Front Page

December 6, 2001

Survivor's story:

Pearl Harbor attack energized American resolve
By Richard Walter

In less than 24 hours it will be exactly 60 years since the "Day of Infamy" literally turned life upside down for a current resident of Pagosa Springs.

"I was lying in my bunk arguing with my bunkmate about whether we should go swimming or eat breakfast first," said Ed Vezey, then a gunnery officer at Pearl Harbor, aboard the doomed battleship USS Oklahoma.

"Those were lazy, easy days," he said. "We knew we'd eventually have to fight the Japanese but there was a belief 'they'd never attack here . . . you can't sink a battleship with bombs.'"

"And then," he said, "the general alarm went off. We thought, 'it's going to be a heck of a day if they're running an air drill in Pearl Harbor at 8 a.m. on a Sunday.' Then the Officer of the Deck came on and left no doubt. With a great deal of profanity he let us know we were under attack by Japanese aircraft and call to battle stations was sounded."

Vezey said he was in pajama pants, some brand new shoes and a cap as he made his way to the 30-inch battery he commanded. "All our ready ammo had been sent below and one of the first torpedoes to hit took out the electric power so we couldn't raise more." (Officially, the Oklahoma took five torpedo hits and two bomb blasts).

As the ship began to list to port, Vezey tried to stay with the roll. "I followed it clear around until she rolled, half in the channel and half in the shallower tethered area."

The Oklahoma was done as a fighting ship. She never went completely under, the starboard side staying above water line.

Wearing the pajama bottoms, moccasins, the new hat and carrying a .45 automatic, Vezey said, "I asked the executive officer for permission to leave the ship." Sounds funny now, he admitted, "but there were strict rules of conduct."

He went into the diesel laden water and swam to the USS Maryland to which the Oklahoma had been tethered. The Maryland, protected by the other ship from torpedo runs, had taken only one bomb hit and was fighting back.

With the burning fuel following him, Vezey was hauled aboard, nearly naked, and sent into a salt water shower. A chief boatswain's mate got him some underwear and someone else rounded up some dungaree pants and a cutoff shirt which was to become his uniform.

The Maryland's commanding officer ordered all survivors of other ships who had come aboard to man a small boat and make an ammunition run. Vezey took the craft ashore but on arrival the survivors could find no one in the ammo dump to load the boat.

"We did it ourselves and, realizing others would need ammo, we sent the boat back with a skeleton crew and stayed ashore as a working party to provide ammo for other crews," he said.

For some reason, he said, the sub base "cut off our credit and we couldn't get any uniforms or other clothing because we had no money. Everything went down with the ship." After a week of waiting, wearing the same dungarees, an officer took him into Honolulu for uniform fitting.

Nine months later, he said, "after having no leave or liberty, I asked permission to go into town."

Then came the newest problem. "They had no record of my existence. Who's Ed Vezey? was the big question. I told them my story and hinted I'd like to go somewhere, preferably back to sea."

The CO, he said, apparently had been keeping his existence a secret so he could utilize his skills. On return to base he was summoned to the commander's office and summarily dispatched to a "tramp steamer plying its way around the South Pacific."

"I got dysentery on Guadalcanal," he said, "and the medic told me that was my ticket out of there." After 27 months in the combat zone, Vezey said, "I wanted to go somewhere else. When the CO heard that, he told them to get me on the first available transportation back to the U.S."

From then on he served on the staff of Adm. Kelly Turner in the general office of U.S. Forces, Pacific. He was there through the Philippine and Marianas campaigns before being ordered back to the states again, this time to command a repair vessel with a crew of 1,000.

When the war ended, he was expecting to be relieved and to leave the service. "Every guy who came to relieve me saw the kind of ship and exercised his points to get discharged and I was still there."

Finally, he said, as commanding officer of the ship he wrote discharge orders for himself and found his way to Norfolk, Va., for mustering out. There was some challenge to his authority to discharge himself, he said, "but eventually it was done and I was on my way back to Houston."

Then it was back to college to finish his degree, which he achieved in 1947 and went to work for General Electric. He retired there in 1984 but still works for the company part time.

He has been a full-time resident of Pagosa Springs for the past 10 years.

How does the attack on Pearl Harbor compare with the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and our ongoing war on terrorism in Afghanistan?

"There is no comparison," he said.

"We (at Pearl Harbor) were attacked by people we knew, people we could see. The first plane going over with red spots on it defined the enemy for us."

Those who died in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania, he said, "were innocent civilians. Most had no known enemies. They had dreams and hopes and wishes to fulfill. All that was denied them."

His ship, the Oklahoma, lost more than 400 crewmen. "They were trained to go to war," he said. "Civilians working in a skyscraper had no warning. We knew that someday we'd have to fight."

"Perhaps the only common factor," he said, "is the intensity. The United States reacted to Pearl Harbor as an intensely unified nation. We are reacting to 9/11 with a similar intensity producing a nation united.

"We, as a military unit, were fair game to the Japanese, even if it was a surprise attack. The innocents in the World Trade Towers were not a logical target for any person who considers himself or herself a human being."

At Pearl Harbor, he said, "We wondered who had dreamed up this drill (before the certainty of attack became known). In New York and at the Pentagon, there was no drill other than death."

So far as he knows, Vezey said, he is the only Pearl Harbor survivor living in the area. "I'm not a professional veteran," he said. "I had a duty to perform and it put me in Pearl Harbor at a bad time. I survived and Pagosa Country makes that survival easy to accept."

County picks new administrator
By John M. Motter

William R. Steele, formerly of Northeast Harbor, Maine, is to be the Archuleta County Administrator.

Steele is expected to report to work January 12. He and the Archuleta County Board of County Commissioners reached agreement last Friday. They had been negotiating by telephone since Nov. 21 when the commissioners notified Steele he was their first choice, and offered him $60,000 a year and a contract.

After Steele countered the offer, the parties negotiated until last Friday when Steele agreed to a $63,000 a year contract. Additional contract provisions include moving expenses up to $9,000, a performance review after six months on the job, and three months' severance pay.

Steele brings to Archuleta County 22 years of municipal government experience including 20 years in management, 13 of those years as a town manager. He is a 1979 graduate of Keene State College, Keene, New Hampshire, with a Bachelor of Science Degree in industrial technology and management.

Archuleta County has been without an administrator since then county manager Dennis Hunt left in March to assume a like position in Montrose County. Since Hunt left, the three county commissioners initiated a management system in which individual commissioners act as liaison between the board and the various county departments.

When the decision was made to replace Hunt, the commissioners appointed a selection committee. Members of that committee were the three commissioners, County Attorney Mary Weiss, Acting County Administrator Kathy Wendt, County Assessor Keren Prior, and Ken Charles of the Colorado Department of Local Affairs.

The selection committee sorted through 35 applications, selected three finalists, and interviewed the three finalists in Pagosa Springs Nov. 19. After committee members agreed that Steele should be the first choice, Steele was offered the position Nov. 21.

According to the position advertisement circulated by the county, the county administrator shall be the chief administrative officer of the county 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, seniors, transportation, emergency services, weed and pest control, building inspection, safety, human services, landfill and solid waste, extension services, the county fair, and all other areas related to county administration.


Citizens Utilities sold; many changes seen
By Richard Walter

Kinder Morgan Inc. announced this week its purchase of Citizens Communications' (heretofore Citizens Utilities) natural gas division in Colorado has been finalized.

Gail Neben, manager of business relations for the Nebraska-based firm, made the rounds of County Commission, Town Board and the media Tuesday revealing the firm's move and detailing some of the changes which can be expected.

Foremost on the minds of most consumers will be the fact there will no longer, at least initially, be a local bill payment location. Payments will be mailed in pre-addressed envelopes sent with the monthly billing.

The office here will remain open for 60 to 90 days. Service will be continued locally on main breaks, installations, investigations, etc., with an 800 number providing "immediate service 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year through our MDSI (Mobile Dispatch System Inc.) program," Neben said.

Asked if rate structures will remain constant (Citizens Utilities passed on a 39-percent rate reduction Oct. 1) she said it is "too soon to know."

She said natural gas prices to distributors had been declining for several weeks but recently have risen again. "Another factor in the rate decision will be how distributors react to the Enron debacle. They are one of the major dealers to suppliers in the mountain area. If they go under, supplies could be temporarily limited until new sources are found.

"So far as the other segment of rate structure - cost of service - is concerned," she said, "there is no plan for a rate filing."

She said the firm had to assure the Colorado Public Utility Commission "it will analyze any cost savings as a result of streamlining of operations and consolidation of efforts and pass any savings on to the consumer."

Neben said one current employee will be lost to the community in the beginning. "We are, however, examining the possibility of an appliance store installation. It is something that has worked well in our other locations. We would need a larger facility and we will be doing a market evaluation to determine if it is something which could be utilized by the community."

She said a decision would be made within 90 days. With the other appliance store operations," she said, "we've accepted bill payments there which might solve one of the local concerns."

She said the Kinder Morgan operation will continue to offer a budget payment plan in which the consumer pays the same fixed amount for 11 months and the 12th month of the contract period is used as a catch-up period for refunds or additional charges.

The $11 million KMI purchase, approved by the Colorado Public Utilities Commission, will add more than 13,000 customers to the firm's growing natural gas division.

The purchase consists primarily of regulated natural gas distribution systems serving mostly residential, commercial and agricultural customers. Approximately 10,600 customers in Bent, Crowley and Otero counties and another 2,800 in Archuleta, La Plata and Mineral counties will be served by the buyer.

KMI has extensive experience serving small and rural communities with approximately 68,000 customers in Colorado and another 170,000 in Nebraska and Wyoming.

In a press release, Don Watson, president of the KMI natural gas division said, "The Citizens acquisition is a natural extension of our business in Colorado. We have built a strong reputation for providing safe and reliable natural gas services at competitive prices and we look forward to bringing that quality service to our new customers. Additionally, they will realize a wider selection of products and services from which to choose, such as appliance sales, service and protection; flexible payment programs and the 24-hour customer service operation."

He said he believes the transition will be relatively seamless for customers, with the most noticeable change being that the bills will come from Kinder Morgan.

The firm is recognized as one of the largest midstream energy companies in America, operating more than 30,000 miles of natural gas and products pipelines. It also has significant retail distribution, electric generation and terminal assets.

Kinder Morgan Inc., through its general partner interest, operates Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, L.P. (NYSE: KMP), America's largest pipeline master limited partnership. Combined, the two companies have an enterprise value of more than $18 billion.

County's road and bridge spending sees an increase
By John M. Motter

Taking care of roads is one of the most expensive and controversial tasks for which the Archuleta County commissioners are responsible. Road care costs in various forms account for about $7 million of the approximately $25 million budget proposed for 2002.

While the $7 million is still preliminary, it is included in two related funds. The road and bridge fund shows a beginning fund balance of $1.5 million and revenues and transfers in of $2 million. The road capital improvement fund shows a beginning fund balance of $2.2 million and revenues and transfers in of $1.3 million.

Road maintenance spending is contained in a separate category within the road and bridge fund. Spending in this category eased up from $1,124,416 in 1997 to $1,348,272 in the proposed 2002 budget.

At the same time, revenues allotted the county road and bridge fund by the Archuleta County commissioners have dropped from $2,147,943 in 1997 to the $2,075,237 proposed for 2002.

Major sources of road and bridge revenue have traditionally been the Highway Users Tax Fund from the state, Payment in Lieu of Taxes from the federal government, county property taxes, locally collected sales taxes, and transfers from other funds.

Primary road and bridge expense categories have been road maintenance, fleet maintenance, snow and ice removal, administration, engineering, and transfers out to other funds.

Accounting methods and policies have changed over recent years making year-to-year apples-to-apples budget comparisons difficult. Especially susceptible to changes have been treatment of a road and bridge capital improvements fund, a fleet maintenance fund, sales tax revenues, and PILT revenues.

For the 2002 budget, $1,187,770 from HUTF is the largest single revenue source allotted to the road and bridge budget. That number has grown each year from $940,618 in 1997 to its present value.

The next largest income source for the 2002 budget derives from the 3.5 mill county-wide property tax. This coming year, property taxes for the road and bridge budget are expected to total $609,829. Property taxes devoted to the road and bridge budget amounted to $314,047 in 1997.

In the 1998 budget, sales tax income accounted for $937,875 in the road and bridge budget. A dedicated capital improvements amount of $781,575 derived from one-half the sales tax revenue passed through the road and bridge fund. Since then, the capital improvements portion of sales tax revenue has been placed directly into a separate road and bridge capital improvements fund. Consequently, no sales tax revenue appears in the 2002 road and bridge fund. Instead, sales tax revenue of $1,336,948 is anticipated for the road capital improvement fund.

Payment in Lieu of Taxes has been a significant revenue source for the road and bridge fund for several years. This year that revenue source has been shifted to the general fund. PILT money comes from the federal government based on the amount of Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management lands within the county. The idea is to compensate for property taxes the public land would generate if it was privately owned. PILT income is expected to be $320,000 this year. Last year, $300,000 from PILT was budgeted in the road and bridge fund.

Another significant source of income from the federal government stems from the Forest Reserve Act. This money results from a contract between the county and the Forest Service under which, for a price, the county agrees to maintain Forest Service Roads. County income from this source is expected to be $108,588. Other road and bridge fund sources are much less than $100,000 a year.

