In response to a request from citizens living along its reach, Archuleta County will provide men and equipment to rebuild Rob Snow Road. In return for the county's help, the citizens are paying for gravel and culverts needed to complete the job.
The decision to work on Rob Snow Road was made by the board of county commissioners Tuesday. Commissioners Gene Crabtree and Alden Ecker voted to do the work. Commissioner Bill Downey voted against doing the work.
Basically, the plan calls for the citizens to pay for surface gravel and culverts, estimated at $6,800. The county will contribute base material, manpower, and equipment. The total project cost is estimated at $23,000.
County Administrator Bill Steele opened discussion on the subject by saying there are two ways of looking at this kind of a project. One way is to recognize that the county already has men on the payroll, already owns equipment, and has materials stockpiled. Consequently, the county faces no out-of-pocket costs. The other way of looking at it is, the residents are receiving a benefit and should pay the entire cost of that benefit.
"I disagree," said Downey, chairman of the board of county commissioners. "I understand the gravel is in stock and we won't have to buy it. The gravel has an estimated value of $6,800. If we need it later, we'll have to buy it. It is a cost, present or future. The same goes for labor and equipment. We can't say there is no cost to the county. These are real costs. Two residents have said they would foot the bill. If so, what is the feeling of the other residents? If the road is improved, there could be speeds up to 30 miles per hour. That could be an issue."
"We agreed if they came up with some money we would help," Crabtree said. "I think we should go forward, not talk this to death. There is speeding everywhere."
"They are taxpayers," said Ecker. "We have the ability to help three businesses. I think there are about 10 residents. We've met with them in work sessions. They will maintain the road."
"My question is," said Mamie Lynch from the audience. "What kind of precedent are you setting? What kind of doors are you opening? Are you sure all of the people want this? I know another road where not all of the people want it."
"I don't see how you can possibly do this," Lynda Van Patter said. "What about your moratorium?"
"We're not doing this for maintenance," said Ecker, "It is a public road."
"That $22,000 could be better spent somewhere else. Everybody should quit maintaining their roads and let them run down," said J.R. Ford from the audience. "When they get bad enough, offer to buy the materials and let the county fix the roads. They (the owners) had an obligation to keep that road up. I'd like to be next in line to have my road fixed."
"Rob Snow Road used to be taken care of by the county," said Crabtree. "All we are doing is upgrade a little bit."
"It would be wise before the county does any work to have the folks there put up money for the material," said Mary Weiss, the county attorney. "I am concerned about future maintenance. We are not sure of the rights of way. If it is a prescriptive right of way, we need permission from the owners."
"If it is a prescriptive easement and the people are for it, there is no problem," said Crabtree. "We're making a mountain out of a molehill. That's the problem with government, they get too technical. We need to do it and move on."
"I think it would help if you would get a real plan," Ford said, "so you don't get into things where you don't belong. The county has danced round this situation for years. It's time to solve the problem and take it to the voters. Take the politics out of it. Right now you get this work because of who you know, not by county rules."
"Until we get a road plan I move we take care of what we can now," Crabtree said.
After some discussion Crabtree's motion was changed to include a stipulation that the residents along the road give written permission for the work, and that the residents buy the gravel and culverts. Ecker seconded the motion, Crabtree and Ecker voted yes, Downey voted no.
In a final statement, Downey argued that work on the road should be postponed until a county road plan now in progress is completed.
When asked if the Rob Snow Road project is in the 2002 budget, Ecker replied, "It's always in the budget. There will be no cash outlay. It's an in-kind service of men and equipment. Everything costs money, but the equipment and manpower are always in the budget. It's a matter of where they work."
Rob Snow Road intersects U.S. 160 from the south about two miles west of downtown Pagosa Springs.
A legislative fix to the sales tax issue is the next track for the Town of Pagosa Springs.
On advice from Town Attorney, Bob Cole, the Board of Trustees agreed that through an amendment to House Bill 1218, it might be possible to achieve the revenue stream security they've been seeking without taking the issue to court.
At issue is whether a town sales tax ordinance passed in April 2000 or the county's "continuation" of a sales tax passed in November 2001 will take effect on Jan. 1, 2003.
Not at issue is the goal of both Town of Pagosa Springs and Archuleta County officials to continue the tradition of revenue sharing for capital improvements. In both cases, elected officials have verbally agreed to continue the 50-50 revenue split.
Currently, Archuleta County has two different sales taxes on the books, totaling 4 percent. Two percent is a perpetual tax. The other two percent was approved by voters in 1994, and is set to expire Jan. 1, 2003. In both cases, 50 percent of the revenues collected countywide are transferred to the town to be used on capital improvement projects.
However, in April 2000, voters inside town limits approved a town sales tax of up to 3 percent to begin upon the seven-year county sales tax being repealed, repealed and readopted, determined not to be effective or expiring in the whole or in part. Pagosa Springs Board of Trustees put the question before voters in an attempt protect its sales tax revenues from costly litigation pro voked by county residents living outside town boundaries.
To continue the present tax structure, the county commissioners put their own tax question on the ballot Nov. 6, 2001. This ballot question - also approved by voters - sought specifically to "extend the existing 2 percent countywide sales tax" through 2009. It also authorized the sharing of revenues 50-50 with the town.
In an attempt to clarify the situation, the town and county sent a joint letter to the Department of Revenue, the state body responsible for the administration, collection and distribution of sales taxes collected from vendors in Colorado, asking for an opinion as to which tax would be collected. The DOR's Neil L. Tillquist, deputy director of the Taxpayers Service Division, responded with the determination that the county's tax would go into effect based on the language pointing to an "extension" of the tax passed by in the county in November.
Attorney Bob Cole told the board of trustees part of the town's argument made to the DOR was that the state sales tax act does not authorize the extension or continuation of an existing tax, making the wording of the ballot authorization irrelevant.
Since the ruling, the town has been considering a variety of options. At first glance, House Bill 1218, sponsored on behalf of the Town of Carbondale, appeared to present a problem for Pagosa Springs. Carbondale is using the legislation to clarify the possibility of having a tax continuation without a break - the opposite of the town's position.
The amendment proposed by Cole would indicate that as long as the revenue-sharing agreement - the 50-50 split by the town and county for sales tax dollars - remained in place, a continuation of the county's tax would be possible. Any change to the distribution would invalidate the continuation and put the town's tax into effect.
Jay Harrington, town administrator, said passage of the amendment could be a win-win situation for both the town and the county because it would keep the issue out of court while maintaining the current revenue structure.
"This way we won't waste taxpayer money determining how to spend taxpayer money," he said.
Should the legislation fail, Cole suggested the trustees consider a judicial challenge or possibly placing a Home Rule charter before voters in the future.
"I think we need to pursue it through the non-litigation you're proposing or through litigation," Trustee Stan Holt said. "I think we need to stick with it."
The green light continues to flash for a state resurfacing project on U.S. 160 through town this summer.
At the state level, the project, now reaching near $4 million, has been advertised for bids. It will most likely include resurfacing the highway from its junction with U.S. 84 west to about Elk Park, permanent traffic signals and islands at North and South Pagosa boulevards, a temporary signal at Piñon Causeway, right turn lanes at the elementary school and Great West Avenue on Put Hill, in-street lighting at the downtown crosswalks and curb, gutter and sidewalk in place of the guardrail in the 300 Block of Pagosa Street above the old football field.
The intersection of Talisman Drive and U.S. 160 - site of the greatest number of traffic accidents in that area - would be reconfigured to eliminate left turns onto the highway.
An interagency agreement between the town, county and the Colorado Department of Transportation for cost-sharing on a proposed traffic signal at North and South Pagosa boulevards, is up for consideration.
Tuesday, the Pagosa Springs Board of Trustees authorized Mayor Ross Aragon to sign the agreement with a few modifications, including, if possible, the addition of a detailed construction schedule to possibly smooth out some of the anticipated traffic problems.
Under the current agreement, the town would pay $135,000 toward the project - $100,000 for the traffic signal, and the balance for curb, sidewalk and gutter work between 3rd and 4th streets downtown. The county would be responsible for putting another $100,000 toward the signal project.
Jay Harrington, town administrator, said town staff are scurrying to complete some smaller projects before resurfacing gets underway. About 700 feet of faulty curb and gutter will be replaced downtown, and about 500 feet of sewer line will be replaced in front of the site of the old Town Hall at Lewis Street and 160.
And that's not all that will be happening downtown in the coming months.
Construction on the Pagosa Springs Community Center is significantly ahead of schedule. Harrington said painting the inside would most likely be completed by early next week. Lighting fixtures are being hung throughout, and as of April a full-time facility coordinator will be on staff working out of town hall.
Mercy Korsgran, of Pagosa Springs, accepted the position and will work two days a week in March.
"The downside is we're also a little ahead of schedule on payments," Harrington said. The Pagosa Springs Community Facilities Coalition, the non-profit organization involved in management of the project, is still working to close the gap in funding. Some fund-raisers, including a sale of decorative bricks, are in the planning stages.
To continue to pay contractors until funding is complete, Harrington said a short term loan is being considered.
Construction of a bell tower, bathrooms and a small parking lot at the intersection of Lewis and Pagosa streets hangs on a grant hearing scheduled for March 15. Should the town's $100,000 request by fully funded, Harrington said, construction on the project will begin quickly. Davis Engineering is currently working on the bid package for the first phase of the project - parking.
More parental involvement.
More vocational and technical training.
Expanded extracurricular activities beyond sports.
Keep grading system but expand explanatory references from teachers to include detail on why a specific grade was received and how it could be made better.
Return the Bible to the classroom.
Stop teaching evolution or combine it with recognition of opposite theory of intelligent design.
Those were just some of the ideas espoused by Pagosa Springs residents Monday as Duane Noggle, superintendent of Archuleta School District 50 Joint, hosted the first of what he expects to be quarterly forums to keep the administration up to date on community reaction to school programs.
With a crowd of more than 30 gathered at Town Hall, the reactions were varied but the heaviest emphasis seemed to come from those who believe the district is teaching evolution to the exclusion of other theories on development of mankind.
One parent charged, "Evolutionists are here. I've been checking the textbook presentation and it is not given as theory, but presented as fact. There are two choices, evolution or intelligent design. If we teach one we need to teach both at the same time. We're not a Christian nation any more, we're a pagan nation.
"I don't think it is a good idea to try to cover beliefs of all religions in the public schools. There isn't enough time," she said. "Kids can't make an intelligent choice if your books give them only one basis for determination. More importantly, we should keep such teaching out of the schools, families should go to the church of their choice where origin of man gets equal time."
Noggle said such thinking is not unusual.
"A trend I see, and I hope I'm wrong, is that public education is in danger of going by the wayside in the next 10 to 20 years. I don't think there will be a voucher system, but there will be a big boost in in-home schooling. There'll be on-line schools. We in public education need to be more creative, innovative and learn to meet the needs of both the parents and the taxpayers who have no children in the schools."
A teacher in the crowd said, "We have such a diverse group of kids in this community we need to teach them to work together and learn together that there is a diversified world out there. I have many different religions represented in my elementary school classroom, making it clear that there is no time for coverage of religious teaching in the classroom. It should be done at home."
The same teacher said she welcomes parents in the classroom. "I like concerned parents who want to be involved and ask what they can do to help. Their perspective is needed in this changing world."
Noggle said the school district has practiced tolerance for the diversity of the community. "But, per haps, we could offer an elective class, maybe at the junior high level, emphasizing tolerance and recognizing diversity. No one has all the answers and each individual has the right to develop his or her own theory."
A foster parent, who told the board he and his wife are homeschooling this year after their children were in public school last year, said part of the reason is that no one teaches history any more. "And, if you don't know history, and don't know the things that went wrong, you are doomed to repeat it."
History today, he said, "is called social studies and no one seems to care about how we got where we are now. We won't send our kids to learn 'social studies.' We want them to learn to read. If they can read well, they can learn about religion and development of man on their own."
Another mother said children need to learn to present what they have learned, not just to take tests. "Let them get up in front of the class, invite parents in to hear their presentations. Teach them to be proud of what they know and to want to know more. Get more parents involved in helping the children learn.
"We can't expect the teachers to do all they things they are charged to do," she said. "We've maxed them out. There aren't enough hours in the day for them to do all the things we ask of them. Parents need to share talents. If you want your kids on top, you have to help them get there."
Noggle acknowledged that there are needs for cultural adjustment in education. "We will be getting more and more of that, even here in little Pagosa Springs, and we need to prepare for changes. We need to help children understand that not everyone is alike, that different cultures have different beliefs and that each of them is a positive part of American life."
Another person in the audience said the district needs to do more in terms of vocational and technical education.
"Not every child will go on to college," she said, "but many of them will become top mechanics or builders or computer technicians if we give them the basics they need to succeed, particularly encouragement that they are not failures just because they don't plan to or can't afford to go to college.
"Developing good work habits and pride in a job well done can go a long way to making these students valued in society," she said, "just as valuable as a valedictorian or a potentially high level collegiate athletic performer."
Still another comment from the audience was, "We need to help children develop critical thinking skills, teach them to reason, evaluate and question what they are told. And to make intelligent decisions based on those actions."
Saying it seemed most of the crowd wants more parental involvement, Noggle asked for ideas on how the school district can achieve the level desired. "This community already has great involvement," he said, "but the feeling here seems to be that more is desired."
"People want to help but don't know what to suggest or how to get involved," said one parent. "Perhaps you should periodically send home a list with the student outlining the types of support needed and inviting parents to respond. Spell out for them what you need and they'll respond," she said.
Another said Pagosa has a vast variety of tradespeople and experts in various professional fields. "They should be encouraged to come to the classroom to offer a personal introspective about their own chosen field and the excitement they find there."
Gene Crabtree, District 1 county commissioner, said the schools need to recognize the needs in the community. "You should see some of the scholarship aid requests we get," he said. "You should know the average annual wage in this county is $18,000 and in many of the requests we get the mother or father - a single parent - is already working two jobs to try to make ends meet."
Talk to citizens
"Before you can know what the community wants," said Crabtree, "you need to get out and mingle, go to the coffee shop, the drug store, the convenience store, the service station, the super market. Talk to people. Find out what they think, what they need. I think you'll find the community wants children taught to respect others, to understand the diversity around them, and to learn by experiencing local life. If that means inviting a professional rodeo rider or a mechanic into the classroom, you should do it."
Noggle asked the audience if the community feels the Colorado Student Assessment Program (CSAP) is the proper instrument for evaluating student learning in the schools.
"It is my personal opinion," he said, "that CSAP does not give parents a good tool to determine how their child is doing in school. I see it as a means for the school district to determine how effective its program is, but as just one measure of its success.
"Success comes down to the bottom line final question you'll always get from the parent: 'How is my child doing?'
"And they don't just want a grade level indicator," he said. "They want to know how the child is interacting with peers, melding socially into the classroom environment, and participating on both a group and one-on-one basis.
"None of that is measured by CSAP," he said.
A parent responded, "I like the idea of assessive goals for extra-curricular activities, not just headlines about a sports winner. We can measure our students' progress in ways other than grades. I'm not opposed to development of team skills, but we need to look also at recreational skills, group reactive development and people-meeting skills in addition to measuring sports performance."
Grade not enough
Noggle concluded from the audience comments that "parents seem to want more assessment of performance than just a grade. They want the grade explained, a written assessment of why the grade was given and how it can be improved."
"It seems imperative," he said, "for the parent to know what the child's skill level is, to be given an assessment of accomplishment."
He said, in answer to a parent question, "There are bugs in the state education system. No one in his right mind is opposed to state standards, but it is wrong to use CSAP as a tool to humiliate school districts which are underperform-ing. We need to use it instead as a tool to modify our programs to meet the needs of the students.
"For example," he said, "we need to meet the needs of the male Hispanic students in our classrooms, a need we seem to be falling behind on. The tests show this shortcoming and give us a measure to work toward. We need to design a program to meet that challenge."
Windsor Chacey, from the audience, said, "Education is not a single-issue, one-shot picture. CSAP doesn't show the performance of the school as a whole or the student as an individual with individual skills. A standard test like this won't show what the child really can do. It forces teachers to focus on areas of curriculum on which the student will be tested, rather than on a well-rounded, complete curriculum."
"The sad thing," Noggle said, "is that the community loses control. We encourage parents to help us in seeing that your students give the best performance they can. We want them to do more than just pass tests. We want them to learn to be part of the community, to communicate, to be responsible citizens . . . not just a kid who can take a test."
Bring back Bible
Another parent said it seems to him that "the problems in the public schools today began back in the 1960s when the Bible was taken out of the classroom. They took our basic values away and they're not teaching them anymore. Today we don't teach values at all, don't teach them to distinguish between right and wrong, The school board needs to look at the moral issues in the community today and not just ignore them in developing curriculum.
