January 3, 2002

Front Page

County eyes new unit to handle stray dog problem

By John M. Motter

How to deal with stray dogs is a major concern the board of county commissioners intends to deal with this coming year, according to Gene Crabtree, chairman of the board.

"We plan to put it on the agenda in a couple of weeks," Crabtree said. "We're not after ranch animals. We're after the dogs that are harassing walkers and bikers and getting into restaurant trash cans and such. I have six dogs at one ranch and others at an additional ranch. They never leave the ranch. Those are not the kinds of dogs we are after."

Over the past year, the county has conducted several meetings concerning control of stray dogs. The commissioners have been attempting to adopt an updated stray animal ordinance. A number of citizens have turned up at public hearings to oppose commissioner proposals.

At least one early proposal has been abandoned: the idea of creating an animal control officer and department under jurisdiction of the county sheriff.

"We're talking about creating a separate office outside of the sheriff's department," Crabtree said, "since we've learned the animal control officer does not have to be a sworn officer. That's one of the things we'll discuss in a couple of weeks."

Meanwhile, Archuleta County has agreed to pay the Humane Society of Pagosa Springs $49,656 for the 2002 budget year. Over the past few years, the county has agreed to make annual payments to the Humane Society for contracted services. This year's contract with the Humane Society is a continuation of the usual process. Last year's budgeted Humane Society payment was $34,500.

The agreement with the Humane Society calls for that body to provide an impoundment facility for impounded or stray animals as required by state law.

County law enforcement officials or contracted animal control officers will have access to the shelter 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

In addition to the $49,656 the county has agreed to pay the Humane Society, the county has agreed to pay $13 for each cat impounded at the request of any county agency.

The county pays only for the first three days a dog is incarcerated, Crabtree said. If a dog is kept alive longer than that, the Humane Society must fund the additional expense from other sources.

In this year's budget, the fee paid the Humane Society is recorded in the general fund under a professional services heading. The county anticipates income of approximately $400 during 2002 as the result of dog-control related fines.

Capital needs cloud PAWS budget quest

By John M. Motter

Capital improvements needs costing $28.1 million over the next 20 years are driving a Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District search for funding.

PAWS needs estimates are based on a study by Davis Engineering Service. The study projects population growth over the next 20 years in PAWS' service area, evaluates PAWS' current water and wastewater capabilities, then estimates the amount of expansion needed to serve the needs of the projected population.

A Denver-area financial consultant, Stan Bernstein and Associates, has been hired to help PAWS devise a financial structure to pay for the needed expansion.

As a first step in raising funds to pay for the capital expansion, PAWS replaced a facilities upgrade fee with a capital improvements fee. While both fees fit the general description of impact fees, the capital improvements fee differs from the facilities upgrade fee in two respects.

First, the capital improvements fee will be levied on all new growth, including new growth located within developments existing before 1983. The facilities upgrade fee excluded developments started before 1983.

Second, the capital improvements fee is based on square footage. The larger the building, the greater the capital improvements fee. The facilities upgrade fee is predicated on equivalent units, a water consumption-based formula.

PAWS' proposal to levy the capital improvements fee starting with the 2002 budget drew immediate protest from a group of builders and developers. Following a public meeting with the protesters, PAWS canceled plans to implement the capital improvements fee Jan. 1, 2002. Instead, a second public meeting is scheduled Jan. 8 at 6:30 p.m. in the PAWS Vista business office on Lyn Avenue.

At the Jan. 8 meeting, PAWS will consider appointing a broad-based committee of citizens to represent the community. The committee will be charged with providing input to PAWS concerning fee structures and advice on how to raise money to meet capital improvement needs.

At the first public meeting Dec. 18, protesters attacked PAWS' proposed capital improvements fee plan from several viewpoints.

First, they said the plan places too large a financial burden on the building industry. The result, they insisted, will bring building to a stop, thereby throwing people out of work and depressing the entire local economy.

Second, they said the capital investment fee places a disproportionate share of capital improvement costs on new growth. They argued that a larger proportion of the cost should be spread across the entire population, partly because the entire population shares in the economic benefit of growth.

Third, the protesters said, PAWS population projections are too optimistic. They contend the PAWS service area will not grow that fast.

The Davis Engineering population projections are based on an 1989 Harris Water Engineering study. Using an analysis of the various population areas in the PAWS water service area, the Harris study projects a population of 24,719 by 2020.

In addition to population growth projections amounting to 4 percent a year, the Davis study includes an annual inflation rate of 3 percent a year.

The total maximum water demand anticipated in 2020 is 8.57 million gallons per day compared to current maximum demand of 3.74 million gallons per day.

If the 3-percent inflation rate is factored in at the time of capital construction, the estimated total cost of PAWS' capital improvements needed to meet the demand 20 years from now is $28,102,089.

Davis estimates that PAWS must complete 31 capital improvement projects over the next 20 years in order to meet water and sewer demands.

Few question that capital improvements will be needed. Differences center on the extent of improvements needed and who should pay for them.

PAWS directors implemented the capital improvements fund by accepting the tenet that growth should pay for itself. The builders and developers who protested the initial appearance of PAWS' capital improvements fund argue that the assumption that growth should pay for itself is vulnerable, depending on the definition of growth.

None of the protesters argued against the concept that entirely new development located outside of PAWS boundaries at a given time, but later included within PAWS boundaries, should pay all of its own costs.

The protesters did argue that growth and its measurement within existing PAWS boundaries and sharing existing facilities should not carry the total cost burden when those facilities require expansion.

PAWS argues that the cost of growth is spread across all of its income sources including user fees, property tax income, revenue and general obligation bonds, and various fees.

Historically, PAWS fees have undergone the following changes as the district scrambled to keep up with an increasing demand for money: maximum availability to tap fee, 1980-$3,200, 2000-$10,068; monthly availability fee, 1972-$5, 2000-water only $7.25, water and sewer $14.50; service charges, 1980·total $20 plus $3 per 1,000 gallons over 3,000 gallons; 2000-water $13.50, wastewater $14, total $27.50, plus $2.50 per 1,000 gallon over 10,000 gallons; facilities upgrade fee, 1983-$600, 2000-$2,300 for water and $1,800 for sewer; inclusion charges, 1985-$5,000, 1999-$8,125.

Another preliminary justification for the capital investment fee is based on an estimated accumulative capital investment need by 2002 for $23.8 million for water system upgrades and $16.5 million for sewer system upgrades.

By basing the proposed capital investment fee on square footage and relating it to the former equivalent units calculations, the water capital investment fee rate works out to 71 cents a square foot for a 2,500 square-foot building. For sewage services, the per-square-foot fee would be $1.09. For combined water and sewer services the proposed fee amounts to $2.16 per square foot.

To obtain the same amount of income for capital investment purposes from water and sewer user fees, PAWS estimates water user rates would have to increase 41 percent from $13.50 a month to $19.04 per month. Sewer rates would have to increase 62 percent from $14 a month to $22.68 a month.

If property taxes are increased to provide income for capital improvements anticipated over the next 20 years, water-related property taxes would have to go up 365 percent, sewer system-related property taxes would have to increase 214 percent. The combined property tax increase would be 263 percent.

When those who protest against the proposed capital improvement fee argue the cost for new building should be spread across a broader base of PAWS users, they basically argue that more of the cost should be paid through user fees or property taxes. PAWS argues that a fair portion of new building costs are already taken from user fee and property tax income.

All figures and calculations used in this article are preliminary and used for discussion and budget development. Final figures or concepts are not locked in. The PAWS board of directors will have to choose a course of action soon, since the 2002 budget income depends upon the choices made.

The engineering and financial studies used as a foundation for PAWS financial assumptions are incomplete and likely to continue over several more months.

 

New program allows citizens to grade sheriff's department

By Tess Noel Baker

The new year marks the beginning of a service audit program for the Archuleta County Sheriff's Department - a program meant to gauge the public's opinion of law enforcement.

"Our deputies, when they make a service call, need to make callers feel that they have the most important thing going," Capt. Bob Grandchamp said. "This is one way to tell if they're doing that."

On a quarterly basis, two service calls will be chosen at random from each deputy's files for a follow-up call and a short survey, or audit. Grandchamp said the questions will concern the caller's opinion of the initial contact, promptness of the department's response, an evaluation of on-scene arrival, proper concern for the situation and an evaluation of overall service.

The final question, Grandchamp said, asks the caller how the department might improve in the future.

"It's one way to take the temperature of what the public feels about our service," he said. Later, similar evaluations are planned for dispatch contacts and bookings.

Cooperation in the program is completely voluntary, Grandchamp said. However, the public's input can be an invaluable tool when it comes to evaluating and assessing the effectiveness of the department.

Methane drilling plans draw public hearings

By Richard Walter

A pair of January open houses are set for the public interested in plans for coalbed methane drilling in Archuleta and La Plata counties.

The meetings are planned Jan. 16 from 5-7:30 p.m. at the La Plata County Fairgrounds Extension Building, Florida Room, in Durango and Jan. 17, same hours, at Bayfield High School.

The sessions, hosted by San Juan Public Lands Center, will discuss revised proposed action and alternatives for the Northern San Juan Basin Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and a new proposal by J.M. Huber to acquire right-of-way authorizations on BLM lands for access to gas wells that will be constructed on private land eight miles east of Durango.

Last year, the oil and gas industry proposed the drilling of 160 new coalbed methane wells, mostly within La Plata County. That original proposal has been expanded to include potential further development in western Archuleta County in the HD Mountains area of the San Juan National Forest.

These expanded plans raise the total number of proposed new wells from 160 to approximately 300. Approximately 290 gas wells currently exist in the project area.

The Huber project near La Plata County Roads 228 and 502 foresees two separate operations on BLM land. The first seeks authorization to construct approximately one mile of oil/gas pipeline with an access road to connect two wells. The second seeks authorization to construct a portion of a well pad on 0.5 acre of public land. No wells are to be drilled on public land in either project.

Those who are unable to attend the meetings or would prefer to provide written input may submit comments on the Northern San Juan Basin EIS no later than Jan. 31 to: Walt Brown, San Juan Public Lands Center, 15 Burnett Court, Durango, Colo., 81301. Comments on the Huber proposal should be submitted by Jan. 31 to Charlie Higby, same address.

For more information, contact Brown or Higby at 247-4874.

Editorials

Conflicts with zealots

We enter a new year involved in struggles, the survival and health of our society at stake. While a fight rages in other parts of the globe, another skirmish should be joined at home. The two are related and the ramifications of the second contest are, perhaps, the more profound.

One battlefield is obvious: attacked by forces motivated by an ideology that demands our destruction, the nation has responded militarily, diplomatically and economically.

The radical ideology that confronts us in the form of terrorism originates in a deterministic point of view and zealotry is its product. Extremist individuals and groups seeking our downfall believe there is no ambiguity in human experience, that everything happens inexorably, as part of a metaphysical process that admits of no exceptions, with no responsibilities untethered to the Grand Plan. And no mistakes.

It is easy to destroy innocent lives when behavior is the necessary result of a universe designed to produce that behavior. If chance has no place in experience, there is no choice. These zealots recognize no spectrum of possibilities, past, present or future; everything must happen in accord with an absolute blueprint. They are pawns and agents of destiny, absent the worrisome task of reasoning their way through complex ethical problems. They have an excuse.

Our traditional counter to this type of determinism is the claim of free will. But, it is an idea that, if eroded, will also cause us great misery.

The distortion of the idea of free will and the abandonment of its traditional baggage defines our second battlefield. This distortion and resultant behaviors could be more dangerous than any member of al-Qaida or the Taliban. It affects our ability as a people to endure and to determine the actions necessary to mitigate change and ensure survival over the long run.

Our cultural experience is now full of the effects of free will reduced to the lowest common denominator - a classless, radical subjectivism primed by decades of indulgent lifestyles; fertilized by a profit-driven, irresponsible entertainment industry; encouraged by an avaricious economic philosophy.

The zealots in this conflict are individuals propelled by impulse, energized by the need for immediate gratification. Their universe is personal, interior, entailing few if any obligations to anything or anyone else, lacking the governor of rational thought. This enemy is the worm at the heart of the democratic apple; its triumph will prove our undoing as surely as any bomb.

Advocates of this point of view crow about freedom, free will and rights. But their's is freedom without responsibility, free will without consideration, a demand for rights at no cost. Their attitudes are incubated in the permissive, guilt-riddled home; they are reinforced by television, music, film and other media, bedded in a widely-shared comfort unparalleled in human history. "Think first of yourself," chant the cheerleaders for this standard. "Learn to think beyond the community, the nation. You are the sole judge of your behavior. You owe nothing to anyone if your whims are not served." Following the mantra comes the echo of a culture unraveling, of a society without the binder of social conscience.

