Front Page

August 1, 2002

Water conservancy panel seeks cloud seeding bids

By John M. Motter

Staff Writer

In a move calculated to head off a second consecutive winter with no snow pack in the San Juan Mountains, bids are being sought from two cloud seeding firms, according to Fred Schmidt, president of the San Juan Water Conservancy District board of directors.

The decision to seek bids was made following discussion among directors of his organization and the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District, Schmidt said.

"We're seeing a lot of interest in cloud seeding," Schmidt said. "If we get good proposals, it looks as if a number of organizations will help pay for it."

Among the organizations that might help pay for cloud seeding are the conservancy district, Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District, Southwest Colorado Water Conservation District, Archuleta County, Pagosa Springs, and private organizations such as Wolf Creek Ski Area and Pagosa Springs Golf Club.

Cloud seeding could start Nov. 1, if agreement is reached. The program could last either three or five months, depending upon the agreement. A three-month program is expected to cost about $65,000, a five-month program about $80,000.

If a program is started, land generators will be used to insert a chemical, normally silver iodide, into the path of moisture-laden winds approaching the San Juan Mountains east of Pagosa Springs from the south and west.

An informational meeting was conducted July 22 during which three cloud seeding firms explained the process to a gathering of people representing the county, town, both water districts, private businesses and other individuals.

Making presentations at the meeting were Don Griffith of Sandy, Utah, head of North American Weather Consultants; Larry Hjermstad, Durango, Western Weather Consultants LLC; and Albert Schnell, Pagosa Springs, Airao Enterprises.

Griffith and Hjermstad discussed winter cloud seeding, Schnell summer cloud seeding. Bids have been sought from Griffith and Hjermstad.

"I expect to receive the proposals and, together with the PAWS board, reach a decision in about 10 days," Schmidt said.

Cloud seeding is seen as a short-term means to mitigate drought conditions besieging the local area. The cloud seeding goal is likely to be increasing the snowpack on the mountains.

A long-range approach to alleviating drought conditions is also being considered. That approach revolves around construction of storage reservoirs.

"We're concentrating on the cloud seeding right now," Schmidt said. "When we get a handle on that, we'll look at appointing a steering committee to tackle the water storage problem."

Bruin goes

bearish on

town bank

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

It's 5:15 a.m. and you're heading for the job site.

The sun's just beginning to stir and you realize your windshield is so dirty you can't see safely. You pull over to clean the windshield and then it happens.

A blur of black speeds across U.S. 160 and leaps high into the parking lot north of Citizens Bank.

A dog, you think at first.

Then you realize it is no dog ... too large, too fast.

As you stand there the animal - now you're sure it's a bear - races directly to the front door of the bank and smashes into it, bounces back, and looks for another escape.

That was the beginning of the story early Saturday for Jerry Hilsabeck of Pagosa Springs.

The bear, he said, then ran westward to the upstairs office entrance in the multi-business building. Unable to get in there, Hilsabeck said, the animal "became really mad."

It gave the appearance of having been chased and trying to find security, he said.

It ran west, skidding on the cement alongside the vending machines outside the City Market in the Pagosa Plaza building.

"It was then I realized how big it really was," said Hilsabeck. "It stood up against the entry doors to the supermarket, clawing at the glass, and its head was as high as the frame.

"It had to be at least seven feet tall standing on its hind legs," he opined.

Hilsabeck was about 15 feet away by that time, and estimated about 20 seconds expired before the bear took off again, running west across 8th Street and through the library parking lot into a wooded area behind the former state highway yards property.

The witness said he got home in the afternoon and realized he probably should report the incident because of the broken window glass at the bank and the possible signs of attempted entry at the market.

He said the thought that stuck with him was that had he not stopped for the windshield problem, no one would ever have known what happened. "How often in life," he wondered, "do things like this go unnoticed? How often do we see a bear run head long into a bank door?"

By Monday, that door was marked with a sign letting customers know: "A Bear Did It."

 

Rain hasn't

dented area drought

By John M. Motter

Staff Writer

Fire and drought conditions in Pagosa Country have not changed over the past week, despite a smattering of rain. Consequently, local fire and water conservation restrictions remain the same as last week.

"I just met with Chief Grams (Warren Grams of the Pagosa Fire Protection District)," said Sheriff Tom Richards. "We both agree, there'll be no change. The small amount of rain we've had hasn't made a dent in the problem."

The State of Colorado, Archuleta County, and the U.S. Forest Service have all invoked fire restrictions affecting land in Archuleta County. There are some variations in the restrictions enacted by each entity.

Local fire restraints basically boil down to: You can't have an outside fire and you can't smoke outside of an enclosed vehicle or building.

Archuleta County remains under pre-alert for wildfire evacuation. Enacted by the county sheriff, the alert means citizens are urged to pack a bag containing vital medicines and other overnight necessities. If an alert is sounded, notice will be given by the local radio station during on-air hours. In addition, official representatives of the sheriff or fire departments will knock on doors in the neighborhood being evacuated. Finally, official vehicles will drive to the area being evacuated and sound three short blasts from the vehicle siren.

Locals are urged to be certain any evacuation notice is official. Thieves have been arrested after operating in the Missionary Ridge Fire area, telling people to evacuate then looting their homes. False evacuations have also been triggered in Archuleta County, but have not been connected with any looting.

Forest Service fire restrictions and forest usage rules are specific.

Camping restrictions in effect for the San Juan National Forest since June 19 are being lifted Friday. Camping will once again be allowed on public lands outside of developed campgrounds and outside designated Wilderness.

Restrictions banning campfires, charcoal grills, and wood-burning stoves remain in effect.

All-terrain vehicles, motorcycles, and four wheel drives are still not allowed on trails or to travel cross-country, but may drive up to 300 feet off of open roads to camp. Chainsaw use is still prohibited, but firewood cutting with handsaws is allowed. Restrictions on commercial logging, hydromower operations, oil and gas drilling, and the use of explosives or welding equipment also remain in effect.

Drought conditions in the Four Corners Area are still labeled as Exceptional by a consortium of weather agencies. Exceptional describes the worst drought conditions possible.

Stream flow in the San Juan River as measured in town was down to about 16 cubic feet per second on Tuesday.

Water restrictions remain at Level 2 for Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District users. All of Pagosa Springs, the subdivisions west of town and certain other users are served by the district.

Level 2 conditions restrict outside watering to one day a week. Watering is allowed only between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m. The eligible watering day is the day on which the date for a specific address starts. If allowed to water Tuesday, a user can water starting at 8 p.m. Tuesday and continue until 8 a.m. Wednesday.

The following schedule applies to outside watering. 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.

Those who violate water restrictions are subject to fines up to $500 for the third offense. Several fines have already been collected, according to Carrie S. Campbell, district general manager.

As to water rationing, "Nothing has changed," Campbell said. "The rains have had a positive impact. We're holding our own, still getting water from the West Fork and San Juan diversions."

As long as the district can get water from the San Juan River, Level 3 rationing is unlikely, according to Campbell.

"Water conservation has been wonderful," Campbell said. "It's obvious people understand how serious the situation is."

 

Young Pagosa mom dies in Utah auto crash

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

A Pagosa Springs woman was among the four people killed July 25 in a double head-on collision on U.S. 666 about nine miles east of Monticello, Utah.

According to Utah State Patrol reports, the accident occurred at 8:35 a.m. April Lynn Hill, 28, of Pagosa Springs, was driving west on the highway when an initial collision sent an out-of-control tractor-trailer into her lane, resulting in the second head-on impact. All three occupants of the 1992 Chevrolet Lumina that set off the chain reaction were also killed.

The tragedy began when the westbound Lumina driven by Rhonda Jackman, 27, crossed the centerline into the path of an eastbound semi truck. The two collided, killing Jackman and two passengers, Timothy Jackman, 17, and Danielle Jackman, 11, all of Orem, Utah. Both the driver and Timothy were wearing their seatbelts, according to the report. The status of Danielle's seatbelt remains unknown. She would have turned 12 tomorrow.

Following that collision, the 1999 Volvo semi went out of control, striking the westbound Dodge Stratus driven by Hill who was also wearing her seatbelt.

Hill was pronounced dead at the San Juan Hospital in Monticello. Three passengers in her vehicle were taken to the San Juan County Hospital. One was treated there and the other two were flown to Saint Mary's Medical Center in Grand Junction where they remained as of Wednesday morning. Kaitlyn Hill, 11 months old, is listed in serious condition. Dennis Scoggins, of Pagosa Springs, also a juvenile, is listed in fair condition.

The driver of the semi, Christopher Bonilla, 24, of Salt Lake City, and a passenger were unharmed in the crash.

According to the report it is still unknown why Jackman's vehicle crossed the center line. The roads were dry and clear, apparently no one was speeding and alcohol was not involved. No citations were issued.

 

Dispatch delivers

baby by phone

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

It's a Saturday at the Archuleta County dispatch center. There are no windows in the room, just banks of computers and multiple phone lines, connecting voices with unseen emergencies 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

A 9-1-1 line rings and suddenly dispatcher Vickie Perales is connected with a woman who's about to have a baby at the intersection of Colo. 151 and U.S. 160.

Perales, assistant dispatch supervisor, never speaks to the woman, but relays messages through a man with a cell phone to the father, identified by Perales as Oliver Monterosa, of Pagosa Springs. The team delivers the baby four minutes before emergency personnel arrive.

"It was July 27 at 9:26 a.m. when the call came in," Perales said. "I received a 9-1-1 call from a passerby with a cell phone requesting an ambulance for a lady who was pregnant." The woman, her husband and a small child were apparently headed for Mercy Medical Center in Durango. Their own cell phone wasn't receiving a signal.

Perales paged the Chimney Rock Quick Response Vehicle and a medical unit from Pagosa and then turned to EMD - Emergency Medical Dispatch - to try to assess the situation.

EMD is a program involving a series of questions and suggestions that can help a dispatcher work through a medical emergency with a caller and keep emergency personnel en route updated on the situation. It's part of the training for all Archuleta County dispatchers, a must in a rural area where emergencies can be miles from an ambulance, she added.

EMD is something she's used before with strokes, and it's even helped dispatchers direct a caller through cardiopulmonary resuscitation, but delivering a baby was a first for Perales.

"The mother's contractions were two minutes apart, lasting 45 seconds each," she said. The mother pushed one time, and a baby boy was born. After making sure both mother and baby seemed to be OK, Perales directed the father to keep the baby warm and hold on for the ambulance which transported mother and newborn to Mercy Medical Center.

 Weather

Hope, but slim chance, for monsoon rains

By John M. Motter

Staff Writer

Hot and dry, the worst drought since record keeping began, remains the best description for Pagosa Country weather.

