goes to Ronnie Willett
By Richard Walter
Ronald E. Willett was born Jan. 19, 1935, in Stamford, Texas, and came to Pagosa Springs in 1944 with his parents, Herman and Inez.
He is now the recipient of the Red Ryder Award for 2002.
An all-conference football player at Pagosa Springs High School for three consecutive years, he also worked as a projectionist at Liberty Theatre. He graduated in 1954 and joined the U.S. Navy the same year. In December, 1961, he married Betty McBride.
He was temporarily retired with a disability on June 30, 1962, and permanently retired as a petty officer first class in 1967.
When he returned to Pagosa Springs, Ronnie went to work Aug. 2, 1962, for Glen Edmonds, publisher of The Pagosa Springs SUN. During the almost 40 years he has been with the SUN, he has performed just about every printing department job, including setting type, making press plates, collating papers and currently runs the commercial job printing shop.
Ronnie has a long history working with the Red Ryder Roundup. Ronnie has worked endless hours above and beyond the call of duty designing and printing the Red Ryder Roundup posters, programs, day sheets and tickets. One would often find Ronnie working after hours and on weekends using his own personal time to fulfill the last-minute needs of the rodeo committee. In the early years the box seat tickets had to be hand-numbered and Ronnie would take them home to complete his job. As the years passed, the project became easier with numbering machines and the programs improved with his new designs. Ronnie redesigned the cover of this year's program to bring a more patriotic flair to this event he has supported in so many ways for nearly 40 years.
In the 1960s he was a member of the Jaycees and advised several youngsters in their attempts to build soap box racers. Included were Ted Edmonds, Greg Schick, Greg Post, Anthony Poma and Waldo Gomez.
A member of the local Lions Club until 2000, Ronnie is also a member of San Juan Historical Society and other organizations such as Fleet Reserve Association, and Upper Arkansas Military Retirees. He is a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans and the American Legion. The latter occupies most of his spare time, now.
Ronnie has implemented several local programs, such as flag etiquette for Boy and Girl Scouts and this has been carried into the schools in Head Start and elementary school classes. Other programs, such as the Memorial Day services at both the Legion Post home and at Hilltop Cemetery were expanded by Ronnie and, under his guidance, memorial funeral services for veterans have been improved.
He is presently adjutant of Mullins-Nickerson American Legion Post 108 in Pagosa Springs and has served as post commander. He also is District 10 Legion historian.
He was singled out for honors for publishing a hardback history book of Mullins-Nickerson Post 108 and a copy is on display in Indianapolis, Ind.
As a person who once wrote letters to friends on rolls of toilet tissue (so they had to be unrolled to be read) and who signed yearbooks as "Sir Ronald from the House of Willett," Ronnie has become an integral part of the Pagosa Springs community and one deserving of our salute this year.
Two die in 3-car crash
near Aspen Springs
By Tess Noel Baker
A three-car collision west of Pagosa Springs left two dead July 9.
Linda Gail Kelly, 54, of Elsinore, Calif., and 4-year-old Jessalyn Taylor Kelly, were both killed when the vehicle they were riding in spun across two lanes of U.S. 160, colliding with two other cars.
According to Colorado State Patrol reports, Linda Kelly, with passenger, Jessalyn, was driving eastbound on the highway about 12 miles west of Pagosa when her vehicle left the south side of the road. The Buick came back on the road, spinning counter-clockwise and traveled into the westbound lane where it struck the rear of a vehicle driven by Cheryl Bearden Hawkins, 45, of South Carolina.
The Kelly vehicle continued to spin and collided with a second oncoming car driven by Larry John Hodgen, 23, of Colorado Springs. Hodgen's vehicle struck the driver's side of the Buick head-on.
According to the reports, Linda Kelly was found dead at the scene. Jessalyn Taylor was airlifted to San Juan Regional Medical Center in Farmington, where she was declared dead on arrival. Neither victim was wearing a seat belt. No one else was injured in the accident.
By Tess Noel Baker
Eighty-three cities and towns in Colorado have implemented a Home Rule Charter as the basis of local government.
Could Pagosa Springs follow in those footsteps?
That question will be in the hands of the Pagosa Springs Board of Trustees next month, and maybe in the hands of voters during the next year.
On July 3, the trustees received a 12-page handout on home rule at their regular monthly meeting. According to the handout, created by administrative intern Julie Jessen, home rule is "based upon the theory that the citizens of a municipality should have the right to decide how their local governing problems are managed and solved."
For Pagosa Springs, that includes the opportunity to manage its own sales tax. That's one of two major benefits, from the town staff's prospective, that Pagosa could receive from a Home Rule Charter, Town Administrator Jay Harrington said. The other benefit could be the ability to create precincts or voting districts for equal representation on the town board from all areas of town.
Currently, Pagosa Springs and 186 other communities in the state are statutory. That means the municipality must receive authority to act from the state constitution or statutes. If that authority doesn't exist, the community's hands are tied.
A home rule municipality does not need a specific grant of authority to act within the limited boundaries of the municipality. Its local powers, structure of government and limitations come from the charter created and approved by voters in the community. Home rule, however, does not give a municipality unlimited control. On matters of statewide concern, including provisions in TABOR that protect taxpayers, home rule communities, like statutory communities, must have a specific grant of authority.
Next month, the trustees will have the opportunity to decide whether or not to call an election in November to form a charter commission and elect members of that commission - only the first step in becoming a home rule municipality.
Should the board decide to move forward with home rule, voters will have the opportunity to select up to nine people, based on population, to serve on the charter commission. This commission then has 120 days to prepare a charter - the rules and regulations to guide local government - and submit it to the governing body. During this time, the commission must hold one or more public hearings.
Once a charter has been presented, an election on the charter must be called within 30 days, sometime in April or May of 2003 if the trustees move ahead next month. At that time, voters would have the opportunity to vote on the charter itself. If the proposed Home Rule Charter fails to meet voter approval, a second attempt at a charter would have to wait at least a year.
According to the documents prepared by Jessen, a Home Rule Charter must include provisions for initiative, referendum and recall procedures; continuing, amending or repealing existing ordinances; and prefatory synopsis. The charter may also have provisions regarding form of government, qualifications of elected officials, size of council, at-large or district representation, terms of office, filling of vacancies, powers of council, mayor, city manager, election procedures, administrative organization, boards and commissions, ordinances and resolutions, personnel, legal and judicial departments, budget, control, and financing, municipal borrowing and eminent domain.
Arson suspected in U.S. 84 holiday fires
By Tess Noel Baker
The Fourth of July might have come and gone without fireworks, but not without fires. Six of them to be exact. All along a four-mile stretch of U.S. 84.
According to U.S. Forest Service reports, a call for a response first went out about 3:30 p.m. Fifty-two people from three different local agencies responded. They included two 20-person hand crews from the Pagosa Ranger District, a county crew and 23 members of the Pagosa Fire Protection District.
District Fire Chief Warren Grams said the fires, which burned only grass, ranged from less than half an acre to an acre in size. No structures were damaged and no one was injured.
All six fires started right along the road, and no apparent natural causes have been found. The fires remain under investigation by the Forest Service.
More natural causes - lightning strikes - are blamed for several other fires in the county during the week.
On July 3, fire district crews responded to a lightning strike near Piedra Road. Thirteen firefighters kept the fire to a single tree. Four days later, a grass fire near a well pump house on County Road 337 brought out 11 firefighters and three trucks. Grams said electrical wiring possibly caused that blaze. It was contained without damaging the pump house.
Lightning is to blame for a July 9 fire near Burns Canyon Road and Oak Brush Hill, according to Sgt. Karn Macht of the Archuleta County Sheriff's Office. Because of the fire's location, firefighters had to drive about 15 miles, then hike to reach the blaze. Once again, the Forest Service teamed up with county and local crews to attack the 1-acre fire burning mostly ladder fuels. They also had help from the helicopter stationed at Steven's Field.
The helicopter made numerous drops with its bucket, Macht said, pulling water from Lake Forest and a 5,000-gallon "pumpkin" capable of being filled by fire trucks. Firefighters responded to the scene about 1:30 p.m. and contained the fire by 9 p.m.
Forest Service personnel remained on scene to finish squelching embers.
A fire on Southern Ute tribal land in the southeast corner of Cabezon Canyon, southwest of Pagosa Springs, that started about the same time as the fire near Burns Canyon, was also contained by press time. That fire was fought by Forest service, Bureau of Land Management and tribal crews.
By John M. Motter
Archuleta County remains locked in the worst possible drought conditions, conditions so severe they have earned the designation of "Exceptional" from National Weather Service officials.
As a result, certain fire and water restrictions remain in effect, along with closure of a portion of the San Juan National Forest.
All open fires and fireworks are banned in Colorado. Violators of the fire and fireworks restrictions will be apprehended by law enforcement authorities and sentenced by the courts.
Level 2 water rationing is being enforced by the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District.
Closed is that portion of the San Juan National Forest northwest of Pagosa Springs, north of U.S. 160, and generally between Piedra Road and Durango. U.S. Forest Service officials are considering changing the boundaries of this closure as the Missionary Ridge Fire northeast of Durango is brought under control.
The fire and fireworks restrictions have been instituted by the State of Colorado, the Forest Service and Archuleta County. Forest Service restrictions are the most stringent. In addition to no open fires, the Forest Service allows camping only in designated campgrounds with a resident attendant.
Because regulations are subject to change as weather conditions vary, persons who contemplate using Forest Service lands or facilities are urged to visit a Forest Service office to obtain the latest detailed information. In Pagosa Springs the Pagosa Ranger District office at Pagosa and 2nd streets is open during normal business hours, Monday through Friday. Call 264-2268 for general information or 264-5190 for fire information.
The following Level 2 watering schedule was put into effect July 1 for all Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District customers.
Watering is allowed only one day a week between 8 p.m. and midnight on the day determined by street address: Sunday - house numbers 1 through 99; Monday - 100 through 199; Tuesday - 200 through 299; Wednesday - 300 through 399; Thursday - 400 through 499; Friday - 500 through 599; Saturday - 600 and up.
Penalties for violating water restrictions are: initial offense - warning; first citation - $100; second citation - $250; third and subsequent citations - $500.
Welcome sprinkles ease drought only slightly
By John M. Motter
Rain drops splattered across Archuleta County four days last week, bringing a measure of relief to firefighters and irrigators.
While the rain improved conditions for battling wildfires, it did not lessen the threat of fire or remove the Four Corners' "Exceptional" drought designation, the most extreme designation possible.
Little, if any, additional relief is anticipated during the coming week, according to Dan Cuevas, a National Weather Service forecaster from the Grand Junction office.
Today and tomorrow should be partly cloudy with a 20-percent chance for afternoon showers and thunderstorms, Cuevas said. Saturday and Sunday will remain partly cloudy with no chance for rain. By Monday and Tuesday of next week, the 20-percent chance for afternoon showers and thunderstorms returns.