The satisfaction of desires, without an appraisal of effects, is becoming the rule of the day for many Americans. The idea of a social contract in which a set of behaviors is codified at the sacrifice of other behaviors is an idea that is weakening. The notion of accountability and responsibility for the consequences of behavior is disappearing from the moral landscape, with excuse-making filling the void. Law and a shared set of foundational moral values is a burden to a growing number of Americans. Too many have lost sight of the need to link their relativism with responsibility

Perhaps our war with terrorism can be won. Our internal battle will be more difficult to win. We can be proud of the men and women who don a uniform and hold the line against zealots abroad. The question is, who will man the barricades against the zealots within?

Karl Isberg

 

Dear Folks

By David C. Mitchell

Thankful that holidays were great

Dear Folks,

"How were your holidays?" is a common question this time of the year. If you're editor of the SUN, the answer is, despite the problems with last week's press run with the Preview section, they were great.

First, they were great because The Pagosa Springs SUN first appeared on the streets of Pagosa Springs on Friday, Dec. 3, 1909, and there is the satisfaction of knowing our business calendars for 2002 will state that the SUN has been "Serving Archuleta County for 93 years." It will be even more satisfying when the calendars arrive from Loren Jones' printing shop in Gutherie, Okla., and we can start distributing them to our advertisers.

I'm not sure how many years editor Glen Edmonds had used the large wall calendars as promotional gifts for the local businesses before I came to the SUN. But I learned of their importance my first year when in the latter part of 1981 folks start asking me if I had ordered "the SUN calendars?" Fortunately, longtime employee Mary Alexander had placed the order. It doesn't matter how early the order is placed, the calendars always arrive at the same time - as soon as Loren and his son, Kip, can get them printed, collated, bound and shipped. According to Kip, our 2002 calendars were shipped via UPS on Dec. 21.

Second, those of us who work at the SUN were again privileged to witness the amazing generosity of the folks who enable the Operation Helping Hands program to make Christmas special for others in Pagosa Springs. Equally amazing are the packages that arrive from out of state filled with wrapped gifts. Since the gifts bear identification tags, visitors obviously selected the tags from the Helping Hand posters while vacationing in Pagosa. These anonymous out-of-towners join a countless number of locals, visitors, old-timers and newcomers in using their hands to provide the hundreds of gifts that helped 166 families enjoy their Christmas holidays.

Third, a couple of weeks before Christmas, the "Food Angels" descended on the SUN offices. First Sally Hamiester arrived with trays of Christmas cookies, pastries and assorted confections. Also, when none of the other employees were looking, she slipped me a large can that was crammed full of delicious peanut butter cookies. Whereas peanut butter cookies aren't considered traditional Christmas cookie, Sally knows that, along with oatmeal raisin, they are my favorite cookie.

A week later, JoAnn Laird visited the SUN with her annual warm meal luncheon for the SUN staff. Featuring a green chili chicken soup that puts the Campbell's Soup folks to shame, the menu included pita sandwiches with thinly sliced beef and a special curry dressing. The feast was topped off with a "calorie free" kiwi, cream custard dessert.

Fourth, six days before Christmas a letter to the editor arrived from the Colorado Press Association. Able to read "Congratulations!" through the back of the sealed envelope, Terri tore it open as she brought it to my desk. The first sentence, "Your newspaper is a winner in the 2001 Colorado Press Association Better Newspaper Contest," made my Christmas. Yes, Shari Pierce is one of three finalists in the "Best Black & White Ad" category.

Fifth, the holidays were great in that our No. 1 son along with Cynthia's parents and her brother and sister-in-law spent Christmas with us. Then, last Thursday morning we headed for California to visit our two grandsons, two granddaughters, two daughter-in-laws and our No. 2 and No. 3 sons. It was great to see the grandkids running out to greet us as we pulled into Tom's driveway about 9 p.m. We enjoyed four fun days before heading back to Pagosa on New Year's Eve. Though we brought back a bunch of wonderful memories and photos, photos aren't soft and warm.

Sixth, just about the time I was trying to wind up this column, the UPS truck delivered our 2002 calendars to the SUN's backdoor. So, yes, our holidays were great.

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

Legacies

By Shari Pierce

25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of December 30, 1976

It is dry, very dry here. There is not sufficient snow in the area for skiing of any kind, or for snowmobiling. Wolf Creek Ski Area remains closed because of lack of snow. This is one of the longest and most severe dry spells of record in the county.

In an unusual accident last week a motorist reports that his car struck a mountain lion about five miles east of town on U.S. 160. The investigating officer did not spend a lot of time trying to track down the animal in the dark to see if it was seriously injured, but all indications are that it was not.

Notice has been received by the town that it will be the recipient of a grant in the amount of $246,900. The grant funds will be used to rehabilitate and improve the water distribution within the town.

75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of January 7, 1927

Miss Nellie Cato of Pagosa Springs has been appointed telephone messenger for the house of representatives at the present session of the state legislature. She has been in the capitol city for several months.

Between twenty-five and thirty members of the Women's Civic Club and their husbands gathered at the Arlington Hotel Wednesday night for their annual banquet and social affair. After a delicious repast of savory southern dishes, and a few well chosen remarks by several of the participants, a social hour was spent at cards.

Patience may indeed be a wonderful thing, but ours is hanging by a thin thread after another hectic week of trying to make a cantankerous machine behave itself and set type like the handbooks all say it should.

50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of January 4, 1952

A record snow and rain storm hit this area over the weekend, tearing down telephone and power lines and completely blocking traffic. The road over Wolf Creek Pass has been closed since late Saturday night. All highway officials here and the men who have plowed snow on Wolf Creek for many years all agree that this is the worst they have ever seen.

The Red Ryder Round-Up this week received a great deal of national publicity in the edition of the Red Ryder Comics magazine on sale at the newsstands. This edition contained many pictures taken at least year's show and in addition Mr. Harman has so worded several of the captions to inform the nearly one million paid readers of the magazine that it is one of the finest rodeos in the west.

91 years ago

Taken from Pagosa Springs New Era of December 30, 1910

Archuleta County has 1,893 horses, 34 mules, 9,256 range cattle, 171 dairy cattle, 40,693 sheep, 375 swine and 1,600 goats, a total of 54,022 head of stock with an assessed valuation of $194,306 and a true valuation of $582,918.

The Doctor Nossaman baby received a unique Christmas present this week - a handsome pair of shoes or moccasins made by a Chinese woman in far-off China and sent from the Flowery Kingdom by a missionary friend of the Nossaman family.

Ten years from now Archuleta County will be famous as a producer of winter wheat. The climate, the soil, the snowfall - all combine to make it a sure crop without irrigation.

Inside The Sun

Bramwell's dream brings world standing

By Tess Noel Baker

Ninety rodeos, somewhere around 60,000 miles, and $76,000 brought local cowboy Forest Bramwell an early Christmas present - a trip to the National Rodeo Finals in Las Vegas.

Bramwell, the youngest competitor in the bareback event at the finals, finished off the year by winning the tenth round, adding another $38,000 to his winnings and maintaining his hold on fifth place in the Jack Daniels World Standings.

Two weeks later, recuperating at home after a long year on the road, he remained in awe of his experience.

"It just seemed like it was so far away all the time," Bramwell said. "It's a really big dream. Only the best of the best go to the finals. I just had to sit in the corner every once in a while and just look around."

Chasing the dream took Bramwell coast to coast, north to Canada and nearly anywhere in between over the past 12 months. He drove, rode with friends and flew, spending one particular weekend in airplanes zooming between Kansas City and San Francisco, to compete in two different rodeos.

Everything started on the right foot, when he took the top prize at a small rodeo in Kansas, his first ride after breaking an ankle in 2000. From there, it was on to Rapid City where he finished runner-up at the Black Hills Stock Show and Rodeo. He cut that one a little close, arriving just in time to board his horse in the shoot for the 8-second ride.

By early spring, he had claimed victory on back-to-back weeks at the Rodeo Royal in Calgary, Alberta, and the Southeastern Livestock Exposition in Montgomery, Ala. Other big checks came from Houston, Salinas, Calif., Las Vegas and Corpus Christi.

It took 90 rodeos in all, 30 less than the 120 allowed in a year, to qualify for the finals.

"There are three or four of us that travel together," Bramwell said. "We all enter the same and that makes it easy to split up driving and expenses."

Expenses with entry fees, lodging when necessary, food and equipment can add up fast, reaching nearly $40,000 in a year.

An important key, he said, is to balance the small and large rodeos, earning the most money without putting excess strain on the body or the pocketbook. Smaller rodeos mean riding more animals to keep up with the winnings. Larger rodeos mean more money for a win, better horses and greater exposure, but stiffer competition.

"It takes dedication," he said. "You have to make a lot of sacrifices. That's your life. You have to get used to that lifestyle. A lot of guys have the talent, but they can't handle the lifestyle."

In fact, he said, the physical challenge of riding bareback can be minor compared to the strain of constant travel with little sleep.

"The worst of the physical effects is sitting in a truck before you have to ride again," he said. In fact, while on the road, he tries to stop periodically to stretch or jog to keep limber for the next rodeo.

Money management is another challenge in a sport that has to be treated like a business.

"It's easy to get frivolous," Bramwell said. "You're rich one time, and you're poor the next." That can be tough on some of the riders who must try to hold down employment and ride in the rodeos on weekends. Bramwell is lucky because he can always return to Pagosa in the lean times to earn extra money working for his parents, shoeing horses, or leading trail rides at Astraddle a Saddle. This year, he plans to put some of his winnings into buying his own property.

"I like it in Pagosa," he said. "It's always been home."

Injuries

Bramwell didn't come through the finals unscathed, suffering a broken thumb in the second round, and a separated collarbone in the 10th round.

To protect the thumb, he said, trainers used a brace under his glove and another over the top so that his hand looked something like a Q-Tip. The thumb is healing, but an MRI has been scheduled to take another look at the collarbone.

Should surgery be necessary on his collarbone, it will be his third in less than two years. Bramwell broke both the tibia and fibula on his left ankle after coming off a horse wrong at a rodeo in Kansas in August of 2000. Repair required two surgeries, and he now carries a plate and 10 pins in the ankle.

Injuries are part of rodeo, a part that a rider simply can't think about, Bramwell said.

"It's all reaction with rodeo," he said. "You think about it, and you fall off. There's just not enough time in eight seconds to think about it. Most of the time there's so much adrenaline you're not going to feel anything until well after."

Cowboy blood

The 24-year-old hopes to remain on the circuit for 10 or 15 more years. After all, Forest was born with rodeo in his blood.

Grandfather Floyd, won the "All-Around Cowboy" trophy at the annual Pagosa Fourth of July rodeo back in 1936, and again in 1939. His father, Gary, has also participated in local rodeos, and raises and trains horses today for the family's business west of Pagosa Springs.

"They never went professional, so this is their dream as well," he said.

In fact, his father got so excited just watching his son in the finals, no one wanted to sit by him.

"He's so loud," Mom Faye Bramwell, said with a smile. "He jumps up in his seat. One time I never even got to see the ride. I spent all my time trying to get Gary in his seat."

So, it was no surprise when Forest started out in his family's footsteps, riding in local rodeo events as a child before joining a Durango club in high school.

"That made it a little tough at school," the Pagosa Springs High graduate said. "A lot of times we had to leave on Fridays and I'd have to arrange to have the work done." At the time, Bramwell got some extra practice in by going to Ignacio for a weekly rodeo.

Then, as a senior, Bramwell made it to the high school rodeo finals in saddle bronc. Rodeo scholarships took him to Laramie County Community College and then on to the University of Wyoming, where he studied physical therapy.

At college, he tried bareback, saddlebronc and team roping, finally settling on bareback for his professional career because of its challenges.

"Bareback is considered the most physically demanding of the rough stock events," Bramwell said. "I've always liked the physical aspects of it." The other members of his college team encouraged him to take the step into professional rodeo, and a loan from home gave him the final boost.

On the road

"There's a lot of expenses starting out," he said. "You have to get your style in front of the judges. It takes a while for them to warm up to you. A lot of guys don't have that chance."

At each rodeo, two judges watch the bareback riders. Each has 50 points to give on two rides. According to the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association bylaws, riders are judged on the length of the spurring stroke, exposure, aggressiveness, timing, control, drag and spur position. The animal is judged on front-end moves and ducks, how high the horse gets in the air, front-end drop, direction change or spin, kicks, speed and quickness, timing, rhythm and power. And it all happens in 8 seconds.