The road capital improvement fund is used to make major road improvements or to purchase equipment or rights of way. In the projected 2002 budget, this fund shows a beginning fund balance of $2,172,266, revenues of $1,336,948, capital expenditures of $1,857,500, debt service expenditures of $430,909, and an ending fund balance of $1,220,806.

A list of capital improvements for 2002 is being discussed, but has not been adopted.

"We have a lot of needs out there and we can't reach them all," said Alden Ecker, the county commissioner liaison for road and bridge.

One thing Ecker insists on, he says, is doing the job right. Consequently, anticipated road projects anticipate meeting county road standards, including 27-foot wide driving surfaces and road bases that meet county specifications.

The following projects are being considered: development of a gravel crushing operation in the Upper Blanco Basin using rock left over from the Blanco Diversion project; widening the Lower Blanco Road to facilitate school bus movement; graveling eight miles of the Coyote Park Road; graveling and drainage work on Trujillo Road between Pagosa Junction and Chris Chavez' ranch; survey, right of way and preparation to widen and pave the road between U.S. 151 and Navajo State Park; paving of about 1.5 miles of Mill Creek Road from U.S. 84 past the Strohecker rock crushing plant; survey work on Four Mile Road leading to eventual widening and paving; surveying Cemetery Road with the idea of future widening; overlay and widenening of about six miles of Piedra Road; rebuilding Turkey Springs Road from U.S. 160 to the cattle guard; consideration of paving an additional portion of South Pagosa Blvd., and completion of Light Plant Road.

Costs for most of the projects being considered are rough estimates. Some of the projects might require years to complete.

One project that could be completed this coming year is the widening of Lower Blanco Road. Triggering this project is a complaint from some residents of that area that the road is so narrow it is dangerous to meet and pass the school bus, particularly when the road is snowpacked. The project contemplates widening a section of road to overcome the problem. That particular road section has steep banks above and below the road bed which will require a significant amount of bank cutting and earth movement. The cost estimate ranges up to $100,000.

Work on Coyote Park, Trujillo, and Cat Creek roads basically involves application of gravel and correcting some drainage problems. A price tag has not been attached to this work.

Complete rebuilding of the road leading from U.S. 151 to Navajo State Park is anticipated. Rebuilding would include right of way acquisition and widening in addition to repaving. Again, no cost estimates are available for this project.

Improvement of Four Mile Road has been the subject of discussion for many years. Four Mile Road, Snow Ball Road, and several other old county roads exist because they exist, not because a specific right of way has been deeded to the county. Consequently, while the road is public, the width of the road is not legally defined. Work on Four Mile Road contemplates surveying and acquiring deeded right of way before rebuilding the road. The cost estimate for the project approaches $3.5 million.

The Piedra Road proposal contemplates an overlay on the six miles stretching from U.S. 160 to the cattle guard just past the Fairfield Pagosa complex of subdivisions. In addition to the overlay, Ecker talked of widening the road from its present 21 feet to county standard 27 feet. The estimated cost of this project is in the neighborhood of $300,000.

Ecker would also like to see Turkey Springs Road rebuilt from its juncture with U.S. 160 to the cattleguard. He says citizens in that area have submitted a petition containing approximately 85 names to have the work done.


Bucking the trend

Are we recession proof? Probably not, but there are indications our local economy might have a cushion not afforded other parts of the state and nation, and the upcoming Christmas holiday season will provide more evidence concerning how dramatic the effect of bigger economic trends will be on our lives in Pagosa Country.

Experts tell us the U.S. economy has been in recession since last March. Pagosa generally lags behind most of the rest of the nation in terms of trends. Will we fall in step? There are some signs that we might not, that the impact of recent events might not be as strong here as elsewhere.

Local sales tax revenues were up through the first three quarters of the year in Archuleta County. Across Colorado, the increase in revenues through the same time was minimal. Statewide, sales tax revenues for September were down 7.5 percent compared to September 2000. Sales tax collected here in September was $498,111 compared to $453,048 collected the previous September. With warm weather in October, and attendant construction activity, that month's figures could show a similar increase.

Our local economy now rests firmly on the foundations of tourism and migration-related industries: notably construction and real estate sales. At present, two of these sectors remain fairly healthy.

Several experienced local real estate brokers said recently they sense a change for the better in the market, with a renewal of interest from buyers seeking properties here, many intending to move from urban areas to what they perceive as the relative safety of rural America. Pagosa remains a beautiful setting, a wonderful place to raise a family or spend the retirement years. As real estate goes, so goes construction.

With two of our three main economic pillars intact, it remains to be seen if the third, tourism, will stay upright. We will know soon enough.

The Christmas holiday season is beginning and signal community events are occurring. Last week it was Christmas in Pagosa, this week the Parade of Lights. Soon the annual Community Christmas choir and school district musical concerts will take place. The invitations are in the mail for parties and gatherings. As the year comes to a close, as always, Pagosans will celebrate and be joyous, despite all that has occurred and is occurring in the world.

At the same time, the season will one of questions, of uncertainty. A learning experience. With the blessing of snow, will winter tourism still feed our economy?

Nationally, the leisure business suffered after the events of 9/11. Americans are apparently not traveling as much - with activity off 20 percent at some major air hubs - and they are not spending as much when they do travel. Major tourist destinations and businesses such as airlines, resorts and cruise lines are suffering big losses. Will we experience this trend here during our next, big tourist season, during the Christmas ski holiday?

Hopefully not.

There is a chance the turndown in the national tourism business will not cause too much damage here. In a best-case scenario Pagosa will become a more attractive destination, easily accessible by auto to visitors from our traditional tourist markets - Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Colorado.

But it is wise to keep in mind, even if all goes well, the rocket ride is over.

A certain amount of realistic belt-tightening should be in the offing. We will be happy to remain economically steady, to experience growth of any kind, and the message of the bigger economic picture should not be lost on us, or on our elected officials. Local governments must be increasingly careful when plotting expenditures and take a realistic view of what projects and services they promise constituents. And, those constituents must understand that they have come to take for granted a number of things they might not be able to afford without a sacrifice. Against the bigger economic backdrop, those sacrifices must be measured carefully.

Karl Isberg

Dear Folks
By David C. Mitchell

I'm ready to stay home for a while

Dear Folks,

This year's Thanksgiving was traditional in that it provided some memorable experiences and brought to mind some enjoyable memories - even though we celebrated it in Albuquerque.

Our oldest son, Chuck, graciously added some family flavor to our holiday by driving down from Española to spend Thanksgiving Day with us. It was very gracious of him considering that he had dislocated his right elbow while skiing at Wolf Creek during his visit with us last Thanksgiving.

That's one reason we went to Albuquerque this year. None of us wanted to add dislocated elbows to our list of Thanksgiving traditions. So we sought the safety of a motel room and the simplicity of eating lunch at a Furr's cafeteria.

The first plesant experience occurred at the Furr's cafeteria. Being our group's lone qualifier for the senior discount, I was pushing the last tray. Watching the others make their selections served as a reminder that the real attraction of a cafeteria is that, besides choosing the dishes you want, you get to reject all the selections you don't want. (That and the fact that you don't have to wash the dishes.)

With Cynthia and the boys leading the way, I mistakenly thought I could select my choices without worrying what others might think. So I started choosing some of my favorites . . . cole slaw, white navy beans, stewed spinach and baked fish. Just as I started to reach for a piece of corn bread, I heard someone behind me say, "Corn bread. I knew it. I've been admiring your selections."

Until then I had not noticed the nicely dressed little lady with well kept silver-gray hair who was following me in the line. When I told her my selections were some of the foods Mom had cooked when I was growing up, she said, "I thought so. Those were memorable years weren't they?"

Yes, and they had been good years. They made Thanksgiving Day a very special day. Rather than cabbage, turnips, spinach, navy beans, Salmon croquettes and corn bread it was turkey, corn bread dressing laced with celery, onion and oyster; cranberry sauce, boiled carrots, Kentucky wonder beans, black-eyed peas, scalloped potatoes, gravy with chopped turkey giblets, and fresh baked rolls that adorned the table - the dining room table. Thanksgiving dinner was served in the dining room with a white table cloth covering the table. It was a special day.

Later that afternoon after the Broncos had avoided snatching a defeat from the jaws of victory, Chuck and I were walking over to watch Drew ride at the BMX park that was only a few blocks from the motel. The faded jeans I was wearing had quite a few miles on them as did my sweat shirt-type zipper jacket, and my knit cap. Chuck was dressed somewhat the same, plus his beard and hair were nearing winter-comfort lengths. As we walked through a somewhat isolated picnic area of the park, we noticed a small group of folks standing around a picnic table that was next to a blazing metal grill. A variety of grocery sacks and foil containers were atop the table. Based on their backpacks and duffel bags, it would have been a safe bet to wager that it was a small gathering of homeless folks.

Just when I started feeling glad that apparently they were going to enjoy a Thanksgiving meal together, one of the girls in the group waved at us and called out, "Hey, do you guys want some warm turkey?"

Talk about being humbled. Here someone who probably was used to having little was graciously offering to share with two strangers who unbeknownst to her were accustomed to having much. Chuck returned her wave and responded with a "No thanks, but thanks for the offer."

It was a unique Thanksgiving experience.

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


By Shari Pierce

91 years ago

Taken from Pagosa Springs New Era of December 2, 1910

A week ago it was feared that the whole community had been exposed to dyptheria and numerous suspected cases were in quarantine with sore throats awaiting the result of the state board of health diagnosis. However, outside of the Andrews family but one case of dyptheria was found, Mark Amyx, who is now in the pest house on the road to recovery. Three Andrews children have the disease, but all are apparently recovering.

Laughlin's is the only place in town that you can get the Pagosa Springs date line tablets with a picture of the big hot spring on each leaf.

J.N. Valdez and Lino Maez are making preparations to start a general store somewhere on Cat Creek, probably at Lone Tree.

75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of December 10, 1926

Forty-seven sweaters were awarded to Colorado Aggie athletes the past week and orders placed for 18 more for the football squad. Among those honored was Harold Chapson of Pagosa Springs, in recognition of his work in track last spring.

The town board met in regular session Monday night and in special session Tuesday. The board is considering the purchase of a new unit for the city water pumping plant, but no definite decision has yet been made on the matter.

We again caution you to be ultra-cautious in the care of your fires these cool nights and colder mornings. Pagosa cannot stand a repetition of some of our previous serious fires.

50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of December 7, 1951

Plans for another free show, treats for the kids, and a visit from Santa Claus were announced by the Chamber of Commerce this week. The Civic Club also announced that light-up night had been moved up to Saturday, December 15 to coincide with the big free party. There will be Christmas music during the day and the lights are to be turned on that evening.

The school children have started working on their Christmas program, the highlight of the year for them - and the teacher's biggest headache.

Hay hauling has been in progress during the past week in this area (Arboles). Despite the good crop and high price, hay is still a scarce item in this locality. Quite a number of stockmen are still looking for hay for winter feed.

25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of December 2, 1976

There will be a free Christmas party for the young people of the community December 18 at 1:30 p.m. in the Mesa Theatre. There will be a special movie, free bags of candy and a visit from Santa Clause and there is no charge of any kind. The party is sponsored by the C of C and local merchants.

Members of Beta Sigma Phi Sorority will be collecting for the Christmas lighting of the star and cross in the next few days. All donations will be appreciated and the sorority would like to thank those who have supported them in the past.

The annual Methodist Church bazaar will be held this year on Friday, December 3rd. Wreaths and centerpieces made from natural greens will be featured.

Inside The Sun

'Tis the season for snow safety tips

By Tess Noel Baker

'Tis the season for snow-capped peaks, skiing, sledding, snowmen and lots and lots of snow removal.

Seven people will make up the removal crew for Pagosa Springs, Jay Harrington, town administrator, told the Board of Trustees Tuesday. Of those, six will be plowing, or sanding roads within town boundaries, and one will do hand work in public areas.

It should take the crew between five and six hours to plow the majority of town, Harrington said.

To help facilitate the town's efforts to keep streets clear, Pagosa Springs residents are reminded of a few winter rules. Snow must not be shoveled or blown onto public right-of-ways, including onto the streets. However, sidewalks accessible to the public must be kept clear under the current municipal code (Art. V, Section 17-22).

The code requires that snow and ice be removed from the sidewalks by noon of the day following the accumulation. For instance, snow that falls on a Monday night must be cleared by noon on Wednesday. Failure to comply can result in a summons to municipal court, and the cost of snow removal can be charged to the property owner.

People are also not to park on emergency routes. These routes include 8th, Lewis, South 5th and North 3rd streets as well as a few other areas. All snow emergency routes are posted with street signs.

To ensure the safety of local school children, town staff encourage people to always use the school buses. The buses are equipped with chains and other safety measures to ensure that students arrive at school safely. Turning onto 10th Street from U.S. 160 can become a dangerous situation on slick streets and the fewer vehicles on the roads the better.

Hospital District trims list of manager candidates
By Tess Noel Baker

The field of candidates for Upper San Juan Hospital District Manager has been narrowed to two finalists, one from Colorado and one from Texas.

Both currently hold administrative positions in the medical field.

