Front Page

February 14, 2002

First phase of sports complex expansion gets 'go' vote

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

The long-promised expansion of the Golden Peaks sports complex at Pagosa Springs High School came a step closer to reality Tuesday when the board of education for Archuleta School District 50 Joint approved plans for first phase construction to be completed before football season this fall.

Involved in the decision was scaling back a proposed equipment storage room with team meeting and restroom facilities. Initial estimates of $150 per square foot for the structure were deemed too high by the board.

Director Jon Forrest, himself a building contractor, was asked his reaction to the cost factor and said he considered it "out of line. I'd be surprised, if my company were to bid, if we'd go higher than $75 per square foot."

When told the higher figure included restroom facilities and locker rooms, the board decided to eliminate the locker rooms and allow teams to continue returning to the school building for halftime sessions. The planned structure at the northwest corner of the athletic complex, will still include a ticket booth and a room where officials can dress and relax.

Overall, the estimated first phase cost of $341,000 is expected to come down appreciably with the storage building changes.

Also included in first phase construction will be an underground drainage system, underground conduit for electronic scoring for each of the track event stations, an initial asphalt layer for a new track, extension of the field area to include room for a full soccer field on the football layout, and relocation of the east side visitor bleachers.

Nancy Schutz, district business manager, was asked how the planned expenditure would affect the capital reserve fund, currently with a balance of about $1 million.

She said an additional $400,000 is expected to go into the fund in June, so if the construction comes in at estimate or below, the fund will still have in excess of $1 million when the new school term starts.

She noted there are expected to be other draws on the fund in the near term, including school bus replacement.

Director Russ Lee, acting as president pro tem in the absence of Randall Davis, said, "I have some reason to question how much use a track will get. Are we going to get enough use to warrant the expense?"

David Hamilton, high school athletic director and assistant principal, told Lee and the board a good track is a community asset, not just a school project. "Everyone will use it, like they do the new facility in Bayfield," he said.

"Other coaches will use it for their teams sprints and conditioning. Even in winter, the track can be cleared and will be used," he added.

Right now, he noted, "spring track training is scheduled to start Feb. 21 and they have no training area. They need a place to develop their skills and this would provide it."

The overall plan includes a six-lane track with sprint lanes on the outside. High jump and pole vault stations would be outside the north end zone with long jump and triple jump sites outside the south end zone. Shot put and discuss stations would be at the southeast corner of the existing soccer practice field, immediately west of the recently completed concession stand-restroom facility.

Hamilton and Superintendent Duane Noggle pointed out one benefit of the expanded facility: when completed it will be a multi-purpose facility with football, track and soccer all on the same surface and all with lighting for night events if wanted.

By cutting back the plans for the storage building, architect Julia Donoho said, "we should be able to get everything done before the field is needed for fall football practice.

After some discussion on timing, she said "We may be able to gain a month with this concept. That means getting bids next month and starting construction in May."

When Noggle warned, "We want to be sure there are no safety problems for students because of construction," Donoho said all Phase I work could be finished before the beginning of the fall sports season.

If necessary to get the project underway, Hamilton told the board, "I can move the scheduled home games for girls' soccer to neutral fields. "If that means we gain construction time and avoid fall conflicts," he said, "it can be done. Other schools have been very cooperative on such projects before."

Noggle recommended the board proceed with Phase I and when director Clifford Lucero asked Schutz for her opinion, she said, "We've been promising the people this project for a long, long time. We have the money and can do it without depleting capitol reserve. We should get it started. I'm comfortable with doing this much now and then considering long-term financing before embarking on the final stage."

Finally, Hamilton pointed out the facility when completed "will give us an opportunity to host other schools, conduct our own meets and train on our own facilities, all things we've never been able to do.

"Hometown folks will get to see their hometown athletes perform," he concluded.

A motion by director Carol Feazel, seconded by Lucero, was approved unanimously, including a requirement that there be an on-site construction manager to coordinate the efforts of numerous subcontractors expected to be involved.

County seeks $1.18 million

HUTF funds

By John M. Motter

Staff Writer

Archuleta County has submitted a report to the Colorado Department of Transportation concerning Highway User Trust Fund money that identifies 560 miles of eligible roads within the county.

HUTF money is allocated in Denver according to state statute and is spread among various entities, including the Colorado Department of Transportation, counties and cities.

Last year, Archuleta County projected income of $1,146,021 from the HUTF source. The money was placed in the Road and Bridge Fund where it constituted more than half of the fund's total. Through November of last year, the county had actually received $1,126,861. The final payment for December has not been received. The state routinely runs two months behind in making this payment.

In the 2002 budget, the county is projecting income of $1,187,770 from this source. Again, HUTF money is a line item in the road and bridge budget.

The county report contains a detailed, mile-by-mile inventory of county roads, including those eligible for HUTF money, the number of miles of arterial roads, the number of miles of local roads, and the total miles of roads not eligible for HUTF funding.

According to the report, Archuleta County has 179.07 miles of arterial roads, 362.44 miles of local roads, 560.27 miles of roads eligible for HUTF money, and 191.62 miles of roads not eligible for HUTF money.

Within the county, HUTF money is shared by Pagosa Springs, the county, and chartered road improve ment districts.

The state formula for disbursing HUTF money is a complicated, three-tier approach. The fund includes money from taxes collected on gasoline sales, money paid by truck operators, money from vehicle registration and license sales, and money from motor vehicle penalty assessments.

First Tier distribution to counties is taken from a fixed, $69.7 million allotment designation. Each county is guaranteed to receive an amount equal to the distribution they received in state fiscal year 1987-1988.

Second Tier distribution is made among 17 counties, primarily on the Front Range. No money reaches Archuleta County from the Second Tier.

Third Tier distribution is made only if the fund exceeds $86.7 million. After reaching that point, counties receive disbursements based on: 60 percent on the basis of lane miles, 30 percent on vehicle registration, and 10 percent on square feet of bridge deck for bridges greater than 20 feet.

Town puts sanitation district questions on ballot a second time

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

It's a matter of paperwork and no new taxes.

Since 1996, the Town of Pagosa Springs has managed the Pagosa Springs Sanitation District - taking on responsibilities for operation, maintenance and administrative services. However, the sanitation district continues to have a separate board of directors, separate legal fees and requires a separate audit - loose ends dating back to when it operated independently.

The dilemma is in black and white. A vote in November 2000 to dissolve the district and transfer its debt over to the town resulted in a split decision.

Voters approved the idea of forming a Pagosa Springs Sanitation General Improvement District under direction of the Pagosa Springs Board of Trustees, but disapproved a series of questions necessary to transfer the debt.

The questions, Town Administrator Jay Harrington said, were incredibly complicated and difficult for voters to understand because of language required under the Taxpayers Bill of Rights. All failed by various margins. Since 2000, some of the debt has been retired, reducing the number of questions needed. However, a set of three questions to transfer the debt are back on the ballot in 2002.

"It's a fairly common sense approach," Harrington said. "In an age when government is expanding, this is a way to reduce a layer of government."

Still, reading the ballot may result in confusion. Ballot issue A starts out: "Shall the town of Pagosa Springs Sanitation General Improvement District taxes be increased $19,500 annually in the first full fiscal year, and by such amount as may be generated in succeeding years, by the imposition of a mill levy of 0.9 mills on all taxable property within the boundaries of the district ..."

The words "shall," "taxes," and the phrase "be increased" are all right there. What isn't in all that verbiage is - at the same time these town "increases" are taking place to fully form the Pagosa Springs Sanitation General Improvement District, the debt involved with the former Pagosa Springs Sanitation District is dissolved. One is traded for the other. In an ironic twist, the town is already responsible for bookkeeping and billing services for the sanitation district and has been for years.

According to the 2002 budget, the current mill levy for the Pagosa Springs Sanitation District is 3.4 mills, representing $73,375 in property taxes. Of that, 0.9 mills is used for operating expenses, and the balance goes toward paying off debt.

Terry Smith, President of the Pagosa Springs Sanitation Board of Directors, said placing sanitation operation in the hands of town staff and the board of trustees is just good sense and has been the goal of the current board since the questions first made the ballot in 2000.

"Control is going to end up where it needs to be," he said. "They can incorporate it into the expansion the community is going through - they deal with that day to day."

He gave credit to Harrington and the town for securing grants for expansion projects, providing good management and working to meet state standards over the past six years.

"I'm real proud of what the board has done," he said, "but it just makes so much sense that it be managed right there where the decision-making is being done anyway. I see nothing but positives."

The decision as to the transfer of debt from the Pagosa Springs Sanitation District to the Pagosa Springs Sanitation General Improvement District will be handled as a separate ballot on town election day, April 2, because of differences in district boundaries. All Pagosa Springs registered voters and property owners with land inside the Pagosa Springs Sanitation General Improvement District boundaries are eligible to vote. The election will take place at Town Hall, 551 Hot Springs Boulevard, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Test philosophies, mandates on collision course

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Education in Pagosa Springs appears to be riding a school board-manned roller coaster car on a collision course with one heading the opposite way on the same track - one carrying state and federal government mandates.

The governmental car in the thrill ride carries increases in mandated testing and grading at both the state and federal levels; on the other is a board of education mindset influenced by the writings and local appearance of Alfie Kohn, a man described by Time magazine as "perhaps the country's most outspoken critic of education's use of grades and test scores."

As the state increases its Colorado School Assessment Program (CSAP) testing as a means of evaluating student performance and quality of educational programs, the federal government, too, has passed and President Bush recently signed, legislation requiring public schools to test and grade all students in reading and math in grades three through eight.

At each level, supporters have said the expanded testing will give parents and school officials the information they need to improve their programs. Critics have said the tests require teachers to "teach to the test" and thus eliminates exposure to subjects not covered.

Kohn espouses no grades at all. Writing in the Sept. 27, 2000 issue of Education Week, he said, "Standardized testing has swelled and mutated, like a creature in one of those old horror movies, to the point that it now threatens to swallow our schools whole."

"Our children," he continued, "are tested to an extent that is unprecedented in our history and unparalleled anywhere else in the world."

He quotes Minnesota Democratic Sen. Paul Wellstone, in a speech delivered in Spring 2000: "Making students accountable for test scores works well on a bumper sticker, and it allows many politicians to look good by saying that they will not tolerate failure. But it represents a hollow promise. Far from improving education, high-stakes testing marks a major retreat from fairness, from accuracy, from quality, and from equity."

Under the new federal law, the performance of children tested could affect a school's federal funding. Schools with persistently low scores would get extra money, but low achieving poor students could use part of it for tutoring or transportation to another public school.

If scores don't improve over a six-year period, schools could be closed, then reopened with new teachers and administrators. The new operation then would have 12 years to get students reading and doing math proficiently - that proficiency based on continued testing.

A similar situation is created in the state where CSAP ratings of schools, based on student test performance, determine the schools own grade on a sliding curve. Those schools rated "low" have three years to increase that ranking or the state will take them over and convert them into charter schools - a legislated threat viewed by many as unconstitutional because state law mandates schools be under local control.

In another Education Week article, Kohn wrote, "A number of prominent educators are finally raising their voices against standardized testing - particularly multiple-choice, nor-referenced tests; particularly tests with 'high stakes' (read: bribes and threats) attached; and particularly in the era of a federal mandate to force every state to test every student in grades 3 through 8 every year. Yet even as more opinion leads us to better understand the damage attributable to testing mania, it is still rare to hear objections to the standards movement."

At both the state and federal levels, authorities say, it is unrealistic to attempt to determine education programs and subsequent funding without knowing how the students are performing in the base data fields necessary for them to learn.

If weekly tests, or monthly tests or report cards are not telling the whole story, they argue, the governmental entity needs to devise the test, grade the test and then give the school a grade, too.

Kohn, however, wrote in October 1994, "Why are we concerned with evaluating how well students are doing? The question of motive, as opposed to method, can lead us to rethink basic tenets of teaching and learning to evaluate what students have done in a manner more consistent with our ultimate educational objectives.

"But not all approaches to the topic result in this sort of thoughtful reflection. In fact, approaches to assessment may be classified according to their depth of analysis and willingness to question fundamental assumptions about how and why we grade."

As opposed to the governmental mandates at both state and federal level, Kohn suggests three levels of inquiry.

In level 1 "are the most superficial concerns, those limited to the practical issue of how to grade students' work. Here we find articles and books offering elaborate formulas for scoring assignments, computing points, and allocating final grades - thereby taking for granted that what they do must receive some grades and, by extension, that students ought to be avidly concerned about the ones they will get."

Later, he says, the concern at this level "is merely that we are not correctly dumping individuals into the right piles. The major problem with our high schools and colleges, the argument goes, is that they don't keep enough students off the "excellent pile." He says they call it grade inflation.

His level 2 asks whether the traditional grading is really necessary or useful for assessing students' performance. Alternative assessments, like portfolios of student work are sometimes suggested, he says, "but when a portfolio is used merely as a means of arriving at a traditional grade, it might be more accurately grouped under level 1."

His level 3 then, rather than challenging grades alone, challenges the whole enterprise of assessment - and specifically why we are evaluating students as opposed to how we are doing so. "No matter how elaborate or carefully designed an assessment strategy may be," he says, "the result will not be constructive if our reason for wanting to know how students perform is in itself objectionable."

He says questions are raised about whether grades are reliable enough to allow students to be sorted effectively. "Indeed," he says, "studies show that any particular teacher may well give different grades to a single piece of work submitted at two different times. Naturally, the variation is even greater when the work is evaluated by more than one teacher.

"What grades offer," he says, "is spurious precision, a subjective rating masquerading as an objective assessment."

He says, "the trouble is not that we are sorting students badly - a problem that logically should be addressed by trying to do it better. The trouble is that we are sorting them at all.

"Are we doing so in order to segregate students by ability and teach them separately?" he asks.

"Whatever use we make of sorting," he says, "the process itself is very different from - and often incompatible with - the goal of helping students to learn."

Finally, to set the stage for part three of this series, consider this statement from Kohn:

"Getting students to become preoccupied with how they are doing can undermine their interest in what they are doing. An excessive concern with performance can erode curiosity - and paradoxically, reduce the quality of performance."

Next: Where they stand.

Editorials

Regs are needed now

The oil and gas industry will be in Pagosa Country news for some time to come. It might even be in your own back yard.The equation is clear: energy demands, plus abundant gas reserves along the southwest border of Colorado, multiplied by an industry strong on lobbying power and dedicated to maximizing profit while minimizing regulation, equals headaches for landowners and government alike.

It seems, at the moment, we are at the mercy of the industry.

Archuleta County does not have oil and gas regulations in place to contain the barely restrained activity of drillers. A set of county regulations was ready for consideration last year, but somewhere in a less-than-urgent process, they were taken back for revision. Hopefully that revision does not mean a simplification and weakening of those proposed regulations.

On the state level, nothing will be done soon to improve industry relations with landowners, since Rep. Mark Larson's proposed bill to impose a surface use agreement as the starting point in the state permitting process went down to defeat in committee last week, the victim of a persistent lobby and a lack of informed concern on the part of other legislators.

Larson has tried for four years to find a way to strengthen the hand of landowners whose properties lie above mineral resources leased to or owned by other interests. At this point, with a simple bond, perhaps itself insufficient, a company can move onto private or government-owned property and extract the methane gas it owns. Too often, that effort occasions an affront to the surface owner and brings with it the environmental harm that can come of unfettered extraction - the saline and toxic water that is sometimes part of the process, the pollution of water wells by the gas.

The federal government has not moved to deal with the problem, failing to ask for agreements between surface and mineral owners before the start of extraction, neglecting to impose high enough bond amounts on energy companies, unwilling to put effective environmental standards into place.

With the defeat of Larson's initiative, surface owners in southwest Colorado and especially in Archuleta County are under the gun when faced with the demands of drillers. All a developer must do is post a bond with the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, then move full speed ahead. Larson wanted a reasonable agreement with a surface owner struck prior to the posting of that bond. If that process failed, he suggested a panel be called in to determine the fair market value of the surface used. With failure at that juncture, Larson's bill would have required the matter to be settled by the courts.

Larson believed this bill was in a form the gas and oil industry indicated it approved the last time Larson pressed the issue, last year.

Obviously not. Industry pressure helped Larson's bill to collapse in committee. Larson is discouraged by the latest failure to lasso the energy industry and force it to work in relative harmony with surface owners, but he is not defeated. He says he will try again for a pre-drilling use agreement. Knowing our Representative, he will not be deterred.

Archuleta County must also make moves soon to do what it can to facilitate a harmonious relationship between surface owner, driller and local government, to ensure tax benefits and fee revenues flow to mitigate road and other impacts. It should pursue Energy Impact funds to deal with road problems caused by industry traffic from government and Southern Ute lands. County government cannot afford to drag its feet the way it has done in the matter of the Community Plan and enactment of land use regulations. Local government should act as an advocate for all of us in this situation.

Industry need is not going to dissipate; the right of mineral owners to utilize their resource cannot, and should not be denied. But, the situation must improve dramatically and the time for solutions is now.

Karl Isberg

Dear Folks

By David C. Mitchell

It's time for my annual catfish diet

Dear Folks,

According to my calendar yesterday was the first day of Lent and today is Saint Valentine's Day.

(Whoa. Since I'm typing this on Tuesday morning that means I better stop searching the key board and go select a valentine for Cynthia before I forget.)

I'm trying to remember that yesterday was Ash Wednesday so that I don't forget that tomorrow is the first evening for the local Knights of Columbus's annual fish-fry suppers at Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish Hall.

I've got to give the Knights credit for capitalizing on the large number of Pagosans who moved here from Texas, Oklahoma and areas of the South. Though many of these folks probably come from Protestant backgrounds, they possess a strong attachment to fried catfish, hush puppies, coleslaw and french fries.

Besides serving Pagosa's former Southerners an epicurean delight, the fried catfish suppers serve as enjoyable ecumenical experiences for folks of all backgrounds and convictions. It makes for a worthwhile fund-raiser.

I understand a dish of ice cream goes with the meal. Usually I go overboard on the catfish in lieu of abstaining from the dessert. To be honest, it's not so much that I deny myself the ice cream, it's more that I'm so stuffed with fried catfish that there's no room for dessert.

Last year I even found myself questioning whether or not it was right for me to feast on a Lenten season fish fry. Some folks might consider eating fried catfish, rather than meat, as a form of fasting or penitence. For me, abstaining from fried catfish involves much greater self-denial than does not eating a juicy steak or tender roast beef.

Along with the flavorful food, the "boarding house" atmosphere that abounds around the long folding tables always adds to the dining pleasure. The supper comes with a guarantee that you won't leave hungry or without seeing at least one of your friends, or without making at least one new one. It's an unpretentious gathering that offers a taste of Pagosa from earlier days.

Another highlight is that Father John from time to time treats the diners by playing some popular polkas or music from the "Big Band" era on the piano.

I like to think that Martin Luther, Charles Wesley and some of the other great hymn writers can't resist tapping a foot during those moments when Father John sneaks a slight polka-like tempo into the traditional music that is set to some of their hymns.

Don't mistake this as an advertisement. I can't tell you the times. I don't know the price for adults or children.

All I know is that a few years ago as I exited the SUN building's back door on a Friday evening the mouth-watering fragrance that emanates when folks are frying catfish filled the air. I followed my nose up the alley to the Parish Hall parking lot. Just outside the kitchen door a group of men were turning catfish fillets on the grill of a metal deep-fry barrel. I wasn't sure if it was yellow catfish, blue catfish or channel cat', but I didn't care. The aroma told me it didn't matter.

So I rushed home for Cynthia and Drew in hopes of returning to the Parish Hall before the serving line closed.

Having been raised in Durango rather than "Way down yonder in the land of cotton," Cynthia somewhat questioned my enthusiasm. But not for long. The food that first night hooked her on fried catfish. It's either the delicious food and relaxed atmosphere, or the fact that someone else does the cooking and cleaning up that keeps her returning each Lenten season.

Oh, I wasn't kidding about the Valentine gift. Twelve paragraphs above I saved what was on the screen of my laptop and went shopping. I found a silver-bead necklace with hearts and matching earrings for Cynthia. Now I have to remember to take it home.

I'm not sure if the necklace is stylish, but it's the sort of thing female teachers wear to school on Valentine's Day. As for Drew, a candy bar and red balloon are more appropriate for a student's Valentine.

As for me, I'm easy to please. Eating supper Friday evening at the Parish Hall is my Valentine's treat.

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

David

Legacies

By Shari Pierce

25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of February 10, 1977

After hearing citizens committee reports Tuesday night of this week the school board voted to set the amount of $3,950,000 as the total of the bond issue to be voted upon March 22. Purpose of the bond election is to obtain funds for the construction of a new high school.

Dr. Herbert Thompson, a resident of the community for the past 30 years, and for many years the county's only physician, passed away at his home February 3. Dr. Thompson had retired from practice a few years ago but was still active in his flower garden and with other hobbies. He was a highly respected member of this community. He had ministered to a large percentage of the county population at one time or another and was a man dedicated to his profession.

75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of February 18, 1927

Two linemen of the Mountain States Telephone company journeyed up East Fork Canyon this week to repair the long distance telephone lines, presumably taken out by snow slides, which are accustomed to run in that section each season. They are still at work in that vicinity at this writing.

About two feet of heavy wet snow fell in this vicinity the past week, with proportionate depth on Cumbres and other mountain passes. As a result the San Juan Basin was without mail service for a couple of days, but conditions have again reached almost the normal stage.

E.P. Wilson, deputy internal revenue collector, is an official visitor in Pagosa Springs to assist local residents and business firms in making their income tax returns.

50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of February 15, 1952

Last weekend the SUN moved into larger quarters, taking over the remainder of the building formerly occupied by the SUN and the Whatsit shop. This gives the paper a new office space, more room in the job printing department and room for a larger stock of merchandise.