Chances are slim that the much-awaited monsoon season will begin this week, according to Jerry Smith, a forecaster for the National Weather Service office in Grand Junction.

Still, there is some hope.

"There is a 20-percent chance for thunderstorms starting Thursday (today) and lasting through Tuesday of next week," Smith said. "High temperatures should remain in the 60s or low 70s and nighttime lows should be in the 40s," Smith said.

No precipitation was measured at Stevens Field this past week. Precipitation for June of this year totals 0.40 through June 30. Average precipitation for June is 0.91 inches.

Historically, August is the wettest month of the year here. Based on records going back 56 years, the average August precipitation as measured in town is 2.52 inches. The next closest month is October with an average of 2.03 inches.

The wettest August of record was during 1993 when 5.36 inches of precipitation were measured. The driest August of record was during 1950 when only 0.02 inches of precipitation fell on the town. The most rain that ever fell during one day in August was 2.36 inches Aug. 22, 1995.

Traces of snow fell during August of 1954 and again during August of 1955.

The monthly mean temperature for August is 62.7 degrees, only slightly lower than July's monthly mean temperature of 64.2 degrees. The temperature decline toward winter extremes begins during September when the average mean temperature falls to 55.4 degrees.

As a statistical measurement, "mean" indicates half the readings are more than the cited reading, half the readings are less than the cited reading.

 

Date High Low Precipitation

Type Depth Moisture

7/24 84 51 - - -

7/25 86 52 - - -

7/26 86 53 - - -

7/27 84 51 - - -

7/28 85 50 - - -

7/29 87 52 - - -

7/30 85 53 - - -

 

 

  

 Sports Page

 

Parks & Rec

Special basketball games highlight center opening

By Junior Lister

SUN Columnist

The grand opening for the community center will be held at 10:30 a.m. Aug. 10 and the Pagosa Springs parks and recreation department will host a number of teams to inaugurate the new facility.

Schedule for the opening day includes: 10:30 a.m. ribbon cutting; 11 a.m. basketball game with Bayfield girls 12 and 13 years old against the Pagosa Springs Pistols; noon, Pagosa 7-8 boys against a team to be announced; 1 p.m., Pagosa Pistols vs. Bayfield girls in 13-14 age group action; and in the 9-11 group, time and teams to be announced.

The 11 a.m. game between the Pagosa Pistols and the Bayfield teams will feature two guest coaches. The battle of wits between radio sports broadcaster Chris Olivarez and SUN staff writer Richard Walter has been called off, with news that Olivarez has been hospitalized and will not be able to attend.

Rumor had it Chris did not want to face Richard's tenacious coaching style. On further investigation, however, Chris reported from the hospital that Richard should "consider himself lucky." A new coach is being sought but we won't know who it is until a later date.

Volunteers for the grand opening include coaches Bob Lynch and Clifford Lucero who are in the process of putting together teams for the big event.

Free lunch and music will be provided so come see the new facilities and support the young athletes who will be using them.

Park Fun

Park Fun is still going strong with the average number of students dropping a little. We will have Park Fun until Aug. 23. If you have any punches left on your punch pass, please use them. They will not be valid for next summer's program.

The tour Friday will be to the Archuleta County Fair with use of a school district bus.

Participants can enjoy swimming Tuesdays and Thursdays until the program ends. Wednesdays are roller skating days.

Softball tourney

The town will host the 19th annual Softball Blowout Tournament Aug. 3 and 4.

Every year, tournament sponsors announce theirs will be an annual event. This tournament started with the help of Fred Campuzano and others but in recent years Sue Jones has had the job of hosting, carrying this tournament to a level that keeps teams from all over the Southwest coming back.

Each year Sue has taken the proceeds and made a donation in the tournament's name to an organization involved with youth sports. Thank you Sue for carrying on the tradition.

Leo, Yount rule in best ball low net action

Two-man best ball competitions, in which the team records the lower of the two players' scores, often feature very low total scores, since only one player has to score well on each hole for the team to do well.

The Pagosa Springs Men's Golf League event July 24 proved the rule as Alan Leo and Ken Yount shot a 15-under-par 56 to win the low net competition. Dennis Yerton and Don Ford took second, shooting a 57, with Rich Broom and Dan Howe third, also at 57, but losing in a playoff to Yerton and Ford.

Bob Kaiser and Greg Newland shot a 5-under-par 66 to take first place in the gross competition. Lee Smart and Gil Gilliland were four under par at 67 to take second followed by Wayne Huff and Steve Linnemeyer at 68.

"We chose this format to give the guys a chance to warm up for the club's open two-man best ball event Aug. 3 and 4," said Alan Schutz, club professional. "We still have a few slots open so we will accept signups, space permitting, as late as Friday, Aug. 2, at noon. The event includes dinner Friday night, as well as lunch, beverages and 18-hole competitions Saturday and Sunday. The entry fee is $200 per team for nonmembers and $160 for members."

The Men's League is open to golfers of all levels. League dues are $25 for the season, payable in the pro shop. Competition begins every Wednesday at 1 p.m. Sign up in the men's locker room or by phone at 731-4755 before 5 p.m. the Tuesday afternoon before each play day.

 

Pirate golfers open full drills Monday

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Fore!

The Pagosa Springs Pirate golf squad will begin drills in earnest at 5:30 p.m. Monday when they open practice for the 2002 season at the Pagosa Springs Golf Club.

New coach Mark Faber is looking forward to a banner year, but realizes the golfers will have to get ready in a hurry.

The first tournament will be the team's own Pagosa Springs Invitational Aug. 14, a tournament which normally draws many of the top contenders in the state in all classifications. In short order, the Pagosans will also travel to Durango and Cortez for first-week matches.

Faber said competition for a place on the squad is open to any interested high school student, male or female.

He reminded potential players, they must have a sports physical and parent permission slip completed before they'll be able to practice or perform as a team member.

He said he's had 23 individuals indicate interest in trying out for the squad and 16 have signed up already. Those who have not signed up but are interested should report to the first practice.

Anyone with questions can call Faber at home at 731-2231.

The squad has several returning players who saw action last year, including Jessie Trujillo, Garrett Forrest, Ty Faber and Casey Belarde.

The coach said many of the prospective players have been working hard all summer on their own, developing stamina and working on personal course habits that have caused them trouble in the past.

The season schedule after the home invitational includes, all on the road:

Aug. 15, Cortez, varsity and junior varsity

Aug 16, Durango (Hillcrest), varsity and junior varsity

Aug. 20, Delta, varsity only

Aug. 21, Gunnison, varsity only

Aug. 22, Montrose, varsity only

Aug. 29, Alamosa, varsity only

Sept. 4, Monte Vista, varsity only

Sept. 9, Ridgway, varsity only

Sept. 19, Colorado City (Holydot), varsity qualifiers.

 

Cheerleading squad starts training with new coach Aug. 12

Renee Davis has a total rebuilding task ahead of her.

The new cheerleading coach for Pagosa Springs High School has only one returning member from last year's squad, but has 20 prospects who exhibited interest during summer camp.

Those who are interested in making the squad will have their first practice session 4-5:30 p.m. Aug. 12. Davis asks that candidates meet in front of the high school.

All candidates must have a completed physical examination slip and parental permission slip before they will be allowed to practice.

Davis said the team will work a new program this year, involving several new routines and said practice will be of utmost importance in developing the concepts she envisions.

The cheerleader squad provides support at home games for all sports and at some road games.

 

Cross country practice will open Aug. 12

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff writer

It's time to hit the next cross country season running.

Pagosa Pirate distance athletes will begin practices Aug. 12 at 7 a.m. Head coach Scott Anderson said all high school students are welcome to attend. "Whether you think you have talent or not, it is our job to improve your running skills," he said.

Those with a desire to try out for the team should bring a current school physical and parent permission slip and meet at the high school. Practice will last from 7-9 a.m.

Obituaries

August 1, 2002

April Lynn Hill

April Lynn Hill (Brannan-Scoggins) of Pagosa Springs died Thursday, July 25, 2002, at the age of 28. She had been a resident of Pagosa Springs for the past seven years and was assistant manager at the Super 8 Motel.

Her father, Doug Morlan, preceded her in death. She is survived by her husband, Scott Brian Hill; daughters Hope Alexandra Paul and Katelynn Rose Hill; her parents, Terri and Garry Scoggins of Pagosa Springs and David and Tammy Brannan of Mobile, Ala.; brothers, Glen and Duke of Susanville, Calif., David of Mobile, Ala., Jason of Seattle, Wash., and Dennis of Pagosa Springs; and sisters Bobbie of Seattle, Ronnie of Susanville, Jessica of Mobile, Anna of Pennsylvania, and Lena of Thornton, Colo.

April's greatest passion in life was her family, most importantly her two little girls. She will be greatly missed by all whose lives she touched.

Visitation and honors were held 6-8 p.m. Monday, July 29, 2002, in Grace Chapel of Pagosa Springs Funeral Options with Warron Big Eagle's oversight. Funeral services were Tuesday, July 30, at 4 p.m. at Whiskey Jack's in Aspen Springs. Cremation was to follow.

Anyone wishing to assist the family and Mrs. Hill's two young daughters, Hope, 3, and Katelynn, 11 months, at Wells Fargo Bank in Pagosa Springs, please refer to account number 3861932030.

Stanley Hirsch

Stanley Norman Hirsch, a resident of Pagosa Springs, died Sunday, July 28, 2002, at the age of 75.

He was born in 1927 in Manhattan, New York City, New York. He was an electrical engineer for the U.S. Forest Service and had only recently moved to Pagosa Springs.

Services are pending. Contact Pagosa Springs Funeral Options at 264-2386 for additional information

 

Inside The Sun

Sarah Smith plays Tootie in 'Meet Me In St. Louis'

 

By John Graves

Special to The PREVIEW

Sally Benson bases the story of the musical "Meet Me in St. Louis," presented this month by the Music Boosters at the high school auditorium, on a New Yorker series of fond recollections of her childhood.

Though she was famous for these stories of teen-age nostalgia, no one thought of Benson's potential capabilities as a dramatist for many years. Oddly enough, her first assignment in that area came when Alfred Hitchcock lured her to Hollywood to collaborate on the screenplay for "Shadow of a Doubt."

Born Sara Mahala Redway Smith in St. Louis, Mo., Mrs. Benson is the imaginative "Tootie" of the musical (played in the movie version by Margaret O'Brien and in the Pagosa production by Sarah Smith).

"Meet Me In St. Louis" deals with the disruption to the lives and loves of the Smith family when the father plans to move them to New York where he would have a much bigger job.

