Front Page

May 2, 2002

County approves dog control code but no licensing
By John M. MotterStaff Writer

A dog control ordinance calling for rabies shots, but not requiring registration, was approved by Archuleta County commissioners meeting in regular session Tuesday. The ordinance took effect at the time it was approved.

Applying only to those areas in Archuleta County outside of the Pagosa Springs town limits, the new regulations stop short of hiring an enforcement officer or collecting licensing fees.

All of the commissioners expressed a desire to, at some future date, carry county dog regulations to the next level, requiring licenses and hiring an enforcement officer. If enacted in the future, the license fee will help support employment of a dog control officer.

For now, the county sheriff is responsible for enforcing the newly adopted regulations.

The new regulations are said to be a more enforceable composite of two former county regulations relating to dogs. The new regulations generally govern the control of loose dogs, nuisance dogs, and vicious dogs.

Control of a dog means the animal is:

on a leash of sufficient strength to restrain the dog; confined in a building, fenced area, enclosure, or motor vehicle, or other structure in such a way that it does not escape

on property possessed by its owner and confined thereon in such a way that it does not escape or is in the presence of the owner, possessor, keeper, or a family member, agent, or employee

within sight and hearing distance of its owner, possessor, keeper, or a family member, or any agent or employee of the owner, and upon command the dog returns to within at least four feet of the controlling person.

A dog shall be deemed not under control when the dog inflicts damage or injury by biting, jumping upon, or harasses, chases, or attacks persons, vehicles, cyclists, livestock, equestrians, pedestrians, domestic animals or wildlife. This provision shall not be applicable if the dog is acting in defense of the owner, the owner's family, or property of the owner.

A nuisance dog shall mean loud, habitual and persistent barking, howling, yelping, or whining by a dog sufficient to interfere with any person in the reasonable and comfortable enjoyment of life or property. Nuisance dogs are deemed to be dogs that are not under control of their owner.

Rabies vaccination means vaccination of a dog against rabies using a vaccine approved by the Colorado Department of Health and administered according to the recommendations of a licensed veterinarian of Colorado.

A vicious dog is defined as a dog that bites or attacks a person or animal without provocation or a dog that approaches any person or animal in a vicious or terrorizing manner in an apparent attitude of attack, on any public or private property except when the person is unlawfully engaged in the unlawful entry into or upon the dog owner's property or vehicle where such dog is kept confined or when the person is engaged in attacking or molesting another person.

Any dog found running at large or not under control may be impounded. After impoundment, the impoundment facility shall notify the dog owner when possible.

Owners claiming a dog that has been impounded shall pay the impoundment fee of $35 per day per dog, plus $15 a day per dog for boarding and care. In addition, the dog owner must pay actual veterinary costs. An impounded dog will not be released without proof of vaccination. If necessary, the impoundment facility will have the dog vaccinated at the owner's expense.

The Humane Society of Pagosa Springs is the designated local impoundment facility.

Summons and complaint procedures are contained in the legislation. If a summons and complaint charges a third violation of any portion of the ordinance, the defendant shall be required to appear before the Archuleta County Court.

Violations not involving bodily injury are considered a Class 2 petty offense. For the first violation, the fine will be between $25 and $50. For the second offense, the fine shall be not less than $51, nor more than $100. For the third offense, the fine shall be not less than $150, nor more than $300, or imprisonment in the county jail for not more than 90 days for each offense.

Violations resulting in bodily injury to any person shall be a Class 2 misdemeanor with penalties ranging from a fine of $250 to $1,000 for each offense and imprisonment from three to 12 months, or both fine and imprisonment.

The provisions relating to the control of dogs and prohibiting dogs from running at-large shall not apply to dogs actually working livestock, locating or retrieving wild game in season for a licensed hunter, assisting law enforcement officers, or being trained for any of these pursuits. The exception for dogs actually working livestock shall not apply to a dog located in any platted subdivision in Archuleta County.

In other business Tuesday the commissioners:

approved the annual Highway Users Tax Fund report

authorized the county administrator to make expenditures in certain emergency situations

allowed the Colorado Department of Transportation to use its former maintenance grounds located on U.S. 160 west of 8th Street

scheduled a public hearing for today at 1:30 p.m. to consider a conditional use permit application for Affordable Mini Storage to be located on U.S. 160 west of town in the vicinity of Mesa Propane

authorized the expenditure of up to $2,000 to investigate evidence of molds growing in the county assessor's office.

Fire district bonding plan draws little opposition at LWV forum
By Tess Noel BakerStaff Writer

"Vote yes for the Pagosa Fire Protection District's $2.8 million bond issue!" was one slogan repeated throughout the night at the League of Women Voters Forum Tuesday.

The candidates for the fire board urged it. The outgoing board chairman, Bill Clark, urged it. One of the candidates for a completely different board urged it.

The fire protection district, with its core of 63 volunteer firefighters, is the "greatest bargain in Pagosa Country," Clark said. Not only do they respond from work or home when a fire calls, he said, but they dedicate additional hours to training, maintenance of equipment and facilities and construction of new stations.

But, supporters say, the thousands of hours of volunteer work has come up against a wall of growth. Since 1989, the district has grown from 21 square miles to 160 square miles, added three and a half fire stations and three and a half staff members. And they've done it while keeping a close eye on the budget.

"We've been operating close to the bone," Clark said. "We've been operating with excellent accounting." Each of four inclusions of land was accepted into the district only by bringing assets including equipment, construction of a station and volunteers. Now, Clark said, after a year of discussion and planning, the district is asking for taxpayer help to improve that equipment, expand Station 1, remodel some of the other stations and construct a live-fire training facility.

The breakdown includes approximately $1.6 million for vehicle purchases; $590,000 for remodeling Station1; $140,000 for remodeling stations 2-5; $175,000 for construction of a training center; $120,000 for equipment and communications and $150,000 for a contingency fund.

When asked why the district went for so much at once, Clark said putting everything in one package would be cheaper for taxpayers in the long run. For instance, ordering all the new vehicles from the same supplier earns the district a discount and provides standardization of equipment.

Currently, the district operates seven vehicles at least 18 years old, including one vintage 1956 vehicle. Volunteers must travel to Farmington for live-fire training, and the district equipment needs updating. Five office staff operate out of two offices.

"Our greatest achievement in office space has been moving the copy machine out of the john," Clark said. The bond issue money would change that. According to the plans, the remodel of Station1 would include a 50-foot bay to house the ladder truck, living space for three volunteers to help the district move to round-the-clock coverage, increased office space, showers and a weight room. Remodels to the other stations would include hooking up to a water supply in one case, paving driveways and installing electric door openers.

Clark said the district wants to continue to upgrade its service to the community. Having volunteers at the station 24-hours a day, seven days a week will allow someone to go directly to a fire with equipment, improving response time. Under the current system, firefighters must respond to the station, pick up the equipment then head to the fire, or go straight to the fire, but wait for equipment. Each of the three volunteers on the all-night rotation will be required to sign a lease with the district.

"There will be an evaluation of each candidate to fill these spots before they're assigned to ensure their motivation is not only to acquire a pleasant living situation but to serve the community," Clark said.

The $2.8 million total before the voters is probably more than will be needed. That is a maximum number figured on current property taxes at an interest rate of 6.5 percent. When the bonds are actually issued, the interest rate is expected to be lower. Property values are also expected to continue to increase, bringing a savings.

On a property with a $200,000 actual value, Clark said, the passage of the bond issue would mean a residential owner would pay an additional $4.09 per month. A commercial or vacant property owner would pay $12.97 a month, and homestead exemption qualifiers would pay $2.05 a month.

No one at the LWV meeting spoke in opposition to the bond issue.

The fire district's request will go before voters, Tuesday, May 7. Ballots can be cast at the Emergency Services Building on North Pagosa Boulevard from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Girls faked kidnap try, suspect in INS custody
By Tess Noel BakerStaff Writer

Charges against Francisco Javier Morquecho have been dropped. The 21-year-old spent at least two weeks in the Archuleta County Jail accused of attempted kidnapping after two local female juveniles described him as the man who tried to drag them from a park.

According to Pagosa Springs Police Department reports, the story was unfounded. The case has been turned over to the district attorney's office and the two girls are facing possible charges of false reporting.

The two youngsters originally told police they were playing basketball in South Pagosa Park April 4 when a man on a bicycle approached them. They said he asked several questions and then grabbed one of them, adding that they were eventually able to fend him off and make it to safety. Their description of the alleged attacker led police to arrest Morquecho.

Although all charges against Morquecho have been dropped, he is an illegal alien. The case was turned over to Immigration and Naturalization Service and the INS has taken custody of Morquecho.

Future of PAWS linked to Tuesday vote
By John M. MotterStaff Writer

The future of the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District will be greatly affected by the results of next Tuesday's election.

On the PAWS ballot is a $5 million bond question plus the election of three candidates to fill two positions on the five-member PAWS board of directors.

The PAWS polling place is the Emergency Medical Services Building at 189 North Pagosa Blvd., about two blocks north of the intersection with U.S. 160. All Colorado registered voters who live in or own property in PAWS District No. 1 are eligible to vote.

On the ballot for director positions are incumbents Don Brinks and Karen Wessels and they are joined by challenger Bob Hart. Since there are only two vacancies, the top two vote getters will be elected.

PAWS is asking voter approval to sell $4,993,630 in general obligation bonds to pay for at least 10 upgrades identified as necessary in 20-year capital improvement growth analysis plan prepared for the district by engineering and financial consultants. Repayment of the $4.9 million bond will increase the PAWS property tax rate by about 6 mills.

Included in the studies are projections that both the population and demand for raw water in the PAWS service area will triple by the year 2020. According to a study prepared by Harris Engineering, Inc., the PAWS service population will increase from 7,420 people in 2000 to 21,809 people in 2020. The demand for raw water is expected to increase proportionately from 582 million gallons in 2000 to 1,711 million gallons in 2020.

The total cost of capital improvements anticipated over the next 20 years is approximately $30 million. The almost $5 million being sought Tuesday constitutes the first step of the process.

Projects proposed for development using the $5 million are: Vista wastewater treatment plant 1B expansion - $3.5 million; abandonment of the Vista wastewater treatment plant lagoon - $154,500; paving-irrigating-storage-landscaping at the Vista headquarters site - $257,500; Highlands lagoon system improvement - $400,000; infiltration reduction - $200,000; sewer camera - $30,000; abandonment of the Meadows Lagoon - $120,000; generators - $100,000; collection system upgrades - $100,000; development of a wastewater system model - $125,000.

Some, but not all, members of the local building and development community oppose the PAWS ballot question. They say PAWS population projections are too high. They argue that budget methods used by PAWS do not accurately allocate costs to their true source, especially in the distribution of costs between existing users and future growth. They say PAWS is placing too much of the anticipated future growth expense in the laps of builders and de possible charges of false reporting.

The two youngsters originally told police they were playing basketball in South Pagosa Park April 4 when a man on a bicycle approached them. They said he asked several questions and then grabbed one of them, adding that they were eventually able to fend him off and make it to safety. Their description of the alleged attacker led police to arrest Morquecho.

Although all charges against Morquecho have been dropped, he is an illegal alien. The case was turned over to Immigration and Naturalization Service and the INS has taken custody of Morquecho.


The PAWS board of directors argues that future growth should pay for itself and that monthly user fees should mostly reflect day-to-day operational costs.

Nevertheless, use of a general obligation tax involves repayment with property tax dollars. Property taxes are paid by existing, as well as future property owners.

An offshoot of the building community's disagreement with PAWS' pricing structure is the emergence of Hart, president of the Builder's Association of Pagosa Springs, as a candidate for a seat on the PAWS board of directors.

On a flier handed out at the Home Show April 13 and 14, sponsored by the Builders Association of Pagosa Springs, voters were advised the association strongly recommends a vote for Bob Hart and a write in of Alan Bunch and that the Builders Association of Pagosa Springs recommends a "no" vote on the bond issue.

Alan Bunch was a member of the citizen committee appointed by PAWS to help the utility develop a fee structure. Bunch cannot be a legal write-in candidate on Tuesday's PAWS ballot. State law requires write-in candidates to file an affidavit with the county clerk by March 1 in order to legitimately receive write-in votes. So far this year, before or after March 1, Bunch has not filed any affidavit with the county clerk. Therefore, any votes cast for Bunch will not be counted.

"That was not put out by the builder's association," Hart said. "We didn't know about it or approve it. There was no vote taken to do the flier, recommend a 'no' vote on the PAWS bond issue, or recommend Allan Bunch as a write-in candidate."

Bunch said he did not know about the flier and did not authorize it or the use of his name on the flier.

"If I had done it, I would have spelled my name correctly," Bunch said.

Nine victims in burglary, mischief spree
By Tess Noel BakerStaff Writer

Two businesses and eight vehicles were damaged the night of April 19 or early in the morning April 20 in a string of thefts, criminal mischief and burglary.

The nine incidents covered both county and town jurisdictions. Archuleta County Sheriff's Department reports document one burglary at T-Bull Welding on U.S. 84 just south of the town limit, and damage to four vehicles parked at Stevens Field north of town.

At the welding shop, burglars damaged two doors and made off with a small amount of change, a tool bag and several tools worth about $650. In the airport lot, windows were broken out of at least two vehicles and damage done to two others. So far, the only thing reported missing is a CD changer.

Inside town boundaries, four vehicles were damaged at the Red Lion Inn on West U.S. 160. According to Pagosa Springs Police Department reports, the single burglary was reported at Lucero Tire. There, the criminals damaged doors and took cash.

So far, car owners have reported a missing CD changer, damage to vehicle windows, doors and dashboards, missing cash, sunglasses, clothing, and a camcorder. The incidents are thought to be related and are being investigated by both departments.

An open primary

It's time to consider putting an end to an outdated way of doing political business. It's time to ponder the demise of that part of the caucus system dealing with candidate nominations, at the local and county level, at the state level, replacing it with something more effective, a method with potential to involve more voters in the initial selection of candidates and the election of public officials.

Hold a caucus and it is clear what you will get: A marginal percentage of the registered members of a party in attendance; a very small number of members of a party making decisions for a far greater number who do not attend, often for the entire voting population when the opposing party does not produce candidates; a situation ripe for manipulation by self-styled politicos, flexing their Machiavellian mini-muscle in an attempt to jury-rig the competition.

There must be a better way to render the process of selecting candidates more representative, to incite more voters to be active at the foundation level of the election process.

To understand the lack of luster the current system displays, witness recent caucuses in Archuleta County.

Democrats held caucuses and 112 registered members of the party attended. Granted, this is significant given the party's lethargy in recent years, but the number is still less than 7 percent of the total number, 1,648, of registered Democratic voters.

On the Republican side of the street, the percentage attending caucuses was equally abysmal. This year, caucuses drew an estimated 236 registered Republicans, out of 4,254 registered in the county. That is less than 6 percent.

At the local level, the partisan division of the voting population and the caucus process that flows from that division no longer works the way it was intended.

Try this idea on for size: Let's do away with nominating candidates at caucuses and assemblies at the local and state levels. Candidates for local and state office should petition to have their names put on a primary election ballot, with the conditions for a legitimate petition set relative to the office being contested. Throw the door open: Any eligible registered voter, with a properly completed petition, can be on a primary ballot, make their case in advertising, at public forums, on the street corners, however they wish.

Every registered voter in the county can vote in the primary. The odds are good, in a year where meaningful offices in our county are up for grabs, the total number of voters responding to the invitation to go to the primary polls will exceed the 348 who attended recent caucuses.