School attendance hit a new low the last couple of weeks due to mumps, with nearly half the students out. Colds have hit quite a number or residents as well.

Miss Joan Wiley arrived Sunday night from Steamboat Springs where she had participated in the Winter Carnival the past weekend. Joan received a sterling silver trophy for 3rd place in the women's slalom ski event. She plans to visit in Pagosa for a few days and will then return to Sun Valley, Idaho, for a short period.

91 years ago

Taken from Pagosa Springs New Era of February 10, 1911

Town council met in regular session Tuesday evening with Mayor Patterson, Clerk Emigh and all trustees present. In addition to transacting routine business and allowing bills, council ordered a new stove purchased for the library rooms and through the mayor appointed a committee consisting of Lowenstein, Howe and Day to draft an ordinance revising the water rates. Mark Todd, W.W. Mullins and A.H. Harris were granted a license to conduct a moving picture show.

Toner has been named as the county seat of the proposed county of Piedra. The proposed county of Piedra has approximately 12 townships to be taken out of Mineral and Hinsdale counties, no part of Rio Grande County being included.

Inside The Sun

Twins special blessing for couple

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

The Porters started trying to have children three and a half years ago.

They endured a miscarriage, a tubal pregnancy and several months of drug treatments before learning last June they were expecting twins.

For several months, Sarah drove to Durango every other week for prenatal appointments. Each time, doctors performed an ultrasound - just to be sure, considering their past problems.

"It was good for the nerves," Eric Porter, said.

Everything seemed fine with a due date set for Feb. 23.

"The day I first went into labor we had a doctor's appointment," Sarah said. "He was confident they were going to stay in there full term or close to it."

That very night, Sarah woke up in pain.

"I was crying," she said. "I said I couldn't do this for eight and a half more weeks. Then I realized the pain was coming at regular intervals, about every three and a half minutes."

The Porters went immediately to Mercy Medical Center where doctors were able to stop labor with medication for about two days before taking the babies by emergency C-section.

At birth, Gabe weighed 3 pounds 13 ounces. Little Amber tipped the scale at 3 pounds 5 ounces. Both Sarah and Eric were thrilled with their tiny miracles, both of whom had a long way to go before making the trip home to Pagosa Springs.

"They were in the hospital a little over a month," Sarah said. "Amber had to be on a ventilator at first, and Gabe was doing great until he got NEC." The ailment, which can be fatal, is caused when holes in the intestine lining become filled with bacteria.

"He was doing so great and then he got this horrible, horrible thing that babies die of," Sarah said. Gabe proved his toughness, hanging on through a week of IVs, medication and no food. Throughout the babies' hospital stay, Sarah lived in Durango at one of the hospital's manor rooms, caring for and watching her children.

On Jan. 29, they finally went home, and as of Feb. 6, Amber had beefed up to 5 pounds, 6 ounces and Gabe reached a whopping 5 pounds 8 ounces.

"I just couldn't imagine life without kids," Sarah said, feeding Amber. "It was really traumatic, but I know it could have been worse."

Back when the Porters first decided to start trying to have children, Sarah didn't think anything of it.

"I thought, no problem, people have children all the time," she said. After three months with no results, worries began to form. Tests followed. First Eric, then Sarah. They got pregnant, only to find out it was a tubal pregnancy that had to be terminated. A laparoscopy confirmed that Sarah was suffering from endometriosis, a problem with the lining of the uterus.

According to the American Academy of Family Physicians website, the endometrial tissue - the lining of the uterus - is usually shed during a woman's monthly menstrual cycle. In people with endometriosis, the lining materials actually flow back into the fallopian tubes and can coat parts of the ovaries, pelvis, bladder and other areas. Monthly, this material swells and bleeds. It is often painful and can cause scar tissue to form on the uterus.

The condition doesn't generally affect overall health, but can make it more difficult to become pregnant. Effective treatment includes several possible medications that stop a woman's periods and allow the condition to clear up. In Sarah's case, she took shots for six months, the side effects of which mirrored menopause.

"I had hot flashes, mood swings," Sarah said.

"She'd be crying one minute and laughing the next," Eric said.

After the six months was up, Sarah went on a fertility drug and the couple soon found out they were pregnant. Then came a miscarriage at 10 weeks.

"We were devastated," Sarah said.

"We had just started telling people," Eric added.

Doctors were unsure what caused the miscarriage, but the couple had to wait another three months to try the fertility drugs again. For the second time, they discovered they were pregnant after the second month on the medication, and a first ultrasound revealed twin spots.

Most of that pregnancy was normal, Sarah said, although, toward the end, daily activity became rather difficult.

"I couldn't walk up a flight of stairs without stopping," she said. Besides that, everything tasted like mint, and the smell of lunchmeat, no matter how faint, made her feel ill.

Then came labor at 32 weeks and the emergency C-section.

"It happened so fast," Sarah said.

Once the decision was made, Eric got dressed in scrubs and waited in the locker room. He was allowed in after they removed the first baby - a boy - Gabe.

"I kept yelling for them to get my husband," Sarah said.

A bad reaction to the anesthetic left the new mom's body swollen for days after the birth.

"My feet were gigantic and I itched all over," she said. "The anesthesiologist kept coming by to see if I was OK."

As for the babies, they dropped weight, still trying to develop their sucking skills, a common problem in preemies. Then came Gabe's NEC, and finally, the trip home.

"I learned so much from the nurses," Sarah said. "They really helped prepare me to come home."

People in the community were also a big help.

"We were so fortunate," she said. "So many people we didn't know offered support, prayers. We've been having a meal brought to us every single night. That's been wonderful."

Eric stayed home for a week, and then Sarah's grandmother arrived to add a helping hand.

"The first two days I stayed home from work was pretty stressful," Eric said. "Now, it's no big deal. I'm not scared they're going to break every time I pick them up."

Still several days away from when the babies' original due date, Sarah and Eric are starting to get into a routine with the month-old, growing twins, and both said their beautiful babies were well worth the wait.

"We've got our one boy, and our one girl, and this, to me, completes us," Sarah said.

5-2 vote advances Personal Injury Protection bill

Sen. Isgar's Report

Before I discuss this last week's activities at the State Capitol, I need to correct an impression I might have left from last week's column.

I mentioned that I was working with Rep. Mark Larson on the Surface Damages bill having to do with oil and gas drilling and surface owners. I am the Senate sponsor and Mark is the House sponsor. But this is a House Bill and Rep. Larson has done most of the work so far on this bill and it has been substantial. He has had to re-write this bill and research this issue in depth. This is not an easy position for Mark to take and, in my opinion, he is to be commended for his tireless work on this issue. My hat is off to him.

Things started off with a rush. I have two bills dealing with the insurance industry and their customers. The PIP bill (Personal Injury Protection sections of your car insurance) is an attempt to allow persons who are injured to use some of their coverage to reimburse them for living expenses while they are receiving re-training. Being able to receive money for living expenses while being retrained makes all kinds of sense. This bill allows persons injured to receive money from their insurance company to pay for living expense while they go to school or get other training so they can get back to a productive life. Tim LaFrance from Durango came up and testified as well as a brave lady from Boulder who had been severely injured in a car crash south of Cortez two years ago. The bill was passed with a surprising majority (5 to 2) out of the Senate Business, Labor and Finance Committee. We are hopeful that it has equal support in the House.

The second bill, the Prompt Pay bill, is still being researched by all affected by the bill. It is my desire not to impose burdens on insurance companies that are already in compliance with the provisions of this bill. We are trying to make slow paying companies accelerate their processing of claims. Committee will hear this bill in coming weeks and I will keep you informed of its progress.

My bill to extend the Southern Ute Air Quality Commission and create a residency requirement for those members who serve on the commission passed the Senate Ag Committee but by a party line vote. The pressure was on by the Governor's office to stop my bills and for a variety of petty reasons; the lobbyists for the Colorado Petroleum Association were out in force against the bill. Ironically one of their arguments focused on the fact that they (the oil and gas people) were not participants in the drafting of this bill. It is ironic because those fee owners who live within the reservation boundaries were not included in drafting the bill that set up the commission in the first place. The petroleum industry's position against my bill was a signal for the Republicans to vote no in spite of Leonard Burch's, Southern Ute chairman's, testimony for the bill as well as support from those fee owners who live within the reservation. It did pass but on a party line vote of 5 to 4. Ah, politics!

We saw a number of District 6 people in Denver this week. Ken Francis is here today to applaud the historic preservation district designation of the Red Mountain Pass area. We saw and talked to Chairman Burch, Mr. Sam W. Maynes, several people attending the Farm Bureau meetings - Phyllis Snyder from Cortez and Lynn Harvey from Yellowjacket. Aaron Tucson from Durango was here. We said hi to Les Mergelman from Olathe and Becky Brown with the Delta Federal Credit Union. Jim Sower with Pine River Valley Bank in Bayfield had breakfast with me. I enjoy seeing people from our district - please stop by if you are here.

Citizen panel says PAWS accounting is inadequate

By John M. Motter

Staff Writer

The accounting system used by Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District does not contain enough information to separate old from new costs, a citizens advisory committee told the utility's board of directors.

PAWS directors received input from the advisory committee at a special public meeting conducted Tuesday night at the Extension Building. About 50 citizens attended the meeting.

"We will take everything under advisement. We will probably act at the March meeting," PAWS board chairman Harold Slavinsky said at the close of the meeting.

Tuesday's meeting was the outgrowth of a series of events connected with PAWS pricing maneuvers. While adopting the 2002 budget last fall, PAWS replaced a Facilities Upgrade Fee with a Capital Improvement Fund. The new fee included all new building within PAWS district boundaries. The older fee had only applied to new building in subdivisions platted subsequent to 1983.

The need for the fee change, according to PAWS, is paying for capital improvements over the next 20 years as identified in an engineering study.

Because of a perception that the proposed fee structure placed a disproportionate share of new construction costs on a small segment of the community, a group of citizens met with PAWS directors at a public meeting Dec. 18. A majority of the audience were from the building, development and real estate communities.

As a result of public comments at that meeting, PAWS agreed to postpone implementation of the CIF; appointed a broad-based citizen committee to research PAWS pricing policies and make recommendations; and agreed to listen to the committee's recommendations before making a final decision concerning the proposed CIF.

Tuesday night, the committee appointed as a result of the December meeting reported to the PAWS board. The board made almost no response, but promised to consider all input from the committee and make a decision on the proposed CIF by the regular March meeting.

The approach taken by the committee, as documented in a written report, was to seek "equitable and fair treatment for existing and future members of the district. Equitable treatment means assuring ourselves that each service in the system is paying the right fee based on the costs for that service. To accomplish this it is necessary for us to split PAWS expenses into four categories: treated water daily operations, treated water growth issues, wastewater daily operations, and wastewater growth issues."

The report concludes, "Unfortunately, in attempting to split PAWS expenses, the existing accounting system does not separate these expenses into the categories we needed. As a result, we asked the staff to provide at least a best guess approximation of expenses in each of the four categories. We're greatly concerned that we cannot obtain the documentation necessary to determine district costs on a growth/non-growth basis."

The committee also faulted population projections used by PAWS as a foundation for predicting future capital needs.

"We were unable to support the population and EQR projections with existing documentation," the report said. All of the projections used by PAWS exceed Department of Local Affairs projections by almost 29 percent, according to the report. The committee recommended reconsideration of the population projections used.

Another committee recommendation was to treat inclusion as a buy-in much as individuals or businesses buy into existing organizations by purchasing a pro-rata share.

Only recommendations approved by all committee members were forwarded to PAWS.

Actions recommended by the committee are: 1) Continue the temporary postponement of the new CIF fee; 2) Begin tracking expenses on a growth/non-growth basis; 3) Re-examine the population projections and EQR requirements thoroughly; 4) Review current inclusion fees policies and consider a buy-in approach; 5) Once all the facts are available and a final determination made, publish the findings along with the data that supports all of the actions taken.

Additional suggestions advised PAWS to revitalize water conservation efforts and to credit past equity contributions such as standby fees.

Finally, the report thanked the PAWS board of directors and staff for "overwhelming cooperation." Members of the advisory board are Bob Hart, chairman, Allan Bunch, Windsor Chacey, Darrel Cotton, Ray Finney, Mike Heraty, Mamie Lynch, Bill Newell, and Steve Schwartz.

Mike Heraty read the report during Tuesday's meeting. A number of people made public comments, mostly repeating from the report.

Concern was expressed that PAWS pricing policy doesn't consider residents surviving on low incomes.

Almost all who spoke advised that a fair and equitable PAWS policy, well-publicized, will be received and supported by everyone. June Madrid files to run again for county clerk

June Madrid files to run again for county clerk

By John M. Motter

Staff Writer

June Madrid has filed an affidavit to succeed herself as Archuleta County Clerk and Recorder. Madrid is Republican.

Madrid first took over duties as county clerk during March of 1989 when former county clerk Martha Valdez resigned. Madrid was appointed to fill the Valdez vacancy and has been elected to the office each election since.

"For those who know me, you know I'm not here because of the political aspects of this job," Madrid said. "I'm here because I love my job and love the people I work with. I have a very open-door policy and you will always find me in the office. I take my job very seriously and strive to do it the best I possibly can. Archuleta County has been my home for over 35 years and I intend to stay around."

Madrid cites the number of years and tasks she has performed in the clerk's office as proof of her qualifications for continuing.

She worked in the office from 1970 through 1975 for then county clerk Felima Gardner. Following that, she worked for Phil McClendon, CPA, and Peggy Cotton for five years before returning to the clerk's office.

Her accomplishments include:

"It was tough the first two years. Everything in the clerk's office is set by state statutes so there was a lot to learn going from deputy clerk to clerk.

"The clerk's office handles motor vehicles for titles and registrations. We do marriage licenses. We do all liquor licenses outside the town but inside the county. We do all recording of legal documents that pertain to real estate. The county clerk is the official clerk to the board of county commissioners. This makes me responsible for the minutes of the board meetings and making sure they are filed for future record. Every fee and everything we do is set by statute.

"And we do elections. We have an election every year now. I help special districts and the school's elections (with their help, of course) and I do coordinated mail elections in odd years. For all of the elections, the clerk is the designated election official.

"I have seen our county grow from approximately 3,000 people to over 10,000. The work load in my office is amazing.

"I have upgraded our record system (recording public documents) twice since I have been in office and am currently making another change. It's so hard because technology is constantly changing and people coming from bigger areas expect us to be pretty much high tech. What we have is what we can actually afford but I think we are keeping up with the times pretty well. Every time we change it affects our title companies and I try to be fair to them.

"I have seen my office go from bringing in $500,000 in revenues to over $2,500,000 in the past 10 years.

"Many changes have occurred over the years. Some I have had a hand in, while others we can thank our legislature for. Some good, some not so good. I don't think anyone knows how hard the clerks work when legislators start processing bills that cost taxpayers money through motor vehicle fees."

Madrid was born in Houston, Texas, and moved to Denver at the age of five. The family moved to Pagosa Springs in 1963. Her father J.C. Wood was the Methodist minister, her mother Doris Wood owned Pagosa Insurance Agency. She is married to Butch Madrid. They have three children, Tracie Castillo living in California, Ed Madrid living in Arizona, and Rich Valdez living in Pagosa Springs.

Public Lands Center sets Easy Education Workshop

Resource professionals and non-formal educators from all agencies, businesses, and communities are invited to attend an "Education Made Easier" workshop on Feb. 20-21 at the San Juan Public Lands Center in Durango. The first day will be an all-day session from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; the second day from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Topics include:

Addressing Diversity in Your Audience - diversity of cultures; diversity of physical abilities; and diversity of learning styles

How to manage large groups

Find out from teachers what works and what doesn't in a classroom

Discover how Project Learning Tree is a resource for non-teachers

Learn more about Service-Learning from local participating students

Explore non-traditional teaching techniques

There is no cost for the workshop, however, a $2 donation is requested for lunch. For more information, contact Cheryl Wiescamp, Durango Nature Studies, 382-9244, or Kristine Borchers, San Juan Public Lands Center, 533-9862.

This workshop is sponsored by the Bureau of Reclamation, San Juan Public Lands, ANCRE, and Durango Nature Studies.

For directions to the San Juan Public Lands Center, call 247-4874.

Bill Lucero enters race for sheriff as a Republican

By John M. Motter

Staff Writer

William "Bill" Lucero has filed an affidavit with the Archuleta County Clerk to run for sheriff of Archuleta County. Lucero is a Republican.

Lucero is currently an investigator for the Southern Ute Indian Tribe in Ignacio.

"I feel I have what it takes to be productive," Lucero said when asked why he is running for the sheriff's office. "I have been in law enforcement since 1989."

A Monte Vista native, Lucero has lived in Pagosa Springs since December of 1996.

After graduating from Monte Vista High School, Lucero served four years in the U.S. Marine Corps, then attended Trinidad State Junior College where he obtained education enabling him to receive Colorado POST law enforcement certification.

His law enforcement career began as a detention officer with Alamosa County, Lucero said. From there he moved to the Monte Vista Police Department where he was promoted to sergeant after two years.

"As a sergeant, I was in charge of several people," Lucero said, "major investigations, and patrols. I've had several kinds of training including crime scene investigations, interviews and interrogations, and sexual assault investigations."

During that time he served on the San Luis Valley Critical Incident Stress Debriefing Team.

Over the years, with other family members, Lucero had been passing through Pagosa Springs while going to Navajo Lake to boat. When an advertisement for a Pagosa Springs law enforcement position appeared, Lucero applied and won the position.

With his family, Lucero moved to Pagosa Springs in 1996. Since moving to Pagosa Springs, Lucero has been employed by the Pagosa Springs Police Department and the now-defunct Pagosa Lakes Department of Public Safety.

At Ignacio, Lucero is involved with gaming investigations. A major task is investigating the backgrounds of those seeking gaming licenses. In addition to being certified by Colorado, Lucero has a federal law enforcement certificate from the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

If elected sheriff, Lucero promises to be proactive. "I am concerned about closure rates," Lucero said. "It's easy to take a report. I believe that is just the start of handling a case. We need to be aggressive, talk to people, close these cases."

"There are other aspects to what I've done," Lucero continued, "from grunt to patrol to simple cases to sergeant and major cases making command decisions."

Lucero has been married to Seana for eight years. The couple has sons ages seven and four.

"I'd like to see open communication lines between my office and other law enforcement agencies, maybe form a task force to pool information," Lucero said. "The door to my office is always open to the public. I will personally address the public's concerns. Visibility is important. My biggest quality is decision making. As sheriff I will have three priorities: the needs of county citizens, the needs of the department as a whole, and the needs of individuals within the department."

"I want to afford every citizen the same type of professional service, unbiased, non-selective, law enforcement," Lucero said.

'Process' often makes me lone constituent lobbyist

Rep. Larson's Report

We have looked at the process of the legislature many times through my articles.

"Process" generally means adherence to the rules of the General Assembly. It begins with the Speaker who has full authority to send a bill where he/she wants it to go. It includes the political wrangling behind the scenes where influential lobbies work toward the support or demise of legislation, including working on committee members and seeking to lock in votes before a bill is heard. Unfortunately, many times I am the only "lobbyist" for my constituents when opposition arises. The process also involves the building of coalitions of like-minded legislators who come together on a particular issue based on geography, ideology, or a host of other reasons. Rural and urban coalitions are the norm on many issues. This thing called "process" is the life blood of our political system and proliferates through a structure of constant checks and balances of power, all of which are driven by the assumption that the participants act ethically, openly and with integrity. Somehow, through all of this, the will of citizens of Colorado is supposed to be heard.

Thursday, this monster called "process" ate up one of my bills. HB02-1166, the Surface Use Agreement bill, died in the State Veterans and Military Affairs Committee after two-plus hours of hearings. Trying to educate nine committee members about mineral law while proposing a significant change in the current fundamentally unfair public policy, was more than I could overcome. Urban legislators are not overly concerned about surface owners in Southwestern Colorado ... especially when the industry (and at least a couple committee members) continue to take the position that the surface owner "should have known" that the mineral estate might be developed.

I guess I could say the "process" killed my bill. Since the Speaker has full authority to send a bill wherever he chooses, I do not have the right to question that call. And while many of the committee members committed to the industry against this bill without ever talking to me, I do not have the right to question their vote ... nor do they have the right to question mine. The ultimate accountability is to our constituents. And with the issue of how high-powered lobbying influences a legislative "process" having already been decided by the voters by term limits, the urban/rural issue will many times be decided without deference to good public policy or minority protections. Thankfully, the process changes in magnitude and scope with each election cycle. Perhaps, in the 64th General Assembly, this issue that has so much importance to our area, will hit upon a differently functioning "process."

I do not normally mention names in my column because I was once told by a wise editor that, while you are mentioning a few, you are leaving out many. However, the Surface Use Agreement Bill took on a life of its own.

Special thanks to all of those throughout the 59th District who called and made a distinct impression on committee members. Several members commented about the tremendous outpouring of support this bill was receiving from Southwestern Colorado. Special thanks to Bob Miller of Durango for his assistance in drafting and willingness to dedicate time at the capital actively working for this bills passage. Thanks also to La Plata County Commissioner Josh Joswick, and Ellen Roberts, Mike Matheson, Michael McLachlan, Gwen Lachelt, Jeff Robbins, and the hundreds of citizens who worked actively on this bill. While we did not carry the day, we clearly demonstrated how a community can come together and effectively work for change.

Procedural vote didn't mean patriotism's in doubt

Sen. Isgar's Report

Apparently, it's already dirty tricks season. My office at the Capitol started getting phone calls Thursday about the Pledge of Allegiance. "Blast" recorded messages were going out that I was unpatriotic because of a procedural vote!