High temperatures should range between 85 and 95 degrees through the coming week, Cuevas said, with low temperatures hovering around 50 degrees.
"A large high pressure area camped over Utah and Nevada is dictating current conditions," Cuevas said. "The moisture you are receiving seems to be coming from the north-northeast."
Conditions have not developed for the traditional, late-summer monsoon season with its abundance of rain, according to Cuevas. When the monsoon season starts, moisture from the Gulf of Mexico will approach from the south.
Rain fell Wednesday, Friday, Monday and Tuesday of this past week, according to measurements recorded at the official National Weather Service gauging station located at Stevens Field. Total precipitation for the week amounted to 0.14 inches, well below the average July total of 1.63 inches.
The most precipitation ever recorded here during July was 5.78 inches during 1957. The least was the .05 inches recorded during July of 1993.
Pagosa Springs' average annual precipitation is 19.37 inches. The highest annual precipitation ever recorded here was 33.86 inches during 1957. The lowest annual precipitation of record is 10.44 inches recorded during 1950.
High temperatures last week ranged between 86 and 83 degrees with an average high of 85 degrees. Low temperatures ranged between 50 and 47 degrees with an average low of 49 degrees.
Date High Low Precipitation
Type Depth Moisture
Park Fun program keeps growing
By Junior Lister
The Park Fun Program celebrated its highest attendance level Monday and Tuesday with 32 youngsters on hand. Last year's average was 15 per day. This year, the program will be pushing an average of 25 participants per day.
The increase in participation is thanks to the staff making it a fun place for kids to do summer month activities.
Youngsters enjoyed a morning at Pioneer Museum, compliments of the local historical society. Anyone who hasn't seen the new layout at the museum is missing a great activity at a great price, right here in town.
Our special guests Friday will be Doug Purcell of the Colorado Division of Wildlife and Randy Talbot of Colorado State Patrol. Purcell will visit in the morning to talk about bears and help us learn about our favorite neighbors. Corporal Talbot will visit in the afternoon to talk about his favorite pastime, horses.
He will bring a couple of his family pets to the Intermediate School and will talk about horse safety and horse fun.
July 15-19 highlights will include a tour of City Market, swimming, skating, and a special speaker on Friday will be Sheila Salazar of the U.S. Forest Service talking about forest fun with the emphasis on trees.
The 2002 youth baseball tournament is underway with a double-elimination tournament in store for the 11- and 12-year-old players (Bambino) and one entry from the 9-10 group (Rookies). The latter is an all-star team coached by Tom Aiello. All were picked by their peers to participate in the tournament.
The Rookies all-stars include Jordan Caler, Rieley Aiello, Ryan Charles, Waylon Sutton, Paul Hoffman, Sam Bard, Michael Gallegos, Gary August, Joe Noriega, Zack Lucero, Waylon Lucero, Bryce Lewis, Ryan Searle, Dustin Webster and Dylan Burksmith. Alternates are Preston Dale, Mary Brinton, Megan Bryant, Will Brown, Dustin Anderson, Patrick Manzanares, Clinton Manzanares, Dennis Scoggins and Mitch Johnson.
Thanks to all coaches and team mothers for your help in this year's baseball program. Without your participation we could have no leagues.
Everyone with a uniform must turn it in as soon as possible. We are trying to close out the books and need these brought to Town Hall.
Winners of this year's Rockies Skills Challenge will travel to Pueblo July 27 to participate in state competition at Runyon Field (exit 98A off I-25 North). Check-in time is 10 a.m. with competition starting at 11. Local winners are Clint Walkup and Julia LeLievre in the 6-7 age group; Bryce Lewis and Katie Laverty, 8-9; Zell Johnston and Mele LeLievre, 10-11 group; and John Hoffman, 12-13 group.
Registration for the 2002 season is underway at Town Hall. This year's cost is $20 with multiple child discounts and discounts for the children of coaches. Sign-up goes until 6 p.m. Aug. 23, with practice to begin Aug. 26. Games begin Sept. 10. Address questions to Chris at 264-4151, Ext. 232.
This year's baseball clinic starts Friday. Coach Tony Scarpa will be conducting five weeks of clinics. Start time is 5:30 p.m. each Friday with sessions running about two hours. It is not too late to sign up; registration forms can be filled out at Town Hall. The cost is $30 and includes a T-shirt. For more information, call Chris at the number listed above.
The old-fashioned Fourth of July picnic and barbecue was a great success thanks to the combined efforts of the staff at Pagosa Lodge, the Chamber of Commerce and the parks and recreation department.
An estimated crowd of 1,100 enjoyed a beautiful afternoon with hula-hoop contests, croquet, volleyball, golden duck contest, tethered balloon rides, water balloon toss, watermelon seed-spitting contest, music by the Pagosa Hot Strings and Rio Jazz. My personal favorite was the Hot Strings rendition of the National Anthem and the releasing of more than 50 pigeons was absolutely breathtaking.
We've had many requests for the same type of celebration next year.
Appaloosa Club's Open Horse Show due here July 20
The Four Corners Appaloosa Horse Club will sponsor its All-Breed Open Horse Show starting at 9 a.m. July 20 at the Red Ryder rodeo grounds in Pagosa Springs.
The club is giving buckles for high-point standing in the following categories: game classes for youth 13 and under, youth 14 through 18, and 19 and over. Game classes include keyhole race, barrel race and pole bending.
Buckles will also be given in the following categories: junior horse, halter, open, nonpro, novice nonpro, 19 and over, novice youth, youth 14 through 18, and youth 13 and under.
For more information contact Jack Adams at 264-2960 or Jerry Adams at 264-6930.
Anna Edgmon, 77, died in her Pagosa Springs home July 1, 2002. She was born May 23, 1925, in Davis, Okla., the daughter of Robert Lewis and Ellen Knight Lewis.
She was married to Earl Edgmon in Davis on May 11, 1939, and had moved from Estancia, N.M., to Pagosa Springs earlier this year to be with her daughter's family. She was a housewife and mother, a member of First Baptist Church of Estancia, and enjoyed quilting and sewing.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Earl, on Sept. 19, 2001; sisters Birdie Russell, Ruth Hathcock, Mamie Davis and Lillie Sanders; and brothers Robert, Charlie and Jack Lewis.
Survivors include sons, Jerry Edgmon of Overgaard, Ariz., and David Edgmon of Estancia; daughters Diana Schmidt of Estancia and Anita Zielinski of Pagosa Springs; 13 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren.
Funeral services were held at the first Baptist Church in Estancia Friday, July 5, 2002, with burial following in Estancia Cemetery. Both services were officiated by Rev. Louis M. Day.
Memorial contributions may be directed to the American Cancer Society.
Opal R. Ludwig
Opal R. Ludwig, 73, a native of Pagosa Springs, died Tuesday, July 2, 2002, at her home in Bayfield. She had lived in those two communities all her life.
A graveside service was held July 6, 2002, at Pine River Cemetery with Gene Chapin of Church of Christ in Bayfield officiating. Arrangements were by Hood Mortuary in Durango.
Mrs. Ludwig was born Oct. 22, 1928, in Pagosa Springs, the daughter of Raymond and Blanche Murray. She was married in Pagosa Springs Dec. 31, 1949, to Frank Ludwig Jr. She was a seamstress and enjoyed making western shirts, enjoyed needlework and cooking.
She was a former member of the Bayfield school board and Bayfield Library board, and was secretary and treasurer for many years for Los Pinos Ditch Company and the Bean Ditch Company. She was also involved with Bayfield High School Band Mothers and helped raise money for band uniforms.
Survivors include her husband, Junior Ludwig; a son, Murray Ludwig of Bayfield; her mother, Blanche, of Bayfield; a sister, Madelyn Daly of Grand Junction; granddaughter Makesha Machart of Arlington, Texas; grandson Chad Ludwig of Houston, and great-grandson Adam Machart of Arlington.
She was preceded in death by her father, Raymond, and a son, Preston.
Memorial contributions may be sent to Upper Pine Valley Volunteer Fire Department or to the American Cancer Society, P.O. Box 931, Durango, CO 81301.
A memorial rosary and mass for Josie Valdez, 78, will be held at 10 a.m. today at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church.
Mrs. Valdez died Monday, July 8, 2002, in her Pagosa Springs home.
Funeral arrangements are by Pagosa Springs Funeral Options. A full obituary will be published next week.
A full moon program will be presented at Chimney Rock Archaeological Area July 24.
The program includes a hike up to the Great House Pueblo just before sunset and then a presentation on the archaeoastronomy of the site will be given as the full moon rises over the San Juan Mountains.
Live flute music by Native American artist Charles Martinez will accompany the presentation.
Advanced reservations are required and must be pre-paid. The cost is $7.50 per person. To make reservations, call 883-5359 between 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
Chimney Rock Archaeological Area is west of Pagosa Springs on Colo. 151.
The full moon program is sponsored by Chimney Rock Interpretive Program of the Pagosa Springs Chapter of the San Juan Mountains Association.
By Tess Noel Baker
Both above and below ground, several major projects are nearing completion this summer. The community center and bell tower construction might be the most noticeable, but it's time to dig deeper.
The first of several irrigation projects to switch recreation areas from treated to untreated water went online about a month ago, Jay Harrington, town administrator, told the Pagosa Springs Board of Trustees July 3. Since then, Town Park, the old football field on Hermosa Street and the Pocket Park at the corner of Hot Springs Boulevard and U.S. 160 have been irrigated using raw water.
It's the first of many. Other areas slated for the switch include the Sports Complex, Centennial Park, Reservoir Hill and the River Center Park, a process that will take several years. The project, and those to come, are cooperative ventures by the town and Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District, Harrington said. Costs of installation are shared, but the town will be responsible for upkeep.
"I'm glad we did Town Park first," Harrington said. "We learned a lot about what to do and what not to do." Completing the project required new plumbing, replacing the clocks that run the system and adding scrubbers.
Having the raw water capabilities in Town Park also allowed the town to tap into a half-a-cubic-foot-per-second water right to water the park and the football field prior to the Fourth of July activities. The water right dates back to the Old Locke's Ditch and was acquired when the town purchased the wetlands behind Town Hall. Harrington said right now, the town has received permission to use the right for 90 days on an as-needed basis. Harrington said if drought ever threatens the intake for the domestic water supply, the town would cease use of the right immediately.
All of the other town parks are being watered on the once-weekly schedule assigned by the water district. Harrington said the ball fields and parks people are used to finding green and lush will soon wither without water.
No matter what happens, he told the board, it's sort of a no-win situation. Stop watering and people will complain about the aesthetics. Keep watering and people will complain about the waste of water.
In other business, the board heard construction reports, approved a motion to adopt the state's new liquor license fee schedule and voted on three planning issues.
