Front Page

June 13, 2002
Area residents placed on fire evacuation alert

By John M. Motter

Staff Writer

A wildfire evacuation alert has been issued for all residents of Archuleta County.

The decision to declare the fire evacuation alert was made Monday following a meeting of local fire fighting officials, including Sheriff Tom Richards, Chief Warren Grams of the Pagosa Fire Protection District, and representatives of the U.S. Forest Service, Pagosa Ranger District.

"It's not a question of if, it's a question of when," said Richards, the chief fire official in the county. "We have homes all over the county surrounded by flammable trees and other growth, people in danger of losing their lives. If the forest bursts into flames, there won't be time to pick and choose. Forget about defending the home. We're ordering evacuation and we expect people to evacuate immediately, " said Richards, thinking ahead to what might happen if evacuation were ordered.

A number of methods will be used to notify citizens of the need to evacuate. Flyers are being printed that will be distributed throughout the community. The flyer will be inserted in copies of the SUN and announcements will be made over the radio.

When the time comes to evacuate, marked sheriff's vehicles will enter areas to be evacuated. Residents will hear three siren blasts and are expected to leave immediately.

Provision is being made to house evacuees in the Pagosa Springs High School.

"Everybody knows how dry it is," said Grams. "It makes sense to prepare, pack some bags with enough clothes for three or four days, take medication, make sure you take small pets with you, make arrangements to protect large animals, think about computer backup, take other things you need to save."

If possible, make prior arrangements to stay with friends or relatives and to house large animals, Grams suggested. Plans are underway to allow individuals to keep horses at the Archuleta County Fairgrounds.

Pagosa Springs is surrounded by subdivisions with houses and other buildings tucked among natural forest growth. Fire officials express special concern for the Aspen Springs area, especially the remote Unit 6 which has only one access road. Subdivision residents are urged to examine the relationship of their buildings to roads in the areas in which they are located and to pre-plan escape routes.

The fire evacuation alert is in addition to a ban on all open fires, including charcoal used for grilling, and a ban on all fireworks throughout the county.

On a statewide basis, Gov. Bill Owens has banned all outside open fires in Colorado and all unlicensed fireworks. An exception to the outside burning ban has been made for certain farmers who need to burn weeds from irrigation ditches in order to irrigate crops.

Fire danger unabated for Archuleta County

By John M. Motter

Staff Writer

A spectral shadow darkens Pagosa Country's western skyline, a shadow composed of smoke drifting eastward from the Missionary Ridge fire north of Durango, more than 60 miles distant from Pagosa.

The shadow serves as a warning that, at any instant, Archuleta County could experience a similar blazing inferno.

Through it all, the southwestern sun continues to bore down on Pagosa Country, shrinking water sources and expanding the already explosive wildfire danger.

Somehow, "Exceptional," the name used to describe the most explosive fire situation possible, seems inadequate as local fire fighters search for a word strong enough to convey the extremity of the danger.

"The way things are, it's not a question of if, it's a question of when," said Tom Richards, the Archuleta County sheriff and chief fire official.

Old-timers describe the tinder-dry conditions as the worst they can remember. Those who try to be more specific say the area is in the worst drought since 1978.

The San Juan Mountain snowpack is virtually melted, almost two months ahead of normal schedule.

Streamflow in the San Juan River as measured in town is down to about 63 cubic feet per second. Normal for this time of year is about 1,350 cubic feet per second. The May precipitation totals monitored at 85 automated telemetry sites located across Colorado are only 41 percent of average. May is the seventh consecutive month precipitation readings have been below average.

In the watersheds across southern Colorado, most streams are likely to produce less than 25 percent of their normal volumes this year.

Mindful of the drought and of the approximately 200,000 acres that have burned in Colorado since June 4, Gov. Bill Owens issued an executive order declaring a statewide disaster emergency due to the occurrence of and imminent threat of wildfires.

The same executive order bans open burning throughout Colorado and bans the sale and use of all fireworks.

Under the governor's order, open burning is defined as any outdoor fire including, but not limited to, campfires, warming fires, charcoal grill fires, and the use of any fireworks.

Under the governor's order, open burning does not include gas or charcoal grills located in private residences or fireplaces within buildings, professional commercial fireworks displays, and prescribed burning of ditches for pastures and crop lands.

Firefighting crews remain poised, charged with the mission of stamping out small wildfires before they rage beyond control.

Local firefighting resources have not been depleted as a result of being sent to battle huge fires rampaging through other parts of Colorado, including the Missionary Ridge fire.

Additional engines and crews have been brought to the Pagosa area, according to Bob Frye, fire management officer for the Pagosa Ranger District of the San Juan National Forest.

A strike helicopter with its crew is posted at Stevens Field, a 20-man, Hotshot firefighting crew from Lolo, Mont., is standing by locally, and more reinforcements are poised from Bayfield to the Utah border, Frye said.

The strategy is to extinguish any fire outbreak before it gets out of hand. Once a fire reaches the magnitude of the Missionary Ridge fire, Frye said, nothing can be done to stop it. Fire crews monitor the flanks, stay out of the path of the fire, and wait for an opportunity.

Consequently, elite firefighting crews remain separate from out-of-control conflagrations, kept ready to prevent additional fires from getting to that stage.

Local residents who wish to donate food, drink, or other help to those battling or affected by the Missionary Ridge Fire are encouraged to call the American Red cross at 259-5383.


Pagosan, bank lose $26,000 to scam

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

A Pagosa Springs man and his bank are short $26,000, victims of a scam ostensibly originating in Nigeria.

A second possible victim was saved when a bank employee recognized that the address to which she was preparing to send four $9,000 checks was the same as the one involved in the first incident.

Carl Smith, investigator with the Pagosa Springs Police Department, said the scam is nationwide but seems to be concentrating on people in smaller communities like Pagosa Springs.

There are several different types of tactics involved, from real estate transactions to pleas for help in getting secretly-hoarded money out of a foreign nation.

The scam which duped the Pagosa resident, Smith said, involved a story of a family death and governmental seizure of all the funds in an estate. The estate could be claimed only if the money could be transmitted out of the country to an American account and then returned to the family.

The Pagosa man contacted agreed to accept the money, then send it back from his own account.

Smith said the man received a $26,000 check, which later was determined to have been cloned from a check issued by a pipe and steel company in Ohio, and used it to open an account in the local bank. He then wrote a check for that amount to be sent to an address in Nigeria.

The mail portion of the scam apparently has been slowed, Smith said, but now the Internet is loaded with e-mail pleas for American financial involvement in foreign horror stories.

The local woman almost victimized, then saved by the bank employee, was contacted by e-mail. As a result of that kind of action, Smith said, the U.S. Secret Service has assigned a specific task force to the growing problem and they believe they know where the scam is originating but not who is involved.

Smith said the scam also victimized a Durango man who lost $215,000.

He urged that anyone who receives a letter or e-mail from anyone in Nigeria or any other foreign nation seeking involvement in monetary transfers to immediately decline or not answer.

And, he said, notify the police department immediately.

"We don't want anyone else victimized by these money-grabbing schemes," he said. "People sometimes seem too gullible. They need to be wary, on guard against anyone trying to access their bank account or credit card accounts."

"If you're not sure what you are receiving is a scam, call us," he said.

Water district directors face drought dilemma
By John M. Motter

Staff Writer

A week or so after imposing water rationing, directors of the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District perch precariously on the horns of dilemma.

The question is, will Level 1 rationing as it is now being practiced guarantee enough water to meet basic needs through the remainder of this year and next year as well, or should even more stringent rationing be mandated?

The short answer is, in the subdivisions west of town over the past week, water consumption exceeded the supply.

Water available for district consumers living in the subdivisions west of town is stored in five lakes located in the Pagosa Lakes collection of subdivisions, and includes water being pumped from the San Juan River south of town to a new treatment plant in the Vista subdivision.

Water users in town, immediately surrounding town, and living along U.S. 84 and U.S. 160 east of town, consume water treated by the Snowball water treatment plant. The Snowball treatment plant gets its water from the West Fork of the San Juan River.

The San Juan station south of town is pumping 2 million gallons of water 24 hours a day, seven days a week to the new treatment plant at Vista. When consumer demand from the Vista treatment plant is satisfied, water from the San Juan diversion is pumped into Lake Forest. Water from Lake Forest is pumped to Village Lake. The golf course, certain condominiums and time share units, and several other customers use untreated water from Village Lake for irrigation.

During the past week, demand for treated water from the Vista treatment plant averaged 1.3 million gallons per day. The plant pumped an average 16 to 17 hours a day. During the remaining hours of the day, water was pumped from the river to Lake Forest.

Even with additional water from the river, the following changes in lake levels were recorded.

Lake Hatcher dropped two inches from the previous week and contained 50 percent of usable capacity.

Stevens Lake remained at the same level as the previous week, at 55 percent of capacity.

Lake Forest dropped slightly from the previous week's level and is at 95 percent of capacity.

Village Lake dropped an inch and is at 40 percent of capacity.

Lake Pagosa remains at 58 percent of capacity.

As a water conservation measure, the district intends to keep Lake Forest full, its contents to be used for backup in the event the San Juan River goes dry. Discussion continues on a suggestion that Village Lake also be kept full as a source of backup water.

Driving the concern for maintaining backup water is the fear the coming winter and spring will be as dry as the past winter and spring. In that event, water from Lake Forest and Village Lake may be the only water available next summer.

Because Level 1 water rationing has only been in effect since June 1, district officials have not had time to determine the effectiveness of the restriction. Water levels and rationing requirements will be a continuing subject for consideration at the twice-monthly meetings of the board of directors.

Level 1 allows watering outside the home between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m. Residents with odd-numbered addresses water on odd-numbered days, residents with even-numbered addresses water on even-numbered days.

Odd numbered watering starts on the odd-numbered day and may be conducted anytime between 8 p.m. on that day until 8 p.m. the following morning. Likewise, even-number watering begins at 8 p.m. on the even-numbered day and may take place any time until 8 a.m. the following morning.

Complicating the water conservation issue has been a host of requests for special treatment. Most are being denied, especially if they involve individuals. Two, however, have been granted.

Nursery operators have been given special permission to water nursery stock outside of the 8 p.m.-8 a.m. restrictions. Nursery watering is done by hand and does not involve losses caused by evaporation.

A second concession was made to the Pagosa Springs Golf Club. The concession allows that organization to hand-water dry spots on golf course greens until 9 a.m., one hour beyond the mandatory morning cutoff of 8 a.m. Again, hand-watering avoids evaporative losses. In addition, Terry Carter, the greenskeeper, assured district directors that this option will save water when compared with the option of running all of the sprinklers a greater length of time.

"We are trying to keep from losing the greens," said David Flickwir, one of the owners of the course. "They would be very, very expensive to replace."