Senator John Andrews (R-Centennial), who is a former Nixon White House employee, asked the Senate earlier this week to skip the public testimony on his Pledge of Allegiance mandate bill. I oppose any bill avoiding public testimony in committee and voted to allow testimony and questions in committee. I did not - and would never - vote against the Pledge of Allegiance in our classrooms.

As a freshman legislator who has not experienced the "election year phenomenon" before, I am both amused and appalled by the practice of our more partisan colleagues who run "gotcha" legislation. "Gotcha" legislation is offered for no other reason than to get a legislator on record and then use it against them in some warped fashion the next election. It seems a silly way to waste our time. This week, the Senate has seen a barrage of these bills with patriotic themes, but carrying serious constitutional, legal and fiscal problems. In addition, these would take away the local control from school boards and communities.

Don't ever believe campaign literature that insinuates that any legislator is anything less than patriotic and civic-minded. I have yet to meet anyone on either side of the aisle who is not committed to their community, the democratic process and is supportive of our country. On a positive note, I had the satisfaction of having my first bill pass the Senate and my second and third bills are closer to passing - no small feat given the current political atmosphere under the dome in Denver these days.

The first bill reconciles fund-raising practices and state law, so that colleges and universities with liquor licenses can also accept donations from liquor manufacturers and distributors. Under the existing law, if a college or university has a license to sell beer in the student union, it precludes any donations from the liquor industry.

Our state budget is reeling right now and the legislature is in the process of finishing budget cuts that total more than $600 million in the current fiscal budget. Higher education has taken a significant hit in the process and will feel the pain next year. In times when our state revenues are tight and public money for higher education is scarce, my bill allows colleges and universities to create partnerships with an industry that historically been a big supporter of Colorado's academic institutions.

This bill now moves to the House, where Rep. Mark Larson is the sponsor.

Bipartisan sponsorship improves the bill's chances.

The second bill allows those injured in car accidents to use some of the $50,000 retraining coverage for living expenses during their retraining, which is now prohibited. This allows people to survive financially while they recover a normal life.

The third bill is the Southern Ute Air Quality bill. This bill, backed by the Southern Ute Tribe and other residents within the reservation boundaries, requires that three of the six commissioners on the Southern Ute Air Quality Commission (appointed by the Governor) live in Archuleta and La Plata Counties. And it would require at least one of the three should reside within the reservation boundaries.

While I am on the topic of higher education, let's talk about Fort Lewis College's future! I am watching closely the progress of the Blue Ribbon Panel that is considering whether to make FLC an independent school in the wake of the realignment of the Colorado State University system. That panel is tentatively set to meet in Durango later this month to discuss some of the options. I have heard many different opinions on this topic and have yet to hear a powerful consensus. I would urge the panel to weigh the options judiciously and not make any quick decisions.

Congratulations to our latest appointee to the Colorado Board of Education: Pam Suckla from Dolores and Slickrock. She has an impressive background for the position and I am looking forward to working with her on education issues.

Another Suckla, former Colorado Cattlemen's Association President Jimmy Suckla, was at the Capitol this week for a news conference to endorse federal legislation for country of origin labeling. He joined many others of the former CCA presidents to urge this legislation.

No boost in sight for snow pack

By John M. Motter

Staff Writer

Little or no snow is predicted during the coming week for the San Juan Mountains, according to Gary Chancy of the National Weather Service office in Grand Junction.

Chancy's forecast is a bad omen for those hoping for an addition to the unusually low snowpack in the San Juan Mountains. The San Juan snowpack is about 54 percent of average, according to a Feb. 4 report from the Natural Resources Conservation Service in Lakewood.

"In a typical winter season, the state will have accumulated about 60 percent of the total mountain snowpack by Feb. 1," said Allen Green, state conservationist with the NRCS. "With only 40 percent of the accumulation season remaining, there's only a poor chance we can reach average conditions by April 1, the average date of peak snowpack. To reach that level, we'll need to add more than an inch of water equivalent per week to the state's snowpack."

This year's snowpack is 59 percent down from last year. Reservoir storage in the San Juan Basin is 80 percent of average, but equal to last year's total.

A slight system should be moving through Pagosa Country today, according to Chancy, creating mostly cloudy skies and a chance for snow at higher elevations. Temperatures should peak in the 38-48 degrees range and drop to the teens at night.

Skies will return to partly cloudy tonight and remain that way until Sunday night. A small disturbance is expected to move through the area Sunday night, followed by only partly cloudy skies through Wednesday.

The best chance for snow is tonight and Sunday night, Chancy said, and that snowfall more likely only at higher elevations.

Keuning returns to Mary Fisher Center

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

Dan Keuning has returned to the Lower 48.

The pull from Pagosa Springs proved even greater than the sheer majesty of Alaska's mountains and glaciers, bringing him home to serve the Upper San Juan Hospital District after less than a year.

"I worked with the Alaskan Natives doing village health care," Keuning said. "I was doing primary care as a nurse practitioner. It was a great experience, but it was not home."

Keuning first came to Pagosa Springs in 1994. At the time, he worked for Mercy Medical Center's health and hospice services here, as an EMS first responder and as deputy coroner. He was also a member of the building committee for construction of the Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Center on South Pagosa Boulevard.

In 1998, Keuning went back to school at the University of Colorado, earning a master's degree as a family nurse practitioner. Through the Mountains and Plains Partnership program, he was able to take courses in the area instead of having to move.

Then came the adventure to Alaska. At first, Keuning, his wife and two sons, committed to two years. Opportunity called him back.

The Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Center had been short a provider for several months. Staff searched for another physician, looking especially to bring a female doctor to the community, but had no luck. They began negotiating with Keuning whose advanced training allows him to serve many patient needs.

"A nurse practitioner is a registered nurse with advanced training in an area of specialty," Keuning said. His specialty is family medicine, and he must be licensed by the state.

"What I do is primary health care for families - everything from well visits on babies to extreme urgent visits from those in immediate need," he said. He does have a physician advisor, in this case Dr. Bob Brown. However, Keuning can diagnose and prescribe medication and, using a series of protocols, is also able to stabilize and transfer patients in critical condition without a physician looking over his shoulder.

"The goals are to be able to keep and treat as many people here in Pagosa, as well as keeping the lines of communication open with Durango," he said

Right now, Keuning is seeing patients full-time at the medical center and one weekend a month at the Urgent Care Center. He continues to serve as deputy coroner, and is in charge of the new patient/physician education computer at the clinic.

With the addition to the staff, the medical center is now open until 6 p.m. during the week. Urgent Care is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and noon to 4 p.m. Sundays.

Child Tax Credit for low-income families

There's more good news for working families in Colorado this year. As a result of new legislation, thousands of low-income families will be eligible for refunds from the Child Tax Credit in 2001, in addition to claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit refund.

The Earned Income Credit returns up to $4,008 from the Internal Revenue Service to single or married workers who were raising two or more children in their homes and earned less than $32,121 in 2001, or less than $28,281 if they were raising only one child. Colorado also has a state earned income credit that is equal to 10 percent of the federal tax credit a family receives.

The Earned Income Credit was created in 1975 to help low- and moderate-income families with children offset the social security payroll tax burden and to supplement wages. Colorado, which created a state earned income credit in 1999, is one of the 14 states also to give a state credit.

New rules enacted by Congress for the Child Tax Credit now enable parents with earned income above $10,000 and dependent children under age 17 to receive a new refund even if they owed little or no income tax.

Unfortunately, many workers may not know about the Earned Income Tax Credit, and especially about the new Child Tax Credit. So to inform Colorado families about these tax credits, a public education campaign has been launched locally by the Piton Foundation. It is part of a nationwide public information campaign spearheaded by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities in Washington, D.C.

"We consider the credits pro-family/pro-work incentives because they boost the paychecks of lower and moderate-income working people with children," said Diane DiGiacomo, the statewide campaign coordinator.

"At the same time, the credits infuse substantial federal dollars into state and local economies, since families who receive the credits are likely to use it to pay bills, purchase food and clothing, and for other family necessities," DiGiacomo said.

To receive the Earned Income Credit, families must file a 1040 or 1040A federal income tax form and also a Schedule EIC. Eligible families that owe no income tax receive a check from the IRS in the amount of their credit. If a family does owe federal income tax, the EIC reduces the amount it owes. The Child Tax Credit requires completing a new IRS form. To receive the state credit, families must file a Colorado income tax return, which they also need to file to receive their state sales tax refund.

Families with questions about these tax credits, can receive free help by calling (303) 83-CALL7, the consumer line at Denver's 7. The IRS also offers free tax preparation to lower and moderate-income families through Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites located in communities throughout the state. Call (303) 83-CALL7 to find a local VITA site or visit The Piton Foundation's web site at www.piton.org.

CSP first in nation to let public

file accident reports on Internet

The Colorado State Patrol (CSP) has become the first law enforcement agency in the Untied States to offer a computer program to improve customer service for filing vehicular accident reports.

Col. Lonnie Westphal, chief of CSP, said, "We are very proud to be the first to use cutting edge electronic technology to provide better service to our citizens."

"The use of the Internet offers an expedient solution to improving customer service for a mandatory activity that is often a tedious and frustrating, but necessary task," said Westphal. "Citizens involved in vehicular accidents currently must go to a State Patrol office during normal business hours to complete a counter report. Frequently, this involves taking time off work, locating the nearest office, and driving to the office perhaps at some distance, to complete the report."

"Using today's Internet and the World Wide Web allows a citizen to complete an accident counter report from their business, home or public access computer on the State Patrol's web page," Westphal said.

Using the new Internet filing system, individuals can submit data to the Colorado state web server at www.csp.state.co.us.

They will receive back on their computer a copy of the data submitted which they can print for their use and records. Filing can also be accomplished at workstations or kiosks in police stations, libraries or other public locations.

Counter reports are required to be completed by the public for certain vehicular accidents that are not investigated by a Trooper.

Troopers do not investigate property damage accidents when an accident alert is in effect and all vehicles involved can be driven from the scene. Also, Troopers do not routinely investigate property damage accidents when there is less than $1,000 damage to each vehicle or when the accident occurs on private property. However, such accidents are still required to be reported to the Department of Revenue, and individuals involved are required by law to come to an office within 24 hours and complete a counter report.

In these cases, the accident is not required to be reported to the Department of Revenue/Division of Motor Vehicles, but often the person's insurance company requires a police report to proceed with a claim. In those situations, people go to the CSP offices and complete counter reports.

"Any Colorado law enforcement agency can refer people to the CSP's web site to make an electronic counter report," Westphal said. "Many agencies do not retain copies of these counter reports and are not concerned with related data. However, those agencies which do want to track the accidents would be allowed access to the database on the web server. From the database, they could download the data for their jurisdiction."

"We foresee that this new service will help support the economy of the state through a reduction in workers taking time away from their jobs to report accidents, as well as provide a tremendous convenience to the public," said Col. Westphal. "There also will be a significant savings in time spent by law enforcement clerical staff in handling the reports and explaining them to the public."

Access for this no-cost service is through the Colorado State Patrol websites www.csp.state.co.us, or the State of Colorado website www.state.co.us or directly at crash.state.co.us.

Residential building costs plummet in county

By John M. Motter

Staff Writer

The size of Archuleta County's average, newly-built home dropped during 2001 when compared with the previous year, according to a report just released by the Archuleta County Planning Department.

During 2001, prospective builders purchased 274 building permits with a total value estimated at $50,596,000, an average of $184,657 per single-family residential unit. During 2000, builders purchased 296 permits with total value of $67,733,000, an average of $228,827 per residential unit.

"Last year they built a lot of average homes in the 1,500 to 2,000 square-foot range," said Julie Rodriguez, a technician in the county building department. "That seems to be changing this year. Houses are getting bigger again."

Over the past five years the cost of the average single family residence in Archuleta county has grown from $162,230 in 1997 to $184,657 last year. During the same time span, the number of single family residential permits issued by the county has grown from 222 permits to 274 permits. The total dollar value of those permits has grown from $36,015,000 in 1997 to $50,596,000 in 2000.

The year 2000 seems to be a record year. During 2000, the building department issued 296 permits with a total dollar value of $67,733,000.

Comparing total dollar value on a year-to-year basis is not quite an apples-to-apples comparison, because the building department has used more than one method of estimating the value of a building being permitted.

"We've tried a variety of methods," Rodriguez said. "We think we've hit on what works best."

The building value estimated when application is made for a permit is based on the number of square feet in the proposed building. The value per square foot is based on the type of construction anticipated. Currently, an applicant pays $62.90 per square foot for a frame building, $70.70 per square foot for a Type 5 masonry building, $86.30 per square foot for a log building, and $90.50 for an all-masonry building.

Only 49 permits for mobile homes were issued in 2001. In 2000, the number of mobile home permits issued was 57. The total dollar value for mobile homes decreased from $3,954,000 in 2000 to $2,943,000 in 2001. The average value per mobile home permit also decreased from $69,368 in 2000 to $60,061 in 2001.

The value of commercial construction in Archuleta County for 2001 is estimated at $3,598,000, considerably more than the $2,221,000 commercial value for 2000.

Archuleta County issued a total of 490 permits during 2001, slightly more than the 485 permits issued during 2000.

A category labeled "Other" more than accounts for the increase. Other includes projects such as adding a porch, carport, or deck to a house, or other major renovation or remodeling projects. During 2001, 147 Other permits were issued, far more than the 105 issued during 2000. The value of Other permits during 2001 is $7,211,000. During 2000 the value of Other permits was $6,611,000.

In categories other than single family residences permits were issued in 2001 for: four duplexes, two three-plexes, two townhouses, and three apartments.

The count for the same categories during 2000 was: two duplexes, one three-plex, three townhouses, four condominiums, two apartments, and seven timeshares.

Bulk of county growth in Pagosa Lakes area

By John M. Motter

Staff Writer

Pagosa Lakes is the building site of choice for one of every two building permits issued in Archuleta County.

Of the 490 permits issued by the county during 2001, 249 were for building sites located in Pagosa Lakes. The 2001 ratio of 51 percent is consistent with the 2000 ratio, which was 50 percent.

The next largest category of construction activity took place in a category labeled Other Subdivisions, a catchall for locations in the county outside of Pagosa Lakes, including Arboles, Aspen Springs, Airport, Unsubdivided Areas, and Cloman Industrial Park.

The relationship among categories remains unchanged when comparing 2000 building permits with 2001 building permits. Pagosa Lakes leads with 249 permits followed by Other Subdivisions with 123 permits, Unsubdivided Areas with 57 permits, Aspen Springs with 41 permits, Arboles with 17 permits, Airport with 2 permits, and Cloman Industrial Park with 1 permit.

During 1999, the breakdown showed Pagosa Lakes with 215 permits, Other Subdivisions with 139 permits, Unsubdivided Areas with 72 permits, Aspen Springs with 75 permits, and Arboles with 16 permits.

'State-of-the-art' bus provides litany of woes

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

The "state-of-the-art" school bus which was heralded a year ago as the best of its kind, was deemed a lost cause Tuesday by the school board for Archuleta School District 50 Joint.

Superintendent Duane Noggle told the board the dispute over mechanical failures of the bus is a "contentious litany of ongoing woes culminated by the drive shaft falling off."

The bus, once the pride of the fleet, now sits at a dealer's site in Denver where it will stay for now.

Noggle told the board trying to get a corporate settlement for "this lemon" will take time. He said he had personally traced the history of faults with the bus' operation and believes it all tracks back to an improperly installed rebuilt drive shaft. "We're trying to get them to cover this as a warranty item," he said.

No one knows when, or if, the bus will be returned to service.

Noggle also told the board he has been negotiating with Baldwin Construction Co., contractors on the high school complex, over challenges made by the board last spring with reference to expanding joints in the commons area, fading paint, a hole in the gymnasium floor, a leaking fire suppression line and failure to install a heating element in one area of the structure.

The hole was patched, he said, "and we did the repainting ourselves." Rather than take Baldwin to court, he said, "we asked them to negotiate. They offered a $2,400 settlement, we asked for $3,600 and we finally agreed on $3,000." The missing heating element was installed, he told the board, but a special valve is still missing so it is not yet operable.

On a separate issue, Noggle told the board "an issue of teacher licensure has been pretty much resolved."

He said, "We need to make sure teachers are all aware of state statutes and their (personal) obligations." He said he had talked with teacher representatives and that they asked for letters of reminder.

"We're here to assist them," he said, adding, "I need to do a better job helping the individual teachers and being sure they understand the requirements."

Director Russ Lee, acting as president pro tem, told Noggle, "You were more than fair in handling the recent incident. Such actions are up to them (the teachers). It is a matter of professional conduct and ethics."

Noggle said, in the future, each teacher will be notified six months ahead of licensure expiration, and again shortly before the actual expiration date. "The applications are long and can be confusing," he said. "We'll be here to assist them if they need it."

Noggle also submitted for board perusal a new handbook for substitute teachers "designed to be a basic orientation to the district with an outline of what is expected of them and the rules regarding their employment."

It is intended, he said, "to be a warmer welcome for newcomers . . . something other than saying, 'here's the classroom, get started'."

In other action Tuesday the board, on administrative recommendation:

Named Eugene Spatz as transportation mechanic

Accepted the resignation, effective at the end of the school year, of Mary Jo Janowsky, an elementary school teacher since 1994

Named J.D. Kurz a volunteer track coach

Extended substitute status to Stan Gidley, a bus driver; Ana Lucero Alvarado for the cafeteria operation; teachers Scott Moore, Patsy Harvey, April Holthaus and Cindy Cunningham.

Bowl-a-thon fund-raiser scheduled for Big Brothers/Big Sisters here

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Dearle Ann Ricker of Pagosa Springs is a woman with a new assignment and a special event already scheduled to help make it work.

She is the newly-appointed local director for the Big Brothers/Big Sisters organization and is working with the Durango chapter to promote a fund-raising bowl-a-thon in Durango on March 9.

"I have 10 Pagosans signed up so far," she said, "and would like to get 50 to 100 prepared to bowl for pledges of a penny a pin."

The Big Brothers/Big Sisters organization pairs lonely youngsters with adult companions who are thoroughly screened before they are allowed to accompany the youths. Both the child and the accepted Big are expected to benefit from the association.

At present, the Pagosa Springs and Cortez units are being operated as adjuncts of the Durango program.

Ricker's appointment is the first step toward making the Pagosa Springs operation more independent.

Right now, she said, there are three Big pairs in Pagosa and "we hope to have 20 to 30 by the end of the year."

The March 9 bowl-a-thon will go from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Ricker hopes to have all the Pagosa bowlers who sign up competing for funds at the same general hour so their families and friends can cheer them on.

Even if you're not a bowler and would like to assist the organization in this fund-raiser by sponsoring a bowler, your call will be welcomed.

So, all you would-be pin busters and those of you who want to support them, call Ricker at 264-5077 and get your name on the list.

Youngsters who need someone to care about them will benefit.

28 mental health professionals

take Red Cross disaster training

In January 28 licensed mental health professionals from southwest Colorado - psychologists, clinical social workers, marriage and family therapists, and professional counselors - completed disaster training offered by the Southwest Colorado Chapter of American Red Cross.

The Disaster Mental Health Services class, taught by Tom Salb, Ph.D, and Jo Hillard, R.N., M.A. ( Red Cross instructors from New Mexico), trained students to respond to local and national disasters.

Six months of planning preceded the 16-hour course.

"We are now much better able to meet the mental health needs of our neighbors should a disaster occur. We have planned for the worst, but remain hopeful that we will ultimately never be needed," said Nancy Choquette, training participant and coordinator for the Employee Assistance Program, a service of Mercy Medical Center.

A steering group of professionals from local agencies, including Fort Lewis College Counseling Center, Mercy Medical Center, Southwest Colorado Mental Health Center, Southwest Colorado Chapter of American Red Cross and private practitioners began meeting in July 2001 to prepare a community-based response to local disasters (possibly weather, transportation or wildfire related).

The events of Sept. 11 provided the impetus to prepare locally for an effective mental health disaster response and underscored the need to respond to farther reaching disasters as well.

The Red Cross training was identified as an integral element in preparing for whatever mental health needs might accompany a crisis, ranging from house fires to major disasters.

The steering group, now expanded to include those mental health professionals recently trained, will continue to meet to ensure that the community mental health response is ready should a local disaster occur.

Girl Scouts host Uwe Kind concert in Cortez Feb. 22

Girl Scouts of Chaparral Council are welcoming Uwe Kind, internationally known educator and entertainer to their area and he will host an interactive concert at 6 p.m. Feb. 22 in Montezuma-Cortez High School to help Girl Scouts celebrate World Thinking Day.

The community is invited to take part in this one-of-a-kind concert. Tickets can be reserved through Friday by calling 970-247-4850. Cost is $3.75 per person and children five and younger get in free.

Uwe Kind (pronounced Oo-va and Kind rhymes with hint) is an educator, musician, artist and entertainer who has developed "Lingo Tech," a method of teaching languages using music and movement. Born in the former East Germany, he has lived in the United States since 1965 and has taught at the New School for Social Research in New York, Harvard University and the U.N. International School.

Thinking Day is a special day when Girl Scouts and Girl Guides around the world think of each other and give thanks and appreciation to their "sister" Girl Scouts. Thinking Day is celebrated Feb. 22, which is jointly the birthday of both Lord Baden-Powell, founder of the movement, and the World Chief Guide, Olave Baden Powell.

Girl Scouts of Chaparral Council, Inc., serves 6,000 girls and 2,000 adults in New Mexico and southwestern Colorado and is focused on meeting the needs of each girl by providing a program of experiences, based on the Girl Scout Promise and Law, for girls between 5 and 17 years old.

Girl Scouts of the USA celebrates its 90th anniversary this year.

High school honor roll features 74 4.0 students

A group of 20 seniors with perfect 4.0 averages leads the Pagosa Springs High School First Term Honor Roll released Tuesday.