"It sometimes seems," he said, "that the schools are undermining the moral values we teach our kids at home."
After more than two hours of give and take between Noggle and the audience, Bill Esterbrook, high school principal, said "I'm really encouraged to see this turnout. But I've listened to all the ideas, plaudits and criticisms, and frankly, I haven't heard one idea that we have not or are not currently trying.
"We have a lot of smart young people," he said, "students who are achieving in many 'best' awards. We have debate in the Future Business Leaders of America organization which has qualified more than 30 for state competition. We have tremendous musical programs and presentations several times a year. We help students learn to depend on each other as integral parts of problem solving teams.
"We have students with special problems and others with special gifts," he continued, "and it is my impression that we have a program - constantly updated - to utilize all of them. And we do it very well."
Finally, a person who said she was a past student, parent and teacher in the local school system said, "You need to get the whole community in the loop of what's happening in our schools. They want to help but need to be asked. Tell them what you need and you most likely will get it."
"It is obvious," concluded another, "that Pagosa parents are proud of their students and want to make sure they get the best education possible. To achieve that level, they need to be trained to be listeners, evaluators, questioners and leaders. That's what we expect the school district to provide."
With a decision by county commissioners Tuesday it seems we are in the midst of a shift in county road policy. One that, apparently, will come at little or no cost to county government. Perhaps, as the precedent is refined, we will all benefit.
Tuesday, by a vote of 2-1 (commissioner Bill Downey dissenting) our commissioners agreed to enter into a partnership with property owners living on a road located just west of downtown Pagosa Springs. It seems like a great deal for all concerned, leading to the question of how the rest of us can jockey for the same results.
To simplify: Property owners will purchase gravel and culverts, then county equipment and crews will do the work on the road, with the county providing base material. There is still some question whether or not it was proposed that materials stockpiled by the county are available for purchase.
Why is this a great deal?
First, the road is not in a county maintenance system most residents of the county assume has been in effect for a considerable time. It is not subject to county maintenance or improvement schedules, not in the mix considered by a commissioner-appointed road committee prioritizing roads for work. As of Tuesday, there was no clear understanding of rights of way. Owner commitment to maintenance was required before work would proceed, but no specification of the nature of that commitment was made prior to the vote. Not everyone living on the road was involved in the project. No problem.
Second, according to a county official, depending on how you look at it, the work costs the county nothing. A commissioner verified the next day that equipment and crew would be out working somewhere, on something, anyway. Therefore, no additional cost.
One reason offered by a commissioner for working on a road not in the county system is that the property owners pay taxes, like everyone else. Another reason: It is possible because county crews are at a slow point in their schedule, apparently with time to spare, with no other roads in need of attention.
The old way of facilitating road improvement was to ask that people form a district, assess themselves to bring roads up to par and maintain them. That was when the county had a road moratorium. In our new era, at least one commissioner has indicated he does not believe there is a moratorium and, if there is, he doesn't want it.
Now, instead of forming a district, you agree to buy some of the materials, you time your request correctly, you move to the front of the line.
It is a long line. There are hundreds of property owners, living on county-maintained roads, crying for services. They need to change the way they do business. Get with the times.
To smooth the process, the commissioners should provide some additional information.
How many voters must live along a stretch of road proposed for improvement? One? Ten? Fifty? People need to know.
Is there some way to know when county crews have down time? Is it seasonal?
How do residents of the town, of existing metro districts, residents on roads already in the county system, get in on the action? They pay county taxes too, like everyone else. Can the residents of a metro district agree to buy road materials then ask that county crews do the work now secured from private contractors? How about residents on Hermosa Street, downtown?
Can residents of the Pagosa Lakes subdivisions, watching many roads degrade without effective maintenance, do the same? Organize their neighbors, put up a specified percentage of the total cost for a project (ordinarily spent on materials) and get the otherwise cost-free work done?
A new door has opened. We need to know who can walk through. What do they have to buy, what other criteria must be met in order to move to the front of the line?
Lying down on job has its rewards
United Blood Services personnel served tasty chocolate cookies and refreshing punch last Thursday afternoon at Mountain Heights Baptist Church.
The free refreshments followed 10 to 15 minutes of relaxed reclining on a folding massage table. Windows near the foot of the table provided spectacular views of Pagosa Peak and neighboring mountains. The public was invited.
Periodically, along with the refreshments, free T-shirts or lapel pins are handed out during these leisurely visitations. About the only drawback is that folks are only eligible for this leisurely pampering every eight weeks.
Free chocolate cookies and cold punch sounds too good to be true doesn't it? Well, it is. There's a catch. Folks must pass an extensive oral multiple-choice test beforehand. You also have to pass testing on your blood pressure, pulse, temperature, hemoglobin and red corpuscles.
The test is rather easy. The choices are limited to "yes" or "no." For most folks a vast majority of the answers is "no." One question deals with aspirin intake. So depending on how the past three days have gone, your answer could be "yes" regarding aspirins.
To alleviate any fears about taking the test, a small "prep sheet" is handed out prior to the actual testing. The condensed "Cliff Notes" pamphlet titled "Information and Instructions About Your Blood Donation" is required reading.
It's a rather easy read except for the "NAT Research Study" paragraph. It advises prospective donors that a research study in which United Blood Services currently participates uses "Nucleic Acid Amplification Technology" in its "investigational assay" aimed at detecting the presence of viruses.
There's a noticeable difference between the nature of the questions involved in today's pre-donation interview and those asked in the late '50s.
As I recall, the folks conducting the interview limited the questioning to: "How are you feeling?" "Have you eaten today?" "Have you given blood before?" "Do you know your blood type?" Other than that, they wanted to know if you had a preference as to which arm would be used.
I'd rather today's extensive questioning would use a written format rather than being asked orally. Nowadays, my reading is much better than my hearing.
Prospective blood donors must answer questions that you might find on an application for a "National Geographic" assignment. Traveling outside the United States or Canada during the past 12 month could lower your desirability or lead to additional questioning. 1977 is the defining date on the questionnaire. Being born in or having resided since 1977 in Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Niger or Nigeria could disqualify you.
United Blood Services not only rejects potential donors suffering from physical problems such as hemophilia, it disregards political correctness and social tolerance by stating that homosexual males or persons who "have traded sex for money or drugs since 1977" must not donate blood.
After responding to a lengthy series of yes-no questions it's easy to mistake a request for a question. Immediately prior to inserting an extraction needle into my arm last Thursday, the friendly technician asked if I could tell her my name and date of birth. As soon as I said "yes," I knew it was the wrong answer. For a moment I was afraid I'd disqualified myself from receiving cookies and juice. But once I gave the correct answers, she inserted the needle. In time the requisite amount of blood flowed out and I was told to help myself at the refreshment counter.
Besides enjoying the refreshments, donating blood let's me come away thinking I've accomplished something worthwhile even though I was lying down on the job.
Know you are loved and please keep us in your prayers.
25 years ago
Taken from SUN files of March 3, 1977
Some badly needed snow arrived here last week, starting late last Thursday. That storm left 30 inches of new snow on Wolf Creek Pass.
The Pagosa Pirates advanced to the district finals in basketball last week by defeating Dolores, Mancos and Dove Creek in the sub-district tournament.
Cloud seeding operations were in full force during the storm last weekend, according to an announcement from Western Weather Consultants. Cloud seeding operations last weekend were the first of the winter in this area. The storms brought considerable snow to the high country and at this time no estimate is being made as to how much the cloud seeding operations might have increased the normal snowfall.
50 years ago
Taken from SUN files of March 7, 1952
The weather the past week has sure made March come in like a lion, with snow falling nearly every day in small amounts and a heavy snow on Saturday night and Sunday. Altogether better than a foot and a half fell here in town, with the mercury skidding to below zero a couple of nights.
Jerry Young recently acquired a pair of hounds for use in running down cats. Cats bother the Young sheep every year and Jerry hopes to make the varmint scarce if possible. Haven't heard of any catches to date, but one hound was lost at last report.
With the simple plea, "Answer the Call" the Red Cross drive for funds was opened last Saturday in an effort to raise $849 in Archuleta County.
75 years ago
Taken from SUN files of March 11, 1927
Last Sunday was sort of a Gala Day in Juanita. Everyone was out - some posing before the camera, others calling to see the new baby, lovers strolling along the track, newlyweds promenading, all of which were harbingers of a beautiful spring day.
L.J. Goodman and family, who have been spending the past month in St. Louis on a visiting and buying trip, are expected to reach Pagosa Springs Monday evening by train, after motoring as far as Durango via Gallup and Farmington.
The school spelling contests are being held throughout the county today, the winners of which will meet in Pagosa Springs on Saturday, March 26, for the county contest.
91 years ago
Taken from Pagosa Springs New Era of March 3, 1911
The resting room in Simpson's Cash Grocery is an innovation in Pagosa and one that no doubt will be much appreciated by the store's customers. The room is fitted up with chairs, lounge, bureau and lavatory, being intended especially for the use of ladies. Tired mothers with small children will find the room a convenient place to rest and the lounge a temporary bed for a sleepy child.
Our enthusiasm about the progress being made by the boys' band shouldn't allow us to forget the Columbine band. The members of the latter band are musicians who not only pay for their instruction and purchase their music out of their own funds, but they spend valuable time in practicing and are always willing to give their services free to a worth cause.
They are just four out of around 70 Pagosa Springs High School student tutors giving up an hour and a half a day to help others.
They are just four identified for their empathy for others, their compassion and their intelligence.
They are just four, but their dedication helps open up the possibilities for double that.
"I think in general, the group of students I have here are exceptional," Gloria Hohrein, resource teacher, said. The four girls, three seniors and one junior, spend one block a day, five days a week in the resource room giving their peers some added attention.
"The idea is that these guys need some accommodations sometimes," Hohrein said. "The tutors provide those accommodations."
Natalie Ortega assists two students with an online course in career choices. Holly Gustafson is helping another student complete a geography class, also over the internet. Grace Brinton tutors a pair of students in art, and one of the two in math. And the final tutor, who chose not to participate in this article, helps students with their reading, writing and study skills.
Monday mornings at 8 a.m. Brinton and Susie Rivas can be found studying multiplication flash cards. Each card is handmade with bright fluorescent colors. Next to each problem is a rhyme they use as a memory tool.
"I love it," Brinton said. She has several years of tutoring experience, two in the high school resource room. "The best part is hearing them have fun and seeing the learning they have done. Seeing their accomplishments."
After finishing math, the two move on to art. Rivas is working on a grid drawing, a black and white picture drawn by breaking a bigger picture into equal squares and then working to reproduce the image one square at a time. Rivas said her picture, two eagles sitting on a tree, has been a challenge and a frustration at times, but ultimately fun. This is her first art class.
Natalie Ortega, a senior, uses a tall stool to perch above the two students she tutors, helping both work through their online assignments.
"If I could I'd probably work with all of them, instead of just two," she said. "I'd be in here all day long if I could."
However, it's her ability to focus on just two that makes their participation in the Internet classes possible, Hohrein said. Without the tutors, it would be impossible to focus that much time on one or two students when there are eight or nine in the room.
The online classes are brand new this year and offer students more options when it comes to electives. All courses are aligned with the Colorado Model Content Standards and supervised by a teacher off-site. Students complete assignments and receive feedback via e-mail.
Most students, Hohrein said, do not remain in the resource room the entire day. Instead, they, like the tutors, move out to other classes. Instead, the resource room provides a place to get extra help, learn to work together and form friendships. The tutors not only help their charges coast through the rough spots, but provide encouragement, develop relationships, even learn something about themselves along the way.
"I think Grace was really helpful to Susie and David's self-esteem," Hohrein said. Gustafson has mentioned possibly becoming a teacher because of the experience.
"I wasn't sure I had the ability to help people, but I found out it's one of my strong points," Gustafson, a junior, said. Her only prior experience was tutoring a little brother at home. Then her guidance counselor, Mark Thompson, suggested the possibility of helping in Hohrein's class.
"I had an extra hour," she said. "I thought I'd make more of an impact this way."
Thompson said students have the option to become a teacher's aide or tutor their junior and senior years if they have an open period. Almost 50 are sent to the elementary school. Others assist at local preschools, or in the junior high and intermediate classrooms. Most at the high school operate in more clerical positions, serving as aides to run errands, copy information or otherwise assist teachers in preparation for class.
The resource room is unique because of the time each tutor spends independently with their peers. There, it's just four, but together so much more.
"I have these two kids, and I'm pretty much responsible for them," Brinton, a senior, said. "Mrs. Hohrein really needs my help. It's not like another class where I could make things up. If I feel like laying in bed, I know they're waiting for me."
Three candidates have thrown hats into the ring for two openings on the five-member Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District Board of Directors.
The two openings for four-year terms are currently filled by Don Brinks and Karen Wessels. Both have filed for re-election. The election is scheduled May 7.
Challenging the two incumbents is Bob Hart. Hart is president of the Upper San Juan Builders Association. He currently serves as chairman of an advisory committee appointed by the PAWS board of directors to help formulate a new fee structure.
Also on the May 7 ballot will be a proposal asking voters to approve a general obligation bond.
Money from the bond will be used to begin implementation of capital structure upgrades recommended in a 20-year plan developed for PAWS by consulting engineers.
The PAWS board has not decided if the entire bond issue should be presented to voters in the May election. They are contemplating dividing the bond volume, presenting about half the volume to voters in the May election, and presenting the second half to voters during the November election. The total involved amounts to about $10.1 million. A decision on how much of the proposal to place on the May ballot and how much to delay is likely to be made Tuesday at the regular board meeting.
If a decision is made to split the bond total, approval will be sought May 7 to sell about $4.99 million in general obligation bonds. Voter approval is required in order to issue general obligation bonds.
If voters approve the bond sale May 7, a major portion of the bond sales revenue, about $3.5 million, will be used to expand the Vista wastewater treatment plant.
If the bond sale is split, on the Nov. 5 general election ballot voters will be asked to approve the sale of $5.1 million in general obligation bonds. A major portion of that total, $3.7 million, will be used to enclose the Dutton Ditch in pipe. Dutton Ditch is an old irrigation ditch currently used by PAWS to deliver raw water to the Hatcher and Stevens storage reservoirs. The open ditch traverses hillsides that periodically slide down the mountain, threatening to cut off the water source for many of the residents living in subdivisions west of town. Repair of the ditch has been a continuing maintenance expense.
Discussion of budget and fee structure options continued at a board of directors workshop Tuesday night. Final decisions are possible at the next regular meeting Tuesday, or at a meeting March 19.
Based on a board decision made last December, the PAWS staff has been implementing a new budget configuration along with learning the nuances of new computer hardware and software.
The new budget has been revised to include a water enterprise fund, wastewater enterprise fund, general fund, capital projects fund, general obligation bond fund, and general obligation debt service fund.
A major difference between the new and the old budget is the separation of water and wastewater expenses and revenues. The separation makes it easier to allocate costs to either water or wastewater functions.
A second plus for the new budget format is the inclusion of accounting procedures which will make it easier to allocate costs between the old and the new.
Engineering studies commissioned by PAWS show a need to spend about $30.2 million for water capital improvements and about $19.9 million for wastewater improvements through 2020.
The contemplated water expenditure is divided to include $24.2 million benefiting future users and $5.97 million benefiting current users. The contemplated wastewater expenditure is divided to include $14.5 million benefiting future users and $5.4 million benefiting current users.
PAWS has been in the throes of developing a 20-year financial plan to raise the millions of dollars needed to pay for anticipated capital expenditures. A major question has been how much of the total future costs should be assessed against future growth and development, and how much against current residents in the form of property taxes and service fees. Service fees are the monthly water and sewer bills received by users each month.
A fee structure distributing costs between new and old has been developed based on the ratios of new to old shown in the 20-year capital expenditures data. While specific dollar amounts have not been formally approved, the new fee structure proposes substantial changes in a variety of fees, including a small increase in service charges.
In general, the fees will include an inclusion or "buy-in" fee charged for adding new territory to the district, new construction capital investment fees for water and wastewater based on square footage, connection fees, and perhaps others.
Standby fees paid by owners of vacant lots located within 100 feet of water and wastewater lines may be phased out over a period of years as bonds are retired.
Monthly service fees may be increased from $13.50 to $15 for water and from $14 to $15 for sewer. In addition, the monthly maximum for water consumption paid for by the monthly fee is likely to be reduced from 10,000 gallons to 8,000 gallons. Cost for consumption above 8,000 gallons will go up to $2.50 per 1,000 gallons.
Most of the fees, including inclusion and capital investment fees, will be based on an equivalent unit common denominator determined by the district.