Take the two top vote-getters in a primary election and let them fight it out in the November general election, regardless of their party affiliation, regardless of how clever they and their supporters might be. The candidates who make it to the general election ballot will be there because they passed a more difficult and revealing test than they would in the caucus system

In his column in this week's SUN, Sen. Jim Isgar discusses a ballot initiative Colorado voters will consider in November. The initiative would do away with the caucus system statewide. Isgar has not reached a conclusion concerning the initiative. He asks residents in his Senate district, which includes Archuleta County, to correspond with him, to let him know their opinions on the subject. This is a good excuse to think about the issue. Make a decision concerning this method and drop the senator a line.Then, vote come November. Maybe things will change.

Karl Isberg

By Shari Pierce

91 years ago

Taken from SUN files of May 5, 1911

Dr. A.J. Nossaman made a flying trip down to the ranch at Arboles the first of the week. Says the alfalfa is a foot high already.

The Baccalaureate services for the class of 1911 will be held in the M.E. church on Sunday evening May 14.

The Town Board met Monday evening. The cemetery main was ordered repaired and other routing work attended to.

The commissioners received this week through the Hatcher Hardware Co. another road leveler.

The logging engine had a wreck Tuesday morning at Camp 2, the engine going through the bridge at the Y, doing no serious damage save to bruise the thumb of John Dillinger the engineer.

75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of May 6, 1927

The district court room of the court house is undergoing some needed repairs in the way of papering and paint.

The steam shovel of the state highway department was taken out of winter quarters in Pagosa yesterday and headed toward the Catchpole Mistake, where the first work will be done this season.

The town board met Monday for the transaction of regular monthly business. A committee of the Women's Civic Club met with them and discussed general improvement plans, the planting of trees in the park being authorized at this time.

Joe Griffith was kicked by a horse yesterday at the Bramwell ranch and sustained a broken arm.

50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of May 2, 1952

The PTA mother and daughter "tacky" party was held Saturday night in the high school auditorium and was well attended with approximately 150 present. A variety of games were played and Mrs. Loren Snook and daughter, Sharon, were awarded first prize for the tackiest outfits.

The high school journalism class and their instructor, Miss Gladys Styduhar, visited the SUN office on Friday of last week to see the working of a newspaper plant.

Mrs. Rachel Tishner and Mr. A.D. Hahn attended a meeting in Durango Monday to study the new school finance law. Representatives from 5 counties were in attendance.

25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of April 28, 1977

Construction work has started on a new mall across from Johnson Chevrolet, work is underway on the addition to the telephone company building, Pagosa is letting a road and street improvement project contract this week, work on the expansion of the Pagosa Springs sanitary sewer disposal property is due to start, the contract for the widening on Wolf Creek Pass is to start there in mid-May. Home construction, too, is at an all time high and this promises to be a busy summer for builders and contractors.

The area received some rain and snow last week and it did help the moisture situation, although it is still below normal. The weather has generally been pleasant and there is a feel of spring in the air these days..

Inside The Sun
Feature Story
Coloring Lives
By Tess Noel BakerStaff Writer

Classes give beginners chance to learn the art of painting

"See how patient these men are," Margaret Martinez said, waving a paint brush toward her two teachers. "All- in-all, we're going to learn something I think."

She turned back to her painting of an old barn in a meadow and began mixing paint, dabbing together the primary colors to make a greyish-black dark enough to use for the shadows inside the barn door. Steadily, she drew the brush down one side of the doorframe, stopped, and considered. Her teacher came by, took the painting off its stand and held it farther away for better perspective.

With a few quick strokes, Kent Schafer, a volunteer, added shadows under the eaves and filled in more of the interior, demonstrating how to lend the impression of light filtering through a broken window.

"Isn't he great?" Martinez asked.

She is a member of the weekly art class taught at the Archuleta County Senior Citizens Center. The class meets from 12:45-1:45 p.m. every Tuesday, sometimes a little longer if necessary. Most participants paint landscapes, using acrylics. Two teachers, Schafer and George Golightly, lead the class, sometimes giving short presentations, but mostly offering individual help. Both have years of experience painting on their own.

"They're a lot more talented than you would think," Golightly, the former merchandise manager at Coors Brewing Company, said, proud of his students. "The difficult part is they don't come regularly." Some Tuesdays, like April 23, only three students participate. Other weeks, there might be eight or 10. "But when they have trouble they come and ask, and either Kent or I explain what they're doing wrong."

To help structure the class a little, students can pick from a series of landscapes, copied onto large sheets of paper and then transferred to the canvas, each with a different lesson focus. It's up to the students to interpret color and character. The teachers try to offer tips on technique, explain color and perspective.

For instance, "You do the sun with a finger," Golightly said, not the brush. He has a whole handout of such tips, another lesson on mixing colors. Then, once a student finishes a painting, it's shared with the class for discussion and critique.

Golightly has a few of his own paintings stacked on a nearby piano. One shows a mountain lion in front of a sunset. Another, the only one painted since his wife died, is titled "Moon Over Sorrow," and features misted mountains at night.

"I ask them to tell me what they think is wrong so they don't make the same mistakes I did," he said.

The teachers also give lots of encouragement.

"I like it when somebody says, 'Aha' - when somebody has done something and it pleases them," Schafer said.

Donna Boughan has been coming to classes since they started last October. She's finished one painting, almost anyway, and has started on a second. The first she did working from a photograph. The newest is patterned after a picture she saw once. It's a landscape of a sunrise reflected off a river running through the mountains. She's currently working on the foliage lining the sides of the river.

"Just seeing what happens, that's what's fun," she said. "I don't know what's going to happen until I try it." Boughan started coming to the class for the opportunity to be creative, to find focus and have something to feel good about.

Martinez, who used to paint before motherhood and family took up her time, tried to get back into it on her own, but found she'd forgotten some things. So she started attending class. Art, she said, gives her a chance to relax.

"It's nice to get together with other people when you live alone," she added. Of course, Martinez volunteers at Chimney Rock, her church, the library and as a flannelboard storyteller for Head Start, so her days are always pretty full. She keeps art classes on the schedule because she thinks she can learn something - perhaps become bolder with her strokes and understand mixing color better.

That barn she's concentrating on is taking shape, it's red and brown boards creating a realistic weathered look. The background is yet to come. And whenever it's finished, she has people waiting in the wings to take it off her hands.

"It's a good thing we have children," she said. "If we didn't have children who knows what we would do with our paintings."

Palliative care bill is killed in joint committee
Rep. Larson's Report

Sometimes things happen while voting on bills where one just has to laugh. A member who sits close to me on the floor was overheard asking himself, "What did I just vote on?"

He was running late and arrived just as the House was voting for bills on third reading and final passage. Hurriedly, he rumbled through his file cabinet, came up with the bill and immediately recognized that he had voted differently than he had planned. So, to correct the sin of having voted against this bill, he quickly pushed the button to become a "co-sponsor," thus demonstrating his support.

It is doubtful that any constituents will catch this faux pas but I enjoyed ribbing him nonetheless.

HJR02-1002, my resolution proposing an interim committee to study palliative care in Colorado and the barriers that diminish patient choice in the management of chronic illnesses and end-of-life decisions will not come to fruition as planned. Interim committee proposals compete for a limited amount of funding each session. Last week the Legislative Council Committee (a joint committee of the House and Senate) met to prioritize seven measures that were requesting interim committee funds and approval. It was anticipated that between four and six committees would be authorized but, for various reasons, the committee voted to approve only three.

The proposed study on palliative care was spawned from last summer's Bighorn Center for Public Policy Leadership Program and was the brainchild of Ellen Roberts of Durango. I was saddened to see that it garnered little support during prioritization and was even more saddened when it became apparent I had not worked it as effectively as I could have. I failed to lock in votes prior to the committee hearing and the resolution died.

Fortunately, the sponsors of the health care interim study committee that did receive approval, agreed to add palliative care issues to the agenda for that interim committee. This issue looms very largely in our country as our senior population doubles in size demanding resources that are already stretched to the limit. Allowing patient choice in end-of-life planning and making the necessary changes in our health care system only makes sense.

As my Fort Lewis College independence bill (HB02-1419) makes it's way through the senate in the capable hands of Sen. Jim Isgar, one final issue needed to be resolved. The issue of assuring that two members of the new seven member board of trustees be from the five Southwestern counties FLC will have the regional education provider designation to serve, needed clarification.

Fort Lewis College serves a wide range of internal and external stake holders. In public higher education, trustees or board members are guardians of the public trust, responsible for ensuring that institutions serve the larger society. The proposed board composition for Fort Lewis College is intended to create a governing body that can effectively support the institution's primary mission as a public liberal arts college. An ancillary - though very important - charge is to provide oversight of the institution's role in assessing need and coordinating higher education offerings in the region.

While a good board will be composed of members with diverse perspectives and experiences, public higher education boards, as a basic tenet, do not follow a legislative or representative model and individual members are not designated as representatives of special interests, political parties, or geographic areas. Rather than representing particular interests, board members are charged with building consensus on complex issues, always with their responsibility to their institution and with the larger public good in mind.

Local representation is important and must be mindful of this principle.

Ballot initiative could end precinct caucuses
Sen. Isgar's Report

Because of my duties at the Legislature, I was unable to attend precinct caucuses in my district this past Tuesday. Colorado is one of only a handful of states that still uses the caucus system to nominate its candidates. Supporters of this system say it's the best way to get people involved on a grassroots level. Others say the limited numbers of people who show up are not representative of the parties at large and the system should be abolished.

The Bighorn Center for Public Policy, a "good government" think tank committed to developing and promoting new ideas and future leaders would like to take the nominating system out of the caucuses. Their proposal, which will come to voters next November in the form of a ballot initiative, would require that all candidates petition onto the ballot. Under the current law, state legislators would have to collect about 1,000 signatures to get onto the ballot, the same as a U.S. Representative or U.S. Senator. The Bighorn Center's proposal would change that to 150 for a state house seat, 300 for a state senate seat. The idea behind this initiative is that the ballot would be more accessible to more people.

I appreciate and admire the people who took the time to go to their caucuses last Tuesday and who will go to the county assemblies to represent me and other candidates for office. It will be interesting, however, to see if voters decide this will be the last Colorado caucus. At this point, I am not sure what the best position is. This issue needs more study and discussion among those involved. Please do not hesitate to contact me with your views.

Meanwhile, back at the Legislature, we are down to the final few details of the budget. We seem to be at a stalemate over district judges - whether to give the current judges a pay raise that was promised two years ago or hire six new judges - one in Durango. I had hoped we could do both but the problem is how to fund them. To do both takes $2.2 million. I suspect we will reach some compromise next week.

A couple of bills I'm sponsoring made progress this week.

The Organic Certification Act has now passed the House and is through the Senate but with an amendment that must be agreed on by the House. This bill, which I sponsored with Rep. Tom Plant of Nederland, brings the state certification into sync with the federal system. It's an important step for a growing sector of the agricultural industry.

The Colorado Water Conservation Board Construction Fund bill has also passed the House but was also amended in the Senate. This bill now awaits House action on the Senate amendment. One of the projects included is research money to study the potential of expanding the Red Mesa reservoir and building a small reservoir on the lower Long Hollow canyon area. These projects would expand the efficiency of using La Plata River water for irrigation.

A final note: The infamous SB 141, which deals with oil and gas royalties, is still sitting on the calendar in the Senate. In its current form, it calls for a task force to study the issue of royalty payments. We fought hard to get it to this form. Hopefully, the Senate will accept the bill as is. If any changes are made I will try to kill the bill because royalty owners deserve their rightful income from their interests.

I was pleased to welcome the fifth grade classes from Fort Lewis Mesa to the Capitol on Friday. It was great to see the teachers, students and their parents. I went to Fort Lewis Mesa in the fourth grade and all my children attended the school.

We also welcomed the Colorado Mounted Rangers including several from our area. They are an important group and their colorful formal western attire added to our Friday session.

Four candidates vie for three places on fire board
By Tess Noel BakerStaff Writer

Four candidates, including one incumbent, are in the running for three open seats on the Pagosa Fire Protection District board. The election is set for May 7 from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Voters can cast their ballots at the Emergency Medical Services building on North Pagosa Boulevard, in the ambulance bay.

Ron Maez

Ron Maez has been a volunteer firefighter for six years and a captain for two years. He earned the Volunteer of the Year award in 1996, the Firefighter of the Year award in 1998 and the Officer of the Year award in 2001. He is also a member of the Fire Pension Board of Trustees.

Now he's running for the board. With two incumbents electing not to run again, including the current chairman of the board, Maez said it's important that the board maintain its focus. Accountability to the taxpayers and continuing to make progress in fire protection are other key issues for the local business owner.

Maez has been in business in Pagosa Springs for 18 years. He's a former member of the Archuleta County Fair Board and has been attending fire district board meetings for the past year to familiarize himself with the organization's operation.

"I want to keep and maintain the performance level they have now, if not make it better," he said.

Dusty Pierce

Dusty Pierce is the lone incumbent in this race. He has held his seat for over 12 years, and is currently the board's most veteran member. He's been a volunteer firefighter for the same amount of time.

"I think it's good for the board of directors to have balanced representation from all over the county," Pierce said. "It's good to have some firefighters on the board as well as non-firefighters."

Pierce said key issues in the coming years will be growth and continued fire prevention programs.

"If we do a good job in fire education and prevention we could prevent many of our fires," he said. Already, fire district members have established a clown program to teach fire safety in the schools, a program to distribute smoke detectors to those who can't afford them and an annual business fire inspection program.

"When I first came on the department," Pierce said, "the schools were not doing fire drills or fire prevention programs. Now we have regular fire safety at the schools."

Pierce is a native Coloradan who has lived in Pagosa Springs for 24 years. He owns his own general contracting business, and serves on the board of directors of the Builders Association of Pagosa Springs. He is also on the board of directors for the Colorado Association of Home Builders and a member of that organization's executive committee. He is a member of the board of directors for Our Ranch San Juan in Farmington.

Richard P. Sutkin

Richard Sutkin, moved to Pagosa Springs two years ago after owning property here for about six years. He is retired from the insurance business and impressed with the Pagosa Fire Protection District.

Sutkin said when he first moved to town he received the fire district's newsletter, "The Firehouse" and read a short article about the district's success in achieving a better fire insurance class rating. That, and the fact that the district even published a newsletter, attracted his attention.

"I said, 'That's for me,'" he said. "I think they've done a great job, and I figured maybe there's a place for me."

Sutkin started selling insurance in college, obtaining his first insurance license in 1953 at age 19. After earning his degree and a two-year stint in the U.S. Army, he went to work in the insurance agency started by his father in Michigan. He earned the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter designation in 1962. He was president of Sutkin and Company for over 20 years and spent many years teaching insurance classes.

While in Michigan, Sutkin was a member of several nonprofit and for-profit organizations. He is past president of the Michigan Association of Property and Liability Insurance Counselors, a member of many insurance company's agents' advisory committees, chairman of the Reliance Insurance Company's Detroit Advisory Committee and served in all the offices of the Greater Detroit Chapter of the Society of Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters.

Terry Windnagel

Terry Windnagel has lived in Pagosa Springs since 1984. He is a former volunteer firefighter and served on the district board from 1992-2000.

"I enjoyed being on the board and quite frankly I think I have something to offer as far as management goes," Windnagel said. He works in the insurance business, a job that gives him experience with fire rating issues and allows him the time to dedicate to the fire district.

