Front Page
November 15, 2001
County pares administrator list to three
By John M. Motter

Archuleta County's search for an administrator has been narrowed from 35 applicants to three finalists. County officials hope to interview the three finalists Nov. 19.

Since Dennis Hunt resigned during March, the county has been without an administrator. Discussion concerning the hiring first centered on the question, "Does the county need an administrator?"

Not necessarily, said commissioners Gene Crabtree and Alden Ecker. They argued that the commissioners should assume duties formerly conducted by the administrator.

"We need to take a hands-on approach to learn how the various departments work," they said. "That way we will have a better idea if we need an administrator, and if so, what the job description should be."

Bill Downey, the third commissioner, argued from the beginning that an administrator should be hired and the sooner the better.

With the stated purpose of gaining a better understanding of how each department works, county responsibilities were apportioned among the commissioners. Apportioned were tasks performed by departments under commissioner control such as road and bridge, finance, planning, building permits, social services, and others

Not under commissioner control are departments headed by other elected officials. The other elected officials are the assessor, clerk, sheriff, treasurer, surveyor, and coroner.

Later during the year, Crabtree and Ecker agreed to search for an administrator and to the appointment of a selection committee. Members of that committee are the three commissioners, administrative assistant Kathy Wendt, treasurer Keren Prior, and county attorney Mary Weiss. Not present for the Nov. 19 interviews will be selection committee member Ken Charles, of the Colorado Department of Local Affairs.

Advertisements for an administrator were placed in The Pagosa Springs SUN, Durango Herald, Denver Post, Colorado Counties Inc. web page, and National Association of Counties web page and publication.

The initial list of applicants was trimmed to the final three by the selection committee. Wendt was given the responsibility of arranging an appointment with each of the final three.

The three finalists are David Howard, the city manager of Monte Vista; Allen R. Sartin, Human Services Financial Operations Manager for Jefferson County; and William R. Steele, the town manager of Mount Desert, Maine.

Howard has been the Monte Vista city manager since July of 1995. He has a bachelor of arts degree from Glencullen University with a major in public administration, a minor in business administration.

His public administration resumé stretches from 1983 to the present. Included are the following positions: Director of Operations and Utilities, Natrona County Airport, Casper, Wyoming, 1983-1995; and from 1995 to present, Monte Vista city manager.

Sartin has been with the Jefferson County government since March of 2000. He has a bachelor of science degree in business administration from the University of Baltimore in June 1977. Included are minors in management and data processing.

His public administration resumé includes employment by the Arapahoe County government from April of 1979 through May of 1985. His titles there were first Systems and Programing Manager and then Director of Information Services.

Sartin was employed by Grand Junction from May of 1985 through June of 1989, first as Information Services Director, then as Finance and Administrative Services Director.

From Grand Junction, Sartin moved to accept employment as Finance Director for Eagle County from June 1989 through June 1998.

Garfield County was Sartin's next employer, from June, 1998, through Feb. 2000. His title with Garfield County was Assistant County Administrator.

In March of 2000, Sartin transferred to Jefferson County, first as Budget Analyst, then as Human Services Financial Operations Manager.

Steele has been employed as Town Manager of Mount Desert, Maine, from Dec., 1999, to the present. His education includes a bachelor of science degree earned in 1979 from Keene State College in New Hampshire. The degree emphasis is industrial technology and management.

From May, 1978, through June of 1998, Steele was employed by Springfield, Vt. Starting as a draftsman, he worked through a number of positions until serving as town manager from Nov. 1987, though June, 1998.

He owned and operated a small business from June, 1998, through August, 1999.

From August, 1999, through December, 1999, he was a contract consultant for Stowe, Vt. He has been Town Manager of Mount Desert from December, 1999, until now.

The job description summary advertised by the commissioners says: "The County Administrator shall be the Chief Administrative Officer of the county and shall be selected by the Board of County Commissioners and shall serve at the pleasure of the Board. The areas of responsibility include, but are not limited to: Budget/Finance, Purchasing, Personnel, Road and Bridge, Planning, Public Relations, Building Maintenance, Veterans Affairs, Nutrition, Senior, Transportation, Emergency Services, Weed and Pest Control, Building Inspection, Safety, Human Services, Landfill and Solid Waste, Extension Services, Fair, and all other areas related to county administration."

If mail looks suspicious, don't open it
By Tess Noel Baker

Following the events of Sept. 11 and the subsequent cases of anthrax, people have been asked over and over to exercise caution, exercise a higher level of awareness in general and to use common sense.

After a suspicious package call Friday, Fire Chief Warren Grams said one more reminder might be needed. Anyone who receives a suspicious piece of mail, letter or package of any kind, should leave it alone, and call Archuleta County dispatch immediately.

"If you open it and fool with it, you're putting yourself at risk," Grams said.

Since the anthrax scare began on the East Coast, law enforcement agencies in Pagosa Springs have handled a handful of calls - none of which have proved to be a "credible threat." Of those, the Pagosa Springs Fire Protection District has handled two incidents.

In one case, Grams said, a piece of mail had been opened and resealed, leaving some stains on the envelope which concerned the recipient.

In the second case, Grams said, firefighters responded to a residence on Rainbow Drive at 3:34 p.m. Friday. An investigation revealed that an adult woman had received a package of vitamins that also contained a pair of unordered spray bottles bearing the name "Scentsations." After opening the package and examining the spray bottles, the woman called the company she'd ordered from and asked about the delivery. The company denied including a pair of spray bottles with the order.

It was then that the citizen decided to call for assistance, over 24 hours after receiving the package, Grams said. Nine fire district personnel, EMS and a sheriff's department deputy responded. Personnel were staged at Pizza Hut until needed at the scene.

After consulting with Colorado State Patrol Hazardous Material personnel, Grams said, firefighters closed off Rainbow Drive, dressed in Level 2 hazardous material gear including breathing apparatus, removed the contaminated material and sealed it in a containment drum.

"The spray bottles had no marking from a company, and we have no information on what is in the bottles or where they came from," Grams said.

Determining what to do with the materials in the containment drum, or what must be done with equipment used in retrieval, is the next step. Both the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Colorado Bureau of Investigation have declined to test the material, Grams said.

"Because they've had so many calls, unless they feel it's a credible threat, they won't test it," he said.

At this point, he added, there is no reason to believe anyone in Pagosa Springs is in danger. The resident of Rainbow Drive who received and opened the package containing the spray bottles is feeling no ill effects. However, he said, he would continue to make calls in an attempt to find an agency willing to test the contents of the spray bottles.

Wolf Creek road projects getting a winter break

All daytime construction and all nighttime closures on U.S. 160 over Wolf Creek Pass will be suspended for the winter.

The construction schedule will be as follows:

All construction activities west of the summit (and nighttime closures) will be suspended as of 5 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 21. Until then, drivers can expect daytime delays of up to 30 minutes. Work will resume in the spring of 2002.

Daytime work and nighttime closures at the tunnel construction site east of the summit will be suspended for the holiday by 3 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 21. Daytime work will resume on Monday, Nov. 26 with intermittent delays of up to 45 minutes from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Fridays through most of December.

But, there will be no nighttime closures following the Thanksgiving holiday.

Tunnel construction and nighttime closures will resume in early April.

Colorado Department of Transportation officials ask drivers to keep in mind that the east-side closure point is approximately seven miles east of the summit. Those traveling from the west should allow ample time to reach the west-side project no later than 6:15 p.m. There is no longer a nighttime closure at the west project.

Night closures on the east side could continue into 2005, pending available construction funds.

There is a width restriction of 10 feet on the pass.

Log on to www.dot.state.co.us/Travelinfo for more information.

Congress weighing national student tests
By Richard Walter

Those upset by the need to teach to the test in Archuleta County schools so the district can maintain Colorado Student Assessment Program (CSAP) results may have reason to get even more upset.

Superintendent Duane Noggle told the School Board Tuesday there is a distinct possibility the federal government will move toward a national standards test that students would have to pass if their school district is to continue receiving federal funding.

Right now, he said, the proposal is in a congressional conference committee but indications are the test would be mandatory every year for children in grades 3 through 12.

Initial wording, he said, indicates the test results must be completed and released to individual parents before the school year ends. That would mean, he said, "we'd probably have to start the testing in February of the year in which the testing mandate takes effect."

Randall Davis, board president, was most emphatic in his disgust with the proposal, snapping, "What a waste of time."

And director Carol Feazel said, "It makes one wish the congressmen had to take a test to stay in office."

Later, Noggle told the board, "It is apparent the state is dead set on standards-based assessment of all students and the requirements will have to be met. We are working on methods of working the standards fully into day-to-day teaching methods."

He also said the state is mandating, in the next phase of CSAP testing, that the school boards aggregate data on an individual basis with reference to ethnic background, ranking within the class, specific fields of need and other information and make that report available to the public.

The state accreditation of individual school districts will hinge in part on the students' performance on the standardized tests. "If you become non-accredited," Noggle said, "the state comes in and restructures your program. Jobs certainly would be lost and personnel changes would be necessitated."

Enrollment

Noggle and Nancy Schutz, business manager, spelled out the enrollment status and it matched figures she released to the SUN two weeks ago, with a total district enrollment of 1,598 for funding purposes.

While the enrollment is up slightly this year, Noggle said, there is reason for some concern when the upper grade enrollments are compared to incoming student data. "If the current trend continues," he said, "in 12 years we could find ourselves with empty classrooms. I don't think," he hastened to add, "that it will come to that but it is something to keep in mind."

Schutz noted the enrollment is down in seventh grade through sophomore classes in comparison with recent growth years. And, she said, "incoming enrollment is averaging about 20 per class level lower than the number in graduating classes."

The current high school enrollment is at 515, up seven from last year.

Director Russ Lee wondered if that level is near the point where athletic teams would have to move up to Class 4A. High School principal Bill Esterbrook noted the Pirate teams play in different classifications depending on the sport. Football, for example is 2A while volleyball is 3A. The cutoff figure for advancement to a higher classification, he said, - and it has to be maintained for two consecutive years - is 535 for football and 540 to 550 for other sports.

Esterbrook also noted Pagosa's enrollment is among the highest in the state in the 3A classification.

When Davis asked if home schooling has had an impact on enrollment data, the consensus was affirmative. Such students have to register with the district and right now, Noggle said, there are about 150 in home schooling and private schools in the district.

Election reaction

Members of the board were somewhat chagrined by the results of their special issue on the Nov. 6 election ballot. The board had asked voters to remove the term limit regulation and allow board members to serve more than two consecutive terms.

"I wonder who they think will do the job when we're gone," said Lee. "If no one runs for the board seats when they're vacant, who serves?"

Noggle noted, wryly, that the issue did carry in the Hinsdale County portion of the district - 8 to 7.

Vocational education

The superintendent told the board he had been on the road most of the last two weeks and a good portion of that time was spent in exploring possible means of adding more vocational education to the district's programs.

"Several schools are exploring the possibility of forming a basic vocational education center for the area, one to serve Pagosa Springs, Bayfield, Ignacio and possibly Silverton. But the cost factor seems prohibitive."

He said officials have suggested joining with San Juan Basin Technical School but that entity seems uninterested in the idea, "perhaps envisioning some sort of turf war for students in the San Juan Basin."

A second idea broached, he said, has been a community college for southwestern Colorado but that, too, would probably be at some point three or more years down the line.

A possibly more realistic plan, he said, would be to have the interested schools ally themselves with San Juan College in Farmington. He said he has toured the facility and been greatly impressed by both the location, the curriculum, the teachers and the interest in education at all levels.

"Their construction trades program, for example, is self-supporting. They build a house and they auction it off to raise funds to keep the program going. Only the licensed trade jobs are handled outside the school's project status."

In other action Tuesday the board:

After an 80-minute executive session, voted to expel a male student for the balance of the school year and to accept provisions of a severance agreement with a staff member

Accepted unanimously administrative recommendations which make Sally Capistrant the Knowledge Bowl sponsor; name Rick Schur and Deanna Rader junior high C team basketball coaches; name Fred Martinez high school girls C Team basketball coach and Myron Stretton as high school junior varsity wrestling coach; accepts the resignation of Teri Gallegos as junior high custodian and names Larry Kaiser to replace her; and tables a leave of absence request by Kate Kelley

Approved five previously discussed student health policies, with one change in wording recommended by the school's attorney for the policy on first aid and medical care. The change makes it mandatory to require identification on file for a person authorized to make a health decision for an injured student.

Editorials
The numbers speak

There is meaning to elections on at least two levels: one is appar-ent, the other we speculate about. One concerns the brute fact of numbers; the other what numbers signify.

There were three local issues decided in Archuleta County last week; the numbers are clear, and an apparent message has been sent with each vote.

There is also a distressing reality shadowing the election: of 6,835 residents of the county eligible to vote, only 39 percent did so. Some would say this is an admirable turnout. Not so: sixty-one percent of county voters were content to let others decide issues for them, content to forsake a right most societies throughout history have denied the general population.

Archuleta County commissioners asked voters to approve an "extension" of an existing 2-percent sales tax now split evenly between the county and the Town of Pagosa Springs. Voters approved the question 1,873 to 719.

What did the vote mean, against an ambiguous legal backdrop? That many voters failed to understand the issue? Perhaps.

More likely, the vote signifies the willingness of voters to take a chance. Whether the vote stands up and is recognized as dominant over a vote within town boundaries in 1999 is now a matter for the Colorado Department of Revenue and the Colorado Attorney General to decide. If the decision acknowledges the commissioners' bid to "extend" the tax, no one loses. If the decision does not agree with that interpretation, the county must go back to the voters next November with a modified issue.

