Front Page

February 21, 2002

Oil, gas well proliferation

looms ahead

By John M. Motter

Staff Writer

The rags to riches aura of gas and oil well drilling is legendary. Everyone loves a Cinderella, storybook ending.

In Archuleta County, the story may be different. Only 16 gas and 4 oil wells were listed with the county tax assessor during 2001. Those wells produced a 2001 county income of about $77,620, according to Archuleta County Assessor Keren Prior.

Wells on Forest Service, Southern Ute, and Bureau of Land Management property are not appraised by the county and contribute no direct income to county coffers. Neither do they require a county permit before drilling.

Thickening the plot, however, are two new wells already drilled near Allison, wells drilled on private land without so much as a by-your-leave from the driller to the county. That means the driller did not apply for a county conditional use permit.

County Attorney Mary Weiss has sent a letter to the drillers from the county commissioners, telling the drillers to stop what they are doing until they get a county permit.

Like any good story, however, there is more to come. The county may be home to several hundred more gas wells in the near future, wells drilled on private, Forest Service, and Southern Ute tribal lands. The wells are proposed for development of Fruitland Coalbed Methane on approximately 106,000 acres in southwestern Colorado straddling the Archuleta/La Plata county lines.

An environmental impact statement being prepared for the proposal by the Forest Service Columbine Ranger District office in Bayfield contains the usual federal plethora of alternatives. Initially, the proposal contemplated drilling 160 wells in La Plata County, 145 on federal land and 15 on state and private lands.

Since then, the proposal has expanded to raise the number of wells to 300, most of the additional number located in Archuleta County. Proposed sites range from along Stollsteimer Creek south of Chimney Rock northwesterly across the HD Mountains to the Saul Creek drainage.

The Forest Service has conducted a number of hearings concerning this proposal. The En He is survived by a son, Blaine Thomson of Durango; a daughter, Alene Cole of Pagosa Springs; grandsons Rocky Thomson of Farmington and Ricky Thomson of Lakewood, Co; granddaughters Cindy Cole Lister and Debbie Cole Candelaria, Environmental Impact Statement is still being developed. Production on these wells may not begin for a few years, allowing time to produce the EIS. Development of the EIS seems to be in the hands of the Public Lands Center in Durango. This organization is dealing with permit applications on Forest Service, BLM, and Southern Ute lands.

And even now, as permission is sought to drill north of the New Mexico/Colorado border, oil company trucks on their way to New Mexico sites are tearing up roads in the southern part of Archuleta County, if county commissioner Alden Ecker's statements are accurate.

La Plata County has implemented an impact fee based on truck tonnage as one means of forcing the companies using the trucks to pay for damage done to county roads. A few years ago, La Plata County authorized an advisory committee to research problems connected with the oil and gas industry in order to help the county develop a policy protecting its interests.

Archuleta County has no truck impact fees, no advisory committee, and no land use regulations dealing specifically with the oil and gas industry. A specific oil and gas policy has been in the works for about a year, but has not emerged from the county planning office.

Planning for a new oil and gas policy was initiated by the county commissioners after a drilling applicant a year ago complained that the county conditional use permit process is too slow and cumbersome. The planning department was ordered to develop more user-friendly gas and oil regulations.

Meanwhile, conflict between the county, private land owners, and the drillers seems unavoidable. At least one of these conflicts has already surfaced. The issue revolves around the question of if and to what extent counties can enforce regulations related to the surface impacts of drilling.

No one questions that surface land owners may not own subsurface mineral rights. No one questions that the mineral owner has the right to extract the minerals owned, or that the surface owner has some rights.

Conflicts and questions focus on the extent of those respective rights; in other words, where is the line separating a surface owner's rights from a mineral owner's rights?

A second issue concerns a county's right to govern certain surface impacts. COGCC issued a rule last year saying, when COGCC rules conflict with county land use regulations, COGCC rules will prevail.

A subsequent state supreme court decision asserts that counties, do, indeed, have the right to regulate certain surface issues connected with drilling.

Archuleta County, La Plata County, and other Colorado counties have taken to the courts in an action against COGCC designed to protect a county's right to regulate certain surface impacts of drilling. The case has yet to be heard.

Meanwhile, several environmental organizations have linked arms to battle the gas well invasion. Armed with horror stories of methane gas leaching into private wells, of methane water discharge destroying the agricultural value of surface lands, and of the ignition of errant gas coming through the kitchen faucet, these organizations are fighting to limit the impacts of gas well drilling.

County governments are squeezed in the middle. In La Plata County, gas wells finance a significant portion of the county budget. It's hard to bite the hand that feeds you.

Archuleta County has yet to feel the same impact as La Plata County. If the wells proposed for the HD Mountains area are approved, that impact will be felt. Will Cinderella discover her glass slipper?

Citizen tip helps deputies blunt area construction site theft ring

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

Three suspects have been fingered for a string of summer construction thefts.

Lonny Peterson, 21, of Pagosa Springs, and Greg Connor, 36, of Arizona have been arrested. A third warrant, for Richard Sloan, 23, of Pagosa Springs, remains outstanding, although it's possible he is incarcerated in Texas. All three are charged with multiple counts of theft and burglary, as well as forgery and unauthorized use of a credit card.

Captain Bob Grandchamp, of the Archuleta County Sheriff's Department, said good police investigation and community involvement were the keys to arrests in the case which involved a total of 22 reports covering an estimated $10,000 in stolen property.

Problems started mid-July. By the first week in August, eight construction thefts had been reported involving both big and small-ticket equipment. An air compressor worth an estimated $800-$1,000 was among the missing items, as was a $5 bucket of chalk used in delineating straight lines. Thefts occurred at night on residential building sites in the Pagosa Lakes area.

Then came the report of a residential burglary. Guns, jewelry, a check book, credit cards and an ATM card were all stolen. Soon after, a forged check passed in La Plata County was traced to Peterson, whose face was caught on camera as he attempted to pass another check at a retail store in Durango. Employees at yet another Durango store where the suspects attempted to pass a check identified both Peterson and Connor in a photo lineup.

Peterson is known to have been employed as a roofer, Grandchamp said. The tie between the burglary and the construction thefts came when a local citizen reported a suspicious vehicle and driver cruising the area of some construction sites. The driver was later identified as one of the suspects in the residential burglary.

"If this one person hadn't called in, I wouldn't have recognized him with Lonny on the tapes from Durango," Grandchamp said. "We absolutely need the community's help to solve crimes. They are the eyes and ears for us."

Last week, contractors were invited to at tend an open house at the sheriff's department to reclaim their stolen property. Eight people attended, Grandchamp said, and some of them were able to pick the suspects out of a lineup. The suspects, in most cases, were described as former employees who quit days before the sites were robbed.

Early in the summer, the thieves apparently obtained employment at construction sites, using their time on the job to locate tools that could be fenced, Grandchamp said. One or two days after leaving the job, they'd return to steal whatever was left laying around. As the summer progressed, they merely inquired about a job, gave the site a quick once-over and then returned to do their "work" at night.

The stolen equipment was apparently offloaded almost immediately, allegedly in return for drugs - methamphetamine and cocaine.

The turnaround was so fast, Grandchamp said, only about $3,500 worth of stolen property was recovered after arrest warrants were issued. The rest had already left the state.

One dead, driver held after crash

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

A single-vehicle rollover on West U.S. 160 resulted in the death of a Pagosa Springs man just after midnight Saturday.

According to a Colorado State Patrol report, Douglas Martinez, 21, was driving west on the highway, entered a right-hand curve, attempted to pass another vehicle in a no-passing zone and lost control of the vehicle, a 1994 Ford Probe.

The Ford spun, crossed the highway east of Mile Marker 133, left the pavement and rolled several times before coming to rest on its top. The passenger, Shawn Martinez, 23, was ejected through the side window and died from his injuries.

Neither driver nor passenger were wearing seat belts, according to the report. However, both airbags in the vehicle did deploy.

Trooper Chris Balenti, in the area at the time, had turned to follow the vehicle because of its speed, but had not initiated an official pursuit. Balenti said he clocked the Ford's speed at 76 miles per hour near Pfeiffer Park, west of Pagosa Springs. His investigation estimated the vehicle was traveling at 77 miles per hour when it left the road.

"At no time were the lights and sirens activated," Balenti said. "I was attempting to close, identify the vehicle and make a safe traffic contact when he entered the right-hand curve."

Balenti said the driver, who sustained minor injuries, left the scene. Douglas Martinez was later arrested at his home.

According to sheriff's department reports, Martinez was arrested and booked at the Archuleta County Jail for vehicular homicide, DUI, speeding, passing on the left where prohibited and operating an uninsured motor vehicle.

Formal charges are expected to be filed later this week.

School board mixed on mandates vs. 'no test' philosophy

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Last in a series

Following the Alfie Kohn theory that grading demoralizes students and takes away the drive for individual achievement, the leaning among some county school board members has been toward his attitude with reference to education in general.

With Colorado Student Assessment Program (CSAP) testing beginning this week at the elementary school level, school board members were asked to respond to five specific questions about the educational atmosphere, the Kohn opposition to testing, his opposition to athletic competition, his insistence that students should be able to devise their own study programs and, finally, how Kohn theories stack up against their own ideas concerning education.

Let's set the stage for a look at those answers by quoting from Kohn's "From degrading to de-grading" in Volume 6, No. 5, of The High School Magazine:

"You can tell a lot about a teacher's values and personality just by asking how he or she feels about traditional grades. Some defend the practice, claiming that grades are necessary to 'motivate' students. Many indicate teachers actually seem to enjoy keeping intricate records of students' marks. Such teachers periodically warn students that they're 'going to have to know this for the test' as a way of compelling them to pay attention or do the assigned readings - and they may even use surprise quizzes for that purpose, keeping their grade books at the ready.

"Frankly, we ought to be worried for these teachers' students. In my experience, the most impressive teachers are those who despise the whole process of giving grades. Their aversion, as it turns out, is supported by solid evidence that raises questions about the very ideal of traditional grading."

SUN Question 1: What is so compelling about Alfie Kohn's educational theories?

Director (and board president) Randall Davis:

"I think he sort of goes counter to what we see as traditional education. It is not his brainchild, but is based on conclusions of many independent educational researchers."

Director Clifford Lucero:

"Certain aspects of his philosophies make a lot of sense to me, I can see where he's coming from. But I also see some of his beliefs going counter to what I feel are responsible education philosophies."

Director Carol Feazel:

"What I like about it is that you take the worry out of the students' minds about how their grades will be and instead encourage the individual student to take charge of their own work. My belief is that the teacher must become a facilitator, not just a programmer of learning by rote."

Director Russ Lee:

"He gives us a different look at educational theories and has done a lot of research. Too often we seem to be controlled by state mandates. We make sure the kids pass tests but never determine if they know anything. Kohn presents an interesting, different way of looking at things."

Director Jon Forrest:

"I am not overly taken with Alfie Kohn. He has some good ideas and if this were a perfect world, they'd work great. But it is not perfect and we have to deal with the hand we are given. I think his theories are intriguing, but not compelling. We need to prepare our kids for life in the world and like it or not, it is a competitive world."

SUN question 2: Do you see a growing conflict between Kohn philosophy and the increased emphasis on testing by both the state and federal departments of education and, if so, is there a middle ground?


"Yes. But the focus now is on passing the tests rather than on keeping a positive attitude toward learning. Students are being asked to look at 'how, not what, am I doing?'

"I see a need for a common ground where the child can learn without test pressure."


"There is a definite conflict. While they are mandating more testing, I think the state board of education needs to get more involved with understanding what is happening at the real classroom level. We have teachers working hard with the system to help our children learn. The staff seems to have sufficient time to foster independent study in fields of specific interest, which is one of the tenets of Kohn philosophy."


"I think the best answer is to summarize a comment I heard at the recent state school board convention. A woman from the business community noted that in the hunter-gatherer days what you got was your wealth; then came the agricultural culture and land was the wealth; then industry provided a stock culture and stock ownership was wealth; now there is an intellectual-capital society which leads to testing in which society is trying to quantify intellectual capital. There is a lot of truth to her progressive comment."


"We are continuing to do as much as we can, realizing the testing is mandated at many levels. There seems to be a growing trend in the state for school boards to put more pressure on the state legislature and board of education for more local control."


"I definitely see a head-on collision. There is no middle ground. If we are to keep state funding for local school operations we have little choice but to toe the line - or work for a change in the funding and the management of schools."

SUN question 3: With Kohn's opposition to competition in the classroom and to having students involved in competitive athletics, do you see a separate clash of ideals? What about the planned spending for expansion of school district athletic facilities?


"The way I look at it is that we need to emphasize the teamwork element, the fun of the game and encourage sports activity that can be used throughout a lifetime. My view is that not all athletic competition is bad, that there can be moderate interworking of competitive desire within a structured team approach."


"Our children have to learn teamwork and what better way than in athletics? They'll have to compete all their lives, for jobs, for pay raises and for recognition. We need to help them develop that attitude, not to be passive."


"As with any educational theory, the teacher and community need to take what works and ignore the rest. In this community, athletics is a very important part of the social structure. It involves whole families, businesses, and even people who have no children participating. It presents family fare on the school campus. I'm strong on athletics, as witness my position on facilities expansion. For some kids, sporting events not only teach team concepts but give them a way to dignify themselves."


"I don't feel nearly as strong on athletics as I used to. I think we need to look at other uses for our money, putting more into the classroom before athletics. I voted for the athletic facilities expansion, but I'm reluctant to let the capital reserve account get under $1 million. I think we can do better things in the classroom and let athletic programs support themselves as much as possible."


"I have real problems with his position. After having been to his speaking session and studied much of his material, I have the feeling he is someone who didn't get into sports and didn't like it, and the feeling carried over. What he doesn't say is that even music or knowledge bowl participation is competitive. We need to realize sports participation is as much or more a drive for excellence in the classroom because the athlete needs to stay eligible in order to compete."

SUN question 4: What is your position on Kohn's theory that students should devise their own study programs and means of accomplishing the educational goals they set for themselves? Doesn't this place the teacher in an untenable position so far as leading students to discover?


"I think it defines a challenge for the teachers who are not already doing something along those lines. Anyone with a background in education can assimilate many fields. I like the fact that students can choose to participate in something that really interests them. I think any good teacher can coordinate that kind of program.

"I saw a film clip of his in which the question was addressed. Teachers were polled and students were polled. It was a learning experience for both. Each side learned to compromise on reaching a mutual agreement from up to 20 different ideas. It came down to a majority vote - a lesson on human rights - to select an agreeable topic for the whole class."


"Some of that will work. Kids should be involved and should be accountable. I think our teachers are doing a good job. They're on the same page as Kohn in some aspects. They are getting our kids ready for life."


"When you have 30 students in a classroom, some compromises have to be made. Students, however, need to be aided by the teacher in learning to be self-directed. Help them understand what they need to read, where to look for facts, and teach them to develop character and independent thought, utilizing the basic curriculum as the underpinning for advanced study."


"I like the theory. I think it places the teachers in more of a teaching situation. Kids are excited if they can choose the things they want to study from within a wide-ranging curriculum. I think our teachers, generally, are already utilizing this skill and are willing to continue it within the base program."


"Some kids can adapt to this concept very well, but not all are self-motivated enough to choose a program which is a challenge. If they set a goal that is achievable with supervision, that's great, but if they set a semester goal that can be accomplished in two days, that's no program. I think we have qualified people in our classrooms who are motivating all the students now. From what I've seen it appears our teachers are determined to get all they can out of each child."

SUN question 5: Kohn has argued that grades should never be given. But, while they still are, he says teachers should do everything in their power to help the students forget about them; should refrain from giving a letter grade on individual assignments; should never reward them for performance at that point; never grade on a curve; and never give a separate grade for effort. How does this stack up with your own educational theory?