In the musical, he nobly gives in to the family's desire to stay in St. Louis. In real life, though the Smith girls managed to keep Papa in St. Louis for the fair years, the family did move to New York in 1911.

The show's title comes from the song the whole nation was singing during the years of the St. Louis World's Fair, 1903 and 1904, which went:

"Meet me in St. Louis, Louie. Meet me at the fair.

"Don't tell me the lights are shining

"Any place but there."

This wholesome, refreshing and delightful production will have a matinee performance Sunday, Aug. 18, at 2 p.m. Show time for August 16, 17, 22, 23 and 24 is 7:30 p.m. Reserved seat tickets are available at The Plaid Pony (731-5262) and Moonlight Books (264-5666) at $12 for adults and $10 for students and seniors with a senior center card.

 

Lunasa - an Irish treat for Folk Festival

By John Graves

Special to The PREVIEW

The category of folk music covers a lot of territory.

To Four Corners Folk Festival organizers it has come to represent a type of music that is steeped in tradition yet ever-changing and evolving. It is roots-based, but at the same time experimental. It is music that takes traditional folk instruments and melodies and uses them in surprising new ways.

Ireland's all-star quintet Lunasa is living proof that traditional and folk music is in a new age, one dominated by world exploration and synthesis rather than preservationism. The band manages to marry jazz-rock bass lines and an expanded harmonic sensibility to an older rural music with impressive results. The group has become one of the most sought-after bands on the international music scene, bringing a fiery, almost rock-like energy to their alluringly complex arrangements.

Lunasa is named after an ancient Celtic harvest festival in honor of the Irish god Lugh, patron of the arts. The band is indeed a gathering of some of Ireland's finest musicians and veterans of top Irish groups: All-Ireland fiddle and whistle champion Sean Smyth; flute, whistle and bodhran player Kevin Crawford; bass player Trevor Hutchinson; guitarist Donogh Hennessy; and uilleann pipes and low whistle player Cillian Vallely.

Lunasa will bring their electrifying brand of acoustic Celtic music to the Four Corners stage Aug. 31 at 6 p.m. The seventh annual festival takes place Aug. 30-Sept.1 in Pagosa Springs, and features three days of music, camping, arts and crafts, and the Four Corners Kids program.

The Four Corners Folk Festival is supported by a grant from the Colorado Council on the Arts. The Colorado Council on the Arts and its activities are made possible through an annual appropriation from the Colorado General Assembly and federal funds from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Tickets may be purchased locally at Moonlight Books downtown and at Wolf Tracks Coffee and Books.

For additional information or to purchase tickets with a credit card, visit www.folkwest.com or call 731-5582.

Zubot and Dawson, Hurst and Raines,

noted duos scheduled for Folk Festival

By Crista Munro

Special to The PREVIEW

In less than six weeks the gates will be opening on the annual Four Corners Folk Festival here in Pagosa Springs. The all-star lineup continues with this week's profile of double duets: Jim Hurst and Missy Raines, and Zubot and Dawson.

Guitarist Jim Hurst and bassist Missy Raines are two of today's most creative and compelling performers in acoustic music. Their unique sound is both sensitive and powerful. Together, they draw on their varied musical experiences to create a diverse blend of original, new acoustic, bluegrass, swing and country blues.

Missy Raines was voted Bass Player of the Year by the International Bluegrass Music Association for 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2001. She was also named the 1999 Bass Fiddle Player of the Year by the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music in America and Bluegrass Now magazine readers voted Missy the 1999 Fans' Choice Bass Player. Missy's solo recording "My Place in the Sun" was named one of the top five bluegrass recordings of 1998 by the Chicago Tribune. It was also nominated for Instrumental Album of the Year in 1999. Whether it's blues, jazz, big-band swing or her most familiar home in bluegrass music, Missy Raines appears equally at ease.

Jim Hurst is the International Bluegrass Music Association 2001 Guitar Player of the Year. He was featured on the cover of the January/February 1999 issue of Flatpicking Guitar magazine. Together with Missy, he has toured with many top artists such as Trisha Yearwood and Holly Dunn, and most recently was featured on Sara Evans' recording "No Place That Far," which climbed to No.1 on the Billboard chart. Jim has an attractive vocal delivery with his songs, but it takes a back seat to his incredible flatpicking guitar work.

As a duo, these two musicians' ability to cross genres with their music is evidenced in their recent release "Two," which has been widely acclaimed. Jim Hurst and Missy Raines will play the main stage Sept. 1 at 10:30 a.m.

Zubot and Dawson is an acoustic instrumental group from Vancouver featuring Jesse Zubot on violin and mandolin and Steve Dawson on guitar, dobro and Weissenborn slide. Their music is (like many of the folk festival acts) a bit hard to define. It seems to fall most often into the "roots" category, which is accurate in that the band is influenced by many traditional styles. But these two prefer to warp, intertwine and reassemble those influences into original songs resulting in a type of music they call "strang."

Bluegrass, blues and pop forms are stretched and reconstructed with jazz, ethnic, rock and swing sensibilities to create a surprising and intricate music that has one foot on solid ground and the other in the ether. While the sound is distinctly acoustic, the pair makes subtle and imaginative use of a number of effects - like a wah-wah on the acoustic slide - to produce interesting musical textures. Throw virtuosic instrumental skill into the mix and the result is a sound that has been endearing them to folk, jazz and rock audiences in Canada, the United States and Europe since the duo's inception four years ago.

Part of the reason for the very positive response to both of their albums -"Strang" and "Tractor Parts - Further Adventures in Strang" - may be that, while the duo's music is consistently adventurous, its melodic and singable hooks make it accessible and attractive to listeners who are not necessarily jazz, bluegrass or even acoustic music fans.

Zubot and Dawson will play their first set on the Summit Stage Aug. 30 and another set on the Main Stage at 11:45 a.m. Saturday.

The Four Corners Folk Festival is supported by a grant from the Colorado Council on the Arts. The Colorado Council on the Arts and its activities are made possible through an annual appropriation from the Colorado General Assembly and federal funds from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Tickets may be purchased locally at Moonlight Books downtown and at Wolf Tracks Coffee and Books in the Pagosa Country Center west of town.

For additional information or to purchase tickets with a credit card, visit www.folkwest.com or call 731-5582.

GOP primary winner will be county treasurer

By John M. Motter

Staff Writer

Incumbent county treasurer Traves Garrett is being challenged by Pam Eaton on the Aug. 13 Republican primary election ballot.

The winner of the primary election will appear on the Nov. 5 general election ballot. Since no Democrats, other parties, or unaffiliated candidates are entered in the race, the winner of the Republican primary race, Garrett or Eaton, will be the next Archuleta County treasurer.

Garrett has worked in the treasurer's office 14 years, 12 years as county treasurer.

She is running because "I've made a lot of good changes since taking office. I like the job and want to keep it. I don't think that now is a good time to have a treasurer in training."

"If elected, I will modernize the office and run it more efficiently than it has been run in the past," said Eaton. "There have been some problems with delinquent taxes that should have been solved. I am a fixer. I don't think these things should go to court or to the county commissioners."

In order to help voters choose between the candidates, the SUN asked each candidate five questions. The questions, along with each candidate's answers, are listed next.

1. Why do you think you are the best person for the position of Archuleta County Treasurer?

Garrett: "I'm best because of my education and experience. I have 35 years of accounting and investing experience."

Eaton: "My leadership qualifications will bring much-needed improvements, especially better communications with other offices including the clerk, assessor and commissioners. I'm very detail-oriented. My goal is taxpayer satisfaction."

2. What do you offer that your opponent doesn't offer?

Garrett: "I have 14 years experience working in the treasurer's office, 12 of those years as treasurer."

Eaton: "I bring an eagerness to work. I have excellent communications skills and will insist on professionalism when dealing with the public. I'm not experienced as a treasurer, but I have 28 years of small business management experience, including bookkeeping."

3. If elected, will you make any immediate changes in how the office is run?

Garrett: "We make changes every year as directed by the state."

Eaton: "Yes. I would like to see computer networking among county offices, especially with the clerk and assessor. It is a big waste of time to have to manually enter things in each office.

"I'd like to hold meetings with other elected officials, at least monthly, to improve communications.

"If elected, I don't plan to make changes in the friendly office staff already working there."

4. Do you see development of a separate county financial department as a threat?

Garrett: "We do have separate departments. Cathie Wilson heads the county finance department. I don't see it as a threat. We work well together, help each other. We've developed a good checks and balances system over the years."

Eaton: "No. I'll appreciate the help. Let the finance department handle the day-to-day. We won't have to do it."

5. If elected, will you work for the county commissioners?

Garrett: "As another elected official, I don't work for the county commissioners. I work with the commissioners and other elected officials."

Eaton: "No. I will work with the county commissioners. The treasurer's office has the function of managing 71 funds, not all of which are controlled by the commissioners. I want to protect the taxpayers' money so that it is managed well."

Travis and husband Derall purchased property in Pagosa Springs in 1982 then moved to the area in 1986. Before moving to Pagosa Springs, they owned a chain of convenience stores in Oklahoma. She has worked in the accounting and investment field for 35 years.

According to Garrett, she received the Outstanding Treasurer Award in 1996 presented for distinguished service by the Colorado Counties Treasurer Association. She has actively served on the Conference Committee, Historical Committee, Audit Committee, Resolutions Committee, and has been chairperson of District 6 within the Colorado County Treasurer Association. She served three years on the Accreditation Committee and six years on the Treasurer's Education Committee in the International Association of Clerks, Recorders, Election Officers and Treasurers. She is a certified county treasurer in the Colorado County Treasurer's Association. She is also the Archuleta County Trustee.

Eaton moved to Pagosa Springs in 1997 from Leonard, Texas. She has been active as a Colorado real estate broker since then. She served one year as a director of the Pagosa Springs Area Association of Realtors board before the board elected her as state representative. Her professional experience has included real estate work since 1974. She has worked with other agencies and owned her own firm. She currently owns Pam Eaton Realtors. If elected, she promises to close the real estate office and work full time as treasurer.

According to Eaton, her leadership skills have been developed through many avenues such as president of the Leonard Chamber of Commerce, and work with the Leonard Athletic Club, and Parent Teacher Association. She served as a Leonard School Board trustee and as secretary of the Industrial Foundation.

Among awards she received are the 2000 Local Realtor of the Year Award. While in Texas, she was honored as the 1989 Citizen of the Year in Leonard and as the 1988-89 Athletic Club Member of the Year.

 

New PLPOA rules, regulations take effect Oct. 11

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Recodification and updating of new community rules and regulations for subdivisions in the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association have been adopted to take effect Oct. 11 and will be available for public comment within 30 days.

That was one of the parting statements by outgoing president Richard Manley at the annual association meeting Saturday.

