Front Page

August 22, 2002

Hospital district

drops clinic's

enterprise status

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

The Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Center no longer has "enterprise" status.

Tuesday, the Upper San Juan Hospital District voted to remove the designation to give the district manager more flexibility in managing tax dollars.

"We're removing an artificial wall," board chairman Dick Babillis said. Under the Taxpayer Bill of Rights, certain government-owned businesses can be given enterprise status to exempt them from revenue, spending and debt limitations. The idea was that if these operations, such as a clinic, were focused on turning a profit, they should not be constricted by limits that relate to taxes, fees and charges.

Any enterprise must meet a three-part test. It must be government-owned, be authorized to issue its own revenue bonds and receive under 10 percent of its revenue from taxes or other government funds. Babillis said the local clinic was accepted into the hospital district as an enterprise in the beginning and left that way because no one knew how to change it.

Now, the clinic is butting up against its 10 percent cap with outstanding bills that need to be paid. A consultation with the district legal counsel showed that making the change is simply a matter of a board vote either for or against enterprise status.

Board treasurer Wayne Wilson pointed out that changing the status and allowing more tax dollars to be shifted to the clinic isn't going to solve the greater problem of staying within strict budget constraints.

Babillis said it boils down to flexibility, not overspending.

"We've said, don't spend any more than you have. Now we're saying spend it as you need it, but don't spend more than you have."

With less than six months to go in the year, District Manger Dee Jackson, said they continue to chip away at outstanding bills. Currently, the Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Center is about $53,900 behind in bills. Emergency Medical Services is about $22,000 behind.

Still, there is some good news. With 58 percent of the year gone, write-offs at Emergency Medical Services are sitting at 42 percent of the projected total, while ambulance fees collected are at 57 percent of projected numbers. EMS expenses are at 43 percent of projected totals.

Over at the Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Center, 59 percent of projected patient fees for the year have been collected. About 53 percent of projected expenses have already been spent and write-offs are at 68 percent.

"It shows that working under the revised budget, we're holding the line," Jackson said. A total of $200,000 was cut from the 2002 budget in May after an audit revealed the district would have to tighten its belt at least that much to break even.

In a later report, Dr. Mark Wienphal, the medical director, asked the board if anyone had considered working to get federal monies involved at the clinic, or grants to help ease the financial woes.

"Our biggest issue at the clinic is just this constant specter of making ends meet," he said. "It's been that way for years and we're all working as hard as we can, seeing more patients, and yet we know that's not happening and that's really tough."

Babillis said the board will continue to look at the options.



dies in crash

on Wolf Creek

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

Two motorcycles and a semitrailer were involved in an accident on Wolf Creek Pass Aug. 16 that left one Durango man dead.

According to Colorado State Patrol reports, Arthur Archibeque, 50, was killed when he was ejected off his Harley Davidson and run over by the tractor-trailer.

Archibeque and another motorcyclist, Matthew Adams, also of Durango, were eastbound on U.S. 160 prior to the accident. According to state patrol reports, both motorcycles were attempting to pass the semitrailer in the outside lane when they bumped tires, sending Archibeque's motorcycle out of control.

Archibeque was thrown from his motorcycle and fell under the truck's tires. His motorcycle slammed against the driver's side of the truck, then came to rest in the outside lane.

No one was cited in the accident and none of the other drivers were injured.

Archibeque was declared dead at the scene.

County deputies

recover a pair

of stolen cars

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

Archuleta County Sheriff's Deputies booked a pair of juveniles Aug. 17 in conjunction with separate stolen car incidents.

The first stolen car was located about 3 a.m. by Deputy Doug Dixon. According to department reports, Dixon spotted a vehicle stopped on North Pagosa Boulevard near Lake Forest Circle. As Dixon approached the vehicle, a 1998 Nissan, he noticed a broken window and two juvenile occupants.

Further investigation showed the juveniles, both 12, used a rock to smash out the window and started the vehicle with a screwdriver. Both are residents of Pagosa Springs. One was held on charges of aggravated motor vehicle theft, criminal trespass and criminal mischief. The other was released to a family member.

Several hours later, Dixon and Deputy Tim Walter located a second stolen vehicle in downtown Pagosa Springs. According to the reports, the vehicle matched the description of an automobile deputies were looking for in another, unrelated case. A check with dispatch showed the plates were stolen from Thornton, Colo. A second check, using the vehicle identification number, revealed that the car, a Mercury Couger valued at $10,000, had also been reported stolen.

The 17-year-old driver from Arkansas was booked on charges of aggravated motor vehicle theft, stolen license plates and underage possession or consumption of alcohol.

West Nile Virus in state; no local infections

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

The number of Colorado horses infected with the West Nile Virus stands at seven and counting. As of Tuesday, eight more horses, all on the Front Range, were awaiting test results. Four, possibly five, animals infected with the disease are dead, according to reports in The Denver Post.

Although horses cannot infect other animals or people, officials at the Colorado Department of Agriculture are encouraging horse owners to take preventive measures to include vaccination and reducing exposure to mosquitoes, which transmit the disease.

It's nothing unexpected. During the past few years, West Nile Virus has been slowly moving westward across the country. This summer, surrounding states including Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma and Texas have confirmed cases of the disease.

"We anticipated the arrival of this disease for months, so there's no need for panic," Wayne Cunningham, state veterinarian at the Department of Agriculture, said. "Horse owners can minimize their risk with vaccinations and insect repellents."

West Nile Virus causes an inflammation of the brain. Clinical symptoms seen in infected horses include an elevated temperature, stumbling, lack of coordination, weakness of the limbs or partial paralysis - symptoms similar to Western Equine Encephalitis, which owners typically vaccinate their horses against. Although both humans and animals have died from the disease, most West Nile Virus infections do not cause any illness. Of the horses that do exhibit clinical signs of the infection, one in three will most likely die.

Vaccination, which does not provide a guarantee of immunity but greatly increases the horse's chance of fighting off the disease, requires two shots administered three weeks apart, then an annual booster. A licensed veterinarian must administer shots.

In the Archuleta County area, the vaccine is available by appointment at San Juan Veterinary Services, Elk Park Animal Hospital and Pagosa Veterinary Clinic. Prices range from $20-$22 per shot.

San Juan Veterinary Services is offering a West Nile Vaccination Clinic at the Archuleta County Fairgrounds Aug. 24 and Sept. 14 from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. No appointment is necessary to attend the clinic.

People are also encouraged to reduce exposure to mosquitoes, since they are the primary means of spreading West Nile Virus to all susceptible species. See the Viewpoints column on A17 for details about dealing with mosquitoes and the virus.

Since May, the Colorado Department of Agriculture has been able to test for West Nile Virus. The Rocky Mountain Regional Animal Health Laboratory offers the testing Monday through Wednesday on equine serum. The fee if $4.75 per sample with results within 48 hours. Samples must be sent to CDA-RMRAHL, 2331 W. 31st Ave., Denver, CO 80211.

Since the virus is usually identified first in certain birds, individuals should report dead crows, magpies, jays and other migratory birds to the San Juan Basin Health Department.

With regard to other animals, such as pets, there have been no documented cases of a dog or cat dying from the disease. Concerned pet owners need to consult with their veterinarians if their pets are exhibiting unusual symptoms.

For more information on West Nile Virus, visit the Internet at or the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Web site at

Sales taxes, building show strong economy

By John M. Motter

Staff Writer

Archuleta County is a good place to be if you are operating a retail store or are in the construction business, based on just-released sales tax and building permit reports.

Retail sales tax collections are down 3.8 percent for July when compared with July a year ago, but for the entire year through July, sales tax collections are 2.87 percent ahead of last year.

This year's July drop marks the second consecutive July for sales tax collections to fall. Last year's July was down 2.8 percent when compared with July 2000. Last year's total from Jan. 1-July 31 was 13.27 percent above the previous year.

Monthly sales tax collections during 2001 generally show a large increase when compared with 2000, even after the Sept. 11 tragedies. The cumulative increase, recorded monthly, diminished as the year went on but ended 11.76 ahead of the 2000 figure.

This year, the cumulative total, calculated monthly, has been up and down as the year nears its last quarter: January - the year was up 7.81 percent; February down 5.56 percent; March - down 0.65 percent; April - up 3.42 percent; May - up 3.12 percent; June - up 4.39 percent; and July - up 2.87 percent.

Monthly returns can be skewed because of delays by retailers in submitting reports to the state, and by the state in posting data. Consequently, large sums can be credited during the wrong month. Greater accuracy is obtained from data accumulated over several months.

Building permits

The county building department issued 364 permits through July 31 of this year, a figure 17 percent ahead of last year at this time and 5 percent ahead of the to-date figure for 2000 - the record year for permits.

Of the total number of permits issued this year, 224 are for single-family residences. Last year through July, 182 single-family residence permits had been issued. Through July of 2000, 204 single-family residential permits were issued.

The next largest permit category, mobile homes, shows 30 permits through July of this year, just slightly ahead of the 26 mobile-home permits issued through July of 2001 and significantly behind the 42 mobile-home permits issued through July of 2000.

Only seven commercial permits have been issued this year. Last year at this time, 10 commercial permits had been issued; the year before, eight permits were issued.

No timeshare permits have been issued this year and none were issued last year. In 2000, seven timeshare permits were issued as of the end of July.

The final new building permit category is "Other," a catchall term for substantial home remodeling or add-on projects such as porches and carports. Through July of this year, 103 Other permits have been issued. Last year, 84 Other permits were issued by the end of July. During 2000, 85. Other permits were issued during the time period.


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Month's rainfall total nears long-time average

By John M. Motter

Staff Writer

Just over a half-inch of rain fell on Pagosa Country Sunday and Monday, bringing the August precipitation total very close to the long-time average of 2.52 inches.

As of 7 a.m. yesterday, 2.14 inches of rain had been measured during August at the official U.S. Weather Service gauging station located at Stevens Field.

The spurt of August rain totals more than all of the precipitation measured between Jan. 1 and July 31 this year, but is not enough to change the area's "Exceptional" drought rating established by a consortium of National Weather Service agencies. The fire danger rating remains "Extreme."

San Juan River flow through town was about 12 cubic feet per second Tuesday, as low as any one remembers for this date. Tuesday's streamflow was higher than the six cubic feet per second recorded Friday.

Today's weather should be partly cloudy with a 20-percent chance of afternoon thundershowers, according to Doug Baugh, a forecaster for the National Weather Service Grand Junction office. High temperatures should be in the 80s with low temperatures between 45 and 55 degrees.

A drying trend is expected to start tomorrow accompanied by warmer temperatures.

"Friday will be partly cloudy with high temperatures in the 80s," Baugh said.

Saturday through Tuesday should be mostly clear and dry, Baugh said, with high temperatures ranging between 85 and 92 degrees, low temperatures around 50 degrees.

This week's rains are the result of monsoon-like conditions, according to Baugh, with a high pressure area over west Texas and a low pressure trough spanning the Pacific Northwest. Those conditions will change starting Friday as the high moves westerly from Texas to the New Mexico/Arizona border.

As the high moves, wind flow will change from the southwest to westerly, decreasing the chances of moisture. The high sitting over New Mexico could build during the week, Baugh said, increasing the chance for moisture-laden southwesterly winds later next week.

 Sports Page

 Parks & Rec

Design bids sought for new 5th Street sports complex

By Joe Lister Jr.

Sun Columnist

The parks and recreation department is in the process of seeking bids for the design of a new sports complex.

With information from the 1999 countywide survey, we are going to hire a landscape architect/design consultant to help in the development of approximately 16 acres across South 5th Street, east of the high school football field.

Under consideration are two softball and little-league size fields, a soccer field, skateboard park, boat takeout and concession area. Town programs are growing and more fields are needed to serve the growing numbers of participants.

Park Fun ends

The summer programs are winding down, with Park Fun finishing up Friday. The program expanded by leaps and bounds this year, the format was changed and with the cooperation of the intermediate school summer staff, we enjoyed the best Park Fun program ever.

With an average daily attendance of 30 children, we experienced everything from horsemanship and bee farms to fire trucks and swimming lessons, roller blading to the county fair, and the list goes on. Many thanks to all the businesses which let us in the doors for our weekly tour.

The program would not have been a success without the energetic staff - Kate Lister, Becca Blauert, Amanda McCain, Caitlin Forest and Connie Chubbuck as full-time help, and substitutes and part-timers Cindy Cunningham, Vicki Hujus and Nancy Dickoff.

We are sad to see the summer end so quickly, but having 30 kids for three months, eight hours a day, makes it an intense program for the staff.

Thank you instructors for a job well done and I hope you'll all return next year.

Raw water irrigation

Bid documents are being prepared and the call for bids for the second phase of the raw water irrigation system that will supply the high school sports complex and the future sports area to be built by the town will be sent out next month.

Water will be taken out of the San Juan River for irrigation purposes, cutting the amount of treated water used in the past for irrigating the sports fields. The project is a joint effort between the town, school district and Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District.

With a good winter snow pack, the system will be in operation by spring of next year.

Fund-raising efforts

With the Pagosa Springs Community Center in place, we are trying to raise money for volleyball standards ($2,800) and portable bleachers ($3,000). We have raised over $1,200 from sponsors CenturyTel, Carquest, the Keith Walkup family, the Cliff Lucero family, the Lister family and Buckskin Towing.

Anyone wishing to make a donation can contact Joe Lister Jr. at 264-4151, Ext. 231.


Pirate golfers stay high in pack in early season

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

With five tournaments already under their belts and participation in a sixth underway today, the Pagosa Springs High School golf squad is rapidly running through its season before classes even get underway.

The first three competitions last week left first-year coach Mark Faber convinced he has a squad capable of vying for a state playoff birth - if each player shoots up to his potential.

For example, he had three different players shoot in the 70s in the first three tournaments, starting with Jesse Trujillo's 77 in the Pagosa Springs Invitational played Aug. 14 at Pagosa Springs Golf Club.

Two golfers from other squads recorded 75s for the day on the par 71 course, putting Trujillo in select company. Teamed with an 81 by Dan Coggins and Garrett Forrest's 85, the Pirates fired a team total 243 to finish in a fourth place tie with Durango in the 12-team event.