"This dovetails well with good education. I've read several Kohn books, gone to two personal presentations and read other articles about his philosophy.

"I think we need to do as much as we can to allow for principles of individual educational selection, but I realize we must keep testing as the governments mandate.

"The point is not to pass a test with subjective rather than objective questions. There has been and still is an overemphasis on testing. It is, as Kohn argues, punishment by rewards.

"We are at a stage in education where students are learning in spite of the system, not because of it. We need to change that order so that students learn because of the system allowing them to progress without fear of grading."


"Like everyone else, I don't want our teachers having to teach to the test. But, I also feel grades are important to kids. It gives them a point of evaluation of themselves and their performance."

"They, and we, need grades to know where they have been, where they are and where they are going. We need to know if they are absorbing what is being taught, if they are learning the right things at the right time.

"I see some need for more permissive student involvement in curriculum discussion, but realize, also, that they must be judged on what they accomplish. Currently, grading is the only way to do that."


"As on your earlier question, I say use what you can and get rid of what doesn't work. I'd never use the bell curve, for example. Alternate assessment programs, words instead of letter grades, are easily understood by the student. Excellent, obviously is the same as an A; unsatisfactory would be an F. But when the words are accompanied by written comment explaining the word, grade problems can be eliminated. I never add up grades for a period and then average them to get a final ranking. You need to look at the overall improvement and base the final mark on that. Some student you thought was doing poorly might blow you away on final assignment and prove he or she was learning all the time."


"I kind of go along with no grading as such. If they (the students) can do concepts, learn job skills and self esteem, there are other ways to evaluate their performance than by grading. We need to look at modern ways of assessing learning and Kohn gives us an option."


"At times we might put too much pressure on part of a testing procedure or on one assignment but overall, to sum it up, if my kids did something wrong I'd want them to know what it was and how to correct it. And, if they did something right I'd want to show my pride in their achievement. Grades can do the same job. They can help you understand where you're headed and show your progress. As I said, it's not a perfect world, but if you do your best, you have a foot up on ladder to success. I think we're providing the ladder rungs for them to make that step.


Plan to attend meetings

Six months after a work session involving the Archuleta County commissioners and the Upper San Juan Planning Commission, we begin the process of implementing the Archuleta County Community Plan.

The plan was created in a lengthy public process. A steering committee was formed with representatives from all parts of the county. Public meetings and workshops were held at each phase of plan development. Eight first-phase workshops were held across the county in February, 2000, with each targeted on a particular geographic area. More than 800 residents attended these meetings. A second series of workshops was held in May, 2000, with four alternative growth scenarios and attendant policies presented.

More than 500 residents attended Phase 2 and 3 workshops. Consultants conducted studies of scenic corridors and land use patterns, preparing an existing land use map. Public responses were solicited concerning choice of a preferred growth scenario; one was selected and a draft future land use map was presented to the steering committee and the public at other workshops and became part of the plan. Our county commissioners adopted the plan. The plan contains numerous sections, each reflecting an area of concern and "attempts to strike an appropriate balance between the unrestrained exercise of individual property rights and achieving the common vision."

On Feb. 27 a public meeting will be held at 7 p.m. at the county courthouse as the planning commission considers draft lighting regulations for unincorporated Archuleta County.

Regulations for exterior lighting were produced by a seven-member committee including an electrician, citizens, a developer, the county planning director and a member of the commission. The committee was guided by the need to create regulations that minimize light pollution and glare, that help conserve energy and maintain lighting sufficient for nighttime security and traffic safety.

A draft of the regulations is available at the county planning office or on the office link on the county website at

Members of the public are welcome to attend the planning commission meeting, and are encouraged to comment on the proposed regulations.

If lighting regulations clear the planning commission and are adopted by the commissioners, any new development in the unincorporated part of the county will comply immediately and existing lighting in violation of regulations will have two years to be brought into compliance.

It is a baby step in a long journey.

There is another reason for residents to attend the Feb. 27 meeting: to send a message to county government that citizens are eager for other aspects of the plan to be implemented. Lighting regulations are a small part of the overall plan: not insignificant, but hardly the muscle of the animal, and not a political hot potato for our elected leaders. Lighting regulations are child's play compared to implementation of other aspects of the plan.

Land use and growth management categories of the Community Plan will be controversial and difficult to deal with. Control of the built environment, sign regulations, junk ordinances, clustering of commercial and residential development, separation of incompatible land uses, preservation of environmental quality, protection of wildlife - for these elements to develop into realities will require that elected officials have their feet put to the fire. Only public attendance at meetings concerning each element of the plan will make a point.

A public hearing concerning proposed revisions to land use regulations will be held at 7 p.m. March 19 at the courthouse. A meeting of the commissioners and the planning commission will be held at 7 p.m. Mar. 27 to discuss the controversial topic of land use classifications.

Concerned residents should attend.

There are some who argue a fully implemented plan is of little use, that the barely controlled growth that has occurred in the county shows the time for growth management was 30 years ago. To an extent this is true, but our economy still depends on the aesthetic values that distinguish this place from other areas. Property values are enhanced by a reasonable level of regulation that preserves the scenic and natural qualities of the environment.

Big decisions await. Pressure must be applied if our elected officials are to develop the insight and courage needed to make them.

Karl Isberg

Dear Folks

By David C. Mitchell

'Rainbow' and pots of gold addicts

Dear Folks,

About four weekends back I watched part of the fourth quarter of the Pittsburgh Steelers-Philadelphia Eagles playoff game. Needing to catch my breath and rest my legs while skiing at Wolf Creek, I ducked into the Base Camp Lodge for a few minutes. A TV at the far corner of the lodge was broadcasting the game so I sought out a vacant chair. It didn't take long before it became obvious that commercial breaks still dictate the tempo of the game. The commercial delays were probably the same in the '70s but I was too wrapped up in the nuances of the game to notice the intrusion of "commercial timeouts."

Driving home from Wolf Creek that evening I started wondering if "Rainbow" still attended the NFL games. Having watched the Steelers game for only a few minutes, most of which involved commercials, I didn't spot Rainbow squeezed among the fans of the packed stadium. (I later learned, that yes, Rainbow still attends the major games and that the cameras continue to zoom in on him.)

As I recall, Rainbow's attire and appearance somewhat resembled that of Ronald McDonald. But it was his bushy red, green and blue wig that highlighted his image. It was sort of a take off on the tail of NBC's peacock. An announcer eventually coined the nickname of Rainbow.

Thanks to the NFL and TV, Rainbow became part of America's sports folklore during the 1970s. Despite them being sellouts, Rainbow somehow secured an end zone ticket for most of the important NFL games that were televised. It didn't matter where in the United States that the game was being played, folks would spot Rainbow in the stands. And at least once during the game the TV cameras would zoom in on him and his sign.

Besides his wig, Rainbow was known for a white placard that he held. About 6-inches tall and about 24-inches wide, the sign stated in black, block lettering: John 3:16. Rainbow didn't wave his sign or raise it. He simply held it about shoulder high while remaining seated in the bleachers. He demonstrated a patient certainty that at least once during the game, a TV camera's zoom lens would broadcast his sign to an international audience.

I don't question Rainbow's intent of displaying the message of his John 3: 16 sign or it's hoped for effectiveness, but lately I've wished someone would use a similar placard to raise folks' consciousness of the last part of Luke 12: 48. It's not nearly as well known as John 3: 16, but in part Luke 12: 48 states: "... From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded. And from the one trusted with much, much more will be expected."

The more I read about the leadership of Enron and other similar billion-dollar bankruptcy situations, I find myself questioning these folks' mind set. What makes them think that they can be entrusted with billions of dollars and yet be free of any obligations to meet the demands or expectations that accompanies such trust? Surely somewhere during their higher education and corporate training process someone discussed the responsibility of protecting the best interest of employees or investors.

Of all of the addictions, selfishness, greed and excessive pride are the most self destructive. And as with other addictions, it's the innocent unsuspecting others who suffer as much or more as does the "money junkie."

It's becoming a common occurrence to read of folks using a powerful position of responsibility as a vehicle to take advantage of someone else's trust while accumulating preposterous personal wealth.

Somewhere along the line, folks who are supposed professionals place such a distorted value on their personal profits and pleasures that they bankrupt the responsibility of personal accountability that they owe their employees and investors. It's too late when they learn that neither Chapter 7 or 11 nor the Fifth Amendment can successfully restructure a person's bankrupted integrity.

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



By Shari Pierce

25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of February 17, 1977

The high school wrestling team placed second in the state Class A tournament held in Greeley last weekend. Two Pagosa wrestlers, Brian Shaw and Jose Yanez, were runners-up for the championship in their weight classes. Eight members of the squad participated at the tournament.

The weather remains very dry, snow cover at high altitudes is deficient, and the area may be in for a very dry summer. At the present time moisture content on the high ranges is the lowest of record. Cloud seeding to produce more snow in this area has been authorized. Unfortunately there have been no clouds and the seeding has not yet started. It is a program that has been carried out several different years in this immediate vicinity and few local residents have ever noticed any appreciable results.

50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of February 22, 1952

The weather the past week has brought about a further lessening of the snow depth here in town, and a few snow flurries. On Monday there was considerable wind and quite a little snow, which did not lay on very long here in town. Monday night saw the mercury dip to ten below zero.

Zoning has been the subject of a great many gatherings these past few weeks. It is a shame that on a subject of such vital importance to every citizen of the town and to the economy of the town that so many false statements are being made regarding the proposed zoning ordinance.

The Archuleta County Cowbelles will meet Friday in the courthouse. The film, "Meat and Romance," will be shown and is free to the public.

75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of February 25, 1927

The Women's Civic Club requests that patrons of the public library, who are indebted for fines, kindly remit as soon as possible, as the money is greatly needed. Though the individual amounts are quite small, the aggregate will make a neat sum.

The Pagosa Drug Store is this week installing one of the latest in ice cream and soda fountains - the Frigidaire.

Country people who desire them are advised that they may obtain numerous free magazines by calling at the public library on any regular open day.

Joseph Hersch of Pagosa Springs was in Del Norte this week ... A baby boy was born to Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Hersch of Pagosa Springs at the St. Joseph Sanitarium in Del Norte on February 13.


91 years ago

Taken from Pagosa Springs New Era of February 17, 1911

J.H. Walker, the Arboles bee man, is spending the week in Pagosa, having spent the previous two months in Missouri. Mr. Walker has build up quite an extensive honey business in a few years, the output of his hives already having a reputation for superiority.

I sell the earth. If you desire to dispose of your holdings drop me a card and I will do my best. Will move to Pagosa about March 1 and will engage in the general real estate business. - E.M. Taylor.

The town council met in adjourned session twice this week and finally passed an ordinance revising the water rates. The rates are generally lower than those under the old ordinance, but are greater than in most instances than the rates that have been collected.

Inside The Sun

Babysitter training helps youngsters learn patience, practical response and safety

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

Babysitting. That first part-time job. It comes along about the same time allowances go out, or as a kind of supplemental income.

It requires certain skills - negotiation, diplomacy, management, storytelling and sanitation to name a few. Some can be learned by watching family members, others from personal experience with younger siblings. But for an intensive look at the ins and outs of the profession, try the Archuleta County Education Center and its biannual course.

The last class of 13 girls and two boys received course completion certificates just a few weeks ago. These students ranged in age from 10-13 and agreed to give up three Friday afternoons to learn the basics of babysitting. The training included: first aid, fire safety, introduction to age-appropriate games and activities, negotiating with parents and basic childcare. Instructor Megan Macht said students who attended all the classes and paid attention passed.

"We learned how to do CPR," Jessica Low, 12, said.

"And how to change diapers and a lot about first aid," Rebecca Stephens, 11, said.

Both agreed the hands-on experience, as well as having the opportunity to meet a few of the people who work in the emergency medical field, including a dispatcher, an EMT and the fire chief, was a big help.

"I know when I was babysitting, there were things I didn't know and I'd call my mother," Macht said. "That's the kind of things I want them to know. I like helping the kids - even something as simple as changing a diaper - that's something they need to know."

Each student receives a hardbound guidebook to babysitting complete with medical log at the beginning of the course. Each lesson is reviewed as a class with students taking turns reading out loud and then discussing the information. Responsibilities, do's and don'ts and trouble spots are all processed. The class is questioned on their understanding and given the opportunity to query the instructor in return.

"What would you do if ...?" were the start to scenarios Macht placed before the class.

Hands flew up, and answers ranged from calling a parent or neighbor to dialing 911 depending on the severity of the situation. Then students expanded on the scenario, posing a variety of "What if ...?" questions to Macht.

"What if there was no phone?"

"What if the neighbors are too far away?"

When the possibilities were finally exhausted, the group returned to their books.

Macht stressed in the second class that it is the babysitter's responsibility to get direction from the parents concerning dinner, snacks or bedtime habits, medications, appropriate activities or use of the telephone. She also covered a babysitter's "magic bag," a special toy bag that a sitter can bring to a job to help get to know the children and help make the visit something special instead of something dreaded.

Students practiced diaper-changing and dressing techniques on two child-sized dummies. And, of course, there were snacks, a video and some intermittent stops in lessons to quiet the giggling.

"Probably the hardest thing is the first aid," Macht said. "They aren't certified in CPR, but we teach them the basics so if they would call dispatch, they aren't scared. We try to teach them when it's OK to call 911."

Since Macht started teaching the course four years ago with just four students, numbers attending have grown, as well as the numbers of boys attending. Some financial support for books and supplies comes from the Mountain View Homemakers, who sponsored a babysitting course several years ago. The remainder of the funds come from the education center.

Macht said students attend for a variety of reasons, citing babysitting as a way to earn money, convince mom to pay for watching a brother or sister, or just something they enjoy doing.

"I really love kids," Low said. "I'm trying to earn money to buy a new horse."

"My mom told me about it," Stephens said. "She said if I took the class she'd be more comfortable leaving me with my brother."

PLPOA board president will not seek reelection

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Richard Manley, president of the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association board of directors, made official Thursday something he has been hinting at for the past several months.

After recommending and getting board approval of the appointments of Peter L. Welch and Melanie Kelly as alternate members of the Environmental Control Committee, he noted both "represent the new residents of the community.

"These are very good people with very good accreditation," he said. "They are the kinds of people we need to encourage to get involved in the day-to-day operations of this board."

With that in mind, he announced, "It is my intention to not seek re-election to the board this year. We have accomplished - and are still accomplishing - many of the things this board set out to do."

He plans to step down when his term expires and his seat will be on the election block when the association's annual meeting is held in July.

"I hope new people, like those we've appointed tonight, will run for the board," he said. "New ideas mixed with the experience here now can provide leadership for the board as it faces new challenge."

Earlier Manley, charged by the board last fall to develop a strategy for future long-range planning for the whole Pagosa Lakes community, reported he, director Tom Cruse and general manager Walt Lukasik had met with Jim Tosch of Tosch and Associates in Durango to explore the possibility of a scientific survey of the community to determine exactly what the property owners want this board to accomplish.

At issue is a growing feeling among some residents that the board should be more than an arbiter of covenant compliance.

"This is one of the largest constituencies in the county," Manley said, "and there are those who believe we should have a more active role in dealing with the countywide issues which most affect them."

The board is, however, prohibited by its charter from supporting political causes and candidates and, Manley said, "we are politically removed from such regional decisions as roads, recreation district operations, lakes, water and taxation though all affect each of us personally."

He said the discussion with Tosch indicated the professional would survey three specific groups - those who own homes in the 26 member subdivisions and actually live in them; those who own homes but are only part time residents; and those who own property which has never been built on.

The entire survey would be conducted by telephone and carefully annotated by researchers to produce a constituent opinion falling well within traditional percentages for accurate decisions.

Overall, Manley said, the survey would cost $4,000-$5,000.

