Solo blocks: Lancing 1
Digs: Lancing, Buckley 5, S. Walkup 4
Pagosa's emphatic 15-3, 15-2 win over Bayfield Tuesday left little doubt the Ladies have the capacity to step up the level of their game as the end of the league season and the volleyball playoffs approach.
There was nothing lackluster about the effort Tuesday and members of the team did not lack motivation. Focus was not a problem and what had become a habit of playing weak second games in matches disappeared.
An altered Lady Pirate backcourt defense took several plays to click into form and Bayfield had a 2-0 lead - its only lead of the evening - at the outset of the match. That ended as Pagosa's big guns, Ashley Gronewoller, Katie Lancing and Nicole Buckley, cratered the floor with kills. In the blink of an eye, Pagosa was ahead, for good, 4-2.
A series of unproductive sideouts, peppered by the occasional point, colored the core of the first game, ending with the Ladies up 8-3.
Shannon Walkup went to the serve line for Pagosa and, six points later, she relinquished serve with her team ahead 14-3. During the run Walkup hit an ace, Lady Pirate blockers scored three times and Buckley, back to form at the outside after missing matches with an illness, scored twice, getting the 14th point with a blast of a shoot set from Lancing.
Bayfield had the ball back long enough to serve. Buckley killed to take the ball away then hit successfully again for the winning point.
While the lion's share of the Pagosa scoring was done by three players, others contributed to the offense. Shannon Walkup played aggressively at the net, attacking the ball and posing a real threat. Lori Walkup set her hitters well. Defensively, Katie Bliss had an excellent outing, at the net and in the backcourt.
With a 1-0 lead in the second game, Gronewoller went to the serve line. Lori Walkup scored with a stuff block of a Wolverine hitter; Buckley crushed a Bayfield overpass then nailed a kill down the line; Gronewoller hit two aces. Pagosa 6, Bayfield 0.
The visitors scored on a Lady Pirate hitting error before Pagosa regained serve. At that point in the game, junior setter Amy Young entered the action. it was Young's first appearance on the court this year, since suffering a serious knee injury in preseason practice. Young showed her stuff with enthusiastic play and great court sense, backsetting Lancing several times for points.
The backcourt defense stayed strong, with solid play from Bliss, Buckley and Shannon Walkup. Lancing took control of the game at the net and Bayfield was fortunate to score another point. Lancing finished at the serve line for the final five points of the game, hitting four ace serves, the last a jump serve to the back line to end the game and match.
"The kids played much better tonight," said coach Penné Hamilton. "They played a much more focused second game and our defense was better. We changed the defense and it worked. Katie was hitting her jump serves, and she is dangerous when everything is working right."
The win boosted Pagosa's season record to 14-2 and the Intermountain League record to 5-0. Next on the agenda, tonight at the high school gymnasium, is IML foe Ignacio.
"Ignacio will be the same scrappy team we saw over at their gym earlier in the season," said Hamilton. "We'll have to pound away at them and be smart in the way we place our hits." Action begins with a C-team match at 4 p.m.
Tomorrow night, a difficult Monte Vista team comes to town for matches that start at 4 p.m. "Monte has been taking everybody to three games," said the coach. "We can't play a hot and cold match against them; they are improved this year and we can't take them lightly."
Saturday could be the most important match of the season as Pagosa travels to La Jara to play Centauri. The Falcons lost a three-game match to the Ladies early in the year and, with only one league loss, the Falcons plan to unseat the Lady Pirates and earn at least a tie for the IML crown. The gym at La Jara will be full and the crowd will be loud. It looms as a classic matchup between two longtime rivals.
"They changed the varsity start time at Centauri from the afternoon to eight at night," said Hamilton. "They did it so they would have a big crowd and they want to rock our world. We want to go in and spoil it for them. I've tried to stress to the girls to not overlook Ignacio and Monte, and also impress on them how important it is to be league champs. It's not just a tradition - it's an advantage that allows you to go on to regionals. You tie for the title, and all bets are off. Saturday will be important and I think our girls can succeed if they keep up the quality of their game."
Pagosa Spgs. def. Bayfield 15-3, 15-2
Kills: Buckley 8, Lancing, Gronewoller 4
Assists: Lancing 8, Young 3
Aces: Lancing 5, Gronewoller 2
Solo blocks: Lancing, Gronewoller 1
Digs: Shannon Walkup, Lancing, Buckley 4.
A Wolverine soccer team that has improved markedly since being blanked 6-0 by the Pagosa Springs Pirates Sept. 13 at Golden Peaks Stadium gave Bayfield fans a half of hope for an upset on their home field Thursday.
But their hope died after the visitors collected themselves at halftime and the scrappy Bayfield team went down to the Pirates again, 3-0.
It was a game that for some reason seemed not to want to be played.
Originally scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 9, it was postponed by Bayfield because of inclement weather earlier in the day.
It was subsequently rescheduled to 6 p.m. Thursday and one report had it being changed to 5 p.m.
Turned out the 6 p.m. start time was correct, but someone forgot to notify the officials and they were still working with the original 7 p.m. beginning. One arrived at about 6:20 and went through the pre-game captains' meeting and equipment checks, after having notified the other two of the changed time.
At 6:32:54 the game actually began.
By that time, however, both teams had been on the field practicing for over an hour and seemed disorganized offensively. Defenses, however, were primed.
In the third minute Pirates wingman Zeb Gill had a break-away but his shot went wide right. Bayfield's first shot on goal came four minutes later and was stopped by Pagosa keeper Matt Mesker.
The first half then turned into a game of missed opportunities, sound goal keeping on both sides and open shots sailing high or wide. Mesker had six saves in the half and Bayfield's Daniel Rhode turned aside 15 Pirate attempts.
Four of those stops came on a Pirate blitz in the last 30 seconds, Rhode turning aside blasts by Henrique Dias, Levi Gill and twice by Kyle Sanders.
After the intermission, the Pirates looked like a new team as coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason challenged them to "get organized."
Eighteen seconds into the half Ty Scott took a lead from Zeb Gill and was right on net but Rhode was up to the challenge. Three minutes later Benjamin Raab's drive was wide left.
Then Scott broke the spell.
Stealing a Wolverine pass about 35 yards out, he skirted past a lone defenseman, did a neat double crossover step to draw Rhode out to his left, then ripped a drive from 10 yards that Rhode dived for but could not reach.
The stalemate was broken on Scott's unassisted move.
The real turning point came just over three minutes later when Mesker made the save of the night, diving flat out to his left to snare a booming break-away shot by Bayfield's Mike Jefferson to preserve the shutout.