Hopefully, a request for clarification will be made quickly to the DOR and attorney general so, if the decision goes against the county, there will be time to prepare for next November. Chances are good the town will make that request; there is a higher degree of understanding of the situation among town officials and administrators than there is in the county commission meeting room.

By a vote of 1,466 to 1,023 voters approved a request by the Upper San Juan Hospital District to double its current property tax levy. The vote was relatively close, and mirrors reluctance on the part of many voters to pour more money into a system that has failed to deal with its financial situation during the past few years. No tax-supported entity should rely on donations and loans to survive.

USJHD directors are searching for an administrator - a step in the right direction - but the district is rife with problems, and it is obvious a significant number of taxpayers are waiting for a positive change in direction.

Lastly, voters denied 1,475 to 941 a request by Archuleta School District 50 Jt. directors to remove term limits for board members.

There is a perception in certain quarters that the district has been in decline under the present watch. Some voters believe directors, perhaps by virtue of too long a tenure on the board, assume they possess educational expertise - when, in reality, they have none. Others think some board members have taken undue credit for the efforts and accomplishments of staff members and members of the general public; others believe board members have issued educational directives based on little or no experience and a woeful ignorance of the realities of state-ordered compliance with performance standards. The board is burdened by nepotism; no board member should have an immediate relative in the employ of the district. The vote is clear: it is time to change.

Hidden behind that demand is a last, and disquieting layer of meaning.

While many voters are displeased with the district, how many will step forward to fill the void when directors leave the board?

It is one thing to cast a vote that requires a turnover in personnel; it is another to step up with a sense of civic duty and responsibility to the young people of the community, to take an unpaid, most often thankless position. Time will tell if the mandate is for the better.

Karl Isberg

Dear Folks
By David C. Mitchell

Pirate Pride makes Pagosa proud

Dear Folks,

Space limitations last week necessitated omiting some info reported in the Sept. 10, 1959, SUN. So this week I'll do some backtracking.

A new Town Hall wasn't Pagosa's only sign of change in late 1959. A new REA office building went up at the northeast corner of Lewis and Fourth streets at the same time the then "new Town Hall" was being built.

By 1986, La Plata Electric Association vacated the REA site and moved into its new offices and maintenance facilities on the edge of South Pagosa. The old REA building in turn became the home for the Archuleta County Education Center.

Now days, it's hard not to notice La Plata Electric Association's crews and equipment at work throughout Pagosa. Besides servicing new customers, commercial and residential throughout the county, it's common to see LPEA folks hanging out of the company's cherry-pickers while painting the flag poles at Golden Peaks Stadium, hanging banners or decorations on the light poles in the downtown business district, stringing banners across Pagosa Street, replacing the flags at the Pagosa Springs Visitor Center and etc.

Searching late 1959 editions of the SUN also led to a classic segment of Pagosa Pirates lore.

The SUN's lead headline for the Nov. 26, 1959, edition read: "Pagosa vs. Limon for state 'B' championship." The game was to be played at Limon - a 325-mile pregame bus ride for the Pirates.

Pagosa and Limon both went into the game with matching 10-0 records. However, whereas Pagosa had 25 players on its roster, Limon listed 63.

Glen Edmonds, the editor at the SUN at that time, traveled to Limon to cover the game and to take photos. His lead headline for the Dec. 3, 1959 SUN read: "Pagosa Springs is runner-up in state Class B football." An accompanying three-column photo showed "Jack Lynch, captain of the Pagosa Springs football team" receiving "the award for the runner-up to the state championship . . ."

In many small towns, the state championship game and its outcome would captivate most folks' memories. Not in Pagosa. Many Pagosa old-timers - parents and players alike - still talk more about Mr. Edmonds' article than the game itself.

Though 12 inches in length, Mr. Edmonds' article never mentions the score. In part, he reported that the "Buccaneers lost their quest for a state football title last Saturday against a strong Limon team at Limon. The Limon team was unquestionably a top high school football team and their large number of reserves, evasive plays and sheer manpower proved to be an unbeatable combination for the Pirates . . . The (Pirates) played heads-up ball all afternoon in the face of overwhelming odds and turned in a mighty fine performance. . ."

When I read that article early last week I hoped that it would not be applicable to the Pirates and Lady Pirates state playoff challenges respectively. I hoped in vain.

The Lady Pirates are to be congratulated. They returned from Denver as the runner-up in the Class 3A volleyball state championships. Of the eight teams that played in the state finals, the state champion, Platte Valley, was the only team to defeat the Lady Pirates during the two days of championship matches.

The Pirates likewise are to be congratulated. It will be no surprise if the Eaton Reds, the team that out-manned the Pagosa Pirates Saturday in their quarterfinals football game, ends the 2001 season as the Class 2A state champions.

Pagosa fans have every reason to be proud of the effort and sportsmanship the Lady Pirates and Pirates displayed this weekend against some of the top teams in their classifications respectively. As in 1959, Pirate Pride is alive and well.

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

David

Legacies
By Shari Pierce

91 years ago

Taken from Pagosa Springs New Era of November 11, 1910

Sully Parr was summoned today to appear before the supreme court of Colorado on November 16, in connection with the proceedings growing out of the attempt to place his ticket on the ballot as the Republican ticket.

The Ladies Aid of the Baptist Church will meet Friday, November 18th, for work and lunch. The annual dinner, supper and bazaar will be given by the ladies of the church on Saturday, December 3rd.

The Methodist Ladies Aid Bazaar dinner and supper was a great success. The total receipts, including $12 made by the Epworth League in their candy booth, was $168.90.

Come try the hot mineral baths at the Arlington bath house. The best thing in the world for rheumatism and all aches and pains. Come try them.

 75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of November 19, 1926

The Trujillo school children were inoculated against diphtheria by the county health officer today.

Coal is now being hauled to Pagosa from the mine on the Leon Archuleta ranch on the lower San Juan, as well as from the Cox and Nossaman mines on Coal Creek.

During the weekend snow storm, about two inches fell at Pagosa and vicinity, while on Wolf Creek Pass there were about two feet.

Among recent purchasers of radios are the following: Ralph Marsh, George Holliday, Whitney Newton two (one for the West Fork ranch and one for the Cox ranch), Raymond Brown, Urban Chambers, John H. Lattin and Kenneth H

50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of November 16, 1951

Big game season is over and what a relief. Those who were lucky enough to bag their meat, and there were quite a number from this area, can spend the next six months telling how they captured the prize and those less fortunate can bemoan their hard luck swearing never again. By next big game season all the hardships of the hunt will have been forgotten and they will all be "rarin' to go" again.

There will be a meeting Tuesday, November 20, at the school house at 8 p.m. for those interested in organizing a band boosters club. This meeting is open to the entire community, whether or not you have children in the band.

The Pagosa Springs Chamber of Commerce will hold their annual dinner meeting at the Los Banos Hotel on Tuesday.

25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of November 11, 1976

Deer season is over for the year, the hunters have gone, some left a little money with the local courts for violations, and overall hunter success was rated as good. The weather was exceptionally nice and this made for very hard hunting. Hunters reported that signs were plentiful but animals were very hard to find.

The SUN this week is somewhat deficient in some respects. This is due to mechanical difficulties that will hopefully be corrected by next week. A mini-computer type machine went on the blink as the result of an accident and gave everyone around here fits, hives and evil dispositions.

The school board adopted the largest budget in the district's history Tuesday night of this week. The total budget is $1,568,519.

Inside The Sun
Town opens round of eastern annexations
By Tess Noel Baker

The Pagosa Springs Board of Trustees initiated another round of annexations east and north of town at the Nov. 6 meeting.

The proposed annexations, three of which lie in the path of the planned 3-mile sewer extension along U.S. 160, are all being made at the request of the landowners - Joe and Sally Leal, Robert and Debra Sparks, Henry White, and John and Phyllis Brown. The three eastern properties are adjacent to each other on the north side of the highway east of the junction with U.S. 84.

"Towards the end of last week, we had some other property owners approach us, but it was not possible to accommodate them on the time frame we're working with here," Town Administrator Jay Harrington said.

The Leal property contains a residence and business - The Bear Den. The Fireside Inn is part of the Sparks' property, and the Brown parcel is currently vacant.

The fourth annexation being considered is the White property, a narrow strip of land completely surrounded by the town on Snowball Road. Harrington said the property, bordered by Mesa Drive and Snowball Road, holds a pair of woodworking shop buildings.

Trustee Stan Holt asked staff if all three landowners along the proposed eastern sewer extension had signed up to tap into the proposed new waste system.

Harrington said two of the three had expressed a desire to come on-line, and one had already paid the tap fees. Currently, the town has about 18 tap fees paid. It needs around 70 to take the $700,000 project to bids.

Following the discussion, the board voted to approve the resolutions initiating the annexation process. Trustee Bill Whitbred abstained.

The trustees' action was only a preliminary step in the overall annexation process. A public hearing on the action has been set for Jan. 2 at 5 p.m. at Town Hall, 551 Hot Springs Boulevard. Following the hearing, the board will have the opportunity to vote on an ordinance to formally annex the four properties. Should the trustees approve annexation, the land will officially be merged into the town 30 days later, and the process of zoning the new parcels begins.

In other business, the board:

reviewed the proposed $3.6 million budget, hearing a report on possible 2002 capital improvement projects and funding for service organizations. A budget workshop has been scheduled for Nov. 20, at 5 p.m. in Town Hall

 approved a resolution allowing the board to act as the reviewing entity for state income tax credit programs available to local historic preservation, remodeling or restoration efforts

approved a final plat for the Adobe Commercial Condominium on Lewis Street with the condition that building covenants for maintenance and snow removal meet staff requirements

approved a one-year extension on the Seielstad Condo plat which outlines the footprint of the building containing Sears and the Sports Emporium downtown. According to the board's motion, this will be the last extension granted on the plat

approved a minor subdivision in the 600 Block of 3rd Street.

approved the final plat on a subdivision of three lots along Eagle Drive and Majestic Drive, and

renewed liquor licenses for Mountain Spirits and Albert Helvy Package Store.

PLPOA OKs background checks
By Richard Walter

One change was approved in the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association personnel manual last Thursday but a second proposed revision drew extensive debate and finally was tabled.

Approved was an administrative recommendation to have motor vehicle and criminal investigations of all job applicants before they are hired and of those already on staff when the motion is approved.

Tabled was a proposal to revise maternity leave from the current 240 hours paid for a natural birth and 40 hours with an adoption, to a standard 80 hours paid leave in either instance.

It was noted there is no specification in the manual for whether leave should be granted to a male or female member of a couple and that federal law says only that up to 12 weeks leave should be granted, with no specification of number of hours to be considered paid leave.

When Director David Bohl asked if the proposal had been discussed with employees he was told it had not been.

Director Tom Cruse said, "In an era of growing employee benefits nationwide, this would seem to be reversing the trend."

General Manager Walt Lukasik said the association's corporate counsel has opined that the 240-hour allowance in the existing manual "is excessive."

When Bohl pressed his argument that "the employees should be consulted," director Jerry Medford said the proposal came before Rules and Regulations Committee where it was noted the male employee can take time off for maternity leave.

Bohl agreed some clarification is needed in the policy, but argued "It is not appropriate to change any benefit package with employees having no input at all."

"In this day of working couples," said Cruse, "we can't define maternity leave as just for the wife . . . perhaps it should grant leave to a parent without specifying sex."

Richard Manley, board president, said there is nothing in the manual to specify what happens if both parents are employed by the association. "There is nothing here to say that both can't take leave," said Manley.

Finally, the board unanimously approved Bohl's motion to table the proposal pending discussions between the general manager and employees.

Lukasik was directed to see what other organizations in the area do with reference to maternity leave and make a new recommendation after meeting with employees.

Subdivision approval bypasses county rules
By John M. Motter

A request for final approval of Capstone Village Subdivision reached the Archuleta Board of County Commissioners Tuesday, even though information needed for approval was late reaching the county planning office.

The commissioners approved a release of the improvements agreement with its attendant performance bond, accepted a $123,133 warranty bond, and gave final approval to the subdivision plat.

The property is generally located on Lakeside Drive approximately 1,000 feet from the junction of Lakeside Drive and Park Ave.

J. Marcus Baker, a member of the county planning department staff, presented the application to the commissioners at their regular Tuesday meeting. Baker told commissioners the planning staff had been working on details connected with the application as late as Tuesday, less than one hour before the meeting.

Commissioner agendas are normally compiled by noon Friday in accordance with a directive from the commissioners. In the case of Capstone Village, according to Administrative Assistant Kathy Wendt, the item had been on the agenda Friday morning, was removed that same day, and restored at 3:30 Friday afternoon at the request of Greg Comstock, director of county development and the planning department.

Comstock said it was his decision to place the item on Tuesday's agenda.

"We gave them a couple of extra hours because the things they didn't have in were not serious and we felt sure they would be in time," Comstock said. "Everything was ready this morning."

"I don't know the past policy on deadlines," Comstock said. "I'm not sure if we officially have a policy. Personally, I want any memos concerning these issues on my desk Thursday noon."

Past county planning department policy has dictated that developers submit by Tuesday all information needed for an item to be placed on the commissioner agenda by noon Friday of the same week.

Comstock admitted to asking that the Capstone Village request be placed on the Tuesday BOCC agenda. Each of the commissioners denied having anything to do with hurrying the Capstone proposal through the process.

