Front Page

January 17, 2002

$10 million bond issue will go on

ballot for PAWS

By John M. Motter

Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District voters will be asked to approve about $10 million in general obligation bonds May 7.

The money will be used to fund capital improvement projects whose completion is expected within the next two years. Chief among those projects are encasement of the Dutton Ditch, supplying raw water to Stevens and Hatcher Reservoirs, and rebuilding and enlarging the Vista wastewater treatment plant.

Two bonding questions are expected on the ballot. One question will ask for approval of the sale of bonds valued at $4,975,000 for water projects. A second question will ask for approval of the sale of bonds valued at $4,375,000 for wastewater projects.

The exact amount to be sought could change slightly before the actual ballot questions are certified, said Carrie Campbell, the PAWS general manager. Determination of the exact amount needed cannot be made until a decision is made concerning implementation of a proposed capital improvement fee.

Earlier in the process of developing a budget for 2002, PAWS anticipated using the proposed capital improvement fee to raise funds for certain capital improvement projects. When confronted with a storm of protest from some members of the building, development, and real estate industries, PAWS put the capital improvement fee proposal on hold.

The PAWS board of directors appointed a citizen committee to review the capital improvement fee proposal and PAWS capital project needs. The committee is scheduled to report any recommendations to the PAWS board by Feb. 1. PAWS' response to those recommendations and action regarding the capital improvement fee could slightly affect the amount of bond money needed.

Campbell calculates that water mill levies will have to be raised about 4 mills in order to retire the $4.9 million bond in 15 years. The tax increase for the new water bond will be paid by water users living in PAWS taxing districts 1 and 2.

Retiring $4.4 million needed for wastewater will require a mill levy increase of about 6.5 mills over 15 years, according to Campbell. The wastewater mill levy increase will affect only those users living in District 1, generally the PAWS area north of U.S. 160 and west of Piedra Road. District 1 residents will pay both the water and wastewater mill levy increase, since they receive both services.

If both bond proposals pass, District 1 residents will have a new total levy of 17.69 mills including 11.6 mills for debt service and 6.09 mills for operational needs. District 2 residents will have a total new mill levy of 7.049 mills including 5.1 mills for debt service and 1.99 mills for operational needs.

All qualified Colorado voters who own property or live (renters) within district boundaries are eligible to vote in the PAWS election. Those who own property within the district but live outside of Colorado are not eligible to vote in the election.

Voting will take place at 189 North Pagosa Blvd., in the EMS building.

Also on the ballot will be four-year board of director positions currently held by Don Brinks and Karen Wessels.

Four North Carolinians walk away from crash

By Tess Noel Baker

Four North Carolina residents walked away with minor injuries after the plane in which they were flying crashed Monday in the Alpha Subdivision west of Pagosa Springs.

The airplane, a twin engine Cherokee Aztec, took off from Stevens Field shortly before noon, headed for Santa Fe where it was to be refueled. According to an Archuleta County Sheriff's Office report, the plane reached about 8,000 feet when engine trouble began. The left engine smoked and then seized.

Pilot Robert Hagberg, of Forrest City, N.C., turned the plane in an attempt to make it back to the airstrip, but couldn't get enough power from the remaining engine and made a crash landing near McCabe Street, just east of the intersection with Great West Avenue. The airplane touched down south of the road, broke through an oak brush stand, skipped and slid across the road, went up a slight incline, spun around and stopped. During the landing, it clipped two trees, breaking off one wing.

Hagberg and passengers, Joshua Turtle, also of Forrest City, Bob Lanning and Bill Waldroup, both of Cherokee, N.C., refused medical treatment.

Crews from Emergency Medical Services and the Pagosa Fire Protection District, and officers from the Colorado State Patrol and the sheriff's office responded to the scene.

Both the FAA and NTSB were called, but as of Tuesday morning it was unclear how much on-site investigation would take place.

'First step' sales tax ruling

favors county's position

By John M. Motter

In what Pagosa Springs Administrator Jay Harrington characterized as "the first of many steps," the Colorado Department of Revenue has found in favor of a recent countywide ballot approving "extension" of a 2-percent sales tax.

County and town electors had approved separate sales tax collection schemes designed to replace a countywide sales tax expected to expire Jan. 1, 2003.

Since Colorado law limits the total amount of sales tax levy in any area to 6.9 percent, if both entities collect 2 percent, the total would exceed the legal limit. That is because the proposed collection, when added to a 2.9 percent sales tax collected by the state and a 2 percent sales tax collected countywide in perpetuity, would exceed 6.9 percent.

In order to clarify the situation, the county and town joined in sending a letter to the DOR, asking that body for an opinion as to which entity's tax will be collected. The DOR is responsible for the administration, collection, and distribution of sales taxes collected from vendors in Colorado. After retaining the state portion, the DOR returns the proper amount to the taxing entity.

The DOR's Neil L. Tillquist, deputy director of the Taxpayers Service Division, rendered the following finding after reviewing what he termed the "facts in the case."

"For the reasons set forth, I find and conclude that the county's 2 percent sales tax does not expire January 1, 2003 and shall continue in force and effect after such date until January 1, 2009, unless otherwise amended. I further find and conclude that the town's ordinance No. 543 shall not be enforced, administered, and collected by the department to the extent that it purports to levy a sales tax of 2 percent effective Jan. 1, 2003."

Tillquist's conclusion seems to be based on acceptance of the county's contention that voter approval of their proposal constitutes "continuation" of the existing tax. In other words, the existing tax does not expire Jan. 1, 2003, and could not, therefore, be replaced by the proposed town tax.

The facts, as listed by Tillquist, are:

In 1988 the county enacted a 2-percent sales tax, which was to expire Jan. 1, 1996. This 2-percent tax was in addition to a preexisting sales tax of 2 percent, which has no expiration date

In 1994, the county extended the expiration date for the 2-percent tax to Jan. 1, 2003

At no time from 1988 to 2000 did the town have a sales tax. In 2000, the town approved a sales tax not to exceed 3 percent to become effective when and if the county sales tax expires. Specifically, the town ordinance states, in part, "Upon the passage of this ordinance and approval thereof at an election of the registered voters of the town, the sales tax shall be effective immediately upon the repeal, repeal and readoption, expiration, or determination of invalidity of the existing Archuleta County sales tax in whole or in part in an amount greater than 1 percent"

In November of 2001 the county adopted a resolution amending the expiration date of Jan. 1, 2003, of the county 2-percent sales tax so that it now expires Jan. 1, 2009.

Tillquist's introductory remarks included the following caveat, "I understand that the department's decision on this matter may be a necessary prerequisite to seeking judicial determination of the matter."

Tillquist also pointed out that, "The department is charged by statute to resolve disputes between a municipality and a taxpayer. However, the present dispute between the town and county does not fall within that dispute resolution process because, by the term of that statute, it only involves disputes involving a taxpayer."

Following his statement that this is but the first step of many, Harrington pointed out that he cannot comment further until he receives input from the town board of trustees and from the town attorney. Those bodies have not yet reviewed Tillquist's findings.

PLPOA rejects $40,000 mag chloride proposal

By Richard Walter

Agreeing with director David Bohl that the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association has no legal obligation for road maintenance, the association board voted Thursday against a county-proposed joint agreement for spraying magnesium chloride on roads.

The three county commissioners suggested last month that if PLPOA came up with $40,000 for the chemicals, the county would provide manpower and equipment for a dust abatement project on more than 17 miles of roads in Pagosa Lakes subdivisions.

Their pitch was seconded by Vista resident David Yates who pleaded for treatment of just six roads in the Vista area, at a cost of about $4,000.

The Association asked its own road committee to study the proposal and make a recommendation.

That recommendation was received Thursday and, though Yates was in the audience to argue with some of the points of the recommended rejection of the plan, the board discussed at length the legal ramifications and possible alternatives.

Yates challenged the committee's questioning of the legality of such action, saying he could find "nothing that precludes the board from taking such action." Bohl argued, in turn, that the PLPOA board has no right to spend $40,000 of member funds for roads when its charter does not provide for road maintenance.

Yates countered saying the county, "having sent three top representatives here last month, is ready to bend over backward to help us. They're willing to give more than 50 percent." He said a committee statement that the "problem could be solved if the county enforced existing laws" is not realistic. He pointed out tax bills were received in the mail that day and a cursory examination indicated the county gets only about 25 percent of the taxes collected therein.

"It would appear my taxes paid on property would provide less than three cents per mile for dust abatement," he said. "We all pay association dues," he said, noting the new association dues bill with a rate reduction had also just been received. "But what do I get for it (dues)?" he asked. "Not one penny for roads. We pay out $200,000 for various kinds of insurance, but not one penny for roads. Perhaps you should take the $17 reduction in dues and keep the money to apply to road maintenance."

Director Richard Manley, board president, thanked Yates for his interest and told members of the road committee in the audience "this is an excellent report, whether we agree with it or not." He then invited discussion.

Director Gerald Smith said the association, with approximately 6,000 properties included, could make the difference. The problem, he said, "is that if we do it for one we have to do it for all. If you do one foot of roadway you've set a precedent and you have to do every foot."

Bohl said PLPOA members have only two alternatives: "They can accept the road maintenance the county is capable of providing or they can get together, form a metro district with taxing capabilities and provide the services they feel they can afford. It is the people's responsibility to seek the level of service they want."

Director Jerry Medford argued, "We need to get the red tags off our roads. Couldn't we, as a board, give more than our best wishes in backing this project? We owe something to our residents and we should support a metro district effort."

Manley said, "It concerns me that this is like being 'a little bit pregnant.' If we start by giving money we are setting ourselves up for taking future responsibility. We do not have that authority. It is not in our charge. The homeowners would have to vote as a body before we could spend their funds because we have no charter authority to do so."

Director Ken Bailey said his previous experience with road maintenance in other homeowner organizations in the Colorado Springs area was not good. "Half of the budget went to road maintenance. It was our biggest headache and our biggest expense."

Manley agreed, but asked, "How do we proceed? The county can't act. The homeowners are the ones who have the capability of making changes if they desire them. We can offer technical support."

Medford said, "Commissioner Ecker told us a metro district formation would satisfy the peoples' needs. I think we should go on record that we will work with the county and with the homeowners and if people want a new district we will support their move."

Bohl, the board treasurer, agreed. "We can offer technical assistance, just as we did for those interested in forming a recreation district locally. We can help them organize and show them things they have to do. But the actual formation of such a taxing entity is up to them."

"Could we not act as a facilitator," asked Smith. "What if the 134 homeowners in Mr. Yates' area came in and said we all want to put money into the project for dust suppression?"

"They can deal with the county directly," Bohl said. "It is being done in a number of areas out here now. Private homeowners are individually or as small groups going to the county with the money to finance chemical spraying."

A member of the audience, commenting on the county proposal, said, "Their (the county commissioners) overture sounded good. But then the next week they transferred $350,000 out of the road and bridge fund for God knows what. That was not a good faith action when they had just told us they had no money to do the work without our help."

Bohl's motion, seconded by Payne, denied PLPOA participation in the dust abatement project.

But a codicil was added stipulating the board would work with association members, within legal bounds, to get some improved form of road maintenance.

After the vote, Yates asked to speak again.

He commended the road committee report and said, "While it justifies doing nothing, we need to do something. This was a point of beginning. If we need a new level of government maybe that's what we'll have to do. We can't stop here. The ball has started rolling and we will find an answer."

Hospital board borrows to meet January payroll

By Tess Noel Baker

The Upper San Juan Hospital District board continued to roll with financial ups and downs at its first meeting in 2002.

Dick Babillis, board chairman, told the board a $25,000 dip into the Dr. Mary Fisher Foundation emergency credit line was necessary to cover January expenses. The money will cover January payroll, moving expenses for two new employees, medical supplies and utility bills that couldn't be put off any longer.

Since July, the district has withdrawn a total of $70,000 from the $100,000 credit line.

An initial drawdown of $45,000 was enough to carry the district through the 2001 budget cycle, as expected. However, the first tax revenues from the levy hike approved by voters in November won't reach the district for another month or two and current revenues are falling short, Babillis said.

The Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Foundation board approved the credit line at the request of the district in July to help cover shortfalls until after the election. The foundation used its endowment as collateral. The district board has agreed to make its best effort to repay any contributions, adding a line item to the 2002 budget to do so.

On the flip side, the district received a $25,000 donation from Dave Brown. Babillis said the funds will be held by the foundation for now. Proposals for their use will be taken and approved by Brown before the money can be released under an agreement with the donor.

The board heard more good news from Bookkeeper Shannon Price. She told the board that, since mid-December, EMS has been able to recover $11,500 from past due accounts dating back 60 days to two years. She thanked Molly Dorr, a part-time EMT, for her hard work bringing the accounts up to date.

Price said EMS has retained a total of 86 overdue accounts worth an estimated $55,000.

"We otherwise would have just had to send them to collections," she said. Fees for those services would have cost the district approximately $21,000, or a third of the accounts' value. Instead, in the past four weeks, 27 of the accounts have been placed on payment plans and another 31 have been paid in full. About 28 files await further follow-up.

In other business, the board:

approved a Basic and Intermediate EMT Active Duty Policy with the condition that a specific definition of the length of one "shift" be added. The policy is expected to clarify attendance expectations for the part-time staff

tabled a request for a credit card for the incoming district manager. The board decided to wait until after Dee Jackson started and had a feel for the position to determine the appropriate charge limit. Currently, both the EMS operations manager and the Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Center manager have district credit cards. Both have a $1,000 monthly limit

heard a report that patient numbers at both the clinic and EMS were down in 2001. Babillis said the clinic doctors totaled 9,671 patient contacts in 2001, compared to a little over 10,000 in 2000. EMS calls dropped slightly to 998 after surpassing 1,000 last year. Earlier in 2001, the district projected 2001 EMS calls would reach 1,200 based on increases in the 1990s

was informed that a new patient education computer was up and running at the clinic. The computer will be available for both patients and doctors to use in research and health education. It was purchased through a grant from the Dr. Mary Fisher Foundation

approved a resolution to hold an election for five board members during the May 7 general election. Board members Bill Downey, Bob Huff, Patty Tillerson, Sue Walan and Wayne Wilson are up for reelection. Four of the seats are regular four-year terms. The other is a two-year seat to fill out the remainder of a term vacated last spring.


Highway Progress

It's like the obnoxious uncle who shows up at important family functions, incites rage in all quarters, but brings presents for everyone. It's U.S. 160, the only major east-west highway route in southern Colorado, a highway that runs through the Town of Pagosa Springs and the middle of Archuleta County.

It can be argued the birth of the east-west passage was complete when the road over Wolf Creek Pass was finished in 1916. The value of the highway, regardless of its numerical designation through the years, has increased since that time. Now, U.S. 160 is the critical traffic route in and out of the county and a lifeline for the local economy. It serves for the transport of the commodities and products necessary for all aspects of our local lifestyle; it is the path used by a significant percentage of the tourists who form a cornerstone of our local economy.

It is also a major pain, at places woefully underdeveloped and, with recent and ongoing construction projects, a source of frequent frustration.

For years, it seemed as if the state department of transportation considered the highway a poor stepsister in the state system, as it obviously does the abysmal stretch of U.S. 84 from Pagosa Springs to the Colorado and New Mexico border.

Suddenly, though, CDOT seems to have awakened to the importance of 160. An enormous amount of work has been done, is being done and is scheduled on the highway within an hour's drive of Pagosa. Among the local projects completed is placement of a second stoplight and reconstruction of an intersection in downtown Pagosa Springs; and reconstruction and installation of a stoplight at the highway intersection with Piedra Road.

Word has it CDOT is prepared to undertake several key projects as spring and summer approach. Given no serious change in the funding picture, these improvements could be reality by summer's end, as could a new array of irritating traffic snarls and detours.

There is a good chance, perhaps as soon as late spring, CDOT will put a stoplight at the intersection with Pagosa Boulevard. Another signal could be placed at the intersection of the highway with Piñon Drive, just west of the Pagosa Lodge. The intersection of Talisman Drive and the highway, one of the most dangerous in the county, will be closed to traffic turning left from Talisman by a traffic island. At long last, right-turn lanes might be constructed from eastbound 160 to Great West Avenue on Put Hill and, more importantly, from the eastbound highway to the entry at the elementary school

Further, the town intends to cooperate with CDOT to tear out the guardrail extending east on the highway from the intersection with Hot Springs Boulevard, replacing it with curb, gutter, and sidewalk, making space for additional on-street parking. CDOT has indicated it will rotomill and repave the highway from the intersection with 84 perhaps as far west as Elk Park.

The potential for traffic problems is enormous; the prospect for difficult commutes and trips into town are inevitable.

But, like the troublesome uncle, there are gifts at the end of the visit - part of a long-term package that could include reconstruction of the highway all the way up Put Hill in the next decade.

A tip of the hat to CDOT and to the town and county for their cooperation and contributions to the process.

One thing residents can do beside urging CDOT to stick to the schedule is to call, write, fax or e-mail the Durango CDOT office asking the agency to commit itself to requiring nighttime work on the repaving project from the Hot Springs intersection downtown to whatever point at which the project ends west of town. There are few reasons work cannot be done during late-night hours, saving residents, tourists and commercial haulers the agony of massive problems during the day.

Karl Isberg

Dear Folks

By David C. Mitchell

A "two-vote thing" and NIMBY

Dear Folks,

A couple of comments in last week's SUN caught my attention. One was by County Commissioner Gene Crabtree ("Commissioners pass county reins to Downey," page 1). The other was by letter writer Jim Knoll ("Water worries," page 4).

Crabtree's comment occured when Commissioner Bill Downey stood his ground and said the commissioners should follow the long-established reorganizational practice of rotating the board's chairmanship among the three commissioners.

Despite Commissioner Alden Ecker's glowing nomination speech to return Gene Crabtree to the perfunctory position as chairman, Crabtree agreed with the soundness of Downey's contention. However for some reason Crabtree stated, "This is still a two-vote thing. . . ." as an implication that with Eckers' vote in his pocket he could continue to control the board's decision-making process regardless of who was chairman.

Jim Knoll's letter addressed a comment I made in this column Jan. 3. It regarded a roughed-in access road on the northeast portion of Charlie Masco's former ranch which is located on U.S. 160 about 6 miles north of town. Also, I mentioned a public hearing that had been scheduled to provide the public an opportunity to comment about a conditional-use permit that was being sought to operate a gravel pit and a portable asphalt plant on the property. I stated in that column that "I'd like to think there's nothing to worry about, but experience is hard to ignore."