Windnagel is in favor of controlled growth of the district and would like to see all of Archuleta County come under its protection eventually. He also sees a need for the district to add more equipment and to upgrade the existing administration offices at Station 1. He is a former member of the Upper San Juan Hospital District board.

Bass planning to petition into sheriff's race
By John M. MotterStaff Writer

Larry Bass has filed an affidavit with the Archuleta County Clerk announcing his intention to run for the office of county sheriff. Bass is a Republican and unsuccessfully ran for sheriff in 1998.

"I am running again this year in hopes of providing the citizens of this community a real choice for sheriff of Archuleta County," Bass said. "I am currently employed in the building trades and have been since the last election."

Bass is a former Texan who has lived in this community since 1988. His public service career began in 1976 with the Richardson, Texas, Fire Department. He served there as a paramedic and firefighter until moving to Pagosa Springs.

Locally, Bass joined the Pagosa Springs Police Department in 1989. He graduated from the Pueblo-based Law Enforcement Academy with honors. In 1991, he was employed by the Pagosa Lakes Department of Public Safety where he rose through the ranks, ultimately serving as chief of that department.

Bass served with the PLPSO until 1998, when, according to Bass, the incumbent sheriff Tom Richards began dismantling the public safety operation. (Editor's note: The Pagosa Lakes Department of Public Safety was disbanded by the board of directors of the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association).

A lawsuit filed on Bass' behalf should be concluded before the November election, according to Bass.

"During my years in law enforcement I earned a reputation for being an aggressive, tough, but fair enforcer of the law," Bass said. "I know the people, I know the area, and I know the business inside and out. The success of the Public Safety office during my tenure speaks to my management and leadership skills."

Bass has also been actively involved in many community activities, according to a statement he has released. Those activities include being one of the founding members of the Pagosa Youth Foundation, started in 1994. Bass remains involved in the day-to-day activities of that organization.

"I was instrumental in the adoption and implementation of numerous law enforcement related community programs while I was chief of the Public Safety Office," Bass said. "Charity sporting events, fund drives, the Victim's Advocate program, and the Adopt-a-Cop program were started under my leadership. I believe that law enforcement's involvement in these programs creates an important link between the citizens and the officers who serve them. This is commonly referred to as community policing."

In a statement supporting his decision to run for sheriff Bass said, "The state of law enforcement in this county has steadily declined over the last few years, and I believe it is time for a change. I have the training, skills, and the will to turn this sad situation around and provide the law enforcement services that this community needs and demands. If I become your next elected sheriff, you can depend on me to make the needed changes and lead from the front. The decision is yours, another four years of the same old excuses, or a progressive and pro-active response to your law enforcement needs.

Bass is seeking signatures to have his name placed on the August Republican primary ballot through the petition process.

Three candidates vie for two PAWS board seats
By John M. MotterStaff Writer

Don Brinks, Karen Wessels, and Bob Hart are candidates to fill two openings on the five-member Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District Board of Directors in Tuesday's election.

Voting will take place between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. at the Emergency Medical Services Building at 189 N. Pagosa Blvd., on the east side of North Pagosa Blvd. about two blocks north of U.S. 160.

The PAWS board of directors oversees operations of the utility which provides drinking water for Pagosa Springs and its surrounding developments, as well as the many subdivisions located in the Pagosa Lakes area west of town. PAWS also provides sewer services for certain subdivisions west of town. A separate Pagosa Springs sewage facility provides sewage service for people living in and adjacent to the town.

PAWS is divided into District 1 and District 2. District 1 provides water and sewer services in the area generally north of U.S. 160 and west of Piedra Road. There are exceptions. Only residents or property owners of District 1 who are registered to vote in Colorado can vote in this election. A check list of eligible voters will be present at the polling place.

PAWS District 2 provides water services only, generally to areas south of US. 160 and in Pagosa Springs and its surrounding subdivisions. Residents of District 2 cannot vote in this bond election.

Paws directors meet in regular session once a month and more frequently when the occasion demands. PAWS subjects can be extremely complex, dealing with such issues as obtaining, treating, and distributing water and with wastewater collection, treatment, and disposal.

Candidates for the four-year PAWS board terms are:

Don Brinks

Brinks is a board member seeking re-election. He graduated from high school in Michigan, then attended Michigan State University for a two-year course in agriculture while continuing to farm with his father.

In 1956, Brinks purchased a 240-acre farm which he operated as a dairy. At the same time, he was active in Farm Bureau, Michigan Milk Producers Association, and was a member of the township board. At the time he decided to move to Colorado, Brinks was on the board of directors of a 120-bed hospital and a member of the county social services board.

Brinks has lived in Pagosa Springs 27 of the 30 years he has been in the real estate business. With wife Josie, he has six children and 12 grandchildren.

"I have been on the PAWS board for 14 years," Brinks said. "I take the position very seriously. I believe I have only missed three meetings during this tenure.

"Our area is growing so fast that many new challenges are being created," Brinks continued. "A board member must honestly represent the entire population in our service area and be able to make decisions that are not always pleasing to everyone, but which are best for the district as a whole."

Karen Wessels

Wessels is the owner of Alpha Engineering and a board member seeking re-election. She has a degree in civil engineering and 16 years of field experience, including running her own business.

Running her own business has provided Wessels with experience in budgeting, construction contract management, business operations, and administration, all in addition to the engineering skills she has honed.

Wessels has lived in Pagosa Springs almost 21 years. In addition to serving two years on the PAWS board, she has served on the Joint Utility Committee since 1986, the San Juan River Water Conservancy District board since 1992, and is also involved with Pagosa Springs Community Center committees, the Lutheran School board, is a past Rotarian, served on the Pagosa Springs contractor review board, is a domestic violence board member and a volunteer coordinator, and volunteers for many other community projects.

Because of her work experience and involvement with the community, Wessels believes she is an asset to PAWS and its constituents.

"I would like to continue working on perfecting the ever-evolving fee structures, accounting and disbursement procedures, and on assurance that growth and current users alike will be provided for in a well-planned manner," Wells said. "I have always had an open door policy and encourage people to contact me with any questions or comments."

Bob Hart

Hart moved to Pagosa Springs three years ago. Since then he has taken an active interest in the community. He is currently president of the Builders Association of Pagosa Springs. Community awareness and member ethics have been two of his highest priorities. Hart is also a director of the Home Builders Association of Colorado and served as chairman of the nine-member PAWS community advisory committee. With wife Mary, Hart owns Hart's Rocky Mountain Retreat and Hart Construction Co., both in Pagosa Springs.

"I will bring business and board experience to the PAWSD board of directors," Hart said. "As a successful business owner for the past 28 years, I understand how business operates and will bring good business sense and advice with a priority of fairness to everyone in the community. Being in the building industry, I can provide valuable input to the board.

"I will make sure that the growth of our community pays for related PAWSD growth costs," Hart continued. "I want to see more education and public awareness about water conservation and financial incentives for those who conserve. I want to see consumers paying for the amount of water they use. If you use only 4,000 gallons of water a month you should not be billed for 8,000 as is the current PAWSD billing method. Accurate planning is vital to ensure that our community needs for water and wastewater will be met far into the future and accurate planning can only be accomplished if accurate current accounting numbers are available. I will listen to your needs and make sure they are heard by the PAWSD board of directors."

Hart's past board experience includes nine years as a board member of the National Chimney Sweep Guild, two years as president. He also served as president of the Chimney Safety Institute of America during 1997-1999 with a staff of five plus 12 directors.

"I understand fiscal responsibility and will demand that proper accounting practices be enforced and accurate financial statements are available to all PAWSD members," Hart said. "I will also demand that all members and applicants to the district be treated fairly, equally, and promptly."

Democrats endorse Lynch in County Board District 3
By John M. MotterStaff Writer

Former county commissioner Mamie Lynch won unanimous endorsement as a candidate for county commissioner at the Democratic Party county assembly April 25.

The endorsement assures that Lynch's name will appear on the Aug. 13 Democratic Party primary ballot as a candidate for county commissioner from Commissioner District 3.

No candidates were nominated to oppose Lynch. If no candidates reach the Democratic primary ballot through the petition process, Lynch will be unopposed on the primary ballot, ensuring that her name will appear on the Nov. 5 general election ballot.

No other candidates for county office were endorsed by the 70 delegates gathered at the assembly.

Democratic County Chairman Burke Stancill summarized the four principal items of business at his party's assembly: the election of county party officers for the coming two years, ratification of newly elected precinct committee persons, the nomination of Democratic candidates for countywide offices, and the selection of delegates to district and state assemblies.

Precinct chairpersons for the Democratic Party for the coming two years are: Precinct 1 - Barbara Parada, Jan Clinkenbeard; Precinct 2 - Mike and Biz Greene, Charlie King; Precinct 3 - Pauline Bennetti, Ben and Ginny Douglas; Precinct 4 - Bill and Mitch Appenzeller; Precinct 5 - Sally High, Juanalee Park, Kate Smock; Precinct 6 - Ray and Margot Grammer, Glenn and Lynda Van Patter; Precinct 7 - Julie Blanchard, Dave Swindells; and Precinct 8 - Nancy Cole, Don and Barbara Jacobs.

Ann Brown from Cortez spoke on behalf of re-electing state Sen. Jim Isgar to the 6th District seat he filled by appointment.

Kerry Dermody spoke on behalf of Rollie Heath, Democratic candidate for governor. Mary Degenhart-Weiss spoke on behalf of Tom Strickland's candidacy for the U.S. Senate. La Plata County Democratic Chairman Jim Garofalo spoke on behalf of State Board of Education candidate Carla Mulkey, a Durango resident.

Unanimous support was voiced by the delegates for the four candidates.

Delegates elected to attend the Democratic Assembly in Silverton May 18 are Ann Van Fossen, Mamie Lynch, Lynda VanPatter and Mary Weiss. Delegates to assemblies in Denver May 31 and June 1 are Patricia Francis, Mamie Lynch, Kirsten Skeehan, Burke Stancill, Lynda VanPatter and Mary Weiss.

The Republican Party county assembly is scheduled Saturday. At that time, delegates to the assembly will choose Republican candidates whose names will appear on the August 13 primary ballot. Additionally, Republican candidates may have their names placed on the primary ballot by successfully completing the petition process.

Saturday storm did little to offset drought
By John M. MotterStaff Writer

A blanket of snow greeted Pagosa Country residents Saturday morning.

About one inch of the chilly white was measured at the official National Weather Service gauging station located at Stevens Field. Total snowfall for April this year amounts to 1.25 inches, total precipitation 0.67 inches.

Last year, seven inches of snow fell in town during April. On May 4 last year, five inches of snow fell, the last snowfall of the year. The final spring freeze last year occurred June 14, when the thermometer dropped to a chilly 28 degrees.

Last week's moisture was not enough to lighten the pall covering the area because of the lack of precipitation since Jan. 1. Next week's forecast holds little hope for change. The best chance for precipitation is today.

"Thursday will be mostly cloudy with a 20-percent chance for showers and thundershowers," said Jim Daniels, a forecaster for the National Weather Service office located in Grand Junction. "By Thursday night it will be partly cloudy and warmer," Daniels said.

For tomorrow through next Wednesday, Daniels sees partly cloudy with high temperatures in the 60s and low temperatures in the 30s. Conditions should be breezy Tuesday and Wednesday as a low pressure trough settles over Western Colorado.

High temperatures last week ranged between 52 and 69 degrees with an average high temperature of 64 degrees. Low temperatures ranged between 23 and 30 degrees with an average low temperature of 26 degrees.

Countywide cleanup huge success
By John M. MotterStaff Writer

The recently completed county wide solid waste cleanup was a huge success, according to Clifford Lucero, the county solid waste director.

"This was a huge success, the most trash we've ever received," Lucero said.

Altogether, 1,815 yards of trash were picked up from various temporary transfer stations around the county in a campaign that began April 8 on the Lower Blanco River and ended April 25 in Aspen Springs. Included was a free landfill day, April 27.

The county received 860 yards of garbage at the landfill April 27, according to Lucero.

On June 15, the annual Household Hazardous Waste Clean-up Day will be conducted from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. The collection point is located on the Lucero Tire parking lot reached from 8th Street behind City Market.

County and town residents are invited to get rid of old paint and associated chemicals, household cleaners, insecticides, weed killers and other hazardous materials.

Those with questions about which materials will be accepted and which won't are invited to call the County Solid Waste department, 264-0193.

The County Solid Waste Department is reviewing essays to determine the winners of two $750 scholarships awarded annually by the department.

The voting climate

Dear Editor:

"You get what you pay for" goes the old saying and it was never more true than today. Three local special districts seek increased funding from taxpayers to maintain or expand services to the community. If we want a Fire Protection District able to protect us from wildfires, we must pay for it.

The Pagosa Water and Sanitation District (PAWS) also requires increased funding if it is to meet the community's current and future needs. The principal issue here is: Who should pay the lion's share of the costs to upgrade and expand PAWS water and sewer facilities?

A coalition of business interests asserts disingenuously that the PAWS impact fee on new development will cause the local economy to collapse. The sky is not falling, nor is the issue all that complicated. The real debate is whether current residents, or future residents, will pay the lion's share of the costs of upgrading and expanding the systems.

As current residents have already paid for existing facilities, why should not future residents pay their fair share of expansion costs? The current board of directors has served the community well.

The election campaign has also produced shrill attacks against a small group of concerned citizens (about a dozen of us at last count) seeking to improve local government. Known as "The Pack", this six-month-old group of Republicans, Democrats and unaffiliated voters was formed to supplement the activities of the two organized political parties. As those two entities seemed preoccupied with matters unrelated to such things as candidate recruitment and taking positions on substantive issues of importance to the community. The Pack decided to try to fill that void. Little did we realize that our group would strike terror into the hearts of certain local leaders.

Our initial effort was to identify at least one able, qualified candidate from each political party to contest the nomination for county commissioner in District 3. As Pam Hopkins indicated in her informative letter of last week, we interviewed Democratic candidates Marie Lynch and Chris Chavez. Republican candidate Gene Crabtree declined our invitation to be interviewed, or to discuss issues with us.

The Pack has been labeled "unethical, "elitist", and far worse. But such attacks suggest to us that The Pack must be doing something right.


Gene Cortright

Small minority

Dear Editor:

In 20 years of living in Pagosa I have not felt the need to write a letter to the editor concerning a community issue. I'm over the edge on this one. When a small one-percent minority can dictate what community values we may display on the walls of public buildings where those who represent the community serve and work, it is time for those of us who elected these officials to say wait a minute.

It is possible that several of us could threaten the county with a lawsuit for sending "offensive material" through the mail (our property taxes). If our county officials have so little moral courage perhaps we need some new ones.

Peter Hughes

Stop subdivisions

Dear Editor:

Once again I am writing to the county commissioners, asking them to please think about the county's future.

The commissioners continue to approve more subdivisions.

We are searching for where our water will come from with the population we have now and proposed growth. How will increased development help our water needs?

I ask the commissioners to think before approving more subdivisions like the most recent Powder Horn and Pagosa Peak Reserve. The list goes on.

Ruin Pagosa Springs by allowing second and third homes for the rich?

Do they really care about our community?

Do the commissioners care?

Pam Morrow

Sign of truth

Dear editor:

In our courthouse there was a sign for 22 years that read: "God has ordained one man and one woman shall be joined together in loving companionship. It has ever been so from the beginning and so it will ever be."

This simple truth pleased many through these years.