Initially, the board president said, "I'd like authorization to spend $1,000 to have him develop the survey questions, present it to us for board study and recommendations and hopefully, approval.

"If we get a plan which we believe will pursue the vision we want, we'd then ask the board for the additional funding in the base contract, plus paying long-distance fees incurred in the out-of-area questioning."

Meadows resident Mojie Adler, from the audience, said there already had been a similar survey "five or six years ago, about what people wanted most, what was needed most. It was a very complete 20-percent random survey and gave us a feeling about what residents wanted."

"With all due credit to the earlier surveys," said Cruse, "this is a different and unique situation. The focus here is different from what was done before. The charter effectively bars us from engaging in any political activity. We need to know if that's what current owners want." Manley's motion, seconded by director Jerry Medford, was approved unanimously, but only after Adler warned of "falling prey to scam artists" and Manley defended the discussions. "We're dealing here with an acknowledged professional in the field," he said.

PLPOA moves ahead on rec center expansion

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Plans for a $1.96 million expansion of the Pagosa Lakes Recreation Center moved last week from initial concept stage to a decision to ask for final architectural plans and firm cost estimates.

PLPOA director Tom Cruse, chairman of the PLPOA Recreation Center Committee, outlined the plan for board members, noting earlier designs allowing installation of an outdoor pool to take the pressure off use of the indoor pool have been eliminated.

He told the board his committee met Jan. 29 with Steve Lyden, property manager for the eight timeshare associations which also use the recreation facility and outlined the anticipated plans.

He pointed out the timeshares are all owned by Cendant Corporation, owner of Fairfield Pagosa properties, but have no association with Fairfield operations within the Pagosa Lakes area.

Cruse said the committee found the master plan, as presented, an effective compromise on the multiple changes which had been originally suggested. "We met with the architect and reviewed proposed construction and, with exception of one member who termed it 'terrible, uninspirational architecture,' the community found it to be a good plan."

The plan being proposed, he said, will contain one major cost factor change from the original. That will involve expanded locker room facilities, but to accomplish that a wall will have to be moved and roof lines changed. The total cost addition for that phase would be about $100,000.

Cruse said the committee endorses the plan and Lyden told them he sees "a sense of purpose that it is a reasonable expansion and that he will take it, if the board accomplishes what it desires, to his timeshare directors for shared funding."

Cruse's four-part motion called for:

an agreement to move from preliminary planning to final architectural drawings and cost estimates

sharing the package with the timeshare owners, who will comprise at least 40 percent of the users

defining a funding plan to be negotiated with the timeshare operators and Cendant, including an independent architectural and engineering review of final plans; and

concluding the proposal with submission of funding plans to the general membership and to the timeshare officials.

His proposal was seconded by director Jerry Medford.

In answer to a question from director Gerald Smith, Cruse said cost for phase one would come from funds currently available and set aside for recreation center expansion. He noted there is $200,000 in the expansion fund right now and an additional $50,000 expected to be deposited this spring.

If all the plans work out as expected, he said, "we'll be prepared to go to our property owners with the package proposal in April."

Asked the percentage of cost which might be contributed by the timeshare organizations, Cruse would put not an exact figure on it, but said "they will be asked for a substantial, representative share of the overall cost."

Initial planning noted that approximately 40 percent of the annual usership of the center comes from timeshare visitors. Use of the facility has grown from 40,000 in 1988, its first full year, to more than 90,000 in 2000. Seasonal usage fluctuated in 2000 from a low of 3,878 in September to highs of 10,711 in July and 11,800 in March, a radical fluctuation attributed to the seasonal impact of timeshare users.

Kinder Morgan will donate

$4,500 for youth programs

The Kinder Morgan Foundation announced this week it is beginning the sixth year of its award-winning KM for Kids donation program in support of youth initiatives, with Pagosa Springs included for the first time.

The new natural gas supplier for the area will donate $4,500 to youth programs in Pagosa Springs this year.

"We have firmly established KM for Kids as a vital program in support of youth throughout our retail service territory, because we believe children are our most valuable natural resource," said Gail Neben, senior business relations representative. "The retail communities we serve count on our KM for Kids program as an important component of their efforts to support youth, and we are extremely pleased to continue this program."

The Kinder Morgan Foundation also receives strong support from the local community advisory committees in each town. These committees help the foundation determine which programs to fund through KM for Kids. Committee members make recommendations on donations for programs in their community.

Not-for-profit organizations which support youth may pick up an application at the Pagosa Springs Chamber of Commerce, 402 San Juan Street. The deadline for returning the applications is March 8. Applications should be returned to the chamber office or to the fax number listed on the application form, and must be received by the due date.

If you have questions or would like to learn more about KM for Kids, contact Neben at (970) 947-0705.

Code of Enforcement restructuring for PLPOA nearly ready

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

The long-awaited recodification of portions of the Code of Enforcement - Neighborhood Regulations is nearing the end of legal review and will be returned to the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association in time for review prior to presentation at the March 14 public meeting.

That was the word delivered at the Feb. 14 meeting by Walt Lukasik, general manager.

He told the board a special meeting will be needed for review by the board prior to the regular meeting, but no specific date has been set.

Dahrl Henley, commission chairman, was on hand to respond to what she saw as "recent board dissatisfaction" with the way the code revision is being handled.

And, in answer to a question from director Tom Cruse, she said work is progressing on the two remaining phases - conduct of business operations from a home and enforcement of exterior maintenance.

"I told you from the outset this would be a long-term project," she said. "We have produced a definition of what is entailed in residential business and are working on one for exterior maintenance."

Henley told the board her committee plans to review the individual rules and regulations of every one of the 26 subdivisions represented in PLPOA with specific reference to those two subjects. Short term rentals, she said, will be a separate section.

And, she said, "we are making sure no committee member is asked to review regulations in the area in which they live.

"Our goal," she said, "is to have it ready for you to review and present to the general membership at the annual meeting in July. But remember," she said, "we have no control of how long it rests in legal counsel's hands after we submit it."

Lukasik said it is his impression the exterior maintenance control portion probably won't be ready for the annual meeting.

Henley said the committee's position is that the procedural game plan should involve careful, systematic and thoughtful examination of all factors "so we end up with a comprehensive plan."

Director Richard Manley, board president concurred, adding, "I don't think it is necessary for you to strive for the annual meeting with this two-phase report. They are touchy enough subjects without you being forced to rush to decision. Don't worry about time constraints, when you get them to us, you get them to us."

Director Gerald Smith told Henley, "It was I who made the remarks about delays. My primary impatience was with Walt (Lukasik) in that we didn't split away the easy items and get them out of the way immediately. I'm very happy with what I see and hear here now."

And director Tom Cruse eased Henley's concerns when he said, "What you've done and said here clarifies for me that we'll get a plan with specific guidelines, much more specific than I expected."

In other action involving Henley, director Ken Bailey asked for feedback on the recently launched investigation of privately owned floating docks.

Henley said her committee has been asked to accomplish, prior to Feb. 28, a review of the advisability and desirability of stable as opposed to floating docks on the lakes under control of PLPOA.

"It will be done independently by committee members - not on committee time - and we'll present a consensus to the board."

Bailey asked what the purpose of the investigation is.

Lukasik pointed out that until 1994, the association had no opinion as to docks. But, in 1995, he said, "there apparently was an administrative decision made that no permanent docks would be permitted."

Staff examination has shown there are now rotting and deteriorating docks on the lakes, he said, and no specifications for materials control. "We don't even know when some of them were built," he said. "And it appears the ECC can revoke the right to have a pier.

"Our idea is to get to the root of the problem and see if restrictions are needed and if so, what restrictions," he said.

In additional action, the board:

Reviewed a Lakes, Fisheries and Parks Committee report and directed that Larry Lynch, department director, make a recommendation to the board on what specific action he would like to see this year on the Lin and Clark Ditch program

With director David Bohl, the treasurer, out of town, directors were told financial reserves data was incomplete for the report and that Bohl would advise status at the next meeting

Directed Lukasik to write and present for board action next month a proposal for liability/injury insurance coverage, under the Workman's Compensation Act, for members of the ECC who might be injured in making on-site inspections

After noting previous boards have committed PLPOA to annual contributions of $1,000 to the Town of Pagosa Springs for July 4 fireworks, $5,000 to the Humane Society, and $50,000 to Mary Fisher Clinic, payable in $5,000 annual installments, directors voted to deny requests for further contributions. The board had received requests for funds from two local organizations. Smith said "It's just two items now, but if we let it start, we'd have 25 pages of requests. It is not the board's business to decide its members' charities"

Heard Lukasik report that 34 percent of the association dues billed for 2002 had been received by Jan. 31

Acknowledged Lukasik's having entered a retainer agreement with Orten and Hindman at a cost of $125 per month for legal services.

Suffering withdrawal pangs from sale of truckstop

Rep Larson's Report

Readers may have read that my wife and I sold our truckstop business. I should be feeling a big sigh of relief but that is not so. After 30 years of 24/7, 365 days a year businesses, I am already having withdrawal pangs. I truly loved that business and the employees that became my "family." For the last four years I have been dedicating all of my time to being your State Representative and was not able to concentrate on my business. I was fortunate to have a brother-in-law who took excellent care of it during that time. He and his wife are the people we sold the business to, and I wish David and Sandy Manning the very best of luck. It was time for me to get out.

Flying back and forth to Denver every week is the worst part of this job, other than having to spend all week away from my wife and our dog. However, from time to time flying back with longtime friends can make the trip much more enjoyable. On Friday, the plane to Cortez was full with many familiar faces including Cortez Mayor Joe Keck. This trip turned out to be a lot of fun. Mayor Keck was ticketed in the very back corner seat, one that every knowledgeable traveler dreads. And on this flight, there were three sitting abreast in this rear seat, tightly wedged in. Mayor Keck, with a very straight face, asked the stranger in the middle seat why he was going to Farmington?

This San Francisco resident got a stunned look on his face and started looking around frantically to see if he indeed had boarded on the wrong flight. Mayor Keck quickly informed the Telluride-bound guest that we were just kidding and were trying to empty the cramped middle seat. The laughter and camaraderie was welcome relief after a terribly tense week.

I presented three bills before committees this week. Two of the bills were fairly non-controversial. SB-072 "Multi-year Motor Vehicle Fleet Registration" and HB-1219 "Frivolous State Income Tax Returns" passed through committee without much discussion. However, my third bill, HB-1220 "Hearing Aid Insurance Coverage for Children" met with much opposition. Generally, I am very much opposed to insurance mandates, especially given the tremendous increases we have experienced in recent years. This bill was actuarialized to have an impact of $.20 per month on the average policy covering independents. My bill recognizes that hearing loss in infants and children can have an overwhelming impact on a child's communication skills and ability to interact during the formative years. Currently, hearing loss is considered a medical condition, yet insurance companies consider hearing aids a "cosmetic appliance." The bill was debated primarily on the ideology surrounding insurance mandates rather than the life altering implications to a child with hearing loss.

I presented a Texas study that found that nine insurance mandates increased the costs by only .0355 percent in 1999. One witness testified that the major factors behind escalating health care costs centered primarily around spiraling pharmaceutical costs, high cost technological improvements and the burgeoning senior population, not necessarily mandates. There was testimony that almost all insurance companies already cover speech therapy and cochlear implants. Why not hearing aids? One insurance company brazenly sent a letter to a young mother stating that they would not cover her daughter's "medically necessary" hearing aids until it was required by law. This "mandate" is the difference between years of speech therapy, communications problems and the child possibly being mistaken as less intelligent. This coverage should have been offered long ago with all other medical benefits.

New USJHD manager 'looking, absorbing, learning'

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff writer

Dee Jackson doesn't plan on shutting herself in an office all day.

In fact, having a traditional office with walls, a desk and, of course, a window, doesn't work into her plan at all. Instead, the new Upper San Juan Hospital District manager carries a laptop and cellular phone back-and-forth across U.S. 160, determined to give both the Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Center/Urgent Care and EMS equal attention.

"That's how I am funded, and I think both organizations deserve their due time," she said.

Jackson, the former administrative director of Texas Tech University Student Health Services, hit the ground running in Pagosa starting Feb. 4. She spent time at the Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Center, and at EMS, attended staff meetings, met with the interim district manager, observed medical staff giving care to prisoners at the Archuleta County Jail and made the rounds at Pine Ridge Medical Center with Dr. Mark Wienpahl.

The second week, she said, got more intense. "I have more time to sit and start asking important questions and to work alongside employees doing their jobs."

That learning curve will continue for the next three to six months, she added.

"I've made a promise to myself that I won't commit to any service organizations for six months. My service is going to be to the district. I'm going to be looking, absorbing and learning all the facts before changing anything."

She commended the staff and board members for being "survivors" after a tumultuous year of budget shortages, and said she has started implementing some team-building exercises to help bring the district together.

"The staff takes great pride in what they do, she said. "Some of the events of the past year have injured that pride. We're going to rebuild that."

Supporting the staff in operating under current budget restraints is one role she sees herself fulfilling.

We're trying to get on a group buying plan for medical supplies," she said. "It's something the staff has talked about before, so I don't want to take credit for the idea. I have some contacts that may be useful, and I am here to help facilitate that goal."

Long-range planning is another area she plans to focus on.

"With my background, I can look at the organization and assist staff to move to the next level and assist the board with a strategic plan and overall operations of the district."

Jackson holds a bachelors degree in general business and a masters degree in health administration. At Texas Tech University, she oversaw the operations of seven teams including lab, x-ray, pharmacy, nursing, clinical services and information systems, providing patient care on a campus of 25,000. According to her resume, when she started at the student health center, the fund balance was in the red and the center was $250,000 over-budget for the year.

"I was able to review the finances and managed to make up the deficit and operate in the black," she wrote.

For the past four years, Jackson has been an accreditation auditor, certified to check both auditory surgery centers and ambulatory health clinics for compliance with national standards. Prior to her work with the student health center, Jackson worked as an auditor, small business manager and in corporate management.

And she's thrilled to be back in the state of her birth.

"I want people to know I'm a Colorado native who just happened to spend a few years in Texas," she said.

Her husband, Neal Dennis, remains in Lubbock where he owns a boat sales and service store. The couple is hoping to sell the store this summer so that Dennis can join Jackson in Pagosa Springs in the fall.

High performance living assemblies in schools

Sen. Isgar's Report

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

The world of high-performance living is getting exposure in Pagosa Springs schools this week at all grade levels.

The programs include assemblies, classroom workshops and training for athletes, introducing mind/body performance enhancement techniques.

Wellness coach Michael Brook is leading the assemblies, weaving a motivational message of health creation, positive lifestyle choices and keys to high-performance living into an exciting, entertaining trampoline performance letting the programs entertain while sharing relevant, practical information.

He appeared at the high school Wednesday, is at the junior high today, and will be at the elementary school Friday.

Drawing on an extensive background as a trampoline champion, professional high diver and world-class aerial acrobatic freestyle skier, Brook combines athletic experience with personal research into the mind/body connection to provide students unique insights into health creation and performance enhancement.

He is author of "Creating Wellness" and the producer of an innovative safety video.

The Institute for Synergistic Arts and Sciences is cosponsoring the programs with the district's schools. The institute has a mission of promoting the development of physical, emotional, mental, social and environmental health in a holistic, integrated way. It provides and supports preventive wellness programs for schools and business.

County plans addition to road-bridge building

By John M. Motter

Staff Writer

By John M. Motter

Staff Writer

Plans for an addition to the county road and bridge maintenance building costing approximately $175,000 were discussed and the planning step approved at the meeting of the board of county commissioners Tuesday.

The commissioners also accepted sections of three roads located in the Pagosa Lakes area into the county road maintenance system, agreed to donate $1,500 to fatten the Archuleta Economic Development Association bank balance, and conducted other business.