The district directors agreed to try to help save the greens.

The golf course is currently using less than 50 percent of the water it used in other years, Carter said. Tees and greens are being watered every other day. Of the fairways on three courses, only the fairways on the Piñon and Ponderosa 9-hole courses are being watered, and those only twice a week. Only tee boxes and greens are watered on the 9-hole Meadows course.

Looming in the future, if tighter water consumption restrictions are required, is the development of a rationale for determining how available water should be apportioned.

The district board conducted additional business Tuesday at their regular meeting.

The board learned recently approved general obligation bonds will be placed on the market June 24. The estimated average interest rate over the 20-year bond span is expected to be 4.89 percent. Repayment of the bonds based on the current taxable value of property in the bonded area is expected to boost mill levies 6.33 percent. Only district consumers in the areas receiving sewage services will be subject to the tax increase.

Assistant General Manager Gene Tautges reported that various pump purchases and other arrangements are underway to allow pumping of water from Lake Forest to the Vista treatment plant, pumping water from the treatment plant to Lake Hatcher, and increasing the delivery capability from the San Juan River to the Vista treatment plant from 2 million gallons a day to 3 million gallons a day.

Town plans celebration welcoming 2,000 Ride The Rockies bicyclists

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

Ride The Rockies is coming to Pagosa Springs Sunday and everyone is invited to the party in Town Park.

Food vendors galore will set up 2-8 p.m. Sunday for the "Fabulous Father's Day Food Fest!"

Free entertainment, to include a variety of local bands, begins at 4 p.m. with Rio Jazz. Shaken But Not Stirred takes the stage 5-6 p.m. followed by the Dutton Ditch Blues Band from 6-7 p.m. The Pagosa Hot Strings rounds out the evening of live music starting at 7 p.m. The Coors Brewing Company Beer Garden will be open 2-9 p.m. Proceeds will go to the Pagosa Springs Area Chamber of Commerce.

A total of 2,000 riders will descend on the town, cycling down Wolf Creek Pass, completing a 99-mile ride from Alamosa. They are expected to begin arriving around 10 a.m., coming west on U.S. 160 to Hot Springs Boulevard, north to Apache Street, then on to the Pagosa Springs High School.

A community lunch sponsored by the Pagosa Springs Athletic Boosters Club will be served noon-3 p.m. Sunday at the high school. The following morning, the Boosters will be back, offering a breakfast 4:30-8:30 a.m. Riders will then leave for Durango.

Limited parking for the events will be available at the Sports Complex on South 5th Street. The Pagosa Springs High School parking lot will be reserved for Ride The Rockies vehicles. Residents enjoying the fun are encouraged to park elsewhere.

The Alamosa to Pagosa Springs trek will be the first day for riders in a 489-mile tour that represents the first-ever loop course for the ride. From Pagosa, riders will have stopovers in Durango, Silverton, Montrose, Gunnison and Salida before returning to Alamosa June 22.


No precipitation, no hope but hope

By John M. Motter

Staff Writer

Another week has passed without a drop of rain splashing down in Pagosa Country. Forecasters expect no rain during the coming week.

Only 0.01 inches of precipitation have been measured here since April 27, a span of five weeks.

The San Juan River stream flow in Pagosa Springs is about 63 cubic feet per second. Normal stream flow for this time of year is about 1,350 cubic feet per second. The river peaked weeks ago. Normally, the river peaks about the first of July.

Virtually all of the snow in the higher mountains is melted, a condition not expected during ordinary years until July.

"Our only hope is for the monsoon season to begin," said Doug Baugh, a forecaster for the National Weather Service office in Grand Junction.

Today through Tuesday will be mostly sunny and dry, according to Baugh. High temperatures should range between 85 and 90 degrees, low temperatures between 45 and 55 degrees.

Conditions for monsoon rains almost exist, Baugh said, but they will change before producing moisture. A few minor, probably dry, disturbances could result from the condition.

That condition is a high pressure area over eastern New Mexico, according to Baugh. The problem is, the high is likely to move westward over Arizona, thereby blocking instead of helping the transfer of moist air from Mexico to the Colorado Rockies.

Precipitation during the summer monsoon season originates in the Gulf of Mexico, according to Baugh. The necessary tool for moving that precipitation from the Gulf of Mexico to the Rocky Mountains is a high pressure area over eastern New Mexico or western Texas. Winds circulate in a clockwise direction around a high pressure area.

Consequently, winds from a properly positioned high pressure area sweep across the Gulf picking up moisture that is carried westerly over Mexico, then north up the Continental Divide to the Colorado Rockies. Without the properly positioned high, the Gulf moisture moves in a westerly direction across Mexico, and never turns north.

Additional moisture reaches the Colorado Rockies if a low pressure area is located off Southern California at the same time the high pressure area is located in eastern New Mexico or western Texas. Because the winds around a low pressure area circulate in a counterclockwise direction, they add Pacific moisture to the Gulf moisture carried by the clockwise winds circling the high. The result is moisture from both the Gulf and the Pacific Ocean delivered to Pagosa Country.

Local high temperatures last week ranged between 76 and 87 degrees with an average high reading of 81 degrees. Low temperatures ranged between 36 and 42 degrees with an average low reading of 39 degrees.


Date High Low Precipitation

Type Depth Moisture

6/5 76 39 - - -

6/6 82 40 - - -

6/7 87 42 - - -

6/8 84 41 - - -

6/9 78 39 - - -

6/10 80 37 - - -

6/11 79 36 - - -

 Sports Page

Sheet of shale hampers high school track project

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

An unexpected sheet of shale is making things tougher than expected for contractors doing the underground work on the new track facility in Golden Peaks Stadium at Pagosa Springs High School.

Superintendent Duane Noggle told the school board Tuesday that the sheet of shale had to be pierced and partially removed to clear the way for excavation. He said that will require an additional 300 cubic feet of gravel fill.

A change order for the contract will be presented at the July board meeting. The additional cost, Noggle said, will run between $5,000 and $10,000.

At the same time, a cost-saving measure was approved which allowed destruction of the old concession stand-storage building.

Noggle said the construction project was moving swiftly until the shale was encountered, but the delay is minor and the project will be completed in time for football and soccer seasons, as was stipulated.

The project, Phase 2 of a long range development plan for the sports center, will include all necessary underground wiring for each track event station, water supply points, complete underground drainage, and the base surface for a full-length track.

The final phase, planned next year, will involve the final surfacing of the track and the necessary surface treatments for the various event stations.

In other sports-related actions Tuesday, the board approved recommendations by the administration and filled several coaching vacancies.

As had been expected by many in the community, veteran assistant coach Sean O'Donnell was named head football coach, succeeding Myron Stretton who resigned his teaching and coaching positions to take a job in the private sector.

The board also named Bob Lynch the new coach for the high school girls' basketball team. Lynch comes with a pedigree in the sport which includes his mother, Mamie, a member of the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame, and his father, Doug, once a mainstay of the Pagosa Springs town team.

Lynch coached the highly successful Pagosa Springs AAU girls squad earlier this year.

Named to replace Kathy Carter as varsity golf coach was Mark Faber. Renee Davis was approved as the new cheerleading coach, replacing Mable Barber, who relinquished the post "to seek new challenges."

The board also approved returning Rick Schur to his assistant coaching position for the varsity baseball team.


Pagosa boy wins hunter education competition

Five boys represented Pagosa Springs at the State Youth Hunter Education Competition in Alamosa June 8-9. The group included Joshua Trout, Matthew McFarland, Dillon Ward, Cole Kraetsch and Zane Kraetsch.

The boys competed against 60 others from across the state in archery, .22 rifle, muzzleloader, trap, orienteering test and course, a written test, a hunter education trail and a wildlife identification challenge.

Zane Kraetsch was named the state's overall champion in the Junior Division based on his cumulative score. He also took first place on the written test, second place in the .22 rifle competition and second place in the wildlife identification.

National competition will be held late July in Pennsylvania. This is a National Rifle Association sponsored annual event.


Power House basketball clinic

drawing a bevy of top coaches

The Power House Basketball Camp will mark its fourth year in Pagosa Springs July 21-25.

Most athletes familiar with the camp for youngsters in sixth through 12th grades know it for the talents and show put on by Joe Odhiambo, Guinness ball-handling record holder, and the hands-on coaching of former professional players Pete Caruso and Bay Forrest.

Others enjoy the 5-to-1 ratio of campers to coaches, or the home-cooked meals prepared each lunch and dinner by Peggy Forrest.

But, this year's camp will also provide the best congregation of quality and experienced coaches since its start in 1999. Along with the three already mentioned, instructors will include All-American and All-Canadian players, and college and high school coaches from New York, California, Arizona and Canada.

"We realize most people don't have any idea just what an opportunity it is for a small town like Pagosa to have this caliber of coaching talent available to our teens," said Bay Forrest. "These aren't coaches who show up for 30-minute instructional time. They're with our campers from 9 a.m.-10 p.m. every day of camp. Our coaches are all given $250 for the week, which doesn't even cover travel expenses for many of them.

"They do this because they love kids and believe in the philosophy we emphasize - to become the best athletes you can be while striving for Christian character development and sportsmanship."

The camp offers a $30 scholarship to all Pagosa residents entering sixth grade or higher. Students are divided into four divisions of junior and senior high school boys and girls.

Registration deadline is July 1, with a limit of 125 total campers.

"We have registrations coming in from New York, Tennessee, Louisiana, Texas, Arizona and New Mexico, so we encourage Pagosa residents to get their deposits in as soon as possible," Forrest said.

For more information call Joel Arrington at 264-4403 or 264-9345 or visit the Web site at

Annual Division of Wildlife fishing derby June 26

By Chris Corcoran

SUN Columnist

The Colorado Division of Wildlife and Pagosa Springs parks and recreation department will sponsor a Pathway to Fishing program starting at 9 a.m. June 26. The program will include a series of learning stations on fish biology and fish habitat classes.

The Division of Wildlife host will be Larry Garcia.

Larry will provide a free rod and reel for all children 4-16, so bring your bait and try to catch one of the many tagged fish in order to win a prize. There will be contests for biggest fish, smallest fish, and a costume contest with one male and one female winner. Costumes should reflect the theme of Huck Finn and Becky Thatcher.

Lunch will be served at 11:45 a.m. with gourmet hot dogs, if there is such a thing, cooked and served by recreation department staff. There is no charge.

The events will take place at the River Center Park ponds on the east side of the downtown area.

Skate park invite

All residents are welcome to come to South Pagosa Park on South 8th Street at 12:30 p.m. Saturday for a free lunch, and music provided by the Chaotic Melodies. The goal of the luncheon is to educate the public on what the future of skating in Pagosa will bring.

Parents, bring your skaters to the park for food, fun and music; get involved and help provide a place for the young ones to skate.