Recently, one man says this sign offends him and if it is not removed he will sue our county, obviously intimidates the county clerk who removed the sign because "It was the easy thing to do."

The American way is not to give in to threats. I believe the county retains an attorney on the payroll. I say, let this man have his day in court and let us, the county, know who our accuser is. Our law states that we have the right to face our accuser.

Is this one man willing to have his picture in the paper telling what he believes in? Peter Laue did just this, knowing there will be those who will label him radical. Where does it go from here?

Is this person going to be entering each business here in Pagosa and threatening to sue if something hanging on their wall offends him?

I believe it's time to make a stand for your beliefs and values and freedom.

A member of the county.

Vimmie Ray

Restore the plaque

Dear Editor:

I was saddened to read the article in last week's paper concerning the removal of Mr. Peter Laue's plaque, "God has ordained: One man and one woman, shall be joined together in loving companionship. It has been from the beginning and so it will ever be."

It is understandable that anything mentioning God's name and His design for mankind would anger a homosexual. I also know the phrase printed on U.S. currency, "In God We Trust," may offend some, but we don't change it just because some are offended. There are basic truths in life that never change, and you will always find people who are offended by the truth. The Truth is the Truth and always will be; it doesn't change.

It is doubtful that county officials will ever satisfy the angry homosexual man (who wants to sue the county), unless he has a change of heart. In the process of trying to satisfy him in his request to have this plaque removed, the county has offended the majority of the public who hold to the traditional marriage values on which our society is based.

We need elected officials who will stand for truth and support traditional family values, which in turn contribute to a healthy society.

Mr. Laue's plaque should be restored to its rightful place on the county clerk's wall, where it will continue o be seen by many, and will continue to bless many.


Charles Soniat

(Editor's note: While the individual who made comments concerning the plaque reportedly identified himself as "homosexual," readers should be cautioned there is no proof that his assertion is fact.)

God is ruler

Dear Editor:

Reading the Pagosa SUN was quite depressing this week.

I have known for a very long time that bad things happen when good people do nothing. When they say nothing, or when they simply just go with the flow.

Reading about the sign removal in the clerk's office verifies that.

There is a line from the hymn, This Is My father's World, and it says: "This is My father's world, Oh! Let me ne'er forget, that though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the Ruler yet !"

Mary Lou Sprowle

Make voices heard

Dear Editor:

I am outraged at the plaque being taken down in the county clerk's office where marriage licenses are issued. I am appalled that one person, who was not even man enough to release his name, was able to dictate what will or will not happen in our county. I am also appalled that one person arbitrarily made this decision.

Just because something might be easy does not make it the right thing to do. The decision to take down the plaque might have been the easiest to avoid a potential lawsuit, but it was not right. It was said in the article that the person threatening the lawsuit had "reportedly had trouble earlier with the county clerk's office." So why give in to a trouble maker?

If we allow this one thing to happen, unopposed, the fate of our town and county is doomed. All it takes is one small crack in the system and then, pretty soon, we will have a flood of the same kinds of things happening.

This must not take place. Every God loving, Bible believing citizen must make their voice heard over this situation.

Citizens of Archuleta County, we must rally together in our fair town to prevent this from becoming the norm.

P. M. Stoeppleman

All shapes, sizes

Dear Editor:

From the flatlands ... I truly find it ironic that a member of the homosexual community which seems to be so focused on gaining society's acceptance and tolerance should be so intolerant. I guess bigots come in all sizes, shapes, colors, genders and persuasions.

Pam (Formwalt) Strunk

Dallas, Texas

Sports Page

Six homers pace Pirates 21-11 win over Ignacio
By Richard WalterStaff Writer

Ignacio parlayed four singles into a pair of first inning runs against Pagosa hurler Jarrett Frank in the opening game of Saturday's Intermountain League tournament in Centauri and then watched the top-seeded Pirates explode in the bottom of the inning.

Before the smoke (or maybe dust would be a better word) had cleared, Pagosa had paraded 12 men to the plate and scored eight runs on six hits en route to a 21-11 victory.

The Ignacio lead was quickly erased when the first two Pirate hitters, Ross Wagle and Darin Lister each homered to left, aided by the strong San Luis Valley winds. Marcus Rivas and David Kern each had doubles in the inning and Lister and Ben Marshall had singles. Coupled with two walks, a hit batsman, two stolen bases and two Ignacio errors that made the score 8-2 after one.

Ignacio got two back in the second on four more singles, and two Pirate errors, to narrow the gap to 8-4.

The Pirate half of the second was a nightmare for Ignacio.

Pagosa scored three runs on just one hit, four Ignacio errors, two walks and three stolen bases, the lone hit an RBI single by Justin Caler.

Ignacio had an infield hit in the third but the runner was wiped out in a 6-4-3 double play and then Pagosa answered with a pair, the first on a home run by Marshall. After Ronnie Janowsky struck out, Lawren Lopez singled, stole second and scored on an error by Ignacio's shortstop.

The Bobcats would not stay down, however. They cut the lead to 13-8 in the fourth, scoring four runs on four hits and a walk, the key blow a double by shortstop Nick Gallegos.

That was the prime moment in the game. On an appeal play, Gallegos was called out for missing the bag at first and was ejected from the game for untoward comments to the umpire. It became important later when Ignacio was reduced to only eight players who could take the field and the spot in the order where Gallegos had batted became an automatic out.

Caler led off the Pagosa fourth with his first home run of the season and after Wagle walked, Lister picked up his second round-tripper of the game, hiking the Pagosa lead to 16-8.

In the fifth, a struggling Frank gave up two more runs on a double, a hit batsman, a single, a Pagosa error, then an intentional walk to get to the Gallegos spot in the order and the automatic out to end the frame.

Pagosa could not score, despite picking up a pair of walks in the fifth and Ignacio got one run on one hit and a Pagosa error in the sixth before Janowsky came on in relief for Frank and stopped the uprising, getting Abel Romero on strikes, hitting Dewayne Reynolds with a pitch, then getting Conor Holloday on a routine ground ball to second.

The stage was set for the 10-run mercy rule and the Pirates vowed to get five and end the contest.

Lister opened it with his fourth hit of the game, stole second and advanced to third when Marshall's fly to center was dropped. After Janowsky struck out, Chris Young doubled and Rivas followed with a home run. Dustin Spencer grounded out but David Kern singled, went to second on an errant pickoff throw, stole third and scored on a balk called against the Ignacio pitcher.

It was the fifth run of the inning and forced the mercy rule.

Pagosa's 21 runs came on 15 hits and nine Ignacio errors. The Bobcats' 11 markers came on 16 hits, all off Frank, and six Pagosa errors. Frank got the win and Reynolds took the loss. The six Pirate home runs were a high for a single game this season.

Pagosa outhits Bayfield 15-9; loses top seed 9-6
By Richard WalterStaff Writer

Pagosa Springs and Bayfield each scored two runs in the first inning Saturday as they battled for the number-one seed from the Intermountain League for the district tournament this week.

Bayfield went on to stop the Pirates 9-6, but the Pirate hopes didn't die until the last pitch, last swing and resultant last out in the bottom of the seventh prevented a dramatic comeback.

The Wolverines got on the board first, scoring twice on just one hit, a single by shortstop Sam McDonald off Pagosa's Ronnie Janowsky.

Working against Bayfield ace Jeremy Sirios, the Pagosans quickly evened the score on a home run by Ross Wagle on the first pitch and successive singles by Darin Lister, Ben Marshall and Janowsky. After Lawren Lopez grounded out, Marcus Rivas hit into a force play and Dustin Spencer walked. The rally ended there when Jarrett Frank fanned.

Bayfield took a one-run lead in the second on two singles, a hit batsman, a walk and a fielder's choice, and for the next two innings Sirios looked unbeatable.

After giving up a single to Justin Caler to open the second, Sirios struck out Lister, Marshall and Janowsky in order and, after Bayfield failed to score in their half of the third, got two more strikeouts, fanning Lopez and Rivas before Spencer stopped the string with a single. He was left at first when Frank grounded out.

Bayfield hiked its lead to 6-2 in the fourth, scoring three on two hits and three walks before Lister came on in relief of Janowsky to retire the side.

With Sirios on the mound, most observers would have given Pagosa little chance at this point. He had, after all, shut down the Pirates on just two infield hits the last time he faced them.

But Pagosa got two of those runs back in the fourth. After Caler fanned,

Wagle walked and Lister doubled for his sixth hit of the day. Marshall singled to left but Lister was cut down at the plate. Janowsky drove in the second run with a single but Lopez grounded out to end the threat.

Lister shut the Wolverines down in order in the fifth and sixth, but Sirios was not so lucky. Rivas opened the Pagosa fifth with a single and went to second when the left fielder misplayed the ball. After Spencer struck out and Frank popped to second, Caler singled to drive in one run. Wagle reached on an error and then Lister tied the game with another single before Marshall hit into a fielder's choice to end the inning.

Pagosa was scoreless on one hit and two Bayfield errors in the sixth and the game went into the final inning.

Bayfield got three in the frame. Lister walked Tim Smith to open the inning and then J.T. Cathcart and Jake Harrington followed with a double and single respectively. Jason Krueger struck out, but Matt Gonzalez doubled and Steve Qualls singled before Lister got Sirios on strikes and Tyler Glenn on a comebacker to the mound.

Bayfield led 9-6 with Pagosa coming up.

Caler singled, his third hit of the game, but when Wagle flied to center and Lister struck out, the Pirates were down to one out, but not out of drama.

Marshall singled, then Janowsky singled to load the bases for Pagosa with two out.

It rested squarely on the shoulders of Lawren Lopez.

And, after a day in which home runs had been the routine (Bayfield had hit nine against Centauri and Pagosa six against Ignacio) the Pirates needed another to pull the game out.

Never let it be said Lopez did not come close. He hit a towering drive to right, a ball that on most days, in another location, would have been out of the park. But it was hit into the teeth of the wind and Bayfield right fielder Gonzales, his back against the fence, was able to make the play as the wind brought the ball back into the field.

It was a 9-6 Pagosa loss but both teams were to advance. Pagosa's six runs came on 15 hits; Bayfield's nine runs on just nine hits.


Ladies rip Ignacio 9-0 in regular season finale
By Richard WalterStaff Writer

A band of hungry Bobcats invaded Pagosa Springs Tuesday looking for Pirate blood.

But an equally dangerous Pagosa Springs Pirate girls' soccer team with playoff hopes on the line converted early and often with an offensive barrage which sank the visitors from Ignacio 9-0.

Pagosa scored at 1 minute, 48 seconds off a crossing pass from right wing Aubrey Volger to striker Bri Scott, and then seemed to get cautious for a while, attacking but seemingly holding back.

Pirate keeper Sierra Fleenor was not called on to make a save until 7:16 and it was a routine stop of a slow roller that was right on net. Five minutes later Ignacio had what was their best scoring chance when Katie Whiteskunk was awarded a penalty kick but her effort was blocked by Pagosa's Meagan Hilsabeck before reaching the goal box.

Meanwhile, Pagosa had several shots with a chance. Volger's drive at 8:09 was wide left from 20 yards and 29 seconds later Scott's drive hit the crossbar. Then, at 12:26, Cassie Pfeifle's drive went wide left. Two minutes later, Bret Garman's drive from the right corner of the box was wide left. Then Volger was stopped on a middle attack and at 19:04 Brittany Corcoran's bid for a score was stopped by Ignacio's Karina Miller.

Finally, at 24:19, the Pirate futility was ended when Scott stole a pass at midfield and dribbled hard and direct at Miller, ripping the goal unassisted to hike the Pagosa lead to 2-0.

The biggest cheer of the day may have come 4 minutes and 37 seconds later when Pfeifle chipped a looper from 20 yards on the left and it eluded Miller high to the right. It was, as Pfeifle said later, "my first goal ever ... four years of frustration ended with a dink that found a home."

Making the score even more satisfying was the fact Pfeifle was playing with an injured foot, having stepped on a nail in her yard at home.

Three minutes and four seconds after her goal, Pfeifle had another chance, intercepting an Ignacio outlet at about 40 yards and rushing in for the shot. Miller stopped it and the ensuing rebound effort by Hilsabeck. On the play, Miller was injured and had to leave the contest, replaced by Ruquel Watchman.

First-half scoring was completed at 4-0 when Pagosa's Charlotte Sousa scored from right in front of the net on a drop pass from Jenna Finney on the right wing.

Seven minutes rolled off the second half clock before Scott scored again, on a perfect lead out of midfield from Hilsabeck and the Pirate lead was 5-0. At 55:34, it was Scott again converting, this time on a crossing pass from Volger on the right wing and at 63:07 she scored again, on a perfect drop pass from Hilsabeck to stretch the Pagosa lead to 7-0.

Corcoran had a prime opportunity at 72:01 when her first shot was tipped out and she was open for a rebound which hit the crossbar.

But Pagosa wasn't done. After an afternoon of setting up other scorers with pinpoint passes, Hilsabeck got one of her own at 78:10, scoring on a back pass from Scott. The final Pagosa marker came just 55 seconds later when Melissa Diller converted on a great pass from Volger who had been led out of midfield by a Corcoran cross.


Goals: Scott 5, Pfeifle 1, Sousa 1; Hilsabeck 1, Diller 1. Shots on goal: P-19, I-7. Saves: I-Miller 4, Watchman 2; P-Fleenor 5. Penalty shots: I-2.

Pagosa, Ridgway kick to 2-2 in double overtime
By Richard WalterStaff Writer

It was old-fashioned, hardnosed, in-your-face soccer at its best and it was a shame there was no winner - save the fans.

Pagosa Springs and Ridgway high school girls' soccer teams played to a double-overtime 2-2 tie Friday at Golden Peaks Stadium.

It was a game with playoff implications, a match featuring early scoring by Ridgway's star striker, Parker Fargrelius, and a matching effort by Pagosa's Meagan Hilsabeck. There was tremendous midfield play, outstanding defense, and premier goalkeeping on both sides.

Hilsabeck had the first chance, a left-footer at 1:45 that was stopped by Ridgway's Jamie Scoville, the first of three net tenders for the visiting Lady Demons.

Then, in a one-minute, fifteen-second span from 4:12 to 4:27, Fargrelius got behind the Pagosa defense twice for quick unassisted breakaway goals and there were fears of a repeat of the 4-1 loss suffered by Pagosa in Ridgway just a week earlier.

But Hilsabeck would not let her team founder. At 10:26 she took a lead from midfielder Melissa Diller, outraced a pair of defenders, and beat Scoville with a blast high to the right corner of the net.

It signaled the beginning of a midfield war with the offensive balance favoring the home team but both defenses turning in sterling performances.

Scoring chances for Pagosa included shots by Tricia Lucero at 17:06 and 34:44, the latter stopped on a fantastic play by Scoville who was screened by Pagosa's Bri Scott but picked up the ball at the last second and batted it out with her left hand; another breakaway by Hilsabeck at 24:14; a Hilsabeck effort and ensuing rebound by Scott both stopped by Scoville at 30:52.

During that time period Ridgway had only two shots on goal, the first at 21:55 by Randi Latham stopped by Fleenor and the second, at 32:42, broken up by Pirate sweeper Sarah Smith but resulting in a penalty kick which was squibbed out of play.

Just over three minutes into the second half Hilsabeck stole an outlet pass at midfield, broke free of the defense and raced in on Scoville alone, a one-on-one drive that resulted in a tie when Scoville came out to cut down the shot angle and Hilsabeck used a crossover step that drew the keeper to her right, then went to her own right for the score.