"I am concerned," said Bill Downey, one of the three commissioners. "We need to establish a firm time for information to be submitted so that planning staff has time to review it before it goes on the agenda. Maybe things should come in Thursday so they could be reviewed before putting the issue on the commissioner agenda Friday."

""We expected the information to be there," Baker said. "It was not there at noon, (Friday) kind of on-again, off-again. I didn't know until 8 this morning that it was going to be on the agenda."

"I appreciate the planning office's work in getting this ready, in providing the best of service for the public," said Alden Ecker, another of the county commissioners.

With no more discussion, the item was unanimously approved by the commissioners.

In other business Tuesday the commissioners:

Approved the expenditure of $50,000 to purchase software to be used in the county finance office. The new software will enable the county to comply with government accounting standards by a 2003 deadline. The software should save the county close to $200,000 over the next five years, said Cathie Wilson, the county director of finance.

The new program will help centralize financial accountability throughout the county and save annual audit costs, according to Wilson. The auditor now must gather data from each county department, then convert the data to a format acceptable by the new software. Because of the extra steps, the auditor has asked for an annual audit fee increase from $19,000 to $30,000.

County Treasurer Traves Garrett and County Assessor Keren Prior advised the commissioners that they want to examine the new software before agreeing to implement it in their departments. They will get together with Wilson to discuss the possibility of adopting the new program

Approved the expenditure of $2,500 for purchase of a computer for the administration office

Approved extension of the Ridgeview Mall performance bond

Released the improvements agreement and performance bond for Elk Park Meadows Phase II and accepted a final plat and warranty bond for the same subdivision

Took under consideration a proposal that the county adopt a fee policy for certain county services currently provided free - services such as GIS maps from the planning department

Listened to a proposal from owner Lou Poma that the county purchase the Chevron Station and Big O Tire site immediately west of the county courthouse. Poma suggested the county could use the property for parking, additional jail and court facilities, or some combination. He said the property has a 1999 appraised value of $990,000, contains 1,000 square feet of building space, and 250 feet of U.S. 160 frontage. The commissioners made no responses, but informed Poma they will consider the offer in the context of long range county planning.

Snow possible over holiday weekend
By John M. Motter

Snow could fall over Pagosa Country during Thanksgiving weekend, but the chances are slight according to Becky Klenk, a forecaster for the National Weather Service office located in Grand Junction.

"The next chance for precipitation is Wednesday," Klenk said. "It's a little far in the future to forecast with any certainty, but a front with moisture could move into the area at that time."

Klenk's Pagosa Country forecast for the coming week calls for partly cloudy through Sunday with temperatures ranging between highs of 50-55 degrees during daylight hours and lows of 25-30 degrees at night. A weak system will move through the area Sunday, but the chance for precipitation is slight. Monday and Tuesday will be dry.

A long range look for the coming winter calls for Pagosa Country to be slightly warmer, but otherwise normal, according to Klenk.

Perhaps most affected by local weather is the Wolf Creek Ski Area. Most years, the ski area opens by Thanksgiving with "the most snow in Colorado." So far this season, the lack of snow appears to threaten fulfillment of that promise.

No precipitation was measured in town last week, and little snow is visible along the mountain ranges. October and November precipitation has been far below normal.

High temperatures last week averaged 61 degrees, ranging between 56 degrees and 64 degrees. Low temperatures averaged 27 degrees, ranging between 21 degrees and 30 degrees. The 21-degree reading is the lowest temperature recorded this season.

Director asks guidelines for future of Pagosa Lakes
By Richard Walter

What does the future hold for Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association?

Association director Tom Cruse, referring Thursday to a long-range Lakes, Fisheries and Parks plan, described it as "a valuable thing that asked us to look ahead."

"But," he said, "we don't have a plan like that for anything else. We need to develop a vision for the entirety of the association, of where we want to go. There are considerable assets and we need a narrow and well-defined focus for all potential issues."

Cruse moved that board president Richard Manley identify a procedure for developing and presenting a long-term plan for Pagosa Lakes.

"Basically," said director Jerry Medford, "the approach needs to determine what the board does - and can do. We need an in-depth approach to meeting the future needs of the area."

Director David Bohl suggested citizens may wish to establish a metropolitan district and "we can't be involved. They have to do it on their own."

"As an elected board of this community, this board is responsible to foster community thinking and planning and to offer education and information to the community on common concerns and principles. We can't allow feelings of the moment to control decisions."

Cruse's motion was approved unanimously and Manley appointed new director Pat Payne to serve with him as a member of a committee of two to prepare the recommendation for achieving a master plan.

Consideration of the future was not yet finished, however.

When Medford reported the Rules and Regulations Committee is "progressing as fast as we can" on possible changes to the code of enforcement, director Gerald Smith disagreed.

"I see a slow grinding hopper into which all the potential issues are tossed at once. We need to act now on some of these issues - things like controlling barking dogs - and act later on the tougher items."

When Walt Lukasik, general manager, said that "more than 6,000 mailings on a repetitive basis to inform membership of changes is not cost effective," Smith replied, "We (the board) responded to a list of problems cited. We need to get a comfortable saddle on this thing we're trying to ride. There are some decisions we can make without taking everything to the attorneys."

Medford said the committee is engrossed in "a logical approach to all the issues. We want to be sure we do the right thing, study them and approach control progressively. What we decide has to be legal, not subject to rewrite and rewrite. We are doing a professional job and I'm proud of our action so far. These problems have been here for as much as 15 years and we want not to have them go on for another 15 years because we erred in preparation of proper rules and regulations."

Smith argued, "There were 20 elementary issues brought up as needing controls . . . these were incidental elements, not long-range problems. Dust, objectionable lighting and dog problems should be controllable under common sense actions."

Former director Fred Ebeling, speaking from the audience, said, "I agree on the need for a general overhaul. But what we need right now is for the people doing the enforcing to use common sense."

Manley told the board what they seem to want and what the administration wants are surrounding what the real needs are. "The problem is getting to the starting point," he said.

Addressing Lukasik, he said, "Give us some options for expediting some of the information that can be done now while working on the broader picture of all the rules and give us a time line when we can expect action to come before us so we can study it and adopt logical plans."

"You want a patch instead of a complete repair?" asked Lukasik.

"Yes," was the reply. "But a patch that can stand the test until the repair is complete. We have daily issues that face effort without accomplishment."

Medford continued defending his committee's progress and the need for that progress to be made public as it is accomplished. "How can we do this work and not let the public know what we're doing?" he asked. "I think we're on schedule. I see it being February or March before we have the whole thing done correctly and I'd like to think the board will be patient so that we can have a progressive presentation."

Smith, however, was not appeased, asking, "Why can't we solve the problems that are solvable now, and deal with the serious problems later?"

Medford's reply indicated his belief staff has been enforcing those codes which have been approved by the association legal counsel as legal documents. "We have tried to give enforcement staff a better understanding of what is legal," he added.

"Walt (Lukasik) has been very positive about getting staff to act," he said, "and we want to build on that, following appropriate and correct procedures."

Director Ken Bailey, who had driven through a storm from Castle Rock to attend the meeting, said the association has a responsibility to its members to deal with problems which arise "with the rules we have at hand. If they are not adequate, we need to make them so. That is what Mr. Medford's committee is attempting to do."

Cruse said it is his impression "we have interpretations and rules to help us achieve the community goal of equal treatment for all. I think those things that can be implemented quickly are being done and it seems many of the problems are procedural."

Lukasik agreed, adding, "about 80 percent fall into that category."

Smith carried the argument with a mad dog analogy. "There is a big difference between a $500 fine and a $50 fine. It is not fair or consistent of good judgment to have to define the difference between an aggressive dog and one which will kill. The rules are sufficient for immediate action if not for long-term agreement."

Manley said there is no problem with procedure but with accomplishing fair treatment. "If a rule is enforceable but inadequate, we need to enforce it while working to improve it for the future."

Switching topics, Cruse said, "I share Mr. Smith's sense that some things we should be correcting are taking an interminable amount of time. "

For example, he said, "County Commissioner Alden Ecker told us in early spring, 'We need to get the snow melted and see what road work we need'."

"Now the snow has melted and now it is coming back again, Mr. Ecker," said Cruse. "We've not heard anything more from Mr. Ecker, from the county's new road committee, or from our own road committee."

"Our committee had a specific charge and it should be acted upon," he said. "We shouldn't have to wait through another winter to see what, if any, roads are in line for repair."

Heads nodded in agreement around the table but there was no further discussion.

Directors irked by architect for PLPOA rec center
By Richard Walter

After having held a public hearing with the architect several weeks ago, directors of Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association had expected to receive new drawings for proposed Recreation Center expansion.

The drawings were delivered last week and presented to the board Thursday.

But, there were no changes from the original conceptual presentation.

As a result, Director Tom Cruse, who chairs the recreation committee, was openly peeved.

"It's time for some reality comments," Cruse told the board. "I expected to see changes reflecting opinions voiced at the public meeting."

"I ask that the board, through the general manager, draw the architects' attention to our dissatisfaction with progress to date, especially with budget preparation beginning. How are we to work on funding this issue when the plans are not reflective of what we expect?"

The architectural drawings were done by Brookie Architecture and Planning Inc. of Durango.

The only changes in the new drawings were to the external site plan, with potential soccer fields lying along Eagle's Nest Circle to the west of the center. An alternative drawing shows a baseball field on the same site but both plans indicate "major construction for a single user group." It would require some fill and heavy grading in an area adjacent to existing wetlands.

Asked if there had been any cost estimates from Brookie for proposed construction, Cruse and Walt Lukasik, general manager, each answered, "No!"

"How then," asked director David Bohl (also the treasurer), "can we possibly budget for cost?"

No one had an answer.

Cruse also announced a change in hours for the center, to allow an earlier start of the recreation day, had been administratively approved. "Staff is already there at that time," he said, "and it required only a small shift in duties to meet the needs of early users." He said added cost for the early hours will be about $500 for the balance of the fiscal year.

Lukasik's monthly report to the board indicated:

The association has yet to receive a formal opinion for corporation counsel on the resolution approved at the annual meeting in July to formally name the area encumbered within the association. Attorneys apparently find no legal precedent for the action and members of the law firm seem divided on the issue. An answer is expected before the December meeting. The resolution would name the area Pagosa Lakes, Archuleta County, Colorado

A town meeting has been scheduled at 7 p.m. today for all property owners to receive and present information on the concept of a Recreation District for future planning for parks and recreation amenities

A study of annual delinquencies in association dues shows 14.7 percent unpaid in 1999, 12.7 percent in 2000, and 9.9 percent this year. The delinquency reduction of 32.6 percent since 1999 was attributed to updated procedures and more diligent efforts of management and staff in collection of annual assessments. He said 313 notices of intent to lien were sent out and in the last 45 days, 100 answers were received making only about 200 liens still expected to be filed. In conjunction, the board discussed the proposed contract for collection services with the Carlton Company and learned there is some dissatisfaction at the corporation counsel office with the firm's plan to add costs of collection to total collected. Most firms in the business, directors were told, take their fee from the amount recovered. Attorneys are suggesting possible inclusion of an indemnity fee paid by the collection agency. Richard Manley, board president, directed that the subject be made an agenda item next month and that a general manager's recommendation be presented at that time

Legal counsel Bill Short will be in Pagosa Springs Dec. 3 to meet with the board and the road committee and review the suit filed by Glenn Bergmann. At the same time, the board was advised Bergmann has filed an answer to the board's move to dismiss his suit regarding expenditure of settlement funds for road repair

Noted the first meeting of the revised Hearing Panel was held Oct. 17 with former director Fred Ebeling as chair. The panel is reviewing guidelines, policies and charter. The board directed that Ebeling continue to serve as chair for the panel meetings this month. He informed the board he will not be available in December and January.

Letters
Dog problem

Dear Editor,

The uncontrolled dog problem in the area is outrageous and so inconsiderate of the dog owners who keep their dogs under control.

The roaming dogs endanger children, wildlife, and other domestic dogs.

The arrogant, belligerent attitude of the owners who ignore the animal control rules of the PLPOA are indicative of persons who think rules and regulations do not apply to them - there are too many of those in our area. The PLPOA Animal Control Officer performs her duties in an exemplary manner, but by the time she arrives at the scene, sometimes the animals have disappeared into the woods.

If a responsible dog owner takes his/her animal out for a walk and is attacked or threatened by one of the roaming dogs, problems result. Or if children are playing in their yard and are attacked or threatened, lawsuits could be on the agenda.

Therefore, why don't the irresponsible dog owners wise up and be considerate of their fellow citizens? They should not own a pet if they can't control and be responsible for the animal.

This tirade will probably fall on deaf ears, just the way my complaints about littering have not been heeded, due to the apparent illiteracy and/or ignorance of the perpetrators.

Concerned,

Mojie Adler

In the middle

Dear Editor,

"The left was completely baffled," as far as patriotism? So says Mr. Sawicki.

The far-left, you mean. Wasn't it a far-right that blew up Meara Building in Oklahoma? Most Americans are somewhere in the middle, Mr. Sawicki. Both parties have their nuts.

Mr. Sawicki and Mr. Feasel think it is a black and white world. Democrats, (the so-called left) have been dying for this country for as many years as Republicans. The majority of Rangers that landed at Normandy were Democrats. You sure know how to split America. Divide and conquer.