In the game's 70th minute Zeb Gill dropped a beautiful crossing pass to the Pirates' leading scorer, Kyle Sanders storming the middle, and he put Pagosa up 2-0 with a shot Rhode never reached.
Two minutes later it was Kyle Sanders in the mix again, this time getting the assist on a drop lead to Raab who ripped the ball home.
For the final eight minutes, the Pirates went into a ball control game, keeping the Wolverines out of the attack zone and controlling midfield with crisp passing and solid defense.
The victory moved the Pirates record to 8-2 on the season with playoff action scheduled to begin Saturday at Golden Peaks (see separate story).
First half: No score; Second half: PS-Scott, unassisted, 9th minute; PS-K. Sanders, assist Z. Gill, 30th minute; PS-Raab, assist K. Sanders, 35th minute; Saves: B-Rhode, 21; PS-Mesker, 11; Penalty kicks, P-2, B-1.
Pagosa's fortunes in state soccer playoff action ride on the caprice of seeding.
The Pirates will host a 2 p.m. game Saturday against the winner of a 3 p.m. Thursday pigtail game between Bayfield and Center at Golden Peaks stadium.
The loser of the Thursday game will be eliminated from further competition. The winner and the Pirates will each advance to playoff action, according to David Hamilton, Pirate athletic director. Saturday's game will be for determining playoff seeding position.
The Pirates, currently carrying the No. 6 ranking in one state poll and the No. 9 position in another, take an 8-2 record into Saturday's action. If they carry a higher seed than their opponent in state quarterfinal competition, they will host that game at Golden Peaks on Oct. 27.
The Colorado High School Activities Association lists Pagosa in the Intermountain/Southern Peaks league with Bayfield, Center, Sierra Grande and LaVeta. Neither Sierra Grande nor LaVeta fielded a team. Pagosa defeated Bayfield twice, 6-0 and 3-0, but did not play Center and no Web site lists a record for the San Luis Valley team.
With five teams assigned to the league, CHSAA granted it two qualifiers. Pagosa played Crested Butte, Ridgway and Telluride from the Mountain Division which, with four teams assigned, draws one qualifier. That will be Telluride, which administered both of the Pirate losses, and is ranked as high as No. 4 in state polls.
By Monday, the Pirates should know their playoff seeding position.
It's do or die time for the Pagosa Springs cross country team, and they will win or lose at home in regionals this Saturday.
The Pirates will host the regional, state-qualifying meet at the Pagosa Springs Golf Club course, and it promises to be a thriller.
Pagosa Springs Head Coach Scott Anderson said the competition should include around nine girls teams and 10 boys teams. Of those, about half will qualify for state. The top five individual finishers not on a qualifying team will also earn a trip to Kent Denver for the state race, Oct. 27.
"It's a good spectator course, and I expect it to be a spectacle," Anderson said of the regional race. The girls varsity race is set to begin at 10:30 a.m. followed by a boys race at 11:15 a.m.
Eight teams competed in the district race at Monte Vista Oct. 13. The Pagosa girls' squad finished third place overall and second among Intermountain League teams. Leading the squad was senior Aubrey Volger who finished fifth in 21:12. Senior Tiffany Thompson ran a strong race to finish 11th in 22:09, and senior Joetta Martinez placed 33rd in 24:29. Just under a minute later, in 25:23, junior Amanda McCain finished 40th. Sophomore Lauren Caves claimed 43rd in 26:14, junior Hannah Emanuel finished 46th in 26:39 and sophomore Amber Farnham crossed the line 47th in 26:56.
"I was pleased with how we did overall," Anderson said of the girls' efforts, "As a team, we did a little better than I expected in our league."
Molly Carrigan, of Salida won the race in 20:09.
In boys varsity action, Aucencio Martinez of Center claimed victory over the flat course with a blazing 16:16. Pagosa's own Todd Mees finished 9th in 18:16. Senior Trevor Peterson ended up 20th with a time of 19:06. Junior Nick Hall finished 42nd in 20:54, junior Jesse Powe claimed 53rd in 22:12, and senior Ryan Beavers finished 57th in 23:03.
"Mees made a tactical error and went out a little too fast," the coach said. "It's a tribute to what a great runner he is to still finish ninth."
With the season on the line Saturday, everyone will have to be ready to put their best race forward if they want to go to state, Anderson said.
"Every girl has to show up that day to qualify as a team. I do feel they have a decent shot at it if that happens."
For the boys, Anderson said, he expects to have at least two qualify individually and believes the team could pull an upset if, once again, everyone shows up ready to run.
Local runner, Ming Steen, recently returned from competing in her first marathon: The Big Sur Trail Marathon along the California coast.
Her ability to complete the 26.2-mile hilly trail run through Andrew Molera State Park in the Big Sur south of Carmel comes as no surprise. Finishing first among all female competitors, though, surprised Steen. "It was a great trail," said Steen, a multi-year veteran of the high mountain Imogene trail run from Ouray to Telluride. "The trail offered awesome views of the Big Sur coastline from the bluffs and ran through redwood groves, oak and bay forests up in the hills."
Ming's son, Shawn, joined her for the first half of the marathon. A second-year medical school student in Denver, Shawn recently competed in Colorado's first lronman ultradistance triathlon. One hundred seventy five entrants attempted to complete this back-to-back 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride and 26.2 mile marathon run at Boulder's 5,430 foot elevation. Shawn's time of eleven hours and thirty-five minutes gave him a third-place finish in his age group.
Grace LaVonne Thompson was born Sept. 23, 2001 in Durango. The daughter of Mark and Becky Thompson tipped the scales at 8 pounds, 4 ounces and was 20 1/4 inches long. She was welcomed home by siblings Silas, Isaiah and Adeline. Grandparents are Arlis and Gary Thompson of Denver and Alden Breece of Wetmore.
Chamer poster will be unveiled tonight
Tonight's the night, and we hope you will join us when we let the cat out of the bag and unveil Pagosa's first-ever official Chamber Poster.
From 5-7 p.m. you will find us at the Pagosa Springs Arts Council Gallery in Town Park anticipating the unveiling while enjoying refreshments and good company. You will have the opportunity to purchase your very own poster and ask the artists who contributed to this project to autograph your copy. I feel sure that you will find these posters eminently frameable and will want to do so at the earliest opportunity. At any rate, please join us tonight for friends and fun.