Commissioner Alden Ecker opened the discussion concerning expansion of the maintenance garage.

Ecker pointed out that private commercial builders are required to landscape construction sites according to land use regulations. When the county erected the building, no landscaping was done. The county violated its own rules, Ecker said.

Ecker then proposed erection of a 16,800 square-foot structure attached to the existing building. The addition will be used to house motor graders and other equipment.

"This will meet the purposes of hiding the equipment from the residential development east of the building, provide a facility to park equipment, and help keep dry the sand used by road and bridge," Ecker said. "We also need a privacy fence."

Initial cost estimates started at $80,000 and have climbed above $175,000, according to Ecker. About $80,000 is included in this year's budget in anticipation of the project.

The commissioners unanimously agreed to launch the planning and conditional use permit steps leading up to construction of the addition. Construction is not expected until next year.

In response to a request from the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association board of directors, the three commissioners unanimously accepted Walnut Place, Hatcher Circle, and Lake Forest Circle into the county road maintenance system. These roads were recently brought up to county specifications as part of the Fairfield Settlement.

The action flies in the face of a longstanding county moratorium against accepting new roads into the county road maintenance system, even if the roads meet county road construction standards.

Justification for the break in the moratorium, according to the commissioners, is contained in the Oct. 29, 1992, commissioner minutes which contain a promise to maintain the three roads when they are brought up to county specifications. Lake Forest is included only from Buffalo Court to North Pagosa Boulevard.

Approval was given to grant the Archuleta Economic Development Association $1,500. That organization is responsible for development of Cloman Industrial Park.

In other business commissioners:

Concerning planning department activities, set two dates for reviewing planning department proposals. On March 19 at 7 p.m. in the commissioner meeting room, a public hearing will be conducted to air certain revisions to land use regulations including public notice requirements, submittal deadlines, sidewalk requirements, steep slope building regulations, paving requirements, multi-family residential development processing, and improvements agreement requirements for conditional use permits. On March 27 at 7 p.m. in the commissioner meeting room, the commissioners will join members of the Upper San Juan Regional Planning Commission in a joint session to discuss land use classifications and other Community Plan implementation

Action was taken clarifying job descriptions for the commissioner and county administrator support staff. Kathy Wendt was given the title of Assistant to the County Administrator. In the past, Wendt had been joint administrative assistant to the county manager and board of county commissioners. During the time following former County Manager Dennis Hunt's departure and the hiring of County Administrator Wm. R. Steele, Wendt was appointed acting county administrator. No raise is connected with the new job title. Wendt's annual salary is $47,000.

In the same office, Jan Santopietro's new title is Administrative Assistant. Santopietro's annual salary is $23,726

Larson-Alexander town hall meeting produces light turnout

By John M. Motter

Staff Writer

Representatives Mark Larson and Kay Alexander conducted a town hall meeting in Pagosa Springs Saturday. The turnout was light, consisting mostly of local elected officials and county Republican Party officers.

Larson, who lives in Cortez, represents the 59th Congressional District in the Colorado House of Representatives. Alexander lives in Montrose and represents the 58th Congressional District in the Colorado House of Representatives. Alexander's 58th District is located in counties immediately north of Larson's 59th District. Both are Republicans.

During the current general election year, Larson is seeking re-election in the 59th District. Alexander is running for the office of state senator from Senate District 6.

Alexander addressed the audience first, briefly reviewing the status of a number of what she identified as high profile bills.

First was a bill concerned with the registration of concealed weapons. The bill has died in committee, an unfortunate occurrence according to Alexander, because gun registration in Colorado needs to be uniform throughout the state.

"The lobbying against this proposal was very strong," Alexander said.

Alexander then mentioned a number of bills affecting agriculture. She touted a bill called Colorado Proud which promotes the sale of Colorado agricultural products.

A bill concerning June to September bear hunting has gone back to the drawing board, Alexander said, but is misunderstood. The bill did not open the summer for public bear hunting, but only allowed Division of Wildlife officers to hunt problem bears during summer months, Alexander said. There was a general misconception that the proposal opened bear hunting to all hunters during the summer, Alexander said.

Alexander is opposing a proposal by the Joint Budget Committee to remove some funds from the state Brand Board budget.

"This money is needed to continue operating the Brand Board, which also inspects feed lots," Alexander said.

Following Alexander's talk, Larson took the podium.

Larson's main focus was the state budget and the scramble by the Joint Budget Committee to find revenue.

"We were looking at a $180 million downturn before Sept. 11," Larson said. "The truth is we have no money. We are $465 million short to start March projects. TABOR presents a problem. If we only appropriate a four-percent increase next year, then the following year the six-percent limit applies to the four percent of the previous year. That is how the ratcheting down effect works. So the JBC is poking into every cash fund."

"The Joint Budget Committee is robbing cash funds trying to raise revenues six percent," Larson said.

"Transportation is no different," he continued. "All of the capital improvement projects are being reviewed. Even the Wolf Creek tunnel project is at risk. We have to do something. It doesn't make sense to stop projects in midstream."

"Oil and gas issues are coming to rest in Archuleta County," Larson said. "La Plata County is already facing it."

A bill proposed by Larson to protect certain surface owner rights when juxtaposed against the right of drillers recently died in committee.

"The industry threatened front range legislators with higher gas prices if this bill passed," Larson said. "It isn't true, but it was enough to defeat the bill."

A second gas and oil related bill is still alive, a bill that would change the historic process of well-head remuneration of property owners.

"It's not good," Larson said. "It would be devastating."

Both Larson and Alexander spoke on the statewide re-evaluation of the Colorado higher education system and the implications for Fort Lewis College in Durango.

"I think we should shoot for independence," Larson said.

Larson announces bid for

second term

By John M. Motter

Staff Writer

Rep. Mark Larson, R-Cortez, announced Saturday that he is seeking a second term representing the Colorado 59th District in the Colorado House of Representatives.

Larson made his announcement while meeting with Archuleta County supporters at a gathering outside of the Pagosa Springs Town Hall following a town hall meeting where he was joined by Rep. Kay L. Alexander, R-Montrose. Alexander represents the 58th District in the Colorado House of Representatives. Earlier Saturday, Larson made similar announcements in Cortez and Durango.

"Now that redistricting is out of the way, it is time for me to announce my intentions," Larson said. "During the last campaign I centered my efforts on the theme of listening, learning, helping, and leading. I think I have kept that promise. I want to leave a legacy of hard work. I won't let you down on that. Another legacy I want to leave is that of accessibility."

Larson's name is attached to 16 bill titles presented during this year's legislative session. House District 59 includes Archuleta, La Plata, San Juan, and five voting precincts in the southeast corner of Montezuma County.

Pam Eaton enters county treasurer race

By John M. Motter

Staff Writer

Pam Cundiff Eaton has filed an affidavit with the Archuleta County Clerk announcing her intention to run for Archuleta County Treasurer.

A Republican, Eaton intends to run through the Republican caucus process.

"At the end of last year I had some people ask me to run," Eaton said. "I decided to do it, because I believe that I can serve the county well as treasurer.

I've been serving the public for 28 years in the form of pleasing them in the real estate business," Eaton continued. "I had my own business for 28 years, including taking care of the bookkeeping. I'll be there all of the time. I plan on working."

Eaton moved to Pagosa Springs from Leonard, Texas, in 1997. Since arriving in Colorado, she has been active as a real estate broker. Eaton served one year as a director of the Pagosa Springs Area Board of Realtors, until being elected as state representative for the board.

She currently owns Pam Eaton Realtors. Her professional experience includes real estate brokerage since 1974. In addition, she has worked with other agencies and owned her own firm.

"If elected, I will close my office and devote my days to working as treasurer," Eaton said.

"My leadership qualities have been developed through many avenues such as president of the Leonard Chamber of Commerce, Athletic Club, and Parent Teacher Association," Eaton said. "I served as a Leonard School Board trustee and as secretary of the Industrial Foundation."

"I have been honored with several special awards," Eaton continued. "Most recent was the 2000 local Realtor of the Year award, which I received from my peers with the PSAAR."

Eaton is particularly proud of being honored as the 1989 Leonard Citizen of the Year, and as the 1988-1989 Athletic Club Member of the Year.

Eaton promises, "If elected, this will be my first term as an elected and paid government employee. I will study the laws governing the county treasurer before taking the office and have already begun reading the statutes. I will work with the current employees to learn their jobs and the fine details required to safeguard the county's money."

Significant snowfall remains elusive

By John M. Motter

Staff Writer

A pair of minor bad weather fronts will move through Pagosa Springs this coming week, but the prospect of significant snowfall is almost nonexistent, according to Dan Cuevas, a forecaster with the National Weather Service office in Grand Junction.

Temperatures should climb slightly higher this coming week, with highs ranging between 45-55 degrees and lows between 15-25 degrees, Cuevas said.

A weather system controlled by northwest flows moving through Pagosa Country starting yesterday afternoon carried a slight chance of leaving some moisture in town. Chances for moisture at higher elevations were greater.

Clearing is expected today, tomorrow and the early part of Saturday. By late Saturday a similar front is expected to move into the area. Again, the preponderance of the moisture carried by the system is expected to drop on the Rocky Mountains north of Pagosa Springs.

Following the Saturday night disturbance, local weather conditions should remain relatively calm through this coming Tuesday.

March weather should be normal for precipitation, but somewhat warmer than normal, Cuevas said.

The lack of local precipitation continues to worry water managers in the region. During February, only 0.25 inches of snow has fallen in town. Only 3.75 inches of snow fell in town during January. The long-time average for January in town is 27.1 inches, the long-time average for February 18.8 inches.

For the two months, the combined historic total averages 45.9 inches. Only 4 inches have fallen through Feb. 20 of this year.

At the 10,000 plus elevation level, Wolf Creek Ski Area reports 175 inches of snow for the year to date. Of that amount, 48 inches remains at midway and 60 inches at the summit.

High temperatures last week ranged between 31 and 42 degrees with an average high of 37 degrees. Low temperatures ranged between 5 and 12 degrees with an average low of 9 degrees.

February's average monthly mean temperature is 25.2 degrees. The February average maximum mean temperature is 33.6 degrees, the minimum mean temperature 15.3 degrees. The extreme maximum February temperature recorded over the last 55 years is 70 degrees on Feb. 26, 1986. The extreme minimum February temperature recorded over the last 55 years is a minus 46 degrees Feb. 1, 1951.

Four first place winners will lead Pagosa High's FBLA team to state

By Melissa Diller

Special to The SUN

The Pagosa Springs High School Future Business Leaders Association (FBLA) chapter participated in district competition Feb. 11 at Fort Lewis College in Durango, competing against 700 FBLA members from across southwestern Colorado.

Pagosa students have a reputation for doing well in the competition and this year was no exception.

In order to be recognized at the awards ceremony, students must be among the top 10 in their event. If they are in the top five individually or top two in a team event, they move on to the state competition in Vail April 14 -16.

This year a total of 34 Pagosa students placed in the top 10. There will be other students, however, who will attend state competition including officers and store managers who donate effort and time to help the chapter, as well as other students who will compete in "state only" events, serve as voting delegates or as committee members, and advisors Dorothy Christine and Lisa Hudson.

Pagosa Springs students who placed in the district competition were Kelly Kay, first in business practices; Somer Evans, first in introduction to business; and the team of Justin Smith and Travis Quiller, first in website development (team).

Others who placed were Landry Ward, second in accounting II; Heather Beye, second in public speaking II; Ross Wagle, second in impromptu speaking; Justin Smith, second in networking concepts; Ben Marshall, third in accounting concepts; Lauren Felts, third in public speaking I; Justin Caler, third in public speaking II; Scott Wallace, third in word processing II; Ryan Beavers, third in international business; Randi Pierce, third in introduction to parli pro; Amanda Huang and Kyrie Beye, third in team poster I.

Also, Trevor Peterson, Meagan Hilsabeck and Ryan Beavers, third in entrepreneurship team; Sara Aupperle, fourth in business communication; Ethan Sanford, fourth in impromptu speaking; Robert Kern, Sara Aupperle and Ethan Sanford, fourth in entrepreneurship team I; Roxanna Day, fifth in public speaking I; Allie McBride, sixth in Accounting II; Sierra Fleenor, sixth in introduction to business communication.

Also, Anna Bishop, sixth in introduction to parli pro; Jimmy Iverson, seventh in Accounting II; Brett Garman, seventh in business math; Keith Frank, eighth in Accounting II; Jessica Stevens, eighth in job interviews; Clayton Mastin, ninth in Accounting II; and Joetta Martinez, ninth in public speaking II.


Film problems

Dear Editor,

To all our photo enthusiasts, beware bringing film back to the states from your out-of-county adventures. Because of the World Trade Center tragedy and resultant heightened security, scanning procedures have been altered at our airports. The new scanners may damage shot film upon its re-entry into the U.S.

In particular, faster films (ASA 400 and up) are most vulnerable, but we have seen fogging in slower speeds. The best procedure to protect your film is to hand carry your rolls in a clear plastic bag for easy inspection.

Insist that there is no scanning. Hope this helps keep those memories coming.

Scott Allen

Cost of violence

Dear Editor,

This letter is a response to N. G. Constan and Judy Esterly in their defense of Israel and objection to my concerns on defense spending. I would like to point out that I am not anti-Jewish because there are many great Jewish people who have contributed to our country and the world. This is especially true in matters of culture, human rights, peace, and justice. We do not want to forget the Holocaust of WW II, but our sympathy for that should not justify our support of injustice for Palestinians.

Ms. Esterly is correct in her letter noting that Israel started the 1967 war by attacking Egypt in a first strike against the Egyptian air force and well-executed land attacks that conquered territory from Palestine, Syria, Jordan, and Egypt. President Carter in the Camp David peace accords brought a reasonable peace to the area and committed billions of dollars to Israel and Egypt plus U.S. participation in a Sinai peacekeeping force that exists today.

The point is that violence is expensive and, to a great extent, counterproductive. This is especially true in the Middle East where violence from both sides is never ending and has now directly pulled the U.S. into the violence. Israel is doing nothing to help the situation. Their occupation of the Palestinian areas only makes the situation worse. If you want to have a small insight into what is going on now, there was a good article by Holger Jensen in the Feb. 2 edition of the Rocky Mountain News/Denver Post.

Lastly, democracy, capitalism and military might are not synonymous. If the issue is democracy, then we should key in on that and work to bring democracy as well as social and economic justice to the Third World as well as to the Holy Land. An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth makes the adversaries blind and toothless. The phrase that I believe in is " If you want peace work for justice." The New Testament says, "Blessed are the peacemakers." Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Anwar Sadat, Menachem Begin, and Archbishop Romero are highly respected. It is sad to note that each of them was assassinated by the forces of violence within their own countries.

True defense spending may be a Marshal Plan for the Middle East, a GI Bill for demobilized soldiers from Afghanistan to Central America and parts of Africa and Asia and a willingness to bring even more students from the third world in to the U.S. to study and learn democracy, educational and business skills, and give them scholarships to go back to their home countries and participate in positive nation building. The real strength and draw of the United States is our system of peace, justice, and opportunity for the majority of our citizens. Let's work to share those values. It is probably more cost effective as well as common sense.

Raymond P. Finney

Drilling headaches

Dear Editor,

I admire the manner in which you are editorializing to get our county commissioners to act to get a county plan in place, and to get oil and gas regulations in place for Archuleta County.

You stated in your Feb. 14 editorial: "Energy demands multiplied by industry strong on lobbying power and dedicated to maximizing profit while minimizing regulations, equals headaches for landowners and government alike."

I am one of those ranch owners with an industry-related headache. I wrote a letter to the editor six months ago warning the commissioners of the advice I was given by my longtime neighbor: "Don't believe everything the gas companies tell you or promise you."