Despite the drought, Faber said, the local course was in good but fast condition, thanks to efforts of the club grounds crew.

The following day, Pagosa traveled to the Cortez Invitational, finishing fifth in a 15-team field in a tournament won by the host Panthers. Grand Junction Central was second, Fruita third, and Rifle fourth.

This time the squad was paced by Forrest's 77, a 79 by Coggins and an 84 by Ty Faber, cutting three strokes off their team total from the home match with a team total 240. There were three individual scores lower than the pair in the 70s for Pagosa, a 73, a 75 and two 76s over the par 72 Cortez layout.

The Pirates ran into tricky weather conditions and a delayed start Friday in Durango, and finished well down the list of participants in the Demon Invitational.

Faber said there was no shotgun start as there had been for the other tournaments and that his team drew a 1:52 p.m. tee time only to be met by swirling winds and deteriorating conditions.

"I was very proud of the way they battled the elements," the coach said. "Though the top three scorers all finished in the 80s, they could have been much worse." He was unsure of the team finish because the team left before the calculations were done and as of Monday, Durango had not transmitted final scores to him.

Individually, the Pirate leaders were Forrest with an 86, Coggins at 88 and Faber at 89.

Coach Faber said he did some lineup juggling for the Durango contest, moving Casey Belarde up from the junior varsity to varsity competition and dropping Steven Sellers for the day.

This week the squad played Tuesday in the Delta Invitational, Wednesday in Gunnison, and is participating today in a Montrose tourney. Results were unavailable at press time but will be reported next week.

For the three-city trip, Faber took six golfers and planned to "mix and match" them according to conditions. Involved are Coggins, Forrest, Trujillo, Faber, Belarde and Sellers.

He said five other players are challenging the varsity for lineup positions and any one of them could move up. He cited particularly the play of Niko Carrizo, Matt Lattin, Terry McCalister, Jake Mackensen and Craig Lucero.

All the underclassmen are showing good progress, Faber said, and with the varsity core just waiting for all to fire at top level at the same time, the outlook for the future seems to be rising.

The Pirates will return to the links a week from today for the Alamosa Invitational, normally one of the premier prep events of the season, drawing top teams from across the state.

"We'll get a real idea of how good we can be from the performances this week on the road and then in Alamosa," said Faber. Following Alamosa, the Pirates have only two regular season contests remaining, Sept. 4 at Monte Vista and Sept. 9 at Ridgway, before the regionals scheduled Sept. 19 at the Holly Dot course in Colorado City.

Tough schedule, shorter squad change the game plan

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

It's not a matter of if; it's a matter of when.

There are things about this year's Lady Pirate volleyball team that signal potential greatness but moving from potential to actual takes hard work, some hard knocks, a lot of patience and time.

Since 1995, when the program last lost an Intermountain League match, each new year reprised a similar style of play: dominate opponents at the net with strong, big players.

Last season, the Ladies went to the state finals with that plan, finishing second in the championship game.

This year, for the first time in recent memory, the picture is different. Three senior starters are gone, two of them all-state selections, and the ladies return to the court and what is probably the program's toughest-ever schedule without giants at the net. A lack of height will demand a different approach to the game.

Not to say the core of the team is untested. Three starters from last year's squad return along with players who saw significant court time during the season and in tournament games.

Two senior starters are back - middle hitter Katie Bliss and outside hitter/back row ace Shannon Walkup. Sophomore setter/hitter Lori Walkup returns having performed as a starter last year in her initial season with the program.

Senior setter Amy Young is on scene again, following a 2001 season interrupted by a knee injury. Senior outside Trisha Lucero saw time last year and played in tournament games.

Coach Pennè Hamilton has a core of eight players on her varsity, and will bring up at least three junior varsity players for practice and for each match. Helping fill out the core roster will be senior outside Alex Rigia.

The plan for the program centers on the rapid development of some talented sophomores - as strong a crew as the program has seen. Besides Lori Walkup, the sophomore contingent figured for slots on the varsity includes Bri Scott and Courtney Steen.

This is a team that will have ample opportunity to gel and to develop a new approach to the game as it gets deeper into the jaws of a monster schedule.

"I think its going to be rough," said Hamilton. "And that's not a bad thing. You learn and you get tougher. We have good athletes and they'll be rugged by the end of the season."

There are elements of the game Hamilton has pinpointed for extra work. "We need to work hard on our individual defensive positioning," she said. "If we're going to have effective blocking, we need to increase our vertical jumps. I feel pretty good right now about our serve receive but the biggest thing that stands out is our overall inexperience. I see a lot of what I call 'pup errors.' Our young players need to work hard; too often, talented young players rest on their laurels and don't bear down to continue their development. And our older players need to guard against complacency. They need to work to improve as well."

The Ladies will get a chance Aug. 24 to test themselves against other squads. The varsity will scrimmage at Bloomfield, N.M., and the junior varsity team, coached by Connie O'Donnell, will scrimmage up the road at Aztec.

With that bit of full-speed play under the belt, the Ladies head quickly for the first match of the season Aug. 29 at Cortez. It is a nasty way to start the year, but the ladies might as well get used to the tempo. The Panthers return after two consecutive trips to the state 4A championship tourney and look to be strong again this year. Pagosa and Cortez meet twice this year with the Panthers traveling to Pagosa Oct. 1.

Activity stays frenetic after the opener. The Ladies are at 5A Durango Sept. 5 then turn around and make a trip to Farmington Sept. 7 to play the team from that city's biggest school in a best-of-five match.

With the high-octane preseason over, the Ladies take on their first IML opponent of the year in a home-court match Sept. 12 against Bayfield. The Wolverines reportedly do not have great numbers out for the program this year but come into this season after a second-place finish at 2001 district tournament.

Centauri hosts Pagosa Sept. 13 and the Falcons are no doubt set on revenge, bringing some height and experience to the fray in a bid to take the IML crown away from the Lady Pirates. The Pagosa/Centauri volleyball rivalry extends back to the middle of the last decade and has provided league volleyball fans with many of their best IML contests. "They have some veterans," said Hamilton of the Falcons, "and I see them as the toughest competition in the league."

Montrose has had problems dealing with Pagosa and will be looking to gain some ground when the Indians host the Ladies Sept. 21. The Class 4A team lost both matches since a series was established two years ago and is expected to be one of the better teams in the Southwest Conference this season.

The same day the Ladies play Montrose, they take on 3A foe Olathe at the Montrose gym. Olathe took it on the chin at Pagosa last season and Coach Ivy Sweet's charges should be ready for a serious effort closer to home, taking advantage of a tiring two-match day for the Lady Pirates.

Ignacio shows up on the screen Sept. 26, hosting Pagosa in the first of two regular-season IML matches the teams will play this year. The situation concerning coaching and players is unsettled in the Bobcats' den, but the program invariably puts a scrappy team on the court - a team that forces errors and takes advantage of an opponent's overconfidence. "You just never know how it's going to be with Ignacio," said Hamilton.

It's back into the furnace for the Ladies Sept. 27 as one of the state's perennial 4A contenders, Lewis Palmer, swings through town for a Friday night match. The Ladies have faced the powerhouse Rangers twice, losing at Lewis Palmer in 1999 and 2000.

Monte Vista is next up, at Monte Vista Sept. 28. The Monte program was on the skids for several seasons, but showed marked improvement the last two years. "Monte Vista gets better every time you see them," said Hamilton. "They will win some league matches again this year."

Following the Oct. 1 home match against Cortez, the Ladies take to the road again and meet Bayfield Oct. 5 on the Wolverines' home turf - a tough gym when filled with avid Bayfield fans.

Then, it's off to the annual Fowler tournament on the plains of eastern Colorado. Fowler is rounding back into form under the tutelage of Vin Mizer and is one of the legendary 2A programs in the state. The Grizzlies are formidable on their home court and it is certain they want to send a signal to Pagosa, which thumped the home team last year. Lamar will likely be back at Fowler, returning after 3A state tourney appearances in 2000 and 2001. Pueblo West, a strong 4A contender, is a regular entry in the tournament.

Home matches against Ignacio (Oct. 15) and Monte Vista (Oct. 19) wrap up the regular season and, if the Ladies have learned anything, if their attitudes are positive and their resolve is strong, they will be ready for the second season - the playoffs.

The first step in the process is the district tournament Oct. 26, at Centauri. Four IML teams gather at La Jara and the Ladies should be in the hunt. Two of those teams advance to regional competition the next weekend. Two of four teams at each regional tournament advance to the state event at Denver Nov. 8-9.


Pirate gridders put consecutive IML titles on line

By John M. Motter

Staff Writer

Tee time for the coming Pagosa Springs varsity football team is fast approaching.

New head coach Sean O'Donnell and the Pagosa Pirates kick off the 2002 football season Aug. 30 at 4 p.m. Pagosa trades lumps with Alamosa, on the Alamosa turf. The Mean Moose are the defending 3A state champions.

The Pirates will wear new home and away jerseys this year, courtesy of the Pagosa Springs Athletic Booster Club. This year's helmets will sport a Pirate insignia in place of the PS letters familiar to fans.

Pagosa brings a winning tradition into the season, having won the past three 2A Intermountain League championships. Last season, Pagosa bested Colorado Springs Christian 33-7 in the first round of the playoffs, then dropped a 35-7 quarterfinal game to Eaton, ending their season.

O'Donnell is pinning his hopes for a fourth consecutive title on a bevy of seniors who have labored four years in the program. The seniors are Pablo Martinez, Brandon Charles, Jason Schutz, Ryan Wendt, Brandon Rosgen, Andrew Knaggs, Jarrett Frank, Cliff Hockett and Clayton Maston.

Martinez, Charles and Schutz are all-league performers from last year's championship team. Linebacker Martinez has been all-IML for two years in a row.

A big challenge for Pagosa is replacing quarterback Ronnie Janowsky, the IML's top quarterback for the past two seasons. Stepping into the quarterback hot seat is David Kern, a junior who took some snaps last year as a sophomore.

Graduation also hit the Pagosa running and kicking games. All-league running back Caleb Mellette is gone, along with the IML first team punter and kicker Darin Lister.

Pagosa's ground game will depend heavily on Charles, Wendt and Rosgen, all of whom carried the ball last season.

"This year's team may be a little smaller and maybe not as fast as in the past couple of years," O'Donnell said, "although we're okay on speed."

O'Donnell is leaning toward a split-back, veer offense, with the goal of attacking the outside of opponent defenses.

"We'll throw, probably on a rollout," O'Donnell said.

With Charles and Schutz on the receiving ends, Kern should have targets who can go all of the way.

Because the season is new, O'Donnell and the coaching staff are still looking at the talent. Some players are being tested at new positions. Every year a number of players unexpectedly step to the front.

Coaches will get a chance to evaluate the talent pool Friday at 7:30 p.m. when the Pirates scrimmage old foe Piedra Vista at Farmington Stadium. Pagosa has played Piedra Vista every year since 1998, the year the school formed. This year, Piedra Vista is not on the regular season Pirate schedule.

Pirate kickers show high altitude perseverance

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

It has become a tradition.

Pagosa Pirate soccer players declare their fitness every year by a run up a steep place, a very steep place - Wolf Creek Pass.

They did it again Tuesday, despite the ongoing road construction everyday drivers encounter there.

Coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason said every member of the squad made the run, starting at 5:30 a.m. from Treasure Falls through the two hairpin curves and up to the summit in an hour and 52 minutes.

They'll get a chance Saturday to show how their conditioning has paid off.

The Pirates will host five other schools in a scrimmage setting which is also designed as a training session for league officials. Rumor has it that latter group will be filled with a number of newcomers this year and they will be in need of on-the-field preparatory action.

Kurt-Mason will not name his complete varsity for the season opener until after evaluating performances in Saturday's action that begins at 9 a.m. with Pagosa scrimmaging the Durango junior varsity. Other squads scheduled to participate are Aztec, Bayfield, Center and Alamosa.

By early next week, those who will make the season-opening road trip will know who they are and what their roles will be.

The Pirates open on the road at 4 p.m. Aug. 30 against St. Mary's of Colorado Springs in the Front Range city and then play Manitou Springs just up the road on U.S. 24 at 10 a.m. Saturday.

The coach believes the Front Range exposure will be good for his squad. They'll meet a different kind of player, one who has had access to numerous club programs. And, they'll also get a chance to show the easterners that southwest Colorado teams can play the game just as well.

Kurt-Mason anticipates a wide-open offensive game this year, utilizing flank speed and veteran centerfield attacks.

Initially, he said, defense will be developing to meet the offenses shown by opponents. "We'll have several different defensive sets designed to stop specific offenses," he said.

There is a deep corps of returning lettermen including Kyle Sanders, Zeb Gill, Jordan Kurt-Mason, Kevin Muirhead, Matt Mesker, Michael Dach, Levi Gill, Caleb Forrest and a host of others who saw considerable action and will challenge for playing time.

Mesker, nursing a shoulder injury, will likely be the regular season starter in goal, but may see a lot of midfield action too, depending on game circumstances.


Boosters put their money on the athletes' backs

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

The Pagosa Springs High School football team will have new uniforms this year, both home and road. They cost $8,900.

Where did the money come from?

The Pagosa Springs Athletic Booster Club.

Boys and girls basketball teams both got new uniforms - home and road - last year. They cost $4,855.99.

Where did the money come from?

The Pagosa Springs Athletic Booster Club.

The Pirate baseball team has new uniforms. They cost $2,803.

Where did the money come from?

The Pagosa Springs Athletic Booster Club.

See a pattern? You should. This organization is the support arm for all Pirate sports teams. It has a board of directors, a set of officers and a core membership of 6-10 who attend meetings.

Its income is from memberships and sales of refreshments and Pirate sportswear at home events.

The expenses it covers are not just uniforms, though that total is by far the largest in the past year. In addition to the sports togs already mentioned, it provided new T-shirts for cross country (cost $450); new uniforms for boys and girls track (cost $2,439); new uniforms for cheerleaders (cost $2,000); and new volleyball jerseys (cost $850).