Harrington said work on the Pagosa Springs Community Center continues to move ahead of schedule. Currently, contractors are working on completing several small items. Furnishings began arriving July 2.
The bell tower project at the old town hall site is also moving along steadily. Site work around the tower is scheduled to begin this week, and the electronic message board is on the way.
The board unanimously approved a motion to zone Henry White's property on Snowball Road as B2, mixed-use residential. This designation allows limited commercial development, but does not guarantee commercial uses. Instead, commercial uses must be reviewed at a neighborhood-compatibility meeting and receive a conditional use permit. White's property was part of an annexation completed in January.
The board also approved an ordinance vacating Durango Street from 9th Street east to the alley, and approved a lot consolidation for John Brown, who is planning to develop an RV park east of the downtown area.
By Richard Walter
Archuleta School District 50 Joint is one teacher short of having a full staff for the coming school year.
That status was achieved Tuesday when the board of education, following a 20-minute executive session, agreed to an administrative recommendation to employ five new teachers. At the same time, the board approved two staff transfers.
Approved as new teachers were Ina Noggle for an Intermediate School fifth grade Title 1 Class; Sally High as a junior high school social studies teacher; Shayla Suchecki as junior high outdoor education teacher; Lynn Calhoun as a half-time English/social studies teacher; and Varina Boudreaux as a third grade teacher.
The staff transfers involved moving Trish Davis from elementary school teacher to sixth grade Title 1 teacher and Lisa Hudson from half-time English/social studies teacher to half-time intermediate school counselor.
The lone remaining vacancy to be filled is for a computer science teacher.
Superintendent Duane Noggle told the board the district has received full accreditation. He said a physical inspection of the district's facilities and programs was made and the inspector found no deficiencies to report.
In fact, the district and staff received praise for efforts to coordinate lesson plans to curriculum development and the use of CSAP scores to evaluate and update programs at all levels.
The only suggestion for change the examiner made, he said, was that the CSAP scores as reported to the public should include a breakdown of results by "gifted" students.
After a review of proposed changes in the first three sections of the District Policy Book, as recommended by Colorado Association of School Boards, Noggle told the board next month's session will deal with a number of proposed changes in the personnel procedures code.
He asked board members to be sure they have read the draft proposals prior to that session.
By John M. Motter
Faced with fire restrictions and the worst drought of record, what is happening to the building industry and real estate sales in Archuleta County?
Some folks, between sips of coffee, assert that new home construction is grinding to a halt because fire insurance is not available. The same folks say no one wants to buy real estate in Archuleta County because of the fire threat.
In a search for facts concerning the question, "What is happening?" The SUN sampled a few representatives of the building, mortgage lending, insurance and real estate businesses.
What we learned is: building continues at a record pace; fire insurance is available for new construction, home purchases, and renters insurance. Realtors may be experiencing a slight reduction in sales.
Through June 30 of this year, the county has issued 304 building permits, well above the 288 permits issued during the next best year, 2000.
The leading category for new permits this year is residential construction with 190, compared with a second-best 170 residential permits issued in 2000.
Interestingly, the three best years for issuing permits have been the last three years, 2000, 2001, and this year.
We talked to four insurance sources in Pagosa Springs. Homeowner's, builder's risk, and renter's insurance is available from three of the four.
Insurance protection is available for anyone building, purchasing a home, or renting. An insurance buyer may face a variety of conditions and rates, depending upon the issuing company and the property to be insured.
In general, insurance will be easier to obtain if the property is inside Pagosa Fire Protection District boundaries. Insurance companies are paying more attention to "defensible space" around homes. Defensible space is cleared of trees, brush and other combustible materials. At least one agent said, "If they won't make a defensible space, we won't cover them."
Companies set moratoriums depending on how close a fire may be to the structure proposed for insurance. Nearly all companies refuse to write a new policy or increase a policy if a fire is within 10, 15, or 20 miles of the insured structure. The distance restriction varies from company to company.
Melanie Myers, account manager with Acordia, an independent insurance agency, said, "I've written a lot of accounts, business hasn't slowed down a bit."
Acordia is writing homeowner's, builder's risk, and other standard forms of insurance.
Farm Bureau continues to write standard builder's risk insurance, according to Darin Mundy, but considers each site case by case. There are no limits within the fire district, but proposed sites outside the district are considered case by case. They won't insure sites within 20 miles of a fire.
"We're staying away from exceptionally high value properties, or heavily wooded places," Mundy said. "They must be willing to create defensive space. I've just had $500,000 and $800,000 properties approved that are outside the fire district. They agreed to create defensible space according to our requirements."
"I've been writing insurance, including builder's risk, the whole time with the same rate as we started the year," said Robert Soniat of American Family Insurance. "We won't write within 10 miles of a fire." American Family Insurance writes only within fire district boundaries.
State Farm was the only company we talked with that has a moratorium against issuing new builder's risk policies.
"I think there is more rumor than fact in the statement that builder's risk insurance is not available," said Truitt Forrest. "We would have a moratorium against new policies within 10 miles of a fire but in fact, State Farm has had a restricted writing policy since May 1, long before drought and fire conditions became obvious. Our restrictions are not fire related, but are related to other issues connected with our rate of growth and claims experience over the past couple of years. We continue to write and make changes for existing policy owners, we just are limited to the number of new policies we can write. I've referred several people to other insurers who are writing builder's risk policies."
There are also many companies not writing builder's risk insurance, among them Zurich, formerly active in the builder's risk field.
To get a look at the building industry from the viewpoint of lenders we talked to Wells Fargo Bank, Rio Grande Savings and Loan, and Fairway Mortgage, all in Pagosa Springs. They all remain bullish on the local building industry.
"I haven't had a problem so far," said Jim Askins of Fairway Mortgage. "As far as I know, anyone living here who wants to build, or anyone who intends to move here and build, if they meet ordinary conditions, should be able to get financing and insurance."
Gary Lucas, of Rio Grande Savings and Loan, said most of the new housing starts and home purchases carried by his firm had obtained insurance before the severity of the drought became apparent.
"I personally don't know of anyone having trouble getting insurance," Lucas said.
Jan Brookshier of Wells Fargo Bank was more emphatic.
Concerning new construction, Wells Fargo has 40 houses on the books, according to Brookshier, 54 percent more than the previous year. Many of these were approved before the impacts of the local drought were known.
Even with the drought, Brookshier is still closing finance packages, including the required insurance.
"I'm closing two deals today," Brookshier said. "They have insurance."
Building in Archuleta County seems to be pushing ahead at a record pace, even though builders are faced with special problems because of the fire threat.
One special problem involves defensible space, a requirement from the past that is being enforced this year with increased vigor. Along with defensible space, builders are adding fire extinguishers and other firefighting capabilities to their building sites.
"We have been affected some," said Curt Johnson of Custom Homes by Curt Johnson. Measured by dollars spent, Custom Homes is the largest builder in the county. "We have two sites on hold because the owners are nervous about the fire danger. We built 16 homes last year and still have more to build. We're building fire breaks around the construction sites, setting up for water as soon as possible, and bringing extinguishers to the sites. It's the only way we know."
"We were having insurance problems a couple of weeks ago, but it is working out, things are back to normal" said Debbie Brown of Colorado Dream Homes. "Zurich quit writing builder's risk insurance. We found insurance from another provider. We haven't lost any housing starts."
Real estate sales
The real estate people we talked to agree that real estate sales have slowed slightly. All expect sales to return to normal soon, especially if rains come.
"Some people are holding back, kind of waiting to see what happens," said salesman Lee Riley of Jim Smith Realty. "I hear there are some concerns about getting insurance for building permits, but I think the building industry is probably less affected than real estate."
Because of publicity concerning the drought and fire danger, Riley believes there will be fewer tourists in town. Fewer tourists could mean fewer sales because a certain number of tourists always like what they see and decide to move here.
Overall real estate sales for the first half of 2002 are up, according to Riley, except for 35-acre and larger tracts. The increase amounts to about 10 percent for condominiums, residential, commercial, and vacant lots. Homes ranging between $150,000 and $250,000 make up the best part of the market, Riley said.
Kalei Pitcher of Jann Pitcher Real Estate sees a lull in property sales because "people are waiting to see what will happen. This is normally the busiest time of the year. People are waiting to see if it will rain again."
People who have been planning for some time to move to Pagosa will probably carry out their plans because, "they've been here, they know what to expect." Pitcher said. "First time visitors who might buy on impulse are more likely to wait and see."
A great number of real estate, building, lending, and insurance companies do business in Pagosa Springs. Many may have opinions and experiences differing than those expressed in this article. The selection of the businesses referenced in this article was random and does not constitute a recommendation. The SUN advises readers to consult the Pagosa Area Chamber of Commerce when doing business in this community.
By John M. Motter
Monday is the last day for unregistered voters to register in order to vote in the Aug. 13 primary election, according to June Madrid, the Archuleta County Clerk, Recorder and election official.
Persons who don't know if they are registered are urged to call the clerk's office.
Monday is also the last day for those who want to vote to withdraw or change party affiliation. Unaffiliated voters can affiliate when they enter the primary polling place to cast a ballot Aug. 13, Madrid said.
Last Monday was the final day for unaffiliated candidates to file a nomination petition with the county clerk. None were filed. Following the July 8 deadline, no new candidate names or write-in candidates will be included on the primary or general election ballot.
Early voting for the primary election starts Aug. 3.
July 29 is the last day for a political subdivision to notify the county clerk of a ballot issue on the Nov. 5 general election ballot. The only entry anticipated in this category is a bond proposal expected from Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District.
Voter tabulation will be conducted by computer for this election.
By Marti Capling
Special to The PREVIEW
Building on last year's sellout success, the Pagosa Springs Arts Council has scheduled Home and Garden Tour 2002 and plans to make it an annual event.
The tour will take place Sunday, July 21, noon-5 p.m.
Homes have been selected in a variety of styles and sizes, each with unique features that reflect the interests and personalities of the owners. The tour includes a castle on a hill called The Dove of Peace, with a turret entrance leading to a home full of custom features; a Santa Fe hacienda know as Una Casa con Amor, with a walled yard containing plants and herbs; a passive solar earthberm home with a flagstone patio growing dome; and The Love Shack.
Also featured will be a handcrafted full log home with custom decor reflecting both masculine and feminine details. In addition, this home has been landscaped as a model for good fire prevention. Nearby is a cozy mountain home on the edge of Martinez Canyon with an eclectic mix of antiques, collectibles and southwest decor. This home has a natural yard complete with a meandering path down to the creek.
In the country you'll find a two-story farmhouse overlooking the pasture, filled with western artifacts and antiques; and in town, a carefully tended Habitat for Humanity home with creative and beautiful rock gardens.