As a result, Jim wrote that due to the prospect of "something wrong" being built in my "emotional backyard" that I had become a NIMBY (not in my backyard) and that he wanted to "welcome (David) into our group." Thanks Jim, but no thanks.

My worry centers on the fact that Commissioners Crabtree and Ecker could once again use their two-vote grip on county government to circumvent Archuleta County land-use regulations regarding a conditional-use or special-use permit.

Crabtree and Ecker clearly demonstrated on April 17, 2001, that they have no qualms about using their two votes - without any public input - to alter and eliminate mitigating requirements that had been connected to the approval of a contentious special land-use permit.

It was during these going-ons that Chairman Crabtree announced that the meeting was not being run under Robert's Rules of Order, but that that they were being run under "chair's order." Not to be outdone, Commissioner Ecker reminded the audience that under "the rules of the West," neighboring ranchers shared the cost of any fencing (evidently including fencing that was intended as a noise and dust barrier) that might be built on their common property line.

It's this experience with dereliction to duty that worries me about what could happen when another application for a conditional-use permit goes before the county commissioners.

There is no guarantee that following the series of public hearings, site visitations, comment periods, planning commission recommendations, and other steps called for in the county regulations, that Commissioners Crabtree and Ecker would once again vote to alter or eliminate some of the conditions of the special-use permit. It's their history of ignoring the recommendation of the planning commission, the advice of their attorney and denying the public an opportunity to know beforehand, or to make any comments prior to them using their two-vote power to alter a previously approved agreement that worries me.

In the past I've been confident that the county's established process for handling special-use permits, granting variances and other matters related to development in the county was equitable and could be trusted. But since Crabtree and Ecker's 2-1 vote of last April 17, I've been worried about their "good old boy" mind set for conducting the public's business. It's not my backyard, whether literal or "emotional" that I'm worried about, it's the lack of principle and integrity in the commissioners' office.

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


By Shari Pierce

25 Years Ago

Taken from SUN files of January 13, 1977

For the first time in many years coal will be available locally on a regular basis at a mine. The mine, located on the Mel Martinez Ranch on the Stollsteimer, is scheduled to open January 24.

Much of the regular meeting of the school board this week was devoted to discussion of plans for a proposed new high school. The district architect was present and discussion was held concerning changes in plans that had been suggested, methods of building, and types of construction.

Wolf Creek Ski Area is now open and boasts the best skiing conditions of any ski area in this region. Snow depth at mid-way is 47 inches and the snow is described as ideal for skiing.

50 Years Ago

Taken from SUN files of January 21, 1927

The San Juan Forest office here reports that during the year 1926, there were 384,00 million feet of lumber cut on the lands of the forest reserve. Of this amount, 11,000 feet were sold to ranchers whose places adjoin the forest. This lumber is sold at $1 a 1,000 feet and cannot be used for other than improvements on the rancher's place.

It is still trying to storm at this writing but hasn't made much headway to date.

The E.M. (Doc) Taylor second hand store, located in the McGirr building recently vacated by the Thomas Style Shop, is now stocked and ready for business.

The Pagosa Springs Motor Co. this week sold a new Ford light delivery truck to Ray F. Smith for use in connection with his sawmill on the lower Blanco.

75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of January 18, 1952

More moisture the past week with rain falling on Sunday night and followed by snow. The storm over the weekend dumped a lot more much needed moisture and sufficient snow and rain has fallen thus far this winter to almost guarantee a plentiful moisture supply next summer.

The storm brought another two feet of snow to Wolf Creek Pass and it was closed from early Sunday until after noon Monday. State Highway Department records show that 38 feet of snow had fallen on the pass up until January 9.

Numerous elk have been coming down into the city limits as the result of the deep snows and many ranchers are having a hard time keeping the animals out of their stacks. The feed situation for big game is worse this winter than for several years.

91 years ago

Taken from Pagosa Springs New Era of January 13, 1911

The county commissioners met in the first regular session of the new term on Tuesday and organized by the selection of John L. Dowell as chairman for the seventh consecutive time. What other county commissioner in Colorado has a record to equal it?

The county and town contracted this week with Mrs. Hattie Russell to care for the detention hospital at a fixed salary of $25.00 per month and to receive $12.00 per week for the care of patients.

While the people of Archuleta County would be willing to have those portions of Hinsdale, Mineral and Rio Grande counties lying south of the divide made a part of Archuleta County they are doing nothing to effect such an arrangement.

Inside The Sun

Cost data sidetracks sports

complex expansion

By Richard Walter

A special school board committee will study a reduced development plan for the high school sports complex, probably focusing immediately on a complete drainage system as an advance element of new track, soccer and other outdoor recreation facilities.

The agenda item had indicated receipt of preliminary cost estimates for the entire complex development program but board members were taken aback when the total indicated the majority of the capital improvements reserve fund (now approximately $1 million) could be wiped out by the construction.

Instead, with the urging of board president Randall Davis and the recommendation of Supt. Duane Noggle, the board of education for Archuleta School District 50 Joint named a committee of David Hamilton (athletic director), Jon Forrest (board member), Nancy Schutz (business manager), Noggle and Julia Donoho, architect, to determine what work can legitimately be afforded this year.

The committee will consider the overall layout of the area, including planned Town of Pagosa Springs recreational fields on the east side of South Fifth Street, in developing a capital improvements master plan for the entire area.

Specifically, as both Hamilton and Noggle pointed out, "we need to develop plans for a complete drainage system for the area before constructing anything on top of it that would have to be torn back up because of poor run-off control."

The long-range plan includes a new track, development of all stations for a complete track facility, upgrading and lighting a new soccer field, tennis courts and an outdoor basketball court layout.

After looking at the preliminary cost figures, Schutz told the board, "It is just not feasible to entertain doing all of Phase II in the next budget year."

She pointed out there are a number of other capital improvement expenditures planned that will also draw heavily on the reserve fund, including expansion of vocational education facilities.

Board director Russ Lee reacted, suggesting the board have staff "rate the things needed by the ones we can get the most out of with our immediate dollars. I was surprised to see this much cost in Phase II."

Noggle told the board he believes "the drainage issues must be settled first. We don't want to build anything that has to be ripped up again because of inadequate drainage."

And Donoho chimed in with, "Construction sequence is the key to controlling cost. The more piecemeal it becomes, the more you will spend."

When Davis asked "how much money can we reasonably take from the capital reserve fund this year," Schutz said it "depends on your priorities. If this is your priority item, you can do it - but not all of it. Other draws on the fund will include new buses, replacing staff vehicles and some roof repairs. We need to sit down and see specifically where the board wants to go and then plan accordingly."

Noggle suggested it might be prudent to do the drainage project only this year "if we can get it done for under $200,000 which the preliminary figures would indicate as a possibility."

The committee is expected to report back to the board in time for bidding by June 1 on whatever portion of Phase II is decided upon, with any construction to be completed prior to the opening of football season this fall, to prevent interference with game activities.

Donoho showed directors several potential track surface specimens, with costs ranging from $17 up to $55 per square yard and suggested the one she'd recommend, based on interviews with other users, would run about $38 per square yard. The board looked at them but passed on making a choice, feeling it was too soon to think about surface work before even having a plan for subsurface controls.

Lee suggested putting the entire project on hold for a year. "I'm not convinced of the need for a track system right now," he said.

But the balance of the board seemed more inclined to get the basic work done as soon as possible so the actual surface work can proceed without interruption when it is financially feasible.

A member of the audience noted there already is a drainage problem with the new and as yet unused concession/rest room facility in the complex, and that access to the stand "is inadequate at best."

Lee then moved for appointment of the special committee and Davis agreed, saying, "We're not qualified to pick out what specifics need to be done now. Let's have the committee decide that and make the recommendation to us."

Director Clifford Lucero said, "I agree. Give us the priorities and then let us decide how to pay for what the committee feels is the absolute necessity in the first portion of this phase of the project. We need to get done first the work that needs to be done first. We don't want to have to tear things up later because we neglected to do something we were not aware of the need for."

Forrest then volunteered to be the board representative and the other committee members were named by Davis.

Grants sought for grade, high school traffic woes

By Richard Walter

Two state grant requests, written for Archuleta School District 50 Joint by former superintendent Terry Alley, were approved Tuesday by the board of education. Each seeks funding for parking and traffic control.

Involved were requests for $19,000 to cover part of the cost of modifying and establishing better control of parking and traffic patterns at the high school, with installation of a curb and gutter system delineating specific parking sites and traffic routing; and a request for $143,206 for a portion of the estimated $480,000 cost for a new parking area and traffic control pattern for the elementary school.

With reference to the high school project, Alley noted the items were eliminated from the original construction budget as cost cutting was necessary to complete the school. In the meantime, he said, there have been a number of accidents in the parking area, many near misses, high speed traffic through the parking and pedestrian access areas and increased danger to students and visitors alike.

The elementary school proposal, which carried letters of endorsement and indication of severe problems with current parking and traffic from Pagosa Springs Police Chief Donald Volger and Nancy Miller of the Colorado School Districts Self Insurance Pool, would involve several elements:

Construction of student drop-off and pick-up points in the current parking lot

Demolition of the existing bus barn

Establishing a new staff parking area in the former bus barn area

Development of a bus loading and unloading area with a new exit road that allows buses to exit without interfering with student or auto traffic; and

Installation of curb and gutter for drainage and safety.

Supt. Duane Noggle said the state Capital Construction Grant program, to which the proposals were submitted, is one of several funding systems in danger of being cut or eliminated by the state in the current budget crunch.

"Hopefully, however," he said, "we'll be able to get some assistance in our quest to provide a safer environment for students at both schools."

In other action Tuesday, the board:

Agreed with Noggle's administrative recommendation to terminate the services of John Rose, district bus mechanic and formerly transportation manager. There was no discussion on the recommendation and the vote was unanimous

Approved the appointment of Don Weller as day treatment teacher and of David Snarr as junior high boys basketball coach

Accepted the resignations of third grade teacher Stacey Lewis, effective at the end of the year, and of bus driver Nathan Martin, who already is gone

Approved the transfer of Tammi Foor from half-time to full-time bus driver and the transfer of Bev Flaming, Christine Hanson and Dorman Diller from substitute to half-time bus drivers

Adopted seven new board policy statements, given first reading last month, dealing with executive sessions/open meetings, character education, violent and aggressive behavior, bullying and hazing, classified staff hiring and evaluation of classified staff members

Received for study additional policy statements on primary/preprimary education, state program assessment, school accountability reports, school district accreditation, and accountability/commitment to accomplishment. The district currently has no policies dealing with the first four categories.

Pagosa Lakes is the name;

people disliked Fairfield link

By Richard Walter

The people asked for it at the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners annual meeting last July.

On Thursday they got it - for what it's worth.

The board of directors of the association, voting on a member mandate, officially declared the 26-subdivision conglomerate should be known as Pagosa Lakes, Archuleta County, Colorado.

The action came after general manager Walt Lukasik said some minor changes had been required in the original wording of the action.

The action did not come without discussion.

Director Jerry Medford, for example, said "I see this action as having no function at all. Getting the Post Office to recognize such a change is unrealistic. We'll be no better served than we are now, and I, for one, am happy with what we have."

Lukasik told the board it should, under legal advice from corporate counsel, accept the change "only in an advisory capacity recognizing we can't make mapmakers or the postal department do anything."

From the audience, Barbara Preston disagreed. She said the real need "is to distinguish us from the Fairfield name. People are tired of that association. I agree 100 percent with the name change."

Director Pat Payne said, "All we're required to do is accept and file it. That's what the voters asked for."

By unanimous vote the board agreed to accept, in an advisory capacity, the name change and agreed copies will be sent to the county, the post office and the media.

"It doesn't change a thing said director Richard Manley. "It just tries to separate this organization from the Fairfield name."

Town approves eastern annexations

By Tess Noel Baker

The Reverend Christine Robinson, minister of the Albuquerque Unitarian Universalist Church, will give a sermon titled "The Sound of Sheer Silence" at the Jan. 20 Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship service.

Unitarian Universalists are distinguishable from those of more mainstream faiths by their insistence on a faith that is congruent with reason and personal religious experience. Reverend Robinson says, "We talk about the reason part of it all the time, but we're often unclear about what constitutes 'religious experience' and are shy about sharing this part of our lives."

Unitarian Universalists do believe in and practice seven "principles," that include a free and responsible search for truth and meaning and encouraging spiritual growth within their congregations.

Reverend Robinson is currently on sabbatical and working on a project about Unitarian Universalist spirituality. In addition to the Sunday service, she will lead an evening discussion program Jan. 19 to explore often-asked questions, such as "What exactly do Unitarian Universalists believe?" This program will be from 6:30 to 9 p.m., with a break for refreshments, and youth are encouraged to attend. Child care provided.

The Sunday service will be at 4:30 p.m. in the Extension Building on U.S. 84. Child care is provided and all are welcome.

Minister to discuss religious experience

By John M. Motter

Today's 20-percent chance of snowfall will disappear tonight, leaving Pagosa Country residents with little chance for more snow through the coming week.

At least that is what Gary Chancy, a forecaster for the U.S. Weather Service office in Grand Junction predicts for Pagosa Country.

"Thursday will be cooler with a 20-percent chance for snow," Chancy said.

"The afternoon will be partly cloudy with more clearing during the night. The high temperature will be between 30 and 35 degrees, the low temperature between 0 and 10 degrees."

Tomorrow through Tuesday of next week will be partly cloudy or partly sunny, depending on one's point of reference, with temperatures ranging from the mid to upper 30s and lows between 10 and 20 degrees.

A weak low pressure trough is moving through the area today. It will be followed by a high pressure ridge extending from Montana to Southern California that will remain stationary through the remainder of the week.

The extended forecast for the United States from January through March calls for warmer than normal temperatures with normal precipitation, Chancy said.

Pagosa Country has received no precipitation since Dec. 30 when one inch of snow fell in town. The snow pack on the upper mountains is dwindling.

High temperatures last week ranged between 30 and 39 degrees with an average high temperature of 35 degrees. Low temperatures ranged between 6 and 11 degrees with an average low temperature of 9 degrees.

December snowfall in Pagosa Springs totaled 9.5 inches. The long-time December average is 22.2 inches.

Pagosa non-profits to host Rural Philanthropy Days

By Tom Steen

All senior staff and board members of local nonprofit organizations are invited to a Pagosa Springs planning session for the Philanthropy Days of Southwest Colorado.

This initial planning session will be held in the Chamber of Commerce Board Room at noon, Wednesday, Jan. 23. At the meeting, arrangements will be made to host staff and board members from various private Colorado Foundations and public grant makers who will visit Pagosa Springs May 2.

Rural Philanthropy Days is a means to introduce both public and private grant makers to the problems and needs of rural communities. It also is a means for funders to become aware of the financial needs of nonprofit organizations that are attempting to meet rural community needs.

The concept began in 1990 in Grand Junction with the first Rural Philanthropy Days. Twelve Front Range grant-making foundations attended. Over the next few years several regions of the state built on the original concept to highlight themselves and encourage funders to provide more grants to rural areas. The state has since been divided into eight regions with each region hosting the event each four years.

Philanthropy Days of Southwest Colorado will be held May 2 and 3 in Durango. This will be the third rural Philanthropy Days in Southwest Colorado. The first was held in 1994 and the second in 1998. During our last Southwest Colorado Philanthropy Days, more than 85 area nonprofit groups attended along with over 30 private foundations and government funding agencies. That event is credited with yielding more than $700,000 in new grants to our southwest Colorado communities.

To help area nonprofit groups gain maximum benefit from this unique opportunity, a two-part grant writing workshop will be held in Pagosa Springs. This workshop is being organized by Operation Healthy Communities. The first session will be held Feb. 14 and the second on March 7. Both will last from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Local non-profit organizations should be certain someone will attend the Pagosa Springs Jan. 23 planning session as well as the grant writing training in February and March.

For additional information, contact Tom Steen at 731-4596 or

PLPOA votes to keep collections efforts in-house

By Richard Walter

There is no collection agency in your immediate future if you are in arrears on dues and assessments to Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association.

But that doesn't mean you get away free, just that the association's board of directors has agreed not to contract with a collection agency, but to handle the operation in house.

The action came Jan. 10 on the recommendation of general manager Walt Lukasik.

He told the board legal counsel has recommended the board not accept a proposed collection agency contract with a firm which collects a fee above and beyond the past due amount rather than taking a percentage of collection.

"With our new computer system and our staff accountant, we have been very successful in collections," Lukasik said. "We have researched the most serious delinquencies and found most are delinquent with all taxing districts too, so we probably would never collect from them. Then, there are those who could be sued in small claims court, but that action must be against county residents."

"What it boils down to," he said, "is that the number of delinquencies left over is a relatively small amount and we should have a good shot at collecting most of them."

Director David Bohl, board treasurer, was asked his opinion of the proposal by director Jerry Medford.

"They've made major reductions in past due accounts with our new systems," he said. "I support the move."

Directors then voted unanimously for the proposal.

In other action the board:

Was told the annual audit is underway and a preliminary report should be available by the February meeting

Heard Bohl report $150,000 in CDs matured during December and a $96,000 three-year CD was purchased at 4.1 percent return. He said the money market rate is currently just a little over one percent and asked if the board was concerned about keeping funds in such low-bearing accounts. "CDs are paying more," said Bohl, "but that money is tied up for at least three years. The board needs to give it some thought."

Decided against a planned $4,000 expenditure for a "boot camp" training program for directors and committee members to be held here. Director Gerald Smith said, "I don't think we should do it at all. It's just a waste of money." Bohl said, "It would be free if we went there. There are a number of programs that wouldn't affect us but I saw a couple I'd like to attend. We could send board members and pay for meals and housing for a lot less than $4,000 for them to come and hold it here." Finally, board president Richard Manley said the consensus appeared to be that new members, particularly, should attend the sessions. With that thought, he said, the board should direct that all new members be scheduled for the training within 90 days of their election. It was noted three members' seats, including Manley's will be on the election block in July.

Property owner board approves stipend proposal

By Richard Walter

A split board of directors of the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association has agreed its members and immediate families should get free use of recreation center facilities, including fishing privileges.

The action came Jan. 10 after board president Richard Manley asked for open meeting consideration of the proposal which had been discussed in committee.