When Pagosa hosts a tournament, notably the Wolf Creek Classic in basketball, it is the host school's responsibility to provide lodging for the visiting teams.

Where does the money come from?

Yep. The Pagosa Springs Athletic Booster Club, an expense that totaled $1,601 last year alone.

And, the club came up with $500 to finance a wrestling camp for Pirate grapplers.

In all, the Boosters provided $24,356 in physical element support in the last year.

Deanna Hockett is the club president. She said the organization could not survive without dedicated families and volunteers to back up the donors of both commercial and family memberships.

In fact, she and Sherry Schutz, the vice president, say it takes 24 volunteers to work every home game in the concession stands with staggered-time staffing.

"We try to make sure every parent is free to watch their own child play and that some other volunteer is on hand at that time," said Elsa Lucero, club treasurer. For instance, C-team parents might work concession for a varsity game, varsity for junior high and junior high for C-team games. Karen Bunning, board secretary, was out of town.

The names of donors are posted prominently at the concession areas so visitors will know all those who are supporting the club and therefore Pirate teams. A new sign is being prepared for the Golden Peaks concession facility.

Club officers spoke as they were getting that area stocked and ready for the football-soccer season. They will be staffing it for the first time Aug. 24 when the Pirate soccer squad hosts five visiting teams for scrimmage and league official training.

"We try to have a varied concession menu," said Hockett, "one with something for just about everyone ... hamburgers, hot dogs, Frito pies, pizza, soft drinks, coffee, water, candy bars and chips."

Commercial member sponsors donate $50 each and last year the club raised over $6,500 from them. With more new businesses opening all the time, they hope for more commercial sponsors this year.

Families can become sponsors for a $25 donation and dozens do.

"And then," said Schutz, "there are those who just can't afford extra money but are willing to donate time. They're our lifeblood. People have been very kind. We get lots of volunteers but we always need more. It is an ongoing challenge to have every game staffed."

Anyone who would like to volunteer or become a member donor (commercial or family) can call Hockett at 731-9838 or Schutz at 264-4436.

The Boosters are proud of their contribution to the success of Pirate athletic teams and of their continued performance to better conditions. They invite you, if you have not already done so, to become a member or volunteer.

"You get a feeling of accomplishment, of satisfaction," said Lucero. "And then you begin thinking about how much more might have been accomplished and start looking for more members and supporters."

They hope to see every Pirate fan at the service window of the new concession stand at the south end of the football field when games begin.

And even if you can't become a member or a volunteer, when you see one of the Booster members, thank them for the job they have done and are doing for your community and its athletes.


Despite injury, Blaine qualifies for senior nationals

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

Reaching a goal means more than just dreaming about that perfect swing, Pagosan Don Blaine believes. "You have to go pick up the bat and start hitting the ball."

That kind of attitude keeps him out on the track and substitute teaching in the schools, day after day, working to better himself and pass his positive attitude on to the students. Adversity, he said, can be overcome. He should know. Blaine is legally blind. He can see to walk, but he can't make out faces. And he can't drive.

Teaching and running are his two main focuses, one of which was threatened earlier this year. Just two weeks before running in the Rocky Mountain Senior Games in Greeley - where he won a gold medal in the 50-meter dash in 2001 - he injured his foot and an arm.

With help from a team of local physicians, he was able to start the 100-meter race at the 2002 games. At about the 80-meter mark, the arm injury reopened, but he was able to stay on his feet and finish four hundredths of a second under the national qualifying time. The effort makes him eligible to represent the state of Colorado at the National Senior Games to open in Hampton Road, Va., in May of 2003.

Blaine said special thanks are due to Dr. Scott Anderson, Dr. Jim Pruitt, Dr. Dan McClure, the staff at Pagosa Peaks Physical Therapy for helping to prepare him for the qualifying run. He also gave thanks for the support of staff and students at the Pagosa Springs schools.

Currently, he is taking it fairly easy, continuing to recover from his injuries. But he plans to be back up to speed soon, and has his sights set on competing at a senior track meet in Utah in October, perhaps even challenging some records. He's done it before.

In the early 1950s, Blaine was the Marine Corps spring champion in the 100, 220 and the long jump. He also earned all-Marine League status in football, averaging 12.3 yards per carry as a halfback and earned the John Freeman Memorial Trophy which gave him three college scholarships.

During the Korean War, he joined the U.S. Air Force. He completed his schooling at El Camino College and graduated from the University of Texas. He holds a general engineering license, a lifetime teaching certificate from Texas and a certificate from Colorado.

"Believe in God, believe in yourself and you can accomplish anything good," he said.

 Inside The Sun

New director, new board prepare to open

rehearsal for Community Choir yule concert

It is only August, but preparations are already underway for the 2002 Community Choir Christmas concert.

For the past 10 years, 80 to 100 of the area's best voices have joined together in a mixed choir to present an uplifting program of traditional and classical music celebrating the joy of Christmas

This year's concert dates are Dec. 6 and 8 at Community Bible Church.

Some changes have taken place within the choir. First, the name has been changed from "Community Christmas Choir" to "Pagosa Springs Community Choir" with the intention of expanding the number of singing opportunities for its members.

After the Christmas concert, the choir anticipates a performance next spring, as well as a patriotic concert in the July 4 time frame. This year's Christmas concert will include exciting new music selections, with a wide range of styles from renditions of traditional carols and spirituals to Latin Renaissance classics.

The second change is the addition of a new director, Barbara Witkowsky, and a new board of directors.

Founders and long-time directors Marie and Mack Jones have retired from choir duties for health reasons. Their contributions over the years have been key to the choir's success. Last year's director, Dr. Al Landis, has left Pagosa Springs to return to a chiropractic practice in California.

Members of the choir's new board of directors include Gene Witkowski, president; Bruce Kehret, treasurer; Cindi Owen, publicity; Bob Nordman, secretary; and the Rev. Jarrell Tyson.

The choir is fortunate to have a talented replacement in Witkowski. A relative newcomer to Pagosa, she brings a wealth of experience in music instruction and performance to her role, including voice and piano instructor at Tarrant County Community College and solo ensemble performer with the Dallas Symphony Chorus.

Pam Spiker and Sue Anderson will assist Witkowski in choir preparation for concerts.

The choir is always looking for new members. If you love to sing and would like to be part of an organization dedicated to bringing the joy of music to others within our community consider joining the Community Choir.

The choir will host a barbecue dinner Sept. 3 beginning at 5:30 p.m. at Mountain Heights Baptist Church to kick off the upcoming season for returning and prospective new members. A $5 donation is requested. Weekly rehearsals start Sept. 10 and continue every Tuesday evening until the concerts.

If you plan to attend the kickoff dinner, or if you can't make the dinner but are interested in joining the choir, contact Pam Spitler at 731-4510.


Drought forces Folk Festival to new site

By Crista Munro

Special to The PREVIEW

A mutual decision was made Aug. 16 by the FolkWest board of directors, the Town of Pagosa Springs and the Pagosa Fire Protection District to move the Four Corners Folk Festival to a safe location below Reservoir Hill.

This decision was postponed as long as possible while we held out hope for a last-minute spell of rain that would, if not ease the drought, at least make conditions at the site temporarily safe enough to hold the event. But after 10 days of near record-high temperatures, combined with single digit humidity and nasty winds, what little rain we did get was quickly negated. Current fire behavior under these conditions demonstrates that once started, a fire can consume hundreds of acres in minutes, and generally moves uphill. Reservoir Hill is simply not a safe venue this year.

Thanks go to the majority of Folk Festival fans who understand the critical nature of the events leading up to this important decision. The fire season has been challenging for thousands of individuals, and we are looking forward to a celebration of great music and the wonderful community that makes up our audience.

Members of the board of directors of FolkWest ask all festival attendees to join in support of a professional decision made with the safety of the festival attendees as the top priority. Thanks to the support of many generous people in Pagosa Springs, the venue switch was made expediently and with great features at the new site. Don't miss the 2002 Four Corners Folk Festival ... it will be a year to remember, full of wonderful performances by the likes of the first mambo band to ever play the Four Corners Folk Festival, Cabaret Diosa.

Contrary to what you may have heard, Cabaret Diosa is not a subversive cult planting the seeds of free love and fierce fashion consciousness among today's wayward youth. They are not a traveling freak show or a spiritual revival. Cabaret Diosa is merely a band known for propagating what has come to be called "Hi-Fi Latin Exotica."

Simply put, Cabaret Diosa is a nine-piece musical ensemble. A little big band if you will. Their passion is Latin music and the "real big sound." Their mission: to make you dance. To dance as if it were your last night on earth, as if your pants were afire. This may explain the allegations of audience impropriety, etc.

If the Mambo or the Rumba or the Cha Cha Cha offends you, we are sorry and truly saddened. But if you are free, join in the new mambo revival as the caravan races headlong toward paradise on the festival's Main Stage Aug. 30.

Additional information is available by calling 731-5582 or visiting Tickets are available locally at Moonlight Books and Wolf Tracks Coffee and Books or you can order online or by phone with a credit card. The last day to purchase advanced tickets for the festival is Aug. 28.


St. Patrick's sets its annual bazaar Sept. 7 at new site

By Christelle Troell

Special to The PREVIEW

St. Patrick's Episcopal Church's annual bazaar, set for Sept. 7, will have a new look this year. It will be held at the church's new location, 225 S. Pagosa Blvd., next to the Mary Fisher Clinic.

The bazaar, 9 a.m-3 p.m., will also have a new event this year: the auctioning of services and talents of members of the congregation. You can bid on a complete home-cooked dinner served in your home or lessons in fly-fishing, for example.

From the kitchens of those good cooks at St. Patrick's, you will find baked goods of all types, home-canned items and the popular frozen casseroles for those busy days. Handmade crafts will include decorative storage boxes, wine coasters, aprons, jewelry and Christmas items.

The ladies will offer a boutique featuring gently pre-owned clothes and accessories while the men will hold a garage sale where you can expect to find lots of "guy stuff."

There will be activities for the children in the Kid's Corner, including games and a craft workshop.

A silent auction will feature, among other things, original art works. For public convenience, there will be chili, nachos and drinks available during the bazaar.

All proceeds will go to the church building fund for completion of the new sanctuary.


Fire restrictions remain

Restrictions relating to fire and drought conditions remain unchanged in Archuleta County. Penalties are being assessed for violations. All restrictions are subject to change. To obtain information on changes or more specific descriptions of restrictions, call the offices of the Archuleta County sheriff, Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District, and Pagosa Ranger District.

Fire restrictions

1. All open fires are banned in Archuleta County and in the San Juan National Forest.

2. All cigarette smoking is restricted to inside enclosed vehicles or buildings in Archuleta County and in the San Juan National Forest.

3. A pre-evacuation alert remains in effect in Archuleta County. Residents are urged to maintain a mobility bag or bags packed with items considered essential for establishing residence somewhere else in the event evacuation is ordered. If fire threatens a particular area, sheriff's deputies or fire district officials who go door to door or sound three horn blasts from an official vehicle will order evacuation.

Drought restrictions

1. Level 2 drought restrictions remain in effect for users of Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District water.

2. Outside watering is allowed one day a week from 8 to 12 p.m. Starting Sept. 1, the hours for outside watering will be 6-10 p.m. one day a week.

3. The allowable outside watering day is based on house addresses according to the following schedule: Sunday - house numbers 1-99; Monday - 100-199; Tuesday - 200-299; Wednesday - 300-399; Thursday - 400-499; Friday - 500 -599; Saturday - above 600.


School district vision statement called 'punitive, not visionary'

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

"We expect every school, every classroom and every student to achieve without exception or excuse."

That is the proposed vision statement accompanying a strategic plan for Archuleta School District 50 Joint which was presented to the school board in a work-study session during a special meeting Tuesday.

And board director Carol Feazel was not at all enamored of the wording.

"It has a punitive aspect and is not visionary," she told fellow board members. "If we're going to have a vision statement, it should show vision; it should be uplifting, encouraging. It should carry the student beyond school and into adulthood, connecting them with the future."

When Superintendent Duane Noggle explained the statement had been drafted after numerous meetings with staff, principals and the advisory panel, Feazel was adamant that any such statement should "inspire and motivate, not threaten."

Director Randall Davis, board president, said he also had some problems with the wording, but the people who drafted it "wanted huge expectations for the students."

"High expectation is fine," Feazel replied, "but we should be about the business of urging students to succeed, to surprise themselves."

Arguing that the students in school now "will someday be making the decisions we're making now," Feazel said the statement should be "both uplifting and encouraging."

Her obvious preparation for the discussion showing, Feazel told the board she could see no allowance in the plan for any assessment other than CSAP and ACT tests. "They only evaluate technique and that concerns me. Some students are smart but just can't take tests. We need some kind of alternative assessment to make them a part of the system, too."

Noggle explained some of the content in the plan is required wording by those who dictate standards for state accreditation.

If CSAP, national norms tests and ACT are the main focus, said Feazel, "then maybe we need to set aside a time period to help children learn to take tests. Right now we're in the primitive stage of evaluating intellectual capital. All these tests are an early, clumsy method of doing it."

Davis agreed the school district has to be careful about overemphasizing test scores. "We need to look at progress over time rather than the traditional 'how did the class do?' routine."

When Noggle said, "CSAP is the god we serve and even if we disagree we still have to carry out the mandate," Feazel argued, "Then we need to get creative with procedures."

She also questioned staff training proposals in the draft plan. "Teachers," she said, "should be experts in their field, but real-life experience adds to their identity as an expert and we need to have a means of quantifying that experience as a part of the professional profile."

With Noggle saying the criteria for evaluation is established in legislative licensure mandates in the area of teaching, Feazel said she understood the legal mandates. "But I want more. A successful businessperson may well be more qualified to teach a business course than a newly graduated, designated business teacher. Mastery of the field," she said, "implies an ability to teach."

She told the board that when it comes to documenting teacher performance, "I hope we have a lot less numbers and more real commentary on teaching accomplishment, more real evaluation."