Patrick Hansen, of Aurora, runs an orthopedic surgery group in Denver that includes six physicians. Dione Jackson, of Lubbock, Texas, is the director of a seven-division student health center on a campus of 25,000.

One of the two, Jackson, already owns a home here.

The finalists will come to Pagosa Springs during the next week and a half for a day of interviews. Each one will have an opportunity to meet face-to-face with board members, staff and members of the public - specifically, representatives from offices and agencies that interface regularly with the hospital district.

Advertising for the open position began in the summer, but was put on hold for a couple months because of the district's budget crunch. The search began again in earnest this fall. A search committee met once in November, narrowing the applicants from 19 to six. One of the six semi-finalists withdrew, leaving five for phone interviews. Of those, interim director Dick Babillis said, the committee initially selected three finalists.

"On a scale of 1 to 5, all of these rated a five," he said. Of those, one decided to pull out.

The position has been filled in a volunteer capacity by Babillis, who also serves as district board president, since executive director Bill Bright resigned in May.

Stolen vehicle probably won't
get very far

By Tess Noel Baker

A Ford Explorer stolen from a local body shop probably won't get far before causing drivers some serious problems.

According to police reports, the turquoise or green Explorer had about $3,600 damage to the right front corner, and the bumper was rubbing up against a tire.

The SUV was parked on a lot at Walters Body Shop on San Juan Street awaiting repairs when it was stolen sometime after 7 p.m. Dec. 3 and before 8 a.m. Dec. 4.

The incident is under investigation. Anyone with information regarding this crime is asked to call dispatch, 264-2131, immediately.

County hikes fee for commercial dumping at landfill
By John M. Motter

Certain landfill fees in Archuleta County will increase from $5 to $6 a cubic yard starting Jan. 1, 2002.

The rate increase was approved by the board of county commissioners following a presentation by Clifford Lucero, the county solid waste director.

"Currently we receive 55,000 cubic yards of waste per year," Lucero said. "If we increase the fee to $6 per cubic yard, we would generate additional revenue of $55,000 per year."

Lucero said operating expenses are increasing to the point additional revenue is needed.

The county charges more for commercial drops at the county landfill. A nominal $1 charge is made for household trash. Behind the practice of charging more for commercial dumping while charging less for household dumping is the historic assumption that, because household dumpers pay property taxes supporting the dump, paying a dumping fee would be double taxation.

"There will come a time when we have to change that policy," said Gene Crabtree, chairman of the board of county commissioners. "The landfill is getting more and more expensive. I see no reason why homeowners should be exempt at the expense of commercial. They all pay property taxes."

Commissioner Bill Downey agreed with Crabtree, then said, "We may need to look at impact fees to help cover landfill expenses."

Homeowners in Archuleta County who have household trash collected by commercial companies pay a fee to those companies. Those companies, in turn, pay the county to dump their trucks at the county landfill.

Trash dumping is also possible at a transfer station located on Trujillo Road near the town limits, and at a transfer station located at Arboles. No fee is charged for dumping recyclable materials at the transfer stations.

Lucero reported that opening a transfer station at Aspen Springs would result in operational losses of about $10,000 a year. The fee increase approved Tuesday will help offset the anticipated Aspen Springs loss, Lucero said.

Charges at neighboring trash collection sites exceed Archuleta County charges, Lucero said. For example, the Durango transfer station charges $10.29 for a compacted yard, $7.22 for loose residential and commercial, and $14.40 for regular residential, not commercial.

The Bondad landfill in La Plata County charges $8.50 a compacted yard, $7 a yard for loose residential, and $10 for a construction yard.

The Rio Grande Land Fill in Del Norte charges $15.50 per ton or $7.25 per yard.

In other business Tuesday the commissioners:

At the request of citizens living in the area, approved a 20 mph speed limit sign for Butte Drive in Fairfield Pagosa. A few weeks ago, the commissioners okayed a slow sign for Butte Drive, but the citizens report it has been ineffective. Downey pointed out the 20 mph sign being posted is advisory only and does not have the force of law behind it. In order to post signs imposing the force of law, state law requires that a traffic study be conducted and that subsequent action be based on results of the study

Authorized payment of $16,676 for road work in the Loma Linda subdivision. The money is to be taken from the Loma Linda Escrow Fund established through the sale of certain lots. About $4,439 remains in the fund. When the fund is depleted, Loma Linda property owners will be required to pay for street work through the road improvement district established by property owners for the subdivision

Approved the expenditure of $65,000 for certain computer and automated voter facilities for the county clerk. The money is to come from Year 2000 unappropriated surpluses

Approved the expenditure of $100,000 for four new vehicles including police packages for the sheriff's department. The money is to come from Year 2000 unappropriated surpluses.

Released the improvements agreement and performance bond for Colorado Timber Ridge Phase III. They then accepted a warranty bond and final plat for the same development

Approved the expenditure of $2,000 for the purchase of aerial photographs of the county

Approved the expenditure of $6,196 for the purchase of maps with E-911 funds

Granted county building maintenance supervisor Richard Foss permission to advertise for bids to remodel the rooms on the first floor of the county courthouse formerly occupied by Social Services. Judiciary functions will occupy the space next year when the work is completed. No steps have been taken to remodel second floor courthouse accommodations, but such steps will be taken in the future

A change to the Light Plant Road construction project was approved. Almost $50,000 will be added to the project's cost allowing the Louck's Ditch to be placed in conduit. Placing the ditch in conduit is part of a right of way agreement with bordering property owners

Postponed action pending attorney review of a request to participate in the construction of one mile of pedestrian/bike trail at Fairfield Pagosa. The county has been asked to donate $4,000 in cash to replace $5,000 in in-kind services promised from former county engineer Roxann Hayes. Since the county no longer has an engineer, the in-kind donation is impossible.

Historic surveyors are perusing Pagosa streets
By Tess Noel Baker

The facades of many of Pagosa Springs' downtown buildings have been under close scrutiny lately.

A pair of historical surveyors has been studying a total of 100 structures to help the local historical preservation board design a walking tour guide, to determine if the core area downtown could qualify as a historic district and to assist in long range town planning.

Accomplishing this task requires a lot of time with government documents, library and computer resources and a little bit of footwork. In this case, most of the footwork has been done by Jill Seyfarth, a cultural resource planner from Durango hired by the Town of Pagosa Springs.

During the fall, Seyfarth spent about four days observing each of the structures selected by the Pagosa Springs Preservation Board. This includes a centralized section of 55 buildings in the downtown area bounded by Pagosa Street to the south, Fourth Street to the east, Loma Street to the north and Fifth Street to San Juan Street on the west. Members of the board selected a number of historical structures on Pagosa, Lewis, First, Hermosa, Loma and San Juan streets in addition to four buildings at the Fred Harman Museum.

Seyfarth gathers the architectural inventory from each building, standing on the sidewalk or in the street, keeping notes on a multi-paged form attached to a clipboard. The form asks for nearly every architectural detail imaginable: roof structure and style, window style, porches, decorative trim, foundation type, location, scale, overall architectural style, date of construction, architect, building material, porches, additions and more.

At least two sides of each structure, a primary and secondary facade, are detailed on the forms in an attempt to determine how much original material remains. Photographs are taken as reference.

As an example of the kinds of buildings they're looking at, she pointed out a 3-story 4-square home on Pagosa Street and a bungalow residence on Lewis Street.

"The 4-square architectural style was popular a little after the turn of the century," she said, "from about the 19-teens to the 1920s." She pointed out stone lintels, decorative trim under the eaves and the porch as some of the design elements that made the structure important historically.

The bungalow-style home was meant to make a different statement, she said. It's style represented the arts and crafts movement and the details were meant to give the structure a feeling of coziness and security.

For instance, Seyfarth pointed out that porch pillars in this style home tended to be wider at the bottom than the top. Windows are large with wide, heavy frames, a clear departure from the tall, slim window fittings favored by the Victorian era.

Setting and landscape design also recorded on the forms.

"Does it look like it did?" is the basic guideline she said, marking down the location of trees and vegetation on her form. Old pictures can be used later, if available, to determine when certain plantings might have been made, or how much of the original landscape is still visible.

Additions or remodels to the home are evaluated by date.

"Our standard is 50 years old," she said. "If a remodel happened before 1950, we would consider that historical."

The final question is a first stab at whether or not the structure might qualify for local or national designation as a historic landmark.

Some of the information, that which can't be determined from personal observation, comes from the county assessor and treasurer records, local historical society, state historical information and the internet, Seyfarth said. Her partner in the project, Donna Graves, specializes in that kind of research, inputting as much information into Seyfarth's forms as possible.

That's the kind of research that continues now that field work is nearly over and the snow flies.

"We've completed all of our survey work except for four buildings," Seyfarth said. "We're waiting for the board for a decision on that."

The next two months, Seyfarth said, will include a lot of reading to finish the research-gathering portion of the survey. After that, it's a matter of writing a report and determining final recommendations for historical designations on the local or national level.

"We look at the photograph. We look at the written description before our final assessment," she said. The final survey report will be presented to the board and the community by Seyfarth and Graves in a public meeting in the spring. Cost of the project, around $23,800, is being funded through a no-match grant from the state historical society.

The surveyors' recommendations do not obligate property owners in any way, or place any restrictions upon the structures. To receive local, state or national designations property owners must make their own application. However, once a designation is approved, tax credits and grants are available from the state to help property owners with preservation efforts.

Susan Winter Ward, who owns both the Heritage Building, the downtown building across from the courthouse, and the structure housing Victoria's Reign and Victoria's Parlor, applauded the preservation board for its efforts to make tax credits available to through local landmark designation.

"The town wins and the property owner wins," she said. "Overall, it will help create a district downtown that's beautiful and supportive of everybody in the community."

She is currently working to fill out the forms required to apply for tax credits to help restore and preserve an old home at 138 Pagosa Street.

"What I'm hoping will happen is that we'll find some pictures to restore it to its original colors. I'm hoping to restore the exterior and remodel the interior."


Planning input

Dear Editor,

It's not too late to provide input to Greg Comstock, Director of County Development and Planning, on top concerns, regarding implementation/non-implementation of the Archuleta Community Plan.

For those that need help getting started, you can read the community plan at the library, buy a copy from the planning department (located in the county courthouse), or read it online on the new Archuleta County website:

I'm willing to share my top concerns related to non-implementation of the community plan. My greatest concern is really whether regulations, once developed, will be equitably enforced. Here's what I'm afraid might happen if we don't get the plan implemented soon: dialogue will become more difficult as our population grows and agriculture becomes so outnumbered they have no voice in future development plans; our citizens' mental and physical well-being is at risk due to citizens either needlessly suffering or initiating their own action against inconsiderate/irresponsible neighbors who disturb our rights to reasonable peace, and safety; the desired out-lying village hub concept for areas like Aspen Springs may become unachievable if parcels are not soon identified, and either purchased or encouraged to be developed in a way that supports the concept; we will lose rural agricultural lands to undesirable development, because we have not provided adequate tools, incentives, and alternatives; the Hwy. 160 corridor will become a commercial strip of traffic lights, like Farmington; we'll lose scenic mountain vistas due to the lack of setbacks and height restrictions on buildings/signs along the highways; we could lose our dark night-time skies; experience a loss of a desirable community character, with potential for a face-off with "big-box" retailers and national franchises without sufficient power to insist on responsible development; there will be a continuance of unsustainable building/development practices, due to lack of public education regarding the benefits of simple passive solar design; noxious weeds must be better controlled (by non-toxic means whenever feasible); we could face an inability to safely travel through and around the county for lack of alternative transportation routes (to handle the increasing numbers of large trucks) and bike/foot/horse paths to preserve the "feel" of living in a rural environment.

I'd like to expand my comments on the transportation issue to include concern that potential accidents and character loss (due to traffic, not buildings), particularly downtown, are rapidly increasing. When west-bound vehicles hit the courthouse curve, I have experienced a need to brake for vehicles stopped at the light, a situation which worsens when the sun is low on the horizon, traffic becomes much heavier as Durango grows, and drivers, unfamiliar with the road, travel through here. Potential air pollution and traffic problems could ruin our opportunities to maintain a great town center that invites folks to linger.

Please send your comments to Greg Comstock at, or drop by the planning office in the courthouse.


Karen Aspin

Good Samaritan

Dear Editor,

I want to thank a lady school bus driver and a fellow in a pickup for rescuing me last Thursday. I had stopped for my mail but my car would not move. The lady got it started and the pickup driver followed me home.

What a wonderful community! Great people like you two . . . Thanks.

Ernestine Bowers

Dogs on the loose

Dear Editor,

I wish to agree with Mojie Adler in her letter of 11/15/01. She is so right about dogs running loose in the Vista.

On 10/26/01 I went to the football game to watch my grandsons. When I returned home I found two of my Siamese cats killed by dogs in their own yard. I was so devastated to find two of my finest dead. To have died a horrible death. What if they had been children?

Those that turn their dogs loose aren't very responsible.

Ellie Hagan

Tour of homes

Dear Editor,

We address this to the editor, but we are actually speaking to the kind people of Pagosa.

Our first annual Holiday Tour of Homes will be held tonight and we approach it with mixed feelings. Primarily, we are overjoyed because we have sold all of the available tickets over a week ago. However we are sorry that we could not accommodate all of the others who wished to see these five beautifully decorated homes. It promises to be quite an evening.