Director Gerald Smith said he saw two issues - Christmas bonuses and perks. "Valuable service should be acknowledged, no matter how little," he said. "But perks and stipends get in the way. I don't think any acknowledged stipend or remembrance of any kind should be used."

Director Jerry Medford argued the provision of such acknowledgement might encourage others to step forward and serve. "People should be rewarded for a job well-done. Recreational and fishing privileges are a small thing to ask."

Ken Bailey, a member of the board since July, said "my personal conviction has been that attendance at every meeting is mandatory and I've missed only one due to my brother's death. In other organizations there are annual recognition dinners, special plaques marking achievement. We don't need to pay for service but we can acknowledge it. Bonuses," he said, "relate to salaried people and we are not salaried. Our families' contributions by doing without us during all the regular, committee and special meetings should be worth some token of appreciation. The question, is how much do we value those who serve?"

Director Pat Payne, the newest member of the board, said she was not in favor of stipends "or whatever you wish to call it."

Manley, agreeing "there is a penalty to our families for our service," asked the board to make a decision, one way or another.

Medford's motion, seconded by Payne, to allow the rec center-fishing use as a perk was denied a vote initially when Smith moved that it be tabled until all board members were present. Thomas Cruse, vice president, was absent.

After his motion to table was defeated, the board voted 3-2 for the Medford motion.

Relay for Life to hold

kickoff rally

By Katherine Cruse

The American Cancer Society will hold a Relay for Life Rally on Jan. 28 at the Pagosa Lakes Vista Clubhouse to begin recruiting teams for the 2002 Relay for Life.

Teams can represent local clubs, non-profit groups, businesses, and churches. In the year 2000 Pagosa Springs Relay for Life there were only 5 teams and the event raised about $12,000. In 2001, 12 teams raised $32,000. The goal this year is to have 30 teams and raise $65,000.

There are more than 3,000 people diagnosed with cancer every day, as many as died in the World Trade Center disaster, and it goes on every single day of the year. The American Cancer Society, sponsor and beneficiary of the Relay for Life, is making a huge difference. Survivor rates are increasing for all types of cancer. Last year more than 50 survivors were present for the opening ceremony, which goes to show how many people in even a small town are affected, and it also shows that there are survivors, and there is hope.

Over 6,000 communities across the U.S. hold Relay For Life events to support American Cancer Society research. American Cancer Society is the largest private funder of cancer research in the world.

The rally will begin at 5:30 p.m. There will be food and drink from 5:30 to 6 and a program from 6 to 6:30. Everyone in the community is invited.

Prolonged snow predicted for Pagosa

By John M. Motter

The San Juan Mountains should receive snow over the next week or so, but not enough to significantly improve the below-average snow pack at higher elevations.

Today should be partly cloudy with a high temperature in the neighborhood of 30 degrees, according to Chris Cuoco, a forecaster with the National Weather Service office in Grand Junction.

By tonight, the chance for snow increases to 30 percent, a chance which remains through Thursday of next week, Cuoco said. High temperatures should range between 28 and 40 degrees, low temperatures between 0 and 15 degrees.

Snow fall at any given time is likely to be light, Cuoco said, maybe leaving a deposit of one or two inches at a time. The chance for larger amounts of snow increases with elevation.

The Rocky Mountain region is sandwiched between a high pressure area off the West Coast and a low pressure area around the Great Lakes, according to Cuoco. The result is a series of weak storms crossing the Four Corners area from a northwesterly direction.

No new snow fell in town this past week. The snowpack in the San Juan, Animas, and Dolores basins is 65 percent of average, 73 percent of last year. Statewide, the average snowpack is 65 percent.

The lack of snow is causing concern among area water managers, according to a news release from the Natural Resources Conservation Service. Typically, by Jan. 1, the state has received about 40 percent of the seasonal total accumulation.

Given the current low snowpack, below average to well below average spring and summer water supplies are forecast. Only a sustained period of wet, snowy weather can help improve the outlook for summer water supplies.

Power wheelchairs available to qualified senior citizens

Miracle on Wheels makes available power (electric) wheelchairs to non-ambulatory senior citizens 65 years old and up, usually at no out-of-pocket expense if they qualify. No deposit required.

The electric wheelchairs are provided to those who cannot walk and cannot self-propel a manual wheelchair in their home or independent living quarters, and who meet the additional qualifications of the program. This service may also be available to the permanently disabled of any age.

Call (800) 749-8778 or visit the web site at for more information on the details of this program.

New county administrator on

the job

By John M. Motter

For starters, call him Bill.

That's what new county administrator William R. Steele told the board of county commissioners Tuesday morning: "Just call me Bill."

It was the first board meeting for Steele, recently arrived from the other side of the continent, Maine to be exact, to take over a position vacant since Dennis Hunt departed last March.

Bill and wife Barb arrived in Pagosa Springs last week. Bill reported to his telephone and county desk Monday morning.

The trip from Desert Island, Maine, to Pagosa Springs was not without the adventures normally associated with packing up a home and moving, lock, stock, and barrel. One adventure was sleeping on an air mattress while waiting for furniture to arrive.

Barb's quarter horse has not arrived yet, either, but another week or two should take care of that. It isn't as if the animal-loving Steeles are completely alone. Faye, the over-indulged yellow Labrador is around and getting in her licks.

"I'm very, very pleased," Steele said after moving more than halfway across the continent. "My wife and I look forward to becoming an integral part of this community. We've already found people to be very friendly."

That local, Rocky Mountain friendliness is part of the reason the Steeles have come west to a new home. New and expanded work responsibilities are another reason.

"My personal and professional goals sort of blend together," Steele said. "I want to experience new things. My wife and I have lived all of our lives in the east except for a few short excursions. Again, part of our reason for moving is the reputation for friendliness enjoyed by the West and the mountains. We've learned that friendliness is indeed genuine."

Steele smiles easily as he talks, his relaxed posture proof of self assurance gained from much public interaction.

"I had a desire to move on beyond the requirements of municipal management into the broader arena of county government," Steele said. "Here I believe I've found the kind of situation in which I work well, everyone working as a team. That's a major goal for me, to help bring teamwork to fruition."

When they aren't working the Steele's enjoy their animals and a moderate amount of outdoor activity. Barb has been a horse lover since she was a young girl. It is an enthusiasm shared by Bill.

"You might say I'm from a horse family," Bill said. "My sister does the monthly, Equine Journal, one of the largest horse publications in that area."

Bill also enjoys working with his hands.

"I enjoy building, from remodeling homes to working with wood products," Bill said. "It gives me something tangible, something I can touch."

The county conducted a get-acquainted session for the new administrator between 4 and 6 p.m. Tuesday.

Commissioners temporarily move meetings to town hall

By John M. Motter

The Board of Archuleta County Commissioners will meet at the Pagosa Springs Town Hall for the next few weeks.

A remodeling project involving the commissioner meeting room and former social services office is the reason for the change. Regular commissioner meetings will still be held each Tuesday at 9 a.m.

In business conducted last Tuesday, the commissioners:

Scheduled a workshop to discuss developing a request for a proposal to construct new county administration offices on property owned by the county on Hot Springs Boulevard opposite Town Hall. After admonishing the other commissioners with the need to move ahead, Commissioner Gene Crabtree asked for the workshop. Crabtree said the RFP should include an analysis of space needs, a footprint for the building, and a description of the building outline. The workshop will be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday

By a split vote, the board agreed to hold meetings with residents of specific areas in the county to gather information concerning Crabtree's proposal that certain roads in the county be declared public roads, but not accepted for county maintenance. The specific areas mentioned by Crabtree include Piedra Park in Arboles, Rob Snow Road, and Catchpole Road. Crabtree said the action is necessary in order for residents of those areas to form improvement districts to raise money to upgrade and maintain their roads.

When Commissioner Bill Downey objected unless a means is determined to identify how many property owners in each area want public roads, Crabtree responded that he will take the lead in holding public meetings with the property owners. Downey also suggested that roads proposed for acceptance be considered on a one-by-one, specific-needs basis, not taken in by a blanket action.

Voting for the proposal were Crabtree and Commissioner Alden Ecker. Voting against was Downey

A work session is planned soon to allow commissioners, department heads, and other elected officials to review and develop changes for various existing and proposed county fees.

GOCO workshop in Alamosa

Staff members from Great Outdoors Colorado will conduct a technical assistance workshop in Alamosa Jan. 25 to help entities applying for lottery grants. Grants are available from GOCO for open space land preservation projects and local park, outdoor recreation and environmental education facilities.

The workshops will offer help to anyone applying for local park, outdoor recreation and environmental education facilities grants. Another workshop - in Denver Jan. 29 - will also help those applying for open space grants. The purpose of the workshops is to familiarize applicants with the application process and to offer assistance with grant preparation.

GOCO typically receives requests for three times as much funding as it has available. For the upcoming grant cycle, $1.95 million in lottery funds are available for local park, outdoor recreation and environmental education facilities grants, and $2.8 million is available for open space grants. Applications are due March 4 and the GOCO Board will award grants June 12.

Since 1994, GOCO has awarded $266 million for more than 1,600 park, outdoor recreation, open space and wildlife projects in Colorado. GOCO was created in 1992 as a result of citizens' initiative that redirects a portion of lottery proceeds to preserve and enhance parks, wildlife, trails, rivers and open space through strategic grants.

People interested in receiving an application or additional information should call GOCO at (303) 863-7522 or e-mail to

USS St. Paul reunion

The USS St. Paul (CA 73) Association is planning its tenth reunion in Portland, Ore., starting Aug. 27 and is trying to contact former crew members. Those interested should contact George M. Takis, Jr., Secretary, 125 Spaulding Drive, N.E., Atlanta, GA 30328 or call (770) 393-3185.

Investigator brings twenty years experience

By Tess Noel Baker

Pagosa's law enforcement ranks added two decades of experience with the addition of the town's newest investigator.

Carl Smith, who retired from the San Diego Police Department in 2000, was sworn in Wednesday by Pagosa Springs Mayor Ross Aragon. Smith's background includes eight years of patrol experience, three years investigating child abuse cases, seven years in homicide and three years in vice.

"We're awfully glad to have him," Police Chief Don Volger said. "We think he will be a welcome addition to the department."

Smith, and his wife, Diane, also retired from law enforcement, moved to Pagosa Springs in June of 2000 and spent the next five months and 15 days building their own home. After a break to recuperate, Smith started his own maintenance and repair business.

Then he ran across the police investigator advertisement in the SUN and, he said, it seemed too good of a fit to pass up.

For the first month, Smith will be working various shifts to get to know the other officers. After that, he will move to a regular Monday though Friday daytime schedule.

"I'm looking forward to relating to the community in a positive manner so they don't have any hesitation in calling us," he said.

New PCC coordinator brings personal experience to teaching, advising roles

By Tess Noel Baker

Pueblo Community College has appointed a new coordinator for Pagosa Springs.

He lives in Archuleta County, teaches class in Durango and knows first-hand what benefits a two-year college can offer.

Scott Strickland was 16 when he left school, received his GED and went to work. His father was a career military man, and the family moved a lot. At one point, Strickland attended four different high schools in two years. Credit transfers proved challenging and sometimes near impossible.

"One time they put me in remedial English class because the credits didn't match and then I won the school spelling bee," Strickland said. Still, he added, "It wasn't the school's fault. It wasn't my parents fault. I wouldn't change my experience for anything."

A few years later with a family to support, Strickland found himself considering the possibility of returning to school. In fact, it was his wife who suggested it.

"The thought of college scared me to death," he said. "I didn't think I was smart enough. In high school, there was this group of students. We knew they were going to college. They prepared the whole time. That wasn't me."

In the fall of 1978, he finally gave it a shot and took his first course - a criminal justice class. The class piqued his interest, and he took another, and another.

"The biggest difference between high school and college is that I got to take the courses that interested me. That and the professors made it interesting." Fourteen years later, he received a Master of Arts degree in management with a minor in counseling.

"Junior college played a major role in that success," he said. Low tuition, flexible course selections, multiple locations and a staff of professors that bring practical experience to the table mean schools like PCC open the door to higher education for everyone.

"Just because you didn't place in the top 10 percent or even finish high school doesn't mean you can't succeed at college," he said. "There are so many people out there who don't believe they can succeed in college - and it's absolutely untrue."

Strickland has been an instructor at PCC's Southwest Center since 1994, handling classes in business management, economics and criminal justice. For the last four years, he has added student advising to his work load.

Most of the students he works with take the plunge back into the classroom for two reasons, he said, "to improve their quality of life, or to improve their standard of living." Those students who may not have fit in the traditional classroom setting, or those returning to school after a long hiatus can prove to be the most rewarding, he added.

"It's the students that already have a small business or children - it's those students I really enjoy," he said.

Strickland continues to carry a full course load of teaching duties this semester in combination with the part-time duties of coordinator in Pagosa Springs.

His job here will cover "just about everything," he said, from managing programs to hiring instructors and advising students on course and career choices. He encourages anyone in the community with a master's degree or higher and an interest in teaching to come in and talk to him about joining the staff of part-time instructors. Already a former nuclear physicist and a local sheriff's deputy are part of the list.

"It's not going to make you rich," he said. On the other hand, it is a great opportunity to give back to the community.

C. Donald Lundergan, a retired nuclear physicist who's lived in Pagosa Springs for the past four years, started teaching mathematics for PCC just last semester.

"The whole purpose is to serve the community," he said. "I think there is a lot of talent in the area - in the professional ranks or retirees. If there is the need, I think the talent is available."

Defining the need, and then getting the information about programs offered by institutions like PCC, the high school, the work force and the educational center out to the community is the challenge.

The Southwest Center of Pueblo Community College offers four two-year programs of study, including an: associate of arts degree, associate of science degree, associate of applied science degree in nursing, criminal justice or early childhood education, and an associate of general studies degree. Courses are offered in the traditional classroom setting, by computer, by television or even on-line. To receive more information, call the Pagosa Springs office at 264-0445.

Winterfest Follies returns Feb. 9

By Mary Jo Coulehan

The Pagosa Springs Rotary Club is once again hosting the Winterfest Follies in conjunction with other Winterfest weekend activities.

The Follies will be held Saturday, Feb. 9. There will be two shows, 7 and 9 p.m. The times have been changed to allow residents to enjoy other Winterfest activities such as the Balloon Glow, which will be held at the fairgrounds at dusk and the family carnival hosted by the Upper San Juan EMTs and the Pagosa Fire Protection District at the Parish Hall from 3 to 8 p.m. The Follies will be held at the Archuleta County Extension building. Tickets will be on sale for $12 at the Chamber of Commerce and at all banks.

For those who have never heard of or been to the Winterfest Follies, it's time to get out of your cave. The Follies is a production of short, mostly lip-sync musical acts. MCs then spice up the show with dialog that highlights events and people of the community. "The Roast" of Pagosa Springs and its residents is meant to entertain the community and give everyone a chance to laugh at themselves and, of course, others.

All money raised from the Follies by the Rotary Club goes back into the community through the various projects the club adopts. Some examples of projects are the scholarship fund, Rotary Park, a new grant program that will be available to teachers, and much more.

Not only will you have a great time laughing the evening away, you will also be helping the community. Seating is limited, so early ticket purchase is advised. Mark your calendars for Feb. 9 and come and see who will get roasted or toasted.

For more Follies information, contact Mary Jo Coulehan at 264-6200.

GOP vacancy panel seeking education board candidates

Scott Tipton of Cortez, chairman of the Third Congressional district Republican Vacancy Committee, said the committee is accepting applications and resumes from citizens interested in serving on the State Board of Education.

All correspondence must be received no later than 5 p.m. tomorrow. Letters and resumes may be faxed to (970) 565-3433.

Applicants must reside in the Third Congressional District and be a registered Republican voter.

DOW cuts non-resident elk license $200; aids culling

In an effort to reduce Colorado's burgeoning elk herd, the Wildlife Commission lowered the price nonresidents will pay for cow licenses and allowed all hunters to purchase up to two elk licenses over most of the Western Slope so long as at least one of them is an antlerless license.

Nonresidents will pay $250 in 2002 for cow licenses compared to last year's $450 price. The price of a bull license will increase from $450 to $470 to keep pace with inflation. The cost for either-sex licenses will remain $470. Colorado residents will continue to pay $30 for both cow and bull elk licenses. These licenses can be purchased along with any additional licenses.

"Our statewide population objective is about 180,000 elk and our post-hunt count this winter will probably find the population is closer to 270,000," said John Ellenberger, the Division of Wildlife's big game manager. "We issued 190,000 antlerless elk licenses last year, the most ever, because we needed to kill as many elk as we did in 2000 when we had a record harvest of 60,000."

Poor hunting conditions, economic recession and a dip in the number of nonresident hunters resulted in a harvest well below the 2000 record. Issuing more licenses would likely have little impact since there were 6,000 elk licenses that were never sold last year, Ellenberger explained.

He and other game managers recognized that additional steps were needed to increase the elk harvest.

"If we only increased the number of licenses without making them 'additional' and without recruiting more hunters through lower prices, we wouldn't get the job done," Ellenberger said.

Wildlife managers are hoping the price reduction will lure nonresidents back to the state and encourage all hunters to consider harvesting a cow. Last year, approximately 40 percent fewer nonresident hunters participated in the big game seasons as compared to previous years.

The price of a nonresident elk license increased to $450 in 2001 from $250 in 2000. The price of a resident elk license has remained at $30 for more than a decade.

In an effort to reach deer population objectives, the Commission agreed to sell leftover buck deer licenses rather than destroy them as was done last year. Hunters will also be able to harvest two does with one limited or special antlerless deer license in selected units. Elk hunters who participate in the fourth season and do not have the option of hunting deer in their unit will be allowed to hunt deer in a different combined season. All valid deer units are open for these hunters.

Other new regulations for 2002 include:

Mandatory checks for mountain goats, bighorn sheep and bears must be completed within five working days of harvest

The use of smokeless powder is now prohibited during muzzle-loader big game seasons

The Division was given authority to issue special management licenses for bighorn sheep and mountain goats in an effort to prevent the spread of animal disease and unplanned expansion of sheep or goats outside established game management units

Instead of physical game checks, moose hunters are now required to complete a harvest questionnaire and submit it to the Division within 30 days after the close of their hunting season.

Public comment requested on planned forest plantings

The Mancos-Dolores Ranger District is requesting public comment on a proposal to hand plant ponderosa pine, engelmann spruce and Douglas fir seedlings on approximately 110 acres at one site in the Pagosa District and three sites in the Mancos-Dolores District of the San Juan National Forest.