Noggle and Davis agreed that teacher evaluation sometimes becomes too generic. They suggested there is a need for field-relationship evaluation on the basis of what the individual student has learned.

For example, the superintendent noted, a vocational or fine arts teacher cannot be evaluated in the same manner one would judge an English teacher. "And, expectations are different at each school level."

One of his main concerns, Davis said, "is that we keep the zeal for learning alive in both the student and the teacher. Sometimes," he said, "we fail to address issues because we overemphasize achievement to a specific level."

That, said Noggle, "can lead to grade inflation, and learning takes a back seat."

"Exactly," said Feazel. "Imagination and creativity on the part of the teacher need to be factored in. Every class has its own personality. What works for one may not work for the next. The teacher needs to exercise a blend of techniques and develop in the children a joy for learning. Ability to do that might mean more than a masters in the teaching field."

Following the lengthy discussion, Noggle told the board all the ideas expressed will be incorporated into a rewrite of the plan which will then go back to teacher panels at each school, to staff committees and then back to his office before being presented to the board again.

Feazel, appropriately in light of her previous presentations, concluded the discussion recalling a speaker at a motivational session who observed that "just before the year 2000 we were teaching the same things in the same way we had at the beginning of the century. Technology had not made a difference."

"Given that," she asked, "aren't we motivated to do the job better? Aren't we responsible for giving teachers and students the encouragement they need to succeed?"

Board tables zoning on Piedra Estates tract

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

An unzoned section of approximately 10 acres in Piedra Estates drew several property owners to the Pagosa Springs Planning Commission meeting Tuesday night.

About 25 people attended to hear discussion on Tract E, a parcel of land extending from Square Top Circle down Majestic Drive in Piedra Estates that has never been zoned.

Town building administrator Mark Garcia said when the town annexed and then zoned Piedra Estates in 1998, Tract E was the subject of litigation and left unzoned until decisions on ownership were made in court. Now the court case is finished and zoning is back on the table.

In looking at current uses of the property and discussing zoning with the owners and neighbors, town staff recommended zoning the property D-3, corridor business, with a greenbelt to the north dedicated by the owner. Several audience members protested.

Gil Johnson, who owns property in the area, showed the commission a copy of a plat that indicated Tract E was to be used as a school or recreation area as defined by the subdivision protective covenants. In purchasing property, he said, people expected Tract E to be used as a school or recreation area, not for commercial development, and expected it to stay that way. Changes, he said, should be agreed on by all the neighboring residents, not just voted on by the commission and town board.

Garcia said when Piedra Estates was annexed the town worked to match its zoning to the protective covenants as much as possible. However, confusion on several parcels, including Tract E, makes that difficult now.

Under the subdivision's protective covenants, a total of five tracts received special designations and should have been conveyed to the property owners association, the school district or other governmental entity. Those transfers, for various reasons, were never properly completed and several of the tracts remained under private ownership. That ownership of Tract E was challenged in civil court under a covenant provision that allows one property owner to sue another for failing to abide by the covenants. The court decision left the property in private hands.

Use is now the question. After listening to disagreements between surrounding property owners, the commission tabled the issue, asking staff to continue the discussion.

"We're going to go back and look at Tract E zoning and try to build some consensus," Garcia said in a later interview. One solution could be designating some of the tract as residential, versus making it all commercial.

In a related issue, the board clarified zoning on a second piece of property in Piedra Estates, called Tract C, a thin, triangular piece of property situated between Oren Road and Stevens Field. When Piedra Estates was annexed, it was designated a tie-down area for aircraft. No additional description of allowable or restricted uses was ever approved.

Current owners, Doug and Mosetta McInnis, recently constructed a small structure on Tract C. This upset neighbors who complained the structure interrupted the view and could dampen property values.

One neighbor, Tim Horning, who owns the lot directly south of Tract C, told the board he was negotiating with the current owners to purchase the land.

"The purpose of buying this tract is to get the shed off there and leave it open," he said, adding that the structure is visible directly through his picture window. Horning, in agreement with the recommendation of town staff, asked the board to keep the land's designation as a tie-down area, but restrict all structures. At least two other property owners spoke in favor of that plan.

Commissioner Tracy Bunning asked Horning if he had considered consolidating the property into his residential holdings and creating an envelope of area where buildings might be permitted so that they would never encroach on land in the field of view.

"One of my concerns is that it hasn't been thought through long enough," Horning said. He advocated keeping the restrictions simple.

Following the discussion, the commission voted to recommend the parcel keep its tie-down area designation with the added restriction that no structures of any kind be built on the property. The final decision still rests with the town board and, despite garnering a positive recommendation, the tie-down designation remains a little cloudy. The site has never been used as a tie-down area; it's on the wrong side of the fence. The Federal Aviation Administration prohibits "through the fence" operations, so it's possible the site will never be used for that purpose.

The board recommended denial of a conditional-use permit in yet another issue of personal property rights versus the neighborhood. Pagosan Jason Sanders applied for the permit to allow him to open a small auto mechanic shop in the 300 block of 6th Street.

"I see this as a way to provide an income for my family," Sanders said. He planned to continue to clean up and work on the cars inside an already existing barn with no more than three cars on the property at a time. He had no plans to do body work.

Four neighbors wrote letters against the proposed use. Several others showed up to speak at the meeting. Their concerns included possible pollution, reduced property values, noise and increased traffic that could be a hazard to children playing in the area.

Based on the level of neighborhood objection, the board recommended denial of the permit. The final decision rests with the town board of trustees.


School bus routes start earlier, new stops added

Representatives of Archuleta School District 50 Joint's transportation department drove and reevaluated all bus routes in the district this summer.

The result is a number of changes deemed necessary to improve service to student riders and maximize the efficiency of the department.

A transportation packet will be sent home with every student rider on the first day of school and this year there is a new type of bus contract all student riders and parents need to sign to be registered for transportation service. Without the bus contract, students will not be allowed to board the buses. The contract is to be completed and returned to the student's driver by the end of the first week of school. All students must be registered in order to ride.

Normal service provides transportation for students from home to school and school to home. Any other requests that occur on a regular basis, such as transport to daycare, a parent's workplace, scout meetings, religious activities or other nondistrict activities will need prior approval by the department. A space-available form will be completed and approved prior to any such transports.

Any other requests, such as delivery of a student to friends or grandparents, will have to be done with a special bus pass issued by the school after a phoned-in request by the parent or guardian. No student will be allowed to hand the driver a written note and receive the special service.

Transportation director Dolly Martin said she understands this may be an inconvenience, "but our cargo is precious, and we need to be assured that we are following the parents' rather than the students' wishes to insure the safety of our riders."

All routes will run approximately 10 minutes earlier every morning than they did last year. This will allow students to be at the high school by 7:30 a.m. giving them time for breakfast and to get to their lockers before the first bell rings. This also means new arrival times at the other schools with intermediate and junior high school students to their buildings at 7:30 a.m. and students delivered to the elementary school at 7:40 a.m.

Substantial route changes

Route 2 - Lake Forest, will no longer service the Talisman and Village drives loop.

The new PM Express will handle all space-available requests for the Pagosa Lakes Core Area including McDonald's, Community Bible Church, City Market, the Pagosa Lakes recreation center and nearby shops.

Route 3 - Cemetery Road/Four Mile Road as far as 2950 and San Juan River Village, has changed from last year. Stops will be at 6:46 a.m. at 651 Cemetery Road, 6:50 a.m. at Bienvenido Circle, 7 a.m. at 2950 Fourmile Road turnaround, 7:16 a.m. at Alpine and Descent, 7:18 a.m. at Harmon and Steep. The bus will then pick up riders along U.S. 160 east of town.

Route 5 - Pizza Hut/Eagle/Rob Snow Road/Ace Hardware has the following changes and additions: 7:11 a.m. Brookhill stops 1 and 2, 7:13 a.m. Rainbow and Crestview, 7:14 a.m. Rainbow and Terrace, 7:15 a.m. Rainbow and Meadow, 7:17 a.m. Eagle Drive, 7:21 a.m. Rob Snow Road and 7:25 a.m. Great West Avenue (Ace Hardware).

Route 6 - Chromo/Coyote Park/Edith (CR 391 and 359) has these stops on U.S. 84 south of Loma Linda: Catchpole, 6701 U.S. 84, 7329 U.S. 84, Whispering Wood, 6701 U.S. 84, 6116 U.S. 84, 3095 U.S. 84 and Whitaker Place.

Route 8 - Cat Creek/VFW/Deer Trail will take riders only to 7100 Cat Creek Road in compliance with board policy 10.2. The first stop, at that address, will be at 6:51 a.m.

Route 10 - Lower Blanco (CR 335)/Blanco Basin and U.S. 84/Holiday Acres/Loma Linda/U.S. 84 north of Loma Linda will no longer travel into the Upper Blanco area. Riders from that area will have to meet the bus at the intersection of U.S. 84 and Blanco Road. Call the transportation office for time changes.

Route 14 - This bus will be for intermediate, junior high and high school only. Do not attempt to send elementary students on the bus that will serve Trails/Bonanza, Canyon Circle and Vista. Stops will be at 7:05 a.m. at Trails and Ranger Park, 7:12 a.m. at Canyon Circle and Highland, and 7:18 a.m. at Fireside and Brook.

Route 16 - This bus serves Trails/Bonanza/Canyon Circle/Vista and is for elementary students (K-4). It will not go to any of the other schools. This is the same route as 14, but this bus will not make its first stop at Trails and Ranger Park until 7:12 a.m. It will leave the elementary school at 3:15 p.m. and will begin leaving students at its first stop at 3:30 p.m.

The following routes are unchanged, but will run 10 minutes earlier than last year.

Route 1 - U. S. 160 west to Turkey Springs Trading Post and Hurt Drive.

Route 4 - North Pagosa Boulevard/Bob's Cabin/Lake Hatcher Area

Route 7 - Trujillo Road.

Route 9 - Meadows/Scenic/Hersch/South Pagosa.

Route 11 - Pagosa Lakes/Cloud Cap.

Route 12 - Special needs bus (where needed).

Route 13 - Backswing/Handicap/Aspenglow/Mission.

Route 15 - Park/Lakeside/Eaton/Village/Alpha.

Route 17 - Oak Drive/Oakridge/Colo. 151/Chimney Rock Store/CR 175.


Commissioners accept bid for county site tests

By John M. Motter

Staff Writer

Archuleta County commissioners accepted a bid for geophysical soil testing at the site of a proposed county administration building, increased fees for tire disposal at the county landfill, and conducted other business while meeting in regular session Tuesday.

A bid amounting to $2,400 was accepted from Basin Engineering Inc. for providing geotechnical soil testing at the site of a proposed county administration building on Hot Springs Boulevard across the street from the new town hall.

As has been the case with each vote concerning the proposed building, the commissioner vote was a 2-1 split.

Bill Downey, chairman of the board, voted against awarding the bid to Basin Engineering.

"As you know, I am opposed to taking on this project now due to the lack of appropriate reserves for capital expenditures," said Downey. "I am opposed to any expenditures for this project."

Commissioners Gene Crabtree and Alden Ecker voted in favor of the soil testing. They have consistently favored following steps to determine the feasibility of constructing the proposed facility.

The architectural firm of R. Michael Bell and Associates was hired earlier this month to conduct a $31,000 study for the county. Included in the study will be a conceptual footprint containing building and site-plan requirements, elevations, specifications and construction estimates. Downey voted against the study, Crabtree and Ecker for it.

Basin Engineering's soil study is a prerequisite for the architectural report.

Faced with absorbing an increasing number of used tires at the county landfill, the commissioners raised the disposal fee from $1 to $2 per tire.

Aug. 15, the county solid waste department had approximately 1,200 tires hauled away, according to Clifford Lucero, the solid waste director. The cost of hauling the tires to a recycling center was $1,578, Lucero said. Already during 2002, the county has handled 4,458 tires.

After Lucero explained the average charge across the state for taking in used tires is from $2 to $5 each, the commissioners agreed to increase the fee to $2.

The commissioners conducted the following additional business Tuesday.

- Approval was given to apply for a $35,100 grant to help town, county and state law enforcement officials spend more time fighting the drunken driver problem in the county. If the grant is received, the funds will be used to pay for an additional 1,200 hours during 2003 specifically directed at apprehending drunken drivers.

- A lawsuit brought by Archuleta, La Plata and other Colorado counties against the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission was dismissed by the Denver District Court. Mary Weiss, county attorney, told the commissioners the suit was dismissed "because the counties do not have standing."

The Denver court's decision may be appealed, Weiss said, because she and other county attorneys believe the court action is inconsistent with case law.

- Dee Jackson presented information concerning the proposed formation of a fire protection district in the southwest part of Archuleta County. The proposed district includes land in Archuleta and La Plata counties historically served by the Mount Allison fire fighting volunteers. Mount Allison proposes joining the Los Pinos Fire Protection District headquartered in Ignacio. Jackson wants the portion of the area historically served by Mount Allison inside Archuleta County to join the Pagosa Fire Protection District.

According to Willard Seibel, an Arboles resident who was there when the original fire district organized in the 1940s, the state fire marshal recognized the organization and set the boundaries to coincide with Ignacio School District 11 Joint boundaries. The Ignacio school district boundaries reach into Archuleta County along Colo. 151 to a point near the Fossett Gulch Road intersection. Seibel said the district never worried about boundaries, but responded to fires anywhere in the area, even in northern New Mexico.

The commissioners took no action as a result of the discussion. The issue will be on the La Plata County November general election ballot. Jackson may attempt to obtain help from the Pagosa Fire Protection District to place the item on the Archuleta County ballot in November.

- Jerry Medford was appointed to the Archuleta County Fair Board, bringing that board to full strength with 15 members.

- A joint meeting between the county commissioners and the Airport Authority board of directors is scheduled today at 2 p.m. in the commissioners' meeting room. The purpose of the meeting is to review the roles of organizations and individuals operating Stevens Field.

- A beer and wine license was approved for the Bellerin' Bull. License renewal was granted Paul's Place for a hotel/restaurant license.