Call Jonathan King at 946-5802 for more information.


Town Park will soon be watered by a new raw water feed, directly from the San Juan River.

This will ease our use of treated water, utilizing water rights and the water that would ultimately end up running downriver and past us, with no use whatsoever for our parks or town. We are excited about the use of raw water and the conservation of our most valuable resource.

Skills Challenge

The Rockies Skills Challenge for baseball players 6-13 will be held at 11:30 a.m. Saturday at the sports complex. Any players interested in participating should contact the department at 264-4151, Ext. 232, or show up before the start of the program.

Softball tourney

The American Legion softball tournament will begin June 22. Teams interested in participating in this program should contact Julian Archuleta at 264-4309 for further information.


Fun Day Rodeo resumes June 23

The 2002 Pagosa Springs Fun-Day Rodeo Series has scheduled events June 23, July 21, Aug. 18 and Sept. 15 at the Red Ryder Rodeo grounds.

Contestant age as of June 23 will determine the age class participation group.

Events for those 5 and under are goat tagging, barrel racing, pole bending, flag race and keyhole race.

In the 6-8 and 9-11 age groups the events will be goat tying, barrel racing, pole bending, flag race and breakaway roping.

Those in the 12-14, 15-19 and 20 and over age groups will compete in goat tying or steer stopping, barrel racing, pole bending, breakaway roping, and flag race or ribbon roping.

Entries open at 11 a.m. each competition day and all 5-and-under events will be run first. Entry fee is $4 per event or $15 per day.

Buckles will be awarded to the series high-point winners in each age group, with additional prizes awarded down to sixth place. Ribbons will be awarded at the end of each rodeo for the top six places.

Contestants must participate in at least three rodeos to be eligible for year-end prizes.

For more information, call Randy Talbot at 731-5203.


Mary E. Leonard

Mary E. "Betty" Leonard, 77, died June 5, 2002, at Four Corners Health Care Center in Durango, Colo., of natural causes.

Cremation was planned at Hood Mortuary Crematory in Durango. No immediate services are planned. Private interment of ashes will occur in Pagosa Springs at a later date.

Mrs. Leonard was born Jan. 23, 1925 in Pagosa Springs, the daughter of Harry and Eliza Speelman. She married George F. Leonard on Dec. 30, 1944 in Aztec, N.M.

Mrs. Leonard was a very talented woman who won numerous awards at county and state fairs for cooking and needlework. She was also an avid gardener. She donated hundreds of handmade, knitted, stuffed animals to children through the Durango police and fire departments, the Children's Hospital in Denver, the Shrine Hospital for Children in Salt Lake City, Utah, the Shrine Burn Hospital in Galveston, Texas, and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Hospital in Seattle, Wash. She will be greatly missed by everyone who knew her.

She is survived by her husband, George; sons Gary of Pueblo, Colo., and John of Durango; a grandson, Kyle Leonard of Bozeman, Mont., and a granddaughter, Kelly Knight of Pueblo. She was preceded in death by a daughter, Mary Ann Leonard.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be sent to the Alzheimer's Association in her name at 701 Camino del Rio, Suite 115A, Durango, CO 81302.

Dr. Hugo McGraw

Dr. Hugo Richard (Spike) McGraw, 89, died at Pine Ridge Extended Care Center in Pagosa Springs June 5, 2002.

Dr. McGraw had moved from Mesa, Ariz., to Pagosa Springs in 1998.

Born Oct. 2, 1912 to John and Ella Heydenveich McGraw, he was married to Frances A. Witt in Parkersburg, W. Va., on April 3, 1944. He held a bachelor's degree, a master's degree and a Ph.D. in chemistry and worked as a research chemist for Monsanto Co.

He was an active member of St. George's Episcopal Church in Dayton, Ohio, and most recently, of St. Patrick's Episcopal Church in Pagosa Springs. He was a member of the Masonic Lodge in Parkersburg, W.Va., Theta Chi Fraternity and the American Chemical Society. He enjoyed horseback riding, lapidary, family vacations and working in the yard.

Dr. McGraw was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Frannie, on Feb. 2, 1998.

Survivors are two sons, Dick McGraw of Highlands Ranch, and Bob McGraw of Bayfield; two grandsons, Michael and Colin McGraw of Bayfield; a granddaughter, Lauren McGraw, of Highlands Ranch; and grandsons Andrew and Brendan McGraw of Highlands Ranch.

Visitation and prayer of dedication with the Rev. Annie Ryder was at Grace Chapel of Pagosa Funeral Options June 5, 2002. A memorial service will be held later this month at St. Patrick's Episcopal Church in Pagosa Springs with Rev. Ryder officiating. Interment will be at David's Cemetery in Kettering, Ohio.

Memorial contributions may be directed to St. Patrick's Episcopal Church or the local hospice organization.

 Inside The Sun

Community Center looking for boost from sale of bricks

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

The Grand Opening for the Pagosa Springs Community Center is 57 days away.

After years of planning and dreaming, and nearly two years of construction, the center will house separate areas for seniors and teens, a large multipurpose room for recreation, performances and large gatherings, a computer center, arts and crafts center, conference rooms, kitchens and administrative offices.

In May, the Pagosa Springs Community Facilities Coalition started one of its last big fund-raisers to help close the project off financially - an engraved brick sale. The bricks, being sold for $50 each, will be personalized with laser engraving and set in place at the entrances to the new center. Each 4-by-8 inch brick has room for three lines of engraving at 20 characters each. Periods and spaces count as characters. Larger bricks, 8-by-8, cost $150 and allow for six lines of 20 characters each.

Copies of order forms for the bricks will be handed out to all customers at Alco for about a week starting June 21. Order forms and examples of the engraved bricks are also available at Town Hall.

Mercy Korsgren, Community Center coordinator, said about 50 bricks have been sold so far. Space is available for 4,000. If the community gets behind the sale of the bricks, the fund-raiser could generate as much as $138,000 to put toward final construction costs.

All orders for bricks must be in by June 20. Checks should be made payable to PSPFC and can be mailed to: PO Box 3187, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.

Community Center looking for boost from sale of bricks

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

The Grand Opening for the Pagosa Springs Community Center is 57 days away.

After years of planning and dreaming, and nearly two years of construction, the center will house separate areas for seniors and teens, a large multipurpose room for recreation, performances and large gatherings, a computer center, arts and crafts center, conference rooms, kitchens and administrative offices.

In May, the Pagosa Springs Community Facilities Coalition started one of its last big fund-raisers to help close the project off financially - an engraved brick sale. The bricks, being sold for $50 each, will be personalized with laser engraving and set in place at the entrances to the new center. Each 4-by-8 inch brick has room for three lines of engraving at 20 characters each. Periods and spaces count as characters. Larger bricks, 8-by-8, cost $150 and allow for six lines of 20 characters each.

Copies of order forms for the bricks will be handed out to all customers at Alco for about a week starting June 21. Order forms and examples of the engraved bricks are also available at Town Hall.

Mercy Korsgren, Community Center coordinator, said about 50 bricks have been sold so far. Space is available for 4,000. If the community gets behind the sale of the bricks, the fund-raiser could generate as much as $138,000 to put toward final construction costs.

All orders for bricks must be in by June 20. Checks should be made payable to PSPFC and can be mailed to: PO Box 3187, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.

School district seeks $444,054 education program grant

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

A grant application asking for $444,054 under programs in the No Child Left Behind Act was approved Tuesday by the board of education of Archuleta School District 50 Joint.

The grant, written for the board by former superintendent Terry Alley, would fund six teachers under Title 1 at a cost of $315,556 - one teacher at each grade level in grades one through six, including staff development costs, administrative costs and supplies.

Under Title 2, it would provide $95,499 by adding two teachers in the elementary school to reduce class size; and $9,429 for technology development, including new computers for the junior high Accelerated Reading Program; $11,369 under Title 4 for a student survey and school-to-home liaison as part of the Safe and Drug Free School program; and $12,191 under Title 5 for school-to-home liaison in the Innovative Programs category.

Nancy Schutz, district business manager, told the board the amount requested is up $100,000 from what was received last year.

On another financial front, the board approved the annual budget previewed in the SUN last week, after Schutz summarized the document for directors. She noted the budget is based on an anticipated total district enrollment of 1,582, an increase of only eight students from the closing enrollment last school year.

She said the budget reflects a salary increase of 5-6 percent under the fair share policy with a $1,050 monthly base and a $28,650 annual base.

Asked by director Russ Lee how the scale compares to other districts in the area, Schutz said, "It's high, we're very competitive. Only at the high end is Durango higher."

Superintendent Duane Noggle said the district, last year, ranked in the top four statewide in salary base classification based on enrollment.

Schutz told the board that one financial column to be watched closely is the insurance fund. "Premiums went up 8 percent in January," she said, "and they may have to be increased again. Other districts I've checked have reported 25-30 percent hikes."

Lee urged Schutz and others board members to keep an eye on the capital reserve fund. He noted it stands at nearly $1.4 million now, but more than $300,000 of that is earmarked for sports complex improvements.

"With the costs of education rising all around us," he said, "I'd like to see us gradually build that reserve to the $2 million mark. Other schools are cutting programs because they didn't plan far enough in advance. I don't want to see that happen here."

Schutz observed it is always possible to transfer more into the reserve fund, particularly the unused appropriations at the end of the school district's fiscal year.

"But we have to remember," she said, "that we can move money into capital reserve from the general fund, but we cannot move it back. The capital reserve has very specific allowable uses."

Lee said the public should know that "Nancy has done a great job with our budget, again. I couldn't find a single spot where we would overspend or underspend for a desired result. We know she's good because other school districts come here to find out how to do a budget."

Finally, Schutz told the board she'd have an end-of-fiscal-year review ready for the August board meeting, including any recommended additional transfers to the capital reserve fund.

Vandals strike auction items

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

Three items readied for the annual Power House auction were vandalized in the early morning hours Saturday.

Brian Gronewoller, Power House director, said tools from a grill were apparently used to break glass in a reproduction antique secretary and a pecan china hutch valued at over $1,000 each. The tools were then tossed into nearby bushes. All the items were being stored under a tent at the football field located across Hermosa Street from Town Park. Volunteers sleeping in a tent nearby didn't hear the vandals.

When the vandalism was discovered, Power House staff called Matt Aragon who came down to the Power House on his day off to fix the glass. It was repaired by auction time. Both pieces of furniture sold well thanks to his hard work, Gronewoller said.

At the end of the day, the auction raised over $28,000 for the Christian youth center.

It was the first time in seven years organizers of the fund-raising event experienced problems. The Pagosa Springs Police Department is investigating the incident.


Schools challenge students with math program

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

A new mathematics program will debut in the fall for students in the Archuleta School District 50 Joint system.