He urged residents to examine the document and invited comment. The long-awaited rules took over a year of public meetings, board review, legal examination and redrafting before reaching a stage the board felt acceptable.

At the same time, Manley announced the results of the recent telephone poll of the community by Tosch and Associates of Durango will be given to the board after some questions are answered by the pollster with reference to topic content and analysis.

There was one dissenter to the poll during the public comment portion of the meeting. Mojie Adler told the board the person who called her was "not understandable" and "seemed to have little knowledge of what she was asking.

"I have grave concerns about the accuracy of any poll in which the person asking the questions doesn't understand her own question and there is no allowance for comment," Adler said.

On a happier note, director David Bohl, association treasurer, announced the association's current assets are $1.51 million and long-term assets $1.98 million with total assets at $3.49 million. At the same time, liabilities are $48,950. He noted the Fairfield settlement fund account still has $581,258.

And, said Bohl, due to the new on-staff internal accounting team and its operations, operational expenses for the first six months of the association's year are $116,297 below budget.

Dan Aries, head of the accounting department, noted 86.7 percent of the assessments billed in January have been received so far and that the average delinquency rate is 5.7 percent. He said liens have been placed against approximately 500 properties, but that most also have tax liens, which take priority.

The lone near-confrontational portion of the meeting came when Earle Beasley, from the audience, questioned why the association no longer has a standing road committee.

Told by Manley that all members of the panel, save one, resigned, and that roads are the responsibility of the county and any standing road panel would have to be ordered by a new board after reorganization, Beasley asked: "Is it fair, then, to say the board has no interest in what is going on with the roads?"

"That is by no means correct," Manley replied. "We have not ignored the plight of the roads. We have to be considered in aggregate with all the roads in the county - or get nothing done at all."

Finally, saying, "I've waited two and a half years to be able to say this," general manager Walt Lukasik drew wild applause when he announced, "At the present time the association is not involved in any litigation of any kind."

Sheriff details reasons for seeking fourth term

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

Archuleta County Sheriff Tom Richards has been employed as a certified law enforcement officer for 43 years - the last 12 as sheriff - and he's asking voters for another four.

"During the past 12 years, under my administration, the Archuleta County Sheriff's Department has been modernized and is keeping pace with the ever-changing needs of our growing community," he said when announcing his bid for a fourth term in March. "I am proud of my department's accomplishments and pledge to continue the level of service we have provided under severe budgetary constraints. Being a native of this area, I know the needs of our citizens, and the type of law enforcement they want and expect. I want to continue in this position of service and pledge my wholehearted effort to reduce the low crime rate we enjoy."

Richards, running on the Republican ticket, worked as a trooper for the Colorado State Patrol for 31 years, serving as Gov. John Love's personal bodyguard for part of that time. Since his beginnings in law enforcement, he has participated in continuing education classes at least one week per year, including specialized classes with the U.S. Treasury Department, Secret Service, governor's security, livestock, riot control and public speaking. Born in Bayfield, he moved to Pagosa Springs in 1972.

He listed four main issues facing Archuleta County law enforcement today: "A lack of law enforcement officers to keep pace with the demands placed on the department, coupled with the lack of adequate salaries to attract qualified candidates; apathy among the public toward getting involved; lack of youth-oriented programs; and narcotics."

Over the past three years, he said, the county's population has increased nearly 11 percent. Over the same time period, calls to the sheriff's department increased about 12 percent. Reports are up 11 percent. Crimes against persons and property have also increased. However, the department's budget increased an average of 5-8 percent, leaving the salaries for deputies well below the average for the region, making it more difficult to attract qualified applicants.

To be a successful department, he said, the deputies need the cooperation of the public. In the past, attempts were made to start programs to encourage this cooperation. Several failed, "not from a lack of trying on everyone's part, but a lack of participation. We now have new people getting involved, getting their fellow citizens to stand up and get involved."

Concerning the youth of the community, Richards said only a few end up causing most of the trouble, but those are the ones people generally hear about. He supports starting a specialized Boy Scouts of America Explorer program to help introduce youth to law enforcement, fire and air patrol environments.

Narcotics, Richards said, is a problem in the county, one that took time to make its way in and one that will take just as much time to weed out. Investigations have shown that most of the narcotics here are being manufactured outside the area and then transported into this county.

"We have tried to elicit help from outside sources but found that it is difficult to get," Richards said. "This statement may upset some folks, but it is true. Our narcotics problem, no matter how small it may seem in the outside world, is a very big problem for us and frankly hard to deal with, with our limited resources."

Narcotics, as with any other problem, is one the community must face together.

"Together, working as a unit, a team if you will, we can solve anything," he added. "And that is what I want to close with, that we here in law enforcement cannot do it alone. Law enforcement and the good people of Pagosa cannot make it a better place to live alone, but together, working as one, we can accomplish anything."

Voters will have a chance to vote on their choice for sheriff at the primary election Aug. 13. Early voting in the primary is set to open Aug. 5 and close Aug. 9.

Write-in sheriff hopeful sees needs for change

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

Larry Bass, the former chief of the Pagosa Lakes Department of Public Safety, is running for sheriff as a write-in candidate in the Republican primary.

He said two of the biggest issues facing the county's law enforcement community today are drugs and the increase in property crimes.

"These people are the victims of burglary and theft and then nothing's done about it," he said. "They're the victimized once by the criminal and then they're victimized by the lack of response from the sheriff." He did not provide any statistics to back up this claim, but said perception in the community is just as important as the numbers.

To combat the problem, he has pledged to return all calls to the department within 24 hours and carry his own caseload as sheriff.

"I'll be there the hours and times it takes to get the job done," he said.

He also plans to create an Archuleta County Sheriff's Department Web site to keep citizens updated on road conditions, special weather and fire updates, training and informational seminars and meetings, and timely updates on cases and other sheriff's department activities.

The second major issue facing Archuleta County is its youth, Bass said. He plans to "institute or resume," several community-based programs like adopt-a-cop, neighborhood watch, home and business security consultation, vacation home checks, operation ID and a child car seat program, according to his position statement. A few of these programs are currently operating in the community at some level.

Mentoring to the youth in the community is a key role for law enforcement, he said. It not only gives youth a positive experience with officers but also provides a role model for the youth to turn to as they get older and deal with issues like drugs and alcohol.

Bass moved to Pagosa Springs in 1989. He graduated from the police academy in Pueblo with honors and was employed by the Pagosa Springs Police Department from 1990-91. From 1991-98, he worked in the Pagosa Lakes Department of Public Safety, rising from a probationary officer to chief. He is currently employed in the heating and air conditioning business.

In 1994, he and his wife Elata, began working on the Pagosa Youth Foundation, a nonprofit organization that offers an alternative to incarceration of juveniles, educating and training them in a ranch setting. They have worked with both public organizations like Social Services and private individuals, and the number of youth served varies, he said.

If elected, Bass said he does not intend to "clean house," among the deputies. He plans to operate the department under a flow chart with the sheriff at the top, followed by the undersheriff and chief investigator. Two sergeants would oversee the deputies. He has tagged Mike Owens as a possible undersheriff and Bill Lucero and Doug Smith as sergeants.

Initially, Bass attempted to secure a place on the Republican primary ballot by petition. He said he collected the required 497 signatures. Upon scrutiny by the county clerk, several of the signatures were disqualified, leaving only the write-in option. As such, his name will not appear on the ballot. Because he filed an affidavit with the County Clerk's office, a blank, write-in space will appear. To cast a ballot for Bass, voters will have to fill in the oval next to the blank line and then write in "Larry Bass."

Voters will have a chance to select their choice for sheriff at the primary Aug. 13. Early voting in the primary is set to open Aug. 5 and close Aug. 9.

Self-inflicted

gunshot ruled

cause of death

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

A Pagosa Springs man died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound July 28.

Archuleta County coroner Carl Macht said Stan Hirsch, 75, was found dead about 9 a.m. in a vehicle parked next to Stevens Lake Road. A friend had reported him missing early that morning.

Further investigation by Macht showed Hirsch had been working to settle his affairs. According to the coroner, knee replacement surgery five years ago apparently left Hirsch in considerable pain that he was unable to control with medication.

 

 

PLPOA Director Smith wants commissioners under scrutiny

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Director Gerald Smith proposed Saturday that Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association "cause every county commissioner meeting to be attended by a board representative, that the results of said attendance be reported in the association newsletter, and that the association keep and publish a report card on each member.

"It has become increasingly evident the commissioners pay no attention to us, so it behooves us to pay close attention to them," he said.

Director Tom Cruse, the new board president responded, "If we speak out, we must do so legally and in a way which represents the property owners."

Director Fred Ebeling, just returned to the board, suggested the association board await the final report on a recently completed poll of the members and see if county commissioner actions are, in fact, a concern of residents.

"Agreed," said Smith, "but if a clear majority seem to favor us being a stronger voice, we need to act to provide that service."

Cruse said the results should be available this week, giving board members time to review them before the next regular board meeting Aug. 8.

 

Cruse elected Pagosa Lakes association president

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association voters brought two directors out of retirement, kept an incumbent on the board and defeated a proposed expansion of the recreation center in action tabulated at the association's annual meeting July 27.

Fred Ebeling, a long-time member of the board whose last term expired last year, and Bill Nobles, a former board member and the county extension agent, were winners of the 3-year terms up for election. Nobles was the top vote getter at 1,214 and Ebeling second at 1,052. Scott Brush ran third with 817 and Thom Carter fourth at 389.

Incumbent Pat Payne, running unopposed for the balance of a term to which she was appointed last year, drew 1,363 votes and remains the board's only female member.

In all, 1,144 property owner votes were cast along with 2,412 timeshare ballots.

The proposed recreation center expansion vote of 1,291 against and 663 in favor drew loud applause when announced.

The proposal, which had been the result of nearly a year of planning and several public meetings with reference to recreational needs of the community had been a point of contention between property owners and timeshare users represented by Fairfield USA and Cendant Corporation, the marketing arm.

At issue was a proposed $1.9 million bond to be repaid over a 20-year period.

In May, director Tom Cruse, chairing the recreation committee, told the board there would be a $100,000 shortfall in funds planned for retirement of the bonds, if approved, because of a change in billing by Fairfield.

Because of all the planning already devoted to the project, the board decided at that time to leave the proposal on the ballot after Cruse sought and received assurance from director David Bohl, association treasurer, that the repayment plan could still be accommodated.

There had been argument that nonresident property owners who never, or only rarely, utilize the facilities' amenities, should not have to subsidize their use by timeshare visitors.

In a special meeting after the annual meeting, the board elected new officers, giving the presidency to Cruse and naming Nobles vice president.