Fifty-four seconds later Ridgway had a chance to regain the lead but Fleenor stopped Amy Trechal's drive from the left wing. Just under five minutes afterward, Scoville stopped Hilsabeck twice on the same play, first diving to her right and batting the initial drive back into the playing field, then turning away Hilsabeck's rebound effort.

At 56:59 Scott's kick from 18 yards on a drop pass from Lucero, sailed just wide of the left post and at 60:53 Fleenor made her best play of the day, leaping high to grab a 12-yard header by Fargrelius. Six minutes later, following a continuous series of great midfield play by both teams, Pagosa's Lucero broke free on the left wing, dropped a cross to Hilsabeck and took a return pass in stride, but her left-footer hit the right post.

At 70:24 Ridgway got another chance on a penalty kick but Fleenor, again, was up to the challenge, grabbing the kick and delivering an outlet in the same motion. At 72:47, Lucero was stopped again, this time on a right-foot drive as she crossed to the middle.

That brought the first of two five-minute overtime periods. The only shot on goal in that time came on a Hilsabeck cross to right wing Aubrey Volger whose kick went wide left. The Lady Pirate defense wouldn't let Ridgway get a drive underway.

At 6:20 p.m. the teams changed ends and the second overtime got underway.

Again, there was just one shot on goal in the frame, a Pagosa effort by Scott off a corner kick by Lucero that was stopped by Trechal, who had replaced Scoville in goal.

And so it ended, a 2-2 tie.

Fans stood and cheered both squads.

Exhausted players from each team congratulated each other.

Those lucky enough to have witnessed the contest were aware they had seen one of the best soccer games ever played locally.


Goals: P-2 (both by Hilsabeck), R-2 (both by Fargrelius). Shots on goal: P-11, R-6. Saves: P-Fleenor 4, R-Scoville 10, Trechal 1. Penalty shots: R-2, P-1.

Track and Field

Girls, boys track teams place well in Alamosa
By Tess Noel BakerStaff Writer

High winds slowed some of Pagosa's tracksters competing in the San Luis Valley Invitational in Alamosa Saturday, but both teams finished out the day well.

"The girls actually brought home more ribbons than the guys," Head Coach Connie O'Donnell said. That's a first this year, but proves a young girls' team is headed for a strong finish in the few weeks left before state.

On the boys' side, junior Jason Schutz continued a successful season, finishing first in both the 200-meter dash with a time of 22.77 seconds and in the discus. Teammate Brandon Samples, a sophomore, gathered Pagosa's other top-three finish, earning third place in the 800-meter run. He was followed by junior Cliff Hockett in fifth.

In the 1600-meter relay, Hockett combined with freshman Otis Rand, and juniors Jeremy Buikema, and Ryan Wendt for a fourth-place finish. Hockett was back again with junior Clayton Mastin and sophomores Aaron Hamilton and Brandon Samples for another fourth-place finish in the 3200 relay. Their time was 9 minutes, 9.9 seconds.

Buikema added to the team's points with a fifth-place finish in the 400-meter dash, crossing the line in 55.61. The 800 relay team of Wendt, Buikema, junior Brandon Rosgen and Schutz claimed seventh. Overall, the boys finished fifth among about 20 teams, O'Donnell said. They came oh so close to having one more first-place award on the hurdling ability of Brian Hart, but a fall took him out of the race. O'Donnell said the junior was leading the pack at the seventh or eighth hurdle when he caught a toe on the bar and went down.


The Pagosa Lady Pirates placed in eight events on the day, earning their highest finishes in the 1600 run and relay events.

Junior Amanda McCain finished fifth in the 1600 with a time of 6:05. McCain combined with junior Katie Bliss, sophomore Amy Tautges and freshman Lori Walkup for another fifth in the 1600 relay. To add to the team's stats, Walkup earned a sixth place finish in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 19.02.

The 800 relay team of junior Alex Rigia, Walkup, freshman Janna Henry and Bliss finished in seventh. Sevenths also came from Walkup in the 300 hurdles, and Walkup, Bliss, senior Joetta Martinez and Henry in the 400 relay. To round out the day, Bliss came home with an eighth-place finish in the 400-meter dash, and freshman Mollie Honan claimed an eighth in the 200. The girls finished 11th as a team.

Head Coach Connie O'Donnell said the flu and strep throat hit both teams fairly hard last week. She's hoping everyone is back on track for the district meet in Bayfield Saturday.

Note: Some times and distances were unavailable this week because of clock problems and malfunctions in the computer-results system at Alamosa.

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Community News
Chamber News
By Sally HemeisterPREVIEW Columnist

Volunteer recruitment a big success

We want to thank all the folks who helped make our first-ever Volunteer Recruitment Fair such a success and so much doggoned fun. We did indeed have a great time at the Extension building last Saturday from 10-2 despite the snow and muddy conditions, and some of our nonprofits gained some terrific volunteers. Many thanks to the nice folks at the Extension Office for always being so accommodating to our needs.

We also want to thank Bonnie Nyre, proud new owner of Slices of Nature coffee, gifts and home accessories shop for providing all the delicious coffee we enjoyed so much with our donuts. We also want to thank all the following businesses and organizations for supporting this event and hope that all will return next year for more of the same: San Juan Mountains Association, Pagosa Chapter; U.S. Forest Service; Archuleta County Senior Center; Archuleta County Transportation; Archuleta County Victim Assistance Program; Archuleta County Education Center; Pagosa Springs Music Boosters; Humane Society of Pagosa Springs; Pagosa Springs Arts Council; Friends of Native Cultures; Pagosa Fire Protection District; Pagosa Area Trails Council; The Pagosa Fiber Festival, Inc.; Victim Offender Community Dialogue Project and the Pagosa Springs Historical Society. Many thanks to you all for making a giant leap of faith on a premiere project.

Thanks to board directors Bonnie Masters, Ken Harms, Will Spears and Bob Eggleston for their help in setting up and breaking down and, as always, to Morna and Doug Trowbridge for their unflagging loyalty to the Chamber and for, once again, cheerfully sharing their time, talents and the better part of a Saturday to support a Chamber event.

Straight talk

I just completed our three (maybe another in the future) Diplomat spring training workshops because, thank the heavens, they will return to the Visitor Center beginning May 20 through mid-October. We are ecstatic, to say the least, to have them back representing Pagosa Springs and the Chamber as ambassadors, hosts and great wells of knowledge that they cheerfully share about all of us.

What I want everyone to understand is that along with a guidelines/information booklet, Diplomats are given a list of all new 2002 Chamber members, new member locations, changed names and a list of members lost. Over 90 percent of the names on that list are businesses that no longer exist, but some have simply not renewed for reasons of their own. I always make a courtesy call before we drop someone from the membership and sometimes am given a reason and sometimes not. I have great respect for that decision but as all of you probably know, the Chamber can no longer recommend that particular business, include it in our membership directory or display its business cards or brochures.

I hope it is clear that we do this for a very good reason - we recommend, refer, defend and protect our members, and I assure you that this is the policy of all Chambers everywhere. We do all we know how to do to help them succeed and give them exposure. On the other hand, we cannot support businesses that do not support our extensive marketing campaigns, our events, all the costs of running the Visitor Center - well, you get the idea.

An excellent example is that one ad in the AAA Colorado/Utah Tour Book costs the Chamber about $6,000 a year, and that's just one ad in one publication. Imagine if you will the costs for other magazine ads, newspaper, TV, radio and general advertising costs. It is the mission of this Chamber, one of the missions, to market the entire Pagosa Springs area to bring in visitors to support our largest industry, tourism.

The point of this rather lengthy explanation is this: If a member elects not to renew their membership, we respect that decision. We do not denigrate that business or ask anyone, including our Diplomats, to boycott that business. Sometimes, the Diplomats do react and, on their own, go to the business and question that decision. These wonderful folks act entirely on their own out of a sincere concern and not at our request - we would never do that.

If you have elected not to renew your membership and someone asks why, please understand that they are doing that on their own steam and not at our behest. When I make the final courtesy phone call, rest assured that you will not hear from me again and that we consider it a disappointing aspect of our business. As we approach the 800 mark in our membership, I like to think that we have done a few things right and have helped many of our members in various ways. Over 95 percent of the businesses in Pagosa Springs are members of our Chamber, and we still have the highest number of members per capita of any town or city in the state.

Local appreciation

We're smack in the middle of Local Appreciation Week, and I hope that many of you have already taken advantage of the many mighty fine bargains available to you. This is the week that all of our member merchants and some restaurants take the opportunity to say "Thank you for your continued support throughout the year."

You will find bodacious bargains as well as treats in a number of stores, and probably some dandy surprises here and there. Please go out there and "Shop Pagosa First" and save some dough at the same time. This also affords all of us the opportunity to get to know our local merchants and to become better acquainted with the fabulous array of merchandise available to us right here in Pagosa. We have some incredibly unique stores in Pagosa from the far west side of town to the far east side of town, including the gift shop at the Wildlife Park. I mention that because it might not occur to you to head there during Local Appreciation Week, but Vimmie Ray assures us that they are very much a part of the "appreciation thing." Allow our merchants to shower you with gratitude this week and enjoy the process. We all win when you "Shop Pagosa First."

Beds for cyclists

We're still looking for local residents who would just love to adopt a cyclist (or two) for one night when Ride The Rockies rolls through Pagosa Sunday, July 16. We have many more requests for home stays than we have homes and would greatly appreciate some more beds. Once again, your only big responsibility is to provide a bed for these folks, and you are also asked to pick them up and drop them off at the high school. Give us a call if you can give us a hand at 264-2360.

Performing arts

The Music Boosters, Pagosa Springs' Performing Arts Company, proudly presents the Pulitzer prize winning production of Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman's, "You Can't Take It With You" in the high school auditorium. Dates for this auspicious event are May 9, 10 and 11 at 7:30 p.m. and on Mother's Day, May 12, a matinee at 3 p.m. We will say more about this later, but I will tell you that this production boasts a large and colorful cast of characters that will keep you rolling in the aisles. Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for students and seniors with a senior discount card, and $8 for ages 6 and under. You can purchase tickets at the Chamber of Commerce, The Plaid Pony, the Sisson Library and Moonlight Books. Don't miss it, folks.


One new member and 10 renewals in the membership arena this week, and we're delighted to welcome the Chama Courier newspaper with Mary Ann Harshman as the contact there. This business is located at 185 CR 341 in Chama, and covers the Rio Arriba County North area. The Courier covers local events and advertisers and appears on the newsstands once a month. If you need to contact them, please call (505) 756-1823 for more information.

Our renewals this week include Mark Prouty with SOS Staffing Services in Durango; new owners, Kenny and Don King with Big O Tires; Marilyn Jesmer with the San Juan Marina in Arboles; Shawn and Heidi Frank with the Italian Kitchen; Peter Dach with The Pagosa Bar; Lili Pearson with Shutterbugs; and Jeff and Brittan Jones with Jones Mechanical, LLC.

Our Associate Member renewals this week include valued Diplomats John and Char Neill and Jane Cook. Many thanks to all for your continued support.

Senior News
By Janet CopelandSUN Columnist

April proved to be big birthday month for Seniors

The Senior Center celebrated the April birthdays of members Friday and found that lots of our folks are April babies.

Happy birthday to Lydia Martinez, Mike Green, Charlene Baumgardner, Ben Gallegos, Gertrude Gallegos, Margaret Martinez, Ramona Ruiz, Sherry Ulery, Helen Girardin, Ruth Marquez, Carlo Carrannante, Lucille Alley, Bill Baker, Katherine Hatcher, Rosemary LaVigne, Elizabeth Powers, Donna Boughan, Gwen Woods, Kurt Diedring, Elaine Nossaman, Ray Pack and Della Truesdale.

We enjoyed the return of some members and some guests this week, including John Dahm, Marjorie Nevitt, Gertrude and Ben Gallegos and Mike Green. We hope you folks will join us on a regular basis.

Our Senior of the Week is Marjorie Nevitt. Congratulations to this lucky lady.

We were so sad to learn about Phyllis Bogert's accident and injuries. We hope she is recuperating and will be out and about soon.

Folks interested in signing up for the Food Care program need to contact Wilma Weber before May 9. This is an excellent program for purchasing a box of groceries for $15 and there are no financial requirements to take advantage of it.

Thank you to Dr. Nelson for his presentation on macular degeneration Friday. It seems more and more folks are being affected by this malady.

Bobbie and Carroll Carruth are collecting solid color marbles for the "Muggins" program, which helps youth with mathematics. If you can donate some, please drop them off at the Senior Center.

Thanks to all the folks who donated blood at our blood drive.

The staff at the Senior Center needs some more volunteers. Please contact Musetta or Laura if you would be willing to donate a few hours occasionally. They are especially in need of a handyman to work with the Home Chore program.

Calling all artists. We are having a contest for the design of a small logo reflecting the new Senior Center name,"Silver Foxes Den". We plan to have the winning logo put on mugs for the fall Oktoberfest, as well as on our brochures. All graphics artists are invited to submit entries, too. We want to obtain a design that will make our community proud and will reflect the new name. Deadline for entering the contest is May 30.

Other upcoming events.

The Senior board will meet Friday, 12:45 p.m. at Town Hall. Interested guests are welcome.

Sky Ute Casino will provide free transportation the third Tuesday of each month for six to 13 seniors to travel from the Senior Center to Ignacio and enjoy the casino. They will provide some gifts and reduced price food vouchers, etc. Interested parties need to sign up at the Center.

Free swimming Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at Best Western from 9-11 a.m. (for members only) and discounts on meals

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

Card games Wednesdays 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.

.Crusing with Cruse
By Katherine Cruse PREVIEW Columnist

Collections seem to grow by accident

People collect all sorts of things, don't they? Dolls, Beanie Babies, china dogs, antique guns. I know a woman whose yard is filled with old rusting farm implements. She says she's saving them for posterity.

What makes people collect things? What fuels that collecting passion?

A lot of collections start in a roundabout way. You get one object, then two, then several, and pretty soon other people are giving them to you. The next thing you know, you're adding a room to the house, just for the collection.

I have a friend who doesn't collect hummingbirds, but her friends think she does. Someone once gave her a glass hummingbird. She took it to the office and hung it in front of her window. Her colleagues immediately thought, "Aha! Jean collects hummingbirds." And for every gift-giving occasion after that they gave her - you guessed it - hummingbirds. And she doesn't even particularly like hummingbirds, real or artificial.

I used to collect turtles. (No, not live ones.) I had a few; I displayed them. My friends said, "I know what to get Katherine - A turtle!" And pretty soon I was clearing books off another shelf to make room for turtles.

My turtle collection used to be my father's. He wasn't really interested in turtles, but it seemed to him that everywhere he went, people had collections of something. Tiffany Easter eggs, old cuckoo clocks, porcelain dogs. I think he felt left out.

"Everybody but me has a collection," he said. "I guess I'll collect turtles." After that announcement he sat back and waited, and the turtles lumbered in. My mother found most of them. My dad wasn't really a collector; he was more like the keeper of my mother's turtle collection. And that was just fine with him.

When he died, there were about 20 turtles, made of wood or onyx or brass. I asked my mother if I could have them. It wasn't the turtles I cared about; I wanted a tangible reminder of my father as an observer of the collecting process.