Suicide is a tragic and heartbreaking event in a community. It has been our unfortunate experience, that because suicide is such a painful and frightening subject, it is not discussed openly or often enough. There is sometimes a fear that if suicide is talked about publicly, or if a person is questioned directly about their suicidal ideas, there will be a higher risk of suicides happening.
The truth is that most people who are considering suicide are going through a very difficult, often ambivalent decision-making process that can be helped by direct contact and communication with another person. There may still be a small voice, that needs help in overturning the decision to die. In a recent presentation to a high school psychology class on suicide prevention, a majority of the class raised their hands when asked if they recently contacted someone who was talking or thinking about suicide. They shared many touching accounts of how they are impacted by the loss of their friends to suicide.
During the contemplation of suicide, there is a fragile, and most often hidden process happening, that needs connection to another human being and can benefit from an out loud declaration that the person is not alone, that there are others who care and want them to stay alive, and that there are possibilities other than death to deal with the pain, emotions, or loneliness that they are struggling with. Even with the best of interventions from friends, family members, and caring professionals, sometimes suicide can not be prevented. We still have to reach out to people around us and try to make a connection that will convince them to hold on.
We have to keep finding ways to convince them that they are not alone and that there is help for their suffering. The secrets around suicide have to be dispelled. We must discourage the dangerous idea that getting help for a friend who is suicidal may be "ratting" to an adult, or that a person who is at risk of suicide will get in some kind of trouble with authorities when reported. Young people must be encouraged to talk to someone who cares, and convinced that their parents will not be ashamed or disappointed in them for thinking suicidal thoughts.
We have to offer training and skills to everyone in our community, for how to be a "lifesaver" when they have the chance, and how to keep caring, vigilant eyes on each other. We need a trained peer team of high school individuals who can be a referral source for fellow students. We must keep talking about suicide and providing resources to support our youth.
Just this week, we suffered another tragic loss of a young person to suicide, and many in our community are deeply grieving that loss. Our hearts, prayers, and condolences go out to all the family and friends of the victim. Part of the youngster's funeral service included a touching song that says, "everybody hurts - hold on."
As we witness their suffering and sadness, we hope there will be a renewed communitywide response to work together openly and actively as responders, connectors, and lifesavers to others who may be at risk of suicide. We must all be more vigilant and ready to connect with those in trouble, to say openly, "you are not alone," and to reach out and help someone "hold on."
Counselors at the Pagosa Counseling Center can be reached at any hour by calling 911. They are joined by many other caring, highly skilled professionals in the community who stand ready for referrals or to offer training and support in classrooms. All are here; call if you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, or if you just need to know what to say to someone in trouble.
The Upper San Juan Regional Planning Commission will hold its regular meeting at 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 13, at the Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse, 230 Port Avenue. Public comments are welcomed and encouraged. (Please note the time change and change of location.)
The agenda includes:
Call to order/roll call
P & C Minor Impact Subdivision - Sketch Plan
The proposed Minor Impact Subdivision would split 41 acres into two, 20.5-acre single-family lots.
The property is generally located approximately 1/2 mile west of Arboles and north of the west junction of Lopez Road and Highway 151. The property is legally described as the SE 1/4 SW 1/4 and the SW 1/4 SE 1/4 of Section 7; NE 1/4 NW 1/4 and the NW 1/4 NE 1/4 of Section 18, Township 32 North, Range 5 West, N.M.P.M, Archuleta County
Powder Horn Subdivision - Final Plat
This request is to review a proposed Final Plat. The property is bordered by Ranch Community on the south, by Lake Pagosa Park on the east, and by Twin Creek Village on the north. The proposed in-fill subdivision contains 41 single-family lots of approximately 1-acre each.
The property is located at 2573 North Pagosa Boulevard between Antelope Avenue and Aspenglow Blvd. Legal description for the property is the SE 1/4 SE 1/4 of Section 7, Township 35 North, Range 2 West, N.M.P.M., Archuleta County, CO
Public Hearing on Nielsons Gravel Pit at Weber Ranches of Pagosa, LLC. - Conditional Use Permit and Variances.
Nielsons-Skanska is requesting a CUP and related variances for a temporary gravel mining operation along the San Juan River for CDOT's Wolf Creek Pass construction.
The applicant is also requesting four variances from the Archuleta County Land Use Regulations as follows: a variance from Section 10.4.5 to allow one access to the site from the highway, a variance from Section 10.4.10 to allow non-paved access drives, a variance from Section 10.6.3 to allow non-paved parking, and a variance from Section 10.7 to not construct a sidewalk or contribute to the county's escrow account.
The property is generally located 3/4 mile East from San Juan River Resort on Highway 160. The proposed site for the gravel pit is located on approximately 10 acres within the SE 1/4 of Section 22, Township 36 North, Range 1 East, N.M.P.M., Archuleta County, CO
Crowley Ranch IV Subdivision - Final Plat and Variances.
This request is for the review of a Final Plat and its related Variances. Thirty-four lots on a total of 582.92 acres is proposed with an average lot size of 3.82 acres and the remaining 407 acres of the property being open space.
The Variances are requested from Sections 4.2.11 of the Archuleta County Land Use Regulations and from Section 805 of the Archuleta County Road Specifications. The Variance to the Road Specifications would allow portions of the roads in the subdivision to exceed the maximum 8 percent grade. The Variance to Section 4.2.11 would allow a reduction in road width from 27 feet to 20 feet for a portion of the road.
This parcel is generally located east of Crowley Ranch Reserve Phase I and north of Crowley Ranch Reserve Phase III. Access will be from Crowley Drive and CR 382, each having access from Highway 84. The property is legally described as Section 21, Township 32 North, Range 1 East, N.M.P.M., Archuleta County, CO, (located within the Tierra Amarilla Land Grant)
Colorado Timber Ridge Subdivision IV - Preliminary Plan and Variance.
This is a review of the Preliminary Plan for Colorado Timber Ridge Subdivision Phase IV. The proposed subdivision would consist of forty-five lots, ranging in size from 1.3 to 7.2-acres with approximately 50.7-acres of open space areas, located on a 180.63-acre parcel. The applicants are requesting a variance from Section 4.2.6 to allow two cul-de-sacs.
The property is located on an unsubdivided tract in portions of Township 35 North, Section 27: Portion N1/2 NW 1/4, SW 1/4 NE 1/4, Portion NW 1/4 SW 1/4 NE 1/4 SW 1/4, NW 1/4 SE 1/4, Section 28: Portion E 1/2 NE 1/4, Range 2 West, N.M.P.M., Archuleta County, CO
Ridgeview Centre (formerly known as the Ridgeview Mall) - Conditional Use Permit.
This is a request for the review of a change of use for the Ridgeview Mall, changing the use of approximately 19,048 square feet of retail space to a bowling alley, fast food court, pro shop, bar, game room, meeting rooms, church/church gym and kitchen areas inside of the existing 36,000 square foot building. The remaining portion of the building is presently used for an antique shop and offices.
The property is located at 525 Navajo Trail Drive at the corner of Navajo Trail Drive and Seminole Drive. The property is legally described as Parcel 1 of the Replat of Lots 27-32 and Tract B of Ridgeview Subdivision.
Review of the February 20, 2002 Planning Commission Minutes
Other business that may come before the Commission
A winter storm system containing substantial moisture is expected in Pagosa Springs this morning, according to Jeff Colton, a forecaster for the National Weather Service office in Grand Junction.
Cloudy and breezy with a 30-percent chance of rain with winds out of the southwest gusting to 15 or 20 miles an hour was Colton's Thursday morning forecast for Pagosa Springs.
Conditions should worsen as the day progresses. Moisture during the day will probably be in the form of rain in town, snow at higher elevations. Later tonight the precipitation probability increases to 50 percent. Falling temperatures should change the rain to snow.
Conditions should deteriorate further by tomorrow morning, Colton said.
"Look for colder temperatures, blustery winds, and a 60-percent chance of snow Friday morning," Colton said.
Skies will be clearing late Friday. Saturday should be mostly sunny and cool followed by partly cloudy and warmer conditions Sunday and Monday.
Another storm could be moving into the area Tuesday, Colton said, bringing a slight chance for rain or snow.
Daytime temperatures during the coming week should start with a warm 48 to 53 degrees today, dropping to 35-45 degrees through Saturday. Sunday and Monday highs should range between 45 and 55 degrees.
Nighttime lows should parallel the daytime highs. Lows tonight should be in the 30s, but by tomorrow night the thermometer could plummet to between 0 and 10 degrees. A gradual increase will elevate low temperatures from the 5 to 15 degree range Sunday into the mid-20s by Monday and Tuesday.
"Thursday, a zonal flow will cross Pagosa from west to east," Colton said, "carrying a strong Pacific cold front through the Rockies Thursday night and Friday morning. It is carrying lots of moisture. The front should clear out Friday night to be replaced by a high pressure ridge bringing clear skies and warmer temperatures over the coming weekend."
A second front is expected Tuesday, presaging a roller coaster pattern of good and bad weather over the next few weeks, according to Colton.
Stray dogs, land use regulations, and oil and gas regulations will all be subject to commissioner scrutiny during the next few weeks.
The lineup of discussions begins Monday when the commissioners have scheduled a workshop likely to last the better part of the day.
Action begins Monday at 10 a.m. with a discussion of proposed land use regulations designed to help implement the community plan adopted last year. Immediately following the discussion of land use regulations, a draft oil and gas ordinance will be discussed. Following lunch, at 1:30, proposed stray dog regulations will be discussed.
On March 19, a public hearing will be conducted concerning proposed land use regulations.
While meeting in regular session Tuesday, the board of county commissioners conducted the following business:
Approved renewal of a joint law enforcement agreement with Hinsdale County
Agreed to donate $200 in support of Philanthropy Days of Southwest Colorado
Accepted the resignation of Donna Modarelli from the Archuleta County Fair Board
Agreed in concept to an intergovernmental agreement uniting Archuleta County, Pagosa Springs, and the Colorado Department of Transportation concerning certain work, including the installation of traffic signals, at the intersection of U.S. 160 and Pagosa boulevards
Renewed a hotel/restaurant liquor license for Pepper's Mexican Restaurant
Approved the expenditure of $1,271 to pay for linking road and bridge building computers with computers in the county courthouse
Agreed to apply for county credit cards from Pinnacle Bank
Waived conditional use permit and variance fees for Piedra Park Metropolitan District.
The Colorado Division of Wildlife has entered a contract with Central Bank of Missouri to create the technological backbone for the division's new Total Licensing Project (TLP). Project coordinators presented the major terms of the agreement at a Wildlife Commission workshop meeting at division headquarters in Denver Feb. 21.
Under the contract, Central Bank of Missouri and its partner, Automated Licensing Systems, will work with the division to design, program and maintain an electronic licensing system for at least five years. The agreement, signed Feb. 20, includes a $3 million performance bond and other financial guarantees to the division to ensure the system runs smoothly.
Central Bank has been at the forefront of electronic licensing since 1985 and currently runs similar systems in seven states: Missouri, Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, Tennessee, Louisiana and Mississippi. Colorado's system will be modeled after Missouri's, which has been running the latest version of the technology for two years.
"State wildlife agencies operate very much alike and the division will benefit greatly from Central Bank's experience," said Rob Molloy, the Division's Total Licensing Project manager.
Under the TLP system, the division will no longer issue paper licenses to agents. Instead, agents will sell hunting and fishing licenses electronically through point-of-sale terminals, which will print licenses on demand. Buyers also will be able to purchase licenses through the Internet and by telephone.
"The new system allows hunters and anglers to buy a license anytime, anywhere," Molloy said.
Buyers will no longer have to wait in long lines or fill out lengthy forms, he said. "They simply can supply a driver's license or previously purchased hunting or fishing license - that's all."
The new system will take information directly from the driver's license, authorize the sale through a database, and then print a new license. The buyer receives a compact, printed license with necessary carcass tags, about the size of a credit card, identifying the holder and listing all privileges purchased.
To further expedite the process, the division will no longer require buyers to possess conservation certificates or agents to file license remittance reports.
The division will provide about 800 point-of-sale terminals to agents statewide. The system is quite simple to learn, said Molloy, and license agents will be trained how to operate terminals shortly before the system comes online.
Not only will electronic licensing simplify the process for hunters and agents, division officials expect the new system will expand the division's efficiency as well.
"The new system increases the accuracy of our database, which will help law enforcement officers and provide more precise harvest information," said Henrietta Turner, the division's license services manager.
"The new system should deliver more convenience for license buyers, improve business processes for license agents and be more efficient for the division, representing a real win-win-win situation for all of us," Molloy said.
The division will conduct pilot testing of the system in December. The complete system is set for launch by April 2, 2003.
The majority of southwestern Colorado counties have elected to take advantage of new legislation aimed at stabilizing annual U.S. Forest Service payments to states and counties for schools and roads. The total paid to southwestern Colorado counties with San Juan National Forest lands within their boundaries for 2001 will be $457,052.69.
Since 1908, 25 percent of Forest Service revenues from commodity receipts have been returned to states in which National Forest lands are located. The states then transferred these payments to counties for upkeep and maintenance of public schools and roads.
The Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act of 2000 stabilizes payment levels to their historic high, breaking a 92-year-old link between revenues collected from the sale and use of National Forest products and services and payments to states. It also creates citizen advisory committees and gives local communities the choice to fund restoration projects on federal lands or in counties.
The new formula is based on averaging a state's three highest payments between 1986 and 1999 to arrive at a compensation allotment or "full payment amount." Counties may choose to continue to receive payments under the 25 percent fund, or to receive the county's proportionate share of the state's full payment amount. The new legislation is slated to guide payment activities through fiscal 2006.
Only Montezuma County elect-ed to continue to receive payments based on the old method. The others elected the option of using the average of the high three years between 1986 and 1999. For Achuleta County, this amounted to $99,862.50.
After a decade, Colorado's Waterfowl Stamp Program has proven to be a great success, generating $6.7 million toward protecting more than 19,500 acres of wetlands throughout the state.
The accomplishments of the program are detailed in the Division of Wildlife's 1990-2001 Waterfowl Stamp Program report. It is the first comprehensive progress report published about the program. The report will be available to the public at Division offices beginning in March.
The Waterfowl Stamp Program was launched in 1989 when the Colorado General Assembly passed legislation requiring duck and goose hunters to purchase a $5 waterfowl stamp in addition to paying regular hunting license fees. The money was earmarked to protect critical wetlands and associated uplands throughout Colorado.
Since 1990, stamp sales have generated $2.3 million from hunters and $4.4 million in partner funds to protect 19,598 acres of wetlands habitat in 131 areas throughout the state.
"This simple requirement has had a far-reaching positive effect on wetlands conservation in Colorado," said Division Director Russell George.
"Now, a decade later, our Division of Wildlife Wetlands Program is one of the best in the nation."
The Colorado Waterfowl Stamp Program is a strategic partnership between the Division and federal agencies, non-profit conservation groups and private landowners. Partners include: Ducks Unlimited, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Partners for Fish and Wildlife, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Forest Service, Wetlands Focus Area committees, the Colorado Wildlife Heritage Foundation and more than 200 private landowners.
"We are set up to work in a cooperative fashion with partners and landowners," said Alex Chappell, the Division's Wetlands Program coordinator.
Areas receiving protection under the program include the Blanca Wetlands and Monte Vista/Alamosa National Wildlife Refuge in the San Luis Valley, Brown's Park National Wildlife Refuge in the Yampa/White River area and Hebron Sloughs in North Park.
"There are all types of wetlands - wet meadows, marshlands and sloughs.
We go after those areas which are biologically significant and important to species we are trying to protect," Chappell said.
Wetland habitat supports nearly 125 species of vertebrates in Colorado, including more than 100 species of migratory birds.
Waterfowl hunters aren't the only ones who are helping protect wetlands through the stamp program. The stamps have also become treasured collector's items for non-hunters. Each year, an artist designs a new waterfowl stamp. The 2001 stamp features a pair of ruddy ducks in a work by Cynthie Fisher. Fisher, a wildlife artist from Montana, has won the Colorado stamp contest four other times.
Proceeds from the sale of collector's stamps and poster-sized prints support the North American Waterfowl Management Plan (NAWMP), an international wetlands conservation effort. NAWMP, administered in Colorado by the Division, provides for the habitat needs of migrating waterfowl between Canada, the U.S. and Latin America.
The waterfowl stamp effort has also served as the foundation for the creation of the Division's overall Wetlands Program, which since 1997 has protected, restored, created or purchased more than 100,000 acres of wetlands and associated uplands through a variety of projects worth more than $20 million.