That action came after Gerald Smith, secretary, informed the board he has put his property up for sale and would consider returning as secretary but should not be nominated for any other position. The board took that action, and at the same time returned Bohl as treasurer and unanimously designated him as the board's investment officer.

Community Plan: The commissioners' viewpoint

By John M. Motter

Staff Writer

A Community Plan prepared to guide growth and development was endorsed by the Archuleta County Commissioners during May of 2001.

At the time of adoption, the plan was described as a vision, a guideline, a description of community wants concerning growth and development. The plan was the first step.

The second step, actual enforcement of the plan, awaited county commissioner enactment of enforcement regulations. Now, 14 months later, no enforcement regulations have been enacted.

Regulation of two minor parts of the plan, lighting and signs, may be near. An agenda item proposing the scheduling of a public hearing date concerning proposed lighting and sign regulations will be on next Tuesday's commissioner agenda, according to Greg Comstock, the director of county development.

Three county organizations are involved with growth and development planning and regulation.

At the top are the county commissioners. The commissioners bear ultimate responsibility for formulating and implementing regulations guiding community growth.

A second group, the Upper San Juan Regional Planning Commission, serves as advisors to the county commissioners for developing and implementing growth policies and regulations. The county commissioners appoint members of the commission. They are advisory only and have no law enactment powers.

The third group, the professionals who staff the county planning office, are hired by and work for the county commissioners. At the direction of the commissioners, the planning staff drafts growth regulations. The planning staff also reviews proposed growth plans to see if the plans conform to existing regulations.

Finally, state laws bear on growth management. Certain state laws affect growth, especially the requirement that the county appoint and support the operation of a planning commission.

Clearly, primary responsibility for directing growth rests in the commissioners' laps. The second and third groups with growth management responsibilities work under the direction of the commissioners.

A number of people have asked why, 14 months after approving a Community Plan, have the commissioners not adopted implementation regulations?

The chairman and vice chairman of the planning commission have both publicly noted that, in their opinions, progress on adoption of implementing legislation has been unusually, maybe intolerably, slow.

What do the commissioners have to say about the Community Plan, about why adding enactment tools has been slow, and about zoning?

Bill Downey

"I think it is a good guidance tool to give us some direction of where the community wants to go," said Downey, chairman of the board of county commissioners. "I think it represents a majority of the community, but is definitely not unanimous."

Downey does not believe the commissioners have been slow to enact enabling legislation.

"I don't think we've been slow," Downey said. "I think we have progressed with other things. Some parts of the Community Plan have been implemented - the dog ordinance. Not too far away, we'll look at lighting and signage ordinances."

In the future, Downey expects the commissioners to continue utilizing those specific areas (of the plan) "we want regulations for."

"We need to get regulations in place for guidance and decision making," Downey said.

As to zoning, Downey said, "I am not a real proponent of Euclidean zoning. We have a form of zoning right now, for example, the conditional use permit and subdivision regulations."

Of the three forms of zoning being discussed by the commissioners, traditional, performance-based, and landowner-initiated, Downey leans toward performance-based.

"As many people as possible need to be involved in determination of any zoning we change to," Downey said. "I'm not sure we would gain much over what we have now, but I see performance-based as best. We probably ought to incorporate the land use map now contained in the Community Plan. We could use the land use map to help determine the suitability of a subdivision or conditional use permit."

Gene Crabtree

"I'm in favor of the Community Plan," said Crabtree, the only commissioner seeking re-election this fall. "Some parts we really didn't sit down and study in depth, so there are cracks in the foundation."

An example of foundational cracks is a county policy concerning cutting off a small tract of land from a larger tract, according to Crabtree.

"It used to be, a rancher could give a 10-acre piece to a family member if he wanted to," Crabtree said. "It's a question of being allowed to use our own land to help ourselves or families. I favor allowing one split like that, after that, no more.

"It would have been nice to pass the lighting regulations, but I don't think it was looked at close enough," Crabtree added. "The regulation writers said they don't want to see lights on U.S. 160 or U.S. 84, but I disagree about security lights."

The sign ordinance is being reworked, Crabtree said, because business owners were not involved originally.

Crabtree agrees that the commissioners have been too slow to adopt implementation regulations.

"We need to take it step by step," he said. "I'm as frustrated as anyone. We should have done this over a year ago."

Crabtree attributed the inactivity to failure of the various organizations connected with land use management to sit down together.

"I favor zoning," Crabtree said. "I tried to introduce land-owner initiated zoning over a year ago. Subdivisions have their own rules. We didn't need to mess with them. In unincorporated areas, I favor dividing the county into areas and letting the people living in those areas determine their own rules. That was proposed, but nothing was done with it.

"I'm in favor of zoning," Crabtree said. "They've put a lot of time and effort into this. We should have sat down and gone through it step-by-step with the planning commission. I've been accused of slowing it down, but there are others involved in the holdup. We can do it. It should be done within four or five months at the most."

Alden Ecker

"It's a good plan," said Ecker. "It is advisory, of course. From that, some time in the future we'll develop zoning. It does have some holes that need fixed."

When asked if enforcement tools for the plan should have been implemented sooner, Ecker said, "We've had discussion on lighting and signing.

"We need some kind of zoning," Ecker added. "I'm for individual rights. We need to protect the complexion of the community, of course. I'd like the people to decide. I don't think some other person or a board should dictate for others. I partially favor landowner initiated zoning, but one size doesn't fit all. Fairfield is different than Arboles. The zoning should be different."

The three forms of zoning will be discussed in next week's article on the Community Plan.

Community Center grand opening slated Aug. 10

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

After several years of dreaming and planning, the Pagosa Springs Community Center will open in 10 days.

Senior center staff and the facilities director are scheduling times to move. The last of the furniture is being assembled, special dedication bricks are being laid, the last few punch items are finishing up inside, and a celebration is being planned.

The grand opening is set for Aug. 10 at 10:30 a.m. and everyone is invited to 451 Hot Springs Boulevard for the fun. Activities include facility tours, a free barbecue lunch, music by Rio Jazz and sports exhibitions. Lunch and music will be outside, so hats and sunscreen are suggested.

The community center will offer a senior center, christened the "Silver Foxes Den," teen center with study area, pool table and foosball, a multi-purpose room big enough for a basketball court or two volleyball courts, conference rooms, wet and dry art rooms and a computer room.

Town Administrator Jay Harrington said the focus right now is on the senior center, scheduled to open for lunch Aug. 5. The computer room, art rooms and teen center are next on the list. The goal is to have the teen center up and running by the time school starts, provided the right staff people can be found, Harrington said.

The 20,000 square foot facility will finish out at between $3.2 and $3.4 million when it opens, a figure that holds close to original estimates. The only overrun in construction came during site work when contractors were forced to remove more saturated material to make way for the foundation work. It was funded through local donations, private and public grants and a lease-purchase agreement between the nonprofit Pagosa Springs Community Facilities Coalition, the Town of Pagosa Springs and Wells Fargo Bank. Last month, the town also came through with a $500,000 bridge loan to close out the project.

 

Letters

August 1, 2002

Don't feed bears

Dear Editor:

It is with great reservation that I once again wade into the letters to the editor fray.

Dr. Herbert Parker has an opinion on what's best for bears. Unfortunately he has revealed his ignorance concerning the subject.

My own experience is limited to personal bear encounters and time spent living in the environment the bears normally prefer over the housing developments they now seem to frequent looking for easy victuals. I believe the Division of Wildlife officers, who have at their disposal biological data and research on the habits of black bears, are better equipped to determine what is best for the bears. Although I don't always agree with DOW decisions, I believe, as the legal authority on wildlife management, their regulations should be obeyed. As in: Don't feed the bears.

Bears only provide "fun" if you are wise enough to observe them from a safe distance; "excitement," only if you manage to kill one on the charge at 25 yards with a .58 caliber flintlock rifle. It's not just "any people" who say don't feed the bears, but those who are entrusted with their welfare.

Bears have wild instinct, but are among the laziest critters on four legs and will go completely out of their way for an easy meal. It doesn't matter how much natural forage they have. They are easily habituated and will continue to come to handouts, garbage cans and bird feeders long after the drought is over and acorns and berries are plentiful.

It was the same silly logic that drove animal rights activists to bring a ballot initiative to end the spring bear hunt and the use of bait and dogs to hunt them to an uninformed public. Endless propaganda about innocent bear cubs orphaned by the acts of murdering lactating females, despite biological data to the contrary, finally brought an end to what many of us believed was the best management tool in controlling the bear population. Since that time it seems, the population has exploded, with wildlife officers strained to the limits with problem bears and without adequate time to manage game populations and issues as well as nongame species.

I have a great deal of respect for people who spend the effort, energy and expense to obtain a doctorate. On the other hand, a doctorate is fairly specialized and a doctor of divinity wouldn't want to tell a medical doctor how to do brain surgery. A podiatrist wouldn't want to tell a neurosurgeon how to get the job done.

Despite what the good doctor may have felt or believed from endless reruns of Gentle Ben, Disney, and Grizzly Adams, bears can be and are dangerous and hopefully no "children of any age" will be mauled or killed because foolish adults who think they are experts, and continue to provide bears with an easy meal that the bears are willing to sometimes kill for. So do the right thing, stop feeding the bears.

Respectfully,

William Bennett

Defeat Sharon

Dear Editor:

The July 23 attack by a U.S. built and armed F-16 flown by the Israeli Air Force should give every American cause to question our blind support of the Zionist government of Israel.

Ariel Sharon has proven to the world that he is a blood brother of Yasser Arafat, Osama bin Laden, Adolph Hitler and Joseph Stalin. Terrorism in all forms is evil and should be condemned by the world community. There is no difference between a suicide bomber, an F-16 strike on an apartment building or a gas chamber. It is all premeditated murder.

Jewish people are great people, so are Muslims. Zionist Israel is out of control. There will never be peace in the Middle East until the people of the United States, especially the Jewish community, demands an end to U.S. support of the Sharon government. If we want peace we must work for justice.

Raymond P. Finney

Stop killing bears

Dear Editor:

There have been four bears taken in the Aspen Springs area as of late. I just don't understand why people think the bears have no rights anymore in their National Forest.

There was the bear that supposedly charged a person over on Hollow Lane. If that bear was charging a person, sense has it that the bullet would have been in the front, not from side to side.

Then there was the big boar shot for getting into the trash.

Now a sow with two cubs was shot, and left on private property until she started rotting away.

We had the privilege to have those two cubs in a family member's yard for three straight days. We knew they were there, and we also knew that mom was close by. She evidently felt comfortable leaving her babies with us for hours to enjoy watching as they played and slept in our tree. During their presence we had the sense to keep our little children in the house, until they moved on.