And then a funny thing happened - I began to acquire more turtles. I noticed them in stores. I found turtles on vacation trips. If I went to a yard sale, or into an antique store, there'd be at least one turtle hiding with the collectibles. At first, I wasn't very fussy. I picked up inexpensive models, usually carved from onyx or some other soft rock. As time went by I became more selective, and the turtles grew more varied.

Do you know how many ways a turtle can be replicated?

There are the straight renditions, where the artist set out to make a realistic turtle from stone, or wood, or ceramic. I have an ironwood turtle from Hawaii, a stone turtle carved by an Alaskan native, with certification papers authenticating the work, a turtle fashioned from some plastic material, that I bought in France. In Santa Fe I found a turquoise turtle. A concrete turtle prowls my yard.

Turtles aren't necessarily cheap. In a jewelry store in Atlanta, I saw, but did not buy, a beautiful enameled turtle. The price tag read $995.

Other turtles in my collection fell into the "useful object" category. These include old brass turtles intended to hold a package of cigarettes. You lift the shell and there's a hollow rectangle. Teapots can resemble turtles. A yard turtle hides a spare house key. My favorite "useful" turtle rings a bell when you depress the tail. It sounds rather like a doorbell. I guess I could use it to call the maid, if we had a maid.

In New Orleans I found lots of turtles fashioned from scallop shells, but I bought one with an oyster shell for the body and legs that had previously supported a crab. In a Silverton shop full of old things I found a slightly pornographic turtle. You turned it over to find features that were anatomically correct, if this were a human being.

Turtles decorated key chains, napkin rings, pillows, and little boxes intended to hold secret treasures. I found them all. I bought them all. Or kind and well-meaning friends gave them to me.

Inadvertently, I had become a collector.

Before turtles, I had another collection, a determined one. I was determined to collect teddy bears. Cute, cuddly teddy bears, all sizes and colors. It was a little late in the game for me to start, but I somehow thought I could catch up to the woman whose collection of several hundred bears had been on display in the San Antonio public library. Fortunately, before my collection grew very large, we moved to Nashville, and I disbanded the collection.

How do you get rid of a collection? It helps if you haven't spent years putting your energy and money into it. The teddy bears were easy. I gave them to the police department. Cops give bears to kids in trauma situations. The police were happy to have my bears, and I felt good about giving them to a worthy cause. A few people hadn't gotten the message that I no longer wanted bears, and when we left Nashville I gave more to that police department.

As for the turtles, I decided to liberate them to the universe. I kept the turtles that had been my father's plus a few others. The rest I sold before we moved here, to a young woman who thought they were interesting. I suspect her collection has grown by now.

And what do you collect?

Pagosa Lakes News
By Ming SteenProperty and Environment Manager

Erica and Omar third in 75-mile equestrian event

Erica DeVoti and her Egyptian Arabian horse Omar completed a 75-mile endurance ride April 20 near Truth or Consequences, N.M.

Horse and rider finished third overall with a second-place weight division finish in the Indian Spring Elevator Ride held at the Binns Ranch. Up to this point, Erica had been competing in 50-milers (with an eighth-place overall finish at the 2001 IAHA national championships). This ride was in preparation to compete in 100-mile events.

Competition started at 4:30 a.m. (following a 3 a.m. horse feeding - Mark DeVoti gives you three guesses as to who did the predawn snack) with the first 25 miles ridden in the dark. Not to worry though, most horses have excellent night vision. Omar drank and ate well on the trail and at the four veterinarian checks, which took two hours total time.

They finished covering the extremely rocky trail at 5:15 p.m. Erica and Omar rode the final 10 miles without the company of any other horses after the team they were riding with pulled out at the final vet check point.

A good strategy in endurance can be likened to driving your car: Plan on driving 75 miles knowing there is only 70 miles worth of fuel in your tank ... then conserve, conserve, conserve. Omar had enough trot and canter in reserves that he wanted to canter the last few miles to the finish, all those miles in a head wind.

For any other state, the intense winds would have been considered hurricane force, but it was just a typical New Mexico spring breeze.

The world of horses is diverse and specialized. In our community we have equestrian enthusiasts who can help unconfuse the neophyte. For me, it is still a baffling arena. Yet, for all there is to learn out there, it boils down to the horse, his human companion and what goes on between them.

It's a sentimental relationship between Erica and Omar (and Czar, too - sorry Mark) and I believe that Omar and Czar perform far better for Erica than Mark. Whatever you wish to label it, it has to do with feeling, and understanding between the sensitive and soulful creatures.

Just one more month and our children are out of school. Summer vacation. Are your children's summer programs lined up? It isn't too early to start planning.

Swim lessons at the recreation center will begin June 3.

These are two-week sessions, with eight lessons per session. Lessons are Monday through Thursday. Session 1 is from June 3 to June 13. It will be followed by Session 2 from June 17 to June 27, Session 3 from July 8 to July 18 and the fourth and final session from Aug. 5 to Aug. 15.

Lessons are a half hour in duration so the young tykes do not tire. Students will be placed in age and ability groupings. The teacher-to-student ratio will be 1-to-3. Please come by the recreation center to register. Lessons will be held 10 a.m. to noon.

Correction to last week's announcement regarding the free PLPOA canine registration this month. "Licensing your pet is a once-a-year event." That's wrong. Licensing your pet need only be done once. My apologies for the error.

Local Chatter
By Kate TerryPREVIEW Columnist

Five planets are in dramatic alignment

If you watch the evening sky, you can see a rare sight. The dramatic alignment of the five planets that can be seen with the naked eye: Mercury, Venus, Mars, Saturn and Jupiter. This show of planets will last until mid-May, be visible at dusk when the stars come out, and will not happen again for 38 years.

The American flag at the post office is flying at half-mast in respect for retired Supreme Court Justice Byron White who died April 19. The observance lasts 30 days. Avid football fans will remember that Justice White was an All-American fullback from the University of Colorado.

In case you wonder about election times, here they are. Tuesday, May 7 is the date for special district elections, the time to vote for bond issues and fill board vacancies. Primary elections are held Aug. 13 and the general election is Nov. 5 (the first Tuesday in November).

The cookbook that the Civic Club has been compiling, with recipes from the members, will be going to press soon. This is the cookbook to have if you want to know all about cooking at high altitude. The plan is to have it ready to sell at the Civic Club's Christmas Bazaar to be held Saturday, Nov. 2, at the Extension building. And it won't cost and arm and a leg.

Just as kids have ways of getting attention, so have animals. A local woman is housesitting her friends' cat while they are gallivanting around San Antonio. This cat is known for her antics, and her superior intelligence is acknowledged, but the other night she boo-booed. She's been sleeping with "housesitter" (which is fine with "housesitter") but this particular night she took her stuffed toy to bed - to play with. She tossed it in the air and snagged it when it came down. "Housesitter" thought this kind of cute and watched as Chloe kept doing this, but soon it got to be too much and "Housesitter" told her to stop. But Chloe didn't stop so "Housesitter" threw the toy out in the hall and Chloe went after it and took it back to the bed and started up again. This time "housesitter" threw the toy in another room and closed the door. Now the moral of this story is that if you (a cat) are smarter than the housesitter, don't let her know it. The owners may need her again.

Fun on the run

A man wrote a letter to a small hotel in a Midwest town he planned to visit on his vacation.

He wrote, "I would very much like to bring my dog with me. He is well groomed and very well behaved. Would you be willing to permit me to keep him in my room with me at night?"

An immediate reply came from the hotel owner, who said, "I've been operating this hotel for many years. In all that time, I've never had a dog steal towels, bedclothes, silverware or pictures off the walls. I've never had to evict a dog in the middle of the night for being drunk and disorderly. And I've never had a dog run out on a hotel bill. Yes, indeed, your dog is welcome at my hotel. And, if your dog will vouch for you, you're welcome to stay here, too."

Veterans Corner
By Andy FauthereePREVIEW Columnist

Long waits loom for new enrollees

The VA Health Care System in this area is definitely getting overloaded, and options for new veteran patients are becoming scarce. It is looking more and more like the new Durango VA outpatient clinic may be our only option for new VAHC enrollments, for the time being. Of course, that clinic is not expected to open until sometime this fall.

I was afraid of this, and have been advising Archuleta County veterans to get enrolled as soon as possible. And our local veterans have been heeding the call, with unprecedented numbers coming in to the Veterans Service Office to fill out VAHC applications the past few months.

I was advised last Monday, effective immediately, the VA Health Care VISN 19 System, which includes Grand Junction, Alamosa, Pueblo, Colorado Springs, Denver and other VA out-patient clinics, is going to a health-need priority-basis appointment schedule for new patients. This means that many veterans wishing to enroll for primary health care who are in reasonable good health, may be in for a long wait to get their first appointment through that VAHC system.

First priority on the waiting list will be for veterans at various levels of poor health, who perhaps meet some other criteria such as financial means, etc. This could also include veterans with a higher VAHC Priority Level due to service-connected disabilities. VAHC Priority Levels are rated 1-7. Priority Level 1 is the highest level and is for veterans with 100-percent service-connected disabilities. The lowest, Priority Level 7, is for veterans with no service-connected disabilities, and normal financial resources.

The same problems affect the VISN 18 Health Care System. This system includes Albuquerque, Farmington, Gallup, Durango and some other VA medical facilities in this region of the U.S. They are basically frozen on new patient enrollments or have very long waiting periods. I called the Gallup clinic and was advised their situation is the same. Farmington VA Clinic has been frozen to new applicants since last fall. By the time a newly-enrolled veteran waits for an opening at one of these VA clinics or hospitals, the Durango VA Clinic should be open.

I had been able to get new enrolled veterans into Grand Junction in a very short period of time. However, that is no longer the case under their new guidelines. Grand Junction now has a waiting list, and will admit new enrollees on an individual case basis depending on their immediate health needs. I had also begun to look at the Alamosa VA Clinic as an option to get primary health care for our veterans. However, I talked to those folks last Monday morning also, and all new applications must be sent to Colorado Springs headquarters to evaluate on a case-by-case basis for enrollment.

Most of our Archuleta County veterans already enrolled in VAHC are planning on switching their primary health care from the existing VA source to the Durango clinic. Virtually all of the newest enrollments also have their eyes on the Durango clinic. My concern is that this clinic will also fill up fast, maybe faster than can be anticipated or processed by VAHC officials. Rest assured I am keeping a close vigil on the progress of the Durango clinic to ensure our Archuleta County veterans get enrolled as soon as possible.

The bottom line is there is no VA medical facility within a reasonable driving distance able to take new patient enrollment immediately for all priority levels. Virtually every VA medical facility or district is operating with a budget deficit, which of course limits the number of additional staff they are able to hire to service the growing number of veteran patients. I hope our congressmen in Washington hear the call for increases in the Veterans Affairs budgets.

For information on these and other veterans benefits please call or stop by the Veterans Service Office located on the lower floor of the county courthouse. The office number is 264-2304. The office is open from 8 to 4, Monday through Thursday, Friday by appointment. Bring your DD Form 214 (Discharge) for registration with the county, application for VA programs, and for filing in the VSO office.

Extension Viewpoints
By Bill NoblesSUN Columnist

Defensible space key in fire safety

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.

Friday - Colorado Mountaineers, Extension office, 2:15 p.m.

Friday - Goat, Extension office, 3:15 p.m.

May 4 - 4-H Cooking, Bomkamp residence, 9 a.m.

May 7 - 4-H Council meeting, Extension office, 6 p.m.

May 7 - 4-H Electricity, Extension office, 6:30 p.m.

Pesticide training

The free Private Pesticide Applicator training scheduled May 6 has been rescheduled for May 9, 7 p.m., in the Extension building. This training is required for all people who want to purchase restricted-use pesticides for home and agriculture use. To register or for more information, call the Extension Office at 264-5931 or 264-2388.

Wildfire-defense zones

Defensible space is the primary factor in a structure's ability to survive a wildfire. If a mountain home threatened by a forest fire is not landscaped with defensible space, firefighters will often bypass it, choosing instead to make their stand at a home where their safety is more assured and the chance to successfully protect the structure is greater.

Carefully plan landscaping within your defensible space to reduce the risks of wildfire and ensure the safety of your family as well as firefighters.

In order to increase the chances of your home surviving a wildfire, two factors have emerged as primary determinants: the home's roofing material and the quality of the defensible space surrounding it.

Defensible space is an area around a structure where fuels and vegetation are treated, cleared or reduced to slow the spread of wildfire toward the structure. Forest fire experts recommend dividing your home area into three zones.

Zone 1 is 15 feet from the edges of all buildings. Planting anything within 3 to 5 feet of structures is not recommended. Use decorative rock and other nonflammable materials instead.

Zone 2 is an area designed to reduce the intensity of any fire approaching your home by reducing the flammable materials that can fuel fires. The size of the zone depends upon the slope of the ground around the home, but typically is at least 75 to 125 feet from structures. This zone should not contain stressed, diseased, dead or dying trees and shrubs, and larger trees and shrubs should be planted sparsely or thinned. Be sure to extend thinning along either side of a driveway.

Zone 3 is of no specified size and extends from the edge of your defensible space to property lines. Thinning is recommended here to make sure dead trees pose no threat to power lines or fire access roads and to reduce fuels within the tree stand.

Like other parts of your home, defensible space requires maintenance.

Make sure all escape routes, meeting points and other details are known and understood by all family members. Maintain a checklist for fire safety needs inside the home. This is available from your local fire department.


An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure - a good adage for mountain homeowners to keep in mind when landscaping their property. Defensible space can be attractive and natural looking with proper planning.

Bulbs, garden art and containers add color to a landscape. Decorative rock, gravel and stepping stone pathways break up the continuity of vegetation and aren't fuels for forest fires. A diversity of plant types and species is visually appealing and helps control pests and disease.

Maintenance is a major factor in creating a defensible space. Grasses should be kept short closest to flammable structures such as the home. In areas where maintenance is difficult, ground cover plants are a good alternative. They break up the monotony of grass and enhance the beauty of your landscape. Wildflowers beds give a softer, more natural appearance to the otherwise manicured look that often results from defensible space development. These beds are recommended only if they are spaced widely apart and away from flammable structures.

Shrubs and trees provide a large amount of fuel for a fire. Planning tree placement and maintaining trees in the landscape is very important to prevent fires that start from radiant heat and surface fires. A retaining wall can act as a physical barrier to a fire and actually help to deflect heat from the fire upward and away from structures. Retaining walls are strongly recommended where appropriate. Also consider planting fire-wise plant materials.

Forest home safety

Wildfires can strike with little warning and spread quickly. Homes in rural areas, such as mountain homes, may not be serviced by traditional fire and emergency services. For example, most rural fire departments are volunteer. Firefighters are not generally present at fire stations. The number of firefighters able to respond to a fire may be limited, especially during daytime hours during the traditional work week.

Response time may be quite long. Volunteers must reach the fire station from home or work, start the fire vehicles and drive to the fire scene. The fire scene may be quite far from the station. In addition, water supplies and firefighting equipment are limited. Often, the only significant water supply is that which the fire trucks carry. Water shuttles or refill locations must be established and coordinated.

Approaching the fire scene may be difficult. Narrow, steep roads and driveways may limit or even prevent access by emergency equipment. Bridges may have weight limitations that prevent large trucks and tankers from reaching the fire.

For these reasons, fire crews and equipment often are overwhelmed by the task of fighting a rapidly advancing wildfire. There may simply not be enough personnel and equipment to defend every home.

If a wildfire is threatening your area, listen to your radio for updated reports and evacuation information. Do not jeopardize your life or the lives of your family. No material item is worth a life.