Included in the top group are Ashley Gronewoller, Heather Beye, Kerilyn Frank, Jeffrey Johnson, Ross Wagle, Lori Whitbred, Matthew Ford, Aubrey Volger, Hank Wills, Katie Lancing, Kari Eden, Keith Frank, Kelly Kay, Josiah Payne, Ethan Sanford, Tiffany Thompson, Alysha Ranson, Hillary Wienpahl, Nora Fabris and Devin Higgins-Miller.

Close behind and the only senior at 3.75, was Alina Mendoza.

Grouped with 3.67 averages were Michelle Ferguson, Robert Kern, Natalie Ortega, Jenelle Newberg, Darin Lister, Michael Martinez, Bryce Paul, Callie Smock, Deborah Meyer, Dorothy Brinton, Toby Gunzinger, Tyrus Scott and Megan Squier.

Just behind them with 3.50 averages were Joetta Martinez and Shalaina Hamblin.

Rounding out the seniors honor list with 3.33 averages were Emily Finney, Eric Mesker, Jimmy Iverson, Carlena Lungstrum, Ronald Janowsky, Luke Boilini, Amy Moore, Amie Smith, Todd Henry, Sarah Firth, Caleb Mellette and Mollie McGrath.

Sixteen juniors led their class with 4.0 scores. They were Jeremy Oertel, Jordan Kurt-Mason, Clayton Mastin, Sarah Riley, Travis Reid, Clay Pruitt, Justin Smith, Katie Bliss, Sarah Smith, Sara Aupperle, Holly Gustafson, Kimberly Hitchcox, Jolyn Rader, Hannah Emanuel, Jessi Marlatt and Benjamin Rabb.

Twelve more juniors had 3.75 averages. They were Susie Rivas, Robin Willett, Zeb Gill, Drisa Carrizo, Kyle Frye, Lila Garcia, Jared Lincoln, Jason Schutz, Brandon Charles, Jamie Turner, Marylou Villalobos and Alexandra Rigia.

Following them with 3.50 averages were Jessica Buikema, Jared Earley, Sky Fehrenbacher, LeAnn Foutz, Ashley Wagle, Todd Mees, Stacey Smith, Kristina Elledge, Mylinda Blankenship, William Feht and Erin Fahey.

Rounding out the junior honors list with 3.25 averages were Jeremy Buikema, Jeremy Marquez, Cody Stowe, Chelsea Masanz and Travis Quiller.

The sophomore class was lead by 17 students with 4.0 marks, including Anna Bishop, Roxanna Day, Melissa Diller, Jenna Finney, Clinton McKnight, Randi Pierce, Ryan Wienpahl, Courtney Sell, David Kern, Ben Marshall, Melissa Wollenweber, Kyle Sanders, Kevin Muirhead, Malonie Thull, Ryan Zimmerman, Cassidy Chatham and Gregory Hudnall.

Close behind with 3.75 averages were Drew Fisher, Sierra Fleenor, Jordan Goodman, Aaron Hamilton, Liesl Jackson, Danielle Jaramillo, Ashley Lord, Melissa Martinez, Daniel McGinnis, Ty Peterson, Leslie Shepard, Jon Howison, Jennifer Lucero, Dan Lowder and Lauren Felts.

Eleven others were named to the honors list with 3.50 averages, including Kelly Johnson, Alexis Loewen, Drew Mitchell, Michael Quintana, Coy Ross, Brandon Samples, Amy Tautges, Ashli Winter, Daniel Durfee, Hannah Lloyd and Somer Evans.

Listed with 3.25 averages were Clayton Spencer and Sean Spear.

The freshman honor roll was topped by 21 students with 4.0 averages. They included Jessica Harms, Rachel Schur, Kelly Bartholomew, Christine Morrison, Audrey Miller, Levi Gill, Christena Lungstrum, Meagan Martinez, Kelli Ford, Brett Garman, Courtney Steen, Randi Andersen, Victoria Stanton, Brianna Scott, Chris Nobles, Melissa Maberry, Jesse Morris, Janna Henry, Mollie Honan, Rachel Watkins and Jesse Bauer.

Freshmen with 3.75 averages included Brittany Corcoran, Caitlyn Jewell, Kyrie Beye, Amanda Huang, Kelcie Mastin, Ryan Ranson, Landry Ward, Laura Tomforde, James Anderson and David Yerton.

Jacob Smith was next with a 3.60, followed by Derrick Rader, Lori Walkup and Ellen Emanuel at 3.50 and Marlena Lungstrum, Carson Park and Ana Valdez and 3.25.

California visitor, Pagosa man tops in 4th Fun Race

Kati Wolf of San Francisco had a Fun Race time of 26 minutes 16 seconds Saturday to pace the seven women participating in the event at Wolf Creek Ski Area. Mark Garcia of Pagosa Springs had the fastest time of the day, winning the mens' 36-40 division in 25:84.

On the womens' side, Sarah Brown of Pagosa had a gold medal time of 43:64 in girls 12-14; Tracy Dowel of Pagosa paced the 26-30 group with a run of 27:86; Kim Wood of New Mexico captured the 31-35 bracket in 39:01; Amanda Pearson of Crestone was second to Wolf in 39:49; Donna Anderson of Pagosa captured the womens' 41-50 bracket in 37:82 and Mary Miller of Pagosa won the womens' 61-and over bracket in 33:43.

In the boys' 6-8 bracket, gold went to Shey Monkewiez of Alaska in 39:02. Ian Milligan of Pueblo took gold in boys 9-11 in 33:47 with Jacob Haynes of Pagosa Springs getting silver in 34:65 and Daniel Calhoun of Oklahoma taking bronze in 42:33.

Bryan Roth of Pueblo was gold medalist in boys 12-14 with a run of 34:18. He was followed by Chris Baum of Pagosa Springs in 36:61 and Logan McClellan of Pagosa in 38:61.

The boys 15-17 bracket became an out-of-state duel with Ryan Hensley of Oklahoma taking gold in 33:98 and Alex Zamora and A.J. Dome of New Mexico battling for the other two spots. Zamora got silver in 39:05 and Dome bronze in 39:42.

Tihomir Dimitrod of New Mexico won the mens' 21-25 bracket in 33:72 and David Cole of Pagosa captured mens' 26-30 in 28:92.

Mens' 31-35 gold went to C.J. Wolf of San Francisco. Steve Cahill of Ohio got silver in the bracket in 30:23 and Bob Calhoun of Oklahoma had a run of 33:98 for bronze. In the mens' 36-40, Garcia was followed by Will Spears of Pagosa Springs in 34:15.

The mens' 51-60 bracket gold went to Mike Evans of South Fork in 27:48 with Duncan Cullman of Alpine Village taking silver in 37:86 and Gerry Riggs of Pagosa bringing home bronze in 30:68.

The mens' 61 and over bracket was an all Pagosa Springs final with Dave Bryan talking gold in 29:70, Glenn Van Patter winning silver in 30:69 and Jim Cole snaring bronze in 33:97.

Police Blotter

Items listed in the Police Blotter report where an alleged incident occurred, the nature of the incident, the officer involved and the status of the incident. Readers should not assume employees or owners of a place of business or a parking lot reported as the scene of an event are involved as perpetrators of the incident, or that individuals cited will be found guilty by the court.

Sheriff's Department

The Archuleta County Sheriff's Department logged 12 incidents Feb. 6 to Feb. 12.

Offenses:

Feb. 6 - Theft. 100 Block North Pagosa Boulevard. Deputy J. Gaskins responded. Case open.

Feb. 6 - Theft. Trujillo Road at pavement end. Deputy J. Gaskins responded. Case open.

Feb. 6 - Driving without valid driver's license, fictitious plates, no proof of insurance. Piedra Road and Cloud Cap Avenue. Deputy Walter responded. Case closed by summons.

Feb. 6 - Warrant arrest. North Birdie Court. Deputy Walter responded. Case closed.

Feb. 7 - Theft. Park Avenue. Deputy Karn Macht responded.

Feb. 8 - Warrant arrest. 300 Block Oakridge Drive. Deputy Hardy responded. Case closed by arrest.

Feb. 8 - Leaving the scene of an accident. Enchanted Place. Deputy Hardy responded.

Feb. 8 - Driving uninsured vehicle, displayed expired plates. Vista and Bonanza. Deputy Walter responded. Case closed by summons.

Feb. 8 - Warrant arrest. 300 Block Oakridge. Deputy Walter responded. Case closed.

Feb. 10 - First-degree burglary, criminal mischief, first-degree criminal trespass. U.S. 84. Deputy J. Gaskins. Case open.

Bookings:

Feb. 5 - Joseph Ray Chavez, Jr. Burglary, theft, failure to comply. (Original charge: theft.) Transfer custody.

Feb. 5 - Archie Dominic Ribera. Driving motor vehicle when license revoked. Posted surety bond.

Feb. 6 - Adrienne Jennell Crider. Wiretapping prohibited, third-degree assault. Posted surety bond.

Feb. 8 - Shaun Dewayne Jacobs. Retaliation against victim/witness.

Feb. 8 - Julia Ellice Tracy. Retaliation against witness/victim.

Feb. 8 - Michelle Evon Vasquez. DUI. Court-ordered jail stay.

Feb. 9 - William Donald Lewis. Third-degree assault, strikes, shoves, kicks, or otherwise touches a person or subjects him to physical contact. Posted surety bond.

Feb. 9 - Joseph Eloy Maestas. Owner-operated uninsured motor vehicle, driving motor vehicle when license restrained for express consent, failure to display valid registration.

Feb. 10 - Richard Lee Hilton. DUI. Thirty-day court-ordered jail stay.

Feb. 10 - James Christopher McKaughan. Second-degree assault, menacing.

Feb. 10 - Jonas Roland Montoya. Harassment, physical contact.

Feb. 11 - William Donald Lewis. Violation of restraining order. Posted surety bond.

Pagosa Springs Police Department

The Pagosa Springs Police Department logged 15 incidents Feb. 6 to Feb. 12.

Feb. 5 - Driving under revocation. Pagosa Country Center. Officer Valdez responded. Case closed by arrest.

Feb. 6 - False reporting. 500 Block South 7th Street. Chief Volger responded. Case closed by summons.

Feb. 8 - Criminal mischief. 5th and San Juan streets. Officer Smith responded. No suspect indicated. Case active.

Feb. 8 - Shoplifting. 300 Block Pagosa Street. Officer Allen responded. Case closed by two summonses.

Feb. 9 - Domestic violence. 200 Block Lewis Street. Officer Rockensock responded. Case closed by arrest.

Feb. 10 - Assault. 400 Block Pagosa Street. Officer Kop responded. Case closed by arrest.

Feb. 10 - Harassment. 500 Block South 9th Street. Officer Rockensock responded. Case closed by arrest.

Feb. 11 - Violation of restraining order. 200 Block Lewis Street. Officer Kop responded. Case closed by arrest.

Archuleta County Court: Judge James Denvir

Feb. 6 - Deryck M. Earley, Pagosa Springs. Guilty of driving under restraint. Five days jail, $138 costs.

Feb. 6 - Christopher Guezara, Pagosa Springs. Guilty of DWAI. Ten days jail - suspended, 24 hours public service, evaluation and comply, $459 costs.

Feb. 6 - Robert Anthony Johnson, Durango. Guilty of DWAI, second offense. One hundred and eighty days jail - 150 suspended, 60 hours public service, comply with evaluation, comply with day report program, $459 costs.

Feb. 6 - Joel Lucas Martinez, Pagosa Springs. Guilty of DWAI, second offense. Forty-five days jail - 15 suspended, 48 hours public service, comply with evaluation, $484 costs.

Feb. 7 - Carey L. Perkins, Albuquerque. Guilty of speeding. One hundred and twenty-eight dollars costs.

Pagosa Springs Municipal Court: Judge William Anderson

Feb. 6 - Juvenile, Pagosa Springs. Guilty of speeding. Defensive driving at defendant's expense, four points suspended, $50 costs.

Feb. 11 - Oscar Dominguez/Gonzales, Pagosa Springs. Guilty of shoplifting. Six months probation, no contact, $50.

Feb. 11 - Greg Vliss, Pagosa Springs. Guilty of shoplifting. Six months probation, no contact, $230.75.

Feb. 11 - Tommy Steed, Pagosa Springs. Guilty of careless driving. Four points, $50 costs.

Emergency Medical Services

EMS responded to 13 emergency calls from Feb. 4 to Feb. 10.

Feb. 6 - Trauma call. 40 Block Nugget Court. Quick Response Vehicle and ambulance responded. One patient transported to Mercy Medical Center.

Feb. 8 - Medical call. 100 Block Hermosa Street. Ambulance responded. One patient transported to Pine Ridge Extended Care Center.

Feb. 9 - Trauma call. Wolf Creek Ski Area. Ambulance responded. One patient transported to Mary Fisher Medical Center then to Mercy Medical Center.

Feb. 9 - Medical call. 90 Block Carefree Drive. Ambulance responded. One patient transported to Mercy Medical Center.

Feb. 10 - Medical call. Mary Fisher Medical Center. Ambulance responded. One patient transported to Mercy Medical Center.

Raid turns up evidence of poaching, illegal sales of wild game

Colorado Division of Wildlife officers and ATF and U.S. Fish and Wildlife agents uncovered evidence of illegal wildlife activities in the search of an Estes Park taxidermy shop, which stemmed from a two-year investigation.

A two-year, cooperative investigation by the Colorado Division of Wildlife and New Mexico Game and Fish into the illegal sale of wildlife and the commercial trafficking of trophy heads and antlers led to the execution of a search warrant at the shop. Division officers seized several trophy bighorn sheep, elk, deer, a bear cub and a computer, documents and records. Investigators are also looking into the possible unlawful sale of firearms and other items.

Colorado DOW officers, several agents from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and agents from the federal Bureau of Tobacco, Alcohol and Firearms seized the evidence related to wildlife violations as well as evidence of other illegal activity.

New Mexico game officers served a search warrant, seized evidence related to wildlife violations and made arrests connected to the case last week in Las Vegas, N.M. Other suspects are currently being interviewed.

The Colorado suspect, the shop's owner, allegedly received and sold illegally killed wildlife and antlers and transported them across state lines. Charges have not yet been filed. The investigation could also lead to charges and arrests in other states, and the Estes Park police department is conducting its own investigation based on the DOW's information.

The New Mexico suspect allegedly killed wildlife illegally and traded, received and sold illegally killed or possessed wildlife. As is the case in Colorado, charges have not yet been filed. Investigators have numerous additional witnesses and suspects to interview.

Dal Schaefer, a criminal investigator for CDOW, said the case grew from a rash of trophy killings and poachings, primarily of elk and deer, along the Colorado-New Mexico border. Through Operation Game Thief and anonymous tips, game wardens gathered information from the field and amassed enough evidence for the two agencies to tie the crimes to individuals and begin covert investigations.

"The field officers are the ones out there gathering DNA, carcasses and intelligence," Schaefer said. "They gather enough pieces of the puzzle so that investigators can fill in those that are missing. The local game wardens really have their hand on the heartbeat of their communities and know what's going on."

John Bredehoft, chief of law enforcement for the DOW, said poaching and the commercial sale of wildlife is "big business."

"They are in essence stealing for profit from hunters and others who enjoy seeing these animals," Bredehoft said. "It's frustrating for wildlife officers to find poached carcasses of animals with their heads cut off, and making a case like this really makes all of us feel great that at least some of these folks have been caught.

"We have some of the best investigators in the country, and between them, the field officers and the critically important public support, we will continue to go after these kinds of poachers. It really hurts all of us, because they take the biggest and the best animals."

Heads, mounted animals and antlers can be sold for hundreds or thousands of dollars to collectors or for craft use, like in antler chandeliers or tables. Antlers and other wildlife parts can also be sold on the oriental market, where they are ground and used in medicines or drugs. World-class trophy big game heads can sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars. A trophy elk head can sell from $500 to thousands of dollars, and a bighorn sheep head alone can sell from $1,000 to $20,000.

"Illegal commercial activities are a high priority for us. They'll do it any time of the year," Bredehoft said. "They make a huge profit, and there is a whole network of people engaged in this activity. It extends not only across state lines, but internationally."

Investigations such as the one that led to the Estes Park search warrant can take 2-3 years, and the DOW executes about 2-3 warrants in major cases per year, he said.

Under Colorado law, wildlife not lawfully acquired is the property of the state, and it is illegal for any individual to sell or receive such wildlife or transport it across state lines. Transporting wildlife across state lines also is a violation of federal law as prohibited by the Lacey Act. New Mexico law is similar. In New Mexico, it is unlawful to possess or sell skins, heads, antlers, horns or claws of protected animals without documentation that they were legally taken or possessed.

"These trophy animals are very valuable to the state's economy," Schaefer said. "The trophy animals are poached, then laundered into the wildlife market. The amount of money people pay for these animals and antlers is unreal."

In this case, investigators posed as horn marketers, or people who make a living out of buying, selling and trading trophy animals, Schaefer said. Once inside the network, officers bought and sold both legal and illegal animal heads and then identified suspects.

"We needed to show that a person had a predisposition to do this," he said. "If a guy is dirty, he'll show himself. And a lot of times, illegal wildlife activity will lead us to other illegal activities. Criminals have diverse portfolios - they don't put all their eggs in one basket - and it's typical of individuals who profit off of wildlife to be involved in other illegal activities. This one branched into illegal outfitting and license violations."

Poaching is a serious and costly crime in Colorado, said Glenn Smith, the Division's Operation Game Thief coordinator. "No one knows exact figures, but studies have shown poachers could be killing as many animals and fish as legitimate hunters do during legal seasons," Smith said.

One way the public can help is the DOW's Operation Game Thief program, which pays citizens who turn in poachers. A call is toll-free (800) 332-4155 (Verizon cell phone users can call #OGT), or tips can be turned in via e-mail at game.thief@state.co.us. Callers don't have to reveal their names or testify in court. Rewards are $250 for big game or endangered species, and $100 for information on other wildlife violations. Awards of up to $1,000 may be given in big cases. The New Mexico Operation Game Thief number is (800) 432-4263, and the agency offers rewards up to $750 for information leading to the arrest of wildlife violators.

"I can't tell you how many times Operation Game Thief and anonymous tips have led us to poachers," Schaefer said. "The public is our eyes and ears and is critical to directing us to the right area. These criminals are raping our resources. That small percentage of people who are illegally harvesting big animals for their heads are taking them from the average person, who won't have a chance to see or hunt them."

The poaching of game and fish also cheats businesses and taxpayers out of the money hunting and fishing generates. Since 1981, over 700 convictions have resulted from Operation Game Thief tips.

"We're out there looking out for the physical well-being of wildlife and trying to protect them, because they don't have anybody else," Schaefer said. "For those stealing our resources, our job is to catch them."

Eric Harper, the DOW's assistant chief of law enforcement, oversees covert investigations, including the Estes Park operation. Harper said there is a legal commercial market to sell wildlife, but only if it has been legally taken.

"Rules and regulations are available from the Division of Wildlife, and they can tell you whether a purchase is lawful," Harper said. "The majority of hunters are law-abiding and want us to catch these types of people as much as we want to catch them. They often help by giving us information that leads to criminals."

Any person who kills a bighorn sheep in Colorado or New Mexico is required to have the animal checked by a game warden, where a metal "plug" or "seal" will be placed in the horn to show the animal was killed legally. The animal can then be sold.

The cooperation between Colorado and New Mexico was important to the investigation, and cooperation between states in major investigations is common, Schaefer said.

"It's difficult for one state," he said. "A lot of time it's more efficient for two to work together." Wildlife violators don't recognize political boundaries.

A computer crime agent from Aurora Police Department is also assisting the DOW in the Estes Park investigation.

DOW plans to increase fish production level

The Colorado Division of Wildlife will be increasing fish production to meet fishing recreation needs and reach historic stocking levels of 4.8 million catchable trout.

As part of its new Strategic Plan, the Colorado Division of Wildlife will increase fish production to 4.8 million catchable-size (10-inch) trout by 2006. Of the 4.8 million fish, the Division plans to have at least 3 million negative for whirling disease.

The Division is now stocking about 3.4 million catchable fish a year, down from the 20-year average of 4.8 million and peak years when 5.2 million were stocked, because several hatcheries were temporarily closed over the past five years as the Division tried to decontaminate them for whirling disease. The Division also currently stocks about 10 million to 12 million subcatchable trout and salmon a year and about 57 million warm-water fish.

The Division hopes to have 1.5 million whirling disease negative catchable fish by next year.

The Colorado Wildlife Commission unanimously approved moving forward with the fish plan, called the Phase II Fishery Report Recommendations, at its meeting Jan. 11 at Division headquarters in Denver. Phase I was the initial study that established general goals for Commission consideration.

Phase II is a means to meet two of the Division's high-priority goals in the Strategic Plan, a five year road map for the agency that was also adopted Jan. 11. Those are to provide the number of fish needed for anglers through natural reproduction and hatchery stocking, and to protect the fishery resource of Colorado by managing cold-water habitats to slow the spread of whirling disease and minimize natural exposure levels in waters where it already exists.

"The primary objective of the new whirling disease policy is to protect the fishery resource of Colorado, and also to produce the necessary numbers of disease-free fish for stocking," said state aquatic manager Eddie Kochman.

The Division will continue to buy fish from private hatcheries to meet the goal.

"It's a welcome partnership," Kochman said. "We'll have a difficult time meeting that level of negative fish unless we purchase fish from private growers." Production will also be expanded at existing Division facilities and new ones could be built. The San Luis Valley is one area the Division considers promising for expanded production, Kochman said.