We would like to thank the five generous families who opened their homes so generously to help our growth and to better serve the community. The Johnsons, Osterlings, Vrazels, Searles and Lairds absolutely went beyond all our expectations to decorate their homes. From the gazillion outside lights to all of the unique Christmas trees, decorated rooms and lovely ambiance of the homes, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. You were a joy to work with.

We'd also like to express our thanks to Wolf Tracks Bookstore and Coffee Company, the Chamber of Commerce, Pagosa Kid and Seeds of Learning for graciously handling our tickets for us. Their businesses were disrupted for our behalf.

All of the volunteers who will help make this so special, from driving the vans, preparing the refreshments and hostessing, goes our undying gratitude.

We have every intention of making this an annual event so when next year's tickets become available, hurry!

With much gratitude,

JoAnn Laird and

Seeds of Learning

Board of Directors

United by grief

Dear Editor,

People, united by grief, are preparing for The Compassionate Friends Worldwide Memorial Candle Lighting on Sunday, Dec. 9. The Compassionate Friends is an international self-help support group for families following the death of a child of any age from any cause.

The Worldwide Candle Lighting is an annual event where persons around the globe light candles for one hour to honor children who have died.

The candles are lit at 7 p.m. local time, starting in New Zealand. As candles burn down in each time zone, they are then lit in the next. This creates a virtual 24-hour wave of light as the observance continues around the world.

TCF invites you to join in this special day of remembrance by lighting a candle in your home or wherever you may be at 7 p.m. on Dec. 9. Please use this time to share memories of a child who has died. These memories are a gift beyond measure to bereaved parents, family and friends.

Our candle will be burning in memory of all the children who have died too soon and for our special, beloved son and brother Seth.


Doug, Marla, Garrett,

Bryce and Teryn Paul

Local responsibility

Dear Editor,

With the tragedies in New York and our country it is only reasonable for us, especially in our small community, to want to help our fellow Americans.

It is still important to be very conscious of our local needs as a thriving community. We need to not forget our local commitments and charities such as United Way, Special Olympics, Rotary, churches and other community service organizations.

We need to support our town and community. Remember, we are Americans and are very peace loving and giving people. With the billions of dollars donated by the American public to the New York cause, lets not forget our local responsibilities.

Dave Pokorney

Making a deal

Dear Editor,

Your managing editor's intuitive and comprehensive probing on the editorial page in the Nov. 29 SUN does not quite render and justly award our county commissioners their proper graduation kudos.

The "Three Village Prodigies" are indeed scholarly and absolutely excel in one significant area of good old boy expertise. The compelling art of making a deal - shady and otherwise. Everything from enticing a large bank loan on a Band-Aid fix taxiway at public expense, to lightning approval for a concrete batch plant overlooking one of the most scenic rivers in southwestern Colorado. Let alone utilizing their own interpretations of Robert's Rules of Order at their convenience when conducting county commissioner meetings.

In light of such stellar public academic achievements, why would any taxpayer in control of their faculties ever desire to broaden commissioner educational horizons? After all, what's really important and may honestly be worth thinking about is your mind. The folks who pay the bills do not want any fifty-dollar haircut on a fifty-cent head. However, an immediate dismissal with November's 2002 report card might be a righteous diploma. That's the way things should be done here in the "Old West."

I wonder if our prospective county administrator will blindly saddle-up and "ride with da brand's" dead horse for $62,000 - plus a year? It's gonna be downright comically interesting to say the least.


Jim Sawicki

Legal action

Dear Editor,

It is with great pleasure that I tell all your readers, and especially the property owners at Pagosa Lakes who have made an inquiry about the program to eliminate the FUSA fees, the response to our phone and e-mail received is overwhelming.

At our last meeting on Sept. 9, over 50 people representing 30 or more residents and some part-time residents heard from Mr. Gerald Sawatzky about the forthcoming legal action for the elimination of the annual recreation fees, currently being assessed on property owners.

The new legal team will include co-counsel from a major law firm, which has had considerable experience handling this type of class action suit. We have received over 200 inquiries for the available material, but there are an estimated 1,200 property owners at Pagosa Lakes and we would like to hear from all of you. If any one is interested call us at 731-1909 or e-mail us at We do need your postal mail address.

Robert G. Schmideler,

Pagosa Lakes Legal Defense Group

Spirit of the season

Dear Editor,

What a party! Thanks to all who joined the Kiwanis Club to celebrate the start of Christmas 2001. We had a great time and hope you did too. Observing citizens and friends sharing joy and friendship proves that the true spirit of the season is alive in our midst.

Our face painter, Carmen Hubbs, never got a break all evening - so many cute kiddos and "other folks." She did a great job with her ever-present friendly manner. Melinda Baum and the Methodist Youth Carolers bravely brought us the spirit of song; and Lisa Hartley and her Pagosa Pirate Carolers engaged us in their beautiful and entertaining carols. It was a wonderful evening.

With such strong community support, Kiwanis is able to contribute $1,000 to fund the furnishings for the Teen Center to be located in the new Community Center building, add to our scholarship fund, and continue to support the many on-going activities of children and youth in this community.

Just remember, all of this is due to your support - you did it. Thanks again and our very best wishes to all for many blessings through the new year to come.

Patty Tillerson

on behalf of

Kiwanis Club members

Sports Page

Lady Pirates open season with 60-30 romp over Delta
By Richard Walter

It was the same old story but with some new characters in the cast as the Lady Pirates opened their 2001-2002 basketball season against Class 4A Delta in the traditional Cortez Invitational Classic Friday.

The Pagosans opened with the expected front court duo of Katie Lancing and Ashley Gronewoller leading the scoring with 17 and 23 points respectively and junior guard Shannon Walkup adding 11.

While the Pirates suited 11, Delta's Lady Panthers had only eight players in uniform and no one to counter the 6' 3" Gronewoller or 6' 1" Lancing.

Gronewoller recorded 10 first quarter points, all from close inside, Lancing added four and Shannon and Lori Walkup each had two as the Pagosa squad ran out to a 16-7 lead after one period. They stretched the margin to 29-12 by halftime, with Lancing adding six points including two of seven in a row from the charity stripe, Gronewoller and Shannon Walkup each adding a pair, and Tricia Lucero, Nicole Buckley and Bri Scott all contributing one free throw.

When the score reached 34-15 in favor of Pagosa, coach Karen Wells pulled all her starters until 5:01 remained in the game and the starters returned.

"I needed to get these kids some playing time in game conditions," she said afterward, "and it was a good early-season chance to let them see what action pressure is like."

Each of the reserves contributed to the game plan, particularly on the boards. Lucero had one defensive rebound, Buckley added two at each end, Scott had two defensive and one offensive, and Joetta Martinez chipped in with a pair of defensive boards and Katie Bliss with three.

When the starters returned to the floor they found themselves in the position of having to protect a 42-21 lead.

They didn't just protect it, they built on it with a frenzy. Lancing hit a quick jumper and later added the last of her seven for seven from the line. Gronewoller poured in a period high seven points, Shannon Walkup added five and her sister scored her second varsity field goal.

The result was a comparatively easy 60-30 Pagosa win.

So dominating were the Lady Pirates, that Delta managed only two first-half field goals and only seven for the game.

Pagosa shot .547 from the field but completed only 14 of 27 from the charity stripe for a .518 free throw percentage. With Gronewoller leading the way with 11, the Lady Pirates outrebounded their foe 32-10, with 20 of those coming off the defensive boards.

Shannon Walkup had five steals, Lancing three, with Gronewoller, Buckley and Martinez each turning in a pair. Gronewoller had five blocked shots and Buckley one. Lancing added six assists, Gronewoller and Shannon Walkup each had five and Lori Walkup added four.

The stage was set for the Pirates to meet the host Cortez Lady Panthers for the tournament championship. Cortez defeated Bloomfield 65-43.

Freshman paces Ladies to 35-26 comeback over Cortez
By Richard Walter

After handily dispatching smaller teams in opening round competition in the Cortez Invitational tournament the host Lady Panthers and visiting Pagosa Lady Pirates were primed for a championship confrontation Saturday afternoon.

But the Pagosa primer failed to ignite early on and Panther guards Amanda Frazier, a sophomore and Brittney Whiteman, a freshman, put the host school up with a pair of treys to take a 6-0 lead.

Things looked even more bleak for Pagosa when 6' 3" Ashley Gronewoller picked up three quick fouls and went to the bench with 3:49 remaining in the period.

But all was not lost. Pagosa had a freshman sharpshooter, too.

Lori Walkup got the Lady Pirates back in the game with a pair of 14-foot jumpers from the left side and also turned in three first period steals, blunting Cortez attacks and keeping the score within reach at 8-4 after one period.

Still, with Gronewoller on the bench, the Lady Panthers doubled up on Katie Lancing inside and moved the lead out to 12-6 after Lancing hit a driving layup for the Pagosa marker.

Then the tide began to change with Lori Walkup drilling another left side jumper and, on a wheel play off a high screen, converting a 12-footer from the right side.

The completion of the comeback was sealed when Carlena Lungstrum hit a trey from the left corner to give the visitors their first lead at 14-12. Casie Johnson put Cortez back in a tie at 14-14 but their last point of the half would be a charity toss by Lindsey Wilson.

Lancing, meanwhile, was converting four of six free throws to give Pagosa an 18-15 halftime lead.

Frazier struck early for Cortez in the third quarter, rainbowing in her second three-pointer to give Cortez a short-lived tie. It was to be the only points Cortez would score in the period.

With Gronewoller back in action, the Lady Panthers could not get to the boards for rebounds and the taller Pirate scored four of her seven points in the period. Not to be outdone by her younger sister's heroics in the first half, Shannon Walkup chipped in with five points in the period, three of them on a long trey from NBA range. With that effort, the Lady Pirates took a 27-18 lead into the final period which turned out to be an 8-8 standoff, basically on the strength of two late treys by Cortez, one by Frazier and another by Stephanie Allison with seconds left in the game.

The younger Walkup led Pagosa in scoring with 10. Lancing had 8, Gronewoller 7, Shannon Walkup 6, Lungstrum 3 and Katie Bliss was one for two from the charity stripe.

The strong Pagosa defensive effort was led by Lori Walkup with five steals. Lancing and Shannon Walkup each had three while Tricia Lucero, Bri Scott and Bliss each had one.

The Ladies shooting percentage fell markedly from their performance against Delta. Hitting 13 of 43, the Pagosans shot just over 30 percent from the floor. They hit only seven of 13 from the line for a .538 percentage.

Pagosa outrebounded Cortez 30-10 with Lancing grabbing four at each end and Lori Walkup turning in seven - six on the defensive end. Gronewoller added five, Bliss four, Lungstrum and Scott two each and Shannon Walkup and Lucero each had one.

Next up for the Lady Pirates will be a rematch with Cortez in the opening round of Pagosa's own Wolf Creek Classic at 6:30 p.m. Friday.

At 11:45 a.m. Saturday, the Pagosans will meet Bloomfield, which defeated Delta 65-43 for Cortez consolation honors and the Ladies will close out the girls' bracket at 6:45 p.m. Saturday against their old nemesis, Class 4-A Montrose, which dealt them their only two regular season losses last year.

Ladies adjust to pressure, bump Alamosa 49-31
By Richard Walter

It took Pagosa's Lady Pirates a full half to solve Alamosa's pressing defense Tuesday and blow away from a 22-22 halftime tie to an easy 49-31 victory over their San Luis Valley hosts.

The Ladies took a cue from their foes and turned on a second-half defense of their own that limited Alamosa to only four third-quarter points and no field goals in the fourth period.

The game, originally scheduled Dec. 18 but not showing on schedules which were made public, was moved because of a late game travel conflict that would have had players getting home well after midnight. The press was not notified of the change.

Coach Karen Wells said she was frustrated in the first half because her charges were not adjusting to the defense and moving the ball off screens into the tall post players.

When they adjusted after the halftime break, she said, "We literally ran away from them. Ashley Gronewoller (6' 3") led us with 25 points and got most of them off offensive rebounds. Alamosa could not match up with her inside and when we got the ball there she scored easily."

She got scoring assists from Katie Lancing with 9, Shannon Walkup with 8, Carlena Lungstrum with 4, Katie Bliss with two, and Mollie Honan with one for two from the charity stripe.

Wells was pleased with her team's balanced scoring, 12,10,13 and 14 ,by quarter, and the strong second-half defensive show. Alamosa had only nine second-half points and seven of those came from the free throw line.

Gronewoller also turned in three defensive rebounds and three assists. Lancing had eight defensive rebounds and one on the offensive end while contributing 10 assists. Lori Walkup had three rebounds and two assists, Shannon Walkup one offensive rebound and three assists, and Lungstrum two assists

"We had a lot of turnovers early (19 for the game)," Wells said. "But they finally adjusted to the press and the guards were able to drive the lanes and dish out almost at ease."

Gronewoller contributed to the attack in another way. She blocked five Alamosa shots and each of those turnovers led to a Pagosa score.

The win gave Pagosa a 3-0 record (all against Class 4A teams) and set the stage for them to host the Ladies Division of the Wolf Creek Classic this weekend, playing their first game at 6:30 p.m. Friday against Cortez.

After that tournament, they'll make their annual trek to Montrose Dec. 14 and 15 for the Black Canyon Classic.