As for the bears getting in the trash - don't kill them over it, just go pick it up or put it somewhere the bears cannot get into it. I feel people who have such a fear of the bears should move somewhere where they don't have any wildlife, and quit killing our wildlife.

Wildlife Watcher

G. Francavilla

Benefits of TABOR

Dear Editor:

On July 16, the Wall Street Journal published an editorial entitled "States of Prosperity (or Not)." The editorial primarily compares the budget woes of California to Colorado's.

I would like to quote from that editorial. It is, perhaps, meaningful to the local voters. These quotes are exact and are not my interpretation.

"As the nation's governors meet in Boise, Idaho, to share tales of woe about a slower economy, it's a good time to ask why some states have bigger budget problems than others. California is a debacle, for example, with a $23 billion deficit and Gov. Gray Davis scrounging for revenue. But in Colorado this year, Governor Bill Owens delivered a balanced budget and $927 million in tax rebates.

"In Colorado, government spending was restrained by a 1993 constitutional amendment called the Taxpayers Bill of Rights. The law requires voter approval for any tax increases and limits increases in state spending to inflation plus population growth.

"In other words, they couldn't use an economic boom to build a permanently larger government. Per capita general fund expenditures during Governor Owens' four-year tenure grew by a total of just 8 percent. And Colorado has returned to taxpayers more than $3 billion in surplus revenue in rebates and tax cuts since 1997.

"Mr. Davis failed to meet a July 1 deadline for a new budget, and current negotiations in Sacramento involve more than $2 billion in tax hikes, including a 63-cent a pack increase in cigarette tax and a doubling of vehicle licensing fees.

"The American Legislative Exchange Council's Mid-Year Review on State Budget Policy notes that 15 states have enacted major tax increases in the current legislative season and 11 more are on the verge. Tax increases by those 26 states total $14 billion: and those same states increased spending over the past decade by $125 billion. A forthcoming study by the Cato Institute says that during the 1990s the 10 states with the highest tax burden grew at half the rate of the 10 states with the lowest taxes. Personal income grew by 40 percent in the low-tax states but only by 25 percent in the high-tax states. Job growth was 28 percent in the low-tax states, 13 percent in the high-tax states.

"The larger lesson here is that the best defense against future tax hikes is an automatic political restraint on spending. Raising taxes can be made more difficult by requiring a 'supermajority' of two-thirds or three-fifths of state legislators to raise taxes, or better yet a statewide referendum.

"A constitutional limitation like Colorado's is probably the best of all. The spending interests will pitch a fit, and Governor Owens tells us that in the early 1990s they predicted Armageddon in his state, too. Instead, Colorado grew even faster than most of the country, and now it is better prepared to ride out the technology recession."

As Rep. Mark Larson remarked earlier this years: "Like it or not, TABOR is working."

F.T. Havens.

Caring in crisis

Dear Editor:

On July 9 our family was involved in the accident that unfairly took the lives of Linda Kelly and her granddaughter Jessalyn. In only a few seconds, the lives of several families and several individuals were changed forever. But our injuries were minor so our prayers are for the Kelly family. What we will remember most is how close at hand God can be.

We will also remember the heroic, calm, professional and selfless people of Pagosa Springs who arrived to help that late afternoon. There were those who called the fire and police departments. Some directed traffic. Some helped near the accident scene. The fire and police departments arrived in minutes and went about their work with true professionalism and speed.

The Colorado State Patrol were also true professionals. They were reverent, heroic, assuring and swift.

We are still very sad about that day. We linger over the events and are helpless to change the outcome. It was the beginning of our 12-day vacation in Colorado. Yet we will return to Colorado. And we look forward to returning to Pagosa Springs. We were but visitors in your community for a little while. But we will long remember those of you that touched our lives in a caring way that afternoon in early July. You are very fortunate. You have life, a caring community and beautiful state.

Jim, Cheryl, Kara and Meghan Hawkins

Simpsonville, S.C.

Lingo of the West

Dear Editor:

When I first came to Pagosa, I was confused because I wasn't aware of the language westerners use. So I bought a Pagosa SUN and I studied the letters to the editor column.

After intensive study, I came up with a glossary of western terms that should help newcomers acclimate themselves to this area.

A Republican: A well-dressed man or woman who is highly informed on the issues.

A Democrat: A wacko who wants to spend your money on ridiculous things such as environmental issues.

An environmentalist: A real wacko who is responsible for droughts and fires.

A conservative: A person who knows what he's doing.

A liberal: A wacko who comes from the East and wants to take your guns away from you.

A welfare recipient: A cheat who lives on government money and hasn't been caught.

A commissioner: An affable Republican who, in good times, knows how to smile and pat people on the back - but in emergencies, he hasn't got a clue.

The Wildlife Commission: A group of people whose underlying motive is to destroy all animals so they can have more time for themselves.

A bear: A creature who doesn't know how to vote.

Now I hope some of you easterners who decide to visit us western folk won't be confused.

Dr. Herbert Parker

A room at the Inn

Dear Editor:

Maxine Hagberg, a 92-year-old Texas resident, returned in her RV for another year of fishing at Williams Creek, just in time to be evacuated because of the fire.

She parked at the San Juan Motel. The owner, Judy Schmidt, noticed that she seemed ill, took her into a room and then to the doctor.

She and her staff ministered Maxine's medicine and food for four days and contacted relatives in California to arrange for her and her RV to be driven back to Waco, Texas.

There was indeed, room at the inn where angels ministered to an old woman, and she and I will be forever thankful.

Thank you Judy and Fred Schmidt and your staff at the San Juan Motel.

Kitty Rosenbaum (niece)

Fairfield, Calif.

Airport pork

Dear Editor:

Mark Sherman's canny exposé of continuing current and past county commissioner "airport folly" really didn't surprise me in SUN letters July 25.

In the 12 years I've made paradise my hometown, county commissioners have consistently pumped millions of dollars and countless road and bridge man hours into the local airport at taxpayer expense, all for a few. Never once have any county commissioners ever told the local taxpayer, who really owns the airport, that they would conduct public meetings on any of our money they intended to waste in their pursuit of developing the new (PIA) Pagosa International Airport.

Somehow the local airport board/management have always been able to secure anything they desired. Of course, you always hear statements offered as to the absolute necessity and wonderful benefits Pagosa will derive by having a magnificent aerodrome; it will bring more dollars into the community; it will increase employment; it will promote a larger development and growth which will allow our kids to earn a living in their hometown. A little common sense can easily riddle with large holes these weak arguments.

Sadly, Mr. Sherman, definitely two of our three county commissioners are only going to continue, as you have personally discovered, to provide hard-earned local taxpayer dollars for the two "genuine good old boys'" great Pagosa Pork Project.

In recent years two aircraft leaving our airport have experienced engine problems on leaving the airport, crash-landing in Alpha subdivision. Since the commissioners easily confiscated taxpayer dollars to pave a taxiway, why not take some more money and provide an emergency landing strip in Alpha? Alpha Drive is a straight shot right off U.S. 160. It's perfect. All you have to do is pave it.

Not bad, considering the horrific alternatives of taking out a large motel on the highway or tearing up the parking area at the new City Market. Further debate is unnecessary; and watch out for our local hot air balloon.

Jim Sawicki

Cloud seeding

Dear Editor:

During the presentation on cloud seeding July 22 in the Archuleta County Commissioners' meeting room, the president of Concerned Citizens for Preservation of Natural Resources in the San Luis Valley, Mr. John Showcroft, complained about water and hay shortages in his part of the valley, blaming this on cloud seeding.

He mentioned that the continuation of the 1976 cloud seeding program in the San Luis Valley was voted down by over 60 percent of the valley voters for fear of diminishing their rains, and he begged not to initiate cloud seeding here which, he claimed, would steal their water.

It is scientifically well proven that cloud seeding does not decrease precipitation downwind from a target area; instead, it increases cloud water to ground all the way to about 200 miles downstream from such activities by up to 5 percent.

If the San Luis Valley voters would not have been incorrectly influenced to cast such a vote and if the cloud seeding activities would have continued, there would be water and there would be hay in his part of the valley and Mr. Showcroft would not have needed to come here and complain.

Albert Schnell

A magical evening

Dear Editor:

On July 22 several friends, my husband and I attended the Music in the Mountains concert at Bootjack Ranch.

I would like to thank Music in the Mountains, Bootjack Ranch, Aviram Reichert, Gemma Kavanagh, and everyone involved in bringing such a beautiful event to Pagosa Springs.

The audience was small and the interaction between the performers and the audience was wonderful. The performers gave us a wonderful selection of exquisite pieces. The reception afterward was perfect, and a good time to meet the performers and exchange reactions to the evening with friends and neighbors.

The location, The Lodge at Bootjack Ranch, a beautiful venue, provided a perfect backdrop to the performers. It was raining softly and the low clouds appearing and disappearing throughout the concert helped make the entire evening magical.

I hope this is the start of a great Pagosa Springs tradition.

Patricia Waters

Editorial

The policy stands

Early voting in the Republican primary election begins Aug. 5. The primary date at the polls is Aug. 13 and, from there, it is a race to the finish line for local, state and national candidates with the general election scheduled Nov. 5. We are in the midst of an important political season with many of the tendencies observed on the national level mirrored here in Archuleta County.

Notable is the phenomenon of media-borne political discourse and at least two spin-offs from this way of doing our political business are worth considering.

First, is the alienation produced by repeated and superficial exposure to candidates and their strategies, by coverage crafted as a soundbite, entertainment or easy read. This discourages many voters and the largest political party is composed of American citizens who choose not to vote, who opt out of the political process. For a variety of reasons, from apathetic disregard of the value of the right to vote to rejection of a frequently tarnished process, Americans refuse to go to the polls.

Second is the quality of the overall political atmosphere. In short: Much of it stinks. The political process is pervaded by the odor of dishonesty, stained by exaggerations of credentials, experience and accomplishments, ripe with the point-counterpoint of feverish touts. This is nothing new to politics, but it seems to grow worse with each four-year political period. Less attention is paid to ideas and verifiable fact, more voice is given to rumor and unsupported emotional statements.

With this in mind, we need to repeat this newspaper's Letters to the Editor policy.

As election day nears, supporters of candidates jump into the fray, eager to do their part. At times prey to rumor, some burdened by misunderstandings of events and ideas, fueled by fervent conviction, they come forward to make their opinions known, expecting no barrier.

As long as their expressions take the turn to the advertising department, there is no impediment.

If candidate advocacy appears in this newspaper, it will appear in advertising; our Letters to the Editor policy is steadfast in its rejection of campaign literature couched in the form of a letter.