My small ranch is just across the line in La Plata County, but I live in Pagosa. The ranch has a methane gas well on it and I have no mineral rights. Here are some of the things that happened to me as Mark West Resources, owner of the mineral rights, moved onto my property to redrill that well.

1. They moved onto my property without giving me a written seven-day notice. The written notice arrived two months later, after I complained to the COGCC.

2. I was politely asked/warned to take down my entry gate, posts and about 70 feet of fencing so big rigs could move in. If I didn't, an errant truck driver would, I was told.

3. Subcontractors continually ran trucks 100 feet-plus into my pasture leaving deep ruts. This is against the COGCC rules and regulations. What was done about it? Not much, and I ended up using my equipment to clean up the mess.

4. There was a large, noisy motor used by Mark West to pull deep water from the wellhead to get out the gas. I complained repeatedly about noise. Finally, the company put straw bales around the motor, but a big wind blew the bales over, and the noise continued until they pulled out all the water they deemed necessary.

Also, I was assured there would be no problems pulling those hundreds of thousands of gallons of water from under my property. I'm not really certain why, but my neighbor's well produces little water and they can't drink it.

There is a half acre that no longer grows anything because a pit used by Mark West and previous owners overflowed. The COGCC, after months of prodding, made Mark West clean up some of the mess, but I haven't seen anything grow yet.

May I again impress upon the commissioners to develop oil and gas drilling regulations? And the County Plan. The people of Archuleta County need both.

Landowners who think they are going to make a lot of money, even with mineral rights, should take Bob Dungan's advice: "If a representative of this company should appear on your property, I suggest you hire an attorney immediately."

Thanks to Representative Mark Larson for his efforts to rein in the oil and gas industry with the recently-defeated HB 1166.

Paul Lerno

Account opened

Dear Editor,

An account has been opened at 1st National Bank of Durango for Brenda Nossaman Allen and family. Brenda was badly injured in a head-on traffic accident and will be several months in recuperation. She has boys ages 8 and 5.

If you would like to help with financial obligations, please send your donation to 1st National Bank, c/o Brenda Nossaman Allen account, in Durango.

If you'd like to send a card or visit her, she's in Four Corners Health Care Nursing Home for progressive care patients.

Sharon Nossaman

Sports Page

Four Pirate wrestlers open state title bids today

Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

Four Pagosa Pirate wrestlers finished high enough in the standings at the Feb. 15-16 regional tournament at Salida to qualify for competition this weekend at the Colorado 3A wrestling championships at Denver.

Senior Luke Boilini makes a return trip to the state tournament after his second-place finish at 189 pounds at the regional tourney. Boilini has a 28-8 season record and he puts it on the line this afternoon at the Pepsi Center against Caleb Clark (14-2) of Platte Valley.

Sophomore Michael Martinez captured second place in the 112-pound weight class and makes his second appearance at state. He takes a 28-6 record to Denver where he will face Steve Schoen of Burlington (14-5) in a first-round match.

Darren Hockett was third at 103. The freshman (26-8) fights Olathe's Kirk Platt (23-9) today for the right to advance further in the 16-man competition.

Junior Zeb Gill has a 14-18 record at 152. Gill finished fourth at Salida and will step on the mat today to wrestle Johnny White (30-2) of Ellicott.

Boilini started his trek to second place at regionals with a fight against a familiar rival - Adam Siebel of Ignacio. The two have had close matches this season and their regional meeting was no different. Boilini earned a 4-3 decision on the strength of a second-period escape and takedown, and an escape in the third period.

The Pirate's next match was against Valentin Perez of Rocky Ford. Boilini got a point on an escape in the second period but surrendered a point when he was called for a stall. Perez went ahead 2-1 with an escape early in the third period but Boilini inched in front 3-2 with a takedown. Perez escaped to tie the score and force the match to overtime. Boilini nailed the takedown and the 5-3 decision. Boilini's only tournament loss, in the final, was a 9-3 decision to Brian Sack of Salida.

"It was a great regional tournament for Luke," said Pirate coach Dan Janowsky. "We've been working on getting him into his offense early in the match and he managed to do it. It allowed him to win some matches."

Martinez started his tournament against Trenton Lundquist of Rocky Ford. Martinez dominated the match scoring with a series of takedowns, releasing Lundquist after each successful move to set up another takedown and two more points. Ahead 15-4, Martinez pinned the Meloneer with 16 seconds remaining in the second period.

The 112-pound Pirate then faced Bobby Abeyta of Centauri in the semifinal round. Martinez built a 5-1 lead through two periods and allowed only an escape in the third period for the 5-3 decision and the right to fight for the tourney championship.

Another familiar face loomed across the mat in the final: Albert Jaramillo of Monte Vista. Martinez beat Jaramillo the last time the two met during the regular season but this match was Jaramillo's. The Monte wrestler forged a 5-0 lead before pinning Martinez 44 seconds into the second period.

"Michael's semifinal against the kid from Centauri was a really good effort," said Janowsky. "Michael goes into a tough side of the bracket at Denver and he has some battles on his hands."

Hockett will make his first trip to Denver after a third-place finish at Salida. The Pirate fell behind Frank Montoya of Trinidad 4-3 during the first period. Hockett got an escape and a takedown in the second period to go up 6-4, then pinned Montoya with 43 seconds gone in the third period.

In the semifinals, Hockett lost a tight 5-4 decision to Ross Wollert of Lamar then whipped Ronald Vallejos of Rocky Ford 7-2 and advanced to the consolation round final against Chris Vigil of La Junta. Hockett fought to third place with a 6-0 decision, scoring with takedowns in the first and third periods and with a second-period reversal.

"Darren is wrestling very well," Janowsky said. "It's fun to see a freshman get in there and succeed the way Darren has."

Gill lost his first match of the tournament to Jason Salazar of Monte Vista then got a win by forfeit when a Las Animas wrestler could not compete. Gill then faced Jared Davis of Rye and went in front 3-2 before putting Davis' shoulders to the mat 38 seconds into the second period.

Next up for the Pirate junior was Daniel Alire of Buena Vista. Gill nailed a 9-5 decision and advanced to the consolation final where he lost a 7-4 decision to Lamar's Jarod Hall.

"After his first match, Zeb wrestled smart," said Janowsky. "I hope he continues to mentally prepare for matches the way he did at Salida."

Several Pirates narrowly missed a trip to Denver, finishing fifth - one spot away from qualifying for the state tournament.

Cliff Hockett took fifth at 130 pounds. The junior beat wrestlers from Monte Vista, Trinidad, Ignacio and Bayfield on his way to the medal.

Kory Hart was fifth at 135, with wins over opponents from Buena Vista, Bayfield and Trinidad.

Fifth at 160 went to Jordan Kurt-Mason after victories over athletes from Centauri, Ignacio and Salida.

Mike Maestas beat wrestlers from Salida and Bayfield to take sixth at 125.

Aaron Perez ended his Pirate career with sixth place at 140, defeating opponents from Buena Vista, Ignacio and Trinidad.

Trevor Peterson finished his high school wrestling career at the regional tournament, competing at 145. Marcus Rivas (171) and Craig Lucero (215) fought matches at Salida to round out the Pirate roster.

"This was as tough a regional tournament as I've ever seen," said Janowsky, whose Pirates finished fifth in the 13-team field, behind winner Lamar, La Junta, Centauri and Monte Vista.

"We had good balance," said the coach. "We had nine of twelve guys place in the top six in their weight classes. It proves we've been a good team all along this season, better than average. We haven't made it to that next level yet, but we're young. The matches at Salida were close; we made a mental mistake here and there that we couldn't overcome."

As for the state tournament that begins today, Janowsky said: "Everything starts over. I believe once you get to Denver anything can happen. If your mind is open to possibilities, you can see the opportunities when they come along and take advantage of them."

First-round matches begin this afternoon at the Pepsi Center at 3 p.m. Quarterfinal matches start tomorrow at 10 a.m. with semifinals scheduled for 6:30. Consolation round matches continue Saturday at 10 a.m. with the tournament championships matches set for 6:30 p.m.

Cold-shooting Ladies lucky to escape Bayfield

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer


The simple four-letter word carries several definitions, among them:

Offensive to the sight

Offensive or unpleasant to any sense

If you missed the Pagosa Springs Lady Pirates' performance in Bayfield Friday you were spared having to determine which definition applied. If you were there, pick either of the above - or add your own definition.

Pagosa was playing a team they beat by 37 points just a month ago, a team with an 8-8 overall record and a 2-3 mark in the Intermountain League. The Pagosans have been ranked in the state's top 10 Class 3A teams all year and carried a 13-3 overall mark and a 3-1 IML record on the road with them.

That they won 30-29 seems a miracle. That either team won even more wondrous.

Consider, for example, the 5-4 first quarter with Pagosa on top. Consider that Bayfield's four points came on their only two field goals of the first half. Consider that Pagosa's 15-6 halftime lead marked their lowest output of the season. Consider that Pagosa scored only four points - just one field goal - in the third period, and actually built their lead by a point as the Lady Wolverines joined their exercise in futility.

Finally, consider that Pagosa actually blew the lead in the fourth quarter as Bayfield suddenly came alive and poured in 20 points, taking the lead with 49.2 seconds remaining.

Pagosa knotted the score when Lori Walkup converted a free throw. Katie Lancing went coast to coast for a driving layup to give Pagosa a 29-27 lead, but Bayfield scored on the ensuing possession to tie the game again, at 29. Lancing, one of the top free throw shooters in the state, had gone 0 for 3 from the line but was fouled with 6.2 seconds left and rattled in the first of two.

When she missed the second, Bayfield still had a chance, down 30-29. But Kim Piccoli missed a would-be game-tying free throw and Lancing snared the rebound as the Pirates ran out the clock.

The story of futility is easily seen in field goal percentages. Pagosa hit only 11 of 40 attempts, a paltry .275, and Bayfield a marginally better .281 on 9 of 32 shooting. Pagosa was nearly as cold from the free throw line, hitting just 6 of 20 for a .300 percentage while Bayfield was 11 of 20 for a .550 percentage, eight of those scores coming in the final period.

The Lady Pirates turned the ball over 23 times and Bayfield responded with 17 giveaways. The obviously taller Pagosans managed only a 28-27 rebounding edge, partly attributed to the long absences of 6' 3" center Ashley Gronewoller from the lineup.

Playing with a sore hip and slight ankle sprain, she recorded only five points, all in the first half, went to the bench with three fouls early in the second quarter, returned to action with 4:32 left in the third quarter, immediately picked up her fourth foul and returned to the bench where she stayed until 7:34 remained in the game. Ten seconds later she picked up her final foul and went back to the pines.

If not for the quick hands of Walkup and Lancing - each with five steals - the Lady Pirates' plight might have been even more disturbing.

Coach Karen Wells, after the game, could only shake her head when asked about the contest. "Nothing can describe that kind of shooting performance - not even 'ugly' is strong enough."

The players, too, to a person had no answer, seeming to prefer to believe it was "just one of those nights."

Pagosa was paced by Lancing with 9 points, freshman guard Bri Scott with 6, Gronewoller with 5, Nicole Buckley with 4 and Carlena Lungstrum with 2. Walkup and Tricia Lucero rounded out the scoring with two points each, all from the charity stripe.


Pagosa scoring: Lancing 4-7, 1-4, 9; Gronewoller, 2-6, 1-2, 5; Walkup 0-5, 2-5, 2; Lungstrum 1-8, 0-1, 2; Buckley 2-4, 0-3, 4; Lucero 0-1, 2-4, 2; Scott 3-8, 6. 3-point attempts: Lancing 0-1; Lucero 0-1. Rebound leaders: Lancing 8, Gronewoller 7, Walkup 7, Scott 3. Steals: Lancing 5, Walkup 5, Lungstrum 3. Assists: Lancing 4, Lungstrum, Buckley and Trujillo each with 2.

Seventh Dirk and Colt Ross Memorial basketball tournament set April 18-21

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

The seventh annual Dirk and Colt Ross Memorial Basketball tournament has been scheduled for April 18-21 in the intermediate and junior high school gyms in Pagosa Springs.

The event honors two brothers who died in a plane crash near the Vallecito Reservoir on Oct. 10, 1995. Dirk, 39 at the time, was a 1974 graduate of Ignacio High School and Colt, 28, a 1985 graduate of Pagosa High School.

Proceeds from the tournament go to a scholarship fund to benefit youth from Pagosa Springs and Ignacio high schools.

This year's tournament will feature three divisions: Open, 6 feet and under, and 35 and over. In addition, a women's division is expected this year for the first time. A number of collegiate players are expected to participate.

There is an entry fee of $175 per team and a 10-player maximum for each team entry for the double elimination competition.

All referees will be certified arbiters from the Four Corners area.

A $100 non-refundable deposit, payable by April 1, will be required for the first 24 teams to qualify.

Cash prizes, T-shirts, bags, jackets and hooded sweatshirts will be among the paraphernalia offered. First through fourth-place teams will receive prizes. Also to be honored are an All-Tournament team, tournament MVP, Mr. Defense, and Mr. Hustle.

A slam-dunk contest will be conducted along with a 3-point shootout. And, there will be door prizes.

All teams will receive an information packet that includes discount coupons for local food, lodging and spas.

For more information, prospective teams should contact Troy Ross (264-5265); Cody Ross (264-4315); Redo Ross (884-6032); Larry Ash (264-4594); Clifford Lucero, (264-2478); or Jon Forrest, (264-4544).

Mail contact can be made with Troy Ross, P.O. Box 727, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.

Lady Pirates use big second, fourth periods to defeat Monte Vista

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

You can stay cold only so long and either you shiver to a slow death or you warm up.

For nearly half of the first period against Monte Vista Saturday, the Pagosa Springs Lady Pirates looked like the same team that had shot only 11 for 40 from the field in the previous night's game at Bayfield.

Finally, they found Ashley Gronewoller inside and with 3:57 left in the period Pagosa became the first team to score - after going 0-9 to open the stanza. Abbi Jardon answered with a deuce for Monte Vista and the score was tied at the three-minute mark.

Katie Lancing hit a short jumper to take the lead back for Pagosa and then hit Gronewoller inside who converted to give Pagosa a 6-2 lead. Angela Santistevan cut that lead to 6-4 with a driving layup for Monte Vista. Carlena Lungstrum drilled a 12-foot jumper to stretch the Ladies' lead to 8-4 and then Erin McArdle canned a free throw for Monte Vista to give a Pagosa an 8-5 lead after one.

The home-standing Pirates came alive in the second period, recording their best point total in several games with 16, while holding Monte Vista to 5, two free throws and a trey by starting guard Jen Sisneros, her only points of the game.

The Pirates were led in the period by Gronewoller with 6, Katie Bliss with 5, Lori Walkup with 3 and Lancing added a pair. That gave Pagosa a 24-10 halftime lead.

But they reverted to ice-cold status in the third period, hitting only 2 of 9 shots, one each by Lancing and Gronewoller. Lancing added a free throw for a 5-point Pagosa period and Monte Vista answered with 10 on 5 of 9 shooting from the floor to cut the lead to 29-20 after three.

At that point Lori Walkup, Pirate freshman point guard, turned on the afterburners in what had already been a sterling defensive performance. She canned a trey to get the Pirates rolling, then stole the ball on two consecutive Monte Vista possessions and got assists on scores by Lancing and Gronewoller.

Then it was Nicole Buckley converting on an 8-footer and Walkup driving for a left-handed layup as the Pirates continued to pull away.

Reserves Danielle Martinez and Kate Owen each scored a field goal in the period for Monte and Amanda Miles added a free throw.

The final, 44-25 in favor of Pagosa.

Lady Pirates' coach Karen Wells was more impressed by her team's defensive performance than the fact they came out of their deepfreeze for at least two quarters. "Lori was outstanding on defense," she said, "and we prevented them from getting inside the entire game."