The Lady Pirates will open that tournament with a 3 p.m. game Dec. 14 against Class 4A Rifle of the Western Slope League. On Dec. 15, they'll play Class 4A Northridge of Greeley and the Skyline Conference in a 10 a.m. game and then will meet their only Class 3A opponent, Olathe, at 4:45 p.m. in the final girls bracket game of the tournament.

After that will come the holiday break with action resuming Jan. 11 on the road in Bloomfield.

Pirates hope to improve as they host Wolf Creek Classic
By John M. Motter

Pagosa's Pirates host Thoreau, N.M., tomorrow at 8:15 in their opening game of the Wolf Creek Classic Basketball Tournament. Saturday, the Buccaneers follow with games against Montrose at 1:30 p.m. and Aztec, N.M., at 6:30 p.m. All of the games are in the high school gymnasium.

New coach Jim Shaffer's charges opened the season with a rocky start last weekend in the Cortez Tournament. They lost 54-32 to the Delta Panthers Friday, then 45-38 to Monticello, Utah, Saturday.

"We didn't play well and our shots didn't fall," Shaffer said of his team's performance at Cortez. "We have a lot of work to do."

Shaffer pointed out one bright spot for the Pirates when he noted that "we played better Saturday than we did Friday."

Pagosa only made 34 percent of their field goals against Delta, converting 14 of 41 attempts. From the foul line, Pagosa made 4-15, about 27 percent. The Pirates were without success from three-point range, missing three attempts.

Pirate fans searching for familiar faces in the lineup would have been disappointed. Except for Darin Lister and Brandon Charles, none of the other Pagosa players has much varsity starting time prior to this season.

As green as they are, Pagosa played the Panthers even up through the first half, trailing only 14-10 at the end of the first period and 29-21 at half. Delta blew the game open during the third period by outscoring the Pirates 15-7. The Delta lead grew more during the final period, won by the Panthers 10-4.

Clayton Spencer led Pirate scoring with 10 points, followed by Brandon Charles with 8 points. Spencer is one of those new faces, a 6'6" sophomore center. Todd Mees was a perfect 2-2 from the charity stripe.

Charles led Pagosa in rebounds with five, assists with seven, and steals with three.

Monticello jumped on the Pirates during the first period of the Saturday consolation game by building a quick 16-6 lead. The young Pirates came storming back during the second period and narrowed the lead to 24-23.

Neither team shot well during the third period, but the Monticello squad picked up their towels at the end of the period with a 32-28 lead. The final period was close as both teams shot better, but the Utah school won the period 12-10.

Henrique Diaz, a 6'5" exchange student from Brazil, led Pagosa in the scoring column with 11 points. Diaz hit four for nine from two-point range and three for six from the free throw stripe.

Charles and Lister were next in scoring for Pagosa with seven points each, while freshman Caleb Forrest added five points. Lister successfully converted five of six free throw tries.

Forrest pulled down 10 rebounds to lead Pagosa in that department. The freshman's rebounding skills were balanced, with four grabs from the offensive boards, six on defense. Cord Ross captured seven rebounds, followed by Charles with five rebounds. Charles turned in four assists and three steals, Lister three steals.

As a team, Pagosa converted 13 of 40 field goal attempts, a 32.5 shooting percentage. From the free throw line, Pagosa made 9-17, a 53 percent percentage. Charles made the only trey for Pagosa, hitting one of five attempts.

"I'm getting a good look at all of the boys," Shaffer said. "I am convinced we'll be ready to play by the time Intermountain League action starts in January."

The Wolf Creek Classic Tournament begins tomorrow at 3 p.m. in the high school gym when the Gunnison and Nucla girls tangle. At 4:45 p.m., the Gunnison and Bloomfield boys play in the high school gym while the Montrose and Bloomfield girls play in the junior high gym. At 6:30 the Pagosa and Cortez girls play in the high school gym. At the same time, the Montrose and Aztec boys play in the junior high gym. At 8:15, the Pagosa and Thoreau boys play in the high school gym.

Saturday, action begins at 8:15 a.m. in the high school gym when the Montrose and Gunnison girls collide. At 10 the Aztec and Gunnison boys play in the high school gym, while the Bloomfield and Thoreau boys play in the junior high gym. The Pagosa and Montrose boys play at 1:30 p.m. in the high school gym. At 3:16 Nucla and Bloomfield's girls play in the high school gym. At 5, the Bloomfield and Montrose boys play in the high school gym, the Cortez and Gunnison girls play in the junior high gym. At 6:45, the Pagosa and Montrose girls play in the high school gym, while the Gunnison and Thoreau boys play in the junior high gym. The Pagosa and Aztec boys close the tournament at 8:30 in the high school gym.

Pirate grapplers rule lower weights at Rocky Ford
By Karl Isberg

The prep wrestling season began Dec. 1 for Pirate grapplers, and the 2-2 performance at the Rocky Ford Invitational gave indications that a very successful season could lie ahead.

In fighting to a seventh place finish in the 12 team dual-meet tourney, the Pirates defeated Crowley County and Trinidad and lost duals to La Junta and Canon City.

Oddly enough, it was one of the losses that illustrated the reasons to believe the Pirates will fashion a sturdy record this year.

The Pirates met La Junta in the first match of the day and nearly defeated the highly-touted 3A team. In fact, one match could have made the difference in the 36-33 loss.

"Basically," said coach Dan Janowsky, "we lost to La Junta on forfeits (at 189 and 275 pounds). "We gave away 12 points with no wrestler at either weight, but if we had won one other match, we still would have beaten them. We wrestled well in that first match, and had the kind of performance we need to shoot for all year. Our kids came out full of energy and wrestled a physical style, with a lot of emotion, against a good team. It was exactly what I hoped for in a first match."

Unfortunately, the Pirates suffered a letdown against their second preliminary pool opponent, Canon City, losing the dual 51-24.

"Canon City is a good team," said Janowsky, "a top 4A team. We just didn't get ready. We didn't pick ourselves up in the middle of the dual when we could see we weren't ready. They got on a roll, and no one was able to put a halt to their momentum."

The consequence of the two losses was to drop the Pirates to a second-round pool which offered them little competition.

In the second round, Pagosa defeated Crowley County 66-9 and Trinidad 48-15.

While the final round provided mat time for the Pirates, there was not a lot of formidable competition.

"The two losses in the first round dropped us to the bottom pool," said Janowsky. "We were, in reality, in the toughest pool in the first round and we were one of the better teams in the tournament, but we ended up in the bottom pool in the finals. A few of our guys were frustrated by the fact they didn't get a tough match in the final round."

Four Pirates were undefeated at Rocky Ford.

Freshman Darren Hockett served notice he will provide the Pirates with a fast start at 103 at any dual meet. Hockett pinned all four of his opponents at Rocky Ford. He pinned La Junta's 103-pounder in the second round. Canon City's man was pinned in the first round of the match, as were the wrestlers from Crowley County and Trinidad.

Michael Martinez continued the winning ways that saw him place fourth at last year's state tournament. Martinez won all four matches at 112 with pins of opponents from Canon City, Crowley County and Trinidad and a 15-5 major decision over the wrestler from La Junta.

"I can't recall that we've had as strong a pair at the lowest weights since I've been here," said Janowsky. "These two guys have the ability to get us off to a great start."

Mike Maestas got four wins at the tournament at 125, pinning opponents from Canon City, Trinidad and Crowley County.

Luke Boilini, a competitor at last year's state tournament, got three wins and a victory by forfeit at 215. Boilini pinned his man from Crowley County and earned two decisions in his other wins.

Two Pirates were 3-1 at the tournament.

Cliff Hockett won three matches at 135, pinning opponents from La Junta, Crowley County and Trinidad.

Aaron Perez had a good day at 145, pinning wrestlers from La Junta, Crowley County and Trinidad.

Jesse Trujillo got two wins at 119: a pin of an opponent from Crowley County and a decision in a match against the Trinidad wrestler.

Other Pirates earned points with victories during the meet.

Ronnie O'Brien pinned Crowley County's 130-pound athlete.

Corey Hart, despite an ankle injury suffered in the first match of the day, got a pin at 140 over a Crowley County wrestler.

Aaron Hamilton earned three points with a win at 152 against Trinidad.

Charles Sosbe got a decision against Crowley County at 160.

Marcus Rivas earned a decision at 171 versus La Junta.

"The fact is," said the coach, "we won two duals convincingly, lost one narrowly, and only wrestled poorly one time. As a weekend, the results were mixed. We showed a lot of potential and there were certain kids who made real solid statements. If we can duplicate our efforts in that first dual, we'll have a lot of fun."

With some possible changes in the lineup looming, the first chance to see if the "fun" develops is tonight, as the Pirates travel to Ignacio to meet the hosts and Aztec N.M. in dual meets.

"Against Ignacio," said Janowsky, "a lot depends on matchups. They'll get their twelve points with our forfeits at 189 and 275, and they'll have some good kids in the middle weights. I think it'll be a pretty competitive dual with Ignacio. They're not a whole lot different than us and they have pretty much the same lineup back that they had last year."

Aztec is a perennial powerhouse and Janowsky expects nothing less from the Tigers this season. "Based on their junior varsity from last year," he said, "Aztec, as always, will be strong."

Pagosa wrestles the first two duals on the card tonight, beginning at 5 p.m.

The team travels to Buena Vista for the Demon Invitational Saturday. It will be a chance for the wrestlers to measure themselves against 3A competition and against some of the teams in their region. The Pirates will be joined by the host team as well as by St. Mary's, Centauri, Florence, Estes Park, Battle Mountain and 2A Del Norte. The tournament will again be dual-meet format with two, four-team pools in the prelims. Action begins at 10 a.m.

"This is a good way to start the year," said the coach. "By the end of this weekend, we'll have ten duals under our belts, with many of our guys having fought ten matches."

Pagosa's Hillary Wienpahl in state gymnastics finals
By Richard Walter

Years of competition, three days of intensive training every week while carrying an honor roll average in class and toting home a raft of honors, medals and trophies have been a way of life for Hillary Wienpahl.

But the Pagosa Springs High School senior faces the biggest challenge of her amateur gymnastics career Saturday when she appears in Level 6 state championships at Gymnastics Unlimited in Denver.

She is one of only 14 athletes from amateur programs across the state who qualified for the state meet in the 14 and over age group.

She performs regularly for the Pagosa Springs Gymnastics Club and has appeared at meets throughout the mountain west en route to the championship competition level.

Hillary says the floor exercise is her favorite event, but her best scores seem to come in the vaults.

Her coach, Jennifer Martin, said Hillary has been a mainstay of the program and "a role model for the younger girls. She's proof that practice pays off. This is her last competition for us, and we wish her luck at state. We'll miss her dearly when she goes off to college next year."

Weather Stats


















































Community News

Chamber News
By Sally Hameister

Santa Tom, Mrs. Pagosa launch season

The official opening of the Christmas season in Pagosa could not have been better attended or enjoyed thanks to the work of many hands. First and foremost, as always I am grateful for Doug and Morna Trowbridge, for the overwhelming amount of work they devoted to this event. Doug started hanging lights in October and didn't stop until Saturday. Morna coordinated, poured punch, shopped and just generally took care of business throughout the weeks prior to the big day. We are all very lucky to have this family on the Chamber team.

We had a packed house for the better part of three hours, and Santa saw a record-breaking number of children, all of whom had many special requests for the jolly old elf. We want to thank Sheriff Tom Richards and the lovely Wyoma for the great gift they bring to us each year in the form of Santa. The numbers grow each year, and Tom always handles it with gracious good cheer. We'd also like to thank Mrs. Pagosa Springs 2002, Barbara Walton, for assisting Santa with passing out the candy canes to the little ones. Sally Theesfeld once again outdid herself with the number (47 dozen) and variety (10) of the delicious cookies. Everyone raves about these beauties, and we will continue to request them from her every year. Jeff Laydon snapped an unprecedented number of adorable pictures and never stopped working from the time he arrived on the scene. It's always worth the price of admission just to listen to his sound effects.

The Mountain Harmony Ladies Chorus graced us once again with their beautiful voices and sounds of the season. They sang their little hearts out for and with us and made the evening complete with their presence. Don't know what we would do without them, and I sincerely hope I never have to find out. Terry Smith at Ace Hardware/Circle T Lumber once again provided the truck for the ladies to arrive upon with our trusty driver, Jack Wilshire. Jack has driven for the Chamber on many occasions now during the 4th of July and Christmas, so he is especially familiar with the routine and silliness that seems to accompany most of our deals. Thanks, Terry and Jack. We are also indebted to Doug and Jamie Sharp of Firefly Ranch for sharing bales of hay with us for the Harmony Ladies to perch upon.

We once again thank Mike Alley and the gang at LPEA for their continual support and cooperation with the Chamber lights and flags. Mike has helped us countless times with projects and this season is no different. Bonnie Masters helped Morna with punch pouring all afternoon, and we thank Dick Babillis, Ron and Sheila Hunkin, Joe Steele, and Don and Mary McKeehan for manning the plugs for the big lights countdown. Also Robert "Casper" Soniat for handling the mopping duties after the fact. He had his work cut out for him, I assure you, with all the dropped cookies and cider.

Last but not least, we want to thank the record number of folks who attended this special day because you made it such a terrific success. If you haven't seen the Chamber at night, please make a trip down one evening because it is some kind of wonderful.