Take steps now to protect your home from a future wildfire. Planning ahead can spell the difference between your property's destruction and survival. Homeowners can do a great deal to prepare their property for wildfire, such as preparing a checklist and guidelines to prepare for fire safety, evacuation and home defense - before a fire occurs.

Annual safety checklist

Thin trees and brush properly within defensible space

Remove trash and debris from defensible space

Remove trees growing through a porch or other portions of a structure

Clear leaves and debris from the roof and gutters of structures

Remove branches that overhang a chimney or roof

Stack firewood uphill from a home or on a contour away from the home

Use noncombustible roof materials

Place shutters, fire curtains or heavy drapes on windows

Place screens on foundation and eave vents

Enclose sides of stilt foundations and decks

Use a chimney screen or spark arrester in fireplaces

Clear vegetation from around fire hydrants, cisterns, propane tanks

Make sure that an outdoor water supply is available with a hose, nozzle and pump

Post address signs that are clearly visible from the street or road

Make sure that driveways are wide enough for fire trucks and equipment

Check with appropriate highway agencies to make sure load limits are posted on bridges and for the appropriate protocol for posting load limits for bridges on private property

Install and test smoke detectors

Practice a family fire drill and evacuation plan.

Evacuation tips

If a wildfire is threatening your area, listen to the radio for updated reports and evacuation information

Confine pets to one room and make plans to take care of them in the event of evacuation

Arrange for temporary housing with a friend or relative whose home is outside the threatened area. Leave a note in a prominent place in your home that says where and how you can be contacted

If your home is threatened by wildfire, you will be contacted and advised by law enforcement officers to evacuate. If you are not contacted or you decide to stay and help defend your home, evacuate pets and family members who are not needed to protect your home

Remove important documents, mementos, etc. from the possible fire area

Choose an evacuation route away from the fire if possible. Watch for changes in the speed and direction of the fire and smoke

Disaster supply kits

Have a disaster supply kit containing:

Drinking water

A change of clothing and footwear for each family member

Blanket or sleeping bag for each person

First-aid kit and prescription medications

Emergency tools including a battery-powered radio, flashlight and extra batteries

Extra set of car keys and credit cards, cash or traveler's checks

Extra pairs of eyeglasses or other special items for infants, elderly or disabled family members.

Defending your home

Whether you choose to stay to defend your home or to evacuate, complete as many of the following preparations as possible.

Do not jeopardize your life. No material item is worth a life

Wear fire-resistant clothing and protective gear

Remove combustible materials from around structures

Close or cover outside vents and shutters

Position garden hoses to reach the entire house, but do not turn the water on until it is needed. Hoses should have an adjustable nozzle

Place large, full water containers around the house. Soak burlap sacks, small rugs or large

In Sync With Isabel
By Isabel WillisPREVIEW Columnist

Support groups benefit single parents

The alarm goes off. It's 5 a.m. You get up to make a pot of coffee and try not to make noise so your kids won't wake up. All you want is a few minutes of quality time before the roar of your children's "sweet" voices start. "I want this," "I want that," "Little Joel is looking at me." Sound familiar?

We ask ourselves, when does this madness end? For any parent and especially a single-parent, the only relief for the morning "madness" may be going to work and getting an eight-hour temporary diversion. This scenario reminds me of one word - stress. Many of us refer to it as the deadly disease.

We live in a society where stress is part of our daily lives. Parents in general have to wait for emancipation in order to feel they have some organization in their lives. As we all know, emancipation is not the end. Many agree that being a single-parent should rank high on that stress Richter scale.

Due to the tight economy, it is even harder on a single parent to involve the kids in any outside activity for several reasons, money and time among them. With the competitive work market, employers often frown on time spent away from work. Poverty affects single-parent families the hardest. Most families need to have both providers working in order to manage their finances, so the situation is often dire for a single parent. Daycare is also a challenge, because the cost has risen due to strict regulations and liability. A lot of single parents don't have the luxury of picking their kids up from after-school planned activities.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are 8.8 million single mothers in the United States, up 26 percent since 1990. There are 2.6 million single fathers which is a 62 percent increase. In April, 2002, Time Magazine published an article called "Single Mom's Unite," which states: "There's been a stigma that if you're a single parent and you're not living by yourself with your kids, then you're not independent." I think all single parents would disagree with that statement.

In 1957, an organization of men and women was founded and named "Parents without Partners." The organization publishes a magazine, The Single Parent, which provides a library of publications and tapes dealing with the problems of single parenthood.

Barbara Hendricks, the Family Advocate for the Department of Social Services, can provide some resources that are available to local single parents, such as daycare, Medicare, child support enforcement, life skills and much more. There may even be resources such as organized youth programs and recreation a single parent in our community can take advantage of to make life easier..

I'm not saying that being a single parent is the worst thing in life. It just presents more day-to-day challenges. As a community, we should consider helping single parents by volunteering to pick kids up from after-school activities and drop them off at their designated daycare provider. This would relieve added stress from anyone's life; a single parent would greatly benefit from this action.

What other ways can you help? For starters, as an employer, allow an active single parent the latitude to accommodate their children's activities by allowing some flex time. As a member of the community, volunteer for Big Brothers/Big Sisters and spend some quality time with a bright, talented child. Of course, these are just some ideas to get you started.

There are several different support groups out there to help single parents. Barbara recently learned of a group of moms from Dallas who get together every week to help each other out. They have been meeting for over a year now. They share babysitting expenses, cooking duties, housekeeping, errands and more. They are at a huge advantage because they have a support system. The group started with only two single parents wanting to help each other out.

Not only did the group reap the benefits of having others to help alleviate single-parent stress, but they gained friends as well. Today they are a group of six and can depend on each other to help out. To form a group like this only takes commitment. It's a matter of meeting at someone's house every week and making sure there is follow-up. If anyone is interested in starting a group, you can call Barbara Hendricks for suggestions at 264-2182.

In this day and age, we all have to unite and support each other; children are our most valued resource. My hat is off to all single parents. You have one of the toughest jobs in the community.

Arts Line
By P. R. BainPREVIEW Columnist

Get tickets now for Boosters' play

Pagosa Springs Music Boosters presents "You Can't Take it With You," at the Pagosa Springs High School Auditorium May 9, 10 and 11 at 7:30 p.m. There will be a special Mother's Day Matinee Sunday, May 12, at 3 p.m.

Purchase tickets at the Chamber of Commerce, Moonlight Books, Sisson Library and The Plaid Pony. Students 7 years and older and senior citizens may purchase tickets for $10. Children under 6 get in for $8, and adult tickets are $12.

While you wait for the curtain to rise, listen while John Graves ("The Professor") performs memorable popular hits from the '30s on the Grand piano. Stick around for intermission and after the show for more of the same.

Chair event

A highlight of Pagosa's fourth annual American Cancer Society fund-raiser, Relay for Life, will be the Chair Event, coordinated by P.R. Bain. Offered for bid in a silent auction will be wooden chairs and/or small wooden furniture items carrying the unique embellishments of local artists. If you have an item of furniture to donate for the occasion, call Paula at 731-1009. Place your bid on the auction items during the relay event, which will take place at Town Park from 6 p.m. June 21, through 9 a.m. June 22.

Student show

The first exhibit of the Pagosa Springs Arts Council season will consist of creations by 10 of Charla Ellis' high school art class students. Come to the opening of the exhibit, 5-7 p.m. this evening at the gallery in Town Park. Refreshments will be served and you will have an opportunity to meet and congratulate the artists.

Children's performance

Don't miss a chance to see the talent of Pagosa youth. The San Juan Festival Ballet will present its spring performance at the San Juan Dance Academy, 188 South 8th St. May 16, 17 and 18. Performances begins at 7:30 p.m. There will be a special children's performance at 11 a.m. on May 18. Purchase tickets at the gallery or at Pagosa Kid for $3 (matinee) or $6 (all other performances). For more information call Stephanie Jones at 264-5068.

Member discounts

Arts council members enjoy discounts at PSAC sponsored events. Come to the gallery in Town Park to sign up for $30 family memberships or $20 individual memberships and take advantage of discounts to the many upcoming arts council presentations.

Summer hours

The Pagosa Springs Arts Council Gallery in Town Park is now open for the exhibit season. The season lasts through October. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

The council welcomes information, questions and comments online at

Tune in to PSAC interviews and information on the second Thursday of each month from 8:05-8:35 a.m. on KWUF radio.


Opportunities abound to volunteer for the sake of the arts:

The Petroglyph, the quarterly arts council newsletter, is in need of a layout person. Call Jennifer at 731-3113 if you are talented in that area, or if you would like to have your business flyer placed in the next quarterly issue.

If scrapbooks are your forte, let Joanne know you would like to help carry on the PSAC scrapbook tradition. Call her at 264-5020.

Work the snack booths at upcoming events. This is an excellent opportunity to meet people who share your appreciation for the arts.

Your office and social skills can be put to valuable use at the gallery. Call Joanne to schedule a time when you can man the gallery or help with other arts council events.

Library News
By Lenore BrightPREVIEW Columnist

Get feeders up; hummingbirds are back

Our most enjoyable rite of spring is welcoming back the hummingbirds. Ann Van Fossen saw her first one April 18.

For newcomers, we have lots of information on what to feed the summer visitors. Get your feeders up. With this erratic weather, the hummers need our help. Our second most enjoyable rite is welcoming back all of our summer patrons. So welcome to all.


May is Colorado Archaeology and Historic Preservation Month. We have a few statewide calendars of events to mark this year's celebration. A pamphlet also lists a number of volunteer opportunities for anyone interested in archaeology field school. Ten Web sites are listed, the closest being Crow Canyon. For more information, visit www.colorado

Inaugural conference

The newly formed Mountain Studies Institute will host the first "Mountain Summit," Sept. 25 - 28 at the Durango Mountain Resort. For more information, look at

The conference will explore issues relevant to the well-being and sustainability of mountain ecosystems and surrounding communities. Early registration before June 30 will be $150. Registration is limited to 150 participants.

Voting information

The League of Women Voters sent over a few pamphlets with this year's election and voter registration calendar. There is a lot of local interest in the county leading up to the primary elections Aug. 13. Please note that July 15 is the last day to register for the primary election.

We understand that Douglas Bruce will be back with another attempt at getting rid of special districts and their services. We'll be watching that one closely.

Good medicine

The latest volume of this newsletter from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine and GeneWatch are in. GeneWatch is the bulletin of the Council for Responsible Genetics. These two publications can be found in the reading area.

Anyone interested in the continuing dialogue on gene therapy should begin reading GeneWatch. It is published by the Council for Responsible Genetics. How close are we to a biological arms race? Read the March issue of GeneWatch for a dialogue.

Good Medicine has a host of disturbing articles about strange practices including offering oral estrogen to tall girls in order to suppress their growth in spite of serious problems. A Web site linking to medical research is This site contains over 5,700 clinical research studies for a wide range of diseases and conditions. A summary of the purpose of the study, recruiting status and criteria for patient participation will be found there.

New books

"Lazy B - Growing Up on a Cattle Ranch in the American Southwest," is the autobiography of Sandra Day O'Connor. This is a fascinating glimpse of life in the Southwest in the last century. It is the portrait of a young woman who became one of the most prominent figures in America today.

Dave Barry brings us his latest humor in "Dave Barry Hits Below the Beltway." Pay particular attention the footnotes.

New display

Paula Bain will have some of her gourd art on display for a short time. Please come by to see them.


Thanks for materials from Elaine Lewis, Drue Hartong, Scotty Gibson, Margaret Wilson, and Gerda Witkamp. A special thanks to the arts council for adding a bobble head doll to our Clifford the Big Red Dog collection.

Business News
Biz Beat

Brenda Magner and Anna Lepke own and operate Pagosa Recycling, opened two weeks ago at its location at U.S. 160 and Vista Boulevard, west of Pagosa Springs.

Pagosa Recycling pays cash for aluminum cans, copper, brass, scrap aluminum, and various types of insulated wire. The facility is convenient to highway traffic and is open Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For information about Pagosa Recycling, call 731-5414.



Becca Thomas and Matt Bunning are engaged to be married June 8 in Pagosa Springs. Becca is the daughter of David and Betty Thomas and Matt is the son of Tracy and Karen Bunning. The couple currently resides in Fort Collins. Both are Pagosa Springs High School graduates.

Hillary Wienpahl gets
Self Reliance Scholarship
By Dr. H. Pat ArtisSpecial to the SUN

Performance Associates is pleased to announce that Hillary Wienpahl is the 2002 recipient of its Self Reliance Scholarship.

The $2,500 scholarship is intended to recognize a student who has demonstrated self reliance, a strong work ethic, and commitment to their family and personal goals during their tenure in high school or home schooling career.

Hillary has been active in gymnastics while in high school and has demonstrated her leadership skills as president of the National Honor Society. She has also served as an office aide in the school guidance office.

Outside of school, Hillary has concentrated her efforts on intensive tutoring for elementary school students. In addition, she works as a hostess at a local restaurant.

Wienpahl has been accepted by the University of Colorado in Boulder and will start her studies this fall.

The Performance Associates Self Reliance Scholarship is an equal opportunity award and the winner is selected without regard to race, color or creed. Any graduating senior who has at least a 3.0 GPA, has been accepted at a 4-year college, and is a resident of Archuleta County may apply for the scholarship.

By John M. Motter

Sweet as the fields of Paradise

The Town of Pagosa Springs owes its existence to U.S. Government decree. Unlike Alamosa, Durango, and Antonito, Pagosa Springs was not created by Gen. Palmer and the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad.

The name "Pagosa Springs" seems to have been in place at the time of the first non-Indian acquaintance with the area. It is important to note that the name identifies the Great Pagosa Hot Spring and its surrounding springs. By extension, it identified the immediate locale long before the town came into existence.

An early map of the San Juan Mountains identifies only Pagosa Springs and Baker City as specific communities in Southwest Colorado. Early Army maps of New Mexico and Colorado Territory, while revealing a remarkable lack of knowledge about the topography of the San Juans and the relative positions of the mountains and rivers, still identified Pagosa Springs.

When Capt. Macomb brought his expedition to Pagosa Springs in 1859, the place was already known by that name. Another Army engineer, Lt. McCauley, visited the site in 1879 when Fort Lewis was under construction on the west bank of the San Juan River.

McCauley attempted to identify the origin of the name "Pagosa Springs," to the delight of all later promoters of the area, as a Ute word meaning "Healing Waters." When a Ute dictionary was compiled during the 1970s, it's definition of the word came closer to meaning "Stinking Waters."

Outsiders, particularly in government and military circles, must have known about the Pagosa Springs locale before the town started. President Rutherford B. Hayes issued an executive order May 22, 1877, setting aside one square mile surrounding the Great Pagosa Hot Spring as a townsite.

The presidential order was said to have been issued because various private parties were attempting to gain control of the hot springs for a number of reasons. Among these were Dr. Keebles of Del Norte, probably represented by a young Welch Nossaman. Keebles wanted to start a health spa relying on the medicinal attributes of the mineral waters. Others apparently tried to claim the property as a placer mining claim and through other means.

Military Reservation, Feb. 17, 1879, General Order No. 2, Headquarters Department of the Missouri designated the post and six square mile military reservation.

From the General order: "The reservation contains 35 square miles, and is exclusive of the one square mile declared by the president in executive order of May 22, 1877, as a town-site."

We are not exactly certain when the first buildings in the immediate vicinity of Pagosa Springs were erected. We know the post office was commissioned June 5, 1878. We know the first post office was located about one mile south of the Great Pagosa Hot Spring. The application for the post office said about 100 people were living here.