The majority of draftees during the Vietnam era were poor Democrats. The Bill Clintons and Dick Cheneys of the world had draft deferments. The poor have always fought our wars.

Ron Alexander

75th Ranger Regiment 66-69

Veteran's breakfast

Dear Editor,

On Monday, Nov. 12, I attended a veteran's breakfast that was hosted by eighth grade students under the direction of Mr. Janowsky and all of the eighth grade teachers.

It was a wonderful breakfast and great honor to be invited. The students are to be commended for going out of their way to treat all of us with the greatest respect one could ask for, along with their generous hospitality to actually sit down with each veteran and share in some of their stories, and give poems that they had written from their hearts. What a memorable morning this was!

Thank you for the wonderful tribute through your chorus group as they sang some very inspirational American songs that I know touched a lot of hearts in Parish Hall. It shows that our young people are truly caring and what a blessing - that they will someday be our future leaders.

With deep appreciation,

Don Blaine,

Veteran, USAF

Hunting tales

Dear Editor,

We just returned from Pagosa Springs where we were hunting elk off Blanco Basin road close to the Squaretop guard station and Squaretop Ranch on the national forest.

This was our twenty third year to hunt in this area and some of our group have been hunting almost fifty years in this area.

While we were hunting on the national forest several friends were approached by a man that said he was the ranch owner's nephew and that we were hunting on private property. We can read a map and know where the boundary lines are. He said his uncle had just purchased that part of the national forest and that we should leave immediately ( if they are selling off the national forest then I would like some in the same area please ). He also added that if we killed an elk in this area he would have our vehicles impounded and fine us for being on private property. We did not let this bother us and continued to hunt and he left.

How many people did he harass?

How many people believed him and had their hunt interrupted and left?

If the land owner wanted this man to patrol his ranch then he should have told him where the boundary lines are.

A game warden stopped by camp and we told him of the incident. At that time the man came driving by and the warden took off after him so we are hoping that some sort of justice will be done.

Maybe something will be printed in your newspaper as to what was the result was.

Thanks for letting us hunt in your fine community.

Steve Gist

Brock, Texas

Veteran's Day

Dear Editor;

I want to thank all the people involved in making the Veterans Day weekend a huge success.

Saturday evening the Marine Corps celebrated its 226th anniversary; Sunday the American Legion had a flag-raising ceremony followed by a potluck luncheon; and Monday morning the eighth graders (five classes and 125 students) gave a great breakfast to many veterans, families and friends.

The students were very interested in hearing the veterans' experiences. Veterans from World War II, Korean, ++ Vietnam and Gulf wars talked freely with the students. The eighth grade choir sang some patriotic songs which were enjoyed by all. All of us are proud of the eighth grade teachers and students and they are to be congratulated on their Veterans Day project. It was attended by over 200.

At 11 a.m. Monday, the American legion hosted a flag ceremony, winners of the Reuben R. Marquez patriotism writing contest were announced, patriotic music was played by the high school band, followed by a rifle volley by the American Legion.

It is so nice to have the people of Pagosa Springs united together to support our veterans.

Proud to be an American,

Ron Gustafson,

Post 108

American Legion

Cheers for students

Dear Editor,

Please allow me to use your paper to acknowledge the great thing the eighth grade pupils of Pagosa schools did for the veterans of the area this morning. We were served a great breakfast by the students who attended to our every need. We were quizzed as to our branch of service, what war, etc. They were all great ladies and gentlemen. After breakfast we were entertained by the choir. Sorry I couldn't wear my uniform but it lacked eight inches meeting in front.

Again, thank you eighth graders.

Sam McNatt

Friendly Pagosa

Dear Editor;

We just wanted to say thank you for the hospitality shown to us this past weekend. We were in your community for the high school football playoffs. The people at the school as well as townspeople were extremely friendly and helpful. We were impressed. Thank you.

Russ and Doris Meeker

Eaton, Col.

Health Fair leaders

Dear Editor,

Pagosa Springs has the reputation of having one of the best Health Fairs in the state. This community has earned that compliment.

The site coordinators for the 2002 9Health Fair in Pagosa will be Pauline Benetti and Sharee Grazda. After four years, I am stepping down to do other things. I will be available to assist Pauline and Sharee when needed.

I know that all of the wonderful volunteers in the community will rally behind Pauline and Sharee and assist in all capacities. As you know, it takes a lot of time, hard work and dedication to make our 9Health Fair happen, so when the time comes, let's make it happen again.

My experience as site coordinator has been extremely rewarding and I appreciate everyone's hard work. I want to give special thanks to all the core team members, volunteers at large both in the medical and non-medical field, including those who came from out of town, to all of those who attend the 9Health Fair and to the businesses that made donations.

I really appreciate and thank everyone for their support.

Lili Pearson

Kudos from Eaton

Dear Editor,

We had the privilege to visit Pagosa Springs as Eaton Reds football fans the weekend of November 9 and 10. Your town is to be commended for the warm welcome we received. We arrived Friday afternoon, thereby having time to get acquainted with your town and visit with several of your townspeople. We were approached by some young people in one of the stores we were in who recognized us as Eaton fans (because of our red attire and buttons sporting our sons' football pictures); they took the time to welcome us to your town and even wish us good luck! Clerks at several other establishments we visited also wished us good luck and shared stories with us. When we arrived at the football stadium before the game, we were met with the visitor stands decorated in our colors with signs and balloons complete with crepe paper! What a wonderful surprise! The people of Pagosa Springs hold a special place in our memories of our state play-off game there. Our hats are off to you! Thank you again for your great hospitality!

Rob and Teri Price

Don and Shirley Stroberg

Cat up a tree

Dear Editor;

Beyond the call of duty and a big "thank you" to the Upper San Juan Rescue Department. Over two weeks ago our cat, Missy, was chased up a tree in our yard by an unleashed dog. Our cat is declawed, and considering her age of 12 years, it was pure adrenaline that spurred her up a high-limbed pine tree, where she climbed up several branches to a height of about 18 feet. We could see from her actions that she had injured her paw in her efforts, and knew she would not be able to jump back down to a lower branch, a difficult feat at best with no claws with which to hang on. Even then she would have been too high for us to reach with a ladder. It was beginning to get dark and not wanting her to be up there, frightened, all night, we called the non-emergency rescue number to see what they could suggest.

We were told this was a "first" for this area, but soon two representatives showed up unexpectedly at our door to assess the situation. Soon a fire truck with ladder arrived, and as darkness fell, an extension ladder was propped up against a branch and a volunteer climbed up and rescued our panicked kitty, quickly restoring her to her anxious owners. Missy limped around for about a week, and has not wanted to go outside since then, but we are grateful there was no further trauma.

We want to commend the personnel of the Rescue Department for their prompt response to an unusual plea for help. The volunteers were so friendly and seemed not at all put out to be rescuing a pet rather than a person. In fact, they said it was a bright spot in an otherwise stressful day. There was much laughter and joking; needless to say as newcomers to Pagosa Springs, we were very impressed.

Ed Raymond

Extremists return

Dear Editor,

The Nature Conservancy has embarked upon a campaign to target private Property in Colorado. TNC is attempting to generate $75 million to make sure private property is handed over to what they consider the proper authorities, government bureaucrats.

Their campaign, called "The Heart of the West" will attempt to "persuade" us of their goals, with the aid of our government. They say they must "strike" now. "We're looking beyond county, state or even national boundaries to set our conservation goals" Funny how this supports and corresponds directly with the environmental-extremists "Wildlands Project", whose stated goal is to turn 50 percent of the country into human-free zones.

Are we funding our own destruction? The U.S. taxpayer is being forced to support government agencies that are providing money to the unscientifically justified projects of major environmental groups. For example, in 2000, $377,000 a day went to organizations whose mission is to wrest control of property from private owners. The biggest winner? You guessed it, The Nature Conservancy.

Even The Forest Service gave money to a group, which favors a total ban on commercial timber sales, to recruit new members. Their own efforts only garnered $13,000. And the EPA allows itself to be sued, then does not put up a defense, allowing the environmental-extremist group suing to collect damages. That money of course doesn't go to the public, it goes back into the bank accounts of the environmental-extremists group.

The flow of our tax dollars is not confined to U.S. borders either. Last year, millions flowed to environmental-extremist projects in foreign countries, which included eco-tourism events that promoted more unscientific environmental mythology.

It is time we ask for scientific and economic proof as to why we are funding organizations that seek to destroy our liberty and take away our property rights.

Kim Rogalin

Pagosa pride reigns

Dear Editor,

We wanted to write and thank the town of Pagosa Springs for their hospitality this past weekend.

It was a long trip and everybody went out of their way to make us feel welcome. We talked to many friendly people. The booster club did a wonderful job of decorating for both teams.

The football team, parents, fans and town of Pagosa have much to be proud of. You are a class act.

Thanks again.

Tim and Char Swain

Eaton, Co

Post office incident

Dear Editor,

It appears to be common knowledge among many in town that the "hazmat" team was dispatched to the post office a couple of weeks ago. They were summoned to investigate an unknown substance. The post office was shut down for a period of time.

I waited to read a factual report in last week's Sun. To my surprise and dismay there was none. Was it not a newsworthy story? Does not the Sun have the responsibility to inform its readers and furnish accurate information? This would go a long way to avoid unnecessary rumor and anxiety amount the residents of Pagosa Springs. Or does the Sun feel it is doing us a service by keeping us uninformed.

Sincerely,

Francesco Tortorici

(Editor's note: In two to three weeks, as soon as there is enough information available, the SUN intends to run a summary of all the "nothing really happened" stories related to local mail-scare incidents. Until then, we will concentrate on stories with some substance.)

Sports Page

November 15, 2001

Ladies make a run; but settle for a second in state 3A
By Karl Isberg

The Lady Pirates made it a game, but fell to Platte Valley 15-5, 15-13 in the Class 3A championship volleyball match Saturday at the Denver Coliseum.

To be precise, the Ladies came alive and made a run at the title after a slow start in the first game of the final match of the 3A volleyball season. The Broncos, perennial visitors to the state tournament with a state-leading number of championships (now 13), began play on a hot note and got the jump on Pagosa.

A 5-0 jump.

Following a timeout by Coach Penné Hamilton, the Ladies got as close as they would get to the Broncos, 5-2, when Nicole Buckley killed off the block and a Bronco was called over the net. Platte Valley then boosted the advantage, getting a lucky roll along the tape, an ace and several effective stuff blocks to go ahead 12-2.

A difficult gap to close at the championship level.

Despite the obstacle, the Ladies were not done fighting. Ashley Gronewoller converted a Bronco over-pass for a point and the Broncos hit a ball out to give Pagosa a fifth point.

With Platte ahead 14-5, the Ladies continued to battle, fighting through six scoreless sideouts before a kill off the block gave Platte Valley the win.

Pagosa got on the board first in the second game of the match as Gronewoller nailed a quick-set from Katie Lancing. Then the teams slugged it out, scoring sporadically as they traded serve. Pagosa got a second point on a Bronco hitting error; the Broncos came back with strong attacks on swings by the middle hitter to lead 5-2.

A stuff block by Lori Walkup produced a point for the Ladies, but Platte responded with a kill and a block of their own.

Gronewoller took back the serve with a kill from the middle; Buckley killed from the strong side, Lori Walkup killed from the weak side.

With the Bronco lead cut to 7-5, the teams beat on each other through six sideouts before Platte got a point with an ace. Lancing tipped over the block to return serve and the Ladies produced their best sustained scoring drive of the match. The run began with a Bronco hitting error. Gronewoller killed to the back line then combined with Lancing on a block to add another point to the total. The game was tied 8-8.

Lancing hit a spectacular one-handed free-ball over her shoulder, just inside the back line, to give the Ladies their first lead of the afternoon.

Platte Valley returned serve and immediately went back in front 10-9. Gronewoller and Lancing stuffed the Bronco's middle hitter to take the serve. The Ladies capitalized on a Bronco hitting error and another powerful block by Gronewoller and Lancing to go ahead 11-10.

Platte took back serve but were denied points when Gronewoller crushed a quick-set from Lancing.

Buckley killed from outside; the Broncos gave up a point with a passing error and Pagosa was head 13-10.

At that point, one of the momentum changes that characterize the sport of volleyball took place, with Platte taking the serve from Pagosa with a kill of an overpass. Pagosa's run was halted during a series of seven scoreless sideouts. A Lady Pirate passing error gave the Broncos a point and a free ball that floated down at the sideline put Platte within a point, 13-12. The Ladies took back serve several times before game's end, but couldn't produce the points. Platte Valley did produce the points, again relying on powerful blocks and ending the game and match.

"Some of the things we've been working on correcting all season caught up with us," said Hamilton. "Serve errors and coverage problems worked against us. But, it was a good battle in the second game. Our girls fought hard and played well in that second game; they refused to roll over and die. Katie, Ashley and Nicole played smart. Katie Bliss made some quiet, key plays that kept us in the game. Shannon Walkup worked hard in the back court. And I thought Lori Walkup had a wonderful match for a freshman playing in a championship game."

As the second-best team in the 59-team classification, the Ladies had advanced further than any squad in the history of the program.

Summary

Platte Valley def. Pagosa Spgs. 15-5, 15-13

Kills: Gronewoller 13, Buckley 10, Lancing

Assists: Lancing 18

Digs: Buckley 7

Aces: none

Blocks: Gronewoller 4

Pirate gridders bow to Eaton in state quarterfinal
By John M. Motter

Pagosa Springs' march toward the state 2A football championship skidded to a halt Saturday. Eaton's visiting Reds wore out Pagosa 35-7 in a quarterfinals matchup at Golden Peaks Stadium.