Meet the artists

Taminah Gallery will be hosting a "Meet the Artist" series at their location on Pagosa Street and invite you to join them Dec. 13, from 5-9 for the premier event reception. The purpose of this series is to introduce the community to our regional artists and to carry out part of the Taminah mission statement, which is also to become a learning center.

The first artist will be Pierre Mion of National Geographic illustrator fame and listed in both Who's Who in American Art and Who's Who in the West. Pierre is a graduate of George Washington University and the Corcoran School of Art in Washington, D.C. and the Montgomery College of Rockville, MD. He had the privilege of studying privately with both Elliot O'Hara and Norman Rockwell. Pierre has had an accomplished artist/illustrator freelance career with National Geographic, Look, Life, Popular Science, Reader's Digest and The Smithsonian. This year's Air and Space Museum Christmas card with feature his work.

Please join Pierre and the gang at Taminah Gallery Dec. 13 for the first of this fine series of "Meet the Artist."

Board candidates

The board of directors and staff take great pleasure in announcing our slate of six candidates for the election to be held at the annual Chamber Mardi Gras in January. This is a remarkable group, and you will be forced to give very thoughtful consideration to the choice of three who will be elected out of this six. You will receive personal profiles on all six, plus a picture, in the upcoming quarterly newsletter, The Chamber Communiqué.

Until then, allow me to introduce the candidates in alphabetical order: Linda Delyria, manager of The Tile Store; Bob Eggleston, Vice President of Bank of the San Juans; Scott Farnham, owner of Civil Design Team, Inc.; Marion Francis, Vice President of Business Development for Bank of Colorado; Nan Rowe, owner of Rocky Mountain Reefs and Oso Grande Ranch and Outfitting; and Sally Theesfeld owner and proprietor of The Daily Scoop. Clearly, you have your work cut out for you to select three from this impressive field. Good luck.

Christmas choir

This Saturday evening, Dec. 8, at 7 p.m. and Sunday afternoon at 4 p.m., the Community Bible Church will host the annual Community Christmas Choir Concert, and you simply must attend.

Ninety of our best local voices will join together in this gorgeous presentation, and it just isn't really the Christmas season until you've heard them. I would encourage you to arrive a little early because this is quite the popular little event and free at that. They also offer free care for the little ones during the concert. Hope to see you all there.

Early SunDowner

Remember that this month's SunDowner will be a week early due to the holiday and will be held at Michael DeWinter's place, The Plaid Pony, at the corner of U.S. 160 and Pinon Causeway. Wednesday, Dec. 19, is the date, and the time remains 5-7 p.m. with an entry fee of $5. You can be sure that Michael will throw a beautiful party and have lots of goodies to eat. Call Doug at the Chamber with any questions.

Benefit performances

Twenty-percent of the proceeds from the remaining two performances of "Elvis Returns," Dec. 14 and 22, will be donated to the Quick family to assist them in the purchase of a handicap accessible van for son Jaxon. Performances at the Bastille Street Theatre, next to Loredana's are at 7:45 each night. Tickets are available for $8 in advance at the Chamber and for $10 at the door.


We are delighted to introduce three new members this week and sixteen renewals. Certainly makes our season much more jolly.

We first welcome Stan Gidley with Stan Gidley-Business Consulting doing business in his home here in Pagosa. Stan is an independent business consultant who will be happy to facilitate your financial performance by streamlining important business processes, developing specialized documented training programs and coaching your managers and/or supervisors to better utilize resources. Please give him a call at 970-946-5588 to learn more about how he can help you with your finances. We thank Ellen King for recruiting Stan to the Chamber and will cheerfully send off a free SunDowner pass.

We next welcome David Trepas, Manager of the Lost Valley Development Group, LLC, located in the Lost Valley of the San Juans here in Pagosa. David offers an earth-friendly re-development of Lost Valley of the San Juans featuring flexible vacation ownership opportunities.

This world-class natural setting is perfect for weddings, conferences, speaking engagements or any other and all special events. To learn more, please give him a call at 888-626-9814.

Our third new addition to the Chamber roll call is Cecilia and John Haviland who bring us Haviland Communications, Inc. doing business in their home here in Pagosa. These folks will be happy to help you with all of your public relations and advertising needs as well as graphic design (visual communications) and video production. Please give them a call at 731-2370 to learn more about Haviland Communications, Inc. We thank our friend, Lili Pearson, for recruiting these folks, and she will be duly rewarded with a SunDowner pass. We sure do love it when our members recruit members.

Renewals this week include Troy Ross with Troy Ross Construction, LLC, located at 235 Rob Snow Road; Susan Lander with Music in the Mountains located at 1911 Main Avenue in Durango; Susan Angelo with Pagosa Realty Rentals, LLC, located at 40 C.R. 600, Suite E-5; Kingman and Judith Quon with the Happy Camper RV Park located at 9260 Highway 160 West; Lori Madsen with Loredana's Restaurant located at 68 Bastille Drive and Bryan Madsen with All American Plumbing; Judy Smith with the 160 West Adult R.V. Park located at 1623 West Highway 160; Darin Mundy with Farm Bureau Insurance located at 190 Talisman Drive, Suite D-1; Maria MacNamee with Happy Trails Lady's Boutique located at 454 Pagosa Street; Peter Dach with Pagosa Bar located at 460 Pagosa Street; Kathryn Heilhecker with Jafra Cosmetics International; John Widmer with Morgan Stanley located at 2261 West Highway 160; Maureen A. Widmer with Echo Manor Inn Bed and Breakfast located at 3366 Highway 84; John Widmer with Echo Transport located at 3366 Highway 84; Karen and Dean Cox with Taminah Gallery and Gifts located at 414 Pagosa Street; Karen and Dean Cox with Wagon Wheel Frame Center at the same location and John Steinert with Juan's Mountain Sports located at 155 Hot Springs Boulevard. Thanks and ho, ho, ho to each and every one.

Senior News
By Janet Copeland

Senior Citizens board election slated Dec. 14

Those who attended the potluck dinner on Friday received a very special treat: the Mountain Harmony Chorus entertained with a full program of Christmas songs. We really appreciated these talented ladies coming to sing for us and hope they will come again soon.

Our thanks also go out to Bob Henley for the calendars and greeting cards; Muriel Deson for the turkey and ham; George and Mary Pat Davis for the turkey and shoes; Anna Scavezze for the ceramics and paint; Dody Smith for updating the photo albums; and Gene Crabtree for the donation of a VCR.

There is a valuable service available for those who have trouble reading the newspaper. Call Muriel Cronkhite at 731-4727 and she will arrange for someone to read papers to you once a week.

Also, for those needing help around the home (minor repairs, maintenance, snow removal, etc.), please call Musetta at 264-2167 for information on the Home Chore Program.

A "secret pal" has donated $25 a month to help defray travel expenses for our seniors, so anyone finding themselves short on cash and wanting to accompany our folks on a bus trip, contact Musetta and ask about the Triple S program.

Marion Swanson is our Senior of the Week. Congratulations, Marion!

We are very proud to name Johnny Martinez as our Volunteer of the Month. Johnny is always happy to help wherever needed and we really appreciate him.

Harold and Ginger Kelly, Norma Lucero, Robbie Swartz, Annette (from the Humane Society), Cyndi Mitchel, Mary Hannah, and Eva and Andy Martinez joined us for lunch last week. We were happy to have them and hope they will come again soon.

The CPR class is scheduled for 10 a.m. on Dec. 10. Kathy Conway and Terri Clifford from EMS will provide a 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. Terry will also talk to us at lunch about the importance of flu shots.

Also, Dec. 10 at 9 a.m., Ben Lynch from Jackisch Drug will assess multi-prescription usage. He will make certain that everyone's prescribed medicines are conducive to each other. Bring all your medications as well as a list of vitamins and/or herbs that you are taking on a daily basis if you would like to take advantage of this valuable service.

Everyone remember the December Potluck will be at 5 p.m. on Dec. 21 (instead of the last Friday of the month). We will be treated to a wonderful play, "Best Christmas Pageant Ever," presented by the local ARSE (A Reading Society and Ensemble), which will take place around 6:15 p.m. We thank John Porter for putting this together.

Our annual Christmas party will be on Dec. 24, during the lunch hour. Enjoy the feast Dawnie and her wonderful kitchen staff will prepare for us, then those who wish to may take part in the gift exchange. Women should bring a gift for a woman, and men should bring a gift for a man. Call Cindy at 264-2167 if you have questions about this fun event.

The art classes provided by Kent Schaefer and George Golightly are temporarily suspended but will resume in January. If anyone has oil or acrylic paints they would like to donate for these classes, they would be most appreciated.

Donna Boughan is providing manicures for some of our senior folks but she really needs a manicure table to make it easier to do the job. If anyone would care to donate a table or nail polish/supplies, she would really appreciate it.

We welcome a new driver for our senior bus - John Emanuel. We are happy to have John aboard.

Elections for the board of Archuleta Senior Citizens Inc., will take place on Dec. 14. We welcome nominations for these positions so if anyone is interested in serving on this board, please contact Phil Heitz 731-2558 or Musetta at the Senior Center. The board meets after lunch on the last Friday of each month and visitors are welcome to join us in order to become informed about what we do.

We currently have a contest in process for the naming of the new Senior Center which will open next August when the new Community Center is completed. You may call Musetta or Cindy at 264-2167, or submit your suggestion in writing and mail it, along with your name, address and phone number to Archuleta County Senior Center, PO Box 1532, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147. The prize is a wonderful 13" color TV so it is certainly worthwhile to come up with some good suggestions.

Local Chatter
By Kate Terry

Recipes sure to work at high altitude

You might find some of my favorite recipes worth trying. They all work at this high altitude.

Applesauce Salad

Dissolve 1 cup of red hots in 2 cups boiling water. Add one 6 oz. box raspberry jello and 1 quart applesauce. (Note: Add 1/4 cup sugar to unsweetened applesauce. A Tupperware mold holds this perfectly.)

Charleston Grits

Add 1/2 cup quick grits to 2 1/4 cups boiling water (holding 1/2 teaspoon salt). When grits reach serving consistency, add 1 roll Kraft Garlic Cheese (cut into chunks) to grits. Add 1/2 stick butter (cut into chunks). Add a beaten egg in milk (to make 1/2 cup). Add tabasco sauce to taste. (Note: I go glob, glob, glob.) Place in greased casserole. Sprinkle with crushed cornflakes. Cook at 350 for 30 or 40 minutes.

Pork Tenderloin with Mustard Sauce

Ingredients: 1/4 cup soy sauce, 1/4 cup bourbon, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 2 1/2 to 3 pounds pork tenderloin. Directions: Mix ingredients and marinate pork several hours, turning occasionally. Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees. Remove from marinade and bake for one hour, basting with marinade.

Sauce: 1/2 cup sour cream, 1/3 cup mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon dry mustard, 2 to 3 green onions, chopped. Mix until smooth. Some like to use the marinade as the sauce also. Serves eight.

Cabbage coleslaw

Ingredients: 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup vinegar, 1 tablespoon salt, 2 cups shredded cabbage. Directions: Combine sugar, vinegar and salt. Bring to a boil, enough to dissolve sugar. Cool. Pour over cabbage. Liquid can be used over and over again. Just add cabbage.

Waldorf salad

Combine 1 cup each diced celery, apples, grapes and 1/2 cup walnuts or pecans or a combination of both. Add enough mayonnaise to hold together. (I soak apples in lemon juice, especially if ripe delicious apples are used.)

Chicken and rice

Ingredients: 1/2 cup uncooked rice (or more), chicken pieces, 1 envelope Lipton onion soup, 1 can mushroom soup, 1 cup water, sliced water chestnuts or almonds. Grease a casserole dish. Place chicken on top of rice. Top with soup mixed with water then soup mix. Cover and bake one hour at 350 degrees.

Fun on the run

Signs that you are in the 21st Century

You have a list of 15 phone numbers to reach your family of three.

You chat several times a day with a stranger from South Africa, but you haven't spoken to your next-door neighbor yet this year.

You didn't give your valentine a card this year, but you posted one for your e-mail buddies via a web page.

You call your son's beeper to let him know it's time to eat. He e-mails you back from his bedroom, "What's for dinner?"

You pull up in your own driveway and use your cell phone to see if anyone is home.

Cleaning up the dining room means getting the fast food bags out of the back seat of your car.

Extension Viewpoints
By Bill Nobles

CSU vets offer holiday pet safety tips

Today - Cloverbuds, Extension office, 4 p.m. Shady Pine, Extension office, 6 p.m.

Saturday - 4-H Christmas Party, Extension office, 5 p.m.

Holiday pet care

The holidays are a wonderfully chaotic time for everyone. Extra time and effort are spent in preparation for special meals, parties, holiday guests, shopping and decorating. Along with preparations for holiday celebrations, veterinarians at Colorado State University's James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital offer pet owners suggestions on ways to keep pets safe, sane and healthy.

Maintain normal diet and feeding times. Resist sharing your holiday dishes with your pet. Turkey fat can cause vomiting and bones can splinter and perforate the intestines or lodge in the throat, making a trip to the emergency room necessary.