In 1999, Bramwell's first year on the pro circuit, he finished second to J.D. Garrett Jr. in the running for the PRCA Resistol Bareback Rookie of the Year. At the time, he spent a lot of time on the road alone, and a lot of time listening to more experienced riders.

"A lot of guys do pick up with guys in the top 15," Bramwell said. "I never did. If you're traveling with someone else, you're their travel partner, you don't have your own name for awhile. I thought it would mean more if I did it on my own."

Then came the injury, recovery and a return to the winners circle in full force.

And Bramwell hopes it doesn't end there.

"I want to make the finals again," he said.

Crime, caprice, cacophony

created chaotic 2001 course

By Richard Walter

The year 2001 dawned in Archuleta County with crime and tragedy leading the news in the first SUN edition of the annum on Jan. 4.

Readers were advised that sometime during the holiday weekend thieves had broken into the school district administrative offices and made off with the safe. Police said many non-negotiable documents were inside but the actual amount of cash missing was relatively small.

There was evidence of attempts to enter both the Intermediate School and to gain access to the Junior High School through the roof. Police reported finding good footwear impressions on the junior high roof.

Two weeks later, the issue was solved with the arrest of four teens who reportedly confessed the safe theft and told of splitting $300 among them. There was no indication how they got the safe open or when and where it was recovered.

The same issue told the harrowing tale of a local tow truck driver being hospitalized with serious injuries after being rammed by the driver of a car he had just freed.

The car's driver was charged with DUI and the tow truck driver hospitalized.

The pathos of the first week of the year was concluded in the same issue with a report of a Texas teenager being found dead of apparent carbon monoxide poisoning while visiting the area on a ski vacation.

On Jan. 25, after a nationwide deep freeze had nearly incapacitated some utility companies, Citizens Utilities announced its third major rate increase in four months, hiking natural gas prices locally by better than 94 percent during that period. Corporate representatives said the price increases would hold until both supply had increased and demand leveled off. They promised reductions as soon as possible.

February

The first of what would become a series of questionable actions by members of the Archuleta County Board of County Commissioners was revealed Feb. 1 when commissioner action promoting a building inspector to building official was reported as a violation of the state's Open Meetings Act.

The same issue reported a crowd of more than 250 attending a hearing on the proposed Community Master Plan for the county. Topics regarded as challenging in the session were corridor development, obstruction of view, and protection of wildlife habitat and migration routes.

Many residents seemed unsure of what the plan intended and what they could add prior to its adoption by the county. Others felt there already had been significant venues for sounding personal alarms and that the plan was the best possible at this juncture.

The Feb. 8 issue put the county commissioners in the limelight again as they announced plans aimed at restructuring subdivision codes. The problem was that the session in which the decision apparently was made was not on the published agenda and, again, there were accusations of violation of the legal letter of the law.

Distribution of religious flyers to students in the intermediate and junior high schools as they left their respective buildings to board school buses on Lewis Street was the lead story Feb. 15.

Parents already had complained about the incident in letters to the editor and then took their complaint to the board of education for School District 50 Joint.

The problem was that the sidewalk where the leaflets were distributed was a public way, regarded as town property and as such, school board members said, did not fall within their jurisdictional purview. They agreed to research possible remedies with municipal authorities, but were unsure of any legitimate reason for stopping such actions.

Parents complained that though the items distributed in this instance were of a religious nature, there seemed to be nothing which would stop someone else from distributing pornography or other illicit publications to innocent youngsters.

The continuing saga of unrest in county government took another step, reported Feb. 22, when County Manager Dennis Hunt announced his resignation, to be effective March 23.

Hunt, who had served in the office since 1991, was the only county manager in its history. He resigned to take a similar position in a Western Slope county and the Archuleta County commissioners began the debate of how, when and if Hunt should be replaced.

In the same issue, the school board reported it had received eight applicants, after a nationwide advertising campaign, to replace longtime superintendent Terry Alley. He had announced his plan to retire on July 1. A screening committee was to a make a recommendation to the board by March 5.

March

March madness returned for Pagosa area high school basketball fans as both the Pirates and Lady Pirates advanced to competition in the state's Sweet 16, featuring the best prep players in Class 3A.

The Pirates were to travel to Rye while the Ladies and their 19-2 record would host Roaring Fork High School from Carbondale for the right to advance to Elite Eight action in the state tournament at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. Both local teams won and the drive for a state pennant gained fire.

On March 8, the county commissioners again dominated news by deciding each would assume the duties of liaison to various departments in lieu of having a new administrator on staff. Some said the action was tantamount to a decision no administrator was needed. Commissioners, themselves, said their decision was based on a need to know what goes on in each department and how they could adjust their work as commissioners to meet the needs of the departments and the public they serve.

On March 15, we reported the field of candidates for the school superintendent's post had been narrowed to three, one each from Kansas, Arizona and Idaho. All were to be interviewed locally by members of the board and the selection committee and each was to be given a tour of both the schools and the community, eat with the staff from the various schools, and be given a chance to answer questions from the public.

By March 22, snowtime fun was in the news and spring breakers in record numbers invaded the area. When 5,125 persons skied the slopes at Wolf Creek Ski Area on March 13, the story reported, it set an all-time single day record for use of the "most snow in Colorado."

The same issue reported the resignation of Democratic state Sen. Jim Dyer who had decided to accept a position with the Public Utilities Commission. Most of those contacted were distressed that the area was losing Dyer's representation on the General Assembly, but many were comforted by the fact the area would have a voice on the PUC.

The census, that often maligned count of heads which has much to do with the amount of tax money the county and town receive from the state and federal governments, was announced in the March 29 issue and immediately both governmental entities declared they believed the numbers to be low.

The totals showed 9,898 residents of the county, 1,591 of them in Pagosa Springs. Most observers, based on voter registration, school enrollment and building permit figures, had expected the county total to exceed 12,000.

The commissioner's hiatus from the limelight ended with the same March 29 issue when it was reported they were at loggerheads with each other over hiring actions apparently taken without full board approval. One commissioner accused another of being guilty of conflict of interest.

And, in the same issue, the SUN reported the county's third traffic signal, at U.S. 160 and Piedra Road was imminent. The joint city, county and state project was expected to be completed by Sept. 1, with new turn lanes and timing controls simplifying the heavy flow of traffic through the intersection.

April

Seven persons had filed for the advertised position of Archuleta County Planner as of April 5. The position was advertised after the commissioners had separated the planning from the building department. Commissioners said interviews would be conducted after ground rules for hiring were established. There were, however, no specific plans announced for developing those ground rules.

On April 12, Duane Noggle, personnel director for public schools in Window Rock, Ariz., was reported to be the choice of the Board of Education of School District 50 Joint to replace Terry Alley as superintendent. He was offered $85,000 per year in a two-year pact along with a moving allowance of up to $5,000.

Schools were in the news again April 19 when we reported veteran high school boys basketball coach Kyle Canty was stepping down (but remaining on staff as a teacher). Canty cited increased religious responsibilities as the reason for his decision. His teams, in the past four years, had posted a 56-31 record and had gone to state playoffs the preceding two years.

A 14-month controversy over planned operation of a concrete batch plant along U.S. 160 five miles north of Pagosa Springs was big news April 19 when county commissioners gave it a green light on a 2-1 split vote. In doing so, the commissioners overrode a negative recommendation from the county attorney. A number of conditions, including landscaping, paving and screening, were included in the final approval. The action was expected by most observers to draw a law suit against the county.

After months of meetings and discussions, the April 26 issue reported county commissioners had tabled consideration of the Community Plan, saying they needed time to read it. They also hinted they might delay approval until a new development director was named.

At the same time, it was reported 28 applicants were on file for the vacant county administrator position. There were, however, hints of planned inactivity by the commissioners. One said, "I don't see any big hurry. It's been a month (since board members assumed responsibility for operation of various departments) and things are going well. We haven't fallen behind."

May

It was another area taxing body which led off the month May 3 with news that could affect the long-range future of the area. Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District commissioned two studies to determine "how much water we have and how much is needed to handle current demand and future growth." The district revealed it was currently serving 3,737 water taps in a 64.7 square mile area. A moratorium had been declared on additional taps until supply and demand could be determined.

On the same date, it was reported that Hesperus rancher James Isgar had been selected by a Democratic vacancy committee to replace Jim Dyer as the state senator from District 6 which includes Archuleta County.,

Schools were back in the news May 10 as the state reported reading scores achieved in Pagosa Springs third grade classes were well above the norm and that the school ranked in the top third of 891 schools tested in the state.

On May 17, Dick Babillis, chairman of the Upper San Juan Hospital District, was appointed interim executive director and a move was made to initiate a search for a full-time operational officer. Both decisions followed a board move requesting the resignation of Bill Bright who had served as executive director since July 1997. Details regarding the resignation request, including why the move was deemed necessary, were not available.

As anticipated, a suit charging Archuleta County commissioners with mishandling the controversial batch plant proposal, was reported May. 24. The civil suit was filed in Sixth Judicial District Court by a group calling itself the Jan Juan River Valley Friends for the Environment.

One of a number of prominent deaths in the year was reported May 31 with the passing of Wayne Farrow, 77, scion of a pioneer county family. A former realtor, rancher/farmer and cowboy, Farrow had served on both the Pagosa Springs and former Piedra school boards.

June

On June 14, Arboles area residents were reported up in arms and ready to fight announced plans for the drilling of methane gas wells. They cited potential noise, sight and dust pollution, contaminated drinking water sources, lowered water tables and reduced property values if the wells were allowed to be drilled.

In the same issue, owners of private hangars lining a substandard and possibly dangerous taxiway at Stevens Field demanded county action to correct the situation. Commissioners estimated cost of the project would be at least $200,000, if county road and bridge crews were to do all the work. A number of county residents complained that approval of such action would amount to favoritism for a select few at the expense of all county taxpayers.

Finally, on June 21, less than a year after getting a $125,000 donation that bailed the district out of a possible budget shortfall, the Upper San Juan Hospital District revealed it was facing distressing numbers and that budget cuts might be necessary to keep the operation on track. A board report said the Emergency Medical Services operation could be out of cash by the following month and that it might be necessary for the district to seek a tax rate increase from voters in November.

Next week: The second half of 2001 in review

Planning Commission

The Upper San Juan Regional Planning Commission will hold its regular meeting at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2002 in the Archuleta County Commissioners' Meeting Room, in the County Courthouse. Public comments are welcomed and encouraged.

The agenda includes:

Call to order/roll call

Continuance of variances for the proposed gravel pit at Weber Ranches of Pagosa, LLC.

The Planning Department has rescheduled the public hearing for the Weber's CUP and their variances for February's meeting pending the completion of their submittal.

The applicant is also requesting four variances from the Archuleta County Land Use Regulations as follows: a variance from Section 10.4.5 to allow one access to the site from the highway, a variance from Section 10.4.10 to allow non-paved access drives, a variance from Section 10.6.3 to allow non-paved parking, and a variance from Section 10.7 to not construct a sidewalk or contribute to the county's escrow account.

The proposed site for the gravel pit is located on approximately 10 acres within the SE 1/4 of Section 22, Township 36 North, Range 1 East, N.M.P.M., Archuleta County, CO. The property is generally located 3/4 mile East from San Juan River Resort on Highway 160.

Colorado Timber Ridge IV - Preliminary Plan and Variance Request for Continuance

The applicant wishes to postpone the Planning Commission meeting date for this request until the March 2002 meeting. The applicants are requesting a variance from Section 4.2.6 to allow two cul-de-sacs.

Located on an unsubdivided tract in Section 27: Portion N1/2 NW 1/4, SW 1/4 NE 1/4, Portion NW 1/4 SW 1/4 NE 1/4 SW 1/4, NW 1/4 SE 1/4, Section 28: Portion E 1/2 NE 1/4, Township 35 North, Range 2 West, N.M.P.M., Archuleta County, CO.

Crowley Ranch IV - Final Plat and Variances

The applicant wishes to postpone the Planning Commission meeting date for this request, but a future meeting date has not been determined. Variances are to the Archuleta County Road and Bridge Specifications.

Located within the Tierra Amarilla Land Grant; situated primarily in Section 21, Township 32 North, Range 1 East, N.M.P.M. This parcel is generally east of Crowley Ranch Reserve Phase I and north of Crowley Ranch Reserve Phase III. Access will be from Crowley Drive and CR 382, each having access from Highway 84, Archuleta County, CO.

Withdrawal of Sketch Plan for the Re-plat of Lots 306 & 307 in Pagosa Meadows Unit 4

The request is for a boundary line adjustment between lots 306 & 307 in Pagosa Meadows Unit 4. Planning Staff determined a Sketch Plan would not be necessary, so the applicants are working on Final Plat submittal for a future meeting date.