Planting would occur in August this year.

In the Pagosa District, the Gordon Creek area is proposed for planting of ponderosa pine and Douglas fir on 63 acres of a timber harvest area.

In the Mancos-Dolores District, three areas will be planted. In the vicinity of Cabin Canyon planting of 14 acres of ponderosa pine is proposed in area that was burned in a wildfire in 2000; in the Barlow Creek drainage, planting of engelmann spruce seedlings is intended on 30 acres of small cutting units; engelmann spruce planting also is needed on three acres of cutting units in the Dunton area.

Written comments should be sent to the Mancos-Dolores Ranger District, P.O. Box 210, Dolores, CO 81323 by Feb. 14. A decision will be made on implementing the tree planing following the public review period. Fur further information, contact Mark Krabath at the Dolores office (970) 882-7296,

Comments received in response to this solicitation, including names and addresses of those who comment, will be considered a part of the public record of this proposed action and will be available for public inspection. Comments submitted anonymously will be accepted and considered; however, those who only submit anonymously will not have standing to appeal the subsequent decision.

Mountain lion attack points up fact they're active year round

A Colorado Springs man was treated and released from a local hospital Jan. 7 after a confrontation with a mountain lion. The man told the Colorado Division of Wildlife he went outside about 9 p.m. to investigate a commotion in his back yard and saw an animal attacking his small dog.

The man thought it was a German Shepherd attacking his Scottie and entered the fray to intervene on his dog's behalf. He jumped on the back of the larger animal and immediately realized that the animal attacking his dog was a mountain lion.

A brief scuffle ensued before he released his grip on the lion and the cat ran off. The man received stitches for cuts behind his ear.

Colorado Division of Wildlife officers spent several hours tracking the lion, but called off the search early Jan. 8.

The Division of Wildlife estimates there are between 2,000 and 3,000 mountain lions in the state.

"Mountain lions are common on the city's West Side," said Division of Wildlife officer Trina Lynch. "We strongly encourage people who live in mountain lion habitat to secure their pets in covered kennels to prevent lion attacks."

"This is a good time to reiterate the some common sense precautions," said Lynch. "It's not uncommon for a mountain lion to travel through areas where people live and work. It's possible that the lion has killed a deer or other prey; so if you see a carcass covered with dirt, branches and leaves, it's best to call the Division of Wildlife as it is likely the lion will return to continue feeding."

Lions are active year around. Deer make up the main portion of a mountain lion's diet, but it is common for them to hunt small mammals. Wildlife officials stress that the best protection for pets is to make sure that kennels have coverings over the top to prevent lions from jumping in.

Mountain lions can travel many miles in a day, and typically have a territory of 100 square miles or more. Here are some precautions for people who live or recreate in areas where there are mountain lions.

Do not allow dogs and other pets to roam freely. If you keep dogs in an outdoor kennel, be sure it has a screen on top. Dogs have been trapped and attacked inside their own open-top kennels

Keep yards and residences well lit at night

Do not plant shrubs next to your home where mountain lions can hide

Make plenty of noise when hiking, cycling or running

When hiking in lion country, stay in groups. Do not let small children hike or play alone

If you see a lion, do not approach it. Stay calm and stand upright. Talk loudly and firmly at the lion and move slowly away while facing the lion.

Do all you can to appear larger; raise your arms and hold your jacket or shirt open wide

Do not run. Some experts believe that running can trigger a predator instinct in mountain lions; the lion will react to you the same way it reacts to a fleeing deer or elk

Mountain lions tend to avoid people and rarely attack unless cornered. A cougar that is about to attack may have ears held back, snarl or growl, or twitch its tail

If you are attacked, fight for your life. Use any weapon and advantage available such as rocks, sticks, a camera or binoculars. Direct your defense to vulnerable areas such as eyes, nose and ears, ribs and abdomen.

DOW approves citizen plea to take nesting falcons

The Colorado Wildlife Commission approved a citizen petition to allow the live take of eyas (nestling) peregrine falcons for sport use in falconry.

The commission voted 5-3 in favor of the proposal Jan. 10 at its meeting at Division of Wildlife headquarters in Denver. The commission also passed a motion directing the DOW and falconry representatives to come up with recommendations on how to regulate the live take of falcons from the wild.

The commission's approval means falconers can take either 5 percent of Colorado's annual peregrine production or four eyas per year.

Commissioner Olive Valdez said she had originally intended to vote against the petition. But she said she changed her mind after learning that falconers use the same techniques as DOW biologists to care for the birds. She also noted that young falcons have a better chance of survival in captivity.

"I voted in favor of the lives of the falcons," Valdez said. "Biology supported our decision."

When peregrines were removed from Colorado's endangered species list in May 1998, the commission voted to defer takes for five years after delisting, or until 2004. The vote reversed this position and drew opposition from some commission members.

"Continuity of promise is important," said Commissioner Phil James. "Division recommendations usually weigh pretty heavily in our decisions." James voted against the petition.

The commission heard testimony from conservation groups both in favor of and opposed to the petition. Representatives from the Audubon Society of Greater Denver and the Birds of Prey Foundation testified against the petition; the Colorado Hawking Club, authors of the petition, spoke out in favor.

The commission will review recommendations for the regulation of live take of peregrine falcons in the next two to three months.

Sen. Isgar's Report

Issues not requiring tax dollars are also important

We arrived in Denver on Jan. 6, checked into an empty apartment (no furniture till Tuesday) and started with the mail. Life was much simpler before Al Gore created the Internet and thus e-mail.

We knew that fiscally things were tight but we found out that the state's purse is expected to hold even less money than we figured before Christmas. The good news is that the rate of decline is slowing.

However, there are a lot of issues that do not require tax dollars that are important to people's lives. I am working especially hard on these issues. I am the sponsor of a bill to require insurance companies to promptly pay claims to claimants. This bill requires companies to adopt uniform health care claim forms and standardized billing codes. It also requires insurance companies to accept electronically filed claims and technology such as the Internet for filing purposes. It also sets a time limit on claims to be paid, denied or settled. Hopefully, this will speed up payment and not allow things to be dragged out forever and get payment quickly to those who are owed money.

I am working on a second bill to exempt those with possessory interests on public lands from paying property taxes. This is a very complex issue and could affect the economic success of anyone who operates a business on public property from ski areas to livestock grazers to concessionaires to guide services.

There are other issues that may require legislation that are of great interest to constituents in District 6.

The Division of Wildlife, the Dept. of Ag. and elk breeders are all concerned about cleaning up chronic wasting disease in our wildlife herds. I sat in on two meetings this week with my friend Sen. Lew Entz (R-San Luis Valley). We are both very anxious to help in getting rid of this problem and will work with those involved

State Rep. Mark Larson (R-Cortez) and I are pursuing a bill that would focus on surface owners' protection from sub-surface development by oil and gas owners

I will ride herd on Severance Tax Revenue. This is an important source of money for a variety of things for towns on the Western Slope, and that is where the resource is mined. Our statewide revenue shortfall makes this fund a target for others who look for money to fund projects elsewhere

I have received a lot of calls from pharmacists regarding the Dept. of Health Care Policy and Financing's desire to cut back Medicaid reimbursements for prescriptions for low-income people in Colorado. This might even eliminate all pharmacies from accepting Medicaid prescriptions. That seems very bad to me.

I would like to respond to recent comments concerning Kay Alexander, R-Montrose, and myself. In a recent news article, Senate Minority Leader John Andrews, R-Centennial was quoted as saying that I have to choose between what my Democrat colleagues in the Senate want and what looks good in my district. In reality, there is no conflict. I am here to represent the interests of my constituents and the leadership of the Senate knows that. The main concern of the leadership on my side of the aisle is for me to represent my constituents as best I can with the values I have. If that means I vote against my fellow Democrats then that is what I will do and the leadership knows that. I will not lose my chairmanship or position on any committees. They know that in order for Democrats to win across the state they must represent the values of the voters.

Rep. Larson's Report

Session priorities are ongoing constituent issues

I arrived in Denver on Monday to prepare for the session. My assistant Kelley Harp and I blitzed through the office updating files accumulated, tossing outdated material and organizing for the onslaught of the new session.

It is amazing how much paper flows through the legislature over the year including studies, reports, memorandums, propaganda, letters and manuals. I wonder sometimes if the multitude of individuals, groups and organizations actually think that all of their material is scrutinized. While I do look at virtually every piece of mail, it is impossible to review everything sent to us. My session priorities center around on-going constituent issues (first and foremost), my legislation, reading bills and preparing for committees, soliciting constituent input on proposed legislation, meeting with lobbyists, attending political functions (only if constituents are attending) and answering e-mail.

Legislators I talked to, who also arrived early to prepare for the session, all expressed concern about whether or not anything would be accomplished this year. I was deeply saddened to see our fears realized almost immediately. The rhetoric that I was hearing from leadership in both houses sounded positive and promising. A spark of hope glimmered for a moment. The only problem was that my mind would not accept it as real. My father taught me long ago that I should not listen to what people wanted me to believe about them nor what others may also want me to believe. He taught me to observe one's behavior and base my opinion on that behavior. Perhaps that was the problem. In my experience and observations, leadership's behavior did not support what they were purporting was their agenda.

Almost immediately rumors began circulating that the Senate would not allow any House redistricting bills to even be heard. On Thursday, the House proceeded to hold committee hearings and pass out four measures. It appeared an attempt to expedite those bills was under way. On Friday, the House Republicans caucused to discuss the bills. I was surprised to hear Speaker Doug Dean (R-Colorado Springs), promote only his version and state that, if there wasn't sufficient support for it, he would pull it and let the court decide. While his map was a good beginning and did incorporate most of the 1982 Karsten's decision concepts, it did not keep the Western Slope whole and once again made Pueblo a part of the 3rd Congressional District. Unfortunately, no other maps were reviewed or extensively discussed and, when the Speaker realized that his map would not pass, he angrily adjourned the caucus. The House also adjourned until Monday. While discussing this mutual frustration with colleagues, I expressed my dismay about the Speaker's "my bill or no other bills" display. House Minority Leader Dan Grossman (D-Denver), obviously upset as well, stated that Senate President Matsunaka was "playing the same game" in the Senate. It remains unclear what will happen Monday. Redistricting is the most partisan task the legislature ever has to perform.

I want to remind readers that the General Assembly has an excellent website. The best way to access it is to go to From the state home page, click on 'legislature' and then click on 'General Assembly'. Be sure to bookmark this page. This site has all the information about the session, such as bills, calendars, members and a plethora of other legislative information. One can even listen to committee hearings and floor action LIVE. Naturally, if you are not a cyber person, Kelley and I stand ready to assist in any way we can.

Alexis Loewen, Mike Angelo top finishers in Fun Race

Alexis Loewen of Pagosa Springs is getting faster on the slopes.

The teenager who had a top time of 34:61 in the first Wolf Creek Ski Area Fun Race of the season Jan. 5, kicked it up a notch Saturday and had the top women's time of the day with a run of 31:78.

On the mens side, Mike Angelo of Pagosa Springs, competing in the 18-20 category, had the top time of the day running the course in 29:45 for the gold medal is his group.

In competition for girls 9-12, Olivia Lowe of New Mexico had the top time of 1:12:01 and in girls 12-14, Lauren Loewen won gold in 35:18. Amy Maurer of Colorado Springs took gold in women's 26-20 with a run of 42:43.

Christina Chiang of New Mexico squeaked past Jan Ebersol of Texas 39:87 to 40:50 to snare gold in women's 31-35. In the ladies 51-60 category, Carrie Weisz of Pagosa was first in 39:87, Sandy Kolton (no hometown given) second in 41:27 and Kay Dezendorf of Texas third in 41.75.

In the chase for women 61 and over, Windsor Chacey of Pagosa Springs took gold in 46:13.

On the male side, Myles Evans of South Fork got gold in boys 6-8 with a run of 40:90. Shay Monkiewicz of Alaska was second in 42:77 and Riley Scarle of Pagosa Springs got bronze in 44:80.

In a tight race for the boys 9-11 group, Jacob Haynes of Pagosa Springs won gold in 39:23, Nick Jackson of Pagosa got silver in 39:70 and Kevin Green of Alamosa got bronze in 39:94.

Carl Upplegger of Albuquerque and Tad Beavers of Pagosa Springs tied for gold in the boys 12-14 bracket with runs of 44:75.

In boys 15-17, it was Jeremiah Flaugh of Pagosa Springs winning gold in 35:46, Evan Rens of Farmington silver in 47:64 and Nick Maule of Farmington bronze in 54:34.

Following top runner Angelo at 18-20 was Travis Laverty of Pagosa Springs in 33:09.

In the mens 21-25 bracket, gold winner was Roger Fawsutt of California in 31:42 followed by Jim McMask of California in 32:91 and Itscuhiro Miyamoto of Japan in 36:32.

John Maurer of Colorado Springs won the men's 26-30 bracket gold in 32:18 and Mark Brabham of Virginia took silver with 46:70.

Paul Clem of New Mexico was the gold medalist in men's 31-35 with a run of 35:41. Pat Reddington of San Luis was second in 46:12,

In men's 36-40, it was Mark Allen of Dulce winning gold in 32:96, Joe Ebersol of Texas taking silver in 33:35 and Brian Burgen of South Fork right behind at 33:76 for bronze.

Steve Mergens of Virginia won gold in men's 41-50 with a run of 35:09. Steve Robinson of Virginia got silver in 37:60 and winning bronze was Jack Searle of Pagosa Springs in 37:78.

Jurgen Upplegger of Albuquerque was gold medalist in mens 51-60 with 29:97. Mike Evans of South Fork was second in 30:97 and Duncan Cullman of South Fork won bronze in 31:72.

In the mens 61 and over bracket it was an all Pagosa Springs affair. Glenn Van Patter captured gold with his 34:45, Ron Chacey got silver with 35:16 and Bryant Lemoy the bronze in 35:32.

Southwest getting its own state 'hotshot' fire crew

Durango will soon be home to the 20-person San Juan Interagency Hotshot Crew, the first southwestern Colorado has ever had.

Hotshot crews are professional wildland fire suppression teams specifically trained, organized and equipped for rapid response to wildfire situations. They work in some of the most difficult fire environments imaginable.

During the fire season, hotshot crews train, eat and sleep as a crew. They are required to be available 24 hours a day, 7 days per week and available on a 2-hour call.

The San Juan Interagency Crew will be one of five hotshot crews in Colorado. In addition to the San Juan crew, the Forest Service sponsors the Pike Interagency crew based in Monument and the Roosevelt Hotshots based in Fort Collins; the National Park Service sponsors Alpine Hotshots in Rocky Mountain National Park; and the Bureau of Land Management sponsors Craig Hotshots based at Craig.

The establishment of a hotshot crew for southwestern Colorado is a part of the implementation of the National Fire Plan. After the 2000 fire season which burned 2.3 million acres of National Forest System lands, the most in 91 years, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Interior released a report that became the basis for the National Fire Plan (NFP). This plan increased Forest Service funding by $1.8 billion and was designed to:

Ensure sufficient firefighting resources for the future

Rehabilitate fire-damaged ecosystems and protect communities

Reduce fuels in forests at risk from catastrophic fire effects, especially those near communities

Work with local residents to reduce fire risk and improve fire protection

Ensure accountability.

The Interagency Crew will be made up of a diverse team of career and temporary employees. During the off season, the crew or some of its members, will assist with the implementation of hazardous fuels reduction projects and prescribed fires, both locally and regionally.

Anyone interested in becoming a firefighter or member of a hotshot crew can get applications at the local Forest Service Office, Second and Pagosa streets, or on the Internet at

For more information, call Mark Laura at 247-4874.

Methodist Bazaar seeking applicants for donations

By Sherri Lee

Supper Fellowship of the Community United Methodist Church reports another successful Christmas Bazaar in 2001.

The church makes and ships wreaths and centerpieces all over the world and this year 927 wreaths, 201 centerpieces and 11 swags were made.

The majority of the proceeds from the Bazaar was distributed as grants within the local community to various service and charitable organizations, and a lesser amount stayed within the church where it was used for youth Christian education.

Some of the organizations which have received donations in the past include: Angel Box Painters, Education Center, Habitat for Humanity, Healthy Kids, Historical Society, Ministerial Alliance, Pregnancy Support Center, Pretenders, Sisson Library, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, Seeds of Learning, Senior Center, Sonlight Camp, Victim Assistance and Youth Rescue.

At this time the Supper Fellowship is accepting requests from local non-profit, charitable and service organizations.

Applications must be picked up in the church office at 434 Lewis Street and must be returned to the office no later than Feb. 15.


Poor parenting II

Dear Editor,

My first reaction to the critics of my letter to editor (3 Jan, '02 "Responsible Parenting") was to just consider the sources and ignore their attacks. But, on second thought, I decided to enlighten them with a few facts.

First, my submitted title to my letter was "Poor Parenting" - not "Responsible Parenting."

So, let me fill you in on a few facts. Yes, I am an "old geezer" that has "been there and done that," so I know the facts of the current poor parenting going on in our liberal society. I am a mother of three, grandmother of five, great-grandmother of seven. I am a retired professional with forty years of hard and dedicated work, 20 years as an accountant and 20 years as a computer analyst/manager. That work history means that I worked at a full-time job while raising three children. I have worked, lived, and traveled in a wide area of this world, therefore, have been exposed to a variety of cultures of a large percentage of our world. So, this "old geezer" is not suffering from ignorance and certainly not from greed.

As far as my "prized civilized society" - without a civilized society, we are a third-world country. This "civilized society" should be of major concern of all parents and non-parents. Respect of the law, other people's property and manners are sadly lacking in a large percentage of our population - started with the 60s "if it feels good, do it" generation and has replicated itself throughout the subsequent generations.

Don't forget, I have been there to witness this deterioration.

I have met some of the "kids" and have been contacted by numerous concerned mothers in this area about their kids' exposure to and use of drugs. They have contacted law enforcement and schools, to no avail, and are afraid for their children's safety, plus their own safety, if they pursue their concerns any further.

Sure, there are good kids out there - I did not say there weren't - but just like the rotten apple, the bad ones try to influence their peers and, sometimes, are successful.

Parenting classes are only as good as the teachers. I will volunteer to teach a parenting class - but it would not be a "Dr. Spock Time Out" and/or permissive type of class. It would be based on reality, discipline, and the real facts of life, not a feel-good, afraid to hurt their self-esteem type of nonsense.