Next Wednesday evening, Oct. 24, our monthly SunDowner will be held at The Spring Inn, and, as always, your hosts invite you to enjoy a free soak after 7 p.m. when the SunDowner ends. This means for the $5 donation at the door, you receive hors d'oeuvres, libations and a free soak. Not a bad deal for five smacks methinks. This will also offer you the opportunity to see the new building inside and out and chat with the staff about any questions you might have about the new addition. Please join us for our monthly party next Wednesday evening - we'll look forward to seeing you there.
David Conrad with Habitat for Humanity is looking for a few good people to join this organization and fill some key positions. The positions available with Habitat presently are fundraiser, public relations, grant writer and human resources. If you are interested in any of these positions, please contact David at 264-6960.
Once again the Pagosa Springs Kiwanis Club invites you to bring all your little ones to their Halloween Party at the Parish Hall, 451 Lewis Street, on Oct. 31. Doors will open at 6 p.m., and free hot dogs, ice cream and candy will available for all the little goblins to enjoy. The evening will also include games and prizes and offers a safe, fun Halloween alternative for all of our children. Doors close at 8 p.m. so you can get everyone home for bedtime. Please join all the ghosties and goblins at Parish Hall Oct. 31.
In an effort to support the Manhattan New York Chamber of Commerce in a time of great need, Chambers of Commerce from all over the world are joining their Chamber as "out-of-town" members. We have done so, and Executive Director Nancy Ploeger is most grateful for this display of support that will help her face the unfathomable challenges of her organization as a result of Sept. 11. If you would care to join or have any questions, please give us a call at 264-2360.
We have ordered 500 2"x 3" flag decals and expect them to arrive any day. Please come by and pick one up for your car or office compliments of the Pagosa Springs Chamber of Commerce. If you would care to make a donation, all proceeds will go to the New York Red Cross Relief Fund. Members who have been in New York and witnessed the devastation of Sept.11 have been horrified by the attack scene and contend that we can't really appreciate the destruction and horror from the photos and television coverage. It will take many years to even partially recover from this attack on our nation, and I know that anything we can do will be greatly appreciated.
Ski and Sport Swap
This Saturday you will be offered another opportunity to donate to the Disaster Relief Fund with your $1 admission fee to the annual Ski and Sport Swap sponsored by the San Juan Outdoor Club. This event will take place at the Archuleta County Fairgrounds on U.S. 84 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Participating local businesses include the Ski & Bow Rack, Switchback Mountain Gear, Pagosa Ski Rental and the Humane Society Thrift Store. Durango participants include Ski Barn, Performance Sports, Bubba Boards and John Dunn Sports. Individual consignments will be accepted but no exercise equipment, please. KWUF-FM 106.3 will be there with a live remote, and you will be able to purchase fresh baked goodies.
Please call Robbie Schwartz at 731-9168 for more information.
Cute baby contest
You still have time to enter and/or vote for the cutest baby in Pagosa and donate to the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund at the same time. ALCO's Cutest Baby Contest is going strong and will end Oct. 31. LaDonna Radney assures me that the pictures are to die for and that lots and lots of folks have requested that proceeds go to the Relief Fund, so that's exactly what they are doing. Votes cost a penny (or more) each, so you can contribute just as much as you like and maybe your baby will be the winner. The "cutest baby" will receive a $25 ALCO gift certificate. Be sure to cast your vote before Oct. 31.
The annual Immaculate Heart of Mary Fashion Show will be held Nov. 10 at the Parish Hall at noon. We all know that Pagosa is referred to as the "Paradise of all Seasons" in many, many ads, but this is your chance to experience "Paradise in Pagosa," relish a tropical-type lunch and enjoy a fashion show all at once. I have attended a number of these shows and always have a wonderful time and many laughs.
Steve Rogan created quite the image last year with his runway antics along with a number of other irresistible men, women and children sporting clothing from different retailers in town. It's way too much fun, and tickets are only $18 on sale at the Visitor Center. I would caution you that this event is sold out every year, so please don't dilly-dally and miss out. One of the other great things about this show is that a number of great door prizes are given away. Don't miss it.
No new members to report this week, but 11 lovely members have sent in their renewals. We're just as happy as we can be to share the following folks with you: Tom and Pam Schoemig with Be Our Guest, A Bed & Breakfast/Guesthouse; Randy Fehrenbacher with Western Colorado Buyer Brokers; Tamara Richardson with the Upper San Juan Builders Association; Jenny Lee with Angela's Flower Shoppe; Ken and Jan Brookshier with Brookshier Photography and Framing; Dan Park with Alpen Haus Ski Center; Bob Goodman with Goodman's Department Store; and Pat Rydz with Pagosa Peak Financial Group. Our Associate Member renewals this week are long-time Chamber Diplomat and friend, Barbara Palmer, and our old pal, Vic Noblitt. Many thanks to one and all.
Seniors' bake sale on schedule today, Friday
The Archuleta Senior Citizens Inc. bake sale is today and Friday at the Ski and Bow Rack. Donations of baked goods will be appreciated and can be dropped off at the Senior Center or at the Ski and Bow Rack today or tomorrow.
We were happy to have a number of visitors and returning members with us last week. On Monday we welcomed Grace Houser, Paul Cronkhite, Byrd and Bert Kirkpatrick, George and Pat Davis and Susan Kleckner. On Tuesday, John Larson, Thelma Lyda, Richard and Nelda Jones, Beatrice Rivas, Ingrid St. Laurent, Edith Dame, Lois Farrell, Leslie Davis and Theresa Lucero joined us. On Wednesday, Nancy Giadano, Joelie Schick, Donna Formwalt and Mable Bennett were with us for lunch. And on Friday, Violet Echavarria, Neva and Wilbur Sullivan, George Dudley, Tony Scarpa and Andy Fautheree joined us. We hope you folks will join us again soon.
It was a sad day on Monday when we learned that Adelina Lovato is moving to Utah to live with her son and his wife. Also, Carol Adams visited us on Friday; she and her husband have sold their home here and were picking up the last load of belongings to move to Indiana. We will miss Adelina and Carol and wish them the best.
Pat and Hannah Foster left this week for the winter. We hope they have safe travels and will return next summer.
Our Senior of the Week is Wanda Aeschliman. Congratulations, Wanda. We are so happy to have her as one of our faithful members.
We are most grateful to Lucy Gonzalez and the Spanish Fiesta Club for their donation of 10 tickets to their first annual fall dance. The tickets are available at the Senior Center for our seniors but, please, take a ticket only if you are sure you will attend the dance.
Colorado Dream Homes has generously offered fire-starter wood to seniors; those interested should contact Linda or Tegan at 731-3071.