The lots are located at 138 and 145 Evans Court in Pagosa Meadows Unit 4 in Section 9, Township 34 North, Range 2 West, N.M.P.M., Archuleta County, CO

Powder Horn Subdivision Preliminary Plan

This request is to review a proposed subdivision's Preliminary Plan. The property is bordered by Ranch Community on the south, by Lake Pagosa Park on the east, and by Twin Creek Village on the north. The proposed in-fill subdivision contains 41 single-family lots of approximately 1-acre each.

The property is located at 2573 North Pagosa Boulevard between Antelope Avenue and Aspenglow Blvd. Legal description for the property is the SE 1/4 SE 1/4 of Section 7, Township 35 North, Range 2 West, N.M.P.M., Archuleta County, CO.

Sketch Plan of Re-plat of Pagosa Peak Unit II, Block 1 of Lots 9X and 10

This request is for a re-plat of Lots 9X and 10 to adjust the center lot line location to delete encroachment of improvements located on Lot 9X.

Lot 9X has a physical address of 225 Big Valley Drive. The property is legally described as Section 11, Township 36 North, Range 2 1/2 West, N.M.P.M., Archuleta County.

Review of the Nov. 14, Dec. 5 and 12 of 2001 Planning Commission Minutes

Other business that may come before the Commission

Adjournment

Forecast: Snow today, tomorrow, then clear

By John M. Motter

Look for snow tonight and tomorrow, then for clear skies through the remainder of the coming week, said Gary Chancy, a forecaster for the National Weather Service office in Grand Junction.

During the storm, high temperatures should peak at about 35 degrees. Low temperatures should bottom at between 5 and 15 degrees, according to Chancy.

Controlling Pagosa Country weather and weather throughout much of the west is an upper level low moving in from the West Coast. The disturbance was located off the California coast Wednesday morning.

"It could weaken as it moves inland, but it will be here by Thursday night," Chancy said. "The storm brings a 50-percent chance of snow Thursday night and Friday. Then the storm should move off to the east. Saturday will be partly cloudy. Look for dry weather Sunday through Tuesday."

Meanwhile, Pagosa Country can expect more snow in town during January than falls during any other month of the year. January snowfall in town averages 27.1 inches. January precipitation averages 1.85 inches, yielding a ratio of snow to water of about 0.067 to one, or nearly 7 percent.

January snow in Pagosa Country is much drier than April snow which can have water content in excess of 20 percent, but more often is in the 10- to 11-percent range.

The highest January snowfall in town was 108.9 inches during 1957. The highest January snowfall on Wolf Creek Pass between 1936 and 1974 was 217 inches during 1937. That amounts to more than 18 feet of snow. The maximum snow depth measured during the same time frame is 196 inches, a little more than 16 feet, during 1952.

January temperatures in town should remain cold. The coldest temperature ever recorded in town during January is the minus 42 degrees captured Jan. 13, 1963, the only time a reading of minus 40 or less has been recorded. The coldest Jan. 10 of record is minus 22 degrees during 1964. The warmest Jan. 10 of record is 68 degrees during 1975.

Last week, one inch of snow fell in town. High temperatures ranged between 28 and 34 degrees with an average high of 31 degrees. Low temperatures last week ranged between 11 and 15 degrees, with an average low of 14 degrees.

E-mail link established to troops

at sea

A church in California recently established an e-mail link that will enable electronic messages to be sent to troops stationed on more than 100 Navy ships involved in Operation Enduring Freedom.

Light of the Canyon Methodist Church (LOTC) in Anaheim, in cooperation with the Standard Automated Logistics Tool Set (SALTS) group, has been able to provide a means for citizens around the country to send holiday and New Year's e-mail messages to the troops who are fighting in the war against terrorism.

Michael Fleming, the LOTC volunteer who set up the program, has been persistent in attempting to get mail in the hands of the troops since the start of Operation Enduring Freedom. His businesses began the first national letter writing campaign to the troops in October that generated over 10,000 letters before mail was suspended to the troops due to anthrax.

"I found out during the Gulf War how important mail was to our troops. Even though we can't get regular mail to them, I am excited we can now send e-mail. I have received some incredible troop e-mail responses to e-mails I sent from our website link," said Fleming.

Light of the Canyon Church has been very active in supporting the U.S. troops during the war. Most recently, they collected a truck load of Christmas gifts that were sent to the San Diego USO's Santa's Store program. The store was established for service member's families who were struggling financially this Christmas. The church also started Operation Prayer Mail, another nationwide letter campaign for the troops.

"My hope is that many people will take a few minutes and send an e-mail New Years message to our service members and let them know how much we appreciate their sacrifices", added Fleming.

To access the troop e-mail site, go to www.LOTC.org and click on "send troop e-mail."

Christmas thieves hit Malt Shoppe

By Tess Noel Baker

Someone besides Santa Claus was prowling the streets Christmas Eve with not-so-jolly intentions.

According to Pagosa Springs Police Department reports, The Malt Shoppe at the River Center was broken into some time the night before Christmas. Burglars broke into the safe, taking an undisclosed amount of cash.

Investigators said the perpetrators damaged a total of three doors and one cash register. What little was in the cash register was also taken, police said.

No suspects have been indicated at this time, and the case is under investigation.

A look at the six Chamber board candidates

By Doug Trowbridge

There are six candidates in the running for three seats on the Pagosa Springs Area Chamber of Commerce board of directors.

All chamber members in good standing are eligible to vote for the candidates of their choice. Ballots were included in the December Chamber newsletter. Members can also vote at the Chamber visitors Center or at the annual meeting Jan. 19.

Sally Theesfeld owns and operates The Daily Scoop, the ice cream coffee shop located in The River Center. Sally's first visit to Pagosa was to the Folk Festival in 1997. Enjoying the music, the people and the beauty of the area brought her back the next year. After that she was "hooked," she "needed" to be here. Not knowing what she would do, how or when it would happen, she started some exploratory trips. Eight months later she had purchased The Daily Scoop, sold her house in Denver, quit the corporate world and moved to Pagosa. Her kids, not understanding her change in lifestyle, were a little skeptical until she brought them to see for themselves why she liked Pagosa. In the two and a half years of scooping ice cream and serving gourmet coffee to over 40,000 people she feels like she already works with the Chamber of Commerce. Her continued enthusiasm and promotion of the community is evident and she would welcome the opportunity to be an active member of the board of directors.

Bob Eggleston is a vice president at the Bank of the San Juans. He was born and raised in Durango and knows the importance of tourism. Some of his summer jobs were as a busboy, a front desk clerk, loading golf clubs at Tamarron and selling cokes on the train to Silverton. Having lived in Pagosa since January 1992, Bob has seen the local economy near its worst and at its best. Bob graduated with a finance degree at Colorado State University and has used it as a banker for 19 years in Southwest Colorado. Bob has been active in the community as a current director of the Archuleta County Education Center, a current director and former campaign chairman of the Archuleta County United Way, a current director of the Archuleta Economic Development Association, a current member and past president of the Pagosa Springs Rotary Club and former director and president of Southwest Community Resources. His past experiences would be an asset to the board.

Nan Rowe and her husband, Gary, moved here in 1995, joining the Chamber soon after. Nan's service as a Diplomat the following summer marked the beginning of her commitment to local volunteer service. Nan and Gary's businesses reflect the unique balance that defines Pagosa: its ability to grow and welcome new residents while preserving the quality of life which first drew us all here. Their Oso Grande Ranch and Outfitting depends upon a stream of visitors drawn to Pagosa's natural beauty. Simultaneously, Nan is excited about her latest venture: opening a store downtown for her tropical fish business. As she points out, this dream could not be realized without the growth Pagosa has experienced. She now hopes to give back some of those benefits in service to the Chamber.

Marion Francis and his wife Patricia moved to Pagosa Springs in 1984. Marion served as president of Bank of the Southwest and Wells Fargo until he retired last year. In September, he returned to work as Vice President of Business Development for Bank of Colorado. Involved in many community activities, he has been a Rotarian since 1985 and is a past president of the Pagosa Rotary Club. He has worked with AEDA since its inception, serving as vice president and co-chairman of the river restoration project. Marion has also been active with United Way and Southwest Community Resources. Having experienced the previous and present growth in Pagosa, Marion believes that we have only seen the beginning and that the best is yet to come. He thinks it is important to be involved in making Pagosa Springs a great place to live and do business and that a strong Chamber of Commerce is essential to achieving these goals.

Linda Delyria has been the manager of The Tile Store for three years with 17 years of experiences in the floor covering business. After moving to Pagosa in 1980 from Carmel, Ind., Linda has been active in the community, serving on both the Town Board and the Upper San Juan Planning Commission for seven years. She is also the treasurer for the Archuleta Republican Party. Linda has two children, Courtney 18, and Michal 13. Between being involved with her daughter's rodeo and all of her son's sports, Linda and her finance, Raymond Taylor, are constantly on the go. She has seen Pagosa change tremendously over the years and with all the changes she feels we need a very active Chamber to keep Pagosa strong. She would be honored to serve on the Board of Directors.

Scott Farnham and his wife, Judy Nicholson, own Civil Design Team, Inc., a civil/waste-water engineering, landscape architecture and land planning firm. After a year of planning a business and family lifestyle, they moved from Boulder to Pagosa Springs in June 2000, but have owned property here since 1985. Scott and Judy have two daughters, Amber and Aubrey. Amber is a sophomore at Pagosa Springs High School and Aubrey is in sixth grade at the Intermediate School. Scott is a graduate of CU Boulder, and is a registered professional engineer and land surveyor. He is a member of the Pagosa Springs Kiwanis Club and participates in many community events. Scott is a member of the Southwest Forum for Teaching Technology, sponsored by Region 9 Economic Development District of Southwest Colorado. Through SWFTT, Scott has attended several of the Governor's Technology Committee meetings. Scott welcomes the opportunity to serve on the board of directors and contribute to the community.

Letters

Responsible parents

Dear Editor,

What happened to holding parents responsible for their children's actions?

I noticed in the Police Blotter, SUN, 12/27/01 (Pagosa Springs Municipal Court: Judge William Anderson) that eleven juveniles were charged and sentenced to various levels of punishments for crimes ranging from theft, assault, truancy, alcohol/drug abuse to probation violation. I did not see any of the parents of these offenders being held/sentenced for their obvious neglect or abuse of these juveniles.

The courts, by ignoring one of the main reasons for these out-of-control parasites (juveniles) preying on society, are not getting to the root causes of the current dysfunctional elements that are destroying the civilized society that we prize in this nation. Evidently the parents of these juvenile offenders used "time-outs" (Dr. Spock influence?) and/or complete irresponsibility in their "parenting" instead of a little "tough-love" to teach their offspring acceptable behavior and responsibility.

Parenting classes should be held - preferably for parents of very young children.

It may be too late for those children who have already developed abhorrent behavioral problems, but we can always try to prevent them from becoming revolving-door criminals of the future.

However, parents of these out-of-control juveniles should still be held accountable for the behaviors that they have apparently contributed to in "raising" these blights on society.

The drug problem is out of control and/or ignored in our community, therefore, our children of all ages are at risk.

Unfortunately, in our current "liberal" society, too many of our children are being born, but not "raised." I sometimes think that a license, after training, should be issued to become a parent - yes, conditions are that bad. A license is required to drive and hunt - but, for one our most important responsibilities in life, "parents" are left to flounder, either out of pure ignorance or non-caring neglect.

Think about it!

Mojie Adler

Not retiring

Dear Editor,

After hearing four times in one week that I was retiring, I decided I better set the record straight. And what better place than in Letters to the Editor?

Unless I have won the Power Ball and no one told me, I will continue to work at least 45 hours a week, trying to be a good banker. I can't help but wonder where/how this rumor got started . . .

Jan Brookshier

Citizen's will

Dear Editor,

This letter is addressed to the current board of Archuleta County commissioners.

As Gen. George Patton would have said, you've been busy pussyfooting on the implementation of the community plan. It is clear that a large percentage of the citizens of Archuleta County want it. And it is clear to me, that the current county commissioners have no intention of ever implementing any kind of plan.

The commissioners will stonewall it, send it to committee, hire another expensive consultant, and then let it die a slow death.

Even the dumbest politician should know that he, or she, can't survive by ignoring the will of a majority of the people.

Sincerely,

Martin Margulies

Need for safe roads

Dear Editor,

In regard to road projects, please accept my input.

We all need safe roads, i.e. cleared roads during winter storms; these save lives. Dust produced by road travel is not as life-threatening as ice and snow. Oh yes, to a person with respiratory problems it is, but when one chooses to live on a dirt road, one needs to accept that dust will come one's way.