It involves a tough training period for teachers, including out-of-town workshops to familiarize them with the steps required to make the courses work.

Members of the teaching staff at each program level came to the board of education Tuesday, pressing for approval of the math curriculum and the new series of textbooks.

Larry Lister, junior high school principal, chaired a faculty committee which devised the new program and designed it to dovetail with new state standards, particularly those applicable to CSAP testing.

Lister told the board the committee had closely examined district programs and compared them to others. "What we found," he said, "was a program based on problem solving but not relating that to actual thinking and justification of answers."

He said the committee examined the Math Trailblazers Program used in Durango schools and found it requires more reading and writing in understanding and applying mathematical principles.

The committee recommended that program for elementary school classes and a developmentally related system called Connected Math for the intermediate and junior high schools.

Mary Helen Cammack, a fourth-grade teacher and committee member, said the program will require a lot of work with parents, letting them know how the curriculum will change, what to expect in the way of questions from their children, how the new textbooks will work.

"We're all going to be learning at the same time," she said. "It may take three or four years to fully implement the theories embodied in the texts, but in the long run we'll produce math students much more fundamentally grounded in reading, solving and explaining problems.

"This will involve more than just putting an answer on paper," she said. "It will force the children to think, to analyze data and to organize facts in a logical manner to reach a solution. And, they'll have to explain how the answer they arrive at was achieved."

Another elementary school teacher in the audience, Muriel Buckley, told the board, "We expect parental support to come slowly. They won't understand what is happening. It won't be the kind of math they remember. They'll look at the first part of the book and wonder what we're doing. But the longer the children are involved, the more the parents will understand where the program is going."

"It will be a real learning for everyone," said Cammack, "the students, the parents and the teachers."

At the high school level, said math teacher Kyle Canty, the program will be called "Mathematics: Modeling Our World." It will include the theories initiated at the lower grades and add material on both applications and modeling; change some standard content (statistics, discrete math, probability); call for more hands-on activities and cooperative learning, and more use of graphic calculators and computers.

Canty said the process will move more toward the CSAP-type questions with open-ended assessments.

The goals, he said, are to provide familiarity and facility with mathematical operations, develop higher-order thinking skills, and develop the skill that makes mathematics valuable: the ability to transfer ideas from one context to another, to make connections.

Canty said teachers at the high school will try to help students develop the ability to generate multiple possibilities from a single setting - to raise alternative assumptions for consideration; that it will involve intellectual risk-taking to prove or disprove a point, to explore the possibilities of a situation without first knowing how things will turn out. The approach will allow students to propose ideas, explain why they are reasonable in terms of the assumptions which led to them, and revise assumptions and conclusions after evaluating them using agreed-upon criteria.

He said teachers and administrators at each class level will write letters to parents explaining the new program and advising them what will be expected of their students.

"A big key to our teaching," Canty said, "will be allowing students to explore possible solutions, to determine which is the best, and to defend, in writing, their choice."

In the end, he added, "we expect to produce students with a higher order of thinking, with skills we now lack in the program, and with an ability to understand and defend decisions in the context of real problems."

The board approved the new program unanimously and agreed to have teachers attend workshops - depending on grade level - in either Chicago or Dayton, Ohio, this summer to prepare for the program introduction.

July 15 is last date to register for Aug. 13 primary

By John M. Motter

Staff Writer

July 15 is the last day for unregistered voters in Colorado to register in order to be eligible to vote in the Aug. 13 primary election.

In order to register, one must be citizen of the United States, be at least 18 years old on the date of the next election, have lived in Colorado at least 30 days, and have lived in the current precinct at least 30 days.

Persons uncertain of registration status should call the Archuleta County clerk's office at 264-5633.

June 4 was the last day for filing candidate petitions for the primary election. This election year, no candidates for office in Archuleta County have succeeded in qualifying for county office through the petition process.

A number of potential candidates announced earlier this year that they intended to follow the petition process. Several picked up the necessary forms from June Madrid, the county election official. Only Larry Bass, an announced candidate for county sheriff as a Republican, returned the forms.

Bass' petition contained 496 signatures. A check of the signatures by Madrid reduced that number to 357 qualified signatures. Consequently, Madrid certified that Bass did not receive the appropriate number of signatures.

The number of signatures needed by Bass was 414, according to Madrid. The number needed is 20 percent of the total votes cast in the last party primary race for the office of sheriff. That number was 2,073.

Certain write-in and unaffiliated opportunities remain for candidates to try to win a county office this election year.

July 8 is the last day to file an unaffiliated candidate nomination petition. The name of an unaffiliated candidate successfully completing the petition process will be placed on the general election ballot.

Sept. 6 is the last day for a write-in candidate to file an affidavit of intent for the general election. Such a candidate will have a write-in slot on the ballot and be credited with any votes received, but will not have their name on the ballot. A write-in candidate may be a member of any party or unaffiliated.

The only county office with a race providing voters a choice in a primary election is that of treasurer where incumbent Traves Garrett and challenger Pamela Cundiff Eaton collide. Both were selected as primary candidates at the Republican Party county assembly.

The remainder of the Republican county ticket was also picked at the county assembly. Since those candidates have no Republican opponents, they will be unopposed on the primary ballot.

Republican candidates for county office, all incumbents, are: sheriff - Tom Richards, county commissioner from District 3 - Gene Crabtree, county clerk and recorder - June Madrid, county assessor - Keren Prior, county treasurer - Traves Garrett and Pamela Cundiff Eaton, county coroner - Carl Macht, county surveyor - Dave Maley.

Only one candidate for county office has been chosen by the Democratic Party. Mamie Lynch was tabbed at the Democratic county assembly to run for county commissioner from District 3. Lynch is unopposed on the Democratic ticket. She will oppose Crabtree on the Nov. 5 general election ballot.

Voting this year is being conducted at voting precinct sites, as opposed to years when elections were conducted by mail ballot only.


School Board appoints Carol Feazel to vacant seat

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

When she moved out of the district from which she was elected, Carol Feazel resigned her position on the Archuleta School District 50 Joint school board.

That was in April.

Then, in May, the board approved redistricting which moved Randall Davis, the board president, into the district Feazel had served.

That left an opening on the board, and guess who now lives in the district where the opening occurred?

Right. Carol Feazel.

With that in mind, and praising her past service, Davis told the board Tuesday, "She's done a great job for the district and the people she represents. I think we need her back."

On a motion by Russ Lee, seconded by Jon Forrest, the board appointed Feazel to the vacant seat and she will return to the board table for the July 9 meeting.

Feazel has been the board's liaison to the Colorado Association of School Boards and is expected to retain that duty upon her return.

In other personnel action Tuesday, after a 90-minute executive session, the board accepted the resignation of bus driver Kathy Gaskins and agreed to contracts with Alicia O'Brien as a high school math teacher, Casey Ketchum as a first-grade teacher, Donna Hudson as a second-grade teacher, Marty Borges as an elementary resource teacher, Angela Wilson as junior high language arts teacher and Pam Levonius as junior high reading teacher.

At the same time, the board agreed to an administrative recommendation to transfer Justin Cowan from sixth-grade technology teacher to junior high resource teacher, and Scott White from junior high social studies to sixth-grade technology.

The appointments leave one teacher vacancy, a junior high social studies position. Principal Larry Lister said he is currently advertising the position.

Pagosa begins revamping sign ordinance

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

It's a sign of the times. After more than 20 years on the books, the Pagosa Springs sign ordinance is getting a facelift.

Chris Bentley, town planner, said the current ordinance, with over 60 pages, is "user hostile" instead of user friendly. "It's guaranteed to confuse anybody looking at it," she said.

For instance, the current ordinance still bans using trademarks on signs. That just doesn't fly in a world full of corporate images and chain stores, Bentley said. "What is McDonald's if it's not a trademark?"

The focus of signage and its impact on views has also changed over the past 20 years, she said, moving to a "less is more" standard. The idea in the rewrite will be to strike a balance between beauty and uncluttered views and the need for advertising.

Sign size, allowable square footage and advisory sign guidelines will all be topics of discussion in revamping the ordinance, a process that's set to begin in July.

A citizens' advisory committee has been appointed to help staff draft the changes. Besides Bentley, members of the advisory committee include: Angela Atkinson, a downtown business owner; Medray Carpenter, who's involved in real estate; Caz Cazedessus, a local resident; a not-yet-named member of the Chamber of Commerce board of directors; Stan Holt, town planning commission member; Roger Horton, Realtor and leasing agent; and Steve Schwartz, representing local nonprofits.

The goal is to have a rewritten ordinance ready for a vote by town trustees in September or October.

Anyone with comments or suggestions on the rewrite of the sign ordinance should call Bentley at Town Hall, 264-4151, Ext. 235.

Drought takes splash out of Republican picnic

By John M. Motter

Staff writer

Saturday's annual picnic was a grand party for the Archuleta County Grand Old Party, a time of feasting, fun and the raising of funds.

A bit of the splash disappeared when plans for a dunking booth were canceled because of water rationing.

"It takes about 400 gallons of water to run a good dunking booth," said Joanne Hanson, Central Committee chairwoman. "In support of the water conservation effort, we decided to throw wet sponges instead."

In the end, the Republicans neither dunked nor sponged as gusty winds buffeted the crowd on an otherwise sunny and pleasant day.

About 100 party enthusiasts showed up in Town Park for the annual celebration, according to Hanson. In addition to county Republican elected officials, candidates and central committee members, park benches were graced by Mark Larson, of Cortez, representing District 59 in the Colorado House of Representatives, and Kay L. Alexander, of Montrose, representing District 58 in the House.

Larson is seeking re-election. Alexander is challenging for the the District 6 Senate seat.

Featured speaker, Mark Mar-tinez, chairman of the Colorado Republican National Hispanic Assembly, pointed out minorities constitute a significant and growing percentage of the voting populace.

There are currently 32 million Hispanics in the United States, according to Martinez, and that number will grow to 97 million by 2050. Minority numbers are especially high in states with the highest electoral vote, Martinez said.

Hispanics and Asians practice values espoused by the Republican Party, Martinez said, and consequently are of great importance to the party's future.

An auction shortened by gusty wind ended the program. About $1,090 was raised. The money is used to help Republican candidates.

The Archuleta County Republican Central Committee directory includes Ross Aragon, Mason Carpenter, Joanne Hanson, Linda Delyria, Darrell Cotton, Lewis Day, Jerry Fields, Steve Theys, Steve Orr, Richard Hillyer, Jerry Smith, Gordon McIver, George Muirhead, Jon K. Ross, Charles W. Stanfill, Mary Ann Stewart, Pat Ullrich, Rhonda Ward, Gene Crabtree, William M. Downey, Hollis Ken Fox, Carl R. Macht, Dave Maley, Keren Prior and Tom Richards.