A big Thank You to George Golightly for filling in for Kent Schaefer as our art instructor on Wednesday. George will be working with Kent in our classes in the future; some of us (me, in particular) need lots of help so we really appreciated both of these gentlemen offering their time and talents.
For those with loved ones suffering from Alzheimer's, the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association offers some very valuable help called SAFE RETURN which is a way to provide safety for folks when they wander off or need help. You may contact the association at (800) 864-4404 or (303) 813-1669 (ask for Help line); or their website is: www.alz.org/caregiver/programs/saferetun.asp
Scholarships are available to help pay the one-time registration fee of $40.
A reminder that the Liberty Theater offers 2 p.m. matinees for seniors only on Wednesdays for a nominal charge of $3. We so appreciate this service and hope seniors will take advantage of it.
Beginning in November the Yoga classes will be on Tuesday mornings, so folks may come to them and still go swimming on Wednesdays at the Lodge.
There will be a conference in Denver Nov. 1-3 to train folks how to enhance the quality of life for individuals with disabilities through the appropriate selection and use of assistive technology. The cost is $75. Anyone interested in attending should call the Senior Center for information.
Seniors needing assistance with snow removal or chimney cleaning please contact Musetta at 264-2167 for information.
'Before the tide turned' U-boats hit Outer Banks
Last week when I wrote about World War II, I made a mistake - calling Landing Ship Tanks, Landing Sailing Tanks. As I just told Mr. O'Neal (more about that later), I'll probably miscall some other terms, but we agreed that the story is the most important thing.
Bill Clark called to tell me about visiting Ocracoke Island, North Carolina, located on the North Carolina Outer Banks below Cape Hatteras. During WWII, Ocracoke was harassed by German submarines. We called them U-boats for the German G U-Boat, short for undersea boat.
What Bill told me aroused my curiosity so that I, with a little effort, connected with Edward W. O'Neal who is considered the expert on the subject, and who has just written a book "Ocracoke Island People and United States Coast Guard and Navy during World War II." The book is in color and half-filled with pictures.
He can be reached at (252) 928-3417 or P.O. Box 698 Ocracoke, N.C., 27960 for more information.
The story is this: Between January and August 1942, a time referred by some as "before the tide turned," two waves of U-boats attacked shipping along the Outer Banks. When the first wave ran out of fuel they went back to refuel and then came back.
It was a double whammy.
They did much damage - sinking many ships. Our Coast Guard sank one of theirs, sent down by The U85, the Destroyer Loper. The bodies washed ashore are buried on the island. Also buried there are the bodies of four victims from a ship sent by the British (and sunk by the Germans) to help the USA.
The happenings were covered by the press in a very subdued way for reasons of morale and security.
During the war, freedom of speech was a no-no. The motto in the Navy was "loose lips sinks ships" and the same message was put in other words.
When I visited in Washington D.C. in 1995, I saw good examples of this. My friends worked in the map division (can't remember the name). When in public, as riding a bus or dining out, they never used names. They referred to people as "Mr. X" or "Miss Y." And they never talked about their work around me.
Subs were in Long Island Sound. The people served as volunteer sub watchers. They did this during their off hours, and if they worked in the city, they wore identification.
Street lights were out and blackout shades were used. When it came to letter-writing, the censors were ruthless. It wasn't unusual to get a letter with whole sections blocked out.
Not to make light of the seriousness of the time, William Zinsser, in his book "On Writing Well" uses this communication in the White House regarding observing blackouts as an example of keeping writing simple.
President Roosevelt received this note regarding blackouts: "Such preparations shall be made as will completely obscure all Federal buildings and non-Federal buildings occupied by the Federal government during an air raid for any period of time from visibility by reason of internal or external illumination."
When Roosevelt got it, he said, "Tell them that in buildings where they have to keep the work going to put something across the windows."
Fun on the run
A man was walking through the park pushing his son in a stroller. The child was crying at the top of his voice and his father didn't know how to calm him down. On the verge of despair he said, "Take it easy, John, it'll be OK."
A woman passing stopped to remark, "How nicely you treat John, you are such a sweet man, it's very obvious that you love your son so much."
The startled man replied, "Ma'am, I am John."
Backlog, appeals delay action on VA claims
I am often asked why it takes so long to resolve veteran benefit claims or requests for military records and other veteran-related documents.
Currently, the Veterans Benefits Administration has a backlog of 574,762 claims for medical disabilities, pensions, survivor payments and other benefits. And it takes the agency an average of 202 days to process disability compensation and pension claims. The delay is expected to grow to 273 days next year.
An appeal of adverse benefits decisions also languishes unanswered, in many cases for years. As of August, more than 38,000 "substantive appeals" remained pending before VA regional offices. Some of the cases date to the early 1990s.
A task force panel was convened earlier this year by Veterans Affairs Secretary Anthony Principi and is in the process of making its report to Principi. It is expected the panel will call the backlog "excessive and increasing" and exacerbated by Washington officials.
The panel is expected to recommend that Principi rearrange the work schedules of many employees, direct a VA appeals board to handle claims more expeditiously and divert claims from regional offices with poor processing records. Most of the claims are for compensation injuries or illnesses sustained during the active military service.
The panel will also warn that the thousands of Guard members and reservists being called to active duty for the war on terrorism are likely to face the same delays after they leave active duty, pointing to the inadequate attention to the claims of reservists in the past.
In the matter of obtaining copies of discharge papers to replace lost records from the St. Louis National Personnel Records Center, these records are physically stored in containers, and usually require staff to physically sort through boxes by hand to obtain the proper records. Additionally, many records were destroyed or damaged in a fire at the St. Louis center some years ago. These records may have to be restored from the veteran's military duty stations, hospitals, etc., which can take much additional time.
Hopefully this task force will make the necessary changes in the VA system to speed up the processes.
For information on these and other veteran's benefits please call or stop by the Veterans Service Office located on the lower floor of the Archuleta County Courthouse. An active Internet website for Archuleta County Veterans Service Office can be found at www.geocities.com/vso_archuleta. The office number is 264-2304, the FAX number is 264-5949, and E-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
A view of Anthrax: Its causes and treatment
Oct. 18 - Cloverbuds, Extension office, 4 p.m.
Oct. 19 - Colorado Kids, Extension office, 5 p.m.
Oct. 23 - 4H Council Elections and Achievement Night Committee Meeting, Extension office, 6 p.m.
What is anthrax?