Encourage your guests not to give in to begging behavior. Rich gravies, cookies, ham and other dishes enjoyed by humans can cause gastrointestinal upset in pets. Advise your guests that, although your pet may be giving the acting performance of his life, people food is not good for animals.

Don't leave food out where pets can get at it. Keep garbage cans tightly covered. Put leftovers away immediately. Dispose of scraps and trimmings in garbage containers with good, tight lids out of reach of pets. Don't leave glasses of alcoholic beverages unattended. Alcohol can be fatal for pets. Don't leave glasses of champagne, wine or other alcoholic beverages within easy reach of your pets.

Be wary of chocolate and sweets. Chocolate contains theobromine, which can cause vomiting, diarrhea, seizures and even death if swallowed in even small amounts by your cat or dog. Keep all sweets out of reach of your pet.

Monitor holiday decorations for safety, especially candles. Burn candles only when someone is in the room to supervise. Pets can accidentally knock over a lit candle with the wag of a tail or the swipe of a paw. Also, some pets see the hot wax as liquid and may try to swallow it.

Avoid edible ornaments such as popcorn or cranberry strings or decorated cookies and candies. Skip the tinsel. Cats love to play with it and could swallow it, causing severe problems. Be careful with decorative lights. Tape light cords against the tree to make them less accessible for chewing. For window treatments, tape cord to the wall or the window casement. Encase tree lights in plastic conduits and consider coating them lightly with petroleum jelly, a safe deterrent. Artificial trees are safer than real trees. Many holiday trees have been treated with chemicals that can be toxic to your pet. Additionally, pets can ingest pine needles causing gastrointestinal problems. If you must have a real tree, only allow your pet in the room when there is someone to supervise, or surround the tree with pet-proof fencing. Cover the base so that your pet can't drink the water.

Dangerous plants

Be aware that poinsettias, Christmas cactus, holly and mistletoe berries are poisonous to pets and can cause vomiting, bloody diarrhea and dehydration if swallowed. Fruit seeds and pits, such as cherry, peach and apricot pits, apple seeds, can be dangerous to your pets. Try to maintain daily routines. Pets are creatures of habit. If you stop taking them for their daily walks or regular play times, they will look for alternative ways to blow off that energy. That can mean trouble for your holiday decorations. To keep your pet sane and well behaved, stick to your regular routine, even if it is a little shorter.


When selecting gifts for your pet, look for ones too big to be swallowed. Remove bells or squeakers. Children's small toys may attract a playful pet but could become lodged in your pet's mouth or throat. Keep decorating tools out of your pet's reach. Objects such as scissors, knives, tacks, buttons, sewing needles, pins and other sharp objects can be hazardous, especially to curious puppies or kittens. Consider closing your pets in another room during a party. Perhaps the best way to keep your pets safe is to put them into another room, well stocked with toys, food, water and treats for the duration of the party or while you are engaged in installing holiday decorations. Noisy crowds, especially, can stress cats and younger animals. Placing them in a private space, surrounded by familiar objects will help to keep them calm and give them a feeling of safety.

One of the best tips is to know your pet. Being aware of normal behavior and appearance will enable owners to recognize signs of illness and to seek help before a pet's condition becomes critical. Another important tip is to avoid medical suggestions from well-meaning friends. If your pet is ill, seek professional veterinary medical advice. Other than you, no one else knows your pet as well as your veterinarian.

Crusing with Cruse
By Katherine Cruse

A dose of reality about 'real' winter

My husband Hotshot and I drove to California for Thanksgiving. We left Pagosa in late fall. Gorgeous weather. People still wearing shorts. Yes! I kid you not. Well, you know what the November weather was like. It was that way all across Nevada, as we followed U.S. Highway 50, "the loneliest road in America."

In California it rained. It poured. The wind blew down trees and power lines.

And you know what happened after that. The snows came to Colorado. We left here in the fall. We came home one week later, and it was winter. Icy parking lots in Flagstaff. Slushy streets in Cortez. White fields everywhere.

Yes, I know I'd been ready to join all the frustrated skiers in a traditional snow dance. But this was so sudden. I wasn't ready. I'd been lulled into a false sense of well-being. Maybe it was time for a dose of reality. It's all coming back to me now, what winter is like.

And what is winter like?

Well, for one thing, the furnace runs a lot more. The insulating blinds spend more time down than up. I keep a wool hat beside the computer table, for those periodic attacks of the shivers. Hotshot found an electric heater that we used back in Nashville to warm up the basement; now it's under my desk, toasting my toes.

But wait, there's more. Did I mention the snow? Time to get reacquainted with the snowblower and the shovels. And the shoveling muscles.

The real hardship at the old S Bar S place, though, is winter travel. Hotshot has to fly east two or three times a month. From Pagosa, that ain't easy.

Last winter brought a series of delayed flights and canceled flights involving the United Express shuttle to or from DIA. The last straw came when a flight home was canceled because of weather. Another passenger called his wife in Durango on the cell phone. "Weather?" she said. "What weather? I can see the airport from our house. Everything's clear."

Nevertheless, the flight was a no-go. Instead, the carrier summoned a bus to take the Durango passengers home. Even then, Hotshot had to fight with the dispatcher to have the van stop in Pagosa and let him off. "We can't do that," said the bus company. "Insurance," they said.

Hotshot swore off United Express.

For a while he drove to Albuquerque to catch a flight. But even the spectacular red rock area around the ghost ranch gets old after a while. And so does watching out for elk and deer on the highway. So last week he gave United, and United Express, another try.

He was scheduled to fly out of Durango at 6 a.m. "If they don't cancel," he kept saying. He touched wood. If that was supposed to be a lucky charm, it didn't work. The phone call came the evening before his flight.

"The last evening flight out of Denver was canceled, so your morning flight is also canceled. But don't worry," said the caller. "You're booked on the 6:30 a.m. flight from Farmington."

Farmington! Gee, thanks.

"Oh, and by the way," the caller continued, "the flight from Farmington is on Great Lakes Airlines, a different carrier. Since you have an electronic ticket, you'll have to go to Durango airport first to get the ticket rewritten. You can do that when they open the ticket counter at 5 a.m."


The good news continued. He could still return to Durango, even though he left from Farmington. "What about my car?" asked Hotshot. "It's a long walk from the Durango terminal to the Farmington parking lot."

"We can't help you with that," said the caller. "Do you want to take this flight or not?"

Hotshot and I arose at 3 a.m. and drove through the still dark countryside to Durango. The moon was almost full, and the snowy fields glowed in reflected light. We had no trouble spotting the elk wandering around.

We reached the Durango airport just before 5. I stayed in the car. Hotshot walked in. The automatic doors opened to receive him. There was nobody in the building. There was nobody around outside the building. No one wearing one of those bright orange vests marked SECURITY. No National Guardsman in camouflage. Nobody.

We waited.

At 3 minutes after 5 two cars came rolling into the staff parking lot, and United Express counter people raced into the building. I have to say, they processed the ticket change quickly and with no problems.

"Good luck," they called after him as he ran back to the car. At 10 after 5 we were rolling.

A county road cutoff to Highway 550 saved us some minutes. That was a good thing, because in Aztec we made a wrong turn, following the sign for Highway 550 instead of the sign for Farmington. The minutes we had saved in Durango melted away as we realized the mistake and backtracked.

But we made it. Hotshot checked in at the Great Lakes counter in Farmington 15 minutes before the flight was scheduled to depart. He passed through security and boarded the plane.

After all the rush, the flight was late leaving. The plane waited an hour on the ground before taking off.

Ah, the joys of winter travel!

Parks and Rec
By Douglas Call

Youth basketball begins; 'Hoop Shoot' winners named

This year's youth basketball program has started. Game schedules are available at Town Hall and have been distributed at practices.

Games start Monday and will continue through February. Coaches and officials are still needed for the 7-8 and 11-12 age divisions. Call Summer at 264-4151 ext. 232 if you are interested in coaching or officiating for this year's basketball program.

Not registered for this year's basketball season yet? Registration continues, at the $20 rate, with forms available at Town Hall. Registration deadline for this year's program is tomorrow.

Elk's Hoop Shoot

The annual Pagosa Springs Elk's Hoop Shoot took place last Saturday and the winners were: 8-9 boys, Dennis Scoggins; 10-11 boys, Jeremy Lister; 12-13 boys, Kerry Jo Hilsabeck. In the girls' shoot-out Kerry Honan took first in the 8-9 division, Amie Shearston won the 10-11 division and Emily Buikema took first in the 12-13 age group.

Congratulations to all participants and winners. The winners advance to the Area Shoot Out to be held at Escalante Middle School in Durango, Jan. 12 at 2 p.m.

Basketball open gym

Adult basketball open gym will be held Dec. 26-28 and Jan. 2-4 from 6-8 p.m. in the junior high gym.

Soccer open gym

Adult indoor soccer open gym will be held Dec. 26-28 and Jan. 2-4 from 6-8 p.m. in the middle school gym.

Ice skating

Skating at the River Center Park will begin as soon as the ice is thick enough. Four inches is needed. Last Friday, the ice measured only two inches. The ice was measured again Monday, and the thickness was three inches. Please observe the posted signs for safety reasons.

Once skating on the ponds does open, two types of skating lessons will be offered: beginner figure skating and power hockey skating.

For more information about the opening of skating season and the skating lessons, contact the town recreation department at 264-4151 ext. 231.

Arts Line
By Stephanie Jones

2002 exhibit applications available

Any artist interested in applying to exhibit during the 2002 season can pick up an application at the PSAC gallery in Town Park during our business hours, Wednesdays through Fridays from 10-2.

The 2002 exhibit season runs from May through October, with exhibits of multiple artists lasting three weeks each. For more information you can call JoAnn at the gallery, 264-5020.

This holiday season is packed full of wonderful arts events so be sure to get out and experience the magic of Christmas.

Santa Fe ballet

Tickets for the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet Company production of "The Nutcracker" at Fort Lewis College can be purchased by calling the box office at 247-7657.

Performances are Dec. 7 at 7:30 p.m., Dec. 8 at 2 and 7:30 p.m., and Dec. 9 at 2 p.m. Ticket prices are $10 and $14 for balcony, $21 and $25 for orchestra, and $30 for Plaza.

The Aspen Santa Fe Ballet Company production is based on the well-known book by E.T.A Hoffman and the music of Tchaikovsky. Set in the midst of a Victorian Era, the ballet is a grand production with a large cast of 11 company dancers, 10 guest artists from all over the world, more than 90 local dancers, magnificent costumes and scenery, special effects, and new original choreography by ASFB directors Jean-Philippe Malaty and Tom Mussbrucker.

Local dancers were selected to perform with the company in the Dec. 9 matinee. Emma Donharl, Jacqueline Garcia, Daisy Jones, and Lila Burns will dance as bumblebees in flowers. Leslie Baughman and Hayley Hudson will dance as fruit. Amanda Huang was selected to dance in all four performances as a mouse in the battle scene and as the Chinese dragon.

Whistle Pig

Correo Aereo will perform Dec. 21 at the Hudson House at 446 Loma Street. Call Bill or Clarissa Hudson at 264-2491 or check out their website at http:// hudsonhudson/ for more information.

Photo contest

The arts council's 14th annual photo contest at Moonlight Books will begin with an opening reception Feb. 2 from 5-7 p.m. The show will run through Feb. 23.

Amateur and professional photographers are encouraged to enter. Entry forms and rules can be picked up at Moonlight Books, the arts council business office at Town Park, Pagosa Photography, Focus and Sound, or Mountain Snapshots.


Several volunteer positions are available with the arts council. We are looking for an individual experienced with finances to volunteer as our treasurer. For more information call Jennifer Harnick at 731-3113.

We are also looking for a workshop coordinator to organize workshops at the gallery and the community center, and a computer savvy individual to do the layout for our quarterly newsletter, The Petroglyph. Call JoAnn at 264-5020 if you are interested.

Library News
By Lenore Bright

Salmon Ruins an 'outlier' for Chaco

The Loveland Museum and Gallery recently opened an exhibit of Colorado landscape art. Three Colorado artists are featured: John Fabian Carlson, Vance Kirkland, and Birger Sandzen. Kirkland taught at the University of Denver. The other two taught at the Broadmoor Art Academy in Colorado Springs.

The exhibit is entitled, "Colorado Landscapes and the New Age of Discovery." It runs through Jan. 6.

We thank the Loveland Museum/Gallery for sending us a copy of the catalog. You can see the work of 27 artists including Bierstadt and Moran in color. The catalog also has an interesting historical timeline to go with the paintings. It may be checked out.

New words

What is an "outlier?" According to our resident archaeologist, the word can mean a "suburb" of Chaco Canyon - one of the many other ruins in our area.

The San Juan County Museum Association in Bloomfield, N.M., puts out a newsletter called the "Outlier." The autumn issue tells the exciting news that the Salmon Ruins collection of materials has now been cataloged and can be accessed on the Internet. The actual collection is in Bloomfield. Included in the collection are rare and hard to find items such as the early works of Earl Morris who excavated the Aztec Ruins in the early 20th century, and excavated the Navajo pueblitos in the Gobernador and Largo Canyon areas.

The Salmon Ruins in Bloomfield are an outlier of Chaco as are the ones in Aztec. Both of these sites are interesting and very easy to view up close. The Salmon Ruins Library is open seven days a week. Ask for a copy of a brochure at the desk.