Pseudoephedrine targeted in string of Pagosa thefts

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

On Saturday, several boxes of cold medicine were stolen from Jackisch Drug Store in downtown Pagosa. The over-the-counter drug contained pseudoephedrine hydrochloride, a component of an illegal street drug, methamphetamine.

According to Pagosa Springs police reports, it's the second time Jackisch Drug has been hit in the last month and a half. Apparently, in the latest incident, one person entered the store to distract an employee while another suspect stole the merchandise.

Similar thefts have occurred during the last three months at the Everyday convenience store on the east side of the downtown area and at the west City Market store, police investigator Carl Smith said. All together, over 70 boxes of medicine containing pseudoephedrine hydrochloride have been reported stolen.

Besides being used to make methamphetamine, pseudoephedrine hydrochloride can also be ground up and snorted like cocaine, the suspected use in this case, according to Smith. The thefts remain under investigation.

West Nile Virus expected in state this summer

The Colorado Department of Agriculture has prepared its laboratory to test for a new disease slowly moving toward the Western United States.

West Nile Virus, which affects both animals and humans, was first diagnosed in the U.S. in a crow in New York City and has been found in more than 25 states during the past three years.

"All indicators tell us that the disease will eventually be here," said Wayne Cunningham, state veterinarian at the Colorado Department of Agriculture. "Since the question is when will it get here, we're preparing ourselves as quickly as possible."

During the past six months, the department's Rocky Mountain Regional Animal Health Lab has been adapting its capabilities to include testing for West Nile Virus. The lab is now offering the testing for a fee of $4.75 per sample, with results within 48 hours.

"We wanted to offer local testing because of the movement of the virus and believed this service is important for the state veterinarian's office to provide to our equine industry," said Richard Forde, lab director. Previously, horse owners had to send samples to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Fort Collins for this testing, which is an Immunoglobulin M antibody capture enzyme-linked immunsorbent assay. In experimental studies, infected horses usually start producing detectable Immunoglobulin M antibody 7 to 10 days after infection.

West Nile Virus can cause an inflammation of the brain and is transmitted by mosquitoes that infect people and animals. Although both humans and animals have died from the disease, most infections do not cause any illness. Horses infected with the virus do not transmit it to humans or other animals. Clinical symptoms seen in infected horses include stumbling, lack of coordination, weakness of the limbs or partial paralysis.

A key to prevention for horse owners is vaccinating their animals prior to the virus' arrival to Colorado. Although it does not provide a guarantee on immunity, it greatly increases the horse's chances of fighting the disease, said Cunningham.

Another measure is reducing the animal's exposure to mosquitoes. One option is to remove water sources that serve as breeding areas for mosquitoes. In addition, keep horses in housed areas during the mosquitoes feeding times, which is typically early in the morning and evening. Mosquitoes will not acquire the disease by feeding on an infected horse but are the ones that spread it to all susceptible species.

The laboratory is offering the testing Monday through Wednesday on equine serum. Samples must be sent to CDA-RMRAHL, 2331 W. 31st Ave., Denver, CO 80211. For more information on West Nile Virus testing or other services offered, contact Richard Forde or Tiffany Kirkbride at (303) 477-0049.

Vaccine now available

Area veterinarians now have West Nile Virus vaccine available, though no inoculations have yet been given and the disease has not appeared in Colorado.

It is suspected the disease is carried as much by migratory birds as by mosquitoes, and most experts believe the birds will deliver the disease into Colorado this year as they migrate northward looking for food and water.

Local vets contacted cite the fact most infections do not cause any disease but can weaken systems, making animals more prone to injury if they fall.

The vaccine is available at Elk Park Animal Hospital, $21 per vaccination, and San Juan Veterinary Service, (an aide confirmed availability but not cost data).



June 13, 2002

 Not road rage

Dear Editor:

My June 6 letter was titled "Road Rage." The title assigned by you to my letter of June 6 was irrelevant to the subjects covered in the letter, thus confusing to the readers. The title I assigned to the letter was "Ruts, Butts, Nuts," which covered the elements addressed in the letter.

The day the SUN was delivered, work began on Meadows, Buttress and South Pagosa, so I want to thank commissioner Ecker and the road crews for their efforts - though, as of this writing, it seems to be only half-finished.

From information I have obtained from Aspen Springs sources, the methods currently being utilized for our deplorable roads are being wasted.

The mag chloride applied over a light application of water apparently is the problem. A heavy, soaking layer of moisture should be applied before any mag chloride application. I understand that the county is having problems obtaining water for these projects, so we evidently have more problems.

On June 7, on my way back from Durango, I was searching for the fire ban sign that had just been "posted" at the Archuleta County line sign. If I had not been notified that it was supposed to be there, I would have missed it completely.

The sign was sitting on the ground, a Forest Service relic approximately 2 feet by 2 feet that only said "No Campfires." It is completely inadequate for our current conditions. And, the morning of June 10, I was notified by a friend that a different sign had been posted at the same location, still at ground level, that said "Fire Ban." It was a different color, and still inadequate.

Guess you just can't please a gadfly.


Mojie Adler

Waste of water

Dear Editor:

Monday, June 10, I was on my way to the office at 7:30 a.m. and spotted a high arcing water cannon spraying water on the golf course next to U.S. 160. I was totally outraged by this blatant waste of water. Surely, when the citizens of this community are being asked to be as water conservative as possible, watering golf courses should be the first to cease.

Barbara Blackburn

(Editor's note: At present, the golf course is being watered with supplies of untreated water allocated by the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District, not drawing on treated, domestic water resources. Watering on nine of 27 holes, on the Meadows course, is currently restricted to tee boxes and greens only.)

No rules or regs

Dear Editor

It is nice to see that the county commissioner up for re-election is staying consistent in his plan for Archuleta County. He is very consistent in his efforts to get rid of all rules and regulations that could possibly slow down or stop someone from having to do the right thing the right way. His plan seems to be - do whatever you want, whenever and wherever you want to do it. Must be a variation of his old "chairman's rules."

Let's see: The people of Archuleta County, through a lot of work and time, developed a community plan to make sure that growth and development would be done correctly. But Mr. Crabtree is cited in the newspaper as launching a "lengthy attack on the planning department staff for not making it easier for developers." I think he took the same stance about the oil and gas drilling several months ago. The planning department is only trying to do its job, and they certainly are not getting any help or leadership from our commissioner.

It seems that everybody but Mr. Crabtree can see that without rules and regulations we are heading for some very difficult times in Archuleta County. This year, with the water shortage and fire threat, we finally have everybody's attention to the need for planned growth. Well, almost everybody.

Jim Knoll

Help with fire

Dear Editor:

The night of May 20 at midnight hour, our friend Squeaky Rivas happen to be in town. She saw a fire behind my garage and reported it to dispatch.

I live in the 100 block of South 6th Street. The fire had started on the southwest end of the creek by the San Juan River. The fire was started by a cigarette that someone threw off into the willow and dead grass at the south end of the Riverwalk trail.

Thank God the fire department crew stopped the fire.

We were not home the night the fire started. I, Frank Martinez, and Lorraine Martinez had to take my mother-in-law Fannie Romero to the hospital that night. She was having chest and right arm pain. Fannie Romero is feeling much better now.

I would like to give the fire department a big thank you for putting the fire out that night. Also, I would like to thank my friends who were throwing buckets of water on the fire.

Frank Martinez

Unfit to vote

Dear Editor,

I'm distraught after reading letters in last week's SUN. I've learned that because I'm not loyal to a certain political party, that I am unfit to vote; because I've been a member of an organization created to protect my First Amendment rights, as odious as they may seem to some, I'm a possible terrorist.

I'm now afraid that the two Republicans and one Democrat I'm supporting might ask me to withdraw my support because I'm not "pure." I'm almost in tears for having believed President Eisenhower sponsoring the ACLU was designed to counter another Joseph McCarthy.

Please, I beg you, don't let him stone me.

Lee Sterling

A family's thanks

Dear Editor:

My family recently went through quite an ordeal with our youngest son, Truman. When he was one month old, we discovered a mass growing on his head. We took him to the Pagosa Family Medicine Center where he saw Dr. Piccaro. After a series of tests, it was decided the mass should be removed. Surgery was performed at Denver Children's Hospital. The morning after the mass was removed, the neurologist who performed the surgery ordered us to take our son for another CT scan of his head.

As a parent, I cannot begin to explain what a terrifying moment that was for us. The wait for test results was like an eternity. I walked through the halls of Children's Hospital and everywhere I looked, I saw other families, each going through a crisis of their own. I saw how illnesses in children don't discriminate. I saw sick children of every size and race. I felt angry and sad and very confused. I asked God to give me strength and to have mercy on my child. I realized how similar my family was to some of the others. I wondered why us? Why any of them?

Truman's mass was benign. It was wonderful news. We walked out of the hospital that day, and hoped to never look back. Truman healed nicely and was soon back to normal. Three months after the first mass was removed, another began growing. That mass was also removed and benign. Three months after the second one was removed, I discovered what I thought was another mass. After another scan, we discovered the third mass was just a little fluid. It was quite a relief.

I would like everybody in our community to know how lucky we are to have Dr. John Piccaro living here in Pagosa Springs. He did everything he could to ensure our son got the medical treatment he needed. He kept us informed and was completely honest with us. I trust him, wholeheartedly, with the health of my children. I have a great deal of respect for him as both a doctor, and as a human being. I would like to thank him, and Peggy for everything they did for our sweet Truman. Thank you John Piccaro, you are an extraordinary doctor. It wasn't always easy being patient, but we always knew that you were doing your best for our Tru. We will always be grateful to you.

The experience we went through with our son made me realize how much I'd taken for granted. Our family is one of the lucky ones. Our child doesn't have cancer. There are many parents out there who aren't quite as lucky. I'd like to remind every parent in our community to take the time to hug their kids and to thank God for their health. There is no greater joy in this world, than just to know your child is healthy.


Suzette Maes Walkup

 Business News

Ron Copple owns and operates Foundation Stabilizer Co. providing the Road Shield™ system to deal with dust problems on roads, driveways and parking lots.

Road Shield™ fills the gap between continuing to haul rock and putting down asphalt. It provides a smooth, water resistant, dust-free surface for a fraction of the cost of asphalt, with no dust or rock kicked up by tires.

The process involves a nonpolluting, nonhazardous treatment, clear in color unless the customer has color added. The treatment is claimed to be more effective reducing dust than conventional mag chloride applications. Road Shield™ can also be used for soil erosion and dust treatment on banks and open fields.

Foundation Stabilizer Co. takes phone calls at 731-6132, 8 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday through Saturday. The fax number is 731-5834.