When a letter arrives at The SUN in support of a candidate, regardless of who that candidate is, it will not find its way to print in the Letters to the Editor section. Letters that deal with issues, with referendums, tax questions, will be accepted. Mention of a candidate in an ongoing election - even if the reference is subtle, the name implied - belongs in advertising.

The reason? Legally, letters are considered editorial content and both the writer and the newspaper that prints the letter are liable for any false statements. In advertising, only the producer of the ad, not its carrier (the newspaper) is liable for content.

Claims made in a letter to the editor of a weekly newspaper cannot be checked in a timely fashion, as they are in work by a reporter. Letters can be used at the last minute, in the issue of a weekly publication released prior to an election date, to make allegations that cannot be answered in time for voters to receive contrary information. We won't allow this to occur in the Letters to the Editor section. As a result, letters containing accusations referring to a candidate will be turned over to a reporter, checked and, if found legitimate, made the subject of a news article.

During this primary season and during the period leading up to the general election, our policy will hold. For anyone seeking another avenue to the public, advertising will have to suffice. Contrary to rumor, this newspaper will continue to accept political advertising, for which only the author is liable, throughout the election process.

Karl Isberg

 

Legacies

By Shari Pierce

90 years ago

Taken from SUN files of August 2, 1912

If anyone doubts the embellishing effect of a little paint and lumber artistically applied to what was considered a down and out structure, just inspect Doc Taylor's work on his late purchase, the old Strawn property.

This village now has eight big automobiles almost constantly on the "hum," with several more coming up. Some buz wagons for a town of Pagosa's size.

When in Pagosa stop at the old Owl Cafe for something good to eat. Meals 35 cents and up. Kenney & Boggs, proprietors.

Dave Lowenstein will attend the Grand Lodge K. of P. in Denver, as an alternate grand representative from Pagosa No. 126.

75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of August 5, 1927

The county commissioners met in monthly session Tuesday for the transaction of routine business. At this time it was ordered that the county offices be removed by the 1st of September to the recently purchased court house, the former First National Bank building.

Charlie Henderson intends to crowd Buck O'Neal for the fishing honors of the season. Sunday evening he landed a four-and-one-half pound rainbow with a grasshopper near the pump house at the east edge of town.

The country home of Judge and Mrs. F.A. Byrne was the scene of an unusual wedding last Friday evening when two young Apache Indians from the reservation at Dulce, were united in wedlock. The ceremony was the first of the kind ever occurring in Archuleta County.

50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of August 1, 1952

Mrs. Cora Thayer and a group of relatives, the Uptain and McCabe families of Mancos, enjoyed a picnic Sunday up the Dolores River. The occasion was in honor of Frank Uptain, who had just returned from Germany where he had been serving with the armed forces and Robert Uptain who will soon be going to Korea.

Mr. and Mrs. Kelly Dickerson are holding an open house inspection of their new motel unit at the San Juan Motel on Sunday. The motel is one of the finest to be found anywhere and is certainly a progressive addition to the community.

To be found elsewhere in this edition is the opening ad of the new Gambles store, to be operated by Mr. and Mrs. J.F. Whitefield.

25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of July 28, 1977

There have been a few flash floods throughout the area this past week but no major damage was reported. Highway 160 west of the Piedra was filled with rocks and mud Tuesday night and there were also some places where water ran across the road other evenings. Here in town .99 inches of rain fell in a very short time Sunday evening. The San Juan River is up and the countryside is looking much greener.

More of Wolf Creek Pass will be three and four-laned in the coming year under provisions of the State Highway budget for the coming year. The budget contains an allocation of $1,700,000 for 2.4 miles of grading, structures, and paving starting at Treasure Falls and going toward the top of the Pass.

 

Community News

Pagosa Lakes News

Another trail-building opportunity Saturday

By Ming Steen

SUN Columnist

The Pagosa Area Trails Council, along with the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association, will sponsor a trail-building day Aug. 3. The trail construction will be on a new section of the trail to access Stevens Draw and eventually, Martinez Canyon.

If you are able to give assistance to this project, please meet at 9 a.m. near Prospect Boulevard and Harmony Drive in Vista Subdivision.

To get there turn north on Vista Boulevard from U.S. 160, take a left on Bonanza Avenue and proceed three blocks to Prospect Boulevard. Go down Prospect and you will see cars and gear. Lunch will be provided. Bring work gloves, work boots and plenty of water. For more information call John Applegate at 731-9325 or Larry Lynch at 731-5635.

Anyone can help; no Amazonian strength needed. If you have garden-level abilities, you can be a big help. If you can help, my thanks to you.

Trail builders are special people. They create opportunities for all to access the beautiful forests. They help give us a chance to stand in a grove of trees, amidst meadows, They help us feel and smell nature. Looking at it through the windows of a vehicle is a poor second.

I have good news. That ultimate fantasy of the couch potato may become a reality some day, according to researchers who have found the chemical pathways that muscle cells use to build strength and endurance.

With this basic knowledge in hand, it now may be possible for scientists to develop a pill that pumps up muscle cells without all that exercise.

Does this mean sedentary people could build muscle by taking pills?

That may be one of the possibilities, but the main target of the research is to promote the health of people with heart disease or other conditions that keep them from doing enough exercise.

This could help patients with heart or lung disease, or lower the risk of Type II diabetes, for instance. Chances are also good it could become a drug of abuse because it would enhance the performance of athletes.

Contained within this pill would be chemicals that trigger the physical changes that muscle cells undergo after intense exercise. The pill would essentially help develop more mitochondria in muscle cells - both in the "slow twitch" muscle that powers sustained activity, such as that required by marathon runners and for "fast twitch" muscles which provide a burst of strength for a short period of time.

The researchers found that mice, with the aid of the chemical, developed the same healthy muscle cells as mice that did exercise. A lot of research is still underway to isolate the drug that would trigger the muscle-signaling pathway.

In other words, don't stop your routine of lifting heavy objects.

 

Senior News

Move is on to new center; senior bus curtailed

By Janet Copeland

SUN Columnist

We are moving to the new facilities today and Friday so the center is closed and there will be no senior bus service either day.

Remember, Monday, the seniors will have their first meal in our beautiful new center, The Silver Foxes Den at the west end of the new Community Center. We hope many of you will join us in celebrating this big event.

Also, a reminder that the grand opening of the Pagosa Springs Community Center will be at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 10. There will be tours, a free lunch, music by Rio Jazz and sports exhibitions, so we look forward to seeing you all there.

Eighteen members of our group went to the Bar D Wranglers Thursday night and we thoroughly enjoyed it. The food was delicious and the entertainment top notch. Hopefully, we can make this a monthly outing next summer.

It was great to welcome visitors and members this week, including John and Judy Cramer, Judy Harris, Stella Carter's daughter, Kathy, and great-grandbaby, Chance. If I missed anyone, please forgive me as I was away for a couple of days.

The yard sale last weekend was quite successful. Thanks to all the folks who brought the items out of the basement, priced them and helped during the sale. Items that did not sell were donated to local agencies.

Due to the funding cutbacks, the transportation program for medical shuttles, Medicaid and home-based community services is making some changes. Services to Durango will take place Tuesdays and Thursdays only. The department will still require a minimum three days advance notice in order to provide transportation and they ask that you contact them as soon as you make an appointment with your doctor. Transportation appointments are not guaranteed until you receive a confirmation call back. Call Dave Sedgwick or Cindy Laner at 264-2250 for scheduling.

Local medical shuttles are not affected at this time.

Special thanks to the following for their donations to the Senior Center: Marion Knowles for puzzles and games; Bonnie Nyre for coffee; Shirley Matser for potatoes; Linda and the crew at Daylight Donuts for the great treats; Music Boosters for tickets to "Meet Me in St. Louis"; Mary Hannah for a contribution; Susy Lydon for video tapes and books; the Copelands for the scanner and printer for the computer; and George Golightly for assisting with our newsletters.

Help. We need two volunteers to attend wellness workshops Oct. 1-3 so they can help promote wellness for 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 senior center for more information.

Other upcoming events include a talk by Deb Aspen-Hill, Aug. 9, 11 a.m. She will discuss how to take care of our feet.

The next shopping trip to Durango will be Aug. 15, provided enough people sign up in advance for the trip to go.

The next Picnic in the Park will be Aug. 16. This is the last one of the summer so we hope to have a good turnout.

Dru Sewell's Soup to Nuts class is currently suspended, as Dru will be teaching chair aerobics each Friday at 10 a.m., beginning Aug. 23. This is a very good workout for folks used to a more sedentary life and it's fun, too, so we hope lots of folks will participate.

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

Yoga by Richard Harris is at 9:30 a.m. Tuesdays.

Wednesdays, we have computer class with Sam Matthews and Chi Gong Exercise (bring large towel or mat and tie, if possible, and wear loose clothes) both at 10:30 a.m. Card games are at 1 p.m.

Every Friday, 12:30 p.m., Jim Hanson will help with Medicare counseling.

Veterans Corner

'Vote in Honor of a Veteran'

By Andy Fautheree

SUN Columnist

A new "Vote in Honor of a Veteran" program provides Archuleta County citizens the opportunity to honor those who have proudly served this country in the military by recognizing their important contributions in keeping our democracy strong and ensuring that we can cast a ballot each election day.

Colorado Secretary of State Donetta Davidson is spearheading this program. She invites all Colorado residents to participate in the event.

To honor a veteran, you need to complete a simple form and mail it to the office of the secretary of state by Oct. 19, 2002. After receipt, a personalized button with the name of the veteran you are honoring will be prepared and mailed to you. Wear it when you vote in the Nov. 5 general election.

I have the forms available at the Veterans Service Office. There is a place on the application to tell something about the veteran (or you) and how and where they served their country in the military.

The Veterans Service Office is closed this week. Those in need of assistance with veteran benefits can leave a message on my answering machine and I will return the call as soon as possible upon my return. You may contact Jan Santopietro in the county commissioners' office, 264-2536, to arrange use of the VSO vehicle for VA medical appointments.

For information on these and other veteran benefits please call or stop by the Veterans Service Office located on the lower floor of the Archuleta County Courthouse. Internet Web site for this office can be found at www.archuletacounty.org. The office number is 264-2304, the fax number is 264-5949 and e-mail is afautheree@archuletacounty.org. The office is open 8 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday through Thursday; Friday by appointment. Bring your DD Form 214 (Discharge) for registration with the county, application for VA programs, and for filing in the VSO office.

Arts Line

Watercolors, photos, jewelry displayed

By P.R. Bain

The Pagosa Springs Art Council presents Ruth Carr's watercolors and Michelle Turolla's photography and jewelry at the gallery in Town Park 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. through Aug. 14.