Hunters can purchase the required $5 waterfowl stamp along with their small game license and federal stamp at license agents, Division offices and sporting goods stores throughout Colorado.
Mint stamps for collectors are available through the Colorado Wildlife Heritage Foundation. Prices range from $9 for a single stamp to $300 for a full sheet of 30 signed by the artist. Currently, the foundation has stamps available from years 1992, 2000 and 2001. To order, contact Karin Ballard, associate executive director of the Colorado Wildlife Heritage Foundation, at (303) 291-7212 or by email: Karin.firstname.lastname@example.org.
To order a print of the Colorado Waterfowl Stamp, contact Jill Olsen at Ducks Unlimited by email email@example.com. Prints are $174 plus shipping and handling.
After a winter filled with sunny skies and little snowfall, a change could be in the air for Pagosa Country residents. Change could include precipitation.
"We have been in a northwest flow all winter," said Joe Ramey, forecaster at the National Weather Service office in Grand Junction. "That has been unfortunate for the snowpack in the San Juan Mountains. Changes are happening in the Eastern Pacific that could lead to a westerly flow in our area. A westerly flow means more precipitation. Whether it is rain or snow depends on the temperature at the time."
Local skies should have been mostly cloudy as the sun came up this morning, according to Ramey. By tonight, skies should be completely cloudy with a 20-percent chance for snow. By tomorrow morning, skies should be clearing once again.
Pagosa weather should remain relatively clear and warm until late Tuesday, when the westerly winds predicted by Ramey should move into the area. Tuesday night and Wednesday present the best chance for precipitation in the San Juans this coming week, according to Ramey.
Ramey is quick to point out that the reliability of forecasts is low concerning weather conditions more than three days into the future.
On Feb. 20, 0.25 inches of new snowfall was measured at Stevens Field, the local U.S. Weather Service gauging station. For February, 0.5 inches of snow have fallen in town. Average February snowfall is 18.8 inches.
Total snowfall for the season at Wolf Creek Ski Area is 178 inches with 3 new inches recorded over the last seven days. Snow depth at the ski resort midway point is 46 inches, at the summit 58 inches. Wednesday morning's temperature at 6:30 was 3 degrees.
Average high temperatures last week ranged between 35 and 48 degrees. The average high temperature was 41 degrees. Saturday's 48 degrees is the highest temperature recorded during 2002.
Average low temperatures recorded last week ranged between 8 and 21 degrees, with an average low temperature of 12 degrees.
A chapter of the Colorado Cross Disabilities Coalition is being organized in Pagosa Springs. The Colorado Cross Disabilities Coalition is a statewide advocacy organization which seeks to deal with issues that affect persons with physical and mental disabilities on a statewide and local level. Pagosa Springs is the 13th grass roots group being organized in Colorado. The organizational meeting will be held at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, March 14. Persons desiring further information, including the place of the meeting, should call 731-4152.
I read with dismay the Feb. 21 article regarding the current consideration on the part of district school board members to subscribe to the flawed educational theories of Dr. Alfie Kohn and do away with grading in the Pagosa Springs Public Schools.
As a former teacher and principal in public education and as a former private school principal, I am appalled that such a direction would even be considered. Such a course of action will only continue the "dumbing down" of public education in our community and leave our children poorly equipped to deal with the realities of both life in the business world or on the university campus.
One might ask of Dr. Kohn, when our children are never graded, achievement is not esteemed and competition is disparaged, how will our children begin to function on the university campus where grading is a fact of life, and competition is the rule of the day?
Moreover, what will happen to such ill-equipped children when they meet the business world where personnel evaluations are a daily fact of life and competition is the life-blood of industry?
In simple terms, I will tell you what will happen - they will fail!
They will fail precisely because we did not prepare them for the reality of life. Assigning grades to student achievement is not a perfect science. But surely there is a better solution to assist our civilization and our children than abandoning all notion of excellence and accountability.
One wonders what the Winter Olympics would have looked like if the same lack of standards proposed by Dr. Kohn were attached to the evaluation of the various athletes in the sports venues of Salt Lake City. If so, we'd certainly have to dispense with those awful medals! Just think how degrading it would be for the person who only receives a silver instead of a gold medal, let alone the poor soul who finishes fourth. Those numerical rankings for figure skaters have to go, too. And what of the National Football League? The Superbowl demeans those teams that didn't get there so at the end of the season we should just declare a tie because everyone did the best they could.
I am hoping that reason and logic will break out on our district school board and Dr. Kohn and his ilk will be sent packing. If you want to build self-esteem in our children, set standards that are worth achieving and then have excellent teachers motivate and assist the children to do things they never knew they could do. And then, when they have done what they thought they couldn't do, praise them for having done it and I guarantee you their little egos will soar!
Education is by definition helping children step into a future they cannot imagine, supporting and teaching them in such a way as to achieve success in the endeavor.
Rev. Richard A. Bolland
T.A. Cruse's letter in the Feb. 28 SUN displays unwarranted assumptions and a lack of knowledge of the actualities of the county and special district operations.
His statement that "County finances are . . . largely hidden from us" is patently untrue. A little investigation would have shown that county records are public information and available to any resident who wants to see them. Furthermore, a list of all county expenditures is regularly published in the SUN and the commissioners and/or staff will provide any explanations requested.
Apparently Mr. Cruse got his information by hearsay because, upon checking with the commissioners, I found that Mr. Cruse had not contacted them nor the county finance office about his questions or concerns.
Upon checking with the PAWS board chairman and staff, I again find that he did not contact any of them to get factual information. Had he done so, or even read previous issues of the SUN, he would have been aware that the PAWS accounting system has been in process of revision for some time to provide more detailed data. Once more it appears that Mr. Cruse relied upon hearsay for his information.
Before making his public allegations like "Chicken Little," he should at least have investigated his concerns with PAWS people. Perhaps there are adequate reasons for what has been and is being done.
Before suggesting what the commissioners ought to do, it would have been worthwhile for him to check what authority they legally have over special districts. He wrongly assumed that the commissioners certifying special districts' mill levies gives them some authority over the districts. Not so. I think he would have found that special districts are arms of the state and, once formed, counties have no jurisdiction over them. Their directors are elected by the residents of the district and are answerable to the residents. Those residents can review records (which are public) and attend board meetings to bring up any concerns. If they are dissatisfied they can vote the offenders out.
Such letters with uninvestigated allegations are less than helpful to our community.
A concerned resident,
Fred A. Ebeling
Today there are many examples in our country of problem schools. Philadelphia has lousy schools being run by Democrats. The education system has long been plagued with low test scores, chronic teacher shortages, crumbling buildings and deficits in excess of $200 million.
The system is so full of clutter that the state of Pennsylvania decided to clean house and has assumed control of the largest school district. Gov. Mark Schweiker wanted the worst performing schools to be run by private companies - hoping that, at last, the children would have an opportunity to compete and achieve.
Fat chance! According to the Associated Press, the NAACP and school employee unions have formed a group called "The Coalition to Keep Our Public Schools Public". They plan to sue Pennsylvania, arguing that the state takeover will "abolish the rights of the school district and the citizens of the city."
And there's a law allowing the state to take over the school system, so they want the law declared unconstitutional.
That's right, they will try to prove there's a constitutional right to let children fail. Despite all the lip service about "the children," they have no problem allowing thousands of kids to remain untested, under-educated and unprepared to compete in society - if it means holding onto political power.
Seems to me, the mealy-mouthed carping of "The Coalition to Keep Our Schools Public" needs to be fine-tuned with some confident clarity. I can easily say "voucher"; can a liberal Democrat? I doubt it.
Fish fry applauded
For a small town we have some of the nicest restaurants around, in fact, maybe in the entire state.
The reason for this letter is we'd like to compliment a group of people who in our estimation are, and have been, doing one remarkable job of satisfying us, the public in general, when it comes to dining out.
The Parish Hall on Lewis Street has some of the finest people catering to the public. You enter the door and pay the two gentlemen for your dinner, then move next to the food line for your very delicious catfish dinner with all the condiments, including the best home-fried potatoes, with hush puppies, cole slaw and corn bread . . . makes a man's mouth water just talking about it.
On top of all this comes your drinks and still later, ice cream for dessert. The people serving this to us have got to be the upper crust of Pagosa Springs. Next, people attend the tables and refresh our drinks, clean up our mess and place new placemats for the next crew to come in. The tantalizing flavor of the catfish they serve has got to be the cream of the crop as it just melts in your mouth with the finest flavor provided by these chefs behind the scene.
The only trouble is, it lasts only five weeks. This event starts the Friday after Ash Wednesday and runs up to Easter. We all realize the importance of fund-raisers and this has to be a huge success for the church. My only recommendation is: Why couldn't we, say, have one of these once a month through the entire year?
What a nice complement that would make for the already outstanding selection of restaurants we already have here in Pagosa. I suppose you could say I am selfish because I know there's a whole lot of work involved with putting this together, but gosh, it would be nice once a month, all year long.
The sincerely outstanding, hard-working group of ladies and gentlemen who cater this event for the church, need a pat on the back and a round of applause for their always warm friendship.
Father John, you certainly can be proud of these people. They are representing you with the highest ideals.
Bob and Shirley Sprague
I can, Mr. isberg, I can say the word "voucher".
I can say it because I worked for many years in public education and observed policies, procedures, schedules, ideas and methods that crushed children's spirits and joy of learning, rather than help them be the best they could be.
However, I find it curious that you want to get the parents out of the school buildings. In my opinion, it is up to the parents to decide what they want their children to know, and to decide what kind of people they want to help them to become. Government schools let parents off the hook in terms of education by implying: "We'll take care of that." They also imply to parents: "We are the experts, we know best for your children."
The "voucher" doesn't keep parents out of the school buildings; it is an invitation for them to get involved, make choices, be responsible for their children, and accept the consequences of their choices. Vouchers are not a panacea, but a start, a return to times when parents chose schools according to what they valued. We have a level of aggression in this country that precludes these choices - (now).
You call for community involvement in education, using experience, skills and talents. I, for instance think I know how to help a struggling child learn how to read. I want to share that part of me, and am working to find the appropriate situation which will benefit all those concerned.
I will, however, need to work without benefit of bureaucratic "certification." And that, I have discovered is a problem. Are there others out there with the same problem?
Sara J. Wilson
It has a rewarding sound for the Pagosa Springs Lady Pirates.
Playing perhaps their best all-round game of the season, the girls reached the group of 16 remaining qualifiers for state Class 3A basketball laurels with a 65-33 shellacking of visiting Rangely Tuesday in Pagosa.
Pagosa was paced by three Ladies in double figures, led by Ashley Gronewoller's 22, 15 from freshman point guard Lori Walkup and a 12-point, 17-rebound performance by power forward Katie Lancing.
For Walkup, it was a signal event. Her 15 points pushed her over the 100 mark for the season (105) and gave the Ladies three players in that category. Gronewoller has 434 in 22 games and Lancing has added 235.
Rangely features two girls standing six feet or over, just as Pagosa does. But one of the visitors, Sara Peacock, came into the game as one of the state's leading 3-point shooters. She was limited to a sole basket in the game, going 1 for 12 from the field and it was a 3-pointer.
Pagosa, meanwhile, left little doubt of their intentions - go inside early and often. With the 6'3" Gronewoller moving at will across the lane, Pirate attackers were repeatedly able to find her with lead passes and she rolled up eight first quarter points.
When the visiting Lady Panthers collapsed the defense to stop Gronewoller, senior forward Nicole Buckley found herself open and the offense dumped the ball off to her. Buckley responded with two first period field goals and was fouled twice while shooting.
Lancing started slowly, hitting just three free throws in the first period, but with her two senior running mates, had the Pirates up 16-6 at the break.
As Rangely adjusted its defense in the second period, obviously hoping to stop Gronewoller inside, Pagosa reacted by going to a guard attack offense getting 8 points in the period from Walkup, all on jumpers from 10 to 14 feet.
Lancing and junior forward Katie Bliss each added a field goal in the period, Gronewoller chipped in with a field goal putback off an offensive rebound and a pair of free throws, and Buckley rounded out her scoring for the night with a free throw as the Pirates built a 33-15 halftime lead.
Rangely got single baskets in the period from Rylee Miller, Arianne Morrison, Casi Wright and a trey from pint-sized guard Courtney Douglas who would prove to be the team's leading scorer for the night with 10.
Coach Karen Wells substituted freely throughout the contest and every member of the squad contributed to the success.
Rangely tried valiantly to counter the Pagosa offensive sets, but every time they seemed to have an answer, the Pirates changed attacks.
In the third quarter, for example, Rangely went to a man defense in an attempt to stop the Walkup attack. The result was Pagosa reverting to the inside attack and Grone-woller scored eight more points in the period. And, to prove she does more than shoot layups, one basket was a jumper from the head of the key.
With the defensive focus switching between Walkup and Gronewoller, Pagosa's other starting guard, Carlena Lung-strum, got into the scoring story in the period, hitting a 12-foot jumper from the left side and then driving the lane for an uncontested layup as the defenders sagged off on Gronewoller.
Walkup added one field goal in the period, the shot that put her at exactly 100 for the season, and Lancing contributed a pair of free throws while continuing to sweep the boards clean. By period's end, Pagosa was up 49-19 and there could be little doubt the Lady Pirates had played themselves into the Sweet Sixteen.
With all the reserves getting playing time in the fourth period, Rangely scored 14 points. Pagosa, however, responded with 16.
Lancing and Walkup each had five more in the period, Walkup canning Pagosa's only 3-pointer in 4 attempts during the game. Gronewoller, junior reserve guard Tricia Lucero and the team's third freshman, Mollie Honan, each added two points.
Scott, who did not score in the game, and senior reserve guard Joetta Martinez each had two rebounds in the final stanza.
As a team, Pagosa shot 23 for 46 for 50 percent while Rangely was only 12 for 43 or 27.9 percent. The visitors had only 12 rebounds compared to 37 for Pagosa.
The result means Pagosa travels to Basalt, a 68-51 winner over Lutheran Thursday night, for a Friday contest which will decide which team advances to state playoff action at the Air Force Academy commencing a week from today.
Pagosa scoring: Gronewoller 9-11, 4-6, 22; Lancing 3-8,6-8, 12; Walkup 6-9,2-2, 15; Lungstrum 2-4, 4; Buckley 2-7, 2-5, 6; Bliss 1-2, 2; Lucero 0-3, 2-2, 2; Scott 0-2; Honan 1-1, 2. Rebounds: Lancing 17, Gronewoller 8, Buckley 7, Walkup 21, Scott 2, Martinez 2, Lucero 1. Steals: Lancing 4, Walkup 3, Scot 2, Gronewoller 1, Buckley 1, Lucero 1, Assists: Lancing 7, Walkup 5, Gronewoller 2, Buckley 1, Lucero 1, Scott 1. Blocks: Gronewoller 1.
Riding the efforts of three players scoring in double figures, and a brilliant rebounding performance (18) by senior power forward Katie Lancing, the Pagosa Springs Lady Pirates assured themselves Friday of a spot in the Class 3A basketball regionals.
Playing with a unity of purpose sometimes missing in recent weeks, the Pagosans built a 17-11 first period lead against the Bayfield Lady Wolverines, padded it to 35-18 by halftime, 48-26 at the end of three periods, and then, with reserves playing most of the fourth quarter, coasted to a 54-40 victory.
Lancing, in addition to controlling the boards (12 defensive and 6 offensive rebounds) also led all scorers with 14, dished out five assists and had a pair of steals.
Her senior running mate, center Ashley Gronewoller, was close behind in scoring with 13, had 11 rebounds and one blocked shot.
Not to be outdone by her older teammates, freshman guard Bri Scott hit the double-figure column, matching Gronewoller with 13 points, including three of four from 3-point range. She also had four steals and an assist.
The first quarter tone was set by the other freshman guard, Lori Walkup, with two quick baskets, her only scores of the game, and senior forward Nicole Buckley who scored all of her six game points in the period. Gronewoller and Lancing each had four.
The second quarter saw Lancing score a quick four and senior Carlena Lungstrum add a deuce, but the quarter turned out to be the Bri Scott show.
Subbing for Lungstrum, she was two of two from 3-point territory in the period and added a driving layup for two more, giving her eight in the stanza.
Lancing and Gronewoller each added four in the period as the Pagosa team apparently was bent on making up for a less-than-normal performance on their last meeting in Bayfield.
Bayfield was paced by their lone senior, Michelle Miller, with 11 in the game and sophomore guard Jackie Shaw with 10. Junior center Kim Piccoli, the Wolverines' leading scorer on the season, was held to six points, and only two field goals.
Helping fuel the freshman performance for Pagosa, Walkup had four steals and four rebounds to go with her four points, but fouled out after turning in another superb defensive outing.