Of special interest will be the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitary District Xeriscape Demonstration Garden. Given the drought conditions in Colorado, this is the perfect time to zero in on the natural way of growing flowers, shrubs and trees that are native to the area and require little water. Xeriscape landscaping design can produce some of the showiest flower gardens due to our abundant sunlight, low humidity, warm days and cool nights.
Whether you're a Pagosa resident or a visitor, please join the self-guided tour. Tickets providing information and directions are on sale for $10 at the Chamber of Commerce and WolfTracks Bookstore and Coffee House. Arts Council members may purchase tickets for $8 at the gallery in Town Park.
All proceeds go to the Arts Council to help fund the gallery, exhibits and workshops, and to keep the arts flourishing in Pagosa and Archuleta County. It is suggested tickets be purchased early as there is a limit of 300 and none will be sold after the July 19 deadline.
Participants are encouraged to share rides to reduce traffic and facilitate parking. Also, be prepared to remove shoes or use paper shoe covers provided as a courtesy to the hosts.
Beverages will be provided and one home has been selected as a refreshment center. The afternoon is designed to lift spirits and fill participants with new ideas for decorating and landscaping.
Anticipation and excitement are running high as aspiring local country music artists prepare for the "Colgate Country Showdown," set for Aug. 2 at the Archuleta County Fair.
The world's largest country music talent showcase and radio promotion, the Country Showdown, is presented locally by KWUF and is sponsored by High Country Lodge - Pagosa's Best Value Inn, Mataya's Chevron, Morehart Chevrolet and Subaru, Pagosa Dental and The Timbers of Pagosa.
The Archuleta County Fair, at the fairgrounds on U.S. 84, will provide an unrivaled setting for the competition, which will spotlight some of the best and brightest talent this area has to offer. Serving as contest judges are Dan Appenzeller, John Graves, Debbie Ramey and Elaine Nash-Putnam. A uniform judging system on all levels of the competition ensures fairness.
Acts will compete for the opportunity to perform in the state Country Showdown to be held later this year. State winners, each of whom earns a $1,000 cash prize, will advance to regional competition in the fall. Winners of the six regional contests will be flown expenses-paid to the National Final to compete for the Grand Prize of $100,000 cash and the National Title.
The "Colgate Country Showdown" is designed to find the most promising country music talent in America, giving the performers a chance to launch professional careers. Country Showdown audiences may be seeing, hearing and applauding the next Reba McEntire, Garth Brooks or Alan Jackson.
By John M. Motter
Drought conditions are spurring a variety of responses by local government entities and private organizations.
The Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District has imposed Level 2 water rationing and is initiating a number of steps designed to mitigate present and future water shortages.
A number of entities, including the San Juan Water Conservancy District, are studying the idea of cloud seeding as a means of alleviating the effects of future low precipitation years.
Water flow in the San Juan River as measured in Pagosa Springs climbed to about 25 cubic feet per second Tuesday, a record low for this time of year. That flow had dropped below 20 cfs a few days earlier.
"I think the rise may be due to irrigation water leaching through the ground and back into the river," said Russell Crowley, director of the Archuleta County Department of Emergency Management.
Stream flow in the San Juan as measured downstream at Carracas was also about 25 cfs July 9. Flow in the Piedra River measured near Arboles on the same date amounted to about 15 cfs.
The district continues to pump water from the San Juan River south of Pagosa Springs at the rate of two million gallons per day. It can pump from the San Juan as long as the stream flow at the South San Juan diversion point remains above 5 or 6 cfs, according to Gene Tautges, the district assistant manager.
Level 2 water rationing is having the desired result, according to Tautges.
"We've seen a decline in usage," Tautges said. "We're proud and thankful for the public response, especially since we've just passed through a busy Fourth of July holiday."
From July 5-9, the district pumped a little more than 8 million gallons from the South San Juan diversion point. Of that amount, 5.5 million gallons was treated at the San Juan water treatment plant at Vista for direct consumption by users. The remaining 2.5 million gallons was put as raw water into Lake Forest. During the same time, 7.4 million gallons of water were pumped from Lake Forest to Village Lake.
Village Lake is used as a raw water source for irrigators such as the golf course, Pagosa Lodge, condominiums and others. The level of Lake Forest has dropped about 4 inches, while Village Lake rose about 2 inches, said Tautges.
At the regular Tuesday meeting of the district board of directors, Tautges suggested setting a minimum level for Village Lake at 63 inches below the spillway.
Representatives from the golf course and homeowners from the Village Lake area suggested that such a move should not be made until the district presents statistical data justifying it. Since the data was not available Tuesday, board members directed Tautges to gather the data and present it at the next board meeting in two weeks.
In the meantime, the district will refill Lake Forest before sending more water to Village Lake. District officials have directed that Lake Forest remain full as a hedge against the possibility that the San Juan River may go dry.
According to a 1991 agreement between the district and various entities at Pagosa Lakes, in the event of water shortages, a priority scheme gives domestic water top priority, followed by irrigation and aesthetic concerns.
Pagosa Springs Golf Club representatives worry that, because of the lack of watering, they will permanently lose greens valued at about $3.5 million. Watering on the course is already greatly restricted. The district has promised to try to save the greens. Fairways are not being watered.
Terry Carter, greenskeeper at the golf course, said he has talked with the San Juan Water Conservancy District about developing a joint community effort to look into cloud seeding as a means of combating the drought. He said other local entities are interested as well, and invited the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District board to join in the discussion. The board agreed.
In the meantime, the district is in the process of acquiring new pumps in order to move 3 million gallons per day from the South San Juan diversion point. In addition, they are acquiring pumps to move water from Lake Forest to the San Juan treatment plant, and from that plant to the Lake Hatcher treated water distribution system.
During years when the San Juan snowpack is normal, water flows through the Dutton Ditch to fill Lake Hatcher and Stevens Reservoir. From Stevens, water spills in sequence into Lake Pagosa, from there into Village Lake and then into Lake Forest. Water treatment plants located below the Hatcher and Stevens storage reservoirs normally supply treated water to portions of the Pagosa Lakes community of subdivisions.
Because of the low snowpack this year, the spillage sequence did not take place. As an alternative, the district has pumped from the South San Juan diversion point to the San Juan treatment plant. Treated water from that plant is serving much of the area formerly served by the Stevens and Hatcher treatment plants.
Water from Stevens Reservoir is not currently being treated or used. Instead, that lake's water is being reserved for emergencies.
Water from Lake Hatcher is being treated and used on a limited basis. When the new pump from the San Juan treatment plant to the Lake Hatcher distribution system is in place, no water will be taken from Lake Hatcher. The remaining water stored there will be reserved for future emergencies.
July 8, the Lake Pagosa area reservoirs contained the following usable capacities: Lake Hatcher - 42 percent, 370.6 acre-feet; Stevens Reservoir - 47 percent, 293 acre-feet; Lake Forest - 98 percent, 390 acre-feet; Village Lake - 33 percent, 198.8 acre-feet; and Lake Pagosa - 54 percent, 578 acre-feet.
By Crista Munro
Special to the PREVIEW
Traveling across the country in a 1960 tour bus to share their uplifting grooves, Donna the Buffalo has developed a fervent following and inspired fans of all ages. They have mastered the festival circuit, performing yearly at prestigious events like Merlefest, Telluride Bluegrass and the Newport Folk Festival.
Funky and danceable, with a message of tribal philosophy and celebration, Donna the Buffalo's music is a unique blend of reggae, rock, country, zydeco, Cajun and folk traditions.
The dual vocals of Tara Nevins and Jeb Puryear provide a hypnotic quality to the melody, adding to the band's unusual instrumentation and original sound. While their swirling music ensures that audiences will be up and dancing, the band's pointed lyrics issue moral challenges. Topic material moves effortlessly between political, historical, personal, and spiritual themes, with ideas of social and moral responsibility that spring from the band members' core beliefs.
Donna the Buffalo's unique musical style involves a symbiotic relationship with the band's fans. The interchange of energy and emotion between the band and the fans turns each concert into an experience that actualizes the ideas of community, responsibility, and celebration heard in the band's lyrics. Dubbed "The Herd," Donna's inspired fan base trails the band as it makes its way from state to state. The Herd spans several generations, styles and aesthetic, with one common denominator - a love for the roots-rock splendor of Donna the Buffalo.
Donna the Buffalo's fourth record, on Positive Friction/Sugar Hill Records, received radio air play nationwide, climbing to No. 14 on Americana Radio and sold more than 15,000 copies, rising to No. 7 on Billboard's weekly chart for internet sales.
Donna the Buffalo will headline Friday, Aug. 30, at the Four Corners Folk Festival and will perform a second set at 3 p.m. Saturday afternoon.
Tickets can be purchased locally at Moonlight Books downtown or at Wolf Tracks Coffee and Books in the Pagosa Country Center.
For additional information, or to purchase tickets with a credit card, visit www.folkwest.com or call (970)731-5582.
Parade winners announced
An impartial group of out-of-town judges had a hard time deciding, but came up with a list of winners in the "Let's Roll For Freedom" July 4 parade in Pagosa Springs.
In the commercial division, there was a tie for first place and $75 prizes went to Specialty Cabinets and SNIPS. Third place and $25 went to Jann Pitcher Real Estate.
In the nonprofit division, there again was a first-place tie, this time between San Juan Fishermen and PACE - Pagosa Area Christian Home Educators who each received $75; and a tie for third place between Habitat for Humanity and Pagosa Springs Rotary Club, the parade sponsor.
Winning the youth division and its $100 first prize was Pagosa Springs Gymnastics. Second and taking home $50 was the Archuleta County 4-H entry and third, getting $25, was First Baptist Church Kids.
Netting the $100 prize for individuals were Myron and Breanna Voorhis and their goat cart. Second place and $50 went to The Reindle Family; and third, with $25, to the Majestic Andalusians.
Mountain Harmony Ladies Barbershop Chorus captured the $100 prize for best musical entry.
The judges were Rev. Glenda Callicott, Rachel, Erika and Chandra Helm, all of Independence, Mo., and Sue Silva of Riverside, Calif.
Blood drive slated July 31
United Blood Services, urging people to become regular blood donors to help America be prepared for emergencies, has scheduled a blood draw 1-5:30 p.m. July 30 at Community United Methodist Church, 434 Lewis St.
Identification is required for all prospective donors. Call 385-4601 to make an appointment.
Following the systemwide emergency appeal issued June 26, 60 residents of Archuleta County volunteered to donate blood in two separate drives.
Randy Hubbs, community relations representative with United Blood Services, said, "The citizens of Archuleta County responded magnificently, as always. Given our low staffing, the fires, and historic low turnout summer season, we were delighted with the results."
Hubbs said, "We always try to honor people who have appointments, but walk-in donors were extremely patient, in some cases waiting 45 minutes to give a precious unit of blood."
According to Karen Aspin's right-wing, conservative view in her letter of June 27, the fires are the fault of the environmental movement of the past 20 years.