Too much at stake

The danger is obvious. Tuesday evening, smoke hung in the air to the north and west of Pagosa Springs, smoke created by a large wildland fire on Missionary Ridge, near Durango. State and national news broadcasts brought word of Colorado's largest wildland fire, in the mountains southwest of Denver. Another major fire burned west of Glenwood Springs. Homes were lost, property destroyed.

Here, we face a potential crisis: Forests nearby are impossibly dry and the danger of a wildland fire near our homes is extreme. A dry lightning storm in our area could wreak havoc.

Ominous, too, is the scenario in which actions we can control are not monitored, where a careless act by resident or visitor starts the blaze that consumes homes, lives.

This is a season in which selfishness and mindlessness can spell our undoing.

Some among us seem oblivious to the dilemma. Some just don't seem to get it.

There is a countywide fire ban in effect prohibiting use of any open flame yet some people continue to use open flame and charcoal to cook out of doors, continue to burn trash. Why? Because they cannot conceive the ban extends to them. They know better; they will not tolerate any impediment to their will.

Despite the fact at least one major blaze in the state was sparked by a campfire, there are those who do not believe it can happen with their campfire. After all, they want a campfire.

Cigarette smokers flip lit cigarette butts out car windows, casually cast them to the ground wherever they stand, into dry grasses and bushes that can fuel a serious blaze. At least one recent local fire was started by such a cigarette smoker. Why do people act so carelessly? Because they want to. And, if you ask, many will tell you it is their right.

People continue to use machines, power devices that can send sparks into dry fuels.

No doubt, some have put in their supply of Fourth of July fireworks. They need to set them off, after all. They want to, and that is all that counts.

In the worst of cases, we could all fall victim to the carelessness of fellow residents, of one of the many visitors who come here on vacation, of an individual focused on the satisfaction of impulse, on the need for immediate gratification, heedless of consequences, personal or collective. We could, any of us, be forced to act on the evacuation plans set this week by county officials.

If those who use fire, who smoke and who set off fireworks - and who, for that matter, violate water use restrictions - cannot take responsibility and control, the situation in the county is grave enough that others must do it for them. The risk is too great. It is not a matter of someone exercising his or her rights, and it is not time to mind one's own business.

If we see a fire, open flame of any kind, even if it is on someone else's property, it should be reported to a dispatcher at 264-2131. If we see someone flip a lit cigarette to the ground, we need to extinguish it ourselves, say something to the person responsible. If someone shoots off fireworks, call it in. Perhaps the Forest Service will close the forest. If the closure does not occur soon, we should stay out of the forest until we get sufficient rain to lessen the danger. We must adhere to water restrictions and demand others do so as well.

The fewer people who take risks, the fewer who ignore reasonable restrictions, the better chance we have. There is too much at stake to do otherwise. Karl Isberg



By Shari Pierce

90 years ago

Taken from Pagosa Springs New Era files of June 14, 1912

The mill at South Pagosa is preparing the planer building for the new machinery which is on the way here now. There will be about $4,000 worth put in.

The trout are beginning to bite fairly well now, and the report is that they are plentiful this spring despite the belief that they were washed away last fall.

Pagosa should have a telephone exchange, one that could give the people service up to 9 o'clock at night at least. The pretense we have does not amount to much the shape it is in; and the patrons get very poor service for the money they pay the company. We presume they are too poor to even keep a man hired steady to look after the repair work, and when anything needs fixing they have to chase all around town to find a man to do it.

75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of June 17, 1927

The Thursday night concerts of the Pagosa band are increasing in popularity each week.

With only a minimum amount of work remaining to be done before going to press at a decent hour Friday evening, this shop experienced a mechanical breakdown that is seriously delaying this issue, besides curtailing our reading matter.

The restroom and information bureau, maintained by he Women's Civic Club, was formally opened on Monday for the tourist season with Mrs. Terrill as caretaker.

The Women's Civic Club has purchased a street sprinkler from the city of Durango, and the same will soon be put in operation on Pagosa's streets.

50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of June 13, 1952

The warm weather is bringing about conditions whereby a number of building projects can get underway. Two of the largest are the repairs, alterations and additions to the Los Banos Hotel and the new motel units being constructed at the San Juan cottages. At the Los Banos foundations and footings have been dug, the old bath house has been worked over, with one wall of the south pool being leveled.

All the rivers in the area are high with muddy and roily water. A few fish were being caught in the smaller streams and beaver ponds.

Visitors at the Allison cemetery noted a vast improvement in its appearance since some of the old trees were pulled out and the dead grass cleaned up.

25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of June 9, 1977

Two men were killed in related, but separate accidents, on Wolf Creek Pass last Thursday. Two large earth moving machines traveling at a high rate of speed crashed at the east edge of the construction zone on this side of Wolf Creek Pass. Estimates placed their speed at better than 75 miles per hour. Although the earth movers crashed into other vehicles all were unoccupied. Exact cause of the accident is not known but it is believed that the brakes on the machines failed.

Four forest fires were reported following the rain and lightning storm last Sunday evening. Largest was in the Weminuche Creek area a short distance over the mountain from Sand Bench. Dry conditions prevail in most areas in the high country and caution with fire is urged.

 Community News

Pagosa Lakes News

Newsletter to detail rec center expansion plan

By Ming Steen

SUN Columnist

All property owners in the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association will soon receive a newsletter with a special insert on the recreation center expansion proposal. The issue of expansion of the center is important to all owners. I urge members to read the insert and be familiar with an issue that will require their vote.

The administrative office is calling for volunteer assistance in labeling the 18,000 newsletters in the mailing. Dubbed the "newsletter social," this fun time with doughnuts, juice, coffee, chit-chat and labels will take place Monday. There will be the traditional drawing for four gift certificates, each valued at $25 to the business of your choice. Please give Lauren a call at 731-5635 to let her know you can help. She'll even get you your favorite doughnut.

Robbie Johnson, who has been training the last 10 months, participated in the inaugural Ironman Utah June 8.

Held in Provo, this event turned out to be an exciting one due to extremely high winds. According to Robbie, the swells in the lake for the swim reached seven feet. It was indeed challenging to gain forward momentum and to maintain bearing.

The bicycling portion of the triathlon was no less exciting. For fear of having cyclists blown across the road, disc wheels were disallowed. With the run, as with the other two legs of the Ironman, the distance was shortened. All in all, the distances came closer to a half-Ironman, but the ferocity of the head winds definitely made it seem way longer and harder.

I can appreciate the power of uncooperative winds when you are on a bicycle. Last weekend Tom and I biked from Chama to Antonito via Tierra Amarilla and Tres Piedras. We spent the night at the Narrow Gauge Inn in Antonito and carbo-loaded on scrumptious Mexican fare at the Dutch Mill Restaurant. Even though the restaurant name seemed a little off, the food was traditional American-Mexican. The next day we set off to return to our truck in Chama.

We bicycled over scenic passes - La Manga and Cumbres. By 8 a.m. the winds were so strong that we were pedaling in our lowest gear to gain momentum on the downhill stretches. To put it mildly, our uphill ride was ugly. Viva Vera's - wow, was I happy to sit down for a late lunch at Vera's Restaurant in Chama.

The two days we were on our bicycles we saw a number of firefighters' vehicles on the road. It is a constant reminder of the tenuous situation we all face with fires this summer.

To all fathers, young and old, I wish you a happy Father's Day Sunday.

Senior News

Seniors enjoy picnic; water gun duels in sun

By Janet Copeland

SUN Columnist

The picnic in the park Friday was a huge success. Fifty-nine folks signed in and enjoyed the delicious menu of barbecue chicken, baked beans, potato salad, roll, cantaloupe and cake.

Thanks to the kitchen crew and staff. You guys are the best.

After lunch, some folks took a river walk, some pitched horseshoes, and a few were seen shooting their water guns (that was one way to stay cool - being drenched by Laura and others). It was a perfect day and a treat for all. We look forward to the next one in July.

Thanks to John Finn for taking photos to be used on the new name tags. John and Shirley are always willing to help and we appreciate having them back for the summer.

It was great having so many members and guests back this week. Welcome to Michaella and Norris Knox, Shirley and Gene Takach, Nicolas Hayes, Lake Durbin, Jim Hanson, Betty Meyer, Donna Blackney, Ethel Clark, Laurie Medina, Virginia Kleckner, Joanne Holiday and Leona Thayer.

Be a part of Pagosa. Put your name on a brick and be a permanent part of the Pagosa Springs Community Center. For $50, you can have three lines, 20 characters per line, laser engraved on a brick. The deadline for ordering has been extended to June 30. Contact Musetta or Gene Copeland for an application form.

There is a new service being offered at the Senior Center called SHIP, for Senior Health Insurance Assistance Program. Musetta has trained to become a SHIP counselor, as has Jim Hanson, who has volunteered to assist seniors. If you have Medicare questions, can't figure out a bill, need assistance in selecting a Medigap policy or supplemental insurance, Jim will be available at 1 p.m. every Friday to help answer your questions.

We look forward to having Janice Friddle join us June 28 at 12:30 p.m. to talk about identity theft, scams, Medicare fraud, caregiver fraud, junk mail offers and more. Janice is from the AARP Elderwatch program and works in conjunction with the state attorney general's office.

The Together Rx Card offers qualified Medicare enrollees savings on more than 150 medicines from seven major pharmaceutical companies at participating pharmacies nationwide. It is available to Medicare beneficiaries who lack public or private prescription drug coverage and have incomes under $28,000 per year, $38,000 for couples. Savings range from 20 to 40 percent. Call 1-800-865-7211 or visit to enroll, or contact Musetta for more information.

For folks who need transportation for medical appointments, call Dave or Cindy at 264-2250 at least 48 hours in advance of appointment day and ask about the cost of these services. Medicaid recipients may be covered.

Home chore workers are being hired to assist folks with house cleaning and handyman jobs. Hours are flexible, on an as-needed basis. Contact Musetta for more information.

Other events

Phyllis Decker will provide information on fun classes with the Forest Service June 14 at 12:30 p.m. Patty Tillerson will be at the center the same day to take blood pressures.

Every Monday at 12:30 p.m. Dru Sewell will conduct a "Soup to Nuts" crafts class. In this class you dabble with different types of crafts and Dru is supplying materials so there won't be a charge.

Shopping trips to Durango take place the first Thursday of each month. Folks must sign up ahead of time as we must have at least six in order for the trip to go.

The Interpretive Alliance will have several events in June, all free. There will be a free afternoon at the Pioneer Museum Sunday, 1-5 p.m. here in Pagosa Springs.

Remember, the Sky Ute Casino will provide free transportation June 18 for 6-13 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.

The pool at Best Western is again available at no charge to members of the Senior Center Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, 9-11 a.m. Be sure to check in at the desk and show your membership card. They also offer us discounts on meals.

Tuesday Yoga by Richard Harris is at 9:30 a.m. Alison Stephens gives free massages Tuesday between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. - a treat we all love.