Pagosa outrebounded Bayfield 36-14 for the game and shot 18 for 37 from the field for a .487 percentage.
The free throw line, which had been an Achilles' heel for Pagosa in recent games, became an attractive point in this one. The ladies were 15 of 19 from the line, a .789 percentage.
The victory moved Pagosa into the championship game on Saturday, assured they would advance even if they were to lose. Bayfield still had a chance, despite the loss, to advance as the third seed from the conference, but lost on Saturday to Monte Vista after blowing a 10-point first period lead.
Pagosa scoring: Lancing 4-11, 6-6, 14; Gronewoller 4-8, 5-7, 13; Walkup 2-5, 0-0, 4; Lungstrum 1-3, 0-0, 2; Buckley 2-7, 2-2, 6; Lucero 0-1, 2-2, 2; Scott 5-12, 0-1, 13. 3-point shots: Lancing 0-2, Walkup 0-1, Buckley 0-1, Lucero 0-1, Scott 3-4; Steals: Lancing 2; Gronewoller 2; Walkup 4; Buckley 1; Scott 4; Assists: Lancing 5, Lungstrum, Buckley, Bliss and Scott, 1 each; Rebounds: Lancing 18; Gronewoller 11; Walkup 4; Buckley 2; Scott 2; Bliss 1. Blocks: Gronewoller 1.
Whoever first came up with the opinion it is hard for one team to beat another three times in the same season hadn't figured Centauri's Lady Falcons into the equation.
After wresting the league title from Pagosa's Lady Pirates with a victory on the Pagosa court a week earlier, the two long-time front-runners in the Intermountain League clashed for the district tournament championship Saturday on a neutral court in Del Norte.
The outcome was the same: Centauri 51, Pagosa Springs 34.
And, as in the earlier contests, the game was close throughout the first half, with neither team shooting well percentagewise.
In the end, it was the firepower of Falcon guard Sara Reynolds which made the difference. She hit only one of three 3-point attempts and was 6 for 18 from the floor but added five for seven from the foul line for a game high 18 points. Erin McCarroll, the other Centauri all-state candidate, was held to 12 points while holding Pagosa's center, Ashley Gronewoller, to eight points, none in the fourth quarter. And Pagosa, on the other hand, held Centauri's Brittny McCarroll scoreless.
Shooting percentage, from both the floor and foul line, tells the difference in the game. Centauri was 19 of 45 from the floor for .422 percent while Pagosa was just 15 of 42 for a .357 percentage. Pagosa was 3 of 8 from the foul line and Centauri 8 of 11.
Katie Lancing converted five first quarter points to match Reynolds. Erin McCarroll got four for Centauri and senior guard Jamie Williams added a pair. Gronewoller and Nicole Buckley each scored from the field for Pagosa and the period ended 11-9 in favor of Centauri.
Gronewoller and Lori Walkup each scored four for Pagosa in the second period but Centauri countered with nine, four by Reynolds, two by McCarroll and three by Kacey McGinnis. That created a 20-17 Centauri halftime edge.
The point spread mounted to unreachable proportions in the third period when the Falcons poured in 19, six of them from Reynolds, while Pagosa got only nine, five of them from Lancing and two each from Gronewoller and Walkup. Centauri point guard Idana Espinosa set the tone for the period with a long trey to open the lead to six. Reynolds added six more and McCarroll and McGinnis each had four and by the end of the period the lead had grown to 39-26.
A 12-8 fourth quarter edge for Centauri was anticlimactic. Their foes had nothing left, getting two field goals from Lancing, a free throw from Katie Bliss and a long trey from Bri Scott, her only field goal in four attempts.
Another deciding factor was Centauri's control of the back- boards. Pagosa was outrebounded for the first time this season, 28-21, and had 23 turnovers to 13 for the Lady Falcons. Twenty-one of the Falcon rebounds were on the offensive end, eight by Reynolds and seven by McCarroll, most of them resulting in second and third shot attempts.
For the Pirates, the loss dropped their season record to 16-5 but their second seed out of the IML got them a 13th seed statewide and the opportunity to host a regional contest Tuesday against the 15-7 Rangely Panthers out of the Western Slope League.
Centauri, with the number 1 IML seed drew the number 5 seed statewide and hosted Middle Park (11-11), Tuesday. Monte Vista, the number 3 seed from the IML took at 11-10 record to 10th-seeded Eaton (18-3).
Pagosa scoring: Lancing 5-18, 2-4, 14; Gronewoller 4-6, 8; Walkup 3-5, 6; Lungstrum 0-1, 0; Buckley 1-6, 2; Bliss 0-1, 1-2, 1; Lucero 0-1, 0; Scott 1-4, 0-2, 3; 3 point shots: Lancing 0-3; Buckley 0-1; Scott, 1-2; Rebounds: Lancing 11; Gronewoller, 1; Lungstrum 3; Buckley 4; Bliss 2; Scott 1. Steals: Walkup 3; Lancing and Buckley 1 each. Assists: Lancing 3, Gronewoller, Lungstrum and Scott 1 each. Blocks: Gronewoller 1.
The Pagosa Springs Lady Pirates have a spot in the Class 3A quarterfinals in their sights.
The path to that appearance next Thursday in the Air Force Academy Fieldhouse in Colorado Springs has one more stop - a 7 p.m. Sweet Sixteen contest Friday against the Western Slope League champion Basalt Lady Longhorns in Basalt.
Efforts to collect information about the Basalt team, other than its season record, were initially fruitless.
A Carbondale editor who said he did not have time to come to the phone, told the woman who answered the phone to tell us, "Basalt is the greatest team in the world and you better start shaking in your boots."
The hosts come into the game with a gaudy 22-2 record for the season, having defeated Lutheran 68-51 Tuesday to retain home court for the Sweet 16 game. Pagosa advanced with a 65-33 win over Rangely from the same league as Basalt.
During the regular season, Basalt defeated Rangely twice, 49-40 the first time and 58-52 the second. Then, they widened the margin in the district tournament, defeating the Lady Panthers 53-34.
Basalt's two losses were to Logan, Utah, in their season opener, and to Class 4A Moffat County from Craig. Basalt's closest victory margin came in a 34-30 win over Aspen, which also made it into regional competition.
Common opponents in addition to Rangely have been Rifle, defeated by Basalt 51-38 and by Pagosa 52-39; Olathe, defeated by Basalt three times, 66-33, 60-40, and 67-43 in the district tournament, and by Pagosa 71-39.
With no first names, grades or heights available, we did determine Basalt has five players in triple figures in scoring for the season: Mulcany with 274, Redfern with 221, Coughern with 216, McGrath with 195 and Kemp with 181. As a team, Basalt has outscored its opponents 1,439 to 917.
Coach Karen Wells said, "We've played and beaten No. 4 ranked teams before and there's no reason we can't do so again."
Centauri slipped past Pagosa Springs 50-38 last Friday night, ending the Pirates' chances of entering the Colorado 3A boy's championship playoffs. The loss also marked the end of the 2001-2002 basketball season for Pagosa.
The district tournament provided a surprising, certainly disappointing, climax to the season. Teams were seeded for the tournament according to their league standing at the end of the regular season. Each team played the other twice during the season. Each team knew going into the tournament that three teams would advance to play in the state 3A playoffs. Each knew that, because Monte had captured the league title, Monte would advance to the state playoffs regardless of what happened in the tournament. Consequently, the tournament was really about Pagosa, Centauri and Ignacio jousting to see which two of the three would advance. Two out of three didn't look like bad odds for Pagosa fans.
Monte Vista was seeded first with a 7-1 record. Monte's lone league loss was to Ignacio in the opening game. Pagosa and Centauri each had 5-3 records. Pagosa was seeded second, Centauri third for the tournament. Pagosa was given the higher seeding because of the point spread in their games with Centauri. Ignacio was seeded fourth in the tournament. The fifth IML team, Bayfield, was winless for the season and was ineligible for the tournament.
In the opening boy's game, No. 1 Monte and No. 4 Ignacio squared off. The two had split during the regular season. This time it was no contest. Ignacio ran Monte off of the court, winning 78-52. Monte's loss and Ignacio's win strongly affected the rest of the tournament. The winner, Ignacio, would play for the tournament championship Saturday. Since Monte was guaranteed to advance, by beating Monte, Ignacio had already guaranteed its right to advance to the playoff as well. Two of the three IML teams were already known.
Selection of the final team would be determined by the results of the Friday night Pagosa/Centauri game. The winner of that game would play Ignacio Saturday night for the tournament championship. Regardless of who won the tournament, both teams in the championship game would advance to the state playoffs.
Conversely, the loser of the Friday Pagosa/Centauri game would return home, their season ended. The loser would be scheduled to play the loser of the Monte/Ignacio game Saturday in consolation game. But why? Even though Monte was scheduled for the consolation game, they were also guaranteed the right to advance making the results of the consolation game meaningless. Therefore, Ignacio's win over Monte Friday meant the winner of the Friday Pagosa/Centauri game would advance to the playoffs and the loser would go home.
Pagosa hopes were high. They had defeated the Falcons 63-51 just a week earlier. But it was not to be. In the Saturday championship game, red hot Ignacio captured the tournament championship by blowing out the Falcons after losing to them twice during the regular season. Following the tournament, the three payoff bound IML schools were seeded: Ignacio first, Centauri second, and Monte third. Pagosa went home.
Pagosa versus Centauri
Pagosa fans had watched the Pirates beat Centauri 63-51 just a week earlier in Pagosa Springs. It was reasonable to expect a repeat, a win that would send Pagosa into the first round of the state playoffs. Friday's game was played on the neutral Del Norte floor.
Pagosa fell behind from the beginning when Centauri's Vincent Govea popped a pair of treys giving the Falcons a 6-0 lead by the time two minutes ticked off of the clock.
The Pirates struggled back into the game behind a free throw and a layup by Caleb Forrest, a deuce by Darin Lister, a deuce by Jason Schutz, and another deuce by Forrest to knot the score at nine-all with three minutes left in the first period.
Clayton Spencer's free throw pushed Pagosa ahead 10-9, before Govea went on another three-point rampage to give Centauri a 17-12 lead as the period ended. Down the stretch Govea sandwiched two more treys around a pair of free throws by Pagosa's Cord Ross and a bucket by Centauri's Jonathan Bush.
Centauri stretched their lead to seven points to open the second period. Pagosa closed strong to end the half trailing by a mere 27-26. Two baskets by Spencer and one by Ross gave Pagosa six unanswered points as the first half ended.
Pagosa tacked on six more unanswered points to open the second half and take a 32-27 lead before Centauri scored. Pagosa scoring was by Spencer, with four points, and Schutz with two points.
At that point, Centauri stepped up the defensive pressure, using turnovers to score seven unanswered points and reclaim the lead 34-32. Pagosa benefited from a free throw by Ryan Goodenberger following a call against Centauri's Michael Brady for hanging on the rim. The Falcons led by 34-33. Then the roof caved in for Pagosa.
Centauri countered with seven more unanswered points to close the third period on top of a 41-33 margin. During the Centauri run, Pagosa turned the ball over seven times in a row without getting a shot.
Any possibility of making the playoffs for Pagosa came down to overcoming an eight-point Falcon lead with eight minutes remaining in the game. The Pagosa boys tried. Forrest hit a deuce, Brandon Charles a deuce and a free throw and suddenly Centauri's led was down to 41-38.
Unfortunately, Charles' free throw was the last Pagosa score of the game. Centauri made nine free throws during the final three minutes to win a trip to the state playoffs 50-38.
"We just didn't take care of the ball when we needed to," said Jim Shaffer, the Pirate coach. The loss was very disappointing. Some of our inconsistency can be attributed to having a young team and to not having a summer program because I was hired so late. I'll say this. In 18 years of coaching, I've never had a team make as much progress as this team did this year. We'll work next summer, play about 30 games. With a lot of our kids coming back, next year should be different."
Scoring, Pagosa: Spencer 5-9, 3-4, 13; Forrest 2-9, 5-6, 9; Charles 2-7, 0-4, 1-1, 5; Schutz 2-5, 0-1, 0-0, 4; Ross 1-5, 2-2, 4; Lister 1-4, 0-3, 2; Goodenberger 0-2, 0-3, 1-3, 1. Team Rebounds: Off. 3, Def. 13. Individual Rebounds: Forrest 5, Goodenberger 3, Ross 2, Spencer 2, Charles 2, Schutz 1, Lister 1. 3-point Goals: Charles 0-4, Lister 0-4, Goodenberger 0-3, Schutz 0-1. Assists: Charles 2, Lister 2, Goodenberger 1. Steals: Charles 2, Lister 2, Schutz 2, Spencer 2, Forrest 2, Goodenberger 1, Ross 1. Team turnovers, 25.
Lindsey Kurt-Mason has some choices to make, but he won't do it until after his team's scrimmage in Cortez Saturday.
The Lady Pirate soccer coach has more than 30 girls out for this year's squad and expects at least two more when the girls' basketball season is completed.
For now, however, he'll take his charges into a four-team scrimmage situation in Cortez Saturday, opening against the Glenwood Springs varsity, putting a junior varsity team against Cortez' junior varsity and then his prospective varsity against a similar squad from Cortez.
In each game, there will be 25-minute halves. While no official score will be kept, he hopes to get a good impression of how his team has developed since beginning practice nearly three weeks ago.
"I have a good idea of what we have, and how I'll adapt my personnel to special situations," he said Tuesday. "But I am not prepared to name the final varsity or starting lineups yet. I want to see how they perform under pressure."
He has been pleased the last week with weather conditions which let the team practice, first in Town Park and later on the practice field at the high school after all snow had melted away.
Last year the team was shoveling snow off the practice field in late March and later played several games on neutral sites because the home field was not playable. Barring a late season heavy snow, it appears the home field will be ready for play when the Ladies are scheduled to open their league season at 4 p.m. March 15 against Telluride.
Community Center benefit a 'big hit'
Our sincere gratitude goes out to John and Beth Porter, Sandy Applegate, Steve Rogan, John Graves, D.C. Duncan (the Birthday Boy), Pamela Novack and Mark DeVoti for their terrific performances and contributions Saturday night and to all the "back of the house" folks who created, decorated, cooked, greeted, poured, served, moved, schlepped and otherwise lent a helping hand to make the Community Center fund-raiser a rip-roarin' success. We all had a great time, enjoyed the performances, food and company and joined in to recognize Ross Aragon and Sylvia Murray for their roles in bringing our new center to reality. The evening was John Porter's brainchild with the goal of raising some dough for the Community Center and to have some fun at the same time. He accomplished this and more, and we are most grateful for all the hard work.
Tomorrow night the latest and greatest production of the Pagosa Pretenders Family Theatre, "Sleeping Beauty," will premiere at 7 p.m. at the Pagosa Springs High School auditorium with several new twists that are sure to entertain. Kerry Graves wrote this version, loosely based upon the story with which we are familiar, and is sure to delight and entertain all members of the family. In this version, for instance, the prince goes to sleep instead of the princess, the Queen obsesses over the princess learning "proper princess protocol," and the princess would much prefer to be a swash-buckling dragon slayer than a princess. Obviously, we all need to see this parody to really appreciate it, and we encourage all to attend one of the four performances given on March 8, 9, 15 and 16. Tickets are $6 for adults and $3 for children 4-12, and you can purchase them at the Chamber of Commerce, Sisson Library, WolfTracks Bookstore and The Plaid Pony.
David Taylor Dance
On Monday, March 18, the Pagosa Springs Music Boosters proudly present Denver's David Taylor Dance Theatre at the Pagosa Springs High School auditorium. For the first 50 people interested, there will be a champagne reception at the top of the Spring Inn where you will have the opportunity to meet the performers. Tickets for the reception and performance are $45, and tickets for performance only are $29. Please keep in mind that this is reserved seating only, so you will want to secure your seats fairly early. All tickets are available at The Plaid Pony and you can call them at 731-5262 with questions.
The 9Health Fair is still looking for a few good folks in the health care field to participate in the Health Fair to be held on Saturday, April 6th, from 8 a.m.-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, audiologist and an ear, 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.
Love a parade
Don't forget to register for the ever-so-popular St. Patrick's Day Parade to be held Friday, March 15, with lineup beginning at 3:17 p.m. on Sixth Street. This one is strictly just for the fun of it and requires a huge registration fee of $3.17 - we are ever so clever around here. You can win enormous cash prizes - $25 for Best Float, $15 for Most Green Costume and $10 for Most Bizarre Costume. This parade is a time-honored tradition in Pagosa, and we don't want you to miss it. Call Doug O'Trowbridge at the Chamber for more information, 264-2360, or drop by and pick up your form. Join us for the silliest parade on the planet.