I don't have to look any further than Altura Valley to see the truth. Our forests have been altered by hundreds of years of logging and mismanagement; after the damage was done, the forests altered beyond repair in most cases.
The rhetorical far-right would make us think the forests couldn't survive without us. The fact is, they can't survive with us. If you want to see the health of your forests fly over them at 30,000. If you can see through the haze, you will see roads like spider webs and our forest carved up like Nebraska farms.
I hardly think 20 years of environmentalists complaining about government mismanagement and clearcutting of forests constitutes the blame of 100-plus years of heavy logging and 90 years of Band Aid management. Because of so much demand and not enough supply, we now have 1,000 trees per acre of young trees compared to 70 trees per acre, mostly old growth, in 1900. Remember when George Bush ordered those billions of small trees planted back in 1990? Those trees are now 10-foot-tall fire tinder.
Blaming environmentalists is scapegoating at its worst, and shame on you.
In the book "The Crest of the Continent," 1890, Robert Ingersol describes the local forests on his stagecoach journey from Pagosa Springs to Durango as "... a forest of giant trees with shining bark and very little undergrowth." As I said, our forest has been altered forever. To return the ponderosa pine forests to that balance that took 10,000 years to attain is impossible.
Man's further profit-motivated involvement will only make things worse. It's time to change the way we live, and time to stop changing our forests.
Ideas for GOP
N.G. Constan's letter (July 3, 2002) got me to thinking how local Republicans could put together a series of forums demonstrating that their party has a monopoly on virtue as well as ideas. I submit the following lineup:
1. Newt Gingrich, Robert Livingston and Henry Hyde discussing the importance of family values;
2. The entire Republican majority on the House Ways and Means Committee, discussing why it is important for American corporations such as Tyco and Stanley Works to be able to reincorporate offshore to avoid paying U.S. taxes;
3. Kenneth Lay ("Kenny Boy" to the President) discussing how to get your guys appointed to critical regulatory bodies;
4. Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill discussing the importance of eliminating that tired old Democratic idea, Social Security, on the sound empirical basis that he doesn't know anyone who needs it;
5. SEC Chairman Harvey Pitt discussing synergies involved in regulating the same people and firms, including accounting firms, he represented in private practice;
6. John Ashcroft discussing the importance of states' rights, except when the states pass laws offensive to Ashcroft, such as Oregon's assisted suicide law.
There are, of course, many additional possibilities, but these should be sufficient to convince any right-minded person that the Republican Party is the place to be.
A cry for helmets
Sitting at the Fourth of July Parade is usually an enjoyable event in Pagosa ... until halfway through this year's parade.
I had my sons with me, ages 2 and 5, on the parade route when the helmetless "murdercycles" showed up. My kids were scared; I was in fear of being needed to scrape up body parts after they crashed or to take care of innocent bystanders.
As a medical provider in this county, I feel I need to make a plea for safety. Not wearing helmets is a choice; endangering the public should not be a choice. Endangering the public on the parade route is a choice that should be made for them by the Rotary Club Parade Committee.
Motorcycle wheelies and skidding in front of the judges does not make you a winner. Helmets and safety do.
Motorcycles are fun. Motorcycles are dangerous. Please be responsible with your decisions. I love my job but don't like performing "streetside." Please be safe.
Family nurse practitioner
Build for needs
The county commissioners several years ago passed up a golden opportunity to buy 91 acres at the junction of U.S. 84 and 160 for approximately $1 million.
Instead they bought 4.8 acres downtown for approximately $750,000. This works out to around $10,000 per acre versus $150,000 per acre. I know downtown land on the river is expensive, but for the county to pay this price when more and cheaper land was available elsewhere seems a real waste of taxpayers' money.
And to add insult to injury, the present ideas for its use don't make sense. The real shortage of space for Archuleta County government is in the jail, courts, social services, sheriff's department, jail and planning department. The shortage is not in office space for county commissioners.
So why not try to make the best use of the wasted money already spent? The five departments mentioned above all have things in common. All, because of recent rapid county growth, need to expand immediately. They all need to work with each other to become more efficient, and in doing so, save us money.
Their increased efficiency will benefit all citizens. This is what most larger cities do to save time, money, transportation and duplication. If we are going to build a new expensive government building, then let's build what is really needed and do it right.
So instead of building a new expensive building to house the county commissioners and various unrelated departments, why not plan and build a Justice Center where all the above departments can work together. The planning department then can take whatever space it needs in the old building and everybody will gain.
It is time for the citizens of Archuleta County to quit being a "silent majority" and let our wishes be known to our representatives. Speak up.
First: I wish to thank you for your timely tribute to this great nation, of which I have had the privilege of being a citizen since 1968.
Second: I agree that the United States is under siege from forces within and without, which are intent on its destruction. These forces come from various sources, including those who envy the unparalleled freedom and progress found here. One of the destructive forces is from Great Britain, which has had the unswerving goal of re-colonizing North America since 1776.
Third: The term "interdependence" is inappropriate. The founding fathers would agree. George Washington warned against "entangling alliances," especially with reference to European nations.
Fourth: You mention "reliance on and trust in others of like mind." Individuals and nations cooperate with others to achieve specific goals for their mutual benefit, but can you name a nation (including the UN) which is of "like mind" as the United States.
Fifth: The United States is unique in this world. Some examples of this are: to form a united republic, the states granted certain limited powers to the federal government. In the United States, the people are citizens, and not subjects. The United States Constitution describes the limits of power of the federal government. The Bill of Rights clarifies many of the God-given rights of citizens, but does not describe all of them (9th Amendment). In other nations (and the UN), rights are granted by government (and can be taken away).
Sixth: Interdependence would mean destruction of national sovereignty and the loss of our constitutional republic and our freedom. No, we need to try and recover some of our already lost independence. This can only be done through our diligent watchfulness, awareness of what the United States stands for and the dangers threatening its existence, and an alertness and responsibility to regain our freedom.
It seems to me that my article "Zoning for Bears," has generated more heat than light. People attacked me, rather than the ideas I spoke about. This is an old technique, but it serves no purpose. Let's discuss the issue.
Bears must be cared for when their environment and food supply is destroyed by man. The bears were here first and they have certain inalienable rights. They must be provided for before it's too late and they are declared an endangered species.
Feeding animals is not welfare because animals have a right to life. Would you consider your pet to be on welfare? Are animals in zoos on welfare? In a civilized society, "welfare" is a not a dirty word. The elderly, sick and disabled should be provided for.
Bears have been disabled because their natural environment has been destroyed by man. Zoning is the answer to the problem. In zoning, a natural habitat is created and bears can find the food they need.
This is not welfare; this is sensible. If you disagree with this, please give your reasons. I'd like to hear them, but attacking me is not the answer we seek.
Dr. Herbert Parker
In our terms
Today's environmental movement is mostly comprised of special interest groups seeking political power, using the environment to get votes. To acquire that power they even play on human nature's need for religion, intentionally creating a new pseudo-religion to specifically serve their needs. A pseudo-religion centered on global encompassing pantheistic beliefs, based on artificial assertions. And to propagate these assertions, they project human values and concerns onto an amoral nonhuman material world. As one of their "priests," M.J. Cohen, said, all organisms and entities, including dirt, rocks, flowers, clouds even wind are equal in intrinsic worth to humans! All this is meant to direct those who do not make their living cultivating nature, or scientifically understanding it.
Ultimately this "nature-love" substitutes for real religion, eventually trivializing into the pseudo-scientific banality of therapeutic narcissism. This is a manifestly anti-human. If we redefine ourselves as just one more species, we cease to be human, and will behave like nature: amorally, indifferent to cruelty, suffering, deaths of individuals, even whole species; capable of anything, with no compassion, no pity, no art, no altruism or any other virtue. Nature's way includes destruction by: meteors and fires, global warming caused by volcanoes, ice ages, tectonic plate movements, changes in the earth's orbit or polarity and wholesale death (99% of all species that ever existed are extinct, thanks in large part to - nature). Comparatively, human environmental depredation is a mere temporary rash.
What makes us human is not found in nature: reason, language, culture, ritual, technology, self-awareness, memory, imagination, higher emotions, values, ethics, morals, the freedom to choose, consciousness and free will. Nothing other than humans possess any of these attributes.
It should be obvious then that our relationship to the environment must be defined not in nature's terms, but in ours. We must stop indulging in the myth of a paradise lost due to civilization and its discontents, and we must stop promoting self-gratifying eco-utopian fantasies. Instead we must start making clear-headed decisions about human needs. Those decisions will not be found in politically oriented movements that rely on quasi-religious, unscientific views of nature.
St. Patrick's pride
It is always a joy to return to Pagosa each summer during our family vacation. This year was no exception. A beautiful new Town Hall and Community Center, new traffic lights, improvements everywhere - wow!
I know that growth ushers in many problems, but I assume the fine people of Pagosa are more than a match for those problems. It is always rewarding bumping into old friends and receiving a warm smile and friendly hug. Starting the day with a great big juicy burger at the Malt Shop. Seeing Reuben at City Market, Crabtree at the Court House ... stopping by the SUN office. Visiting old parishioners and remembering "the good 'ol days." Closing the day taking my 9-year-old to the carnival and getting sick on one maddening ride. What else could a guy ask for? We love Pagosa.
We are particularly proud of the people of St. Patrick's Episcopal Church. One of the more welcome sights during our visit was the new church being built west of town, next to the medical center. Not too long ago, many throughout the state had written off the tiny congregation of St. Patrick's. Only a handful of people, outside of Pagosa, were committed to the church's survival.
Well, the people of St. Patrick's had something else in mind - growth, success and serving God and his people. During the last 10 years the tiny mission church has become a vital and active Parish. Thanks to devoted and visionary leadership, St. Patrick's has become a jewel in Colorado's Episcopal crown. Lay leaders like Muriel Cronkhite, Jim Peironnet, Esther Orr, Ian Vowles, Scott Hollenbeck, Douglas Humble, Harry Yelek, Dick and Ann Van Fossen, Bob Woodson, and Priest Annie Ryder have worked long and hard to build a strong parish family.
On Sunday, Nov. 23, the new church will be consecrated by the Rt. Rev. Jerry Winterrowd. I want to encourage the community to get behind this wonderful event and support St. Patrick's and her people. Give the Rev. Annie Ryder a call. I know she'd love to share the St. Patrick's success story with you. St. Pat's has been very lucky having Annie as Rector. She is an incredible priest and a credit to the community and the Episcopal Church.
Well, I have rambled on too much. Forgive me. It's just that I am so excited about the many ways God has blessed Pagosa Springs. I am proud to call Pagosa my second home and will continue to keep her and all her people in my prayers.