On Wednesdays there is a 10:30 a.m. computer class with Sam Matthews, card games at 1 p.m. and Chi Kong with Vasuki at 1 p.m. Bring a large towel or mat and a tie, if possible, and wear loose clothes if you want to take this class. A matinee show Wednesday at Liberty Theater for seniors is $3. Call 264-4578 to let them know how many will be attending.

Veterans Corner

Chama clinic opens door to veterans

By Andy Fautheree

SUN Columnist

Who would think our small-town neighbor of Chama, N.M., on the very edge of our southern border, would prove to be a big door opening to VA Health Care for our Archuleta County veterans?

That is just what has happened at the best possible time, when so many of our veterans are waiting to get into the VA Health Care program.

The Chama clinic sees both regular and VA patients. The clinic is contracted by the VA for services, much like what is anticipated for the future Durango VA Clinic. The Chama clinic is under the direction of the Health Centers of Northern New Mexico and is partially subsidized by the Health Center.

County Commissioner Alden Ecker and I traveled to the Chama medical clinic last week. We found a well-staffed and organized facility. We had planned to meet all the staff and tour the facility, but they were in the process of handling an emergency heart attack victim and we didn't want to get in anyone's way. We were able to meet some of the front office staff and we were impressed with what we saw. Obviously they are well equipped to handle an emergency situation, too.

After our stop at the Chama clinic we went on to the headquarters for the Health Center office in Espanola, N.M., to meet with the director and staff. Again, we found a very well run medical facility with professional personnel. Director of the Espanola center is Ralph Moya, whom I have spoken to frequently about getting Archuleta County veterans enrolled in the Chama clinic. Ralph gave us a complete tour of the facility and introduced us to his staff.

One of our local veterans tipped me off that there was a facility in Chama that accepts VA patients. I followed up on this information a few weeks ago, and that has led to a "Chama connection" for our veterans. Mr. Moya has assured me he has plenty of room at the Chama clinic to accept our Archuleta County veterans. I told him we have many veterans waiting to get assigned to VA primary health care, and this is wonderful news. I have sent almost 30 applicants to him so far and I anticipate many more veterans will want to use this clinic for their VA health care needs.

I would encourage any Archuleta County veteran who is waiting to get a primary health care appointment to contact me about getting into the Chama clinic as soon as I get back from vacation. Many of our county veterans need the assistance of the low-cost VA prescription drug program. The VA requires that a patient be assigned to a VA primary health care provider and receive their first physical examination before they are eligible for VA prescription drugs. The Chama clinic is the "big door" to this benefit, and allows a veteran access to service in the shortest possible time.

It had almost become impossible to get our veterans into any nearby VA health care center as new patients. Farmington VA Health Clinic was frozen to new applicants last October; Albuquerque VA Medical Center has a 6-8 month waiting period for new applicants; Grand Junction VA Medical Center, which is in a different VA medical district from the Albuquerque district, is also closed to new applicants.

Our much-hoped-for Durango VA Outpatient Clinic is yet to be a reality. I received word a couple of weeks ago that there were no bidders to provide VA health care services through an existing medical facility in Durango. The initial intent was for the VA to contract with an existing facility, if one could be found, to provide VA health care services to our veterans.

It now appears that unless an existing provider is found in Durango, the VA will have to start from scratch, build its own facility and provide its own staff of medical service personnel. I suspect this could take a long time to complete and actually begin to provide service.

A reminder: This office is closed this week and next - June 10-22. I will be back in the office June 24. Please see last week's column for instructions if you need VA services. You can call Jan Santopietro in the county commissioner's office, 264-2536, for scheduling of the veteran's transport vehicle.

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 fax number is 264-5949, and e-mail is The office is open 8 to 4 Monday through Thursday, and Friday by appointment. Bring your DD Form 214 (Discharge) for registration with the county, application for VA programs, and for filing in the VSO office.


Pagosa 12-year-old picked

for Young Continentals tour

Ashley Portnell, a Pagosa Springs Junior High School student, will join The Young Continental Singers, an interdenominational, nonprofit ministry based in Ventura, Calif., for a five-week tour this summer.

The 12-year-old first heard about the group about six weeks ago with the older version - The Continental Singers - performed at a local church. She auditioned over the phone, keeping the door closed so her parents couldn't hear. The audition was a success, and she was accepted into Tour No. 7 which will perform in Missouri, Nebraska, Iowa, Wisconsin, Colorado and Alaska.

Beginning with one tour in 1967, The Continentals' ministry has grown to include more than 20,000 people on over 3,000 tours. Each touring group attempts to teach the Gospel using high-energy music integrated with movement and drama.

Portnell is now working to raise the $4,500 needed to participate in the program. The money goes toward helping keep the concerts free and open to everyone. She must raise the money by July 10. Tax-deductible donations for the trip can be sent to Ashley Portnell, PO Box 2906, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.

For more information on The Continentals, go to


Arts Line

Birdhouse contest winners identified

By Nina Durfee

Samantha Harris, 13, creator of the "Pine Cone Tree" and Joyce Richter and May Ann Ohlenbasch, joint adult creators of the "Bird House," were winners of the second annual Birdhouse Contest. Prizes were a clock donated by the Humane Society and a bird feeder donated by Alco.

Summer camp

Call 264-5020 to sign up children in grades 1 through 9 for the Summer Arts Camp. Sessions began Monday at the elementary school and continue through June 28.

Gallery exhibit

A reception for the opening of the oil and acrylic display by Sabine Baekmann-Elge and photography by Jan Powers is tonight, 5-7 p.m. at the gallery in Town Park. Take advantage of this chance to meet the artists, view the displays and enjoy refreshments compliments of the Arts Council. The exhibit will remain on display through July 3.

Spanish Fiesta

The annual gala event featuring colorful costumes, music and dancing will be held June 15 downtown and in Town Park. Call 264-5020 for more information.

Ride The Rockies

The Ride The Rockies Bicycle Tour will pass through Pagosa Springs June 16. The Pagosa Springs Arts Council will offer a snack booth for the bikers at Town Park on that day. If you would like to greet the cyclists and offer them a bit of nourishment to continue on their way, volunteer to help at the snack booth. Call Joanne for more information, 264-5020.

Whistle Pig

Whistle Pig's June 20 event will feature Kate McDonnell, singer and songwriter, performing at the Hudson House, 446 Loma Street in downtown Pagosa. Call 264-2491 for information and reservations.


The Pagosa Springs Arts Council exists in large part because of the hard work of volunteers. Don't leave the job to someone else. There are many ways you can help:

The Artsline column in the SUN is a product of volunteer writers. If you're looking for an opportunity to be a published writer, call 264-5020 and talk to Joanne.

The Arts Council often hosts a snack booth at community events and artistic presentations. Call the gallery to volunteer booth time at an event that interests you.

Volunteers have done a terrific job of maintaining a scrapbook of Arts Council events and presentations. Call Joanne if you are interested in carrying the torch for this project.

Business ad

The quarterly newsletter of the Pagosa Springs Arts Council, The Petroglyph, can distribute your flyer with its next publication. Call Stephanie at 264-5068 to arrange for display of your ad.

Council news

If you missed this morning's presentation of interviews and information on KWUF about the Arts Council, your next chance will be to tune in 8:05-8:35 a.m. July 11. Anyone with information to print in the Artsline column or to be addressed on the next radio spot should call 264-5060. Please give two weeks notice before publication.

Thank you

Thanks to Marguerite at Mountain Greenery for the beautiful floral arrangements she provides at our open house exhibits and receptions. And thank you to Wells Fargo Bank for sharing the use of the copy machine.

Membership discounts

Join the Pagosa Springs Arts Council for $20 per year for individuals, $30 per year for families, and enjoy discounts at specified council events. Joining is easy: Stop by the gallery in Town Park and fill out a form.

Also, stop by the gallery and show your City Market card. Joanne will take your information and pass it on to City Market and Krogers, and those businesses will donate a percent of your purchases to the Arts Council each time you shop with your value card.

The Pagosa Springs Arts Council is based at the gallery at Town Park, 314 Hermosa St. Summer hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m.-5:30 pm.

For information about gallery and Arts Council events, call 264-5020.


Arts Council plans public art displays

By Jennifer Harnick

Special to the PREVIEW

The Pagosa Springs Arts Council is working with a variety of community members and organizations to develop a public art program for the Pagosa Springs area.

In April, the committee for art in public places presented its proposal to the Town of Pagosa Springs Parks and Recreation Department and in July, the committee plans to approach the Town Board of trustees.

The goal of the project is to establish an ongoing program to enhance the visual environment in the community and to expand the opportunities for residents and visitors to experience works of art.

The committee plans to acquire and place its first work within one calendar year. After the first work is placed, the committee plans to continue to place works in a variety of public locations.

Members believe this project will provide free exposure to a variety of art and reflect the uniqueness of the Pagosa Springs community, environment and history.

For information, contact Jennifer Harnick, 731-3113.


Chamber News

Ride The Rockies cyclists arrive Sunday

By Sally Hameister

This Sunday, beginning around noon, the Ride The Rockies gang and support people will descend upon Pagosa Springs in all their glory, and I think we're ready.

We have had a number of meetings with plans and more plans, so we're reasonably sure that everything will be in place for their visit. I honestly don't know when so much effort is expended for something that lasts less than 24 hours - maybe a royal wedding.

At any rate, there will be many food vendors in Town Park providing all kinds of mouth-watering choices and a beer garden and concert on the soccer field.

Food booths will open for business at 2 p.m., and the music will commence around 4 p.m. with our own Rio Jazz taking the stage with their inimitable "jazzy" sounds. Shaken but Not Stirred will follow at 5 p.m. with the Dayton Ditch Blues Band at 6 p.m. displaying much more of our amazing array of local talent. Our very own Pagosa Hot Strings and their award-winning bluegrass will end the evening from 7-8 p.m. so you will obviously want to be there from beginning to end. This is a free concert, by the way, so it is clearly the bargain of the century and you will want to camp out for the duration.

Riders in this tour voted Pagosa Springs the "Most Hospitable Community" in 1991, and we hope to show them that we haven't changed a bit in our warm, wonderful, welcoming ways. Restaurant owners are reminded to pick up the big, inviting banners provided by the Ride The Rockies folks welcoming the cyclists into their establishments. Please pick them up at the Visitor Center by 5 p.m. Friday.

We are fully aware that Sunday is Father's Day and hope that you will take Dad down to Town Park and treat him to good food and excellent entertainment as part of his reward for being such a good guy. We hope to see all of you on Sunday afternoon for the Ride The Rockies party.