The defensive performance was evidenced by the fact Monte's leading scorer, center Michelle Keck, was held to two third-period field goals and a total of five points in the game. Sisneros, the San Luis Valley Pirates' leading 3-point shooter was held to 1 for 6 from the field, four of them three-point attempts.

For Pagosa, Gronewoller led the way with 17, pushing her over the 400-point mark for the season. Lancing added 9 and Walkup 8.

Keck's five was tops for Bayfield as Jardon and Santistevan each added four and Miles, Sisneros and Owen each had 3.

The victory boosts Pagosa to a 15-3 season mark, 6-1 in the Intermountain League. They have a chance to avenge the loan league setback when they host league-leading Centauri at 6 p.m. Saturday in the final league game.

The following week will see district competition with Monte Vista the host school but with games being played on a neutral court in Del Norte

Pirates hold off late Bayfield rally

By John M. Motter

Staff Writer

Pagosa Springs stretched a 12-5 first quarter lead to 17 points in the third period, then withstood a furious final period rally to down Bayfield 57-44 on the Bayfield floor Friday night.

"We played real well in stretches," said Pirate coach Jim Shaffer. "We took an early lead, then let them go to the free throw line too much in the second period. We dominated the first three or four minutes of the third period. Then they went to a man to man defense and we didn't adjust."

Jason Schutz, Pirate high-point man with 17 points, turned in a good game, according to Shaffer. So did Cord Ross and Darin Lister. Lister made his first start at point guard, replacing Brandon Charles who was sick.

The Pirates opened the final period on top by a 43-28 margin, then watched Bayfield trim the edge to 49-41 with three minutes remaining. Plenty of time to finish the chase.

At that point, Pirates Lister and Ross teamed up to blunt the Bayfield challenge. Lister hit the streaking Ross with a full court pass and what looked like an easy layup. Decked from behind by a Bayfield player, Ross got up from the floor and sank a pair of free throws setting off an eight point Pirate run that put the game out of Bayfield's reach.

Ryan Goodenberger followed with two more free throws, then Ross buried a trey and a deuce in quick succession putting Pagosa on top 57-41. Bayfield's Tyler McLaughlin sank a trey for the final points of the game, but it was too late for the Wolverines.

The win was the second this year for Pagosa over the Bayfield five, which has yet to win an IML game. Pagosa's IML record climbed to 4-2 with the win. The Pirates have beaten Bayfield and Ignacio twice, and lost single games to Monte Vista and Centauri.

At the game's start, Schutz opened Pagosa scoring with a pair of free throws. The turning point during the first period came with Pagosa leading 6-5. The Pirate defense forced three quick Wolverine turnovers leading to successive buckets by Ty Faber, Schutz, and Ross giving Pagosa its 12-5 first quarter lead.

Another five-point surge by the Pirates opened the second period. From then until the break at halftime, the long time rivals traded buckets. Pagosa led at the half 27-20. At that time, Pagosa had been hit with 10 fouls, the Wolverines with five.

Pagosa opened the second half with 11 unanswered points over a four-minute span before Eric Nelson broke the Bayfield scoring drought with a field goal. Again, the combat

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Community News

Chamber News

By Sally Hemeister

9Health Fair needs medical volunteers

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-noon 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

Tomorrow is the deadline for responding to the recent mailing sent to all non-profits about securing booth space in Town Park during the Ride The Rockies visit on June 16. If you did not receive the letter and want to participate, please let us know right away and we can fill out the request. The food booths will be set up in Town Park from 2-8 p.m. on that Sunday afternoon and evening, and local musicians will provide music and fun. It will be yet another great party that Pagosa traditionally puts on for these bikers. We will also be looking for locals who would like to "Adopt a Biker" (or two) for that night. Many of them will stay at the high school, camp in the soccer field or stay in one of our local lodging facilities, but some request to stay with a local family. Look for the insert in the upcoming March Chamber Communiqué for all the particulars. It's a very fun thing to do, and some of our residents still keep in touch with their guests from five-six years ago.

Friday fish fry

The Friday night Fish Fry is back in town, and you won't want to miss it. If you read David Mitchell's column last week, you will understand why you must attend every one offered during the short time they are offered. Delicious food and a great way to meet and greet everyone in town.


This month's SunDowner will be hosted by the Bear Creek Bar and Grill and Adobe Condominiums located 473 Lewis Street. As always, cost is $5 at the door and offers two hours of socializing, great food and plenty of libations. Invitations will go out at the end of this week, but this is just a "heads up" to mark your calendars for an entertaining, inexpensive evening in Pagosa. Please give us a call at 264-2360 for information.

Dining guide deadline

Deadline for inclusion in the 2002 Dining Guide is Friday, March 1, and you definitely don't want to miss out on this invaluable marketing brochure. Over 43,000 people come through our Visitor Center every year, and almost all of them are looking for a place to eat. Not everyone plans to spend the night in Pagosa, but folks love to eat here, and they look to our Dining Guide for just the right restaurant for them. Obviously, your membership needs to be current, and you can just give Morna a call to check on that status. This guide is simply one of your most effective marketing tools and way up up there on the "Chamber Benefits" list. Call Morna today with any questions at 264-2360.


This week we have new owners to introduce as well as five new businesses and seven renewals. Not a bad week, I'd say.

Michael Mataya joins us as the new owner of Mataya's Pagosa Chevron, formerly Poma's Pit Stop, located at 473 San Juan Street. Mataya's Pagosa Chevron offers gas, hot deli, ice cream and the friendliest sales people in Pagosa. You will find the best gas, the best service and the best food at the Pagosa Chevron located right in downtown Pagosa Springs. You can give Michael a call at 264-4605 for more information. We thank Mary Jo Schilling for the recommendation and will reward her with a free SunDowner pass and our sincere thanks.

We welcome Greg Coffey next with Immune System Education Resources with seminars presented at various locations. Immune Education for Awareness will teach you about the five factors that damage the immune system daily and how to minimize their effects. You will also learn about immune support and immune rebuilding with modulation. To learn more, please give Greg a call at 731-5619.

Chris Smith joins us next with Rockford Steel located at 412 Buck Drive here in Pagosa. Chris offers his services both as dealer and erector of commercial, agricultural and industrial metal buildings. To learn all about what he can do for you, please give him a call at 264-5998. We're happy to have Chris.

Our friend, Doug Schultz, joins us next with his third, yes, his third business, as president of the Zoetera Production Company located at 97 Hopi, No. C. Zoetera Production Company is a music production company which is currently working on a CD release for Melange Music. If you have questions for Doug, please give him a call at 731-0178.

Duane and Amanda Breman join us next with The Pagosa Mud Shaver Car Wash located at 950 Rosita Street right behind Copper Coin Liquors. These folks offer a 24-hour self-service wash and detail center. Coming this spring, they will add a RV/truck bay and carpet shampooer. If you would like to learn more about The Pagosa Mud Shaver Car Wash, please give the Bremans a call at 264-6605.

Our sixth new member this week is Karen Thomas who brings us Thomas & Associates located at 63 North Pagosa Boulevard, Suite B-3. Karen offers you graphic design, copywriting, marketing and affordable full-color printing for your business. She will be happy to help you out with the creation of your brochures, postcards, rack cards, business cards, catalogs and much, much more. Please give her a call at 264-5998 to see how she can help you.

Renewals this week include Chris Smith at Century Cedar Log Homes; Shirley Brinkmann with Edelweiss Needlework Chalet; Arthur Fox with Rocky Mountain Scenics in Ouray; Charlie Martinez with Four Corners Materials; Carol Anderson with CPR Title; Jann Pitcher with Jann C. Pitcher Real Estate; and David Conrad with Millennium Renewables. Many thanks to each and every one of you for your continued confidence and support.

Senior News

By Janet Copeland

Valentine lunch proved 'old folks' can have fun

Who says "old folks" can't have fun parties? With all the Valentines, candy, cake, flowers (to Musetta and Laura from a secret giver), guests, etc., our lunch on Wednesday extended way beyond normal and we enjoyed it immensely. In fact, some folks left before all the Valentine cards were passed out so there will still be more fun to come. A special Thanks to Sharon Aldahal for the beautiful cupcakes she furnished and to Sueellen Loher and Harold Kelly for the very special valentines made by local children. They were beautiful.

We were so happy to have Eva Darmopray join us for the party. She is such a special lady. Also we welcomed back June Nelson, who has been ill, and Bill and Sherry Ulery, who now live in Oregon - it was good to see them. Other guests/returning members this week included Carl Barber, Donna Modarelli, Pam Morrow, Jerry Ethelbah, Phyllis Haning, Lynn Funk, Marion Leonard, Elizabeth and Albert Schnel, Frank and Anita Lehmann.

George Ziegler and Louise Diedring were honored as our Seniors of the Week and were presented Valentine's Day gifts by the kitchen crew: candy for George and flowers for Louise.

This week's Senior of the Week is Mae Boughan, a wonderful lady and probably one of our most dedicated members.

We want to offer a big thank you to Karen James and Myra Miller for coming to the Center to perform bone scans. Several folks took advantage of this service and I hope it will be offered again. These ladies will be back on March 4 to speak to us about osteoporosis and the need for bone scans.

Thanks to Roy Vega, who talked to us about Long Term Care Insurance on Tuesday, Feb. 12.

On Friday, Feb. 15, there was a very informative presentation on long term care planning, presented by Charlie Speno of Four Corners Health Care, Leslie Davis of San Juan Basin Health, Donna Pena of Department of Social Services, and Jana McDonald of Pine Ridge Extended Care. These folks are very knowledgeable about home-based services, community support services and long-term care facilities, so please contact them if you have questions. Musetta can identify which one you need to talk to, depending on your need, so contact her for more information.

Some of us get older and slow down, others just get busier. A big happy birthday to Phil Heitz (Feb. 12 was the big day), who is one of the busiest. We are glad he includes being President of the Archuleta Senior Citizens, Inc. in his list of activities.

The Senior Center needs volunteers to help at the desk and with setting the 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 March 12 and 14 from 1-5 p.m. at the Community United Methodist Church. Cost is $10, and completion may reduce automobile insurance rates by as much as 10 percent. To sign up, call the Senior Center at 264-2167. AARP is interested in recruiting volunteers to teach the 55 Alive Driver Safety Course so please contact Musetta if you are willing to help out.

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:

On Friday, Feb. 22, Deb Aspen-Hill will talk to us about how to take care of our feet and will give a demonstration of reflexology.

At 12:45 on the 22nd we will hold the monthly board meeting of the Archuleta Senior Citizens, Inc. at the conference room in the Town Hall. Guests are welcome, so feel free to join us. At 5 p.m. at the Senior Center we'll have our monthly potluck dinner. We hope lots of folks will come and bring a dish.

At 7 p.m. on March 2 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 and include 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's 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.

Mark your calendars for 7 p.m., March 28. Philip Hansen, who presented a cello concert last fall, is returning for another performance. He will be accompanied by Eleanor Elkins, classical pianist from Durango. 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 our Musettta so he probably finds it hard to say no).

Yoga is at 9:30 on Tuesdays and art classes are now at 12:45 on Tuesdays.

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

Next shopping trip to Durango is Thursday, Feb. 28.

On Fridays, free swimming at Best Western. Make arrangements with Cindy for transportation. Also, bridge at 1 p.m.

Crusing with Cruse

By Katherine Cruse

Olympians can't stop to admire scenery

I've tried watching the Olympics. I really have. I've managed to sit through some of the events. I've marveled, as you probably have, at the skill, the stamina, the technique. The size of the thighs on those long-distance skaters.

I laughed with the Canadian figure skaters when they fell to the ice at the end of the short program, I winced when Apollo Ohno and the others crashed in the men's speed skating event, and I watched with great interest the shifting stories about possible collusion between ice skating judges.

I really wanted to watch the skiers and the snowboarders this year, since I've had a little taste of skiing the past three years. I thought I could really appreciate what I was seeing, this time.

But for me, it's like watching aliens, people who have landed on this planet from some remote and advanced civilization. If those fellows who zoomed along the two-mile men's downhill track ever came to watch us recreational skiers at Wolf Creek, they'd probably react like fond parents of a precocious two-year-old.

They'd chuckle at our earnest efforts. Pat us on the head. Reward us with a cookie.

When I go skiing, I like to watch the other skiers as I glide above them on the chair lift. Especially the good ones, the ones who make it look so easy. They give me hope that if I just keep working at it, I too can go down the hill with grace and style and confidence.

But I can't imagine trying to ski down that long run over in Utah. They even sprinkled water on the course to create an icy surface. Can you believe it? They wanted ice!

For crying out loud, icy runs at Wolf Creek are something we try to avoid. We question the others to find out where it's not icy. "What's Upper Tranquility like?" "Icy and windswept." Or maybe, "Dust on crust." "Okay, I'll go someplace else."

And those Olympic skiers went the whole two miles (okay, one point-eight miles) at a crack, at top speed all the way. Well, jeepers. There's another difference between them and recreational skiing. The scenery is so beautiful, why not stop and admire it? Or at least pretend to admire it, while you catch your breath and get ready for the next part.

At Wolf Creek, the snowboarders are also fun to watch. I like the way they shift their weight to guide the board. The way they just flop down to rest. The way they stop and survey the slope below, and then just start moving again. It seems so effortless.

But the Olympics boarders in the Halfpipe event. Did you see them? At the height of each airborne leap they must feel weightless. Just for a second they escape the surly bonds of earth. Maybe if I were a boarder myself, I'd be amazed.

I do marvel at their speed and strength and agility. But, so what? Most of the boarders I watch at Wolf Creek will never achieve that. And, I know I'm going out on a limb here, but watching the guys in the Halfpipe, after the first three or four runs, is pretty boring.

I know it's my failing. The announcers, who undoubtedly are boarders themselves, are excited. They scream about the "air," which I guess is a way of describing how much daylight there is between the snowboard and the snow. And maybe every young boarder watching hopes he or she can someday be that good and compete in the Olympics.

It's probably a generational thing. At my age, a lot of differences of opinion seem to be generational. That's probably why I like to watch the figure skating couples. For starters, there are the costumes. Then there's the interplay between the man and woman. The human interaction, if you will.

I think it has to be human drama that ultimately interests most of us. Did you see that little gal from Italy, who came from behind to win the long cross-country event? Forty-five minutes of slogging. Only after the event did we learn that she'd broken a pole and was in tears, going up a long hill. Someone came out from the crowd and gave her another pole, and she got going again - uphill, mind you! - and eventually pulled ahead in the last minutes to win. The joy on her face was something to behold. That was something we could all relate to. A moment that went beyond technical points and timing in fractions of seconds.

The winter Olympics, with the specialized clothing and tracks and equipment, are way beyond anything I can relate to. I'm really happy for the skiers and the skaters and even the people who put their bodies on those tiny frames and hurtle along those curved icy tracks.

If that's what they want to do, and other people want to watch and admire them for it, great. What I want is an event that mimics real life.

For example, why not have the snowboarders and the skiers use the same runs? Instead of the artificial-looking halfpipe, let those crazy kids zoom down a real hill. Build ramps on the sides, if you want, so they can get some air. Add some rocks to make jumps for them to sail off.

After the boarders, let the skiers race. Don't groom the track. Don't bother with watering the slope. Let them finesse their way across the ruts carved into the snow by the boarders. There's a challenge that we recreational skiers face every day.

That's an event I could really relate to.

Pagosa Lakes News

By Ming Steen

Deaths make us look at celebrations of life

Just this week, I am again reminded how very brief this life is. Many of us have wept with Sam and Rita Martinez over the loss of their son, Shawn. A couple of days prior, we mourned the death of Mike Walsh with Jeto and Frank. With very heavy hearts, we extend our condolences to both families.