Anthrax is an acute infectious disease caused by the spore-forming bacterium Bacillus anthracis. Anthrax most commonly occurs in wild and domestic lower vertebrates (sheep, cattle, goats and other herbivores). Until the middle of the 20th century when an effective veterinary vaccine was developed, and the subsequent advent of antibiotics, anthrax was one of the foremost causes of uncontrolled mortality in cattle, sheep, goats, horses and pigs worldwide.
How is it spread?
Anthrax is most common in agricultural regions where it occurs in animals. Most areas of the world are still affected by anthrax including South and Central America, Southern and Eastern Europe, Asia, Africa, the Caribbean and the Middle East. It is also still reported sporadically in North America. Humans usually contract Anthrax either directly or indirectly through contact with infected animals or their products. The anthrax bacteria can also live in the soil for many years. Humans may become infected with anthrax by inhaling contaminated soil particles or by handling hides, wool or hair from diseased animals. Infection in the intestinal tract can occur from eating undercooked meat from a diseased animal. Anthrax is a seasonal disease; incidence in any one place is usually related to temperature, rains or drought; however, the conditions that predispose to outbreaks differ from location to location. Climate probably acts directly or indirectly by influencing the way in which an animal comes into contact with the spores (for example, grazing closer to the soil in dry periods when grass is short or sparse, or movement of herds to restricted sites when water becomes scarce).
Forms of Anthrax and symptoms?
Anthrax infection can occur in three forms: cutaneous (skin), inhalation, and gastrointestinal.
Cutaneous: About 95 percent of anthrax infections occur when the bacterium enters a cut or abrasion on the skin, such as when handling contaminated animal products (wool, hides, leather or hair). Skin infection begins as a raised itchy bump that resembles an insect bite but within 1-2 days develops into a vesicle and then a painless ulcer, usually 1-3 cm in diameter, with a characteristic black necrotic (dying) area in the center. Lymph glands in the adjacent area may swell. About 20 percent of untreated cases of cutaneous anthrax will result in death. Deaths are rare with appropriate antimicrobial therapy. Inhalation: Initial symptoms may resemble a common cold. After several days, the symptoms may progress to severe breathing problems and shock. Inhalation anthrax is usually fatal.
Intestinal: The intestinal disease form of anthrax may follow the consumption of contaminated meat and is characterized by an acute inflammation of the intestinal tract. Initial signs of nausea, loss of appetite, vomiting, and fever are followed by abdominal pain, vomiting of blood, and severe diarrhea. Intestinal anthrax results in death in 25 to 60 percent of cases.
How soon after infection do symptoms appear?
Incubation is usually seven days.
Can anthrax be spread from person-to-person?
Spreading infection from person-to-person is highly unlikely. So in visiting or managing a patient with inhalational anthrax, contagion should not be a concern.
How is anthrax diagnosed?
Anthrax is diagnosed by isolating the bacteria from the blood, skin lesions or respiratory secretions or by measuring specific antibodies in the blood of persons with suspected cases.
Does past infection with anthrax make a person immune?
A second infection with this disease is highly unlikely.
What is the treatment?
Doctors can prescribe effective antibiotics. To be effective, treatment should be initiated early. If left untreated, the disease can be fatal.
Is there a way to prevent infection?
In countries where anthrax is common and vaccination levels of animal herds are low, humans should avoid contact with livestock and animal products and avoid eating meat that has not been properly slaughtered and thoroughly cooked. Also, an anthrax vaccine has been licensed for use in humans, and is reported to be 93 percent effective in protecting against anthrax. Self-dosing with antibiotics is not recommended. This could have enormous health consequences.
What is the anthrax vaccine?
The anthrax vaccine is manufactured and distributed by BioPort Corporation, Lansing, Michigan. The vaccine is a cell-free filtrate vaccine, which means it contains no dead or live bacteria in the preparation. The final product contains no more than 2.4 mg of aluminum hydroxide as adjuvant. Anthrax vaccines intended for animals should not be used in humans.
Who should get vaccinated?
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has recommend anthrax vaccination for the following groups:
Persons who work directly with the organism in the laboratory. Persons who work with imported animal hides or furs in areas where standards are insufficient to prevent exposure to anthrax spores.
Persons who handle potentially infected animal products in high-incidence areas. (Incidence is low in the United States, but veterinarians who travel to work in other countries where incidence is higher should consider being vaccinated.)
Military personnel deployed to areas with high risk for exposure to the organism (as when it is used as a biological warfare weapon).
Pregnant women should be vaccinated only if absolutely necessary.
Are there adverse reactions to the vaccine?
Mild local reactions occur in 30 percent of recipients and consist of slight tenderness and redness at the injection site. Severe local reactions are infrequent and consist of extensive swelling of the forearm in addition to the local reaction. Systemic reactions occur in less than 0.2 percent of recipients.
The anthrax Vaccine Immunization Program in the U.S. Army Surgeon General's Office can be reached at 1-877-GETVACC (1-877-438-8222) or http://www.anthrax.osd.mil
Find cancer, get a mammogram: Just do it
If you think there's a lot in the news lately about breast cancer, it's because October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Since there are so many worthy causes, I'm sure it's designated the month for a lot of other important things. But breast cancer is a biggie, as far as I'm concerned.
And you guys shouldn't feel left out. Men get prostate cancer at about the same rate that women get breast cancer. It's your equivalent disease. And just to demonstrate how unfair life is, a few men get breast cancer too.
The numbers are still astounding.
About 54,000 new cases of noninvasive ductal carcinoma in situ are projected for next year. That's sometimes called pre-cancer, and nearly all the women with that diagnosis will be cured.
When a cancer spreads out of the ducts it's called invasive breast cancer, and the experts project that this kind will occur in over 200,000 women in 2002. Approximately 80 percent of these women will be at a low risk for recurrence. The good news is that the mortality rate is down. Fewer women are dying. The reason is that more women are getting screening mammograms. The cancers are being discovered before any malignant cells spread to the lymph nodes, those gatekeepers for the body.
The bad news is that if the cancer does spread - and breast cancer is still breast cancer, even if it spreads to form new tumors in your liver or your bones or your lungs - the doctors can't cure it. They can slow it down and help a woman live longer, but for this advanced breast cancer there is no cure.
More than 40,000 women die each year from breast cancer. I don't even know the numbers for lung and colon cancer, two other major killers.
No wonder people turn to other kinds of treatment for cancer.
Speaking at a luncheon for the American Cancer Society in Durango last week, Dr. Peggie Findlay, a radiation oncologist and also a breast cancer survivor, gave us this startling piece of information: approximately 50 percent of the people who have cancer try something in addition to or instead of standard medical treatment.
The reasons are pretty obvious.