Keep thinking about it!

Mojie Adler

Children and dogs

Dear Editor,

In reference to juvenile delinquents in Pagosa, their parents and blaming the problem on Dr. Spock's liberalism:

By the looks of our voting trends, Pagosa Springs area is just about as conservative a society as one can find in America. For 99-percent of human history a 14-year-old warrior/hunter was considered an adult and a hero. In America, they are children with weapons. They are products of this so-called, civilized society. Before you judge others, walk a mile in their shoes. Our civilized society isn't all it's cracked up to be. Welcome to reality. The Stone Age was best.

Also, I have a problem with the declaration by Mr. Crabtree that his "ranch dogs" and all ranch dogs are above the law and little angels that never chase game? I know of "ranch dogs" in my area that run in packs and chase game on a daily basis. Mr. Crabtree is clearly out of line in saying that his dogs are automatically out of the picture. This stinks to high heaven of doggie elitism.

Ron Alexander

Change of course

Dear Editor,

Thanks for your "resolve to be involved" editorial. Citizen involvement is essential, although this five-year review of my journey raises questions.

First, I scheduled appointments to discuss growth management with the planning director and a county commissioner. The commissioner said the board couldn't manage growth because they didn't know the people's wishes, so I wrote the first of many letters to the editor, encouraging others to share concerns with commissioners, too (1/97).

I went to an annual Board of County Commissioners/Upper San Juan Regional Planning Commission meeting (1/99). When BOCC members said they couldn't manage growth because they didn't know what people wanted, citizen Tim Horning wouldn't accept that excuse another year. He said, as a businessperson, if he didn't know, he'd try to find out. We offered numerous suggestions. Tim even volunteered to chair a group to determine how to get valid input. The Vision Committee was born; I signed up.

Soon after, a valid survey (5/99) provided a list of concerns - growth management at the top.

Next, a lengthy public process, including about 25 countywide meetings (I missed 2), produced a draft plan, later adopted by the county as the official Archuleta County Community Plan. Implementation priorities were established and announced (5-6/01).

The county told citizens our continued involvement throughout the process was necessary to achieve widely acceptable, common sense regulations. We were actually cautioned to not get hung up on community plan language, because the regulation development process would include involvement by those most affected by implementation.

Citizens established and held three forums, focusing on current county concerns: plan implementation, leadership, and communication.

The Director of County Development still sought signups for regulation development committees. The BOCC had not started their priorities (11-12/01).

In my genuine effort to support the county, I submitted (12/01) a one-page "draft proposal" and "mockup ad" recommending the county conduct a full-day "regulation development workshop" of three-hour sessions on their stated priorities: junk, right-to-farm, noise, dogs, signs, lighting, and landscaping. I offered extensive organizational, promotional, and logistical background support at no expense.

The stated intentions were to "efficiently gather pub lic input/opinion, so county personnel can walk away with detailed information to get the needed regulations drafted for the BOCC, USJRPC, and the resulting public hearing processes, without further unnecessary delays," and "enable participants to commit to real dialogue, understanding, and problem-solving, and provide them an opportunity to really 'roll up their sleeves' and achieve meaningful results from their efforts."

Finally, we learn then-Chairman Crabtree doesn't really think it's useful to hear ideas and "personal preferences" from outside the county administration, because it reflects a lack of leadership on their part. They know the answers; it's their job; they can handle this without our opinions.

Well, the chairman has spoken. What do the people say?

I say, "I'm growing weary of this seemingly endless journey. Are we using different maps, or is it simply time to change course?"


Karen Aspin

Teenage parasites

Dear Editor,

I am responding to the letter on Dec. 27, 2001 regarding responsible parents.

Now I know that I am just a "parasite", but what I say I know from a life of watching and learning.

If you ignore, exclude, and tear down people, this is what they are going to expect from everyone. This is the attention or lack thereof they are going to go searching for. I believe if you set up rules and expectations, then in a great number of situations people will live up to them. Not all will respond in a positive way all the time. That is because we have the will and the right to make our own decisions. With this privilege also comes the choice to make the right or wrong decision. People make mistakes.

Does that mean it is our parents' fault? No! We made the decision, we chose right or wrong. My parents are wonderful people and have taught me right and wrong, but does that mean I am perfect? No! I have made my share of mistakes and wrong choices. None of these have been extremely bad, but a mistake is a mistake no matter the size or damage.

As for the youth who have gotten in trouble with the law, I believe that Judge Anderson is doing his best to reach out to them. (He cannot do it alone though.) He is reaching out to them, showing them that what they did was wrong, but that they can overcome their mistakes. Not all will respond to this in a positive manner, but is that their fault? Again it is up to them, it is their choice. How are they to learn to become better people when they get called a parasite by the older generation whom so many look up to and admire?

In situations of irresponsible parenting, some of the most incredible people come from disturbing homes. You see a parent can try to control a child's life, but in most cases the child will just rebel. We all have a stubborn streak, some people have bigger ones than others, but the more you control the more most people will want to push you away. I think a parent's job should be to teach those standards and practice them, because people learn by example. At some time you have to let go, and pray that you taught them well. Please remember even parents make mistakes.

I know I am still a youth and have a lot to learn, but I know this: If you put down people, then that is what they expect. If you build people up and encourage them even in the little things, then that will make anyone, especially low self-esteem youth, want to live up to and excel at the standards set before them.

Please do not judge my generation too harshly; instead help us, teach us, and show us the right way to live.


Becca Blauert,

a 15-year-old "parasite."

Mandatory prayer

Dear Editor,

In response to Mr. Grant's letter of Jan. 10: I think that some Americans, deep down in their hearts, wish that this country was a democratic theocracy. A country where reciting prayers in every school and putting crosses in all public places would be mandatory by law - as if that would make our children morally stronger. The United States would be called the Christian Republic of America.

There already is a country with a constitution which was created by the clergy, with strict adherence to "God's word"; where morality is legislated; praying in public is mandatory; and indecency and immorality are almost nonexistent for fear of severe punishment. It is a democratic country where religion is the government. That place is the Islamic Republic of Iran. No separation of church and state there, my friend.

Also, the letter from Michael J. Greene was a breath of fresh air.


DC Duncan

On-line edition

Dear Editor,

Hello Pagosa, I was just visiting your web site and decided to go on the slide show, having moved away from Pagosa Springs a little over a year ago it was nice to see pictures without going into the attic. I only have to say the fall colors and the winter scenes really do no justice to the real beauty of your town, which I do miss. I have also been reading all the newspapers on line, that is also a great feature, just wondering what happened to the police blotter, it was sometimes the funniest part of the paper. Also in reply to the people commenting about the obituaries, I say keep them as I myself like to know who is living and also who has passed on from my old town of 7 years. Have a great day.

Diana Laplow

Millington, Mich.

(Editor's note: Not all elements of each week's SUN are included in the website edition of the paper. In order to receive the complete paper, we recommend a subscription.)

Inspiring spirit

Dear Editor,

The unspeakable terrorist attack of 9/11, and the U.S.-led war on terror has inspired some of the finest oratory since the days of Winston Churchill.

President Kennedy spoke at 1963 ceremony in which Sir Winston Churchill was made an honorary citizen of the United States. In his tribute, Kennedy said, "In the dark days and darker nights when Britain stood alone - and most men save Englishmen despaired of England's life - he mobilized the English language and sent it into battle. The incandescent quality of his words illuminated the courage of his countrymen."

Without question, our American leaders are doing the same thing today - perhaps not always with Churchillian grandeur, but certainly with a lift and a spirit not heard in America in generations. The noble, decent and determined response of the American people has resulted, in large measure, from the way our leaders have used their language to provide inspiration.

In this incredible time, when leaders are finding their voice and their stride, and when the people listen with great care to the words leaders are speaking, one voice is missing: Ronald Reagan's. What would Reagan say to us now if he were president, or if he were able?

The answer is in his farewell address, delivered Jan. 20, 1989. In that speech, Reagan gave all of us one basic charge, one essential commission; teach your children what it means to be an American.

Reagan started with basics: giving more attention to American history with a greater emphasis on civic ritual. The spontaneous revival of civic ritual witnessed since 9/11 is evident. The flag looks a little different now, the Pledge sounds more solemn, patriotic songs stir in ways we never felt before. Some adults are re-learning, and I think many are learning for the first time, the words to "God Bless America". I think we all understand now that our country is unique in history and truly represents the world's best hope for human liberty.

Near the end of Reagan's farewell address, he said, "Let me offer lesson number one about America: All great change in America begins at the dinner table. So tomorrow night in the kitchen I hope the talking begins. And children, if your parents haven't been teaching you what it means to be an American, let 'em know and nail 'em on it. That would be a very American thing to do."

So let us re-read Reagan's farewell at this time of war, and recommit ourselves to our precious country. Let us relearn our civic language, our civic rituals, rededicate ourselves to our Constitution and rejuvenate our quiet but fierce pride in being Americans. Then, at every possible chance, let us teach our children what it means to be an American. It's what Reagan, Lincoln, Jefferson and Washington would ask us to do.

Our kids are America's future. What makes this "old goat" grunt is reading that some believe all youth are "parasites."


Jim Sawicki

What money buys

Dear Editor,

A solicitation recently received from an organization that gives livestock to needy people on condition that they give their first female offspring to some other needy party (Heifer Project International) got me to thinking about what one could do with a spare $20 million:

80,000 water buffalo (especially useful in Southeast Asia);

100,000 llamas (South America);

15,000 sheep, goats or pigs;

1 million rabbits (well, not quite, but by the time they are delivered . . .);

1 private trip to the International Space Station.

Since this last item suggests a reference to a specific individual, I hasten to add that I believe he has every legal right to spend his money as he wishes, but I know of no law that requires me to applaud.

Such reflections, however, also lead me to wonder whether we might not be better protected if the money projected for a missile shield might be better spent (well-spent, that is) on relieving misery in the Third World. I do not know. I just wonder.


John Spradley

Medical bills pile up

Dear Editor,

Long-time Pagosa Springs residents Tommy and Donna Stahr have experienced two serious accidents and, as a result, have a need for financial assistance with medical bills.

Donna was involved in an automobile accident in January of 2000 and suffered a broken back. On Nov. 6, 2001, Tommy was kicked by a horse in the chest area while working at his business of raising cattle for other ranches. This accident caused serious medical problems, requiring surgery and a long hospitalization. Tommy is unable to return to work until March, when he is expected to be fully recovered from his injuries.

Although Donna has been working as a substitute teacher and as a sales representative, her income only helps with day-to-day expenses. Unfortunately, the Stahrs have no medical insurance. To assist the Stahrs with their mounting medical expenses, a fund has been established at the Bank of the San Juans. Donations may be sent to Tom Stahr Medical Fund, Account No. 20008389, c/o Bank of the San Juans, P.O. Box 2830, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.

Kandee Stephens

Sports Page
Cold Pirates blow early lead, bow to Bloomfield

By John M. Motter

Basketball that counts begins tomorrow night when Pagosa Springs hosts the Ignacio Bobcats in the first Intermountain League game of the season for both teams.

After losing to Bloomfield, N.M., 56-45 Friday, Pagosa's preseason record plummeted to 3-7. Ignacio comes to town with a 7-4 preseason record, the best start the Bobcats have enjoyed in years.

The Pirate loss at Bloomfield reflected rustiness following the holiday layoff and another weakness that has plagued the young Pirates this entire season: the inability to score.

"Overall, our defense is playing pretty well. We're holding people in the 50's. We should win most of those games," said Jim Shaffer, the Pirate coach. "We just can't score. Against Bloomfield we only made 45 points. Against Durango, we only made 31 points. We're not shooting well from the floor, we're not shooting well at the free throw line, and we're committing more than 20 turnovers per game. It's hard to win under those circumstances."

"I'd like to see us play harder, kind of make up for lack of scoring by shutting down the other team a little better until we start scoring," Shaffer said.

Pagosa shot 39 percent from the floor against Bloomfield by making 18 of 46 attempts. From the free throw line, the Pirates shot a paltry 42 percent, successfully converting 8 of 19 attempts. This particular loss could be blamed on poor free throw shooting. The Bobcats from Bloomfield made 19 of 26 free throw attempts, accounting for all of the 11-point victory margin.

Freshman center Caleb Forrest controlled the opening tip for Pagosa, Brandon Charles canned an early trey followed by a two-pointer, and it appeared the Pirates were on their way to an easy victory. Bloomfield still hadn't scored with 4:45 left in the opening period. Pagosa's lead was 7-0.

At that point, Charles picked up two quick personals and went to the bench. Two minutes later, Bloomfield took the lead 10-9 and by the end of the period the score was knotted 14-14.

The Bobcats continued their domination into the second period by outscoring Pagosa 14-8. Henrique Dias was Pagosa's lone bright spot during the period. The Brazilian exchange student turned in six points during the period. By halftime, Pagosa trailed 28-22.

Pagosa made a run to start the third period and were behind only 38-34 as the period ended. The bucket seemed to have a lid as far as Pagosa was concerned during the final period. Inability to score and turnovers down the stretch helped the Bobcats boost their lead to 56-45 as the game ended.

Sophomore Clayton Spencer's 14 points led the Pirates in scoring. Ten of Spencer's points came during the second period. Dias was next in the scoring column with 11 points, followed by Charles with nine points, Forrest with eight points, Ryan Goodenberger with two points, and Cord Ross with one point.

Dias and Spencer each pulled in eight rebounds, followed by Goodenberger with six rebounds and Forrest with five rebounds.

Cord Ross' three assists topped that department. Charles led in steals with four. Pagosa committed 23 turnovers.


Scoring: Pagosa - Spencer, 7-12, 0-2, 14; Dias, 4-8, 3-9, 11; Charles, 3-13, 2-2, 9; Forrest, 3-6, 2-3, 8; Goodenberger, 1-3, 2; Ross, 0-1, 1-3, 1. Team Rebounds: Off. 16, Def. 15. Individual Rebounds: Spencer 8; Dias, 8; Goodenberger, 6; Forrest, 5; Ross, 3. Three-point Goals: Charles, 1-2; Lister, 0-2; Goodenberger, 0-1. Assists: Ross, 3; Charles, 2; Goodenberger, 2; Lister, 2; Dias, 1. Steals: Charles, 4; Ross, 3; Forrest, 1; Samples, 1.

Ball handling errors torpedo Lady Pirates' effort

By Richard Walters

Twenty seven TURNOVERS.

That, in a nutshell, is the story of the Pagosa Springs Lady Pirates' 70-62 loss Friday in Bloomfield to the Lady Bobcats.

What? You want more?

Okay. How about the hot-shooting hosts scoring 45 of their 70 points off those Pagosa giveaways? They shot just over 60 percent from the floor (26 of 43) compared to Pagosa's 41 percent (23 of 55).

There obviously were some excellent moments for Pagosa, particularly the performance of freshman guard Lori Walkup who hit three of six shots from the floor, had six assists, and picked off 10 rebounds, seven at the defensive end.

Katie Lancing hit 13 of 16 from the foul line on her way to a Pirate high 23 points and Ashley Gronewoller chipped in with 21 points but hit only 10 of 21 shots from the field and was in early foul trouble.

That, in fact, was one of the keys to the game.

After the Pagosans edged out to a 13-11 lead after one period over the team they had beaten 62-51 at the Cortez Invitational in early December, Gronewoller picked up her third foul with 3:21 left in the second period and the Pirates were down 28-26 at the half with Gronewoller riding the pines.

She returned with eight quick points in the third quarter, but had to go to the bench again when she picked up her fourth foul with 2:12 remaining in the period.

Coach Karen Wells was incensed by the officiating and risked a bench technical when she complained to the official who called Gronewoller's fourth foul, "You're penalizing us for being tall. She had both hands on top of the ball and could not have fouled the shooter."

There were, in fact, several questionable calls in the game, but the Lady Pirates' inability to take care of the ball was the more dominant factor. Several "lollipop" passes seemed more intended for opponents than for teammates. At other times, passes to open players were overthrown.

Wells said one reason might have been the long layoff. The Pagosans had not played in nearly a month because of a canceled game and the long holiday period. But that wasn't the sole factor.

"We may have a communication problem," the coach said after the game. "Several times I gave explicit instructions on what I wanted done and they went out and did the exact opposite. We have to learn from this game," she said. "If we don't we're not going to go the level we should reach."

Pagosa was down only 48-44 at the end of three but Bloomfield's Rochelle Finch, a 5'10" post player, went on a 12-point spree in the fourth quarter with Gronewoller having to back off to protect herself from picking up a fifth foul. Unable to press her defense, and unable to drive to the basket, she was limited to two field goals in the final stanza.

Lancing tried to carry the Lady Pirates back into the contention in the fourth period with 10 points, including six from the foul stripe, but her three desperation trey attempts in the final 20 seconds were all misfires.

The only other offensive help the Ladies got in the period were single field goals from Shannon and Lori Walkup.

Bloomfield, meanwhile, was getting a second trey from sharpshooting point guard Kayla Brown who finished with 18 points for the Bobcats, three more from Stacia Valdez, two from Sammi Payne and a pair from the charity stripe from Lindsey Sullivan. They outscored the Lady Pirates 22-18 in the final period.

Pagosa closed the gap to 65-62 with 1:14 remaining but two consecutive errant passes led to Bobcat scores and the comeback effort was ended.

Hampering the Pirate effort also was the absence of Nicole Buckley, who normally comes off the bench in relief of both Gronewoller and Lancing.

Pagosa will open defense of its Intermountain League title when it hosts the Ignacio Bobcats tomorrow night.

Wells expects Ignacio to press continually and warned, "We must learn to take care of the ball. We can't keep giving the other team opportunities to score, especially one shooting as well as Bloomfield did. We have to learn we can't drive right between two defenders and that the sideline becomes another defensive player when we go outside. We have to stay out of the traps this creates and the subsequent bad passes."


Scoring: Pagosa - Lancing, 5-12, 13-16, 23; Gronewoller, 10-21, 1-1, 21; S. Walkup, 2-4, 4; L. Walkup 3-6, 6; Lungstrum 1-5, 3; Bliss, 1-5, 1-1, 3; Scott, 1-1, 0-1, 2. Team rebounds: Off. 14; Def. 24. Rebound leaders: Lancing, 14; L. Walkup, 10; Gronewoller, 7; Bliss, 4; Scott, 2; Lungstrum, 1. Three-point goals: Lungstrum, 1-5; Lancing, 0-3; S. Walkup, 0-1. Assists: L. Walkup, 6; Lancing, 3; Lungstrum, 1. Steals: Lancing, Gronewoller, S. Walkup and Lungstrum, 1 each. Blocks: Gronewoller, 5; Bliss, 2; Lungstrum 1.