Celebration of life is in many ways an acknowledgment that our time on earth is short. We want to do it all and make this sojourn meaningful and exciting. Different people have different ways to achieve a fulfilling life.

There are individuals in Pagosa who have set athletic accomplishment as a goal.

Let's take a look at Gale Tuggle. He's a 68-year-old who trains and competes in a variety of sports year round. On Feb. 4, Gale competed in the Colorado Senior Winter Games in Frisco.

He came home with a fourth overall and second in his class - 65 to 70 year-olds - in the 8K Classic Cross Country ski race. In the biathlon that consisted of a 1K ski, shooting prone, 1K ski, shooting standing and a final ski to the finish line, Gale placed second overall and first in his class. The challenge in this event is precision with the gun when the heart is thumping and sending mega vibrations into the hands.

In the 8K ski-skate race, Gale placed second overall and first in his class. The last and final event was a four-person relay with the race organizers creating the teams so as to avoid having all the fastest athletes grouping together. Although each ski (classical) segment was short, it was still quite competitive. Gale's team nabbed the first place trophy.

There were 160 participants at the Frisco event, with 125 of them men. The oldest was 90. Gale would like to encourage more local participation (he being the only Pagosan). Competitors come from all over the country, not just from within the state. To qualify, one has to be at least 50 years old. The events are numerous.

Rumor has it Juanalee Park was in Frisco casing out the competition. Juanalee will be a formidable opponent when she qualifies.

Other Pagosans in training are large in number. I personally know some of them.

Robby Jackson is working toward an Iron Man-length triathlon in Texas in June.

Reid Kelly is headed to Hawaii for the Lavaman Triathlon April 2. The Lavaman will be an Olympic distance triathlon (1.5K (.93-mile) swim, 40K (25-mile) bike ride and 10K (6.2-mile) run). The Iron Man-length triathlon is a 2.5 mile swim, 112-mile bike and 26.2 mile run.

Richard Cyr, who recently competed in the Las Vegas International Marathon and did extremely well, will run in the Moab half-marathon in mid-March. Richard has set a personal goal of one event per month. He'll compete in a triathlon in Utah in May, another triathlon (Yuba Rock & Roll) in Moab, Utah, on June 1, and an adventure race in Durango on June 22.

Our own local triathlon, the Pagosa Lakes Hi-Tri, will be held this summer on Aug. 17. The event can be completed as an individual or as a team. Distances and order of events are a 7.2 mile run, 15.5 mile mountain bike and a half-mile swim in the recreation center pool.

Start training now and set your own personal goal.

Local Chatter

By Kate Terry

Family story lends credit to honesty tale

There is a popular tale that George Washington, when a boy, cut down a cherry tree and confessed, saying: "I cannot tell a lie, I cut down the tree with my little hatchet."

Parson Mason Locke Weems, an itinerant preacher, who wrote books to supplement his income, included the story in a biography of George Washington. Historians discredit the story, but there is a basis for it in a story handed down in the Washington family.

Washington's mother, Mary Ball Washington, had a fine horse that had not been broken. Young George slipped the horse out to ride it. When a vein broke in the horse's neck, and it died, he had to confess to his mother.

Probably Weems embellished the story to emphasize Washington's reputation for honesty and fairness, traits that underlined his success as a military man, farmer, President of the United States and as a person.

Washington gained his reputation as a military leader when, at the age of 21 years, he became the head of the Virginia Militia, a position that had been held by his brother, Lawrence, who died. His assessment of the claims of both the French and English to the Ohio River Valley led to the French and Indian War. His reports of the situation gained him recognition in France and England as well as in the colonies.

When he married Martha Dandridge Custis, he resigned his commission to devote his time to farming at which he became most successful. He enlarged and expanded his plantation and in no time at all became known as a scientific farmer. He rotated his crops, growing wheat, rye and barley rather than cotton.

He had an international reputation of being an honest man. When one of his barrels of flour or grain reached any foreign port, if it bore the initials G.W., it was exempt from inspection.

In 1770 he made a 500-mile trip to the west when veterans of the French and Indian War asked him to represent them in selecting lands awarded to them for service during the war. It was on this trip that an old Indian predicted to Washington: "You will become Chief of Nations and a people yet unborn will hail you as the founder of a mighty nation."

Events were bringing changes. He went to Philadelphia as a delegate from Virginia. He was the unanimous choice for Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army. John Adams, who nominated him for the post, wrote in his diary: "I had no hesitation to declare that I had but one gentleman in mind for the important command, and it was a gentleman from Virginia, who was amongst us and very well known to all of us, a gentleman whose skill and experience as an officer, whose independent fortune, and great talent, and excellent universal character would command the approbating of all America and unite the cordial exertion of all the colonies better than any other person in the Union."

Douglas Southall Freeman, in Vol. II of his "Biography of George Washington" states: "I see that Washington and probably Washington alone kept the Revolution alive. He was the only man who combined military experience with infinite patience, inflexible determination, a sound sense of organization, absolute integrity, regard for civil rights and a justice so manifest in every act that even his rivals had to admire his superiority of character."

In Vol. V, Freeman wrote: "If ever a man had to fight shackled and with one hand behind his back, Washington did. He had to overcome every obstacle that could be placed in his way save one: maturity . . . Because he mastered himself he had the patience to deal with as remarkable a company of ambitious, troublesome, supersensitive and wrong-headed Lieutenants as ever gathered under a revolutionary standard."

Not everyone was into the war effort. The story is told that during the winter the army spent at Valley Forge, hungry and in rags, business went on with merchants passing them by traveling from New York to Philadelphia.

Washington was unanimously elected President. Because of his extreme generosity to his own family, he had to borrow $2,000 for the inauguration.

Washington and General Lafayette were very close. He sent Lafayette's son and his tutor to Harvard and paid their way for two years. And he paid for the education of numerous nephews and nieces and five children of friends.

Washington had plans to restore his home to its former condition. Instead, he was forced to spend money on entertaining the hoards of visitors that descended on him like locusts. He welcomed all guests graciously and with hospitality.

I am most grateful to my friend, Ms. Peg Stein, the Registrar and a past president of the National Society of the Washington Family Descendants, for the cherry tree story and other information. For many years, she has appeared on the lecture circuit talking about George Washington.

Library News

By Lenore Bright

Authors examine 'State of World'

"State of the World 2002," edited for the Worldwatch Institute is a report on the progress toward a sustainable society in preparation for the World Summit to be held next September in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The authors shed light on the possibilities for change and how existing technologies and resources can help solve many of our most pressing problems.

Using renewable energies like wind power, the energy economy can be converted from oil to hydrogen. Farmers can grow more food by taking advantage of free biological services like nitrogen-fixing plants and beneficial insets.

"Annals of the Former World," by John McPhee tells a many-layered tale that earned him a Pulitzer Prize. It is a geology primer, an exploration of plate tectonics, a study of geological time, and a North American geology primer.

Twenty years ago, he began his journeys across the United States. He planned to understand not only the science, but also the style of the geologists he traveled with. In "Basin and Range," he traveled from Utah to eastern California. In "Suspect Terrain," he went from Brooklyn to Indiana. The "Annals" brings his travels together. It is our finest popular survey of geology.

"Reader's Digest Looking After Your Body," is the owner's guide to successful aging. This book is chock full of surprising insights and practical advice. It can help us preserve our physical and mental health and well being.

"A Gap in Nature," by Flannery and Schouten brings a beautifully illustrated collaboration presenting 103 creatures that have vanished from the face of the earth since Columbus first set foot in the New World. Flannery tells the story of each animal and its habitat, how it lived and how it succumbed. Accompanying every entry is a picture by Schouten who devoted years of his life to this project. This is an unforgettable book, at once a lament for the animals we have lost, and a way to keep them forever in human memory.

Research topics

The Colorado State Library sent us a list of state publications available on the Internet. These may be used for anyone interested in state educational information. Ask for a copy at the desk.

The comprehensive list of web sites covers about everything one would want to know about our state.

Business Review

You may also have a copy of this issue of the business newsletter. This quarterly publication sent by the University of Colorado School of Business covers many subjects of interest. Energy and security top the list of concerns. Ask for a copy at the desk.


Thanks to Lyn Constan for her many books on raising horses. They will be well used. Thanks for materials from Jeanine Gruber, Mary Madore, Jim Miner, William Miller.

Arts Line

By Helen L. Richardson

Stained glass workshop set March 2

The Pagosa Springs Arts Council will offer a workshop on the art of making stained glass March 2 from 1-4 p.m. The instructor will be Carl Nevitt.

Students will learn the basics of stained glass and will complete an 8 x10 stained glass project. If this workshop appeals to you, or if you have any questions, please call the PSAC gallery at 264-5020 as soon as possible because space is limited.

Artists interested in instructing a workshop should call Jennifer at 731-3113 or Joanne at 264-5020. We are currently looking for a volunteer to coordinate artists and future art workshops for the community. If you are interested, call Joanne for details.

2002 exhibits

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

Artists may download and review an application at our web site, Applications are available at the PSAC gallery in Town Park, or by calling the arts council at 264-5020. We will be happy to mail you one. Don't delay - the postmark deadline for submitting your application has been extended to March 1.

Upcoming events

ARSE (A Reading Society and Ensemble) is having a fund-raiser for the Community Center March 2 at the Senior Center. This event will be a lavish reception with champagne, sparkling grape juice and appetizers. Plus, there will be a musical presentation by the "Pajamas Ensemble" (musical director, Professor A. John Graves). Included is an original one-act play "Puberty & Peace" featuring Sandy Applegate and Steve Rogan, written by John Porter. A limited number of tickets are available so purchase them early at the Chamber of Commerce and Wolftracks Bookstore. Tickets for this good cause are $20.

The Pagosa Springs Music Boosters have scheduled The David Taylor Dance Theatre at the Pagosa Springs High School auditorium on Monday, March 18, at 7 p.m. Tickets will be $29 for reserved seating or $45 for reserved seating and a champagne reception. Tickets are available at the Plaid Pony.

The Pagosa Pretenders Family Theatre - a division of the PSAC - will be presenting their version of "Sleeping Beauty". Four performances will take place at the Pagosa Springs High School March 8, 9, 15, and 16. Admission price will be $6 for adults and $3 for children. PSAC members can get their discounted tickets at the PSAC Gallery.

Volunteers needed

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

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

Photography contest

The PSAC Photography Contest was a huge success. Congratulations to all those who won. A special thanks to all who entered photographs and shared their art with us. Photos will be on display at Moonlight Books through Feb. 23.

Other PSAC events

If you are into an early spring cleaning this year, please start saving your miscellaneous items for our annual Garage Sale. The sale will be at the end of April. Merchandise drop-off days will be April 16-24 from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

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

Veterans Corner

By Andy Fautheree

Health care most common VA issue

It seems like I write about VA Health Care most often in this column. It is the benefit most veterans qualify for, some with as little as one day of active military duty and an honorable discharge. It is also one of the most popular veteran benefits since it is not income based and many of our Archuleta County veterans do not have any health insurance.

Now with the realization of the Durango VA Clinic, hopefully by the middle of the year, I suspect VA Health Care will be even more popular. Currently our veterans must travel to Farmington, Albuquerque or Grand Junction for their VA health care.

I average signing up an Archuleta County veteran a day for VA Health Care benefits in this office. Sometimes more. I also average meeting a new Archuleta County veteran every day. This is quite remarkable considering the size of our county and the fact I currently have 935 local veterans in my files and computer database. You would think we would run out of new veterans in this area, but this is not the case. Surprisingly many of the new veteran contacts I make have lived here for quite a while. Others are new retirees coming to our wonderful area to live. I often meet veterans on the street or in my daily routines around the courthouse.

The winds can always change when it comes to VA benefits. Veterans Affairs programs are often funded and approved on a yearly basis by Congress. Lately there have been some moves to limit VA Health Care, or increase the costs, in certain low priority levels. I strongly urge every veteran to sign up for VA Health Care as soon as possible. We have already seen many VA Health Care facilities restrict accepting new applications. This currently includes the Farmington VA Clinic, Albuquerque VA Hospital and Denver VA Hospital.

I'm glad to say that this column is one of the main ways I reach veterans. Many veterans also listen to the show I host every Monday night on KWUF radio from 6 pm to 9 pm. I play '40s, '50s and '60s music and dedicate it to our veterans. I also meet many veterans when I visit the Archuleta County Senior Center the first Friday of each month. A new outreach program started last year included a booth at the Archuleta County Fair in August. I will be there again this year, and I will also have a table at the Health Fair in April. Frequently new veterans visit or call this office at the urging of their spouses.

Of course this office has all the latest information on VA Health Care and all the other VA benefits. I have all the forms computerized to minimize the time it takes to fill them out. I also attend training conferences several times a years to keep my veteran benefits skills sharpened.

We also have a very supportive community for Veteran Affairs. I believe much more so than many other Colorado counties. For instance, Archuleta County government provides a vehicle for the sole purpose of transporting veterans to their health care appointments. The county provides the vehicle, maintenance, insurance, etc. The veteran need only supply the fuel and make sure it is clean at the end of the trip, ready for the next veteran. I applied for a grant from Colorado Tobacco Settlement Trust Funds last year to purchase a new vehicle for this purpose, but was not successful. However, I have been advised there is a very good chance I will get the grant this year. Meanwhile, we owe great appreciation to Archuleta County for providing our current vehicle and this office's services.

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. The office number is 264-2304, the FAX number is 264-5949, and E-mail is

In Sync With Isabel

by Isabel Willis

Abused adult cases increase rapidly

The need for Adult Protection Services in Archuleta County is on a steady climb.

Donna Pina is the Adult Protection Case Manager for the Archuleta County Department of Social Services. Over the last year Donna has done a lot of outreach work to educate the community about Adult Protection Services and how she can assist at-risk people. Although an article was printed in the In-Sync column last year, I'd like to take a moment to explain again what Adult Protection is, what Donna does and how it affects the community.

There are people in our community who are being abused through self-neglect, financial exploitation (illegal or improper use of an at-risk adult's financial resources for another person's profit or advantage), by caregiver or family neglect. Some of these adults are physically or mentally disabled, dependent or frail elderly, or adults who grew up in dysfunctional families with abusive situations such as alcohol or substance abuse or domestic violence.

Adult Protection intervenes with or on behalf of the adult who is unable to safely plan to care for themselves. Adult Protection also works with adults who may be in a crisis situation without outside help and in need of assistance to prevent serious consequences such as homelessness, financial or health issues. For example, a client may have a mental disease or disorder and doesn't have any outside support such as friends or relatives to rely on. Donna will establish a rapport with the client and assist with day-to-day needs through volunteers and/or resources available for the specific needs, and work as a liaison between the client and other agencies. In some crisis situations it may be necessary to obtain a court-appointed conservatorship or guardianship (temporary or permanent) in order to stabilize the crisis.

Older people living alone (OLA) are a large and growing segment of the elderly population. The 1990 Census showed that OLA who are 65 years of age or older numbered 9.2 million. The number is expected to rise to 15.2 million by 2020. More than three quarters are women. The OLA population is not only large and growing, but also has particular needs for home and community-based services. Research shows that:

OLA are more prone to inadequate diets and poor nutritional status

OLA are less likely to have family caregiver supports and are more likely to rely on formal paid services for assistance in the home

OLA are more socially isolated and at a greater risk of depression and mental health problems than the older population as a while and

Large numbers of OLA are functionally disabled.

Adult Protection finds out about at-risk adults through outreach programs and personal involvement with the public. Referrals are often made by the adult themselves, or concerned family members, neighbors, doctors, other health agencies and law enforcement.