"We were outmanned," said Myron Stretton, Pagosa's head coach. Stretton has led the Pirates to the Intermountain League title and post-season play the past three years. This is the first Stretton team to reach the quarterfinals.

"They put three big guys in the middle and everyone else on the outside," Stretton said. "They dared us to run up the middle. We couldn't."

"Our skill kids are better than theirs," Stretton said. "Our defensive secondary was awful. Our linemen did a great job. They were just outmanned. They were giving up 60 to 100 pounds per man."

Pagosa battled Eaton even up until a pair of mistakes with less than two minutes remaining in the first half gave the Reds a 20-7 halftime lead.

The tide turned in Eaton's favor with the score tied 7-7 and 2:20 remaining on the first half clock. Pagosa was forced to punt. Following Darin Lister's punt, Eaton put the ball in play on the Pirate 36-yard line. Consecutive holding penalties pushed the Reds in a big hole back on their own 34-yard line. On third and long, Eaton quarterback Chris Swain hit Sean Wright on the numbers. The 6'3" tight end crossed into the end zone and Branden Trujillo kicked the extra point. Following one sudden play, Eaton was out of the hole and sporting a 13-7 lead with 1:20 left. Pagosa was still in the game.

Trying to take advantage of their momentum, Eaton squib kicked the ball on the ensuing kickoff. Pirate Ross Wagle successfully fielded the kick, giving Pagosa good field position on their own 38-yard line. Time for Pagosa to get moving.

A comeback was not to be, at least on this day. On the first play from scrimmage, Eaton's Richard Lohr picked off Ronnie Janowsky's pass, giving the Reds a first down on Pagosa Springs' 28-yard line. Two plays later, with 48 seconds left in the half and after rolling right, Swain spiraled a pass to Wright in the end zone, Trujillo booted another EP, and Eaton trotted off field at halftime with a comfortable 20-7 lead.

Pagosa never quit trying until the game ended, but Eaton's decided weight advantage dominated as time passed. Pagosa has only Pablo Martinez on the varsity roster weighing over 200 pounds. The standout Pagosa junior linebacker weighs 210 pounds. Eaton's roster show 11 players over 200 pounds, six over 225 pounds.

The game opened with Pagosa winning the coin toss. Co-captains for the Pirates were Lister, Janowsky, Ethan Sanford, and Ross Wagle. Pagosa chose to kickoff to the Reds while defending the south goal line. Lister's kick sailed into the end zone. No run back.

Eaton launched the game's opening drive from their 20-yard line. The Reds had little trouble marching down the field. Behind the running of Mario Rosas and Trujillo, and a 43-yard pass, they needed but two minutes to cross the Pagosa goal line. Trujillo's EP kick was good, giving Eaton a 7-0 lead. Pagosa appeared to be in trouble.

Pagosa's progress on the ensuing possession ended when Janowsky's fourth-down pass flopped on the grass. Eaton took over offensively on their own 37-yard line, but this time Pagosa's defense was up to the challenge. On the first Eaton play, Pagosa's Cord Ross sacked Swain for a 10-yard loss. In succession, Rosas was stuffed for no gain, Swain threw to no one, and Eaton was forced to punt.

Lister's punt return put the ball on the Pagosa 34 with 5:50 remaining in the quarter. Lister ran for 7 yards; Janowsky threw incomplete, then completed a pass to Lister. Caleb Mellette broke loose for seven yards and a first down, Lister ran for one, then Janowsky threw a perfect pass to Wagle racing along behind the defense. Wagle reached the end zone untouched on a 55-yard play, Lister kicked the EP, and the score was knotted 7-7 with 3:55 remaining in the first period. Maybe Pagosa could play with the Reds.

An in-the-trenches defensive struggle followed for the next 14 minutes. Eaton's deepest penetration was the Pirate 23-yard line, where they fumbled on third and 6. The fumble was Eaton's only turnover of the game. Pagosa's Michael Vega covered the fumble.

Unable to move the ball, Pagosa turned to punter Lister on 4th down. Pagosa flag-waving fans cheered lustily when Lister's 55-yard punt over the heads of the returners rolled dead on the Eaton 13-yard line. Two plays later, Ross sacked Swain again. Once again, Eaton was in a hole. Pagosa's chances looked good when Eaton faced third and 12 on their own 11. They looked better when Ross again closed in on the Eaton quarterback on what looked like another sack. This time Swain spotted Lee Griffith all by himself in the Pirate secondary, threw the ball, Griffith made the catch, and Eaton again climbed out of a deep hole. Now they owned a first down on the Pagosa Springs 46-yard line.

Eaton's potent offense drove to the Pagosa 12-yard line, but the Pirate defense was again up to the challenge, holding Eaton for four downs. Even though Pagosa's offense was unable to move the ball on the next possession, Lister's 55-yard punt seemed to pull the Pirates out of danger. Instead, Pagosa fans watched with disbelief as the Reds put two quick TDs on the books to end the first half.

The defensive battle resumed during the first two-thirds of the third period. Following a punishing ground attack that erased four minutes from the clock, Rosas finally crossed the goal line for Eaton. Swain succeeded on a keeper for two points, boosting the Eaton lead to 28-7 with 3:25 left in the period.

Following an interception of a Janowsky pass, Eaton again knocked at the door as the third period ended. Again the Pirate defenders responded. After holding for downs, Pagosa took over on their own 23-yard line to start the final period. Trailing 28-7 Pirate dreams were still alive, but they needed a quick score.

Pagosa managed a first down on the Eaton 7-yard line, but another Eaton interception of a Janowsky pass ended the scoring threat. By this point in the game, Eaton knew Pagosa had to throw. Adding to Pagosa's dilemma, most of the Pirate players had been playing offense and defense throughout the game. They were wearing down against their bigger opponents.

With less than a minute remaining, Eaton's leading rusher, Rosas, broke loose for a 66-yard TD scamper. The extra point kick was good. Scoring ended with Eaton on top 35-7.

In other quarterfinal action, Yuma defeated Monte Vista 19-6. Monte Vista finished second to Pagosa Springs in the IML. Burlington defeated Roaring Fork 34-14, and Holy Family beat Florence 30-29.

It was the final game for Pagosa seniors Darin Lister, Ronnie Janowsky, Caleb Mellette, Ethan Sanford, Michael Vega, Hank Wills, Ross Wagle, and Cord Ross.

Summary

Pagosa Springs 7 0 0 0 7

Eaton 7 14 7 7 35

Eaton: Trujillo 7 run (Trujillo kick). PS: Janowsky 55 pass Wagle (Lister kick). Eaton: Swain 34 pass Wright (kick miss). Eaton: Swain 5 Wright (Trujillo kick).Eaton: Rosas 1 run (Trujillo kick). Eaton: Rosas 66 run (Trujillo kick).

Weather Stats

Date

High

Low

Precipitation

type

Depth

Moisture

11/6

61

30

-

-

-

11/7

60

26

-

-

-

11/8

56

21

-

-

-

11/9

59

28

-

-

-

11/10

61

27

-

-

-

11/11

64

29

-

-

-

11/12

63

29

-

-

-

11/13

62

28

-

-

-

Community News

Chamber News
By Sally Hameister

Pagosa's bursting with holiday events

Look for ads in the next couple of issues of the SUN to give you all the info you need about the holiday activities in and about town. As always, Pagosa is bursting at the seams with holiday cheer and lots to do.

I've had several folks ask about the Parade of Lights, and the answer is an enthusiastic "yes, of course we're holding it this year."

Christmas in Pagosa will be held at the Visitor Center on Saturday, December 1, with Santa fielding all those special requests from 3:30 until 5:30. Jeff Laydon will be here once again with his trusty camera to record that first or third visit with Santa for posterity. Sally Theesfeld, our Cookie Lady, informs me that she has already started baking and freezing the delicious Christmas cookies that will be served on Dec. 1 along with hot spiced cider. Last year Sally baked the most fabulous array of cookies we've ever offered so, of course, we recruited her to repeat that this year. The Mountain Harmony Ladies Chorus will appear as they have in the past several years sitting upon haystacks on the back of an Ace Hardware truck singing their little hearts out for us. They will lead us in all our very favorite Christmas carols until Santa comes out to do the countdown for the Chamber Christmas Lighting ceremony at dusk. This is a very special day for adults and kids alike.

The following Friday, we will all join in the fun for the third annual Parade of Lights. This is one of my personal favorites because all the floats are so blasted colorful with the amazing array of lights and everyone is so pumped up and excited about it. It will begin on Sixth Street and end up on Second Street. There will be $100 prizes awarded to the best floats in the Business, Family and Organization categories, and our trusty, incorruptible judges will make those determinations. Entry fee is $25 and forms will be available at the Chamber by the end of the month.

Perfect paradise

Hearty congratulations to all the Immaculate Heart of Mary crew who worked so hard for the wildly successful Paradise in Pagosa presented on Saturday at the Parish Hall. As always, the food was delicious, the decorations were delightful and left no doubt at all about the tropical theme. The young lady who sang, the young lady who danced and the three lovely hula dancers provided all the entertainment one could hope for. The models and clothing were out of this world from the ladies to the charming children and "Buckwheat", the gorgeous dog model. Kudos to you all for a superb job and many thanks for a delightful Saturday afternoon.

Inserts

Remember to bring us your 725 inserts sometime the last week of November for inclusion in our upcoming Chamber Communiqué. It's ever so easy to be included in this inexpensive, popular marketing scheme. Just bring us 725 flyers with all the information about your great December special, your move to a new location, additions you might have made to your inventory, etc., and a check for $40, and we will take care of the rest and mail it out to our entire membership. This edition is especially popular because it gives everyone a big jump on advertising for the holidays and costs so little. I'm giving you an early heads-up because I know the time crunch we all begin to experience as Christmas approaches, so you have plenty of time to get those babies in here. Just give a call if you have questions and we'll be happy to answer them at 264-2360.

Members recognized

We're always happy to report to you when any of our members are recognized for exceptional contributions in areas outside of Pagosa Springs, and this week is no exception.

Willie Swanda of Crazy Horse Educational Expeditions recently earned statewide recognition for his exemplary partnerships which benefit citizens, communities and nature. The Colorado Alliance for Environmental Educational (CAEE) presented an award to Willie and eleven other outstanding environmental education partnership programs at a banquet during the first week of November. Congrats, Willie.

Operation Winter Coat

You still have time to contribute warm clothing and blankets to the annual Rotary Club Winter Coat Drive. Our boardroom has several items, and I hope it's just the beginning. Even though we've had an inordinately warm fall, it's sure to get very cold before it's all over, and those in need will need plenty of coats, boots, hats, sweaters, gloves and blankets to make it through the long, cold winter. Please drop off your items at the Chamber, the County Extension Building, or the elementary or Lutheran schools by the end of the workday today. Anyone who needs these items may come to the County Extension Building tomorrow between the hours of 2-5 p.m. If you have questions, call either Lois at 731-5489 or Julie at 264-7474.

Christmas Bazaar

Don't forget that the Community United Methodist Church will be creating and selling holiday wreaths and centerpieces beginning Nov. 23, the day after Thanksgiving, and continue to Dec. 7. Hours at the church are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. This is the 42nd year for this huge philanthropic endeavor, and allows you to ship wreaths all over the world to make someone's holiday even more festive. Small wreaths ranging from 12" to 15" cost $19 plus $7 for shipping; medium wreaths ranging from 18" to 24" in diameter cost $27 plus $8 for shipping; and large wreaths ranging from 26" to 30" in diameter cost $35 and cannot be shipped. Last year 875 wreaths were sold and many were sent to destinations in all 50 states. All proceeds go to both the church and mission work or various charitable organizations in Pagosa Springs. If you have questions or would like to place an order, please call 264-4538.

Home tour

Seeds of Learning invites you to join them on the first-ever Holiday Tour of Homes Dec. 6, from 6-9 p.m. You will be able to tour five beautiful homes decorated to the nines for the holidays and get some dandy ideas for decorating your own abode.

I have always thought that this was a fabulous idea and am delighted that Teddy Finney and the Seeds gang have decided to begin the tradition. I caution you that there are only 150 tickets available for the tour and encourage you to purchase yours in the very near future (mine are already in my wallet). You can pick up your tickets at the Chamber of Commerce, Seeds of Learning Family Center, The Pagosa Kid and Wolftracks Bookstore and CoffeeHouse. Tickets are $8 and will be sold until 3 p.m. Dec. 6, and none will be available at the door. Join us for an event sure to get you into the spirit of the holidays in a big way, the Holiday Tour of Homes.

Cute Baby winner

We want to congratulate Leandre Maestas on winning the Cute Baby Contest recently held by our local ALCO store. Thanks to the generosity of the community, $838.90 will be donated to the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund in New York. Folks voted for their favorite "cute baby" with their change, so obviously a lot of people cast their votes. Leandre will receive a $25 gift certificate just in time to do her holiday shopping.

Membership

It's a fine and dandy week for us with five new members and 22 renewals. It's especially gratifying during these rather unsettling times for folks to grace us with their support and confidence through their membership. We are deeply grateful and appreciate each and every member.

Our first member this week is our old friend, Hugh LeVrier, who was the driving force behind the Four Corners Business Journal for years and is now heading up KREZ-TV in Durango. Seems that Hugh just can't seem to stay out of the communications business, and we're happy that he stopped by to join our Chamber with this new (to Hugh) business. KREZ-TV is located at 158 Bodo Drive in Durango and acts as the local CBS television associate. Hugh is just warming up with this new endeavor and will keep us posted as things start happening at KREZ. If you would like to learn more, please call him at 259-6666 in Durango.