'Tremendously improved' Pirates sixth in Rocky

By Karl Isberg

Every year, the Rocky Mountain Invitational wrestling tournament at Pagosa Springs High School gets better: A treat for competitors and fans alike.

This year 16 teams were at the Pagosa Springs High School gym and, while there might have been tournaments in the past where a couple of teams were superior to the best in this year's field, there has not been a Rocky where the overall quality of the individual wrestlers was any better.

As they have at many of the tournaments before this one, Aztec N.M. and Alamosa battled for the top spot at the Rocky. The two teams are perennial powerhouses and always in the running for their respective state championships. This year, Aztec won the tournament with a score of 198.5. Alamosa was second with 169 points.

Intermountain league teams from Centauri and Monte Vista were third and fourth respectively, followed by Monticello, Utah, in fifth, and Pagosa in sixth place.

Sophomore Kory Hart was Pagosa's top finisher, placing second at 135 pounds. Hart began by pinning Jarrod Arlotta of Del Norte at 2 minutes 35 seconds of the match. With a 10-3 decision over Clint Ritter of Aztec, Hart moved to the semifinals against Timothy Arthur of Bloomfield. Hart got an 11-3 major decision over Arthur but lost the tourney title by decision to arguably the best wrestler at the tournament, Alamosa's Brandon Meis.

Several Pirates won third-place medals.

Michael Martinez was third at 112 with a 3-1 record. Martinez started competition with a 20-5 technical fall over Miguel Romo of Taos. A trip to the semifinals was assured with a 13-7 decision over Max Casias of Antonito. Martinez dropped a 7-5 decision to Jake Swenson of Aztec then captured third with a 6-1 decision over Leif Lomeland of Page, Ariz.

Mike Maestas continues to wrestle well for the Pirates at 125. Maestas started the trip to third place with a 14-9 decision over Ernest Archuleta of Sierra. Dan Edwards of Bayfield was next on the list and the Wolverine fell in a 9-5 decision. Maestas lost a 5-3 decision to Adrian Abeyta of Ignacio then came back to decision Chad Butler of Monticello, 13-11.

Another third place medal was won by Jordan Kurt-Mason, wrestling at 160. Kurt-Mason pinned Matt Lattin, wrestling unaffiliated, at 2:50 of the match, then nailed a fall at 1:04 against Cruz Soto of Antonito. A 15-8 loss in the semifinal to Matteo Garcia of Monte Vista put Kurt-Mason in the battle for third, which he won 10-4 over Ethan Morrison of Bayfield.

Cliff Hockett was 2-2 at the tournament and took fourth at 135. Hockett pinned an unaffiliated wrestler and scored a 19-3 technical fall over another unaffiliated opponent to log his two victories. He lost a close 10-9 decision to Jaime Morales of Monte Vista in the fight for third.

Freshman Darren Hockett drew a first-round bye at 103 then lost a decision in the quarterfinals. Hockett put together three consecutive wins to capture fifth place, pinning a Durango wrestler, scoring a 17-0 tech fall over a Bayfield opponent and beating James Fernandez of Sierra 7-0.

Senior Trevor Peterson was sixth at 145. He pinned his man from Alamosa in the first round of action, pinned Tyler Jordan of Aztec in his first consolation match, and pinned an unaffiliated opponent in the consolation semifinal.

Luke Boilini, also a senior, was seventh at 189, going 3-2 with wins over wrestlers from Monte Vista (10-0 major decision), Del Norte (4-3), and Bayfield (2-1).

Senior Aaron Perez was 2-2 and took eighth at 140, beating opponents from Monte Vista and Center.

Zeb Gill, 2-2, was eighth at 152 with wins over an unaffiliated opponent and a wrestler from Taos.

Other Pirates won single matches at the Rocky: Jesse Trujillo at 119 and Craig Lucero at 215.

"I thought, in terms of overall depth, this was the best tournament we've ever held," said Pirate coach Dan Janowsky.

The coach was pleased with his team's performance and recognized that his charges had an opportunity to overtake several teams in the standings, including IML rivals Centauri and Monte Vista.

"In terms of tournament scoring," he said, "I could find two or three matches we lost in the last seconds. There were some very close matches and if we win a couple of them, we go up two or three places in the final standings. As it is, we only got one guy to the championship round and a couple of one-point losses in the semifinals cost us our place in the standings."

Not that he is discouraged. Far from it.

"We've improved tremendously," said Janowsky, "and we've closed the gap on some of these teams since we saw them at the beginning of the schedule. We just need a couple more guys to get into the finals and a couple into the semifinals. We were close and we were making little mental errors; it was not for lack of effort. Our guys were all very competitive, and never gave up."

Pirate wrestlers got a high-octane start to the second half of the season with three meets in three days last week. Janowsky sees this as an advantage heading into the last two regular-season tournaments of the year this week at Alamosa and next week at Ignacio.

"We got some serious mat time, more than ever before in our first week back," he said. "We gave up very few pins and got a lot of mileage out of the meets. Most of our guys got in seven matches in three days and most of them came away with winning records. The intensity they've shown makes me proud."

Now it is on to perhaps the toughest tournament of the regular season for the Pirates - the Alamosa Invitational.

The field at Alamosa is small, but prime. The hosts are joined by Aztec, Montrose, Douglas County, Pueblo East, Rocky Ford, Thunder Ridge, Grandview and Pagosa. Only the Pirates and Rocky Ford are 3 A teams; the rest of the squads are from bigger schools.

"The Alamosa tournament is definitely tougher than our regional qualifying tournament," said Janowsky. "I'll be looking for some of the things we did this week to continue. We need four or five guys to get in there and medal at Alamosa. It will be a good opportunity to even some scores because we'll see guys we've lost to in close matches earlier in the year. We'll need the same competitive spirit we've shown so far and we need to squeeze this tournament for all we can get. We have to step up and go toe-to-toe with these programs, stand in there and get our points and make them work hard for theirs."

The Alamosa tournament is set to begin at 9 a.m.

Matmen register rare shutout; blank Sierra 74-0

By Karl Isberg

It's not often you see a shutout in a wrestling dual meet.

Pagosa wrestling fans got to experience the rarity Jan. 11 as the Pirates blanked 4A Sierra from Colorado Springs 74-0.

The meet was a last-minute addition to the Pirate schedule. Sierra was in town for the Rocky Mountain Invitational the next day and asked for a dual.

They got it, and probably wondered afterward why they drove so far to get beaten so badly.

Coming off a dual win at Bayfield the night before, and preparing for the tourney the next day, the Pirates were in fine form and freshman Darren Hockett put the first point on the board when he pinned his man at 103 pounds with 18 seconds left in the first period.

Michael Martinez was ahead 10-1 after the first period of his match at 112, in control from the first whistle. Martinez continued his mastery into the second round, ending the fight with a 17-2 technical fall at 2:53 of the match.

With his team ahead 11-0, it was Jesse Trujillo's turn, at 119. Trujillo built a 6-1 lead in the first period and extended the advantage to 13-2 after two periods. Trujillo played the takedown game with his opponent, letting the man up then getting two points with a takedown and forged an 18-4 major decision to score four points for his team.

Ronnie O'Brien was up next for the Pirates at 125. O'Brien had a strong first period, going ahead 7-1, then cruised to a 12-6 decision.

Cliff Hockett made short work of the Sierra wrestler at 130. Hockett was aggressive from the outset and pinned his man with six seconds left in the first period.

Pagosa was up 24-0.

Sierra's man at 135 ran into a buzzsaw in the person of Kory Hart. The Pirate was relentless, building a 9-2 lead after two periods and pinning his opponent with just less than a minute remaining in the match.

Aaron Perez made short work of his man at 140. Perez nailed a pin in the first period to extend the Pirate lead to 36-0.

Clayton Mastin went to work at 145, going ahead 4-0 after two minutes and 11-2 after four minutes, Mastin kept the wagon rolling and scored five team points with an 18-2 technical fall.

Sierra forfeited at 152 pounds, surrendering another six points.

Jordan Kurt-Mason had one of the few battles of the evening. His opponent at 160 pounds was a decent wrestler and a good athlete and the two grapplers were tied 3-3 at the end of the first period. The athletes stayed even with each other through most of the middle period, with Kurt-Mason edging in front 9-7 with a takedown at the end of the period. The Pirate won the third period and earned a 9-7 decision.

Sierra forfeited at 171 and each team failed to put a wrestler on the mat at 189.

Luke Boilini fought the last match of the night at 215, getting a takedown in the first period for a 2-0 lead then pinning his man with 27 seconds left in the second period.

A Sierra forfeit at 275 closed the scoring.

The closest Sierra came to scoring a point was the deduction of a single point from Pagosa's total for an equipment violation.

"Sierra had a couple of good wrestlers," said pirate coach Dan Janowsky, "especially at 103 and 160. I thought the experience was good for our guys in one important respect: it gave them a chance to see how their hard work pays off. This group works extremely hard and a meet like this gives them the opportunity to understand what kind of skills they are developing."

Pirates pin 42-25 wrestling defeat on Wolverines

By Karl Isberg

Pirate wrestlers went to Bayfield Jan. 10 for a dual meet and picked up where they left off prior to the holiday break, winning matches in what has been a surprisingly successful season to-date.

With a 42-25 win over the Wolverines, the Pirates extended their season dual meet record to 7-4 and provided coach Dan Janowsky with more evidence to support the claim he has a group of youngsters whose hard work is quickly turning them into a formidable team.

At Bayfield, Pirate athletes won eight of 12 matches wrestled. Each team gave up a forfeit.

The dual at Bayfield began at 125 pounds and Michael Maestas got the Pirates off to a fast start with an 8-5 decision.

The Wolverines forfeited the match at 130 and Kory Hart continued his winning ways at 135, pinning his opponent with three seconds remaining in the first period. Pagosa led 15-0.

Bayfield won matches at 140, 145 and 152. Two of the Wolverine victories came with pins, one on a decision. The team score was tied.

Jordan Kurt-Mason returned the lead to Pagosa with a 9-5 decision at 160.

The home team rebounded with a win at 171 and Pagosa forfeited at 189.

Luke Boilini posted a win at 215, getting a pin in the third period and starting a five-match win streak for the Pirates.

Craig Lucero had the big match of the night for Pagosa, getting a 7-4 decision at 275. Lucero trailed by one point going into the final period of the match then wore his opponent down for the win.

When the 103-pound match came up on the scoreboard, it was Pagosa's turn to pile on the points. Darren Hockett got a 13-4 decision at 103 and added three points to Pagosa's total.

Michael Martinez put his opponent's shoulders to the mat in the second period of a 112-pound contest for six team points.

Jesse Trujillo put the icing on the cake at 119 with a 13-3 decision.

"We probably could have done a little better," said the coach, "but the thing could have gone the other way too. I had us figured as a sure bet in six matches, the others were up for grabs."

The team's post-holiday regimen might have been a factor in the character of the dual, said Janowsky. "You could tell we were a little flat, because we had been training very hard. The first match of the year and the first match following Christmas break are usually the toughest of the season, conditioning-wise. It takes that first match to get back to form. All this aside, though, we did well. It was a good way to start the second part of the year."

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Community News

January 17, 2002

Chamber News

By Sally Hameister

'Fabulous' events, menus for Mardi Gras

I can only assume that you have made your reservations for Saturday night's Third Annual Mardi Gras to be held at the Ridgeview Centre beginning at 6 p.m.

This fabulous evening includes the board of directors election, fabulous Cajun delicacies courtesy of Vince at Enzo's Catering, best male and female costume contest with prizes, a chance to win a free year's Chamber membership (all you have to do is find the baby in your piece of King Cake), Citizen of the Year and Volunteer of the Year awards, Pagosa Pride awards, a fond (and, very likely preposterous) farewell to our outgoing board directors, souvenir Mardi Gras beads, masks and cups for all who attend.

Vince has come up with a lovely menu of goodies to be enjoyed at the four stations that evening before we all convene in the big room. In the French Quarter, you will find sausage corn bread, Cajun Chicken Satay, Cajun Chicken and Orzo Pasta Salad. Not surprisingly, The Bayou will boast a Crawfish Boil, Andouille Sausage, Boudin Blanc Sausage (flown in straight from Jacob's in New Orleans) and Oven-Fried Sweet Potatoes. At the Bourbon Street station (cash bar), Cheese Straws will be handy to munch on, and in the Red Hot Jazz Room you will find the King Cake and Enzo's Pecan Pralines. Yum. Only Vince would have sausage flown in directly from New Orleans to make the evening deliciously authentic.

Don't miss out on all the fun on Saturday evening and, by all means, save yourself $5 by reserving before you arrive. Tickets are $25 if they are purchased before the event and $30 at the door. With all the Chamber Board of Directors in attendance, anything can happen and usually does.

I think I can safely state that there will be some surprises in store for all of us.

I'm delighted to announce that John Porter will once again grace us with some of his original work performed by the members of A Reading Society and Ensemble. We ended our program last year with a reading by this group entitled "A One Traffic Light Town" and have graduated this year to "A Three Traffic Light Town." These folks attempt to recap the year's events in Pagosa in a charmingly entertaining fashion, and I am already looking forward to hearing this year's version. We're grateful to Bill and Clarissa Hudson and the Whistle Pig gang for loaning us a stage for the evening so I won't be accused of standing in a trench.

If you haven't done so, please call us right now at 264-2360 to reserve a place at Mardi Gras.

As always, costumes are encouraged but definitely not required. We understand that some folks consider a costume their worst nightmare, and, above all, we want you to be comfortable. Please feel free to wear anything cozy, but keep in mind that prizes will be awarded for the best male and female costumes.

Relay for Life

The American Cancer Society invites you to attend the Pagosa Springs ACS Relay for Life Rally to be held at the Pagosa Lakes Vista Clubhouse on Monday evening, Jan. 28 beginning at 5:30 p.m. Hors d'oeuvres will be served, and the program will take place from 6 to 6:30. You are asked to RSVP at 731-9296. If you have received an invitation, please note that the phone number on the invitation is incorrect, so please respond to the number given here.

Board candidates

I have been very pleased with the number of members who have come in to cast their votes for the three open seats on the Chamber board. I will, once and for all, 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. Please exercise your voting privilege.

Free counseling

One of your valued Chamber benefits is the opportunity to receive free business counseling from Jim Reser, Director of the Small Business Development Center at Fort Lewis College in Durango. Jim has counseled literally hundreds of our members over the years, and will be happy to answer your questions and help you achieve your business goals for the year 2002. He will be at the Visitor Center Friday, Jan. 25, from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m., and we will be happy to make an appointment for you if you will just give us a call at 264-2360. Photo contest

Moonlight Books will host the annual photo contest sponsored by the Pagosa Springs Arts Council beginning on Feb. 2, with a reception from 5-7 p.m. Entry forms for this contest are available at Moonlight Books, Mountain Snapshots and the PSAC. The deadline is Jan. 30. Categories include sports, people, autumn scenic, open, patterns, black and white, architecture, flora, domestic animals, wild fauna and more. After the Feb. 2 reception, photos will remain on display until Feb. 23. Awards will be presented for first, second and third place in each category and best of show. Attend the opening reception and cast your vote for the People's Choice Award.


I am extremely pleased for the opportunity to introduce five new members to you this week and 15, count 'em, 15 renewals. Life is good.

Our first new member is George Wanket who is president of American Dream Builders, Inc., located on Hersch Avenue here in Pagosa. These folks are builders of high-quality custom homes and have been nicely established since 1975. They build from foundation to finish in-house to ensure projects are completed on time and within budget. To learn more about American Dream Builders, Inc., please give George a call at 731-3423.

We're happy to welcome Pastor James Coats who brings us the Healing Water Presbyterian Church currently holding services at the Vista Clubhouse on Port Avenue. Please join them there for worship services at 10 a.m. on Sundays. We're grateful to Ralph Manring for recruiting Pastor Coats to Chamber membership and will reward Ralph with a SunDowner pass.

Tony Simmons and Bill Hudson join us next with Site Five Productions located at 446 Loma Street. Site Five Productions is Pagosa's very own marketing and production company featuring TV/video production, web design, advertising services and graphic design. These two talented gentlemen represent over 35 years of combined experience available to you for your next marketing project. If you would like to learn about what they can do for you, please call 264-2491.

Melanie Kelley, Attorney, is new member number four today and brings us a law practice in which she focuses on estate planning. Melanie currently works out of her home here in Pagosa and would welcome your call to learn more at 731-9956.

Last, but certainly not least on our new member list this week is Fire Chief Warren Grams bringing us the Pagosa Fire Protection District located at 191 North Pagosa Boulevard. These folks, of course, specialize in fire prevention and suppression and do a mighty fine job with both. They are also the group who won first place in the recent Parade of Lights and opted to send their winnings to the New York Fire Department Relief Fund. They are very special people, and we are all so grateful that they are here to take care of us. They can be reached by phone at 731-4191.

Renewals this week include Monika Murphy with Astara Clothing and Jewelry, LLC; Rebecca McCranie with Touch of the Tropics; Nathan Thomas with Talent Financial Services, Inc., d.b.a. H & R Block; Pat Kahn with Victoria's Parlor; Pat and Gordon Kahn with Victoria's Reign; David and Elizabeth Hanson with Colorado Roofing and Construction; Jeff Laydon with Pagosa Photography Studio and Gallery; Vimmie Ray with Lobo Outfitters; Vimmie Ray with the Rocky Mountain Wildlife Park; Beth Warren with KSUT Four Corners Public Radio; the Downtown Merchants Association; the Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship; H. Wayne Wilson, CPA/PFS, CPP; and Alden Ecker with Ecker Construction, LLC.

Our Associate Member renewals this week are John and Jenny Schoenborn, and we are grateful to each and every one of you for your continued support.

Senior News

By Janet Copeland

John Porter wins TV for giving Senior Center new name

Drum Roll!!!

The new name of the Senior Center, when we move to the Community Center in August, will be Silver Foxes Den.

John Porter submitted the winning entry and was presented with a 13-inch color TV on Friday. We appreciate all those who submitted entries and the judges who made the difficult decision as to who submitted the winning entry.