You're scared of the disease.
You want to feel like you have some control over what's happening.
You want to do everything you can to beat it.
Complementary treatment is what you might use in addition to accepted medical treatments, surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.
Alternative treatment is what some people try instead of conventional therapies. Laetrile, which is cyanide taken from apricot pits, is an alternative treatment that was widely touted in the 1970s. Unfortunately, there's no scientific evidence that it ever cured anyone of cancer.
Dr. Findlay went through a long list of complementary and alternative treatments, discussing whether they had real benefit or not. Of course, it's hard to know, because most of them haven't been adequately studied. Because your neighbor says that something really worked for her, cured her cancer or her asthma or her sciatica, it doesn't mean anything, scientifically speaking. Maybe something else "cured" her. Maybe she didn't really have whatever it was in the first place.
Here are some of the things that people suggested I try, when I was being treated for breast cancer. Various herbs in pill or liquid form. Meditation and visualization. Acupuncture.
Someone told me that Chinese herbs would cause the tumor to work itself right up to the skin and pop right out. I'm sorry, but that sounds too good to be true. I'm not ready to believe that the doctors who specialize in treating cancers would continue to cut, poison and burn, if curing cancer were this easy.
Dr. Findlay reminded us that although the Food and Drug Administration oversees the safety and efficacy of medicines and drugs, nobody is checking herbal supplements. No agency regulates their production or checks out the claims that are made. Nobody.
There was a study done to analyze a wide variety of herbal supplements containing ginseng, which is widely believed to promote health and vitality. Fifteen percent of the products that the researchers looked at had no ginseng in them. None. These products probably wouldn't hurt you, but they probably wouldn't do what they claimed, either.
And that was the message Dr. Findlay gave us, again and again. Wheat grass, ginseng, essiac, and other "natural" remedies probably won't hurt us, but they won't cure us. Likewise, acupuncture probably won't hurt, if it's done by someone who's licensed, who knows what he's doing and won't hit a nerve by mistake. And it'll probably make you feel better. But it won't cure your cancer.
She had the same caution about massage, but then went on to say that she would recommend a massage. Regularly. Somehow I don't think it was because of any anti-cancer benefits.
Doctors aren't just ignoring complementary and alternative therapies. With half of the people who have cancer trying other things, it makes sense to study them. There are several studies going on right now to test over a hundred different herbs and traditional medicines, to see if they suppress cancer cells and to isolate any ingredients that might be effective against tumors.
Meanwhile, the best defense against breast cancer is still - I can't say this often enough - early detection. And that means, get mammograms regularly. Mammograms don't find every cancer, but they do a darn good job.
Some women put off seeing a doctor because they're worried. Worried about what the test might show or what the doctors might find. Hearing a diagnosis of cancer is devastating. But worrying about it and not acting on that worry is to let the cancer kill you twice.
Once you have cancer, your life is changed forever. The sooner it's found, while it's still small, while it hasn't spread, the better your chances and the less drastic your treatment.
Find breast cancer before it spreads. Get a mammogram.
Just do it.
Oldtimers see 'better' winter - with more snow
There's snow on the peaks and the forecast this winter, according to some old-timers' interpretation of skunk-cabbage height, will be a better than usual one.
Better than usual, I think, means more snow.
For those who enjoy outdoor winter recreation, it will be a good winter. So in anticipation of ample winter recreation, the fifth annual Ski and Sports swap will be a great opportunity to get equipped with affordable gear.
The Ski Swap is sponsored by the San Juan Outdoor Club. This year's swap is on Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Archuleta County Fairgrounds. The event is "flea market" style and gear can be sold by renting a booth, or selling it on consignment by the San Juan Outdoor Club. Several local and Durango businesses will also be present. A big number of the booths are already rented out. Rental booths are available from SJOC by contacting Robbie Schwartz at 731-9168. All rentals will pay a flat $5 clean-up deposit which will be returned to those who help with the clean up.
If you have a few items, San Juan Outdoor Club will sell them for you by consignment for 20-percent commission. Consignment items will have to be dropped off the day before the event, tomorrow, between 5 and 6 p.m. Vendors who have rented booth space can set up also on tomorrow evening or early Saturday morning before the swap. Unsold consignment items not picked up by 2 p.m. Saturday will be donated to the Humane Society Pack Rack Thrift Store.
In order to assist the Disaster Relief Fund, a $1 admission for people 18 and older will be collected. There will be a wide variety of baked goods for sale. I encourage you to attend the Swap. It's truly a wonderful opportunity to unload used equipment and for others to acquire used equipment at a low price.
The Turkey Trot, an annual event sponsored by Friends of the Library and hosted by the Pagosa Lakes Recreation Center, will not be conducted this year. Don't stop walking or running as a result of the above announcement. Continue to exercise and continue to look after your health through regular and consistent cardiovascular exercises.
It's time to get your chimney cleaned and inspected for defects or storm damage. If you are still using wood-burning stoves, have you been saving your old issues of the Pagosa Springs SUN for fire building? Black and white newspaper is ideal as color ink releases chemicals when burned. Roll or ball-up the newspaper to start a fire. Never use loose paper trash as the burning pieces can float out of the chimney and start a fire on the roof.
Civic Club raffle items are now on display
Some of the Civic Club Raffle items are now on display. Come by and see them. Leslie Montroy has produced another monogrammed denim vest that we all want. Gloria Macht donated a steel moose that is also a wall hanger - a very neat idea. A holiday basket of money and a wreath with money are always appreciated. A baby afghan created by Margaret Wilson is another annual favorite. A Denny Rose painting, and a barnwood birdhouse by Bob Kanyur, are just some of this year's prizes, More will be on display as they come in. Tickets are one dollar each, or six for five dollars. The proceeds go toward our book budget. You can buy tickets at the library or from any Civic Club Member.
The daylong bazaar is coming up Nov. 3. The drawing will be at 5 p.m. at the Extension Building.
If you've never attended a Civic Club Bazaar, you've missed a treat. Bring your money, your appetite, and good walking shoes. Plan to browse the booths and get your holiday shopping underway. There will be bake sale items to store in your freezer, and rumor has it that there may be those wonderful tamales for sale.
Local artisans will display their wares, and the day is a great kickoff to start the holiday season.
Tickets for sale
We're selling tickets to the Creede Repertory Production "Eleemosynary." We are so fortunate to have the Creede performers come over the hill to entertain us. The Pagosa Springs Arts Council sponsors this event. We are only selling "non-member" tickets at $14 each. If you are a member of the council, you must get your tickets at the Arts Council Building.