Two days after the post office was commissioned, Joseph W. Pickett, a minister bound for Silverton, stopped at Pagosa Springs. He left this eyewitness account of what he saw:

"I left my kind friends before eight o'clock, passed down, down, and over another swiftly flowing river, and, at 3 p.m., reached Pagosa Springs. Here is a good bridge over the San Juan. There are no high mountains in the vicinity, but the bluffs are about a mile apart. I strolled up the east side of the river a mile to the springs. (Remember, the road and bridge crossed the river about a mile south of the Springs.) In the distance I saw what seemed a log heap burning from the smoke; and walking on, heard the rustling, gurgling sound of the vast cauldron. Imagine a near circular body of water, about forty feet across, boiling up a steel blue through the center and around the edges. You can look down some twenty feet in the center. A film seems formed, but the waters are perfectly pure, with a strong odor of sulfur and soda. No one dares to get into the central chasm. The water would blister, or boil an egg. But about the edge there are sinkholes, three or four feet deep, in which you may let the water, so as to have it cooler. For a space of forty rods square, the rocks seem perforated with holes through which the waters pour in all directions. A small brook pours into the San Juan from a dozen channels. Puffs of steam rise over almost all of the ground. What a sanitarium! It would bathe the nation, if all of the waters were utilized.

Here come two Utes, with bows and arrows, to see me write. They bathe with their papooses nearly all of the time."

Upon arising the next morning, Pickett doesn't say if he slept indoors or camped outside, the eyewitness account continues:

"I rose early and walked along the beautiful banks of the river. The tents of the Ute Indians were stretched along the bluffs on the opposite side of the river, looking very romantic, their ponies feeding, and the flocks of sheep and goats nearby. The springs sent up a dense steam in the cool morning air. The Warm Springs of North Carolina do not compare with these. The government retains ownership, one mile square. There are no accommodations whatever (I guess he slept on the ground). I had a charming bath, though my pithole was almost too hot.

"I had a nice breakfast - ham and eggs, goat milk furnished by the Indians. These mountaineers will not take a cent for anything. When I went to catch my pony, I saw a man fishing. He drew out the largest mountain trout (cutthroat?) I ever saw, a speckled beauty of over two pounds, that made my mouth water.

"Now I am in another of the smiling valleys, sweet as the fields of Paradise, a green lawn, uncropt, bordered with hills of yellow pines, and above all the deep blue sky, with great white rolling clouds. Pony walks about, monarch of all this wealth of grass. I laugh, when I think that at first I dared not let go his rope, for fear he would run away Had dinner with some freighters, of mutton and warm bread. At six, reached the Rio Piedra, a lovely stream, breaking through the wild mountains. I crossed the bridge, and rode up to a log cabin, without floor, window, or door; and here was a woman, the first I had seen since leaving Conejos, save the Ute squaws. Her husband had taken a claim of one hundred and sixty acres, reaching to the Ute reservation south of us. He has planted wheat, oats, potatoes, and has some stock. They are Danes, have a Danish Bible."

The next morning Picket, "left the quiet home of Mr. Peterson My ride has been up and down the mountains all the way."

A discerning history lover will discover a great deal about pioneering in general and the birthing of Pagosa Springs in particular, from the above disclosure.

Pacing Pagosa
By Richard Walter

Small town phone technology lags

Sometimes the pace of Pagosa gets so frenetic one can be tempted to forget this is still small-town America.

We're so closely linked with the world through instant news technology and Internet capability that we sometimes fall into the trap of believing we're just like everyone else in the real world.

The fallacy of that belief was brought home in the last two weeks by one of the prime connectors of the new world - the telephone.

We've had a series of crank, harassing or just dumb calls. We have a non-published telephone number and probably less than a dozen people worldwide have been given it.

Still, we get the routine automatically computer-dialed telemarketing calls. We have a Caller ID, but there are ways callers can block their numbers.

A TeleZapper might help, but recent reports indicate it might also cut off the call and remove our number from the caller's screen on a reverse 9-1-1 emergency. And, if it is a prank call rather than computerized, the TeleZapper would not work at all.

When these calls start, they seem to continue without end. We've had close to two dozen of them in the past 13 days, many during the night. Most are only one ring, but occasionally it goes to two or three.

When we called CenturyTel's 800 customer service number, a representative confirmed that while the technology exists in some CenturyTel locations to track the source of originating calls it is not available in Pagosa Springs.

He suggested we contact the local law enforcement agency and ask them to put a "trap" on our phone line. That action, he said, will automatically record the source number for every incoming call.

After a night last week in which calls came in at 10:02 p.m., 10:10 p.m., 11:42 p.m., 12:54 a.m., 1:54 a.m., 2:25 a.m. and 5:07 a.m., I talked with Sheriff Tom Richards who just happened to be in our office.

He agreed it is harassment and said if it continues he'll act to get the "trap" active. But, he said, it can take some time, even for law enforcement officials to get the action necessary to install the device.

When we can listen to al-Qaeda conversations from satellites, pinpoint criminal activity to the exact spot within a foot or two using global satellite imaging, it seems old-fashioned that we can't get telephone traces locally without having to wait for official law agency action.

That's a sign of rural American life, not a link to the big world out there.

If you are the one calling us at all the odd hours, please stop. Police now have our number and someday soon will have project "trap" underway.

If you have a computer dialing our number at random throughout all hours of the night, you are in violation of federal law. Sooner or later we're going to link up with the Pony Express of modern electronic communication and locate where these calls are originating.

We will join fully with law enforcement in tracking and prosecuting those who are keeping our nights a nightmare of ringing telephones.

The posse has been alerted. It's just a matter of time before smoke signals reveal the source of our consternation and then the hanging tree will be prepared.

Since we're so far from the real world, we can use it and not be discovered until about 2022 when I'll be nearly 90 and care little about who's calling. In fact, I probably won't even be able to hear the ring.

By then, the 2002 telephone technology available to the rest of the world may have reached Pagosa Springs.

On the other hand, the telephone may have joined the relics of the past by then with phonovision by computer the accepted means of communication.

I, however, will still be out of touch. I don't and won't have a computer at home.

So, wait 20 years and you won't bother me at all with your calls.

I'll be disconnected and still living on 2002 Pagosa time, hoping the rest of the world hasn't tuned in automatically to my brainwaves.

Telepathy, they say, may be the next big means of communication; mind control sending thoughts through the air.

If I have the number by then, you can be sure I'll be tuned to the mental wavelength of the one who is disturbing our domestic peace now. Every hour on the hour, I will emit warnings of impending doom, warnings which can be received and understood only by the one behind the calls coming into our home now.

I'm not a vindictive person but I am in favor of equality of rights. I have a right to peace in my own home. If you violate that right, I have the right to have you tracked and prosecuted.

It just might take several weeks of telepathic messages to get across the idea of how disturbed we've been by your calls.

I hope you get the message.

Food For Thought
By Karl Isberg

Use Isberg Index, then eat to dull pain

A bit nervous about the stock market, are you?

Let me help.

Have some investments that seemed phenomenal a year or so ago, and now look like a plague of locusts?

In a quandary, are you, your financial future a little less rosy than it was when the NASDAQ was in fifth gear and you were sipping Johnny Walker Blue and acting like an obnoxious bigshot?

Trust me, I have an answer to your dilemma. Don't worry.

Anyone with money in the market has had reason to exude beads of terror sweat, inspired by the specter of financial doom. You can smell fear in the air. The Wall Street Reaper has mowed down some hardy souls and the Bull has been chased from the field it occupied magnificently for oh those several glorious years.

Has your broker disappeared - you know, Sid, your second cousin who was whooping and hollering about tech stocks three years ago and exhorting you to "buy, buy, buy," with promises you would make a fortune? Did the rascal vanish in the dark of night, only to surface as a wage slave plopped behind the counter of a liquor store in Gallup, New Mexico? Has Sid grown a beard, had liposuction and a nose job?

Caught on the downhill side of the old Wall Street roller coaster, your churning guts pushed against your spine, your facial features distorted by the immense G-forces produced by your cataclysmic descent?

Take comfort: I am here to give you the only verifiably accurate, certifiably productive investment strategy you will ever receive.

I arrive none too soon.

Nearly everywhere you go, people are talking about the stock market, about investments turned sour.

The chatter even follows me to the gym where Wally and I listen to folks yap about stocks and money while we lift heavy objects and put them down again. Derek and I exchange insights while I lift heavy objects and put them down again and he rides a stationary bike. Derek is an ectomorph, and an accountant!

Often, the television at the gym is switched by some hammerhead from my favorite - the Food Network - to one of the many financial channels. There they are, on the crawler at the bottom of the screen, emblazoned in red or green, the symbols for all the stocks, accompanied by the latest numbers. Up, down, unchanged. I have no idea what it all means, but I nod knowingly and occasionally point at the screen.

In reality, I have no need for a moment-by-moment account of market happenings. My strategy is not grounded in an understanding of graphs and the analyses by one expert after another, played 24-hours-a-day on the networks. I am attracted to the television spectacle by the bright colors and the flashing lights.

I didn't acquire my method from my family, either. Members of my family, on both sides, two and three generations ago, understood finance and investment well enough to accumulate big portfolios loaded with cornerstone stocks. They did well enough to pass things down to be squandered by the young 'uns. It's the American way. I squandered, but I didn't learn.

I have a relative who fancies himself an expert in investment. When we communicate, he takes great pride in showing me the machines, the Web hookups he uses. He does the math for me, giving advice, spouting all sorts of arcane mumbo jumbo fully aware that, with my limited attention span, two minutes into his dissertation, I am thinking about circus clowns and pears poached in red wine.

While I didn't pay a whole lot of attention to what the relatives did or said, I acquired a taste for the risk involved in finding more funds to waste.

I invested, and forged my method in the hot furnace of experience.

To put it bluntly ... I lost my shorts.

That's correct, my Blue Chips turned to cow chips and the money that once looked so good on paper, now seems printed only on a particular kind of paper. Toilet paper.

An ordinary man would crumble beneath the weight of such massive failure. Not me.

Despite my ADD, my aversion to periods of prolonged study, and the shocks to my economic system, I reflected on my experience and conceived a startlingly accurate take on stock trading. I've created a method, guaranteed to work. To your advantage.

Tell Greenspan to get his butt out of the Big Chair, Karl has arrived and he brings with him The Isberg Index.

I can tell you, without an atom of doubt, how to make money investing in individual stocks. Lots of money. Fast.

Sure, there are other methods that can equal the success of trained brokers and analysts. But they are not guaranteed, like my method.

For instance, you can put a printout of the daily market reports on the wall and toss a dart at the list, investing in a hundred shares of any stock whose name is pierced by your brass-tipped projectile. This works well.

You can give a list of stocks to a monkey and provide your simian pal with a magic marker. Any stock the monkey tints with ink, you back with your cash. Solid reasoning here - as good as at any brokerage house.

Let an infant pick your stocks. If a 2-year-old can pronounce the name of a company, it is a good bet.

Put a newspaper list of stocks in the bottom of your bird cage. Where the parrot poop falls, the money follows.

Gerbils are reliable stock tipsters.

But, if you want the quick, big bucks, you need The Isberg Index.

It's clean, it's simple, a sure thing.

Here's how it works: You purchase entry into my soon-to-be-established Web site for a nominal fee and you check the site every day. Each day I will show you what is in my stock portfolio, and I'll reveal my every sale and purchase.

Monitor closely what I do.

The principle is oh so easy: If I invest money in a stock and you hold shares of that stock, DISPOSE OF YOUR SHARES IMMEDIATELY! You cannot act too quickly. If I purchase or hold a stock, it's value is guaranteed to crumble.

If, on the other hand, I sell shares of a stock, BUY AS MANY SHARES AS QUICKLY AS YOU CAN! Any stock I sell experiences an almost instantaneous increase in value. Sometimes a meteoric increase.

Kiss the monkey and gerbil goodbye.

You need proof?

On the advice of my close relative I held a certain telecommunications stock as it plummeted to valuelessness at the speed of light. "Don't worry Karl," he intoned over the phone (he was on Corfu, in a suite overlooking the shore, nibbling figs and feta), "this downturn is just a burp; everything will turn around."

I listened, I held. The burp became a volcanic eruption, a depletion of value so rapid, so complete, I was dizzy, swept away by the disaster.

No figs and feta for me. No parties at the villa, no grilled freshly-caught fish, no fresh herbs.

By the time I sold the stock, I could afford Saltines. That's it.

Then, the very day I sold the stock, it's value shot up 20 percent.

It is an old, predictable story.

So, anything I do, you do the opposite.

You'll have plenty of opportunities to use my index; I am compulsive, so I will continue to invest. I will post each transaction on the Web site to give you a heads-up so you can plan your portfolio accordingly.

I'll also include a recipe with each transaction. I eat to dull the pain.

In lean economic times, something relatively light is called for and I decide to work a variation on an oven-baked fish. In the spirit of making one losing investment after another, I try two versions of the recipe, on consecutive nights. Kathy is thrilled by the repetition - about as much as she is by my investments.

The first night I purchase a piece of halibut, uniformly thick to guarantee control in the cooking. I skin the fillet and season it with salt and pepper, then I rub a thick layer of paprika on one side of the fish.

I heat olive oil in a pan and in goes the fish. I sear the paprika-clad side of the fish, at the same time adding finely chopped onion, celery and red Bell pepper around the perimeter, salting the veggies liberally while they cook and topping with fresh-ground pepper. When the fish is browned on the one side, I take it from the pan, add a clove of minced garlic, some chopped flat leaf parsley and, using the oil in the pan, I make a thin roux with a touch of flour. Next, in goes some fish stock.

(Note: this is where the foodie magazines advise you to go to your "fish monger" and obtain the makings for homemade fish stock - heads, bones - which you simmer for hours then strain. The closest thing we have to a fish monger is a guy who violates state law concerning limits and brings you a wet sack full of trout heads. This won't do. Use clam juice instead.)

When the brew in the pan thickens a bit, I add a couple tablespoons of tomato puree, some crushed dried basil, some crushed dried rosemary and a couple tablespoons of sour cream. I adjust the seasonings, put the fish back in the oven-proof pan and pop it in a 375 oven for 15 to 20 minutes.

I serve the fish with a salad, steamed spinach with garlic, and couscous. The couscous is a perfect sop for the sauce.

This is nice. No losses here.

The next night, I try the recipe with an oilier fish: salmon. I slash myself skinning the fish and I am in a bad mood the rest of the night. I serve the fish with steamed broccoli, angel hair pasta with garlic butter and parsley, fresh-grated Parmesan, and warm French bread from that evil display at the grocery store - you know, the one where they put the fresh-baked bread 10 feet from the front door so its smell is the first thing that greets you when you enter the establishment. Satan came up with this marketing trick. And, I am weak.

The halibut wins, its flesh mild, acting as a complement to the sauce. The salmon fights a battle with the other ingredients - a tasty one, but the more aggressive salmon is best left for headier treatment.

Aggressive. Hmmmm, that reminds me. I remember my Uncle Jack's investment strategy: Aggressive. The man bought Pepsi when it first came out, accumulated a mess of oil industry stocks coming out of the depression that bought him a ranch in Jackson with a panoramic view of the Tetons.

Yeah, that's it ... I need to be aggressive. I will be aggressive!

In the mood to make a lot of money?

Watch what I do, and do the opposite. You can't lose.