- The commissioners agreed conceptually to help fund transportation of Archuleta County mental health patients to treatment centers. Mercy Hospital has been bearing the burden of mental health transportation expenses. A formula delineating Archuleta County contributions will be developed before a final agreement is reached.

- A public hearing to consider a conditional use permit request from Alpine Lakes Ranch Inc. was set for Aug. 29 at 7 p.m. Issues concerning water distribution are involved.

- Unanimous approval was given to acceptance of a $675,000 grant from the Federal Aviation Agency. If the grant is approved, the money will be used to acquire land adjacent to Stevens Field.


Paving projects coming to a road near you

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

Seeing orange yet?

Except for a one-day break in honor of Labor Day, work on U.S. 160 in Pagosa Springs and east and west of town is set to continue for the next several months.

Paving is underway on Wolf Creek Pass. According to a Colorado Department of Transportation news release, six miles of U.S. 160 west of the summit are being paved now, with paving from the summit east to the snow shed expected to follow. Travelers can expect 20-minute delays 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 7 a.m.-3 p.m. Fridays through the end of August. Once paving is complete, travelers can expect 10-minute delays through the end of the project.

On the east side of the pass, 45-minute daytime delays can be expected at the site of the tunnel project. Nighttime delays are holding at about 20 minutes with no closures. However, some nighttime closures are projected because of work with a crane at the site. A 12-foot width restriction remains in place at all times.

In Pagosa Springs, crews continue to work on the heater remix project covering 11 miles of U.S. 160 from near the entrance to Elk Park east through the downtown area.

A test strip of asphalt for the overlay portion of the project is expected to go down Friday. Downtown, crews are trenching electrical lines to the two midblock crosswalks so that underground lighting can be installed as a safety precaution for pedestrians. The major downtown construction is expected to start mid-September.

Aug. 26, the state will begin surface treatment on 14 miles of the highway from Bayfield east to Yellow Jacket. This highway maintenance project, contracted to Ballow Construction of Salina, Kan., is the second and final phase of pavement rehabilitation on this stretch of road.

In May and June, the department rehabilitated the highway with a hot-recycle process; now, crews will treat and seal the pavement with micro-surfacing, a type of chip-seal process.

During the micro-surfacing work, motorists will encounter up to 30-minute delays from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. The work is expected to take only one week, weather permitting, but could run through Sept. 6.

"U.S. 160 is the major east-west corridor through the region and, unfortunately, our prime construction season coincides with tourist season," said Region 5 Director Richard Reynolds. "We have a number of major projects underway along the corridor and we will do our best to minimize the impacts to the traveling public."


Session set on 160 access plans

Access to U.S. 160 from Vista Boulevard to 8th Street will be the topic of a Sept. 5 open house set for 6-8 p.m. at the Pagosa Springs Community Center, 451 Hot Springs Boulevard.

The Colorado Department of Transportation, working with Archuleta County and the Town of Pagosa Springs, is developing a highway access control plan for the section of highway. The purpose of the open house is to solicit comments regarding the locations of highway access, frontage road systems and supporting roadway networks.

Comments or questions can be forwarded to Bechtolt Engineering (970) 259-7534 or the Pagosa Springs planning department at (970) 264-4151.


Legion plans Sept. 11 honors for servicemen

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Do you know a native of Archuleta County who is on active U.S. military duty?

Members of Mullins-Nickerson American Legion Post 108 in Pagosa Springs will salute families of servicemen from the county during a special Sept. 11 remembrance program at the high school.

The 7 p.m. event in the school auditorium will be a tribute to those who were victims, heroes and survivors of the attacks on New York City, the Pentagon, an airliner flying over Pennsylvania and world peace.

To enable the Legion Post to fully recognize all local service personnel, members have asked families to submit the names of their loved ones now on active duty to The SUN.

Each family which submits a name will receive a Blue Star Service Banner at the Sept. 11 event.

Names should be submitted with the current duty assignment for the person involved, and the family represented, to Richard Walter at The Pagosa Springs SUN, P.O. Box 9, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.

The Blue Star Service Banner was designed and patented in 1917 by World War I Army Capt. Robert L. Queissner of the 5th Ohio Infantry, who had two sons serving on the front lines. It quickly became the unofficial symbol of a child in the service.

The current banner is an 8-by-16-inch white field with a blue star sewn onto a red banner. They are displayed by families who have a loved one serving in the armed forces, including activated members of the National Guard and Reserves, whether the family member is a son, daughter, brother, sister, wife, husband, cousin or grandchild.

The Legion wants to cite all who fit that description and are residents of Archuleta County. The blue star represents one family member on active duty. A banner can have up to five stars.

The American Legion will provide the banners to families across the nation and the local post is encouraging community churches to ring their bells Sept. 11 at 8:36 a.m. to mark the attack on America and signal the nation's resolve to survive.

Legion members ask Americans to remember those who died in the attacks and to support America's newest veterans engaged in the War on Terrorism. The Legion's nationwide theme for the day is: "As a free people, we must never forget that those innocent victims of the Sept. 11 Attack on America did not die in vain."

Chromo area tree farms earn 'outstanding' titles

The American Tree Farm System recently recognized Jeb and Cecilia Binkley of the Diamond S Ranch and Richard and Sue Gooding, owners of the Chromo Mountain Ranch, for their commitment to land stewardship and for their active forest management programs.

The Binkley's were named as Colorado's "Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year," while the Gooding's were named as New Mexico's "Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year."

The Diamond S Ranch and Chromo Mountain Ranch are neighboring properties located on the Colorado/New Mexico line, southeast of Chromo. Both properties are members of the American Tree Farm System whose mission is to promote the growing of renewable forest resources on private lands while protecting environmental benefits and increasing public understanding of all benefits of productive forestry.

The Binkley and Gooding families, who receive forestry assistance from state forestry personnel and private forestry consultants, hosted a field tour of their properties Aug. 10. A luncheon and awards ceremony was held where each family received a plaque to commemorate the event.

New high school

students register

August 26-28

Students new to Pagosa Springs High School have been asked to register for classes Aug. 26-28 in the school office. Hours are 8-11:30 a.m. and noon-3 p.m.

Any new student unable to register on those three days will still be able to sign up on the first day of school, Sept. 3.

Principal Bill Esterbrook also announced the annual freshman orientation cookout for all freshmen and their parents will be Aug. 27, starting at 6 p.m. in the Commons Area. He said letters will go out to parents of all prospective freshmen reminding them of the event.

On the first day of school, he said, all students should arrive early in order to pick up their schedules in the Commons before 7:30 a.m.



Pick up trash

Dear Editor:

Last Saturday I was with a group picking up trash along U.S. 160. When I do this, I always wonder what goes on in the minds of those responsible for the litter.

What do people think when they see others cleaning up the trash thrown from their car windows or placed in the back of their pickup trucks and allowed to blow out?

What would it take to encourage people to have enough pride in themselves to improve their community instead of destroy it?

Phyl Daleske

Military retired II

Dear Editor:

Last week's letter on "Military retired" did not tell the whole story. Many career military people serve ably until retirement time and then claim disability of some degree in order to receive a portion of their retirement pay as untaxable income - disability income paid by the Veterans Administration. If they now claim the disability income in addition to all of their retirement pay they in some instances are engaging in double dipping.

Military retirees who claim no disability (after all, they were able until retirement) pay taxes on all of their retirement pay.

Lee Paige

Heros under God

Dear Editor:

Many in America will remember those nine Pennsylvania coal miners extracted from a deep, icy, waterlogged hole at the Quecreek Mine not far from Pittsburgh recently.

I think I know the area well. So do you. Doesn't matter if we live there or not, we know the place - because it's as familiar to us as Pagosa, or any town next to us. The rescuers and the rescued are as familiar to us as our neighbors. As familiar to us as New York City firefighters running into the burning Twin Towers on Sept. 11. As commonplace as men and women where we live, saving lives everyday, keeping the peace, taking care of business.

What we all saw during that rescue was a slice of ordinary life. The kind of life that usually happens away from the cameras. I'm not just talking about dramatic rescues. I'm talking about the fierce determination to get the job done. And to use whatever power - manpower, machine power, brain power - to accomplish the goal. I call it: American ingenuity.

The distinct American culture on display during that rescue should have filled all of us with a deep sense of pride. The strength I saw wasn't something that these miners had to muster up that day. That's who they are. They were able to endure the ordeal because the steadiness, strength, capacity to endure is in them; it is in their constitution. This is how they live their lives. These are tough people with strong families, a strong community, with sturdy cultural and spiritual foundations.

Nobody at the Quecreek Mine gave up. And I never doubted the rescue was going to work or that the miners were alive. Yes, I'm an optimist. But I'm also confident of the ability of the average, ordinary person to do extraordinary things, because it happens every day in this country.

And you cannot escape this; the hand of God. The key to this rescue was that six-inch pipe rescuers first dug so they could force 100 degree, compressed air through airways. It was a one-in-a-million educated guess as to where to dig. And they struck gold; they put it right where those guys were.

Virtually everybody on the scene, from miners to rescue workers to family members have all said, "Yes, the work of the people here was just extraordinary, but we think the outcome was thanks to our prayers and our faith God made the difference." Now that will tell you something else about this distinct American culture, Stephan Reinhardt of the Ninth Circuit (circus) Court of Appeals in San Francisco, where you want to erase God from this country. After what happened in the Quecreek Mine, I dare you to tell those folks of that area to stop saying "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance. Go ahead - just try it.

Jim Sawicki


Dear Editor.

August is National Immunization Month. The purpose of this letter is not to debate the pros and cons of immunization, but to provide information to the public about vaccination.

As with any medical procedure, vaccinations carry with them inherent risks of serious bodily injury or even death and all information should be obtained by persons wanting to be vaccinated or those wanting to have their children vaccinated.

Here are some of the facts:

Under Colorado Regulatory Statute (law) 25.4.903, 2, b - Children are not required under law to be vaccinated to attend school in Colorado.

All health care providers are required to provide the patient/parent with a vaccination information statement prior to giving a vaccination. Each statement contains a brief description of the disease as well as the risks and benefits of the vaccine.

The mandate also requires health care providers to report any adverse reactions to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System.

If you are considering vaccination, become educated about childhood diseases and vaccines. A parent has the ultimate responsibility for a child's health and well being.

Ask your doctor to give the child a complete physical exam to make sure the child is healthy and able to accept a vaccination. Sickness greatly increases the chances of an adverse reaction.

Write down the child's and family medical history including major illness, including convulsions or neurologic disorders, severe allergies or immune system disorders. If there are any of the above in the past history, find out if this puts your child at high risk of reacting.

Get full information on the vaccine's side effects.

Find out how to identify a vaccine's reaction. Get the manufacturer's name and the lot number of the vaccine given.

Make sure that the vaccine is coming from a single dispense vial. Multiple dispense vials are often preserved with a substance called "thimerosal," a mercury-containing substance that has been found to be extremely toxic.

If you would like to get more scientific information about immunizations, visit or ask your health care provider or pharmacist for a vaccine information statement.


Jeffrey J. Schmidt

Long-range plan

Dear Editor:

During a recent meeting of the Upper San Juan Hospital District board, Dr. Mark Wienpahl delivered a talk on the difficulties of operating the Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Center under present circumstances.

He included a plea for organized, long-range planning. This plea should immediately receive a positive response. We do not have the luxury of just fixing the errors of the past; we must have a master plan for a brighter day of Archuleta County health care.

There are ideas being passed around. Here are a few of mine.

This planning must be done, hopefully, at the direction of the hospital district. A committee should be formed, composed of all of Pagosa's current health care professionals. They should first examine the possibilities of greater cooperation or combining to reduce costly duplication. Also, retired health care workers living in the county, and interested and informed citizens should be asked to serve.

It should begin by assessing where we are now and then develop a series of standards and goals with a time table, designed to lead us into the future.

An early part of this process should be a polling of our citizens to define their expectations. A research project should reach out to communities, similar in size and economy, who have successfully developed adequate community health care and learn from them how they did it.

This committee should develop a long-term financial need statement for presentation to the hospital district, the Dr. Mary Fisher Foundation, town and county government, civic organizations, churches and the public. There are creative things that each of these can do to support community health.

Knowing that operating rural medicine at break-even or survival status is difficult at best, the government and other systems offer a wide variety of grants and resources. We are currently making no effort to access this money and talent. Planning should recommend hiring a professional, training a local person, or perhaps, using a University of Colorado program to help write grants and access these funds. This just might reduce the need for more tax support.

Over the past two decades this community has had the benefit of two fine and dedicated physicians working long and underpaid hours. I believe we have become complacent and, in some ways, taken health care for granted.

With our growing population and the increasing complexity and cost of doing medicine, it is time to put complacency, old notions, egos and politics to rest and develop a new, wholesome, and cooperative attitude.

We need to begin the process now and develop a true master plan for health care to lead Archuleta County into the future.

Norm Vance

Truth maligned

Dear Editor:

I write to object to the eleventh hour character assassination on the radio and in The SUN by Sheriff's Captain Bob Grandchamp; negative political advertising directed at the candidacy of Larry Bass. I hope that the sheriff would disassociate himself from such tactics.

Sheriff's Captain Grandchamp billed his negative ad as a "rebuttal to Larry Bass' political advertising" yet cited no campaign ad, claim, tract or public statement against which he specifically took exception. Instead, the piece appeared to be more intended to brag on his own credentials and extol those of the person to whom he owes his job while himself using half-truths and innuendo to malign Mr. Bass, and by implication, impugn those who supported the Bass candidacy.

Referring to facts and events to which he was neither party nor privy, he claims to know the facts about Mr. Bass. One can only logically conclude that those of us who were party and privy to Sheriff's Captain Grandchamp's so-called "facts" must be either stupid or equally liars.

Sheriff's Captain Grandchamp chose to lift himself and his employer up by attacking, insulting and maligning his employer's opponent. By implication, he thereby insulted, attacked and maligned every one of the 545 Republican voters who had to take the extra measure of support for their choice for sheriff by writing in their candidate's name.