Archuleta County Department of Social Services has established an Adult Resource Team that meets once a month. The team's mission statement is "To help and protect the elderly and at risk adults through resource and referral." The members are a group of volunteers from the lay community, and representatives of the Senior Center, local law enforcement, San Juan Area Agency of Aging, South West Mental Health, San Juan Basin Health, Veterans Services and the Department of Social Services. The Adult Resource Team is set up to take reports on anyone who is concerned about a specific person or situation. Reports can be made to any member of the team who will in turn report to the Adult Caseworker or manager at Social Services. The collaboration of efforts between the team members allows them to assist the client with the best resources available to meet the client's needs. Every report is treated with complete confidentiality.

Donna utilizes resources from both Archuleta County and La Plata County. Some of those resources include Southwest Community Resources, Community Emergency Assistance Coalition, LEAP, Colorado Energy Assistance Foundation, local churches, Friends of Man, Meals on Wheels, Emergency Homeless Prevention, Section 8 and Low-income Housing, Lion's Club, Rotary Club and other individuals and organizations within the community.

Donna has also made presentations to various churches and organizations to reach out and educate the community on the need for volunteers. While this has been successful, the need for volunteers is never fully satisfied. Donna is interested in contacting anyone wanting to volunteer occasionally. Donna will continue to do more work this year with local organizations to educate the community about Adult Protection Services and to recruit volunteers, because the most valuable resource is you, the community.

If you know someone who may need Adult Protective Services, call Donna at 264-2182.

Sheperds Staff

By Jim Coats, Pastor

Healing Waters Presbyterian Church

One must keep the goal in focus

I am not a hunter: but I know that one does not just run into the woods and blaze away in the hope of hitting a deer, or elk, or turkey, or whatever one is hunting. A lot of other hunters have been killed that way. No, one has to locate the appropriate target, look for a good shot, and aim carefully.

The news media all too often tell the story of a hunter shot "accidentally when mistaken for some game animal." Even sadder are the stories of relatives being shot by their own kinfolk who mistook them for intruders. Sever major communities have produced laws against random shooting of weapons into the air to "celebrate" some noteworthy event. "I shot an arrow in the air; it fell to earth, I know not where. The very next day a man came around and sold me his dog for ten cents a pound!" (Not funny when that is a little boy or someone's parent.)

One does not run into the woods and blaze away in hope of hitting an appropriate target. The same principle is true in one's life. You just don't run into it and live aimlessly, not if your life is to be fulfilling. The Apostle Paul wrote about runners in a race. All the runners compete, but only one wins the prize. "So run that you may obtain it. I do not run aimlessly or engage in shadowboxing." Toward the end of his life, he confessed that he had not finished his race, but "I press on toward the goal" which was set before him by his Lord, the joyful fulfillment of all his hopes and dreams.

One must have a target or a goal that is meaningful and important. And one must keep that goal in focus. You've heard the story about the young basketball player who, in the closing seconds of the game, with his team down by one point, stole a wayward pass and raced unhindered toward what would be the winning goal. In the midst of all the yelling, he could hear his mother screaming words of encouragement. And he turned to wave at her. Or the wide receiver who took his eyes off the oncoming pass to see where the defensive players were.

There are multitudes of people, some of them very unhappy, discontent, but not knowing why, who are just going through the motions. They don't enjoy their work; they don't enjoy their families; they often don't even enjoy their times of relaxation. They are like the writer of Ecclesiastes, just going around in circles, trying everything that might satisfy, but finding nothing. They really don't know where they're going or why. No goal, no hope, no expectation; just to stay alive and keep on wandering. Does that describe your life? If one doesn't know where one is going, one is bound to get there. Nowhere. Where are you going?

Parks & Rec

By Chris Corcoran

Youth leagues end season, adults get underway

This year's youth basketball league concluded with the 9-10 year-old tournament on Saturday, Feb. 9. In the first round it was the Lakers defeating the Rockets 37-16, the Raptors defeating the Hawks 25-7, the Pacers outpacing the Pirates 32-14 and the Bulls edging out the T-wolves 27-23.

In the second round, It was the Lakers defeating the Raptors 42-20 to make it into the finals and the Pacers defeating the Bulls in another close game 27-23. In the final game of the day, it was the Lakers victorious over the Pacers 42-31.

Congratulations to the Lakers and all the youth basketball teams which competed. The Recreation Department wants to thank the many coaches, volunteers and officials for their efforts in this season's youth league, and a special thanks to Sue Jones for her dedication to our department.

The 11-12 year-old league finished its season with tournament play on Feb. 6. In the first round the Celtics beat the Heat 34-12, the Suns edged the Hornets 16-15 and the Spurs stopped the Trailblazers 25-6. The Jazz beat the Sixers but the score was not available.

In the second round, the Celtics advanced to the finals by beating the Jazz 29-20 and the Spurs topped the Suns 22-13. The final was an exciting match with the Celtics winning 32-24. Congratulations to the Celtics.

Adult basketball

The games on Monday, Feb. 11, had American over Wolf Speed 54-45 and Citizen's over Tom's Shot Callers 53-40 in the recreation league. In the competitive league, Buckskin defeated U.B.C. 57-47 and Lucero Tire was a 53-33 winner over Slim Shady.

Two games were played Feb. 12 in the rec league with Ponderosa downing J.J.'s 49-31 and Bear Creek defeating JR's.

Five games were played Feb. 13. In the rec league, Citizens beat Wolf Speed 54-43, Viking Construction topped Tom's Shot Callers 45-40 (their first win in a decade - Congratulations!), and American Legion defeated J.J.'s rental 46-40. In competitive league, JR's defeated Lucero Tire 66-64 and Bear Creek overwhelmed Slim Shady 88-48.

Upcoming events

Pick up games of volleyball and indoor soccer are in the works. If enough teams can be formed, a formal league an competition schedule will be put together. The Hershey Track Meet is also coming up in the spring. If you would like more information on any upcoming events, please contact the recreation office at 264-4151, ext. 232.


February 21, 2002

Mr. and Mrs. Gene Tautges are happy to announce the engagement of their daughter Heather Barbara to Corbin Veh Grimes. Corbin is the son of Michael and Frazier Grimes of Evergreen. An Aug. 2 wedding is being planned at Hudson Gardens in Denver where the couple reside.


By John M. Motter

Navajo River Valley - lifetime home for Margaret Havens

Margaret Young Havens

She's a gracious lady, is Margaret Juanita Young Havens, carrying a twinkle in her eye that belies her 89 years. Maybe almost a century spent in the valley of the Navajo is the reason, Margaret's special elixir, her fountain of youth.

Margaret was born April 11, 1913, at Edith, on the Navajo River. Edith was a sawmill town on the road between Lumberton and Pagosa Springs. Ed Biggs owned and operated the sawmill, providing most of the employment in the area. At the same time, a branch of Biggs' logging railroad chugged through Edith and up the Navajo River to Chromo and beyond.

George H. Young, Margaret's dad, was employed by Biggs as an engineer, driving one of the narrow gauge locomotives that served as the cardiovascular system for Biggs' logging empire. Young was at the throttle for strings of log-toting trains huffing in and out of Edith, Chromo, El Vado, Brazos, and across Cumbres Pass. Biggs' New Mexico Lumber Co. logged much of northern New Mexico, as well as Colorado.

A year after Margaret was born, the family moved a few miles upstream to Chromo. There she went to school, grew to womanhood, married, and has lived all of her life excepting a couple of years in California with husband Fitzhugh Havens.

Margaret's mother, born Pablita Juanita Perea, fathered seven boys in addition to Margaret. Only two remain alive, Charley who lives in St. Helens, Ore., and Bob, who lives in Nevada.

Fitzhugh Havens and Margaret were married Sept. 18, 1936, by a justice of the peace in Parkview, New Mexico. Prior to that time, Margaret lived at home in a number of homes not far from today's Chromo Mercantile store.

One of those places just a few miles up the Navajo had been known as the McMullen Place. There, bereft of electricity, telephones, and virtually all of today's modern conveniences, Margaret grew to adulthood. The only running water coursed between the banks of the nearby Navajo River. One of the many chores for the emerging family was carrying buckets of water from the river for household purposes.

Wash day was a lot of work. The durability of the clothes being washed was tested along with the endurance of the washers. Water from the river was heated in a tub on the wood-burning kitchen range. Clothes dipped in the near-boiling water were rubbed on a wash board propped against one side of the tub. A second tub waited nearby. The clothes were wrung out by hand, most of the soapy water returning to the original tub, then dropped in a tub of clear water for rinsing purposes. Finally, they were wrung out by hand one more time, then pinned to an outside line where they flopped dry in whatever breeze was available. Washing took all day.

The family grew much of what they ate, cooking it on the wood range.

"My mom canned a lot and we kept a lot of things in a little underground cellar," Margaret recalls. "I remember dad making sauerkraut. He had a barrel in the cellar. He'd slice up the cabbage, salt it, and run it through a press. He'd put it all in the barrel, put more cabbage leaves on top, put a square lid held by a rock on top, and wait for it to age."

"It was so good," Margaret remembers. "People don't know about it today. When my brothers and I got home from school we'd take turns eating sauerkraut. It sure was good."

Part of the once a week routine was taking baths in a tub, the water first heated on the wood range.

"We had a lot of fun," Margaret recalls. We didn't go to town much, but there was always a lot to do."

School was a big thing. When Margaret graduated from the eighth grade, that was end of formal schooling.

"There was some talk that I might go to high school in Durango," she recalls, "but that didn't work out."

The family owned clothes of two kinds, those they wore on Sunday or to school, and the ones worn while doing chores or other day-to-day activities.

"I had a pair of good shoes I only wore to church or dances or special events," Margaret remembers. "After wearing them on Sunday, they would be wiped off and put in a trunk, safe until next Sunday. I got smart one Monday and insisted on wearing my good shoes to school. My brother told my mother. She said okay so I wore them to school. Then a dance came up and I didn't have any nice shoes. I had to miss a dance. After I went to sleep, dad took mother to the dance. That way, I learned a lesson."

In those days, Chromo had a two-story dance hall located about where the Osterhause house is today. The dance hall was apparently owned and run by the Knights of Pythias. Not only did the organization provide dances, they provided dinner, creating an enjoyable night out without leaving town.

"Everybody went to the dances," Margaret said, "only when I was younger the boys were bashful and wouldn't dance. I had to dance with my brothers. Sometimes the girls danced together. As we grew up, we danced with the older men, waltzes and quadrilles."

Music usually consisted of fiddles, guitars, and drums.

Margaret always had a nice dress for special occasions. Jeans were not worn.

"I never wore jeans until after we married," she said.

Family clothes came from a catalog. Many were made by Margaret's mother

While thumbing through the catalog, Margaret saw a dress she wanted. Her mother said, "That is very nice, but we can't afford it." No more was said.

"One day I got home from school," Margaret remembers. "She invited me into the bedroom and showed me a dress. It was the same dress from the catalog. Only mother had ordered the material and made it herself. I was so excited."

Many community activities were held at the school, where there was an old organ, played by Margaret and three other girls.

"They used to have pie socials, things like that were a lot of fun," Margaret said. "They don't do things like that anymore."

During the early days, Margaret's dad never had a car. Traveling was done by horse and wagon, including the all-day trip to Pagosa Springs and back.

Margaret's dad loved to fish, a happy Sunday circumstance for the family. A picnic lunch was prepared-fried chicken, potato salad, cake, and homemade ice cream. The team was hitched to the wagon, the family loaded, and reins snapped as the wagon rattled up the river to near the old Bond House.

"Dad would fish awhile, then we'd spread a cloth and eat lunch, then dad would fish some more." Margaret recalls. "Then dad would come in and we'd go home, maybe by 4:30."

The wagon served the family into the early 1920s.

"I had a relative living between Edith and Amargo," Margaret said. "Dad would hitch the team and drive to Amargo to get supplies. I'd visit my relatives along the way."

Supplies were used to stock the little store Margaret's dad operated. Her mother ran the post office, her dad a store. The buildings were located up the road from the present Chromo Mercantile store, not far from Alvin Fitzhugh's home today. From the store, she remembers the pickle barrels, Easter hats for ladies, and chocolate candy.

"He gave out too much credit, the store didn't last," Margaret said.

Next week: More from Margaret Havens.

Pacing Pagosa

By Richard Walter

Beware who you put on pedestals

As we walked down the stadium steps, I watched as youngsters pestered professional baseball players for autographs, hoping against hope that their favorite star would be the one to walk up to the fence and sign his name a few times.

Some others were hesitant to approach the stars. Instead, they stopped strangers in the stands, asking hopefully, "Are you someone."

Obviously they didn't know. They were trusting to luck that someone they confronted would be a "real person," one who's signature they could cherish.

But isn't all this star worship a little misguided?

Every one of us is, after all, someone.

Who are you?

Perhaps the wife who keeps the home running smoothly while her husband works and the children are in school.

Perhaps the husband who dotes on his family and devotes his life to making sure they will be secure.

Or, perhaps, you're one of the children looking for the autographs of the stars in your life.

If so, perhaps you're asking the wrong people. Maybe the ones you need most to have memories of are those parents who are striving to make life better for you than it was for them.

Sure, autograph collecting is fun - and can be profitable.

But don't put the stars on pedestals they haven't earned. Consider, instead, the sacrifice the parent may have had to make to give you the opportunity to be at the ball park in the first place.

Or consider your classmates. Yearbooks will be coming out soon and one of the great joys of high school is having schoolmates sign your book. You don't know what they will do in their lives but having a signature and a personal message from someone who is a part of your life, however briefly, can be as heartwarming and inspiring as the signature of a ball player you may never see again, one who certainly would not recognize you the next time you meet.

We have a tendency in this land to make heroes and heroines of those who can perform on a stage, emote on screen, hit or dribble a ball, or run faster than most people ever dream.

How often do we look up to the doctor, the pharmacist, the dentist, the teacher, the plumber, the electrician, or any of the other people we know and see daily? How often do we ask them for an autograph?

Professional athletes are held up as role models, people who get things done and make the big dollars. The real role models - good or bad - are the ones who you find in your homes, churches, schools and organized activities.

Isn't the volunteer coach who works with you on free throw shooting as important in your life right now as a screaming, body-twitching stage idol would be?

Fragmented lives often result from fragmented dreams. Dreams based on what a distant role model can do on a sports field or what a nationally known rock star can shake on a stage as he or she rattles on indistinctly are empty dreams.

Desire to be like the parent who has reared you, nursed you through all your ills, sacrificed for your "treats" and given up possible thrills of their own to make sure you got a special extra.

Your world offers plenty of bona fide heroes and role models to look up to. They are not to be worshiped, but have earned admiration. They are the ones you see filling roles as firemen, policemen, serving on the town board or school board without pay, making sure in their own way that your path is easier.

Pagosa Springs has had all-state quality players in many sports over the years but that wasn't their main claim. Their performance on the field of athletic endeavor was just a product of all the coaching, loving, supportive people who spent their hours helping those players reach that pinnacle. Their real claim was that, because of the efforts of many others, they were someone.

This community has produced youngsters who went on to be nuclear physicists, politicians, professionals who made life better for others and, yes, even a few people who might be regarded as "stars."

It also has produced thousands of people just like yourselves.

People with opportunity awaiting them, people who have horizons to see and cross, people with stairs of success to climb, people who have a cutting edge opportunity because the "someones" here cared about what happened to them.

The original deed to our home has the signature of Grover Cleveland on it. I've never seen it, but the papers we got from the county say it is signed by the ex-two-time president and is on file in the courthouse.

That's as close as I'll ever get to having the signature of someone "of note" in my possessions.

But I have letters from family over the years. Letters from an aunt and uncle working in and describing life in Saudi Arabia; letters from classmates in high school and college and from shipmates in the Navy; letters from my late mother describing what was happening at home no matter where in the world I was at the time; letters from my son when he was on one of his many trips; letters from cousins - and their children - keeping me up to date on family affairs, deaths and births.

These are the autographs I treasure.

Everyone of them is from someone.

That's who you are.