New show

There will be a gallery reception Aug. 15, 5-7 p.m., featuring Roberto Garcia's bronze sculpture and watercolors. Refreshments will be served.

Concert series

Whistle Pig Folk Nights concert series will continue Aug. 23, 7 p.m. at the Hudson House. Chuck Pyle will be the featured entertainer with folk guitar music, cowboy poetry and humor on the "Zen Cowboy" agenda.

SunDowner

The Aug. 28 Arts Council and Chamber of Commerce SunDowner will feature a live and silent auction 5-7 p.m. at the gallery.

Labor Day music

The annual Four Corners Folk Festival Aug. 30-Sept. 1, including children's creative arts and craft stations, will be another great Pagosa Springs happening.

Council odds and ends

Arts council interviews and art event information will be presented Aug. 8 on 1400 AM, 8:05-8:35 a.m.

The council needs art objects in new or perfect condition, plus goods and services gift certificates for the annual SunDowner. Live and silent auctions will be featured. Bring items to the gallery in Town Park.

Please start saving the following items for the Four Corners Folk Festival children's arts and crafts stations: empty water bottles, spent toilet tissue rolls and empty paper towel rolls. Items should be dropped off at the gallery Aug. 27- 29.

Pagosa Springs City Markets will donate a small percentage of your purchase to the council every time you use the City Market Value Card. To achieve this, come to the gallery and sign up.

The council needs a writer to write the Arts Line column once a month.

Also needed are art instructors, and experienced teachers for youth or adult classes at the new Community Center, beginning in September. Submit a resume with class, workshop ideas and lesson plans to Pagosa Springs Arts Council, PO Box 533, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147, or hand-deliver to the gallery at 314 Hermosa St.

Our e-mail address is psac@frontier.net. For more information, call 264-5020

 

Chamber News

County Fair - something for everyone

By Sally Hameister

It's again time for the best county fair in the county, and this year there is more than ever to do, see, eat, hear - well, suffice it to say that there is something to please all the senses and more for every member of your family.

Some of my fondest childhood memories are wrapped around attending the Indiana State Fair with my dad and strolling around for hours taking in all the sights and sounds and falling asleep on the way home while visions of lambs, calves and foals danced in my head.

This year the fun begins today when the carnival opens at 10 a.m. and Taste of Pagosa begins at 3 p.m. and continues on until 9. I'll be there from 5-7 doing my annual stint selling tickets and just generally enjoying seeing and chatting with everyone in the county. Taste of Pagosa is especially near and dear to my heart because I was on that committee for a number of years and know the work that goes into the organization and implementation of those few hours. It's a unique and wonderful opportunity to taste a little or a lot of so many choices provided by our fine local eateries and vote for your favorite. Judges select their favorites in several categories, but you and the general public select the Best of Show which makes it even more fun. Hope to see you all there.

Friday, Saturday and Sunday are loaded with far too many activities to mention, but I assure you there is plenty to do and see every day at any time of day.

I am especially intrigued by some of the contests mentioned in the schedule, to wit: bubble gum, hula hoop, hustling huskers, egg tossing, pie eating, apple bobbing, ladies nail driving, baby, mother/daughter look alike, father/son look alike, best dressed cowboy/cowgirl, best beard and, last but not least, ugliest boots.

Sunday opens with a pancake breakfast at 8:30 a.m., the chile cook-off begins at noon and the demolition derby in all its glory commences at 2 p.m.

Don't forget the 4-H livestock auction Saturday night under the big top tent. This event gives the community an opportunity to reward, encourage and recognize all the exceptional young people who work so hard to nurture and raise healthy livestock through our 4-H program and supportive parents.

Country Showdown

This event is a new, unique and exciting addition to the fair this year and one you won't want to miss. Who would pass up the opportunity to witness the career genesis of the new Garth Brooks, Dolly Parton or Reba McIntyre?

The local Showdown, sponsored by our own KWUF, will be held under the big tent Aug. 2, from 4-7 p.m. with lots of local talent competing to advance to the state contest and ultimately win $100,000 and the national title of Best New Act in Country Music. Hope you'll be there to support our local musicians in their quest.

Grand opening

John Weiss and the folks at Navajo State Park invite you to join them for Colorado Day Aug. 5, when admission is free. You will also be treated to a tour of their new visitor center with exhibits including a six-foot, three-dimensional relief map of Navajo Reservoir. You can learn all about the train that used to chug by the mooring cove and try your hand at fish riddles. Park staff will be on hand to discuss improvements, and you are invited to tour the new campgrounds and check out the new picnic areas. A special ribbon cutting will take place at 4 p.m., refreshments will be served and free activity books and stickers will be handed out to all the kids. I certainly plan to be there and hope you will join us for what is certain to be a very festive celebration at Navajo State Park.

FEMA/SBA assistance

Even though no one in Pagosa sustained the loss of residence or property due to fires, economic injury disaster loans are available through the SBA for businesses impacted by the drop in tourism.

This type of loan provides working capital to pay necessary obligations until operations return to normal. You can call (800) 621-FEMA for more information or stop by the Visitor Center for more information. Even though you may not need immediate assistance, you are encouraged to register with FEMA in case you need their services in the future. A number of local businesses have registered with these folks so feel free to contact them for more information.

Library book sale

One of my favorite things is just around the corner, taking place on Aug. 9, at the County Extension Building at 6 p.m. If you are looking for the best and biggest book bargains (nice alliteration, huh?) around, you have arrived. Refreshments will be served and, after a short business meeting, you can graze the tables stacked with hundreds and hundreds of books on absolutely every subject imaginable and shop until you drop. I usually leave with a box or two and the cost is negligible, I promise, and provides with a year's worth of reading. You will also have the opportunity to become a Friend of the Library for only pennies. Our library is one of the finest in the state and it should be our privilege to support it in every possible way. If you are so inclined, bring hors d'oeuvres and a few friends. Please call 264-2209 to RSVP for this great annual event.

Membership

Three new businesses and a Diplomat couple join us this week as well as 15 renewals, which pleases us no end. I am happy to introduce the following folks who have wisely chosen to be a part of our rather spectacular Chamber of Commerce family.

Mr. R. D. Hott, president, joins us with the San Juan Conservation District located at 344 U.S. 84. These good folks offer the annual sale of trees and shrubs through Colorado's seedling program; they sponsor youth and educator participation in natural resource workshops and hold informative annual meetings for landowners. To learn more about the San Juan Conservation District, please call 264-5516.

Kelley and Pedro Jackson join us next with The Lunch Box located at 175 Pagosa Street in the Aspen Grove Plaza across from the Forest Service offices. These folks offer a variety of gigantic salads, homemade dressings, sandwiches and their special specialty wraps - busting out all over with veggies. Chili and homemade soups are offered daily for you to consume in the courtyard, or take-out is also available to you. Please give Kelley and Pedro a call at 264-5877 to order a wrap or two.

Our new associate members this week are Diplomat Karen Kelley and husband, Mike. We thank Diplomat Angie Gayhart for recruiting this lovely couple and will reward Angie with the free SunDowner pass.

Our renewals this week include Jerry Driesens with Associated Brokers/Jerry Driesens Real Estate; John Hostetter with Wells Fargo; James Harnick with Pagosa Custom Homes; Mellane Lee, executive officer with the Pagosa Springs Area Association of Realtors; Roger Horton with Fairfield Pagosa Realty; Gary and Maria Hodges with Grandview Cabins & RV in South Fork; Pat Kahn with both Victoria's Parlor and Victoria's Reign; Sharon Robinson with Cool Pines RV Park; Sharon Colby with Old Town Gifts, Inc.; Kathy Holthus with Archuleta County; Ron Chacey with the Southwest Land Alliance and Mark Holladay with Holladay Auto and Truck Repair.

Our associate member renewals this week include Bonnie Davies and Diplomat Charlotte Overley and husband, David. Thanks to one and all.

 

Library News

Annual meeting, book sale set Aug. 9

By Lenore Bright

SUN Columnist

The Friends of the Library will hold their annual meeting and private book sale Aug. 9 at the Extension building on U.S. 84.

Dues are payable at the door but we encourage you to call the library at 264-2209 so we have an idea of how much food will be needed. We serve refreshments and hold an extremely short business meeting before the members get first chance at the books.

The public book sale will be Aug. 10 from 7 a.m.-2 p.m. Lots of good material will be available at very low prices. And we encourage you to shop early for the best bargains.

Career guide

Colorado has started a program to help plan for careers here in the state. We have a brochure patrons may copy that lists 100 occupations that are expected to have good employment potential now and over the next several years. It is organized in 16 broad career clusters that reflect a new direction for education.

Colorado Career Net is now on line at www.coloradocareer.net. Ask for the brochure at the desk.

Discover Colorado

Another Web site from the state is packed with helpful information on a variety of questions. Real-time weather and road information can be found along with recreation and tourism sites. You can find winning lottery numbers, sports teams, highway construction, hunting and fishing - it's a great site: http://www.colorado.gov/recreation.htm.

Summer reading

The youngest participant was two weeks old and the eldest 12 years old. Participants managed to read over 2,800 library books.

Congratulations to all of the people who took part. And thank you parents for your support. The love of reading may be the best gift of all.

Final contest

Readers of the Week were Shelby Barker, Colton Castro, Josh Coray, Brock Cordova, Mitchel Horner, Nacole Martinez, Niki Monteferrante, Julia Nell, Barak Townsend and Kudra Wagner.

Jellybean Contest winners were Tavin Hauger, Ani Gallegos and Benny Gallegos.

Winners in the Fireman Coloring Contest were Colby Anderson-Andreson, Jesse Laverty, Nikki Monteferrante, Sierra Monteferrante, Hannah Rohrich and Trey Spears.

Fire Truck Coloring Contest: Johannah Laverty, Jennifer Mueller, Trey Spears and Anne Townsend.

Ice Cream Coloring Contest: Kyle Anderson-Andresen, Danielle Beserra, Conner Burkesmith, Molly Burkesmith, Brock Cordova, Angie Gallegos, Ani Gallegos, Benny Gallegos, Emmeline Horner, Mitchel Horner, Jesse Laverty, Johannah Laverty, Julia LeLievere, Mele LeLievre, Tarah McKeever, Lindsey Marley, Jennifer Mueller, Amanda Ortel, Kalie Ray, Zoe Rohrich, Brooke Spears and Anne Townsend.

Thanks to Barb Draper, Sharee Grazda, and the staff for their work in setting up the worthwhile summer reading program. Thanks to Friends of the Libraries for underwriting books and prizes. And a final thanks to all of the folks who put on the weekly programs.

Donations

We appreciate materials from Peg Cooper, Joyce Webb, Kathy Larason and Katherine Cruse.