"Eleemosynary," is a story of three generations of women. Reviews call it, elegant, witty, funny, and perceptive. The performance will be Oct. 20 at 7:30 p.m. at the high school auditorium.
The League of Women Voters provides a number of blue books on the ballot proposals for the Nov. 6 state election. The book does not cover local issues. Ask for a copy at the desk.
One of the items is a suggested monorail from DIA to Vail and the Eagle Valley Airport. We also received a video about this monorail. It may be checked out overnight.
The other issue concerns the use of the lottery revenues to borrow money to buy conservation easements.
Children are exposed to numerous accounts of violence such as abductions, murder, and random acts of terrorism. Parents need to be prepared to discuss these thoughts and feelings. We have some guidelines and excellent Web sites compiled to aid parents, teachers, and caregivers. Ask for copies at the desk.
A librarian recommended HerbMed(r)- an interactive database that provides hyperlinked access to the scientific data underlying the use of herbs for health. It is an evidence-based information resource for professionals, researchers, and general public. The address is www.herbmed.org/
Hilaire Belloc was a French/English author. He died in 1953. I ran across an old notation of his I'd saved from many years ago: "We sit by and watch the Barbarian, we tolerate him; in the long stretches of peace we are not afraid. We are tickled by his irreverence, his comic inversion of our old certitudes and our fixed creeds refreshes us; we laugh. But as we laugh we are watched by large and awful faces from beyond; and on these faces there is no smile."
Financial help came from Genevieve and Ralph Phelps in memory of Betty Feazel and Beth Moore; Gil and Lenore Bright in memory of Beth Moore. Materials came from Terry Hershey, Scotty Gibson, Julie Gates, James Fitch, Marty Johnson, Lisa Peterson, Beverly Simonson, Jim and Bonnie Coats, Robin Ball, Ralph Williams, Suzie Reno, August Storm, Helen Miller, Katherine Cruse, Heather Hunt, Penny Jones, Drex Yeager, Rita O'Connell.
Littlest kickers wind up soccer league play today
ournament scheduled tomorrow and all day Saturday. Brackets are available at the soccer fields and Town Hall. Call 264-4151, ext. 232 for tournament information.
Team England leads the Scorer's League, undefeated at 8-0. Canada is in second at 4-4, Scotland is third at 3-5 and Ireland is 1-7.
In the Striker's League, Argentina and Mexico are tied for first place at 7-1. Switzerland and Germany are tied for second at 5-3, Ecuador comes in at 4-5 and France stands at 3-6.
Shooter's League, standings show Italy in the lead with a record of 6-0. Holland is second at 4-2, Colombia and Spain are tied for third and New Zealand is at 1-6.
This fall's adult coed volleyball league is in full swing with games played Monday and Wednesday evenings.
Piano Creek is in first at 6-1. Colorado Construction and Ski and Bow Rack are tied at 5-2. Dulce/Silver Dollar and CPR Title are tied at 3-4, and Ace Hardware and American Family Insurance both stand at 1-6. League games will continue through the end of October and tournament games will begin in November.
The third annual youth volleyball clinic has been scheduled for Oct. 22 through Nov. 19, with sessions being held twice a week, Monday and Wednesday evenings from 6:30-8 p.m. in the junior high gym. The clinic is open to all youth in the fifth and sixth grades.
Registration forms are available at Town Hall, at the intermediate school and at soccer games. Participants can register for $10 through tomorrow at 5 p.m. at the recreation department office at Town Hall. Call the office at 264-4151 ext. 232 with any questions or if interested in helping coach.
At the last Park and Recreation Commission meeting yesterday, the commission reviewed old business such as the proposed CenturyTel Park and the Reservoir Hill tower rental, and heard the recreation report from Summer Lemon. All meetings are open to the public and take place at Town Hall at 5:30 p.m. The next scheduled meeting is Nov. 14
The next scheduled baseball committee meeting is Oct. 30 at 5:30 p.m. at Town Hall. A sanctioning body will be selected for the baseball league for players ages 9-14. Rule revisions for the younger players will be discussed. All meetings are open to anyone interested in the Pagosa Youth Baseball program. Call Summer for more information.
Downtown light poles
The town recently sold several of the old light poles taken from downtown locations. Several poles remain to be sold and are available at the Town Shop. Poles are $50 and come with no guarantee. Interested persons should contact Doug Call at Town Hall, 264-4151, ext. 231.
Creede Repertory Players off 'Eleemosynary' here Saturday
Prepare yourself for an evening of heart-rending emotions as the Creede Repertory Theatre Players present "Eleemosynary," a play by Lee Blessing.
Staged with utmost simplicity, the play conveys a message of hope as it probes into the delicate relationships of three generations of women. The Philadelphia City Paper says, "... the language is elegant, witty, and carefully wrought." The St. Paul Pioneer Press and Dispatch calls it "... a funny, perceptive and eloquently written play."
There will be only one performance, Saturday at 7:30 p.m. in the high school auditorium. Purchase tickets for $14 at the Chamber of Commerce, the Sisson Library and Wolftracks Bookstore. Pagosa Springs Arts Council members may purchase tickets at the gallery in Town Park to receive a $2 discount.
The curtain rises on the first official Pagosa Springs poster today, 5-7 p.m. at the gallery in Town Park. The artist-photographers are local junior high and Archuleta County High School students and their instructor, Bruce Andersen. In addition to the mystery of the poster itself, other photo works will be displayed. Meet the artists, have them sign your own poster and enjoy pizza and other grand edibles at this first-time gala event.
Relax with friends, homemade desserts and warm beverages tomorrow evening as you listen to Alaskan songwriter and recording artist Buddy Tabor at the Whistle Pig House Concert. Call Bill and Clarissa Hudson, 264-2491, for reservations.
The Pagosa Springs Spanish Fiesta Club is sponsoring its first annual fall dance for adults tomorrow, 8:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. at the Timbers of Pagosa. A variety of music will be performed by The Ladters.
Advance tickets may be purchased for $5 each or $8 per couple at the gallery in Town Park, and at Pagosa Photography, 480 San Juan Street. Tickets at the door will be $6 each or $10 per couple. All proceeds go toward the 2002-03 Scholarship Fund.
Call Lucy Gonzales, 264-4781, or Mercy Krosgren, 731-5480, for information.