Four and a half years ago, the Division began to "modernize" many of the state's cold-water hatcheries to eliminate whirling disease and make the facilities more secure. To do so, hatcheries are switching from open-river water supplies that were vulnerable to disease to more secure water supplies like wells or springs.

The state legislature approved funding of $13 million for the projects from the Division's game cash revenues. Levels of infection at state hatcheries have dropped dramatically over the past few years thanks to the cleanup effort, said hatchery chief Eric Hughes.

Although still considered positive, fish from two of the state's largest facilities, Rifle and Mount Shavano outside of Salida, contained no spores in testing performed last month, Hughes said. At this point, several other state facilities continue to work toward whirling disease negative status, he said.

"We are doing everything we reasonably can to get units certified as negative," he said.

The cleanup effort came after Division biologists found in the mid-1990s that young fish hatched during the year were not surviving because of whirling disease, Hughes said. Entire crops of young rainbow trout were dying. Young fish are at greatest risk because the parasite attacks their soft cartilage. Whirling disease was first observed in the U.S. around 1958, and spread to Colorado in the 1980s.

"Our research found, for the first time anywhere, that whirling disease had population-level impacts in the wild," Hughes said. "In some river sections, whirling disease appeared to be killing the vast majority of young fingerlings."

In November 2000, based on Division aquatic biologist Barry Nehring's research that showed stocking positive fish increased infectivity levels in waters, the Commission approved a policy that requires, beginning Jan. 1, 2003, that all fish stocked into salmonid (trout) habitat must be certified free of whirling disease.

However, fish reared in facilities not certified as whirling disease negative can still stock into nonsalmonid habitat such as low-elevation reservoirs. Requests to stock fish with the pathogen into salmonid habitat will have to receive special approval by the Division.

"Salmonid" refers to streams and lakes where natural reproduction of trout and other cold-water fish species can occur. Whirling disease, which has been found in 14 of the 15 major river drainages in the state, is only found in trout and salmon and does not infect warm-water species such as bass and walleye.

The stocking of live, infected fish is a major factor in the spread of the disease, as is the transfer of fish or fish parts from one body of water to another. Fish can carry low levels of whirling disease, but not show symptoms.

Fish infected with whirling disease, which is caused by a tiny, water-borne parasite called Myxobolus cerebralis, can have spinal deformities, black tails and a decreased ability to feed. The parasite works its way into head and spinal cartilage, where it multiplies rapidly and causes fish to swim erratically in circles (hence the name "whirling" disease) and in severe cases, die.

When a fish dies, tiny spores of the parasite are released into the water, where they can live for long periods of time. The spores are eaten by a worm called Tubifex, the disease's primary host, where they change into a highly infective form that is passed back to trout through the water. Rainbow and cutthroat trout are the most susceptible to whirling disease, but it can infect all salmonid species. Brown and lake trout are highly resistant.

"It's a serious disease and we don't want to introduce it into waters where it didn't previously exist, because once it's introduced, it's there forever," Kochman said. "Whirling disease can't be completely eliminated from the habitat, but we can actually reduce infectivity by stocking negative fish. If you keep loading the ecosystem with infectivity, it remains as a high level."

If the infectivity level is lowered, "natural reproduction of trout could again occur," Kochman said.

In general, Colorado's natural production of big fish is relatively slow because of cold water temperatures and low nutrient loads in the water, making fish populations susceptible to heavy angler pressure, Hughes said. "It is fairly easy to harvest fish more rapidly than the rate at which they can grow up and replace those taken," he said.

Colorado's population growth has placed increasing demands on the state's catchable fish population.

"The state has gained more than 1 million residents over the past decade, and people love to fish now more than ever before," Kochman said. "The population will continue to grow, and in order to meet public demand for fishing recreation, we need to provide more fish."

Whirling disease is not harmful to humans. It has been found in 22 states and in New Zealand, central Europe, South Africa and northeast Asia. Trout and salmon native to the United States did not evolve in areas with the whirling disease spore. Consequently, most native species have little or no natural resistance.

Letters

Military strength

Dear Editor,

If there is a road to peace in Israel surely it does not lie, as one writer suggests, in the direction of further coddling of the comically ineffective Arafat and his terrorist mobs. Did eight years of Clinton's shameless and fruitless appeasement teach us nothing? By now, it should be clear to any objective person that Arafat does not want a country or peace. What he craves above all else is the eradication of Israel. Even Clinton's hapless surrogate Barak has belatedly come to understand and admit that, as have the Israeli people, who pitched him out of office not long ago.

As for the so-called "occupied territories" - you know, when people ask me where I'm from I like to say I was born in occupied Atlanta. But I don't really expect the Yankees to ever go home. That's because Atlanta isn't occupied - it's conquered, just like the territories now a part of Israel. It is theirs to do with as they please. Should those territories form the basis of an Arab Palestine, as Barak offered? What incentive to peace for the Arabs is there if they are always handed back the land they lose in their continual wars of annihilation? More likely, that land would become a new, sovereign base from which to launch more terror attacks.

If there is a solution it rests apart from Palestine and in the direction of Syria, Iraq, Iran and the other Arab and terrorist nations who cheerfully contribute money, men, and arms to the conflict in order to distract dissenters in their own countries. Their minds must be changed. And their complaints against the U.S. and Israel have nothing to do with a frustrated longing for democracy. The militant bin Laden exercised total control in Afghanistan for five years. Did he impose anything resembling a democracy?

Their history makes a better case that these nations understand and appreciate democracy less than a boot on the throat. They hate us, in fact, precisely because we are democratic. Getting their attention is best accomplished through military strength, decisive action, and reduced dependence on their oil, as President Bush has proposed.

There is a right side in this conflict and we are on it. To see no moral difference between the two parties is to see no difference between the purposeful killing of unarmed women and children, and the limited targeting of terrorist leaders. That this confusion seems widespread is possibly a better measure of the failure of American educational institutions than all the standardized math tests ever given.

N. G. Constan

Recovering well

Dear Editor,

I just wanted you and everyone to know I'm alive and well. I left Pagosa Dec. 29 a very sick woman. I'm in Houston now under doctor's care and hope to return in several months.

I want to thank everyone for their prayers, calls, cards and food before I left and for those of you who check on Tom for me, as he is losing his eyesight, and to those of you who give him rides to the doctor I am eternally grateful.

I'm still working via long distance.

I've been staying with my children who have totally spoiled me rotten, but it's great getting to be around my grandchildren and getting to know them again.

I would love to hear from you. Please write me at 2409 Salisbury, Alvin, TX 77511. Or call (281) 585-3886.

Thanks,

Carolyn Craig

Oil well advice

Dear Editor,

I read in the Pagosa Springs SUN where an oil and gas company is drilling illegally in the Arboles area. If a representative of this company should appear on your property, I suggest you hire an attorney immediately. The fact that the SUN is a family newspaper precludes an adequate discussion of this subject.

Bob Dungan

Arboles

Response to Finney

Dear Editor,

I had two problems with Ray Finney's letter to the editor on Feb. 7 about defense spending. First, he not so subtly asks why these people want to kill us. He then cites "Israeli aggression" in 1967 as the reason these people want us dead. Mr. Finney's version of history is inaccurate. There is a right side of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and Ray Finney isn't on it. One has to wonder if his accusations and historical perspective are based on bigotry born of ignorance or ignorance born of bigotry.

Israel was declared an independent state on May 14, 1948, as a result of a vote taken by the United Nations the year before. The Arabs rejected partition. Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Saudi Arabia immediately invaded but failed to destroy the Jewish state which gained territory. (Reference World Almanac 2001). A U.N.-sponsored truce was arranged, but fighting has broken out periodically since then over the basic issue of the existence of Israel (Reference HistoryChannel.com).

"In 1967, in the Six Day War, Israel responded to Egyptian provocation with air attacks and ground victories. The result was a humiliating defeat for Egypt which lost control of the Sinai Peninsula. Jordan and Syria which attacked Israel in support of Egypt, lost the West Bank and Golan Heights respectively." (Reference: HistoryChannel.com).

Finney "logic" is based on faulty information and fuzzy thinking. He places blame on a country that has been defending itself from those who wish to "Push the Jews into the sea." Over the past 50 years these same people have declared a holy war against the Jews. And shame on Mr. Finney for attempting to pit Americans against Americans who support Israel.

The second problem I had with the Finney letter was his naive suggestion that we just talk to the people who hate us. If Mr. Finney were in charge, we would still be talking (like we did for eight years under the Clinton administration) and if there were another attack on the U.S., why, we'd really be talking in earnest!

Judith S. Esterly

Local lauds deputy

Dear Editor,

This letter concerns a young Patrol Deputy in our county. The Sheriff Deputy's name is Timothy Walter.

Recently I had an opportunity to observe from fairly close range, a potentially volatile situation resolved fairly quickly by this young, quick thinking peace officer. A child's life may have also been saved. My wife and I reside on East Golf Place here in Pagosa Springs. We have one neighbor who owns a fairly large Rotweiler. I don't know the neighbor's name, but I do know this large dog has caused a good deal of problems - because he often breaks his chain and breaks out to attack other smaller dogs. This situation involved a domestic violence scene.

The actions of Walter are to be commended. I believe he has the makings of one fine officer.

I am a former Army pilot and Adjutant of the 20th Aviation Battalion in Colorado Springs. After serving a number of years as a Med-a-vac pilot I believe I can see the makings of a capable sheriff's officer. Deputy Walter helped resolve a potentially dangerous and life-threatening situation.

Maybe the paper could sometime do a series entitled "A day in the life of a Sheriff's Deputy or Police Officer." In my opinion your paper does a commendable job which fills a real need in Pagosa Springs.

Sincerely,

Dr. David E. Maynard

The right thing

Dear Editor,

We just wanted everyone to know that our missing "Andy Gulch" sign was turned in to Ron at the Chromo Mercantile.

It's refreshing to know some people are still interested in doing the right thing!

Thankful in Chromo,

Kathy and Rich Muth

Time to pay up

Dear Editor,

The Feb. 7 letter to the SUN by the "founding father" and guru of good water and sanitation facilities in Archuleta County was a breath of fresh air. Mr. Jack B. Delange's initial foray after 29 years of silence made a lot of solid sense (no pun intended).

I had to initially pay up front for PAWS to get good water to my property, as did all property owners in Alpha many years ago. At the time, the fee represented a lot of money to my family and me. A Navy salary is nothing to crow about. But it was one of the best investments I could have made. It was necessary and I didn't cry about it. The hassle of hauling water year round was not a fun thought.

It is now necessary for the realtors, developers and contractors to realize that they and future residents will also have to pay their own way. You cannot ask earlier residents to supplement your bankroll by possibly increasing everyone's monthly fees 50 to 200 percent.

The price of moving future development waste is not going to come from the pockets of long-established residents. Those involved in any new development might just as well figure those costs into your bids and learn to love it. And I'm not dumb enough to believe that a PAWS capitol investment fee on new development is going to stop growth in "Paradise" and kill anyone's livelihood. Give me a break! Yes, your personal bankroll will be a little smaller - tuff.

I wonder how commissioners "Two Vote" and the "Yes Man" would tally-up on this one, given the opportunity. I'll bet it wouldn't be positive for current residents.

Jim Sawicki

Applause for rescue

Dear Editor,

Today we witnessed the rescue of a dog from the icy water of Pagosa Lake. We called PLPOA to report a dog was in the water and Larry Lynch reacted immediately with a rescue team. Some of these rescuers donned wet suits in preparation to go into the icy water. One brave rescuer crawled to the edge of the ice to pull the dog to safety. We are very lucky to have a response team that will risk their life to rescue a pet. Someone is lucky to have their pet alive and well, as it had been in the water at least 30 minutes that we were aware of. Thanks to all the responders for a job well done.

Nettie Trenk

Sports Page

Pirates (Pagosa and Monte) prove even on mats

Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

Forget the score.

When the dust cleared following the Feb. 7 dual meet at the Pagosa Springs High School gym pitting the Pirates against highly-touted Monte Vista, the visitors had a 37-31 victory.

Factor out the 12 points Pagosa gave up on forfeits, and how do you total the score?

"It was a much closer match than I figured it would be," said Pirate Coach Dan Janowsky. "The matchups in this dual worried me, but we hung with them.We won six matches and they won six matches, but we came out ahead in those matches in terms of the bonus points we earned (with five pins, and a major decision)."

If any match highlighted the dual, it was the first meeting this season between two of the best 112-pounders in the state - Pagosa's Michael Martinez and Monte's Albert Jaramillo.

Fans were not disappointed. The two fighters battled to a scoreless standstill through the first two periods of the match. Jaramillo started in the down position to begin the final period and captured the first point of the match with an escape. Martinez responded with a two-point takedown. Again, Jaramillo escaped, tying the score at 2-2.

The match reached a boiling point when Monte's coach loudly protested the referee's denial of what the coach saw as a takedown for his athlete. With time running out and the wrestlers on their feet, Martinez nailed the 4-2 decision when he took Jaramillo to the mat.

Michael Maestas started the Pirate pin parade with a fall over James Pacheco at 125. Maestas had a dramatic 8-1 lead in the first period with two takedowns and two near falls. An escape and a takedown, extended Maestas' lead. He then put Pacheco's shoulders to the mat with 30 seconds left in the period.

Cliff Hockett scored six team points with a fall at 130. The Pirate slipped behind Joe Kelso 6-5 in a furious first period. Kelso got a point with an escape at the start of the second period, but that would be the last success for the wrestler from the San Luis Valley. Hockett evened the score with a takedown. Hockett started down in the third period, scored two points with a reversal then pinned Kelso 33 seconds into the period.

Kory Hart continued his dominance of opponents at 135. The Pirate sophomore thoroughly controlled Matt Martinez, zooming to an 11-1 lead in the first period with two takedowns, two two-point near falls and a three-point near fall. With a reverse at the outset of the second period, Hart went ahead 13-1. The end came for Martinez 41 seconds into the period when Hart engineered the fall.

Luke Boilini (189) earned the fifth pin for the Pirates against Matt Vansholtz. Neither wrestler scored in the first period. Starting the second period in the down position, Boilini scored with a reversal, then pinned Vansholtz with a minute remaining in the period.

Darren Hockett secured four team points with an 11-1 major decision at 103 over Monte's Quentin Burk. The freshman Pirate went ahead of Burk 4-1 in the first period with a takedown and a two-point near fall. Hockett got five more points in the second period with a takedown and a three-point near fall. A reversal at the start of the third period gave Hockett the 11-1 victory.

At least one chance remains for Pagosa and Monte wrestlers to meet on the mat: the regional tournament that begins tomorrow and continues Saturday at Salida.

Pirates win key matches but lose dual to Centauri

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

Pagosa wrestlers fought their last dual meet of the regular season Feb. 9 at La Jara, losing 38-30 to the Falcons.

"When we wrestled Centauri, I saw we had two critical matches," said Pirate Coach Dan Janowsky. "Those matches were at 103 and 112. We had lost matches to their guys at those weights earlier in the season and it was very important to us to win them going into regionals."

That much of the day was a success.

"Otherwise," Janowsky said, "I thought we were flat. We weren't hand-fighting and taking our shots like we've done in the past. There were matches in which we weren't aggressive enough."

Pagosa forfeited two matches to the Falcons; Centauri booked one forfeit, so the team from La Jara received a six-point advantage on the forfeit side of the ledger.

The first of Janowsky's "critical" matches was at 103 and Darren Hockett came through for the Pirates. Hockett used a third-period takedown to defeat Jacob Sherman 6-5.

The second critical matchup, at 112, pitted Michael Martinez against Centauri's Bobby Abeyta. As with the match before it, the end result was tight and went Pagosa's way. Martinez was up 1-0 with a second-period escape but Abeyta tied it at the start of the third period with his own escape. Martinez was dunned a point for a stall but replied with a takedown. Abeyta escaped to go ahead 4-3; Martinez responded with a takedown and held Abeyta to one more escape to take the 5-4 decision.

Zeb Gill had a strong match at 152. The junior used a takedown and near fall to build a 4-1 first-period lead then added seven points in the second period with two takedowns and a three-point near fall. Gill scored four points in the final period to complete his 14-7 decision over Chris Torrez.

Jordan Kurt-Mason added an important six points to the Pirate team score with a fall at 160 over William Torrez. Kurt-Mason was ahead 4-0 at the end of one period and was up 6-0 in the second when he got the pin with 15 seconds remaining.

Luke Boilini had a close match at 189 against Louden Haven. Neither wrestler scored in the opening period. Boilini started down in the second, and his escape provided the only points of the match. Boilini's 1-0 victory gave his team four points.

At the beginning of the week, Janowsky saw time to make adjustments prior to the start of the regional tournament at Salida tomorrow.

"We have a week to think things over," said the coach. "We didn't give ourselves enough credit at Centauri. We were hesitant and we'll work on that this week."

When action begins at Salida tomorrow afternoon the edge, on paper, probably goes to Lamar and La Junta.

"But," said Janowsky, "its not a big edge. This is the toughest regional tournament in the state in terms of balance; I don't see one team taking 10 to 12 kids to state. I think we're going to divide the qualifiers pretty evenly. This is the closest the regional field has been in years."

The answer at this point in the season, said the coach, is in the mental game. "If we can get our kids to understand their potential, they'll be fine. As I look at the brackets, I see that anyone who wrestles smart and aggressive will be in a good position to get to Denver."

Four wrestlers at each weight qualify for the Feb. 21 3A State Tournament.

"I don't see any weight at regionals, like in the past, where there are five good guys and no one else," Janowsky said. "Our guys have to remember that nothing they've done previous to this regional tournament matters. It all starts here."

Matches begin at the Salida High School gym tomorrow at 3:30 with preliminaries, quarterfinals and the first round of consolation action.

Saturday, second-round consolation begins at 10:30, followed by the semifinals and finals.

Year's 'best team performance' produces 73-70 Pirate comeback win over Ignacio

By John M. Motter

Staff Writer

Pagosa Springs clawed back from a 9-point third quarter deficit to edge Ignacio 73-70 Saturday, boosting the Pirate Intermountain League record to 3-2.

Ignacio slipped to a 2-4 IML record with the loss. Monte Vista and Centauri remain on top of the IML with 4-1 records. Monte beat Ignacio Friday, Centauri beat Bayfield Saturday.

Pagosa travels to winless Bayfield tomorrow at 7 p.m., then faces a showdown with Monte Vista Saturday at 5 p.m. in Pagosa Springs. A win for Pagosa would avenge an earlier 58-43 loss to the league-leaders.

"There is certainly an advantage to playing Monte Vista at home," said Pagosa coach Jim Shaffer. But we can't afford to look past Bayfield. They are capable of beating anyone in the league."

Following the Monte Vista game, Pagosa has but one IML game left, hosting Centauri Feb. 23. The Falcons are the other team to best Pagosa in IML play.

Pagosa Springs 73, Ignacio 70

The Pirates started slow and trailed hot-handed Ignacio throughout most of the game. Not until Ryan Goodenberger swished a deuce halfway through the fourth period putting Pagosa on top 64-62 did it look as if Pagosa had a chance to win. Darin Lister followed Goodenberger by dropping in a soft one-hander from about 10 feet out, boosting Pagosa's lead to 66-62.

The Bobcats came back to knot the score at 70-all with just 1:47 on the clock. Jason Schutz' tip in gave Pagosa a 72-70 lead, forcing Ignacio to foul as the clock ran down. The Bobcats had three fouls to give before sending Charles Brandon to the line with just 13 seconds remaining. Charles sank the first of a one-and-one to put Pagosa on top 73-70.

Ignacio was still full of fight. They inbounded the ball the length of the court where Laramie Miller tried to get the equalizer. Schutz swatted Miller's attempt away as Pagosa fans cheered in relief.

"It was a fun game," said Shaffer. "It was the best team performance for us this year. Different people made key shots at crucial times. Everybody helped."

As the game started, Ignacio raced to an 18-16 first quarter lead, their point total swelled by a seemingly unending stream of three-pointers.

Caleb Forrest's layup put Pagosa on top 2-0 almost before the echoes of the opening buzzer stopped. Ignacio had an answer. The Bobcats first nine points were all treys, they connected on four treys during the initial period. By the end of the period, personal fouls were about even. Pagosa had 6, Ignacio 5.

Ignacio only sank one trey during the second period, but still outscored Pagosa 17-14. As towels were being passed out in the locker room, Ignacio led 35-30. More importantly, Pagosa's foul total had swelled to 10 while the Bobcats were stuck at 5. Pagosa's leading scorer, Jason Schutz, went to the bench with three fouls. Pagosa's leading scorer for the game with 24 points, Schutz didn't return until the final quarter. Caleb Forrest wasn't far behind Schutz in getting into foul trouble.

Ignacio's Ben Neil got the first four points of the third period to build the Bobcat lead to 39-30. The lead was still 41-32 when Pagosa started inching back into the game. Cord Ross started the climb with a trey. Through the remainder of the period, Pirates Henrique Dias, Clayton Spencer, Ryan Goodenberger, and Brandon Charles stoked the Pirate comeback fires. By the end of the period and playing without Schutz or Forrest, Pagosa had narrowed Ignacio's lead to 60-56.

Momentum was on Pagosa's side as the final period started. Schutz returned to the lineup and got a fast two. Ignacio's Miller answered. In quick succession, Schutz, Forrest, Goodenberger, and Lister scored for Pagosa, giving the Pirates a 66-62 lead, a lead they would not surrender.

"Brandon had his best game yet," said Shaffer. "He had 14 assists and only two turnovers. Spencer made key jump shots when we really needed them during the third period. Cord Ross hit a big three and Goodenberger really helped. One reason we came back was we started hitting outside and forced them to come out of their zone. This was the first time all year we've got inside and outside scoring in the same game."