What is a "nanobot?" Pay very close attention to this new species, a robot of microscopic proportions, presumably built by means of nanotechnology. These miniature robots are smaller than blood cells. Raymond Kurzweil discusses how advancing technologies will impact our personal lives. Kurzweil suggests that by 2030, we won't be able to tell the difference between real and simulated people. Nanobots can self-replicate. They can travel through the capillaries of our brains and communicate with biological neurons. They might be injected or even swallowed. They can be used for good or bad.

Today we have concerns about "cloning." These concerns seem almost passé since science has already demonstrated neuron transistors can control the movements of a live leech from a computer.

"GNR technologies" is a new term we'll also come to know. It covers genetic, nanotechnology, and robotics technologies.

The Futurist magazine suggests that Homo sapiens could be obsolete by 2050. The threats of technologies and overpopulation can result in rapid change so vast and so chaotic that opponents could resort to fundamentalist backlashes, with more terrorism ahead.

Kurzweil explains that "when examining the impact of future technology, people often go through three stages: awe and wonderment at the potential; dread about the new set of grave dangers; and finally the realization that the only viable path is to set a careful, responsible course that realizes the promise while managing the peril." We trust that this will be done by the powers that be on all future scientific matters.

Today, besides worrying about cloning, and nanobots, we can worry about search-engine spiders crawling the Web and finding our passwords, credit card numbers, classified documents and other vulnerabilities. Evidently Web site administrators can turn away search crawlers. Ask your Internet Service Provider how you can protect yourself.

It also turns out that some of the genealogy sites contain personal data such as birth dates and mothers'maiden names. This opens up the risk of identity theft.

For articles about the above concerns, ask at the desk.

Brain tickler contest

Imagine that you have been transported to a future devastated world. Tell us which three books you would take with you to help rebuild the future.

Include your name, address and home phone. Deadline is Dec. 31.


Financial help came from Jim and Ione Adams in honor of Jim and Margaret Wilson. Materials came from Alden and Jo Ann Ecker, Jim and Patti Latham, Wayne and Donna Wilson, Lisa Peterson, Dean Cox, Jody Nehring, and Lynda Van Patter. Your generosity is most appreciated.

Shepards Staff
By Jim Coats, pastor
Pagosa Presbyterian Church

Some ideas about God dead at birth

A few decades ago, the "God is dead" idea was trumpeted around the country. It began in one of our Southeastern colleges and quickly spread through the academic community, just as other fads often do. And that was what it was; a "new idea," a different approach to our understanding of God. It raised a lot of furor, especially in the religious community, where it was soundly condemned as the latest, merely hanging their judgment on the statement, "God is dead."

It was actually a great idea, for at least two reasons. Consider what all was worshiped as "God," and what kind of ideas many folks (Christians included) had about "God." For example, for some folks, God was no more than a word used to describe a "deity" who closely resembled Santa Claus or one's favorite grandfather. God was like a fairy godmother or the genie in the bottle, there to serve when and where needed, guided, almost ordered, by our desires. God could be manipulated by our "faith." (You know, if you have enough faith, God will do whatever you ask.) Sometimes God was just a big policeman. He was always alert to enforce the "laws" and to nab any who broke those laws. It is interesting how often those "laws" resembled rules and regulations laid down by different religious groups. These ideas about God were dead at birth! And for good reason. Such a God was more like the creation of people than one who created people. "And God created people in His own image." That's what the Bible says, but many of the concepts of God that circulated years and generations ago sounded more like - "In the beginning, God was created in the likeness of people."

The second reason why this was a great idea (perhaps I should say a much needed new concept) is this. It forced the Christian community to study the Scriptures more closely "to see whether these things be true." It shook up our ideas about God, many of which had become stale, had lost their meaning or significance. We were just going through the motions, teaching what had always been taught, never thinking that perhaps God was more than or better than what we had believed through the ages.

So the Christian community had to respond just as the Hebrew community had to respond to the message of its prophets which forced them to reevaluate their understanding of God and their relation to God. For example, are we promoting justice, compassion and humility (Micah 6:8) as the Scriptures define these concepts, or have we altered the meaning of these, words, the instructions from God, to suit ourselves. What do we mean by "bringing criminals to justice"? Sometimes it sounds more like revenge.

What do we mean by compassion? To say to the hungry, "God bless you, I hope that you find something to eat?" To love only those who love us? Or to actually suffer because we have compassion? And what do we mean by "living humbly with our God?" It certainly does not mean seeking the best seat in the house, or putting our self-interest ahead of others. The way in which we understand and live out these instructions from God exposes our understanding of him. Maybe that God should be dead, if he ever really existed at all.

The Bible tells of a God who is not only wise and powerful, but loving, kind, just and forgiving; a God who not only put this universe together in wonderful condition, but continues to take interest and be concerned, a God who wants to be known by each of us. It tells of a God who humbled himself and became like one of us in order that we might come to know him as he ready is. It tells of true compassion. "Greater love has no one that this, that a person give his (or her) life for another." It describes a God who seeks justice; "feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the sick, help the helpless, pray for your enemies."

So, what is your belief about God? How do you describe your God? Maybe your God is dead - or should be - if indeed your God every truly existed.

Pagosa Lakes News
By Ming Steen

Pagosa Lakes Rec District plan talks slated tonight

A public meeting was held two weeks ago to discuss a proposed special parks and recreation district for the Pagosa Lakes area.

The purpose of the proposed district is to fund projects in the long-range parks, trails, open space and recreation master plan for Pagosa Lakes. Ideas and suggestions were solicited from the audience, and the general themes of the comments were positive and encouraging. A flow chart describing the process of special district formation was presented to the audience.

Attendance at the meeting was sparse, but there is still an opportunity to help. There will be an organizational meeting this evening at 7 p.m., in the Pagosa Lakes conference room at the PLPOA administration building.

The purpose of this meeting will be to organize an effort to move forward with the proposed special parks and recreation district. The district formation will take community effort and support. The payoff would be a source of funding for future parks, trails and recreational amenities for Pagosa Lakes residents.

If you are interested in seeing these types of projects in Pagosa Lakes, please attend this meeting and see how you can help. Contact Fred Ebeling at 731-5381 for more information if you cannot attend but would like to get involved in the very near future.

The Pagosa Lakes Environmental Control Committee is still looking for interested property owners to fill member vacancies.

The Environmental Control Committee is created by the master declaration of restrictions and is composed of three standing and four alternate association members approved by the PLPOA board of directors. The principle function of the committee is to review and approve or disapprove plans, specifications and related details for any structures, additions or improvements to be constructed, erected or maintained on any lot. The Committee meets the first and third Thursday of each month in the Pagosa Lakes clubhouse at 8 a.m.

Interested applicants are invited to submit a written application. Applications can be picked up and returned to the Department of Covenant Compliance, 230 Port Avenue, Pagosa Lakes, Colorado.

In Sync With Isabel
by Isabel Willis

New baby? Bright Beginnings may be able to help

Having a newborn baby is not easy. Your new bundle of joy definitely does not come with an instruction booklet.

The feeling is almost overwhelming when you put your precious little baby in his/her car seat for the first time and drive home from the hospital. You realize that you have just accepted one of life's biggest challenges.

You get home and soon realize that all of the answers do not come as easy as all of your questions. You want to build a strong foundation for your new baby, but nobody seems to be dropping any hints on how to go about this.

Where do you go? Which way do you turn?

A local program available to you is called Bright Beginnings. The vision of this program is to make Colorado the best place to raise a child. This is done by linking new parents to local resources.

The process of Bright Beginnings begins with a local volunteer visiting the home of the new parents. She will bring along a gift bag donated by the community. It contains such things as blankets made by the Pagosa Piecemakers Guild, T-shirts and booties made by community members, and a ton of community information.

Oftentimes new parents don't realize there are such things as La Leche League or a 24-hour on-call nurse. A list of all childcare providers is included along with developmental information for your new baby. You can also request a resource that you would like more information on and your home visitor will try to steer you in the right direction.

Bright Beginnings operates with the Colorado Children's Campaign. The campaign is a statewide non-profit organization that promotes the well-being of all children through education, advocacy and public awareness. The mission of the campaign is to mobilize individuals and organizations to think and act on behalf of children with particular emphasis on children's health, education and safety.

All volunteers for this program are required to undertake a Colorado Bureau of Investigation check. Most visits thus far have been conducted by a well-trusted nurse.

How can you help make this program a success?

If you're interested in becoming a volunteer or would just like to make something for new parents with your crafting abilities, call Helen at the Department of Social Services and express your desires. She can be reached at 264-2182, ext. 212.

Additionally, the referral system for Bright Beginnings is simply by world of mouth. If you would like a home visitor or are in need of a community resource, Helen would be happy to assist you.

Veterans Corner
by Andy Fautheree, VSO

Surprise attacks proven to unite United States

It should be noted with solemn remembrance the events that took place 60 years ago, Friday, Dec. 7, 1941, at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

Certainly the current "war on terrorism" and the sudden and deliberate attack by terrorists Sept. 11 reminds us of the attack that took place so long ago.

As a result of both events, our nation united against a common enemy. Those that would do America harm never seem to learn, their actions only serve to unite America in a resolve that ultimately brings about the enemy's demise. Our enemy's initial victory pales in comparison to the ultimate and cataclysmic destruction they bring upon themselves, and their innocent people, by their terrible acts. We can point to the end of World War II, and the events that appear to be coming to conclusion in Afghanistan. Our enemies should not take America's military might, which our veterans know so well, lightly.

Have you ever seen such a wave of patriotism in America? I would confidently say many of our Archuleta County veterans remember the time 60 years ago we felt this same patriotism. Flags proudly wave from homes, automobiles and businesses. Popular music of the day is our National Anthem and Kate Smith's "God Bless America." Our nation's leaders set aside their political differences to unite in the common goal of defeating our enemies. As it was 60 years ago, so it is today.

Current events in the war on terrorism will create new veterans. There are several individuals from Archuleta County who are serving on active duty in America's Armed Forces. I know of some of them, and I'm sure there are others I'm not aware of. I encourage anyone who has a family member, a loved one, a friend, or knows of someone from our county who is serving at this time in our Armed Forces, to please call this office and tell us who they are. Let us give them the proper recognition.

I would like to point out the Soldiers' and Sailors' Relief Act has also been invoked because of current military actions. This Act, passed to aid those called up in 1940 for World War II service, advises all FHA lenders to reduce rates on mortgages to no more than 6 percent to all members of the military on active duty. The Act prohibits any mortgage lender from initiating foreclosure action against persons in military service while that person is on active duty and three months thereafter without court approval or an agreement between the parties.

Also, the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act protects members of the Guard and Reserves who are called to active duty by requiring that they be reemployed at the same position or better, with the same benefits and seniority they would have accrued had they not be on military leave. USERRA also provides protections for health insurance coverage.

For information on these and other veteran's benefits please call or stop by the Veterans Service Office located on the lower floor of the Archuleta County Courthouse. Active Internet website for Archuleta County Veterans Service Office can be found at The office number is 264-2304, the FAX number is 264-5949, and E-mail is The office is open from 8 to 4, Monday through Friday by appointment. Bring your DD Form 214 (Discharge) for registration with the county, application for VA programs, and for filing in the VSO office.

Business News

Biz Beat

Nancy Green owns and operates Spirit Elk Gallery at 117 Navajo Trails Drive, in Suite A of the Silverado Center.

Spirit Elk Gallery features original and unique fine arts and prints, many by local artists. The gallery also offers jewelry, gift and decorator items, clothing, furniture, artful greeting cards and quilts.

Spirit Elk is open seven days a week during December, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and noon to 4 on Sundays. Phone 731-4565.


Christovel Rivas

Memorial services for Christovel Lloyd "Chris" Rivas will be held at 10 a.m. Monday, Dec. 10, 2001, at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Pagosa Springs. There also will be a Rosary service in the church at 7 p.m. Sunday.

Visitation has been scheduled from 2 to 6 p.m. Friday in Ertel Memorial Chapel, 42 N. Market St., Cortez.

Chris was born Nov. 9, 1934 in Arboles, to Fred and Elizibeth (Lister) Rivas. He passed away on Sunday, Dec. 2, 2001 at Southwest Memorial Hospital. He was 67 years old.

Enlisting in the Navy, Chris served his country in Guam. He later opened his own barbershop in Cortez. He was a member of the Optimist Club, and loved to hunt and fish. Playing basketball and watching his grandchildren play was a pastime he enjoyed.

Surviving are his children, Robert (Martha) Rivas of Aztec, N.M., Glen (Christina) Rivas, Bernadette Archuleta and Libby Rivas all of Cortez, Lily Rivas and her children Chris and Cassie of Pagosa Springs, Dolores (Randy) Rivas Armenta of Farmington, and Michael Rivas of Cortez; his ex-wife, Fabiola Rivas of Cortez; siblings Cora Woolsey, Lester Rivas and Ernest Rivas of Pagosa Springs; Pete Martinez and Anselmo Martinez of Ignacio; 10 grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his daughter, Libby who died in 1960; three brothers, one sister, and his brother-in-law, Wade Woolsey.

Memorial contributions may be made in memory of Chris Rivas with the Citizen State Bank of Cortez. Services are under the direction of Ertel Funeral Home.