The Pagosa Springs Rotary Club presents the third annual Rotary Casino Royale, The Grandest Party in Pagosa Springs, on Saturday, March 16, from 6 p.m. to midnight at the Ridgeview Centre at 525 Navajo Trails Drive. The Evil One and I have been asked to greet guests again, so it should be worth the price of admission to see what Betty Johann comes up with in the way of outrageous costumes. My neck still hurts from balancing the lampshade beauties we wore as hats last year, so I truly shudder to think of what that little sick mind will come up with this time. Outside of the bizarre greeters, this exciting evening includes music by Rio Jazz and the Celtic Music Group, a Mexican food buffet, black jack, poker, craps, Wheel of Fortune and a roulette table, amazing prizes and more than 20 silent auction items valued at a minimum of $100. Donation for the evening is $50 in advance and $60 at the door. For tickets and information, please call the Chamber at 264-2360 or Dennis Eichinger at 731-3022.
Meet the artist
Please come to the Taminah Gallery tonight from 5-8 p.m. for the second in their "Meet the Artist" tribute series. Local artist, Claire Goldrick, will be honored and on hand to visit with guests and answer any questions they might have about her work. Claire has long worked in oil paintings, and having spent time on ranches in New Mexico and Colorado, all things western are natural subjects for her canvas creations. Claire currently resides in Pagosa. Refreshments will be served, so please join us tonight to learn more about yet another of our resident artists in Pagosa Springs.
Food for friends
Please bring your non-perishable food items to the Chamber or to Curves for Women at 117 Navajo Drive to make a difference in the community by helping those who are in need. Curves for Women sponsors this event annually and is hopeful that this year will be the best yet in volume of contributions. All food donations are distributed to our local food banks and given to those families who need our help year round. You can make your donations throughout the month of March at both of the above locations or call 731-0333 for more information.
This Sunday is the big blowout party at Parish Hall to benefit the Bill Hudson "Jeeminy Christmas, Do I Ever Have a Terrible Stomach Ache!" fund. As some of you might know, about a month ago, Bill was afflicted with a very unhappy appendix, which insisted upon being removed quite unexpectedly and at great expense. The party will be held from 3-8 p.m. and include performances from many of our local musicians and I'm quite sure some lovely surprises. Please bring a dish to pass and your choice of beverage and/or basically anything and everything to share. It's sure to be lots of fun and sure to help a great cause. Hope to see you all there on Sunday afternoon.
We're happy indeed to welcome three new members this week and seven renewals. I am so pleased that our members seem to be getting better and better about renewing without me threatening to do cruel and unusual things to them, as I have been known to do in the past. If I haven't mentioned it recently, we do appreciate each and every one of you more than you know and are ever so happy that you are part of our organization. We're proud to be a part of your lives.
Our first new member this week is Mary Ann Page who brings her new business, Page's Leaf Catering. Mary Ann will provide custom catering for absolutely any event you can dream up. She will be happy to cater your wedding, any type of reception, a barbecue or formal function or even prepare boxed lunches for your outing. She offers every type menu from formal to casual and promises that no occasion is too large or too small. Please give Mary Ann a call at 264-6494 to learn more about Page's Leaf Catering.
Member number two this week is Lloyd P. "Bud" Short, Civil Engineer and Land Surveyor doing business out of his home here in Pagosa. Bud offers civil engineering and land surveying services to you and will be happy to talk to you about these services if you give him a call at 731-3188 or 731-3386. We are grateful to Camille with the Pagosa Springs Welcoming Service for recruiting Bud and will cheerfully reward her with a free SunDowner pass.
Our third new member this week is Keith Cope with Royal Gem and Jewelry located at 420 Pagosa Street (formerly Four Seasons Land Company - GMAC). Keith offers over forty year's experience serving the public and trade with custom designs and all types of repairs. He also makes quality elk ivory jewelry. We're happy to welcome Keith and hope you will give him a call at 264-6599 when he is open for business.
Our renewals this week include Carolyn Hamilton with Juicy Jerky; Cappy White and Monica Greene with Handcrafted Interiors; Peter Coe with Peter Coe-Cabinetmaker; Leslie Montroy with Monograms Plus Leather; Patti Knight with Colorado Log Systems, Inc., South Fork, CO; April Bergman with Curves for Women; Robbie Schwartz with the Humane Society Thrift Store and Robbie Schwartz again with the Humane Society of Pagosa Springs. Many thanks to all.
Crowd of 100 for ARSE show emphasizes space need
The benefit musical performance presented by the ARSE group for the Pagosa Springs Community Center on Saturday night was very successful - a big thank you to all who participated.
Having close to 100 people in our little dining room certainly emphasized how badly we need a larger facility. We can hardly wait to get moved into the new Community Center this summer. The presentation was preceded by a reception to recognize Ross Aragon's and Sylvia Murray's contributions to the Community Center project; without these two dedicated folks, there probably wouldn't be a Community Center.
Kent Schafer and George Golightly have been named as our Volunteers of the Month. Congratulations. These two gentlemen are very deserving. They put a lot of effort and time into teaching art to those of us willing to try, even though some of us are less than artistic. Thanks, guys.
The students from Future Business Leaders of America surprised us on Monday, Feb. 25, by coming by to visit. Dustin Caler and Roxanna Day honored us with their speeches to be presented at the state tournament in Vail. These young people are very talented. They are certainly assets to our community. Sierra Fleenor and Ashli Winter visited at our table and it was certainly our pleasure to get acquainted with them.
Thanks to the Head Start kids, who presented us pictures they made and who entertained us on Wednesday. We appreciate them and their teachers, who bring these talented children to visit with us.
Muriel Cronkhite will join us tomorrow to talk about salt intake and how it affects our health. This is very important, so I hope we will have a large turnout.
We were happy to have several guests/members join us this week. Welcome to Mamie Lynch, Ralph Manring, Helen Miller, Ginger Kelly, Sherri Sawicki and Thelma Lyda. Thelma's name was drawn to be our Senior of the Week. Congratulations, Thelma.
Andy Fautheree, our Veteran's Service Officer, visits with us on the first Friday of each month so anyone who would like to visit with Andy, please take advantage of this service. We really appreciate having him join us.
Special thanks to the following folks for their donations to the Center: Lyn DeLange from Pagosa Welcoming Service for the mugs; St. Patrick's Episcopal Church for the Vials of Life; Mariani's and Daylight Donuts for the wonderful baked goods.
There is a "little anonymous elf" in our midst who surprises various folks with flowers - this was my week to be the lucky recipient. A big Thank You to the person who sent the gorgeous bouquet.
Calling all coupons! We now have a coupon box and would welcome unexpired coupons for food and other household items.
The Cortez office for USDA, Rural Development, has announced that 1-percent loans are available for very low-income households for home repairs, to remove health and safety hazards from their dwellings, etc. For more information, contact Tracy Hartle or Jaki Polich at (970) 565-8416, ext. 4.
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:
March 12 - Lenore Bright will tell us about all the new things happening at the library
March 15 - We will celebrate St. Patrick's Day with a Hat Day at the Center. Everyone wear fun hats. Afterward, we will decorate an Easter Egg tree
March 18 - April Merrilee and Anna O'Reilly will demonstrate breathing and self-massage techniques for relaxation
March 22 - Jennie, from Artemisia Botanicals, will discuss how herbs can help heal the body
March 28 - Philip Hansen is returning for another cello performance, to 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. Tickets will go on sale March 11 at $ 10 per person and $30 per family.
Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays from 9-11 a.m. - free swimming at Best Western (members only)
Tuesdays - Yoga at 9:30; art classes at 12:45 p.m.
Wednesdays - Card games at 1 p.m. and a matinee show at the Liberty Theater for seniors for $3. (Call 264-4578 to let them know how many will be attending.)
Visiting skiers provide a great show
"I started going down, and down, and then I was gone," said a Visiting Skier to his buddies, as they stopped to look back up at the Alberta Face, a long steep hillside that presents a nice challenge to some of the skiers at Wolf Creek Ski Area.
I love the Visiting Skiers. The once-a-year skiers. The ones who have only one week to enjoy the snow, while those of us who live here have the whole winter.
I watched a woman barely out of the snowplow stage giving advice to friends who were not as advanced as she. They were halfway down the run known as Powder Puff, a nice longish green, a good run for learners.
"When I was just a beginner, this was my favorite run," she said, in a voice that carried across the snow and clear up to the chair lift. Watching, I thought she was still a beginner, but what do I know?
A lot of the Visiting Skiers bring children. If they're smart, they enroll them in the Wolf Pup ski classes. But there are always those parents who want to teach the kids themselves. Or maybe the kids are too young for the ski school. Mom and dad can't wait. We're going to do this as a family! We're going to have fun!
And most of the time the kids do appear to be having fun. Although if I were the parent I'd be a nervous wreck, watching my child rocket down the slope, little legs locked in a toes-turned-in permanent snow plow.
Now, when I was a beginner, I stayed in a snow plow for the express purpose of slowing myself down. Not these tykes. They're launched like bullets. Heaven help anyone who might not be paying attention. If you're in their path, you're in trouble.
Then there are the parents who seem to think that since they've only got this one week, this small window in time, they have to cram in all the slopes while they're here, from beginner greens to expert black diamonds. The runs that go straight down, that are filled with deeply carved bumps, the ones that in this year of little snow are also studded with rocks. But, hey - these are rented skis, we don't have to worry about scratching them. Nor, apparently, are they worried about denting the kids.
There are a lot of skiers and boarders who go down these runs who probably shouldn't. They lack balance and technique. They stop. They drift backward. Their lost skis and poles cover the slope in colossal "yard sales." But they're having fun. Not like the little one I saw during President's Weekend. "But Daddy, I don't want to.
"You can do it. Just make your snow plow." Terrified wails floated down the steep hill after the child.
I've seen parents insist that children tackle "bump runs," something I'm not comfortable with after three seasons. I even saw one parent lead a little guy, who couldn't have been older than four, down a steep bumpy run on a pair of skis that were yoked together at the tips.
Is this how Olympic champions are made? Start 'em young, whether they want to or not
Personally, I couldn't stand the stress. I'd rather have fun with my kids after they've learned some basics. Like turning. If I had little children, or visiting grandchildren, I'd definitely opt for the Wolf Pups.
But then, I don't have the personality it takes to be a teacher. Or the fortitude. Or the stamina. Whatever. A friend who taught the little kids one year said she was sick all winter, with one cold after another. "The parents leave them in class with runny noses and coughs and colds. They don't care if we get the germs."
Well, of course not. They've only got the one week. No time to sit it out and wait for that cold to pass. By the time it does, they'll be back home in Texas. Or Oklahoma. It's now or next year. So the kids come to class snorting and sneezing.
"Then," said my friend, "we're not supposed to pick them up if they fall down. For most of them that's not a problem. But there's always one who isn't very coordinated, and if we waited for that kiddo to get back up again every time he fell down, we'd spend all morning standing around. So, you pick him up.
"It can be hard on your back. I went home aching every day I taught." My friend decided that one year of teaching the little skiers was about all the fun she could take. The next year she went back to skiing for herself.
We're spoiled, those of us who live here in the winter. Most of the time we practically have the mountain to ourselves. But now we're heading into Spring Break season, and the number of visitors is climbing. There will be long lift lines; you might have to wait four minutes to get on the chair lift. Horrors!
Hordes of skiers and boarders. Lots of families, lots of kids.
I'm looking forward to watching the show.
Recreation Center has cure for winter weight gain
The snow is rapidly disappearing and signs of spring are evident. Bikers are on the roads, sodden trash is sprouting up everywhere and some people are even starting to evaluate their bodies in swimsuits.
The fitness instructors at the recreation center are truly in tune. A whole host of "Spring into Fitness" classes are being made available.
In addition to organized group classes, four personal trainers are also available to work with clients.
The center provides private and semi-private swim lessons. Group swim lessons will be offered again this summer and rates for that program will be announced in early May.
The recreation center opens at 6:30 a.m. Monday through Friday, with a 9 a.m. opening on Saturday and Sunday. The facility shuts down at 9 p.m. every day. With March being a busy month for timeshare visitors who come to take in some spring skiing, the center will stay very full in the evening hours. Resident members are urged to take advantage of the less busy morning and afternoon times.
Pagosa Mountain Heights Baptist Church has again graciously offered the use of their parking lot for the overflow. Treat the short jaunt from the overflow parking to the recreation center as part of the workout (and to be more precise, a warm-up).
Have you been asked to buy tickets for the Rotary Casino Royale? If you haven't, you will be.
There are 75 Rotarians selling tickets. Touted as the grandest party in town, the Casino Royale is an evening of funny money gambling, Mexican food, dancing, live music and an opportunity to win a 7-day cruise for two to the Mexican Riviera.
Since the event is being underwritten by sponsors, all ticket sales money will go directly into the Pagosa Springs High School Scholarship Fund, Upper San Juan Hospital District, EMS medical rescue, local community projects and Rotary Park improvements.
New book examines Hispanic culture
For mystery readers and especially those interested in Northern New Mexico's Hispanic culture, "Midnight at the Camposanto" by Mari Ulner should be a good read! This "Taos Festival Mystery" is full of Spanish terms - names of inanimate objects, as well as figures of speech. The time frame is Holy Week and Easter. The information, that is rarely found in books, about the Penitentis, a religious group in Northern New Mexico, is especially interesting.
"Midnight at the Camposanto" is one of the new books at the Sisson Library.
The benefit for the Pagosa Springs Community Center held last Saturday evening at the Senior Center was a smashing success, but all shows put together by the Pajama Ensemble are:
Be what they have called themselves, "The Thursday Night Live Players," "In Front of the Shower Curtain Players," "Pajama Ensemble," "Pajama Blues Orchestra," the "Would-Be Duo," "Trio and Quartet," and now the "Behind the Shower Curtain Players," they have been (as said) a smashing success.
The Pajama Ensembles are the productions of ARSE (A Reading Society and Ensemble) that supports worthy local projects and fundraiser.
John Porter wrote, produced and directed the one-act play "Puberty and Peace." Whenever you see that John Porter, John Graves, D.C. Duncan, Pamela Novak, Sandy Applegate, Steve Rogan and Chris Pierce are members of a production, it's going to be good.
At the performance, Sylvia Murray announced that Mercy Korsgren will be the public relations director for the Community Center.
Fun on the run
Signs seen around the world.
Cocktail lounge, Norway: Ladies are requested not to have children in the bar.
At a Budapest zoo: Please do not feed the animals. If you have any suitable food, give it to the guard on duty.
Doctor's office, Rome: Specialist in women and other diseases.
Hotel, Acapulco: The manager has personally passed all the water served here.
In a Nairobi restaurant: Customers who find our waitresses rude, shout to see the manager.
On an Athi River highway: Take notice, when the sign is under water, this road is impassable.
A sign seen on an automatic restroom hand dryer: Do not activate with wet hands.
In a Pumwani maternity ward: No children allowed.
In a cemetery: Persons are prohibited from picking flowers from any but their own graves.
Tokyo's hotel's rules and regulations: Guests are requested not to smoke or do other disgusting behaviors in bed.
Hotel, Japan: You are invited to take advantage of the chambermaid.
Hotel, Yugoslavia: The flattening of underwear with pleasure is the job of the chambermaid.
An advertisement by a Hong Kong dentist: Teeth extracted by the latest Methodists.
A laundry in Rome: Ladies, leave your clothes here and spend the afternoon having a good time.
Tourist agency, Czechoslovakia: Take one of our horse-driven city tours. We guarantee no miscarriages.
Airline ticket office, Copenhagen: We take your bags and send them in all directions.
Vehicle grant bid denied; hope for 2002
As some of you may recall, I submitted a grant to purchase a new Veterans Service Office vehicle through the Colorado Tobacco Settlement Trust Fund money that was allocated to Colorado Veterans Affairs programs for year 2001. I won't go into a lengthy explanation, only to say I wasn't successful in obtaining the grant.
However, I was given encouraging words from the Colorado Board of Veterans Affairs that oversees the Grant money allocation. They said my application would be considered in 2002. The reason we did not get the Grant money was more of a technical one, and that hopefully will be corrected in 2002.
The reason I am bringing this up at this time is I wanted to make some positive comments on our present VSO vehicle. The 1999 Pontiac sedan now has over 100,000 miles on it.