Our second new member this week is Linda Lerno who joins us with Affordable Framing by Linda's Creations, working out of her home. We at the Chamber can attest to the quality of Linda's work because she framed our poster and photos for the poster unveiling and art show at the Arts Council. The work was outstanding and we're delighted that Board Prez, Ken Harms, recruited Linda to join our fair Chamber. You can learn more about Linda's work by calling her at 731-5173.

We're delighted to welcome Rob Craig and Carol Mackey with the Ghost Ranch Conference Center located at HC77, Box 11, in Abiquiu, N.M. This outstanding conference and education center offers studies in paleontology, astrology, the arts, music, theology, current social issues, archaeology or conversational Spanish. All their programs offer a variety of opportunities to enjoy new experiences, gain new skills and make new friends. For more information about Ghost Ranch, please call 505-685-4333.

Our fourth and fifth new members this week join us as associates residing here in Pagosa Springs. The Chamber welcome mat goes out to Tom Thorpe and to Gary and Wanda King with our thanks for joining the ranks.

Renewals this week include John J. Taylor with Water Applications/Consulting; Susan Spencer with the Pagosa Counseling Center/Southwest Colorado Mental Health Center; Lauren Huddleston with Spacemasters; Maurice (Mo-Reece) Woodruff with the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation; Charles Parker with Buckskin rental property; Matt Carnahan with Lafarge Construction Materials Four Corners located in Bayfield, and Bloomfield and Aztec, NM; John Smith with Coldwell Banker Real Estate, The Pagosa Group; Joan Cole with Massage at the Springs; Jess Donahue with McDonalds of Pagosa Springs; Doug Call with the Pagosa Area Trails Council; Josie Sifft with Spirit Rest Retreat; Paul N. Aldridge with Old Miner's Steakhouse; Stacia Aragon with Pagosa Glass; Pamela Novack with Equus Realty Colorado, LLC; George Wakefield with Copper Coin Discount Liquor Store; Jerry Baker with Borderline Enterprises; Mike Ferrell with Rocky Mountain Maintenance; Elmer Thomas with Our Savior Lutheran Church/School; KRQE-TV in Albuquerque; and Nancy Hammond with Basin Printing & Imaging in Durango.

Our Associate Member renewals this week include Curl and Dot Jones and Joan and Malcolm Rodger. Many thanks to all.

Senior News
By Janet Copeland

LEAP, ESP program data explained for seniors

Mary Ann Foutz and Donna Pina from Social Services were with us Nov. 9 to discuss LEAP (Low Income Energy Assistance Program).

Applications are also used by the Energy Saving Partners (ESP) program to provide home energy efficiency or weatherization services.

There are some income limitations for individuals to qualify for these programs but the benefits are tremendous.

To find out if you qualify for this assistance, please contact either of these ladies at Social Services.

AARP has supplied the Senior Center with literature regarding prescription drug benefits and a card to mail in to subscribe to receive information about legislative issues and AARP legislative activities. Please pick up one of these cards at the Center and help educate our Congress and the President on the importance of prescription drug benefits and the need for them to keep the promises made during their campaigns.

Elaine Nossaman is our Senior of the Week. Congratulations, Elaine. She is one of our mainstays and we love having her with us.

On Friday, Nov. 9, we celebrated Lilly Gurule's 29th birthday (she says). Lilly is one of our valuable volunteers and a wonderful lady.

Guests this week include Joe Kresman, William Zornes, Ofelia Sloan and Don Miner (guest of Andy Fautheree). Welcome to you all and we hope you join us again soon.

Francisco's Restaurant in Durango is once again providing a free Thanksgiving lunch for seniors on Nov. 20 between 1:30 and 4 p.m. The senior bus will leave Pagosa by 9:30 a.m. and will provide one stop at WalMart prior to lunch. The required $10 transportation fee must be paid at sign-up. If you will be providing your own transportation, please sign up at the Center and let Musetta know so she can obtain a luncheon ticket for you.

Because of the large number of seniors who will be going to Francisco's, the scheduled presentation by Roy Vega (regarding Reverse Equity Mortgages) and the visit by the second grade class has been canceled for that date.

On Nov. 29 at 6 p.m. there will be a Candlelight Service at Ridge View Center. We hope folks will take some time out before the holiday season to remember those who have passed away by attending this service. It is non-denominational and open to the community. Refreshments will be served. John Graves will perform on the piano and Duke Martin, an Alaskan performer, will sing.

Thanks to Susie Fisher from The Plaid Pony for the free craft classes on ways to decorate our homes for the holidays with delicately handmade gifts. The first class we made angels and in the second we made cute little reindeer. It was lots of fun.

Cindy and Musetta have provided our bulletin board some information regarding the upcoming Nutcracker performance in Durango (at the Concert Hall Dec. 8 - phone 247-7657); the opportunity to attend the U.S. Olympics (phone 1-800-842-5387); and the phone number for Michael Buderus, Retirement and Estate Advisers Inc. (1-877-452-0120). Contact the Senior Center for more information regarding any of these items.

Sue Fletcher (4 Corner Senior Travelers) has put together a very interesting trip to Biloxi and New Orleans for April 19-29, 2002. The price for this 11-day/10-night trip is $680 per person, with an added $275 for single occupancy. Payment of $75 is due upon signing, with final payment due Feb. 12. For information and reservations, contact Sue at (970)-565-4166.

Another new activity at the Center - on Fridays at 1 p.m. we hope all you bridge players will join us to start up a group to play bridge.

The previous published date of Friday, Nov. 16 for the CPR class has changed. We will advise you of the new date when it is firmed up. Kathy Conway from EMS will provide a non-formal, nuts-and-bolts, non-certified CPR class. Sign-up sheet for this class is in the lobby or you may call the Center at 264-2167 and have them sign you up. There is no charge for the class, though donations will be appreciated.

Local Chatter
By Kate Terry

Patriotism essay contest winners listed

Last year the family of the late Reuben R. Marquez established the Reuben R. Marquez Sr. Patriotism Writing Contest to run in conjunction with Veterans Day activities. The contest is open to all Pagosa Springs students. The winners are announced at the Veterans Day ceremony held at Pagosa Springs High School.

This year's winners in the high school are: first place, Toby Gunzinger; second place, Matt Ford; and third place (a tie) Natalie Przybylski and J.R. Hudnell.

The winners in the elementary school are: first place, Ryan Searle and second place (a tie) Casey Meekins and Leanna Knowles.

The ceremony was beautifully done - celebrated on Monday. And the breakfast sponsored by Pagosa Springs Junior High School and held at the Parish Hall that day was well done. Each guest was met by a student who handed him (or her) a menu, ushered the guest to a seat, took the order and served it, and then visited with the guest. My host-usher was Josiah Burggraaf; he made me feel very welcome.

Around town

Pagosa has never had Salvation Army bell ringing at Christmas. If you have ever lived where this program is honored, then you can understand those who think that dropping a coin (or more) into a Salvation Army kettle - and hearing it ding - is an important part of the Christmas holidays. For some, it means the beginning of the season.

Now, thanks to Jim Haliday, the effort is being made to solicit volunteers "to ring the bell" and "man the kettle" for the Salvation Army.

Volunteers are needed for a 2-hour stretch at either City Market Store. Please call 731-0982 if interested in helping.

About town

The Pagosa Springs Arts Council Gallery is now closed until April 2002. The office will be open Wednesday through Friday, 10-2, December through March. Applications for the upcoming season are due by Feb. 15. The telephone number at the gallery is 264-5020. The format for next year's exhibits include multiple artists on display for three-week periods, juried shows, theme exhibits and three-dimensional art exhibits.

Around town

Things do happen around here. The women of Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church held their fifth annual luncheon/fashion show and it was the best ever. How the committee came up with "Paradise in Pagosa" as the theme, we'll never know, for the day was perfect. And, if you can recall, last year the day was snow and slush!

We can thank June Giesen for putting it all together with (of course) a team of charming, good-looking women to help.

The entertainment has to be talked about. Joetta Martinez, a high school senior performed an Hawaiian dance. And then June announced that Joetta would give hula lessons to "some people," and out pranced Gene Tautges, Rick Hampton and Steve Van Horn dressed in grass skirts and leis with flowers in their hair. Bill Norton and Walt Geisen played their ukeleles and sang as Joetta led (maybe I mean tried to lead) the "students."

But to show you how much faith June had in their new skills, she then had them dance on their own - and that, good friends, was real entertainment.

Fun on the run

An angel appeared at a faculty meeting and told the dean that in return for his unselfish and exemplary behavior, the Lord would reward him with his choice of infinite wealth, wisdom or beauty.

Without hesitating, the dean selected infinite wisdom.

"Done!" said the angel, and disappeared in a cloud of smoke and a bolt of lightning.

All heads turned toward the dean, who sat surrounded by a faint halo of light. One of his colleagues whispered, "Say something." The dean sighed and said, "I should have taken the money."

Veteran's Corner
By Andy Fautheree

Some care covered in non-VA hospitals

Most frequent questions of veterans I visit with are about Veterans Affairs Health Care, as I have written about frequently in this column. Veterans want to know if they are eligible for VA Health Care programs, how do they sign up, what are the costs, where do they go for health care needs, and, what would they do if they had emergency health care needs?

Until recently, VA Health Care officials had told me there was no emergency care provided except at a VA facility that provides such service, such as the VA hospital in Albuquerque or Grand Junction, or other VA hospitals around the country. But I was apparently informed wrong. Just goes to show you never know all the answers and this is a continuous learning process.

Under certain circumstances, the Veterans Administration Health Care system can provide and pay for emergency needs at a non-VA hospital. There is quite a list of prerequisites, but it is available. This additional benefit went into effect May 29, 2000.

This benefit is a safety net for VA Health Care enrolled veterans who have no other means of paying a private facility emergency bill. If another health insurance provider pays all or part of a bill, VA cannot provide any reimbursement. To qualify you must meet all of the following criteria:

1. You are enrolled in the VA Health Care system

2. You have been provided care by a VA clinician or provider within the last 24 months

3. You were provided care in a hospital emergency department or similar facility providing emergency care

4. You have no other form of health insurance

5. You do not have coverage under Medicare, Medicaid, or a state program

6. You do not have coverage under any other VA programs

7. Department of Veterans Affairs or other federal facilities are not feasibly available at time of emergency event

8. A reasonable lay person would judge that any delay in medical attention would endanger your health or life

9. You are financially liable to the provider of the emergency treatment for that treatment

10. You have no other contractual or legal recourse against a third party that will pay all or part of the bill.

I would urge everyone to go back and read the above 10 points very carefully. All of them must be met exactly, or the VA will not provide the benefit. Next week I will go into more details about this health care program.

In other local matters, it was pleasing to see the turnouts for the various Veterans Day activities Nov. 10, 11 and 12 in our area. Events started off Nov. 10 with the U.S. Marine Corps Birthday Party at the Greenhouse. I wasn't able to attend because of some prior commitments, but I understand they had a great turn out of about 76 for this annual event and everyone enjoyed themselves. I certainly plan to be there next year and thank the coordinating people for inviting me this year.

On Sunday at 11 a.m. the Pagosa Springs American Legion Post 108 conducted its traditional Veterans Day flag ceremony in front of the Post building in Town Park. It was a befitting ceremony and well attended. Following the flag ceremony at 1 p.m. a potluck dinner was held at the Legion hall hosted by the American Legion Auxiliary.

Monday morning was kicked off at 8 a.m. by the entire Pagosa Springs 8th grade class hosting a Veterans Day pancake breakfast for veterans at the Catholic Church Parish Hall. These students wanted to express their honor and thanks for the contributions to our country by our veterans, and they certainly found a way to show that appreciation. The youngsters' efforts were well appreciated by more than 200 attending veterans. The 8th grade choir performed several patriotic songs. I'm sure this could become an annual event.

At 11 a.m. Monday a Veterans Day flag ceremony was conducted at the Pagosa Springs High School. Members of local veterans' groups and the public participated and the PSHS band played patriotic music. Winners of the annual Reuben Marquez memorial patriotism essay contest were also announced. This Veterans Day ceremony has become an annual event for the High School.

For information on these and other veteran's benefits please call or stop by the Veteran' Service Office located on the lower floor of the Archuleta County Courthouse. 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 vsoarch@pagosa.net. The office is open from 8 to 4, Monday through Friday. Bring your DD Form 214 (Discharge) for registration with the county, application for VA programs, and for filing in the VSO office.

Extension Viewpoints
By Bill Nobles

Need management program set Nov. 14

Nov. 5 - 4-H New Family Orientation, Extension office, 6 p.m.

Nov. 8 - Cloverbuds, 4 p.m.

Nov. 9 - Colorado Kids, 2 p.m.

Nov. 9 - 4-H Achievement Night and dinner, Extension office, 6 p.m.

Grazing management

Want to know more about how to control weeds with the use of grazing management? An alternative weed management program will be offered at the fairgrounds Extension Office on November 14th at 7 p.m. This program emphasizes using natural diet preferences of goats as a tool to utilize plants present in a landscape. These animals utilize natural resources on small and large acreage while returning other forms of life. Grazing is managed so selection pressure stresses noxious weeds and favors desired grasses and species. Land Whisperer and Ewe4ic Ecological Services, Inc. management is site specific and is determined by three things:

1) What is the plant(s) problem?