Environmentally, Mother Earth does need to stay healthy and safe, so please do not put chemicals first.

We pay our property taxes and I've always understood part of these monies go toward road maintenance. Metro districts - the jargon sounds like city talk - does this mean maintain your own? I ask the county commissioners to explain this term. Why would we as taxpayers need to maintain our own.

Who out there cares about people and road safety?

Thank you,

Pam Morrow

Miles for Smiles

Dear Editor,

A little over two years ago, Kids in need of Dentistry (KIND) launched its Miles for Smiles Program to bring low-cost comprehensive dental care to underserved children in Pagosa Springs and other communities throughout Western Colorado.

During the first 24 months of the program, the Miles for Smiles mobile dental clinic recorded 901 patient visits in Southwestern Colorado alone, with dental services valued at over $217,000.

The success of the program has been due in large part to local community dental professionals such as Dr. Glenn Rutherford who have volunteered their time and services to provide after-hours, follow-up, urgent and emergency care. Additional local support from community organizations such as the Rotary Club of Pagosa Springs has also been vital in sustaining our efforts to reach the many needy children in this area who fall through the cracks between public assistance and private insurance.

The Miles for Smiles Program alone cannot meet the oral health care needs of all the underserved children. However, in partnership with committed local individuals and organizations, we will continue to make a difference in the critical battle against oral health disease in the Pagosa Springs area.

On behalf of KIND, I congratulate the community for its continued support of this important effort.

Sincerely,

Michelle Thornton

Statewide Coordinator

Sports Page

Pirates prepare to open league title defense

By John M. Motter

County 54-38 in their season opener, then lost to Dolores 70-52, beat the Mancos Bluejays 71-68, lost to Bloomfield, 66-50, and turned the tables on Dolores County with a 53-45 win. Bayfield is averaging 52.8 points a game, while their opponents have run up an average of 60.6 points a game.

The night following the Bayfield game, on Jan. 26, Pagosa travels to Monte Vista to joust with the other IML Pirates. Monte opened with a 66-50 victory over Cotopaxi, then beat Crested Butte 81-27, lost to Mesa Vista, N.M., 80-67, beat Cotopaxi again 58-41, and hammered Del Norte 85-49. Monte has averaged 68 points a game while holding opponents to 48 points a game, a 20-point spread.

Pagosa completes the first half of IML play by traveling to Centauri Feb. 2. The Falcons are averaging 54 points a game while giving up 47.5 points a game. Centauri opened by topping Hot Springs, N.M., 69-57, then lost to Military Institute, another New Mexico school, 69-57. The Falcons then fashioned a five-game winning streak by besting Pojaque, N.M., 66-65, Trinidad 87-36, Salida 54-53, Sanford 67-62, and Cotopaxi 63-55. In their most recent outing, Centauri lost to Sangre de Cristo 40-38.

Coach Jim Shaffer's Pagosa five has faced a tougher pre-league schedule than their IML opponents. The Pirates opened with a 54-32 loss to Delta and a 45-38 loss to Monticello, Utah, in the Cortez tournament. The following week, Pagosa played in the hometown Wolf Creek Classic where they beat Thoreau, N.M., 68-56, lost to Montrose 70-52, and lost to Aztec, N.M., 69-67.

A week later, the Pirates played in the Black Canyon Classic at Montrose where they lost to Rifle 62-41, then beat Olathe 59-37 and Gunnison 62-52. Pagosa closed 2001 play by losing to Durango 54-31.

In fashioning the 3-6 record, Pagosa has averaged 50 points a game while giving up 55 points a game.

Through it all, Shaffer has put 14 players on the floor, most of them very young. Seven Pirates have played in all nine games this season. Included among the Pirates who have entered at least one game are two seniors, three juniors, eight sophomores and one freshmen.

Pagosa has plenty of height, but most of the height is young. Among the taller players are 6'6" sophomore Clayton Spencer, 6'5" junior Henrique Dias, and 6'5" freshman Caleb Forrest.

Expected starter 6'5" junior Jason Schutz has remained on the bench. Schutz hurt a leg during football season and is waiting for a go-ahead from doctors. The guess is, Schutz will start playing following the holiday season and in time for IML competition. Senior guard and starter Darin Lister has also been injured, but is also expected back following the holidays.

Junior point guard Brandon Charles tops Pagosa scoring so far this season, even as he directs the Pirate attack. Charles is averaging almost 15 points a game. Other leading scorers are Forrest averaging 9.25 points a game, Spencer averaging 7.44 points a game, and Dias averaging 5.78 points a game.

Counting all games except the last game against Durango, Forrest is leading Pagosa in rebounds with 50, an average of 6.25 rebounds a game. Following Forrest in rebounds are Spencer with 45, then Charles and Cord Ross with 34 rebounds each.

Through the first eight games, Charles is tops in assists with 34, and steals with 27.Pirates prepare to open league title defense

Four Corners Volleyball tryouts set Sunday

By Richard Walter

Tryouts for the Four Corners Volleyball Club will begin at 9:30 a.m. Sunday in the Durango High School gymnasium.

The FCVBC is for junior high and senior high school girls who wish to participate in organized volleyball training and competition in the spring and early summer of the year.

The tryouts are open to all girls in the Four Corners area and teams will be selected by the club coaching staff based on volleyball skill level and athleticism. The season will run from January through May and will involve approximately four hours of practice weekly with tournament competition once a month.

The morning session of tryouts will begin at 9:30 a.m. for youngsters 15 and under. The afternoon session, beginning at 12:30 p.m., will be for girls 16 and over. Each session will last two hours and names of the girls selected will be posted at the conclusion of each tryout.

A tryout fee of $10 is required, payable prior to the tryout.

The club expects to field two teams of girls 14 and under; two teams of girls 16 and under; one team of girls presently over 16 and/or junior class age; and one team of girls 18 and/or seniors in high school.

There will be a one-time administrative fee of $120, due the day of registration, that will cover the costs of team and individual registrations in USA Volleyball, uniforms and equipment. The monthly participation fee will be $75 and it will cover gym rental, coaches' salaries and tournament entry fees. Youngsters selected must commit to a minimum of four months of the program.

For additional information, contact club director Jim Graham at (970) 259-1723.

Weather Stats
The following weather information is brought to you as a public service by Kinder/Morgan

Date

High

Low

Precipitation

Type

Depth

Moisture

12/26

34

14

-

-

-

12/27

33

15

-

-

-

12/28

32

18

-

-

-

12/29

29

15

-

-

-

12/30

28

13

S

.12

1.00

12/31

29

12

-

-

-

01/01

29

11

-

-

-

Classifieds

Community News
Chamber News

By Sally Hameister

We're holiday-freshened for a new year

Happy New Year to one and all!

I don't know when the holidays have sped by like they did this year, but I'm sure to be 105 before I know it if time continues to pass this quickly. I had a wonderful time with my two children in Portland and am ever so grateful to Doug and Morna for holding down the fort in my absence. I am fortunate, indeed, to have the Trowbridge family looking out for all of us at the Chamber when I'm not around to mess up everything. It is very comforting to know that they're here and that I needn't worry about a thing when I'm gone. All is well on the home front, and we are more than ready to tackle another year.

Board candidates

We hope that by now you have given careful consideration to the slate of six candidates who are vying for the three slots open on the Chamber Board of Directors. This is a remarkable group, and thus will require some work on your part sorting out your three choices. To avoid any confusion, allow me to once again present 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. I read Doug's admonishment to you that if you plan to complain about anything Chamber, you need to select those who will best represent your interests on the board for they are, indeed, the voice of the Chamber.

2002 calendar

Another reminder to please, please, please submit your organization's calendar of events for the year 2002. You have no idea how many times we are asked about events going on during our visitors' stay here, and our information is only as good as what you share with us. We have had some pretty significant event conflicts in the past due to the fact that folks didn't let us know about the event and so others scheduled an event for the same time.

You also can view this as an excellent marketing opportunity for your event as thousands of our events calendars are picked up at the Visitor Center or mailed to those who request them every year. It is a great way to insure good attendance at your event. It also appears on our website, which received about 14,000 hits during the month of November.

Please get your organization's information to us ASAP with the name of the event, the date and a contact number.

Volunteer of the Year

We're still accepting nominations for the Citizen and Volunteer of the Year awards to be presented at the Chamber of Commerce Mardi Gras and Meeting to be held Jan. 19 at the Ridgeview Centre. We have a few forms but would certainly like to see more come in the next day or two. This community has more deserving citizens and volunteers than just about any place on the planet, so surely we can come up with some dandy choices. Please come in today and fill out a nomination form.

Screen saver

I was thrilled to find our new Chamber screen saver here when I returned and hope that everyone will come in and check out this gorgeous thing. Thirty-two images of Pagosa Springs appear on this jewel displaying the awesome talents of several of our local photographers. Ken Harms not only provided one of the pictures but also designed the cover, so it's also terribly attractive on the outside. One of the many things you will appreciate about this item is the size: the disk is 2 1/2 by 3 inches in size and can easily fit into an envelope to be sent to friends and relatives everywhere. The cost of $10 also makes it eminently affordable for just about everyone including you. The staff here at the Chamber each has one to remind us constantly of how fortunate we are to live in such a beautiful place. You'll need one for everyone in your office and at home. We'll see you soon.

Membership

We have one new member to introduce to you this week and six renewals. I was pleased to see in both of Doug's columns that membership continued to click along nicely during the month of December .

Our new member this week is Mariani's Bakery and Cafe located at 214 Pagosa Street, and was, of course, formerly and for years known as The Rolling Pin. Many tears were shed both locally and by visitors over the Rolling Pin closing, so I'm sure lots of folks will be anxious to check out the new place, and owner, Frank LaGioia encourages you to do so. Expect this one to open in February offering a bakery and serving breakfast and lunch. Frank has promised to let us know about the opening so that we may pass it along to you.

Renewals this week include Wade Duncan with Genesis Mortgage; Steve Henderson, General Manager, KOBF-TV in Farmington; Dennis A. Gallegos with Waste Management-Four Corners in Farmington; Mike Marchand with Rocky Mountain Balloon Adventures; Fred C. Harman III with the Fred Harman Art Museum; and Joan and Jerry Rohwer with Moonlight Books and Gallery. We're delighted to include all of you with the other stellar Chamber members. Thank you all.

Movin members

Board director, Liz Marchand with Allstate Insurance-The Marchand Agency, is on the move these days and wants you to visit her in her new digs at 190 Talisman Drive, Suite B-1, right next to Headquarters. Go by and say hello to Liz and check it out.

Winterfest Balloon Rally

We'll be talking about this much more in the future, but for the time being, we want you to know that the Winterfest Balloon Rally will be held Feb. 9-10 this year, and we are looking for sponsors. For just $100 you can get your name up there in lights (or at least on the balloon) and a free balloon ride for one person. Please give us a call if you would like to sponsor a balloon for this event at 264-2360.

Senior News

By Janet Copeland

New year means time to renew memberships

Happy new Year and best wishes to all!

It seems impossible that 2001 has come and gone and we must remember to write 2002 now.

One aspect of the new year is that Archuleta Senior Citizens, Inc., membership cards for 2002 are now available at the Senior Center at the nominal fee of $3.

There are many benefits to being a member, including discounts at several local businesses when you present your card, so we hope everyone will remember to obtain or renew their membership.

The Christmas Party on Dec. 24 was great, the food was delicious, the gift exchange was fun and many nice gifts were given and received. A big thank you to Nita Heitz who prepared the little decorative bags of candy (furnished by the Archuleta Senior Citizens, Inc.) which were placed at each place setting.

It was wonderful having several guests and returning members present for the party. We welcomed Shirley Killion, Robert Bundren, Edith Dame, Bruce MacAlester, Susan Stoffer, Larry Russell, John Montoya, Valerie Tubbs (Janet Copeland's daughter), Andrea and Myshel Dabney (Janet's granddaughters), Janet Boyer (sister of Kathy Wendt), and daughters Lauren and Dana (who helped out by serving the rolls to our diners - thank you girls). We are happy to have Eva Darmopray back with us, too - we have missed Eva the past few weeks.

After so much excitement in the past few weeks, all of which was enjoyed, it is truly a blessing to sit back and relax and just enjoy being in this beautiful area. God has truly blessed us.

It is a privilege to identify Mae Boughan as our Senior of the Week. Mae is very active in our group and we truly appreciate all the thoughtful things she does - like little gifts that magically appeared at the party. Congratulations and Thank You, Mae.

We are happy to have Ray and Nancy Bush (formerly of La Junta) join us this past week. Ray is helping at the Center by delivering meals/picking up folks/etc. and Nancy works for the phone company.