It was purchased for the VSO by Archuleta County in 1999 for the purpose of transporting our local veterans to their VA health care appointments. The use of the vehicle is entirely by the veterans themselves, or volunteer drivers. And I must say our veterans have taken very good care of the vehicle. In all those miles, driving in all kinds of weather, those miles have been accident free. Archuleta County provides the vehicle, the maintenance, insurance, etc. Veterans only pay for the gas and keep it clean. And as I looked at it in the parking lot today, it was one of the cleanest county vehicles present. So my hat is off to our veterans for their care and use of the vehicle. I am hopeful that with such care, the vehicle will last through the end of this year and we will be successful in obtaining a new one through the grant process. If so, we can save our Archuleta County taxpayers a tidy sum.
That brings me to our volunteer driver program. We have a number of very generous volunteer drivers in our county that are either veterans themselves or just good citizens that are willing to lend a helping hand to our veterans who are unable to drive themselves to their health care appointments. Of course, we can always use some more volunteers and I would encourage anyone who is interested in this program to give me a call and I will add you to our volunteer list.
Here are some of our current volunteer drivers who I would like to extend a thank you to: John Aguilar, Roy Boutwell, Chris Chavez, Pat Curtis, Norm Denny, Ron Gustafson, Curt Killion, Karl Krauter, Robert Kadur, Lee Sterling, Roy Vega, Tony Reed, Jon Landon, Jeff Mills and Joe Zielinski. There are some others who help individual veteran friends that I don't have on the general call list, but I do thank them also for their help. Our veterans really appreciate your help and support.
With the coming late this year of the long promised Durango VA Health Clinic our trips will be shortened, and less strain will be put on our veterans transport vehicle. Presently veterans are driving round trips to Albuquerque VA Hospital, Farmington VA Clinic, and Grand Junction VA Hospital. The mileage really adds up fast and it is a strain on everyone meeting his or her health care appointments.
I would also like to encourage all veterans traveling to their appointments to give me a call and let me know when you are traveling to these VA facilities. I keep an appointment calendar for those veterans' trips I know about. As the number of VAHC enrollees increase all the time, many veterans are making trips to the same facility on the same appointment dates, but are unaware of each other. We could share rides and travel expenses, plus providing a needed driver in some cases for the veterans unable to drive themselves. I haven't been too successful in getting the VA Health Care facilities to coordinate appointments on a local basis. They are so over-booked and scheduled; they just fit new appointments into cancellations, etc, regardless of where the veterans is from. So our local veteran appointments are scattered across the calendar and clock, frequently at the same times. So please let me know when your appointments are and I will attempt to coordinate them for a ride-along on my calendar schedule.
For information on these and other veterans benefits please call or stop by the Archuleta County Veterans Service Office located on the lower floor of the county courthouse. Active Internet website for Archuleta County Veterans Service Office can be found at www.geocities.com/vso_archuleta. The office number is 264-2304, the FAX number is 264-5949, and E-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org The office is open from 8 to 4, Monday through Thursday and Friday by appointment. Bring your DD Form 214 (Discharge) for registration with the County, application for VA programs, and for filing in the VSO office.
'Image of God' belief a faith statement
St. Augustine, a Christian theologian, wrote (circa 397 A.D.): "We were created for fellowship with you, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in you."
Not everyone believes there is a God; not everyone believes there is a God who created human beings. The biblical account of the creation of man and woman in the opening chapters of Genesis is interpreted in different ways even by those who do believe.
"What do you mean by 'in the image of God'? What is 'the image of God'? Do people look like God? How can they all even remotely resemble God? You mean that God has a body like ours (only better, of course)?" And the questions being cast about on the battlefield of biblical scholarship and theology multiply.
Sometimes what one believes becomes the "norm" or standard of faith (i.e., if you don't believe it as I believe it, then you are not a true believer, a Christian, whatever I am). Nowhere do I read in the scriptures that what one believes about this issue is the litmus test of true faith That people were created in the "image of God" has never been meant to be a scientific fact, but a faith statement, describing the very intimate relation between God and people.
The implications of the affirmation are profound and numerous. For example, it speaks of the dignity and worth of each individual. No one is a "Thing" to be manipulated or used for the pleasure or purpose of any other person. (I'm sure you can think of several other significant implications).
Not everyone believes there is any continuing relation between this God and . . . us. Sometimes the witness of human behavior supports this position. If we are like God, or God like us, what kind of an ambiguous God do we believe in? It is good that there is no relation if our conduct is a description of God! Actually, the wisest of people, the Greeks, thought along this line. In fact, quite often, their deities, of which there were many, were less moral than people. The best that one could hope for was that the deities did not interfere with or influence one's life. One would blush to add that he/she was like this or that god or goddess.
What kind of relation do we have with this God? We were fashioned by God that we might have an intimate relation, fellowship, with our creator. Christians believe this in theory but don't always reflect it in their lives as a fact. And certainly, not everyone believes this at all.
But almost everyone experiences at times an emptiness, a feeling that life isn't what we hoped it would be, thought it should be. There is something missing, we just don't know what.
We have a wonderful family, great friends, a job we like, economic security; in short we are content with who and what we are and have, with a few glitches here and there. But we sense there is something absent. Our life is like a cake recipe with one ingredient missing. It is pretty good, but . . . it just doesn't taste right. We are not sure what is missing, but we are sure that something is.
It may be hard to accept, but faith in the living God is the ingredient that is missing.
"Our hearts are restless until they find their rest in you." Life will just never "taste right" until the faith ingredient is added, until we seek and find that vital relation with God that describes who we truly are.
What is the flavor of your life?
Four close contests, two blowouts in recreation league
Adult basketball games started out with exciting and close games Monday.
In the recreational league, it was Wolf Speed over JJ's/Pagosa Ski Rental 47-43 and American Legion over Ponderosa 39-28. Slim Shady finally got a win in the competitive league 47-42, and Buckskin defeated Lucero Tire 51-47.
On Tuesday, three games were played. The bankers from Citizens put it to Viking Construction by a score of 41-35, and the first 100-point game of the season came when Bear Creek put up 100 points against U.B.C.'s 59. JJ's/Pagosa Ski Rental put together a great game against Tom's Shot Callers, 75-31.
Five games were played Wed-nesday evening. American took Viking Construction, 70-30, in the recreational league. A great game was played between Bear Creek and Buckskin with Bear Creek coming out ahead in a final score of 75-64. Citizens defeated Ponderosa, handing them their second loss of the season in a close match-up with Citizens maintaining a lead in the final minutes of play. The final score was 32-27. JR's Concrete played a man down against Slim Shady and edged out their competition, 68-67. The final game of the evening was another match-up between JJ's/Pagosa Ski Rental and Tommy's Shot Callers with the same result as the previous evening, JJ's/Pagosa Ski Rental 60, Tommy's 17.
Thursday's games provided some good entertainment. JR's Concrete played back-to-back games, the first a win against Lucero Tire, 56-49. The second game was a close match against Buckskin, with JR's getting a lucky rebound and a shot off in the final seconds to defeat Buckskin, 69-67. Other games included Wolf Speed over Tommy's Shot 62-27, and Citizens over American Legion 38-25.
The Adult basketball league regular season is coming to a close; tournament play will begin March 14. Come out and see some basketball played Mondays through Thursdays at the junior high gymnasium.
Elks Hoop Shoot
The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks held the Colorado State Hoop Shoot basketball free throw contest in Salida Feb. 23. Two local students who won the West Colorado District contest in January competed in the state contest. Unfortunately both were off their usual accurate marks.
Emily Buikema of Pagosa Springs was the only girl to sink all 10 shots in the first round and everyone saw her as our first National representative from western Colorado in many years. She only hit five of the 15 in the second round putting her out of the trophy places.
Travis Gurule of Durango stepped on the foul line which destroyed his concentration for the first four shots. He got back on track, but against some great shooting performances, the loss of the first four shots made him settle for fourth place.
Both of our state contestants were praised by the Elks Colorado state officers for their demonstration of leadership ability among the contestants and for drawing the other contestants into conversation and friendships. The primary objectives of the Elks Hoop Shoot program are the experience of personal competition as a supportive addition to the team experience, to enhance family participation in the students' activities, and to develop leadership qualities by placing students in situations outside the comfortable blanket of school, friends and the team. How the contestants fare at each contest pales in comparison to their overall experience.
This past weekend, the swim team traveled to Los Alamos New Mexico to compete. Congratulations to all who competed and improved their times as well as to Tad Beavers, Austin Miller and Keagan Caves, who participated in their first real swim meet. Chris Nobles will go on to compete at the Colorado State Age Group Championships in many events including the 100 butterfly where he hopes to improve and break the dreaded one-minute mark. Tiffany Thompson, after a year off from swimming, improved on five individual events with a combined drop in time of just over eleven seconds.
A reminder to all 13-14 baseball players interested in competing in the Sandy Koufax League: There will be a batting and pitching clinic Saturday, March 9. This clinic will include former professional and semi-pro baseball players. If you are interested in attending, contact Len Richey in the evenings at 264-4530 for more information.
Indoor soccer and volleyball will begin after spring break. If you are interested in playing contact the parks and recreation department at 264-4151 ext. 232.
People interested in umpiring youth baseball, youth fast-pitch softball and adult softball this spring and summer are encouraged to attend the first umpire meeting of the year March 12, 6 p.m. at Town Hall. A Pagosa Springs Umpire Association will be formulated this year to umpire the youth Sandy Koufax, Willie Mays and Babe Ruth baseball leagues as well as the women's fast-pitch and adult softball. The organizational meeting will consist of election of officers as well as discussion of pay scales and assignments for umpires. People unable to attend but interested in umpiring should contact Doug Call 731-9245.
Extension offers Master Food Preserver course
Today - Cloverbuds, Methodist Church, 4 p.m.
Today - 4-H Oil Painting, Extension office, 4:30 p.m.
Today - 4-H Small Engines, Extension office, 6:30 p.m.
Today - Shady Pine, Extension office, 7 p.m.
March 8 - Colorado Kids, Extension office, 2 p.m.
March 9 - Steer Weigh-In, Archuleta County Fairgrounds, 10 a.m.
March 9 - 4-H Cake Decorating, Extension office, 10 a.m.
March 9 - 4-H Rocketry, Extension office, 10 a.m.
March 11 - 4-H Woodworking, Extension office, 5 p.m.
March 11 - 4-H Shooting Sports, Extension office, 6 p.m.
March 12 - Rocky Mountain Riders, Extension office, 6 p.m.
March 13 - Fair Royalty Pageant rehearsal, Extension office, 6 p.m.
Master Food Preserver
Intrigued by those jars of gourmet foods in the kitchen boutiques?
You can learn to make those foods and, in the process, become a Master Food Preserver for Colorado State University Cooperative Extension.
A four-part class will be taught in April and May for residents of La Plata, Archuleta and Montezuma counties. Participants who complete this hands-on training program will become Master Food Preservers and will provide information to the public through their county Extension office.
The classes will be held at the La Plata County Fairgrounds in Durango April 24 and May 1, 8, and 14. All classes will be from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Cost is $75, which covers materials and training. Registration deadline is March 10.
Upon completion of the class, participants will return 30 hours of volunteer time to their county Cooperative Extension office.
As volunteers, they will undertake a variety of activities such as answer consumer telephone calls, provide information at farmer's markets, fairs and supermarkets, or conduct workshops and presentations for community groups.
For more information, or to enroll in the classes, please call Wendy Rice at the La Plata County Cooperative Extension office in Durango, (970) 247-4355.
Never too soon to plan for senior years
It has been noted that by the year 2050, one in five Americans will be elderly. That gives an estimate of over 80 million people in the segment of the population. One-fourth of that number would be over 85. Where will they live? Will there be an adequate supply of housing facilities?
It's hard to say what the future holds, but one thing for sure is that we need to take care of the situation that exists now.
As I interviewed people in their 20s, 30s and 40s, they said they haven't really put too much thought into senior housing and what will be available to them once they're a senior citizen. Some said they didn't want to think that far ahead.
Will people depend on their Social Security alone to provide for their future? The thought of that makes me feel a little nervous. I've visited quite a few seniors who are on a fixed income and they say that trying to find housing on a minimal budget is next to impossible.
Additionally, they shared with me the fact that working their entire lives from paycheck to paycheck and never really caring about a retirement program has come back to haunt them.
When you're young you don't like to think about becoming a senior citizen. The seniors I talked to all agreed they didn't know what low income truly was until they retired.
A place nestled right here in Archuleta County that provides senior and disabled housing is Casa de los Arcos. They have eight buildings with two apartments per building. At this time they have 18 residents staying in their units.
There are financial qualifications for Casa as well as an age limit. You have to be 62 years of age or older, or be disabled. Casa de los Arcos is under HUD (Department of Housing and Urban Development) authority.
Casa is often confused with the Senior Center of Archuleta County. They are different entities. Casa's managing agent is Southwest Community Resources in Durango. They have board meetings separate from the Senior Center as well as a separate budget. However, both the Senior Center and Casa de los Arcos overlap in several activities.
One of these is a monthly visit by Donna Pina, adult protection case manager from the Department of Social Services. Donna is available once a month at the Senior Center luncheon to answer questions and to provide resources to the Center and Casa.
What is new at Casa de los Arcos?
There is a lot of construction coming in the near future. Funds have been granted to provide the building to stucco exterior, replace bedroom windows, put in an extra window in rooms for safety and more light.
Currently all of the units at Casa have baseboard heat. Residents are responsible for paying their own utilities. In the winter months a high electric bill is inevitable. The new construction will replace baseboard heaters with gas furnaces. Hopefully, heating costs will be cut in half.
Funds will also help pay for some much-needed electrical work and some landscaping.
These changes are exciting for the residents. They have a chance to keep up on all these happenings with the Casa News. Each month the newsletter goes out and a "roving reporter" gathers information from each resident.
When I asked Susan Stoffer, the manager of Casa, what it's most valuable resource is, she said the community. It is mandated through HUD that Casa have a gathering place for all the residents. However, their budget does not allow for a lot of extras. That's where the community comes in. Support has been given through donations; without them residents would not be able to have monthly potlucks, have a place to share stories, fix puzzles together or watch a video as a group.
If you would like to make a donation to Casa or would like to volunteer for any upcoming project, Susan can be reached at 264-4828. Maybe you'd like to stop by and visit with the residents. Casa is at 503 South 8th St. in Pagosa Springs.
Teri Matzdorf owns and operates Upscale Resale, located at 117 Navajo Trail Drive, in the Silverado Shopping Center.
Upscale Resale features high quality consignment items at low prices, with "gently used" family clothing, accessories, sporting goods, furniture, baby items, toys and games, and more.
Upscale Resale is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and accepts consignments during those same business hours Monday through Friday.
Patricia and David Hauschild of Pagosa Springs are pleased to announce the engagement of their daughter, Brooke Melissa Misuraca to Steven Nicholas Quintana, son of Sharon and Joe Quintana of Pagosa Springs. The couple plan to exchange vows on July 6, 2002 in Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church. The ceremony will be performed by Father John Bowe.
Katherine Martinez, daughter of Sandra Gallegos of Pagosa Springs, has been named to the Dean's List for the fall 2001 semester at the University of Colorado at Boulder.
By achieving a grade point average of 3.5 or higher while enrolled in 12 or more hours, she established herself among the top students in the College of Arts and Sciences.
Youngs: Five generations going strong
When all the generations of Youngs are accounted for, you suddenly realize the family has been living in the Allison area for a long time. To be exact, the fifth generation is already launched.
The local family patriarch, A.D. Young, came by train to the Allison area from near Lamar, Colo., in 1912. Moving was a big thing requiring five railroad cars.
Earlier, Young had moved from Boone, Iowa, to homestead near McClave in the Arkansas Valley. Besides raising thousands of cattle, Young pounded a blacksmith's anvil in Lamar.
The Youngs settled on the former Tom Miller ranch located on the Colorado-New Mexico border south of Allison. The location is still known as Miller Mesa.
Early on, A.D. Young was a horse fancier. Among the horses owned by Young was Prince Young, a thoroughbred brought from Lamar who raced and stood at stud for many years in the San Juan Basin. At one time, the Young string included as many as 66 quarter horses, mules and draft horses.
Matched horse races were common during the early days in the San Juan Basin. Along the sidelines, inveterate betters exchanged more than a little money while backing their particular favorite. Prince Young was one of the favorites.
Among the draft horses was Roscoe, pictured with this week's Oldtimer article. At the time of the photograph, Roscoe's genes were probably being hawked in Pagosa Springs. Powerful draft horses were needed for the logging and lumber manufacturing industry in Archuleta County at that time. Roscoe learned a number of tricks under A.D.'s tutelage, including walking on a log, and balancing his forefeet on a rock.
A.D.'s son, Vernon, had been born in the Arkansas Valley, but grew to manhood in the Allison area. After finishing the eighth grade at the Allison school, Vernon attended high school until 1918. That was the year flu bugs ravaged the United States. The Young family was no exception. Vernon's bout with the, at that time, grave filler, forced him to leave high school.