I submit Sheriff's Captain Grandchamp himself strayed from the truth and that his accusations of malicious lying are indeed a classic case of projection.

Roy D. Vega


Wasted effort

Next week marks the start of the local school sports season and we hope nothing ill befalls the youngsters who participate. School sport, in particular high school sport, is filled with numerous pitfalls; with luck and training, most youngsters will emerge from their experiences with no physical injury and a wealth of memories they can hold dear.

With each passing year, however, we see more examples of another kind of injury, inflicted by overzealous parents.

For some time now, the status of school sport has been unjustifiably elevated and the need to win has grown to absurd levels; worse yet is the intrusion in what should be a relatively innocent pursuit by parents living vicariously through children, filling a yawing chasm in their empty lives with the sporting accomplishments of their offspring. And the child, whether successful in the short run or not, is the victim.

The attitude exhibited by this type of parent tarnishes and at times destroys what should be a delightful experience for participant and fan alike. It is common now for some parents to assail coaches and officials, to demean teammates, to press complaints about sport to administrators and school boards. Most unfortunate is a tendency to mistake zeal for expertise and to poison the well at home, filling a youngster's head with negative ideas, counter to the spirit of team play and to the ultimate well-being of the child.

This is behavior to avoid at all cost and it is, ironically, wasted effort.

The truth is, school sport is important only if the child enjoys the activity and only while the child indulges it. Why? Because there is no substantial and enduring payoff at the end of the tunnel. For most young athletes, there is no tunnel. The experience is to be valued in and of itself; it rarely leads to anything else. And when it does, that track is also short.

School sport is something to be indulged and happily left behind. If it is not, it becomes the subject of a pathetic play of selective memory, of tales delivered from a bar stool decades after the fact. It becomes the fuel for another misguided parent.

In nearly every American high school there is a wall somewhere in the building on which hang photos of that institution's best athletes from the past. It is a misleading display, put there for the edification of parents. Few others care about the photos or what they signify. After 20 years, few people remain in a community who knew the youngsters whose images are frozen in those fading photos. The wall is like a tack board on which is pinned the dry remains of once beautiful butterflies.

This world cares little for the sporting triumphs of the past; other things must be emphasized above sport and the pursuit itself must be kept in perspective. For the child's sake.

Let's go out and cheer for our kids as the season begins. Let's enjoy their games and provide them what they need to pursue their goals. Let's encourage them but not demand they accept a twisted perspective on their activity or ask they lose touch with the things that really count: the friends, not the victories; bus rides and overnight trips, not photos in the paper and meaningless statistics and awards. Not whether they made the first string or won the championship, but that they had the good fortune to play at all.

Then, when it's over, let's encourage them to move on to other, more important things.

Karl Isberg


Dear Folks

It takes maturity to act your age

Dear Folks,

I missed Trevor Peterson's going away lunch at Dorothy's Restaurante Monday morning. However, I'd wished him well Sunday regarding his pending induction into the U.S. Army.

Monday's lunch was an impromptu 11 a.m. gathering in keeping with the "please go slow" mentality of most folks on Fourmile Road. Thus my verbal invitation was uttered at about 10:50 a.m. Being rather sweaty at that moment, showering and deodorizing seemed a more reasonable choice considering there would be other customers at Dorothy's.

Trevor probably didn't notice my absence. Nor notice the green chili burning his lips while aimlessly downing his meal. His mind probably was focused on Fort Benning, Ga., and the unknowns of basic training.

As I hastily showered, my mind drifted back to an earlier lunch Trevor and I had shared in 1985. The gorging that Saturday afternoon had occurred at the Pizza Hut in Frisco following the state skiing championships. His parents were assistant coaches. Trevor was acting his age (about 10 months) which is all folks should expect.

Trevor and I were born on April 7 - at a 50-year interval. So I've maintained an interest in his endeavors through the ensuing years.

His decision to enlist in the army came shortly after his graduation from P.S.H.S.

I wish I had possessed his foresight at that age. It wasn't until two years after graduating from high school before I realized volunteering for the draft made more sense than rerurning to college.

So Sunday evening, I told Trevor that he would do fine with handling the demands of basic training. It wasn't insincere "rah, rahism." During the past 18 years he's demonstrated that he can handle unexpected and unwanted challenges.

An 18-year-old who already knows how to follow instructions, assume responsibilities, expand his limitations and test his resiliency will be in his element during basic training. The mundane of the military - polishing his belt buckle, spit-shining boots and shoes, folding 45-degree corners on his sheets and blanket, "K.P." and so forth - could offer his toughest struggles.

Eventually, Trevor will discover the reality that all the supposed foolishness makes sense. He'll understand the major purpose of basic training is to provide a recruit the capability to respond in a life-preserving manner when he and his comrades become unwantingly and unexpectedly embroiled in life-threatening situations.

Trevor also will find mess hall food to be an interesting contrast to Dorothy's fare or the home-cooked meals he's accustomed to eating. In time, he'll notice some recruits actually go back for seconds whenever the mess sergeant announces such opportunities. In time, Trevor will realize that some recruits are eating the best and most food they've ever had.

It will be much the same with the bunk that serves as his bed. Some extended marches while carrying a full pack and rifle, and long days of "P.T." accompanied by a few ventures through the obstacle course will soften Trevor's mattress. The calliope of snores will go unnoticed.

By the same token he'll realize that some of his new acquaintances are strangers to having a mattress to themselves. Or to sleeping between clean sheets. Or even to sleeping in a bed rather than sleeping on the floor in hopes of being out of the line of fire of random gunshots. To them, the snoring is a welcome relief to lying awake to the sound of sirens or of rats running across the floor or up the walls.

Yes, Trevor will handle basic training fine by just acting his age.

Know you are loved and please keep us in your prayers.



By Shari Pierce

90 years ago

Taken from SUN files of August 23, 1912

A camp-fire party was given Wednesday evening on the hill back of the Springs Hotel. The jolly crowd sat around a huge fire telling stories, singing songs and playing games. Last but not least was the supper, with Mrs. Nickell's good coffee and other appetizing things.

Last Wednesday while rounding up some horses on the Hott & West Ranch in O'Neal Park, Rex, son of Robert Hott, unfortunately fractured one of his legs between the knee and the ankle. He was immediately brought to town by his father and placed under the care of Dr. Green who straightened up the injured leg. Today the boy will be taken by his father to their home.

Parents are advised that the Pagosa Springs school will open Tuesday, Sept. 3.

75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of August 26, 1927

The Mountain States Telephone Company now has a crew of men working out of Pagosa Springs and engaged in the installation of the new frequency copper circuit being laid from Alamosa to Durango via this city. The new line is in addition to the one now in operation for long distance service and the Pagosa crew's work will join in East Fork Canon with another crew working from Alamosa. The new circuit is the latest improvement and will permit fourteen conversations simultaneously over the same line.

Mike Chavez has leased the former Lon Hardman pool hall from Leon Montroy, the present owner and is now preparing to open the establishment to the public about the 1st of September.

50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of August 22, 1952

The John Stevens Ranch, four miles west of Pagosa Springs, was judged last week in the district finals for the Colorado Range Livestock championship. The cow and calf production operation has been operated by Mr. Stevens for about fifteen years. The judges were impressed with the record of 97 percent calf survival of Mr. Stevens' Angus cattle, range reseeding program, irrigated pasture, stock water development, irrigation dam and 21 miles of ditches and laterals and his method of handling range grasses.

Following their services Sunday, members and friends of the Baptist Church enjoyed a picnic dinner at the West Fork campgrounds. Some of the group spent part of the afternoon at Born's Lake.

25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of August 18, 1977

Heavy rains hit this area Sunday night when a downpour that lasted through the night left 1.46 inches of precipitation. There have been several lighter rains since that time. The San Juan River is up and there have been floods of water and mud across some highways in the county.

Construction work on Wolf Creek Pass widening is progressing nicely. The big job of removing part of the solid rock cliff in the project is near completion. There is still a great deal of work to be done below the rock cliff, but progress is faster there. It is possible that the rock work will be completed by winter, but there is little possibility that the new four-lane highway will be surfaced.

 Community News

Pagosa Lakes News

Mother Nature's cooperation makes triathlon big hit

By Ming Steen

SUN Columnist

Last Saturday's eleventh annual Pagosa Lakes Hi-Tri Triathlon - a 7.2-mile run, 14.4-mile mountain bike ride and a half-mile swim - went rather well. The morning was cool, the wind slept in and the sun was bright and cheery. In short, Mother Nature cooperated.

Participants commented on how much they enjoyed the event after it was all over. It was hard work and some questioned the reason for their doing it while in the thick of the race. Visiting participants commented on the friendly, family-oriented nature of the event and the beauty of the course. The triathlon course includes some single-track trail with a couple of technical spots, some woods, some meadows, some gravel roads and some asphalt. Occasionally it takes someone from outside to remind us of the specialness of this place we call home.

Local athletes who participated in Saturday's triathlon did enjoy the opportunity to pit their athleticism against other participants, particularly the unknown competitors from outside Pagosa. There is, in general, a sense of everyone being there to share the day with each other. Enjoyment is partly enhanced by a low-stress, laid-back atmosphere.

In the men's overall division, Robbie Johnson finished in first place with a time of 1 hour, 58 minutes, seven seconds. Another local powerhouse, J. D. Kurz, finished in second place with a time of 1:59:11. Following in third place was Glenn McCarroll from Las Cruces, N.M., in a time of 2:01:32.

In the women's overall division, Sheila Salazar of Pagosa crossed the finish line with a time of 2:09:09. Salazar was followed by Marissa Asplund of Durango in 2:15:12. My third place finish in 2:21:59 was a huge victory; it was a personal record by six minutes. I had feared that turning 50 also meant turning slow. After all, we've all heard that as we age, we lose muscle mass and the ability to fire up those fast twitch (and not-so-fast twitch) connections. Perhaps physical aging is a relative thing. In this day and age of better awareness and taking action, the process may set in more slowly. I can only hope.

In team competition, it was all locals. Patrick O'Brien, Tre Metzler and Tiffany Thompson topped the field with a time of 1:52:20. Joe Gilbert, Mike Clinton and Natalie Koch came in second with an excitingly close 1:52:30. Also posting a strong finish to nab third in 2:00:22 were Jack Searle, Jack Ellis and Chris Nobles.

It was a good triathlon - a fantastic success for all the smiling, exhausted athletes. Everyone was applauded, not just those finishing first.

Many volunteers offered logistical support the entire morning. Those volunteers gave form, order and direction to the event. Local businesses, as usual, threw in generous prizes. I thank you all from the bottom of my heart.

The Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association offices will be closed all day today and tomorrow for inventory.

Here's a short summary of the state-of-fishing report as compiled by Kerry Evans, association conservation officer: Fishing has been a little slow but nevertheless there is trout action and catching in Pagosa and Hatcher lakes. Perch and bass have been pretty common on the stringers at Village Lake and Lake Forest. Lake Pagosa seems to be producing the largest numbers of trout and worms are the bait of choice. Lake Pagosa has also been the place to catch nice-sized crappies, with small jigs fished a foot or so below the surface. Hatcher has been productive for bass in the early morning. Happy fishing.

My apology to Jerry Sager for turning him 80 when he's only 78. Eighty or 78, he's still a paragon of gracious aging.


Senior News

Senior Center membership hits record 333

By Janet Copeland

SUN Columnist

Our last picnic of the year was, once again, a great success. It is wonderful to see the increase in number of folks attending. We hope all of you will join us at the Silver Foxes Den in the new Community Center. We are so proud to have 333 members for our organization now and hope to enroll even more.

It was a privilege to have Sen. Jim Isgar and his wife, Brenda, join us at the picnic Friday and lead us, along with Kurt Killion and Hoppy Hopson, in a sing-along.

The lucky winners of the drawing for tickets to see "Meet Me in St. Louis" were Byrd Kirkpatrick, Dorothy Million and Phil Heitz. We appreciate the Music Boosters' donation of the tickets and it was a wonderful production. We have so many very talented folks in this community.

Apologies to Brian Schoonover. He is the great-grandson of Mary Archuleta. I mistakenly reported that Adelina Lobato was his great-grandmother. They are sisters and both wonderful ladies and I'm sorry for the mistake.

It is great having Tom and Beverly Evans visiting with us this week; we have missed them since they moved to San Antonio last summer.

Welcome to all the newcomers and the returning members who joined us last week, including: Father John Morton, Elizabeth Messick, Bill and Paulette Sohle, Mable Bennett, Lucille Alley, Tom Summer, Midge Rapp, Glena Cloward, Bob Fisher, Lauren Huddleston, Donna Modarelli, Keren Prior, Windsor Chacey, Glen and Sharon Brown, Lucy Valdez, Bert and Byrd Kirkpatrick, Trina Higlesias, Mary Ann Maehr, Tom Summer, Elaine and Steve Lobato, Betty Reinhardt (from Baton Rouge, La.), Elaine and Don Obele, C.J. Cartrette, Nancy and Gideon Fryer, Bottie Etter, Andy Straves, Kay, Peggy and Gene Ledbetter, Jack Morgan, Dan Senjem, Robbie and Jim Fox, Steve Kish, Joanne Holiday, and Carlo and Lee Carrannante.

Don Hurt needs someone to teach the 55 Alive Class. Please contact him at 264-2337 if you are willing to help out.

We just want to remind folks that the Senior Center has a paper shredder available which is a big help in preventing identity fraud. Please take advantage of this means of protecting yourself.

The trip to Creede last month was so successful that we are planning another one Aug. 24. We will attend two one-act plays about love, marriage and midlife dilemmas - sounds like fun. Tickets are $13-17, depending on how many sign up, plus $10 for the bus. Car-pooling may be an option for transportation. Please sign up at the center if you wish to go along.

There are some free computer classes being offered by Computer Tutor. For more information, call Laura or Musetta at the Center.

Other upcoming events include Dru Sewell teaching chair aerobics Fridays at 10:30 a.m. 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, 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. Also, a beginning bridge group, led by David Hopkins, is meeting at 10:30 a.m. Tuesdays.