A belated Happy Birthday (Jan. 7) to Dawnie Silva. Dawnie is so special to us all and we hope she had a wonderful day.

Dody Smith is our Senior of the Week. Congratulations Dody. We so enjoy having Dody as part of our group; she is a very special lady.

On Tuesday, Jan. 8 we enjoyed having Susie Cochran, Marsha and Dick Roush (from Minnesota) Bill Korsgren, Jim Stell, Mary Ann Valdez, Lucy Gonzales and John Graff (son of our Clara Kelly) visit with us. On Wednesday, the bridge players who joined us included Judy Wood, Martha Thomas, Virginia Sheets, Ruth Schultz, Eve Kirton, Genelle Macht, Billie Evans and Joan Sager. Also visiting were Jean and Jim Sitton from Arboles. On Friday, Beverly Arrendell, Larry Russell and Dave Jeffries joined us. Our guests are very important to us and we hope they will come again soon.

Also on Tuesday, we appreciated the presentation on reverse mortgages given by Roy Vega. The information presented was very helpful for those considering using a reverse mortgage to enable them financially to stay in their homes. Income from reverse mortgages may be used for debt elimination, to improve cash flow, for investment diversification, for Medicare Supplemental Insurance/Long Term Care Insurance, or to remodel the applicant's home to make it accommodate their needs. Roy is an insurance representative in Pagosa so anyone with questions about reverse mortgages may contact him at 264-4321.

Unfortunately, Donna Pina of Social Services was not able to join us on Friday but she plans to join us Jan. 25, so bring your questions and visit with her.

Andy Fautheree, Veterans Service Officer, did join us Friday and visited with several of our veterans regarding services offered. Thanks, Andy, for providing this service.

On Jan. 30, students from the Alternative Education School will be at the Center between 8 and 9:30 a.m. to interview seniors regarding their lives, interests, etc. - hoping to bridge the gaps between our young people and seniors.

We have had a request for volunteers to make lap quilts for victims of crime. Please contact Musetta at the Center if you can help.

Our prayers are with Lena Bowden who had a death in her family.

Updated information on what is happening at the Senior Center can be obtained by dialing 264-NEWS (6397).

REMINDER: The sign ups and deposits for the Four Corners Senior Travelers trip to Biloxi and New Orleans are due by Feb. 12. Departure is April 19 and includes 11 days/10 nights for $680 per person. It includes deluxe motor coach transportation, four nights at a hotel/casino, 16 meals, guided tour of New Orleans, tour of NASA's Stennis Space Center, etc. You may contact Musetta for more information.

Other upcoming events include:

Yoga at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesdays

On Wednesdays swimming is at 9, art class at 12:45 and card games at 1 p.m.

Shopping trips to Durango on Thursdays today and Jan. 31

Ralph and Son Chimney Sweeping members will be on hand during lunch hour tomorrow to discuss proper wood burning

On Friday Jan. 25, there will, be a WaterPik demonstration by Terri Beecher at 12:30 p.m., senior board meeting at 12:45 and monthly potluck supper at 5 p.m.

All Fridays, bridge begins at 1 p.m.

Crusing with Cruse

By Katherine Cruse

All kinds of bodies seen in weight room

It's way past time to get in shape for skiing, so I've started going to the rec center again. I love going to the rec center.

At first, before I lost weight last year, I was embarrassed to show my flabby body there. I wore a long-sleeved T shirt and loose, baggy sweat pants. As though they could hide my size.

I could tell when I looked in the mirror, nothing was concealed. What had happened to my girlish figure? I looked smaller than a refrigerator, sure, but definitely bigger than the image in my mind's eye. It takes a certain kind of courage just to show up at all, to undergo that kind of exposure.

I show up with my water bottle and my glasses, so I can read the instructions on the weight machines. At each machine I have to readjust the weight from 50 or 80 or 120 pounds down to 12 or 25 pounds. Sometimes I think that I'll move the pin back to a higher weight when I'm finished, just so the next person won't know I'm a wimp. Who do I think I'm kidding?

I watch the stronger, fitter people doing complicated things with some of the pulley weights, and remind myself that I'm just starting out, I'm working with what I've got, I'm improving, moving up from a starting point that was pretty much at zero. Maybe I'll get to the place they're at, and maybe not.

All kinds of people, with all kinds of bodies, show up in the weight room.

There are the dilettantes. They bounce from one machine to another, three pull-downs on the lats machine, a couple of pushes on the chest/pushup machine. They don't stop to adjust the height of the seat or the length of the leg rest. They don't worry about doing it right. They just hop on, give a few tries, and move on to the next one.

There are the bored teenagers, hanging out while their friends do serious grunting and sweating. "Hey, dude, how does this one work?" Never mind that the weight machines have clear instructions, complete with pictures, pasted right on them. The pictures demonstrate the way to sit or stand, and they show which muscles that particular machine is designed to strengthen. Or hurt, depending on your point of view.

One machine, the assisted chin-up machine, is a killer. I don't just mean that it's especially hard for me to use it. I mean that if you don't pay attention, you can probably slip and do yourself real injury. But there they go. Grab, flail, push, pull, grunt. I look the other way, concentrate on my breathing, and hope nothing bad happens.

There are the dedicated folks, who walk or jog or bike for miles, or who climb thousands of stairs, day after day, week after week. There are the people who check their pulse after every bout of lifting. There are the he-men, who lift enormously heavy loads on the machines or with the free weights, straining and grunting.

There are the self-appointed teachers, who show others what to do for maximum burn. Who "spot" for the guys on their backs, lifting heavy weighted bars, right over their faces. Who chant encouragement - "Push! Push! Push!" I haven't heard that word repeated so often since I delivered our babies.

People bring their kids. "Now you behave. If I hear you, I'll make you sit in the room with me. Understand?" said one mother recently, as her two young guys pulled off their boots in the aerobics room where I was doing my after-workout stretching. The boys headed for the big rubber ball I'd been balancing on a few minutes before.

"Hey," mom called, "I thought you were going to practice your routine?"

"We will," they said cheerfully, "We're just playing a bit first."

Another little boy whose mother was in the weight room joined them, and the three began a vigorous variation of tag. I never did learn what their "routine" was. When I finished and went to get my things, they were still racing around the room.

During the Christmas holidays the place was filled, mostly with families on vacation, who came for pool time. Dads played with their kids, and the shouts of "Marco!" "Polo!" filled the afternoons. Young people slouched around the lobby. Balls clicked continuously on the pool tables.

In the women's dressing room, mothers urged small children to pull on their boots so they could leave. "Come on. It's time to go." Teenage girls worried about their tans and lamented to their friends about how ugly they looked.

"I can't go out there," moans one, slumped on the bench in her tiny pink bikini, brushing the long blonde hair back from her flawless face. "He'll see me looking like this." "Like what?" I think. "What's the problem?" From my sagging perspective, this girl is gorgeous.

At the rec center there are people younger than I, and older. Not everyone is thin and muscular. Some of us come with elastic bandages on knee or elbow. People even come in walkers and motorized wheelchairs to slip into the pool and for a little while be free of gravity.

We're trying to keep our bodies functioning. We're trying to have a little fun at the same time.

And all of us are doing the best we can.

Parks and Rec

By Douglas Call

Two Pagosa Hoop Shoot winners advance to district

Youth basketball continues this week and through the rest of January. Practices are now being held on Saturday mornings.

Coaches can sign up by calling the recreation office at 264-4151 ext. 232 or at the gym.

A single-elimination tournament for the 9-10 division will be held Feb. 2 at the junior high gym. This is a one-day tournament and will conclude the season. Tournament games for the 11-12 division will begin Feb. 4 and continue on weeknights until completed.

Hoop Shoot

The regional Elk's Hoop Shoot was held Saturday at Escalante Middle School in Durango. The regional contest involved winners from Bayfield, Durango, Ignacio and Pagosa Springs.

Pagosa's winners at the regional contest, Mary Brinton (8-9) and Emily Buikema (12-13), will represent Pagosa in the West Colorado District contest in Grand Junction Jan. 26.

Mary made 12 of her 25 shots and Emily scored 20 of 25 shots. This will be Emily's second trip to the West Colorado District contest. Winners of the District competition will advance to the state contest in February. Congratulations girls and good luck in Grand Junction.

Adult basketball

The adult basketball season will begin Jan. 23 with a mandatory meeting for all adult team managers at Town Hall at 5:30 p.m. This year's team fee is $250 per team and a player fee is $15. All rosters and team fees are due at the meeting. Games will begin Feb. 4 and continue until spring break. If you need more information about submitting a team or getting on a team, call the recreation office at 264-4151 ext. 232.

Adult basketball open gym will continue tonight and next Wednesday and Thursday 8:30-9:30 p.m. in the upper gym at the junior high. No fee, registration or team affiliation is required. Players must be 18 and older to participate in open gym practices.

Park Commission

At the last Park and Recreation Commission meeting, held last week, terms for two existing commission members were discussed. Other items on the agenda were the discussion of installation of a backstop at the elementary school soccer fields, the use of Reservoir Hill in the winter, and interviews for a new recreation supervisor. All meetings are open to the public, with the next meeting set for Feb. 13 at Town Hall.

Pagosa Lakes News

By Ming Steen

2002 permits go on sale as ice-fishing improves

Fishing permits for the 2002 Pagosa Lakes fishing season went on sale Jan. 1 and will be valid through Dec. 31. Season permits that were purchased in 2001 are valid through Feb. 28.

Permits can be purchased at the Pagosa Lakes Recreation Center or at the PLPOA Administration office. The prices of the permits are the same as last year and are an outstanding value. We are anticipating a great fishing season with trophy-sized trout and bass in all four lakes.

Ice-fishing season in the Pagosa Lakes area is officially underway and anglers are having good success at Hatcher Lake and Lake Forest. Nice sized trout are being landed on all four lakes.

Please be aware of aerator openings in each of the lakes. The aerators are there to provide oxygen to the fish during the winter months. Do not go within 75 feet of these openings as the ice can be thin within that proximity. There is some open water shoreline fishing available off the piers at Lake Forest, and Village and Pagosa lakes - provided by aerator openings. The lakes, stocked with several thousand pounds of rainbow trout in October, should provide some great ice fishing this winter and regular fishing in the spring.

The recreation center pool will be closed to open swim and lap swim Mondays through Thursdays from 4 to 5:30 p.m. for swim team training. This schedule will apply except on school holidays.

Kimberly Budd, one of the recreation center's energetic instructors, has quite the lineup of classes to start off the new year. On Mondays, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., Kimberly will give your metabolism a kick with cardio kickboxing. This class combines kicks, jabs and punches for the ultimate workout, followed by toning using dumbbells and resistance bands. If one hour is not enough for you, you can stay for an additional 15-minute concentrated workout for abdominal and lower back strength utilizing the fitness ball.

Holding to the adage "Variety is the spice of life," Kimberly pulls out something new for the lunch crowd on Tuesday and Thursday from 12:10 to 12:50 p.m. Drills and skills is a no choreography 40-minute class of safe and simple circuit training to get your heart pumping and your muscles burning.

On Tuesday, 5:30-6:30, Kimberly's Steppin' Out class includes many step combinations designed to burn fat, followed by toning with dumbbells and resistance bands. Wednesday's schedule is a repeat of Monday and Thursday's schedule a repeat of Tuesday.

These classes will run through the end of May at $15 per month for recreation center members . . . for as many of the offered classes as your body will allow you to take.

It's inevitable: Every year, along with all the holiday celebrations and cheer, comes the holiday weight gain. Members, both new and old, come flocking to the recreation center - just about now - confident that we can assist them in their quest to lose weight. And we can; not through fad diets, but through exercise and other healthy lifestyle adjustments.

Carol Anderson, a certified personal trainer at the recreation center, is offering free demo sessions to members at the facility to help take the mystique out of strength training. Carol will walk participants through the proper use of Cybex equipment from 5:30-6:30 p.m. on Jan. 24 and Feb. 7.

Professionals in the fitness industry have a unique opportunity to help people live longer, healthier and happier lives. Many people struggle with their weight (and the medical complications that sometimes accompany it) and arming them with the tools to win the weight battle is a worthwhile and rewarding undertaking.

Education News

By Livia Cloman Lynch

Extended after school events fill community gap

In a small community like ours, a common complaint from youth and adults alike is the oft-heard lament; "there's nothing to do around here." The reality is that this is often true. One of the ways the Education Center looks to fill this gap in our community is through a youth activity we call Friday Night Live.

As part of our ongoing program to involve youth in after-school programs, we stretch into the early evening hours with an activity that is geared toward open Friday Nights. We plan these activities for 5th and 6th graders from 6 to 8 p.m. and for junior high students from 6 to 9 p.m. on alternating dates. There is one Friday Night Live event for each age group during each quarter of the school year. The next scheduled activity will be Jan. 25 for the 5th and 6th grade group.

Friday Night Live is designed to be fun, with food and games, along with some well-disguised learning activities. The staff of the Education Center supervises the activities along with qualified volunteers from the community. Students are informed about the upcoming schedule at school and need only register at the door of the junior high at 6 p.m. on the night of the event. The fee is $3.

We plan each Friday Night Live to include stimulating and fun age-appropriate activities. We always have an open gym for basketball and volleyball. In addition, cultural awareness and just plain cool activities like Hip-Hop dance are part of the mix for the next event. Please call the Education Center for details at 264-2835.

Center funding

While we work hard to receive grants that support our major programs, we also rely on local support to fill significant gaps in our annual budget. We are very pleased to note that both the Town of Pagosa Springs and the Archuleta County Commission have approved funding for this year for the Education Center.

As a prelude to our local fundraising event scheduled for Jan. 22, these two amounts are being viewed as positive omens. It is also very significant to note that United Way, a great supporter of our programs, will not be reducing the funds appropriated for this year. As you may know, fundraising around the country has been below expectations following the events of Sept. 11. We are fortunate to live where we do.

Thanks to everyone who has been involved in planning our first annual fundraising "Making A Difference" Luncheon. It is especially gratifying to be part of an organization with such a dedicated board and such loyal local support. Ticket sales to the luncheon are going quite briskly, and a full house looks assured. In fact, we are looking forward to the opportunity to use the new Community Center next year and sell even more tickets. We feel very good about the organization, effort and cooperation that has created such positive momentum for this first time event.

We look forward to seeing many of you at the luncheon and look forward to an entertaining and inspiring event that will punctuate the many reasons for a local Education Center.

Local Chatter

By Kate Terry

Some tasty Pennsylvania Dutch treats

Becky Porco tells about growing up in Kutztown, Pennsylvania in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch country; that her parents would speak Pennsylvania Dutch when they didn't want her and her sister to know what they were talking about.

But Becky's mother was a wonderful cook and passed her recipes on to Becky. Her recipe for Chicken Pot Pie (a staple in Pennsylvania Dutch country) was one she was well-known for. It's really a meat and noodle stew and can be made with turkey, beef or sausage. It can be a stew-like mixture as this version served in soup bowls (which I have tasted and thoroughly enjoyed), or it can be a casserole by adding more flour with the noodles.

Ingredients: 3 lb. chicken pieces (mixed is best; don't use only boneless breast pieces); 1 1/2 cup chopped onion; 1 cup chopped celery; salt and pepper and water to cover. Not necessary but good additions are one scrubbed but not peeled carrot and parsley stems (tied together).

In a heavy bottom pot, stew these ingredients until chicken is tender. Cool and debone. Discard bones, skin, parsley and carrot and set aside. This can be done the day before with the meat refrigerated.

Combine 2 large potatoes, peeled and sliced about 1/4 inch thick, homemade pot pie noodles (recipe below) and 1/2 cup chopped parsley. Add potato slices to the broth and simmer for 10 minutes. Add enough pot pie noodle squares to cover the surface of the broth and stir them into the liquid. Add the rest in this manner so that the noodles don't stick together. Simmer another 10 minutes or until the noodles are cooked through. Add the reserved chicken and heat thoroughly. Correct the seasoning. Stir in the parsley and serve immediately. Becky serves this with a green salad and hot bread.

Pot pie noodle ingredients: 1 egg; 1 teaspoon baking powder; 1 tablespoon oil; 1/2 teaspoon salt; 1 cup all purpose flour (pastry flour is even better. Don't use bread flour because it has too much gluten.

Break the egg into a measuring a cup and add water to equal 1/3 cup. Place the egg and the rest of the ingredients into a food processor. The mixture should be crumbly. With the machine running slowly - slowly dribble in more water until the mixture rolls into a ball. Remove from the processor and let the dough rest at least 15 minutes. On a floured surface, roll the dough out to about 1/8 inch thickness. Cut in 1 1/2 inch squares.

(Our local markets carry frozen noodles in their frozen food department that are very good.)

And then there is this recipe for "Pickled Red Beet Eggs" that was pure fun and tasty to eat - another Pennsylvania Dutch dish.

Ingredients: 1 can sliced red beets, undrained; 1/4 cup water; 1/2 cup sugar; 6 hardboiled eggs, peeled; 1/2 cup cider vinegar; and six whole cloves.

Mix all ingredients together. Try to submerge the eggs in the liquid. Stir frequently so that the eggs will be uniformly colored. This is best if made a day or two before serving. Serve the eggs and beets alone or on top of a green salad.

Becky, a professional bookbinder with 14 years experience before moving from Maryland to Pagosa Springs, is on the Sisson Library staff. She and her husband John, an emergency management consultant, have two boys. Tony, the older, is a sign language interpreter for the deaf. His wife Jill Hendricks is an editor at Galludet University Press. They have a new baby, Eric, born Jan. 7, 2002, and live in Laurel, Maryland.

Their younger son, Mall, is a computer network consultant, and his wife, Michelle Milley, is a massage therapist. They live in Leesburg, Virginia.

Fun on the run

One winter afternoon the teacher was showing a small boy how to zip up his coat.

"The secret," she said, "is to get the piece of the zipper to fit in the other side before you try to zip it up."

The young boy looked at the teacher quizzically and asked, "Why does it have to be a secret?"

Library News

By Lenore Bright

'Natural' disaster becoming unnatural

We have a fascinating display of lace work that must be seen to be appreciated. Lindsay Morgan put together this showing of a variety of lace pieces, and the bobbins to make them. The display will be here until the first of the month.

Fuel economy

The government sends out a yearly guide for new cars. It lists the vehicles with the highest fuel economy in the most popular classes. This should help you decide which car you'd like to buy. The hybrid-electric cars are listed. The hydrogen fuel cell may be coming sooner than we think. What will happen to all of those countries with their precious oil deposits then?