Blessings and peace,
The Rev. Dr. Clark M. Sherman
Main street crowds have dispersed, traffic jams have subsided, horse droppings have been scooped from the highway and trash has been removed from downtown. The 2002 Fourth of July parade is history. The weather was perfect and the crowd appreciative. With a few minor exceptions, it was a wonderful success.
As I've said many times, these things don't just happen. Individuals too numerous to mention contributed countless hours to the cause. The Rotary Club, the Chamber of Commerce and other civic organizations are to be commended.
Since my primary parade duty is traffic control, I must acknowledge those who kept cars moving and pedestrians safe.
The Colorado Mounted Rangers top my list. Amy Bishel, Bart Burnett, Skip Cantor, Dale Glispey, Gary Liescheidt, Robert Penton, Gary Smith, Karl Smith, Wayne Straus and Fermin Villareal earned my sincere gratitude. So did Colorado State Trooper Nick Rivera. The town street crew, town parks and recreation department and my staff also did a great job. My heartfelt thanks are extended to everyone who helped.
Donald D. Volger,
Chief, Pagosa Springs Police
Last week was festive in Pagosa Country, despite the fears of fire, the lack of water, the restrictions on celebration. Pessimists anticipated a subdued holiday but many of our friends and neighbors went beyond the call to see to it that a restrained summer season was kicked into a higher gear.
As always, kids of all ages enjoyed the carnival downtown and, for three days, arts and crafts vendors plied their wares at two parks
The annual Rotary parade, excepting one unfortunate and potentially dangerous entry, was top-rate. Spectators crowded the main streets in town and adjourned following the parade to other venues.
One of the venues was the Red Ryder Roundup Rodeo and all three performances were skillfully orchestrated and entertaining.
A quilt show, featuring marvelous examples of handiwork, attracted spectators for three days.
Finally, a community picnic gave those in attendance a chance to eat, play games and listen to two of our best local musical groups, the Pagosa Hot Strings and Rio Jazz. True, there were no fireworks, but the evening was a great success.
The fireworks are yet to come. They won't light up the sky, but they will make life interesting.
Just as the Fourth of July holiday signals the approach of the middle of the summer season, it also alerts us to the start of the political season. In this general election year, with all the trimmings, with several important county offices at stake, the fireworks will be bright and loud.
We must prepare on several fronts.
Monday is the last day to change party affiliation and to register to vote in the Republican primary to be held Aug. 13.
The primary is an important event, given we remain in a partisan system at the local level
In one race, to determine a Republican candidate for county treasurer on the November ballot, there are two candidates listed: incumbent Traves Garrett and challenger Pam Eaton. This race will likely determine our next county treasurer with no Democrat or unaffiliated candidate on the horizon as a general election opponent.
In the race to determine who runs as the Republican choice in November as candidate for county sheriff there is one name printed on the ballot - incumbent Tom Richards - and another candidate soliciting write-in votes - Larry Bass. This race will probably tell us who our next sheriff will be.
Let the vigor and enthusiasm generated by our recent Fourth of July carry over to the political process: register, vote in the primary if you are a Republican, vote in the November elections regardless of party affiliation or lack of same.
But, add caution to enthusiasm and remain alert. We need to make demands of candidates and of ourselves as this process unfolds.
Of our candidates, we must demand honesty, forthright responses to the issues, accurate representations of qualifications.
Of ourselves, we ask that we not be naive. We cannot assume we automatically get the desired responses from our candidates. We must examine each candidate's answers to questions, put them to the test, investigate claims made concerning experience that allegedly qualifies an aspirant for office as well as actions in the past that color a candidate's record. We must be on guard for grandstand plays and emphasis on shopworn issues the only purpose of which is to inflame emotion and divert critical attention.
Beware the cliché and sleight of hand: this is political season.
Once the primary election is over, a general election looms in the fall featuring a race for county commissioner as well as statewide races of interest. Here, again, there is ample reason to be cautious.
We should navigate this season enthusiastic, open-minded, passionate ... and very careful as we assess our options.
By Shari Pierce
90 years ago
Taken from SUN files of July 12, 1912
We are needing rain badly and unless we get it soon the crops will be short this year.
The open air band concerts will take place in Deller park on Saturday evenings from 7:30 to 8:30 hereafter instead of on Sunday. The public is cordially invited to attend these concerts.
Dr. DeMotte has just received an installment of his poem entitled "The Bride of the Silver San Juan," which he wrote last fall after the great flood of Oct. 5th. The Dr. has put it on sale at a price that will not burden his pocketbook to carry the profits, and to every citizen who knows what the flood was here last fall it will be appreciated, and as a souvenir to send to your friends back east we believe it will be acceptable.
75 years ago
Taken from SUN files of July 15, 1927
A temporary bridge was built across Pass Creek on the Wolf Creek Pass highway last week, and traffic over the pass was resumed Saturday.
The Antonito and Pagosa baseball teams clashed Sunday on the local diamond, the former winning a hard fought game by the score of 8 to 2. The Pagosa team was crippled by the absence of three regular players, but hopes to record a different story when a return game is played in Antonito on Sunday, July 24.
The cottage prayer meeting will be held next Wednesday night at the home of Mr. and Mrs. A.L. Andrews in South Pagosa.
Forest Supervisor Andrew Hutton is over from Durango on official business this week.
50 years ago
Taken from SUN files of July 11, 1952
The 1952 Red Ryder Round-Up wound up being one of the most successful shows ever to be presented here. The crowd was the largest in the history of the 4th of July here and the spectators at the rodeo saw some top notch performances and races. The grounds were crowded to capacity on Friday, but less than a third of the seats were filled on Saturday. This was no doubt the result of the rain that fell Friday night and Saturday morning with .76 of rain.
The Town Board discussed at some length the feasibility of a new water supply system, with the water being brought from West Fork and a gravity system installed. This would replace the present pumping plant and reservoir.
25 years ago
Taken from SUN files of July 7, 1977
The rains came! The showers over the 4th of July holiday were big news to just about everyone. Crops, gardens, grasses, lawns, pastures, and the countryside are all in better shape because of the moisture. The rains didn't materially increase stream flows, but they were very beneficial to all. Even those in attendance at the rodeo who got a bit damp weren't complaining in the least.
A search party is presently in the Granite Lake area searching for a 27 year old man, believed to be lost there. He has not been heard from since June 15th.
The Red Ryder Roundup is over for another year and it has been classed as an outstanding success. Large crowds were in attendance at the rodeo.
By Ming Steen
There is a 15-year-old French girl living with my family. She speaks French, softly and mellifluously. Tom, Courtney and I speak English, passably, very audible and, in Geraldine's opinion, in a rather monotone way. Forty percent of our conversation is verbal, the rest mime.
In a mere nine days, we have all become adept with gestures, created our own English/French dialect and laughed a lot.
It is interesting that we have sometimes come to depend solely on words to communicate. Body language, facial expressions and such need to be given greater consideration. Even when speaking a common language, people of the opposite sex and different generations frequently come up against roadblocks.
The following, "Words Women Use," was left on my pillow by my husband for my bedtime reading. I appreciate the insight and definitions men have to navigate when talking with the opposite sex. Okay, now that we can understand English, this might help men better understand the gentler sex.
"Fine." This is the word women use at the end of any argument that they feel they are right about but need to shut you up. Never use "fine" to describe how a woman looks. This will cause you to have one of those arguments.
"Five minutes." This is half an hour. It is equivalent to the five minutes that your football game is going to last before you take out the trash, so it's an even trade.
"Nothing." This means something, and you should be on your toes. "Nothing" is usually used to describe the feeling a woman has of wanting to turn you inside out, upside down, and backward. "Nothing" usually signifies an argument that will last "five minutes" and end with the word "fine."
"Go ahead" (with raised eyebrows). This is a dare ... one that will result in a woman getting upset over "nothing" and will end with the word "fine."
"Go ahead" (normal eyebrows). This means "I give up" or "Do what you want because I don't care." You will get a raised eyebrow "go ahead" in just a few minutes, followed by "nothing" and "fine" and she will talk to you in about "five minutes" when she cools off.
"Loud sigh." This is not actually a word, but is still often a verbal statement very misunderstood by men. A "loud sigh" means she thinks you are an idiot at that present moment and wonders why she is wasting her time standing here and arguing with you over "nothing."
"Soft sigh." Again, not a word, but a verbal statement. "Soft sighs" are one of the few things that some men actually understand. She is content. Your best bet is to not move or breathe, and she will stay content.
"That's OK." This is one of the most dangerous statements that a woman can say to a man. "That's OK" means that she wants to think long and hard before paying you retribution for whatever it is that you have done. "That's OK" is often used with the word "fine" and used in conjunction with a raised eyebrow "go ahead." At some point in the future when she has plotted and planned, you are going to be in some mighty big trouble.
"Please do." This is not a statement, it is an offer. A woman is giving you the chance to come up with whatever excuse or reason you have for doing whatever it is that you have done. You have a fair chance to tell the truth, so be careful and you shouldn't get a "that's OK."
"Thanks." A woman is thanking you. Do not faint. Just say you're welcome.
"Thanks a lot." This is much different than "thanks." A woman will say, "Thanks a lot," when she is really ticked off at you. It signifies that you have hurt her in some callous way and will be followed by the "loud sigh." Be careful not to ask what is wrong after the "loud sigh" as she will only tell you "nothing."
I've been advised by a male friend that in his house, he always has the last word. You may want to try them sometime. They are: "Yes, dear."
My advice - "ventis secudis, tene cursum" - Go with the flow.
By Janet Copeland
There has been a kindly gnome in our midst for some time now. Beautiful flowers appear on the desks of Musetta and Laura, as well as other places. I was the lucky recipient once.
Not that there was any relation to the above, but recently Larry Russell made a very generous donation to the Senior Center in an effort to emphasize what a great job our staff does, how important this center is to him and the other older citizens and how much we need support.
With the state budget woes, the county will receive less money for support of the Senior Center than it has in the past. Our future financial status was looking pretty bleak, which is why we must have fund-raisers.
This donation is a true blessing and we so appreciate Larry's kindness and generosity. We just hope other folks will make donations now and then to help keep this wonderful program going.
What a treat. Hoppy Hopson entertained us with World War II songs Wednesday. He has such a beautiful voice, and an amazing memory when it comes to music. Thanks so much, Hoppy. We always enjoy having him and his lovely wife, Evelyn, join us during the summer months.
Our next picnic in the park will be tomorrow, July 12. Bring games for entertainment, your appetite, and perhaps a lawn chair and hat. We will provide horseshoes, a river walk and delicious food. The suggested donation for seniors is $2.25, and $4.50 for those under age 60.
The free monthly trip to Sky Ute Casino will be Tuesday, July 16. They pick folks up at the Senior Center at 1 p.m. and will leave the casino to return to Pagosa at 5 p.m. We must have a minimum of six folks sign up in order for the trip to go so please sign up in advance.