Summary

Scoring: Pagosa - Schutz, 11-17, 2-2, 24; Spencer, 6-9, 0-1, 12; Goodenberger, 3-5, 1-1, 1-2, 10; Charles, 2-7, 1-5, 1-4, 8; Forrest, 3-6, 0-1, 6; Dias, 3-7, 0-0, 6; Ross, 1-1, 1-2, 0-0, 5; Lister, 1-4, 0-0, 2. Team Rebounds: Off. 7, Def. 26. Individual Rebounds: Forrest 6, Ross 6, Schutz 5, Charles 5, Goodenberger 4, Dias 3, Spencer 3, Lister 1. Assists: Charles 14, Lister 3, Ross 2. Steals: Charles 2, Ross 2, Goodenberger 1, Lister 1, Schutz 1. Team turnovers 16.

Pirates step out of IML, nail Sangre de Cristo

By John M. Motter

Staff Writer

Pagosa stepped outside the Intermountain League last Thursday to lay a 57-49 whipping on the Sangre de Cristo Thunderbirds, last year's Colorado 2A champs.

Sangre de Cristo plays in the 2A Southern Peaks League and had beaten Centauri earlier this season.

Paced by freshman Caleb Forrest's 19 points, the Pirates played "as good as we have all year," according to head coach Jim Shaffer.

"Our defense played especially well," Shaffer said. "They are a good team, but they didn't get any good looks."

The Thunderbirds squeaked to a 14-13 first quarter lead, then matched Pagosa bucket for bucket through half of the second period. At that point, the Pagosa D stiffened, forced some turnovers, dominated the defensive boards and racked up a series of transition baskets that put them on top 32-21 at the half. Pagosa won the second quarter 19-7, a lead that Sangre de Cristo never seriously challenged.

Not ready to quit, Sangre won the third period 14-12 and the final period 14-13, not enough comeback to get back into the game.

"We boosted our margin to 17 points during the third period," Shaffer said. "They were shorter and we were able to play our game, take advantage of our height."

The win boosted Pagosa's season record to 6-9.

In addition to a game high 19 points, Forrest snagged nine rebounds to pace Pagosa in that department. Pagosa shot 50 percent from the field by successfully making 24 of 48 attempts.

Summary

Scoring: Pagosa - Forrest, 8-12, 3-4, 19; Charles, 4-11, 3-5, 11; Goodenberger, 3-3, 2-2, 8; Schutz, 3-8, 1-2, 7; Spencer, 3-4, 0-0, 6; Dias, 2-3, 0-0, 4; Ross, 1-1, 0-1, 2. Team Rebounds: Off. 9, Def. 22. Individual Rebounds: Forrest 9, Schutz 7, Charles 3, Goodenberger 3, Ross 3, Dias 3, Spencer 3. Three-point goals: Charles 0-3, Lister 0-1. Assists: Charles 6, Lister 4, Schutz 2, Dias 2, Ross 2, Goodenberger 1. Steals: Charles: 3, Lister 2, Spencer 2, Forrest 2, Goodenberger 1. Team turnovers: 14.

Gronewoller keeps Lady Pirates close; Lancing's stretch run leads them to win

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

An upstart group of Ignacio Lady Bobcats brought a long-range game into their home gym Saturday and for three quarters held off a Pagosa Lady Pirates' team content to pound the ball inside to Ashley Gronewoller.

In the end, however, it was the play down the stretch of Pirate power forward Katie Lancing - though saddled with four first-half fouls - that saved the visiting Pagosans.

It was not a pretty game for either side, but statistics make it seem better than it looked in person.

The Lady Pirates hit 24 of 41 shots from the floor for a shooting percentage of .585 and added 10 of 18 from the free-throw line. Ignacio, meanwhile, hit 20 of 35 from the floor for a .571 shooting percentage. Making their's more effective, however, was the fact five (of eight attempts) of their successful shots were three-pointers.

Probably the defining factor in the 57-54 Pagosa win was a 39-20 rebounding edge for the Lady Pirates, including four offensive boards - two by Lancing - in the decisive final minute and a half.

The game opened with Ignacio taking a 5-0 lead on a long trey by Maria Rivera and a drive in the lane by Raegena Thompson who would tie as the Bobcat's leading scorer with 17.

Pagosa answered with inside scores by Lancing and Gronewoller, an 8-foot jumper by Carlena Lungstrum and a free throw by Gronewoller. Kyra Bartley tied the game for Ignacio on a soft jumper from the left side and as time ticked down, Thompson fired a three that went in at the buzzer giving Ignacio a 10-7 lead after one period.

Lancing picked up three quick fouls and went to the bench early in the second period after hitting two driving layups. Gronewoller picked up the slack with nine points in the period, but Katie Whiteskunk answered for the Bobcats with seven of her game-high 17 points.

Pagosa captured the period 17-16 to trail by just two, 26-24, at the half. Lancing, however, picked up her fourth foul before the break and sat most of the third quarter.

Other second period highlights for Pagosa were the rebounding of freshman guard Bri Scott, making her first varsity start, a putback of an offensive rebound by Nicole Buckley, and a driving layup by Tricia Lucero.

Gronewoller again kept Pagosa close in the third period, hitting eight of her game high 26 points but got help from only Lancing and Lori Walkup with a field goal each. Ignacio, meanwhile, rode the hot shooting efforts of Whiteskunk - seven more points including her second trey in the period - along with baskets by Thompson and Stephanie and Maria Rivera for a 15-12 period advantage and a 41-36 lead going to the final stanza.

Lancing came back into the game with a vengeance. First she drove the lane for a power layup from the left side and, after Whiteskunk answered with another trey for Ignacio, Lancing picked up two quick assists on passes inside to Gronewoller who converted for four of her six points in the period.

Still the Lady Bobcats wouldn't go away. Thompson hit a pair of short jumpers in succession and the Ignacio lead was back to five.

Lancing answered with a long trey, the only Pagosa 3-pointer of the night. Then, with 1:01 left in the game, a bench technical was called on Ignacio giving Pagosa two free throws and ball possession. Lancing sank the first charity toss but missed the second. On the ensuing possession, Lori Walkup drilled a 12-footer to give Pagosa a three-point lead.

But again, Ignacio wouldn't go away. Nancy Weaver scored on an uncontested drive from the left corner on a blown defensive assignment by Pagosa and the Pirate lead had dwindled to one at 55-54 with 15 seconds remaining.

With 13 seconds left, Lancing was fouled by Thompson and calmly drilled both charity tosses to ice the game. A desperation 3-try by Whiteskunk as the buzzer sounded was way off mark and the Lady Pirates had weathered the sizzling Ignacio upset attempt.

Coach Karen Wells was pleased with her team's comeback effort, but said, "We should never have been in the position of having to come back. There were defensive lapses which allowed Ignacio scores and we need to eliminate those moments."

The win moves Pagosa's record to 13-3 for the season, 4-1 in the Intermountain League. This week they take on Bayfield on the Lady Wolverines' home court at 6 p.m. Friday and then come home to host Monte Vista at 3:30 p.m. Saturday. They'll close out the regular season Feb. 23 with a 6 p.m. home game against league-leading Centauri.

At Ignacio, the Lady Pirates had 17 turnovers compared to 14 for their hosts, a marked improvement from the 42 give-ups they recorded the previous week in a loss to Centauri for their only league defeat.

Summary

Pagosa scoring: Lancing 6-8, 3-5, 16; Gronewoller, 12-20, 2-3, 26; Walkup, 2-2, 1-2, 5; Lungstrum, 1-3, 2; Buckley, 2-5, 2-6, 6; Bliss 0-1; Lucero, 1-1, 2; Scott, 0-1; Rebounds, Pagosa 39, Ignacio 20. Rebound leaders: Lancing 10, Gronewoller 6, Scott 7, Lucero 5, Bliss 5. 3-point goals: Lancing 1-1, Lungstrum 0-1; Assist leaders: Buckley 5, Walkup 4, Lancing 3, Lungstrum 3. Steal leaders: Lancing, Gronewoller, Buckley 1 each.

Weather Stats

Date

High

Low

Precipitation

Type

Depth

Moisture

1/30

29

10

S

3.5

.28

1/31

30

8

-

-

-

2/1

31

2

-

-

-

2/2

36

7

-

-

-

2/3

35

9

-

-

-

2/4

34

3

-

-

-

2/5

36

-1

-

-

-

Community News

Chamber News

By Doug Trowbridge

WinterFest wins without new snow

Happy Valentine's Day to one and all.

If you are one of those late shoppers, the Chamber has many members who can accommodate you with all kinds of Valentine treats. Just give us a call, and we will be happy to share the names of member florists, gift shops, candy specialists, clothing and accessory shops - we have it all. For the men, we can give you the names of our member hardware stores and other "guy places" to find just the thing. Anyone on your list would enjoy a Chamber screen saver, and hanging in the windows of the Chamber are some beautiful stained glass hearts in several styles created just to keep you out of hot water on this day of romance and cupids. Let us help you out with those last-minute needs.

WinterFest Thanks

We didn't have a whole lot in the snow department to offer, but we did indeed have a lot of fun with all the activities over WinterFest weekend.

Balloonists had a grand time at the reception held in their honor at the Visitor Center on Friday evening and thoroughly enjoyed the delicious food served by Vince Sencich of Enzo's Catering fame. They also felt especially pampered when Bill and Connie from The Choke Cherry Tree showed up to pass out their famous handmade caramels. The weather didn't exactly cooperate on Saturday morning, (only two balloons made it up) or Saturday evening, but more than made up for it when they all ascended on Sunday morning. It is always the most amazing sight to see all those gorgeous things against the blue Colorado sky.

As always, we thank Liz and Mike Marchand for bringing these pilots to Pagosa twice a year to create such a beautiful occasion. A lot of work and coordination goes into these balloon rally events, and we are grateful to Liz and Mike for all their efforts. It is clear that Pagosa Springs has become a very popular balloon spot.

I also want to congratulate the Rotary Club on yet another hilarious Follies. Some of the acts literally made me cry with laughter. It's always such a hoot to watch friends and neighbors who are willing to risk it all by getting up on that stage to perform such silliness. Thanks to each and every one who worked so hard to provide such fun for all of us again. It was, indeed, a "Cabin Fever Reliever."

Congratulations to the winners of the very funny Anything Goes Downhill Sled Race held on Sunday at the High Country Lodge hill. Dick and Kathey Fitz once again outdid themselves with a great open house, and a good crowd showed up to eat the goodies and watch the race. Mike Ogden walked away with first place honors sporting his fancy-schmancy homemade blue sled, and Jason McKeen and friends came in second with the most unusual shower-stall-turned-on-its-side arrangement sled. It was a real crowd pleaser, let me tell you, because three or four of them could ride it down. Terry Smith took third place with the simple but effective ironing board sled. Terry is probably a tad bit bruised today from the several spills he experienced perfecting his racing techniques. Many thanks once again to Kathey and Dick at High Country Lodge for hosting this event every year and for their warm hospitality and good eats. Thanks to their son, Leroy, for acting as Chef for the Day as well.

We enjoyed the company of the Archuleta County Fair Royalty who joined us to serve wonderful hors d'oeuvres and just generally pretty up the place. Thanks to Queen Lauren Caves, Princess Veronica Zeiler and Junior Princess Rachel Carrell for making the day even more enjoyable.

We also want to thank all the fine lodging folks who so generously donated room nights for the pilots. Our thanks to: Red Lion Inn, High Country Lodge, Pagosa Central, San Juan Motel, First Inn, Mountain Landing, Best Western, Pinewood Inn, Jump River Mercantile, Spring Inn, Sky View Motel, Holiday Inn Express, Oso Grande Lodge, Fireside Inn, Sunetha Management, The Spa at Pagosa Springs and Colorado Pines. We are extremely grateful to each and every one of you for your generosity. It truly helps make these events affordable for the rally folks.

And, last but anything but least, my thanks to Morna and Doug for all of their efforts to make the weekend fun for everyone with their involvement in just about everything going on. They more than earned a long, comfortable nap on Sunday afternoon when all was completed.

Fund-raiser reception

Be sure to pick up your tickets right away for the John Porter and "A Reading Society and Ensemble" reception to benefit the Community Center. The evening will also honor Mayor Ross Aragon and Sylvia Murray, two of the key players in making the Community Center a reality in Pagosa. At the reception, delicious hors d'oeuvres will be served along with champagne and sparkling grape juice. Following the reception, we will be treated to a musical presentation by the Pajamas Ensemble (John Graves directing) and an original one-act play written by John Porter, "Puberty and Peace," featuring Sandy Applegate and Steve Rogan. Cost for the evening is $20, and only 100 tickets will be available at the Chamber and WolfTracks Bookstore and Coffee Company. Have a little fun, do a little good, and join us for a very special evening on Saturday, March 2, at the Senior Center on 8th Street. Tickets are $20 (only 100) and are available at the Chamber of Commerce and WolfTracks.

9Health Fair

The 9Health Fair is looking for a few good folks in the health care field to participate in the Health Fair to be held Saturday, April 6, from 8-12 at the Pagosa Springs High School. If you are in the medical profession and would like to participate, they would love to hear from you, but they are specifically looking for the following: Dermatologist, Podiatrist, Nutritionist, Audiologist and an Ears, Nose and Throat specialist. They are also looking for those interested in being a screener or setting up an interactive learning center. Please contact either Carl Jolliff at 731-3884 or Sharee Grazda at 731-0666.

Ride the Rockies

We have sent letters to all the non-profits and civic/service organizations in Pagosa to invite them to participate in feeding the 3,000-3,500 bikers that will be arriving in the afternoon of June 16, (Father's Day) and spending the night with us. It's a great opportunity for your group to make some dough and to be a part of the special brand of Pagosa hospitality we like to offer the Ride the Rockies group every five years or so. If for some reason you did not receive a letter and would like to participate, please give us a call at 264-2360 and we will be happy to send you the information. If you did receive and want to participate, please let us know no later than Feb. 22. Booths will be set up in Town Park from 2-8 p.m. on that day, and local musicians will provide music and fun.

Friday Fish Fry

There will be a number of folks who will be delighted to know that the Knights of Columbus will offer their once-a-month fish extravaganzas beginning tomorrow Feb. 15, at 5:30 p.m. at the Parish Hall on Lewis Street. This always-tasty fare will include fried catfish, cornbread muffins, cole slaw, homemade French fries and ice cream for dessert. The price for all this yummy food is $7 for adults and $3 for children. Dinner is offered from 5:30 until 7 or until the food runs out. I would suggest that you arrive early so you won't miss out.

Membership

We couldn't be happier to introduce six new businesses/associates this week and renew eight of our loyal members. It makes for an especially happy Thursday around here when we are able to share such good news.

Our first new member is Michelle Schutz who brings us Pagosa Land Company located at 452 Pagosa Street. Pagosa Land Company offers exclusive properties that represent the best of Southwestern Colorado living - seclusion, privacy, wildlife, recreation and absolutely breathtaking mountain views. You can reach Michelle at 264-5000 or on the web at www.pagosalandcompany.com.

Our next new member is Barbara Griffin who brings us The Second Story located at 165 North Seventh Street. Barbara is the new owner of this business, which was once a member under the previous ownership, and we are delighted to have them back. The Second Story offers a place to be refreshed mentally, physically and spiritually. Enjoy their wide selection of used books, CDs, video and audiobooks while treating yourself to a cup of Yerba Maté, espresso, Chai tea or specialty coffee with a sweet or two. You can call Barbara at 264-6173.

Our third new members are Gerald and DeDe Dietz doing business in their home here in Pagosa. They bring us some of the finest handcrafted log homes in the world, West Coast Log Homes. These homes are built by Old World craftsmen using the finest Western Red Cedar. You can reach these good folks at 731-9036 or on the web at westcoastloghomes.com. We thank Kathryn Heilhecker for recruiting the Gerald and DeDe and will cheerfully send her a free SunDowner for her efforts. Actually, Kathryn will receive two passes because she also recruited The Second Story. Looks like Kathryn may never have to pay for another SunDowner if she keeps it up - we love it.

Our old friend, Todd Ormonde (re)joins us with Todd Ormonde Insurance and Retirement Options located at No. 4237, 63 North Pagosa Boulevard, Suite B-3. Todd's business is dedicated to service - individual and group, health and life products, as well as retirement products ranging from equity indexed annuities to stock trading. To learn more about Todd Ormonde Insurance and Retirement Options, please call 731-9191.

We're happy to have Todd back in the fold.

Mary Kuros joins us next with the brand-new Econo Lodge located on the west side of town at 315 Navajo Trail Drive. This is Pagosa's newest hotel offering king, queen and double beautifully designed guestrooms and suites. Also available to guests are continental breakfasts, an indoor pool, hot tub, exercise room and guest laundry facilities. Locally you can reach these folks at 731-2701 or on the web at www.econolodge.com.

Our pal, Dawn Walker, joins us next as a Real Estate Associate with the Pagosa Real Estate Store located at 56 Talisman Drive, Suite 6B. Dawn offers full service real estate sales, assisting buyers and sellers in achieving their goals in a fluctuating property market. Dawn is that rare find, a Pagosa native and consequently feels that she can say with great confidence, "I Know Pagosa!" you can reach her at 731-2175 to learn more about what she can do for you.

Our renewals this week include Judy Gentry with the Pagosa Real Estate Store; Valerie Green with Canyon Crest Lodge; Melinda Baum with Colorado Pines; Jim Askins with Fairway Mortgage; Dan Johnston with Cameron Communications; Kathryn Cole with Crazy for Beads; Richard C. Alspach with Alspach's Antiques, Fine Furniture Refinishing; and last, but hardly least, Kathleen Isberg, President, Pagosa Springs Music Boosters. Our thanks to you all for your continued support and confidence.

Senior News

By Janet Copeland

Nanny, Three Old Goats give farewell performance

Notice: The Senior Center will be closed Monday, Feb. 18, for President's Day.

A Big Congratulations to Mae and Ray Boughan who celebrated their 50th anniversary on Feb. 7. We hope they have 50 more happy years.

Last Friday we were treated to the farewell performance of the quartet, Nanny and the Three Old Goats (consisting of Bob and Doris Kamrath, Bruce Muirhead and Kurt Killion). They were fantastic and we hope Bruce can come back to visit so they can do encore performances some time.

Our thanks to Trish from the Humane Society and Donna Pena who brought in their furry friends last Tuesday to visit with the seniors and who informed us about the pet adoption program for seniors - Purina will pay for the adoption fees, insertion of a microchip for identification, and for neutering. Pets can be a lot of company for older folks so we hope some can take advantage of this program.

On Tuesday, the children from Head Start joined us for a pre-Valentine's celebration. It is such a pleasure to get to visit with them and we look forward to them returning.

At noon Wednesday, the seniors had a Valentine exchange after lunch. Everyone enjoyed the fun of exchanging cards and candy treats.

We have two Seniors of the Week in honor of Valentine's Day - Louise Diedring and George Ziegler. Both of these folks are very deserving of this designation as they are regular attendees and support us at the Center.

Thanks to Lucy Gonzales who provided some free tickets to the Spanish Club's Valentine's Dance on Friday.

A big welcome to Jean Colbern, Freida Zumley, Larry Dick and Lee and Carlo Carrannante, who joined us last week. We look forward to having you all join us again soon.

The Senior Center needs volunteers to help at the desk and with setting tables. Anyone who is willing to help out, please call Musetta at 264-2167.

The AARP 55 Alive Driver Safety Course will be offered again on March 13 and 14 from 1-5 p.m. at the Community United Methodist Church. Cost is $10 and may reduce automobile insurance rates by as much as 10 percent. To sign up, call the Senior Center at 264-2167.

The AARP is offering free income tax preparation of simple tax returns. Contact Musetta or Laura to make an appointment with tax preparers.

Other upcoming events include:

Friday - A presentation on long term care planning, by Charlie Speno, Leslie Davis, Donna Pena and Jann McDonald.

Feb. 20 - Terry Mitchell from the Senior Blind Program will talk about options for living with blindness. Feb. 21 - A trip to Sky Ute Casino is planned. Sign up at the Senior Center right away if you are interested.

Feb. 22 - Deb Aspen-Hill will talk to us about how to take care of our feet and will give a demonstration of reflexology. Same day - At 12:45 p.m. there will be the monthly board meeting of the Archuleta Senior Citizens Inc., At 5 p.m. at the Senior Center will be the monthly potluck dinner - we hope lots of folks will come and bring a dish.

Feb. 28 - Next shopping trip to Durango.

March 2 - At 7 p.m. at the Senior Center, there will be a benefit musical performance for the Pagosa Springs Community Center. It will be presented by the Pajama Ensemble, an original one-act play featuring Sandy Applegate and Steve Rogan in "Puberty and Peace," written by John Porter. This presentation will be preceded by a reception to recognize Ross Aragon and Sylvia Murray's contributions to the Community Center project. Tickets (a limited number) are $20 per person and are available at WolfTracks and at the Chamber of Commerce.

March 28 - Mark your calendars - Philip Hansen, who presented a cello concert last fall and was well received, is returning for another performance. Philip is a very talented musician who donates his time and talents to help raise funds for our Senior Center (he is the brother of Musetta, so probably finds it hard to say no).

All Tuesdays - Yoga at 9:30 a.m. and art classes at 12:45 p.m.

Wednesdays - Swimming at 9 a.m.; card games at 1 p.m. and a matinee show at the Liberty Theater for seniors for $3 (call 264-4578 to let them know how many will be attending).

Fridays - Bridge at 1 p.m.

Crusing with Cruse

By Katherine Cruse

You can be Cancer Society Valentine

Today is Valentine's Day. A time to express love. A time for hearts and flowers. Boxes of chocolates.

When I was little my dad used to bring home two heart-shaped boxes of candy on Valentine's Day, one for my mother and one for me. All for me. For a chubby kid whose mother usually monitored her intake of sweets, this was heaven.