2) What other plants are present?

3) What is the goal of the landowner - long term and short term?

Come join us and learn more about integrated management strategies to control weeds, improve pastures, and increase production on your property.

Eradicate Scrapie

Very recently, the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture announced an important new program to accelerate the eradication of the fatal brain disease, scrapie, from the nation's sheep flocks and goatherds.

About Scrapie

Scrapie is a fatal degenerative disease affecting the central nervous system. An abnormal protein, called a prion, is associated with the disease. Transmission primarily occurs at lambing/kidding through exposure of a ewe's/doe's offspring and other animals to an infected female's birth fluids and placenta; thus the emphasis placed on breeding animals in the eradication program.

Scrapie is in a class of disease known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs). Other diseases in this class include bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in cattle and Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in deer and elk. Recently publicity surrounding TSEs, and limited knowledge about the diseases, has heightened public concern. Extensive epidemiological research has shown no evidence that scrapie can be transmitted to humans.

One of the following clinical signs of scrapie may be present in affected animals: weight loss despite retention of appetite, behavioral changes, itching and rubbing, wool pulling, biting at legs or side, lip smacking, loss of coordination, increased sensitivity to noise and movement, high-stepping gait of forelimbs, bunny-hop movement of rear, swaying of back end, tremor, down - unable to stand, and death.

A live animal test for scrapie has been developed and is expected to be available later this year. The test uses a biopsy of lymphoid tissue from the third eyelid. It will be used to test suspect and exposed animals for scrapie infection. The new test is expected to be a valuable tool in identifying and cleaning up infected flocks/herds.

Animal identification

In order to eradicate scrapie among sheep and goats, methods for identifying infected and exposed animals must be created. Therefore, sheep and goats not enrolled in the Voluntary Scrapie Flock Certification Program (VSFCP) will be subject to new identification requirements before they change ownership and/or enter into interstate commerce.

The following animals will need ear tags or tattoos: all sheep 18 months and older, all breeding sheep, all scrapie exposed, suspect, test-positive and high-risk animals, breeding goats, except low-risk commercial goats, all sheep and goats for exhibition. Note; there are less stringent requirements for sheep and goats moving interstate for grazing or similar management without change of ownership. A premise number for use on approved ear tags or tattoos will be assigned by the area APHIS or State Veterinarian offices.

As for the identification process, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will provide ear tags, without charge, to producers. Tags will be available through the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), Veterinary Services (VS) Area Office and/or the State Veterinarian's office in each state. Metal ear tags are preferred because of their low cost and durability; however, plastic ear tags may be provided when requested. Sheep producers who prefer to use a different type of tag may purchase official tags through specified, approved tag companies and tag types will be maintained on the APHIS scrapie web page www.aphis.usda.gov/vs/scrapie.

Additionally, producers will be required to keep identification records for five years after the animal has left the flock/herd.

Specific to goats

Because the incidence of scrapie in goats is extremely low, and sampling at slaughter is not considered cost effective at this time, different requirements have been put in place for goats. Goats in slaughter channels will not be required to carry individual identification numbers when they are moved in interstate commerce unless they are scrapie-positive, high risk, exposed or from an infected or source herd.

Commercial low-risk goats may be moved in interstate commerce without identification. Commercial low-risk goats: are raised for fiber and meat, are not registered or exhibited, have not been in contact with sheep, are not scrapie-positive, high-risk, or exposed animals, and are not from an infected or source herd.

Sexually intact goats used for exhibitions such as fairs, shows, demonstrations and petting zoos or that are registered will be required to carry individual identification numbers and have health certificates to cross state lines. Goats with legible registry tattoos and that are accompanied by a copy of their registry certificate do not require any additional identification.

Health certificates

In addition to official identification, each breeding sheep or goat crossing state lines or entering into interstate commerce must be accompanied by an official Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (health certificate) issued by an accredited veterinarian.

Crusing with Cruse
By Katherine Cruse

Paper keepers need prod to sort 'stuff'

Stuff. If you don't watch out, it can take over your life.

I once had to get in touch with neighbors who were out of town. It was an emergency situation, and Hotshot and I accidentally became the ones who had to try and locate them.

It was a learning experience. The first thing we learned was that we didn't know them as well as we thought. Didn't know who their best friends were. In fact, I couldn't think of the names of any of their friends.

So we started hunting for clues.

Hotshot has programmed our phones. We can call our family and close friends with just two numbers. But, being a sort of Luddite, I also keep phone numbers of friends and relatives on a sheet of paper tucked inside the front of the local phone book.

Our neighbors didn't. At first, I couldn't even find their phone book.

In the old days, we kept address books and phone books and all that kind of stuff in the desk or on the table where the phone sat. Today, with remote phones and cell phones, there's often no single place. We keep the phone book here, the address book there, the bills someplace else.

Hotshot keeps all his addresses and phone numbers in a computer program. You try looking through someone else's computer for information. Not me.

Anyway, he carries the computer with him on travel. If the plane should crash, a lot of useful information will be lost.

I squirrel away a lot of paper stuff in drawers. I'll bet you do too.

Prints back from the photo store, still in those stiff envelopes. Business cards. The yoga schedule. Yellowed newspaper clippings. Ancient recipes and recent ones. Notebooks and calendars and journals, not written in.

One friend tells me that she tries to sort through this kind of stuff regularly. Her goal is to get rid of five pieces of paper or other unused items every day.

That's her goal. But then she starts thinking. She looks at each thing and thinks, "Gee, this might be useful." Or, "Somebody will want that." So back in the drawer it goes.

You've got to be vigilant, or the paper will take over your space and your life. It's making inroads here. I claimed the little bedroom last winter. It was to be my office. We moved files into it, but I didn't have shelves.

The floor became my filing cabinet. Church committee information here. Cancer info there. Writing ideas in another pile. And on and on. You had to step around the piles to get to the computer desk.

It's a good thing no big wind blew through the open window.

A fall project is to get it all filed properly. Or thrown away. It's kind of fun, really, to go through a stack of papers and clippings that have sat for a few weeks, or months. It's like participating in an archaeological dig. You never know what will turn up.

I'm making progress. But it's hard work, filing.

My mother files stuff by hanging things in plastic bags on hooks along the garage wall. She looks for things by feel. That doesn't work with paper though.

My mother also has a file system in her head. She keeps track of all she owns. By contrast, my mind is like a sieve. If it's not right in front of me, I forget about it.

I had a friend in Nashville whose apartment was clutter-tolerant. Like my mother, she knew where everything was. That memory came in handy when her apartment was burgled one day.

She says that she was in the process of sorting her books when this happened. Or maybe taking them off the shelves to dust them. So at the time of the burglary, and probably for a few weeks, or months, the stacks of books added to the confusion.

When the investigating officer arrived, he exclaimed, "Yikes! He sure hit this place!"

And Roberta said, "Well, it kind of looked like this already."

He pointed to the piles of books and papers on the floor and said, "Looks like he really trashed your books."

And Roberta had to say, "Well, no, I put them there."

He pointed to open dresser drawers and asked, "Did he do that?"

And Roberta said, "Well, no, that was already like that."

A few more of these false starts and the cop said, "Lady, just what did he take?"

Roberta pointed to a small clean square on top of her dusty dresser and said, "See that spot? I had a box with some jewelry in it. That's gone." There was another clean spot on a bookcase, where something else had been.

There's a lesson here for all of us. Keep a small clean space in the midst of your clutter, a space for information, a clearly designated space, with the important phone numbers. Your relatives. Your good friends. Where you are. So that if we have to reach you, we'll know where to look.

Parks and Rec
By Douglas Call

Youth basketball season practice opens Nov. 26

Youth basketball registration continues at the $20 rate. Registration forms are available at Town Hall, the elementary school and the intermediate school.

This year's season is scheduled to start Nov. 26 with team practices. A group practice for all players 11 and 12 years old will be held tonight at the intermediate school gym. The 11-year-olds will meet from 6 to 7 p.m and 12-year-olds from 7 to 8 p.m.

Teams will be formed on Nov. 20 at a coaches' meeting. Games will begin Dec. 10 and continue into February. Players will receive T-shirts as uniforms.

Elks Hoop Shoot

The Pagosa Springs Recreation Department will host the annual Elks Hoop Shoot, sponsored by the Durango Elks Lodge, Dec. 1 at 9:30 a.m. in the intermediate school gymnasium.

The Hoop Shoot is a nationwide basketball free throw shooting contest for boys and girls 8-13. Hoop shoot winners are awarded T-shirts and patches and will advance to the regional playoffs at Escalante Middle School in Durango Jan. 12. Boys and girls will compete separately in the following age groups: 8-9, 10-11 and 12-13.

Adult coed volleyball

The 2001 coed volleyball season will conclude Monday night.

In the first round last week, CPR Title beat American Family Insurance; Piano Creek defeated Dulce; Ski and Bow Rack beat Ace Hardware.

In the second round, Colorado Construction beat CPR Title; Ski and Bow defeated Piano Creek; and Dulce excused Ace Hardware from the tournament.

The tournament will conclude with the championship game at 7 p.m. Monday. The two undefeated teams going into this week were Colorado Construction and Ski and Bow Rack.

Volleyball clinic

The third annual youth volleyball clinic will conclude Monday night. Players still interested in attending can do so at 6:30 p.m. for fifth graders and at 7:30 p.m. for others. All practices take place in the junior high gym.

Arts Line
By Stephanie Jones

Arts Council Gallery closed until May

The gallery in Town Park is currently closed until May when it will reopen with exciting new exhibits.

Each exhibit will run for a period of three weeks with multiple artists exhibiting a variety of artwork. Any artist who is interested in exhibiting needs to apply to the gallery by Feb. 15. The gallery exhibit committee will review all artwork submitted and select artists to display their work at the gallery. Applications can be picked up at the gallery during our business hours or can be obtained by phoning 264-5020. PSAC business hours at the gallery, December through March, are 10-2 on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.

Whistle Pig

On Nov. 17 there will be a Whistle Pig concert at the home of Bill and Clarissa Hudson, 446 Loma Street in Pagosa Springs.

World Music duo Paul and Carla Roberts will perform on numerous instruments collected from around the world. They will play a mixture of international favorite songs as well as original pieces.

The duo has over 25 years of playing and recording together. To learn more about the musicians you can visit http://www.songbirds on the web.

Admission for the concert is $7, which includes coffee, tea and dessert during intermission. The opening act is Steve Rolig. Seating is limited at the Hudsons' home so reservations are suggested and can be made by calling 264-2491. More information can be obtained at http://hudsonhudson/whistlepig.

Photo contest

The 14th annual arts council photo contest at Moonlight Books will be on display Feb. 2- 23.

Amateur and professional photographers are invited to enter the contest by submitting works to Moonlight Books by 5 p.m. on Jan. 30.

All photos entered must be ready to hang, matted and framed. Framed photos must have screw eyes and wire hanger only. Matted or mounted photos need plastic stick on hangers.

The contest categories are domestic animals, architecture, autumn scenic, general landscape, patterns/ textures, sports, flora, people, up close, winter scenic, black and white, open, wild fauna, sunrise, sunset, and special techniques. A list of rules and entry forms can be picked up at Moonlight Books, Mountain Snapshots, Focus and Sound, Pagosa Photography and the PSAC Gallery and office.

Volunteers needed

The PSAC is currently looking for a computer-savvy person to volunteer to do the layout for our quarterly newsletter, The Petroglyph. If you are interested in volunteering please call the gallery at 264-5020.

We are also looking for a business interested in supporting the PSAC by sponsoring a newsletter. In return for sponsoring the Petroglyph, we will insert your business flyer into the newsletter that is mailed to over 250 PSAC members. The PSAC is a nonprofit organization and your donation is tax deductible. Any business interested can call the gallery.

Nutcracker

The Aspen Santa Fe Ballet will perform the holiday classic "The Nutcracker Ballet," Dec. 7, 8, 9 at Fort Lewis College in Durango. Local San Juan Dance Academy students Lila Burns, Kayla Walker, Daisy Jones, Jacqueline Garcia, Emma Donharl, Leslie Baughman, Hayley Hudson and Amanda Huang will perform with the company in the Dec. 9 production at 2 p.m. Amanda Huang will perform as a mouse in the battle scene and as the Chinese Dragon in Act Two in all four performances. Tickets for the production can be obtained by calling the Fort Lewis Box Office at 247-7320.

Artsline info

Any PSAC member with information for Artsline during the month of November, please phone Stephanie Jones at 264-5068.

In Sync With Isabel
By Isabel Willis

Who are you? Tips for avoiding ID theft

Identity theft - the nation's fastest growing financial crime - can snare anybody, including you. Few people realize how devastating a raid on their identity can be or, more surprising, just how easily it can be accomplished.

According to the Privacy Rights Clearing House, there are an estimated 500,000 to 700,000 victims per year. This number doesn't reflect the check fraud scams that rely on duplicating legitimate checks, or lottery, mortgage and other various scams. Most are aimed at the elderly population.

The perpetrators not only victimize the consumer, but also the financial institutions, credit card companies and retailers. Colorado banks lost more than $10 million in 2000 to identity theft. Master Card reported that in 1997 it had $407 million in losses and that identity theft contributed to about 96 percent of that.

For those who fall prey to these thieves, the monetary damages are not the worst outcome. In most cases the consumers are not held liable for more than a fraction of the fraudulent bills. The damaged credit, on the other hand, can become a long, bitter struggle to overcome.