Beginning in 2002 there will be blackjack and poker games offered at the Center after lunch on Wednesdays. The bridge games will be on Fridays after lunch.

Roy Vega will speak to us at noon Jan. 8 regarding the pros and cons of reverse mortgages. This is very valuable information for those considering taking out a reverse mortgage to increase their financial stability, but there are risks one needs to be aware of.

Extension Viewpoints

By Bill Nobles

Getting serious about your health

Jan. 3 - Cloverbuds, 4 p.m.

Jan. 4 - Colorado Mountaineers, 2:15 p.m.

Serious about health: II

Who do you believe is controlling your life? Is it your parents, spouse, boss, friends, or children? Is it "fate" or "luck"? Or is it you? Locus of control refers to the figurative "place" a person designates as the source of responsibility for the events in his/her life. People who believe they are in control of their own lives are said to have an internal locus of control. Those who believe factors beyond their control are more important in determining the events of their lives are said to have an external locus of control. Some potential external factors are heredity, friends and family, medical personnel, the environment, fate, luck, chance, or other outside forces. Most people are not purely "internalizers" or "externalizers"; their locus of control changes in response to the situation.

For lifestyle management, an internal locus of control is an advantage because it reinforces motivation and commitment. An external locus of control can actually sabotage efforts to change behavior. For example, if you believe you are destined to die of breast cancer because your mother died from the disease, you may view monthly breast self-exams and regular checkups as a waste of time. In contrast, an internal locus of control is an advantage. If you believe you can take action to reduce hereditary risk of breast cancer, you will be motivated to follow guidelines for early detection of the disease. People who tend to have an external locus of control can learn to view events in their lives differently and increase their feelings of self-efficacy. If you find yourself attributing too much influence to outside forces, gather more information about your target behavior. Make a list of all the ways that behavior change will improve your health. If you recognize and accept that you are in charge of your life, you're well on your way to wellness.

One of the best ways to boost your confidence and self-efficacy is to visualize yourself successfully engaging in a new, healthier behavior. Imagine yourself turning down a cigarette, going for a regular after-dinner walk, or choosing healthier snacks. Also visualize yourself enjoying all the short-term benefits that behavior change will bring. Create a new self-image: What will you and your life be like when you become a nonsmoker, a regular exerciser, or a healthy eater?

You can also use self-talk, the internal dialogue you carry on with yourself, to increase your confidence in your ability to change. Counter any self-defeating patterns of thought with more positive or realistic thoughts. "Behavior change is difficult, but if I work at it, I will succeed." Or, "I am a strong, capable person, and I can maintain my commitment to change."

Social support can also make a big difference in your level of motivation and your chances for success. Perhaps you know people who have reached the goal you are striving for; they could be role models or mentors for you, providing information and support for your efforts. Talk to them about how they did it. What were the most difficult parts of changing their behavior? What strategies worked for them? Gain strength from their experiences, and tell yourself, "If they can do it, so can I."

In addition, find a buddy who wants to make the same changes you do and who can take an active role in your behavior change program. For example, an exercise buddy can provide companionship and encouragement for times when you might be tempted to skip that morning walk. Another possibility is that you and a friend can watch to be sure that you both have only one alcoholic beverage at a party. If necessary, look beyond your current social network at possible new sources of help, such as a support group.

Have you tried and failed to change your target behavior in the past? Don't let past failures discourage you; they can be a great source of information you can use to boost your chances of future success. Make a list of the problems and challenges you faced in your previous behavior change attempts. To this, add the short-term costs of behavior change that you identified in your analysis of the pros and cons of change.

Once you've listed these key barriers to change, develop a practical plan for overcoming each one. For example, if one of your key barriers to physical activity is that you can't make time for a 40-minute workout, look for ways to incorporate shorter bouts of physical activity into your daily routine. If you always smoke when you're with certain friends, practice in advance how you will turn down the next cigarette you are offered. Developing strategies to cope with difficult situations is one of the most important factors in successful behavior change. Self-talk can also help overcome barriers. Make behavior change a priority in your life, and plan to commit the necessary time and effort. Ask yourself: How much time and energy will behavior change really require? Isn't the effort worth all the short- and long-term benefits? The Transtheoretical, or "Stages of Change Model," developed by psychologists James Prochaska and Carlo DiClemente, has been shown to be an effective approach to lifestyle self-management. According to this model, you move through six well-defined stages as you work to change your target health behavior. It is important to determine what stage you are in now so that you can choose appropriate strategies for progressing through the cycle of change. Using this approach can help you enhance your readiness and intention to change.

Precontemplation: People at this stage have no intention of changing their behavior. They may be unaware of the risks associated with their behavior, or they may deny that their behavior will have any serious consequences for them. They may have tried unsuccessfully to change in the past and may now feel demoralized and think that this situation is hopeless. They may also blame others for their problems.

If you are in the precontemplation state, begin to move forward by raising your consciousness of your target behavior and its effects on you and those around you. Obtain accurate information about your behavior, and ask yourself what has prevented you from changing in the past. Enlist friends and family members to help you become more aware of your behavior and your reasons for continuing an unhealthy habit. Also find out more about community resources available to help you with behavior change.

Contemplation: People at this stage are aware that they have a problem and have started to think and learn about it. They acknowledge the benefits that behavior change will have for them but are also aware of the costs of changing. They wonder about possible courses of action but may feel stuck and unsure of how best to proceed.

In the contemplation stage, it is a good idea to begin keeping a written record of your target behavior. This will help you learn more about it and will be useful when you begin to plan the specifics of your behavior change program. Work on your analysis of the pros and cons of change. Expand your list of the benefits, and problem-solve to overcome the key barriers on your list of the costs of changing. To be successful, you must believe that the benefits of change outweigh the costs. Engage your emotions and boost your self-efficacy through visualization, self-talk and the support of other people.

Preparation: People at this stage plan to take action within a month and may have already begun to make small changes in their behavior. If you are in the preparation stage, your next step is to create a specific plan for change that includes a start date, realistic goals, rewards, and information on exactly how you will go about changing your behavior. You'll also want to prepare yourself emotionally and socially by practicing visualization and self-talk and by involving the people around you in your efforts to change. A step-by-step plan for developing a successful behavior change program is included on this page.

Action: During the action stage, people outwardly modify their behavior and their environment. The action stage requires the greatest commitment of time and energy, and people in this stage are at risk for reverting to old, unhealthy patterns of behavior. If you are in the action stage, you'll need to use all the plans and strategies that you developed during earlier stages. In particular, be sure to plan ahead to overcome temptations and deal with problem situations. Once you are committed to making a change, it's time to put together a detailed plan of action. Your key to success is a well thought out plan that sets goals, anticipates problems, and includes rewards.

Monitor your behavior and gather data.

Begin by keeping careful records of the behavior you wish to change (your target behavior) and the circumstances surrounding it. Keep these records in a health journal, a notebook in which you write the details of your behavior along with observations and comments. Note exactly what the activity was, when and where it happened, what you were doing, and what your feelings were at the time. In a journal for a weight-loss or dietary-change plan, for example, you would typically record how much food you ate, the time of day, the situation, the location, your feelings, and how hungry you were. If your goal is to start an exercise program, use your journal to track your daily activities to determine how best to make time for your exercise. Keep your journal for a week or two to get some solid information about the behavior you want to change.

Analyze the data and identify patterns.

After you have collected data on the behavior, analyze the data to identify patterns. When are you most hungry? When are you most likely to overeat? What events seem to trigger your appetite? Perhaps you are especially hungry at midmorning or when you put off eating dinner until 9 p.m. Perhaps you overindulge in food and drink when you go to a particular restaurant or when you're with certain friends. Be sure to note the connections between your feelings and such external cues as time of day, location, situation, and the actions of others around you. Do you always think of having a cigarette when you read the newspaper or when you're driving to work?

Set realistic goals.

Don't set an impossibly difficult overall goal for your program, such as going from a sedentary lifestyle to running a marathon within two months. Working toward more realistic, achievable goals will greatly increase your chances of success. Your goal should also be specific and measurable, something you can easily track. Instead of a vague general goal such as improving eating habits or being more physically active, set a specific target such as eating five servings of fruits or vegetables each day or walking or biking for 30 minutes at least five days a week.

Whatever your ultimate goal, it's a good idea to break it down into a few small steps. Your plan will seem less overwhelming and more manageable, increasing the chances that you will stick to it. You'll also build in more opportunities to reward yourself, as well as milestones you can use to measure your progress. If you plan to lose 15 pounds, for example, you'll find it easier to take off 5 pounds at a time. If you want to start an exercise program, begin by taking 10-to 15-minute walks a few times per week. Take the easier steps first, and work up to the harder steps. With each small success, you'll build your confidence and self-efficacy.

Devise a strategy or plan of action.

Next, you need to develop specific strategies and techniques that will support your day-to-day efforts at behavior change.

Identify community resources that can provide practical help, for example, a stop-smoking course or a walking club. Take any necessary preparatory steps, such as signing up for a stress management workshop or purchasing walking shoes, nicotine replacement patches, or a special calendar to track your progress.

As you write in your health journal, you will gather quite a lot of information about your target behavior, such as the times it typically occurs; the situations in which it usually happens; the ways sight, smell, mood, situation, and accessibility trigger it. You can probably trace the chain of events that leads to the behavior and perhaps also identify points along the way where making a different choice would mean changing the behavior.

You can be more successful in changing behavior if you control your environmental cues that provoke it. This might mean not having cigarettes or certain foods or drinks in the house, not going to parties where you're tempted to overindulge, or not spending time with particular people, at least for a while. If you always get a candy bar at a certain vending machine, change your route so you don't pass by it.

It's also helpful to control other behaviors or habits that seem to be linked to the target behavior. You may give in to an urge to eat when you have a beer (alcohol increases the appetite) or when you watch TV. Try substituting some other activities for habits that seem to be linked with your target behavior, such as exercising to music instead of plopping down in front of the TV. Alternatively, if possible, put an exercise bicycle in front of the set and burn calories while you watch your favorite show.

Another very powerful way to affect your target behavior is to set up a reward system that will reinforce your efforts. Most people find it difficult to change long-standing habits for rewards they can't see right away. Giving yourself instant, real rewards for good behavior along the way will help you stick with a plan to change your behavior.

Carefully plan your reward payoffs and what they will be. In most cases, rewards should be collected when you reach specific objectives or sub-goals in your plan. For example, you might treat yourself to a movie after a week of good behavior that is consistent and persistent, such as simply sticking with your program after a week. Decide on a reward after you reach a certain goal, or mark off the sixth week or month in a valiant effort. Write it down in your health journal and remember it as you follow your plan, especially when the going gets tough.

Make a list of your activities and favorite events to use as rewards. They should be special, inexpensive, and preferably unrelated to food or alcohol. Depending on what you like to do, you might treat yourself to a concert, a sporting event, a new CD, a long-distance phone call to a friend, a day off from household chores for a walk in the mountains. Choose whatever is rewarding to you.

Rewards and support can also come from family and friends. Tell them about your plan, and ask for their help. Encourage them to be active, interested participants. Ask them to support you when you set aside time to go walking or avoid second helpings at Christmas dinner. You may have to remind them not to do things that make you "break your plan" and not to be hurt if you have to refuse something when they forget.

Take time out now to list situations and people that have the potential to derail your program and to develop possible coping mechanisms. For example, if you think that you'll have trouble exercising over the holidays, schedule short bouts of physical activity as stress-reducing breaks. If a visit to a friend who smokes is likely to tempt you to lapse, plan to bring nicotine patches, chewing gum, suckers, and a copy of your behavior change contract to strengthen your resolve.

Once you have set your goals and developed a plan of action, make your plan into a personal contract, one that commits your word. This can result in a higher chance of follow-through than will a casual promise. Your contract can help prevent procrastination by specifying the important dates and goals and can also serve as a reminder of your personal commitment to change.

Your contract should include a statement of your goals and your commitment to reaching it. Include details of your plan, such as the dates you'll begin, the steps you'll use to measure your progress, the concrete strategies you've developed for promoting change, and the date you expect to reach your final goal. Have someone, preferably someone who will be actively helping you with your program, sign your contract as a witness.

Crusing with Cruse

By Katherine Cruse

It's cold fishing San Juan in December

A year and a half ago I wrote about fishing for the big ones below Navajo Dam. A friend who's what they call an avid fisherman - this guy even goes to other countries to fish - was distressed by the article. He said I made "the great San Juan River sound so mundane."

So, I have fished the great San Juan River again. In December. First impression? It was darn cold.