I haven't given or received a box of candy in years, and I don't really want one. You can coast a long way on a memory like that.

Now I appreciate more grownup expressions of love. Hotshot gave me such a gift last week, when he spent the morning on the ski slopes with me, leading me into new runs and new conditions. Our kids give such a gift, when they call us up out of the blue, taking time from their hectic schedules to chat.

Gifts of love came from people when I was sick last year, cards and food and rides to Durango. These are the gifts that can't be repaid. You can only pass them along.

When a friend has cancer, you can express your love. Prayers and your friendship help, but research into new and better methods of detection, evaluation, and treatment takes money. A lot of money.

There are over 100 different kinds of cancer, and within these cancers there are different kinds again. Even breast cancers vary greatly. Our understanding of how cancers grow and how we can attack them has increased greatly just in the last few years, as the Human Genome Project has identified and mapped our genes.

But research about cancer has been going on for a lot longer. The American Cancer Society, the world's largest private funder of research into ways to identify and fight cancer, began its Research Program in 1946, with $1 million. Since then over $2 billion has been raised.

And what has this money been used for?

One area is long-term data collection, which eventually showed, for example, that there is a clear link between smoking and lung cancer. ACS cancer prevention studies have looked at smoking, nutrition, exercise, and other factors to determine links between lifestyle and cancer.

ACS funding also goes into education and advocacy. In 1960 ACS began a crusade to gain acceptance of the Pap Test, and the death rate from cervical cancer has decreased more than 70 percent with general acceptance of this procedure. ACS has lobbied to include people with cancer or a history of cancer within the protection of the Americans with Disabilities Act and other federal laws.

ACS funding goes toward cancer camps for children and the Reach to Recovery program for women with breast cancer.

ACS funding goes into development and testing of new therapies. These include biological therapies, such as alpha interferon. ACS funding for research has helped scientists study how cancers create new blood vessels to keep themselves supplied with nutrients to grow on. And ACS funded research is helping scientists figure out how to prevent this from happening.

These are just some of the ways in which the American Cancer Society has funded the fight against cancer.

One way the ACS raises the money to do this funding, the biggest way, is through the annual Relay for Life.

The first Relay for Life began 18 years ago with one man, Dr. Gordy Klatt, circling a track in Tacoma, Wash. for 24 hours. Last year two million people participated in the Relay and raised $212 million to fund the ACS mission.

This is the fourth year that Pagosa Springs has participated. The first time we raised about $10 thousand. The second year, $12 thousand. Last year we jumped to $33 thousand and 15 teams participated. The organizing committee has set a pretty ambitious goal this year - 30 teams and $65 thousand. Right here in "li'l ol' Pagosa."

This year's Relay will take place June 21 and 22. That's the summer solstice, for those of you who pay attention to such things. The shortest night of the year. The Relay is held in Town Park and lasts 15 hours, from 6 p.m. until 9 a.m.

Why walk through the night? Why not make this a daytime event, when we can see what we're doing? Why get up at 2 a.m. to walk for an hour? Because cancer doesn't sleep. When I was taking radiation therapy, they said that treatment was given only five days a week because cancer didn't grow on the weekends. Big joke, and everybody chuckled. 'Taint so.

How does the Relay work? What do the teams do? Well, first, they try to raise money. Be prepared to give. Second, in return for your donations, team members walk through the night. Each team can have up to 15 members, in which case they would each walk around the marked "track" for one hour. The track is lined with softly glowing luminaries, each bearing the name of a cancer survivor or of someone who has lost the battle.

The event is really a lot of fun. Different groups gather under sheltering tents, sharing food and stories and laughter. A lot of people camp overnight, ready to jump up and walk when their appointed hour arrives.

I urge you to think about the Relay for Life this Valentine's Day. Anyone interested in forming a team can contact Morna Trowbridge at the Chamber of Commerce or Ming Steen at the Pagosa Lakes Recreation Center.

Over 200,000 people will be diagnosed with some kind of cancer this year. Some of them might be your friends, or your loved ones.

They need more than a box of candy. You can help.

Pagosa Lakes News

By Ming Steen

How Valentine's Day began - and a modern gaffe

Valentine's Day, today, traces its roots back to a priest in Rome during the reign of Emperor Claudius II (also known as Claudius the Cruel). According to one popular story, Valentine was a defiant priest in the 260s.

It seems Claudius had outlawed marriage because too few happily married men were willing to join the military expeditions that took them away from their families for years. Young people were outraged and continued to get married, but in secret. Valentine was one of the few priests willing to perform those marriages.

When Valentine was found out, he was condemned to death. As he awaited execution, his admirers would bring him flowers and notes of support. One of his most ardent supporters was the jailer's daughter. It is said that the day Valentine died, Feb. 14, 269, he wrote a note of thanks to this woman and signed it, "Love from Your Valentine."

Ironically, Feb. 14 honored Juno, the Roman goddess of women and marriage. With his death, Valentine became linked to this celebration of love. In 496, Pope Gelasius set aside Feb. 14 to honor St. Valentine and it wasn't long before new traditions developed for this romantic day. And, so you have it . . . Valentine's Day: a tradition of love.

Not having grown up in this country, I'm still learning the cultural do's and don'ts. Last year I decided to put together a bouquet for my daughter by picking up a few prepackaged flowers at City Market. I removed the plastic wrapping and placed them in a vase, finally adorning the arrangement with a festive yellow ribbon.

It was a beautiful display of yellow chrysanthemums, purple African violets and coral orange tiger lilies. Wow, Courtney will really love this, I thought. I also took out my hot-glue gun and attached Power Bars and Harvest Bars to a separate creation of green and white crepe paper pyramid. This way, I reasoned, Courtney will have something to share with her classmates.

That evening my powerful and beautiful Power Bar/Harvest Bar creation came home with only a few missing. The bouquet of flowers went into my daughter's bedroom - in a dark corner behind the big black speaker.

I had committed a social and cultural blunder, never to be repeated again.

Remember, it's red, pink and white for Valentine's Day and 13-year-olds do not necessarily view Power Bars and or Harvest Bars as treat du jour for Feb. 14.

However, where there is love, there is forgiveness.

.Local Chatter

By Kate Terry

'... and Uncle Tom was the overseer'

The February 2001 Readers Digest had an article about Josiah Henson, the escaped slave from Kentucky who settled in Canada just above Lake Michigan and established the first vocational school for former slaves and their children. The article extolled Henson's accomplishments and gave credit to him as the model for Uncle Tom in Harriet Beecher Stowe's "Uncle Tom's Cabin" written in 1852.

Kentucky took credit for producing "Uncle Tom," because Stowe lived in Cincinnati just across the river and visited in Kentucky. But Stowe got her idea from reading one of Henson's books where he describes his family's escaping from the Riley Plantation in Daviess County, of which Owensboro is the seat.

When Elizabeth Bennett, the secretary of Radio Station WOMI in Owensboro, had car trouble in Dresden, Ontario while on vacation with her father, she had to spend the night there and she visited the Josiah Henson Museum. Daviess County wasn't mentioned but as she got ready to leave, the curator said, "I noticed that you are from Daviess County. Josiah Henson was from Daviess County."

Being in a hurry, she didn't read the brochures she had picked up, but she did tell the gang at the station when she got home.

"They tell that to everyone, Elizabeth," they said.

Sometime later, Hugh Potter, the station manager, and a Lincoln scholar, was reviewing an oral tape featuring the last Riley descendant living on the Riley plantation and heard her say "... and Uncle Tom was the overseer."

Potter asked Bennett if she still had the brochures. Things matched and he called the curator who assured him that indeed Henson was from Daviess County.

The curator visited Owensboro several times. Henson's cabin still stands and in Sept. 1980 the Daviess County Fiscal Court proclaimed Saturday, Sept. 18, 1930 as the day Henson and his four children in a small boat, fled Daviess County.

The amazing thing is that it took so long for the connection to be made.

Henson was well-known, being received by Queen Victoria when he was 80 years old who commented on how handsome he was for his age. And he was received by the Archbishop of Canterbury and the prime minister of England. He visited President Hayes.

Henson was no ordinary man. He was the overseer of the plantation owned by the Daviess County Riley's brother in Maryland, who, when he went broke, sold his slaves to the Daviess County Rileys. Henson led the slaves to Kentucky. He said that he was promised his freedom for doing so and that this was one of the reasons he left.

Around town

The WinterFest Follies was a howl! Thanks to all who had anything to do with it.

Because the Civic Club had to change its program for the Feb. 21 meeting, Joe Donavan (who was scheduled for the May meeting) will talk on his participation in the Iditarod, the famous Alaskan sled dog races. And he will bring along the torch he carried in the 2002 Olympic Torch Run in Littleton, Jan. 31.

The meeting will start at 1:30 p.m. and Donavan's presentation will be at the beginning. The public is cordially invited.

Another fun event is coming up: a presentation by ARSE (A Reading Society and Ensemble) - a "one-night-only" benefit for the Pagosa Springs Community Center to be held at the Senior Center. The reception, music and play starts at 7 p.m. The cost is $20. Tickets are at the Chamber of Commerce. Only 100 tickets will be sold.

Library News

By Lenore Bright

We lose one employee, gain another

It is with extreme regret that we say goodbye to Cathy Dodt-Ellis. Her husband Bruce has accepted a job as Forest Archaeologist for the Manti-La Sal National Forest in Utah. Cathy has been an excellent employee and friend for the past four years. She will be sorely missed by all of us.

Cathy is also an archaeologist and is looking forward to returning to her profession in Utah. She should be with us through the end of February, so please come say goodbye.

New faces

We welcome Rebecca Porco who comes to us from the Howard County Library in Columbia, Maryland. Becky has vast experience with library technology, which is most helpful, as we deal with constant changes in automation. Becky is also a professional bookbinder. She and her husband moved here to retire, but luckily we convinced her to reconsider and help us in this time of transition.

Nancy Cole will be helping us part time. Nancy also brings extensive library and technology experiences to better serve our patrons.

Our staff now consists of Shirley Iverson, Nancy McInerney, Becky Porco, Barb Draper, Ann Van Fossen, and Nancy Cole.

In the past 19 years, other staff members included Pat Pool, Shirley Eoff, Shelley Frye, Catherine Frye, Kathy Carter, Jeanice Shepherd, Kris Bowen, and Mary Loudermilk. We've been fortunate to have such capable staff through the years.

New books

"More From the Gluten-free Gourmet: Delicious Dining Without Wheat," by Bette Hagman brings us 265 new recipes to help people with dietary problems. The book offers recipes for international dishes for celiac children and adults alike. It also has a list of suppliers and celiac organizations, and one chapter deals with "hidden glutens."

"Theodore Rex," by Edmund Morris is one of the most eagerly awaited biographies in years. It begins with Theodore Roosevelt coming down to take his emergency oath of office in Buffalo, New York, after the assassination of McKinley. It is said that this book moves with the pace of a novel as TR's own voice is heard through his gifted letters. He may have been the most interesting person to serve as president.

A gift

Bob Outerbridge brought in a map of the Colorado Territory circa 1861. It shows parts of Colorado that had been surveyed at that time. We are getting quite a nice map collection, and we really enjoy our new map case

Bob's aunt is Ruth Marie Colville, famous San Luis Valley historian. Congratulations to Dr. Colville who celebrated her 98th birthday this month.

Holiday closing

The library will be closed Monday, Feb. 18 for Presidents Day.

Donations

Thanks to the following for materials: David Durkee, William Shurtleff, Joan Seielstad, Bruce Kehret, Margaret Wilson, Vivian Rader, Dick and Ann Van Fossen.

Arts Line

By Helen L. Richardson

Annual meeting is 3-5 p.m. Feb. 20

The Pagosa Springs Arts Council will hold its annual meeting Feb. 20, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Taminah Gallery and Gifts, 414 Pagosa Street.

Membership will vote on new board members. The past year's events and activities will be reviewed, and the annual budget will be presented. Two positions are open on the board. Nominees' names will be released soon. Attendance, including dessert, is free.

KWUF interviews

Keep abreast of culture in our community. Tune in to KWUF Radio the second Thursday of each month from 8:05 to 8:35 a.m. for arts council interviews and information.

Photo contest

If you missed the unveiling of the photography contest exhibit at Moonlight books, don't fret. The spectacular display will continue through Feb. 23. Stop by and appreciate the local talent.

Workshops

What's your special talent? We'd like you to present a workshop to share the knowledge of your craft. Jennifer will happily answer your questions and give you details. Ring her up at 731-3113 or 264-5020.

Hardware wanted

The PSAC is in need of a hard drive for the gallery computer. A new hard drive will allow us to add programs that the old drive won't accommodate. Please call Jennifer at 731-3113 if you have a hard drive to sell. Better yet, make a donation and reap the benefits of better service by the Council.

Thank you

The quality of service and the many displays and events sponsored by the arts council would suffer without our generous volunteers. Thank you to Mountain Greenery for beautiful floral arrangements to dress up our open house events; to Wells Fargo Bank for sharing the copy machine; to City Market and Kroger's for donations based on purchases using City Market Value Cards. To make the City Market program work for you, bring your Value Card to the gallery at Town Park and sign up.

You, too, can help spread culture to the community. To volunteer your time for special functions or to serve directly from the gallery, call Joanne at 264-5020.

Membership discounts

Discounts for many arts council events are enjoyed by members. Joining is as easy as stopping by the gallery and filling out a form. Individual membership is $20 per year, and a family can join for $30.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Veterans Corner

By Andy Fautheree

Bulletin: Durango clinic due this year

I am happy to report that according to the latest information, a Veterans Affairs Community Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC) will be established in Durango sometime this year, possibly within the next six months or so.

I attended a meeting last Friday in Durango between Ms. Mary Dowling, Director of Albuquerque VA Hospital, and many VA interested persons, non-profit groups such as VFW, American Legion and DAV organizations, and Veterans Service Officers from surrounding counties.

Ms. Dowling reported that a VA Clinic in Durango has been given the final approval and funding, and that work on such a clinic can now move forward immediately. The Albuquerque VA Hospital oversees all CBOC's in its district, which includes this portion of southern Colorado.

Options for the CBOC presented to those attending the conference were establishing a VA Clinic or a contract clinic with an existing medical outpatient provider. It was decided by a majority vote of those attending to approve a contract clinic direction. A VA contract clinic could be established the quickest, with a timeline of one to six months. A VA clinic would require that amount of time to put out bids and contracts, and an additional six months or so to actually construct the facility.

Use of a contract clinic for veterans would be the same as a VA clinic. Costs, benefits, etc. would be the same, under VA contract with an existing health care provider. Ms. Dowling assured us that if a contract clinic did not work out to everyone's satisfaction, the district could proceed to establish its own VA clinic.

It will be important for all veterans in this area who wish to use the new Durango VA Clinic to be sure and contact me when the Durango clinic opens, so that we may change your VA primary health care provider to Durango. This does not happen automatically. We will need to coordinate current veteran health care through a transition from Farmington VA Clinic or Albuquerque VA Hospital to the Durango facility. Please help spread the word to our fellow veterans.

Also, please note I will have a new email address. It is: afautheree@archuletacounty.org The old email address will be phased out this month and will no longer be used after March 1, 2002.

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

Extension Viewpoints

by Bill Nobles

A look at alternative cold remedies

Today - 4-H Oil Painting, Extension office, 4 p.m.

Friday - 4-H Woodworking, Extension office, 5 p.m.

Saturday - 4-H Cooking, the Greer residence, 9 a.m.

Saturday - 4-H Rabbit Clinic, Extension office, 10 a.m.

Feb. 18 - Fair Royalty rehearsal, Extension office, 6 p.m.

Feb. 19 - 4-H Cake Decorating - Unit 4, Extension office, 3:45 p.m.

Feb. 19 - 4-H Vet Science, San Juan Veterinary, 5:30 p.m.

Feb. 19 - 4-H Sports Fishing, Extension office, 6 p.m.

Pesticide applicators

There will be a free Private Pesticide Applicator Training Feb. 20, 6:30 p.m. at the Extension Building. This training is required for all people who want to purchase restricted-use pesticides for home and agriculture use. Please RSVP to the Extension Office at 264-5931 or 264-2388.

Alternative remedies

Achoo! It's that time of year again. Everywhere you turn, someone is coughing or sneezing. If you're one of the unlucky ones coming down with or dealing with a common cold, you may be wondering how best to treat your symptoms. Are over-the-counter cold medications the only way to go, or do alternative remedies such as vitamin C, echinacea and zinc really help? Here's what we've learned from studies on the subject.

Vitamin C has long been touted for its ability to prevent and cure the common cold. Although these claims have been blown out of proportion, an adequate intake of vitamin C is necessary to help fight infections and keep the immune system healthy. Furthermore, some research shows that taking extra vitamin C at the onset of a cold may cause a mild antihistamine effect, possibly reducing the intensity of your symptoms and shortening the duration of the cold.

The recommended dietary allowance, or RDA, for vitamin C is 75 milligrams per day for women and 90 milligrams for men. Although no specific, magic dosage of vitamin C has been shown to be optimal for treating cold symptoms, mega doses - more than 2,000 mg per day - can actually do more harm than good. In some instances, taking large amounts of vitamin C can cause side effects such as nausea, abdominal cramps and diarrhea.

Over the past several years, echinacea has become one of the hottest herbal remedies in the United States. While little research has been done in the United States, a 2001 German study found echinacea was effective in alleviating symptoms more rapidly than placebos in patients with common colds. However, another recent German study published in the "American Journal of Medicine" concluded that treating patients with echinacea did not significantly decrease the incidence, duration or severity of colds and respiratory infections. Echinacea appears to have few side effects when used by basically healthy people on an occasional, short-term basis. Since possible adverse effects from long-term use have not been studied, most sources recommend that echinacea only be taken when symptoms of a cold first appear and then only for a week or two. Because echinacea is an immune-system stimulant, people with autoimmune diseases like lupus, multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis should not take the herb. It is also not recommended for pregnant or lactating women or for people taking corticosteroids and other immunosuppressants.

Another alternative cold remedy is the use of zinc lozenges to help reduce the duration and severity of cold symptoms. Thus far, the research on zinc's effectiveness has been contradictory. A 2000 study published in "Annals of Internal Medicine" looked at the effect of zinc lozenges on the duration of symptoms from the common cold. Those who took a zinc lozenge every two to three hours while awake had colds that lasted approximately four days, while those taking the placebo had colds for eight days. Likewise, a 1998 review of published, randomized controlled trials also concluded that zinc lozenges were effective in treating the common cold. Yet, a U.S. clinically controlled trial published in 2000 in "Clinical and Infectious Diseases" found zinc lozenges did not help reduce the length or severity of cold symptoms among study participants when compared to people receiving a placebo. It has been suggested that the different results may be due in part to differences in zinc ion availability in the various lozenge preparations used.

If you choose to take zinc to try to alleviate cold symptoms, you should be aware that, while zinc deficiency can depress immune function, so can taking too much zinc. The RDA for zinc is 12 mg per day for adult women and 15 mg per day for adult men. Most experts recommend taking no more than 100 mg of zinc over the course of a day. The bottom line is that additional research is still needed to learn more about these alternative remedies and their effectiveness in fighting the common cold. While there is probably no harm in taking moderate doses when you feel a cold coming on, consult your health care provider if your symptoms persist.

Education News

By Livia Cloman Lynch

A look at 20 of 40 developmental assets

You can make a difference in the lives of children in Pagosa Springs.

This was the theme of the recent Archuleta County Education Center's "Making A Difference" Luncheon. Maria Guajardo Lucero, Director of Colorado Assets for Youth spoke passionately about what each of us can do in our home, our neighborhood and in our community to help youth to grow up healthier, more caring and more responsible. She talked about the 40 developmental assets and how they were powerful factors in shaping youth behavior.

I have had numerous requests since the luncheon to share information about these important 40 assets. The assets were identified from research based on surveys conducted with 100,000 youth across the United States, grades 6-12. These 40 assets were found to be powerful factors in shaping youth behavior. The more assets a young person experiences, the more likely he or she is to do well in school, value diversity, and engage in volunteer work, and the less likely she or he is to be involved in risk-taking behavior, such as violence, drug use, or school dropout. There are two main categories of assets: external and internal. In today's column I will concentrate on the 20 external assets. Next week I will explore the remaining 20 internal assets.

As Maria says, there is a lot of common sense here. What communities and adults can do is to make these assets common practice in order to have positive impacts on youth. The first six assets relate to the importance of a reliable support system for youth:

1. Family support - family life provides high levels of love and support.

2. Positive family communication - a young person and her or his parent(s) communicate positively, and young person is willing to seek parent(s) advice and counsel.

3. Other adult relationships - a young person receives support from three or more non-parent adults.

4. Caring neighborhood - youngsters experiences caring neighbors.

5. Caring school climate - the school provides a caring, encouraging environment.

6. Parent involvement in schooling - parents are actively involved in helping young person succeed in school.

The next four assets measure empowerment:

7. Community values youth- the young person perceives that adults in the community value youth.

8. Youth as resources- young people are given useful roles in the community.

9. Service to others- a young person serves in the community one hour or more per week.

10. Safety - the child feels safe at home, school, and in the neighborhood.

Research shows that clear expectations and boundaries are important to ensure that a youth grows up to be responsible. Assets 11-16 relate to boundaries and expectations:

11. Family boundaries - a family has clear rules and consequences; and monitors the young person's whereabouts.

12. School boundaries - the school provides clear rules and consequences.

13. Neighborhood boundaries - neighbors take responsibility for monitoring young peoples' behavior.

14. Adult role models - parents and other adults model positive, responsible behavior.

15. Positive peer influence - a youngster's best friends model responsible behavior.

16. High expectations - parent(s) and teachers encourage the young person to do well.

The Education Center realizes that it is important to provide youth with safe and nurturing extended learning opportunities. That is why we offer after-school classes in the arts, science, and languages for children in grades K-8. The remaining external developmental assets spell out just how important these enrichment activities are.