It was great to have Evelyn Hopson, Bob Bundren, Marjorie Nevitt, Lynda Van Patter and Mamie Lynch join us this week. We love it when most every chair in the dining room is filled.
We have missed Mary Archuleta, but we understand she is recovering from surgery on her shoulder and hopefully will be able to join us again soon.
Sometimes I am remiss in thanking our volunteers who keep our facility going. We really appreciate June Nelson, Lucille Arrington, Johnny Martinez, Terrisa Diestelkamp, Delpha McFatridge, Alice Young, Helen Girardin, Helen Schoonover, Clara Kelly, Dorothy O'Hara and Lena Bowden.
A big thanks to the Boy Scout troop from Bedford, Texas, who brought us some buns, onions, potatoes and grapefruit. We hope you made it home safely and will visit us again sometime.
Mark your calendars: Monday, Aug. 5, is the date seniors will have our first meal in the new center, The Silver Foxes Den, at the west end of the Pagosa Springs Community Center. Due to the upcoming move, menus for July will not be posted for the entire month, but will be posted weekly at the center and/or announced on AM 1400 between 7:30 and 8 a.m.
Help! We need two volunteers to attend wellness workshops Oct. 1-3 so they can help promote wellness for the seniors. The course will include chair yoga, caregiver support, pain management, feel-good bingo and senior nutrition. We will help pay the costs of the workshop if the individuals will commit to a certain amount of service afterward. Contact Laura or Musetta at the center for more information.
Our Volunteer of the Month is Jim Hanson. Congratulations Jim. We so appreciate Jim's help in advising our seniors on Medicare-related matters.
Our Senior of the Week is Beverly Arrendell. Congratulations, Beverly. This lovely lady is one of our newer members and we really appreciate her being a member of our "family."
Saturday, July 13, seniors plan to attend the 2:30 p.m. performance of "The Fantasticks," by the Creede Repertory Theatre. Please sign up in advance at the center.
Plan to attend the Bar-D-Wranglers' performance in Durango July 25. Cost will be $16 plus transportation. Please sign up for a delicious meal and entertainment.
Other upcoming events include Dru Sewell's Soup to Nuts crafts class each Monday after lunch. Dru furnishes the project supplies and shows us how to do them. I hope everyone will take advantage of this special lady's talents and generosity.
The pool at Best Western is available at no charge for 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 seniors discounts on meals.
Yoga by Richard Harris is at 9:30 a.m. Tuesdays.
Wednesdays there is a 10:30 a.m. computer class with Sam Matthews, card games at 1 p.m., Chi Kong exercise with Vasuki at 1 p.m. (bring a large towel or mat and a tie, if possible, and wear loose clothes). A matinee showing at the Liberty Theater for seniors is $3. Call 264-4578 to let them know how many will be attending.
Every Friday at 12:30 p.m., Jim Hanson will help with Medicare counseling.
Honorable duty makes you VA eligible
By Andy Fautheree
I attended an out-of-town event this past weekend along with a lot of fellows I've known for many years. Naturally when anyone is around me, the subject of veterans will come up.
When I started talking about some of the great VA benefits for veterans one of my friends suddenly remarked "I'm not a veteran, I wasn't in any wars. I just served my military duty."
Since my friend was near my age, I realized what I took as common knowledge about VA benefits was not shared by some veterans. There are many myths out there about who is a veteran and who is eligible for VA benefits.
Lets dispel some myths.
Eligibility for most VA benefits is based upon discharge from active military service under other than dishonorable conditions. Active service means full-time service as a member of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and some other special agencies of the United States as recognized by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Members of a National Guard or reserve component sent into to active duty by order of the President may also be eligible to receive benefits.
Eligibility for VA benefits varies depending on the benefit. Some benefits require wartime service. Many others, such as the VA Health Care program, do not require wartime service. Length of active duty service also affects eligibility. Disabilities incurred while in the military affect VA benefit eligibility.
Honorable and general discharges qualify a veteran for most VA benefits. Dishonorable and bad conduct discharges issued by general courts-martial bar VA benefits. Veterans incarcerated may be eligible for some VA benefits.
The VA recognizes these war periods: Mexican Border Period - May 9, 1916 through April 5, 1917; World War I - generally April 6, 1917, through Nov. 11, 1918, with some other circumstances; World War II - Dec. 7, 1941, through Dec. 31, 1946; Korean War - June 27, 1950, through Jan. 31, 1955; Vietnam War - Aug. 5, 1964, through May 7, 1975; Gulf War - Aug. 2, 1990, through a date still to be set by law. The so-called War on Terrorism has not been defined to date.
Health care eligibility
Another myth I often hear is "I make too much money to get VA Health Care benefits."
I must have heard that a 100 times over the past year. A person's income level, under current guidelines, does not determine eligibility for health care benefits. Income can determine if an enrollee will be required to pay co-pay fees for their health care needs, but it is not a barrier to enrollment.
About the only basic requirement for VA Health Care enrollment is that a veteran was discharged under the earlier-stated guidelines, and had served active duty in the military for other than military reserve training purposes. A veteran qualifies for the benefits if they served as little as one day prior to Sept. 7, 1980. After that date, a veteran must have served two years active duty to qualify for benefits.
Many variables can affect eligibility for VA benefits, and this is certainly only a very basic guide. I would urge any veterans to contact me for more specific information.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. The office is open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. 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.
Benefit for Arts Council set July 19
By Nina Durfee
A Pagosa Springs Arts Council benefit is scheduled July 19, 6-9 p.m.
A mere $35 per ticket will provide hours of food and entertainment at the Timbers of Pagosa and benefit the Pagosa Springs Arts Council at the same time.
Enjoy appetizers and a house cocktail courtesy of the Timbers, followed by a buffet dinner. Selections include New York strip steak, lemon pepper glazed chicken or vegetable lasagna, tiramisu for dessert, and choice of coffee or iced tea.
Dance to the music of DJ Jennifer Hancock from The Point and chuckle at improvisational comedy by Durango. Comedy as well as many of our local talented comic characters.
Tickets are available at the gallery at Town Park, the Chamber of Commerce, Moonlight Books and Wolftracks Bookstore and Coffeehouse. They will be on sale the week of June 24 and must be purchased in advance. To reserve one of the very limited number of tables available for 6 to 8 guests, call Joanne at 264-5020. Enjoy!
A reception and unveiling of Adrienne Haskamp's metal art, Carl Nevitt's stained glass, and Carol Brown's jewelry and collages was held July 4. If you missed the reception, you can still view the art works at the gallery through July 24.
The next scheduled exhibit reception will be July 25 from 5-7 p.m. Free refreshments will be provided while you enjoy chatting with Ruth Carr about her watercolor works and with Michelle Turolla about her photography and jewelry.
Today is the second Thursday of the month, and this morning from 8:05- 8:35 a.m. KWUF hosted interviews and information about Arts Council events and updates. Tune in for the next edition Aug. 8, same time.
Kerry Graves will entertain with jazz singing, accompanied by her father, John Graves, at tonight's Whistle Pig House concert, at the Ridgeview Mall, 525 Navajo Trail Drive.
Reservations are needed, so call quickly, 264-2491, to see if there's still room available.
Home and garden tour
Last year's home and garden tour was such a success, it's happening again this year. Advance tickets for non-PSAC members are on sale for $10 each at Wolftracks Bookstore and Coffee House as well as the Chamber of Commerce.
If you are a PSAC member, stop by the gallery to take advantage of your discount and purchase tickets at $8 each.
The tour will take place noon-5 p.m. July 21, and will feature homes selected for their varied style and unique features.
In recognition of the drought, this year's gardening emphasis will definitely be on xeriscaping.
Deadline to purchase tickets to this enjoyable and educational event is July 19. Call 264-5020 for more information
Missing a ticket?
The gentleman who purchased tickets 1 and 2 for the home and garden tour paid cash and walked away with only one of his tickets.
Joanne is holding the other ticket at the gallery. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m., or you can call 264-5020 to arrange to reclaim your ticket.
If you are not a member of the Pagosa Springs Arts Council and would like to take advantage of the discounts available through membership, stop by the gallery and join.
Individual yearly membership is $20, and the whole family can be members for only $30. If you join before the home and garden tour July 21, you can take advantage of a discount for that event.
Supporting the arts in Pagosa Springs is a satisfying experience. If you'd like to be more than just a spectator, opportunities abound.
Share your literary talent: The Artsline is in need of a writer to disseminate information on a monthly basis about Arts Council events.
Maintain the Council scrap book. Put your creative flair to work to display the history of the organization's events.
Be an art instructor: Experienced teachers are needed for youth and adult classes to be held at the Community Center starting in September. Present your resume and class or workshop ideas and lesson plans to the Pagosa Springs Arts Council, 314 Hermosa Street, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147. Or apply online at email@example.com.
Other contributions: If you have no interest in writing or scrapbooking or teaching art but would like to be involved in other ways, the Arts Council needs and welcomes assistance with snack booths, ticket sales, gallery time, and in other areas. Call Joanne for information and details, 264-5020.
So many activities we didn't miss fireworks
By Sally Hameister
I can only hope that everyone out there had at least half the fun I had over the July 4 weekend. I can honestly say I didn't miss the fireworks at all, with all the other terrific activities going on. We have so many people to thank for so much, so let's get on with it.
Many thanks to Jack Nightingale, Chris Gerlach, Maureen, Carlos and basically all the good folks at Pagosa Lodge who worked so hard to create a great party for young and old alike.
I was delighted to see so many families there and so many kids enjoying the games and prizes. Junior Lister and his wife, Kate, were there with ducks, pools and prizes for many happy kids, and Junior was a big part of our fun and games organizational team.
There were raves about the food as well, so the kitchen staff is to be commended for their culinary expertise. The Pagosa Hot Strings and Rio Jazz provided a fabulous concert for a very appreciative crowd who danced on the lawn well into the evening. You can always count on these two groups to maintain the highest professional standards and keep their audiences smilin' and tappin' throughout the night. We also thank Cindy Laner who released over 60 pigeons to the total delight of the crowd.
Thanks once again to Terry Smith at Ace Hardware/Circle T Lumber and Southwest Log Homes for allowing us to use one of his trucks for our concert stage. Terry is so generous with us throughout the year. We use his trucks for the Fourth, for the Parade of Lights at Christmas and for our Mountain Harmony Ladies Chorus. Thanks again, Terry.
We thank our hard-working, accommodating town crew, Jim, Lisa, Bill, Ty, Nate and Shane, for all their extra efforts with the arts and crafts fair. I don't know that too many people are aware of what it requires to keep up with an event like that in Town Park. You would be amazed at the garbage that many people can create, not to mention the electricity needs, and constant attention to whatever comes up in the way of maintenance. Rich Foss with the county was especially helpful to Doug with providing water for our vendors, and we are grateful to him. Our wonderful Diplomat, Phyllis Alspach, once again acted as Doug's trusty sidekick on the afternoon of July 3 when she helped him mark all the booth spaces in both parks. It's one of the many thankless, behind-the-scenes but totally necessary tasks that surround any event, and Phyllis has done it for a number of years now.