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

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

Veterans Corner

Grant awarded for veterans' vehicle


By Andy Fautheree

SUN Columnist

I am excited to announce we have been awarded a $25,000 grant to purchase a new transport vehicle for Archuleta County veterans to use for their VA healthcare appointments.

The "we" is a cooperative effort including the American Legion Mullins-Nickerson Post 108 and Archuleta County. Veterans of Foreign Wars also added their support.

The money is coming from the Colorado Veterans Settlement Fund, part of the Colorado Tobacco Settlement Fund, which the state receives each year from the tobacco companies. We were fortunate this year to be one of a very few recipients in the whole state to get funds for this purpose. Some of you may recall last year we were unsuccessful in applying for the same grant.

The vehicle is for use by our local veterans on a first-come, first-served basis, for those who do not have an adequate vehicle of their own or the financial means to provide their own transportation. There is no charge for using the transport vehicle for veteran health care appointments.

American Legion

The American Legion was the actual applicant for the grant funds. It will purchase the vehicle. Archuleta County has agreed to supply maintenance and insurance.

I will maintain the vehicle appointment and maintenance scheduling as I do with the current vehicle. Veteran users generally provide the fuel. They return the vehicle after each appointment with a full tank of gas and clean for the next veteran to use. They drive themselves to their appointments or we have a network of volunteer drivers for those needing driver assistance.

Archuleta County purchased the last vehicle, a Dodge Stratus four-door passenger sedan in 1999, and provides the maintenance and insurance for that vehicle. In only three years, veterans logged 120,000 miles traveling to VA health care appointments. As many of you are aware veterans must travel to facilities in Farmington, Albuquerque and Chama in New Mexico. A few veterans also travel to Grand Junction.

High volume use

The volume of vehicle use has grown to the point two vehicles are frequently needed because the veterans are going to different locations at the same time. The Archuleta County Commissioners' office has been generous in providing a back-up vehicle when one is needed and I know our veterans really appreciate this generosity. The VA presently has no system in place to coordinate health care appointments for veterans at the same time from the same locations. Veterans are scheduled for their appointments whenever there is an available time and date. It is anticipated we will probably keep the existing vehicle as a backup while it still has useful life, after we purchase the new vehicle.

We have the flexibility to purchase a vehicle of our own choice. I'm confident all parties concerned will make a wise choice that considers fuel efficiency, ease of driving, and good handling in poor weather conditions over our mountain passes.

Durango clinic

A Durango VA Outpatient Clinic is due to open in late September. An official grand opening ceremony is scheduled for Oct. 17.

The clinic is at 3575 N. Main Durango Ave. The VA has contracted with an existing medical clinic at that location for veterans' health services. Many of our Archuleta County veterans eagerly anticipate changing from their present VA health care providers to the Durango clinic.

No official information has been received yet on how the transition of veterans from one VA provider to the Durango Clinic will take place. I suspect it will take quite some time to make the change for all the veterans wanting to go to Durango. Those using the Durango VA Outpatient Clinic will still travel to Albuquerque for inpatient and specialist care.

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. The office number is 264-2304, the fax number is 264-5949 and e-mail is afautheree@ The office is open 8 to 4, Monday through Thursday; Friday by appointment. Bring your DD Form 214 (Discharge) for registration with the county, application for VA programs, and for filing in the VSO office.


Arts Line

SunDowner offers

chance for art bids


By P.R. Bain

The Aug. 28 Chamber of Commerce/Pagosa Springs Arts Council SunDowner is the annual fun event you've all been waiting for.

This is your chance to bid on that special piece of art during the quick draws by Virginia Bartlett, Denny Rose and Soledad Estrada-Led, or on some other enticing offering in the silent and live auctions.

A good time with good people will be had by all at the Pagosa Springs Art Council Gallery in Town Park and let's not forget the barbecue, terrific refreshments and your choice of wine, beer or soda. There is a $5 admission fee for all SunDowners and all are welcome. Proceeds from the auction will go to help the Pagosa Springs Arts Council develope and implement arts and crafts programs at the council's art rooms in the new community center.

The Arts Council is accepting donations of art objects plus goods and services or gifts certificates for the Aug. 28 SunDowner. Call 264-5020 to help with this fund-raiser.

Gallery exhibit

Roberto Garcia's intriguing bronze sculptures are now on exhibit at the Arts Council gallery in Town Park. His art pieces show where his passions lie - in beautiful women and a love for wildlife, especially eagles and dolphins - while his watercolors are of interesting landscapes.

Born in Texas, Garcia makes his home near Pagosa Springs. He has a degree in studio art and enjoys creating realistic figures. The weather here is excellent for pouring molten bronze, he says. Being a sculptor myself, I can tell you that creating statues is a very satisfying occupation but also a great deal of work. When you observe Roberto's work, imagine how you would begin to create such an amazing piece of art.

Gallery hours are 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays.

Help wanted

The Arts Council needs another writer to write the Arts Line column for the SUN. Here's your chance to write a column using your own words with your special flair. Call 264-5020 if you'd like to do this once a month.

Experienced art instructors are needed to teach children and adult classes at the brand new Community Center starting in September. Send your resume, workshop and lesson plans to PSAC, P.O. Box 533, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147 or hand deliver to the gallery at 314 Hermosa St. You may also e-mail information to

Businesses can have flyers included in our quarterly newsletter. Call Stephanie at 264-5068 for information.

If volunteering is your niche, the council is looking for your assistance in helping with snack booths and other interesting tasks. Call 264-5020 to get involved in the fun.

Exhibit season at the gallery in Town Park is May through October, Tuesdays through Saturdays, 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m.


Chamber News

A community filled with talent shows off

By Sally Hameister

Do not, repeat, do not miss the current Music Boosters' production of "Meet Me in St. Louis" appearing at the Pagosa Springs High School tonight and Friday and Saturday evenings at 7:30 p.m.

You simply won't believe the gorgeous costumes (over 200) and the remarkable sets that accompany a bank of local talent that will astonish and amaze. What a delightful, colorful production our Boosters have come up with this time. This one is pure eye and ear candy and filled to the brim with music so familiar you will be humming for days after you've seen it.

As I was cleaning away on Sunday, I found myself breaking out in "The Boy Next Door" time and again - thankfully only my dog and cat were the victims of this atrocity. The stage version is quite different and perfectly lovely. Keep in mind that it's reserved seating only, so please head for The Plaid Pony or Moonlight Books to secure your seats for this highly entertaining production. Tickets are also available at the door.

Shame on you

I'm extremely sad to report that only four days after Doug erected our new "Mutt Mitt" paraphernalia in the Visitor Center lawn, someone stole part of it and we'll need to replace it.

I was so impressed with these thoughtful additions to Town and Centennial parks this summer that I asked Jim Miller if we could borrow the catalog and order one for the Visitor Center. In case you've missed them, they offer the pet owner a handy-dandy way to clean up after their pets with a sanitary, no-hands-on disposal.

We thought that since our grounds include three picnic tables, this clean-up option was even more appealing as an amenity for our visitors. The part stolen was the black and white sign that appeared above the mitt container depicting the silhouette of an owner and dog to draw attention to the clean-up idea. I will add that these items are extremely expensive and, for that reason, we had given serious thought to purchasing them. The thief had to go to a great deal of trouble to steal the sign and needed some tools to remove it. We will make it close to impossible for them to repeat such a heinous act in the future, I assure you. Unfortunately, we hadn't even completed the "set" and are still awaiting the container in which to place the used mitt. I consider this act, as I do all theft, as grossly invasive, pernicious, wasteful and just plain hateful. I would hope that if anyone spots this sign, they would let us know where we could find it.

To the individual who took it, I can only say, "Shame on you - and I hope you will grow up one day and place a higher value on the property of others."

Montoya's new look

Congratulations to the folks at Montoya's in downtown Pagosa for their beautiful new face lift. They are not quite completed, but what has been done looks just spectacular and truly makes an amazing positive impact on the entire main street scene. Looks terrific, folks, and our thanks for doing such a good job of making all of us look spiffier than ever.

New name

The Community Christmas Choir is expanding their horizons, ergo, changing their name to the shorter version, the Community Choir. Lucky for us, the reason for this new moniker is that they will be doing more than just the Christmas program under the direction of Barbara Witkowski and Pam Spitler, new assistant director. We can look forward to additional concerts throughout the year.

To introduce the new program and recruit new members to the group, there will be a kick-off barbecue dinner Sept. 3 at the Mountain Heights Baptist Church. All current members and interested prospective members are invited to attend, and a $5 donation is suggested to cover the costs of the food.

If you are interested in attending the barbecue, contact Pam Spitler at 731-4510. Even if you cannot attend the dinner but are interested in joining this group, give Pam a call to let her know. Makes me wish I could sing.

Newsletter inserts

We've already had a number of calls with inquiries about inserts for our quarterly newsletter, the Chamber Communiqé, and invite you to bring yours in sometime before or during the last week of the month. It's a great opportunity for you to get the word out very inexpensively to our almost 800 members for very little moolah.

It goes like this: you bring us 730 inserts on bright paper using both sides if you like and a check for $40, and we do the rest. Please use regular-weight paper and do not fold it. We try to have it out sometime the first week in September and invite you to announce your new business, your new location, your new product or whatever you would like to share with the Chamber membership. Give us a call with questions at 264-2360.

Auction for the Animals

The eighth annual Auction for the Animals sponsored by the Humane Society of Pagosa Springs is scheduled to take place Friday at Ridgeview Mall beginning at 5:30 p.m. Expect to find some dandy, unique items in both the silent and live auctions like gift certificates for products and services, gift baskets, antiques, art objects, celebrity collectibles (my personal favorite), handcrafted items like quilts or sweaters, pet supplies and toys, restaurant meals, lodging, trail rides and balloon rides. Of course, you will find food and wine and the annual commemorative wine glass that comes with the price of the ticket.

Advance tickets are $25 and $30 at the door. For those who don't wish to collect a glass, advance tickets are $15 and $17 at the door. Obviously, you would do well to purchase your tickets in advance for this always-interesting event. Hope to see you at the Ridgeview Mall Friday night.

Sidewalk sale

Just another reminder about our upcoming sixth annual Sidewalk Sale which has been expanded to three days. Four Corners Folk Festival organizers point out folks will start pouring in for this event Aug. 29, and after they have settled in will be looking for things to do. Sounds like the perfect scenario for a sidewalk sale, don't you agree?

In the past, our local merchants from the far west of town to the far east of town and all points in between have put all their sale merchandise outside in front of stores on tables, racks, whatever and allowed all passersby to take advantage of some great bargains and sale items. We've had a number of calls from merchants who are anxious to be a part of this sale, so save up your dough to score some great bargains when you visit all our participating Pagosa merchants.


I couldn't be happier to introduce four new members this week and nine renewals. No matter how you look at that, this is just good news. On with the show.

Ed King joins us first with R-R Business Services Health Insurance with offices located in his home. Ed offers health insurance at affordable rates for self-employed individuals and families. All the plans are fully customized, based on your individual needs. In these days of skyrocketing insurance costs, sounds like a call to Ed at 731-9085 makes very good sense.

Debbie Devereaux joins us next with her unique business located in Durango - Western Colorado Wedding and Honeymoon Guide. Debbie is happy to offer the brides' wedding planning source west of the Divide both online and in print. Her services include a directory containing information on wedding professionals and reception sites and a complete Colorado honeymoon-lodging guide. If you're interested in learning more about Western Colorado Wedding and Honeymoon Guide, please give Debbie a call at (970) 884-6001.

Marie Layton joins us next with Paycheck Advance Loans and Check Cashing downtown at 476 San Juan St. Marie offers short-term loans and check cashing services, and you can borrow up to $500. Simple, fast, immediate approval is offered and will remain private and confidential. You can rely on Paycheck Advance Loans and rest assured they are there for you. Please call 731-0900 to learn more.

Our fourth new member this week is Aristotle Karas who brings us Pacific Auction Exchange, Auction Option, LLC, with offices located in his home here in Pagosa. This unusual business offers a world champion auctioneer with 15 years experience in real estate auctions benefiting sellers. Among the advantages of working with these folks are the seller picks the date of the sale; the focus is on only the seller's property; there is no limit on upside potential; the property is sold without contingencies and the buyer pays commissions. To join the other progressive sellers who have set the time and date of their sales, call 731-3949 or (877) 612-8494.

Our renewals this week include Real Estate Associate, Vickie (the Vicksters) Appenzeller with Land Properties, Inc.; Father John Bowe, CR, at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Parish; Board Director and Candy Lady, Sally Theesfeld with The Daily Scoop; Kathey Fitz with the Best Value Inn High Country Lodge; Russ Wilstead with the Red Lion Inn and Suites; Fred W. Schmidt with The Adobe (Adobe Investment, LTD.); Fred W. Schmidt (again, busy guy) with the San Juan Motel and RV Park; Street; and Mike and Becky Shields with Jump River Lodging.

Our associate member renewals this week are our former volunteers of the year, Ron and Sheila Hunkin. Please do ask Ron about his "crowning" experience with the Chamber of Commerce - it's a good story.


Library News

New program helps with job searches

By Lenore Bright

SUN Columnist

There is a new program for displaced homemakers offered through the Training Advantage. The coordinator brought us some information on this program for people needing assistance in their job searches. Pick up one at the desk.

The Workforce Center is located in Durango. For more information call 247-0308 Ext. 225.

Western Slope

This publication comes from Mesa State College in Grand Junction. While it is seldom about our area, it does cover the Western Slope and is a good reference for anyone interested in Colorado history. This month's edition discusses homesteading on the edge of Grand Mesa. We have many back issues.

Hershey collection

Our Southwest collection is named for Jake and Terry Hershey who have been very generous to our library through the years.

The Hershey Collection covers books about Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and Utah. Ann Van Fossen is working on a bibliography and identifying all of the books that mention Pagosa Springs and Archuleta County. Her list is growing and this will be very helpful to people doing research.