All hazards

More and more of the devastation wrought by "natural" disasters worldwide is actually unnatural in origin, caused by ecologically destructive practices and an increasing number of people living in harm's way.

According to Janet Abramovitz of the Worldwatch Institute, "by degrading forests, engineering rivers, filling in wetlands, and destabilizing the climate, we are unraveling the strands of a complex ecological safety net. We have altered so many natural systems so dramatically, their ability to protect us from disturbances is greatly diminished." Also contributing to the rising toll of disasters is the enormous expansion of the human population and the built environment, which puts more people in harm's way.

You may have a copy of the web address where this report can be downloaded. Please ask for it at the desk. We have a number of Internet pages with hazard information including earthquakes, and floods.

9/11 and beyond

There are six web sites devoted to emergency management and terrorism. Several are devoted to anthrax.

Library web page

Cathy reports that our web page gets many visits during the year. People planning a move to our area want to know what the library offers; what resources are available in the county, and quite often we get requests for information about family histories. Our address is We have links to many other interesting sites.

Web use

As a librarian, I expected the Internet would mostly be used for educational purposes. How is that for being naive? The latest statistic suggests that less than 21 percent of searches are for intellectual pursuits. The rest are mainly entertainment. This actually mirrors the library's circulation statistics - 22.4 percent of our books checked out are non-fiction. Some things never change.


Once again the state Legislature and the Governor are pushing a bill to put filters on library computers under the guise of protecting children from pornography. The case is still before the United States Supreme Court. A ruling should come down sometime this year. If the court upholds the Child Online Protection Act (COPA), commercial Web sites would be required to keep inappropriate content away from children. In the meantime, the technology continues to be far ahead of the politicians.

Until we do get a Supreme Court ruling, we ask that parents accompany children under 18 using our computers.

Library closing

We will be closed for Martin Luther King Day, Jan. 21.


Thanks for financial help from Bob and Livia Lynch in memory of Beth Moore. Thanks for materials from Lois Mees, Scotty Gibson, Bob Albers, John Middlebrooks, Jane Cook, and Judy Garrigues.

Shepherds Staff

By Rev. Richard Bolland

Our Savior Lutheran Church

Reality: We do bad because we want to

From the beginning of 2001, we've been kept hanging in the winds of emotion and turmoil. From an election that never seemed to end, to an economy that seemed headed south toward recession, to the horrors of Sept. 11 and its aftermath, we've wondered from time-to-time if anything makes sense. As a people and a nation we had been laboring under the mistaken notion that everything was under control when, in fact, it never was.

Perhaps one thing we can learn from this past year is to understand the reality of human nature and not be surprised by it. We ask, "Why do such terrible things happen?" Sadly, the answer is tragically simple. Terrible things happen on both small and grand scales because humans are by nature selfish and sinful. If you read the Scriptures you will see the message of man's sinfulness over and over again. In Isaiah the great Old Testament prophet said it about as clearly as it can be said: "We all like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way." Here is the workshop from which men like Osama bin Ladin are born. Here is where hatred turns to murder and compassion is laid aside. If you do not believe in the reality of man's sin, then the tragic events of this and every other year must seem like they are nothing but endless events of madness and insanity. To understand man's depravity is to enable us to deal with reality and know why terrible things happen.

But this is one side of a two-sided coin. Yes, there is the potential for becoming like Osama bin Laden in every one of us, but there is help from outside of us that is stronger than our inclination to sin and selfishness. Please notice that I did not say that there is some strength inside of us that can help us with our sin. Some believe that mankind is basically good and that people do bad things because they are ignorant of better ways. Some believe that basically good people do bad things because of the environment in which they've grown up. The reality is that we do bad things because we want to do bad things! This means that we need to be changed. It also means that such change is not possible by means of stronger will power or human determination. In fact, it is only possible if someone takes away our sin and changes our hearts.

God is our Creator and He well knows our penchant for sin. We weren't made that way but chose to be sinners. But like any loving Father, our Creator would not stand idly by and watch His beloved creatures destroy themselves through their own sinful selfishness. Instead, He sent a rescuer to deliver us from our mad sinfulness. He sent His only Son, Jesus the Messiah.

As we just celebrated at Christmas, Jesus was fully and completely both human and divine. God took on a human face. As a complete man who was without sin, He kept every provision of the Divine Law that we have failed to keep. As complete God, His death on the cross was the sacrifice given for the sins of the world which would be of such tremendous value that all sin was fully and totally paid for by Jesus' suffering and death. It is precisely through God-given faith in the life, death and the grave. What great news for our sin-ravaged world, our emotionally torn lives, and our violence prone globe.

Christians are not perfect people. We haven't had "sin-ectomies." What we have received is forgiveness and faith. We have also been assured that as God calls us to hear His Word and receive His Sacraments, as Jesus instituted them, that He will continue the life-long process of molding us into the image of His Son. We will most certainly not be perfect in this life, but we shall in the life which is to come.

And so as we begin the Year of our Lord 2002, let it be known that One is far greater and more powerful than the selfishness and evil that comes from our sin. On the day of His promised return, He will establish an eternal kingdom in which injustice and sin will be no more. In that final and everlasting kingdom, sin will be banished, for it will not be permitted to co-exist with our perfect, holy and righteous God. Sound good to you? I'm glad because it is exactly meant for you. Want to know more? Come to worship and hear God speak through His Word. Listen to the words of the One who is the Prince of Peace and you will come to know peace.

Arts Line

By Pamela Bomkamp

Arts Council seeks gallery exhibitors

The Pagosa Springs Arts Council is looking for exhibitors to fill the 2002 schedule. Exhibits will be held May through October. The exhibits will be for a period of three weeks each with a combination of theme exhibits and exhibits showing both two and three-dimensional art. Each exhibit will consist of 2 to 3 artists.

Interested artists may download and review an application at our web site,, and they are available at the PSAC gallery in Town Park, or by calling the arts council at 264-5020. We will be happy to mail you one. Don't delay - the postmark deadline for submitting your application is Feb.5.

We are currently looking for a volunteer to coordinate art workshops for the community. If you are interested, please call Jennifer at 264-5020 or Clare Burns at 264-6950 for details.

While we are on the topic of volunteering, the Petroglyph, our quarterly newsletter, is in need of a layout person. We are also looking for businesses interested in sponsoring the newsletter. In return we will insert a flyer into the center of the newsletter as well as a public thank you in the Arts Line column and the Petroglyph. Interested businesses should contact Jennifer at 731-3113 or Joanne at the gallery at 264-5020.

You can also call Jennifer if you have a hard drive you would like to donate. The arts council could use the hard drive to add computer programs to the gallery computer that the old drive will not accept. A donation would be great, but if someone has one they would be willing to sell at a reasonable price we will consider that as well.

Photo contest

Entries for the annual PSAC Photography contest will be accepted at Moonlight Books until 5 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 30. You may pick up an entry form at Moonlight Books, Pagosa Photography, and Mountain Snapshots, plus, of course, at the Pagosa Springs Arts Council building in Town Park. PSAC and Moonlight Books would like to invite everyone to the opening reception Feb. 2 from 5-7 p.m. Photos will be on display through Feb. 23.

Other news

Watch for the February date of our annual PSAC meeting where you will get to meet our new treasurer, Georgia Dick. Thank you to Georgia for volunteering.

Pagosa Springs Arts Center and Gallery is located in Town Park, at 314 Hermosa Street. Winter office hours are 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. For information, please phone 264-5020 or checkout the web site

Veterans Corner

By Andy Fautheree

Data scarce on Durango clinic opening

Changes for 2002 in the Veterans Affairs Health Care programs and available facilities may affect many veterans in Archuleta County who are enrolled, or plan to enroll in this popular veteran benefit.

The information I am going to pass on here is the latest I have been able to find, and this information could change as the year wears on. I have found most of this information by making numerous phone calls to VA facilities. Very little has been sent to me to date in any official form.

The need for the Durango VA Community Based Outpatient Clinic is becoming more and more apparent. I have been unable to uncover any concrete information concerning when the Durango VA Clinic might open. In fact, I hear conflicting information about the Durango Clinic, mostly from the Albuquerque VA Hospital that oversees the CBOCs in their district, which would include Durango. Frequent calls concerning this subject have produced no new information, or vague conflicting information, depending on which department I talk to at Albuquerque.

The only other VA Health Care facility in our immediate area is closed to new applicants. As I mentioned a few weeks ago, the Farmington VA CBOC has been closed to new veteran applicants since October. Recent information from the VA Hospital in Albuquerque, our closest full-care medical facility, shows it is over-taxed with delays for new applicants as long as several months.

Our veteran population is aging and requires more health care, which is not going to help matters. With health care costs in private medical systems skyrocketing, the low-cost VA Health Care system becomes more attractive. Many of our local veterans have little or no health care insurance, or simply can't afford the costs in the private sector.

I urge all veterans to contact me and consider getting enrolled in the VA Health Care program as soon as possible. Getting enrolled in the VA system is the first and most important step, regardless of how long it takes to receive the required initial physical examination. Once you have had your first appointment you are then eligible for the VA Pharmacy prescription drug program and other VA health care needs.

Once an application, commonly the 1010EZ form along with a copy of your DD214 discharge papers, is received by the Albuquerque VA Hospital it is entered in their computer systems. They are supposed to send a packet of information along with a medical history form to the veteran once he has been entered in the system.

Albuquerque VA Hospital personnel tell me the medical history form is required so they can assign the patient to the proper primary health care physician, depending on the individual's needs. However, I am finding out that many of our Archuleta County veterans have not received this information since applying for the benefits. If you enrolled in the VA Health Care program in recent months, and haven't received any information or a follow-up from the VA, I urge you to contact me so I can help you make sure your application is being processed properly. I have additional information and forms on hand here that can expedite your enrollment, or I will be glad to call the VA Hospital on your behalf to expedite your application.

The other alternative is to seek health care through the Grand Junction VA Hospital. It is my understanding they are not nearly as crowded with applicants as Albuquerque. However, Grand Junction is a greater distance from Archuleta County than the Albuquerque Hospital and winter driving over Red Mountain Pass is a consideration. Representatives of the Grand Junction Hospital recently said they have about a 30-day wait to get the first physical examination appointment. Grand Junction is a full-service VA Hospital and gets very high marks for the quality of service.

The downside of this choice is the fact that if you enroll at Grand Junction, then change your mind or need to go to Albuquerque, you will need to re-apply as a new patient. It would be the same problem the other way around. As a qualified veteran you are entitled to VA health care benefits at any VA health care facility. However, the VA Health Care system is not on a nationwide network system, so one hospital or clinic cannot access your medical history available at another VA medical facility.

Albuquerque and Grand Junction both have emergency room services. CBOC's do not have emergency admittance. A veteran can receive admittance to VA emergency room, whether he is enrolled in VA health care or not. If veterans have not enrolled at either VA Hospital, they will need to complete the normal enrollment forms to receive additional or follow-up health care needs. Additional health care needs beyond the emergency room are handled on a case-by-case basis, and waiting time can vary depending on the VA medical facility. In the case of Albuquerque, according to New Patient Clinic, these additional patient needs are fit in the schedule as soon as possible, but could depend on other patient cancellation openings. Albuquerque presently has a 6-8 month waiting period for ordinary new patient primary health care appointments. Grand Junction indicates about a 30-day normal processing period for new veteran patients.

Other VA Health Care news is the new co-pay fee for 2002. Most veterans are in the low priority classification, with no service-connected disabilities, and they pay co-pay fees for their health care needs. The good news that affects most veterans is outpatient clinic physician visits have been reduced from $50.80 to $15. Yes, you read correctly: the fee has been reduced! For specialty health care needs such as cardiology, urology, etc. the outpatient fee per visit is $50. The bad news that may affect many veterans is the new prescription drug fee has been increased from $2 to $7 per 30-day supply. This is still a very modest price to pay for prescription drugs, but not quite as inexpensive as it used to be. The hospital inpatient fee has been increased from about $775 to $812 for one to 90 days of inpatient care. There are other fee schedule changes, I'm sure, but I have not received official notification of them.

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 The office number is 264-2304, the FAX number is 264-5949, and E-mail is The office is open from 8 to 4, Monday through 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.

In Sync With Isabel

By Isabel Willis

Pathfinders build on family strengths

Substance abuse, divorce, anger management, domestic violence and mental health are difficult subjects in all aspects. There are a ton of statistics around the country that prove these issues are a part of many peoples' lives.

A resource in Archuleta County that makes every effort to find therapists who are qualified, trained and certified to provide the community with the best possible service in regard to these intense topics is the Pathfinder Clinic.

The Pathfinder staff includes two highly respected counselors.

Margaret "Meg" Dunn, MA, is the Pagosa Springs program coordinator. She is an experienced counselor who conducts the adult and juvenile substance abuse treatment programs, and the parenting/divorce workshops (which are held every eight weeks). Meg works with individuals with general mental health issues such as coping skills, anxiety, stress, depression and anger.

Tim Adams, MA, LPC, CACIII, is also a licensed counselor with 20 years experience to offer our community. He provides substance abuse, sex offender and veteran readjustment counseling services as well as supervision for unlicensed therapists.

The mission statement of Pathfinder Clinic is "to show families as a strength in our community. Breakdowns in families mean a breakdown in our community."

They offer all of their services in an effort to bring strength, unity and growth. In turn, they say that "a bend in the path is not the end of the path unless you fail to make the turn."

Meg stresses her most valuable resources are the clients she serves. Their willingness to seek recovery makes them a strong point in our community.

She also notes that most people don't realize the clinic's programs do not have to be court-ordered. Everybody has the opportunity to inquire about services available through the clinic.

Pathfinder has a great referral system and collaboration with local agencies as well. They work with Southwest Colorado Mental Health, Archuleta County Social Services, Rio Blanco Counseling, the Fatherhood Initiative, Nancy Miquelon, M.A., LPC, and many other support groups. The organization has a contract with social services.

The focus of the program right now is on individual mental health counseling. Meg believes she has a lot to offer in this domain and there are many people in our community benefiting from her committed service.

If you have further questions regarding any of the services offered by Pathfinder Clinic, or need more information on the topics I've touched on in this article, give Meg a call at 264-6072. You could also stop by her office at 422 Pagosa St., Suite 1.

Extension Viewpoints

By Bill Nobles

Losing weight a matter of controlling intake

Today - Cloverbuds, Extension office, 4 p.m.

Today - 4-H Cooking Project meeting, Extension office, 6:30 p.m.

Jan. 18 - Leather Crafts, Extension office, 2 p.m.

Jan. 21 - Rocketry, Extension Office, 5:30 p.m.

Jan. 22 - Mandatory Livestock meeting, Extension office, 6 p.m.

Jan. 31 - Four Corners Extension Beef Cow Symposium La Plata County Fairgrounds, 9 a.m.- 5 p.m. Cost is $15 per person if application is postmarked before January 25. Late registration is $20 per person. Applications are available at the Archuleta County Extension Office. Make checks out to La Plata County Extension, 2500 Main, Durango, CO 81301.

Weight resolution

'Tis the season for post-holiday guilt, not just about the extra money you spent over the holidays, but the pounds you gained. Market reports show that sales of diet products peak in January and February, rise again in May and June, sag sharply in October and are at their lowest level in December. If you've resolved again this year to lose the same 10 to 20 pounds you've lost and regained so many times before, it may be time to reassess your goals and your action plan.

First, your goals. Do you really need to lose weight, or mostly regain a higher level of fitness? Short-term goals, like looking good for a specific event, can provide excellent motivation to follow a weight-loss plan. However, to be successful in the long run, such goals need to be realistic and combined with an on-going long-term goal of slow weight loss, increased fitness and long-term weight and fitness maintenance.

Studies show that the more slowly you reduce your weight, the more likely you are to stay that way. There are good reasons for this. First, a slow steady rate of weight loss insures that pounds come off as fat, not water and lean tissue. Secondly, the less drastic the calorie reduction, the less the body will try to hold on to calories by expending less energy. Finally, it's easier to convert small reductions in calorie intake into daily habits that become routine than it is larger reductions.

A good recommendation for those with 10 to 20 pounds to lose is to reduce calorie intake by 250 calories each day. Assuming you're maintaining weight on your current daily calorie intake, reducing that intake by 250 should result in a 3,500 calorie deficit in two weeks or a two-pound weight loss per month. Over a year's time, that's 24 pounds.

Sounds simple enough, but what 250 calories? Any 250 calories will do - a candy bar, 25 potato chips, a handful of peanuts, a cup of ice cream will all work. Foods high in fat are the best ones to target because fat is the most concentrated source of calories and studies indicate that it converts most easily to fat stores.

For your weight management program to work you need to avoid both the extra calories that contributed to your original problem and another 250 calories. Look at your usual diet and see where you can cut calories without foregoing nutritional value. Perhaps the answer lies in using less margarine or butter on breads and vegetables, eating one instead of two or three rolls, substituting black coffee for your morning latté, switching from whole or 2-percent to non-fat milk, skinning chicken and trimming meats before cooking them, or selecting fresh fruit rather than fruit pie for desserts. Whatever your choice or combination of choices, make them something that becomes so routine, you almost forget you're on a diet.

Also, there's nothing magical about 250. If 10 pounds is all you want to lose, you can cut back by just 100 calories a day and still reach your goal within a year's time. And, for someone who needs to lose 50 pounds or more, a somewhat higher reduction in calorie intake may be appropriate. A physician or dietitian can help determine a safe and effective level. Just remember, "slowly" is the password.

For this method to work you also need to include activity in your plan.

Business News

Biz Beat

Shari Zale, right, is the owner/operator of Park Place, an uptown barber salon located in the Greenbriar Plaza, Suite B14, at North Pagosa Boulevard and Park Avenue.

Zale, a barber, offers all professional services including haircuts, hot lather shaves facial massage, and her speciality, the popular fade haircut.

Stylist Sharon Tobe, left, provides all professional hair services, from haircuts to perms and color. A specialist in curly hair, Tobe divides her time between Pagosa Springs and Dallas.

Park Place is open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays. Walk-ins are welcome. Evening appointments can be made by calling 731-4554.


Doug and Barbara Smith of Pagosa Springs are pleased to announce the engagement of their daughter, Casey Rachelle to Jess Ketchum. Jess is the son of Clyde and Adelia Ketchum, of Pagosa Springs. The couple will marry Feb. 15, 2002.