Another behind-the-scenes task I want to acknowledge is the flag repair and washing performed by Chamber Diplomat Jane Cook. We had a soiled, frayed flag that I wanted to use, and Jane jumped in and volunteered to repair the flag and launder it. She did both of those things and, what's more, had the flag back at the Visitor Center bright and early the next morning so we could put it up. We appreciate you, Jane.
Last but far from least, I want to thank Doug Trowbridge for cheerfully pulling off the biggest-ever arts and crafts festival and somehow maintaining his sanity. Once again, I don't think anyone can appreciate what a demanding job it is to put together a show like this. I can assure you that he works on it for months before and after and does an excellent job of working with the many needs and requests of such a large group (89 vendors from 11 states.) He is actually still walking, talking and functioning today, which is a miracle in itself after such a weekend. Morna was a terrific support person for Doug as well as manning (womanning?) the Visitor Center Saturday when we couldn't find an available Diplomat. We are fortunate indeed to have a couple who remain so loyal to our Chamber and so willing to do whatever is needed to get the job done.
Home and Garden Tour
The homes have been selected and tickets are now on sale for the annual Pagosa Springs Arts Council Home and Garden Tour which will take place Sunday, July 21, from noon-5 p.m. Seven homes and the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District Xeriscape Demonstration Garden will be available on this self-guided tour which you may view in any order you choose.
The homes were selected for variety of style and unique features including Santa Fe, earthberm, earthblock, country farmhouse, custom log and mountain style. You will see indoor and outdoor gardens, a growing dome and natural areas.
Please be prepared to remove shoes at the door or to wear the paper shoe covers provided. Each home will serve beverages, and refreshments will be served at the one home designated as the refreshment center. You are encouraged to carpool with friends to avoid potential traffic and parking problems.
Tickets are $8 for Arts Council members and available at the Town Park gallery and $10 for non-members, available at the Chamber of Commerce and WolfTracks.
The letters have been sent requesting sponsors for this year's Colorfest in September (yikes, can't believe it) so if you have not received your letter and would like to sponsor a balloon or the glow, please give us a call at 264-2360.
Although it seems early, you need to know that we have already selected the theme - Safari - the design for glasses, shirts, etc., have ordered the wine glasses and a lot of the decorations. Ken Harms has done it again with fabulous designs for all these items, and I promise that you're going to be extremely pleased with what's in store.
You will also be more than pleased to know that, to date, Todd Shelton's Firefighter Fund project has raised right around $7,000 and will probably raise around $10,000 total before it's all over. Firefighters from another area came in just this morning and ordered 16 shirts. More shirts are being done as I write, so feel free to come in and purchase all you like for every member of your family. We do have children's sizes and adult sizes up to 2XXL, so we can pretty much accommodate anyone. In the unlikely event that you haven't heard about this project, the shirts are $15 and, after expenses, every dime goes to a special fund set up at Bank of the San Juans to be used in the unlikely event of fires in Pagosa. Hopefully, they will be used instead to educate kids and adults about fire prevention after the summer ends or to fill some needs of our local fire department.
Todd is to be commended for pulling off this doggoned near miraculous feat in a record length of time. In just 10 short days, he has raised about $1,000 a day for our Firefighter Fund, which is just about unheard of. I have begged him to come on as my marketing director, but he insists he still has miles to go with Century 21. Our community owes Todd a great debt of gratitude for all his hard work, and I hope you will all express your gratitude when you see him. Just tell him "the other blonde" asked you to do so.
I would be remiss if I didn't mention Jody and Rick Unger's tremendous contribution to this shirt project. Jody and Rick, owners of Design-A-Sign have spent hours working on all phases of this shirt from design to completion. They have also charged very little for the shirts themselves so more money could go into the fund. Thank you, Jody and Rick.
The Pagosa Springs Arts Council invites you to attend a benefit dinner at The Timbers of Pagosa July 19, 6-9 p.m. Tickets for this event are $35 and include an appetizer and house cocktail, buffet dinner with a main course selection of New York strip steak, lemon peppered chicken or vegetable lasagna and tiramisu for dessert. Entertainment for the evening will include DJ Jennifer Hancock of 99.7, The Point, Durango. Comedy and local comedic characters. Tickets must be purchased in advance, and a very limited number of tables for six or eight are available. Please call Joann at the gallery to reserve at 264-5020.
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 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.
Thousands of aspiring artists compete annually for the Country Showdown title, which begins with hometown talent contests, sponsored by over 400 radio stations across the country. 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. Serving as contest judges are Dan Appenzeller, John Graves, Debbie Ramey and Elaine Nash-Putnam.
This has been quite the good week for membership, I'm pleased to say, with five new members and 10 renewals. Let me share the good news.
Our first new member has rejoined after a little hiatus, and we are delighted to welcome Dilley's Guide Service with Valerie Ann Dilley at the helm. This business is located at 12285 Colo. 112, Wolfe Creek Ski Ranch, in Del Norte. You can enjoy horseback riding, summer wilderness pack trips, rifle hunting, archery and snowmobiling.
Please give Valerie a call at (719) 657-3554 to learn more about Dilley's Guide Service.
Vivian Rader joins us next with Steve Rader Plumbing and Hydronic Heat with a home office here in Pagosa. Steve offers top quality plumbing (ABS) and hydronics (Viessmann/closed-loop systems) at competitive prices. Newly available is the Vitomdense (tankless) boiler/high efficiency, second burner fires only at times of peak demand. We're happy to welcome Steve and Vivian and invite you to call them at 731-9023.
Rosie and Alan Ivie bring us our next two new businesses, one for each of them.
Rosie joins us with Arrow Mountain Artistic, a home office. Rosie offers artistic painting and design for home interiors and invites special projects. Please give her a call at 731-2269. Rosie credits husband, Alan, as her recruiter and we will be happy to reward him with a free SunDowner pass for doing such a good job.
Alan Ivie joins us with Arrow Mountain General sharing the above home office and phone number. Alan is a general contractor who offers roofing, excavation, remodels and new construction among his many skills. He specializes in slate, tile, copper and shingles. Please give him a call at 731-2269 for more information about Arrow Mountain General.
Steve and Judi Ferguson join us next with their property management services doing business in their home. They can provide both short and long term rental housing with new and view units at competitive rates. Please give them a call at 731-6303 to learn more about Steve and Judi Ferguson Property Management Services.
Our renewals this week include Ken Santo with the Fireside Inn; Derek Farrah with Plantax, Inc.; Dr. Scott Asay with the Asay Chiropractic and Wellness Center; Helena Gunther with Market Value Appraisal; Doug Snow with Durango Coca-Cola; Jeff Hunts with Tufco, Inc.; Jessie Formwalt with Appraisal Services, Inc.; and Cherie Hall with Apex Marketing/ Fairfield Resorts, in Little Rock, Ark.
Our Associate Members renewals include Jack and Katy Threet; Diplomat Angie Gayhart and husband, Ken; and Diplomat Jim Carson and wife, Jean. We are grateful to one and all.
By Lenore Bright
"The Edison Trait," by Lucy Jo Palladino discusses the nonconformist child.
Many children have what author Palladino calls the Edison Trait. It is characterized by dazzling intelligence, active imagination, a free-spirited approach to life, and the ability to drive everyone around them crazy.
Our world rewards convergent thinking which focuses on one idea at a time. The Edison-trait child's apparent intractability and lack of focus causes a mismatch between school and child and can mask the child's considerable gifts for creativity and independent thinking.
Thomas Edison flunked out of school but still was able to harness his talents to give the world some of the finest inventions. Palladino describes the three main styles of the Edison trait: Dreamers, Discoverers, and Dynamos. This book brings together much of the best current scientific research on the developing mind. It is an important book for all parents full of practical ideas to bring out the very best in your child.
As Montessori School principal Nancy Sager said," It is the vivid imagination of elementary school-age children that sets them apart. These children have ideas, methods, and behaviors that are the tools of future leadership. It is therefore up to teachers, parents and adult leaders of these children to respect and foster varied learning styles. If children cannot explore through imagination, then there would not have been a Thomas Edison, an Albert Einstein, or a Bill Gates." Sager wants to see this book in the hands of all educators and parents.
Readers of the week: Zoë Fulco, Kyle Garcia, Amanda Kerr, Sammy Martinez, Trace Gross, Barak Townsend, Keaton Anderson, Kai Wagner, Hannah Rohrich and Justin Boyd.
Jelly bean counters: Amanda Sutton and Arielle Smith
Bookmarks: Zackary Curvey, Benny Gallegos, Jacqueline Garcia, Aimee Lark, Amber Lark, Jesse Long, Megan McFarland, Jennifer Mueller, Julia Nell, Hannah Rohrich, Zoe Rohrich, Rebecca Schafer, Brooke Spears, Courtney Spears, Anne Townsend and Brock Cordova.
Candle coloring contest: Colby Anderson-Andreson, Kyle Anderson-Andreson, Angie Gallegos, Ashley Iverson, Michael Iverson, Julia LeLievre, Mele LeLievere, Reyes McInnis, Ryan McInnis, Sierra Monteferrante, Jennifer Mueller, Julia Nell, Amanda Ortel and Trey Spears.
Patriotic shield: Anne Townsend, Jesse Long, Dylan Boyd, Kyle Anderson, Courtney Spears, Mele LeLievre, Justin Boyd, Misha Garcia, Benny Gallegos, Trey Spears, Brooke Spears, Keaton Anderson, Emma Reynders, Maegan McFarland, Aniceta Gallegos, Niki Monteferrante, NaCole Martinez, Hannah and Zoe Rohrich.
Coloring contests: Trey Spears, Kudra Wagner, Jacqueline Garcia, Kyle Garcia, Kai Wagner, Marley Gabel, NaCole Martinez, Angie Gallegos, Anne Townsend, Breezy Bryant, Courtney Spears, Jennifer Mueller, Emily Bryant, Arielle Smith Rasmussen, Niki and Sierra Monteferrante.
Summer reading program
We are into our fourth week of the annual six-week program. Children may still sign up.
The final party is scheduled for Wednesday, July 31. For more information, come in any time. The story and activity times are Tuesdays and Fridays, 11-11:30 a.m. All contest entries must be in by closing time Saturday.
Thanks for financial help came from Barbara Blackburn in memory of Connie Armstrond. Thanks for materials from Cristy Holden, Robin Struck, Shannon Smith, Nancy Magaelon, Diane Bower, E. W. Scwartz, Barb Draper, Marilyn Dahm, Kimi Bliss, Paul Matlock, Valerie Long and Joanne Canales.