New books

"The Summer Solstice, Celebrating the Journey of the Sun from May Day to Harvest," by John Matthews, is a beautifully done history of the many celebrations by all cultures of the sun as the source of life, fertility and good fortune.

Matthews has documented the timeless themes found all over the world. We learn the history of the May pole, the myths behind the midsummer games, find out the struggle between summer and winter, and enjoy the ancient story of the death and resurrection of the corn goddesses and gods. The illustrations are excellent, and Matthews provides full instructions on how to produce your own midsummer and harvest fetes.

"Inc. Yourself, How to Profit by Setting up Your Own Corporation," by Judith H. McQuown, is the new 10th edition. It covers the latest tax laws and legislation. The passage of the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 renders all previous books obsolete.

"You don't have to be a professional to incorporate. If you can show a net profit with your business, this book can save you money," says the author.


We thank all of you who have donated materials through the year. You helped make our book sale a big success. And now we start again. So, thanks to John Feazel, Archie MacMillan, Carolle Ash, Cynthia Sharp, Rosa Layne, Pam Cass and Mark Fackler.


Aidan Sean O'Donnell was born July 11, 2002, at Mercy Medical Center in Durango. The young man weighed in at 8 pounds, 3 ounces and measured 19 inches. The proud parents are Sean and Connie Sue O'Donnell of Pagosa Springs. Grandparents are A.B. and Martha Crabbs of Green Mountain Falls, Colo., and Michel and Cheryl O'Donnell of Granby, Colo.

 Business News

Kelly Martinez will assume duties Aug. 26 as manager of the Methodist Thrift Shop, located at 434 Lewis St. in downtown Pagosa Springs.

The Methodist Thrift Shop offers a wide variety of affordable clothing for children and adults as well as housewares and a limited selection of furniture and reading materials.

Donations of acceptable materials are accepted at the shop, but no appliances are taken.

The Methodist Thrift Shop is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10-3 Saturday.

Call the store at 264-2572.



Doug Wendt and Kathy Holthus of Pagosa Springs are pleased to announce the engagement of their daughter, Renee Liana, to Robert Murphy, son of Jim and Cyndi Murphy of Pagosa Springs. The couple will be married Sept. 21 in Pagosa Springs.




Emily Finney, a 2002 graduate of Pagosa Springs High School, has been awarded an Academic Achievement Award from The College of Wooster, Wooster, Ohio.

Emily, who will enter Wooster this fall, is the daughter of Raymond and Teddy Finney of Pagosa Springs.

Academic Achievement Awards are presented on the basis of a student's academic performance in high school as well as their potential for future success.


Schoolmaster, mail carrier, lawman:

Fil Byrne witnessed birth of Pagosa

By John M. Motter

PREVIEW Columnist

Felix A. Byrne was born May 27, 1858, in Ohio. He died Dec. 10, 1932. At age 20, in 1878, Fil rode into dusty, embryonic Pagosa Springs.

During his life, Fil personally witnessed almost every situation later recreated by Hollywood to thrill Western movie fans. More important locally, Fil witnessed the birth and growth to maturity of Pagosa Springs.

I wish I had known Fil, not just because of his historic importance, but because I think I would have liked him. I have three or four pictures of Fil, and I've talked to people who knew him. I wish I could ask him some questions.

For example, why, at the age of 20, did Fil come to Pagosa Springs? Did he have an older relative in the area? How did he come? Pagosa was a long distance from Ohio, especially by horseback. In 1878, Fil could have come by train as far as Pueblo Fort Garland. From Fort Garland, he could have ridden horseback up to the Summitville gold camp and down the east fork of the San Juan to Pagosa Springs.

Or, he could have ridden his horse across Archuleta's toll road on Cumbres Pass and into Pagosa Springs from that direction. But why? His obituary says he arrived in Colorado after spending several years in Kansas. The same obituary says he engaged in freighting in the San Luis Valley before coming to Pagosa Springs. That sounds like a lot of activity for a youngster not yet 21.

"He came here as a schoolteacher," the obit writer continued.

We learn from Laura Manson White that Fil first taught school in a little log cabin not far from the Great Pagosa Hot Spring. White would have known Fil.

Perhaps a bit of discourse to identify Laura Manson White is in order. White was not a Pagosa pioneer, but was from a pioneer family living in the San Luis Valley. If I remember correctly, she came to Pagosa Springs shortly after 1900 and married a man named White. She apparently nursed a profound interest in Pagosa history and possessed some talent as a writer. In any event, White recorded much of what we know about early Pagosa history. Many of her writings are on file at the Western History Department of the Denver Public Library. White's articles have also appeared in Colorado Magazine and in "Pioneers of the San Juan Country."

White confirms that Fil was Pagosa Country's first schoolteacher and that he taught in a log cabin east of the San Juan River. Who did he teach?

As we have repeatedly said, settlers and merchants set up housekeeping and shops in Pagosa Springs starting in late 1877 and early 1878. Some of them probably had school age children. The post office started in June of 1878. The troops of Fort Lewis marched into town and started erecting barracks in October of 1878. Some of those troops may have had wives and children. Along with the troops came camp followers who worked as laundresses. The laundresses may have had children, as well.

Pagosa Country was not exactly in a vacuum when Pagosa Springs started, even if Archuleta County was not created until 1885. Prior to 1885, this was all part of Conejos County and that county's School District No 5. As schoolmaster, Fil would have been paid by that county prior to 1885. Unfortunately, the Conejos County courthouse burned, destroying almost all of the early county records pertaining to the Pagosa Springs area.

When Archuleta County was formed in 1885, Fil was the first county superintendent of schools. School bills were paid from the county budget. Along with the other county officials, Fil was appointed by Gov. Benjamin H. Eaton until such time as the county could hold an election.

Fil's first official act May 20 was to change the school district from School District No. 5, Conejos County, to School District No 1, Archuleta County. The new school district's boundaries were the same as the county boundaries. His second act was to acknowledge the creation of School District No. 2 at Chromo. Interestingly, the petitioners for School District No. 2, all Chromo vicinity residents, listed post office boxes in Amargo, N.M., as mailing addresses.

On Nov. 26, 1887, Felix Alexander Byrne picked up a marriage license to marry Annie Eliza Kern. His was the fifth marriage license issued in the fledgling county. Annie had come to Pagosa from Indiana to visit her brother, Billy Kern. Billy later served as sheriff of Archuleta County and built a two-story frame house still in use on San Juan Street.

Byrne was apparently a deliberate sort of guy. He and Annie did not stand before Justice of the Peace Georgonio Abeyta in the marriage act until Aug. 14, 1888, some nine months later. I have to conclude that he had the license stored in a safe place while he waited to kiss the bride.

Fil performed a variety of tasks in order to survive on the Pagosa frontier. He carried mail from Summitville to Pagosa Springs, horseback during the summer, on homemade skis during winter.

At one time while operating the stage coach between Amargo and Pagosa Springs, he and Annie lived in Amargo and, at another time, in the halfway house that used to sit near the junction of what is now Valle Seco Road and U.S. 84. He drove the coach for several years.

At various times, Fil served as a deputy sheriff, a good sideline for a schoolmaster. An old story is that a prisoner escaped during Fil's watch. At that time, the jail was located down town on east San Juan Street. The escapee climbed on a mustang and galloped north up the road toward Elwood Pass, Deputy Sheriff Fil Byrne in hot pursuit. When he realized he wasn't gaining, according to the story, Fil is said to have pulled his rifle from its scabbard, dismounted and, with one shot, brought the escaping horse down with a bullet through his leg. Grateful that the bullet punctured the horse instead of his own hide, the man meekly returned to jail.

I used to hide my skepticism by saying, "That's a good story." Then I ran across an item in an early newspaper that confirmed the incident. Fil could shoot.

Fil was employed as schoolteacher and superintendent of schools for many, many years. If he began teaching at the age of 20, when and where did he obtain his education? In those days, an eighth grade education was enough to qualify as a public schoolteacher. But, qualify as county superintendent of schools? One of the superintendent's duties was to test and certify other teachers, a big task for an eighth grade education.

Apparently, Fil also raised cattle and might have dabbled in real estate. He spent 35 years in service to the county, the last eight years as county judge. He helped organize and was an officer in the First Pioneers of the San Juan organization. He took part in almost everything good that happened in the community. His name never seems to be attached to some of the more questionable activities connected with county politics.

I find no evidence that he and Bonnie ever had children. Surviving relatives mentioned in Fil's obit, in addition to Bonnie, were sisters Kate Smith and Margaret Boudro, and brother Charles. I have also read of an Elizabeth Byrne in old newspapers. Was she his mother?

Byrne seemed to have several residences during his many years in Pagosa Springs; it is my understanding that his last home was where the Rockridge Trailer Park stands today.

If Fil Byrne had not lived here and taught the first generation or so of Pagosa pioneer children, Pagosa might be a different place today.




Trail to TARA

Tiffany, Allison, Rosa, Arboles group works to unify communities

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

They talk about community. And history. And preserving both in southeast Archuleta County where much of the past now lies under water.

They talk and they do, these members of the nonprofit TARA Historical Society, planning and hosting barbecues, parades, holiday festivals and a few fund-raisers, collecting oral histories and presiding over the TARA Community Library. Their twin missions of community and preservation encompass the four towns impacted by the Navajo Dam project.

TARA is an acronym for Tiffany, Allison, Rosa and Arboles. Tiffany and Allison remain in their original location. Rosa, once located just over the New Mexico state line, is completely under water. The original town of Arboles, at the confluence of the San Juan and Piedra rivers, is also under water. However, some of its buildings were moved to the town's present location.

"We spend a lot of time with TARA," president Ida Theys said with a smile after attempting to list all the group's projects.

Spring brings a free Easter egg hunt and coloring contest. "The whole mountain area is covered in eggs," Theys said. Both hardboiled and plastic eggs are used to ensure that all the children go home with a basketful. A parade and barbecue are the fare of the day on the July 4 weekend. Sometimes a person can count more parade participants than spectators, but that's all part of the fun. Oktoberfest is planned for Sept. 28. Participants are invited to bring a dish to serve and their appetite. TARA is providing place settings, beverages and sponsoring their first raffle. In October, the group puts on a Safe Halloween program.

Under ongoing projects, volunteers keep the library open Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 1-4 p.m., record and transcribe oral histories from local residents, provide home-bound library service and collect literature to publish in their second book, this one on life in rural America.

Even bigger plans wait in the wings. They'd like to construct a multipurpose building - the TARA Center - to house the library, a museum and community meeting rooms on an acre and a half of land on Milton Lane in Arboles obtained through an agreement with county leadership in 1998. A basketball court, parking lots and expanded playgrounds are other dreams, the germs of which were planted a decade ago at TARA's first meeting.

"There were a group of residents who thought we should be doing something to preserve the history of this area," said Barbara Taborelli, one of about a dozen charter members of the organization, adding, "and we wanted this to be a community development sort of thing." The first year, they picked a name and set goals. They held the first fund-raiser - selling bumper stickers. They also began gathering names of people who inhabited the area before the lake for an oral history project. The second year, they planned the first Treasure Trail, still the group's largest annual fund-raiser. They dreamed of a community building. A place to house artifacts from the history of the area. A place where people could come together for meetings. A place where people could come together for fun.

Obtaining the land was the first step. Over the years they added a picnic area, small playground, a tent for large gatherings raised just this summer and the group's library, a historical structure that was once used as a bunkhouse on the Luchini Ranch.

The library building, built in the 1930s, was purchased in November 1998. It was moved to the TARA site and then a major restoration commenced. Windows, doors, the roof and siding needed replacement or repairs. The ceiling was painted and the walls sealed. While those wielding hammers and paint worked to put the building in order, others catalogued, sorted and shelved books donated by the community and other libraries. Electricity was added, but not heat. Not yet at least. On Sept. 16, 2000, the library opened its doors.

Currently, Taborelli said, about 160 people hold library cards. The collection of books is already too much for the shelves, and volunteers rotate the offerings to keep things interesting. Patrons include both visitors to the lake and nearby Pinion Campground and local readers. Those who are homebound are invited to fill out a form outlining their reading interests and volunteers will deliver the books directly to the homes. Transcripts of the oral histories recorded so far are available. They even have a small collection of books on tape and videos.

"I love the books and the library," Taborelli said. "That's been a real joy." It's just one of the many reasons she continues her membership with TARA. The list also includes the friendships, the sense of doing something to help the community.

TARA member Kathy St. Germaine said the vision of a community center and moving toward that goal bit by bit every year keeps her involved. "Everyone needs to have those goals and visions and see them come true," she said. The group is working year after year on a nest egg for the building. They believe grant funds might be available some day, but they lack the writer.

Theys said more volunteers, especially ones with grant writing experience, are welcome.

"We have probably 20 active volunteers, but then basically the whole community kicks in when we plan an event," she said. Women might hold the majority at the semimonthly meetings, but husbands pitch in whenever needed. The group generally meets March through November.

"I ask people to give whatever time they have," Theys said. That could be an hour once a week or once a year. Even children pitch in to help. Recently, a group age 6-18 held a car wash, raising about $400 for the proposed basketball court.

This summer they've been working hard to put together their annual fund-raiser, the Treasure Trail, a day of activities stretching the estimated five miles from Allison to Arboles. It's a little later in the year this time - Aug. 24 - to coincide with the celebration of the group's 10-year anniversary, but many of the same events are planned. It features an all-day silent auction, food, games, arts and crafts and a flea market. Maps of the trail are available at local businesses.

Event coordinator St. Germaine said about a dozen stops on the trail were scheduled at last check. It's probably gone up a little, however, and might climb even higher by Saturday.

"We're on Arboles time," she said. "We know that and so we'll accept people up until the last minute."

It costs just $10 to register a booth with the Trail. Ten percent of the proceeds for each booth are donated back to the organization. At 6 p.m., everyone is invited back to the newly erected tent on Milton Road for a celebration to include music, food and the conclusion of the silent auction. To keep things affordable, cost to attend this event is $3 for an adult, $5 for a couple and $7 for a family. Proceeds from the Trail will be used to help fund the library, basketball court and future community activities. It's all part of the master plan, after all.