A survey of victims by the Privacy Rights Clearing House found that it took an average of two years to repair damaged credit history. That is not the worst of it. The Federal Trade Commission has estimated that one of every six thieves arrested for traffic violations or other petty violations uses the victim's identification. When they fail to meet their court date, a warrant is issued for arrest of the innocent victim.

How does all this happen?

It's so easy its scary. This crime, when compared to others, is low-risk and easily accomplished. Some crooks can obtain Social Security numbers and other personal information over the Internet for a nominal fee. Others go "dumpster diving" for bills with credit card numbers, Social Security numbers and other vital personal information.

With the right software, a scanner and other equipment, a forger can counterfeit checks bearing your name, driver's license number and other identification. Most of these thieves have ways of making a phony driver's license with your personal information and their picture without ever coming in contact with you.

Once these thieves have successfully claimed your identity, they can begin getting credit cards and loans in your good name. By using a Post Office Box Number (which is also in your name) as the mailing address, all bills and statements made from the fraudulent loans are never seen by you. You are unaware of this scam until you apply for credit and your credit report reveals past-due bills on accounts that you never applied for. This is a very rude awakening and the beginning of a long hard process of reclaiming your identity.

Although it is impossible to totally eliminate the risk of someone getting scraps of your personal information in order to assume your identity, there are some steps that are recommended by the Identity Theft Resource Center in San Diego that may minimize your risk:

1. Use a shredder to destroy papers you don't need, especially any with personal information

2. Don't carry your Social Security card or any cards or badges that may include your Social Security number. Don't put the number on checks and don't give out the number unless you know what it is for

3. Once a year, check with the three credit reporting agencies. They are TransUnion, (800) 887-4213; Experian, (888) 397-3742; and Equifax, (800) 865-1111. It generally costs about $8 per report and is well worth it

4. Carry as little information as possible in your wallet. Get credit cards with your picture on them

5. Block your name from marketing lists by calling 888-5OPTOUT

6. Never give information to a telephone solicitor unless you initiated the call.

Donna Piña, adult protection case manager for the Archuleta County Department of Social Services, is planning to have an Identity Theft Seminar in the Spring. Anyone interested in learning more on how to protect themselves from identity theft should attend.

Donna plans to have guest speakers from law enforcement, victims and a former identity thief. Dates and times will be advertised in The Sun as the event approaches.

Remember the holidays are right around the corner. There are many con artists just looking for an opportunity to make their living off your. Take precautions and don't let them make you their next victim.

Library News
By Lenore Bright

Special bulbs for porch lights serve as a beacon for EMTs

We have an unusual idea for a stocking stuffer. We're helping the hospital district sell the special bulbs to put in your porch light. In an emergency, you can activate the light to flash. The flashing acts as a beacon to help the EMTs, firemen or police find your house more rapidly.

The emergency beacon lights retail at $19.95, but we can sell them to you for $10. The bulb works like a regular light. In an emergency, you activate it to flash.

New display

Do you like trains? Have you built, or would like to build a model railroad? Do you need information and advice, or just a little help? Do you have information and talents that you would like to share with others?

Pagosa has a local division of the National Model Railroad Association (NMRA). Richard Wholf, the Director of the Silver San Juan Division of NMRA, shared some information about the local organization, and brought in a display of some of the trains owned by local members.

Model railroading has long been a favorite family activity, and is now experiencing tremendous growth. November is Model Railroad Month, and various sizes and kinds of trains will be displayed for your enjoyment. In addition there will be handout information on how to join the NMRA.

The club was organized in 1935 and now boasts over 25,000 members worldwide. NMRA sets the standards for building and displaying model railroads. Members attend national and regional conventions and train shows held yearly around the States and Canada. The next one is set for Florida next July.

Local members belong to the Silver San Juan Division. There are a number of active railroaders in our part of Colorado and their trains range from the very small to the large garden railway, and even several larger outdoor ride-ons.

Come see our train display, and for more information about joining NMRA, call Richard Wholf, 731-2012.

Civic Club winners

Thanks to all of you who purchased raffle tickets. Margaret Wilson says we made over $1,800. The winners were Doug Schultz, Jean Sanft, Cindy Gustafson, Sharon Walter, Vimmie Ray, Pat Howard, Bill Ralston, Sid Evans, Freda Whisman, Betty Reynolds, Dahrl Henley, Joann Ecker, Bonnie Thrasher, Bill Chenowith, Billie Evans, Kris Embree, Nettie Trenk, Robin Ball, Kathy McCulloch, John O'Brian, Terri Smith, Carol Gilliland, Ron Maez, Barb Draper and Warron Big Eagle.

The Civic Club ladies are to be congratulated on a very successful bazaar. We appreciate their efforts. And we thank all of you who had booths, and all of you who came out and supported the presenters.

Donations

Thanks for materials from John Neill, Wayne Wilson, Betty McCoy, Betty and Shelby Delaney, Ray Bush, Dick Van Fossen, Windsor Chacey, David Durkee, Arlene Payne, Mrs. Lundergan, Katherine Cruse, Ed Lowrance, Barb Draper, Gail Salaway, John and Ann Graves in memory of Grace Rader.

Shepards Staff
By Rev. Richard A. BollandOur Savior Lutheran Church

Know warning signs of cultic involvement

Cults and cult leaders fill their rosters with former Christians in our country. They are able to accomplish this because those Christians they seek to recruit have inadequate understanding of the faith in which they were raised and are therefore vulnerable. The moral of the story is, "Know thy stuff!" St. Paul put it far more eloquently in Ephesians 4:11-14:

"It was he (Christ) who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming."

Some cults are more subtle than others. Some come in the guise of the Church or in the form of a parachurch organization. Here the evil one, Satan, is at his crafty best. Not only does he draw people away from the blessing of God in His Church, he even gets some in the Church to fund it. One must never forget how clever Satan really is.

So how can Christians know if they are being approached by or drawn into something that is cultic? I would suggest the following.

Study the word of God with those Christ has appointed, (as in those noted in the Ephesians passage above.) Pastors are God's shepherds for the flock of God and have received intensive and specialized training to enable them to teach the Word in its truth and purity and administer the Sacraments according to Christ's institution. Such leaders are always measured against the Word of God and if their teachings conform to that Word, they are to be trusted.

Never be satisfied with a minimal understanding of spiritual things. In a world filled with every kind of voice, each claiming to know the truth, a Sunday school level of understanding is never sufficient. A strange thing will happen to you if you engage in such study. The more you study, the more you'll want to study more. You'll never get enough of the love of God.

Know the warning signs of cultic involvement:

Any kind of individual or organization that substitutes anything other than God's Word as a means to solve your problems is cultic. If what you are considering attempts to insert the wisdom of men, psychological techniques, human traditions, or spiritual forces other than the healing which is ours in Christ Jesus, it should be abandoned immediately

 If what you are involved in makes worship and fellowship with the whole body of believers in a Christian congregation secondary to spending time the teacher/leader individually or in a group, then the activity is cultic. Cultic activities tend to make what they have to say or what they do as supremely important often encouraging with drawl from other Christians

If what you are involved in takes an unusual amount of time away from your family, then the activity is cultic. One sure sign of cultic activity is the discounting of time spent with family. If the activity encourages or insists that a person spend 2-4 days per week with the individual leader or group, this is a clear violation of God's express will with respect to the importance of family

If what you are involved in becomes something on which you have become dependent on for a sense of well-being, then the activity is cultic. If spending time with the leader/teacher or with a group outside of the Church becomes more important than your congregation, your family, or your personal relationships outside of the activity, then you are engaging in a cultic activity

If the activity you are involved in uses the Scriptures only as pronouncements of law, then the activity is cultic. Lots of cults dress their teachings in the garb of the Scriptures. It gives credibility to what they say and legitimacy to the leader/organization. However, if the Scriptures are only used to provide new rules on how to live better rather than being motivated to live out of love for God alone through the power of Jesus Christ, you are engaging in cultic activity.

Personal healing and wholeness are given through the life, suffering, death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. God's Word, the Bible, brings us that precious truth as well as the healing we seek both for our personal relationships and for our relationship with God. It was precisely for the healing of all relationships that Jesus became flesh and dwelt among us. Listen to His voice and what you seek will be found. His voice is heard through objective means: His Word and Sacraments. Do not be led astray by any other voice.

Pagosa Lakes News
By Ming Steen

Sharing, again, a mother's story of child's growth

In September of 1995, after the following article was published in our local newspaper, I had parents ask for copies to pass on to family and friends.

I wish to share the article again because its content is relevant and in the wake of recent events, we agonize over the safety of the people we love. Memories of my children in their childhood nourish me in their absence. I find myself hoping that I've taught my children well; taught them to love and value life, theirs and others equally.

"With his graduation from Pagosa Springs High School in May, my son has gone on to a bigger school; an institution of higher learning. At this new school the text books cost a small fortune and he shares a 10-foot-by-10-foot living space with a boy from Paris, Texas, a microwave, a refrigerator, a television, two bean bags, a room plant, two computers and a sound system designed with output of a great magnitude to titillate the tympanic membranes of all hearing creatures within a 1-square-mile radius.

"His father, seeing that he and his roommate have little space left to sleep on, has built them beds on stilts. Underneath the bed, my son will enlighten himself with expensive text books. The thoughts of his enlightened mind will be formulated into the computer and spit out by the printer.

"His father and I have repainted his room and refinished his furniture at our home. Like gentle archaeologists we have excavated the remnants of his childhood. The precious cargo saved from the cruncher of the garbage truck now rests in rows in the attic. For the fourth time since Sunday, we have eaten the same chicken shitake stew. I forget how to cook less. I miss him. Regrets? A few. I wish I had built more tunnels in the snow with him. I wish I had not gotten mad when his pet snake escaped from the cage. I am glad I spent his last winter at home sharing his love for snow boarding. I am glad for the eight summers we traveled together to swim meets each weekend.

"I burn with shame when I remember the heated words we shared, the periods of near impossibility when we tried to please each other. I had secretly wished that he would hurry and graduate from high school so I could send him off to college.

When he was an infant and the newness of being a mother wore off, I couldn't wait until he grew up. At first I found myself wishing, 'If only he would start walking!' And then, 'If only he would start talking!' One day I realized he was no longer wearing diapers. He was walking and talking and pretty soon he was off to school.

"I remember the morning I had birthed his sister in the doctor's office on Rosita Street. He was standing there with his angelic smile. He seemed so big compared to the baby he was holding. It was hard to imagine he was once that small.

"I suddenly realized how much of his babyhood I had wished away. Being a mother is demanding. It robs you of so many freedoms, and I resented the fact that I had so many added responsibilities. I look at my son now. He's tall and strong. His mind is keen and he loves to learn. Someday he will be a parent and I hope that when his first child is born, he will be wiser and more mature than I was. I hope he will enjoy every phase of this child's growing up and not wish they would hurry and pass so he can be free of the 'burdens' of parenthood.

"Life rushes by all too rapidly, my beloved son, especially the lovely days and beautiful times. Be smarter than your mother was. With great humility, I share this with you and the parents of growing children in Pagosa."

Rotary's Operation Winter Coat will take place at the county Extension Building tomorrow from 2 to 5 p.m. There will be donated items (coats, hats, sweaters, gloves, blankets, etc.) for those in need of supplemental winter clothing. You may select what you need, free of charge.

For those donating items, please drop them off at the following locations by the end of the business day today: Extension Building, Texaco at 25 N. Pagosa Boulevard, Chamber of Commerce, Pagosa Springs Elementary and Lutheran schools.

If you absolutely cannot get the items delivered by the end of the day, you may bring them to the Extension Building on Friday, before noon. This should still give volunteers time to set the pieces out.

Business News
Biz Beat

Marie Layton operates Paycheck Advance Loan, located at 476 San Juan Street, Suite A, across San Juan Street from the clock on the Archuleta County Courthouse.

Simple fast service provides customers with $100 to $500 short-term loans, until payday. A personal check secures the loan for two to three weeks, depending on the size of the loan and the record of a customer; a short-term loan to meet a variety of needs.

Several types of documentation are required for the no collateral loans, so call Paycheck Advance Loan at 264-0900 for information and to make an appointment.

Paycheck Advance Loan is open Tuesday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon. Call 264-3354.

Obituaries
Lynwood Mees

Lynwood William Mees, 76, died Saturday, Oct. 20, 2001 at his residence in San Angelo, Texas. He had lived in Pagosa Springs from 1986 through 1989.

He is survived by his wife, Mary Ruth Mees of San Angelo; daughters Marilyn Schaefer and Melinda Darnell of Texas; sons Michael and Mark Mees, both of Albuquerque; Matthew Mees of Pagosa Springs; Mitchell Mees of Ogden, Utah; and Merle Mees of Topeka, Kan.; 16 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren.

Jack Miner

Jack Miner, 93, passed away Monday, Nov. 5, 2001 at his home on Four Mile Road. His wife Evelyn, of Pagosa Springs, and children Don Miner of Pagosa, Marilyn Nevison and Bill Miner of Denver were with him.

In 1970, Jack retired from Pepsico International as the director of production and became a full-time resident of Pagosa Springs. He served on the water board and also helped to bring city water to part of the Four Mile Road area. Jack and his fluffy white dog "Bunker" were familiar to many as they went about town doing their errands.

He asked that his ashes be sprinkled under the pine trees on his property with a small marker to read: "Walk softly; here lies Jack and Bunker."