Yes, the fish are large. Yes, it wasn't too crowded. But it was definitely cold. I wore six layers, silk underwear and sweaters and fleece, ending up with a padded jacket. All the other fisherpersons on the river had those fishing hats with the brims; I stuck to a wool knit cap. I looked like the Michelin man, or the Pillsbury Doughboy. Or the bundled-up little kid in the cartoon whose mother says, "Now go out and play."

Four of us made up the fishing party, Bruce and Streak and Deb and I. Deb's been there a lot; she guides people on fishing trips when she's taking her rod and reel out for fun.

At least in the winter you don't have to get up at 4 a.m. to make the drive. You can't expect any action on the water when it's still dark. It must have been close to 11 by the time we had pulled on our waders and boots and were hiking to the river. Other fishermen were already there, occupying Deb's favorite spots. We trudged on, breaking the ice. Literally.

If you're not used to waders, it's a weird feeling when you first step into the water, and your feet and socks don't get wet. You draw a deep breath and relax, thinking, "Okay, this is the way it's supposed to be." The fishing boots have thick felt soles, which give you better footing on the slippery rocks. The rocks were covered with brown moss, as thick and ropey as the fleece on a llama.

For flies we were using tiny midge patterns. (We were also using chamois leeches, San Juan worms, hairballs, disco midges, and UFOs. Aren't the names great?) Flies are numbered; the larger the number the smaller the fly. These were #22, or maybe #24. They weren't quite microscopic, but darn near.

Midge larvae spend much of their lives in the water and come up to the surface just before they do a final molt and get wings. They turn into adults all year long, apparently. The trick is to be fishing at the time of day when the midges are hatching. If you're a little early, you can tie something called foam-wing chocolate emergers, which look like the little midge flies just as they are hatching and before they are sitting on the surface of the water, drying their wings and wondering what happens next.

I can't say that we had a great day fishing, meaning we didn't catch a lot of fish. Streak caught two, one of them on practically his first cast, which caused some envy on my part. A lot of envy, as the day wore on and I didn't get even a nibble. Bruce established himself beside a kind of pool with several trout bunched up at the bottom, which Deb labeled Bruce's Alley. He netted three fish in that pool. Including one that was either lazy or dumb, that went for his hook twice.

Three of us managed to get some spectacular snarls in our lines. It's important to remember that unless they've had the time and practice to get skillful, fly fishermen can spend a lot of their time on the water untangling their lines. And in my case, unhooking the fly from their pants, their shirts, or the brush behind them.

My casting was also hampered by the ice that formed in the little wire guides along the length of the rod. I told you it was cold.

Eventually Deb and I moved downstream, and set up in the middle of the river, near her favorite spot, called appropriately enough, "Deb's Place."

Deb caught a fish. The guy across from me caught a fish. The kid near the bank caught a fish. It was mid-afternoon, about 3; the sun was nearing the tops of the western ridge. Not one fish had paid attention to my line. I was tired and cold and hungry - we'd had a snack before we started but hadn't stopped for lunch. Time to pack it in, I thought, before I get clumsy and do something stupid, like fall down in the water. I reeled in my line and secured the hook.

And then I saw a speckled rainbow in the water, not four feet away. Looking at me - well, at my legs. It said, plain as day, "I'm your fish." This was surely Destiny.

I did a short cast and let the hook drift down past "my" fish. I never saw him move, but there was a gentle pull on the line, and the strike indicator shifted on the surface of the water.

We worked for ten minutes, that fish and I. Nothing flashy, just a hard steady pull, the fish on its end of the line and I on mine. It swam upstream, then headed across the river. It swam downstream, and then back across to form a great circle around me. Eventually I brought it close enough to net. It was big and beautiful. Deb showed me how to lift it up for a picture. But I was unprepared for the weight, and I couldn't hang on. She snapped a fine picture of me with empty hands.

My fish took up the same position, four feet away. But I reeled in my line and quit for the day. I know better than to tempt fate.

Parks and Rec

By Douglas Call

Park-Rec Commission meets Jan. 16

The next Park and Recreation Commission meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m. Jan. 16 at Town Hall. Items on the agenda are discussion about the upcoming adult basketball season, youth baseball and information about the parks. Meetings are open to the public and usually last from one to two hours.

Youth basketball

Youth basketball practices continue through this week, with games resuming Monday. Second-half schedules are now ready, will be distributed at practices this week and are available at Town Hall. Tournament games for the 11-12 division will begin Feb. 4.

Open Gym

Open gym for adult basketball and indoor soccer will continue tonight and tomorrow night from 6-8 p.m. No preregistration or fee is required.

Skating lessons

Power skating and skills lessons are being held at the River Center Pond through mid-January. Lessons are held Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings from 5-6:30 p.m. through Jan. 20.

Ice skating lessons are being taught at River Center Pond Thursdays from 5-6:30 p.m. and Saturdays, 9-10:30 a.m.

Registration fee for lessons is $20 for the whole season. Registration and payment can be made at Town Hall or at the pond. Skaters can rent skates from Summit Ski and Sports and may also bring hockey sticks but pucks are not needed.

Call the recreation office at 264-4151, ext. 232 with any questions.

Pagosa Lakes News

By Ming Steen

A primer on dos and don'ts of ice-fishing

It is important to recognize these differences to make safe judgments. Safe ice is formed when temperatures drop and consistently stay cold for an extended period of time. Safe ice forms when a layer freezes on the water's surface and works its way downward. The layer of ice on the surface insulates the water below and only bitter cold air above will penetrate to form thicker ice. Safe ice appears glass-like or translucent when chipped.

Fogged, brittle or blue ice is dangerous. Warm weather causes the ice surface (in most cases the surface is covered with snow) to melt, only to be refrozen at night. The result is frozen slush on top of ice. The difference in layers, or strata (slush, ice, slush, ice, slush, ice) will appear to be frosted. The ice is dangerous when is formed from the surface and its thickness is enhanced from above in the form of precipitation.

Late in the season, the ice becomes unsafe when the ice is sitting lower in the water. As the weather becomes warmer, the ice becomes unstable and develops many cracks. The once strong, stable ice that was lighter than the water below becomes heavier due to melting. The ice has achieved equilibrium with the water below causing it to become heavier. The ice now is less buoyant and will no longer float as it did earlier in the season. The ice will now sit lower in the water and appear blue.

Safety

If someone in your fishing party breaks through the ice, an immediate rescue is needed. Lie down on the ice to reach the victim. Doing this, your weight is distributed over a larger portion of the ice, making it less likely to break through or fall into the same hole. Always be prepared to attempt a rescue or to be a victim. Always carry a 50-foot rope with knots tied every 12 to 15 inches that the victim can easily grab. The rope can be thrown to the victim for a safe rescue.

Always carry an extra set of warm, dry clothing and a blanket or sleeping bag. Make sure your dry clothing and blanket is in your vehicle and not with you on the ice. That way it will not get wet. It is nice to have a two-way radio or a cell phone in case there is an emergency. And never go ice fishing alone. An angler who becomes wet and is uncontrollably shivering is suffering from hypothermia. Learn the symptoms of hypothermia and how to treat it. Falling into the lake is not part of the fun.

Clothing

During a typical winter day, the temperature and wind may change significantly, so dress in layers. The ice fisherman's wardrobe should consist of wool or fleece shirts, wool sweaters, long underwear, heavy wool socks, wool hat, moisture-resistant jacket or parka, waterproof snow boots and neoprene gloves. I like to wear black jeans to absorb the sun's rays. Don't forget to pack extra clothing in case you fall in or get wet.

Spudding

"Spudding" a hole through the ice is done in a variety of ways. Some people use axes, chainsaws and hatchets. These techniques of spudding a hole are very effective; however, they are also very hazardous. Some use a sharpened bar to spud a hole by breaking and splintering the ice. This method is also very effective but can cause the ice to fracture and weaken the ice near the hole.

The safest way to or method of spudding a hole is with an auger. Augers can be either manual or motorized. The auger bores a hole of uniform size with little effort. Once the hole is made, be sure to verify the thickness of the ice. Augers can be purchased at local hardware or sporting goods stores. A large perforated skimmer should be used to strain the hole of slush to keep it ice-free. The hole should have smooth sides to prevent catching or cutting of the line when a fish is pulled through it.

Lake Pagosa, Village Lake, Hatcher Lake and Lake Forest are aerated during the winter months. You will see open water in different areas of the lakes caused by aeration. Do not attempt to fish out of these open holes because the ice around the aerator holes is unstable and more than likely you will fall through the shallow ice. The ice around the aerator hole is usually sharp and will cut your line if you try to pull a fish out through it.

Tackle

Many tackle companies manufacture short graphite or fiberglass fishing rods. The rod is usually 24 inches in length and has a simple catch for the reel. A regular fishing pole will do the trick; however, you will be sitting further away from your fishing hole. There is also a tie-up apparatus that automatically waves a flag to indicate a hooked fish. Line weight should be light and possess low visibility properties. A common mistake that anglers make is to use too big a line. Four to six-pound test line should do the trick. Fishing reels should be of bantam caliber and the simpler it is, the better.

Baits and jigs

Worms, maggots, salmon eggs, meal worms, wax worms, Rapala Darts, jigs, and even power bait work well to entice fish to the hook. Jigging size 10 to 14 hooks with bait attracts fish. Many successful ice fishermen jig their bait at different depths in order to find where the fish are. You might also experiment with different colors and patterns to see what they are biting.

Some fish are cruisers; others school up looking for food. Trout seem to cruise and school up and sometimes you will see a time pattern between fish caught. Early mornings and late afternoons are usually the most productive fishing times.

A 5-gallon bucket, a folding chair and small snow sled will complete your simple and inexpensive tackle accessories. Carry your tackle, lunch, bait, rope, AM-FM radio, cell phone, and thermos in the sled and you will still have room in the bucket for fish.

So, with a few of these tactics or tips, your ice fishing experience here in Pagosa Lakes will increase your odds of catching a fish and most of all, of having fun.

Good luck.

Veterans Corner

by Andy Fautheree, VSO

Website adds outreach dimension

The Archuleta County Veterans Service Office has been expanding its presence on the Internet the last few months. We have our own Internet website and I would like to encourage our veterans and their families, or anyone interested in Veterans Affairs, to check it out.

Internet website location: http://www.geocities.com/vso_archuleta

Email address is: vsoarch@ pagosa.net.

The website is located on a free Internet website hosting service called Geocities. Unfortunately you have to put up with a small advertisement as you are viewing the website, as the price to pay for the free service. Hopefully after the first of the year we will be able to have the website on Archuleta County's computer system. I have been registering it with the Internet search engines, so even if you forget the website address, you may be able to find it using the search feature on your web browser.

I developed this local website to add another dimension to our veteran services "outreach" programs. On the home page you will find all the basic information on how to contact this office, including hours and e-mail address.

In another section called Veterans Corner you will find a complete archive of Veterans Corner articles for the past year, as published in the SUN. The newest articles are at the top of the list and are updated each week on Thursday when it is published in the SUN. The date of publication is shown along with a small description of the article. We have now reached a full year's worth of articles, so after the first of the year, I will begin dropping off those articles that are over one year old. It is a great way to re-read an article or look something up to refresh your memory about some particular Veterans Affairs benefit or news.

I publish the Veterans Corner article each week to my Veterans Service Office e-mail list, on the day of publication in the SUN. If you have an e-mail address and would like to be added to my Veterans e-mail list, please send me an e-mail or call the office and give me your e-mail address. It's a great way to keep up to date on the Veterans Corner articles in case you missed publication in the paper. Also, if you are away from the area, traveling, vacation and the like, and are checking email from a distant location, you can still receive and read the articles in a timely manner. I promise, no junk mail.

Another section is called FAQ (frequently asked questions). These are questions I am most frequently asked, and their answers. It is intended to give only general guidelines and certainly I would encourage you to call me or drop by the office to make sure you have complete answers to your specific needs and questions.

Under the section called Links, you will find active Internet links that will take you to other locations on the Internet for VA information. There are links to the national, regional and state VA offices plus other links of veteran interest.

A new section still under construction has a form you will be able to fill out and send to me telling me about you, and providing most of the common information required for VA benefits such as the health care program. I will put the information in my database here and build a physical file so that any time you or your family needs help with some information or benefit I will know how best to help you. If a veteran dies, it may be very important for the family to know this information is on file. I can assure you all the information you give me remains confidential.

On another subject, I would like to call attention to two of our local citizens who are serving on active military duty at this time. I'm sure there are more, and I would encourage anyone who has a family member, loved one or acquaintance from Pagosa Springs in service to let me know, so we can proudly tell who they are.

The first one is Corporal James M. Hoyle, a 1998 graduate of Pagosa Springs High School. He is the son of Mr. And Mrs. Stephen Kish of Pagosa Springs. I believe they said he was in the Marines, and is a crew chief for helicopters. His address is: HMH363, MCBH, Kaneohe Bay, HI 96863.