Business counseling

Our friend Jim Reser, director of the Small Business Development Center at Fort Lewis College, will be here for perhaps the last time June 21 for free business counseling for our members. Jim has been the director for about seven years and will go on to greener job pastures the last of the month, so I would strongly encourage you to take advantage of his experience and expertise before he leaves.

Give us a call at 264-2360 to set up an appointment.

Hanging baskets

We will be delivering the beautiful red, white and blue hanging flower baskets tomorrow, and you will be thrilled with how gorgeous they are.

Basket creators, designers and nurturers, Firma Lucas and Jeanette Davis, have put in long hours bringing these lovelies to their current state of health and color, and we honestly can't thank them enough. Obviously, this is a truly difficult year for nurseries, landscapers and gardeners, so the hanging baskets will be an especially colorful addition to homes and offices alike.

I will reiterate they are as drought-resistant as possible with the cocomat liners and special soil. Included in each basket are small packets of fertilizer and care instructions, so you are getting quite the bargain. If you haven't ordered your basket(s) yet, please give us a call and a Chamber staff member or board director will deliver your basket to your place of business or home. Last year, we found a home for every basket and left a rather substantial trail of disappointed folks who were awfully sorry that they hadn't ordered one.

Artists' Extravaganza

Moonlight Books and Gallery will sponsor an Artists' Extravaganza Friday evening, and cordially invite you to join them for the reception to meet the artists. You will have the opportunity to visit with photographers Bruce Andersen, John Taylor and Lili Pearson, painter Ginnie Bartlett and watercolorist Denny Rose, and view their latest creations. On Saturday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Denny and Ginnie will be painting all day and sharing their special secrets. Bruce, John and Lili will be there to give you tips on photography and cameras.

Feel free to bring your camera, and photos or paintings in progress for guidance and gentle critiques from the pros. Please join Joan and Jerry at Moonlight Books and Gallery for the Artists' Extravaganza on Friday from 5-7 and again Saturday from 9-5.

Spanish Fiesta

You'll be glad you invested in those roller skates to help you out with transportation from one event to another this weekend. The 22nd annual Spanish Fiesta celebration begins Friday at 7 p.m. at the high school auditorium with Folklorico dances and songs. Advance tickets are $8 and $10 at the door and can be purchased at the Chamber of Commerce, at Ramon's and from board members.

The Fiesta parade will take place Saturday at 10 a.m. starting on 6th Street. Entry forms are available at the Chamber and cash prizes will be awarded. Following the parade, the Fiesta in Town Park will commence with music, dancing, an amateur singing contest for kids and adults, a cash pinata, food, and an arts and crafts sale.

The Fiesta grand finale will take place at the Timbers Saturday from 8 to midnight with the annual Fiesta dance featuring "Juntos Unidos" from Albuquerque. Tickets are $10 in advance, available at the above locations, and $12 at the door. All proceeds go to the 2002-2003 scholarship fund, so please get out there and support the Spanish Fiesta.

Parelli open house

Join Pat and Linda Parelli June 22 at the Parelli International Study Center located west of town on U.S.160 for their annual open house, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

This is always a fascinating and informative day with Pat and Linda at the helm joined by top international Parelli instructors and students from all over the world.

You can observe remarkable demonstrations and classes in action that will give you some idea about what Parelli Natural Horse-Man-Ship is all about. I always leave in a somewhat incredulous state after watching Pat, Linda and their gang work their magic with the equines. They do indeed communicate with our four-legged friends in a miraculous manner that would make Merlin envious. Please join the Parelli's for their yearly party - it's free and no reservations are necessary.

Auction for the animals

Rocky Mountain Wildlife Park invites you and your friends to join them June 29 at this annual exciting fund-raising event beginning at 6 p.m. with wine and hors d'oeuvres.

The evening will include a silent and live auction, a raffle and door prizes at 7 p.m.

Some of the items up for auction include framed original artwork, signed and numbered prints, handcrafted items, an Afghan, jewelry and much, much more. Advance tickets are $10 and $12 at the door and can be purchased at the Park and the Chamber of Commerce.

Due to the nature of this event, the Rays recommend adults only for the evening.

For questions, reservations or if you would like to donate something for the evening, please call 264-5546 or 264-4515.

The Chair Event

The Chair event, the silent auction portion of Relay for Life, is open until June 20 for bids on artist-embellished furniture.

Local artists have been busy painting designs and scenes on chairs donated by area businesses and private residents of Pagosa. Event coordinator P. R. Bain has placed the items in local bank lobbies for your viewing pleasure. There is also a chair titled "Who's Sleeping in My Chair?" up for bid in the Visitor Center. Items ranging from small tables, toddler chairs to regular chairs are also up for bids.

The grand finale will take place June 21 in Town Park 6 p.m.-9:30 p.m. during the Relay for Life proceedings.

Country Showdown

The world's largest country music talent showcase and radio promotion is coming to Pagosa Springs with over $200,000 in cash and prizes awarded nationally. Our own KWUF AM 1400 is sponsoring this event which is designed to find the most promising country music talent in America, giving these performers a chance to launch their professional careers. Local winners advance to one of over 40 state contests where the prizes include $1,000 in cash and the opportunity to compete at one of the six regional Country Showdown contests in the fall. Winners at the regional level are flown expense-paid to the National Final where they compete for the Grand Prize of $100,000 and the coveted National Title.

The contest is open to vocal and/or instrumental performers, individuals or groups with up to seven members who have not performed on a record listed in the national record charts of Billboard, Radio and Records or the Gavin Report within 18 months preceding local competition.

Entry forms are available by calling KWUF at 264-1400. Deadline for entry tapes or CDs is July 8. Y'all come.

Thanks, Mike

Our heartfelt thanks go out once again to Mike Ferrell with Rocky Mountain Maintenance who once again risked life and limb to bring light to the Visitor Center. Mike is the guy who changes the light bulbs in the fixture hanging way up high in the VC and we thank him for his willingness to do that for us.


Cancer survivors, supporters ready

to walk the Relay for Life June 21

By Joe Donavan

Special to The PREVIEW

The fourth annual Pagosa Springs Relay for Life event will begin at 6 p.m. June 21 and end at 9 a.m. June 22. This is one of more than 6,000 Relay for Life events being held this year worldwide to raise money for research and education in the fight to find a cure for this dreaded disease.

At least 2 million people are expected to participate in Relay for Life this year.

When the American Cancer Society first began fighting cancer, less than one in five victims survived the disease. Today, three in five survive.

Every time you support the efforts of the American Cancer Society, you give someone you love a better chance of beating cancer. Could any gift be more important?

Relay for Life is not a race; it is a celebration of the successes we are achieving in the fight to find a cure. Participants are members of teams that walk on a track in Town Park, having one member of the team walking throughout the night. Activities are conducted during the event to make it a festive affair. Games are held, contests conducted, food served.

The Pagosa Hot Strings will provide music. Many participants camp out in the park, making it an all-night party.

The event begins with a parade of Road to Recovery volunteer drivers. These volunteers drive patients to and from Durango for radiation and chemotherapy treatment.

This is followed by a celebration of Archuleta County cancer survivors who then take a victory lap around the track. Last year, more than 50 local survivors participated in the victory lap. Then, the first walkers for each team begin the all-night walk.

This year's event has four youth teams and will feature a pizza party for the 60 or more youthful participants. Pizzas are being donated by Domino's, Italian Kitchen, Loredana's and Pizza Hut.

The San Juan Outdoor Club is putting on a midnight bratwurst fest during which the pajama party will be held, with prizes for the best pajamas. Throughout the night, snacks will be available to participants, along with coffee and soft drinks.

Rocky Mountain Chocolate has donated a large quantity of chocolate which will be available to walkers. On Saturday morning, the Rotary Club will serve a hot breakfast to walkers.

The traveling trophy pig will again be awarded to the team that raises the most money in team sponsorships, but several other pigs will be awarded to the winning teams in such categories as church groups, youth groups, organizations and merchants.

All Archuleta County residents are invited to participate and support this important event. Help celebrate the survivors at 6 p.m. June 21.

If you would like to put together a team, contact Morna at the Chamber of Commerce, 264-2630.

Please support the walkers with your dollar sponsorships.


Boosters are rehearsing for August

'Meet Me in St. Louis' performance

Music Boosters is busily preparing for its Aug. 16-18 and 22-24 performances of "Meet Me in St. Louis."

Director Oteka Bernard has her hands full with a cast and chorus of 32. Lead parts are played by Jessica Buikema as Esther Smith, Cindy Neder as Rose Smith, Justin Smith as John Truitt, Clay Pruitt as Lon Smith, Bob Thom as Mr. Smith, Bob Nordmann as Grandpa Prophater, Kathleen Isberg as Mrs. Smith, Havi Kornhaber as Agnes, Candy Flaming as Katie, Sara Smith as Tootie, and Chris Young as Warren Sheffield.

Other roles will be played by Veronica Zeiler as Lucille Ballard, Scott Farnham as the postman, Randi Andersen as Eve, and Zeb Gill as the motorman. In addition, Sue Andersen is working hard accompanying and directing the orchestra with help from Lowell Bynum, Melinda Baum and Lisa Hartley.

Be sure to mark your calendars for the event. Tickets will go on sale in late July.


Library News

Computer's in: New cards available

By Lenore Bright

SUN Columnist

The new computer system is here with all of its glory and glitches.

We will now give you your very own plastic library card that allows you to check out books in other Colorado libraries as well as ours. You must come in and sign up for this new card. Your old information must be updated so please be sure to ask for a new registration form when you come in.

The timing is a problem as we are also starting our summer reading program so please bear with us as we get you signed up. There are some bugs that Doctor Becky is working out and as soon as the doc pronounces the system is bug free, I'll give you our new Web address that will allow you to search our system from your home computer.

Summer reading program

Start signing up your children next week for this six-week activity. We will have two story times, Tuesday and Friday, at 11 a.m. each day. Come in any time next week to find out more about Reading, Rhythm and Rhyme.

New book

"New Spaces From Salvage," by Thomas O'Gorman, gives ideas about using reclaimed items to create interior designs that are as unique as they are adventurous. It is a unique approach using artifacts that are as historically interesting as they are well crafted and beautiful.

What once was a secret passion indulged in by the wealthy, is attracting people eager to find original artifacts that reflect their personal style. Salvage warehouses can now be found all around the world, and more and more people are becoming aware of the treasures they hold. Windows and shutters from old homes, vintage doorknobs, staircases and much more are sought.

The book gives many new ideas and there is a useful reference section that includes addresses and Web sites for many salvage yards. We can also find items in our local junkyards and antique shops. It gives useful tips and pointers on how to identify architectural eras and a glossary of terms for the beginner. The photographs will change the way you think about interior design.


Thanks for materials from Kimi Bliss, Cynthia Sharp, Shirley Snider, Larry Larason, Bill Boardman, Valerie Halvorson and Tony Bergon.