17. Creative activities - the young person spends three or more hours per week in lessons or practice in music, theater, or other arts.

18. Youth programs - a youngster spends three or more hours per week in sports, clubs, or organizations at school and/or in community organizations.

19. Religious community-a young person spends one or more hours per week in activities in a religious institution.

20. Time at home - the child is out with friends "with nothing special to do," two or fewer nights per week.

So after reading through the first 20 of the 40 developmental assets you may be asking yourself, "What do these assets have to do with me?" Today's youth face all kinds of pressures and challenges. But the youth who are more likely to succeed in today's world are those who have adults in their lives they can talk to, who support them, and who set high expectations and appropriate boundaries for them. Why? Because the adults in their lives are helping to build "developmental assets" for these youth.

It's easy to make a difference. Here are some ideas for all adults.

Say "hi" to children and teens you see in your neighborhood. Learn their names.

Plan one fun activity with a young person. Then go do it!

Volunteer to work in a youth program as a coach, mentor, group leader or instructor.

Donate quality books to the library or to youth programs. Asset building is an important component of all of our youth programs at the Education Center. Please give us a call at 264-2835 for more information about our positive youth development activities. We also have available some very good materials from the Colorado Assets for Youth initiative, please stop by the Education Center at 4th and Lewis Streets and pick up your own Asset Action Pack.

Business News

Biz Beat

Steve Wadley is in charge of Colorado sales for Horizon Custom Cabinets Inc.

Horizon Custom Cabinets is a custom cabinet manufacturer specializing in high-quality products. The company offers full service, from computer-aided design and drawing, to installation. Horizon furnishes custom cabinets for new home construction and kitchen/bathroom remodeling work at competitive prices.

The company also offers bookcases, entertainment centers, work stations, all types of wood and finishes, and more, with prompt pick-up of plans and a quick return time on bids.

To reach Wadley, call 946-6529, seven days a week.

Features

Oldtimers

By John M. Motter

Turn-of-century Pagosa ads featured doctors, horses, tack, furniture, food

The Pagosa Country of 1900 was metamorphosing through a significant change not unlike the human transition from teenager to adult. The transformation was not unique to Pagosa Country; it was taking place throughout the west at the same time.

Pagosa Country still had no automobiles, though they had been invented and the local newspaper carried an advertisement for gasoline engines, available by catalog. Horse and buggy was still the only way to travel, unless you wanted to walk. At the start of 1900, mail and freight came to town on the stage from Lumberton. By the end of 1900, the railroad reached town from Pagosa Junction. The train changed many things.

In this week's Oldtimer column, we look at some of the shopping opportunities available during April and May, 1900, in Pagosa Country. Based on the following advertisements, you'll notice there was no shortage of doctors.

Newspaper item: Dr. Clock, physician and surgeon, residence in the Phillips house, eye, ears, nose, and throat trouble treated, with special attention given to chronic catarrh and rheumatism. Day or night calls promptly attended. Residence in the Phillips house.

Newspaper item: Mary Winter, physician and surgeon, office Winter and Fisher Drug Store, residence Frank Blake House.

Motter's comment: Pagosa had a third doctor at the time. Dr. Josiah Slick was county coroner, but had no advertisement in the paper. Dr. Clock stayed a number of years, but eventually moved, as did Dr. Slick. Mary Winter is the best known of early Pagosa doctors, but she was by no means the earliest to practice medicine here. By 1878-1879 when Fort Lewis occupied most of the downtown area, a Dr. Martin was the post surgeon. He later patched together soldiers injured in the Apache Wars in southern New Mexico, Arizona, and old Mexico. There were other doctors as well.

Note that Mary Winter was not yet married to Phildelo J. Fisher. Before they married, the couple jointly operated a drug store located, I think, on the half lot that is now the south half of Goodman's department store. Notice, the doctors listed their home addresses so sick folks could find them at any time, day or night. The doctors all made house calls, riding in their one-horse buggies, of course.

Before automobiles, a great deal of life was focused on horses, their care, and related needs. Look at the following advertisements.

Newspaper item: Jackson Hardware, Durango. Have your horses shod with the Neverslip Shoes. Horses will not slip no matter how icy, send us the pattern of your horses feet and we will send you the shoes ready to nail on.

Newspaper item: A.O.F. Coape, taxidermist, furs and pelts bought and sold, Indian curios, Navajo blankets, hay, grain and stable, buggies to let, Lumberton.

Newspaper item: James O'Neal, best baled hay in town.

Newspaper item: Harnesses- $35 Concord team harness, double, for $22, sent to your nearest railroad station for examination. Hast bolt, hames, and traces, 2-1/4 inch single ply, good heavy breechings, wool faced collars, 1 inch x 18 ft lines, spreaders, snaps, and rings. Catalogue of 50 styles, Denver.

Newspaper item: Gean Gross, dealer in stoves and ranges, furniture and household goods, saddles and harness, second hand goods bought and sold.

Newspaper item: The Percheron stallion Adalberon will stand at Leon Montroy's every Friday and Saturday. The remainder of the week at the old Laughlin Ranch 5-1/2 miles northwest of town. E.S. Van Heuson.

Motter's comment: Seavy and Reavis operated the biggest livery stable in town. At the livery stable you could get feed and board for your horse. If you had no horse, you could rent a horse or a horse and buggy. The Seavy and Reavis livery was on the south side of San Juan Street opposite today's Wells Fargo Bank. James O'Neal also operated a livery stable on Lewis Street. Notice that Coape furnished the same service in Lumberton, the other end of the Pagosa stage coach line. I thought the old Laughlin place was northeast of town, by Laughlin Bridge.

We mention Gean Gross because his was the only local advertisement featuring harness. Because of the broad, general nature of merchandise in other stores, I'm sure some of them also sold harness. If you didn't like what you could get locally, you could buy mail order harness from Denver.

Finally, if you had a mind to upgrade the quality of your personal work horses, Adalberon was available, for a fee.

Notice the general nature of merchandise featured by the following department stores. Pagosa shoppers had a number of choices during 1900.

Newspaper item: Bowling's mammoth department store. New. 4 lb. Ace Flour- $2.35. 14 lb. sugar - $1. Lard, 10s and 20s per pound - .10 cents. A 25 cent grade of coffee -15 cents, Arbuckles coffee-15 cents. Climax, star and horseshoe tobacco, per pound - 50 cents. Hams, per pound - 13 cents. Salt sides, per pound - .09 cents. Coal oil, per gallon -32 cents. Gingham aprons, first quality -.06 cents.

Newspaper item: Geo. W. Arnold, city bakery. Groceries, candies and cigars.

Newspaper item: P.L. Scott, General merchandise, (a square deal).

Newspaper item: P.M. Cockrell, Hardware, doors and windows.

Newspaper item: Hatcher Bros. is undoubtedly the best place to deal in Pagosa Springs. "We have just received a large stock of gent's and children's shoes, prices the lowest in town, a carload of old Homestead flour just came in over the new railroad. This coming week a carload of dairy and stock salt will arrive.

Newspaper item: Pagosa Meat Market, fresh meat always on hand.

Motter's comment: Advertisements placed by these merchants changed from week to week throughout the year. Of the merchants mentioned, Bowling had probably been in town longer than the others, although Gean and Hannah Gross arrived pretty early. Hatcher Mercantile is still remembered by oldtimers here. Many of their enterprises were later assumed by the Hersch family. P.L. Scott erected a new building on Lewis Street during 1900. Is this the building now known as Ray's Hair Care? Geo. W. Arnold was also the proprietor of the Commercial Hotel, newly built in 1900 and located where the old stove restoration business now sits on San Juan Street.

Refrigeration was not a common service in 1900. Consequently, meat was cut and consumed locally. At least one location for Pagosa's slaughterhouse was on Four Mile Road. McCabe Creek has had many names, including Loma Creek when the fort was here and later Slaughterhouse Creek.

Haircuts and shaves were a big item around the turn of the century. Personally, I spent the first 50 cents I ever earned - I was about 10 years old - for a store-bought haircut. Two barbershops served the gents of Pagosa in 1900. Mullins had not yet moved to town.

Newspaper item: Barber shop. A.J. Lewis, Propr. Satisfaction guaranteed.

Newspaper item: When in need of a good shave or stylish haircut, call on Jas. Enos, tonsorial parlor, west of Arnold's Hotel.

Motter's comment: Ab Lewis, who had been in Pagosa Country from the beginning, would later take Mullins in. His shop was located on San Juan Street in the vicinity of today's Jim Smith Realty. Enos' shop was on San Juan Street just west of the Commercial Hotel. Speaking of the Commercial Hotel, folks visiting town had to stay somewhere.

Newspaper item: When in Pagosa don't fail to stop at the Commercial Hotel, the toniest place in town, rates $1 and $2 per day, Geo. W. Arnold, Prop.

Newspaper item: The Patrick Hotel and Bath House, hotel one block from bath house, Rates from $1 and $2. Bostwick and Morgan, Managers.

The Patrick Hotel operated under a number of monikers over the years. I think it was located where today's Spa Motel is located. The Commercial Hotel burned without being around a long time. If you were visiting town, but looking for your own place, you could talk to the following realtors.

Newspaper item: C.H. Freeman county clerk, real estate and town lots, abstracts and insurance.

Newspaper item: J.E. Colton, Real estate and loans, several ranches in Archuleta county and about 100 lots in town.

Motter's comment: Freeman conveniently had an office in the courthouse. Colton conveniently had a lot of money.

Speaking of the courthouse, which was located downtown on Pagosa Street at that time, reminds us that Pagosa Springs has always had its share of attorneys.

Newspaper items: C.B. Weeks, attorney at law, office in court house. V.C. McGirr, attorney at law.

Motter's comments: These attorneys don't seem to have much to say, probably because they are paying by the word for the advertisements. McGirr also taught school at times in various southwest Colorado communities and is probably the better known of this pair. Pagosa has had a number of lawyers who obtained notoriety by serving in statewide offices, I'm thinking of Galbreath, Emigh, and others.

Under the miscellaneous category, we note the price of men's shoes, the movement of a small sawmill, and where to buy a mail order sewing machine.

Newspaper item: W.L. Douglas, $3 and $3.50 shoes worth $4 to $6, Brockton, Mass, catalog. Newspaper item: I have purchased the Garcelona sawmill and placed the same in the hands of Wm. H. Harpst. I am prepared to furnish lumber as soon as bills are placed. Give me a try. Henry Parr.

Newspaper item: Try the "New Home" sewing machine, write for particulars, Orange, Mass (shows a foot treadle model).

Motter's comment: As with horseshoes, people's shoes could be purchased mail order. When I was a small boy in Oregon and school was about to start in the fall, mother lined up we kids, traced the outline of our bare feet on a piece of cardboard, then sent the tracing and an order to Montgomery Ward for our annul pair of school shoes, not to be confused with the work shoes we wore at home or the bare feet we wore all summer.

Garcelona's mill had been on Mill Creek. Since there were four Parr Bros., I get confused as to which was doing what. I believe this one lived on Four Mile Road and moved the mill to that locale.

As to the treadle operated sewing machine, everyone had one, didn't they? My mother's was a Singer.

Pacing Pagosa

By Richard Walter

A teen 'escapes' the taunts of life

He was brawny, but slow. Rode the bus to school when his dad couldn't leave the farm to bring him to town.

People said he was just a little off. Sometimes he seemed to be in another world. Teachers would talk to him but weren't sure he heard.

He loved football, but his grades wouldn't let him play.

He was teased unmercifully by other children - kids can be the most hurtful of all.

And then, one day, he didn't show up for school. It was hunting season and no one gave it a second thought. Probably out in the woods looking for game.

But the following morning there was shock.

He'd gone home the evening before - after a particularly insulting series of taunts and chides from other children - and those on the bus with him said he was silent, unresponsive all the way.

When he got off the bus to walk the mud road home, they said, there was a drag in his step. A hesitation of purpose.

We all got the word: He was dead, by his own hand. He had gone hunting, hunting for escape. His gun provided it.

Suicide is not a nice word.

Nor is regret.

But almost everyone knew regret after that day. Some regretted they had been among those teasing, some regretted they had tolerated the teasing but done nothing to stop it.

Most regretted that a teenager could be so depressed, so frustrated, so at a loss to defend himself from the staccato insults of others that he would take his own life - and that they didn't see it coming.

There were those who said he was "in a better place," others who felt his family was at fault for putting him in a position to face the jibes and taunts of "regular" kids.

His was a family of the land. They tilled it by hand, planted it by hand and harvested it by hand. His father had gone through fifth grade, his mother through eighth. But they were determined to make a life for themselves and the boys.

The two older ones had gone through their sophomore and junior years, respectively, before the pressure of the farm caused them to drop out to assist in the family operation. All were determined the youngest boy would have it better, be the first to graduate.

They were sure their God would protect him, even though they were aware he was, at times, slow to respond and had trouble reading. He was a good boy and a good worker at home, they thought, and the school, they believed, would have the people to help him through the rough spots, help him learn. He'd make them proud.

His was not the first, nor will it be the last suicide of a teen in Pagosa Country. And though it transpired over a half century ago, it stands out in the mind's eye as one of the saddest of events of youth.

Oh, sure, everyone took some teasing. We who wore glasses were always "Four eyes" or if we were a little heavy, the moniker was "Tubby." If you had a limp, you were "Gimpy."

But he was victimized because he was not intellectually as swift as they. He was "Dummy" to some, "Crazy", to others. He sometimes fought back and there were those with bruises and bloody noses who learned not to tease.

But, still, if someone needed a person to be the brunt of a joke, it was him. Those who just couldn't see what was building inside him were relentless in their verbal abuse.

Ask your children if there are students like that in their school today. Students who are not like the others; slower, harder to like, not dressed as well, not given to bright smiles and a sunny disposition.

Ask them if there are children who are teased on a daily basis, children who seem to be the focal point of every objectionable, derisive slur the teen mind can spew out on the spur of the moment.

The perpetrators of the Columbine High School massacre were, in effect, teens looking for a way out. They were sure they would be killed; equally sure their final act would find them a place in history.

Theirs' were suicides of purpose.

The terrorists who turned 9/11 into an American byword and a national day of both remorse and revival, were zealots of the belief that one gives up one's life for the higher cause.

Theirs' were suicides of purpose.

And no matter how wrong we believe the students and terrorists were, we can't but feel a tinge of guilt that we didn't understand, that we weren't prepared, that we were so blasé we could not see the threat coming.

His suicide, too, was death for a purpose.

He was forced to seek escape from the realism of an unfair life, unfair treatment because he didn't match the preconceived notions of others about how he should look, act and feel.

I can't condone taking one's own life as a final means of escape. But, in retrospect, I can see how he must have felt being regularly belittled and ridiculed.

If you know someone like that today, if your children say, "yes, there's this guy (or girl) everyone picks on," don't stand idly by and let another life end needlessly.

Notify someone there may be a problem brewing below the surface innocence.

Even if it turns out not to be a worry, you'll feel better having acted on the obvious information at hand.

And maybe, just maybe, a life will be saved.

Food For Thought

By Karl Isberg

Host Karl's viral visitor vibes

A complex organism is not necessarily the most stable organism.

The opposite is probably true.

A complex organism is neither the hardiest, nor the strongest in the face of adversity. Complexity entails vulnerability.

We humans imagine our vaunted intellect puts us at the top of the food chain, so we structure our perception of nature with our species at the apex of the great pyramid. We're arrogant that way; we like to project ourselves upon the universe at-large, a cheesy B movie flickering on a metaphysical drive-in theater screen.

Actually, we're probably somewhere near the middle of the pyramid, at best.

At the top?

The toughest, most adaptable and persevering of all entities,

The virus.

A virus: an infective agent, a parasite that requires living cells for multiplication; a trickster, a shape-shifter capable of quickly altering form, just enough to sneak past elaborate defenses set up by body and medical science alike.

They are everywhere, these viruses, and everywhere inside us. Most of the time, we're unconscious of their presence. But, every once in a while. . .

There's a humdinger of a virus going around this part of the world right now, making it's home in arrogant, complex organisms. An undocumented alien, if you will.

I know. I caught it.

As I write this, my newest, closest pal is just about done using my living cells for its multiplication and, as a host, I am still not faring well. The bug knocked me for a loop.

This particular virus began its stay in Karlville by checking in at the Lung Motel. Once ensconced, it began to reproduce wildly, delighting in the dense, moist atmosphere. There wasn't much indication the suite was occupied at first, nothing more than a slight pain in the chest, a dry cough. A day or two of this was nothing to worry about; I functioned, I went to the gym, lifted heavy objects and put them back down again. I ate and drank.

Little did I know the multiplication was proceeding at record pace and soon Karl the host was overflowing with countless descendants of the original visitor, the viral calamity hitting lungs and head simultaneously, triggering headache, fever, congestion, body aches, profound fatigue and, worst of all for me . . .loss of appetite.

I know I am truly sick when I have no desire to eat, when I have no urge to sip a sassy red, or knock back a glass or three of pinot grigio. In this case, a day or two before I took ill, and behind Kathy's back (she has a list of foods she seeks to deny me), I bought a container of store-brand pimento/cheese dip. I stashed it beneath a bag of browned-out romaine in the vegetable drawer. This, to me, is a pearl of great value, the mother lode of low-rent, irresistible snacks. In good health, I would surreptitiously visit the cheap plastic tub at five-minute intervals until the mess was devoured.

Once the viral visit began in earnest, however, nothing in the world could make me open that container of dip and dive into its hydrogenated goodness.

That's sick.

I felt like I'd been hit by a truck. After struggling through a Wednesday deadline and crawling home to sulk and suffer, I did what I always do when I host a rapidly developing and superior life form: I ate ibuprofen like candy, sucked down a superhuman amount of water and juice, whimpered, shivered, and watched TV.

There's nothing else to do. A virus of this potency affects everything about you: body, mind, spirit. You can't move, you can't think. You're not sure you want to live. What usually passes for ordinary discourse becomes a maze-like Kantian argument, a mental path that can't be followed because a mutant life form has jammed itself between the synapses. Information readily assimilated by a kindergartner becomes a cryptographic puzzle; the world morphs into an imponderable mist. Malformed perceptions and ideas come out of nowhere, float untethered to anything meaningful, then disappear into the fog. The mind wanders, alights with a thud here and there without leaving an impression in the dust.

I sat in front of the tube for four consecutive days and nights, fasting and drinking bizarre teas brewed by my alchemist wife. She had little bottles, with droppers, and she added a dribble here, a droplet there, the hermeticist at work. She made me drink the stuff. It didn't improve my condition, but it tasted so bad I temporarily forgot how awful I felt.

Fortunately, Kathy's concern didn't last.

Kathy took a day to realize I was sick. Then, she developed a two-day tolerance for my being sick. During that two days she was very nice and sought to soothe me and help in any way she could.

After that: Turn out the lights, the show was over.

Florence Nightingale was replaced by Katherine the Great. I was isolated, Chandala, an Untouchable, the virus still running amok and taking its toll. I pouted.

A day later, my pathetic demeanor inspired Kathy to one more act of kindness. And just in the nick of time, since my appetite had begun to return.

She bribed me.

The first night I felt like cooking or eating, she brought me a gift.

Meat.

Since Kathy cooks waffles well, I had to prepare the ribeyes. By the time I finished the work I was too tired to enjoy the flesh. I went to bed and slept eleven hours.

The next day of my not-yet-complete recovery, it was fish. Since Kathy excels at shopping for waffle ingredients, I dragged myself out of bed and went to the store. I needed a shave, I had a ferocious case of bed head, I wore a racquetball sweatshirt with dog slobber on it. I put on mismatched socks. People left me alone.

Fish is a better dietary element for someone ridding his body of a virus; not too heavy, yet capable of absorbing enough flavor to reawaken the taste buds.

The fish in this case was cod. I lucked out and got a fillet with two chunky lobes, with a decent expiration date and no gray fluids in the bottom of the package.

I separated the pieces of the fillet, patted them dry and seasoned them with salt and black pepper. In an ovenproof pan, over high heat, I warmed a mix of half olive oil and half butter. Just as the butter began to change color I popped in the fillets and allowed them to brown undisturbed for about three minutes. Then, I added a copious amount of crushed dried thyme and a squinch of lemon juice and slipped the pan into a 425 degree oven on the middle rack.

As the fish cooked I threw a mess of frozen green peas into a shimmer of boiling water and I tossed some fresh angel hair pasta into a kettle of boiling salted water. Three minutes later, the angel hair was ready. I drained it, then threw it back into the now empty pan with several knobs of butter, some crushed garlic and a shower of chopped, fresh parsley. The peas came to a boil. I let them cook a moment, just until they heated through, then drained them and, as with the pasta, put them back into their pan with butter and fresh-ground black pepper.

Allowing it ten minutes in the oven, I pulled out the fish and gave each piece its only turn of the night. A bit more salt and pepper and back into the oven for two more minutes.

The fish and pasta were great with some of the now dark oil and butter dribbled on top.

I could almost taste it. The warm food loosened up the unspeakable stuff in my sinuses.

Tonight, who knows? Perhaps something with a ton of capsaicin. That'll drive the rascals out!

My body feels stronger, my head clearer. Perhaps I've repelled this invasion.

Maybe I'm only a day or two away from some wine, some of that rich Central Coast zinfandel for a peppery kick and a head full of tannins.

Unlike a couple of days ago, I'm now confident I'll rid myself of this insult. I'll feel better. I'll beat back the virus, this time.

The answer once I'm well: Eat, drink, enjoy. Because I have no doubt about one thing: Ultimately, to the simple go the spoils.