During 1928, the Youngs built and operated a general store in Allison. Since Allison already had two general stores, the Young store increased competition. Allison was a railroad stop for the Denver & Rio Grande Southern Railroad. Several stops adorned the narrow gauge railroad. Tracks as they crossed Archuleta and La Plata counties enroute to Durango from Chama, Alamosa, Denver and points east.
Five or so miles west of Allison and resting on the banks of the Piedra River was Arboles; Tiffany straddled the tracks the same distance to the west. At the center of each community, literally, was a depot. Mail and passengers arrived and departed on the daily passenger trains. Freight trains were unscheduled, running when there was demand. Demand could be shipments of cattle or sheep, lumber or logs, or mining products, all depending on the season and location of the depot.
After a few years, the Young store burned. To replace it, the Youngs purchased the A.B. Bryant & Company store. Today new owners operate the former Young Store, which stands on the north side of U.S. 151 at the same location as the Bryant store.
Vernon married Vera Mae Wigglesworth of Durango June 8, 1924. The Wigglesworths were well known as surveyors and engineers on early Colorado railroads.
Their children are Don, who continued to live in Allison and operate the store; Jerry Lee, formerly a partner in Lunsford's store and locker plant in Ignacio; and William H. of Pocatello, Idaho.
After completing the eighth grade at Allison and high school in Durango, Don sandwiched two years of civil engineering around a stint in the Navy during WWII. Before settling down in Allison to run the store, Don put in several years with the U.S. Geotechnical Service Corps.
Along the way Don married Phyllis Strnad of Durango. They met at Durango High School where "she was the prettiest girl I had ever seen." The couple have two children, Donna Jo and Craig Eugene. Phyllis had been born in Munder, Kansas. Her family came west in 1935, looking for a better life. They motored across Wolf Creek Pass.
"It was a narrow, twisting road. For a girl from the flatlands of Kansas, the trip over Wolf Creek was a terrifying experience," Phyllis recalls.
Just the same, Phyllis loves the mountains surrounding her new home.
The Young family ran a store in Allison from 1928 through 1973. Down through the years, management of the store passed from A.D. to Vernon to Don. Through many of those years, the Youngs also farmed and ranched. A mixture of grasses and hay were raised on the ranch in addition to horses, as many as 500 cattle, and up to 1,800 sheep.
Wintered on the ranch, during the summer the sheep were driven to U.S. Forest Service grazing permits in the Weminuche area. Oldtimers remember waiting impatiently in cars as herds of sheep or cattle moved up county roads. Typically, the sheep had wintered in southwestern Archuleta County or even further south in New Mexico. Every spring they were driven to the high county; every fall driven home.
Much of the route to the high country followed established roads. Getting stuck behind a fence-line-to-fence-line band of sheep or cattle was an every spring and fall occurrence.
At some point, the herds left regular roads and were driven up stock driveways to appointed pastures in the mountains. Stock driveways were designated by the Forest Service. Marked down the centerline and at each edge by a shiny piece of metal, stock driveways served as highways to the high country. Some say stock driveways were implemented to control competition for grass and eliminate shooting between sheepmen and cattlemen.
In any case, in order to use their range in the Weminuche area, the Youngs used the Piedra stock driveway. The Piedra stock driveway left U.S. 160 about where Turkey Springs Trading Post is located today. It followed a mostly northerly route until reaching the appointed grazing allotment.
The Forest Service limited the number of animals allowed on any particular grazing acreage so the land wouldn't be overgrazed. In order to ensure that only the proper number of animals were entering the mountains, the Forest Service maintained counting stations near the entrance to stock driveways. Holding pens and a squeeze chute were built to hold the animals waiting to be counted. The animals were forced to pass single file through the squeeze chute as they exited the holding pens, making it easier to count heads.
Holding pens for the Piedra Stock Driveway were located on Turkey Springs Road just south of the Turkey Springs Guard Station, still shown on Forest Service maps. A surviving squeeze chute marks the location of the holding pens. These were the pens where the Young sheep were counted before entering the remote mountains. Often, several herds of sheep on their way to the mountains would stack up while waiting to be counted.
Very often two men, a herder and camp tender, took care of the herds while in the mountains. Throughout the summer, supplies were carried by horseback and delivered to the two men at prearranged rendezvous points.
Around the turn of the century, sheep raising was a profitable business in Pagosa Country. Herds might have numbered in the hundreds of thousands. Money was earned from the sale of wool, meat, and increase in the numbers in the herd. During the early days, many of the herders were retained by owners on a share holder basis: the herder received some proportion of the new lambs as compensation for staying with the sheep all summer. In this way, a man could eventually own a herd of his own.
"At the end, there wasn't any money to be made with sheep," said Don Young. "Most of us turned to cattle."
The Young house no longer stands on Miller Mesa, but it is not dead. Instead the two-story frame building still smiles at traffic along U.S. 151 near the Tiffany corner. For years it has been home to the Bob Cox family.
By 1960, much of the land along the San Juan River south of and including Arboles was being abandoned to make way for the coming waters of Navajo Lake. That included property owned by the Youngs on Miller Mesa.
Don started school in Allison in 1932 at the age of five. That school building remains, but is now home to the Bob Simon family.
"I was one year old when we moved to Allison on the place where Bob Lane had lived," Don remembers.
He also remembers a much larger Allison than we know today. In addition to general stores operated by the Youngs, Bryant, and maybe someone named Allen, there were a Presbyterian and Catholic Church, a pool hall open only on Sunday, a turkey warehouse, creamery station, post office, train depot, school building, grange hall, flour mill, and two blacksmith shops.
For many years, the flour mill was run by a man named McChesney.
"I think it burned," Don recalls, "then Dan Tanner from New Mexico erected a new mill and made White Rose and Starlight flour. The Tanner mill burned. He moved the mill to Bayfield, then to Cortez. Now it is the Cortez Milling Company. They still make White Rose flour. It is the best on the market."
Anyone reading this article who has a tank of gas and a little time can visit Allison. Just drive west out of Pagosa Springs, turn south on U.S. 151 and drive until you reach Allison. Many of the old buildings remain, including both churches. A few good eating establishments adorn the Arboles-Allison area. If you go early or late in the day, leave the main road and drive among the farms lining the back roads. Odds are, you'll see mule deer.
More from Don Young in next week's Oldtimer column.
Eagles soar to top of team name list
March Madness, Harrows of the Hardcourt or The Big Dance.
Call it what you may.
Basketball playoff time is here, featuring many names as fans across the state follow their prep stars in quests for team laurels.
How many of those teams are there?
By classification, on the basis of enrollment, there are 64 Class 5A schools, 66 in Class 4A, 60 in Class 3A, 63 in Class 2A and 64 in Class 1A.
Get all their fans out at the same time and you'd hear a cheer loud enough to hit the decibel meter in North Carolina or Indiana where, I'm told, basketball seems to have a large following.
But, who are these teams?
Like the Pagosa Springs entry, they have nicknames. Here it is the Pirates (formerly Buccaneers and before that Wolverines), a fairly popular appellation in the state. In fact, nine other schools have the same moniker.
But it is nowhere near the most common of the team names.
That honor goes to the Eagles. Twenty two teams carried that name into tournament action this week making it far and away the leader.
Headline writers could have a ball with some of the team names. Suppose, for example, the Brush Beetdiggers were to meet the Clear Creek Golddiggers: Diggers win! Golddiggers dig deeper! Both are possible.
Or, how about a clash between the Legacy Lightning and the Lutheran Lights. A natural would be: Lightning extinguishes the Lights.
Some school names are geographic or seasonal naturals.
For example, the Aspen Skiers or the Air Academy Kadets or the Rocky Ford Meloneers.
But, how about Gators and Sailors?
In Colorado? Yep, meet the Steamboat Springs Sailors and the Standley Lake Gators. Logical heads: Gators bite Sailors or Sailors hook Gators.
Panthers rank a distant second as most common team name with 15. Tigers and Bulldogs are a close third at 14. They are trailed by Mustangs with 13 and Wildcats with 12. Indians join Pirates with 9 teams wearing that name on their jerseys. Then come Trojans and Rams, each adorning eight team uniforms.
There's a three-way tie with seven featuring Warriors, Bobcats and Lions. They are trailed by Falcons with six, and then Cougars, Cowboys, Demons and Huskies on five different schools' suits.
Four schools each use Miners, Buffaloes, Wolverines, Raiders, Longhorns and Spartans.
Following with three each are Farmers, Thunderbirds, Patriots, Vikings, Bears, Warriors, Cardinals and Bruins.
Then there's a raft of names representing two schools, names like Broncos, Saints, Thunderbolts, Lobos, Hornets, Crusaders, Lancers, Knights, Jaguars, Wolves, Dragons, Reds, Rebels, Chargers, and Titans.
You'll note that a great number of team names are those of members of the animal kingdom. Like the South Park (Fairplay) Burros. Or maybe, the Fort Collins Lambkins. Both sound like mild-mannered squads but their performances on the court most likely are much more ferocious.
Still, some members of the animal world are missing and they deserve to be recognized.
Why, for example, are there no Snails, Frogs or Toads? How about Pythons and Rattlers? Where's the Gnus? (The SUN Gnus)? Or the Giraffes?
We have Impalas and Scorpions, but no Ponies or Apes. We have Maroons, Golden Eagles and Reds, but no Vermillion Vultures or Ocher Osos. This is distinct color discrimination. How about the Green Algae? Or Mauve Mavens?
One of my all-time favorites team nicknames, though it wasn't for a Colorado team, was the Appleknockers, a long, tall bunch from Cobden, Illinois, hard in the orchard country near the Kentucky border where basketball is king.
It is interesting that, for the most part, the names Indians, Redskins, Savages and Warriors are the only ones possibly depicting Native Americans on Colorado jerseys and there are just 14 of them among the 317 schools in the state.
Those names which apply to just one school in the state are numerous.
Labels like Wizards, Gladiators, GoreRangers, Gators, Sailors, Burros, Cubs, Stallions, Scorpions, Roughriders, Meloneers, Colts, Cyclones, Impalas, Hawks, Terrors, Trailblazers, Mavericks, Norse, Mountain Lions, Golden Eagles, Coyotes, Marauders, Blue Jays, Lights, Badgers, Rangers, Lightning and Savages.
There's also Redskins, Sun Devils, Commanders, Hawks, Centurions, Fightin' Bulldogs, Olympians, Danes, Lambkins, Blue Devils, Thunderbirds, Devils, Angels, Pioneers, Highlanders, Maroons, Kodiaks, Golddiggers, Kadets, Beetdiggers, Boxers, Bearcats, Skiers and Blue Angels.
What would you name your team if you had the chance? The question was asked in the news room. A less than clear cut choice for a newspaper squad was the Sun Scribes.
One wag suggested Newspaper Nerds.
Noting the state already has a spate of Devils, Blue Devils and Blue Angels, how about an entry named for a current buzz word: The Black Hole.
I can see it now.
No news today: Black Hole gobbles up Sun Scribes.
Butter, the miracle diet supplement
I was chatting with my friend Ming the other day, explaining my recipe for hot garlic eggplant when she mentioned a comment made by a member of the recreation center she manages.
The same center where I compulsively lift heavy objects and put them down again.
To paraphrase: It seems Karl is here at the gym nearly every day, working out. How come he stays so stout?
Stout. Beefy. Portly, Husky. Pudgy. Chunky. Blocky. Burly. Plump. Rotund.
They all translate to . . . Fat.
Yes, Karl does spend a lot of time in the gym, lifting heavy objects and putting them back down again, occasionally indulging in every corpulent guy's nightmare: aerobic activity. And, yes, he remains stout.
Let's be clear about one thing before I reveal my secret: Lifting heavy objects and putting them back down, over and over and over, is no way to produce a greyhound's physique. Most people who derive great pleasure from the activity end up being somewhat bulky. It is not an ectomorph's sport.
Second, and more important, when lifting heavy objects and putting them back down again, over and over and over, the body requires nourishment. Muscle fiber damaged by the stress of intense activity must be rested and carefully fed in order to grow or, as in my case, to exist at all.
I have discovered the ideal dietary component for this purpose.
It's not one of the goofy supplements you see advertised in body building magazines and infomercials or promoted on the strength training websites. It doesn't come in powder form in colorfully decorated cans, or in pills to be swallowed by the handful every four hours.
I have discovered the ultimate, dense-pack, natural supplement and I ingest a significant amount of it every day.
All the very best fat stuff from heavy cream.
Let's say I spend ninety minutes or so working a back and biceps split. Following a warmup, I've hit each muscle group, starting with the biggie, the back, with at least three exercises, four sets of each, usually pyramiding, or running the rack from heavy to light. Occasionally, I'll set a workout involving a one-rep max format. Sometimes, I'll go light with max reps. A half hour on the bike or the elliptical strider and I'm tuckered out.
How to avoid a catabolic crisis?
"The fatty portion of milk, separating as a soft whitish or yellowish solid when milk or cream is agitated or churned." The miracle supplement.
Try an experiment some time and make your own butter. Familiarize yourself with the simple magic of agitated cream. Take a bunch of heavy cream and pop it in a blender and agitate the daylights out of it. Then add about half the amount of cold water as you have cream and pop in a few ice cubes. Turn the blender to hyperwhip and thrash the bejeebers out of the mix. Pretty soon, solid stuff will appear on the surface.
Guess what Bronco - you got yourself the makings of butter. Scrape it off, drain it, squish out any extra water and you have the homemade platform for what the foodies call "mouth feel."
Yep, the thing butter can do for you that very few foods can ( I am partial to several extra creamy cheeses for the same reason) is coat your mouth with a layer of bliss-producing fat molecules. And allow you to remain stout in the face of stressful physical activity.
Besides the mouth feel and the physical benefits, there's the taste and the way the taste can vary depending on how the butter is used, how it is cooked. Butter serves as the ideal transport for other flavors, incorporating them, amplifying them, working fatty magic on them: herbs, spices, onion, garlic.
Compound butters are a perfect example. They deliver flavor to breads, to meats, to things hot, things thirsty for melted goodness, receptive to butter's charm. When I was a kid compound butters were common at better restaurants. Dill butters were popped on salmon fillets. Little helmets of horseradish butter graced cuts of beef. Anchovy butter caressed asparagus; herb butters, especially tarragon butter, were a favorite; garlic butter enhanced just about everything but nothing more effectively than simple al dente pasta, with the addition of some parsley and freshly-grated cheese.
Making a compound butter is easy enough for any but the most profoundly limited kitchen creature. Ingredients are creamed with the soft butter. I prefer unsalted butter, in this and in all applications. I'll add the salt myself, thanks.
Some people make little logs of compound butter, using plastic wrap to form a sausage-like shape, then refrigerate the mix. They cut discs of the butter from the log and put the disks on whatever hot food they intend to amplify. You can also roll bits of the butter into walnut-size hunks, wrap and refrigerate and use similar to the discs to kiss your favorite grilled, or steamed foods.
Butter melds perfectly with other fats, lends an unparalleled essence of "crispy browned" to things sauteed, to things fried.
Where would we be without butter's unique ability to carry air? What would happen to the most transcendent of baked goods without butter? Without butter, we would not have puff pastry and vol au vents and the world would be a depressing place without puffy, crispy containers ready to be filled with all manner of saucy substances.
My favorite place to use butter these days is in sauces, specifically at the tail end of a reduction process. Once the brown goodies left on the bottom of a pan by cooked protein and the sugars in vegetables have been deglazed with a stock or wine added and turned to high heat to reduce to an essence, the perfect capper is a large glob (the English say "knob") of butter or a nut of compound butter, melted into the reduction after the heat is turned down. Incorporated into the essence of the meat and vegetables, wine and stock, the butter reverts to a form of cream, emulsified, transformed into silky, fatty nectar.
Bernaise? Hollandaise? Without a ton of butter? Impossible.
How about a beurre blanc with a piece of grilled or broiled fish? Reduce a mix of equal parts white wine vinegar and white wine, minced shallots and some salt and pepper, then cool a bit and slowly incorporate hunks of cold butter, whisking the blend until you end up with a bit of heaven.
Butter browned over low heat adds a dimension to veggies. Butter melted with the addition of a spritz of lemon and some parsley contributes to anything it touches.
Let's hear it for butter - an oft maligned substance, a fundamental food fact demeaned by anal-retentive, fear-riddled health nuts - the crowing achievement of the cow.
Let's have a round of applause for mouth feel. The more the better.
And don't forget the value of butter after a hard workout.
Give it a try. Lift heavy objects and put them down again, then hit the trough to nourish those hungry muscle fibers.