Visit the gallery
The art gallery in Town Park is open to the public through the end of October, 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
Come in for a copy of the Petrogylph, the quarterly newsletter of the Arts Council. Opportunities abound for involvement in the production of Petroglyph. We're looking for someone to help with layout, and we're looking for businesses to sponsor the newsletter. When your business sponsors the quarterly, we will insert a flyer in the center and offer public thanks in the Artsline column and the newsletter itself. Please contact Jennifer, 731-3113, or Joanne, 264-5020, either to sponsor the newsletter or to offer layout assistance.
Do you have a City Market value card? If so, bring it to the gallery and join the City Market Cares Electronic Fundraising Program. Then, every time you use your value card, City Market will donate to the Arts Council. It's an easy way to support the arts in your community at no cost to you.
The Pagosa Springs Arts Council thanks all the volunteers who help in various capacities throughout the year. During the month of November, the gallery will be closed, but not inactive. A number of workshops are in the planning stages and we are in need of a workshop coordinator. Please call Jennifer, 264-5020, or Clare Burns, 264-6950, for details.
The gallery will reopen in December with limited hours. Stay tuned for an update in upcoming Artsline columns.
Southwest Youth Corps provides opportunity
How often have you heard a friend, neighbor, or family member express their boredom? If you grew up in Pagosa Springs as I did, the words "There's nothing to do in this town" should ring a bell.
In fact, I wish that some of the opportunities today were available to me "way back then."
An awesome program that comes to mind is the Southwest Youth Corps.
SYC is an employment, job-training and educational program that began in 1998. It was modeled after the Civilian Conservation Corps of the 1930's. Today it has developed into a sustainable organization based in nearby Durango.
The Corps hires a wide variety of youth between the ages of 16-25. Members are mostly Four Corners Area residents. This includes college graduates, high school dropouts, "youth-at-risk," and young adults with long lists of achievements. Corps members represent all income levels and ethnic categories.
The program provides opportunities for meaningful employment that encourage work ethic and develop transferable job skills. Additionally, they promote personal growth and establish group interaction skills through community living experiences. SYC's educational component includes instruction, activities and experience in subjects relevant to environment education and life skills.
SYC has active and developing partnerships with several Four Corners Area high schools. Through partnering schools and sponsoring teachers, Corps members are able to earn high school credit while working and learning with SYC.
Most of the conservation work is contracted through land management agencies such as the National Forest Service, State Parks, BLM, Colorado Division of Wildlife, local government, land conservancies, and non-profit agencies.
Project locations and cooperating agencies have included Mesa Verde National Park, San Juan National Forest, Chaco Culture National and Historical Park, New Mexico and Utah BLM, Navajo Lake and Mancos State Parks, Telluride Nature Conservancy, Town of Ignacio, City of Durango, Pagosa Trails Council, Canyonlands National Monument, Canyon de Chelly National Monument, and many others.
Examples of projects are trail construction, trail maintenance, wetland rehabilitation, erosion control, fencing, campground improvement, facility improvement, sign installation, wildlife habitat improvement, and even fire/fuels reduction.
On this note, SYC just completed its first Fire/Fuels Reduction (FFR) Program. This is a longer program that runs for 24 weeks instead of the standard 8-week conservation program. The program is for young adults 18-25 years of age. Corps members are all trained and certified in chain saw operation and wildlands fire fighting. This is a great program for those youngsters who want to learn about using a chain saw or desire to pursue a career in firefighting. Moreover, the FFR Crew was involved in "mopping up" after one wild fire and in igniting a prescribed burn.
This particular program was wildly successful in its pilot year. The crew has a perfect safety record and established a reputation as a highly reliable and productive work force. Individual corps members completed the program with impressive new experiences and certifications on their resumes.
Are you curious as to how SYC's projects run so smoothly? It might have something to do with their most valuable resource, the field staff. Crew leaders are part of an amazingly dedicated, hard-working and multi-talented group of individuals who supervise, instruct and mentor at the job site and in the camp.
There is so much more to learn about this program. One article isn't enough to list the success stories. One thing you can do, though, is go on-line and visit SYC's home page at www.southwestyouthcorps.com or contact the staff to learn about the application and interview process. They can be reached by calling 259-8607.
Keep in mind that all applicants must possess the desire to commit fully to an intensive program as well as meet basic qualifications.
Tammy Hendricks is the owner and operator of The Bear Hug, at 162 Pagosa Street in downtown Pagosa Springs. Hendricks is a nationally-known maker of bears with a large following via her Website.
The Bear Hug will open Oct. 20, featuring a wide variety of decor items, including home accent pieces, wall art, collectibles, lamps and shades, gift baskets and much more.
The centerpieces of the shop are hand-made teddy bears, honey bears, plush bears, fishing bears, lodge bears and Tammy's infamous black bear.
The Bear Hug will be open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and from 1 to 5 p.m. Sundays. Call 264-1484.
Mable Tena Morris, 87, died Saturday, Oct. 13, 2001 at Pine Ridge Extended Care Center in Pagosa Springs.
Born Oct. 28, 1913 in Muskogee, Okla., to Ethel Flynn and John Crow, she attended high school and junior college and on Jan. 1, 1963, married Gerald Morris in Truth or Consequences, N.M. She worked as a dietitian and cook in hospitals. She moved to Pagosa Springs from Oklahoma City in 1985 and enjoyed reading, word searches and rock hunting.
She was preceded in death by her husband; a son, Gerald McKay; a grandson, Larry Romine; a sister, Ruth Heidi; and three brothers, Lee, Johnny and James Crow.
She is survived by her sister, Emma Hinton of Norman, Okla; her brother, Chester Crow of Williamsburg, Va.; a daughter, Rada Romine and grandsons, Marvin and Robert Romine of Pagosa Springs, Jim Romine of Kennesaw, Ga., Jerry Romine of Tyndall AFB, Panama City, Fla.; 13 great grandchildren and four great-great grandchildren. She will be greatly missed by those who knew and loved her.
Visitation with the family preceded services Wednesday afternoon in Grace Chapel of Pagosa Springs Funeral Options. Burial will be in Deming, N.M.
Woodrow W. Svoboda, born Dec. 24, 1918, went to be with the Lord on Sept. 2, 2001.
Woody served in the U.S. Infantry during World War II in Italy and North Africa. Later, he formed the Betty Ann Label Co. in Dallas, which he operated for 25 years before moving to Arizona.
He is survived by Andeline, his wife of 53 years; his daughter, Betty Thomas of Pagosa Springs; grandsons Chad Thomas of Phoenix, and Matt Thomas of Denver; granddaughter Becca Thomas of Fort Collins; and nieces and nephews.
Those who knew Woody referred to him as a "real gentleman," a man of integrity. He was a loving, generous family man and will be greatly missed by those who knew and loved him.