The second one is Seaman Brett L. Kahn, son of Gordon and Pat Kahn of Pagosa Springs. Brett also graduated from Pagosa Springs High School, class of 2001. Brett's address is: NNPTC EM 0206M, 101 NMCTC CR, Goose Creek, SC 29445. He is attending Navy nuclear propulsion school.

I'm sure these young men would love to hear from their friends and classmates. I know from experience you never get enough mail from back home when you're in the military service.

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

Education News

By Livia Cloman Lynch

Education Center's no longer a secret

One of the best-kept secrets in Pagosa Springs is the Archuleta County Education Center.

Our mission is to make a difference in the lives of adult and youth learners in our community. In this column I hope to make readers more aware of the wide range of programs we offer and how we make a difference in Pagosa Springs. This week's focus is on after-hours program for youth.

Each afternoon, beginning at 3:15, Room 15 at the Pagosa Springs Elementary School comes alive with young students from kindergarten through fourth grades. Students come rushing in, ready for a snack and recess before starting the Archuleta County Education Center's extended hours activities. Most of these young students will pair up with a teenage student for tutoring/homework help. Others will participate in an enrichment class for the afternoon.

The older students who serve as tutors for younger students are very effective as tutors and are also able to share valuable learning experiences. Our program provides 40 children with more time to learn, including not only traditional academic instruction but also extracurricular and cultural activities. learning, friendship and social growth are all important outcomes from this program.

Research shows that the likelihood of academic success or failure in high school is often established during the early years of elementary school. Our extended hours tutoring program provides the necessary support to help students experience success in a learning environment at the critical stage when study habits and attitudes about school are being formed. We believe that success early on has enormous benefits as students travel down the academic road.

Many students participate in tutoring two days a week and then participate in our "after hours" enrichment activities for two more afternoons a week. We feel that it is important to provide educational and cultural age-appropriate activities in our community a minimum of four days a week.

"After hours" enrichment classes at the elementary school are available Monday through Thursday each week. Local community members who wish to share their talents/skills with youth teach classes each afternoon. Our instructors share an enthusiasm not only for the arts, languages and sciences but also have a desire to make a difference in the lives of young people.

Our extended learning programs at the elementary school promote positive youth development. In addition to the elementary youth program, we also provide tutoring and enrichment programs for both intermediate and junior high school-aged youth.

Youth development is only one of our main goals. The staff of the Education Center seek out and respond to a wide range of local education needs. Since 1989, our staff and instructors have worked with the community to provide not only adult literacy and basic skills, but also GED preparation, adult vocational skills training and continuing education. The Archuleta County High School, Pagosa Springs' alternative high school, is in its fifth year of operation providing youth with an individualized program of study that is adapted to each student's learning style and interests.

The Archuleta County Education Center provides education opportunities and help to youth and adults to help them reach learning and developmental goals that otherwise would remain unfulfilled.

As a non-profit we rely on the generous support of the community. On. Jan. 22 we will be holding our first of what is planned as an annual "Making a Difference" luncheon. This will be our major fundraising event of the year. It will be held in the Catholic Parish Hall on Lewis Street and will feature Dr. Maria Guajardo Lucero, the director of assets for Colorado Youth, as keynote speaker. She will be speaking on positive youth development and how we can make a difference in the lives of our youth.

Please call the Education Center (264-2835) for more information and tickets.

We believe that lifelong learning is an essential ingredient of a vital and healthy community. If you want to learn Spanish, CPR or basic computing, the Ed Center is the place. If you want to volunteer your time to help a kid experience the life-changing pleasure of learning, we're that place, too.

Local Chatter

By Kate Terry

Real headlines add humor to news of the day

Humor, I think, is what helps keep us sane.

Some humorous pieces I'd like to include in "Fun on the run" are just too long to include, so here is a column devoted entirely to the long ones.

To begin with, these are honest to goodness newspaper headlines:

March Planned For Next August

Lingerie Shipment Hijacked - Thief Gives Police The Slip

L.A. Voters Approve Urban Renewal By Landslide

Patient At Death's Door - Doctors Pull Him Through

Latin Course To Be Canceled - No Interest Among Students, Et Al

Diaper Market Bottoms Out

Stadium Air Conditioning Fails - Fans protest

Lawyers Give Poor Free Legal Advice

Juvenile Court To Try Shooting Defendant

Killer Sentenced To Die For Second Time In 10 Years

Cancer Society Honors Marlboro Man

Nicaragua Sets Goal to Wipe Out Literacy

20-Year Friendship Ends At Altar

Cold Wave Linked to Temperatures

Half of U.S. High Schools Require Some Study For Graduation

Blind Woman Gets New Kidney From Dad She Hasn't Seen In Years

Man Is Fatally Slain

Death Causes Loneliness, Feelings Of Isolation

Defendant's Speech Ends In Long Sentence

Police Begin Campaign To Run Down Jaywalkers

Police Discover Crack In Australia

Stiff Opposition Expected To Casketless Funeral Plan

Scientists Have Ford's Ear

Hershey Bars Protest

County Officials To Talk Rubbish

Caribbean Islands Drift To Left.

A Scoutmaster was teaching his Boy Scouts about survival in the desert.

"What are the three most important things you should bring with you in case you get lost in the desert?" he asked.

Several hands went up, and many important things were suggested, such as food, matches, etc.

Then one little boy in the back eagerly raised his hand.

"Yes Timmy, what are the three most important things you would bring with you?" asked the Scoutmaster.

Timmy replied: "A compass, a canteen of water, and a deck of cards."

"Why's that, Timmy?"

"Well," answered Timmy, "the compass is to find the right direction, the water is to prevent dehydration . . ."

"And what about the deck of cards?" asked the Scoutmaster impatiently.

"Well, sir, as soon as you start playing Solitaire, someone is bound to come up behind you and say, 'Put that red nine on top of that black ten.'"

A history of teaching math . . .

Teaching Math in 1950: A logger sells a truckload of timber for $100. His cost of production is four fifths of the price. What is his profit?

Teaching math in 1960: A logger sells a truckload of timber for $100. His cost of production is four fifths of the price, or $80. What is his profit?

Teaching math in 1970: A logger exchanges a set "L" of lumber for a set "M" of money. The cardinality of set "M" is 100. Each element is worth one dollar. Make 100 dots representing the elements of set "M". The set "C", the cost of production contains 20 fewer points than set "M". Represent the set "C" as a subset of the set "M" and answer the following question: What is the cardinality of the set "P" for profits?

Teaching math in 1980: A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is $80 and his profit is $20. Your assignment: Underline the number 20.

Teaching math in 1990: By cutting down beautiful forest trees, the logger makes $20. What do you think of his way of making a living? Topic for class participation after answering the question: "How did the forest birds and squirrels feel as the logger cut down the trees? There are no wrong answers.

Teaching math in 1996: By laying off 402 of its loggers, a company improves its stock price from $80 to $100. How much capital gain per share does the CEO make by exercising his stock options at $80. Assume capital gains are no longer taxed, because this encourages investment.

Teaching math in 2000: A company outsources all of its loggers. They save on benefits and when demand for their product is down the logging work force can easily be cut back. The average logger employed by the company earned $50,000, had three weeks vacation, received a nice retirement plan and medical insurance. The contracted logger charges $50 per hour. Was outsourcing a good move?

Teaching math in 2001: A logging company exports its wood-finishing jobs to its Indonesian subsidiary and lays off the corresponding half of its U.S. workers (the higher-paid half). It clear-cuts 95 percent of the forest, leaving the rest for the spotted owl, and lays off all its remaining U.S. workers. It tells the workers that the spotted owl is responsible for the absence of loggable trees and lobbies Congress for exemption from the Endangered Species Act. Congress, instead, excepts the company from all federal regulation. What is the return on investment for the lobbying costs?

Library News

By Lenore Bright

Behind scenes look at rephotography

"Colorado 1870-2000 Revisited," by Thomas Noel and John Fielder is the companion book you need to learn more about the then-and-now photographs in "Colorado 1870- 2000."

This volume, a collaboration between our most acclaimed state historian and photographer, tells the stories surrounding the photographic pairs and gives you a behind-the scenes look at the challenging craft of "rephotography." It features insights into Colorado's lively heritage along with the entertaining recollections about rephotographing William Henry Jackson's historic scenes.

In the original parent book, Fielder followed in the footsteps of early West photographer William Henry Jackson. He pointed his own camera in precisely the same direction, rephotographing Jackson's images to capture the often-startling changes that have occurred during the last century.

This piece of work stands as an important document of westward exploration, expansion and urbanization.

"Justice Overruled: Unmasking the Criminal Justice System," by Judge Burton Katz reveals shocking cases of judicial misconduct, abuse of the jury selection process, and shows what must be changed if our system is ever to serve the people it is supposed to protect.

Judge Katz is the man who brought the Manson family killers to justice. He tells how attorneys routinely violate the laws and rules of professional ethics. How expert witnesses sell their testimony to the highest bidder, and how higher court rulings have made law enforcement so difficult few people understand it.

Katz has been involved in every aspect of the criminal justice system for over twenty-five years as a prosecutor, defense attorney, judge, and teacher.

"Evolution: the Triumph of an Idea," by Carl Zimmer is the companion to the PBS series that tells the compelling story of the theory of evolution from Darwin to its place in contemporary science. The introduction is by Stephen Jay Gould. This remarkable new book features more than 150 color illustrations, and presents the far-reaching implications of Darwin's theory.

We can tackle many of our gravest challenges - from the lethal resurgence of antibiotic-resistant diseases to the wave of extinctions that looms before us - with a sound understanding of the science. It helps to see the connection to every form of life on Earth today. The cover is most eye-catching: one that must be seen.

"The American Medical Association Guide to Talking to Your Doctor," tells you how to take charge of your health needs; what you want to know before the doctor's visit, and gives a list of questions to ask your doctor. It helps to understand a diagnosis and discuss treatment options and goals. When and how to ask for a second opinion. How to speak for a child or older person in your care. How to discuss sensitive subjects such as sexuality, drug dependence, depression, and family violence. It also explains your rights as a healthcare consumer.

Donations

Thanks for financial help from Charles and Bev Worthman, Ron and Sheila Hunkin in memory of Stu Capling's mother, Jean. We also thank the Jacob and Terese Hershey Foundation for a $5,000 gift to our building fund. Thanks for materials from the Stanton Family, Char Neill, Randall Davis, and Dr. Dohner.

Shepherds Staff

By Ron Taylor

Associate pastor,

Pagosa Bible Church

'Born again' is the Biblical way

What follows is my story. The story of how one man came to faith in Jesus Christ. I share this with you because it is my desire, it is my prayer, that this be your experience also.

I called myself a Christian and yet believed some things which cannot be supported by the scriptures. I believed I had always been a Christian. I believed that my baptism in a Christian church affirmed my claim of being a Christian. I believed that everyone went to heaven because Jesus' death on the cross took care of the sin problem. I believed God to be merciful and no one would ever by sent to a literal hell. I believed God would accept people into heaven whose goodness would outweigh their badness. The truth is, not one of these positions can be supported by anything that is in the Bible.

I was a member of a church - I attended regularly. I called myself a Christian and yet I held to those beliefs. Looking back, I now say that I was not a Christian. The turning point in my life occurred on Oct. 4, 1971. On that day I became a Christian - a born again Christian. On that day I was saved. Please understand that before that day, I was bothered by people who used the terms, "born again," and "you must be saved." But later, I learned that those expressions are straight from the Bible. It was Jesus who introduced, "born again." He is the one who said: "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again. No one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You must be born again."

Consider the word "saved" and how it is used over and over again in the New Testament:

"Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."

"Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved."

"If you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved."

"For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved."

On Oct. 4, 1971, I was saved - I became born again - I became a Christian the way the Bible intended for the word Christian to be used. The question must be asked, "How does one become a Christian - a Christian as the Bible defines a Christian?" (to be continued).

Business News

Biz Beat

Steve Graham, right, shown here with employee J.J. Orth, owns and operates Steve Graham Electric, a business he started three months ago in the Pagosa area.

Steve Graham Electric is a full-service electrical contractor, serving all electrical needs, providing commercial and residential service for new construction and remodel work.

Graham can be contacted seven days a week at 946-4694.

People
Engagement

Jim and Patsy Harvey of Pagosa Springs are pleased to announce the engagement of their daughter Annikah Lynne Harvey to Jeremy Lloyd Mason of Silverton. Jeremy is the son of George Mason of Silverton and Kathy Brown of Denver. The couple will marry Aug. 3, 2002, and will reside in Pagosa Springs.